Widmaier Verlag Hamburg

Journal issue


James P. Allen,
Rethinking the sDm.f
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The Earlier Egyptian sDm.f is currently understood to represent a number of discrete forms in nonattributive and non-nominal use. That analysis is based on largely unexamined assumptions about meaning and usage. Reconsideration of the sDm.f on the basis of written morphology suggests there were only two discrete forms: one active and one passive. The role of gemination also merits reconsideration as a lexical feature rather than an inflectional one.
Marc Brose,
Zur Existenz von Faktitivstämmen im Ägyptischen
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The present article deals with the possible existence of D-Stems in Egyptian corresponding to the D-Stems in Semitic languages (like Hebrew Picel), an old thesis of the era of K. Sethe adopted by F. Breyer in a recent Lingua Aegyptia article (14, 2006). This article argues that the hints referred by Breyer are not sufficient to prove the existence of D-Stems in Egyptian.
Roman Gundacker,
On the Etymology of the Egyptian Crown Name mrsw.t. An “Irregular” Subgroup of m-Prefix Formations
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It is a well-known fact that Ancient Egyptian was able to form nouns with prefixes, of which the m-prefix is the most prominent. Already E. Edel stated that the m-prefix is dissimilated to n- if the first consonant of the base it gets attached to starts with another labial. In addition, there is another, so far unnoticed sound change, i.e. the nasal dissimilation m_n > m_l, which is sometimes followed by a subsequent sound change m_l > b_l. Considering these particular developments allows one to etymologise the nouns mrbj.t ~ *ml- < mnbj.t “axe”, mrsw.t ~ *mv̆l- < *mnsw.t “(designation of a) crown” and b#gÈw ~ *bl- < m#gÈw ~ *ml- < *mngÈw “dagger” and to determine nbj “to smelt (metal)”, (j)nsw “king (of Upper Egypt)” and *ngÈ “to cut” – an unattested variant of wgÈ “to cut” – respectively as their derivational bases. This also explains the by-forms m#fr.t and mrfr.t ~ *ml- of mnfr.t “jewel-ribbon”, which derives from nfr “to adorn, to be beautiful” and thus supports the etymologies proposed here. Furthermore, the sound changes m_n > m_l and m_l > b_l, which hitherto have been considered facultatively, can perhaps be restricted to *mnC > *mlC and *mlCocclusive- > *blCocclusive-.
Maxim Panov,
Three Records of the Late Period
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The paper is devoted to the Egyptian records from the IV-Ist centuries BC and presents a publication of three little-known monuments supplied with a commented translation, namely: the inscription of Psamtikseneb, preserved in the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg), the Statue of Imhotep, a supposed author of Taimhotep’s and Psherenptah’s biographies, from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) and a small ointment/paint container of Horimhotep from the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore). The last object presumably belongs to a person from the Memphite priestly family.
Kirsty Rowan,
Meroitic Consonant and Vowel Patterning. Typological Indications for the Presence of Uvulars
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The phonological identity of certain Meroitic signs has needed further investigation as previous evidence from correspondent forms has either been scarce or contradictory, leading to varying claims as to these signs’ sound value. This paper presents an investigation into the Meroitic signs <q> and <x> which analyses the occurrences of these signs in combination with certain vocalic signs. It is shown that evidence from phonology and typological processes gives strong indications that Meroitic possessed a series of uvular consonants.
Wolfgang Schenkel,
Wie ikonisch ist die altägyptische Schrift?
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The significance of iconicity in Egyptian writing tends to be overestimated in current scholarship as it was in ancient times. The reason for it is a past and present bias toward monumental writing as opposed to its much more frequently used cursive varieties. It should always be kept in mind that in hieroglyphic texts, a vast majority of signs has a phonetic, rather than semantic function. It is nonetheless clear that iconicity did play a role for the Egyptians in special instances, regardless of the function of the signs: in some cases, which I define as instances of “positive iconicity,” iconicity was considered and utilized in a positive sense; in other cases, which I term “negative iconicity,” it was regarded as negative, thus generating a number of procedures aimed at circumventing it. In this paper, particular attention is devoted to the evidence of the Coffin Texts and to the historical development of different procedures to circumvent iconicity in the Pyramid Texts and in the Coffin Texts. In a longer excursus, it is claimed that in the writing of the divine name Seth with the sign Aa21, we are in presence of a case of substitution of a sign, not of a word: thus, one should not read a word w@o (or similar) “the Judged One” (or similar) instead of a word Ütx (or similar) “Seth”; rather, one should view the word Ütx (or similar) “Seth” as written with the sign Aa21 (or similar) instead of with a sign representing the god iconically such as E21 (or similar), resulting from the use of a circumventing procedure.
Sami Uljas,
Syncretism and the Earlier Egyptian sDm=f. Speculations on Morphological Interconnections across Paradigms
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It is suggested that the paradigms of the five or so near-universally recognised forms of (active) sDm=f in Earlier Egyptian were possibly, and in some cases probably characterised by various degrees of morphological syncretism, i.e. formal identity between their constituent parts. Individual instances where this may have occurred are isolated and discussed, and it is proposed that in most cases the assumption of formal syncretism offers a plausible explanation and/or description for the grammatical and morphological phenomena observed. Overall, it is maintained that the paradigms were perhaps more distinct than suggested by some interpretations of the relationship between written and ‘actual’ morphology, but this might not have extended to complete formal autonomy. In conclusion the possible role of syncretism in the diachronic history of Egyptian is briefly considered.
Jean Winand & Stéphanie Gohy,
La grammaire du Papyrus Magique Harris
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The heterogeneity in the composition of Papyrus Magic Harris has been known for some time. In 1927, Lange already suggested that the text could be segmented in 23 sections grouped in three main divisions. In the present study, the text is examined from a purely formal viewpoint. A thorough grammatical description of the language is presented to test if the hypothesis of a (more or less) perfect match between form and content can be validated. If the answer seems to be largely positive, there is also room for variation and nuances. From a grammatical viewpoint, the text can be divided in two groups that correspond to the two linguistic poles that were used in the New Kingdom, i.e. Late Egyptian and « égyptien de tradition ». Now, this general trend has its exceptions, as texts belonging to one linguistic pole are sometimes open to traits that belong to the other pole. This of course sheds an interesting light on scribal practices in the New Kingdom.


David Klotz,
On the Origin of the 3rd Masc.Sing. Suffix Pronoun (=f). A Comparative Approach
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The anomalous third-person masculine singular suffix-pronoun in Egyptian (=f) does not appear to correspond to its Semitic equivalents. Yet a comparison with spoken and written variants suggests a new derivation for this unexpected pronoun.

Review Articles

Matthias Müller,
Die ultimative Grammatik des Sahidischen? Generelles und Marginales zur 3. Auflage von Laytons A Coptic Grammar
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Review article to the 3rd edition of Bentley Layton’s A Coptic Grammar focussing on issues of the systemic approach to language description and the terminology used by the author. A second part notes sundry observations to several paragraphs of the grammar.
David A. Warburton,
Darkness at Dawn. Methodology in Egyptological Lexicography
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Review article based on Christian Cannuyer, La Girafe dans l’Égypte ancienne et le verbe s-r-E27: étude de lexicographie et de symbolique animalière, Acta Orientalia Belgica Subsida IV, Brussels: Illustrata 2010 (ISBN 978-2-9601012-0-1, 656 pages, ca. 350 numbered textual passages, > 125 illustrations & maps, tables, indices, does not have a bibliography, € 65).


Åke Engsheden,
Carsten Peust, Die Toponyme vorarabischen Ursprungs im modernen Ägypten: Ein Katalog
Hans-Werner Fischer-Elfert,
Victoria Altmann, Die Kultfrevel des Seth. Die Gefährdung der göttlichen Ordnung in zwei Vernichtungsritualen der ägyptischen Spätzeit (Urk. VI)
Martina Minas-Nerpel,
Christian Leitz, Daniela Mendel & Yahya El-Masry, Athribis II. Der Tempel Ptolemaios XII. Die Inschriften und Reliefs der Opfersäle, des Umgangs und der Sanktuarräume
Matthias Müller,
Hans-Joachim Cristea, Schenute von Atripe: Contra Origenistas. Edition des koptischen Textes mit annotierter Übersetzung und Indizes
Carsten Peust,
Karola Zibelius-Chen, „Nubisches“ Sprachmaterial in hieroglyphischen und hieratischen Texten. Personennamen, Appellativa, Phrasen vom Neuen Reich bis in die napatanische und meroitische Zeit
Wolfgang Schenkel,
Hanna Jenni, Lehrbuch der klassisch-ägyptischen Sprache
David A. Warburton,
Rune Nyord, Breathing Flesh: Conceptions of the Body in the Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts