West Midlands Egyptology Society, 11 Mar 2020

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11 Mar 2020 – Spoken Word at Birmingham and Midland Institute

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Rachael Cornwell: The Linguistic Spiral in the History of the Egyptian Language

As the world’s longest attested language, Egyptian offers a unique opportunity to study language development, and the multitude of linguistic changes which occurred to its variety of verbal constructions.

This talk will investigate the creation of the pattern known as the linguistic spiral or linguistic cycle in a variety of Egyptian verbal constructions, which was constructed through the accumulated impacts of individual linguistic changes.

In particular this will involve studying the developments of verbal constructions from Old Egyptian through to Coptic, to establish which linguistic processes occurred to create the manifestation of the linguistic spiral for each construction. This will then allow for a comparison of the similarities and differences between the processes which affected each verbal construction, as well as a conclusion regarding how similar the linguistic spiral pattern was across the developments of different Egyptian verbal constructions, and consequently how similarly different constructions within the same language developed.

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