> I am afraid you should review your Egyptian.
> Hieroglyphic determinatives do *not* indicate the
> grammatical category (in
> that case, there would be less that ten
> determinatives): they indicate a
> broad semantic class of the word.
<snip examples>
> All this is quite similar to Chinese "radicals",
> IMHO. The main differences
> between the two scripts is in the way they encode
> *sound*, not in how they
> encode meaning.

OK, I've re-read _Petite grammaire de l'égyptien
hiéroglyphique à l'usage des débutants_, Bernadette
Menu, Geuthner, Paris, 1991.

In most cases Egyptian determinatives do function as
you say, i.e. in a way much similar to Chinese
radicals. However, in some cases, they do add some
more information than 'broad semantic class' of the
word. B. Menu gives two examples:
1/ the difference between the homophones "sick" and
"sickness" is marked through the use of a different
2/ also the difference between "day" (a duration of 24
hrs) and "day" (a given day, a date) is marked through
the use of a different determinative

I read that book years ago and did not remember it
well. Apparently the examples above left a more
lasting memory than the standard rule.

To get back to the original comparison between Chinese
and Egyptian -- my manual says "chaque mot s'inscrit
dans un carré imaginaire". Thus each square contains
phonetic signs and a determinative. Each square is
hence analysable and can be broken down into small,
stand-alone units. A Hànzì, although analysable,
cannot be broken down into stand-alone units (your
'blocks'), and especially not stand-alone units that
have a phonetic value.


Créez gratuitement votre Yahoo! Mail avec 100 Mo de stockage !
Créez votre Yahoo! Mail sur http://fr.benefits.yahoo.com/

Dialoguez en direct avec vos amis grâce à Yahoo! Messenger !Téléchargez Yahoo! Messenger sur http://fr.messenger.yahoo.com