G. The verb

1. Voices

254) a) Many verbs conjugated in the middle voice are deponent, e.g. : ar- "to stay", kis- "to become", ki- "to lie".

b) However, true middle forms can be found with a usage similar to Greek, e.g. : nāishut ""turn (Sg.) round", unattat "she adorned herself" ; also the reciprocal middle : zahhiyawastati "we want to fight each other", appantat "they grabbed each other", sarrandat "they parted".

c) Cf. also irhāi- Act. "to bound", Mid. "to end", handāi- Act. "to add", Mid. "to be added, to result", zenna- Act. "to finish", Mid. "to end", etc...

255) Occasionally, the active and middle voices occur without any discernible difference : pahs- Act. and Mid. "to protect", sarra- Act. and Mid. "to split, to go beyond", huwa- (huya-) Act. and Mid. "to flee".

256) The passive voice is uncommon. Some verbs have no passive form but are replaced by other verbs (active or deponent) of similar meaning. Thus, ak- "to die", which also means "to be killed", is used as the passive of kuen- "to kill". For the passive of dāi- "to seat, to lay", ki- "to lie" is used, for the passive of sēr dāi- "to put onto" sēr tiya- "to lie on top". For the passive of iya- "to do", kis- "to become" is used.

257) Transitive verbs sometimes have an intransitive usage : from maninku- "short ; near", one builds according to §136 maninkuwahh- transitive "to shorten", intransitive "to be near".

2. Tense and mode usage

258) Hittite has neither subjunctive nor optative unlike the others I.E. languages ; it has only two simple tenses like the Germanic languages :

a) 1. Present is also used for future (uwami "I come" and "I will come").

2. It can replace the imperative with a future meaning in prayers and orders : NINDA-an azzasteni wātarra ekutteni "you (Pl.) will (i.e. shall) eat only bread and drink only water".

b) 1. Preterite is used for all past tenses : hatrānun can mean "I wrote", "I have written" and "I had written".

2. Preterite can also indicate a resulting state : DINGIRLIM-is kisat "he has become a god (= he is dead now)".

259) The verbal forms briefly mentioned in §184 allow a more precise distinction :

a) 1. Perfect and pluperfect are expressed in a "modern" fashion by means of har(k)- "to have" with the Nom.-Acc. Sing. Neutr. of the participle : perfect antuhsan kuinki parā huittiyan harmi "I have prefered some man", ĜIŠGIGIR turiyan harweni "we have harnessed the chariot", LÚMEŠ URUGasga kuit dān harkanzi "that the people of Gasgas has taken". Pluperfect nu-mu dIŠTAR kanissan harta "and Ištar had honored me", 300 GUŠKIN ishiyan harta "he had imposed (as a tribute) 300 (shekels) of gold", nu-mu istamassan harkir "and they had learnt from me".

2. Such compositions also occur with the imperative : nu-mu stamanan lagān har(a)k "and keep your ears pricked up toward me", nu ŠA KÚR kuēs KASKALHI.A nas-za BĒL MADGALTI kappuwan hardu "and whatever roads of the enemy (may be), the gouvernor must keep them watched".

b) es- with the participle can express two things :

1. The participle of the transitive verb with es- can express the perfect of the passive : DUMU.MUNUS piyanza esta "a girl has been given", hurtantes esir "they have been cursed", lamniyan esdu "he must be appointed", ĜIŠGIGIR iskiyan esdu "the chariot must be anointed".

2. The participle of the intransitive verb with es- expresses a state resulting from an action : antuhsatar pān esta "the people had left".

c) The expression "to start (to get ready) to do something, to consider doing something" is expressed by means of dāi- "to put, to set, to place", sometimes of tiya- "to go on", with the supine in -uwan of a verb generally iterative : ERIN2MEŠ peskiwan tiyaweni "we are ready to regularly give troops", EZENHI.A essuwan tiyanzi "they prepare to celebrate the festival", ŠU.GI kisat nas DINGIRLIM-is kikkissuwan dāis "he became old and started to become a god (i.e. he wasted away)", ÉMEŠ-ŠUNU karipuwan dāir "they started to pull down (lit. to devour) their houses", nu-mu asi memiyas teshaniskiwan tiyat "and the thing in question began to come regularly to me in dream".

260) a) Where we use "not yet" with perfect, Hittite always uses present with nāwi "not yet" : takku LÚ-as DUMU.MUNUS nāwi dāi nanza mimmai "if a man has not yet named a girl, he can (still) reject her", nu-wa 5 ANŠU.NITAMEŠ EĜIR-pa unnanzi unnanzi-ma-war-as nāwi "one will again drive on the 5 jackasses, but no one has yet driven them on".

b) Where we use "not yet" with a pluperfect, Hittite uses the basic preterite with nāwi : kuitman-za-kan ANA ĜIŠGU.ZA ABĪYA nāwi eshat nu-mu arahzenas KUR.KUR KÚR kururiyahhir "as long as I was not seated on the throne of my father, the neighboring enemy countries fought me".

261) a) In a subordinate iterative clause of past meaning, present can be used instead of our preterite : kuwattas lahha-ma paizzi nu KÚR-an utnē kuttanit tar(ah)han harta "but where he campaigned, he seized the enemy countries by the neck".

b) The present can also be found instead of the preterite in the main clause :

1. in a clear description : azzikanzi nat-za UL ispiyanzi akkuskanzi-ma nat-za UL hassikanzi "they eat and are not satiated, they drink and don't quench their thirst" (in a text in the preterite and parallel to the same sentence in the preterite : eter ne UL ispier ukuer-ma ne-za UL hassikkir "they ate and were not satiated, they drank and didn't quench their thirst").

2. With the verbs meaning "to say" in vivid texts (historical present) : huhhi-ssi pāit nu-ssi tarsikizzi "he went to his grandfather and talked to him".

262) a) In the correspondence, the sender can stand in the point of view of the recipient and use the preterite instead of the present : kāsma-tta uiyanun halugatallan-min "look, I send you (lit. I sent you) my messenger".

b) In the same way, preterite is used in the introduction of royal decrees : LUGAL GAL Tabarna memista "the great king Tabarna has spoken".

263) a) The imperative is used as a substitute for the missing optative in prayers : utnē māu sesdu "may the country prosper and be in peace", ANA DINGIRMEŠ ENMEŠ-YA ZI-anza namma war(a)sdu "by the gods, my lords, may the spirit calm down again".

b) The 1. Pers. Sing. of the imperative is a voluntative : piskellu "I always want to give", agallu "I want to die", but it can also be used as an optative : teshit uwallu "may I see in dream".

c) The 1. Pers. Plur. cohortative has a formal usage like the corresponding forms of the Indic. Pres. : ehu ANA dU ... DI-esni tiyaweni "come on now! let us take a step towards the Storm-god", kinuna-wa ehu nu-wa zahhiyawastati nu-wa-nnas dU BELĪYA DĪNAM hannau "but come on now! we want to fight each other, and the Storm-god, my lord, must rule on our dispute".

264) a) For the negative imperative, lē "not!" (§280a) is used with the Ind. Pres. ; thus istamas "listen!", but lē istamasti "do not listen!".

b) Therefore with the voluntative 1. Pers. Sing. : lē saggahhi "I do not want to know".

265) To express the potential and the unreal, one uses the special particle man, which differs generally, but not always, by its spelling ma-an from the conjunction mān (ma-a-an) "if". About the lack of nu next to man, cf. §310f.

266) man with the present means a present potential : man-war-as-mu MUTĪYA kisari "he could become my husband".

267) man with the preterite means :

1. a past potential : man-ta-kkan É ABĪKA KUR-KA-ya UL arha dāir man-at damēdani kuedanikki pier "could not they have taken away from you the house of your father and your land (and) have given them to another one ?"

2. an unreal : man INA URUHayasa pāun-pat nu-za MU.KAM-za sēr tēpawessanza esta "I would have gone also (-pat, §293c) to Hayasa, but the year had become (too) short for that" (about nu = "but", cf. §313a), mān-us-kan mHuzziyas kuenta nu uttar isduwati "Huzziya would have killed them, but (§313a) the affair got out".

268) The "nearly" unreal is expressed by means of the verb waggar- "to miss, to fail" : nu-kan dHepadus suhhaz katta maussuwanzi waqqares "the goddess Hebat nearly fell from the roof" (cf. French : elle a failli tomber).

3. Iterative usage

269) The iterative in -sk-, sometimes in -ss- borrowed from Luwian (§141), still requires a thorough study. Here are some comments in particular about it :

a) It points out an accomplished action frequently repeated : ANA DINGIRLIM anda UD-at UD-at memiskizzi nu DINGIRLIM walliskizzi "he talks to the deity day after day and he extols the deity each time", MI-ti-ma MI-ti turiskizzi "night after night he harnesses (them)", watar-ma-ssi KAS-si KAS-si-pat IŠTU 1 UPNI peskanzi "but they give each time water to them from the cup of one hand" (before actions occurring once : hantezzi BAL-si uzuhrin UL pāi "the first times, he does not give grass"), nu-smas-kan SANGA ANA DIHI.A istarna teskiddu nu-smas DIHI.A punuskiddu "and the priest must attend (in any case) each time the proceedings and must examine each time their cases", nu nesumnili hatreski "write to me each time in Hittite", nan-za turiskizzi "he can keep it (a found animal) for himself (for several days)" (but without iterative : UD.1.KAM turiyazi "he can keep (it for) one day").

b) It is found if a uniform action of several subjects is accomplished : uskandu istamaskandu-ya "(all the gods) should look out and listen", tuk-ma-wa DUMUMEŠ-KA mekkaus memiskanzi "the one to whom everybody however attributes many sons", 1 LIM MULHI.A hukkiskanzi "the 1000 stars take an oath", kuis-pat-kan imma kuis DINGIRMEŠ-as ĜIŠkattaluzzi sarreskizzi "whoever crosses the threshold of the gods".

c) Or the action can apply to several objects : NINDAHI.A-ya kueus parsiyanneskit "and the loaves of bread that he broke (into small pieces)", halkis-wa mahhan NAM.LÚ.ULU3 GUD UDU huitarra hūman huisnuskizzi "as the grain of people, the ox, the sheep and the whole species come to life", nu-tta kuit memiskimi nu-mu DINGIRLUM istamanan har(a)k nat istamaski "(all) that I say to you, ô deity, prick up your ears and listen to it (all)".

d) The action can also be made up of several simple actions, e.g. be achieved in several stages : DUGhupuwaya hassi anda lahuskizzi DUGhupuwaya-ma tuwarniskizzi "(the priestess) fills the hupuwaya-jar (little by little) on the stove, but she breaks the hupuwaya-jar (piece by piece)", kissan hukkiskizzi "he thus takes an oath (in its various parts)", anniskimi kuin "that I achieve (in several ritual stages)".

e) In some rare cases, the iterative can point out, not a repeated action, but an action that lasts for long : MI-an hūmandan uzuhrin HÁD.DU.A azzikkanzi "during the whole night, they eat hay".

4. Verbal substantives usage

a) Infinitive constructions

270) Hittite infinitives and their usage are a frequently studied and highly disputed subject. The following presentation is based on the most recent and detailed treatment by Kammenhuber.

271) a) What was formerly called Infinitive 1 (in -uwar) is a verbal substantive. It has an equivalent formation in -atar. The two constructions are divided as follows : the one in -atar is mainly used by the root verbs with ablaut of the mi-conjugation (appatar "catching" from ep- "to catch", adatar "eating" from ed- "to eat", akkuwatar "drinking" from eku- "to drink", kunatar "killing" from kuen- "to kill", uwatar "visit" from aus- "to see"), whereas -uwar (Gen. -uwas, §185a) is used by the other verbs of the mi- and hi-conjugations : nahhuwar "fear, respect" from nahh- "to fear", wetummar "building" from wete- "to build", gankuwar "hanging, balancing, weight" from gank- "to hang, to balance", etc...

b) The verbal substantive is not a verbal but a nominal construction : ANA KARAŠ uwatar iyanun "I did a visit to the army", LÚMEŠ KUR URUMizra-ma mahhan ŠA KUR URUAmka GUL-ahhuwar istamassanzi "but as the people of Egypt hear the defeat (lit. the stroke) of the land Amka".

272) a) The two constructions of the verbal substantive match the two constructions of the infinitive, the one in -anna for the verbs with ablaut of the mi-conjugation (derived from the verbal substantive in -atar ; formerly called Infinitive 2) : adanna "to eat" from ed-, akuwanna "to drink" from eku-, kunanna "to kill" from kuen-, uwanna "to see" from aus-, the other in -uwanzi for the other verbs of the mi- and hi-conjugations (derived from the verbal substantive in -uwar ; formerly called Supine 1).

b) These two constructions are completely equivalent and correspond to infinitives in the modern meaning : 1-as 1-an kunanna lē sanhanzi "the one must not try to kill the other" (next to nu-mu tepnumanzi san(a)hta "and he tried to humiliate me"), SANGA akuwanna wekzi "the priest demands to drink", nu-mu-za-kan MI.KAM-za walhuwanzi zikkir "they get ready to attack me by night", AMARHI.A iyauwanzi zinnahhi "I have finished to bring the calves".

c) Note ŠUŠI LUGALMEŠ siyawanzi tar(a)hta "he beat 60 kings in shooting".

273) The supine in -uwan (formerly called Supine 2) is only found associated with dāi- "to put, to set" (or with tiya- "to go forward") to express the notion "to start to do sth" (§259c).

274) Some other constructions with the infinitive should also be mentioned :

a) The association of the verb es- "to be" with the infinitive with the meaning "something must be done" : tuk-ma kī uttar ŠÀ-ta siyanna ishiull-a esdu "but this word should be placed in your heart and should be a rule", NINDA.KUR4.RA parsiyawanzi NU.ĜÁL "there is no bread to break", INA KUR URUAssuwa lahhiyawanzi esun "I had to campaign in the land Assuwa" (cf. English I was to fight).

b) kisari "it becomes" with the infinitive means "it is possible to do sth" : mān tuk-ma warissuwanzi UL kisari "if it is not possible for you (Sg.) to help".

275) a) An accusative can be the complement of an infinitive, but Hittite readily makes this accusative depend on the infinitive by placing it as object of the main verb if this verb is active : apās-ma-mu harkanna san(a)hta : "lit. : but he looked for me to knock down" (i.e. "he aimed to knock me down").

b) If the main verb is passive or is the verb "to be", the noun or the pronoun which is interpreted as the object of the infinitive appears in Hittite as the subject of the main verb : MUNABTUM EĜIR-pa piyanna UL ara (or MUNABTUM EĜIR SUM-anzi UL ara) "lit. : a refugee (is) not right for an extradition" (i.e. it is not right to extradite a refugee), nu-ssi GUD piyawanzi SIxSÁ-at "lit. : and an ox was established to him to give" (i.e. it has been established for him to give an ox), mān URULUM kuiski ... ANA mUlmi-dU piyanna UL ZI-anza "lit. : if a city is not the intention (of the Sun) to give to U." (i.e. if the intention (of the Sun) is not to give a city to U." (URULUM kuiski is a nominative !).

276) In these constructions, the infinitive is indifferent :

a) to the tense ; it is used likewise for present and future : DINGIRLUM-kan kuis ANA dUTUŠI tarnumanzi SIxSÁ-at "lit : the deity who was observed to admit the 'Sun' (i.e. who was observed that he shall be left for the 'Sun')" as well as for preterite : DINGIRLUM-ma-kan kuis arha sarrumanzi SIxSÁ-at "lit : the deity (the divine picture) who was observed to break (i.e..the divine picture who was observed that it has been broken)".

b) to the voice ; cf. the last example of a).

c) to the difference between the causative and the base verb : apās-ma-mu harkanna san(a)hta "lit : he looked for me to collapse (i.e. he aimed to knock me down)" (hark- "to collapse" instead of harganu- or harnink- "to throw down"), nas katta asanna kuit SIxSÁ-at nan katta asashun "lit. : and since she was observed to be seated (!), then I seated her" (es- "to be seated" instead of ases- "to seat").

b) The participle

277) a) The Hittite participle in -ant- is passive for transitive verbs and active-intransitive for intransitive verbs. Thus the following meanings : on one hand kunant- "killed" (from kuen- "to kill"), appant- "grabbed, collected" (from ep- "to grab"), dant- "taken" (from dā- "to take"), sekkant- "known" (from sak- "to known"), on the other hand pānt- "gone" (from pāi- "to go"), akkant- "dead" (from ak- "to die"), tepawessant- "decreased" (from tepawes- "to decrease, to get fewer"), huyant- "fled" (from huya- "to flee").

b) Exceptionally, adant- and akuwant- mean not only "eaten" and "drunk" (from ed- "to eat" and eku- "to drink"), but also "having eaten" and "having drunk" (like Lat. pransus and potus, Old-Indian bhukta- and pīta-).

c) The participle has sometimes the meaning of a verbal adjective : kappuwant- "counted" also means "countable, few".

278) About the expression of the gerund, cf. §186.