LIN1NLB Essay: Egyptian Language Reportby Caroline Seawright
Year 1 Essay for Nature of Language and Communications B at LaTrobe University, Nov 2010.
Egyptian is an extinct Afroasiatic language which was spoken in pharaonic Egypt. The endangered Coptic language is considered to be the final phase of ancient Egyptian. Phonemic, syllabic and morphosyntactic changes divided the language into various phases including early Egyptian, late Egyptian and Coptic. Despite these historical changes and the omission of vowels from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, there is enough information available to show that it was an accusative, fusional, Verb-Subject-Object language. It had a prepositional construction and used nouns, verbs and adjectives, but not articles. Although its pronunciation has been lost, scholars have used Coptic as the basis for reconstructing the ancient tongue. Thanks to the work of Egyptologists and linguists around the world, this fascinating language can be appreciated today.
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