Written Hittite

Hittite cuneiform has a distinctive style imported from Alalakh in north-western Syria where Akkadian was spoken. Like Akkadian, Hittite uses cuneiform signs as syllables, determinatives, and Sumerograms (words in Sumerian), but it also uses Akkadograms, meaning words in Akkadian. This is not as complex as it sounds, but the extensive use of such logograms (word signs) means that for some words the Hittite pronunciation is unknown. The word ‘son’ for instance is always written in Sumerian or Akkadian. Note that Hittite is only written in cuneiform—the famous Anatolian hieroglyphs are not used for Hittite but for Luwian, a related language that is also written in cuneiform.