A grammar of the Hittite language: Reference grammar by Harry A. Hoffner

By Harry A. Hoffner

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34 ii 19 (OH/NS) is a form of tiye- (‘stepped [to Aškaliya, saying]’), not of te- (‘said’). What used to be considered a pronominal stem ši-(i)-e- but now is correctly recognized as the number ‘one’ (see Goedegebuure 2006) should not be read as /se:-/ (see already Neu 1997: 147). 34. Many signs in the Hittite cuneiform syllabary are multivalent. That is, they have logographic as well as syllabic (or phonetic) values. 35. In only a few cases the Hittite scribes appear to have introduced a new phonetic value to an existing cuneiform sign.

1. The Hittite texts were written by professional scribes on clay tablets that were impressed with a stylus and dried in the sun and, to a lesser extent, on metal and on wax-covered wooden writing boards (referred to in the texts as gulzattar or, logographically, GIŠ-5 [= Akk. lēʾu]). 1 The cuneiform (from the Latin word for ‘wedge-shaped’) system derives ultimately from Southern Mesopotamia, present-day Iraq, where it was devised by the Sumerians for writing their own language and adapted centuries later for writing Akkadian, a Semitic language.

On the latter see Košak 1993 (reading tal-ḫa-a-an-du). 20. Sometimes, however, the consonants of a CVC sign are stable and the difference is only in the internal vowel. CiC signs routinely also have the value CeC (pét/pít, šer/šir, ker/kir ). 35, p. 21). 21. Rarely scribes would attempt to disambiguate a CVC sign’s internal vowel by adding a CV sign of unambiguous vowel immediately preceding it or a VC one following it. 22. 12 obv. 23. 4 rev. 17. 2 rev. ’ Because in most of the cited cases the practice seems unnecessary, one wonders why it was done.

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