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Encyclopedia > Egyptian uniliteral signs

The Egyptian hieroglyphic script contained 24 uniliterals (symbols that stood for single consonants, much like English letters) which today we associate with the 26 glyphs listed below. (Note that the glyph associated with w/u also has a hieratic abbreviation.) It has been suggested that Hieroglyph (French Wiki article) be merged into this article or section. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Development of hieratic script from hieroglyphs; after Champollion. ...


The traditional transliteration system shown on the left of the chart below is over a century old and is the one most commonly seen in texts. It includes several symbols such as "ȝ" for sounds that were of unknown value at the time. Much progress has been made since, though there is still debate as to the details. For instance, it is now thought the "ȝ" may have been an alveolar lateral approximant ("l") in Old Egyptian that was lost by Middle Egyptian. The consonants transcribed as voiced (d, g, dj) may actually have been ejective or, less likely, pharyngealized like the Arabic emphatic consonants. A good description can be found in Allen.[1]. For other systems of transliteration, see transliteration of ancient Egyptian Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. ... The alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... Phoneticians define phonation as use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or unaspirated consonants in a language. ... The pharynx is the part of the digestive system of many animals immediately behind the mouth and in front of the esophagus. ... Emphatic consonant is a somewhat imprecise term commonly used in Semitic linguistics to describe pharyngealized or velarized, and ejective consonants, or consonants that historically had one of these properties. ... In the field of Egyptology, transliteration is the process of converting (or mapping) texts written in the Egyptian language to alphabetic symbols representing uniliteral hieroglyphs or their hieratic and demotic counterparts. ...

Uniliteral signs
Sign Traditional transliteration Phonetic values per Allen (2000)
  Say Notes Old Egyptian Middle Egyptian
an Egyptian vulture ȝ a called aleph,
a glottal stop
[l] or [ɾ] silent, [j], and [ʔ]
a reed i/a called yodh an initial or final vowel; sometimes [j]
a pair of reeds y y double yodh no record [j]
pair of strokes
or river (?)
an arm ʾ a called ayin,
a voiced pharyngeal fricative
perhaps [d] [ʕ]; [d] perhaps retained in some words and dialects
or
a quail chick or its
hieratic abbreviation
w w/u called waw
[w] ~ [u]
a lower leg b b   [b] ~ [β]
a reed mat or stool p p   aspirated [pʰ]
a horned viper f f   [f]
an owl m m   [m]
a ripple of water n n   [n] [n], sometimes [l]
a mouth r r   see image [ɾ], sometimes [l]
(always [l] in some dialects)
a reed shelter h h   [h]
a twisted wick h an emphatic h,
a voiceless pharyngeal fricative
[ħ]
a placenta kh
a voiceless velar fricative
[x]
an animal belly with tail kh a softer sound,
a voiceless palatal fricative
[ç]
a folded cloth s s Old Egyptian sound for
"door bolt" is unknown,
but perhaps was z or th
[s] [s]
a door bolt [θ]
or
or
a garden pool š sh   [ʃ]
slope of a hill or q k an emphatic k,
a voiceless uvular plosive
ejective [qʼ]
a basket with a handle k k   aspirated [kʰ]
in some words, palatalized [kʲ]
a jar stand g g   ejective [kʼ]
a bun t t   aspirated [tʰ]
a tethering rope or tj ch as in English church palatalized [tʲ] or [ʧ]
a hand d d   ejective [tʼ]
a cobra or dj j as in English judge ejective [tʲ’] or [ʧʼ]

Gardiner [2]lists several variations: In the field of Egyptology, transliteration is the process of converting (or mapping) texts written in the Egyptian language to alphabetic symbols representing uniliteral hieroglyphs or their hieratic and demotic counterparts. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The voiced pharyngeal approximant/fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... See: Aspiration (phonetics) Aspiration (medicine) Aspiration (long-term hope) - see for example, Robert Goddards response to the ridicule by the New York Times, 1920: Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace. ... The voiceless pharyngeal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless palatal fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless uvular plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants in a language. ... See: Aspiration (phonetics) Aspiration (medicine) Aspiration (long-term hope) - see for example, Robert Goddards response to the ridicule by the New York Times, 1920: Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace. ... Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ...

Uniliteral signs
Sign Traditional transliteration Notes
bag of linen g Appears in a few older words
unknown m Originally bilateral im
crown of Lower Egypt n Originally ideogram nt for 'crown of Lower Egypt'
pestle t Originally bilateral ti

In the field of Egyptology, transliteration is the process of converting (or mapping) texts written in the Egyptian language to alphabetic symbols representing uniliteral hieroglyphs or their hieratic and demotic counterparts. ...

References

  1. ^ Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: an Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-5217-7483-7.
  2. ^ Gardiner, Sir Alan H. (1973). Egyptian Grammar. The Griffith Institute, pg. 27. ISBN 0-9004-1635-1.

 
 

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