He is known for his Hittite Etymological Dictionary. Currently (as of 2014), the dictionary has progressed to words beginning with PE, PI, PU, in nine volumes. Since volume 5 (2001), the project complements the Chicago Hittite Dictionary, which began with letter L in 1980, and which has covered L, M, N, P, S. Letters still missing between the two projects are thus R, T and Z (see Hittite cuneiform). Puhvel has been characterized as one of the world's most notable Hittitologists.
Jaan Puhvel took part in the editing process of Gilgamesh when its translation into Estonian was prepared .
Martin Puhvel was his brother.
1960: Laryngeals and the Indo-European Verb. Berkeley-LA: University of California Press, 1960.
Hittite Etymological Dictionary. Berlin, New York, Amsterdam: Mouton de Gruyter, 1984- .
1984, Vol. 1 (A)
1984, Vol. 2 (E, I)
1991, Vol. 3 (H)
1997, Vol. 4 (K)
2001, Vol. 5 (L)
2004, Vol. 6 (M)
2007, Vol. 7 (N)
2011, Vol. 8 (PA)
2013, Vol. 9 (PE, PI, PU)
2017, Vol. 10 (SA)
1987: Comparative Mythology. Baltimore-London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987. ISBN978-0-8018-3938-2.
1991: Homer and Hittite. Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachwissenschaft der Univ. Innsbruck, 1991.
Studies in Honor of Jaan Puhvel. 2 vols. Edited by Dorothy Disterheft, Martin Huld, & John Greppin. (JIES Monograph 20-21) Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man, 1997, ISBN978-0-941694-54-4.
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