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From:  "Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Date:  Thu Feb 11, 1999  3:19 am
Subject:  Re: Egyptian Sign Language


On Wed, 10 Feb 1999, Valerie Sutton wrote:

> Perhaps you could explain what you mean further....I don't know very much
> about Egyptian hieroglyphics.
> I had heard that it incorporates some notation for sounds, is that true?

Yes, it's basically an alphabet just like the one I'm writing in
now,with a couple differences. One is that, like the Hebrew and Arabic
alphabets, vowels weren't written. The other is that all the letters were
stylized pictures of common things in ancient Egyptian life. They still
stood for the first letter of the thing they depicted, so a picture of an
owl stood for the letter {m}, and a picture of a chick stood for {w}, and
a picture of an eagle stood for a glottal stop (if I'm remembering it

There were also reduced forms for faster handcarving, and more
elaborate forms for more important inscriptions.

-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
Linguistics Department
The University of New Mexico

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