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Mood and Modality in Hurrian

Dennis Campbell

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Languages of the Ancient Near East

Mood and Modality in Hurrian

Dennis Campbell

In a long dead language isolate such as Hurrian, grammatical studies are replete with difficulties. The paucity of material and our inability to compare it to modern, well-documented languages typically results in more questions than answers. Many posited answers to these questions lead inevitably to dead ends. Studies in languages such as Hurrian run the risk of either stagnating due to an adherence to the status quo by scholars or fragmenting when no two scholars can (or will) agree on any point. In this book, Campbell has in many ways broken with tradition in an attempt to go beneath the surface and reveal further complexities in Hurrian grammar. This work, the first English-language monograph on Hurrian since 1941, is not a dogmatic treatise meant to counter the status quo but an exploration of the complexities of the Hurrian language from a new perspective. His conclusions may challenge present perceptions, but the hope is that they will in turn inspire challenges, for it is only in this way that our understanding of this wonderful language and the people who spoke it can be furthered.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
In a long dead language isolate such as Hurrian, grammatical studies are replete with difficulties. The paucity of material and our inability to compare it to modern, well-documented languages typically results in more questions than answers. Many posited answers to these questions lead inevitably to dead ends. Studies in languages such as Hurrian run the risk of either stagnating due to an adherence to the status quo by scholars or fragmenting when no two scholars can (or will) agree on any point. In this book, Campbell has in many ways broken with tradition in an attempt to go beneath the surface and reveal further complexities in Hurrian grammar. This work, the first English-language monograph on Hurrian since 1941, is not a dogmatic treatise meant to counter the status quo but an exploration of the complexities of the Hurrian language from a new perspective. His conclusions may challenge present perceptions, but the hope is that they will in turn inspire challenges, for it is only in this way that our understanding of this wonderful language and the people who spoke it can be furthered.

Mood and Modality in Hurrian provides a formal and functional analysis of the Hurrian modal morphemes. Unlike the better-known Semitic and Indo-European languages of the ancient Near East, Hurrian has a rich complement of modal endings. This at-times bewildering variety in form and function of modal morphemes in Hurrian has been a largely unstudied topic. Although it has been touched upon in a number of studies, it has not received a detailed treatment until now.

Beyond a philological treatment of a dead language, Campbell also adds to the accumulated knowledge of ergativity. This book explores the interplay between ergativity and modality in Hurrian. Furthermore, Campbell explores the issue of voice in Hurrian and its relation to modality.

Preface

Abbreviations

General

Reference Works

1. Introduction

1.1. Introduction

1.2. The Hurrians and Hurrian Language Source Material

1.3. Statement of Purpose

1.4. Current State of the Field

1.5. Layout of the Work

1.6. Note on the Transcription of the Hurrian Language

2. Hurrian Grammar and the Indicative Verb

2.1. Introduction

2.2. Ergativity

2.3. Hurrian Word Formation

2.4. The Nominal System

2.5. The Indicative Verb

2.6. Syntax

2.7. Examples

3. Mood and Modality

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Mood in Hurrian

3.3. Function of Hurrian Moods

4. Imperative

4.1. Background

4.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

4.3. Form in Context

4.4. Conclusion

5. The Jussive

5.1. Background

5.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

5.3. The Form in Context

5.4. Conclusion

6. Optative

6.1. Background

6.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

6.3. The Form in Context

7. The Potential

7.1. Background

7.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

7.3. The Potential Form in Context

7.4. Conclusion

8. Purposive

8.1. Introduction

8.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

8.3. The Form in Context

9. Desiderative

9.1. Background

9.2. Form and Function in Hurrian

9.3. The Form in Context

9.4. Conclusion

10. ?(ož)illandin and ?illandu/o

10.1. Form and Function

10.2. The Form in Context

11. Forms with ?i/e and Forms with ?u/o

11.1. Introduction

11.2. Form and Function

11.3. ?e as a Modal Morpheme

12. The Morphemes ?i?, ?o?, and ?l?

12.1. Introduction

12.2. ?i? and ?o?

12.3. ?l?

12.4. Conclusion

13. Conclusion: The Hurrian Verb Revisited

13.1. General Remarks

13.2. The Nonindicative

13.3. Examples

Appendix 1. Glossary of Words

Sumerogram with Uncertain Hurrian Reading

Divine Names

Personal Names

Geographical Names

Appendix 2. Cited Passages

Urartian Texts

Appendix 3. Concordance of Corpus der hurritischen Sprachdenkmäler and Text Publication Numbers

ChS to Publication Number

Publication to ChS

Bibliography

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