Egypt Language Part 2

Egypt Language Part 2

As in Semitic, the direct genitive is expressed with the construct state of the regent noun. Similarly, the indirect genitive is expressed with a relative particle, eg. * n ḡ j “he who belongs to”. For numerals, the units agree; w ‛ jw “one” is also in eg. connected to a stem w ‛ j ” collect “; “five” ṭ jw is metathesis of j. ṭ “hand”; ḥ fn“one hundred thousand” is the ar. ḥă fl “a lot”. The similarities between Egyptian and Semitic conjugations are better known. However, it is not correct that forms have been found in n -: in fact nftft “to bend” is a reduplication of nft “to contort” (sem.”inflict”) and does not derive from ftft “skip”. The so-called “pseudo-participle” corresponds in everything, in form and meaning, to the Akkadian permansive, and must be kept distinct from the perfect Semitic. The other ways in Egyptian are of special formation. The imperfect has as its base a nominal sentence type qatíla – fej “uccidente (is) he.” According to the law of the accent it is reduced to eqtîlef (cf. Pir. 457) and eqt ḡ l- ś en: this is the emphatic way. In the indicative, with a slow tone, we have qeil. q̂ f. The imperfect also has an energetic form, which appears evident only in the verbs of the third consonant j or w, which present the assimilation of the semivowel to the previous one: from mrw “to love” we have mr – ref. The perfect has a particle – n after the theme. With the analogy of the Syriac š em ī ‛ lan ” we have heard “(literally:” heard us “) we wanted to explain as a passive participle also the Egyptian form śṣ m – n – f, therefore” hearing (is) to him”; ndetaches from its complement: śṣ m – n ś w nsr “God heard it”, which does not happen in Syriac; therefore the – n cannot be a preposition. The comparison with the other Egyptian modes, formed with the postpositions – jn, – ḫ r, – k ‘, leads to the conclusion that that – n is a particle with the value of “already, in the past” (cf. in bedauya – n ē, galla – n ī). Relative modes also have a comparison. As in Egyptian the ending masc is increased. – w, femm. – t the verbal stem, in the imperfect and in the perfect, in beḍauya the relative mode is formed with the endings masi.h. – ē, femm. – ē t (cf. the ending – u of the relative Akkadian).

Fundamental syntactic analogies: the equal distinction in nominal and verbal clauses, the use of the circumstantial, the use of the relative after the given noun, and of the 3rd person in the relative clause after the vocative, the emphasis of the subject with jn (lar. inna) and the like.

The oldest written documents of the ancient Egyptian date back to the dawn of history, around 3250 BC. C., the last ones are from the reign of Zeno (474-491 AD). Like all the languages ​​of the world, even the Egyptian language has undergone two changes, one in space (from city to city, perhaps from group to group) and one in time. Of the dialectal varieties, if we need proof, a text of the century makes us sure. XIII a. C., who, perhaps with a little exaggeration, says that an resident of Elephantine did not include one from the Delta (P. An., I, 28, 6). We have so far been unable to infer anything in this regard. We better know how the language changed, in the phonetics, in the morphology, in the syntax, during its long life of about forty centuries. Of course, as we said, the Egyptian writing, expressing words without vowels (because knowledge of morphology was often enough to restore them) makes us ignore the variety of them, both in space and in time. Instead, despite the predominance of historical spelling, we are surprised by the change of consonants, more or less soon. We know eg. the fall of the ending – t of the feminine already in the ancient kingdom, the fall of the final r of nûser dio “(co. nûte) at the same time; the passage of s to t, of z to ś, of  a , of ġ a  in the middle kingdom; from q to g in empire; from  to t, from  to š in the low times. The morphological, syntactic and lexical variations allow us to introduce some great divisions in the history of the language. What was the current speech that the Egyptians used, is unknown. We like to suppose that some phrases put into the mouths of people of the people, in the scenes of life carved on the walls of the tombs, and some songs express the living language of their time; but it cannot be excluded that, in reproducing them, the scribe did not allow himself to be influenced by traditional rhetoric. So, in essence, we are left with only the literary languages, which will be more or less sought after, but in any case they represent an ideal, stylized type. Generally they escape innovations, they remain archaic; the vulgarisms that are found there are due to the writer’s shallow linguistic knowledge, they are not intentional. The oldest important documents are the so-called Pyramid texts. Some passages may date back to the pre-dynastic period, and render the archaic form of the Egyptian. Next to them there is a treatise on Memphis theology, which proves to be of the first dynasty, and some legends on the birth and enthronement of the king, transcribed in later times. The biographies of the ancient kingdom (III-VIII dynasty), some letters, some juridical texts, royal ordinances preserve the written language of the “ancient Egyptian”. The political catastrophe that ended that historical period may also have broken the literary tradition. In the Middle Kingdom (IX-XVII dynasty) two types are noted. Certain stories, biographies, contracts, letters, of a straight and plain style, make up the “average Egyptian”. Some religious remains, hymns, compositions of a high or poetic tone are expressed in a more chaste language reminiscent of religious “ancient Egyptian”. At the beginning of the eighteenth dynasty the medieval Egyptian persisted, but with the passing of time his knowledge expired more and more and was replaced by the contemporary “neo-Egyptian”. The tale of Kamóśe’s war against the Hyksos (“Carnarvon Tablet”) belongs to you; but in all the writings that claim to be literary neo-Egyptianisms abound. The triumph is marked by the end of the XVIII dynasty. The demotic (v.) And the Coptic developed from the neo-Egyptian. The difference between the literary style and the Neo-Egyptian can be clearly seen in a papyrus from the British Museum (n. 10.282, 3, 1-12) which gives us a magical text in both languages.

Egypt Language 2