Ancient Egyptian:Glossing recommendations

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Examples for common forms[edit]

Examples in published articles and books[edit]

List of examples of glossed texts online.

Extra Glossing transcription line[edit]

Traditional Egyptological transcription of Hieroglyphic Ancient Egyptian uses punctuation, too. This punctuation is in conflict with the punctuation as defined by the Glossing Rules.

Note that what English speaking Egyptologists usually called ‘transliteration’ should rather be labeled a ‘transcription’ in accordance with linguistic standards.

Compare the following table:

Puctuation Meaning in
Egyptological transcriptions
Meaning in
Glossing transcription line
Meaning in
Glossing line
. Affix Portmanteau morpheme
= ‘Suffix’ pronoun (actually ⸗) Clitic
- Compound, or combined name phrase Affix
: Causal prefix (“s:”) (Unspecified) seperable morpheme
( ) Non-overt phonemes, scholarly reconstruction Inherent category
[ ] Completely destroyed text (lacuna),
potentially with reconstructed content
‘Zero’ morpheme
⌈ ⌉ Partially destroyed text,
potentially with reconstructed content
{ } Emendation of a scribal error (deletion),
or Certain orthographical convention
< > Emendation of a scribal error (addition) Infix
~ Reduplication morpheme
_ Fixed phrase Fixed phrase
\ Ablaut phenomenon
\ Transfix
/ (Options) Ambigous morpheme

In order to prevent any confusion, it is strongly advisable or, as far as “-”, “=”, and “< >” are concerned, even mandatory not to use these symbols in their traditional meaning in the Glossing transcription line (directly above the Glossing line). Keep in mind that the number and sequence of “-”, “=”, “~”, and “< >” in the Glossing transcription and the gloss needs to match exactly.

Problematic example
Egyptological transcription m=[ṯn] ⌈wj⌉ <r>ḫ{r}.k(w) s.t={t}<ṯ>n ḫnt(ï).t dwꜢ.t
Glosses ATTN-2PL =1SG get_to_know\RES-1SG.RES seat:F[SG]-2PL in_front-ADJZ-F netherworld:F[SG]
‘I know your place in the underworld’.

Consequently, the encoder needs to add an extra ‘Glossing transcription line’ between the Egyptological Transcription line and the Glossing line.

Egyptological transcription m=[ṯn] ⌈wj⌉ <r>ḫ{r}.k(w) s.t={t}<ṯ>n ḫnt(ï).t dwꜢ.t
Glossing transcription m-ṯn =wj rḫ-kw st-ṯn ḫnt-ï-t dwꜢt
Glosses ATTN-2PL =1SG get_to_know\RES-1SG.RES seat:F[SG]-2PL in_front-ADJZ-F netherworld:F[SG]
‘I know your place in the underworld.’

In the Glossing transcription line, all symbols need to be used according to the Glossing Rules. In the Traditional transcription line, however, the encoder may use all the symbols according to his/her Egyptological tradition.

Hands-on transliteration transformation guidelines[edit]

To derive a valid Glossing transcription line from an Egyptological transcription line, the follwoing hand-on rules may help.

Compare the following table:

transliteration line
transliteration line
. “-” (if it is a neatly seperable affix) zẖꜢ.t → zẖꜢ-t scribe-F ‘(female) scribe’
sḏ → sḏm-tw hear\IPFV-PASS ‘is heard’
use “:” (if rather part of a transfix) jr.t → jr:t eye:F ‘eye’
ḏd.w → ḏd:w say\POST ‘will say’
s: “CAUS-”
plus translation of the non-causative base lexeme
s:jwr → s-jwr CAUS-pregnant\INF ‘(to) impregnate’
leave colon out
plus translation of the causative meaning
s:jwr → sjwr impregnate\INF ‘(to) impregnate’
s:ḏd → sḏd tell\IPFV ‘tell’
= “-” (affix) sn=s → sn-s sn(M)-2SG.F ‘her brother’
- “_” (if it is a fixed phrase
that corresponds to one single gloss)
wꜢḏ-wr → wꜢḏ_wr ocean(M) ‘ocean’
two separate words (if it is a fixed phrase,
but the encoder wants to analyse it)
wꜢḏ-wr → wꜢḏ wr green great ‘ocean’
“=” (clitic; if a ‘Direct Genitive’ compound) ḥm-nṯr → ḥm=nṯr servant(M)=god(M) ‘priest’
( ) leave parentheses out; keep content or leave it out sḏm(.w) → sḏm:w hear\POST ‘will hear’
sḏm(.w) → sḏm hear\POST ‘will hear’
s:ḏd(.t) → sḏd:t tell\INF ‘(to) tell’
s:ḏd(.t) → sḏd tell\INF ‘(to) tell’
< > leave brackets out; keep content sn<.t> → sn:t sister:F ‘sister’
{ } leave brackets and content out sn{.t} → sn brother(M)[SG] ‘brother’
[ ] leave brackets out; keep content or leave it out [sn].t → sn:t sister:F ‘sister’
[sn].t → [___]t [___]:F ‘[destroyed]’
⌈ ⌉ leave brackets out; keep content ⌈sn⌉.t → sn:t sister:F ‘sister’