- 一般社団法人 日本オリエント学会
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.35, no.2, pp.1-21, 1992 (Released:2010-03-12)
What is Amarnaic, the language of the Amarna letters sent to Egypt from Canaan? Once called “Canaano-Akkadian, ” “Amarna-Canaanite” or the like, it was believed by many scholars to be a barbarous Akkadian furnished with Canaanite glosses, but today we know otherwise. Moran in the 1950's, and 1960's, then Rainey in the 1970's revealed its syntax, verbal morphosyntax and verbal morphology to be nothing but Canaanite with obviously Akkadian lexical items.There are a number of languages in the world that are “mixed” in a very similar way to Amarnaic. They are known as “pidgins” or “creoles.” The aim of the present paper is to prove that Amarnaic is a pidgin at the expanded stage. A vehicle of communication such as this does not emerge suddenly; it presupposes the preceding jargon and stabilizing stages. The present paper argues on circumstantial evidence that Amarnaic emerged as a kind of contact jargon in Canaan in the early years of Egyptian 18th Dynasty, became stabilized prior to the enthronement of Thutmose III, and expanded during his reign as a sort of military pidgin.