This week’s Sumerian:
kur2, to be strange
You’ll notice there’s a weird little number on the transliteration. These numbers are used to distinguish between homophones. Sumerian seems to have had a ton of homophones. (I say seems to because we can never be sure exactly how the language was pronounced.)
Those of you with good memories might recall that this blog listed another word with the same pronunciation: kur. Only, this kur means land or underworld and is written with a different sign. So how, in a transliteration, do you distinguish between the kur that means underworld and the kur that means to be strange? You stick a number on one of them.
Some scholars use accent marks instead of or in addition to numerical subscripts. I’m not going to do that.