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Clay Tablets
Poems in Posthuman Akkadian

TODESSA SEASON 02, EPISODE 05

Livestream from Todessa

Camera: Tman
Cast: Totleb & Co.
Editor: Todito
Soundmix: Todonsky Junior
Directed by: T.L.

POEMS IN POSTHUMAN AKKADIAN

written by General Totleben
© Ivan Stanev, executor testamentarius

Read CLAY TABLETS h e r e

GLOSSARY

Clay Tablets = Akkadian: ṭuppu(m)
The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Hittites wrote on tablets made from water-cleaned clay. Although these writing bricks varied in shape and dimension, a common form was a thin quadrilateral tile about five inches long. While the clay was still wet, the writer used a stylus to inscribe it with cuneiform characters.

Sprachbund
The mutual influence between Sumerian and Akkadian had led scholars to describe the languages as a sprachbund.
A sprachbund (/ˈsprɑːkbʊnd/; German: [ˈʃpʁaːxbʊnt], “federation of languages”) – also known as a linguistic area, area of linguistic convergence, diffusion area or language crossroads – is a group of languages that have common features resulting from geographical proximity and language contact. They may be genetically unrelated, or only distantly related.
In a 1904 paper, Jan Baudouin de Courtenay emphasised the need to distinguish between language similarities arising from a genetic relationship and those arising from convergence due to language contact. The term Sprachbund, a calque of the Russian term языковой союз (yazykovoy soyuz; “language union”), was introduced by Nikolai Trubetzkoy in an article in 1923. In a paper presented to the 1st International Congress of Linguists in 1928, Trubetzkoy defined a sprachbund as a group of languages with similarities in syntax, morphological structure, cultural vocabulary and sound systems, but without systematic sound correspondences, shared basic morphology or shared basic vocabulary.

Etemenanki
(Sumerian É.TEMEN.AN.KI “temple of the foundation of heaven and earth”) was the name of a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BCE Neo-Babylonian dynasty. Originally 91 meters in height, little remains of it now except ruins.

Ziggurat
Ziggurats (/ˈzɪɡəræt/ zig-ər-at; Akkadian ziqqurat, D-stem of zaqāru “to build on a raised area”) were massive structures built in the ancient Mesopotamian valley and western Iranian plateau, having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels.
Notable ziggurats include the Great Ziggurat of Ur near Nasiriyah, Iraq; the Ziggurat of Aqar Quf near Baghdad, Iraq; the now destroyed Etemenanki in Babylon (possibly the inspiration behind the biblical story of the Tower of Babel); Chogha Zanbil in Khūzestān, Iran; and Sialk near Kashan, Iran.

Emoji
(Japanese pronunciation: [emodʑi]) are the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and Web pages, the use of which is spreading outside Japan. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji literally means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji).

Арал – RU
The Aral Sea

entre les fleuves – FR
between two streams (rivers)

Языковой союз как кара, как главный грех – RU
языковой союз (yazykovoy soyz) = language union
кара (‘karə) = punishment, scourge
главный (‘glavnɨj) = chief, capital, head, main, central, magistral, major, primal, principal
грех (grʲex) = sin

Весь этот бред альтруистический – RU
бред (brʲet) = delirium, gibberish, ravings, rave, raving
альтруистический = altruistic

bien dit, mais quelle tristesse! – FR
well said, but how sad ( what a pity )!

тоска неземная! – RU
тоска (ta’ska): melancholy, depression yearning anguish boredom, ennui
неземная = unearthly extraterrestrial supernatural heavenly

Вселенная тоже смертная – RU
вселенная (fsʲi’lʲenːəjə) = universe
тоже (‘toʒɨ) = also, too
смертная = mortal, deadly, fatal, death, capital

Acknowledgements
archive.org; freesound.org; Encyclopedia Britannica; background conversation from Gaus Island, Philippines; song “Nagasaki Butterfly”” – Verse: K. Fujiura, Music: N. Takeoka, Singer: Ho Mei Fan, Columbia Orchestra

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