Demotic Dictionary
Posted: 18 September 2012 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]
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There is a very interesting article in today’s NY Times on the Demotic dictionary project.  The dictionary, which a quote in the article calls the Demotic equivalent of the OED, is nearing completion after 40 years of work.  Demotic is the Eqyptian everyday language that with heiroglyphics and Greek was on the Rosetta Stone.  It was in use for a thousand years until 500 A.D. and then was displaced by Coptic and Arabic.

The article explains that some words in modern english such as “adobe” and “ebony” originate from Demotic through Arabic.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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This might get you there:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/science/new-demotic-dictionary-translates-lives-of-ancient-egyptians.html?pagewanted=all

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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It’s indeed an interesting article, but it tends to speak of “Demotic” as though that were a special language ("people in everyday life spoke a different languageā€¦"), rather than simply the spoken Egyptian of that time. Both the hieroglyphic and the demotic Egyptian texts on the Rosetta stone were, unless I’m sadly mistaken, written in pretty much the same language. Obviously, the hieratic and the demotic vocabularies would be very different—they were, after all, used for different purposes.

And “Coptic” isn’t yet another, different language, it’s the language into which demotic Egyptian evolved, just as ME evolved into modern English. It was with the help of the liturgical texts of the Coptic church, still in use in modern times, that Egyptologists tried to reconstruct the sounds of ancient Egyptian.

Oh, yes - another bit of casual journalistic imprecision: the name of the man who went round the world in 80 days was not Phineas Fogg. It was Phileas - a nonce name, made up, apparently, by Jules Verne.

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Posted: 18 September 2012 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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lionello - 18 September 2012 10:16 AM


Oh, yes - another bit of casual journalistic imprecision: the name of the man who went round the world in 80 days was not Phineas Fogg. It was Phileas - a nonce name, made up, apparently, by Jules Verne.

No, not invented by Verne. There’s a St Phileas, one of the martyrs in the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian in the late third, early fourth century.

It is related that after the death of the aforementioned martyrs, Phileas, Bishop of the Church of Thumis, in Egypt, was sentenced to death, and beheaded, by virtue of the edict of the Emperor, on account of his faith in Jesus Christ, and because he would not give honor to the gods, nor sacrifice to them. Jerome has written of him that after he became bishop, he wrote a very excellent book in praise of the martyrs

From the Martyrs’ Mirror, 1660.

[ Edited: 18 September 2012 10:36 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 19 September 2012 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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You rarely (if ever!) fail to deliver the goods, aldi. Keep up the good work!

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