古代アッシリア語の辞書が完成 編纂期間90年 米国

Scholars complete dictionary of lost language after epic 90 year academic quest
A dictionary of a dead language not used for two millenia has finally been completed after academics spent 90 years painstakingly deciphering ancient words scrawled on clay and stone tablets.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8558270/Scholars-complete-dictionary-of-lost-language-after-epic-90-year-academic-quest.html
By Nick Allen, Los Angeles
10:00AM BST 06 Jun 2011

As decades came and went generations of scholars travelled from across the world to the University of Chicago to work on the monumental Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project.

It is now officially complete and contains 21 volumes devoted to Akkadian, a Semitic language with several dialects including Assyrian, that endured between 2500 BC and AD 100 and was recorded on tablets in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.

The dictionary was begun in 1921 by James Henry Breasted, an American archaeologist who wanted to "recover the lost story of the rise of man." He died 14 years later, by which point one million index cards had already been compiled.

Robert Biggs, professor emeritus at the University of Chicago, later devoted half a century to the dictionary, uncovering tablets in the desert and poring over texts in museums in London and Baghdad as he tried to translate the wedge-shaped letters.

For almost an entire year he studied thousands of references to sheep livers, the shapes of which were believed to contain omens.

Prof Biggs admitted: "Sometimes it got to be very tedious. Other times, there was a sense of exhilaration if you could solve some problem or figure out what a rare word means.

"You always saw the light at the end of the tunnel, but the end of the tunnel kept getting further and further away."

During their marathon academic quest the Chicago scholars battled problems with the ancient Assyrian lack of punctuation, and the propensity of the tablets to crumble.

They were joined at various times by experts from Vienna, Paris, Copenhagen, Jerusalem, Berlin, Helsinki, Baghdad and London,

Martha Roth, the dictionary's current editor, spent 32 years on it, four years of that working on a single word.

She said: "It's hard for many people to understand the kind of stick-to-it this kind of project takes."

The 28,000-word dictionary, which will cost $1,400 (£850) to buy, is more like and encyclopaedia and offers a window into the ancient society of Mesopotamia, including recipes, love letters and ancient poems.

There is even a 4,400-year-old letter from a teenager at boarding school who wrote to his mother: "From year to year, the clothes of the gentlemen here become better, but you let my clothes get worse."

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    Excerpt: 古代アッシリア語の辞書が完成 編纂期間90年 米国 日々の感想/ウェブリブログ Weblog: プラダ トート racked: 2013-07-06 01:27