AKKADIAN AND UGARITIC LEXICOGRAPHY: A COMPARATIVE INQUIRY (MIDDLE EAST)
MERLIS, MARK AARON
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The purpose of this work will be to elucidate problematical Ugaritic vocables through the use of the Akkadian lexicon. Although scholars have utilized other Semitic tongues in attempts to explain difficult Ugaritic words, the two most popular languages for this exercise have been Hebrew and Arabic. I feel that Akkadian should be used to at least the same degree, if not to a greater one, than the above mentioned languages. The temporal element alone is enough to justify this assertion. Akkadian was the "lingua franca" of the Near East at the time the Ugaritic texts were written, i.e., the 14th and 13th centuries B.C.E. As is well known, texts in the Akkadian language have been found at Ugarit. There obviously must have been significant intercourse between speakers of Ugaritic and Akkadian.;The first step is to identify Ugaritic words of obscure or unclear meaning. There follows an analysis of the uncertainty surrounding the word and a discussion of previous suggestions made by scholars in the field. A search is then made of the Akkadian lexicon to find a cognate word related etymologically and perhaps with parallel semantic development. The meaning of this Akkadian word should be well established and several passages illustrating the meaning will be cited. Preferably, the word should be attested in Akkadian texts dating from the era of the Ugaritic texts, i.e. OB, SB, MA, MB, Amarna and be found in a context similar to that of the Ugaritic. We are not necessarily positing a direct Akkadian-Ugaritic connection, wherefore other Semitic languages such as Hebrew and Aramaic will be examined for cognates to elucidate the history of the word and its position among the Semitic tongues. The acid test of our suggested meaning will come when we go back to the Ugaritic text or texts and see if it fits the context. The following Ugaritic words formed the core of this study: hswn, t'n, drqm, hpst, hrs, hr.