Hattic language

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spoken in

Asia Minor until about 3500 years ago

isolated language

  • Hattisch
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2

mis (not coded)

ISO 639-3


The Hattic (by the Hittites hattili called) was the language of the substrate population in Anatolia, the Hatti , who lived in the same area as the later immigrated Hittites and were not driven by them. It is the oldest documented language in Anatolia . This language was not written down by native speakers, but by the Hittites, from whose language Hattic was completely different in structure and vocabulary. Before the Indo-European Hittites , Palaers and Luwians penetrated the Hattic, the distribution area covered all of central and northern Anatolia to the Black Sea coast and parts of Cappadocia ; Hattisch is around 1500 BC. BC became extinct as a spoken language, but continued to be of great importance as a cult language in the Hittite Empire.

Relationships with other languages

Hattic is not only not related to Hittite, but also to none of the other known languages ​​in Old Anatolia and the neighboring areas. As far as we know today, Hattic must be viewed as an isolated language . Hypotheses to relate it to the West Caucasian languages have not yet been proven. There are some lexical echoes of Hurrian , which in turn is said to have contacts with Old Caucasian languages. Many of these purely lexical comparisons are now out of date. Mostly they are due to a lack of understanding of the hattic prefixes , ins and suffixes .

The secured lexical knowledge of the Hattic language is low and also thematically limited by its use in the cultic area. Many prefixes, infixes and suffixes make it difficult even for experts to identify the actual stem of Hath words. Since Hattisch was not written by people with Hattic mother tongue in all of the existing texts, banal spelling mistakes or variants of the writing of Hattisch-specific sounds also occur excessively frequently. The relationship to Hurrian or Caucasian languages is therefore uncertain. However, in view of the relatively large number of known but not yet localized and excavated residential cities from the Hittite-Hittite period in Asia Minor, optimism is in place that future inscription finds shed more light on the Hattic language and its possible connections to the languages ​​of neighboring peoples.

The culture and religion of the Old Ethite Empire is largely a continuation of the Hittite culture, which can also be seen in the use of Hattic, especially as the cult language of the Hittites. Hattic has linguistic significance above all as a substrate language for Hittite and Palaic , i.e. the Anatolian-Indo-European languages ​​of northern and central Anatolia, obviously less for Luwian .

Hattic language material

The survival of the Hittite linguistic remnants is due to the Hittites, who had the habit of addressing “foreign” gods in their own language during their rites and in the liturgies. The Hattic gods were addressed in Hattish and this language was fixed in writing; the range of language material is therefore very limited. The Hittite language material, which is without exception religious, has been handed down in Hittite cuneiform in the state archives of the Hittite capital Ḫattuša (today Boğazkale ). In addition to longer monolingual Hittite texts, there are also bilingual Hittite-Hittite bilinguals - often with poor Hittite translation - and incantations that have been handed down within Hittite rituals. In addition, there are Hittic loanwords and names in Hittite, Palai and Old Assyrian .

The work of Forrer 1922 and Güterbock 1935 are fundamental for the analysis of Hatti. After the review by Oğuz Soysal was published in 2004, the Hatti material is currently being reevaluated.

Character of the hattic language

The poor and poorly preserved material makes any thorough research into the Hattic language difficult. The agglutinating morphology works mainly with prefixes. Examples are (Friedrich 1931, after Forrer):

Grammatical markers

Grammatical markers Examples
Plural prefix le- le-binu "children", le-zuh "towels", le-wae "devices"
Possessive marker -i- le-i-binu "his children"

Some verbal forms

verb meaning had. shape meaning
nuwa come taš-te-nuwa he should ( te not () tash come)
šul to let tu-h-ta-šul he left behind ( tu ) him ( h ) ( ta ) ...

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jörg Klinger: Hattisch . In: Michael P. Streck (Ed.): Languages ​​of the Old Orient . WBG, Darmstadt 2005, p. 129.
  2. Jörg Klinger: Hattisch and language relationship . In: Hethitica . Louvain-La-Neuve 12.1994, pp. 67-98. ISSN  0776-2666 (with further literature)
  3. See e.g. B. Volkert Haas , Hans-Jochen Thiel: The Hurritological Archive . Berlin 1976, p. 23 and Hans-Siegfried Schuster: The Hittite-Hittite bilinguals. Part I. Introduction, texts and commentary. Brill, Leiden 1974, p. 8f. ISBN 90-04-03878-7
  4. See in detail Oğuz Soysal: Hattic vocabulary in Hittite text tradition. Brill, Leiden 2004, pp. 21-39. ISBN 90-04-13706-8
  5. ^ Oğuz Soysal: Hattic vocabulary in Hittite text tradition. Brill, Leiden 2004. ISBN 90-04-13706-8

See also


  • Vladislav Ardzinba: Some Notes on the Typological Affinity Between Hattian and North-West Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adygian) Languages. In: International conference of cuneiform researchers of the socialist countries. Budapest 23-25 April 1974. Summary of the lectures in: Assyriologia. Budapest 1.1974, pp. 10-15. ISSN  0209-8067
  • Viacheslav Chirikba: Common West Caucasian. The Reconstruction of its Phonological System and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Chapter XI. The relation of West Caucasian to Hattic. CNWS Publications, Leiden 1996, pp. 406-432. ISBN 90-73782-73-2
  • Irina Dunaevskaja: Comments on a new representation of ancient Minor Asian languages. T 2. To Hattischen. In: Oriental literary newspaper. Leipzig 68.1974, 1/2. ISSN  0030-5383
  • И. М. Дунаевская: О структурном сходстве хаттского языка с языками северо-западного Кавказа. Сборник в честь академика Н. А. Орбели. М.-Л. 1960.
  • Johannes Friedrich: Minor Asian language monuments . Berlin 1932.
  • Christian Girbal: Contributions to the grammar of Hattic. European university publications. Series XXI, Vol. 50. Peter Lang, Frankfurt am Main / Bern / New York 1986. ISBN 3-8204-8540-6
  • Annelis Kammenhuber: The Hattic. In: Handbook of Oriental Studies. Dept. I, Vol. 2, Section 1/2. 1969.
  • Jörg Klinger: Investigations into the reconstruction of the hattic cult class. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1996. ISBN 3-447-03667-2
  • Jörg Klinger: Hattisch. in: Michael P. Streck (Ed.): Languages ​​of the Ancient Orient . Darmstadt 2007. ISBN 3-534-17996-X
  • Alfredo Rizza: I pronomi enclitici nei testi di traduzione dal Hattico. Studia Mediterranea. Vol. 20. Pavia 2007. ISBN 88-8258-034-2
  • Hans-Siegfried Schuster : The Hittite-Hittite bilinguals. Part I. Introduction, texts and commentary. Part II. Brill, Leiden 1974, 2004. ISBN 90-04-03878-7
  • Oğuz Soysal: Hattic vocabulary in Hittite text tradition. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Sect. 1. The Near and Middle East. Vol. 74. Leiden 2004. ISBN 90-04-13706-8 .
  • P. Taracha: On the state of Hattic studies - the possible and the impossible in the study of Hattic. In: Mauro Giorgieri, Clelia Mora: Atti del II Congresso Internazionale di Hittitologia a curo di Onofrio Carruba . Studia mediterranea. Vol. 9. Gianni Iuculano Editore, Pavia 1995, pp. 351-358. ISBN 88-7072-234-1