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Phonetics and Phonology / Egyptolinguistic Phonology Question
« Last post by jkausch on April 17, 2018, 08:52:24 PM »

I am working on a project to try to reconstruct, or at least re-examine classical Egyptological transliteration, of Ancient Egyptian vowels. Vowels are very important to the Egyptian priesthood due to the spiritual purity they represent, so I imagine that, like with Panini's rules of Sandhi for Sanskrit, the priests of the House of Life would go to great lengths to ensure and maintain vowel harmony.

The only problem is that Egyptian, being an Afroasiatic language, is written as an Abjad when the hieroglyphs are used in their rebic form. This leads me to the following questions:

- Does anyone have good literature on understanding triconsonantal roots not just in Semitic languages, but for all Afroasiatic languages in general? In particular, it would be good to have reference to the phonological system which underlies the roots diachronically.

- Are there graphotactical rules for how abjads betray their underlying phonology? Daniels' original definition seems to hint so

- Does anyone know about phonological work on Egyptian that has taken contemporary Greek language sources, such as Manetho, into account?

- Are there any other good, general reconstructions of Ancient Egyptian from the daughter language of Coptic which might be useful?

If any of you could help answer any or all of these questions, that would be most appreciated.
Morphosyntax / Re: ambiguous ?
« Last post by binumal on April 12, 2018, 11:50:36 AM »
corrected the over negation,thank you for the reply
Morphosyntax / Re: ambiguous ?
« Last post by Daniel on April 12, 2018, 07:11:38 AM »
There are two readings similar to what you described, but you've over-negated in your paraphrases:
1. This is the first year they didn't celebrate New Years.
2. The first New Years wasn't celebrated by them.

I'm not sure that the ambiguity is really about scope of the negation at all. Instead, it may just be about where the "for the first time" adverbial attaches structurally (within the verb phrase or to the clause as a whole). There might be additional readings possible if we also include scope of the negation, although they might be logically equivalent to those two readings generated by the adverbial attachment.

Note: for my ears, it must be "New Years" (e.g., a holiday, for some reason written in a plural or perhaps possessive form), unless you use it as a normal noun phrase with a determiner: "the new year".

My default interpretation would be low attachment, meaning "the first new year", or reading (2). But that is pragmatically bizarre (which is the "first" new year??), so unless the context permitted that, I would probably reinterpret it to fit as this being the first time they didn't, meaning they always have before. In other words, this is a very flexible ambiguity that is interpreted in context, without a strong bias one way or the other. It's a confusing example and could be clarified with a more controlled situation (rather than something that happens so rarely and repeatedly without a beginning).
Language-specific analysis / Re: Please look at the following sentence
« Last post by Daniel on April 12, 2018, 07:03:40 AM »
No problem with that. In fact it is a common rhetorical device. "Even though that may be correct, I still don't like it." etc. It's like the archaic "Notwithstanding", where you are actually asserting something despite the possibility modal. Or it can be literal possibility. Depends on context. In the case of the quoted sentence above I read it literally, as possibility, not conclusion.
Language-specific analysis / Re: Please look at the following sentence
« Last post by binumal on April 12, 2018, 03:14:41 AM »
Thank you , Now I found out the problem with me. Checking the corpus of my own write-ups , I observe that I have never used 'even though' with 'may be' , This I presume was because my  subconscious  mind has some how formed a rule that 'even though ' is incompatible with 'may be' .   ( may be due to the influence of my first language) .
Morphosyntax / ambiguous ?
« Last post by binumal on April 12, 2018, 02:58:50 AM »
Please have a look at this sentence-  The islanders didn't  celebrate New year for the first time
I can imagine of 2 readings of the sentence
1. It is not the case that for the first time , the Islanders celebrated New year - A reading in which the negation takes scope over the adverbial 'for the  first time'
2. For the first time, it is not the case that the islanders didn't celebrate New year- The adverbial takes scope over negation here.
My question is which reading is more natural for a native speaker, if this sentence is ambiguous at all?

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Language-specific analysis / Re: Please look at the following sentence
« Last post by Daniel on April 11, 2018, 09:07:33 PM »
Nothing seems anomalous about that underlined part to me. Maybe you'd prefer a singular "their internal configuration" -- in a distributive rather than collective sense?
Language-specific analysis / Re: Please look at the following sentence
« Last post by binumal on April 11, 2018, 05:53:45 PM »
drj,panini pl
Outside of the box / Re: Medieval manuscript reveals proto-Romance language.
« Last post by Daniel on April 10, 2018, 12:43:16 PM »
By the way, searching online, I see almost nothing about this. I see a lot of nonsense out there, though, so if this is correct, it should be making headlines. That's a problem.

Here's an article about Russian linguists solving it, finding it to be a mix of languages:

On the other hand, this page indicates that some of the information is written later as annotations, in a Romance language:
Month names have been written near each of the zodiac illustrations in the zodiac section of the MS. These were most probably added some (unknown) time after the creation of the MS. They are written in a Romance language, most probably Northern French
Your article specifically makes the claim that if we are "still skeptical" after the other arguments, we  should be convinced by the month names in a language related to Romance. Obviously that's been known for a long time, and the fact that you would cite it as evidence in favor of your hypothesis is damaging to any credibility your other claims might have.

I'm calling it: this is another non-answer. Feel free to prove me wrong by providing evidence in one of the forms requested above. If not, there's a reason your hypothesis doesn't come up on the first page of Google.

If I can poke holes in your proposed argumentation for a published paper after 5 minutes of Googling, that's a huge warning sign, and probably not worth our time to continue discussing it, at least at this point.

Honestly, I have no idea whether you're correct, and I know only what little I've read about this manuscript. But to convince me that you're right, I'll need more than you've given so far. Good luck! It would be really interesting to know what the manuscript says.
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