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Laryngeals in IE

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  • tgpedersen
    Generally Kuryl owicz is credited with the discovery of laryngeals in the written representation of Hittite in 1927. I just found this footnote to the entry
    Message 1 of 18 , Apr 2, 2004
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      Generally Kuryl\owicz is credited with the discovery of laryngeals
      in the written representation of Hittite in 1927.

      I just found this footnote to the entry *ar-(3) "Arier", "Mann der
      drei obersten Kasten" etc in Hermann Möller's "Vergleichendes
      indogermanisch-semitisches Wörterbuch" (1911), p. 16:

      "In den keilschriftlichen Urkunden von Boghaz-köi wird im Namen von
      <Xarri> = Arier der anlautende Laryngal /H./ (ebenso wie
      westsemitisches /H./ ...) durch assyrisch /X/ wiedergeben (s. H.
      Winckler Or. Litz. 13 (1910) 291ff.). Der im Assyrischen bereits
      aufgegebene Laryngal /H./ war also damals im arischen dialect noch
      vorhanden...".

      "In the cuneiform texts from Boghaz-Köy, the initial /H./ in the
      name of <Xarri> = Arian (as well as Western Semitic /H./) is
      represented by Assyrian /X/ (cf H. Winckler ...). The laryngeal /H./
      which had by then been abandoned [given up] in Assyrian was thus
      still present in the Arian dialect...".

      (the sign I represent here by /X/ is hanging below the line, thus
      presumably a laryngeal, not /s^/ or the like)

      Which means Möller found laryngeals in Hittite text in 1911.
      Presumably the reason this didn't have much impact was that that
      observation was meant to be seen in the context of his conviction
      that IE and Semitic are (closely) related.

      Torsten
    • tgpedersen
      ... Come to think of it, no he didn t. It seems he thinks the word in which the laryngeal occurs was Indo-Iranian, whether because that was the language of the
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 2, 2004
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        >
        > Which means Möller found laryngeals in Hittite text in 1911.
        > Presumably the reason this didn't have much impact was that that
        > observation was meant to be seen in the context of his conviction
        > that IE and Semitic are (closely) related.
        >

        Come to think of it, no he didn't. It seems he thinks the word in
        which the laryngeal occurs was Indo-Iranian, whether because that was
        the language of the text, or because he saw the word as loaned into
        Hittite from II. Anyway, it was a first for the observation of a
        laryngeal in the written representation of an IE language.

        Torsten
      • Miguel Carrasquer
        On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:02:16 +0000, tgpedersen ... What Möller says actually is that the word Aryan in Aryan must have started with /h.-/
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 2, 2004
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          On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:02:16 +0000, tgpedersen
          <tgpedersen@...> wrote:

          >>
          >> Which means Möller found laryngeals in Hittite text in 1911.
          >> Presumably the reason this didn't have much impact was that that
          >> observation was meant to be seen in the context of his conviction
          >> that IE and Semitic are (closely) related.
          >>
          >
          >Come to think of it, no he didn't. It seems he thinks the word in
          >which the laryngeal occurs was Indo-Iranian, whether because that was
          >the language of the text, or because he saw the word as loaned into
          >Hittite from II. Anyway, it was a first for the observation of a
          >laryngeal in the written representation of an IE language.

          What Möller says actually is that the word Aryan in Aryan
          must have started with /h.-/ (pharyngeal/epiglottal
          fricative), which was rendered in the Assyrian documents of
          Boghazköy as /x-/ (velar/uvular fricative), as are the NW
          Semitic h.êt's. He's talking about Assyrian texts from
          Boghazköy, he isn't talking about Hittite at all here...

          He couldn't have, because Hittite wasn't discovered until
          1915/1916 by Bedr^ich Hrozný.

          Hrozný was obviously the first to discover laryngeals in an
          Indo-European language. Kuryl/owicz was the first (or at
          any rate the most persuasive) to connect that discovery with
          de Saussure's coefficients.

          =======================
          Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
          mcv@...
        • Daniel Baum
          I wrote my MA thesis on this question. Hrozny himself did not know what to do with the /h/. He tried to connect it to /gh/ and actually used this as part of
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 2, 2004
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            I wrote my MA thesis on this question.
             
            Hrozny himself did not know what to do with the /h/. He tried to connect it to /gh/ and actually used this as part of his proof that Hittite is a Centum language.
             
            The earliest occasion that I could find of someone positively connecting the Hittite /h/ with Saussure's "coefficient sonantique" was Albert Cuny, in 1924, where he realises that the long /a:/ in Latin ma:lum. "apple" is represented in Hittite maHla- as what Saussure posited as a&. (a+schwa). Whether or not this etymology is still accepted today, I've no idea, but this doesn't take away from Cuny that he was the first. 
             
            Sturtevant also had a go, with some rather hilarious etymologies which tried to connect word-initial Hittite /h/ with IE /bh/ in 1927, although he did suggest that in the middle of a word, /h/ was "an original sound that has been lost in Indo-European", correctly connecting Hittite pahhur with Grk. pur, etc.  He clearly was not aware of Saussure at the time. Very soon after that he quietly abandoned these etymologies and accepted Kurylowicz's ideas.
             
             
            Daniel
             
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Friday, April 02, 2004 3:29 PM
            Subject: Re: [tied] Re: Laryngeals in IE

            On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:02:16 +0000, tgpedersen
            <tgpedersen@...> wrote:

            >>
            >> Which means Möller found laryngeals in Hittite text in 1911.
            >> Presumably the reason this didn't have much impact was that that
            >> observation was meant to be seen in the context of his conviction
            >> that IE and Semitic are (closely) related.
            >>
            >
            >Come to think of it, no he didn't. It seems he thinks the word in
            >which the laryngeal occurs was Indo-Iranian, whether because that was
            >the language of the text, or because he saw the word as loaned into
            >Hittite from II. Anyway, it was a first for the observation of a
            >laryngeal in the written representation of an IE language.

            What Möller says actually is that the word Aryan in Aryan
            must have started with /h.-/ (pharyngeal/epiglottal
            fricative), which was rendered in the Assyrian documents of
            Boghazköy as /x-/ (velar/uvular fricative), as are the NW
            Semitic h.êt's.  He's talking about Assyrian texts from
            Boghazköy, he isn't talking about Hittite at all here... 

            He couldn't have, because Hittite wasn't discovered until
            1915/1916 by Bedr^ich Hrozný.

            Hrozný was obviously the first to discover laryngeals in an
            Indo-European language.  Kuryl/owicz was the first (or at
            any rate the most persuasive) to connect that discovery with
            de Saussure's coefficients.

            =======================
            Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
            mcv@...
          • tgpedersen
            ... that ... conviction ... in ... that was ... into ... connect it to /gh/ and actually used this as part of his proof that Hittite is a Centum language. ...
            Message 5 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Miguel Carrasquer

              > On Fri, 02 Apr 2004 13:02:16 +0000, tgpedersen
              > <tgpedersen@h...> wrote:
              >
              > >>
              > >> Which means Möller found laryngeals in Hittite text in 1911.
              > >> Presumably the reason this didn't have much impact was that
              that
              > >> observation was meant to be seen in the context of his
              conviction
              > >> that IE and Semitic are (closely) related.
              > >>
              > >
              > >Come to think of it, no he didn't. It seems he thinks the word
              in
              > >which the laryngeal occurs was Indo-Iranian, whether because
              that was
              > >the language of the text, or because he saw the word as loaned
              into
              > >Hittite from II. Anyway, it was a first for the observation of a
              > >laryngeal in the written representation of an IE language.
              >
              > What Möller says actually is that the word Aryan in Aryan
              > must have started with /h.-/ (pharyngeal/epiglottal
              > fricative), which was rendered in the Assyrian documents of
              > Boghazköy as /x-/ (velar/uvular fricative), as are the NW
              > Semitic h.êt's. He's talking about Assyrian texts from
              > Boghazköy, he isn't talking about Hittite at all here...
              >
              > He couldn't have, because Hittite wasn't discovered until
              > 1915/1916 by Bedr^ich Hrozný.
              >
              > Hrozný was obviously the first to discover laryngeals in an
              > Indo-European language. Kuryl/owicz was the first (or at
              > any rate the most persuasive) to connect that discovery with
              > de Saussure's coefficients.
              >
              --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel Baum" <daniel@t...> wrote:
              > I wrote my MA thesis on this question.
              >
              > Hrozny himself did not know what to do with the /h/. He tried to
              connect it to /gh/ and actually used this as part of his proof that
              Hittite is a Centum language.
              >
              > The earliest occasion that I could find of someone positively
              connecting the Hittite /h/ with Saussure's "coefficient sonantique"
              was Albert Cuny, in 1924, where he realises that the long /a:/ in
              Latin ma:lum. "apple" is represented in Hittite maHla- as what
              Saussure posited as a&. (a+schwa). Whether or not this etymology is
              still accepted today, I've no idea, but this doesn't take away from
              Cuny that he was the first.


              --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Daniel Baum" <daniel@t...> wrote:
              > I wrote my MA thesis on this question.
              >
              > Hrozny himself did not know what to do with the /h/. He tried to
              connect it to /gh/ and actually used this as part of his proof that
              Hittite is a Centum language.
              >
              > The earliest occasion that I could find of someone positively
              connecting the Hittite /h/ with Saussure's "coefficient sonantique"
              was Albert Cuny, in 1924, where he realises that the long /a:/ in
              Latin ma:lum. "apple" is represented in Hittite maHla- as what
              Saussure posited as a&. (a+schwa). Whether or not this etymology is
              still accepted today, I've no idea, but this doesn't take away from
              Cuny that he was the first.




              Yes, but <Xarri> is the self-designaton of the Indo-Iranians and is
              therefore a loanword in the Assyrian text. So my money I still on
              Möller to be the first to recognize a laryngeal in a written
              representation of an IE gloss.

              Torsten
            • Miguel Carrasquer
              On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 08:51:24 +0000, tgpedersen ... But Assyrian Harri is nowadays more correctly read as Hurri, so Möller s idea that it was connected with
              Message 6 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 08:51:24 +0000, tgpedersen
                <tgpedersen@...> wrote:

                >Yes, but <Xarri> is the self-designaton of the Indo-Iranians and is
                >therefore a loanword in the Assyrian text. So my money I still on
                >Möller to be the first to recognize a laryngeal in a written
                >representation of an IE gloss.

                But Assyrian "Harri" is nowadays more correctly read as
                Hurri, so Möller's idea that it was connected with something
                IE was, as it turns out, wrong.

                =======================
                Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                mcv@...
              • Daniel Baum
                While writing my thesis, I had the dubious pleasure of reading quite a lot of Möller s work on the supposed connections of IE and Semitic. My impression of
                Message 7 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                  While writing my thesis, I had the dubious pleasure of reading quite a
                  lot of Möller's work on the supposed connections of IE and Semitic.

                  My impression of him was the he was, shall we say, somewhat eccentric. I
                  wouldn't like to use unscientific words like "bonkers" in polite
                  company, so I won't :~)


                  Daniel



                  Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
                  > On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 08:51:24 +0000, tgpedersen
                  > <tgpedersen@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > >Yes, but <Xarri> is the self-designaton of the Indo-Iranians and is
                  > >therefore a loanword in the Assyrian text. So my money I still on
                  > >Möller to be the first to recognize a laryngeal in a written
                  > >representation of an IE gloss.
                  >
                  > But Assyrian "Harri" is nowadays more correctly read as
                  > Hurri, so Möller's idea that it was connected with something
                  > IE was, as it turns out, wrong.
                  >
                  > =======================
                  > Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                  > mcv@...
                  >
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                • Âàäèì Ïîíàðÿäîâ
                  ... Do this in Assyrian mean exactly Indo-Iranians? And what was the time when the text was written? If it is the beginning of the 1st millenium BC
                  Message 8 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                    > Yes, but <Xarri> is the self-designaton of the Indo-Iranians and is
                    > therefore a loanword in the Assyrian text. So my
                    money I still on
                    > Möller to be the first to recognize a laryngeal
                    in a written
                    > representation of an IE gloss.

                    Do this <Xarri> in Assyrian mean exactly Indo-Iranians? And what was the time when the text was written? If it is the beginning of the 1st millenium BC when Iranians were in a close contact with Assyrians, the IE laringeals had surely been lost in Indo-Iranian long before.
                  • Miguel Carrasquer
                    On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 13:16:52 +0200, Daniel Baum ... Möller s confusion (and that of his contemporaries) on the subject of Harri is understandable. The sign
                    Message 9 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                      On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 13:16:52 +0200, Daniel Baum
                      <daniel@...> wrote:

                      >While writing my thesis, I had the dubious pleasure of reading quite a
                      >lot of Möller's work on the supposed connections of IE and Semitic.
                      >
                      >My impression of him was the he was, shall we say, somewhat eccentric. I
                      >wouldn't like to use unscientific words like "bonkers" in polite
                      >company, so I won't :~)

                      Möller's confusion (and that of his contemporaries) on the
                      subject of Harri is understandable. The sign

                      <
                      <---
                      < <---
                      <---
                      <

                      (333 in Rüster and Neus's Heth. Zeichenlexikon) can be read
                      as HUR or as HAR. I assume the only spelling known at the
                      time as HUR/HAR-RI and that spellings HU-UR-RI hadn't been
                      found yet (HU 24 is different from HA 367).

                      In Möller's defence it can also be said that the term
                      "Laryngeal theory" is largely due to the influence of his
                      work.

                      =======================
                      Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                      mcv@...
                    • Daniel Baum
                      This is true. I should have said in his favour that he was the first to suggest three laryngeals, rather than Saussure s two, and also the first to use the
                      Message 10 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                        This is true. I should have said in his favour that he was the first to suggest three laryngeals, rather than Saussure's two, and also the first to use the term "laryngeal". This can't be taken away from him.
                         
                        Daniel
                         

                        In Möller's defence it can also be said that the term
                        "Laryngeal theory" is largely due to the influence of his
                        work.

                         
                         
                      • Piotr Gasiorowski
                        ... On the other hand, it s something of a misnomer as regards *h2 and *h3. Piotr
                        Message 11 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                          03-04-2004 16:21, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:

                          > In Möller's defence it can also be said that the term
                          > "Laryngeal theory" is largely due to the influence of his
                          > work.

                          On the other hand, it's something of a misnomer as regards *h2 and *h3.

                          Piotr
                        • Miguel Carrasquer
                          On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 21:46:26 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski ... From a phonetician s point of view, yes. Laryngeal as used in the context of the laryngeal theory
                          Message 12 of 18 , Apr 3, 2004
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                            On Sat, 03 Apr 2004 21:46:26 +0200, Piotr Gasiorowski
                            <piotr.gasiorowski@...> wrote:

                            >03-04-2004 16:21, Miguel Carrasquer wrote:
                            >
                            >> In Möller's defence it can also be said that the term
                            >> "Laryngeal theory" is largely due to the influence of his
                            >> work.
                            >
                            >On the other hand, it's something of a misnomer as regards *h2 and *h3.

                            From a phonetician's point of view, yes. "Laryngeal" as
                            used in the context of the laryngeal theory (and Semitic
                            linguistics) is a heterogenous collection of laryngeal stops
                            and fricatives/continuants, pharyngeal/epiglottal
                            fricatives/continuants and velar/uvular
                            fricatives/continuants (but not stops).

                            But it's still better than "gutturals".

                            Note that Lipin'ski's Semitic Languages has a chapter
                            entitled "Laryngals, Pharyngal and Velar Fricatives",
                            avoiding the term "gutturals" or "laryngeals" (for the whole
                            lot), but still feeling the need to discuss them together.

                            =======================
                            Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
                            mcv@...
                          • tgpedersen
                            ... is ... was the time when the text was written? If it is the beginning of the 1st millenium BC when Iranians were in a close contact with Assyrians, the IE
                            Message 13 of 18 , Apr 5, 2004
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                              --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Âàäèì Ïîíàðÿäîâ" <ponaryad@o...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > > Yes, but <Xarri> is the self-designaton of the Indo-Iranians and
                              is
                              > > therefore a loanword in the Assyrian text. So my money I still on
                              > > Möller to be the first to recognize a laryngeal in a written
                              > > representation of an IE gloss.
                              >
                              > Do this <Xarri> in Assyrian mean exactly Indo-Iranians? And what
                              was the time when the text was written? If it is the beginning of the
                              1st millenium BC when Iranians were in a close contact with
                              Assyrians, the IE laringeals had surely been lost in Indo-Iranian
                              long before.

                              Which reminds me of the theory on the origin of the Assyrians in a
                              book on ancient astronomy the name the author of which escapes me,
                              that they were a Semitic people that conquered a previously IE-
                              speaking area, and that therefore the name Assur of their supreme god
                              is really a Proto-II or Proto-Indic loanword *asura. Now the question
                              is, is 'Assur' spelled with a laryngeal (although laryngeals were
                              lost in Assyrian by the time of the texts)?

                              Torsten
                            • tgpedersen
                              ... god ... question ... Come to think of it, probably a dumb question, since Assyrian wouldn t have been able to indicate the difference between syllables
                              Message 14 of 18 , Apr 5, 2004
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                                > Which reminds me of the theory on the origin of the Assyrians in a
                                > book on ancient astronomy the name the author of which escapes me,
                                > that they were a Semitic people that conquered a previously IE-
                                > speaking area, and that therefore the name Assur of their supreme
                                god
                                > is really a Proto-II or Proto-Indic loanword *asura. Now the
                                question
                                > is, is 'Assur' spelled with a laryngeal (although laryngeals were
                                > lost in Assyrian by the time of the texts)?
                                >

                                Come to think of it, probably a dumb question, since Assyrian
                                wouldn't have been able to indicate the difference between syllables
                                with and without an initial laryngeal.

                                Torsten
                              • tgpedersen
                                ... quite a ... eccentric. I ... My impression was that he had collected some hundreds of IE and Semitic roots, constructed a hypothetical
                                Message 15 of 18 , Apr 5, 2004
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                                  --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Daniel Baum <daniel@t...> wrote:
                                  > While writing my thesis, I had the dubious pleasure of reading
                                  quite a
                                  > lot of Möller's work on the supposed connections of IE and Semitic.
                                  >
                                  > My impression of him was the he was, shall we say, somewhat
                                  eccentric. I
                                  > wouldn't like to use unscientific words like "bonkers" in polite
                                  > company, so I won't :~)
                                  >
                                  >

                                  My impression was that he had collected some hundreds of IE and
                                  Semitic roots, constructed a hypothetical Vorindogermanisch-Semitisch
                                  and set up one set of rules to derive the IE roots from that language
                                  and a corresponding set of rules to derive the Semitic roots from it.
                                  I knew he was supposed to be bonkers, but unfortunately I couldn't
                                  find substantial faults with the rules; they seemed to produce the
                                  respective roots as he said they would (which is why I endde up
                                  believing that what Möller described must have been Semitic or Afro-
                                  Asiatic loanwords in IE. Now if one decides that that whole oeuvre is
                                  spurious, that would have grave consequences for linguistics as a
                                  science, it would mean that it is possible to set up sets of roots in
                                  different languages and connect them with rules to match them and the
                                  whole edifice would be deemed valid or invalid alone on its author's
                                  being in good or bad standing with the linguistic community. That's
                                  not science, that's politics.

                                  Torsten
                                • Âàäèì Ïîíàðÿäîâ
                                  ... god ... question ... Really, Assyrian (and cuneiform writing at all) had no signs for phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Apr 5, 2004
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                                    Torsten:
                                     
                                    >> Which reminds me of the theory on the origin of the Assyrians in a
                                    >> book on ancient astronomy the name the author of which escapes me,
                                    >> that they were a Semitic people that conquered a previously
                                    IE-
                                    >> speaking area, and that therefore the name Assur of their
                                    supreme
                                    god
                                    >> is really a Proto-II or Proto-Indic loanword
                                    *asura. Now the
                                    question
                                    >> is, is 'Assur' spelled with a
                                    laryngeal (although laryngeals were
                                    >> lost in Assyrian by the time of
                                    the texts)?
                                    >>

                                    > Come to think of it, probably a dumb
                                    question, since Assyrian
                                    > wouldn't have been able to indicate the
                                    difference between syllables
                                    > with and without an initial
                                    laryngeal.
                                     
                                    Really, Assyrian (and cuneiform writing at all) had no signs for phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can help? Is Hebrew or Phoenician word for Assur known? Although, unfortunately, Hebrew has no words with initial vowels. So there automatically is to be a glottal stop. But another laringeals can testify that they were also in Assyrian.
                                     
                                     
                                  • Richard Wordingham
                                    ... phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can help? Is Hebrew or Phoenician word for Assur known? Although, unfortunately, Hebrew has
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Apr 5, 2004
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                                      --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, "Âàäèì Ïîíàðÿäîâ" <ponaryad@o...>
                                      wrote:

                                      > Really, Assyrian (and cuneiform writing at all) had no signs for
                                      phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can
                                      help? Is Hebrew or Phoenician word for Assur known? Although,
                                      unfortunately, Hebrew has no words with initial vowels. So there
                                      automatically is to be a glottal stop. But another laringeals can
                                      testify that they were also in Assyrian.

                                      Hebrew has aleph in the word for Assur.

                                      Richard.
                                    • Âàäèì Ïîíàðÿäîâ
                                      ... phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can help? Is Hebrew or Phoenician word for Assur known? Although, unfortunately, Hebrew has
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Apr 6, 2004
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                                        >> Really, Assyrian (and cuneiform writing at all) had no signs
                                        for
                                        phonemes more back then velar/uvular. Perhaps, Hebrew spelling can
                                        help? Is Hebrew or Phoenician word for Assur known? Although,
                                        unfortunately, Hebrew has no words with initial vowels. So there
                                        automatically is to be a glottal stop. But another laringeals can
                                        testify that they were also in Assyrian.

                                        > Hebrew has aleph in the
                                        word for Assur.

                                        So, no certainty... Assyrian still may have the aleph (= glottal stop) as well, and may have no initial consonant.
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