Luwian language

From Academic Kids

Luwian (sometimes spelled Luvian) is part of the Anatolian branch of the Indo European language family and has been preserved in three forms: (1) Cuneiform Luwian, (2) Hieroglyphic-Luwian and (3), the somewhat later Lycian.

Luwian was among the languages spoken by population groups in Arzawa and the Hittite Empire (in modern Turkey), attested in the Bronze and early Iron ages. Luwian (and Hittite) groups are now believed by most academic specialists to have moved south into Amurru, Aram Naharaim, Canaan and the Hejaz (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan and northern Saudi Arabia) after ca. the 14th century BC, and to have had an influence on the various West Semitic languages its speakers came into contact with (Amorite dialects and especially Hebrew). Hieroglyphic Luwian has been attested in areas of Syria and Palestine as late as the 7th century B.C.

Luwian is significant as it appears to prove that the Proto-Indo-European language had three distinct sets of velar consonants: palatovelars, plain velars, and labiovelars (Melchert 1987).

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