Lingua Aegyptia

Lingua Aegyptia 17 (2009) – Table of Contents

Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Egyptian Grammar (Crossroads IV)
Basel, March 19-22, 2009

edited by Matthias Müller & Sami Uljas

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Georg Brein Root Incompatibilities in the Pyramid Texts
This paper presents some results of my master’s thesis completed in November 2008 at the University of Vienna under the supervision of Prof. Helmut Satzinger. The main idea of my thesis was to analyze the co-occurrence restrictions on consonants in roots isolated from the lexicon of the Pyramid Texts of the Late Old Kingdom in order to verify Otto Rössler’s reconstruction of the Egyptian consonantal system.
Mark Collier Pragmatics and Meaning Construction in Late Egyptian. Of Implicatures, Pragmatic Scales, and Scope
Linguistic form underdetermines meaning; human users enrich this meaning in context, for example by pragmatic reasoning. In this paper, pragmatic enrichment processes for reading Egyptian examples in context involving conversational implicature, pragmatic scales and scope resolution are discussed and illustrated through an investigation of conditional perfection and concessive meaning of conditionals, and of negation and scope meaning with the wn + Third Future construction and with Second Tenses.
Leo Depuydt Towards the Full Digitalization of Grammar. The Case of the Egyptian and Coptic Nominal Sentence
The present investigation is based on the assumption that most of what is structured in thought and language is digital in nature. Consequently, the fundamental need is for exposing the digital matrix of thought and language. The design of this paper is to make a beginning towards laying bare the digital matrix of sentence structure in general and of the Egyptian and Coptic nominal sentence in specific. In addition, a digital explanation is proposed for two peculiar phenomena involving the presence of contrastive emphasis in Egyptian and Coptic nominal sentences. There may be more to sentence structure than this digital matrix. But this matrix lies at the root of the structure and everything else needs to be subordinated to it. It may also seem as if part of what is done in this paper belongs to other fields, logic, philosophy, mathematics, or whatever they may be, but not to linguistics and definitely not to Egyptian grammar. However, in the architecture of the brain, everything is so intricately intertwined that this edifice needs to be studied in its entirety. In the end scenario of this kind of intellectual mission, the walls between all the disciplines will be torn down and our collective human experience will be reinterpreted as nothing but brain function. After all, the totality of this experience consists entirely of how the brain engages reality outside itself, nothing more, nothing less.
Camilla Di Biase-Dyson Linguistic Insights into Characterisation. The Case Study of Wenamun
Characters in literature have rarely been a focus of Egyptological study, and less attention still has been given to the internal, language-driven features of a text that constitute characterisation. This analysis of the protagonists of The Misfortunes of Wenamun applies the infrastructure of Systemic Functional Linguistics (Halliday 2004) in order to elucidate the portrayal, development and interaction patterns of Wenamun and the Chief of Byblos Tjekerbaal. In addition, it brings into play a range of other linguistic vantage points, including Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics, which show how the language that portrays each character likewise establishes their narratological role and their discursive expectations. For instance, Wenamun’s status as an Anti-Hero is manifest in the contradiction between his deeds and his words, as well as in his manner of talking to the rulers he meets in his travels to the Lebanon. Additionally, the hostility of Tjekerbaal can be seen as a reaction to Wenamun’s liberal use of modal forms, which contrasts with his more direct and powerful propositional style. Characters are therefore brought to life by a study that takes account of their description, action and speech, which demonstrates the value of a linguistically-oriented methodology for studies within the literary domain of Egyptology.
Barbara Egedi Attribution vs. Possession in Coptic. The Origin and Development of an Opposition
This paper is intended to reconstruct the process that led to the formal opposition between the patterns used for expressing possessive and attributive relationships in the Coptic language (Sahidic dialect). Having explained this opposition on a synchronic level, the following questions arise: what is the source of the formal likeness; how did this system develop, and what were the syntactic and semantic preconditions for such a grammaticalization? Having identified the common source, an additional question arises: why do the two constructions still differ and do not show a complete formal identity?
Eitan Grossman Periphrastic Perfects in the Coptic Dialects. A Case Study in Grammaticalization
A completive construction (‘he finished hearing’) undergoes grammaticalization, with several identifiably distinct stages, within the Coptic dialects, into periphrastic Perfect or ‘Anterior’ afouw efswtp afouô efsôtp ‘he has/had heard.’ At the most advanced stage of grammaticalization, the construction is in fact an emergent member of the Auxiliary Construction (‘Tripartite Conjugation’). It is proposed that the motivation for the formal changes observed are to be found in the functional change the construction undergoes, among them the loss of the control of the subject over the process encoded by the lexical verb; this appears to be a feature specific to perfects grammaticalized from ‘finish’ source constructions (as opposed to those with resultative source constructions).
Hanna Jenni The Old Egyptian Demonstratives pw, pn and pf
Proximal deixis is commonly assigned to Old Egyptian pn as well as to pw, whereas distal deixis is attributed to pf (Loprieno 1995: 68; Malaise & Winand 1999: 121f.). However, it will be shown that pw has to be understood as a distance neutral demonstrative, the differences between pw and pn lying on the pragmatic level. As for distal pf, it is used only in explicit or implicit contrast to proximal pn. The evidence will be taken from the Pyramid Texts, from tomb inscriptions and from letters and decrees of the Old Kingdom.
Matthias Müller Contrast in Coptic I. Concessive Constructions in Sahidic
Im vorliegenden Aufsatz wird das Phänomen der Konzessivkonstruktionen in der sahidischen Varietät des Koptischen untersucht. Der erste Teil beschreibt die morphologischen und syntaktischen Eigenheiten der Konnektoren: kaiper (2.1), kaitoi (2.2), kan (2.3), ešce (2.4) sowie der Konstruktion des Umstandssatzes (2.5). Dabei wurde festgestellt, dass kaitoi und kaiper in einer diachronen Beziehung zu stehen scheinen, wobei kaitoi der in älteren Texten zu findende Konnektor ist. In einem zweiten Teil wird das Material einerseits in Konzessivsätze, andererseits in konzessive Konditionalsätze unterteilt. Erstere werden im Rahmen des domain-theory auf ihre funktionale Verortung hin untersucht. Dabei ist festzustellen, dass von den im ersten Teil eingeführten Konnektoren nur kaitoi/kaiper und der Umstandssatz in allen Funktionen zu belegen sind. Konzessive Konditionalsätze sind hingegen die primäre Domäne des Konnektors kan, sowohl bei skalaren als auch bei alternativen konzessiven Konditionalsätzen. Universelle konzessive Konditionalsätze sind nicht grammatikalsiert, sondern werden mit einer NP mit Quantor fortgesetzt von einem Relativsatz gebildet. Am Ende werden die Ergebnisse zu typologischen Beschreibungen anderer Sprachen in Bezug gesetzt.
Elsa Oréal Same Source, Different Outcomes? A Reassessment of the Parallel between Ancient Egyptian and Akkadian ‘Stative’ Conjugations
The uses of the Akkadian ‘Stative’ and of the Egyptian ‘Pseudoparticiple’ are compared in order to assess the relevance of their historical relationship to a better understanding of the Egyptian form. The a priori assumption that they share a common function is challenged by numerous morpho-syntactic lexical and systemic differences. The importance of Egyptian-internal evolution is emphasized, and superficial similarities are showed to be irrelevant on a structural plane. An explanation of the rise of a Stative Pseudoparticiple in Egyptian, correlative with the change from Verb-Subject predication to Subject-Predicate situational predication, is sketched.
Stéphane Polis Interaction entre modalité et subjectivité en néo-égyptien. Autour de la construction mrı͗ + ı͗wcirc. « souhaiter que »
Typologically-oriented conceptions of modality have informed a number of recent publications in the field of Egyptian linguistics. These models have led to new insights regarding the linguistic structure of Egyptian. Especially promising is the interrelationship between modality and subjectivity, which has received considerable attention in general linguistic studies of modality but which has been hitherto neglected in the study of Egyptian. The aims of the present paper, which is intended as a preliminary exploration of this relationship, are [1] to study the semantic field of volition in Late Egyptian (whose primary exponents include: subjunctive; ı͗b+suff. r + NP/INF.; Ꜣbı͗ NP/(r +) INF.; wḫꜢ NP/INF.; mrı͗ NP/INF./ı͗wcirc.) and [2] to argue that in Late Egyptian one can distinguish between three main levels of syntactic integration for the complement clauses of verbs expressing the semantic notion of manipulation: complement clauses introduced by ı͗w, subjunctive complement clauses, and infinitive complement clauses. These levels of syntactic integration correspond iconically to different levels of event integration; the degree of syntactic integration correlates with the strength of manipulation.
Joachim Friedrich Quack Zum Partizip im Demotischen
Restudy of the temporal value of the demotic participle. It has recently been proposed by M. Depauw and also endorsed by M. Stadler that the demotic participle has, besides its normal function as indicating the past, sometimes also the meaning of a generalis. The alleged examples for this use are reexamined. A specifically early demotic construction which seems to make use of the participle can be shown to be actually of different origin, especially by its restrictions of use (only in the cleft sentence without definite article). Besides, its specific reference to the future does not make it a good evidence for a use of the participle as a generalis. For the later periods, the examples of a supposedly general present can be shown, by close analysis, to be quite in line with a past meaning. This is valid for divine and royal epithets as well as supposedly gnomic passages in wisdom texts. Also supposedly similar cases for Late Egyptian are examined; it can be shown that there as well, the construction ı͗:ı͗r+ sč̣m is not obviously used for a present or general tense.
Wolfgang Schenkel Zur Silbenstruktur des Ägyptischen
According to the traditional view, in Palaeo-Coptic, the Egyptian of the Old or Middle Kingdoms, two basic rules apply: (1) a stressed vowel is followed by one, two or three consonants, (2) every word form ends in a consonant. According to an alternative solution formulated by Carsten Peust, the following rules apply: (1) every word form ends in a vowel, (2) the stressed vowel is followed by zero, one, two or three consonants. The two solutions result in partially differing sequences in the consonants and vowels that follow the stressed vowel. The present contribution reaches the following conclusion: §2 shows that in certain cases the sequence of vowels and consonants must be different from the one the alternative solution would lead one to expect. §3 demonstrates that the traditional solution, according to which a consonant occupies the final position in every word form, cannot be correct. The correct solution is to be found somewhere in the middle. The sequence of vowels and consonants required by the traditional solution continues to be valid. On the other hand, in contrast to what the traditional solution allows (and more frequently than required by previously suggested modifications to the traditional solution), the last syllable of a word form can end in a vowel rather than a consonant.
Sami Uljas Radiality in Middle Egyptian Grammar
Middle Egyptian grammar is shown to display systematic reduction of grammatical coding of semantic differences in negative, passive, second tense, non-asserted, and relative environments vis-à-vis affirmative, active, indicative, and assertive constructions. This phenomenon, termed radiality, is argued to reflect the status of the former type of situation-descriptions as cognitively non-canonical and more peripheral.
Pascal Vernus Le préformant n et la détransitivité. Formation nC1C2C1C2 versus C1C2C1C2. A propos de la racine √gm « notion de trituration »
The existence of a n-prefix in the formation of earlier Egyptian verbs has been long noted but its values have not been clearly described. This paper aims at clarifying the issue, mainly – but not exclusively – through study of the nC1C2C1C2 formations. When certain hitherto overlooked material is taken into account, it seems that the prefix n was used to build nC1C2C1C2 verbs on biconsonantal roots. These verbs show intransitive values, in opposition with correlate C1C2C1C2 verbs which show transitive values. The effect of the prefix was to exclude any agentivity, with the sole participant being viewed as the space in which the action occurred (‘detransitive’ and ‘anticausative’ effects). In the nC1C2C1C2 formation the reduplication may have the effect of presenting the action as implying a multiplicity of repeated homologous stages. The argumentation is based on a thorough study of the thus far unnoticed root √gm (1) associated with the notion of “kneading, grinding up, fidgeting”.
Jean Winand Zeros in Egyptian. Can nothing mean something?
This paper deals with the use of zeros in Egyptian linguistics. It is argued that in most cases zeros are superfluous and misleading. Working in a structuralist framework, I suggest that a linguistic zero, in a narrow sense, must stand in a paradigmatic opposition and have a meaning of its own (signifié). To be fully operative, the notion of paradigmatic opposition should be maximally extended across the traditional borders of the word or of the nominal/verbal phrase. This done, the list of acceptable zeros is dramatically reduced.
Camilla Di Biase-Dyson,
Frank Kammerzell &
Daniel A. Werning

Glossing Ancient Egyptian. Suggestions for adapting the Leipzig Glossing Rules


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