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Comitato scientifico/Scientific committee: Ignasi-Xavier Adiego Lajara, Françoise


Bader, Annalisa Baicchi, Philip Baldi, Giuliano Bernini, Carlo Consani, Pierluigi
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Ramón, Laura Gavioli, Nicola Grandi, Marco Mancini, Andrea Moro, Vincenzo
Orioles, Max Pfister, Paolo Poccetti, Diego Poli, Ignazio Putzu, Velizar Sadovski,
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UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI NAPOLI


“L’ORIENTALE”
6 Indice

PROPRIETÀ RISERVATA
INDICE

Nota del Direttore 9

ARTICOLI, NOTE, SAGGI

F. ASPESI, Il labirinto all’Amnisos 13


V. BRUGNATELLI, M. LAFKIOUI, La linguistica e sociolinguistica berbera
in Italia: il difficile compito di colmare una lacuna epistemologica 39
C. FABRIZIO, Edipo ‘monopede’? Un’ipotesi etimologica e un motivo
solare indoeuropeo 67
L. MASSETTI, Le ali del sole: una kenning artistica in Aesch. Suppl.
212-213 91
B. MOGARA, The Tjitswapong noun phrase 107
U. RAPALLO, Fra sostratismo, nostraticismo e glottogenesi. A proposito
di gr. Ἄnqrwpoı 125
G. ROCCA, Argei 145
D. SILVESTRI, Momenti autobiografici nell’opera di Ovidio. Prove di
lettura e di commento 167
Z. SIMON, The etymology of Hittite-Luwian Gurta- 189
M. ZABIELSKA, Doctor and patient positioning in narrative-based
publications from specialist medical journals 205
A. ZAVARONI, L’iscrizione falisca su oinochoe EF 4 e i termini oschi
con base *puk- 223

BIBLIOGRAFIE, RECENSIONI, RASSEGNE

T. EMMI, La formazione delle parole nel siciliano, Centro di Studi


Filosofici e Linguistici siciliani, Materiali e ricerche
dell’Atlante linguistico della Sicilia, 28, Palermo 2011, 513
pp. (F. Logozzo) 261
8 Indice

D. CACIA, E. PAPA, S. VERDIANI, Dal mondo alle parole, definizioni


spontanee e dizionari d’apprendimento, Roma, Italiateneo,
2013, 247 pp. (M. Lamberti) 265
N. GRANDI (a cura di), La grammatica e l’errore. Le lingue naturali
tra regole, loro violazioni ed eccezioni, Bologna, Bononia Uni-
versity Press, 2015, 200 pp. (M. Lamberti) 269
O. PALUSCI, K. E. RUSSO (a cura di), Translating East and West,
Trento, Tangram edizioni scientifiche, 2016, 384 pp. (M.
Lamberti) 273
G. PAULIS, I. PINTO (a cura di), Fra testi e culture, Milano, Fran-
coAngeli, 2013, 336 pp. (M. Lamberti) 281
D.BAKKER, M.HASPELMATH, (eds.) Languages across Boundaries,
Studies in Memory of Anna Siewierska, Berlin 2013, De Gruy-
ter-Mouton, 400 pp. ISBN 978-3-11-033103-5 Eur. 39,95
(P. Poccetti) 285
C. DENIZOT, E. DUPRAZ (sous la direction de), Latin quis/qui,
grec τις/τίς: parcours et fonctionnements. Études sur deux in-
terrogatifs-indéfinis-relatifs, Cahiers d’ERIAC n°5, 2014,
PURH Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre ISBN
978-2-87775-583-2. Eur.19 (P. Poccetti) 293
P. MILIZIA, L’equilibrio nella codifica morfologica, Roma, Carocci,
2013, 204 pp. (D. Ricca) 299
M. PRANDI, L’analisi del periodo, Roma, Carocci, 2013, 144 pp.
(V. Russo) 305
MARIA CÉLIA LIMA-HERNANDES, KATIA DE ABREU CHULATA (a cu-
ra di), Língua portuguesa em foco: ensino-apredizagem, pesquisa e
tradução, Lecce, Pensa Multimedia editore s.r.l., 2010, 235 pp. (V.
Russo) 309
ZSOLT SIMON *

THE ETYMOLOGY OF HITTITE-LUWIAN GURTA-

Abstract

This paper argues that the traditional derivations of Luwian gurta- ‘city,
town’ (*gh3dhó- / *ghórto-; *gw3Hto-) are phonologically doubtful and the
loanword theories are similarly flawed. Instead, it proposes to return to
Sturtevant’s quickly abandoned theory (PIE *kw3tó-) fitting both
phonologically and semantically. As a by-product the etymology of the name
of Gordion will be also discussed.

Keywords: Hittite, Luwian, Gordion, Etymology, Phonology

Le ricostruzioni tradizionali del luvio gurta- ‘città’ risultano difficilmente


ammissibili dal punto di vista fonologico e anche le ipotesi di prestito non
sembrano convincenti. In questa sede si propone un ritorno alla teoria di
Sturtevant, rapidamente abbandonata ma accettabile sia sul piano fonologico
sia su quello semantico. Nell’articolo viene presa in considerazione e discussa,
infine, anche l’etimologia del toponimo Gordion.

Parole chiave: ittito, luvio, Gordion, etimologia, fonologia

1. The problem

There is a general agreement that the Hittite word gurta- usually


translated as ‘town, citadel, acropolis’ (for its precise meaning see
below) is in fact a loanword from Luwian as revealed by both its
derivatives gurtawanni- and kurtalli- showing Luwian suffixes and its
late attestation (Neo-Hittite texts only), see Melchert, 1994: 260;
Kloekhorst, 2008: 495 (though Lipp, 2009: 300 rightly points out that
these circumstances do not exclude the Hittite origin). Its etymology,
however, is unclear.

Zsolt Simon, Institut für Assyriologie und Hethitologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität,


München - e-mail: zsltsimon@gmail.com

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


190 Zsolt Simon

2. *gh3dhó- / *ghórto-?

The most widespread view assumes that gurta- is the Luwian reflex of
PIE * gh3dhó- (cf. Skt. g3há- ‘house’, YAv. gərəδa- ‘dwelling place of the
daevas’ and also Goth. gards ‘house’, Lith. ga9das ‘fence, enclosure, stall’,
OCS gradъ ‘wall, town, garden’, Alb. gardh ‘hedge, fence’, etc.)1.
Nevertheless, as most recently Kloekhorst (2008: 495) rightly pointed out,
the Luwian reflex of *C3C is CarC-, thus this etymology cannot be upheld
(Kloekhorst classifies it only as ‘problematic’)2.
Melchert (1994: 260, 2012: 210) believes that next to the above
quoted regular reflex there is some evidence for PA *3 > Luwian ur
as well (Szemerényi, 1955: 72 even considered it as regular),
however, this evidence is extremely meagre constituting of only two
words3: gurta- itself and Hier.-Luwian zú+ra/i-ni ‘horn (pl. acc.)’
(ASSUR letter f+g §36) from *%3n°. However, considering that the
same root appears as zarwani(ya)- ‘of a horn’ in Cuneiform Luwian
(KUB 35.42, 2; KUB 35.43, 13), one is forced to assume that the <zú>
sign must have had a value <za x> as well (proposed in Simon, 2008,
see there for a detailed discussion; not quoted in Melchert, 2012) 4.

1 Szemerényi, 1955: 72; Georgiev, 1958: 17; GEW 1114 (only as a possibility);

Melchert, 1994: 260, 2012: 213-214; EIEC 199; Mallory & Adams, 2006: 221; Mottausch,
2011: 80. Before the identification of its Luwian origin it was of course considered as the
Hittite reflex of this PIE root.
2 See already Heubeck, 1961: 60-61; Durante, 1968: 57 n. 17; Tischler, 1983: 659;

Puhvel, 1997: 276; Lipp, 2009: 298.


3 Mottausch (2011: 70, 80) adds Hittite zarzur- ‘concoction’ as well following Rieken,

1999: 359-360, who assumes that this is a loanword from Luwian and explains it from
*%orh2-%3h2 (cf. PIE *%erh2- ‘mischen’). However, as Kloekhorst (2008: 1032) pointed out,
it cannot be proved that this is indeed a loanword from Luwian and Rieken based her
etymology on the irregular “reflex” of PIE *3, which is methodologically doubtful.
4 Melchert’s recent explanation from *%3ng-id-, cf. Skt. ś4ṅga- <%3n-g (w)-o- (2012:

212, 213) is attractive, but as Steer (2014) points out, this is not a regular PIE
derivation. Melchert (2012: 210) adduces Hitt. karkidant- ‘horned’, which, put aside its
unclear meaning (cf. Puhvel, 1987: 89), cannot be connected due to obvious
phonological reasons. A simple derivation *%3n-ó- (cf. PGerm. *hurna- > Goth. haúrn,
etc.) → *%3n-id-, however, is entirely regular. Lipp’s suggestion (2009: 299-302), an
Indo-Aryan word through Hurrian borrowing is phonologically entirely arbitrary in
all its steps (ś4ṅga- → Hurr. *š/surŋg-i- → Anatolian substitution with *-ŋŋ- simplified

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


The Etymology of Hittite-Luwian gurta- 191

This leaves gurta- alone and unsusceptible to any explanation


building on the alleged PA *3> Luwian ur change 5. In general, no
matter how we explain the case of the Hieroglyphic Luwian word, it
is clear that to build an etymology on irregular “reflexes” it is
methodologically flawed.
Benveniste’s alternative solution (1932: 139), *ghórto- (cf. Gk.
χόρτος ‘yard’, Lat. hortus ‘garden’, OIr. gort ‘field’)6, does not work
either, since *o does not become u in Luwian (Melchert, 1994: 263-264),
not to mention the semantic problem (in case of a zero grade the
objections above would apply)7.
A further variant of the theory was put forward by Pisani (1953:
308, 1958: 322), who added Lat. urbs modifying the root into *ghurdh-,
which was described by Puhvel (1997: 276) as a “shot in the dark”
instead of arguing. However, as shown by Umbrian uerfale ‘area for
taking auspices’, urbs cannot be derived from this root for
phonological reasons (for a detailed analysis of the Latin word see
Driessen, 2001).

to -n-; note that the substitution of *3 with /ur/ in Hurrian is contradicted by Artatāma
from Çtá-dhāman-, EWAia/I: 255 with refs.), and in view of the proposal above,
unnecessary. For further criticism see also Mottausch, 2011: 80-81 and Melchert, 2012:
210, who points to the sibilant in Lipp’s scenario instead of the attested affricate:
Lipps’s etymology is based on the misreading of the Hieroglyphic Luwian sign *448
(<sù> instead of <zú>, see already Melchert, 1987: 201-202; cf. most recently Simon,
2008: 21-26).
5 Čop’s suggested solution, “*gh°rdho-”, “mit Schwa secundum gerundeter Art”

(1979: 15) is phonologically flawed, since schwa secundum appears in PIE only between
two obstruents (Schindler, 1977: 31; Mayrhofer, 1986: 175-177; Byrd forthcoming). This
restriction is not that strict in the daughter languages, but even in these cases schwa
secundum does not appear before a syllabic resonant, since by definition it cannot
appear there.
6 Followed by Braun, 1935-1936: 388; Walde & Hoffmann, 1938-1954/I: 660; Feist,

1939: 198; Szemerényi, 1942: 15; Kretschmer, 1951: 11 n. 1; Devoto, 1962: 492.
7 Kloekhorst (2008: 495) reconstructs these roots with *“h (so did Melchert, 1994: 260,

who has, however, retracted it in 2012: 210 n. 11). Nevertheless, this assumption is
contradicted by the Balto-Slavic, Sanskrit and Albanian data (Beekes’s suggestion [2010:
1645] of depalatalization is entirely ad hoc) and required only by the gratuitous and
semantically weak assumption that this word is connected to Skt. hárati ‘to bring, carry’
(a root attested only in Indo-Iranian, cf. LIV2: 177), so it can be easily abandoned (cf. also
GEW 1114; Kluge – Seebold, 2002: 332).

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192 Zsolt Simon

3. *gw3Hto-?

The other popular hypothesis (Bomhard, 1976: 220; Bader, 1991: 127;
Kimball, 1999: 250) suggested to derive gurta- from *gw3to- from *gwer-
‘mountain, height’ (cf. Skt. girí-, YAv. gairi-, OCS gora ‘mountain’, Lit.
girià ‘woods’, Alb. gur ‘rock, stone’). Puhvel (1997: 276) again did not
bother to argue, instead labelled it as a “shot in the dark”. However,
Kloekhorst (2008: 495) rightly pointed out that the correct root sounds
*gwerH- (cf. also Lipp, 2009: 300, who derives gurta- from *gw3h1tó- ‘mit
Berg / Anhöhe versehener Ort’), but the consequences of this have not
been pursued further (for which see below).
Melchert (1994: 260) first rejected this etymology claiming that it is
falsified by the preserved <g->, however later (2012: 214) said that this is
not a real problem, since “the labiovelar could have been unrounded by
the round anaptyctic vowel before being deoccluded: *gw3(H)to- > *gworto-
> gurta- (read /gorta-/)”. While the delabialization in such an environment
is plausible (though gratuitous), Melchert again operated with the false
reflex of *3, thus his remark does not provide an explanation for the
preservation of the initial consonant. However, since the loss of the
guttural part of the labiovelar in initial position is based exclusively on
prevocalic evidence (*gwon° > wāna- ‘women’, *gwow° > wawa/i- ‘cow’,
*gwhen° ‘to strike’ > wi/enal- ‘stick’, Melchert, 1994: 254, 2012: 212-213 with
refs.), one may surmise that the reflex was different before syllabic
resonant (assumed also by Lipp, 2009: 300-301: *gw3- > *gwur- > gur-),
though one may expect a similar behaviour as well.
Nevertheless, no example with *3 is known, but exactly this was
proposed by Melchert (2012: 212-213) in case of *‚. His two examples
are, however, problematic. One of them has nothing to do with words
with initial *gw8, and the other one, HLuwian REL-za- /kwanza-/ ‘to
incise, carve’, has now a competing etymology:

8 This example (Lyc. qãn- ‘to slay’) is based on Melchert’s misunderstanding of

Kloekhorst’s analysis (2006: 97-101): *h2w- is not one of the sources of Lyc. q, but the
only one and thus qãn- has nothing to do with words with *gw-. Based on this example
Yakubovich (2013-2014: 294 n. 1) even assumes a Proto-Luwic change *gwh- > kw- that
would solve our problem as well if it were correct.

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


The Etymology of Hittite-Luwian gurta- 193

Melchert (2012: 213) derived it from *gwh‚s%e/o- ‘to strike’ (cf. also
Tischler, 1983: 604-605 with refs.) and as he rightly points out, the Luwian
form cannot reflect the e-grade since in that case the guttural would have
disappeared. It must therefore reflect the zero grade, and accordingly,
one must assume the preservation of the labiovelar at least in front of *‚.
The second – and in my view, more convincing – proposal was put
forward by Yakubovich (2013-2014: 285-287), who derives it from PIE
*kwels- ‘to draw’ (via a change [lts] > [nts] in the Hattusha & Iron Age
Luwian dialect), which has the advantage that it provides an
explanation for the plausible cognate Hittite gulš- ‘to carve, inscribe’
as well. In this case there is no evidence for the Luwian reflex of *gw in
front of the syllabic resonants.
If one prefers to follow the former explanation, it provides an
opportunity to extend this sound law to every syllabic resonant and
thus explain the preservation of the guttural, but unfortunately there is
no evidence or counter-evidence for that. Nevertheless, the Luwian
reflexes of the verb *kwer- ~ *kw3- show /kwar-/ ~ kūr- ‘to cut’ which
means that *gw3- could also lead to *gur-, if it was not preceded by the
degutturalization. Fortunately, the date of the change *CwÇC- > *CuRC-
is known and it is a Proto-Anatolian change (Melchert, 1994: 55-56) and
thus *gw3C° would have regularly lead to *gurC° already in PA.
However, there is a phonological circumstance that practically
excludes this derivation. As Kloekhorst, 2007 demonstrated, the
reflexes of *CwÇCV- and *CwÇCC- are different: while the former yields
*CuRCV-, the latter one results in *CwaRCC-. Since the root in question
contained a laryngeal, as Kloekhorst emphasized (see above), the
assumed form *gw3Htó- should have lead to †<kuwarta->. The only
possibility to escape this conclusion is to assume either that unlike
*CwÇCV- > *CuRCV- the *CwÇCC- > *CwaRCC- change was not PA but
has different reflexes in different languages (which is implausible)9, or

9 Would Luwian walwa/i- mean ‘lion’ and originate in PA *wDgwo- <*wDgwo- < PIE *wCkwo-

‘wolf’ as it is generally assumed since Steinherr 1968 and Lehrman, 1978: 228-230, 1987 (e.g.
Melchert, 1993: 254, 1994: 127, 360; EIEC 646; Mallory & Adams, 2006: 138; Yakubovich, 2010:
97), it would provide a direct confirmation of the PA date of *CwÇCC- > *CwaRCC-. However,
the meaning is not secure and the derivation is problematic, see the detailed discussion in

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


194 Zsolt Simon

that the laryngeal in *gw3Htó- was lost before the *CwÇCC- > *CwaRCC-
change, which, however, cannot be proven now. All in all, the
phonological circumstances are not favourable for this etymology.
Finally, Melchert (2012: 214) believes that the “insurmountable”
obstacle is semantics: the root means ‘mountain’, while Melchert duly
argues that gurta- means only ‘city, town’ and not ‘acropolis, citadel’,
otherwise it would not have appeared in the collocation šarāzzi gurti
‘into the upper citadel/walled city’ (KBo 5.6 iii 33). This semantic shift,
however, is not “insurmountable”. A nice parallel can be provided by
Middle Persian kalāγ <kl’k> ‘city’ (cf. also Arm. k‘alak‘) <*kalXk+- (if the
derivation from PIE *kolH- / *kCH-, that served as a root for various
derivations meaning ‘hill’ by Klingenschmitt, 1980: 23-24 with n. 10 and
refs., is correct10). A more precise definition of the meaning of gurta- as
‘city, town’ is, however, an important result of Melchert’s article.

4. A loanword?

It has also been speculated that gurta- represents a loanword, and


different sources were cautiously proposed: Lydian / Western Anatolian
(Heubeck, 1961: 61), “Pelasgian(-Tyrrhenian-Etruscan)” (Kretschmer,
1953-1955: 249; Durante, 1968: 57; GEW 1114 [only as a possibility]),
“early Proto-Germanic” and Indo-Iranian (both by Puhvel, 1997: 276, the
latter also by Tischler, 1983: 661)11. The Lydian suggestion was based on
the -ur- reflex of *3, but the Lydian reflex is unknown due to lack of

Kloekhorst, 2008: 951. Note furthermore the Lydian PN Walwe-, which was considered to be
a Luwic loanword from the above mentioned form by Yakubovich (2010: 97) due to the
specifically Luwian change PIE *kw > *gw > w, which is, however, not possible, see
Kloekhorst’s quoted discussion. Therefore, if the Lydian name is indeed connected with the
Luwian word, they both can represent a PA word *w(a/o/e)lwo- vel sim. of unknown meaning.
10 Cf. Lith. kalvà ‘small hill’, Latv. kalva ‘hill, island in a river’ (<*kolH-wo-, De Vaan,

2008: 124), Lat. collis (*kolH-wi- with Nussbaum, 1997: 195 and not*kolH-ni-); Lith. kálnas
(<*kolH-no-), OE hyll (<*kCH-ni-), Gr. κολώνη (*kolH-ōn-o-) ‘hill’ (De Vaan, 2008: 124); Lat.
columen ‘top, summit’ (<*kelH-men-), culmen ‘summit (of a building), peak’ (<*kolH-men-),
cf. Kroonen, 2013: 254.
11 Beekes (2010: 1645) also maintains that gurta- “can hardly be Anatolian”, but his

only evidence is a false reference to Kloekhorst’s above quoted entry. On a mistaken


Ugaritic connection see the literature quoted in Tischler, 1983: 660-661.

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


The Etymology of Hittite-Luwian gurta- 195

evidence (Melchert, 1994: 363, 376-377), alleged examples with u-vocalism


reflect either a secondary, anaptyctic vowel (mruwaa- / murwaa- ‘stela’, cf.
the oscillation), or the sound substitution of another language (Srkaśtu- ~
Συργάστης). The “Pelasgian” derivation is obscurum per obscurius; the
early Proto-Germanic one can be safely excluded on chronological and
geographical grounds. While Indo-Iranian (more precisely, Mitanni
Aryan) loanwords are attested in Hurrian and thus it could have been
borrowed by Kizzuwatna Luwian, it requires the gratuitous assumption
that *3 was substituted as /ur/ in Hurrian (which is not the case, see
above) or its Hurrian substitution was substituted as /ur/ in Kizzuwatna
Luwian, not to mention the similarly gratuitous assumption of the shift in
the meaning (‘house’ > ‘city, town’) during the borrowing process12.
At this juncture one must call attention to the possibility that if the
arrival of the Phrygians to Anatolia can indeed be dated before the
disintegration of the Hittite Empire as Strobel advocates (2004, 2005,
2008: 134-140, 2010: 30, presented as fact even in a handbook, apud
Neumann – Strobel, 2003-2005: 546), and if the widespread etymology
of Gordion from the above mentioned *ghordho- is correct13, one may
even entertain the idea of a Phrygian loanword in Empire period
Luwian. However, there is not a shred of evidence for such an early
arrival of the Phrygians and the name of Gordion can be more
straightforwardly explained in at least three different ways:
1) gurta- could have been borrowed by the Phrygians and used for
naming this and perhaps other settlements (e.g. Gordos and
Manegordum/-zordum, if its segmentation is correct and belongs here),
though this is less probable due to the voiceless initial consonant of
the Hittite-Luwian word;

12 Tischler (1983: 661) cautiously suggested a connection with Skt. kuṭa- ‘fort,

stronghold’ deriving it from *kurta-. While this is theoretically possible, the etymology
of this word is unclear, see KEWA/I: 221 with ref. calling attention to similar Dravidic
and Austroasiatic words.
13 See e.g. Lidén, 1916: 22 (very cautiously); Georgiev, 1938: 199; Walde &

Hoffmann, 1938-1954/I: 660; Feist, 1939: 198; GEW 1114; Neumann, 1972: 824, apud
Neumann & Strobel, 2003-2005: 544; Brixhe & Lejeune, 1984: 80; Roller, 1984: 260 n. 17
(contra her, Gordion did not mean ‘city’ in Phrygian); Innocente, 1997: 40; EIEC 199;
Mallory & Adams, 2006: 199; Berndt-Ersöz, 2012: 34 (“possible”); Adams, 2013: 211.

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196 Zsolt Simon

2) just as the indigenous Greek phrase meaning ‘into the city’ has been
reinterpreted by the Turkish newcomers as the name of the settlement in
the case of Istanbul, the local Hittite-Luwian labelling gurta- ‘city’ could
also have been reinterpreted by the Phrygian newcomers as the name of
the settlement, though, again, this is less probable due to the voiceless
initial consonant of the Hittite-Luwian word;
3) just as Ázatiwatiya- ‘the Luwian name of Karatepe’ was named
after its founder, Ázatiwata-, Gordion may reflect and probably does
reflect the name of its founder, a Gordios / Gordiēs (suggested by Bryce,
2012: 4114), which was a widespread name in Central Anatolia, notably
also the name of the father of Midas, the most famous king in Gordion,
and the founder of the city according to Stephen of Byzantium (s.v.
Gordieion, for Gordios’s role in the legends on the origins of the kingdom
and dynasty of Midas see Strobel, 2010: 33-34 with refs.)15.
It can be concluded that there is no convincing proposal for a
loanword.

5. Reviving an old suggestion

Having found no acceptable etymology, I propose to return to an


old and quickly abandoned idea, which is in my view, semantically
more plausible and avoids the above discussed phonological
problems. It is the idea of Sturtevant (1933: 157, cf. 119, not mentioned
any more in the second edition), who without having knowledge
about the Luwian background of the word and the history of Luwian
in general, suggested to derive gurta- from the -tó- participle of the PIE
root *kwer- ‘(ab)schneiden, schnitzen’ (LIV2: 391).

14 His statement, however, that this is the general assumption is plainly wrong (he

does not quote any of the above mentioned works).


15 Roller 1984: 260 believes that the name Gordios is unknown outside Greek

and Roman literature and that it is an artificial name created from the city name
Gordion. This is clearly refuted by the individuals called Kurtis and Gurdî in the
Hieroglyphic Luwian and Neo-Assyrian texts (for the former see the inscriptions
BOHÇA, HİSARCIK 1 §5 (and perhaps 2 §2), KULULU lead strip 1 §4.17, Hawkins
2000; for the latter cf. Aro-Valjus 1999; Fuchs 2000 with refs.).

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


The Etymology of Hittite-Luwian gurta- 197

Since Luwian initial <g> can reflect voiceless consonants as well


and the sequence <gur> points to a PIE combination of a labiovelar
with a syllabic *3 in *Cw3CV- as per above, *kw3tó- from PIE *kwer-
‘(ab)schneiden, schnitzen’ regularly leads to Luwian gurta-. The verb
*kwer- is attested both in Hittite and Luwian with the same meaning
(kuer- and /kwar-/ [CLuwian kuwar-, HLuwian REL+ra/i-], resp.) and
thus it could have served as the basis of this derivation 16.
However, this etymology was rejected by Tischler (1983: 659) on
semantic grounds (“unzulänglich”), although the semantic shift in *kw3tó-
from ‘abgeschnitten’ to ‘city’ is straightforward since the foundation of a
settlement means separation from the remaining part of the world and
can be supported by the following similar semantic shifts:
1) This root served for a similar derivation in Hittite: kuera- ‘field
parcel, territory, area’ (Kloekhorst, 2008: 486).
2) The Lithuanian reflex (kuriù) of the same root (*kwer-) means
‘gründen, bauen, errichten’ (LIV2: 391).

6. Conclusions

In this paper it has been argued that the traditional derivations of


Luwian gurta- ‘city, town’ (*gh3dhó- / *ghórto-; *gw3Hto-) are
phonologically doubtful and the loanword theories are similarly
flawed. Instead, it was proposed that Sturtevant’s quickly abandoned
theory (from PIE *kw3tó-) fits both phonologically and semantically.

Acknowledgements

This paper was written in the framework of the project “Digitales


philologisch-etymologisches Wörterbuch der altanatolischen
Kleinkorpussprachen” financed by the DFG. I am very grateful to
Gabriella Juhász for correcting my English.

16 This derivation is regular also in that case if someone maintains the Hittite origin

of gurta-.

AIΩN-Linguistica n.5 n.s. DOI: 10.4410/AIONL.5.2016.008


198 Zsolt Simon

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