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The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

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in category or in comp. no(s).

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Display conventions

If you are unfamiliar with the transliteration conventions of the ETCSL or do not know much Sumerian, it is strongly recommended that you start from the Glossary or use the Simple search interface.

Sumerian transliteration searchEnglish label search

To search, enter a search string, e.g. 'dub-sar' or 'en &d;gilgamec2', and click the Search for button.

Whenever possible, choose lemma instead of form from the drop-down menu above, and enter a search string, e.g. 'a dug4'. This will ensure that you find all the occurrences of the lexeme.

When searching use:
c   for the letter shin (s with caron = š)
j    for nasal g (g with tilde/circumflex = g̃/ĝ)
h   for the letter h with breve below (ḫ)

To search using English, choose label, and not form, from the drop-down menu above, enter a search string, e.g. 'scribe' or 'lord Gilgamec', and click the Search for button.

Remember to enclose multiword labels in double quotation marks, i.e. enter '"type of priestess"' and not 'type of priestess', or use the truncation symbol %, i.e. enter '%priestess'. This applies to verbs as well, i.e. to find a verb, enter either '"to break"' or '%break'.

The English labels are basic translations (glosses), and do not reflect the full meaning potential of the Sumerian lexeme in every context.

Note that the way the search results are displayed is the same, no matter how you search. It is always in the form of a KWIC concordance. For more help on searching, go to ETCSLsearch or ETCSLhelp.

If you have display problems, please choose the 'j' Char. enc. option.

The Display options are 'Crit' (default) and 'Plain', signifying display with critical apparatus, following the conventions of the web site, or display without critical apparatus.

More search tips:

Determinatives are encoded as entities, e.g. &d;, &jic; or &ku6;, and must be entered as such when included in search strings. A list of determinatives can be found here: ETCSLhelp#determinatives

Note the differences between searching for 'dub-sar', '%dub-sar', 'dub-sar%' and '%dub-sar%'. '%' is the truncation symbol.

Note also that '-' (hyphen) is significant when searching, so that searching for '%-dub-sar' will give a very different result from searching for '%dub-sar'.

Avoid searching for parts of speech (pos) only.

To distinguish between lower and upper case forms, the following conventions can be used:

Searching can be further refined by combining lemma, part of speech, type and/or label:

The following categories (attributes) can be combined to limit a search in this way:

  lem(ma), pos, lab(el), for(m) and typ(e) (or use abbrev. l, p, a, f, t).

Please report problems and send queries about searching to

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Updated 2006-12-19 by JE

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