the language of the Hurrians. Hurrian is attested in texts from the third and second millennia B.C., in which it appears in various writing systems: in Old Accadian hieroglyphics found in Navarre; in Babylonian; in Hurrian proper, written in the Accadian cuneiform system; and in a quasi-alphabetic (consonantal) script found in Ugarit. In addition to a 500-line letter from the Mitanni king Tushratta to the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, the most extensive texts in Hurrian are those from Mari and tablets from Tell el-Amarna, Boğazköy, and Ugarit. Proper names, glosses, and loanwords in Sumerian texts have also been preserved.
In grammatical structure and lexicon Hurrian is related to Urartean, with which it shares more than 20 percent of its vocabulary. The existence of an earlier Proto-Urartean-Hurrian language has been posited. Hurrian and Urartean are considered to be related to the Nakho-Dagestanian languages. Hurrian is characterized by a rich system of inflection, a highly developed system of cases, and the use of ergative constructions. Some scholars refer to Hurrian as Mitannian or Subarian.
REFERENCESD’iakonov, I. M. lazyki drevnei Perednei Azii. Moscow, 1967.
D’iakonov. I. M. Hurrisch und Urartäisch, supplement 6. Munich, 1971.
V. P. NEROZNAK