|Era||2nd millennium BC|
Hattic (Hattian) was a non-Indo-European agglutinative language spoken by the Hattians in Asia Minor in the 2nd millennium BC. Scholars call the language "Hattic" to distinguish it from Hittite, the Indo-European language of the Hittite Empire.
The form "Hittite" in English originally comes from Biblical Heth, quite possibly connected to common Assyrian and Egyptian designations of "Land of the Hatti" (Khatti) west of the Euphrates. It is unknown what the native speakers of "hattili" called their own language.
The heartland of the oldest attested language of Anatolia, before the arrival of Hittite-speakers, ranged from Hattusa, then called "Hattus", northward to Nerik. Other cities mentioned in Hattic include Tuhumiyara and Tissaruliya. Hittite-speakers conquered Hattus from Kanesh to its south in the 18th century BC. They eventually absorbed or replaced the Hattic-speakers (Hattians) but retained the name Hatti for the region.
No document has been found in which native Hattic-speakers wrote their own language. Scholars must rely on indirect sources or mentions by their neighbours and successors, the Hittites. Some Hattic words can be found in religious tablets of Hittite priests that date from the 14th and the 13th centuries BC. The passages contained, between the lines of the text signs, the explanation "the priest is now speaking in Hattic".
Roots of Hattic words can also be found in the names of mountains, rivers, cities and gods. Other Hattic words can be found in some mythological texts. The most important of these is the myth "The Moon God who fell from the Sky", written in both Hattic and Hittite.
All published Hattic documents are catalogued in the Catalogue des textes hittites (CTH). Documents from Hattusa span CTH 725-745. Of these CTH 728, 729, 731, 733, and 736 are Hattic/Hittite bilinguals. CTH 737 is a Hattic incantation for the festival at Nerik. One key, if fragmentary, bilingual is the story of "The Moon God Who Fell from the Sky". There are additional Hattic texts in Sapinuwa, which had not been published as of 2004.
The conservative view is that Hattic is a language isolate, different from neighboring Indo-European and Semitic languages. Based on toponyms and personal names, however, it may have been related to the otherwise unattested Kaskian language. Certain similarities between Hattic and both Northwest (such as Abkhaz) and South Caucasian (Kartvelian) languages have led to proposals by some scholars about the possibility of a linguistic bloc, from central Anatolia to the Caucasus. According to Alexey Kassian, there are also possible lexical correspondences between Hattic and Yeniseian languages, as well as Burushaski language; for instance, "tongue" is alef in Hattic and alup in Kott, "moon" is kap in Hattic and qīp in Ket, "mountain" is ziš in Hattic and ćhiṣ in Burushaski (compare also with *čɨʔs - a proto-Yeniseian word for stone).
Some known Hattic words include:
Hattic formed conventional plurals with a le- prefix: "children" = le-pinu. It formed a collective plural by attaching the prefix fa-: fa-shaf "gods".
The genitive case was declined with the suffix -(u)n (fur "land" but furun "of the land"). While some linguists like Polomé and Winter have claimed the accusative case was marked with es-, giving the example of ess-alep "word", that has been identified as a pronominal clitic, meaning "their", by others.