The Third Millennium: Studies in Early Mesopotamia and Syria in Honor of Walter Sommerfeld and Manfred Krebernik
The Festschrift containing 37 contributions celebrates the scholarly achievements of the two outstanding Assyriologists, Walter Sommerfeld (University of Marburg) and Manfred Krebernik (University of Jena). The primary focus of the volume corresponds to the main topics of interests of Professors Sommerfeld and Krebernik – Pre-Sargonic and Sargonic Mesopotamia and third millennium Syria. The volume also features a few contributions dealing with Sumerian language, Mesopotamian literature and the early history of Akkadian and its Semitic background.
The title of this paper refers back to Albrecht Goetze’s masterpiece “The t‑Form of the Old Babylonian Verb” (Goetze 1936), wherein he made a successful attempt to distinguish derivational meanings of the t‑infix (t‑stems) from inflectional ones, which came to be known as the t‑Perfect. The OB (and OA) t‑Perfect (i.e., iptaras) is a manifestation of perfect as a cross-linguistic grammatical value, alongside, e.g., the English Present Perfect or the Castilian Spanish Pretérito Perfecto. The t‑Perfect was not a Proto-Semitic inflectional verb form but emerged in Akkadian via upgrade (i.e., inflectionalization) of the derivational verbal t‑affix that existed in PS as a part of the inherited Afroasiatic patrimony. In other words, the Gt Preterite shape (iptaras) penetrated the G-stem paradigm as a new tense form, the t‑Perfect, while one of the meanings of the Gt-stem became the semantic source of the Akkadian t‑Perfect.
The paper deals with two problematical lines in the Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic.