[Foundation-l] Encarta is dead

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Tue Mar 31 12:07:43 UTC 2009

On Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 12:56 PM, Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com> wrote:
> The Encarta people were very unprecise about what they are going to do in
> future...
> So, this means that there remains no big encyclopedia but ours? Except
> Britannica? And what about the situation in French, Italian etc., has anyone
> an overview about that?
> Then I also ask myself in how far this evolution is to be credited mainly to
> Wikipedia, or has it been "the Internet" in general that killed the
> dead-tree-encyclopedias. I remember that in 1999 or 2000 I already did not
> buy a paper encyclopedia because of the Internet.

As a young student of linguistics I was interested in Sumerian
language. In 1996 I went to the National library of Serbia and took
Britannica's 1995 edition. So, I've got the next references:

* Arno Poebel, Grundzüge der sumerischen Grammatik (1923), partly out
of date, but still the only full grammar of Sumerian in all its
* Adam Falkenstein, Grammatik der Sprache Gudeas von Lagaš, 2 vol.
(1949–50), a very thorough grammar of the New Sumerian dialect,
* Das Sumerische (1959), a very brief but comprehensive survey of the
Sumerian language;
* Cyril J. Gadd, Sumerian Reading Book (1924), outdated but the only
grammatical tool in English;
* Samuel N. Kramer, The Sumerians (1963), provides a general
introduction to Sumerian civilization.

Anecdote around this is that I was very confident in my linguistic
knowledge and that I thought that I am able to understand
linguistically German from 1923 (Arno Poebel's book). So, I went to
the Library of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and asked them to
make an inter-library borrowing from some German library. With a lot
of enthusiasm I've started to read it... Of course, it was a complete
disaster: I wasn't able to take any information. Copy of that book is
still somewhere in my library.

One year later, in 1997, I tried to find something about Sumerian
language at the net. Hm. I found at least two sites with full grammars
of Sumerian dialects. So, I've finished with [traditional]

BTW, the list of references above is from Britannica's [present]
online edition [1]. Nothing was changed since 1995 edition. I remember
well the list.

References from the English Wikipedia's article [2] are:

* Edzard, Dietz Otto (2003). Sumerian Grammar. Leiden: Brill. ISBN
90-04-12608-2.  (grammar treatment for the advanced student)
* Thomsen, Marie-Louise (2001) [1984]. The Sumerian Language: An
Introduction to Its History and Grammatical Structure. Copenhagen:
Akademisk Forlag. ISBN 87-500-3654-8.  (Well-organized with over 800
translated text excerpts.)
* Diakonoff, I. M. (1976). "Ancient Writing and Ancient Written
Language: Pitfalls and Peculiarities in the Study of Sumerian".
Assyriological Studies 20 (Sumerological Studies in Honor of Thorkild
Jakobsen): 99–121.
* Rubio, Gonzalo (2007). "Sumerian Morphology." In Morphologies of
Asia and Africa, vol. 2, pp. 1327-1379. Edited by Alan S. Kaye..
Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 1-57506-109-0.
* Attinger, Pascal (1993). Eléments de linguistique sumérienne: La
construction de du11/e/di. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht. ISBN
* Volk, Konrad (1997). A Sumerian Reader. Rome: Pontificio Istituto
Biblico. ISBN 88-7653-610-8.  (collection of Sumerian texts)
* Michalowski, Piotr, 'Sumerian as an Ergative Language', Journal of
Cuneiform Studies 32 (1980), 86-103.

[1] - http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/573229/Sumerian-language
[2] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumerian_language

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