Wiktionary:About Egyptian

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This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is an editable draft of Wiktionary:About Egyptian with no policy authority. It is intended to help the Wiktionary community develop new and perhaps better approaches. Please feel free to edit this page conscientiously, as you would any document on a wiki.
Policies: CFI - ELE - BLOCK - REDIR - BOTS - QUOTE - DELETE - NPOV - AXX

This page describes policies and practices specific to Ancient Egyptian entries on the English Wiktionary. These are in addition to Wiktionary’s overall standards which are listed at Wiktionary:Entry layout explained. It is very much a work in progress, and you are encouraged to offer criticism, suggestions and other input. This page discusses only Ancient Egyptian — Coptic is discussed separately at Wiktionary:About Coptic and the Egyptian dialect of Arabic is discussed at Wiktionary:About Egyptian Arabic

General Information[edit]

Middle Egyptian[edit]

Wiktionary takes Middle Egyptian as the standard form. This form of Egyptian flourished from 2000 BC – 1300 BC, and continued to be used as a literary language long afterwards — it is therefore the form of the language best understood by modern scholarship. In general, Middle Egyptian differs from earlier and later forms of the language in grammar, but there is also semantic change. Words or meanings of words which do not occur in Middle Egyptian should still be added, but their time period should be noted.

On Wiktionary Egyptian does not include Coptic.

Attestation[edit]

The normal standard for modern languages is three independent attestations. However, Egyptian, as a dead language, requires only one attestation.

Transliteration[edit]

Transliteration is not the same as transcription. Transcription seeks to reproduce the pronunciation of a text. For example, the name of the founder of the Twenty-second dynasty is transliterated as ššnq but transcribed Shoshenq in English, Chéchanq in French, Sjesjonk in Dutch, and Scheschonq in German.

On Wiktionary, we are only interested in the transliteration — the representation of the Egyptian hieroglyphs in the Roman alphabet. There are many systems for transliterating Egyptian, which are broadly similar, but disagree on details. The system used on wiktionary is as follows:

A
i
i i
a
w
b
p
f
m
n
r
h
3 j y ˤ w b p f m n r h
H
x
X
z
s
S
q
k
g
t
T
d
D
s s š q k g t d

j & w[edit]

j & w were frequently omitted in hieroglyphs — especially in suffices. They should nevertheless be transliterated.

Characters which are not transliterated[edit]

Determinatives are never transliterated. Further, unilaterals which follow a bilateral/trilateral, and are intended only to clarify its pronounciation are not transliterated either. Thus:

The word:
i mn
n
C12
Transliteration: jmn

Alternative Transliterations[edit]

Currently a wide range of different transliteration systems for Egyptian are in use on Wiktionary. Pages which currently exist using another transliteration system should be shifted to the correct namespace and then listed for deletion, unless they are the manual de codage system, in which case they should probably become redirects. If, however, they are likely to also be a term in another language, then they should be made into a soft redirect (see the wiktionary policy on redirects).

Inputting Hieroglyphs[edit]

Egyptian hieroglyphs were added to the Unicode standard in October, 2009 with the release of version 5.2, using the Unicode block U+13000–U+1342F. See Wikipedia’s w:Egyptian hieroglyphs#Unicode. The code points are supported by the Aegyptus font, which can be downloaded here.

The Manuel de Codage system allows hieroglyphs to be entered using a standard keyboard, without any special characters placed between angle brackets thus: <hiero></hiero>. Under the Manuel de Codage system, every hieroglyph has a unique code. For the alphabetic hieroglyphs the input codes are as follows (Note that the system is case sensative):

A
i
y
i i
a
w
W
b
p
f
m
M
n
N
r
A i y i-i a w W b p f m M n N r
l
h
H
x
X
z
s
S
q
k
g
t
T
d
D
l h H x X z s S q k g t T d D

The more common bilaterals and trilaterals can be entered using the same system, like so:

bA
aA
pA
Dd
mwt
Etc.
bA aA pA Dd mwt Etc.

Less common Bilaterals, Trilaterals and Determinatives must be entered using their w:Gardiner number (Note that case remains essential):

A1
Z3
G14
A2 Z3 G14

The most powerful aspect of the system is its ability to control the arrangement of a series of hieroglyphs. This is accomplished using the following punctuation marks: - : * <> !
Each hieroglyphic character must be separated from the next one by one of these marks

Mark Function Code example Example
- Places two signs beside each other (the default position) <hiero>R4-t-p</hiero>
R4 t p
 : places one sign on top of another <hiero>t:p</hiero>
t
p
* Holds two signs together (e.g. so that both of them will go under a third sign) <hiero>R4:t*p</hiero>
R4
t p
<> Places a cartouche around signs <hiero>< p:p-i-i ></hiero>
<
p
p
i i
>
 ! Ends line (necessary only when quoting multiple lines of Egyptian)

The Manuel de Codage system is far superior to any other option, but, unfortunately, it is not foolproof. Occassionally a particular stacking option offends it, and it just will not work — in this case it must be accepted that having all the characters displayed is ultimately more important than having them authentically stacked. A second problem is that many of the more obscure characters (particularly unusual determinatives) are missing — and therefore will not be displayed. A note will be necessary in these cases, explaining the appearance of the missing hieroglyph.

Headers[edit]

Most headers have a basic description in WT:ELE, however Egyptian has a few special concerns which will be dealt with here. If you have further questions after reading this section, check out WT:ELE, as headers have a somewhat fuller description there. Headers are listed here in the order they should be found in entries, and at the proper level (the number of equal signs which should surround them in the editing window). Keep in mind that it is not necessary to use all of these every time. Simply put what you know (or can find) and someone else will fill it out later. The only headers which are necessary for every entry are the Language (Egyptian) and POS header.

==Egyptian==
===Etymology===
===Pronunciation===
====(POS)====
=====Usage notes=====
=====Inflection=====
=====Synonyms=====
=====Antonyms=====
=====Derived terms=====
=====Related terms=====
=====Descendants=====
===References===

Egyptian[edit]

Language header, at level 2.

Etymology[edit]

Etymologies list the word(s) from which the entry comes from genetically, and should be encoded using {{term}}. If a word comes from a word in another language, the language should be noted, generally best coded using {{etyl}}. The same format should be used when noting Egyptian words in the etymologies of non-Egyptian entries. When an Egyptian word comes from Proto-Afro-Asiatic, the reconstructed etymon should be listed using {{recons}}. Cognates in sister languages are useful: Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, and Hebrew are the usual suspects. In general, when using other languages in an etymology, they should be written in the appropriate script and transliterated, according to the source language’s policies. If you only have access to a transliteration, put it unlinked, and add {{rfscript}}, which marks the entry for attention from someone knowledgeable about the particular script. If you are uncertain of the meaning, spelling, or some other facet of the word, you can use {{attention}} to mark the entry for attention from someone knowledgeable about the language.
This entry is also used to group together POS entries with similar etymologies.

Pronunciation[edit]

A few types of pronunciations can be found in this section:

Egyptological pronunciation[edit]

Egyptological pronunciation is the way Egyptologists pronounce these words today. It is an entirely invented system that has no connection to how these words were pronounced by speakers of Egyptian.

Reconstructed Egyptian[edit]

This is the reconstructed pronunciation that is believed to be the way speakers of Egyptian pronounced the words.

(POS)[edit]

The “Part of Speech” headers which are currently used within Egyptian are: Adjective, Idiom, Noun, Numeral, Particle, Preposition, Pronoun, and Verb. These largely represent the standard across languages in Wiktionary. If an entry contains a different POS header than those listed above, it is likely incorrect. Different POS headers may be acceptable, but should be carefully checked and discussed with other editors.

Hieroglyphs[edit]

Directly underneath the POS header is the word itself, in hieroglyphs, which is typically formatted with a template such {{head|egy|noun|head=<hiero></hiero>}}. For nouns, gender should be noted, in italics, at this point. For adjectives, it should be noted whether they are primary, secondary, or nisbe. If the word is only attested in Archaic Egyptian, Old Egyptian, or Late Egyptian, this should be noted here too.

This will be the first time that the hieroglyphs appear in the entry and therefore it should come before sections like “alternative forms”, which often precede this section in other languages on wiktionary. The definitions immediately follow the hieroglyphs.

Usage notes[edit]

A general purpose header which is used for information which does not fit into other headers. This is one of the few headers which regularly contains prose. Information which can be reasonably put here includes notes about syntax, inflection, and locality.

Alternative ways of writing the word in hieroglyphs should go here — so they will all be transliterated identically (and therefore a single entry will address all of them). Generally the most common spelling will have a full entry, while the less common spellings will be listed. Some variants are exceptionally common and therefore not worth noting:

  • Omission of the determinative
  • interchange between s & z and between t & ṯ, as this is extremely common
  • Common interchanges of determinatives: e.g
Z3
vs
Z2


If there are many variants it is probably best to list them in a table, rather than line by line. I.e.:

aA
a
A Y1
aA
a
Y1
aA
Y1
ˤ3 ˤ3 ˤ3

Where a variant spelling has a distinctly different meaning it is better treated as a distinct word, with a separate sub-entry.

Inflection[edit]

Egyptian is an inflected language, but the inflections tend to be fairly simple and straightforward — irregularities are genuinely rare. For such languages it is usual to put the inflections before the definition — but the amount of space which hieroglyphs can take up and the variation inherent in the hieroglyphic system makes this impractical for Egyptian. This information should be listed in a table, in transcription. Hieroglyphs can be added also, but this is probably only neccessary if something particularly odd happens For nouns, singular, dual & plural should be noted thus:

Declension
singular snt
dual sntj
plural snwt

For adjectives, gender should be noted as well:

Masculine Feminine
Singular nfr nfrt
Plural nfrw nfrt

Verbs are more complicated: see User talk:Furius/Egyptian Conjugations for all eighteen transitive conjungations and the various irregulars (intransitives are identical but lack a passive in the finite forms (but they still have passive participles).

Bulleted lists[edit]

The following headers contain only bulleted lists. Bullets are created by starting the line with an asterisk (*), followed by a single space, followed by the content. Words linked to in such lists are best encoded using {{l}} (remember to specify the language).

Semantic relations headers[edit]

Semantic relations are described in the following two headers: Synonyms and Antonyms. These are words which are related semantically, that is, by their meanings. They can be etymologically/genetically related, but they don’t have to be.

Synonyms[edit]

Words which have the same or similar meanings are place here. They may be etymologically (genetically) related, but they do not have to be. Synonyms should be bulleted and sorted by the sense which they share, which is specified using {{sense}}.

Antonyms[edit]

Words which have an opposing meaning are placed here. Content under this header is formatted identically to that under the Synonym header, namely it is bulleted and sorted by sense using {{sense}}.

Genetic relations headers[edit]

Genetic relations between words are described in the following headers, in addition to Etymology, which comes earlier in the entry. These words must always be genetically related, but need not be semantically related, though they often are. The Etymology header describes the entry’s predecessor(s), where the following headers describe other genetic relations.

Derived terms (Egyptian words)[edit]

Derived terms are other Egyptian words which derive from the entry word. Non-Egyptian words which derive from the term should be placed under "Descendants." Words in this section should be given in transliteration and hieroglyphs, linked, bulleted, and alphabetized. An easy method for searching for derived terms and descendants is to click the "What links here" link on the left (please check through these before adding them to sections).

Related terms (Egyptian words)[edit]

This section is, like derived terms, only for other Egyptian words which are in some way etymologically related to the entry word, such as a word which shares the same etymon. It is often useful for words which might be etyma or derived terms, but the exact relationship of which is unclear. This section should be formatted in a similar manner to derived terms.

Descendants (non-Egyptian words)[edit]

Descendants are words in other languages which come from the entry word. Most of these words will be Coptic, but some Egyptian words entered Greek, Arabic and even further afield. Please list descendants alphabetically by language.

References[edit]

The references section should contain the dictionaries/lexicons which you used to create the entry. Please keep in mind that simply copying out of copyrighted works is a copyright violation and illegal; any entries found to be copyright violations will be promptly deleted without warning or discussion. Users with a repeated history of entering copyrighted material will generally be blocked.

An Example Entry: s3b[edit]

Egyptian[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Noun[edit]

z
A
b E17

masculine

  1. jackal
Usage notes[edit]

Alternative hieroglyphic writings:

z Ab E17
z F27 b E17
z b E17
E17
Inflection[edit]
Declension
sing. s3b
dual s3bwj
plural s3bw

Etymology 2?[edit]

Noun[edit]

E17 A1

masculine

  1. (an official title of uncertain rank)
Inflection[edit]
Declension
sing. s3b
dual s3bwj
plural s3bw

References[edit]

Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian

Definitions[edit]

Quotations[edit]

Format in non-Egyptian entries[edit]

More Help[edit]