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CONLANG  March 2002, Week 3

CONLANG March 2002, Week 3

Subject:

Re: A question about language-naming

From:

Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Constructed Languages List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 16 Mar 2002 15:40:26 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (67 lines)

At 2:41 pm +0100 14/3/02, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
[snip]

>your language, I don't see the point in changing it. I don't think anyone will
>get confused with that

Probably not.

>(especially if the other language is an obscure dead

Not so obscure to those who know  ;)

It was the language of original 'Hittites'.  The language was non-IE and
later gave way to the IE language now commonly called "Hittite" after
IE-speaking invaders settled there.

>language spoken long ago and which may even have other designations
>that "Hattic" - it looks to me like an English designation.

Only in so far as the suffix -ic is concerned; the only other English
designations I know of are 'Hattian' and 'Proto-Hittite'.  The latter is
misleading as it suggests an earlier form of the language now commonly
called "Hittite", which it most certainly isn't.

As for 'Hattian', it is merely a difference of suffix.

>What would be the
>name of the language in that language itself? It would probably be quite
>different -).

Not at all.  It was certainly 'hatt-' with whatever suffix that language
used.  We know the ancient term only in the adverb 'hattili' "in Hattic".

I suppose the 'true' English name ought to be "Hittite", but that has been
mis-applied to another language for too long now, and to call Hattic by
this name would be confusing, to say the least.

It seems that later settlers in this area simply adopted & adapted the
earlier culture and got called by the same name.  It is rather in the same
way the peoples in this island are still called British and call themselves
Britons, though the old British language has long since ceased to spoken in
most of this island, surving only in parts of Wales and among Cornish
languages revivalists.

So what, you may ask did the later 'Hiitites' call their IE-based language
which we now (improperly) call "Hittite"?  The adverb they used is
variously _naSili_ or _neSumnili_ (S is written s-haczek in
transcriptions), and means "in the language of [the city of] Nesa".  It is
now generally agreed that 'Nesite' or 'Nesian' would be the true English
versian of the name.  In my book 'Pre-Greek Speech on Crete' (Amsterdam,
1985), I always referred to it as 'Nesite'; but the name "Hittite" is
probably too firmly established and will probably never be abandoned.

>BTW, is ", Hattic" the name you gave to the language in the language
>itself, or
>is it an adaptation of that name in English?

You mean like "Hattic" in Asia Minor  ;)

Ray.

=========================================
A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                     [J.G. Hamann 1760]
=========================================

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