埃及語

埃及語(Egyptian language)

尼羅河谷已亡佚的亞非諸語言(Afroasiatic language)。其歷史悠久,劃分為五個時期︰上古埃及語(Old Egyptian,西元前3000~西元前2000年),主要為金字塔銘文(Pyramid Texts)和古代傳記文獻;中古埃及語(Middle Egyptian,西元前2000~西元前1300年),為古典文學語言;近古埃及語(Late Egyptian,西元前1300~西元前700年),主要是些手稿;通俗埃及語(Demotic,西元前700~西元500年),使用於波斯、希臘和羅馬統治的各個時期,其與近古埃及語的區別主要在語法系統;科普特語(Coptic,約300~1500),主要用於書寫宗教(基督教)文獻,9世紀被阿拉伯語取代後逐漸形成方言,但一直存在於科普特正教會(Coptic Orthodox Church)的祈禱書中。埃及語原來用象形文字(hieroglyph),手寫體象形文字發展成僧侶體和通俗體兩種字型,通俗體文字用於通俗埃及語時期,僧侶體文字主要用於抄寫紙莎草紙的宗教文獻及其他傳統文獻。科普特語採用希臘字母,並增加七個借自埃及通俗文字的字母。

English version:

Egyptian language

Extinct Afroasiatic language of the Nile valley. Its very long history comprises five periods: Old Egyptian (3000-2000 BC),best exemplified by a corpus of religious inscriptions known as the Pyramid Texts and a group of autobiographical tomb inscriptions; Middle Egyptian (2000-1300 BC),the classical literary language; Late Egyptian (1300-700 BC),known mainly from manuscripts; Demotic (700 BC-AD 500),used in the periods of Persian,Greek,and Roman dominance,and differing from Late Egyptian chiefly in its graphic system; and Coptic (AD 300-1500),the language of Christian Egypt,gradually supplanted as a vernacular by Arabic from the 9th century on but still preserved to some degree in the liturgy of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Egyptian was originally written in hieroglyphs,out of which evolved hieratic,a cursive rendering of hieroglyphs,and demotic,a kind of shorthand reduction of hieratic. Coptic was written in a modified form of the Greek alphabet,with seven signs added from the Demotic script for sounds that did not occur in Greek.

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