SignWriting List Forum
Date: Fri Mar 8, 2002 6:55
"Angus B. Grieve-Smith"
Subject: Re: hieroglyphs were used for phonetic encoding by Egyptians, as demonstrated by Champollion´s work
On Fri, 8 Mar 2002, Fernando Capovilla wrote:
> Let us not forget that hieroglyphs were used for phonetic encoding by
> Egyptians, as demonstrated by Champollion ±± work.
Took the words out of my mouth, Fernando! I took part of a course
in Middle Egyptian in college, and they most definitely had an alphabet.
Hieroglyphics contain both logographic and alphabetic symbols,
similar to the way that Chinese characters are used in conjunction with
alphabetic symbols in Japanese and Korean. The alphabetic symbols
represent consonants and semivowels, much like the present-day Arabic and
Hebrew alphabets. There are also a number of symbols that stand for
sequences of sounds, and can be combined with alphabetic symbols in the
style of a rebus.
-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
University of New Mexico