Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 61 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DEMONSTRATIVE PRONOUNS There are several series based on m. p; f. t; pl. n; but n as a plural seems later than the other two. From them are developed a weak demonstrative to which possessive suffixes can be attached, producing the definite and possessive articles (p', to, no, the," y'yf, "his," p'y-s " her," &c.) of Middle Egyptian and the later language. NOUNS Two genders, m. (ending w, or nothing), f. (ending t). Three numbers: singular, dual (m. wi, f. ti, gradually became obsolete), plural (m. w; f. wt). No case-endings are recognizable, but construct forms—to judge by Coptic—were in use. Masculine and feminine nouns of instrument or material are formed from verbal roots by prefixing m; e.g. m•sdm•t, " stibium," from sdm, " paint the eye." Substantives and adjectives are formed from substantives and repositions by the addition of y in the masculine; e.g. n•t, " city, nt•y, " belonging to a city," ' citizen "• hr, " upon," jtr•y (f. ltr•t; pl. $r•w), " upper." This is not unlike the Semitic nisbe ending iy, ay (e.g. Ar. beled, " city," beledi, " belonging to a city "). Adjectives follow the nouns they qualify. in often changes to y. f. iy. NUMERALS I, w.; 2, .fn; 3, 1pmt; 4, fdw; 5, dw'• 6, As (or sw'?); sfh; 8, Amn; 9, psd; 10, mt. 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (?) resemble Semitic numerals. 20 and 30 (mob) had special names; 40-90 were named as if plurals of the units 4-9, as in Semitic. too, snt; I000, A,; to,000, zb'; Ioo,000, hfnw. VERBS The forms observable in hieroglyphic writing lead to the following classification STRONG VERBS. Biliteral Often showing traces of an original III. inf. ; in early times very rare. Triliteral Very numerous. Generally formed by reduplication. In Late Egyptian they were no longer inflected, and were conjugated with the help of fry, ' do." Properly triliterals, but, with the 2nd or 3rd radical alike, these coalesced in many forms where no vowel intervened, and gave the word the appearance of a biliteraL iii. gem. Rare. unified early. Some very common verbs, " do," " give," " come," " bring " are irregular. Iv. inf. . Partly derived from adjectival formations in y, from nouns and infinitives:—e.g. idle, inf. stet; adj. stpty; verb (4 lit.), ilpty. Many verbs with weak consonants—1y, Iw, t I. inf. (m[w]t), and those with rs---are particularly difficult to trace accurately, owing to defective writing. It seems that all the above classes may be divided into two main groups, according to the form of the infinitive: with masculine infinitive the strong triliteral type, and with feminine infinitive the type of the In. inf. The former group includes all except inf., Iv. inf., and the causative of the biliterals, which belong to the second group. It is probable that the verb had a special form denoting condition, as in Arabic. There was a causative form prefixing .f, and traces of forms resembling Pied and Niphal are observed. Some roots are re-duplicated wholly or in part with a frequentative meaning, and there are traces of gemination of radicals. Pseudo-Participle.—In very early texts this is the past indicative, but more commonly it is used in sentences such as, gm-n-f wt. '/s kwt, " he found me I stood," i.e. " he found me standing." The indicative use was soon given up and the pseudo-participle was employed only as predicate, especially indicating a state; e.g. ntr•t .f nett, " the goddess goes "• tw-k wd"tt, " thou art prosperous." The endings were almost entirely lost in New Egyptian. For early times they stand thus: Sing. 3. masc. I, late w. Dual wit. Pl. w. fern. tt. tttw ti. 2. masc. II tiwny. fern, tt t. c. kwt. wyn. The pseudo-participle seems, by its inflexion, to have been the perfect of the original Semitic conjugation. The simplest form being that of the 3rd person, it is best arranged like the corresponding tense in Semitic grammars, beginning with that person. There is no trace of the Semitic imperfect in Egyptian. The ordinary conjugation is formed quite differently. The verbal stem is here followed by the subject-suffix or substantive—sdm f, " he hears "; " i4mw stn, " the king hears." It is varied by the addition of particles, &c., n, In, Air, tw, thus: , " he hears' ; sdm-w f, " he is heard " (pl. sdm-tt-in, " they are heard ") • sdm-tw f, " he is heard "; sdm-n f, " he heard sdm-n-tw f, "he was heard "; also, sdm-tn f, sdm-hr f, sdm-k, f. Each form has special uses, generally difficult to define. sdm f seems rather to be imperfect, sdm-n f perfect, and generally to express the past. Later, idm-f is ordinarily expressed by periphrases; but by the loss of n, sdm-n f became itself sdm f, which is the ordinary past in demotic. Coptic preserves sdm f forms of many verbs in its causative (e.g. TANjOq " cause him to live," from Egyptian diet-11A I), and, in its periphrastic conjugation, the same forms of wn, " be," and try, " do. With sdm f (iedmo f) was a more emphatic form (esdomef) at any rate in the weak verbs. The above, with the relative forms mentioned below, are supposed by Erman to be derived from the participle, which is placed first for emphasis: thus, idm•w stn, " hearing is the king "; sdm-f, for f4m-fy, " hearing he is." This Egyptian paraphrase of Semitic is just like the Irish paraphrase of English, " It is hearing he is." The imperative shows no ending in the singular; in the plural it has y. and later w; cf. Semitic imperative. The infinitive is of special importance on account of its being preserved very fully in Coptic. It is generally of masculine form, but feminine in III. Inf. (as in Semitic), and in causatives of biliterals. There are relative forms of sdm f and sdm-n f, respectively sdm•w f (masc.), sdm•t-n f (fern.), &c. They are used when the relative is the object of the relative sentence, or has any other position than the subject. Thusidm•t-f may mean " she whom he hears," " she who[se praises] he hears," ' she [to] whom he hears [someone speaking]," &c. There are close analogies between the function of the relative particles in Egyptian and Semitic; and the Berber languages possess a relative form of the verb. Participles.—These are active and passive, perfect and imperfect, in the old language, but all are replaced by periphrases in Coptic. Verbal Adjectives.—There is a peculiar formation, sdm•ty-fy, " he who shall hear," probably meaning originally " he is a hearer," sdm•ty being an adjective in y formed from a feminine (t) form of the infinitive, which is occasionally found even in triliteral verbs; the endings are: sing., masc. ty, fy, fern. ty-iy; pl., masc. ty-in, fern, ty-it. It is found only in Old Egyptian. Particles.—There seems to be no special formation for adverbs, and little use is made of adverbial expressions. Prepositions, simple and compound, are numerous. Some of the commonest simple prepositions are n " for," r " to," m" in, from," hr " upon." A few enclitic conjunctions exist, but they are indefinite in meaning—swt a vague " but," grt a vague " moreover," &c. Coptic presents a remarkable contrast to Egyptian in the precision of its periphrastic conjugation. There are two present tenses, an imperfect, two perfects, a pluperfect, a present and a past frequentative, and three futures besides future perfect; there are also conjunctive and optative forms. The negatives of some of these are expressed by special prefixes. The gradual growth of these new forms can be traced through all the stages of Egyptian. Throughout the history of the language we note an increasing tendency to periphrasis; but there was no great advance towards precision before demotic. In demotic there are distinguishable a present tense, imperfect, perfect, frequentative, future, future perfect, conjunctive and optative; also present, past and future negatives, &c. The passive was extinct before demotic; demotic and Coptic express it, clumsily it must be confessed, by an impersonal " they, e.g. " they bore him " stands for " he was born." It is worth noting how, in other departments besides the verb, the Egyptian language was far better adapted to practical ends during and after the period of the Deltaic dynasties (XXII.–XXX.) than ever it was before. It was both simplified and enriched. The inflexions rapidly disappeared and little was left of the distinctions between masculine and feminine, singular, dual and plural—except in the pronouns. The dual number had been given up entirely at an earlier date. The pronouns, both personal and demonstrative, retained their forms very fully. As prefixes, suffixes and articles, they, together with some auxiliary verbs, provided the principal mechanism of the renovated language. An abundant supply of useful adverbs was gradually accumulated, as well as conjunctions, so far as the functions of the latter were not already performed by the verbal prefixes. These great improvements in the language correspond to great changes in the economic condition of the country. they were the result of active trade and constant inter-course of all classes of Egyptians with foreigners from Europe and Asia. Probably the best stage of Egyptian speech was that which immediately preceded Coptic. Though Coptic is here and there more exactly expressive than the best demotic, it was spoilt by too much Greek, duplicating and too often expelling native expressions that were already adequate for its very simple requirements. Above all, it is clumsily pleonastic.
DEMONOLOGY (L1alµwv, demon, genius, spirit)

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