Closed syllables: cuneiform signs with two consonants

This reference table gives many of the main CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) signs needed for reading Akkadian in cuneiform (and lots of rare ones too). It is unlikely that you will need all of them, unless you become a professional cuneiformist, but it is fun to see them nevertheless. Complete lists are published in the books described on the using sign lists page.

The consonants are grouped by sound, as described on the phonology page. It explains there why some syllables with different vowels and/or consonants are written with the same sign. In general (but not always), sign values with i are also valid for e. Because final consonants are usually interchangeable within each phonological group (e.g. ๐’ = bad, bat, and baแนญ), we have not systematically listed them.

Signs starting with dentals

dab๐’ณ tab๐’‹ฐ แนญab๐’‹ฐ
dad๐’‹บ tad๐’‹บ แนญad
dag๐’– tag๐’‹ณ แนญag๐’–
dah๐’ˆญ tah๐’ˆญ แนญah๐’ˆญ
dal๐’Š‘ tal๐’Š‘ แนญal๐’Š‘
dam๐’ฎ tam๐’Œ“ แนญam๐’ฎ
dan๐’†— tan๐’†— แนญan๐’†—
dar๐’ฏ tar๐’‹ป แนญar๐’‹ป
daš๐’Œจ taš๐’Œจ แนญaš
dib๐’ณ tib๐’ณ แนญib๐’ณ
did๐’…Ž tid๐’…Ž แนญid
dig๐’‰Œ tig๐’„˜ แนญig
dih๐’พ tih แนญih
dil๐’€ธ til๐’Œ€ แนญil๐’€ธ
dim๐’ด tim๐’ด แนญim๐’ด
din๐’ท tin๐’ท แนญin๐’ท
dir๐’‹›๐’€€ tir๐’Œ แนญir๐’‹›๐’€€
diš๐’น tiš๐’น แนญiš๐’น
dub๐’พ tub๐’พ แนญub2๐’‚€
dud๐’‰บ๐’œ tud๐’Œ… แนญud
dug๐’‚ tug๐’Œ‡ แนญug
duh๐’ƒฎ tuh๐’ƒฎ แนญuh๐’ƒฎ
dul๐’Œ‹๐’Œ† tul๐’Œ‹๐’Œ† แนญul๐’‡ฅ
dum๐’Œˆ tum๐’Œˆ แนญum๐’Œˆ
dun๐’‚„ tun๐’„ฝ แนญun
dur๐’„™ tur๐’Œ‰ แนญur๐’„™
duš๐’†ช tuš๐’†ช แนญuš๐’†ช


bab๐’‰ฝ pap๐’‰ฝ
bad๐’ pad๐’‰ป
bag๐’„ท pag๐’„ท
bah๐’„ท pah๐’ˆœ
bal๐’„ pal๐’„
bam pam
ban๐’‰ผ pan๐’‰ผ
bar๐’‡ par๐’Œ“
baš๐’ˆฆ paš
bib pip
bid๐’‚ pid๐’‚
big๐’‹ pik๐’‹
bih pih๐’ˆœ
bil๐’‰ˆ pil๐’‰ˆ
bim pim
bin๐’€ณ pin๐’€ณ
bir๐’„ต pir๐’Œ“
biš๐’„ซ piš๐’„ซ
bub pup
bud pud
buk๐’ˆฎ puk๐’ˆฎ
buh๐’ˆœ puh๐’ˆœ
bul๐’‡ง pul๐’‡ง
bum๐’…ค pum๐’…ค
bun๐’‡Œ pun
bur๐’“ pur๐’“
buš๐’†œ puš2๐’‰ฝ๐’„ฌ


gab๐’ƒฎ kab๐’† qab๐’ƒฎ
gad๐’ƒฐ kad๐’ƒฐ qad๐’ƒฐ
gag๐’†• kak๐’†• qaq๐’†•
gah kah qah
gal๐’ƒฒ kal๐’†— qal๐’ƒฒ
gam๐’ƒต kam๐’„ฐ qam๐’ƒต
gan๐’ƒถ kan๐’ƒถ qan๐’ƒถ
gar๐’ƒป kar๐’‹ผ๐’€€ qar๐’ƒผ
gaš๐’‰ kaš๐’‰ qaš
gib๐’„ƒ kib๐’„’ qib๐’„’
gid๐’†ค kid๐’†ค qid๐’†ค
gig๐’ˆช๐’‰ญ kik๐’ˆช๐’‰ญ qiq๐’ˆช๐’‰ญ
gih kih qih
gil๐’„ƒ kil๐’†ธ qil๐’†ธ
gim๐’ถ kim๐’ถ qim๐’ถ
gin๐’บ kin๐’†ฅ qin๐’†ฅ
gir๐’„ซ kir๐’„ซ qir๐’„ซ
giš๐’„‘ kiš๐’†ง qiš๐’†ง
gub๐’บ kub๐’บ qub๐’บ
gud๐’„ž kud๐’‹ป qud๐’‹ป
gug๐’๐’„ข kuk๐’†ฌ quq
guh kuh quh
gul๐’„ข kul๐’†ฐ qul๐’†ฐ
gum๐’„ฃ kum๐’„ฃ qum๐’„ฃ
gun๐’„˜๐’Œฆ kun๐’†ฒ qun๐’†ฒ
gur๐’„ฅ kur๐’†ณ qur๐’„ฅ
guš๐’‹ข kuš๐’‹ข quš


sab๐’‰บ๐’… แนฃab๐’‚Ÿ šab๐’‰บ๐’… zab๐’‚Ÿ
sad๐’†ณ แนฃad šad๐’†ณ zad
sag๐’Š• แนฃak๐’  šag๐’Š• zag๐’ 
sah๐’†ค แนฃah๐’‰ˆ šah๐’‹š zah๐’‰ˆ
sal๐’Šฉ แนฃal๐’‰Œ šal๐’Šฉ zal๐’‰Œ
sam๐’Œ‘ แนฃam šam๐’Œ‘ zam
san๐’Š• แนฃan šan๐’‰“ zan
sar๐’Šฌ แนฃar๐’‡ก šar๐’Šฌ zar๐’‡ก
sas๐’‹€ แนฃaแนฃ šaš๐’‹€ zaz๐’
sib๐’ˆจ แนฃib๐’ฆ šib๐’ˆจ zib๐’ฆ
sid๐’ˆป แนฃid šid๐’‹ƒ zid๐’ฃ
sig๐’‹ แนฃig šig๐’‹ zig๐’จ
sih๐’‹š แนฃih ših๐’‹š zih๐’„—
sil๐’‹ป แนฃil๐’‰ฃ šil๐’‹ป zil๐’‰ฃ
sim๐’‹† แนฃim๐’ฎ šim๐’‹† zim
sin๐’Œ แนฃin๐’Œ šin๐’Šฟ zin๐’Šฟ
sir๐’‹ค แนฃir๐’ˆฒ šir๐’‹“ zir๐’†ฐ
sis๐’‹€ แนฃiแนฃ๐’ šiš๐’‹€ ziz๐’
sub๐’…ข แนฃub šub๐’Š’ zub๐’†›
sud๐’‹ค แนฃud šud๐’‹ค zud
sug๐’†น แนฃug šug๐’‰ป zug๐’†น
suh๐’ˆฝ แนฃuh šuh๐’ˆฝ zuh๐’…—
sul๐’‚„ แนฃul šul๐’‚„ zul
sum๐’‹ง แนฃum๐’ฎ šum๐’‹ณ zum๐’ฎ
sun๐’Œ€ แนฃun šun๐’Šฟ zun
sur๐’‹ฉ แนฃur๐’€ซ šur๐’‹ฉ zur๐’€ซ
sus๐’ˆฝ แนฃuแนฃ šuš๐’Œ‹ zuz


mab nab๐’€ฎ
mad๐’†ณ nad๐’†ณ
mag nag๐’…˜
mah๐’ˆค nah๐’ˆ›
mal๐’‚ท nal
mam๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹ nam๐’‰†
man๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹ nan๐’‹€
mar๐’ˆฅ nar๐’ˆœ
maš๐’ˆฆ naš๐’ˆฆ
mib nib๐’Š‹
mid๐’…‚ nid๐’‘
mig nig๐’Šฉ๐’Œจ
mih๐’ˆค nih
mil๐’…– nil
mim๐’Šฉ nim๐’‰
min๐’ˆซ nin๐’Šฉ๐’Œ†
mir๐’‚‡ nir๐’‰ช
miš๐’ˆฉ niš๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹
mub nub
mud๐’„ท๐’„ญ nud๐’ˆฟ
mug๐’ˆฎ nug๐’‹
muh๐’Œ‹๐’…— nuh
mul๐’€ฏ nul
mum๐’Œค num๐’‰
mun๐’ต nun๐’‰ฃ
mur๐’„ฏ nur๐’‰ช
muš๐’ˆฒ nuš

Fricatives and liquids

hab๐’†ธ lab๐’†— rab๐’Š
had๐’‰บ lad๐’†ณ rad๐’‹ฅ
hag lag๐’‹ƒ rag๐’Šฉ
hah lah๐’Œ“ rah๐’ˆ›
hal๐’„ฌ lal๐’‡ฒ ral
ham lam๐’‡ด ram๐’‰˜
han lan ran
har๐’„ฏ lar๐’‰บ rar
haš๐’‹ป laš raš๐’†œ
hib lib๐’ˆœ rib๐’†—
hid lid๐’€– rid๐’ˆฉ
hig lig๐’Œจ rig๐’‹†
hih lih๐’Œ“ rih๐’ˆ›
hil lil๐’‡ธ ril
him lim๐’…† rim๐’†ธ
hin lin rin๐’†ธ
hir๐’†Ÿ lir๐’‰ช rir
hiš๐’Œ“ liš๐’‡บ riš๐’Š•
hub๐’„ฝ lub๐’ˆœ rub๐’†—
hud๐’‰บ lud๐’‚ rud๐’‹ฅ
hug๐’‚  lug๐’‡ป rug๐’Šฟ
huh luh๐’ˆ› ruh๐’ˆ›
hul๐’…†๐’Œจ lul๐’ˆœ rul
hum๐’ˆ lum๐’ˆ rum๐’€ธ
hun๐’‚  lun๐’‰บ run
hur๐’„ฏ lur rur
huš๐’„ญ๐’„Š luš ruš๐’„ญ๐’„Š

Content last modified on 07 Jul 2012.

Eleanor Robson

Eleanor Robson, 'Closed syllables: cuneiform signs with two consonants', Knowledge and Power, Higher Education Academy, 2012 []

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