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Hittite is believed to have had a [[voiceless alveolar sibilant|sibilant]], a [[uvular fricative|uvular fricative]], and a [[labialization|labialized]] uvular fricative. They were written in the original script with signs containing "š" and "ḫ". In Akkadian cuneiform, these originally stood for a [[voiceless alveolar fricative]] and a [[voiceless velar fricative]] respectively.
 
Hittite is believed to have had a [[voiceless alveolar sibilant|sibilant]], a [[uvular fricative|uvular fricative]], and a [[labialization|labialized]] uvular fricative. They were written in the original script with signs containing "š" and "ḫ". In Akkadian cuneiform, these originally stood for a [[voiceless alveolar fricative]] and a [[voiceless velar fricative]] respectively.
   
It can be said with confidence that "š" stood for a single phoneme.<ref>Hoffner, Melchert (2008:28)</ref> Although the exact place of articulation of the Hittite phoneme written with signs having an "š" cannot be determined with absolute certainty, there are various arguments for assuming it's an alveolar sibilant. Typologically, if a language has fricatives, it will almost certainly have /{{IPAlink|s}}/, and languages that lack these phoneme are considered rare cross-linguistically.<ref>Maddieson (1984:41)</ref> Morover, this phoneme is also known to descent from [[Proto-Indo-European]] *s, which is uncontroversially reconstructed as a voiceless alveolar sibilant. Furthermore, the signs that the Hittite scribes adopted for "š" stood in Akkadian for [s] as well.<ref>Kloekhorst (2008:89)</ref> Additionally, it has been noted that "š" appears in Ugaritic loanwords as ''ṯ'', such as the Hittite royal name ''"Šuppiluliuma"'', which is written in [[Ugaritic]] as ''ṯpllm"''. Given that Semitic [[Ṯāʾ|*ṯ]] merged with [[Shin (letter)|*š]] in Ugaritic, this also suggests a pronunciation of [{{IPAlink|s}}]. Finally, it is believed among scholars that the Indo-European diphthongs *oi and *ou evolved to Hittite "ē" unless it was followed by an alveolar consonant, and "š" is notably one of those consonants, reinforcing the idea that this phoneme had an alveolar place of articulation.<ref>Kimball (1994)</ref><ref>Kloekhorst (2008:123)</ref>
+
It can be said with confidence that "š" stood for a single phoneme.<ref>Hoffner, Melchert (2008:28)</ref> Although the exact place of articulation of the Hittite phoneme written with signs having an "š" cannot be determined with absolute certainty, there are various arguments for assuming it's an alveolar sibilant. Typologically, if a language has fricatives, it will almost certainly have /{{IPAlink|s}}/, and languages that lack these phoneme are considered rare cross-linguistically.<ref>Maddieson (1984:41)</ref> Morover, this phoneme is also known to descent from [[Proto-Indo-European]] *s, which is uncontroversially reconstructed as a voiceless alveolar sibilant. Furthermore, the signs that the Hittite scribes adopted for "š" stood in Akkadian for [s] as well.<ref>Kloekhorst (2008:89)</ref> Additionally, it has been noted that "š" appears in Ugaritic loanwords as ''ṯ'', such as the Hittite royal name ''"Šuppiluliuma"'', which is written in [[Ugaritic]] as ''ṯpllm"''.<ref>Hoffner, Melchert (2008:38)</ref> Given that Semitic [[Ṯāʾ|*ṯ]] merged with [[Shin (letter)|*š]] in Ugaritic, this also suggests a pronunciation of [{{IPAlink|s}}]. Finally, it is believed among scholars that the Indo-European diphthongs *oi and *ou evolved to Hittite "ē" unless it was followed by an alveolar consonant, and "š" is notably one of those consonants, reinforcing the idea that this phoneme had an alveolar place of articulation.<ref>Kimball (1994)</ref><ref>Kloekhorst (2008:123)</ref>
   
 
It can be held with certainty that "ḫ" was a form of fricative, however, its place of articulation and voice are not so well understood. There is some evidence that may point towards a uvular place of articulation. In Akkadian, the signs for "ḫ" had a velar place of articulation, and it was always voiceless. Furthermore, Ugaritic borrowings from Hittite commonly transcribe "ḫ" as "ġ", which stands for a voiced velar fricative (e.g ''dġṯ < duḫḫuiš'', ''tdġl < <sup>m</sup>Tudḫaliya'',
 
It can be held with certainty that "ḫ" was a form of fricative, however, its place of articulation and voice are not so well understood. There is some evidence that may point towards a uvular place of articulation. In Akkadian, the signs for "ḫ" had a velar place of articulation, and it was always voiceless. Furthermore, Ugaritic borrowings from Hittite commonly transcribe "ḫ" as "ġ", which stands for a voiced velar fricative (e.g ''dġṯ < duḫḫuiš'', ''tdġl < <sup>m</sup>Tudḫaliya'',

Revision as of 02:33, 11 November 2019

Hittite phonology is the description of the reconstructed phonology or pronunciation of Hittite language. Because Hittite as a spoken language is extinct, leaving no living descendants, and no contemporary descriptions of the pronunciation are known, little can be said with certainty about the phonetics and phonology of the language. Some conclusions can be made, however, due to the relationship to the other Indo-European languages, by studying its orthography, and comparing loanwords from neighboring languages.

Consonants

Consonant phonemes
series Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Labio-velar Uvular
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d g
Fricative voiceless s χ, χʷ
voiced ʁ, ʁʷ
Nasal m n
Liquid r, l
Affricate t͡s
Approximant j w

Plosives

Hittite had two series of consonants, one which was written always geminate in the original script, and another that was always simple. In cuneiform, all consonants sounds except for glides could be geminate. It has long been noticed that concerning plosives, the geminate series is the one descending from Proto-Indo-European voiceless stops, while the simple plosives come from both voiced and voiced aspirate stops. This is often referred as Sturtevant's law. Because of typological implications of Sturtevant's law, the distinction between the two series is commonly regarded as one of voice. However, there isn't agreement over the subject among scholars since there's also a group who view the series as if they were differenced by length, as a literal interpretation of the cuneiform orthography would suggest. Evidence for voice distinction: Luvian and lycian Hittite cognates Typology

Hittite cognates:

  1. upati- "landed property, concession" > Akk ubadinnu (name of a landed concession donated to the king dignitaries)
  2. Akk ṭiparu "torch" > Hitt. zuppari- "torch".
  3. Akk magarru "wheel" > Hitt. magareš "coppery things"
  4. Hitt. ḫa-lu-ka-aš "message" > Akk ḫu-lu-ga-an-nu-um/ḫi-lu-ga-an-nu-um


Supporters of a length distinction usually point the fact that Akkadian, the language from which the Hittites borrowed the cuneiform script, had voicing; nevertheless, Hittite scribes used voiced and voiceless signs interchangeably. Kloekhorst has also argued that the absence of assimilatory voicing is also evidence for a length distinction. He points out that the word "e-ku-ud-du – [ɛ́gʷtu]" does not show any voice assimilation. However, if the distinction were one of voice, agreement between the stops should be expected since the velar and the alveolar plosives are known to be adjacent, given that the "u" in this word does not stand for a vowel, but represents labialization instead.[1]

Resonants

All resonants in Hittite coincide with their respective etymological pronunciations in Proto-Indo-European, which makes it unlikely that they were pronounced differently. Just like in the parent language, in Hittite resonants were syllabic when found in inter-consonantal position.[2] These were written in Hittite with cuneiform sign containing the vowel "a" (e.g. wa-a-tar [wáːdr̩], la-a-ma-an [láːmn̩]). However, it is not well known if Hittite inherited the bilabial syllabic nasal. In final position it is known to add an epenthetic vowel /ɔ/ (e.g. Hitt. eš-un – [ɛ́ːsɔn] < PIE *h₁és-m̥).[3] And there are cognates that may point that PIE *m̥ merged with Hitt. /a/ in medial and initial position.[4]

Resonants in Hittite could be geminate or simple.[5] However this distinction wasn't inherited from PIE, it's often believed to have been caused by assimilation instead.[6]

Affricate

The affricate is written in Hittite with signs containing a "z". This phoneme is known to have as a main phonological source the affrication of a "*t". In the pre-history of Hittite a "*t" could be affricated under two situations: when followed by an "*s", or when postceded by a "*i̯". This is supported by the fact that t-stem nouns have a nominative ending in "z", and by some verbal desinences descending from a prehistorical sequence "*ti". Therefore, the following development is usually assumed [tːj] > [tːʲ] > [t͡ɕ] > [t͡ʃ] > [t͡s].[7] However, nothing excludes the possibility of it being pronounced as a post-alveolar or palatal affricate. A secondary source of the sign "z" is an early Indo-European dissimilation that occurred between two adjacent dentals, which consisted in the insertion of "*s" between them (e.g. e-ez-du - [ɛ́ːt͡stu] < "*h₁éd-tu").

Some advocates of a voice/voiceless series propose a voiced counterpart which is rather controversial. The claim is that whenever "z" is geminate it represents [t͡s], while when simple it should be read as [d͡z].[8]

Fricatives

Hittite is believed to have had a sibilant, a uvular fricative, and a labialized uvular fricative. They were written in the original script with signs containing "š" and "ḫ". In Akkadian cuneiform, these originally stood for a voiceless alveolar fricative and a voiceless velar fricative respectively.

It can be said with confidence that "š" stood for a single phoneme.[9] Although the exact place of articulation of the Hittite phoneme written with signs having an "š" cannot be determined with absolute certainty, there are various arguments for assuming it's an alveolar sibilant. Typologically, if a language has fricatives, it will almost certainly have /s/, and languages that lack these phoneme are considered rare cross-linguistically.[10] Morover, this phoneme is also known to descent from Proto-Indo-European *s, which is uncontroversially reconstructed as a voiceless alveolar sibilant. Furthermore, the signs that the Hittite scribes adopted for "š" stood in Akkadian for [s] as well.[11] Additionally, it has been noted that "š" appears in Ugaritic loanwords as , such as the Hittite royal name "Šuppiluliuma", which is written in Ugaritic as ṯpllm".[12] Given that Semitic *ṯ merged with in Ugaritic, this also suggests a pronunciation of [s]. Finally, it is believed among scholars that the Indo-European diphthongs *oi and *ou evolved to Hittite "ē" unless it was followed by an alveolar consonant, and "š" is notably one of those consonants, reinforcing the idea that this phoneme had an alveolar place of articulation.[13][14]

It can be held with certainty that "ḫ" was a form of fricative, however, its place of articulation and voice are not so well understood. There is some evidence that may point towards a uvular place of articulation. In Akkadian, the signs for "ḫ" had a velar place of articulation, and it was always voiceless. Furthermore, Ugaritic borrowings from Hittite commonly transcribe "ḫ" as "ġ", which stands for a voiced velar fricative (e.g dġṯ < duḫḫuiš, tdġl < mTudḫaliya, trġnds< URUTarḫuntašša). It has also occasionally been transcribed as a voiceless pharyngeal (e.g. "ḥtṯ < ḫattuš").[15] Although this seems to suggest a velar place of articulation, neither language could distinguish velar from uvular fricatives. Some have suggested that the Ugaritic evidence may show that "ḫ" represented more than one phoneme. [16]

The natural outcome of "*h₂" is a geminate "ḫ", indicating a voiceless manner of articulation. Notably, this phoneme is also subject to Eichner's voicing rules. This meant that if a voiceless "ḫ" was found intervocalic position between two unaccented syllables or after a long accented syllable, it would be regularly voiced. As a result, a phonemic distinction between "ḫḫ" and "ḫ" can be observed in the Hittite lexicon, just like in the stop system. Eichner's voicing law has also been observed in other Anatolian languages such as Lycian, where the distinction is uncontroversially treated as one of voice (compare the verbal decinence Hitt. -ḫḫaḫari and Lyc. -χagã).

The place of articulation of the phonemes written with signs containing an "ḫ" is even less certain. It can be held with confidence that it was a fricative. In Akkadian, the signs for "ḫ" had a velar place of articulation, and it was always voiceless. Furthermore, Ugaritic borrowings from Hittite commonly transcribe "ḫ" as "ġ", which stands for a voiced velar fricative (e.g dġṯ < duḫḫuiš, tdġl < mTudḫaliya, trġnds< URUTarḫuntašša). It has also occasionally been transcribed as a voiceless pharyngeal (e.g. "ḥtṯ < ḫattuš").[17] This would suggest a velar/uvular place of articulation, given that neither language could distinguish velar from uvular fricatives. This phoneme is known to descend from Proto-Indo-European "*h₂", and it's suspected to descend from "*h₃" as well (see laryngeal theory). In Proto-Indo_European, "*h₂" is known for coloring *e to *a. Furthermore, it has been shown that "ḫ" colors neighboring /u/ to /ɔ/. Its coloring qualities in Hittite and PIE suggest a uvular place of articulation, since uvular consonants are usually incompatible with advanced tongue root, causing retraction of adjacent vowels.[18]. Moreover, a velar place of articulation could be dismissed since these do not typically color vowels, but are more commonly influenced by vowels instead.[19] Similarly, this evidence precludes the possibility of "ḫ" being a pharyngeal fricative, since these usually trigger the fronting of vowels rather than the retraction (e.g PSem. *laqāḥum > Akk. leqûm). [20]

Labialization

Hittite had four labialized obstruents; two velar plosives, and two uvular fricatives.

Labialized velars are known to descent from PIE's labiovelars. A classic example of this development is the Proto-Indo-European root verb "*h₁égʷʰti ~ *h₁gʷʰénti" > "ekuzi ~ akuanzi". It is supported by the fact that the first person singular aorist is e-ku-un - [ɛ́gʷɔn], instead of the unattested *e-ku-nu-un, which would be expected if the "u" was vocalic. This is also strengthened by the first person plural present form "a-ku-e-ni – [agwɛ́ni]", instead of the expected *e-ku-me-ni (as in Hittite true verbal u-stems). It has also been noted that it can be written as "e-uk-zi – [ɛ́gʷt͡si]", which serves as an argument for assuming labialization, since thus, the rounding happened simultaneously with the plosive instead of following it as a semivowel, and Hittite scribes could write it both as “euk-“ and “eku”.[21][22] These phenomena have also been attested in other verbs such as tarukzi/tarkuzi "he dances".[23]

Similar observations can be made about the verb taruḫḫu- [tr̩χʷ-] "to overpower". Just like the verb "eku-", "taruḫḫu-" has an aberrant first person aorist for an u-stem noun (ta-ru-uḫ-ḫu-un instead of *ta-ru-uḫ-ḫu-un-un), and an abnormal first person plural aorist too (tar-ḫu-u-en instead of *tar-uḫ-me-en). This would suggest that the PIE sequence "h₂u̯" became Hittite ḫu-u [χʷ]. Evidence of laryngeal labialization has been found outside Hittite as well, Lycian has Trqqñt- "Stormgod" < tr̥h₂u̯ént- "powerful", where the "q" most likely represents a labialized velar plosive descending from the PIE segmental sequence "h₂u̯". Because of this reason, some scholars have regarded this to be an Anatolian feature, and not exclusive to Hittite.[24][25]

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i, iː (ɨ) u, uː
Open-mid ɛ, ɛː ɔ, ɔː
Open a, aː

For a long time it was debated by scholars if Hittite had a vowel phoneme /ɔ(ː)/ distinct from the vowel /u(ː)/. The idea that the sign "u" stood for /ɔ(ː)/ and the sign "ú" for /u(ː)/ was first proposed by Weidner, since such a practice was paralleled in Hurrian and Old Babylonian,[26] but didn't receive mainstream support until Kloekhorst published in 2008 a detailed analysis of the distribution of these signs, proving that they appeared partially in a complementary distribution.[27]

Plene spelling

Plene spelling is the practice of writing a vowel redundantly. The usage of plene spelling was never consistent at any given period of Hittite's history, and in general, it was more common in earlier texts.[28] However it certainly represented some phonemic features. The most obvious is vowel length as in ne-e-pí-iš which should be analyzed phonologically as [nɛ́ːbis]. It has been argued that it can represent stress as well.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:36)
  2. ^ Kloekhorst 2008:42
  3. ^ Melchert (2015:15)
  4. ^ Melchert (2015:11)
  5. ^ Melchert (1994:99)
  6. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:103)
  7. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:113)
  8. ^ Yoshida (2001:721–729)
  9. ^ Hoffner, Melchert (2008:28)
  10. ^ Maddieson (1984:41)
  11. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:89)
  12. ^ Hoffner, Melchert (2008:38)
  13. ^ Kimball (1994)
  14. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:123)
  15. ^ Hoffner (1964)
  16. ^ "Hoffner (1964)"
  17. ^ Hoffner (1964)
  18. ^ Vaux (1999)
  19. ^ Stroud (2013)
  20. ^ Huehnergard (2011:587)
  21. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:281)
  22. ^ Hoffner, Melchert (2008:188)
  23. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:38)
  24. ^ Kloekhorst (2008:41)
  25. ^ Melchert (2015:7)
  26. ^ Weidner 1917
  27. ^ Melchert (2015:8)
  28. ^ Kimball (1999:54–68)

References

  • Hoffner, Harry A. (1964). "An Anatolian Cult Term in Ugaritic". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 23 (1): 66–68.
  • Hoffner, Harry A.; Melchert, H. Craig (2008). A Grammar of the Hittite Language. Winona: Eisenbrauns. p. 38. ISBN 978-1-57506-119-1.
  • Huehnergard, J. (2011). A grammar of Akkadian (3rd ed.). Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
  • Kimball, Sara E. (1999). Hittite historical phonology. Universität Innsbruck. Institut für Sprachwissenschaft.
  • Kimball, Sara E. (1994). The IE short diphthongs *oi, *ai, *ou and *au in Hittite.
  • Kloekhorst, Alwin (2008). Etymological Dictionary of the Hittite Inherited Lexicon. Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series. Leiden, Boston: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-16092-7.
  • Maddieson, Ian (1984), Patterns of sound, Cambridge University Press
  • Melchert, H. Craig (1994). Anatolian Historical Phonology. Amsterdam: Rodopi. ISBN 9789051836974.
  • Melchert, H. Craig (2015). "Hittite Historical Phonology after 100 Years (and after 20 years)". Hrozny and Hittite: The First Hundred Years (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-27.
  • Stroud, Kevin (August 2013). "Episode 5: Centum, Satem and the Letter C | The History of English Podcast". The History of English Podcast. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  • Tropper, Josef. (2000). Ugaritische Grammatik. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 273. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.
  • Vaux, Bert (1999). "A Note on Pharyngeal Features". Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics.</ref>
  • Weidner, Ernst (1917). "Studien zur hethitischen Sprachwissenschaft". Leipziger semitistische Studien ; Bd. 7, Heft 1-2. (in German). Leipzig. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Yoshida, Kazuhiko (2001). Hittite nu-za and Related Spellings, Akten des IV. Internationalen Kongresses für Hethitologie. Würzburg, 4.-8. Oktober 1999 (ed. G. Wilhelm) (= Studien zu den Bo‎ǧazsköy-Texten 45), Wiesbaden, 721-729.