Egyptian

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Egyptian

Postby Delodephius » Sun 07 Jun 2009 12:52 am

Does there exist sort of a list of Coptic words and their older (Old, Middle, Late, Demotic) Egyptian forms?

And also a list of Ancient Egyptian words with (hypothetical) vowels based on reconstructions?
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Delodephius » Sat 13 Jun 2009 6:29 pm

A question: what kind language in terms of typology was Ancient Egyptian (from Old to Coptic):
Isolating, Fusional, Agglutinative? I can't find any information on this, or am I just looking in wrong places.
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Sobekhotep » Sat 13 Jun 2009 10:14 pm

Delodephius wrote:A question: what kind language in terms of typology was Ancient Egyptian (from Old to Coptic):
Isolating, Fusional, Agglutinative? I can't find any information on this, or am I just looking in wrong places.

Have you examined the Wikipedia article? It tells you all about Egyptian grammar.
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Delodephius » Sat 13 Jun 2009 10:38 pm

Yes I have, but Wikipedia gives no information about what I'm looking fore. I found an article that only states that Old Egyptian was synthetic, Middle, Late and Demotic were isolating, and Coptic is again synthetic. I just don't know whether that synthetic means agglutinative or fusional, or both in case of one being agglutinative and the other fusional. It only states that Coptic morphology is more complex than that of Old Egyptian, which I don't know how to interpret.
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Neqitan » Sun 14 Jun 2009 12:38 am

Delodephius wrote:Yes I have, but Wikipedia gives no information about what I'm looking fore. I found an article that only states that Old Egyptian was synthetic, Middle, Late and Demotic were isolating, and Coptic is again synthetic. I just don't know whether that synthetic means agglutinative or fusional, or both in case of one being agglutinative and the other fusional. It only states that Coptic morphology is more complex than that of Old Egyptian, which I don't know how to interpret.

They are Afro-Asiatic languages: they gotta be fusional in stems and agglutinative in derivations. :P (Or maybe it's the other way? So far with the Semitic family it's hard to tell...)
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Delodephius » Sun 14 Jun 2009 12:46 am

Tell me about it. This is only my second attempt in trying to understand a grammar of a non-Indo-European language, except that one time I tried to understand Hungarian. To add to that I am used only to heavy fusional languages like Slavic, so even learning Italian was hard, unlike Sanskrit or Ancient Greek and Latin. English I learned by pure chance since kindergarten.
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Neqitan » Sun 14 Jun 2009 1:06 am

Well, I've skimmed some Ancient Egyptian dictionaries near me just for the fun, and so far the words resemble a very Semitic-like grammar (and that makes me believe they're from the same family). Haha, there were even some funny cognates with Arabic there and there I could recognize, like "m" standing for "what", just as Arabic mā (or maybe it's a coincidence...?).

Maybe it's not the exactly the same in Ancient Egyptian, but in Arabic, verb conjugations are either suffixes (-a, -tum, -tunna) or circumfixes (ta...īna, ’a...u) around a stem (agglutinative), and the stem derives from a root using a prefix (ta-, inta-, ista-) and some vowel playing (daras-drus) (prefixes and fusional).

Nouns are also derived from roots in lots of ways, and their plurals are derived using either ablaut (the so called "broken plurals") or a suffix.

There's a single row of suffixed versions of the pronouns that are used in places where in European languages we'd use different rows of possessive pronouns (Arabic attaches the suffixes to the possessed noun), prepositional pronouns (they get attached to the preposition), and direct pronouns (they get attached to the verb); all of which just doesn't stop to amaze me.

There's also this "Status Constructus", a special state of the possessed noun in a genitive construction (while in European languages it's usually just the possessor that changes, e.g. English 's, Latin genitive cases). In Arabic it's not so obvious, but in Hebrew I've heard there's a huge mess of vowels with it.

This is more related to the writing system, but in both Hebrew and Arabic short prepositions of one letter are attached to the next word.

I'd expect Ancient Egyptian to have all of the above. Wikipedia articles will illustrate you more on this, myself, i have to go and study Arabic because I suck so much at that. :oops: :lol:
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Delodephius » Sun 14 Jun 2009 1:24 am

I think I'll stick to Indo-European for now. :D

When I first took a look at some basic example of Egyptian grammar, first thing that came to my mind when looking at nouns was: "I wonder what kind of case-endings they have?". :lol:
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Neqitan » Sun 14 Jun 2009 1:42 am

Delodephius wrote:I think I'll stick to Indo-European for now. :D

I find non-Indo-European languages (specially their writing systems) fascinating, hence I almost don't know a thing about European languages beyond Spanish, my native language, and English, which I accidentally started to learn since almost kindergarten. :oops:
Delodephius wrote:When I first took a look at some basic example of Egyptian grammar, first thing that came to my mind when looking at nouns was: "I wonder what kind of case-endings they have?". :lol:

Classical Arabic did (mostly only marked with a single final vowel: u nominative, a accusative, i genitive/prepositional), but Hebrew never did. So who knows...?
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Re: Egyptian

Postby Sean of the Dead » Mon 15 Jun 2009 1:54 am

If you want to try a non-IE language (or an isolated language), try Basque, it's pretty easy and straightforward.

I want to try learning a Semitic language, maybe Coptic, Hebrew, Arabic, or Amharic. :D
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