The Verbal Syntax of Hattic

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There is much controversy over the question of the syntactic alignment of Hattian. A resolution is
complicated by the fact that Hattian has a poor case morphology. This investigation into the functions of the
prefixes waa= and eš= (with various allomorphs), which occur both as plural prefixes to nouns and as verbal
prefixes expressing third person plural actants, attempts to resolve the issue on the basis of a detailed study of
the relevant material. As it turns out, Hattian has a split system, with an accusative base in verbal forms that
do not contain the prefix tu= and an ergative base in verbal forms that do contain that prefix. Intransitive
subject, transitive subject and object are all morphosyntactically distinguished, so that it can be argued that
Hattian has a split three-way system of alignment. This complicated system is typologically similar to
alignment in Sumerian.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-245
Number of pages33
JournalAltorientalische Forschungen
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2018


  • Hattian
  • verbal syntax


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