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This map shows the regions of the world where Hittite was commonly spoken between 2000 BCE and 1200 BCE (red circle). Hittite descends from the Anatolian branch of Indo-European. Its closest relatives include rather obscure languages like Palaic, Luvian, Hieroglyphic Luvian, Lycian, and Lydian, none of which survived to the modern day. Aside from brief references in the Bible (Gen. 23 and 2 Sam. 11), and a handful of untranslatable documents, scholars knew very little of the Hittites until the early twentieth-century. In 1907 an archeological discovery found nearly 10,000 clay tablets in the marked region below. Some were written in Babylonian cuneiform and Babylonian/Akkadian, but the rest were written in Hittite. This find allowed great progress to be made in linguistic studies of Hittite. In particular, the language is marked by its unusual use of laryngeals as phonological units, and it appears to have borrowed loan-words from non-Indo-European sources, but otherwise it matches certain predictions for the pattern of Indo-European sound changes proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure in 1879.

Daniel M. Short originally created this map and the other Indo-European language charts for his website at http://www.danshort.com/. I reproduce these images here with the author's permission, but they are copyrighted by Daniel Short as of 2002. These charts should not be reproduced or reused without Mr. Short's approval. You may contact him at danshort@gte.net for more information. These images are not public domain.


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Copyright Dr. L. Kip Wheeler 1998-2018. Permission is granted for non-profit, educational, and student reproduction. Last updated April 24, 2018. Contact: kwheeler@cn.edu Please e-mail corrections, suggestions, or comments to help me improve this site. Click here for credits, thanks, and additional copyright information.