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see Anatolian languagesAnatolian languages
, subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table); the term "Anatolian languages" is also used to refer to all languages, Indo-European and non-Indo-European, that were spoken in Anatolia in ancient times.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Hittites. Hittite is a Hittite-Luwian language. The language is attested primarily by texts from the Boğazköy archive, although some texts have been found at such sites as Ugarit and Amarna. Hittite is divided into three periods of development: Old Hittite (18th to 16th centuries B.C.), Middle Hittite (15th and early 14th centuries B.C.), and New Hittite (14th to early 12th centuries B.C.). New discoveries of Old Hittite texts are making it possible to establish a more precise chronology.

Hittite is the most fully documented and studied of the Hittite-Luwian languages. Its linguistic investigation began in 1915 when the Czech scholar B. Hrozný deciphered the cuneiform inscriptions and showed Hittite to be an Indo-European language (seeINDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE). Hittite data have proved extremely important to Indo-European linguistics and to research on general questions in Indo-European studies.

A unique archaic feature of Hittite is its retention of a laryngeal. The noun has two genders. Verbs have two sets of endings, corresponding to the Indo-European active and medium and/or perfect voice. The syntax of Hittite is extremely archaic. The language does show, however, certain innovations. The theory of some scholars that the Hittite lexicon is not Indo-European fails to explain why the numerous borrowings from such languages as Hattic and Hurrian primarily affect only the marginal areas of the lexicon; moreover, the reading of many words has been obscured by Sumarian and Akkadian ideograms. Research has been greatly hampered by the deficiencies of cuneiform writing, which was ill-suited to Hittite phonology; in particular, many questions remain unanswered regarding consonant shift and the vowel system.


Ivanov, V. V. Khettskii iazyk. Moscow, 1963.
Ivanov, V. V. Obshcheindoevropeiskaia, praslavianskaia i anatoliiskaia iazykovye sistemy. Moscow, 1965.
Friedrich, J. Kratkaia grammatika khettskogo iazyka. Moscow, 1952. (Translated from German.)
Kammenhuber, A. “Zur Stellung des Hethitisch-Luvischen innerhalb der indogermanischen Gemeinsprache.” Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, 1961, vol. 77.
Gusmani, R. II lessico ittito. Naples, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The kingdoms also imported the Hittite tradition of decorating gateways and major public streets with orthostats--free-standing slabs of sculpted stone.
The treaty between the Hittite Great King Hattusili III and Bentesina, king of Amurru, was critical to the configuration of Hittite rule in Syria and to the cultural and political orientation of the kingdom of Amurru.
When the expansionist Hittite empire took over the buffer state, it came face-to-face with the Egyptian zone of influence with their border placed somewhere north of Tripoli (now in Lebanon) and going east through the town of Kadesh on the River Ontoroe south of Homs.
One fascinating little document from around 1400 BC was a treaty between Arnuwanda I and the men of Ismerika, a region or province already loyal to the Hittite ruler.
Firstly, if Adah was Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite, why is she listed as first among Esau's wives in Genesis 36, but second in Genesis 26?
The items loaned from NML had been part of the original Hittite Gallery opened in 1931 at the Liverpool City Museum but badly damaged during the war, when all the plaster casts were destroyed.
They eventually fell victim to the little-known Sea People, who roamed the eastern Mediterranean, and the Hittite civilisation finally faded out to be replaced by the first Greeks.
Around 1250 BC, Hattusili III, king of the Hittites (Central Turkey), asked Ramesses II to send him a doctor to help his sister conceive.
Hittite Microwave is a designer and developer of high-performance integrated circuits, modules, subsystems and instrumentation for technically demanding radio frequency, microwave and millimeterwave applications.
Muwatallish, the Hittite king, was content to maintain the border with the Egyptians, according to Burak Sansal, a Turkish historian.
"Hattusha Orchestral Ensemble" --comprised of Turkish, Italian, Hungarian and Portuguese musicians-- will give concerts by using Hittite musical instruments within the scope of "KaleidoscopEurope" project.
The Hittites called the city Taruisa or Wilusa--the latter being very similar to the early Greek Wilion, which became Illion, the term Homer used for the Trojans.