Die anatolischen s-Stämme: flexivischer Archaismus oder Kategorie im Zerfall?


2018. “Die anatolischen s-Stämme: flexivischer Archaismus oder Kategorie im Zerfall?” 100 Jahre Entzifferung des Hethitischen. Morphosyntaktische Kategorien in Sprachgeschichte und Forschung. Akten der Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 21. bis 23. September 2015 in Marburg. ed. by Elisabeth Rieken, Wiesbaden: Reichert.


Despite the language’s early attestation, the Hittite category of neuter s-stems differs strongly both in its extent and in its inflectional properties from what we can infer as a late-PIE state of affairs on the basis of the remaining (relatively) early-attested IE languages such as Vedic, Avestan, Greek, and Latin. This discrepancy permits at least two conclusions that seem to be diametrically opposed to each other: either that Hittite (bzw. Anatolian) preserves an archaic condition where many features that we know from the other languages had not yet fully developed, or that the whole inherited category of neuter s-stems was afflicted by an almost complete loss, and that what we see is but the remains of an advanced and ongoing process of degradation. In this paper, a considerate weighing of the possible positions and a dialectic discussion of all relevant evidence is put forward. Does the Anatolian evidence allow any conclusions on the question of a Frühausgliederung? We will see that – as is often the case within Anatolian historical linguistics – the answer will have to be sought somewhere in the middle between archaism and innovation.
Last updated on 09/12/2019