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Conclusion: Retrospect And Prospect

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Chapter Summary

The modal system revealed by Earlier Egyptian complementation is unparalleled among languages of the ancient Middle East both in its extent of grammaticalisation and richness of expressive force. The differentiation between irrealis and realis typical to Earlier Egyptian complementation finds a rather surprising manifestation in clauses standardly analysed as serving as predicate complements. Here, non-assertions occur in bipartite nominal sentences with the element pw, which serves as a referential subject to a clausal predicate. The analysis of the use of different complement types in Earlier Egyptian as based on realis and irrealis modality can also be both explained and learnt in a way that allows teachers, practising Egyptologists and students alike to mobilise their knowledge of other languages. The chapter also attempts to show how Earlier Egyptian modality can be successfully analysed and described with analytical models fundamentally metaphorical in character.

Keywords: clausal predicate; Earlier Egyptian complementation; irrealis modality; prospect; retrospect

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