Beginning Hittite

Warren H. Held, Jr., William R. Schmalstieg and Janet E. Gertz
ix + 218

This elementary textbook is an introduction to the Hittite language and writing system for self instruction and for beginning students, especially students who cannot work easily with the existing German grammars but who want a more up-to-date source than Sturtevant's 1933 Comparative Grammar of the Hittite Language. Beginning Hittite contains a grammar, reader, glossary, and cuneiform sign list. The grammar is descriptive, not historical, although features of Old Hittite which differ significantly from the younger language are noted. Copious examples are provided, especially in the syntax section. The selections for reading include portions of the Apology of Hattusilis, the Treaty with Alaksandus, the Hittite Laws, and the Letter of King Tut's Widow to Suppiluliumas. Each is presented in cuneiform with interlinear transliteration and verbatim translation. Free translations are also given. All words occurring in both the reader and the grammar section are included in the glossary, where definitions, grammatical identification, and location in the book are provided. "...In short, the text-book is a well-written, easy to understand text-book that covers all essential aspects of the language of interest to the student and professional non-specialist alike.... Beginning Hittite is therefore not only an ideal text-book for the first-year student of Hittite and Indo-European, but also an essential reference book for the general linguist and in particular for those working in the fields of comparative linguistics and language typology." (GL)