(Ancient) Egyptian grammar :with table of signs by Adolf Erman - PDF ebook

Egyptian grammar: with a table of signs, bibliography, exercises for reading, and glossary.

As the outgrowth of practical academic instruction, this book is designed to facilitate as far as possible, for the beginner, the acquisition of the Egyptian language and writing, and is also intended for those who must dispense with the assistance of a teacher in the study. It aims to acquaint the learner with those grammatical phenomena which are well established, and which must guide us in the interpretation of texts.

It further aims to afford him as correct a picture as possible of the general structure of the Egyptian language. For those who are familiar with the peculiar situation of Egyptian philology, I need not premise with the remark, that something else is necessary to the study of Egyptian grammar if it is to be at all a fruitful study, viz. the simultaneous acquisition of Coptic. 

One who is not familiar with this, the only phase of the Egyptian language which we really understand, will never properly comprehend it in its older IV author's preface. periods, nor, at the most ever attain more than a superficial capacity for reading Egyptian texts by rote. I would therefore request the student of my book to work through Steindorff's Coptic Grammar — a book parallel with this — and especially, to note also the constant cross-references in both.

 The selection and limitation of the grammatical material offered especial difficulty. The Egyptian language as we find it, presents quite different stages of development, and even leaving Late Egyptian and still later idioms out of the account, fifteen hundred years of the history of the language still remain to be dealt with. 

These difficulties have been surmounted by relegating to certain paragraphs (A and B) the peculiarities of the ancient religious literature and the inscriptions of the old empire on the one hand, and those of the popular language of the middle empire on the other. The paragraphs, therefore, deal with what may be called the classic language, the language of the inscriptions and poems of the middle empire, with which the idiom later employed as the learned and official language is practically identical. 

The material in the chrestomathy is also taken from texts of this character in order that the beginner may accustom himself to their linguistic usage and especially to their consistent orthography. I have tried the author's preface. to facilitate the understanding of the chrestomathy by division into sentences, clear print, and explanatory remarks. In the use of the book, it has seemed to me that the beginner should first familiarize himself with the most important paragraphs, designated by an asterisk, and should then work through the first part of the Chrestomathy. 

If in doing this he not only looks up the paragraphs indicated but also tries to form a connected idea of the sections of the grammar thus referred to, he will then be sufficiently advanced to take hold of the second part of the chrestomathy, whereas a rule he must recognize the grammatical forms for himself. The appendix to the chrestomathy contains the most important of the formularies from the list which must now be mastered, in order to understand Egyptian inscriptions correctly. It further behooves me to state, that in this book, much which is not so designated undoubtedly belongs to Steindorff and Sethe. But we have so often discussed these things among ourselves, that we could not separate our "intellectual property" even if we deemed it at all important to do so.

The peculiar difficulties experienced by the translator, in transferring into English the results of the grammatical investigations of his honored teacher, Prof. Erman, render a word of explanation necessary. These difficulties were due firstly, to the unique character of the language investigated, and secondly to the fact that the new science of Egyptian Grammar, as it has been created by the German grammatical school in the last fifteen years, does not yet exist in English.


Adolf Erman - Translated by James Henry Breasted

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Ancient Egyptian language - Coptic Language -Egyptian hieroglyphs 

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