Degrees of comparison in Hittite and Luwian
Maria Molina (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow; Institute of Oriental and Classical Studies of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 17/3-4, 2019 - p.297-309
In this paper I analyze degrees of gradation in Hittite, looking at equative, similative, comparative, superlative, elative and excessive semantics in Hittite myths, prayers, letters and instructions, in comparison with Luwian data. The results may work towards a better understanding of degree formation in Indo-European languages, with implications for possible reconstructions of Proto-Anatolian and Proto-Indo-European. Corpus approach and contextual analysis applied to Hittite material help to extract contexts that are not explicit and might be described as pragmatic means of expressing gradation semantics. The paper aims at shedding light on the early processes in Indo-European comparative morphology, as attested in Anatolian languages.
Keywords: Hittite language, comparative syntax, historical semantics, corpus approach, degrees of gradation