Widmaier Verlag Hamburg

Journal issue


Kaisa Autere,
‘Do not be deaf towards me’: Subordinate’s Linguistic Strategies when Communicating with his Superior in the Lahun Temple Papyri

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.01
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This article shows that a sociolinguistic analysis of the letters from the Middle Kingdom temple papyri from el-Lahun can be used to identify and further examine superior/subordinate relationships. The temple officials in a subordinate position use reoccurring patterns in their choice of communicative strategies when they need to ask actions from their superior. Besides the more normative and formal modes of e.g. requesting and expressing critique, a specific phenomenon in the letters is the tendency of the subordinates to use expressive and exaggerated language as an elaborate linguistic strategy. This feature appears to be used in situations when the subordinate feels the need to legitimise his appeal whilst simultaneously trying to stay within the unforgiving social decorum. Using the concept of Discernment politeness and the sociolinguistic framework of Normativity, it is shown how this approach can offer additional means for the identification of hierarchical relationships in the epistolary corpora.
Marc Brose,
Wurden in Verbindung mit der Negation nj „prädikative“ oder „abstrakt-relativische“ sDm=f-Formen verwendet?

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.02
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“Were predicative or nominal sDm=f forms used in negative constructions of the type nj sDm=f?”
This contribution deals with the theoretical question of whether the simple negative con­structions of the type nj + sDm=f contained predicative/circumstantial or nominal/substantival forms. After presenting the research history beginning with the theories of Polotsky, an overview of the matter in the grammars and monographs on Egyptian grammar and also recent contributions to the theme is given. In the main part the problem is discussed on three levels: the morphological level, the syntactic level and the original statement of Polotsky itself. The results are: On the morphological level, it is more likely that the simple negative constructions contained predicative forms. On the syntactic level, it cannot be excluded that the forms were nominal; however, pragmatic reasons make it more probable that there existed a distribution nj + pred. sDm=f for the simple type vs. nj + nom. sDm=f + js for the nominal type. For the original statement of Polotsky it is argued that the evidence for his theory was overgeneralized, and that there is no compelling reason to identify the forms as nominal.
Gaëlle Chantrain,
Ignorance and Forgetfulness in Late Egyptian and Classical Egyptian from the New Kingdom until the 26th Dynasty: A Lexical Study

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.03
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The conceptual domain of cognition in Ancient Egyptian is realized linguistically through numerous lexemes and expressions. Following Fortescue, these lexical units can be organized around five pivot-concepts that appear to consistently emerge cross-linguistically and define subdomains within cognition. These subdomains are: knowing, understanding, intending, remembering and thinking, to which a sixth notion attention has here been added. The present study focuses on three verbs with negative meanings in relation to the subdomains knowing and remembering: Xm “be ignorant”, smX “forget” and mhj “be forgetful, forget”, as well as the negative constructions neg. + rX “not know”. The aim of this article is to show that the semantics of these lexical units are interconnected with contextual para-synonymy and complementarity relations.
Roman Gundacker,
Haremhab und Ar-ma-a-aš: Einige ägyptologisch-sprachwissenschaftliche Bemerkungen

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.04
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In recent years, a high-ranking personage Ar-ma-a- (Ar-ma-a-aš) in a Hittite cuneiform letter from the time of the late Egyptian 18th Dynasty has been identified with Haremhab, generalissimo under Tutankhamun and later king himself. Despite convincing reconstructions of historical events and courses of events, substantial linguistic difficulties, among them the representation of Egyptian as cuneiform or its ommission, have not been addressed from an Egyptological perspective. This contribution reviews previous research and analyses the onomastic and linguistic background to the result that Egyptian , if preserved in Egyptian itself, is always rendered with cuneiform , and that Ar-ma-a- (Ar-ma-a-aš) therefore cannot represent the Egyptian full name Haremhab. Instead, and following a widespread practice of Egyptian officials to use hypocoristic names in cuneiform correspondence, it is a hypocoristic name *(’)ăr-mắ derived from the full name Haremhab which Haremhab must have used prior to his ascension to the throne.
Carsten Peust,
Die Langform des koptischen Pronominalsuffixes der zweiten Person Plural

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.05
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“The long form of the Coptic 2nd person pl. pronominal suffix”
I discuss the development and function of the long form of the 2nd person pl. pronominal suffix, -ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ in Sahidic. It is argued that at a certain point of time, probably during the New Kingdom, the regular suffix =T°n developed a stressed variant =T±n in some contexts in order to reduce ambiguity and to avoid certain morphological complexities. Later on, this variant was expanded by the 3rd person pl. suffix to give rise to a form -T´n=w, which became grammaticalized in Demotic most prominently for expressing the 2nd pl. pronominal direct object after verbs. A series of phonetic and analogical transformations -tênw > -têwn > -têwtn, which did not reach completion in all regions of Egypt, brought it again into more conformity with the regular short suffix =ⲧⲛ. Once the long suffix had come into existence, it slowly gained ground to the expense of the short suffix, while never replacing it entirely. The long suffix has always remained paradigmatically isolated and has no counterpart in any of the other grammatical persons.
Frederik Rogner,
Reden – Zeigen – Lesen: Multimodale Formen der Ansprache in altägyptischen Bild-Text-Kompositionen

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.06
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“Speaking – pointing – reading: multimodal forms of address in ancient Egyptian image-text-compositions”
Starting from a scene in Ti’s mastaba (1), this article discusses the manifold synergies of textual and pictorial elements in representing the act of addressing / speaking in two-dimensional ancient Egyptian image-text-compositions. Following some remarks on the “address / speaking gesture” as it appears in pictorial sources (2) as well as its possible origins in actual historical practices (3) its appearance(s) and function(s) in wall paintings and reliefs are presented. Besides the frequent spatial correlation of speakers and their speech via this gesture (4) these include in particular the visual highlighting of certain parts of longer texts by a figure’s arm or hand reaching into them in cases of so-called “text-image-interferences” (5). The article is concluded by further observations on the multimodal nature of the act of speaking in real life as well as in pictorial representations (6) and some comparative observations on the occurrence of “address / speaking gestures” and their communicative use(s) in sources from Ancient Greece and the European Middle Ages (7).
Andréas Stauder,
On the Earlier Egyptian T-Passive: Analysis, Spread, Long-Term History

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.07
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Introducing the topic, .t/.tỉ/.tw-marked forms of the verb are shown to be inflectional passives like V-passives, not active impersonal constructions as advocated in a recent proposal (§1). In a process seen unfolding already in the earliest record, then further during Earlier Egyptian and into the Middle Kingdom, T-passives are observed spreading over V-passives, superseding these in many functions (§2). Like perfective aspect, the prototypical passive views the event from the perspective of its Endpoint. It is proposed that T-passives spread over V-passives in those functions in which the Endpoint was partly or entirely out of focus: in the future, in negative constructions, and in constructions that set the perspective on the event itself, away from the Endpoint. Passives from intransitives are non-prototypical in lacking an Endpoint and in setting the perspective on the event itself: they might have played a supporting role in early stages of the process. Meanwhile, V-passives continued to be used regularly in those environments in which the Endpoint was in focus, with fully asserted events and in adjunct clauses. This macro-change is inserted into the longer-term history of T-passives (§3). Looking up in time, it is proposed that Earlier Egyptian {t} is cognate to {t} found across Afroasiatic languages with varying detransitive functions, and represents the outcome of a well-paralleled path leading from reflexive to anticausative to passive. Looking down in time, it is proposed that passives from intransitives and passives with imperfective aspect, both deviating from the passive prototype, were favorable loci for alternative construals of T-passives as generalized-Agent constructions. Given several favorable conditions on other levels, these contributed to making the extension of .t(w) to active impersonal constructions, beginning in the Twelfth Dynasty, possible. In the broader sweep, the story then goes from {t} as a reflexive marker (in Afroasiatic prehistory) to {t} as an inflectional passive marker (in Earlier Egyptian, with T-passives gradually extending their functional yield over V-passives); and further to innovative uses of .t(w) as an impersonal subject pronoun (emerging during the Twelfth Dynasty and generalizing in Late Egyptian). Three themes are recurrent in this long history: the morphological transparency of T-passives, voice-aspect correlations, and the role of passives from intransitives.
Sami Uljas,
Embedded and Adjoined Relative Clauses in Ancient Egyptian

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.08
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Ancient Egyptian “virtual” relative clauses are analysed, following certain earlier proposals, as syntactically adjunctive constructions similar to so-called adjoined relatives found especially in various Australian Aboriginal languages. The structural behaviour of the said type of relative clauses differs markedly from that of the “real” relative constructions, which (in attributive use) are argued to be embedded as constituents of their antecedent NPs.
Yannick A. Wiechmann,
Warum besitzt die koptische Schrift das Zeichen ϯ? Ein einsames Syllabogramm sakralisiert die Schrift

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.09
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“Why does the Coptic script have the character ϯ? A lone syllabogram sacralizes the script”
The Coptic character ϯ has several abnormalities within the Coptic script. On the one hand, it is the only syllabogram in the Coptic alphabet. On the other hand, it is not existent in all Coptic dialects and not at all in Old Coptic. Thus, the older explanation that this character did not evolve from a Demotic origin but is a ligature consisting of and should again be considered. In a second step, it is asked why Coptic has the character ϯ at all. There is hardly any evidence for phonetic reasons, and it is also not convincing to stress a better economy of writing provided by just one sign. Therefore, another explanation is proposed: In Late Antiquity, when the Coptic script emerged, mysticism of signs and numbers (Gematria) was a common exegetic strategy and cultural phenomenon. In this context, the letters and were, among others, heavily charged with supplementary meaning and also took part in the creation of monograms (like the Staurogram ) and the special writing of nomina sacra. Furthermore, a strong cult of the cross has evolved since Constantine I. and has led to many visual and textual representations of the cross, which the sign ϯ obviously resembles. Thus the implementation of the otherwise not required ϯ can be seen as a sacralization, if not Christianization, of the Coptic Script whose progenitors were used in pagan or at least non-Christian contexts. Therefore, the rendering of the Egyptian-Coptic language by the Coptic alphabet, which consists of some extra characters originating from the Demotic script besides ϯ, became acceptable for Christian texts, although the Demotic script at this time almost exclusively occurs in pagan contexts. Although ϯ has primarily phonographic functions in most cases, it can serve as a visual marker of Christian creed. Thus, this contribution tries to connect Graphematics, Coptology, Patrology and Early Christian Art for a more holistic approach towards the understanding of the character ϯ.


Matthias Müller,
Hans-Werner Fischer-Elfert & Friedhelm Hoffmann, Die magischen Texte von Papyrus Nr. 1826 der Nationalbibliothek Griechenlands

DOI: https://doi.org/10.37011/lingaeg.31.10