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The language and classification of the proverbs

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Chapter Summary

The peak of linguistic interaction between demotic and Greek is represented by texts in which demotic and Greek words were employed within the same lines of writing, as well as by a number of literary, administrative, and religious texts that were translated from demotic into Greek, or vice versa. The demotic script, like the other Egyptian scripts, employed alphabetic signs, syllabograms, and ideograms. The number of alphabetic signs and syllabograms was not the same in all the developmental phases of the Egyptian language. This chapter presents some points of demotic and Greek grammar. The analysis of the language of demotic and Greek proverbs shows how the producers of the material employed the units and rules of grammar and syntax to express pieces of wisdom in pregnant brevity. The structure of a proverb is determined by the nature of and relationship between the clauses.

Keywords: alphabetic signs; demotic grammer; Greek grammer; Greek proverbs; linguistic interaction; syllabograms

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