How do we know what cuneiform symbols sound like?



I kind of understand how we can figure out the meanings of the symbols, but idk how we know what they sound like. Is it just based off of cognates with known languages?

In: Other

Cuneiform writing is mostly logographic – usually, the meaning of the symbols is more important than the way they are pronounced. Some symbols were used phonetically, to spell out the names of kings and other important people. The pronunciation of these symbols was deciphered by comparing late cuneiform writing to early phonetic/alphabetic scripts, especially Old Persian.

Cuneiform writing was in use until as late as the 1st century BCE, while alphabetic writing was widespread by the 8th century BCE, so there is quite a bit of overlap.

We don’t really, not for certain; we can make a very educated guess though based on reconstruction. Sumerian in particular is tricky because not only has it been extinct for a long time, but there are no languages that are directly descended from it (like Italian is descended from latin for example). It did have a lot of influence on Akkadian, which is a semitic language, so a lot of the reconstructed pronunciation is based on what we know of Akkadian based on patterns in the semitic languages and comparing Akkadian cuneiform texts to Sumerian cuneiform texts.

Woke up this morning randomly thinking of the word cuneiform, why? I have no clue. Just thinking I have heard this and understand it has to do with some ancient language but not sure what it is… Also why am I randomly thinking of this. Oh well.
Open up reddit and see this. Are you guys reading my though again?