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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This contribution offers an answer to the question “What are valid criteria for the postulate of... mehr
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This contribution offers an answer to the question “What are valid criteria for the postulate of a sacred language?” posed at the start of the conference “Sacred Languages in the Ancient Orient”.The author first seeks the answer to this question in the discussion relating to sacred language in the German language area, which ensued especially from 1985 onwards with the translation of the Latin texts of the Roman Catholic liturgy. As a result, the followingdefinition is taken as a basis: The main criterion for the postulate of sacred language is the universality of the assumption of divine holy transcendence with which humans communicate. From this arises the sacred detachment of communication in every day or specialised language. Against this background, an attempt at reconstructing the sacred language of former non-literate times is made. Above all, research on the reconstructed common ancestorProto-Indo-European provides interesting insights into the history of religion. The name of a father-deity *Dj¯eus p@tér (>Zeus, Jupiter), which is also documented in theHittite language, can for example be reconstructed for this proto-language by cross-language comparison.