Corpus-based methods for deciphering Anatolian hieroglyphics
Sergei Boroday (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences,; Ilya Yakubovich (Moscow State University,
Journal of Language Relationship, № 11, 2014 - p.39-62
The Anatolian hieroglyphs were used in Asia Minor and Syria for writing mostly Luwian texts between 14–8th centuries BC. Because of a relatively small corpus of the Anatolian hieroglyphic inscriptions and the limited number of bilinguals, their decipherment has not been fully completed up to now. Nonetheless, significant progress has been made in this area in the recent years following the publication of the first volumes the Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions аt the very end of the last millennium. Many recent studies made in in this area are based on the application of formal methods and do not rely on new textual data. In this survey we are going to dwell on three groups of discoveries made in the last dozen or so years: (1) discrimination between logograms, phonetic complements, and phonetic indicators, (2) phonetic interpretation of logograms and (3) refining phonetic values of syllabograms. The authors have endeavoured to demonstrate that the ongoing work on interpreting the Anatolian hieroglyphs has broader repercussions for Indo-European comparative linguistics.
Keywords: Anatolian hieroglyphs, Luwian language, decipherment, corpus linguistics