The Phoneticisation of the Luwian Hieroglyphic Writing System

Alexander J. J. Vertegaal*

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* – Independent scholar. Email:

Cite as Vertegaal, A. J. J. 2021: The Phoneticisation of the Luwian Hieroglyphic Writing System. Hungarian Assyriological Review 2: 295–312.



This paper offers a new perspective on the phoneticisation of the Luwian hieroglyphic writing system. It investigates to what extent we can determine the time frame in which they acquired their syllabographic values by relating them to key phonological and morphological changes in the Luwian language. Several hieroglyphic signs plausibly developed phonetic readings before particular linguistic developments took place, which suggests that the phoneticisation process took place over a long time and may have started centuries before the first texts (perhaps even in Proto-Luwic times), continuing gradually and continuously until the writing system was abandoned in the 7th century BCE.

Keywords: Luwian, hieroglyphs, phoneticisation, syllabograms

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Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Data availability. The author confirms that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.

Disclosure statement. No potential conflict of interest was reported by the author.

Funding statement. The author received no financial support for the research and the publication of this article.



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