Anatolian languages

Anatolian languages

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The Anatolian languages comprise a group of extinct Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 languages that were spoken in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

, the best attested of them being the Hittite language
Hittite language
Hittite is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia...

.

Origins


The Anatolian branch is generally considered the earliest to split from the Proto-Indo-European language
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

, from a stage referred to either as Indo-Hittite
Indo-Hittite
In Indo-European linguistics, the term Indo-Hittite refers to Sturtevant's 1926 hypothesis that the Anatolian languages may have split off the Proto-Indo-European language considerably earlier than the separation of the remaining Indo-European languages...

 or "Middle PIE"; typically a date in the mid-4th millennium BC
4th millennium BC
The 4th millennium BC saw major changes in human culture. It marked the beginning of the Bronze Age and of writing.The city states of Sumer and the kingdom of Egypt were established and grew to prominence. Agriculture spread widely across Eurasia...

 is assumed. Under the Kurgan hypothesis
Kurgan hypothesis
The Kurgan hypothesis is one of the proposals about early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the people of an archaeological "Kurgan culture" in the Pontic steppe were the most likely speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language...

, there are two possibilities for how the early Anatolian speakers could have reached Anatolia: from the north via the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, and from the west, via the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, the latter of which is considered somewhat more likely by Mallory (1989) and Steiner (1990).

Languages

  • Hittite
    Hittite language
    Hittite is the extinct language once spoken by the Hittites, a people who created an empire centred on Hattusa in north-central Anatolia...

     (nešili), attested from ca. 1600 BC to 1100 BC, official language of the Hittite Empire. Named after the city of Neša
    Nesa
    Nesa may refer to:* Neša, ancient city in Anatolia* Nisa, Turkmenistan, also transliterated as Nesa* Nesa , a genus of gossamer-winged butterfliesThe acronym NESA can stand for:* NESA, the National Eagle Scout Association...

     (Kanesh), an Assyrian trading colony from which the language spread.
  • Luwian
    Luwian language
    Luwian is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian is closely related to Hittite, and was among the languages spoken during the second and first millennia BC by population groups in central and western Anatolia and northern Syria...

     (luwili), a close relative of Hittite spoken in adjoining regions sometimes under Hittite control.
    • Cuneiform Luwian, glosses and short passages in Hittite texts written in Cuneiform script
      Cuneiform script
      Cuneiform script )) is one of the earliest known forms of written expression. Emerging in Sumer around the 30th century BC, with predecessors reaching into the late 4th millennium , cuneiform writing began as a system of pictographs...

      .
    • Hieroglyphic Luwian, written in Anatolian hieroglyphs on seals and in rock inscriptions.
  • Lycian
    Lycian language
    Lycian language refers to the inscriptional language of ancient Lycia, populated by Lycians, as well as its presumed spoken counterpart.-The speakers:...

     (Lycian A; standard Lycian), spoken in Lycia
    Lycia
    Lycia Lycian: Trm̃mis; ) was a region in Anatolia in what are now the provinces of Antalya and Muğla on the southern coast of Turkey. It was a federation of ancient cities in the region and later a province of the Roman Empire...

     (possibly Lukka) in the Iron Age
    Iron Age
    The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

    , a descendant of Luwian
    Luwian language
    Luwian is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian is closely related to Hittite, and was among the languages spoken during the second and first millennia BC by population groups in central and western Anatolia and northern Syria...

    , extinct in ca. the 1st century BC, fragmentary.
    • Milyan, also called Lycian B, a dialect of Lycian, known from a single inscription.
  • Carian
    Carian language
    The Carian language is an extinct language of the Luwian subgroup of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. The Carian language was spoken in Caria, a region of western Anatolia between the ancient regions of Lycia and Lydia, by the Carians, a name possibly first mentioned in...

    , spoken in Caria
    Caria
    Caria was a region of western Anatolia extending along the coast from mid-Ionia south to Lycia and east to Phrygia. The Ionian and Dorian Greeks colonized the west of it and joined the Carian population in forming Greek-dominated states there...

     (possibly Karkija), fragmentarily attested from graffiti by Carian mercenaries in Egypt from ca. the 7th century BC, extinct ca. in the 3rd century BC.
  • Pisidian
    Pisidian language
    The Pisidian language is a member of the extinct Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family spoken in Pisidia, a region of ancient Asia Minor. Known from some two dozen short inscriptions, it appears to be closely related to Lycian and Sidetic....

     and Sidetic
    Sidetic language
    The Sidetic language is a member of the extinct Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family known from legends of coins dating to the period of approx. the 5th to 3rd centuries BC found in Side at the Pamphylian coast...

     (Pamphylia
    Pamphylia
    In ancient geography, Pamphylia was the region in the south of Asia Minor, between Lycia and Cilicia, extending from the Mediterranean to Mount Taurus . It was bounded on the north by Pisidia and was therefore a country of small extent, having a coast-line of only about 75 miles with a breadth of...

    n), fragmentary.
  • Palaic
    Palaic language
    Palaic is an extinct Indo-European language, attested in cuneiform tablets in Bronze Age Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites. Its name in Hittite is palaumnili, or "of the people of Pala"; Pala was probably to the northwest of the Hittite core area, so in the northwest of present mainland Turkey...

    , spoken in the north-central Anatolian region of Pala, extinct around the 13th century BC, known only fragmentarily from quoted prayers in Hittite texts.
  • Lydian
    Lydian language
    Lydian was an Indo-European language spoken in the region of Lydia in western Anatolia . It belongs to the Anatolian group of the Indo-European language family....

    , spoken in Lydia
    Lydia
    Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern Turkish provinces of Manisa and inland İzmir. Its population spoke an Anatolian language known as Lydian....

    , extinct in ca. the 1st century BC, fragmentary.


There were likely other languages of the family that have left no records; these include the languages of Lycaonia
Lycaonia
In ancient geography, Lycaonia was a large region in the interior of Asia Minor, north of Mount Taurus. It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the north by Galatia, on the west by Phrygia and Pisidia, while to the south it extended to the chain of Mount Taurus, where it bordered on the...

 and Isauria
Isauria
Isauria , in ancient geography, is a rugged isolated district in the interior of South Asia Minor, of very different extent at different periods, but generally covering what is now the district of Bozkır and its surroundings in the Konya province of Turkey, or the core of the Taurus Mountains. In...

, as well as languages such as Lutescan
Lutescan language
Lutescens or lutescans may refer to:*Caiman lutescens, a fossil species of caiman.*Dypsis lutescens, a palm*Pitcairnia lutescens, a species of bromeliads...

, which are too poorly attested to construe a relationship with Anatolian.

Extinction


Anatolia was heavily Hellenized
Hellenization
Hellenization is a term used to describe the spread of ancient Greek culture, and, to a lesser extent, language. It is mainly used to describe the spread of Hellenistic civilization during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great of Macedon...

 following the conquests of Alexander the Great, and it is generally thought that, by the 1st century BCE, the native languages of the area were extinct. This makes Anatolian the first known branch of Indo-European to become extinct. The only other known branch that has no living descendants is Tocharian
Tocharian languages
Tocharian or Tokharian is an extinct branch of the Indo-European language family. The name is taken from the people known to the Greeks as the Tocharians . These are sometimes identified with the Yuezhi and the Kushans. The term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria, which the...

, which ceased to be spoken around the 8th century CE.

Features


Hittite morphology
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

 is simpler than other older Indo-European languages. Some Indo-European characteristics seem to have disappeared in Hittite, and other IE language branches had developed different innovations. Hittite contains a number of archaism
Archaism
In language, an archaism is the use of a form of speech or writing that is no longer current. This can either be done deliberately or as part of a specific jargon or formula...

s that have disappeared from other IE languages. Notably, Hittite has no gender system which distinguishes masculine and feminine; instead, it exhibits a noun-class system
Noun class
In linguistics, the term noun class refers to a system of categorizing nouns. A noun may belong to a given class because of characteristic features of its referent, such as sex, animacy, shape, but counting a given noun among nouns of such or another class is often clearly conventional...

 that is based upon an older animate /inanimate distinction. It should be noted, however, that the masculine/feminine distinction is still a matter of dispute, since there are some, such Robert S. P. Beekes, who doubt that the feminine gender originated in PIE languages. ("Indo-European Linguistics" 13.2.3).)

It has been proposed that the Tyrsenian
Tyrsenian languages
Tyrsenian , named after the Tyrrhenians , is a closely related ancient language family proposed by Helmut Rix , that consists of the extinct Etruscan language of central Italy, the extinct Raetic language of the Alps, and the extinct Lemnian language of the Aegean Sea.-The...

 and the wider Aegean language family are related to the Anatolian branch, but in mainstream linguistics the evidence in support of such claims is not considered conclusive.

See also


  • Indo-Hittite
    Indo-Hittite
    In Indo-European linguistics, the term Indo-Hittite refers to Sturtevant's 1926 hypothesis that the Anatolian languages may have split off the Proto-Indo-European language considerably earlier than the separation of the remaining Indo-European languages...

  • Language families and languages
  • Aegean languages

External links

  • Anatolian Languages (by D. E. Landon)
  • "Lenguas Anatolias" (Archived 2009-10-25), Linguæ Imperii. (in Spanish
    Spanish language
    Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

    ) – includes map and timeline of Anatolian languages
  • Indo-European Languages: Anatolian Family, by Carol Justus and Jonathan Slocum, site at University of Texas
  • Anatolian Databases, (Luwian, Lycian
    Lycian
    Lycian may refer to:* Anything related to Lycia* Apollo Lyceus, a type of ancient Greek statuary* Lycian language, the language of Lycia* Lycian script, the writing system of Lycian language* Lycian Way, a footpath in Turkey...

     and Lydian
    Lydian
    Lydian may refer to:* Lydian language, an ancient Anatolian language* Lydian script* Lydian mode, one of the modes derived from ancient Greek music* Lydian , a decorative typeface* Lydia, an ancient kingdom in western Anatolia...

    ), by prof. H. Craig Melchert at UCLA
  • The Hittite Grammar Homepage, by Olivier Lauffenburger