Is there the long vowel /aː/ in Ancient Egypt Language?

2 Answers

  • 8 years ago
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    Earlier Egyptian vowel system

    Front Back Close i iːu uːOpen a aː

    Vowels were always short in unstressed syllables (e.g. tpj = */taˈpij/ 'first'), long in open stressed syllables (e.g. rmṯ = */ˈraːmac/ 'man'), and either short or long in closed stressed syllables (e.g. jnn = */jaˈnan/ 'we' vs. mn = */maːn/ 'to stay').

    Late New Kingdom, after Ramses II i.e. c. 1200 BCE: */ˈaː/ > */ˈoː/ (parallel to Canaanite vowel shift), e.g. ḥrw '(the god) Horus' */ħaːruw/ > */ħoːrə/ (Akkadian transcription: -ḫuru).] This provoked */uː/ > */eː/, e.g. šnj 'tree' */ʃuːn?j/ > */ʃeːnə/ (Akkadian transcription: -sini).

    Early new Kingdom: short stressed */ˈi/ > */ˈe/, e.g. mnj 'Menes' */maˈnij/ > */maˈneʔ/ (Akkadian transcription: ma-né-e). Later, probably circa 1000-800 BCE, short stressed */ˈu/ > */ˈe/, e.g. ḏꜥn.t 'Tanis' */ˈɟuʕnat/ was borrowed into Hebrew as *ṣuʕn but later transcribed as ṣe-e'-nu/ṣa-a'-nu in the Neo-Assyrian period.

    Unstressed vowels, especially after the stress, became */ə/, e.g. nfr 'good' */ˈnaːfir/ > */ˈnaːfə/ (Akkadian transcription -na-a-pa).[26] */iː/ > */eː/ next to /ʕ/ and /j/, e.g. wꜥw 'soldier' */wiːʕiw/ > */weːʕə/ (earlier Akkadian transcription: ú-i-ú, later: ú-e-eḫ).

    Egyptian vowel system circa 1000 BCE

    Front Central Back Close iː

    Mid e eː ə oːOpen a

    In Sahidic and Bohairic Coptic, Late Egyptian stressed */ˈa/ becomes */ˈo/ and */ˈe/ becomes /ˈa/, while in the other dialects these are preserved, e.g. sn */san/ 'brother' > SB <son>, ALF <san>; rn 'name' */rin/ > */ren/ > SB <ran>, ALF <ren>. However, SB preserve */ˈa/ and Fayyimic renders it as < e > in the presence of guttural fricatives, e.g. ḏbꜥ '10000' */ˈbaʕ/ > SAL <tba> B <tʰba> F <tbe>. In Akhmimic and Lycopolitan, */ˈa/ becomes /ˈo/ before etymological /ʕ ʔ/, e.g. jtrw 'river' */ˈjatraw/ > */jaʔr(ə)/ > S <eioor(e)> B <ior> A <ioore, iôôre> F <iaal, iaar>. Similarly the diphthongs */ˈaj/, */ˈaw/, which normally have reflexes /ˈoj/, /ˈow/ in Sahidic and are preserved in other dialects, in Bohairic are written <ôi> (in non-final position) and <ôou> respectively, e.g. "to me, to them" S <eroi, eroou> AL <arai, arau>, F <elai, elau>, B <eroi, erôou>. Sahidic and Bohairic preserve */ˈe/ before /ʔ/ (either etymological or from lenited /t r j/ or tonic-syllable coda /w/), e.g. SB <ne> /neʔ/ 'to you (fem.)' < */ˈnet/ < */ˈnic/. */e/ may also have different reflexes before sonants, in proximity of similants, and in diphthongs.

    Old */aː/ surfaces as /uː/ after nasals and occasionally other consonants, e.g. nṯr 'god' */ˈnaːcar/ > /ˈnuːte/ <noute> /uː/ has acquired phonemic status, as evidenced by minimal pairs like 'to approach' <hôn> /hoːn/ < */ˈçaːnan/ ẖnn vs. 'inside' <houn> /huːn/ < */ˈçaːnaw/ ẖnw.[29] Etymological */uː/ > */eː/ often surfaces as /iː/ next to /r/ and after etymological pharyngeals, e.g. SL <hir> < */χuːr/ 'street' (Semitic loan).

    Most Coptic dialect have two phonemic vowels in unstressed position. Unstressed vowels generally became /ə/, written as <e> or null (< i > in Bohairic and Fayyumic word-finally), but pretonic unstressed /a/ occurs as a reflex of earlier unstressed */e/ in proximity to an etymological pharyngeal, velar, or sonant (e.g. 'to become many' <ašai> < ꜥšꜣ */ʕiˈʃiʀ/), or unstressed */a/. Pretonic [i] is underlyingly /əj/, e.g. S 'ibis' <hibôi> < h(j)bj.w */hijˈbaːj?w/.

    Thus the following is the Sahidic vowel system c. 400 CE:

  • 5 years ago

    Hebrew as *ṣuʕn

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