The aim of the project was to collect and analyze the spatial expressions – case, deictic verbs, syntax, local particles, adverbs, and place words – of Hittite, an Indo-European language spoken in central Anatolia some 3,500 years ago and analyze them from the point of view of Hittitology, of Cognitive and of Indo-European Linguistics. Its base was a corpus of ca. 2,360 complete sentences from Old and Middle Hittite texts.
The introductory first chapter gives an overview of the treated topics, the achievements modern linguistics of space, of the hittite language and its philological pecularities and an outline of the history of research on spatial expressions in Hittite.
In the philological second chapter it is shown that one has to understand the spatial expressions of Hittite not as isolated lexical entries, but in combination with each other. This allows to describe their constructions and individual meanings, some of which hadn‘t been understood before. In the course of this exploration many details could be clarified, e. g. the evolution and the basic uses of the so called local particles, but also the functions of the so called place words (local lexemes of relational content). The meaning of the place words awan, priyan und parranda was newly redetermined.
In the typological third chapter it is argued that, although the lack of native speakers has serious impacts on the depth of understanding we can attain, Hittite contributes interesting data for the typological studies, as it suggests a subtler semantic fractionation of the topological domain (as it combines the concepts “at” and “below”, which wasn’t attested before in typology) and an extension of Talmy‘s lexicalisation pattern of dynamic verbs (where shows up as a language neither verb-framed nor typically satellite-framed).
Written from an Indo-Europeanist position, the fourth Chapter gives an etymological account both of the morphology and of the syntax of the grammar of space of Hittite. It is shown e. g. that the Anatolian languages deliver crucial data for the understanding of the development of adpositions in Proto-Indo-European, as Old Hittite shows a system of nominal adpositions not explainable as later innovation, based on which it is possible to clarify the adpositional systems of the other Indo-European languages, too. A precondition for this, however, is the acceptance of an Indo-Hittite framework, which according to the author is plausible for independent evidence. With regard to the local cases there are interesting similarities and discrepances regarding the cases in Vedic, which are easy to correlate with the conservation or renewing of the Hittite case endings.
The fifth chapter summarizes the results achieved in the research project and gives an outlook on the work that has still to be done. It is concluded that for the lack of comparable works on the most old Indo-European languages it is not yet possible to write a PIE grammar of space, but one can be optimistic that it is principally feasible.
This dissertation was successfully completed in 2013. The results were published with the titel “Untersuchungen zur hethitischen Raumgrammatik” in January 2014.