The archives of the Hittite capital Ḫattuša have transmitted to us a consid- erable amount of texts written in different languages (Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite, Luvian, Palaic and Hattic). Of some of these cultures, the Ḫat- tuša archives have preserved the only records written in the cuneiform writing system already existing in the Assyro-Babylonian tradition. Numerous bi- and multilingual texts also show how the phenomena of one language have been applied to others. The question aims at understanding what kind of multilingualism in the written texts we are dealing with and on what level it has been applied:1 to the translation of a foreign text, or to bilingual texts and code-switching phe- nomena in the Hittite texts. Further, I consider the interrelation between the foreign languages and the texts, discussing whether it is a case of actual multi- lingualism or whether it was due to the writing schools, text genres or political goals. A further question is what kind of linguistic contact could spread in such cultures and in which direction. Furthermore, we consider how to explain the choice of a language for a written text (Andrason & Vita, 2016) as a manifes- tation of cultural contact in terms of literacy, literary tradition and prestige (Sassmannshausen, 2008: 268). My aim here is to rethink the interaction and distribution of language(s) and text genre(s) and the status of mixed languages in situations of bilingualism (Matras, 2000; Meakins, 2013) and introduce the concept of language contact for written languages, as described by Johanson (2013).

Textual plurilingualism in Anatolia of the 2nd millennium as heuristic of a culture

Paola Cotticelli Kurras
2022-01-01

Abstract

The archives of the Hittite capital Ḫattuša have transmitted to us a consid- erable amount of texts written in different languages (Sumerian, Akkadian, Hurrian, Hittite, Luvian, Palaic and Hattic). Of some of these cultures, the Ḫat- tuša archives have preserved the only records written in the cuneiform writing system already existing in the Assyro-Babylonian tradition. Numerous bi- and multilingual texts also show how the phenomena of one language have been applied to others. The question aims at understanding what kind of multilingualism in the written texts we are dealing with and on what level it has been applied:1 to the translation of a foreign text, or to bilingual texts and code-switching phe- nomena in the Hittite texts. Further, I consider the interrelation between the foreign languages and the texts, discussing whether it is a case of actual multi- lingualism or whether it was due to the writing schools, text genres or political goals. A further question is what kind of linguistic contact could spread in such cultures and in which direction. Furthermore, we consider how to explain the choice of a language for a written text (Andrason & Vita, 2016) as a manifes- tation of cultural contact in terms of literacy, literary tradition and prestige (Sassmannshausen, 2008: 268). My aim here is to rethink the interaction and distribution of language(s) and text genre(s) and the status of mixed languages in situations of bilingualism (Matras, 2000; Meakins, 2013) and introduce the concept of language contact for written languages, as described by Johanson (2013).
978-90-04-50881-1
language contact, Hittite, Anatolian languages, language area, multilingualism in Ancient cultures
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1073428
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