Department of Egyptology and Assyriology
December 9, 2013

The Ancient Egyptian Language: an Historical Study (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013) by James P. Allen


New book by James P. Allen
This book, the first of its kind, examines how the phonology and gram-mar of the ancient Egyptian language changed over more than three thousand years of its history, from the first appearance of written documents, ca. 3250 BC, to the Coptic dialects of the second century AD and later. Part One discusses phonology, working backward from the vowels and consonants of Coptic to those that can be deduced for earlier stages of the language. Part Two is devoted to grammar, including both basic components such as nouns and the complex history of the verbal system. The book thus provides both a synchronic description of the five major historical stages of ancient Egyptian and a diachronic analysis of their development and relationship.