The present collective volume, “100th Anniversary of the Decipherment of Hittite: Morpho-syntactic Categories in Language History and Research”, comprises twenty-five articles that assess past achievements and enquire into research questions that are relevant for current scholarship in the field. Special focus was placed on morphological and syntactical topics that show the impact of Hittite evidence on the reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language and its phylogeny. In addition, the volume contains studies in syntax and the syntax-semantics interface, as well as papers on methodological and textual problems. It presents multiple thought-provoking hypotheses and offers new results in the fields on Anatolian and Indo-European studies.
In 2015, we celebrate the centennial of the decipherment of Hittite by Bedřich Hrozný and, thus, the establishment of Hittite linguistics. The outstanding contributions of Hrozný to the fields of Hittitology and Comparative Philology were acknowledged, among other things, within the framework of the conference of the Society of Indo-European Studies, which took place in Marburg on September 21–23, 2015. The location was especially appropriate for the occasion because of the focus on the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages, which characterizes Comparative Philology at Marburg.
The title “100th Anniversary of the Decipherment of Hittite: Morpho-syntactic Categories in Language History and Research” combined assessing past achievements with an enquiry into research questions that are relevant for current scholarship. Special focus was placed on the impact of Hittite evidence on the reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language and its phylogeny.
The twenty-five articles published in this volume tackle the general topics of the conference from comparative, synchronic linguistic, and textual perspectives. They include articles evaluating the results of Indo-Europeanists‘ research on Hittite over the past 100 years (Melchert, Jasanoff, Kim), work focusing Hittite textual studies (Francia) and morphology (Fellner/Grestenberger, Höfler, Kocharov, Simon, Yoshida), or the broader topics of historical morphology (Kloekhorst, Kümmel, Oettinger), as well as studies in syntax and the syntax/semantics interface (Boroday/Yakubovich, Dardano, Frantíková, Hackstein, Kölligan, Luraghi/Inglese). In addition, several papers deal with problems of method and theory (Cotticelli/Giusfredi, Sideltsev, Widmer). Finally, there is a remarkable number of contributions the the so-called “minor” Anatolian languages, namely Luwian and Lycian (Martínez, Sasseville, Serangeli, Vernet).
The positive response from the international scholarly community shows that the work on these topics is not only relevant and up-to-date but also attractive for junior scholars. The present book provides an incentive for further research, for a more comprehensive approach to Indo-European Studies, and contributes to the cross-disciplinary dialogue between philology and linguistics. Particularly significant are strong impulses and new results in the under-researched area of Proto-Indo-European syntax and its contribution to the reconstruction of the Indo-European family tree.
Elisabeth Rieken (born 1965) studied Indo-European linguistics, Ancient Greek and Hittite at the universities of Hamburg and Bochum (Germany). After her PhD (1996 in Bochum), she worked as an assistant professor at the Free University of Berlin and Cornell University (U.S.) as well as a lecturer at the University of London. Since 2002, she is Professor for Indo-European linguistics at the University of Marburg (Germany). Her research focuses on the texts, grammar and linguistic history of Hittite and its minor Anatolian sister languages.