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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the Luwian language, which was originally known only from scattered passages in the Hittite corpus, but is now known to have survived the fall of the Hittite kingdom and the end of Hittite as a written language. A substantial number of Luwian lexical borrowings in Old Hittite suggest that Luwians and Hittites lived side by side already in the Old Kingdom Period. Only in the case of the town of Kaneš/Neša, whose prosopography in the twentieth–eighteenth centuries BCE is reasonably well known from Old Assyrian sources, can one conclude that Hittite speakers formed a majority there (which is expected, given the self-designation of the Hittite language as “Nesite”). Summing up, one can no longer claim a priority connection with the Hittite civilization for the language of Neša at the expense of the language of Luwiya.

Keywords: Luwian language, written language, Hittites, Neša

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