Petra Goedegebuure

Associate Professor of Hittitology

Ph.D. University of Amsterdam, 2003.
Teaching at Chicago since 2006.

Special Interests

Hittite and Luwian Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Information Structure, Historical Pragmatics, Functional Discourse Grammar, Early Hittite History. Senior editor of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary. 

My research interests cover several different but often interrelated fields of linguistics, applied to the Anatolian languages: syntactic alignment, discourse cohesion, deixis, information structure and language change in contact situations. To study these areas of interest I combine philology with language typology and functional grammar.

I hope to achieve two main goals:

  • My first goal is to describe Hittite at the level of pragmatics. By adding this level of grammar to the description of the Anatolian languages and especially Hittite, our understanding of the texts and the communicative goals of the authors will be greatly improved.
  • In my view the study of an extinct language like Hittite can lead to surprising observations that require modifications of current theory. Thus, my second goal is to help develop methods for applying modern linguistic theories and models to dead languages that in turn will allow these languages to inform linguistic theory.

I am currently working on my second book, The Anatolian Core Cases. Whereas the other cases (ablative, allative, dative-locative, genitive, instrumental and vocative) all have been the topic of monographs, the core cases nominative, accusative and ergative have only been treated in articles or as part of larger overviews and grammars. With my project I intend to fill this gap in the linguistic description of not only Hittite but of all Indo-European Anatolian languages, within the framework of language typology and functional grammar. Among the topics that the individual chapters will cover are the rise of ergativity in Hittite, noun classes, the use and non-use of enclitic pronouns, passive versus active sentences, raising phenomena, and more.

Many of my articles are available on my Academia page (


  • 2003 Ph.D., Hittitology, University of Amsterdam. Degree awarded cum laude (with honors).
  • 1994 M.A., Semitic Languages & Cultures, University of Amsterdam. Degree awarded cum laude.
  • 1993 M.A., Anatolian Languages & Cultures, University of Amsterdam. Degree awarded cum laude.
  • 1989 Propedeuse Semitic Languages & Cultures, University of Amsterdam. Degree awarded cum laude
  • 1987 Propedeuse Physics and Astronomy, University of Amsterdam. Degree awarded cum laude.



  • (in prep) The Anatolian Core Cases: syntax, semantics, morphology. LANE series, Eisenbrauns.
  • (2014) The Hittite Demonstratives. Studies in Deixis, Topics and Focus. (Studien zu den Boghazköy-Texten 55). Harrassowitz: Wiesbaden. 610 pp.

Edited books

  • (2013)  The Chicago Hittite Dictionary. Volume Š, fascicle 3, še to šizišalla-. Edited by Hans G. Güterbock†, Harry A. Hoffner, Theo van den Hout, and junior editors Richard H. Beal, Petra M. Goedegebuure, Oǧuz Soysal.
  • (2002) Reinheid in het Oude Nabije Oosten (Purity in the Ancient Near East), Thematic issue of Phoenix 48, 48 pp.

Chapters in Books

  • (2006) ‘The Bilingual Testament of Hattusili I’. In: Mark Chavalas (ed.), The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation. (p. 222 – 228). Blackwell Publishing.
  • (2006) ‘The Proclamation of Telipinu’. In: Mark Chavalas (ed.), The Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation (p. 228 – 235, 250 – 252). Blackwell Publishing.

Peer Reviewed Articles and Encyclopaedia Entries

  • (under revision with Vincent van Exel) ‘The medium matters: the impact of basalt quality on writing (and reading) Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions.’  Accepted for publication in Anatolian Studies.
  • (2013) ‘Hittite Noun Phrases in Focus’. In Stephanie W. Jamison, H. Craig Melchert, and Brent Vine (eds.), Proceedings of the 24th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference. Bremen: Hempen, 27-45.
  • (2013) ‘Hattic (Language).’ In Robert Bagnall et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 3080-3081.
  • (2013) ‘Kashka.’ In RobertBagnall et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell Publishing, p. 3700.
  • (2013) ‘Labarna.’ In RobertBagnall et al. (eds.), Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 3852-3853.
  • (2012) ‘Split-ergativity in Hittite’. Review of Patri, Sylvain (2007), L'alignement syntaxique dans les langues indo-européennes d'Anatolie (StBoT 49). Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 102/2, 270-303.
  • (2012) ‘Hittite Iconoclasm. Disconnecting the icon, disempowering the referent’. In Natalie Naomi May (ed.), Iconoclasm and Text Destruction in the Ancient Near East and Beyond, pp. 407-452.
  • (2010) ‘Deictic-emphatic -i and the Anatolian demonstratives’. In Ronald Kim, Norbert Oettinger, Elisabeth Rieken & Michael Weiss (eds.), Ex Anatolia Lux. Anatolian and Indo-European studies in honor of H. Craig Melchert on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday. Ann Arbor - New York: Beech Stave Press, 55-67.
  • (2009) ‘Focus Structure and Q-word Questions in Hittite.’ In Evelien Keizer and Mirjam van Staden (eds.), Interpersonal grammar: a cross-linguistic perspective. Thematic issue of Linguistics 47/4, 945-967 .
  • (2008) ‘Hattian origins of Hittite religious concepts: the syntax of ‘to drink (to) a deity’ (again) and other phrases’. In Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 8/1, 67-73.
  • (2004) ‘The Hittite 3rd person/distal demonstrative aši (uni, eni etc.).’  Die Sprache. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 43/1 (2002/2003), 1-32.
  • (2002) ‘KBo 17.17+: Remarks on an Old Hittite Royal Substitution Ritual’. Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 2, 61-73.


  • (subm).‘‘The Hieroglyphic Luwian signs *128 (AVIS ‘bird’) = wa and *30 = HAPA’. In: Acts of the IXth International Congress of Hittitology 2014.

  • (2017) ‘A New Join to a Hittite Festival of Thunder: KBo 31.183 + KBo 34.185 + KBo 20.61 (CTH 631)’. N.A.B.U. 2017/2 (juin): 105-107.

  • (2017) ‘Hittite Anatolia: Cornucopia of Cultures in Contact’. News & Notes Quarterly Newsletter 234:4-9

  • (2010) ‘ The Luwian adverbs zanta “down” and *ānni “with, for, against”’. In: Acts of the VIIth International Conference of Hittitology in Çorum, 25-31 August, 2008, Ankar, 299-318.
  • (2010)  ‘The Luwian Demonstratives of Place and Manner’. In Itamar Singer (ed.), ipatami kistamati pari tumatimis. Luwian and Hittite Studies Presented to J. David Hawkins on the Occassion of his 70th Birthday. (Emery and Claire Yass Publications in Archaeology). Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology, Tel Aviv University, 76-94.
  • (2010) ‘The alignment of Hattian: An Active Language with an Ergative Base’. Babel und Bibel 4-5 (2007-2008) (= Proceedings of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 53, Moscow), 949-981.
  • (2009) [keynote article] ‘ Focus in Hittite and the stressed pronoun apā-: in search of a method.’ In Elisabeth Rieken and Paul Widmer (eds.), Pragmatische Kategorien. Form, Funktion und Diachronie. Akten der Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft 24.–26. September 2007, in Marburg . Wiesbaden: Reichert, pp. 93-112.
  • (2008) ‘Central Anatolian languages and language communities in the Colony period: The Luwian substrate of Hattian and the independent Hittites’. In: J. G. Dercksen (ed.), Anatolia and the Jazira during the Old Assyrian period. (Old Assyrian Archives, Studies, Volume 3. (PIHANS 111)). The Netherlands Institute for the Near East: Leiden, pp. 137-180 .
  • (2007) ‘The Hieroglyphic Luwian demonstrative ablative-instrumentals zin and apin.’ In: Alfonso Archi and Rita Francia (eds.), VI Congresso Internazionale di Ittitologia, Roma, 5-9 settembre 2005 (Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici 49), Roma, pp. 319-334.
  • (2007) ‘ “Let only Nesa become populous!”, and more. Philological notes on Old Hittite’ . In: Detlev Groddek and Marina Zorman (eds.), Tabularia Hethaeorum. Hethitologische Beiträge, Silvin Ko šak zum 65. Geburtstag. Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden, pp. 305-312.
  • (2007) ‘The original function of the Hittite sentence particle - kan: topic reinforcer or marker of spatial relations?’ Review article of Jacqueline Boley, Dynamics of Transformation in Hittite. The Hittite Particles - kan, -asta and -san. (Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft 97), Innsbruck 2000. In: Bibliotheca Orientalis 64/1-2, 31-63.
  • (2006) ‘A New Proposal for the Reading of the Hittite numeral ‘1’: sia-’. In Theo van den Hout (ed.), The Life and Times of Hattusili III and Tudhaliya IV. (Festschrift Han de Roos). Publications de l'Institut Historique-Archéologique Néerlandais de Stamboul: Leiden, pp. 165-188.
  • (2004) ‘Troonsopvolging in het Oud-Hettitische Rijk: patrilineair, matrilineair of avunkulair?’ (Succession to the Throne in the Old Hittite Kingdom: patrilinear, matrilinear or avuncular?). Phoenix 50/1, 5-21.
  • (2002) ‘Reinheid bij de Hettieten’ (Purity in Hittite Society). Phoenix 48/2, 93-103.
  • (1998) ‘The Hieroglyphic Luwian Particle REL-i-pa’. In: Acts of the IIIrd International Congress of Hittitology, Çorum, September 16-22, 1996, pp. 233-245.


  •  (2017). Review of Annick Payne, Iron age hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions (Writings from the ancient world 29). Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012. In Journal of Near Eastern Studies 76/1: 175-180.

  • (2006) Review of H. Craig Melchert (ed.), The Luwians (Handbuch der Orientalistik I/68). Brill: Leiden, Boston 2003. In Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 49.3, pp. 364-366.
  • (1999) Review H.A. Hoffner, The Laws of the Hittites: A Critical Edition. In: Journal of the American Oriental Society 119.4, pp. 705-707.

Courses taught

At the University of Chicago

  • Advanced Hittite - Instructions
  • Linguistic Methods for Extinct Languages
  • Hittite Linguistics 
  • Elementary Hittite II 
  • Elementary Hittite III 
  • Advanced Hittite - historical and mythological texts
  • Palaic reading course
  • Core/Linguistics: Language and the Human 
  • Core/NELC: History and Society of the Ancient Near East - Anatolia 

At Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam

  • Elementary Hittite
  • Advanced Hittite (historical and mythological texts)
  • Palaic
  • Elementary Biblical Hebrew
  • Elementary Comparative Semitics
  • Cultural Aspects of 2nd Millennium Ancient Anatolia
  • History of 2nd Millennium Ancient Anatolia
  • Religion of 2nd Millennium Ancient Anatolia

Conference Talks and Invited Lectures [Selected]

  • (2017). Left-Dislocation in Old Hittite. March 17, 2017, 227th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society, Los Angeles

  •  (2017) (Invited). The rise of split-ergativity in Hittite. February 22, 2017, guest lecture SeminarHistorical Linguistics, the Department of Linguistics, Chicago.

  •   (2016) (Invited). Waraika, king of not only Hiyawa, but also of the lands west of the Euphrates? March 18, 2016, 226th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society 2016, Boston, Massachusetts.

  •  (2016) (Invited). Luwian Hieroglyphs: An Indigenous Anatolian Syllabic Script From 3500 Years Ago. February 3, 2016. Members Lecture Series, Oriental Institute, Chicago.

  •  (2015) (Invited). Linguistic Methods for Extinct Languages. How to elicit data when your informants are all dead.October 27, 2015, Connections Seminar, Oriental Institute, Chicago.

  • (2015) (Invited).The rise of split-ergativity (or rather split-accusativity) in Hittite. June 8, 2015, Workshop Language Variation and Change, University of Chicago.

  • (2015) (Invited). The rise of split-ergativity in Hittite. March 17, 2015, 225th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • (2015) (invited). Luwian Hieroglyphs. An indigenous Anatolian writing system. February 5, 2015. Volunteer Day, Oriental Institute, Chicago.
  • (2014) The Hieroglyphic Luwian signs *128 (AVIS) and *30 and the words for 'bright (day)', 'mountain', 'to remove', 'to carry', 'to destroy', ‘riverland’ and 'to trade’, September 1, 2014, IXth International Congress of Hittitology, Çorum, Turkey.
  • (2014) (Invited) The Hittite demonstratives: subjective construal of speech participants’ spaces. July 26, 2014, Workshop Perspectivization in language. Source–goal asymmetry in motion events, deixis, and frames of reference, Excellence cluster Topoi. July 25-26, 2014, Berlin, Germany.
  • (2014) (Invited) Panelist at public symposium In remembrance of me: feasting with the dead in the ancient Middle East, May 4, 2014, Oriental Institute, Chicago.
  • (2014) (Invited) The Hittite Conjunction su. March 15, 2014, Memorial session for Calvert Watkins, 224th Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society 2014, Phoenix, Arizona.
  • (2012) Hittite Noun Phrases in Focus. October 26, 2012, West Coast Indo-European Conference, Los Angeles.
  • (2012)  The CHD Paleography Project. A Project Proposal.  July 17, 2012.  Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 58, Leiden, workshop Redefining Old Hittite.
  • (2012) Finding focus in Hittite: the discourse-pragmatic function of stressed pronouns, May 19, 2012, East Coast Indo-European Conference, Berkeley.
  • (2011)  Anatolian Aniconoclasm: not destruction but deactivation. OI postdoc conference on Iconoclasm, April 8-9, 2011.
  • (2011) The Deeds (?) of Suppiluliuma II - The Südburg inscription reconsidered. The VIIIth International Congress of Hittitology, Warsaw, September 5, 2011.
  • (2010) (Invited) The pragmatic function Focus in Hittite. April 16, 2010, Workshop Linguistic Method and Theory and the Languages of the Ancient Near East, Oriental Institute.
  • (2009) The intricate dance of Hittite and Hattian. November 13, 2009. Workshop Language Variation and Change, University of Chicago.
  • (2009) hbrk b'l or tiwadamis zidis, the steward of the king in Luwian and Phoenician society. February 14, 2009. AOS session People, Power and Politics 2, Midwest AOS/ASOR/SBL/CSBR Annual Meeting 2009, Bourbonnais, February 13-15, 2009.
  • (2008) Exerting power on the crossroads of three cultures: the steward of the king in Luwian, Phoenician and Assyrian society. July 25, 2008. Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 54, Würzburg.
  • (2007) Keynote lecture: Linguistics and long-extinct languages: a case study of Focus in Hittite. September 24, 2007. Pragmatische Kategorien. Form, Funktion und Diachronie . Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Marburg, 24.-26. September 2007.
  • (2007) (Invited): The syntactic alignment of Hattian. July 25, 2007, Workshop Limited Corpus Languages, Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 53, Moscow.
  • (2007) Hittite-Hattian contacts. March 23, 2007, Historical Linguistics Discussion Group, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
  • (2007) On Hittite and Linguistics. January 17, 2007, Franke Institute, University of Chicago.
  • (2006) De zekerheid van de toekomst in het Hettitisch: relatieve bijzinnen en onvoorwaardelijkheid (Certainty of the future in Hittite: relative clauses and unconditionality). Hettitologen-convent, February 7, 2006, University of Amsterdam.
  • (2006) Frames in Hittite . Functional Discourse Grammar Colloquium, March 10, 2006, University of Amsterdam.
  • (2005) (Invited) The languages and peoples of Central Anatolia. The Third Leiden Symposium ‘Anatolia and the Jazira during the Old Assyrian Period’, (Organized by the Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) and the Department of Languages and Cultures of Mesopotamia and Anatolia (TCMA), Leiden University), December 15, 2005.
  • (2004) The use of demonstratives in Hittite. Amsterdam Center of Language and Communication, February 20, 2004, Amsterdam.
  • (2004) The interpersonal level in Hittite, Functional Discourse Grammar Colloquium, February 13, 2004, University of Amsterdam.
  • (2000) Coordinatie in het Hettitisch (Coordination in Hittite). Functional Grammar seminar, March 3, 2000, University of Amsterdam.
  • (1999) The Use and Non-use of the Enclitic Subject Pronoun in Old Hittite, IVth International Congress of Hittitology, October 7, 1999, Würzburg, Germany.
  • (1998) Emfase in the Karatepe-bilingue (Fenicisch-Luwisch) (Emphasis in the Karatepe bilingual (Phoenician-Luwian)). Institute for Mediterranean Studies, October 16, 1998, Amsterdam.
  • (1998) De ‘werkelijke’ functie van het Anatolische pronomen relativum (The ‘real’ function of the Anatolian relative pronoun). Colloquium of the Department of Indo-European Studies, February 19, 1998, Leiden University.

Awards & Grants

  • 2011-2012 Fellow of the Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago.
  • 2006 - 2009 Grant from the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Awarded to research proposal “ Exploring the Outer Limits: from Sentence to Discourse in Hittite”. €200,000. Declined for position at the Oriental Institute.
  • 1994 - 2000 Full research grant, University of Amsterdam. Scholarship for six years of graduate study.
  • 1996 Travel grant, Stimuleringsgelden voor internationalisering, the University of Amsterdam and the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek. For participation at a conference in Turkey.
  • 1995 Travel grant, awarded by the University of Amsterdam. For a short study visit to the Vorderasiatisches Museum, Berlin.
  • 1989 - 1994 Grant from the Groesbeek van Assenbroek foundation. Fellowship for five years of undergraduate study.


  • 2006 - present Associate Professor in Hittitology, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.
  • 2006 Post-doctoral Researcher, Leiden University.
  • 2004 - 2006 Lecturer Anatolian Languages and Cultures, Leiden University.
  • 2003 - 2006 Lecturer evening courses Hittite language and Culture, Leiden University.
  • 2001 Lecturer Classical Hebrew, University of Amsterdam.
  • 2000 - 2001 Teacher Mathematics, Vossius Gymnasium, Amsterdam.
  • 1997 - 1999 Supervising of M.A. students Hebrew studies, University of Amsterdam.
  • 1997 Lecturer Classical Hebrew, University of Amsterdam.