is the implementation of cuneiform script
used in writing the Hittite language
. The surviving corpus of Hittite texts
is preserved in cuneiform on clay tablets dates to the 2nd millennium BC
(roughly spanning the 17th to 12th centuries).
Hittite orthography was directly adapted from Old Assyrian
cuneiform. The HZL
of Rüster and Neu lists 375 cuneiform signs used in Hittite documents (11 of them only appearing in Hurrian
glosses), compared to some 600 signs in use in Old Assyrian. About half of the signs have syllabic values, the remaining are used as ideograms or logograms
to represent the entire word -- much as the characters "$", "%" and "&" are used in contemporary English.
Cuneiform signs can be employed in three functions: syllabograms
, Akkadograms or Sumerograms
. Syllabograms are characters that represent a syllable
. Akkadograms and Sumerograms are ideograms
originally from the earlier Akkadian or Sumerian orthography respectively, but not intended to be pronounced as in the original language; Sumerograms are mostly ideograms and determiners
- syllabograms are transcribed in italic lowercase
- Akkadograms in italic uppercase
- Sumerograms in roman uppercase.
Thus, the sign GI 𒄀 can be used (and transcribed) in three ways, as the Hittite syllable gi
); in the Akkadian spelling QÈ-RU-UB
of the preposition "near" as QÈ
, and as the Sumerian ideogram GI for "tube"... Read More