Stage Linguistique wrote:
> > 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
> determinative
> 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

In Egyptian? That's simply wrong. See any Egyptian textbook. (Unless
"carré" doesn't mean 'square' but 'rectangle of arbitrary proportions'.)

> 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.
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...