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Text and Context in Ancient Egypt. Studies in Honor of James P. Allen
In the House of Heqanakht: Text and Context in Ancient Egypt gathers Egyptological articles in honor of James P. Allen, Charles Edwin Wilbour Professor of Egyptology at Brown University. Professor Allen's contribution to our current understanding of the ancient Egyptian language, religion, society, and history is immeasurable and has earned him the respect of generations of scholars. In accordance with Professor Allen’s own academic prolificity, the present volume represents an assemblage of studies that range among different methodologies, objects of study, and time periods. The contributors specifically focus on the interconnectedness of text and context in ancient Egypt, exploring how a symbiosis of linguistics, philology, archaeology, and history can help us reconstruct a more accurate picture of ancient Egypt and its people.
The IOS Annual volume 22: “Telling of Olden Kings” brings forth studies devoted to a wide array fields and disciplines of the Middle East. The Ancient Near East section is devoted to Neo-Babylonian Mesopotamia and the Achaemenid Empire (Da Riva and Novotny; Levavi; Tavernier and Azzoni; Zadok). The Semitic section includes three articles dealing with contact between various languages of the Semitic language group and between Semitic languages and dialects and other language groups (Castagna; Cerqueglini; Klimiuk and Lipnicka). The Arabic section contains two articles concerned with Modern Arabic poetry (Khoury) and traditions about Biblical figures in Arabic sources (Yavor).
Akkadian, written in the cuneiform script, is the most important language of the Ancient Near East and one of the most important members of the Semitic language family. Old Babylonian is the best attested period and dialect of Akkadian. Old Babylonian was written all over Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, Syria) and some neigboring regions during the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE. The book describes the language of middle Old Babylonian from the kings Sin-muballit to Samsu-iluna. Volume 1 extensively describes the orthography, phonology, nouns, pronouns and numbers of Old Babylonian.
Author: Bettina Leitner
This book is the very first comprehensive description of the Arabic variety spoken in the South-Western Iranian province of Khuzestan. It contains a detailed description of its phonology and morphology with numerous examples and a collection of authentic texts presented in transcription with an English translation. The author uses a corpus-based method for the grammatical analysis relying on original data collected during fieldwork in Khuzestan as well as among other Khuzestani Arab communities in Kuwait and Austria. The introduction and text collection offer the reader insights into Khuzestani Arab culture and traditions. The book highlights the peripheral character of Khuzestani Arabic spoken as a minority dialect in Iran and isolated from influence by both Standard Arabic and regional prestige varieties. It also provides an in-depth description of the linguistic development of Ahvaz, Khuzestan’s capital city.
Studying the Indo-European languages means having a privileged viewpoint on diachronic language change, because of their relative wealth of documentation, which spans over more than three millennia with almost no interruption, and their cultural position that they have enjoyed in human history.
The chapters in this volume investigate case-studies in several ancient Indo-European languages (Ancient Greek, Latin, Hittite, Luwian, Sanskrit, Avestan, Old Persian, Armenian, Albanian) through the lenses of contact, variation, and reconstruction, in an interdisciplinary and intradisciplinary way. This reveals at the same time the multiplicity and the unity of our discipline(s), both by showing what kind of results the adoption of modern theories on “old” material can yield, and by underlining the centrality and complexity of the text in any research related to ancient languages.


In this paper, it is my intention to carry out a thorough survey of both Achaemenid Elamite and Old Persian indefinite pronouns in order to assess whether their occurrences and respective developments (Middle Persian indefinites) can shed some new light over the real nature of these morphological forms. I will show that, in many respects, the indefinite pronouns attested in both languages entail contact-induced formations.

In: Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology
Author: Robin Meyer


This paper seeks to combine the insights gathered in a corpus study of the periphrastic perfect in Classical Armenian texts from the 5th century CE and research into the socio-historical and political interactions of the Armenians and their Iranian neighbours in the same time period.

It is argued that the construction of the Classical Armenian perfect, which consists of a participle in -eal (< PIE *-lo-) and an optional form of the copula, is most accurately described as tripartite morphosyntactic alignment:

– intransitive and transitive passive verbs construe with a nom subject under subject agreement of the copula;

– transitive active verbs take gen agents, acc objects, and the copula is an invariant

This pattern shows some diachronic variation and by the 8th century CE has given way to nomacc alignment under pressure from the rest of the verbal system. Based on observations in the corpus and typological data, this alignment pattern can be explained as a case of pattern replication and pivot matching of a Middle Iranian, specifically Parthian, ergabs model in pre-literary times and subsequent adaptation to Armenian requirements cf. Meyer (2016; 2017).

This explanation is lent further credence by the existence of both a great wealth of Iranian loanwords in Armenian, as well as a small number of other syntactic patterns that have clear Iranian parallels. Furthermore, the prevalence of political quarrels between the Parthian rulers of Armenia and other Iranians, their adoption of Christianity in c. 301 CE, frequent intermarriage with Armenians, and the lack of any Parthian language documents in the area suggest that the existence of Iranian syntactic patterns in Armenian is due not only to language contact, but indeed to language shift of the Parthian ruling class to Armenian. This, in turn, may provide a partial explanation of the first ‘death’ of Parthian, a significant attestation gap between Arsacid inscriptions and later religious documents.

In: Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology
Author: Sonja Dahlgren


In this article I explore the classification of Greek in Roman Egypt (1st century CE onward) as a contact variety, Egyptian Greek, which differed from contemporary standard Greek in several, contact-induced respects. I will argue that transfer from Egyptian-Coptic includes phonetic, phonological and morphological transfer, and is similar in nature with other conquest-related contact varieties such as Indian English, Irish and Scottish varieties of English and Finland Swedish.

In: Ancient Indo-European Languages between Linguistics and Philology