The Anatolian Dissimilation Rule Revisited

  • Paul S. Cohen
  • Adam Hyllested


The Anatolian Dissimilation Rule (ADR) was first introduced in an oral presentation by us in 2006 and first published by us in 2012, though it had, in several fundamental aspects, been prefigured in articles by, e.g., Gillian Hart and Birgit Olsen. The ADR expresses the following sound change(s): Proto-Indo-European *h3 > {Hittite š; Luvian t/d; Lycian, Milyan t; Lydian s} / ## __ X Labiovelar Y, where X and Y are arbitrary (possibly null) phone strings and X does not contain #. There are five PIE roots/words with attested reflexes in Anatolian that are subject to the ADR, and all of them exhibit the appropriate outcomes: *h3okw- ‘eye’, *h3ēh2u̯r̥ ‘urine’, *h3n̥gwh- ‘fingernail, toenail’, *h3óngw ‘fat, butter, oil, salve’, *h3(o)rh2ent- ‘innards, intestine(s)’. The ADR covers all relevant items exceptionlessly; nevertheless, it has not been widely accepted. Potential reasons—both Anatolian-specific and more generally phonological—will be discussed and rebutted below, in the light of our previous arguments/suggestions and some newly added and upgraded ones.