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On a Hittite Lexicographic Project.

The Journal of the American Oriental Society 2003, July-Sept, 123, 3

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One must certainly admire the pace at which Jaan Puhvel is producing his Hittite Etymological Dictionary, although in fact volume five (2001) is appearing four years after volume four (1997). This is a much smaller volume than its predecessors, even though with the aid of the CHD L volume, which Puhvel quotes at great length, much of his interpretive work was done for him. As in previous volumes, one finds at the end a section of corrections and additions to previous volumes. I will not attempt to evaluate them, since that would mean reviewing more volumes in the set than this one. The complaints raised by this and other reviewers of earlier volumes as to the general layout and methodology have been largely ignored, or at least rejected in silence. One of the most inconvenient features of this dictionary is the lack of dummy entries with cross reference to the lemmas under which the words in question are discussed. With the appearance of volume five and its section entitled "Index to Volumes 1-5" a user might have expected an index to Hittite words discussed, since many of them are to be found out of their alphabetical order. Alas, many other languages are indexed, but not Hittite itself! This is a grievous mistake, which I sincerely hope can yet be remedied by a small supplement. Another serious flaw is the lack of any attempt to date the forms according to the established dating of the texts. The importance of this has been shown time and again. Later spellings can only be understood in the light of earlier stages. Only rarely does the author write "Old Hittite" by a reference. But even here one doesn't know if he means "Old Hittite composition (in later copy)" or "text written in the Old Hittite script." I have complained in my earlier review of volume four about the non-standard abbreviations used (Hoffner 2000). In the "List of abbreviations (addition to volumes 1-4)" a new one which will cause confusion has been added. "KBoVM" is Puhvel's abbreviation for what most of us are now denoting as "VS NS 12" or "VS 28." Since "KBo" is the standard abbreviation for the series Keilschrifttexte aus Bogazkoy, "KBoVM" is going to strike many users as a typo for this well-known series.

On a Hittite Lexicographic Project.
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  • Category: Social Science
  • Published: 01 July 2003
  • Publisher: American Oriental Society
  • Print Length: 22 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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