Indo-Aryan words in Hurrian

Bjarte Kaldhol bjartekal at AH.TELIA.NO
Thu Dec 28 18:46:53 UTC 2000

Dear listmembers,

Onofrio Carruba, in his article "Zur Ueberlieferung einiger Namen und
Appellativa der Arier von Mittani: 'a Luwian look?'" offers some new
insights and repeats some old ineradicable misconceptions. Among the latter
is the idea of an Indo-Aryan aristocracy in northern Syria and northern
Mesopotamia that occupied "some bigger and smaller states". We know that
this aristocracy spoke Hurrian, and that people bearing IA names were not
all aristocrats. Carruba claims that there are "fast nur dynastische und
fuerstliche (IA) Namen". If this were true, we would have less than twenty
such names.

Among his new insights is an astounding one: Two Hurrian officers from the
sixteenth century, at a time when the Hurrian Empire probably included
Cilicia (Kizzuwatna) and western Syria, and Hurrians were feared enemies of
the Hittites, bore Luwian names. They were Karawanis and Paraiunas, both
names "mit Sicherheit luwisch". I cannot follow Carruba when he claims that
the Hurrians invaded Kizzuwatna in the eighteenth century "wohl zunaechst
unter arischer Fuehrung". No IA names are attested in the Alalakh texts
from the seventeenth century; these names belong to a much later period,
mainly the fourteenth century. But he is correct in saying that Kizzuwatna
became a bridge over which Mesopotamian culture in Hurrian form reached the
Hittites, who were thoroughly Hurrianized.

Carruba, and also Starke (as we will see tomorrow), both interpret
a$$u$$anni as Luwian, not as IA, but in different ways, as derived from
Luwian assu-, "horse". I am not convinced, and prefer to see this word as
Hurrian, which is much simpler in any case.

The first Kikkuli text is thought to be a copy from the thirteenth century
and derives from an original of the fifteenth century, which means, I
suppose, that it might have been copied many times. Carruba explains the
name Kikkuli as Luwian (!), from an IE *kwekwl(o)-, cp. "cakra", and
translates "der des Rades; der Kutscher", ignoring the known names from
eastern Mittani in Kikk-, and the Hurrian suffix -(u)li, indicating an
occupation, for instance in keb-li, "hunter", and tab-li, "metalworker".

Regarding wa$anna$aia, which since E. Forrer has been regarded as a
rendering of an IA genitive *vasanasya, Carruba explains it, not very
convincingly, as a defectively written Luwian nominative-accusative plural
of a genitival adjective in -assaja. He therefore amends nawartanni
wa$anna$aia and reads vasanna<as>sa-ia.

Unexpectedly, Carruba derives Luwian zalla-, "trot", and zalal/zalti-,
"Streitwagen/chariot" from IA car-/cal-, referring to panza-, which he
obviously thinks was pronounced pantsa-, as in Luwian. He claims that we
have here a technical borrowing from IA into Luwian.

Next time we will have a look at Frank Starke's "hippologisch orientierte
Interpretation des Kikkuli-Textes".

Best wishes,
Bjarte Kaldhol

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