Some Notes on the Typologic Affinity between Hattian and North-West Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adygian) Languages*

1.0 The Hattian is the language of the ancient population of the central part of Asia Minor. The cuneiform tablets of this language belonging to the second millennium B.C. were primarily discovered in the Boghazkoy archives of Hittite kings and studied by E Forrer hi this works on Hattian Forrer put forward the idea of the genetic affinity between Hattian and the North- West Caucasian (NWC) languages.

1.1 Forrers hypothesis was backed by a number of linguists, historians and ethnologists but it also has some opponents. But up to-day we have neither decisive evidences of the affinity between Hattian and NWC languages, nor strong arguments against this hypothesis.

1.2. Such a situation can be explained not only by the small number and fragmentarity of the Hattian documents and the peculiar system of writing used for the Hattian texts, but also by the fact that NWC languages are not studied in the comparative aspect Thats why its difficult to find out what traits of phonetics, morphology' and syntax of these languages go back to the

: Assyriologia, I. Internationale Tagung der Keilschriftfbrscher der sozialistischen Lander. Budapest, 23-25. April,


parent languages and what are the results of their independent development.

1.3. Thats why it seems that at present moment the study of typological affinity between Hattian and the most general archaic marks of the grammatical structure of NWC languages is more prospective way of research.

2.0. In the phonetics of Hattian the existence of two (or three?) vowels may be assumed: these are: a, (cf. frequent substitutions in writing a/e, a!i and rare uJa, u/i). In this case we may compare the Hattian vowels a, with the system of vowels (a, o) of NWC languages.

3.0 In the structure of the Hattian and NWC verb we can demarcate: prefixai, radical and suffixal constituents (except a few cases, when the verb is derived from the root basis).

3.1. The prefixes (7, 10 positions in Hattian: 7,9 In Ady- gian) are situated in a definite hierarchical sequence. In NWC languages the order of prefixes depends on the form of the voice The change of usual hierarchy of prefixes also occurs in Hattian but the reason of this phenomenon is not clear (cf. ru-lt- ta-sul, tu-t-ha-ssul).

3.2. There can be found the likeness in the position and function of the local prefix: Hattian ta- and Abkh.-abaz. ta- and Adygian t-. As a rule, this prefix stands just before the root of the verb and has the meaning "m/mto" (cf. Hattian a-ta-niwaa-s "to seat / to be inside", taS-te-ta-miwa"let it not go into": Abkh. a-ta-ha-ra"to fall into", a-ta-gola-ra"to stay in". Kab. te-1

"to lie inside" (in Mozdokian dialect).

3.3. The roots of the verbs in Hattian, as a rule, comprise one or two syllables (A.Kammenhuber). Usually they have open finals (of the type CV, CVCV, and also CVC: ya"to give", nuwa"to walk", niwaa"to sit", hir"to distribute"). The monosyllabic root with open final (CV, CCV) is also especially characteristic of the NWC languages.

3.4. Suffixal part in the Hattian verb is less clear. It is supposed, that the suffixal sequence might consist of three four positions. But we do not know what grammatical categories ex

pressed by these suffixes. We can only note that in bilingua Hattian verbal forms without any suffixes are often met (for example in the past tense, imperative mood is also formed from the verb root's basis without any suffixes).

3.5. NWC languages probably lack verbal suffixes of general origin (for instance, of time and mood). The imperative mood of these languages is formed from the stem without suffixes

3.6 In some Hattian verbal forms (in bil. KUB 11, 2) we can probably see the traces of vowel gradation: 1. (Hat. Ill, 46) a-an-ta-ha (cf. Ill, 14 a-an-ta-ha-an, 46 a-an-da-ha) = (Hit.

Ill, 49) = kan anda dais"he put it in"; 2. (Hat. 111,19, 45) a-an-tu- uh = (Hit. Ill, 21, 48) daS-ma-za"he did take for himself'; 3. (Hat. Ill, 46) ak-ka-tu-uh = (Hit. Ill, 49) (na-at) Sara daS "(and these things) he did take up to". In these verbal forms some scholars distinguish the reflexive prefix a-, the prefix of the subject singular ()-, prefix (d)kka = Hit. Sara"up, above" and also roots tab, tuh. The latter are considered by some scholars to be two different verbal roots. Others admit that tah, tuh are two alternative forms of the same root formed with some morphological alternation. According to the Hittite translation of Hattian taha we may suppose that taha has the root-/?a- (not tah) and ta- is the local prefix corresponding to Hittite anda "into" Another stem tuh, which is translated into Hittite by the verb da-"to take" is probably formed from the same root with the help of vowel gradation in the stem: ahi. a/O (t-ait-u, h-a/h- O: taha/tuh). This vowel gradation in the stem may be considered as the method of indication of the direction of the action: "into"(taha),"from"(tuh). However analogous alternations are not found in other known Hattian texts.

3.7. This supposition, probably, may be confirmed only by the fact that Hattian verbs containing root's final vowel -a are translated to Hittite in bilingual texts with the help of the sentence particle -kan (E.Forrer), which contains the indication of place (or the character of the action). The forms which have not the final vowel -a, are translated either without -kan, or with

particles which are syntactically not identical with -kan (for instance with -(a)kta"then") cf. KUB II. 2 with -kan. ant/daha, antahan, taktehkaziya, taStenuwa, taktetamcwa, taktutakula', without -kan. antuh, akkatuh, tetahkul.

3.8. Vowel gradation in the stem is considered to be the archaic mark of structure of the NWC languages: Abkh.

a-ta-ca- ra"to put into"a-te-c-ra"to exit front", Advg. = Kab. ja-- "to throw into"/?-.- "to throw out of'.

3.9. We can add that in NWC and probably in Hattian one verb can't render two local meanings, for example, "fall down from Heaven to the ground" (cf. bilinguish "The moon fall down from heaven": Hat. ka-/zi-(i)-yah-du t/du-k-zig = Hit. ne- pikaz maukta).

4.0. The noun in Hattian is characterized by poor development of declension. Only -(V)n (genative E.Laroche, A.Kam- menhubcr; oblique I.M.Dunaevskaya) and -du ablative as a case ending may be reconsidered, it is probable that -du is not a case but a postposition.

4.1. Among the NWC languages only Adygian languages have two cases: the direct one or the patient one, and the oblique one or the active one, and also two case-like forms. Abkhazo-abazinian languages have no system of declension at all. It is supposed that declension, existing in Adygian languages has appeared late and that Abkhazo-abazinian languages preserve the initial state.

4.2. The noun and adjective don't differ morphologically in Hattian and are not distinguished strictly in NWC languages.

4.3. Characteristic feature of the noun in Hattian is the reduplication of the stem of the type (ke-) munamuna"the stone of the basis", (/

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Some Notes on the Typologic Affinity between Hattian and North-West Caucasian (Abkhazo-Adygian) Languages*:

  1. Contents
  3. Bibliography
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  5. 152.
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