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Hittite Online

Lesson 2

Sara E. Kimball and Jonathan Slocum

A number of the Hittite texts concern mythological topics from Sumerian or Hurrian sources. The Telepenus Myth provided in extract form here, however, is one of a group of myths known to modern scholars as "Old Anatolian Myths." These are stories, learned and adapted by the Hittites during the early years of their spread throughout Anatolia, that played various roles in Hittite religious cult. The Telepenus Myth is one of a group of Old Anatolian myths, which modern scholars term "Vanishing God" myths. In these, a deity is offended and stomps off angrily, or is otherwise removed from the world of gods and humans with dire consequences for that world. Telepenus, son of the Hattic Stormgod, was a god of agriculture. His angry departure leaves the divine, human, and, animal world suffering hunger, thirst, and, sterility as described in the extract. The theme of these "Vanishing God" myths is, of course, reminiscent of the Greek myth of Persephone.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The text exists in several copies, the earliest of which follows the writing conventions of the Middle Hittite period, but is probably a copy of an even earlier version. For an English translation, see H. Hoffner, Hittite Myths 2nd. ed. Atlanta, GA, 1998, pp. 14-20. The very beginning of the Telepenus Myth is broken, so the exact cause of the deity's rage is not known. From what can be made out from the surviving fragments, however, the god was angry enough to have put his right shoe on his left foot and vice versa. After the failed feast described in the extract, the gods try various ways of finding Telepenus. The Sungod sends a swift eagle to fly over high mountains and deep valleys to look for him, but the eagle returns without success. Then the Stormgod searches for his son himself, again without luck. Finally, the Mother Goddess, Hannahanna, sends a bee. The little bee, although small and weak finds Telepenus asleep in a meadow and stings him awake. Needless to say, Telepenus is still very angry, but the gods appease him with various offerings in a ceremony that is a model of Hittite ritual practice. At the end of the story Telepenus releases the world from the consequences of his rage and departure, restoring the world to its normal order.

GIŠlu-ut-ta-a-us kam-ma-ra-a-as IṢ-BAT

  • GIŠlu-ut-ta-a-us -- noun; accusative plural animate of <luttāi-> window -- the windows
  • kam-ma-ra-a-as -- noun; nominative singular animate of <kammarā-> mist, swarm -- mist
  • IṢ-BAT -- verb; Akkadogram 3rd person singular preterite of <ṣabātu> seize, take -- seized # The Hittite reading is ēpta.

É-er tuh-hu-is IṢ-BAT

  • É-er -- noun; Sumerogram <É> house + Hittite phonetic complement <-er> (functioning here as accusative singular neuter) -- the house # The Hittite word for house was *pēr, parn-, but it was often written with the Sumerogram É.
  • tuh-hu-is -- noun; nominative singular animate of <tuhhui-> smoke -- smoke
  • IṢ-BAT -- verb; Akkadogram 3rd person singular preterite of <ṣabātu> seize, take -- seized

I-NA GUNNI-ma kal-mi-i-sa-ni-is ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti

  • I-NA -- preposition; Akkadogram <INA> (functioning as graphic indicator of the dative-locative) -- in
  • GUNNI-ma -- noun; Sumerogram functioning here as dative-locative singular <GUNNI> hearth + enclitic conjunction <-ma> but, and -- and in the hearth # The Hittite reading of Sumerian GUNNI is hassī. The conjunction -ma functions in these lines to indicate a loose connection between clauses.
  • kal-mi-i-sa-ni-is -- noun; nominative plural animate of <kalmīsana-> log, thunderbolt -- the logs
  • ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti -- verb; 3rd person plural middle preterite of <wisūriya-> oppress, stifle -- were stifled # The middle functions as a passive in these lines. The third person plural ending -antati is archaic.

is-ta-na-na-as an-da DINGIRMEŠ ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti

  • is-ta-na-na-as -- noun; dative-locative plural of <istanāna-> altar table -- at the altar tables
  • an-da -- postposition; <anda> in, into, at -- at
  • DINGIRMEŠ -- noun; Sumerogram functioning here as nominative animate <DINGIR> god + Sumerian plural marker <-MEŠ>... -- the gods # The nominative plural of the Hittite word meaning 'god' was siwannes.
  • ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti -- verb; 3rd person plural middle preterite of <wisūriya-> oppress, stifle -- were stifled

I-NA TÙR an-da UDUHI.A KI.MIN

  • I-NA -- preposition; Akkadogram <INA> (functioning as graphic indicator of the dative-locative) -- in
  • TÙR -- noun; Sumerogram <TÙR> sheepfold -- the sheepfold
  • an-da -- postposition; <anda> in, into, at -- in
  • UDUHI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <UDU> sheep + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... -- the sheep # In Hittite texts, the word for "sheep" is always written in Sumerian. There were at least two Hittite words for sheep, iyant- and *pekku-. The word used in this text is probably *pekku- to judge from the phonetic complement -us in nominative singular animate UDU-us = *pekkus below. The Hittite reading of the nominative plural of *pekku- is probably *pekkuēs.
  • KI.MIN -- noun; Sumerogram <KI.MIN> ditto -- (were stifled)

I-NA É.GU₄ an-da-an GU₄HI.A ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti

  • I-NA -- preposition; Akkadogram <INA> (functioning as graphic indicator of the dative-locative) -- in
  • É.GU₄ -- noun; Sumerogram functioning here as dative-locative singular <É.GU₄> cow barn -- the cow barn
  • an-da-an -- postposition; <andan> in, to -- in
  • GU₄HI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <GU₄> cow + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... -- the cows
  • ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti -- verb; 3rd person plural middle preterite of <wisūriya-> oppress, stifle -- were stifled

UDU-us-za SILA₄-ZU mi-im-ma-as

  • UDU-us-za -- noun; Sumerogram <UDU> sheep + Hittite phonetic complement <-us> (indicating nominative singular animate) + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- the ewe # The combination of the word for sheep and the reflexive particle was probably read in Hittite as pekkus-st.
  • SILA₄-ZU -- noun; Sumerogram <SILA₄> lamb + Akkadian 3rd person singular enclitic possessive pronoun <-ZU>... -- her lamb # The Hittite word meaning "lamb" is unknown. The Akkadian noun, puhadu, is the equivalent of Sumerian UDU, and the Akkadian reading of the construct state plus possessive pronoun would be puhud-zu with the possessive pronoun spelled -zu after stems ending in dentals. Although the possessive pronoun is written as though the word underlying Sumerian SILA4 were Akkadian, the text was read in Hittite by the scribes.
  • mi-im-ma-as -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <mimma-> refuse, reject -- rejected # The reflexive particle changes the meaning of the verb from "refuse" to "reject."

GU₄-ma AMAR-ŠU mi-im-ma-as

  • GU₄-ma -- noun; Sumerogram <GU₄> cow + enclitic conjunction <-ma> but, and -- and the cow
  • AMAR-ŠU -- noun; Sumerogram <AMAR> young animal, calf + Akkadian enclitic possessive pronoun; 3rd person singular <-ŠU> his, her -- her calf # The Hittite reading for AMAR is unknown.
  • mi-im-ma-as -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <mimma-> refuse, reject -- rejected # The lack of the reflexive particle is probably inadvertent.

DTe-le-pe-nu-sa ar-ha i-ya-an-ni-is

  • DTe-le-pe-nu-sa -- proper noun; nominative singular animate of <Telepenu-> Telepenus + enclitic conjunction <-a-> but -- but Telepenus
  • ar-ha -- preverb; <arha> away -- away
  • i-ya-an-ni-is -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <iyanniya-> march -- (had) stomped

hal-ki-in DIm-mar-ni-in sa-al-hi-an-ti-en ma-an-ni-it-ti-en is-pi-ya-tar-ra pe-e-da-as

  • hal-ki-in -- noun; accusative singular animate of <halki-> grain, barley -- barley
  • DIm-mar-ni-in -- noun; accusative singular, animate of <immarni-> fertility? -- fertility? # The meaning of the word is unclear, but given the sterility that results from Telepenus' disappearance something like "fertility" is not implausible. Hoffner translates it as "animal fecundity." Common nouns may sometimes be preceded by the Sumerian determinative D, indicating that they might be regarded in cultic worship as deified. For example halkis grain is sometimes found in ritual texts as Dhalkis, meaning something like "deified grain."
  • sa-al-hi-an-ti-en -- noun; accusative singular animate of <salhianti-> growth -- growth
  • ma-an-ni-it-ti-en -- noun; accusative singular animate of <manitti-> luxuriance? -- luxuriance? # The exact meaning of the word is unclear.
  • is-pi-ya-tar-ra -- noun; accusative singular neuter of <ispiyātar> satiation, abundance + enclitic conjunction <-a-> and -- and abundance # The enclitic conjunction -a- 'and' causes doubling of a preceding consonant, unlike the conjunction -a- 'but'.
  • pe-e-da-as -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <pēda-> bring, take -- he took away

gi-im-ri ú-e-el-lu-i mar-mar-as an-da-an DTe-le-pe-nu-sa pa-it

  • gi-im-ri -- noun; dative singular of <gimmara-> steppe -- the steppe
  • ú-e-el-lu-i -- noun; dative singular of <wēllu-> meadow -- the meadow
  • mar-mar-as -- noun; dative plural of <marmarra-> marshy terrain, swamp? -- the swamps # The meaning of marmarra- is not entirely clear, but it seems to refer to some sort of soggy terrain.
  • an-da-an -- postposition; <andan> in, to -- to
  • DTe-le-pe-nu-sa -- proper noun; nominative singular animate of <Telepenu-> Telepenus + enclitic conjunction <-a-> but -- but Telepenus
  • pa-it -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of mi-conjugation <pāi-> go -- went

mar-mar-ri an-da-an ú-li-is-ta

  • mar-mar-ri -- noun; dative singular of <marmarra-> marshy terrain, swamp? -- swamp
  • an-da-an -- postposition; <andan> in, to -- in
  • ú-li-is-ta -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <ule-> hide, conceal -- he hid himself

se-e-ra-as-se-is-sa-an ha-le-en-zu hu-wa-i-is

  • se-e-ra-as-se-is-sa-an -- preverb; <sēr> over, above + enclitic conjunction; <-a-> but + enclitic personal pronoun; 3rd person singular dative <-sse> he + locatival particle <-ssan> on, over -- but over him
  • ha-le-en-zu -- noun; nominative singular of <halenzu-> a kind of plant -- the halenzu-plant # It has been suggested that halenzu means something like "duckweed."
  • hu-wa-i-is -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <huwāi-> run -- grew

nu nam-ma hal-ki-is ZÍZ-tar Ú-UL ma-a-i

  • nu -- sentence particle; <nu> and -- and
  • nam-ma -- conjunction; <namma> furthermore, moreover -- therefore
  • hal-ki-is -- noun; accusative singular animate of <halki-> grain, barley -- barley
  • ZÍZ-tar -- noun; Sumerogram <ZÍZ> wheat + Hittite phonetic complement <-tar> (functioning here as accusative singular neuter) -- and wheat
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- not # The Hittite reading is natta.
  • ma-a-i -- verb; 3rd person singular present of hi-conjugation <māi-> grow, prosper, ripen -- ripen # The present tenses here and in the lines that follow can be understood either as historical presents or, since the myth explains a cause of drought, timeless presents that indicate an eternal truth.

nu-za nam-ma GU₄HI.A UDUHI.A DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ Ú-UL ar-ma-ah-ha-an-zi ar-ma-u-wa-an-te-sa ku-i-es nu-za a-pi-ya Ú-UL ha-as-sa-an-zi

  • nu-za -- sentence particle; <nu> and + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- and
  • nam-ma -- adverb; <namma> furthermore, moreover -- moreover
  • GU₄HI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <GU₄> cow + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... -- the cows
  • UDUHI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <UDU> sheep + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... -- the sheep
  • DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ -- noun; Sumerogram <DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LU> human being + Sumerian plural marker <-MEŠ>... -- and humans # The Hittite reading is probably antuwahhes.
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- not
  • ar-ma-ah-ha-an-zi -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <armahh-> become pregnant -- get pregnant
  • ar-ma-u-wa-an-te-sa -- adjective; nominative plural animate of <armauwant-> pregnant + enclitic conjunction <-a-> but -- but those pregnant
  • ku-i-es -- relative pronoun; nominative plural animate of <kui-> that, which, who -- that
  • nu-za -- sentence particle; <nu> and + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- ...
  • a-pi-ya -- adverb; <apiya> then, there -- then
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- not
  • ha-as-sa-an-zi -- verb; 3rd person plural present of hi-conjugation <hās-, hass-> give birth, beget -- give birth # The reflexive particle -za- is frequently used with hās-.

HUR.SAGDIDLI.HI.A ha-a-te-er

  • HUR.SAGDIDLI.HI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <HUR.SAG> mountain + Sumerian marker <DIDLI.HI.A> (indicating nominative plural) -- the mountains # The Hittite word for mountain is unknown.
  • ha-a-te-er -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of hi-conjugation <hād-> dry, dry up -- dried up

GIŠHI.A-ru ha-a-az-ta

  • GIŠHI.A-ru -- noun; Sumerogram <GIŠ> wood, tree + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... + Hittite phonetic complement <-ru> (functioning here as collective) -- the forest # The Hittite reading is probably dārū.
  • ha-a-az-ta -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <hād-> dry, dry up -- dried up

na-as-ta par-as-du-us Ú-UL ú-e-ez-zi

  • na-as-ta -- sentence particle; <nu> and + locatival particle <-asta> (indicating continuing action) -- and
  • par-as-du-us -- noun; nominative singular animate of <parsdu-> leaf, foliage -- the foliage
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- does not
  • ú-e-ez-zi -- verb; 3rd person singular present of mi-conjugation <uwa-, we-> come -- come out

ú-e-sa-es ha-a-te-er

  • ú-e-sa-es -- noun; nominative plural animate of <wēsi-> meadow -- the meadows
  • ha-a-te-er -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of hi-conjugation <hād-> dry, dry up -- dried up

TÚLHI.A ha-a-az-ta

  • TÚLHI.A -- noun; Sumerogram <TÚL> spring + Sumerian plural marker <-HI.A>... -- the springs # The Hittite reading of Sumerian TÚL is probably wattaru.
  • ha-a-az-ta -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <hād-> dry, dry up -- dried up

nu KUR-ya an-da-an ka-a-as-za ki-i-sa-ti

  • nu -- sentence particle; <nu> and -- and
  • KUR-ya -- noun; Sumerogram functioning here as locative plural <KUR> land, territory + Hittite enclitic conjunction <-ya> and -- and in the land # The Hittite reading is udniyass-. The enclitic conjunction meaning "and" is written as -ya- after Sumerograms, Akkadograms, and words spelled out in Hittite that end with vowels.
  • an-da-an -- postposition; <andan> in, to -- in
  • ka-a-as-za -- noun; nominative singular animate of <kāst-> hunger, famine -- famine
  • ki-i-sa-ti -- verb; 3rd person singular middle preterite of <kīs-> become, happen -- came to pass

DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ DINGIRMEŠ-sa ki-is-ta-an-ti-it har-ki-ya-an-zi

  • DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ -- noun; Sumerogram <DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LU> human being + Sumerian plural marker <-MEŠ>... -- humans
  • DINGIRMEŠ-sa -- noun; Sumerogram <DINGIR> god + Sumerian plural marker <-MEŠ>... + Hittite phonetic complement <-sa> (functioning here as nominative plural animate) + Hittite enclitic conjunction <-a-> but -- and the gods, moreover # The Hittite reading is probably siwannes-a.
  • ki-is-ta-an-ti-it -- noun instrumental singular of <kistant-> hunger, famine -- from hunger
  • har-ki-ya-an-zi -- verb; 3rd person plural present of <hark-, harkiya-> disappear, abscond, perish -- are perishing

GAL-is-za DUTU-us EZEN₄-an i-e-et

  • GAL-is-za -- adjective; Sumerogram <GAL> chief, great + Hittite phonetic complement <-is> (functioning here as nominative singular animate) + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- the great # The Hittite reading of GAL-is is sallis.
  • DUTU-us -- noun; Sumerogram <UTU> Sungod + Hittite phonetic complement <-us> (indicating nominative singular animate) -- Sungod # The Hittites worshipped solar deities under a variety of names and in a variety of incarnations. Since this myth is of Hattic origin, and the phonetic complement indicates that the underlying Hittite noun is a u-stem, the reading in Hittite is probably Istānus, from the name of the Hattic Sungod Estan.
  • EZEN₄-an -- noun; Sumerogram <EZEN₄> festival, feast + Hittite phonetic complement <-an> (indicating accusative singular animate) -- feast
  • i-e-et -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of mi-conjugation <iya-> do, make -- prepared

nu-za 1 LI-IM DINGIRMEŠ-sa hal-za-i-is

  • nu-za -- sentence particle; <nu> and + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- and
  • 1 -- numeral; <1> one -- the # The Hittite reading is unknown.
  • LI-IM -- numeral; Akkadogram <LIM> thousand -- thousand
  • DINGIRMEŠ-sa -- noun; Sumerogram <DINGIR> god + Sumerian plural marker <-MEŠ>... + Hittite phonetic complement <-sa> (functioning here as nominative plural animate) -- gods
  • hal-za-i-is -- verb; 3rd person singular preterite of hi-conjugation <halzāi-, haliya-> call out, recite, invite -- invited

e-te-er ne Ú-UL is-pi-i-e-er

  • e-te-er -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of mi-conjugation <ēd-> eat -- ate
  • ne -- sentence particle; <nu> and + enclitic personal pronoun; 3rd person plural nominative animate <-e-> they -- they # The final vowel of nu is lost before the vowel of the enclitic pronoun.
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- but... not
  • is-pi-i-e-er -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of hi-conjugation <ispāi-> be satiated -- were... satiated

e-ku-i-e-er-ma ne-za Ú-UL ha-as-si-ik-ke-er

  • e-ku-i-e-er-ma -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of mi-conjugation <ēgw-> drink -- drank
  • ne-za -- sentence particle; <nu> and + enclitic personal pronoun; 3rd person plural nominative animate <-e-> they + enclitic reflexive particle <-za>... -- and they
  • Ú-UL -- adverb; Akkadian negative <ŪL> not -- did not
  • ha-as-si-ik-ke-er -- verb; 3rd person plural preterite of mi-conjugation <hassik-> quench one's thirst -- quench their thirst

Lesson Text

GIŠlu-ut-ta-a-us kam-ma-ra-a-as IṢ-BAT
É-er tuh-hu-is IṢ-BAT
I-NA GUNNI-ma kal-mi-i-sa-ni-is ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti
is-ta-na-na-as an-da DINGIRMEŠ ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti
I-NA TÙR an-da UDUHI.A KI.MIN
I-NA É.GU₄ an-da-an GU₄HI.A ú-i-su-u-ri-ya-an-ta-ti
UDU-us-za SILA₄-ZU mi-im-ma-as
GU₄-ma AMAR-ŠU mi-im-ma-as
DTe-le-pe-nu-sa ar-ha i-ya-an-ni-is
hal-ki-in DIm-mar-ni-in sa-al-hi-an-ti-en ma-an-ni-it-ti-en is-pi-ya-tar-ra pe-e-da-as
gi-im-ri ú-e-el-lu-i mar-mar-as an-da-an DTe-le-pe-nu-sa pa-it
mar-mar-ri an-da-an ú-li-is-ta
se-e-ra-as-se-is-sa-an ha-le-en-zu hu-wa-i-is
nu nam-ma hal-ki-is ZÍZ-tar Ú-UL ma-a-i
nu-za nam-ma GU₄HI.A UDUHI.A DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ Ú-UL ar-ma-ah-ha-an-zi ar-ma-u-wa-an-te-sa ku-i-es nu-za a-pi-ya Ú-UL ha-as-sa-an-zi
HUR.SAGDIDLI.HI.A ha-a-te-er
GIŠHI.A-ru ha-a-az-ta
na-as-ta par-as-du-us Ú-UL ú-e-ez-zi
ú-e-sa-es ha-a-te-er
TÚLHI.A ha-a-az-ta
nu KUR-ya an-da-an ka-a-as-za ki-i-sa-ti
DUMU.LÚ.U₁₉.LUMEŠ DINGIRMEŠ-sa ki-is-ta-an-ti-it har-ki-ya-an-zi
GAL-is-za DUTU-us EZEN₄-an i-e-et
nu-za 1 LI-IM DINGIRMEŠ-sa hal-za-i-is
e-te-er ne Ú-UL is-pi-i-e-er
e-ku-i-e-er-ma ne-za Ú-UL ha-as-si-ik-ke-er

Translation

Mist seized the windows. Smoke seized the house. In the hearth the logs were stifled. At the altars the gods were stifled. In the sheepfold the sheep were stifled. In the cow barn the cows were stifled. The ewe rejected her lamb. The cow rejected her calf. But Telepenus had stomped away. He took away barley, fertility(?), growth, luxuriance(?), and abundance. To the steppe, to the meadow, to the swamps he went. Telepenus went to the swamp and hid himself in the swamp. Over him the halenzu-plant grew. Therefore barley and wheat do not ripen. Cows, sheep, and humans do not get pregnant. And those who are already pregnant cannot give birth. The mountains and the trees dried up; and the foliage does not come out. The meadows and springs dried up; and, in the land, famine came to pass. Humans and gods are perishing from hunger. The Great Sun God prepared a feast and invited the Thousand Gods. They ate but were not satiated; they drank but did not quench their thirst.

Grammar

6. Basic Word Order

Hittite sentences are normally verb-final, for example:

    DTelepenus-a   arha   iyannis
    but-Telepenus   away   stomped
    "But Telepenus stomped away."
             
    SA   DIŠTAR   parā   handandatar   memahhi
    of   Ishtar's   divine   glory   I will tell
    "I will tell of Ishtar's divine glory."
6.1. Form of the Subject

Since person is marked by the verb endings, explicit pronominal subjects are not obligatory except with certain intransitive verbs (see below). Explicit tonic, or stressed, pronominal subjects may be used for emphasis or to clarify pronominal reference, as in:

  • A.ZU-ya kussanapās-pat pāi
  • "The physician's fee he-himself provides."

In this sentence the subject, someone who has injured another person, appears as the stressed pronoun apās and it is strengthened with the emphasizing particle -pat.

Sometimes the subject's proper name is used for emphasis:

  • nuMTelepenus URUHattusi tuliyan halzihhun
  • "I,Telepenus, called the council in Hattusas."

Some intransitive verbs normally occur with enclitic subject pronouns if the sentence has no explicit subject. These include verbs of motion and certain verbs that indicate a change in the subject's state. The following are a few examples:

    n-as   mahhan   wappui   ari
    and-she   when   at the riverbank   arrives
    "And when she arrives at the river bank..."
                 
    n-at-mu   GÌRMEŠ-as   kattan   hāliyēr
    they-to-me   the feet   down   bowed
    "They prostrated themselves at my feet."
                 
    mān-as   lazziyatta-ma
    when-he   recovers-but
    "But when he recovers..."
6.2. Order of Elements

An explicit subject, whether it is a noun, a stressed pronoun, or an enclitic pronoun, normally heads the sentence, and direct and indirect objects that are not enclitic pronouns normally occur after it, as in the following:

    GU4-ma   AMAR-ŠU   mimmas
    the cow-but (subject)   calf-her (direct object)   rejected
    "The cow rejected her calf."
             
    SAGI-as   1   NINDA   GUR4-RA   GAL   LUGAL-i   pāi
    the cupbearer (subject)   one   large   thick   bread (direct object)   to the king (indirect object)   gives.
    "The cupbearer gives one large thick bread to the king."

For emphasis, other constituents, such as indirect objects, adverbial phrases, and direct objects may be moved to the front of the sentence:

    ANA   MUhha-LÚ-ma   TE4   MU   uwiyanun
    to   Uhhaziti-moreover (indirect object)   a messenger (direct object)   I   sent
    "Moreover, to Uhhaziti, I sent a messenger."
                     
    ANA   É.GAL   3   GÍN   KÙBABBAR   daskēr
    for   the palace (indirect object)   three   shekels   of silver (direct object)   they used to take
    "They used to take three shekels of silver for the palace."
                         
    takku   pahhurANAA.SÀ-ŠU   kuiski   pēdai
    if   fire (direct object)   into his barn (adverbial)   someone (subject) brings
    "If someone brings fire into his barn..."
                 
    1   NINDA   SIG   wappuwas   DMAH   parsiya
    one   thin   loaf (direct object)   of the river bank   for the Mother Goddess (indirect object)   I crumble
    "I crumble one thin loaf for the Mother Goddess of the river bank."
7. Use of the Nominative, Accusative, and Ergative

As in other IE languages, the nominative is the case in which the subject of a sentence appears, while the accusative is the case regularly used to indicate the direct objects of most verbs. Both the nominative and accusative, however, also have a few other functions in Hittite. For the use of the nominative as vocative, the case of direct address, see section 8.

7.1. The Nominative

In animate nouns, the singular subject is normally marked by the ending -s, which is spelled with the sign ZA (= [ts]) after stems ending in dental stops. The regular ending of the animate plural is -ēs, although archaic texts attest a few animate nominative plurals in -as from Indo-European *-ōs. Neuter nominatives and accusatives have the same form in both singular and plural. The animate nominative may be the subject of both intransitive and transitive verbs:

    kītas   halzāi
    reciter (nominative)   calls out
    "The reciter calls out..."
         
    GIŠluttaus   kammaras   IŠ-BAT
    the windows   mist (nominative)   seized
    "Mist seized the windows."
             
    nu-za   LUGAL   MUNUS.LUGAL   esanda
    and-themselves   king (nominative)   queen (nominative)   sit
    "The king and queen seat themselves."

Predicate nominatives appear in the nominative case:

    LUGAL-us-san   hantezziyas-pat   DUMU.LUGAL   DUMURU   kikkistaru
    king (predicate nominative)   of-the-first-rank-only   a prince   a son   let become
    "Let only a son, a prince of the first rank, become king."

The nominative is also the case form of the grammatical subject of passive sentences:

    INA   GUNNI-ma   kalmisanis   wisuriyantati
    in   the hearth   logs (nominative)   were stifled
    "In the hearth, the logs were stifled."

Verbs indicating sickness may be used intransitively with a nominative subject (cf. English She sickened or He took sick).

    nu MUhha-LÚ-is   kuit   GIG-at
    Uhhaziti (nominative)   because   had sickened
    "Because Uhhaziti had sickened..."
7.2. The Accusative

The accusative is the case in which the direct objects of most verbs appear:

    nu GIŠkalmisanan   siyāit
    a thunderbolt (accusative)   he hurled
    "He hurled a thunderbolt."
         
    nu antuhsan   wiyanun
    man (accusative)   I sent
    "I sent a man."
         
    nu LUGAL-us   GAD-an   arha   pissiazi
    the king   the towel (accusative)   away   throws
    "The king throws the towel away."
                 
    DUTU-us   liliwandan   haranan   piyēt
    Sungod   swift (accusative)   eagle (accusative)   sent
    "The Sungod sent a swift eagle."

Some verbs take two accusatives, a direct object and an objective complement:

    n-us   arunas   erhus   yēt
    and-them (direct object)   of the sea   borders (objective complement)   he made
    "And he made them borders of the sea."

Hittite, like Greek and Latin, occasionally attests figura etymologica, or constructions in which the direct object, in the accusative, is a noun etymologically related to the verb or a noun with close semantic affinity to the verb:

    hullanzan   hullanun
    fight   I fought
    "I fought a fight."
         
    memiyann-a-si     mematti
    word-and-to-him   don't   speak
    "And don't speak a word to him."

With verbs indicating sickness, the word for the illness may occur in the nominative as subject of the sentence, while the noun referring to the person afflicted is the direct object and in the accusative case:

    kappin DUMU-an   HUL-lu   GIG   GIG-at
    little boy (accusative)   evil   sickness   was sick with
    "The little boy experienced an evil sickness."
                 
    tuk-ma   istarkkit
    you (accusative)-but   took sick
    "But you took sick."
7.3. Neo-Hittite Confusion of Animate Nominative and Accusative Endings

In late texts, the endings for the animate nominative and accusative plural are sporadically confused. A noun, personal pronoun, or adjective with nominative plural endings may be found in accusative function. For example, in this phrase from the treaty of Tudhaliya IV with Karunta (section 10), the animate nominative plural ending -is, (for -ēs) marks the direct object ZAG, a Sumerogram meaning "border," The relative pronoun which agrees with it is also nominative plural animate in form:

    ZAGHI.A-is-si   kuyēs   tehhun
    borders-for him   that   I have established
    "The borders that I have established for him..."
7.4. The Ergative

Neuter nouns can be direct objects of transitive verbs:

    takku   pahhur   ANA   A.SÀ-ŠU   kuiski   pēdai
    if   fire (neuter)   into   barn-his   someone   brings
    "If someone brings fire into his barn..."

They can also be subjects of intransitive verbs, as in the following:

    nu   uttar   isduwati
    plot(neuter)   became   known
    "The plot became known."
             
    pahhur   kistari
    fire (neuter)   goes out
    "The fire goes out."

Neuter nouns do not, however, function as subjects of transitive verbs. Instead, when a noun that is neuter is the subject of a transitive verb it takes special endings, called ergative endings, -anza in the singular and -antēs in the plural. The function of these endings is to transfer the original neuter to the animate gender, for example:

    mahhan-ta   kās tuppianza   anda wemiyazzi
    when-you   this tablet (ergative)   finds
    "As soon as this tablet reaches you..."

For the form of the ergative here, compare the neuter nominative-accusative singular tuppi 'tablet'. Note also that the demonstrative pronoun kās is animate nominative singular.

The ergative of pahhur 'fire' is made from the stem pahhuen- as in the genitive singular pahhuenas:

    IGI-zin   pahhuenanza   karapi
    first rank   fire (ergative)   consumes
    "Fire consumes (those of) the first rank."

Compare the ergative plural ishisnantes (from ishessn-, stem of ishessar 'binding, strap') in:

    SAG.DU-ann-a   ishisnantes   appanzi
    head-and   bindings   seize
    "And the bindings clasp the head."
8. U-Stem Adjectives and Nouns

U-stem nouns and adjectives are formed by adding a suffix containing -u-, which becomes [w] before vowels, to noun and adjective endings. The endings -s and -n are affixed to the suffix in the nominative and accusative singular animate. Nominative-accusative singular neuters end in the suffix -u. The nominative-accusative plural neuter may end in -u, which is probably to be read [] with a lengthened vowel, although vowel length was indicated only sporadically. Plurals with a suffix and ending -uw-a are also found. The plural with lengthened stem vowel is an archaism, reflecting Indo-European *-u plus collective ending *-h₂, while the ending -a was adopted from other nouns and adjectives. Both endings occur in early texts, though the ending -a spread at the expense of -u.

8.1. Paradigms of u-stem adjectives

Forms other than the nominative and accusative singular have a suffix -au- (-aw- before vowels), at least in early texts. A prehistoric sound change in which sequences of *wu became mu changed the original animate accusative plural ending *-aw-us to -am-us. (For the vocative, see section 10).

The following paradigms illustrate forms of the u-stem adjectives āssu- 'good', and tēpu 'little'. Reconstructions are made on the basis of forms of similar adjectives that are attested.

    anim       neut
Singular            
nom.   āss-u-s, tēp-u-s       āss-u, tēp-u
acc.   āss-u-n, tēp-u-n       āss-u, tēp-u
gen.       āss-aw-as, tēp-aw-as    
dloc       āss-aw-i, tāss-aw-i    
abl.       āss-aw-az, tēp-aw-az    
inst.       āss-aw-it, tēp-aw-it    
Plural            
nom.   āss-aw-ēs, tēp-aw-ēs       āss-ū
acc.   as:s-am-us        
gen.dat.       āss-aw-as, tēp-aw-as    
abl.inst.       *ass-aw-az    
8.2. Paradigms of u-stem nouns

In many u-stem nouns, the suffix was apparently originally -u- (prevocalic -w-) throughout the paradigm. Before endings beginning with vowels, it is often spelled -uw-. Some u-stem nouns attest both animate and neuter forms. A few u-stem nouns attest the archaic genitive plural in -an from Indo-European *-ōm, for example *hāss-uw-an as shown by the phonetic complement accompanying the the Sumerogram LUGAL-wa-an. This ending, however, was eventually replaced by -as. The following are paradigms for wappu- 'river bank', which is animate, and wēllu- 'meadow', which has animate and neuter forms:

    anim    
Singular        
nom.   wēll-u-s    
acc.   wapp-u-n, wēll-u-n    
gen.       wapp-uw-as, wēll-uw-as
dloc       wapp-u-i, wēll-u-i
abl.       wapp-uw-az, wēll-uw-az
inst.       wēll-u-it
all.       wēll-uw-a
Plural        
nom.   *wapp-uw-ēs    
acc.   wapp-am-us    
gen.dat.       wapp-uw-as, wēllu-uw-as
ab.inst.        

The word for "knee" is especially interesting, since other IE languages preserve a neuter u-stem with an invariant root (in Indo-European terms, *gen-u-). Hittite, however, shows an alternation between a stem gēn-u- and forms with a stem kan-u- or gan-u- (pronounced with initial [g]) that probably reflect an Indo-European version of the root *gn-. The word for "knee" in Hittite also shows some forms with animate inflection, although cognates in the other Indo-European languages are neuter. Because knees come in pairs, and because singular and plural forms appear identical in several case forms, it is often impossible to tell whether one is dealing with a singular or plural form in the absence of other grammatical information (e.g., modifiers that are singular or plural). The word for "knee" also seems to have made an archaic endingless locative.

Paradigm of gēnu- (neut. and anim) 'knee'

    neuter       animate
Singular            
nom.   gēn-u        
acc.   gēn-u       gen-u-un
gen.       gēn-uw-as    
dloc       gēnu?    
abl.       gēnu-uw-az    
inst       gan-u-t, gēnu-t    
all.       gēnu-wa    
Plural            
nom   gēn-ū, gēn-uw-a        
acc.   gēn-ū? gēn-uw-a       gēn-u-us
gen.dat.       kan-uw-as, gēn-uw-an, gēn-u-wa-as    
abl.inst.       gēnu-wa-az, gēnu-wa-za    
8.3. Paradigms of au-stem nouns

A few nouns show a suffix -āu- in the nominative and accusative, and, at least originally, a suffix -u- (-w-) in the other cases. The suffix -āu- (-āw- before vowels), however, tended to spread throughout the paradigm. These nouns, which are the remnants of an archaic inflectional type, may be either animate or neuter. The following is a paradigm of singular forms of harnāu- (animate and neuter) 'birthstool', which, because a number of rituals designed to aid pregnancy and childbirth are preserved, is one of the best attested nouns of this type. Unambiguous forms of the plural do not, apparently, occur.

Paradigm of harnāu- 'birthstool'

Singular   anim       neut
nom.   harn-āu-s       harn-āu
acc.   harn-āu-n       harn-āu
gen.       harn-āw-as    
dlocl       harn-u-i, harn-āw-i    

The paradigms above represent a considerable simplification of the material found in the texts. We know, for example, that both nouns and adjectives were subject to analogical changes, for example the replacement of lengthening of the suffix vowel by the ending -a in the neuter plural, or the generalization of the suffix -āu- throughout the paradigms of nouns like harnāu-. Nominal and adjectival paradigms also influenced each other. In part, this was because some words could originally function either as nouns or adjectives, taking the appropriate inflection. For example, beside the adjective āssu- 'good' there is a corresponding neuter noun meaning "wares" (cf. English goods as a synonym for wares), and beside its antonym idālu- 'evil' there is a corresponding neuter noun idālu 'an evil'. One does find nominal forms in adjectival function and adjectival forms in nominal function; note, for example the accusative plural wapp-am-us 'river banks' with the adjectival suffix -am-.

9. Nominal sentences

Sentences in the present tense with a nominal or adjectival subjective complement may be made without a form of the verb "to be." The subjective complement is in the nominative case. In Hittite grammar, such sentences are traditionally called "nominal sentences," and in English they are translated with the appropriate form of the present of "be":

    Labarnas   LUGAL-us   inarawanza
    Labarna   the king   strong
    "Labarna, the king, is strong."
             
    ūk-wa   atti-mi   natta   āssus
    I-quotative   to father-to my   not   dear
    "I am not dear to my father."
                 
    URUHattusi-ma-at   ŪL   āra
    in Hattusas-but-it   not   right
    "In Hattusas it is taboo."
             
    ŪL   harātar
    no   sin
    "It is no sin."

The verb may not be left out if it is in the past tense or in the imperative. For example, we find a nominal sentence followed by a sentence with the third person singular imperative of the verb ēs- 'be', ēsdu in in the following passage:

    mān-ma-as   ANA   DUTUŠI   kūrur   tugg-as
    if-and-he   to   my majesty   enemy   to you-he
    kūrur   ēsdu            
    enemy   let be            
    "If he is an enemy to my majesty, let him (also) be an enemy to you."
10. Adjectives

Like English, Hittite has both attributive adjectives, adjectives that modify nouns, and predicative adjectives, adjectives in the predicates of sentences with "be" or similar verbs that establish a relationship of equality between the subject and predicate. Compare, for example, the English sentence "A strong king rules wisely," which uses the adjective "strong" as an attributive adjective, with the sentences "Mursilis was strong," and "The king became strong," which use "strong" as a predicative adjective. In Hittite, of course, adjectives are declined for case and number. An attributive adjective agrees in number and case with the noun it modifies. A predicative adjective is, like the subject of the sentence, in the nominative case, and it agrees with the subject in number.

10.1. Attributive adjectives

Attributive adjectives normally precede the nouns they modify.

nominative animate singular:

    sallis   ārrunas
    great   sea
    "the great sea"

accusative animate singular:

    āssun   halukan
    good   message
    "a good message"

nominative-accusative neuter:

    idālu   paprātar
    evil   impurity
    "evil impurity"

dative-locative singular:

    ekuni   IM-anti
    cold   wind
    "in the cold wind"

ablative singular:

    dankuwaz   taknāz
    dark   earth
    "from the dark earth"

nominative plural animate:

    āssawēs   EMEMEŠ
    good   tongues
    "good tongues"

accusative plural animate:

    pargamus   HUR.SAG.MEŠ
    high   mountains
    "the high mountains"

nominative-accusative neuter:

    harga   GIŠhahhal
    bright   greenery
    "bright greenery"

dative-locative plural:

    pargauwas   auriyas
    high   watch towers
    "to the high watch towers"
10.2. Adjectives used as predicate nominatives.

In sentences with adjectives as predicate nominatives, the verb may be a form of "be," or it can be a verb such as kīs 'become' or āss- 'remain'. More commonly, the sentence may be a nominal sentence:

    sumēll-a   ARADMEŠ   DINGIRLIM   meggaēs   eser
    you-and   servants   gods   numerous   were
    "And your servants of the gods were numerous."
                     
    DUTU-us   DIM-as   mān   uktūres    
    the Sungod   The Stormgod   just as   eternal    
    LUGAL-us   MUNUS.LUGAL-ass-a   QĀTAMMA   uktūres   asantu
    king   queen-and   likewise   eternal   let them be
    "Just as the Sungod and the Stormgod are eternal, so likewise let the king and queen be eternal."
                     
    Labarnas   LUGAL-us   inarawanza
    Labarna   king   strong
    "Labarna, the king, is strong."
             
    mān   hargaēs   mān   dankuwaēs
    whether   white   whether   black
    ŪL kuitki   duqqāri        
    no way   is important        
    "Whether (the rams) are white or (whether they are) black it doesn't matter in any way."
                 
    ANA   MHattusili-wa   MU.KAMHI.A   maninkuwantes
    to   Hattusilis-quotative   years   short
    "Hattusilis' years are short."