First Hittite texts were deciphered by a Czech scientist Bedřich Hrozný in 1915, and his findings were printed in a book Die Sprache der Hethiter as early as 1917. To honour his memory, The Institute of Comparative Linguistics, of which Hrozný was a head in the last century, held in 2015 a conference which had an international support by numerous scientists from the field of Hittite language study and archaeology. In accord with the hundred years’ anniversary, we launched a project of preparing a tool by means of which digitized Hittite texts can be search. It was introduced at the „100 years of decipherment of Hittite“ conference. At the current page, we present a smart search tool, easy to use, which provides the user with various types of outcome that will aid the research in many linguistic projects of Hittitology. The potential of the project is wide and does not contain only the search as such. What is to come (besides addition of other texts) is tagging at various stages (syntactic and morphological simultaneously in the first phase).
Hittite is an ancient language written (mostly) on clay tablets in the cuneiform script. These facts, in connection with the fragmentary heritage, make it constantly a subject of change whenever new discoveries enable deeper understanding. With this approach, one has to assess the transliterations as tools and not outcomes; some may be subject of future change, other may simply be erroneous. While we are trying to correct the possible mistakes, we urge the user to follow not only the search results but also the photos, autographs and other available material that will give them full picture of the original.
The list of tablets added to the searchable corpus is constantly growing. At the moment (april 2017), it contains many of the Old Hittite and Middle Hittite texts (the full list is available here). Many of the New Hittite tablets will be added in autumn/spring 2017/2018, within the frame of a new project.
Dita Frantíková, Institute of Comparative linguistics, Charles University, Prague, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniel Frantík, email: email@example.com
I always remember the credits in the Grammar of the Hittite language (Harry Hoffner, Craig Melchert, 2008) that say: “To the three giants of Hittitology, in whose shadow we stand: Hans Gustav Güterbock, Emmanuel Laroche, Heinrich Otten.” It comes to my mind when working on the searchable Hittite corpus; we work in the shadow of many – of those who found the tablets buried for centuries, those who prepared their first editions, who transliterated them, who commented and improved on the previous work. The list of names cannot be presented here because of its length.
There are partial tasks that could not be undertaken without a specific input. Craig H. Melchert, revising Johann Tischler’s files and adding his own input to the bulk of transliterations, provided (besides other things) the morpheme analysis. Without that, clitics could hardly be searched in the texts.
The Hethitologie Portal Mainz (led by Prof. Dr. Daniel Schwemer et al.) and its resources (the Konkordanz with the join skizze, links to autographs and photograhs and other relations, credited to Silvin Košak) are definitely the leading study tools of every Hittitologist and we are greatly thankful for the work of every person involved in making the tablets available and understandable to public.
More personally, I am thankful to my husband Daniel, otherwise a software analyst and database specialist, who embraced the project as his own, and did an immense job (and spent countless hours) on the software part of the search and web.
And because I know that things of this life are only meaningful in God, I add the last quote as my thanksgiving:
“For of Him, and through Him, and for Him, are all things. To Him be the glory forever more.”
In Jenštejn. 19.4.2017