Hattic language

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Hattic language
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Hattic (Hattian) was a non-Indo-European agglutinativeKevin James, A Mystery in Clay: Codes, Languages, and a Journey Through Time to the Last Ice Age, p.148, AuthorHouse, 2009: "They called themselves Hattie, and spoke a non-Indo-European language called Hattic."The New Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol. 22, p.593: "The non-Indo-European Hattic is an agglutinative language ..." language spoken by the Hattians in Asia Minor between the 3rd and the 2nd millennia BC. Scholars call the language "Hattic" to distinguish it from Hittite, the Indo-European language of the Hittite Empire.Hattian – Britannica Online EncyclopediaThe form "Hittite" in English originally comes from Biblical Heth, quite possibly connected to common Assyrian and Egyptian designations of "Land of the Hatti" (Khatti) west of the Euphrates. It is unknown what the native speakers of "hattili" called their own language.The heartland of the oldest attested language of Anatolia, before the arrival of Hittite-speakers, ranged from Hattusa, then called "Hattus", northward to Nerik. Other cities mentioned in Hattic include Tuhumiyara and Tissaruliya. Hittite-speakers conquered Hattus from Kanesh to its south in the 18th century BC. They eventually absorbed or replaced the Hattic-speakers (Hattians){{Citation needed|date=January 2016}} but retained the name Hatti for the region.


No document has been found in which native Hattic-speakers wrote their own language. Scholars must rely on indirect sources or mentions by their neighbours and successors, the nešili-speaking Hittites. Some Hattic words can be found in religious tablets of Hittite priests that date from the 14th and the 13th centuries BC. The passages contained, between the lines of the text signs, the explanation "the priest is now speaking in Hattic".Akurgal, Ekrem – The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations ( p.4 and p.5)Roots of Hattic words can also be found in the names of mountains, rivers, cities and gods. Other Hattic words can be found in some mythological texts. The most important of these is the myth "The Moon God who fell from the Sky", written in both Hattic and Hittite.All published Hattic documents are catalogued in the Catalogue des Textes Hittites (CTH). Documents from Hattusa span CTH 725-745. Of these CTH 728, 729, 731, 733, and 736 are Hattic/Hittite bilinguals. CTH 737 is a Hattic incantation for the festival at Nerik. One key, if fragmentary, bilingual is the story of "The Moon God Who Fell from the Sky". There are additional Hattic texts in Sapinuwa, which had not been published as of 2004.


The conservative view is that Hattic is a language isolate, different from neighboring Indo-European and Semitic languages. Based on toponyms and personal names, however, it may have been related to the otherwise unattested Kaskian language. Certain similarities between Hattic and both Northwest (such as Abkhaz) and South Caucasian (Kartvelian) languages have led to proposals by some scholars about the possibility of a linguistic bloc, from central Anatolia to the Caucasus.Ivanov, Vyacheslav V., "On the Relationship of Hattic to the Northwest Caucasian Languages," in B. B. Piotrovskij, Vyacheslav V. Ivanov and Vladislav G. Ardzinba, eds., Anatoliya – Ancient Anatolia, Moscow: Nauka (1985) 26 – 59 (in Russian)John Colarusso, Peoples of the Caucasus; in Introduction to the Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life (1997); Pepper Pike, Ohio: Eastword PublicationsArdzinba, V.G., 1979. “Nekotorye sxodnye strukturnye priznaki xattskogo i abxazo-adygskix jazykov”. Peredneasiatskij Sbornik III: i storija i filologija a tran drevnego vostoka, 26-37. Moscow: NaukaDunaevskaja, I. M. & D´jakonov, I. M. 1979. “Xattskij (protoxettskij) jazyk”. Jazyki Azii i Afriki, III. Jazyki drevnej perednej Azii (nesemitskie), Iberijsko-Kavkazskie jazyki, Paleoaziatskie jazyki, ed. by G. D. Sanžeev, 79-83. Moskva. Nauka According to Alexey Kassian, there are also possible lexical correspondences between Hattic and Yeniseian languages, as well as Burushaski language; for instance, "tongue" is alef in Hattic and alup in Kott, "moon" is kap in Hattic and qīp in Ket, "mountain" is ziš in Hattic and ćhiṣ in Burushaski (compare also with *čɨʔs - a proto-Yeniseian word for stone).Касьян А. С. Хаттский язык Языки мира: Древние реликтовые языки Передней Азии / РАН. Институт языкознания. Под ред. Н. Н. Казанского, А. А. Кибрика, Ю. Б. Корякова. М.: Academia, 2010. (in Russian)Kassian, A. Hattic as a Sino-Caucasian language Ugarit-Forschungen. Internationales Jahrbuch für die Altertumskunde Syrien-Palästinas. Bd 41, 2009—2010. P. 309—447.


Known words include:
  • alef = "tongue"
  • ashaf = "god"
  • fa-zari = "humankind, population"
  • fel = "house"
  • findu = "wine" (found in the compound findu-qqaram "wine-ladle")
  • fur = "land"
  • Furun-Katte = "King of the Land", the Hattic war god
  • Furu-Semu = Hattic sun goddess
  • Hanfasuit = Hattic throne goddess
  • hilamar = "temple"
  • Kasku = the Hattic moon god
  • katte = "king"
  • -nifas = "to sit"
  • pinu = "child"
  • zari = "mortal"
  • -zi = "to put"


Hattic formed conventional plurals with a le- prefix: "children" = le-pinu. It formed a collective plural by attaching the prefix fa-: fa-shaf "gods".The genitive case, which means 'of' in English, was declined with the suffix -(u)n (fur "land" but furun "of the land"). While some linguists like Polomé and Winter have claimed the accusative case was marked with es-, giving the example of ess-alep "word",Polomé, Winter. Reconstructing languages and cultures, 1992. p.455 that has been identified as a pronominal clitic, meaning "their", by others.




  • Akurgal, Ekrem – The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations; Publications of the Republic of Turkey; Ministry of Culture; 2001; 300 pages; {{ISBN|975-17-2756-1}}
  • Ardzinba, Vladislav. (1974): Some Notes on the Typological Affinity Between Hattian and North-West Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adygian) Languages. In: "Internationale Tagung der Keilschriftforscher der sozialistischen Länder", Budapest, 23.-25. April 1974. Zusammenfassung der Vorträge (Assyriologica 1), p. 10-15.
  • Ardzinba, V.G. (1979): “Nekotorye sxodnye strukturnye priznaki xattskogo i abxazo-adygskix jazykov”. Peredneasiatskij Sbornik III: istorija i filologija stran drevnego vostoka, 26-37. Moscow: Nauka
  • Chirikba, Viacheslav (1996): Common West Caucasian. The Reconstruction of its Phonological System and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology. Leiden: CNWS Publications, 452 pp. [Chapter XI. The relation of West Caucasian to Hattic, p. 406-432].
  • Dunaevskaja, Irina. (1973): Bemerkungen zu einer neuen Darstellung altkleinasiatischer Sprachen. 2. Zum Hattischen. In: Orientalische Literaturzeitung 68, Leipzig, 1/2.
  • Дунаевская И. Ðœ. О структурном сходстве хаттского языка с языками северо-западного Кавказа. – Сборник в честь академика Н. А. Орбели. – Ðœ.-Л., 1960.
  • Dunaevskaja, I. M. & D´jakonov, I. M. 1979. “Xattskij (protoxettskij) jazyk”. In: Jazyki Azii i Afriki, III. Jazyki drevnej perednej Azii (nesemitskie), Iberijsko-Kavkazskie jazyki, Paleoaziatskie jazyki, ed. by G. D. Sanžeev, p. 79-83. Moskva. Nauka.
  • Girbal, Christian. (1986): Beiträge zur Grammatik des Hattischen (Europäische Hochschulschriften Reihe XXI, Bd. 50). Frankfurt am Main, Bern, New York: Verlag Peter Lang, V+201 pages.
  • Ivanov, Vyacheslav V., "On the Relationship of Hattic to the Northwest Caucasian Languages," in B. B. Piotrovskij, Vyacheslav V. Ivanov and Vladislav G. Ardzinba, eds., Drevnyaya Anatoliya – Ancient Anatolia, Moscow: Nauka (1985) 26-59. In Russian with English summary.
  • Kammenhuber, Annelis (1969): Das Hattische. In: Handbuch der Orientalistik, Abteilung I, Bd II, Abschn. 1/2.
  • Klinger, Jörg. (1996): (StBoT 37) Untersuchungen zur Rekonstruktion der hattischen Kultschicht. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, xx+916 p.
  • Rizza, Alfredo. (2007): I pronomi enclitici nei testi etei di traduzione dal Hattico. Pavia. (Studia Mediterranea 20).
  • Schuster, H.-S. (1974): Die hattisch-hethitischen Bilinguen. I. Einleitung, Texte und Kommentar. Teil 1. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  • Soysal, OÄŸuz (2004): Hattischer Wortschatz in hethitischer Textüberlieferung, Leiden/Boston: Brill.
  • Taracha, P. (1995): Zum Stand der hattischen Studien: Mögliches und Unmögliches in der Erforschung des Hattischen. In: Atti del II Congresso Internaziomale di Hittitologia a curo di Onofrio Carruba – Mauro Giorgieri – Clelia Mora. Studia mediterranea. 9. Gianni Iuculano Editore. Pavia, p. 351-358.
  • Kevin Tuite (Université de Montréal): The rise and fall and revival of the Ibero-Caucasian hypothesis. text on line

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