LINGUIST List 12.571

Wed Feb 28 2001

Disc: New: Initial "R"s in Hittite?

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Jennings, Phillip C., No initial "R"s in Hittite?

Message 1: No initial "R"s in Hittite?

Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2001 11:43:18 -0600
From: Jennings, Phillip C. <>
Subject: No initial "R"s in Hittite?

My Hittite glossary lists no words beginning in the letter R. This could be

I have a bad glossary.
Hittite has no words beginning in R.
Hittite scribes used the AR-cuneiform syllable in an ad-hoc way, sometimes
to signify AR and sometimes RA.
Hittites used initial R as a vowel. Their ears did not distinguish AR from

Why this matters is, that the nation/confederation of Arzawa, defeated by
the Hittites a few generations before the fall of Troy, might be Razawa,
parsed as Raza-wa, homeland of Raza.

The Etruscan name for themselves was Rasna or earlier Rasenna, parsed
Rase-na or Rasen-na.

The simple step of identifying Raza with Rase gives the Etruscans a "Lydian"

Note that the Hittite defeat of Razawa/Arzawa could have set refugees in
motion well before the fall of Troy.

The Razawa hypothesis becomes less edifying if the Etruscans entered
pre-history with an initial-T version of their name, which was later
truncated. For this reason, I hope this isn't the case. I propose that
knowledge of the Etruscans was vectored to the greater world through a
non-Etruscan language or group of languages that used a Ta, Ter, or Ty
prefix to indicate "those who speak." The Indo-Anatolian languages have
"ta" as "talk" or "speech." Early Anatolians may have habitually referred
to those who spoke strange dialects as "Ta-Rasenna-", "Ter-Mil-",
"Tar-Usa-", and so forth.

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue