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Concise Introduction to Late-Egyptian

(Third, revised version)

by

Arno Egberts

Department of Egyptology, Leiden University

January 1989
January 19902
September 20053
(translated from the Dutch by A. G. McDowell)
Preface

This description of the main lines of Late Egyptian is meant as an aid to the study of M.
Korostovtsev, Grammaire du neo-égyptien (1973), J. Černý and S.I. Groll, A Late Egyptian Gram-
mar (19843). For this reason, the individual paragraphs are furnished with references to these
two grammars. In drawing up this study aid, use was also made of P.J. Frandsen, An outline of
the Late Egyptian Verbal System (1974) and of H. Satzinger, Neuägyptische Studien (1976). The
most important source of inspiration, however, was J.F. Borghouts, Inleiding Nieuwegyptisch
(unpublished).

Preface to the 2005 revision


Since the completion of this concise introduction to Late Egyptian a number of important
studies on Late Egyptian grammar have appeared. I duly refer the reader to J. Winand, Études
de néo-égyptian I, La morphology verbale (1992), F. Neveu, La langue des Ramsès. Grammaire du néo-
égyptien, (1996), and F. Junge, Late Egyptian Grammar. An Introduction (2001; 2nd edition 2005;
original German version 1999). For a diachronic approach, see A. Loprieno, Ancient Egyptian.
A Linguistic Introduction (1995). As an aid to the reader the paragraph headings now include
references to the grammars of Neveu (N) and Junge (J) in addition to those of Korostovtsev
(K) and Černý-Groll (ČG). Some passages in the English translation of the second edition
were revised on the basis of the original Dutch version. The hieroglyphs are now set in the
WinGlyph font.

Jacco Dieleman

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction .................................................................................................................................................................... 4 
2. Spelling ............................................................................................................................................................................. 5 
3. Nouns (substantives and adjectives) ............................................................................................................................ 5 
3.1 Gender ...................................................................................................................................................................... 5 
3.2 Number .................................................................................................................................................................... 6 
3.3. Status (different stem forms of nouns) ............................................................................................................... 6 
3.4 Connections between nouns.................................................................................................................................. 6 
4. Personal pronouns .......................................................................................................................................................... 7 
4.1 Suffix pronouns ....................................................................................................................................................... 7 
4.2 Independent pronouns ........................................................................................................................................... 7 
4.3 Dependent pronouns .............................................................................................................................................. 8 
4.4 Pronominal preformative (or “pronominal compound”) .................................................................................. 8 
5. Articles ............................................................................................................................................................................. 9 
6. Demonstratives ............................................................................................................................................................... 9 
7. Possessive ........................................................................................................................................................................ 9 
8. Possessive prefix ........................................................................................................................................................... 10 
9. Interrogatives................................................................................................................................................................. 10 
10. Prepositions ................................................................................................................................................................. 10 
12. Particles ........................................................................................................................................................................ 11 
13. Converters ................................................................................................................................................................... 11 
14. Adverbs ........................................................................................................................................................................ 12 
15. Verbs. General ............................................................................................................................................................ 12 
16. Infinitive....................................................................................................................................................................... 13 
17. Stative ........................................................................................................................................................................... 13 
18. Analytical conjugation patterns................................................................................................................................. 14 
19. The first present sw (Hr) sDm ................................................................................................................................... 14 
20. Sequential iw=f (Hr) sDm ........................................................................................................................................... 15 
21. Third future iw=f (r) sDm .......................................................................................................................................... 16 
22. Narrative form wn.in=f / aHa.n=f (Hr) sDm ............................................................................................................. 16 
23. Conjunctive mtw=f sDm ............................................................................................................................................. 16 
24. Synthetic conjugation patterns .................................................................................................................................. 17 
25. Perfective sDm=f .......................................................................................................................................................... 17 
26. Negative perfective bwpw=f sDm.............................................................................................................................. 18 
27. Negative aorist bw sDm=f / ir=f sDm........................................................................................................................ 19 
28. Prospective sDm=f ....................................................................................................................................................... 19 

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29. Emphatic form i.sDm=f / i.ir=f sDm [also called ‘second tense’] ......................................................................... 20 
30. Passive sDm(.w)=f ....................................................................................................................................................... 21 
31. sDm.t=f.......................................................................................................................................................................... 21 
31.1 bw sDm.t=f / ir.t=f sDm ..................................................................................................................................... 21 
31.2 (SAa) i.ir.t=f sDm .................................................................................................................................................. 22 
32. sDm.y.t=f ...................................................................................................................................................................... 22 
33. Imperative .................................................................................................................................................................... 22 
34. Negative imperative m ir sDm .................................................................................................................................. 23 
35. Causative imperative imi sDm=f / ir=f sDm ............................................................................................................. 23 
36. Negative causative imperative ................................................................................................................................... 24 
37. Participle ...................................................................................................................................................................... 24 
38. Relative forms ............................................................................................................................................................. 24 
39. Non-verbal sentences ................................................................................................................................................. 25 
40. Existential sentences .................................................................................................................................................. 25 
41. Adjectival sentences ................................................................................................................................................... 26 
42. Adverbial sentences .................................................................................................................................................... 27 
43. Nominal sentences ..................................................................................................................................................... 27 
43.1 Deictic sentences ................................................................................................................................................. 28 
43.2 ‘Participial statement’ .......................................................................................................................................... 28 
43.3. ‘Cleft sentence’ ................................................................................................................................................... 29 
44. Interrogative sentences .............................................................................................................................................. 29 
45. Negative sentences ..................................................................................................................................................... 30 
46. Conditional and temporal subordinate clauses ....................................................................................................... 31 
47. Object Clauses............................................................................................................................................................. 32 
48. Relative clauses............................................................................................................................................................ 32 
49. Frontal extraposition .................................................................................................................................................. 33 
50. Final extraposition ...................................................................................................................................................... 34 
51. Functions of iw ........................................................................................................................................................... 34 

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1. Introduction
(K 1-4; N pp. xxi-xxiii; J 0.1-2)
The history of the Egyptian language is divided into five stages: Old-Egyptian, Middle
Egyptian (ME), Late Egyptian (LE), Demotic, and Coptic. The sharpest transition in this
development is, without doubt, that from ME to LE, because it also marks a change in the
type of language.
ME has a synthetic structure, that is, grammatical functions are expressed by means
of inflection (e.g. indicative mri=f versus ‘imperfective’ mrr=f) and morphemes (e.g. .n in
sDm.n=f). In contrast, LE is essentially analytic, that is, grammatical functions are expressed
by means of individual words. Another important typological difference concerns word or-
der, which in ME is primarily VSO and in LE primarily SVO.
Although as a spoken language LE probably already existed in the Middle Kingdom,
its use as a written language began in the Amarna period. The result was a steady stream of
LE texts. This stream comes to an end in the Third Intermediate Period, after which the LE
stage of the language is succeeded by Demotic, which differs only marginally from its prede-
cessor.
The LE texts are written in hieroglyphic or hieratic scripts. They comprise diverse
genres. The distinction between literary (including historical) and non-literary texts seems to
correspond to certain grammatical differences; literary LE is still under the influence of ME,
and the non-literary texts therefore represent a purer form of LE. For this reason, Černý and
Groll limit themselves in their grammar chiefly to non-literary texts (ČG XLIX-L; LIV-
LXVII).
Not all texts from the Ramesside period and the Third Intermediate Period are LE.
This holds in particular for religious texts (e.g. the Book of the Dead), which are consistently
written in ME.

Several aids are available for the study of LE. Only the most essential of these are named
here: in addition to the outdated grammar of A. Erman (Neuägyptische Grammatik, l9333) there
are the more modern grammars of M. Korostovtsev (Grammaire du néo-égyptien, 1973), J.
Černý and S.I. Groll (A Late Egyptian Grammar, l984), F. Nevue (La langue des Ramsès. Gram-
maire du néo-égyptien, 1996), and F. Junge (Late Egyptian Grammar. An Introduction, 2001). A dic-
tionary of LE has been assembled by L.H. Lesko (A Dictionary of Late Egyptian I-II, 2002-042).

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2. Spelling
(K 19-28; ČG 1; J 1.1-2)
Here follows a short description of some orthographic peculiarities of LE.
1) The suffix .t which marks feminine nouns in ME disappears in LE and therefore is

not always written. At the same time, is sometimes added to masculine nouns as a
‘hypercorrection’.
2) , , at the end of a word are often transcriptions of hieratic ‘space fillers’ and as
such have no phonetic significance.
3) is often added to the phonograms with which verbs are spelled. In the case of verbs
which end in , this addition takes the form . This phenomenon, too, appears to
be purely graphic.
4) The plural strokes etc. are sometimes added to singular words and to infinitives.
5) /r/ at the end of a word is reduced to the vowel /e/. This can be expressed by
dropping the in the spelling of the word, or by means of the group which

marks the transition /r/>/e/. Sometimes functions as a graphic variant of the


prefix . In cases where maintains its original value /r/ (e.g. in the status pro-
nominalis of prepositions ending in r such as Hr, “on”), this may be indicated by
writing twice.
6) /n/ at the end of a word is sometimes written . In this case, too, the doubling in-
dicates that the consonant has not been reduced.
7) Some LE words are written in so-called syllabic or group writing. For further details
of syllabic orthography, see K 27; ČG 1.2; N 44; J 1.2.

3. Nouns (substantives and adjectives)


3.1 Gender
(K 39; ČG 4.1.1; N 1.1; J 2.1.1)
Nouns are masculine or feminine. The suffix .t which characterizes feminine nouns in ME
no longer has any phonetic reality in LE (with exception of the status pronominalis, see 3.3),
and is therefore not always written. This means that the gender of a noun must be deter-
mined from the context (e.g. from the definite article preceding a noun, see 5). In contrast to
ME, the masculine gender in LE also serves as a neuter equivalent.

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3.2 Number
(K 40; ČG 4.1.2; N 1.1; J 2.1.1)
Nouns are singular or plural. The dual has disappeared and only lives on in certain spellings,
e.g. rd.w(y) “feet.” The plural is indicated in a number of ways; the most usual means
are the plural strokes, etc., which are, however, also added to nouns in the singular. Some-
times the plural morpheme .w/.y is written out. The archaic tripling of the determinative is
only seldom encountered. Finally, indication of the plural may be omitted altogether; in that
case, the number of the noun can only be deduced from context.

3.3. Status (different stem forms of nouns)


(K 38)
The existence of a status absolutus, constructus and pronominalis in LE can be suspected on
the basis of Coptic. Only the status pronominalis occasionally becomes visible in writing,
when or is placed between a feminine noun and a suffix pronoun. This indicates that in
this specific case the gender morpheme .t has managed to survive.

3.4 Connections between nouns


(K 44-47, 54-64; ČG 4.2.6, 4.5; J 2.1.4)
The possibilities for connections in nominal word groups are the same as in ME. In addition
to substantive + adjective (rmT aA, “great man”) and adjective + substantive (aA pHty, “great of
strength”), there are three different possible relations between juxtaposed pairs of substan-
tives: apposition, coordination, and direct genitive. In the last case, the first noun is in status
constructus. Besides the direct genitive there is the indirect genitive, in which the connector
n, , , , , etc, is placed between two nouns. In contrast to the situation in ME, this
connector no longer varies with gender and number.

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4. Personal pronouns
4.1 Suffix pronouns
(K 69-78; ČG 2.4; N 7.1; J 2.1.2)
Forms:
Singular Plural
l c. =i 1 c. =n ,
2m. =k 2 c. =tn ,
2f. =t ,
3 m. =f 3c. =sn
3 s. =s , =w
“one” =tw
A comprehensive survey of possible writings can be found in the grammars. An important
addition to the ME suffix pronouns is the suffix pronoun 3 pl. c. =w, which occurs beside
=sn.
Function: (1) subject in various conjugation patterns; (2) direct object of infinitives and after
the suffix pronoun =tw “one”; (3) genitive with substantives in the case of inalienable posses-
sions such as parts of the body; (4) object of prepositions. These functions are identical to
those in ME. The suffix pronoun =tw can only appear in function (1).

4.2 Independent pronouns


(K 82: ČG 2.1; N 7.4; J 4.1.2)
Forms:
Singular Plural
1c ink 1 c. inn
2 m. ntk 2 c. nttn
2 f. ntt 3 c. ntsn
3 m. ntf ntw
3 f. nts
A comprehensive survey of the possible spellings can be found in the grammars. The para-
digm corresponds to the ME forms, except in the addition of the alternative form 3 pl. c.
ntw. The initial has the phonetic value /n/.

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Function: (1) as member of nominal sentences (43); (2) for emphasis after a suffix pronoun
of the same person (e.g. Hna=i ink, “with me”) (3) in frontal extraposition, sometimes intro-
duced by the particle ir (49); (4) in final extraposition, sometimes introduced by the particle
gr (50); (5) possessor in adjectival sentences (41); (6) possessor in nominal word groups (e.g.
wa pr ink, “a house of mine”). In (5-6) the independent pronoun corresponds to ME n-ink, n-
ntk > ntk, etc.

4.3 Dependent pronouns


(K 79; ČG 2.3; N 7.2; J 2.2.1)
Forms
Singular Plural
1c wi 1 c. n
2 c. tw 2 c. tn
3 c. s(w) , , 3 c. sn / st ,
A comprehensive survey of possible spellings can be found in the grammars.
Function: (1) direct object of all verbal forms except the infinitive and forms of which the
suffix pronoun =tw is the subject; (2) optional subject of the imperative (33); (3) after the par-
ticle mk as subject of adverbial sentences (archaic); (4) subject of adjectival sentences (41).

4.4 Pronominal preformative (or “pronominal compound”)


(K 80; ČG 2.6; N7.3; J 3.1.1)
Forms
Singular Plural
1c twi 1 c. twn
2 m. twk 2 c. twtn
2 f. twt 3 c. sn / st ,
3 c. s(w) , ,
“one” twtw
A comprehensive survey of the possible spellings can be found in the grammars. In the third
person the forms of the pronominal preformative are identical to those of the dependent
pronoun.
Function: as subject in adverbial sentences (42) and in the first present (19).

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5. Articles
Late Egyptian possessed a definite article (“the”) and an indefinite article (“a”, “an”). This is
a marked development from ME. The forms are:
Definite article (K 37; ČG 3.5; N 2.1; J 2.1.2)
sing. m. pA
sing. f. tA
pl. c. nA (n) ( )

Indefinite article (K 60; ČG 3.7; N 2.2; J 2.1.2)


sing. c. wa
pl. c. nhy (n) ( )
The article always precedes the substantive. However, the presence of an article is not always
required (see ČG 4.2-4; J 2.1.3).

6. Demonstratives
(ČG 3.1.2; N 3.1; J 2.1.2)
The ME demonstratives pn/tn/nn, pf/tf/nf, and pw/tw/nw hardly appear any longer in LE. The
usual demonstrative is:
sing. m. pAy
sing. f. tAy
pl. c. nAy
This demonstrative precedes the substantive to which it refers. In addition, it can also be
used as an independent substantive. A variant of pAy is the demonstrative pAw.

7. Possessive
(K 93; ČG 3.2; N 4; J 2.1.2)
The possessive is formed by adding the suffix pronoun to the following demonstrative base:
sing. m. pAy=
sing. f. tAy=
pl. c. nAy=
E.g. pAy=f, “his” (with a masculine substantive).

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The possessive is used when it is not a matter of inalienable possession; when that is the
case, then the suffix pronoun is used (e.g. pAy=f pr, “his house”, vs. ir.t=f, “his eye”). The
possessive precedes the substantive to which it refers.

8. Possessive prefix
(K 96; ČG 3.6; 3.2; J 2.1.2)
Forms:
sing. m. pA(-n)- ( ),
sing. f. tA(-n)- ,
pl. c. nA-
This prefix can be added to substantives and means “the one of.” It thus does not agree with
the following substantive, as do the article, the demonstrative, and the possessive. The gen-
der and number depend on the persons or things to which the possessive prefix refers. It is a
common element in personal names, where it is usually followed by a god’s name (e.g. pA(-n)
-1r, “He of Horus”).

9. Interrogatives
(K 66; ČG 2.7; N 11.2)
The most common interrogatives are
nim (< ME in-m) “who?”
ix “what?”
They function as substantives and thus occur in nominal sentences.

10. Prepositions
(K 105-159; ČG 7; N 8; J 2.2.4)
There are simple and compound prepositions. A compound preposition is always a combi-
nation of a simple preposition and a substantive, in which the first element is sometimes left
out (e.g. Xnw <m-Xnw, “in”). Even when they are used independently, certain simple preposi-
tions are not always written; this is particularly the case with Hr, “on”. Like substantives,
prepositions appear in the status constructus and the status pronominalis.

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11. Conjunctions
Conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses. Some conjunctions can only be used in combi-
nation with certain verbal conjugation patterns. The LE conjunctions include, among others,
inn, “if”; hn, “if’; ir “if, when” and wnn “as soon as, when”, all of
which introduce subordinate causes preceding the main clause (46). With other conjunctions,
the subordinate clause follows the main clause, e.g. m-xt and m-Dr, “after” (46).
The conjunction xft “when”, can introduce initial and non-initial subordinate clauses.

12. Particles
(K 160-190; ČG 9; N 10; J 2.2.4)
In LE, as in ME, there are enclitic and non-enclitic particles. The last group is the most im-
portant; to it belong, among others, the interrogative particles (see 44) and the negative par-
ticles (see 45). In addition, there are various other particles which can give a nuance to a sen-
tence, although it is not always clear what precisely their semantic contribution is. The most
common particle is xr, which, depending on the context, can be translated as “but”, “after
all”, “moreover” etc. The compound particle xr-iw means “nevertheless, although”. It
is combined with suffix pronouns. Other frequently used particles are yA, “indeed”;
pA-wn, “after all”, “because”; and ptr, “see”.
The quotation markers in=, xr=, and kA= (ČG 10.3) can be regarded either as
particles or as verbs. They are combined exclusively with suffix pronouns. They introduce a
quotation (xr=), interrupt it (in= and xr=), or conclude it (in=, xr=, and kA=). The best transla-
tion is “so says …” or “thus spoke …”, “so …”. In= refers to the past, xr= to the present or
the past, and kA= to the future.
For a comprehensive survey of the particles, the reader should consult the grammars.

13. Converters
(N 11.3; J 3.6 and 5.1)
The so-called ‘converters’ take a special place among the particles. They are placed at the be-
ginning of a main sentence and change its semantic or syntactic status. The following con-
verters can be distinguished:
1) The temporal converter wn (with valence for suffix pronouns), which sets in the
past the action or situation described in the sentence.

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2) The negative converter , , bn, which makes the sentence a negation (45).
3) The circumstantial converter iw (with valence for suffix pronouns), which turns a
main sentence into a subordinate clause (“while …”) or a relative clause (“which /
who …”; only with an undefined antecedent) (46; 48; 51).
4) The relative converter nty (no longer agreeing with the antecedent as in ME),
which turns a main clause into a relative clause (only with a defined antecedent). A
relatively rare variant of nty is nty-iw (with valence for suffix pronouns). The element
iw of this compound relative converter has nothing to do with the circumstantial
converter iw (51).
The converters can be combined with both verbal and non-verbal sentences. There are,
however, certain restrictions on possible combinations. The converters can also be attached
to one another. In combinations, the circumstantial and relative converters precede the nega-
tive and temporal converters. The relative order of the last two varies.
In the presentation of the verbal conjugation patterns and the non-verbal sentence
types below, attention will regularly be given to the conversion possibilities.

14. Adverbs
A survey of LE adverbs can be found in ČG 8; N 9; J 2.2.4.

15. Verbs. General


The verbal classes (3ae infirmae etc.) are the same as in ME (K 197-201; J 2.2.2). Some ver-
bal forms are characterized by the optional prefix , also written (K 202; ČG 10.5). Sen-
tences are most often made passive by means of the suffix pronoun =tw, “one” (followed by
another suffix pronoun in cases where there is a pronominal direct object) or by means of
the pronominal preformative twtw, “one”. The 3 pl. c. suffix pronoun ( , w) is also used
impersonally. In addition, there are passive verbal forms, namely the passive sDm(.w)=f (30)
and the passive participle (37).
In a number of verbal forms use is made of the auxiliary verb iri, “to do”, with the
main verb in the infinitive. With some forms this use is obligatory, with others it is optional;
in the latter case, in is found mainly in combination with 4-radical verbs.
Iri plays a purely grammatical role and has no independent meaning. There are also
auxiliary verbs which can modify the meaning of a verb; the verbs concerned are xpr, “to

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become”; aHa, “to stand”; Hmsi, “to sit”; and sDr, “to lie (down)”. In their capacity of auxiliary
verbs they are always in the infinitive (introduced by Hr) or in the stative. They therefore oc-
cur particularly in analytical conjugation patterns (18). They are followed by the main verb,
which is also in the infinitive (introduced by Hr) or the stative. The auxiliary verb xpr indi-
cates an ingressive aspect (e.g. xpr Hr sDm, “begin to hear”); the aspect of aHa, Hmsi, and sDr is
more difficult to define, although we are familiar with the same phenomena in spoken lan-
guage (“don’t stand there looking stupid” or “don’t sit there doing nothing”).

16. Infinitive
(K 227-251; ČG 11; N 13; J 2.2.3)
Forms: Like substantives, the infinitive appears in the status absolutus, the status constructus
(if it is followed by a nominal direct object) and the status pronominalis (if followed by a
pronominal direct object). In the status absolutus and constructus, infinitives (particularly
those of weak verbs) may be characterized by the suffix .t. In the status pronominalis this
morpheme takes the form .tw=, followed by a suffix pronoun (if this is the suffix pronoun
1 sing. c., it is often not written, and the spelling remains tw=(i)).
Function: The infinitive can be used independently or as an element in a conjugation
pattern. In the first case, the infinitive is the equivalent of a substantive. From the use of pA
as definite article before the infinitive we can deduce that its gender is masculine. Independ-
ent infinitives are negated by means of the auxiliary verb tm, followed by the infinitive
of the main verb. As in ME, the adverbial phrase Hr + infinitive indicates a concomitant cir-
cumstance, while the adverbial phrase r + infinitive indicates a purpose.

17. Stative
(K 334-349; ČG 12; N 14; J 2.2.3)
Forms: The personal endings which are characteristic of the ME stative are also found with
the LE stative. At the same time, there is a tendency to generalize the suffix , .ti/tw (orig-
inally restricted to 2 sing. c. and 3 sing. f.) on the one hand, and the ø-suffix (originally re-
stricted to 3 sing. m. and 3 pl. c.) on the other. There are therefore three paradigms: (1) the
classical with various personal endings; (2) that with the suffix .ti/tw for all persons; (3) suf-
fix-less for all persons.

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Function: (1) as an element in a conjugation pattern; (2) as an adverbial adjunct
which refers to a previously named noun or pronoun and gives a concomitant circumstance
(compare the identical use of Hr + infinitive).
The meaning of the stative is the same as in ME, i.e. it describes a state; in this way it
differs from the dynamic construction Hr + infinitive, in which a process is described.

18. Analytical conjugation patterns


Analytical conjugation patterns are formed with the aid of infinitives and statives. They dis-
play a two-part structure, sometimes introduced by a converter. The first member consists of
a nominal or pronominal subject and the second member of a verbal predicate. This predi-
cate is formed by Hr/m/r + infinitive (infinitive without preposition in the conjunctive) in the
case of a dynamic aspect, and by the stative in the case of a static aspect; in other words,
these are Gardiner’s “pseudo-verbal Sentences”. The structure of the analytical conjugation
pattern (with the exception of the conjunctive) is identical with that of adverbial sentences,
i.e. sentences with adverbial predicate.
Included in this conjugation pattern are the first present (19), the sequential (20), the
third future (21), the narrative tenses (22) and the conjunctive (23).

19. The first present sw (Hr) sDm


(K 379-394; ČG 19; N 16; J 3.1)
Forms: The first present is constructed with a substantive or pronominal preformative as
subject, followed by Hr/m + infinitive (m only with verbs of motion) or stative. The preposi-
tion is often omitted, so that an infinitive and a stative can sometimes be distinguished only
from the context.
Function: In spite of what is implied by the name, the first present can refer to the
past as well as to the present. Past temporal reference is the rule when the first present is
constructed with the stative of a verb of motion. The first present is an initial sentence pat-
tern; but it functions in subordinate clauses after certain conjunctions, e.g. ir, “when”.
Conversion:
1) temporal: by placing the converter wn before the first present, the form is made to
refer explicitly to the past. In the case of a pronominal subject, the pronominal pre-

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formative is replaced by a suffix pronoun (wn =f (Hr) sDm). The construction wn +
first present is sometimes called preterit (i.e. past time).
2) negation: the first present is negated by placing the converter bn before the subject
(bn sw (Hr) sDm)
3) circumstantial: placing iw before the first present produces a subordinate clause. As
with wn, a pronominal subject then takes the form of the suffix pronoun (iw=f (Hr)
sDm). The construction iw + first present is also called ‘circumstantial’.
4) relative: by placing nty before the first present one gets a relative clause.

20. Sequential iw=f (Hr) sDm


(K 395-421; ČG 38-41; N 25.2; J 5.2)
Forms: In the sequential the conjugation base iw precedes the subject. Pronominal subjects
are indicated by the suffix pronoun. The verbal predicate consists of Hr/m+ infinitive (the
prepositions are often omitted) or the stative; however, the stative occurs only sporadically
in this conjugation pattern. The sequential is identical in form to the first present introduced
by the circumstantial converter (the circumstantial).
Function: In contrast to the circumstantial , the sequential is a main clause pattern,
which, however, always appears in combination with a preceding element. This element can
be a subordinate clause (e.g. the protasis of a conditional sentence), but in most cases it is
one of the main clause patterns to which the sequential expresses the sequel; often iw can
then be translated “and”; in this case, the verbal element is always expressed by the infinitive,
never the stative.
The sequential can refer to the past, present or future, depending on the temporal
reference of the preceding clause. Because the form is used most often in a narrative context,
the past temporal reference is the most common.
The sequential does not lend itself to conversion. Its negative counterpart is the con-
struction iw=f (Hr) tm sDm (only used with infinitives); nominal subjects can be placed either
before or after the tm. The negated sequential iw=f (Hr) tm sDm is markedly different from the
negated circumstantial iw bn sw (Hr) sDm.
N.B.: In some grammars, including K, sequential and circumstantial are not distin-
guished. Groll calls this form the iw.f (Hr) stp.f of the past, and classifies it as a non-initial
main clause (NIMS); cf. J 5.2.2.

15
21. Third future iw=f (r) sDm
(K 422-430; ČG 17-18; N 19; J 3.2)

Forms: When the subject is a noun, the element iw is replaced by ir. The preposition r is
often not written. In case of a pronominal subject, there is then no visible distinction be-
tween this form and the sequential and the circumstantial. The verbal element of the third
future is always an infinitive; the stative does not appear in this conjugation pattern.

22. Narrative form wn.in=f / aHa.n=f (Hr) sDm


(K 431-436, 440; N 25.2.4; J 6.3)
Forms: The conjugation base wn.in=f can only be followed by the infinitive, while aHa.n=f can
be followed by either the infinitive or the stative. The preposition Hr before the infinitive is
often omitted.
Function: The narrative conjugation patterns are found especially in literary texts.
They function only at main clause level and introduce ‘paragraphs’ or ‘sections’, that is, tex-
tual units greater than the sentence. Conversion of the narrative forms is not possible.
N.B.: aHa.n also occurs as an introductory particle in synthetic conjugation patterns,
namely the perfective (25) and the passive (30); in such cases, the subject follows the verb
and not aHa.n.

23. Conjunctive mtw=f sDm


(K 363-378; ČG 42-43; N 25.3; J 5.4.3)
Forms: The conjunctive is a creation of LE, and its format differs from that of the other
analytical conjugation patterns. The conjugation base is formed by mtw-, which is fol-
lowed by the subject (in the case of pronominal subjects the suffix pronoun is used). The
verbal element is always an infinitive, never a stative, and the infinitive is not introduced by a
preposition. The forms mtw=f Hr sDm and mtw=f r sDm which one sometimes encounters can
best be regarded as ‘hypercorrections’ following the example of the sequential and the third
future.
Function: The conjunctive is a main clause pattern which always functions in combi-
nation with a preceding element, usually a main clause. In this respect the conjunctive re-
sembles the sequential. The difference between the two conjugation patterns is to be found
in the attitude of the speaker with respect to the events described. The sequential reports

16
events which really took place. The conjunctive is primarily concerned with events which, in
the opinion of the speaker, are thematically related; their relation to reality is of lesser im-
portance. The sequential is therefore objective and the conjunctive is subjective. For this rea-
son the sequential is primarily a narrative form which has reference to the past, while the
conjunctive occurs most often in direct speech with future temporal reference. In itself, the
conjunctive is a neutral form. Time, mood, etc. are taken over from the preceding main
clause. This summary of the sense of the conjunctive is based on J.F. Borghouts, ZÄS 106
(1979) 14-24.
Sometimes the conjunctive functions as an initial conjugation pattern, as in the prot-
asis of oath formulas; see also, J 6.2.2 (3) and 7.1.
There are no conversion possibilities for the conjunctive. Negation is by means of
the auxiliary verb tm (mtw=f tm sDm).

24. Synthetic conjugation patterns


By synthetic conjugation patterns we mean verbal forms of the type sDm=f, in which the sub-
ject follows the verb. By use of the auxiliary verb iri, constructed with the infinitive of the
main verb (ir=f sDm), the sequence VSO can be changed into SVO (where V must be under-
stood in the semantic sense), so that the word order corresponds with that of the analytical
conjugation patterns.
In literary and historical texts one sometimes encounters remnants of typical ME
forms, such as the sDm=f, the circumstantial sDm=f, and the sDm.in=f. Because of the marginal
role of these forms in the LE verbal system they will not be considered here.
The synthetic conjugation patterns of LE include the perfective (25), the negative
perfective (26), the negative aorist (27), the prospective (28), the emphatic form (29), the
passive (30), the sDm.t=f (31), the sDm.y.t=f (32), the imperative (33), the negative imperative
(34), the causative imperative (35) and the negative causative imperative (36).

25. Perfective sDm=f


(K 276-288; ČG 14; N 15; J 3.5)
Forms: A morpheme .y sometimes follows the verbal stem in the case of 3ae infirmae.
Besides the sDm=f there is also the periphrastic construction ir=f sDm.

17
Function: The perfective is an initial main clause pattern. It is chiefly used with transitive
verbs and should be translated as a perfect (he has heard”) or preterit (“he heard’). The
equivalent of the perfective in the case of intransitive verbs of motion is formed by the first
present with the stative as the verbal element. In some cases translation as a present (“he
hears”) is preferable; this is the case in gnomic (i.e. generally valid) statements, such as prov-
erbs.
Conversion:
1) temporal: wn sDm=f is used as a pluperfect (“he had heard”). The construction is
found in this capacity especially in the protasis of unreal conditional sentences after
the particle hn (the unconverted perfective can also perform this role); see also 46.
2) negative: distinct conjugation patterns expresses the negation of the perfective, to
wit: the negative perfective (26) and the negative aorist (27). Nevertheless, there are
several examples of the conversion bn sDm=f; in these cases the negative is perhaps
emphasized.
3) circumstantial: iw sDm=f is used as a pluperfect and can often be translated as “after
he had heard.”
4) relative: the perfective is incompatible with the converter nty. Instead, the participle
(37) and the relative forms (38) are used.
N.B.: In some grammars, including K, the perfective is not distinguished from the prospec-
tive.

26. Negative perfective bwpw=f sDm


(K 293; ČG 15; N 15.1.2; J 3.5.1)
Forms: The conjugation base , (often determined with ) bwpw is followed by
the subject (a suffix pronoun in the case of pronominal subject). The verbal element is al-
ways an infinitive. This form is the descendant of the ME construction n pAi=f sDm (in which
pAi is the preterit auxiliary verb).
Function: bwpw=f sDm is the negative counterpart of the perfective with past tem-
poral reference (for the negation of the present perfect the negative aorist is used; sec 27)
and of the first present formed with the stative of a verb of motion (which also refers to the
past). The negative perfective can therefore be translated with “he has not heard” or “ he did
not hear”.

18
Conversion:
1) temporal: no examples of this are known.
2) circumstantial; iw bwpw=f sDm can often be translated as a pluperfect (“after he had
not heard’).
3) relative: in contrast to the perfective, the negative perfective can be combined with
nty.
27. Negative aorist bw sDm=f / ir=f sDm
(K 289-293, ČG 20.7; N 17; J 2.3.2 (3))
Forms: the negation bw is followed by the perfective. Non-literary texts consistently use
the periphrastic variant of the perfective (bw ir=f sDm).
Function: In a number of cases the negative aorist refers to the past, but in this ca-
pacity the form is superseded by the negative perfective. The usual temporal reference of the
negative aorist is the present; it is often used to negate custom or habit. Usually the form can
be adequately translated as “he cannot hear” or “he will not hear”. Besides, bw ir=f sDm often
means “he does not hear.”
Conversion: The negative aorist can be combined with the circumstantial converter
iw and the relative converter nty.

28. Prospective sDm=f


(K 276-288, 292; ČG 21-22, 45-46; N 20, 26; J 3.4)
Forms: As in the case of the perfective, the morpheme .y sometimes appears after the verbal
stem, particularly with 3ae infirmae verbs. The prospective of the verbs mi, “to bring”, and
iwi, to come”, can be characterized by the morpheme , .t after the verbal stem. The
forms of the LE prospective thus correspond to those of the ME prospective.
Function: The prospective occurs in main clauses and in subordinate clauses. The
prospective main clause pattern expresses a wish or an expectation. It is a subjectively tinged
form, and is only found in direct speech. Sometimes the prospective is introduced by the
particle ix, which indicates a request.
At the subordinate level the prospective has two functions: (1) as subjunctive after
the causative verb rdi, “to cause”; (2) to mark a final subordinate clause (“so that he hears”).
Conversion: The only conversion possibility with the prospective is negation by
means of bn. The form bn sDm=f negates the prospective in a main clause, but in questions

19
one also finds the use of the negative auxiliary verb tm (tm=f sDm) and for negation of the
prospective at subordinate clause level tm is always used. In its subjunctive use the prospec-
tive cannot be negated (in such cases rdi, “to cause” is negated).
N.B.: In some grammars, including K, the prospective is not distinguished from the
perfective.

29. Emphatic form i.sDm=f / i.ir=f sDm [also called ‘second tense’]
(K 309-320; ČG 26-27; N 23; J 2.3.2 (1))
Forms: the emphatic form is characterized by the prefix , i. before the verbal stem, and
the same prefix is encountered in the periphrastic variant i.ir=f sDm. Besides this pure LE
form one still finds remnants of the ME imperfective sDm=f (characterized by gemination)
with the same emphasizing function.
Function: The emphatic form is used to stress an adverbial element in a sentence. In
the translation this can be expressed by means of a “cleft sentence” (e.g. i.sdm=f pA rmT m pA
pr, “it was in the house that he heard the man”). A special case is formed by the stressing of
the agent in constructions of the type in + substantive / ntf i.sDm=f which always has future
temporal reference (“he will hear”). [Others believe the sDm=f in this construction is a pro-
spective.] In principle, however, the emphatic form is neutral with respect to time.
Conversion:
1) temporal: the construction wn i.sDm=f is possible, but seldom occurs. This form re-
fers explicitly to the past.
2) negative: by means of bn the nexus between the emphatic form and the stressed ad-
verbial element is negated (“it was not in the house that he heard the man”). When
the auxiliary verb tm is used (i.ir=f tm sDm), then the negation extends only to the
verbal action (“it was in the house that the man did not hear”).
3) circumstantial: iw i.sDm=f creates a subordinate clause or relative clause with an em-
phasized adverbial element.
4) relative: nty i.sDm=f forms a relative clause with a stressed adverbial element.

20
30. Passive sDm(.w)=f
(K 295-298; ČG 16; N 15.2; J 2.3.2 (4), 3.5.1)
Forms: The passive is sometimes marked by the morpheme .w or .y after the verbal
stem, but usually it must be identified from the context. Besides sDm(.w)=f, there is a peri-
phrastic variant, ir(.w)=f sDm.
Function: This conjugation pattern can be regarded as the passive counterpart of the
perfective, and therefore usually has past temporal reference. The passive occurs relatively
seldom in LE; it is more usual to make a clause passive by means of the suffix pronoun =tw,
“one”. The passive is a main clause pattern.
Conversion: There are no known examples of temporal conversion. Both bw and bn
can be used for the negation of the passive. The circumstantial converter iw before the pas-
sive creates a passive pluperfect (“after he had been heard”). Relative conversion by means
of nty does not occur; instead the passive participle could be used (37).

31. sDm.t=f
The LE sDm.t=f is the descendant of the ME sDm.t=f (terminative). This form is characterized
by the morpheme .t, which is often written to indicate that there is no question of pho-
netic reduction. The sDm.t=f can be used in two ways, as described below.

31.1 bw sDm.t=f / ir.t=f sDm


(K 332; ČG 20.8; N 18.1; J2.3.2 (3))
Forms: The periphrastic variant bw ir.t=f sDm is the most common, certainly in non-literary
texts.
Function: This conjugation pattern is the equivalent of ME n sDm.t=f and should
therefore be translated as “he has not yet heard.” It is an initial main clause pattern.
Conversion: Temporal conversion by means of wn is not possible. On the other
hand, circumstantial conversion with iw occurs frequently, while relative conversion with nty
is also found.
N.B.: The passive counterpart of this construction is discussed in 32.

21
31.2 (SAa) i.ir.t=f sDm
(K 333; ČG 33-34; N 18.2; J 2.3.2 (2))
Forms: The element i.ir.t is the LE descendant of ME r iri.t. The preposition r is
therefore concealed behind the spelling . As a result of the reduction of this preposition to
the status of a verbal prefix, the preposition/conjunction SAa (-r) began to be used
to make explicit the sense “until” which was originally expressed by r. There are therefore
two patterns with the same meaning. i.ir.t=f sDm and SAa i.ir.t=f sDm The unit SAa i.ir.t is
sometimes spelled ; this spelling reflects the pronunciation /šat/.
Function: This conjugation pattern is the equivalent of ME r sDm.t “until he hears”.
It is a subordinate clause pattern which can precede the main clause or follow it. The latter
possibility is the more usual.
This form does not allow of any conversion.

32. sDm.y.t=f
(K 332; ČG 20.9; N 18.2)
This form only occurs in the construction bw sDm.y.t=f. The characteristic morpheme is ,
.y.t. There is no known periphrastic variant of this pattern.
The rare construction bw sDm.y.t=f is the passive counterpart of bw sDm.t=f / ir.t=f
sDm (31.1); the correct translation is therefore “he is not yet heard.”
The possibilities for conversion are identical to those of bw sDm.t=f / ir.t=f sDm.

33. Imperative
(K 266-272; ČG 24; N 21; J 2.2.2)
Forms: The imperative is formed by the root of the verb, sometimes preceded by the op-
tional prefix ‘ , i. . Gender and number of the person addressed can be expressed by the
addition of (feminine) and (plural). These additions are purely graphic. Occasionally the
plural of the imperative is marked by the suffix , which is presumably identical with the
dependent pronoun 1 pl. c.
For the verb iwi, “to come’, an imperative derived from a different root was used,
mi, “come!” Similarly for rdi, “to give”, imi, “give!”

22
Function: The imperative denotes a command. The subject is usually implicit, but
can be expressed explicitly by means of imperative-intensifiers. These intensifiers include:
1) the independent pronoun of the 2nd person. This is found principally with intransi-
tive verbs. The suffix tw, which is often found with imi, “give”, presumably has
nothing to do with the dependent pronoun 2 sing. c., but originated from (imi) di.tw
“cause to be given” (a causative imperative, see 35). This explains why imi.tw “give!”
is followed by a suffix pronoun in the case of a pronominal direct object.
2) the preposition n followed by a suffix pronoun of the 2nd person.
3) the preposition r followed by a suffix pronoun of the 2nd person.
Conversion of the imperative is not possible.

34. Negative imperative m ir sDm


(K 274; ČG 25; N 21.2; J 2.2.2 (3))
Forms: The negative imperative (also called the vetitive) is formed with the help of the im-
perative m of the negative auxiliary verb imi, followed by the periphrastic infinitive
ir sDm. In the case of the verb rdi, “to give’, the periphrastic ir is omitted, so that the form is
m di, “do not give!” (numerous spellings, e.g. , , ).
Function: The negative imperative expresses a prohibition. In contrast to the impera-
tive, the negative imperative is not combined with intensifiers.
Conversion of the negative imperative is not possible.

35. Causative imperative imi sDm=f / ir=f sDm


(J 2.2.2 (2))
Forms: The causative imperative consists of the imperative imi of the causative verb rdi, “to
cause,” followed by the prospective sDm=f or the periphrastic prospective ir=f sDm, used as a
subjunctive.
Function: The causative imperative means literally “let him hear”. This form ex-
presses an exhortation or a wish (which is why imi also occurs independently with the mean-
ing “come on! go at it!’). The prospective which forms a part of this construction only rarely
has a 2nd person as subject; as a rule the subject is a 1st or 3rd person. There thus seems to
be a question of a complementary distribution of the imperative (2nd person) and the causa-
tive imperative (1st and 3rd persons).

23
Conversion of the causative imperative is not possible.

36. Negative causative imperative


Forms: There are four possible patterns: (1) m di sDm=f, (2) m di ir=f sDm, (3) m ir di sDm=f, (4)
m ir di ir=f sDm. In other words, both the negative imperative m di and the following pro-
spective can be constructed with ir.
Function: This form is the negative counterpart of the causative imperative (“let him
not hear”).
Conversion of the negative causative imperative is not possible.

37. Participle
(K 252-259; ČG 48-50; N 27; J 2.1.4 (5))
LE has two participles, namely active and passive. The distinction between perfective and
imperfective participles, which is characteristic of ME, has disappeared in LE.
Forms: Active and passive participles can be marked by the optional prefix , i.
To the passive participle an optional morpheme .y may be added; this morpheme is often
written as . Gender and number morphemes are absent with the participle. The active
participle has the periphrastic variant (i.)ir sDm. For the nominalization of the temporally
converted first present wn=f Hr sDm, the compound participle wn (Hr) sDm can be used.
Function: The participle is a verbal adjective, which implies that the participle can be
made into a substantive. As a substantive-equivalent, the participle can be determined by the
definite article. A special function of the participle is its role in the “participial statement”
(43.2).
The participle refers to the past or to the present.
Negation of the participle by the auxiliary verb tm, standard in ME, occurs only spo-
radically in LE and must be regarded as an archaism.

38. Relative forms


(K 321-331; ČG 51-52; N 28; J 2.1.4 (5))
Forms: In contrast to ME, LE has but one relative form, which, however, has several mani-
festations. The relative form is sometimes characterized by the optional prefix , i. .
Now and then the morpheme .n is used, a recollection of the ME relative form sDm.n=f.

24
Another ME remnant is the addition of or in the case of a neutral implied antecedent
(“that which he has heard”). The LE relative form does not agree with its antecedent in gen-
der and number. The periphrastic variant of the relative form is (i.)ir=f sDm. As with partici-
ples, there is a compound relative form which serves to nominalize the temporally converted
first present, namely (i.) wn=f (Hr) sDm.
Function: The relative form is used to form a relative clause, the subject of which is
not identical to the antecedent. The relative form is the equivalent of an adjective, and can
thus be made into a substantive.
The relative form always refers to the past. By adding the relative form i.ir=f to an
independently used infinitive, the latter acquires past temporal reference (e.g. pA sDm i.ir=k pA
rmT, “the hearing which you did of the man”; the present equivalent is pAy=k sDm pA rmT,
“your hearing of the man”). As demonstrated by the example, the relative form follows im-
mediately upon the infinitive.
Negation of the relative form by means of tm no longer occurs in LE.

39. Non-verbal sentences


Non-verbal sentences can be divided into existential sentences (40), adjectival sentences (41),
adverbial sentences (42) and nominal sentences (43). Subtypes of the last category are the
deictic sentences (43.1), the ‘participial statements’ (43.2), and the ‘cleft sentences’ (43.3).

40. Existential sentences


(ČG 28-29; N 22; J 4.2.2 (2))
Existential sentences have the structure wn + substantive, sometimes followed by adver-
bial adjuncts. The substantive is undefined, that is, it is preceded by an indefinite article or by
no article.
An existential sentence indicates the existence of something or someone, e.g. wn pr,
“there is a house”.
One of the standard possessive constructions is in fact an existential sentence con-
structed with an adverbial adjunct in the form of a compound preposition , m-di,
“with”; wn pr m-di=f, “there is a house with him” = “he has a house”. The adverbial group
m-di + complement has the tendency to change position and to take the place directly after
wn, so wn m-di=f pr, “he has a house”. The latter word order is the most common. In all

25
known cases, the complement of m-di in this position is formed by a suffix pronoun, not by
a substantive.
In ME an existential sentence is negated by placing nn in front of it. In LE literary
texts examples of the group nn wn are still found, but in non-literary LE the two words
have fused to form , mn. The negative existential sentence also lends itself to
the possessive construction with m-di, e.g. mn m-di=f pr, “he has no house”.
A second type of negative existential sentence is constructed with the help of the
negative bn followed by a substantive (defined or undefined) or an independent pronoun.
Affirmative and negative existential sentences can be combined with the circumstan-
tial converter iw and the relative converter nty.

41. Adjectival sentences


(ČG 59-60; N 40; J 4.2.2)
Adjectival sentences are non-verbal sentences with adjectival predicate. The word order is
always predicate-subject, pronominal subjects taking the form of the dependent pronoun.
Two types of adjectival sentences are distinguished depending on the nature of the predicate,
namely those with a verbally-derived predicate and those with a possessive predicate.
In the first type, the predicate is a passive participle (e.g. di sw, “it is given”) or an ac-
tive participle of a verb of quality (e.g. nfr sw, “it is beautiful”); the latter is most common.
The participles are invariable; they therefore do not agree in number and gender with the
subject. The participles of verbs of quality can also be followed by the exclamatory particle
wsy, (“how …”), a fusion of the ME particle -wy and a dependent pronoun 3 sing. (e.g.
nfr wsy pA pr, “how beautiful is the house”). Besides the bipartite form, there is a one mem-
ber adjectival sentence with verbally derived predicate (e.g. nfr, “(it is) good”).
In adjectival sentences with possessive predicate, the predicate can take three differ-
ent forms:
1) nsy, -“belong to,” a conjunction of the nisbe-adjective ny and the dependent
pronoun 3rd sing. In this construction, the substantive which indicates the posses-
sion is always in frontal or final extraposition (49-50), and is resumed by a dependent
pronoun of the 3rd person (e.g. ir pA pr nsy sw Pr-aA or nsy sw Pr-aA pA pr, “the house
belongs to Pharaoh”). Sometimes this resumptive element drops out (e.g. nsy Pr-aA
pA pr, “the house belongs to Pharaoh”).

26
2) , twy, “belongs to you” and , swy, “belongs to him”. These are
adjectives derived from the dependent pronoun. [Groll and others believe these are
forms of the independent pronoun (ČG 2.2)] Besides their predicative function (swy
pA pr, “the house belongs to him”), they can also be used attributively (pA pr swy,
“the house of him”) and substantively (pA swy, “that of his”).
Adjectival sentences allow of all conversion possibilities and can therefore be introduced by
wn, bn, iw, and nty.

42. Adverbial sentences


Adverbial sentences are non-verbal sentences with adverbial predicate. The fixed word order
is subject-predicate, although possessive predicates formed with the prepositions n, “to”, and
m-di, “with”, can precede the subject. Pronominal subjects are expressed by the pronominal
preformative (e.g. twi m pA pr, “I am in the house”). The subject is almost always defined; in
the case of undefined subjects an existential sentence is used.
Adverbial sentences are temporally converted by means of wn. As in the case of the
first present, the suffix pronoun then takes the place of the pronominal preformative. The
same holds for circumstantial conversion with iw. Negative conversion takes place with the
help of bn and relative conversion with the help of nty.
Adverbial sentences which indicate a direction (often with future implication, e.g.
iw=f r HkA, “he will be ruler”), are usually introduced by iw (51). This particle should not be
confused with the circumstantial converter iw, because it does not affect the main clause sta-
tus of the adverbial clause. Since in such sentences the predicate usually consists of the
preposition r + complement, it seems reasonable to connect this use of iw with the future
iw=f (r) sDm (21).

43. Nominal sentences


(ČG 57-58; N 39; J 4)
Nominal sentences are traditionally known as non-verbal sentences with nominal predicate.
However, in this type of sentence, which has to do with the equation of two substantives or
substantive equivalents, it is not very useful to retain the concepts of subject and predicate.
An approach which takes the pragmatic categories of topic and comment as its point of de-
parture is therefore preferable. The standard word order in nominal sentences appears to be

27
topic-comment, but there are also examples of the reverse order -- for instance in the case of
the interrogative words, which always take the first position. If one of the members of a
nominal sentence is pronominal, it takes the form of an independent pronoun. Independent
pronouns are found only as first member, regardless of their pragmatic function (e.g. ntf pA
rmT, “he is the man”).
Several special subtypes of the nominal sentence are discussed in the following para-
graphs (43.1-3). These subtypes have in common that the order of the pragmatic constitu-
ents is always comment-topic.
It holds for all nominal sentences, including the subtypes, that they can be combined
with the converters wn, bn and iw. However, relative conversion with nty is not possible, ex-
cept in the case of the ‘participial statement’.

43.1 Deictic sentences


Deictic sentences are nominal sentences, one member of which is a demonstrative used as a
substantive, in almost all cases the demonstrative involved is pAy/tAy/nAy (6). It always func-
tions as the second member and agrees in gender and number with the substantive in the
first member (e.g. pA pr pAy, “that is the house”). Sometimes the demonstrative is omitted, so
that the deictic sentence consists only of the comment. This structure is the rule in the case
of negative deictic sentences; here the negative strengthener iwnA (45) takes the place of the
demonstrative (e.g. bn pA pr iwnA, “that is not the house”). Omission of the demonstrative
also occurs in the case of frontal extraposition by means of ir (ir A B pAy, “as for A, that is
B” > ir A B, “A is B”; A is topic and B comment).

43.2 ‘Participial statement’


The so-called ‘participial statement’ is a nominal sentence, the first member of which is made
up of an independent pronoun or the particle , , in followed by a substantive; the
second member is an undefined active participle, almost always of a transitive verb (e.g. ink
i.sDm pA rmT “I am the one who heard the man”; in pA rmT i.sDm wi “the man is the one who
heard me”). By means of this construction the subject of a transitive verb is emphasized.
Sometimes the particle in is replaced by ir, which usually marks a topic (49), but here intro-
duces the comment.

28
43.3. ‘Cleft sentence’
A ‘cleft sentence’ is a nominal sentence, the first member of which is formed by an inde-
pendent pronoun or a substantive, while the second member is a defined relative clause (that
is, a participle, relative form or nty-conversion, preceded by a definite article or a demonstra-
tive, see 48; the article agrees in gender and number with the first member). The cleft sen-
tence equates the first member with the implied antecedent of the relative clause in the se-
cond member. In ‘cleft sentences’ the first member is always emphasized. Several examples:
pA rmT pA ii, “the man is the one who came”; pA rmT pA sDm=i “the man is the one I heard”; pA
rmT pA di=i n=f pA pr, “the man is the one to whom I gave the house”; pA rmT nty bwpw=i di n=f
pA pr, “the man is the one to whom I did not give the house”. In this manner, any sentence
element can be emphasized, regardless of its grammatical function. The only restriction is
that for emphasizing of the subject of a transitive verb a separate construction is used, name-
ly the ‘participial statement’ (43.2), which can be regarded as a special form of the cleft sen-
tence.

44. Interrogative sentences


(ČG 61; N 11.2 and 43)
There are two types of interrogative sentences, specifying and “yes-no”.
Specifying questions use an interrogative (9) or the interrogative adverb tnw,
“where?”. These words behave like nouns and adverbs respectively, so that changes in the
word order as a result of the use of interrogative words (“wh-movement”) generally do not
occur. However, interrogative words are especially common in all sorts of emphasizing con-
structions, e.g. as first member of a cleft sentence (43.3) and as adverbial complement of an
emphasized form (29).
“Yes-no” questions must be answered with a “yes” or a “no”. A “yes-no” question
can be unmarked in the written language (in the spoken language such a sentence was pre-
sumably characterized as a question by intonation). In addition, LE has a number of inter-
rogative particles:
1) , , , in. This neutral interrogative particle is used in direct and indirect ques-
tions (ex. of the latter: i.Dd n=i in sDm=k pA rmT “tell me if you heard the man”). One
variant of in is , in-iw. Unlike in, this particle is combined with suffix pro-
nouns.

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2) is. The answer to the question introduced by this particle is expected to be “no”. If
a negation follows is, then the expected answer is “yes”.
3) isiw. This particle introduces rhetorical questions, to which the answer “no” is
expected. If a negation follows istw, then the answer is expected to be “yes”.
The interrogative particles can be combined with all verbal and non-verbal sentence types
which are semantically eligible. Interrogative particles precede the temporal converter wn and
the negative converter bn. For semantic reasons, they cannot be combined with the circum-
stantial converter iw and the relative converter nty.

45. Negative sentences


(ČG 13; N 11.1 and 38.5)
Forms of negation have already been dealt with in the discussion of the verbal conjugation
patterns and of the non-verbal sentences. Some aspects are summarized here.
The following negative particles can be distinguished in LE:
1) , , bw (<ME n). Function: as element in the conjugation base of the negative
perfective bwpw=f sDm (26); the negative aorist bw sDm=f / ir=f sDm (27); the negative
passive bw sDm(.w)=f (30); the bw sDm.t=f / ir.t=f sDm (31.1); the bw sDm.y.t=f (32).
2) , , bn (< ME nn). Function: negates the first present bn sw (Hr) sDm (19); the
third future bn iw=f (r) sDm (21); the perfective bn sDm=f (not standard, see 25); the in-
itial prospective bn sDm=f (28); the emphatic form bn i.sDm=f / i.ir=f sDm (negating the
emphasized element, see 29); the passive bn sDm(.w)=f (30); existential sentences (40);
adjectival sentences (41); adverbial sentences (42); nominal sentences (43).
This particle is consistently placed after the comment of a sentence (which usually
corresponds to the predicate). It is found particularly often with the emphatic form
and in non-verbal sentences. For deictic sentences (43.1) bn ... iwnA is the standard
negation. Several examples: bn pA rmT m pA pr iwnA, “the man is not in the house”; bn
i.sDm=i pA rmT m pA pr iwnA, “it is not in the house that I heard the man”: bn pA rmT
iwnA pA nty m pA pr “The man is not the one who is in the house”. In the last two ex-
amples there is an emphasized comment.
3) , mn <ME nn wn). This particle negates existential sentences (40).
Besides these particles there are two negative auxiliary verbs, which are constructed with the
infinitive of the main verb:

30
1) imi. In non-literary LE this auxiliary verb is found only in the imperative m.
It is a component of the negative imperative (34) and of the negative causative im-
perative (36).
2) tm. Function: negates the independent uses of the infinitive (16); the sequen-
tial (20); the conjunctive (23); the non-initial prospective (28); the emphatic form (for
verbal negation, see 29).

46. Conditional and temporal subordinate clauses


(ČG 55, 62; N 32-36; J 6.2)
Conditional subordinate clauses (protasis) always precede main clauses (apodosis). A real
protasis (“when he hears”) is introduced by the conjunction inn. An unreal protasis (“if
he should hear”) is introduced by the conjunction , hn. Both conjunctions can be
followed by various verbal and non-verbal types of sentences. The apodosis of conditional
clauses introduced by inn usually contains a third future, while that of the clauses introduced
by hn always has a temporally converted third future (wn iw=f (r) sDm)
Initial subordinate clauses which are introduced by the conjunctions ir and
wnn must sometimes be translated conditionally (“if”) and sometimes temporally (“when”).
These conjunctions can be followed by various types of clauses. Wnn is compatible with a
pronominal preformative, but is more often combined with a suffix pronoun. Ir is frequently
linked with the construction iw=f (Hr) sDm. It is not clear whether this construction should be
interpreted as a sequential : both ir iw=f (Hr) tm sDm and ir iw bn sw (Hr) sDm are used as neg-
ative counterparts. The former form argues for a sequential, the latter for a circumstantial. A
third possibility is to regard ir-iw as a compound conjunction with valence for suffix pro-
nouns, analogous to the compound interrogative particle in-iw (44), the compound relative
converter nty-iw (13) and the compound non-enclitic particle xr-iw (12). The conjunction
wnn can also be combined with iw (wnn iw=f (Hr) sDm along side wnn (Hr) sDm). After a sub-
ordinate clause introduced by ir or wnn, the main clause always contains a sequential.
Non-initial temporal subordinate clauses are preceded by the circumstantial convert-
er iw or by a conjunction. The most common conjunctions in this role are m-xt, “af-
ter”, and , m-Dr “after”. Subordinate clauses with these conjunctions can also take
an initial position; however, in this case they must be preceded by ir (this is a special case of
frontal extraposition, sec 49).

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47. Object Clauses
(J 5.3.2 (2))
There are two sorts of object clauses. The first type occurs after the causative verb rdi, “to
cause’. It is always verbal and is characterized by the use of the prospective (e.g. di=i sDm=f pA
rmT, “I caused that he hears the man”).
The second type occurs after verbs of perception (e.g. ptr, “to see”, gmi, “to find”,
rx, “to know”) and verbs of communication (e.g. hAb, “to write”, Dd, “to say”). Object claus-
es of this type can be introduced by the conjunctions , (r-)Dd and m-Dd, but the
use of these conjugations is not obligatory.

48. Relative clauses


(ČG 53-54; N 27-31; J 2.1.4 (5), 4.3.1-2, and 5.1.2)
Relative clauses with a defined antecedent are formed with the participle (37), the relative
form (38) and the relative converter nty (13). Syntactically speaking, such sentences are the
equivalent of adjectives, and can be used both attributively and as substantives. In the latter
case, the antecedent is implicit (e.g. pA nty twi Hr sDm=f, “the one I hear”). In the case of an
undefined antecedent, the relative clause takes the form of a subordinate clause introduced
by the circumstantial converter iw; such a subordinate clause is also called a virtual relative
clause. A relative with iw is always attributive, never nominalized.
In the case of relative sentences with defined antecedent, the grammatical function
played by the antecedent in the relative clause is generally indicated by a resumptive pronoun
(e.g. pA pr nty twi im=f, “the house in which I am”; pA rmT i.di=i n=k pAy=f pr, “the man whose
house I gave to you”). In certain circumstances, however, the resumptive is omitted. This is
the case with:
1) Active participles. The antecedent is by definition the subject of the participle, so
that resumption of the subject is superfluous.
2) Passive participles - if the antecedent is the subject of the participle (e.g. pA pr i.di
“the house which is given”). If the antecedent has another relation to the participle
(e.g. the indirect object in pA rmT i.di n=f pA pr, “the man to whom the house is giv-
en”), then there is resumption.

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3) Relative forms - if the expected resumptive pronoun in the relative clause has ‘un-
bound’ status, that is to say, if it is a dependent pronoun. In practice this comes
down to the observation that resumption is omitted when the antecedent is the di-
rect object of the relative form (e.g. pA pr i.di=i n=k and not *pA pr i.di=i n=k sw*, “the
house which I gave you”) or an adverbial expression of time (e.g. pA hrw i.di=i pA pr,
“the day on which I gave the house”). The latter construction is rare. In all other cas-
es resumption is carried out by the suffix pronoun, which has a bound status and is
therefore retained.
4) Nty - if the expected resumptive pronoun is a pronominal preformative directly fol-
lowing nty (e.g. pA rmT nty m pA pr and not *pA rmT nty sw m pA pr*, “the man who is
in the house”; pA rmT nty bn sw m pA pr, “the man who is not in the house”; pA rmT
nty Hr sDm=i, “the man who hears me”; pA rmT nty iw=f r sDm=i, “the man who will
hear me”).
If a clause is made relative by means of iw, resumption is always present.

49. Frontal extraposition


(N 33.4; J 6.1)
By means of frontal extraposition a word group is brought into focus. Such a word group
always has the status of a topic. Word groups in frontal extraposition can be preceded by an
optional ir (the function of which is to be distinguished from that of the conjunction ir
discussed in 46). Both nominal and pronominal word groups can be placed in extraposition.
In addition, frontal extraposition can be applied to adverbial word groups, but only where
these specify time. This also holds for frontal extraposition (with obligatory ir) of temporal
subordinate clauses introduced by the conjunctions m-xt and m-di “after” (46).
There are no restrictions on the grammatical function the anticipatory (pro)nominal
word group has in the following clause. The use of a resumptive pronoun in the following
clause is obligatory, and the only conditions in which the resumptive is omitted are adjectival
clauses of the type ir A nsy B < ir A nsy sw B, “A belongs to B” and deictic sentences of the
type ir A B <ir A B pAy, “A is B”, (see 41 and 43.1). Resumption never takes place, however,
in the case of frontal extraposition of adverbial expressions of time.

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The following clause can be introduced by an optional iw. If the following clause
contains a first present, this changes into the construction iw=f (Hr) sDm, which in form cor-
responds to the sequential.

50. Final extraposition


Like frontal extraposition, final extraposition brings a word group into focus. This word
group always has the status of a topic. Only nominal and pronominal word groups are eligi-
ble for final extraposition. In the case of pronouns, it is the independent pronoun which
stands in final extraposition, whether or not introduced by the optional particle , gr.
Nominal word groups may be preceded by the optional preposition m (this usage can be
rendered “namely”). The word group is always anticipated by a personal pronoun in the orig-
inal clause. In principle, every (pro)nominal word group lends itself to final extraposition,
irrespective of its grammatical function in the first clause.

51. Functions of iw
(N 38.1)
In the preceding paragraphs, the numerous uses of the particle iw have repeatedly drawn
our attention. From a functional point of view, it is perhaps better to speak of the diverse
particles iw, each of which has its own usage. In this paragraph the usages are summarized
briefly.
1) Future iw. This particle is found as a conjugation base in the third future (21). By
analogy, it also figures in adverbial clauses indicating direction, which often have a
connotation of futurity (42).
2) Sequential iw. This particle forms the conjugation base of the sequential (20). Some-
times it is found before other conjugation patterns as a marker of parataxis (“and”).
It is not always so simple to distinguish sequential iw from circumstantial iw.
3) Circumstantial iw. The circumstantial converter iw (13) changes main clauses into
temporally subordinate clauses (46) or into relative clauses with undefined anteced-
ent (48).
4) Connective iw. This optional particle connects a word group in frontal extraposition
with the following clause (49). In addition, it is an element of the compound particles

34
xr-iw (12), nty-iw (13) and in-iw (44), as well as the compound conjunctions ir-iw and
wnn-iw (46).
All these iw particles take suffix pronouns.

35