Late Egyptian

Late Egyptian

Late Egyptian is the stage of the Egyptian language that began to be written in the New Kingdom around the Amarna period. Texts written wholly in Late Egyptian date to the Ramesside Period and later.

Late Egyptian literature

Late Egyptian is represented by a large body of religious and secular literature, comprising such examples as the "Story of Wenamun", the love poems of the Chester-Beatty I papyrus, and the "Instruction of Ani". Instructions became a popular literary genre of the New Kingdom, which took the form of advice on proper behavior. It was also the language of the Ramesside administration. [Loprieno, "op.cit.", p.7] [Meyers, "op.cit.", p.209]

Differences between Middle and Late Egyptian

Late Egyptian is not completely distinct from Middle Egyptian, as many "classicisms" appear in historical and literary documents of this phase. [Haspelmath, "op.cit.", p.1743] However, the difference between Middle and Late Egyptian is greater than the one between Middle and Old Egyptian: from being a synthetic it became an analytic language. [Bard, "op.cit.", p.275] Their relationship has been described as being similar to that of Latin and Italian. [Christidēs et al. "op.cit.", p.811]
* Written Late Egyptian was seemingly a better representative than Middle Egyptian of the spoken language in the New Kingdom and beyond: weak consonants "3, w, j", as well as the feminine ending ".t" were increasingly dropped, apparently because they stopped being pronounced.
* The demonstrative pronouns "p3" (masc.), "t3" (fem.), and "n3" (pl.) were used as definite articles.
* The old form "sḏm.n=f" (he heard) of the verb was replaced by "sḏm=f" which had both prospective (he shall hear) and perfective (he heard) aspects. The past tense was also formed using the auxiliary verb "jr" (make), as in "jr=f saHa=f" (he has accused him).
* Adjectives as attributes of nouns are often replaced by nouns.

Developments during the first millennium BCE

Hieroglyphic orthography saw an enormous expansion of its graphemic inventory between the Late Dynastic and Ptolemaic periods.

Middle Egyptian had a renaissance after the Third Intermediate Period, when it was often used in hieroglyphic and hieratic texts in preference to Late Egyptian.

Late Egyptian Grammars

* J. Cerny, S. Israelit-Groll, C. Eyre, "A Late Egyptian Grammar", 4th, updated edition - Biblical Institute; Rome, 1984



* Kathryn A. Bard, "Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt", Routledge 1999, ISBN 0415185890
* Martin Haspelmath, "Language Typology and Language Universals: An International Handbook", Walter de Gruyter 2001, ISBN 3110171546
* Antonio Loprieno, "Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction", Cambridge University Press 1995, ISBN 0521448492
* Anastasios-Phoivos Christidēs, Maria Arapopoulou, Maria Chritē, "A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity", Cambridge University Press 2007, ISBN 0521833078
* Eric M. Meyers, "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East", 1997


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • late egyptian — noun Usage: capitalized L&E 1. : demotic egyptian 2. : new egyptian …   Useful english dictionary

  • Egyptian language — Infobox Language name=Egyptian nativename= transl|egy|r n km.t r:Z1 n km m t:O49 region=Ancient Egypt extinct=evolved into Demotic by 600 BC, into Coptic by AD 200, and was extinct (not spoken as a day to day language) by the 17th century. It… …   Wikipedia

  • Egyptian language — Extinct Afro Asiatic language of the Nile River valley. Its very long history comprises five periods: Old Egyptian (с 3000–с 2200 BC), best exemplified by a corpus of religious inscriptions known as the Pyramid Texts and a group of… …   Universalium

  • Egyptian Army — Insignia Active Country …   Wikipedia

  • Egyptian television — began broadcasting its programs in 1960. Today it has more than eight national channels, and several broadcast through satellite. History Though the decision to start television service was taken earlier by the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser,… …   Wikipedia

  • Egyptian Goose — Conservation status Least Concern ( …   Wikipedia

  • Egyptian Revival architecture — Egyptian Revival is an architectural style that makes use of the motifs and imagery of Ancient Egypt. It is generatlly dated to the enthusiasm for Ancient Egypt generated by Napoleon s conquest of Egypt and, in Britain, to Admiral Nelson s defeat …   Wikipedia

  • Egyptian Hip Hop — Genre musical Rock progressif, Art rock Années d activité 2008 présent Labels Hit Club, Pure Groove Egyptian Hip Hop est un groupe de pop progressive originaire du Grand Manchester. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Egyptian — late 14c., Egypcyan; see EGYPT (Cf. Egypt) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Egyptian religion — Polytheistic belief system of ancient Egypt from the 4th millennium BC to the first centuries AD, including both folk traditions and the court religion. Local deities that sprang up along the Nile Valley had both human and animal form and were… …   Universalium