Read more...Despite the language’s early attestation, the Hittite category of neuter s-stems differs strongly both in its extent and in its inflectional properties from what we can infer as a late-PIE state of affairs on the basis of the remaining (relatively) early attested IE languages such as Vedic, Avestan, Greek, and Latin. This discrepancy permits at least two conclusions that seem to be diametrically opposed to each other: either that Hittite (bzw. Anatolian) preserves an archaic condition where many features that we know from the other languages had not yet fully developed, or that the whole inherited category of neuter s-stems was afflicted by an almost complete loss, and that what we see is but the remains of an advanced and ongoing process of degradation. In this paper, a considerate weighing of the possible positions and a dialectic discussion of all relevant evidence is put forward. Does the Anatolian evidence allow any conclusions on the question of a Frühausgliederung? We will see that – as is often the case within Anatolian historical linguistics – the answer will have to be sought somewhere in the middle between archaism and innovation.