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Egyptian non‐selective interrogative pronominals: history and typology

Abstract : Non-selective interrogative pronominals (NIPs) are interrogative pronominals such as who? and what? in English, that are used in non-selective contexts. In this paper, I examine NIPs throughout the recorded history of the Egyptian language from the perspective of a typology of NIPs proposed by Idiatov (2007), where NIPs are defined through their functions in terms of prototypical combinations of values. I focus on the analysis of the attested shifts in the patterns of use of different NIPs and the development of new NIPs in the course of the history of the Egyptian language. When both the formal and functional differentiation of Egyptian NIPs are considered from a broader Afro-Asiatic perspective, the NIP system of Egyptian appears to have evolved from a more Berber-like situation in Old and Middle Egyptian to a more Semitic/Cushitic-like situation in Late, Demotic and Coptic Egyptian.
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Contributor : Dmitry Idiatov <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 5, 2015 - 6:13:28 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 2:15:03 AM



Dmitry Idiatov. Egyptian non‐selective interrogative pronominals: history and typology. Haspelmath, Martin; Grossman, Eitan; Richter, Sebastian Tonio. Egyptian-Coptic linguistics in typological perspective, De Gruyter Mouton, pp.289-322, 2014, Empirical Approaches to Language Typology, 3110346397. ⟨10.1515/9783110346510.289⟩. ⟨halshs-01100063⟩



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