August 31, 2013

Book: The Ancient Egyptian Language


The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study
By James P. Allen
Published by Cambridge University Press

This book, the first of its kind, examines how the phonology and grammar of the ancient Egyptian language changed over more than three thousand years of its history, from the first appearance of written documents, c.3250 BC, to the Coptic dialects of the second century AD and later. Part One discusses phonology, working backward from the vowels and consonants of Coptic to those that can be deduced for earlier stages of the language. Part Two is devoted to grammar, including both basic components such as nouns and the complex history of the verbal system. The book thus provides both a synchronic description of the five major historical stages of ancient Egyptian and a diachronic analysis of their development and relationship.

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