Pre-Late Egyptian Reconstruction/Templatic Class I

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Egyptian words which follow Templatic Class I generally emit an underlining nominal characteristic.

The following paradigms equate to Osing and Schenkel's: Subjekts-Nominalisierungen: Nominalbildungsklasse I (forms 1-4).

AaBaC Forms[edit | edit source]

'Forms 1 - 4' appear to be specific to the infinitive and sometimes nouns.

Form 1[edit | edit source]

Root Class Formula
3-lit AāBaC

Form 2[edit | edit source]

Root Class Formula
3-lit AaBǎC

AiBiC Forms[edit | edit source]

These forms may be better analyzed as an original adjectival vocalization as well as a true irregular counterpart to 'Forms 1 and 2' and they are discussed here:

Form 3[edit | edit source]

Root Class Formula
3-lit AǐBiC

Form 4[edit | edit source]

Root Class Formula
3-lit AiBǐC

The Infinitive[edit | edit source]

The infinitive may be said to express a verbal action, which in transitive verbs passes to an object and in intransitive verbs affects the subject initiating the action. The infinitive can express an active or a passive sense (in English translations of Coptic and Egyptian infinitives); e.g. OYωN- ‘to open’ or ‘to be opened’, TAKO - ‘to destroy’ or ‘to be destroyed’, TAϪPO - to make strong’ or ‘to be strengthened’. With intransitive verbs the infinitive expresses an action without a direct object, e.g. ϩωN - ‘to come near’; or it denotes the beginning of a condition or circumstance, e.g. †ϩE - ‘to become drunken’ [1].

The infinitival inflections below follow different vocalizations.

a-Type Infinitives[edit | edit source]

The chart below outlines the formulas for those roots without ultimae-j/y consisting of what is called the a-Type pattern CaCaCaC[2]:

Root Class Formula Example
2-lit. AāB dād [ϪⲰ] - saying
2ae-gem. AaBǎB[3] kamǎm [ⲔⲘⲞⲘS] - to be black
3-lit. AāBaC sānat [ⲤⲰⲚⲦ] - found, create
3ae-gem. AaBCǎC or
paḥrǎr - running[4]
sǎpdad - preparing [ⲤⲞⲂⲦⲈS]
4-lit. AǎBCaD or
wǎstan - striding/expanding [ⲞⲨⲞⲤⲦⲚS]
sǎlsal [ⲤⲞⲖⲤⲖS] - comforting, encouraging
5-lit. AaBǎCBaC saqǎrqar [ⲤⲔⲞⲢⲔⲢS] - rolling

a-Type Infinitives: Intransitives[edit | edit source]

Some intransitive verbs may model after Form 2. The change in stress seems to be determined by semantic criteria to at least an extent[5] [6]:

jarǎš - become cold [ⲀⲢⲞϢS]
marǎš - become red/yellow [ⲘⲢⲞϢS]
madǎn - be at rest [ⲘⲦⲞⲚS] mdnMEg - be quiet, mtnDem - repose
ḥarǎš - become heavy [ϨⲢⲞϢS, ϨⲰⲢϢ- (lit: make heavy) make into a bad state]
naḫǎt - be(come) strong [ⲚϢⲞⲦS, ⲚⲞⲨϢⲦs. - oppress, do violence]
rawǎd - be glad/eager/ready [ⲞⲨⲢⲞⲦS] rwdMEg - be firm, rwṱDem - be firm, fresh[7]
ḥalǎg - be merry, rejoice [ϨⲖⲞϬS - become sweet; take delight] ḥnrgMEg, ḥɜgLEg - be merry, rejoice; ḥlkDem - sweet
wamǎt - [ⲞⲨⲘⲞⲦSB / ⲞⲨⲘⲀⲦS] - thicken
ḥaqǎr - become hungry [ϨⲔⲞ][8].
darāɜ - become strong, firm, victorious [ϪⲢⲞSAA2 / ϬⲢⲞSB ~ drDem]
waꜥǎb - purifying [OYOΠS]
jahǎm - to sigh, groan [ⲀϨⲞⲘ - mourning]
qanǎs - [ⲔⲚⲞⲤ - stinking, stink, be putrid] = etymology is obscure: qnstDem - (fem) stinking. May come from qns - slay (which comes from Semitic) [ⲔⲰⲚⲤ - pierce, slay][9]

  • Note: All a-Type verbs utilize the vowel /a/ within its stem- when additions are added to the verb there is sometimes a shift in stress or syncopation occurs to fit in within stress rules- this is why some intransitives have the final syllable accented as there has been final syllable syncopation for syllabic adjustment purposes, so for example:
Ⲁ.Ⲛ.ⲀⲢⲞϢ - I became cold (intransitive)
Ⲁ.Ⲛ.ⲠOⲢϢ.Ϥ - I spread it (transitive)
  • Note 2: This same procedure also occurs with i-Type infinitives.

Conclusion & Final Formula[edit | edit source]

According to the above examples and studies, several conclusions can be had:

  • It appears the main infinitival construction followed Templatic Class I: Form 1 and existed for most if not all roots.
  • The |a < i| vowel replacement is discussed here but to summarize: a theory exists where there was a separate i-Type vocalization specific to the adjective-verb. This i-Type vocalization may have influenced the modification of some ultimae-j/y/ɜ/ꜥ roots.
  • These generalizations are based upon three major Coptic Infinitival sub-classes of vocalizations[10]: a-Type, i-Type and Stative/Qualitative Adaptations.


Egyptian Transitive:
gmt.f jn ḥm.f => gǎmtaf n̩[11] ḥǎmaf - finding him by His Incarnation
tzt.j jb.j => tăzti[12] jǐbi[13] - my lifting up my heart.

Egyptian Intransitive:
prt[14] sm => pǎrat sǎm (párat-sǎm) - the emerging of the sm-priest
prt.s => pārtas - its emerging

Alternative Egyptian Spelling based upon ultimae-j:
pǐrit sǎm => pǐjt sǎm (píjt-sǎm)colloquial/LE
pǐrtas => pītascolloquial/LE

Nominal Forms[edit | edit source]

Egyptian Nouns which follow Templatic Class I: Form 1 and 2 [these forms may also be indistinguishable with Templatic Class II: Form 1] with an addition of feminine forms which caused alteration of stress and vowel quantity:

Root Class Formula Example
2-lit. AǎB
AāBat (fem)
AǎBat (fem #2)
sǎn [CONcopt] - brother
sānat [CωNEcopt] - sister
jǎdat [OOTE - womb] - vulva
3-lit. AāBaC
AaBāCat (fem)
AǎBCat (fem #2)
tar [NOYTEcopt] - god
natārat [NTωPEcopt] - goddess
rǎnpat [POMΠEcopt] - year
4-lit. AǎBCaD nǎmtat [NOMTEcopt - strength, power] - nmttME - step

Stress-tone/accent[15] in nouns with the formation CaCaC(at) can appear to be unpredictable in many Coptic words, fortunately there is usually logic behind why the stress has shifted- for example, the difference between natārat (fem) and rǎnpat (fem #2) is the first formula represents the feminine form of a masculine formation with the feminine marker attached to the root causing the relocation of the stress one syllable to the right and the second formula is rather treated as a regular vocalized 4-lit. root but is a feminine noun. Other-times there is no concise reason.

  • List of 2-lit. AǎB roots:

zǎp [COΠcopt] - time, occasion, turn
tǎm(aɜ) [TOMcopt] - mat
kǎɜ [KOcopt] - bull
rǎɜ [POcopt] - door, mouth, gate, utterance, magic spell, speech
rǎɜ [POcopt] - goose
tǎɜ [TOcopt] - land, earth
ḫǎɜ [ϢOcopt] - thousand
ḥǎr [ϩOcopt] - face
ḥǎp [ϩOΠcopt] - feast,; marriage feast, bride-chamber
h [BOϩ, Bωωϩb. copt] - an idol in Alexandria (probably Buchis, sacred bull of Hermonthis)
gǎs [ϬOCcopt] - half
pǎ(y)[16] [ΠOIcopt - bench] = pME - base, throne; pydem - seat.
sǎɜ [COIcopt] - back (of man or beast)
dǎw [TOOYcopt] - mountain, desert
wǎf(aɜ) [OYOϤcopt] - lung

  • List of 2-lit. AāBat (fem) roots:

ɜāḥat [EIωϩEcopt] - field
sāḫat [CωϢEcopt] - field; meadow, country
sāḫat [CωϩEcopt - weave] - plait, weave
dārat [TωPEcopt] - hand
šāpat [ϢωΠEcopt] - cucumber (also sšpt, š(s)pt, špj)
mānat [NOYNEcopt] - root
nārat [NOYPEcopt] - vulture
bādat [BωTEcopt] - emmer (a cereal)
māmat [MOYMEcopt] - fountain, spring
nāhat [NOYϩEcopt] - sycamore tree

  • List of 2-lit. AǎBat (fem) roots:

zǎwat[17] [COOYOcopt, COYAf. copt] - wheat (also corn in Demontic and Coptic)

  • List of 3-lit. AāBaC roots:

jāt(af)[18] [EIωTcopt] - father
mālaḥ[19] [MOYλϩcopt] - wax
rāmat [PωΜΕcopt] - man
nābas [NOYBCcopt - Christ's tree] = nbsME/LE - a (type of) tree
qābah[20] [KωBϩcopt] - sinew, cord
wānaš [OYωNϢcopt] - wolf
jāpad [ωBTcopt] - goose (or other edible bird); poultry.
jānar [ωNEcopt] - stone
ꜥāb(aw) [ωBcopt] - lettuce
šāꜥ(ay) [Ϣωcopt] - sand
šām(aw) [ϢωMcopt] - summer
ḫāpaš [ϢωΠϢcopt] - arm, foreleg (of animals)
šādat [ϢωTEcopt] - water hole, well, pit, cistern
šādat [ϢωTEcopt] - dough, flour
sāšan [ϢωϢENcopt] - lotus (also zššn, sššn)
šāp(aj) [ϢωΠcopt] - necklet or bracelet
kā(ɜa)m[21] [ϬωMcopt] - garden, vineyard, property
bā(ɜa)k [BωKcopt] - servant[22]
b(aɜ)ākat [BωKIb. copt] - female servant[23]

  • List of 3-lit. AaBāCat (fem) forms:

jarātat [EPωTEcopt] - milk

  • List of 3-lit. AǎBCat (fem #2) roots:

jǎbḥat[24] [OBϩEcopt] - tooth
jǎɜdat[25] [EIωTEcopt, yꜥt̪ɜtdem] - dew
šǎndat[ϢONTEcopt] - thorn tree
m(aɜ)āqat [MOYKEcopt] - ladder

  • List of 4-lit. AǎBCaD roots:

sǎntar [CONTEcopt - resin] - incense
hǎnmat [ϩONBEcopt] - spring, well
jǎtraw [EIOOP(E)copt - canal] - river
ḥǎfɜaw [ϩOϤcopt] - snake

Medial Weak Radicals[edit | edit source]

  • 3.lit forms:

kǎɜas [KOEIScopt - vessel (for liquids)] - a vessel (of metal)
dǎyas [TO(E)ICcopt] - piece, rag (of cloth), linen
tǎwat [TOOYEcopt - shoe; pair of shoes] - sandals.
hǎɜan [ϩOEIMcopt] - wave (original hɜnw, hymdem)
daw [BOIT / OYOEIT] - ox; cow [wd - freely moving cattle]

  • 4.lit forms:

sǎwḥat [COOYϩE Copt] - egg
bǎjnat [BOINE S.] - harp


  1. pg 19
  2. This simply seems the vowel /a/ is distributed within the stem according to stress placement.
  3. Even though geminated/reduplicated roots show extreme irregularities in Coptic, it is an accepted theory that originally the AaBǎB was the main construction- but by the time Coptic came into usage newly modified forms unpredictably appeared in lieu of final-reduplicated radicals with unstable stress placement.
  4. Merely a hypothesis based upon construction of 2ae-gem and other reduplicated nouns.
  5. Carsten Peust, Egyptian Phonology: An Introduction to the Phonology of a Dead Language pg 247
  6. These appear to be specific to static / adjective-verbs and it appears some of these verbs followed an adoptive imitation of Stative/Qualitative constructions as their infinitive form
  7. -ⲢⲰⲦ/-ⲢⲞⲦ- adj. firm, strong
  8. In Coptic this infinitive can be used as a noun to mean hunger as well as famine.
  9. J. Černý, Coptic Etymological Dictionary pg 59
  10. Excluding verbs borrowed from foreign languages.
  11. The loss of the vowel of the pre-stress syllable was already accomplished in the NK, cf. Zeidler (1995), and the same is probably true of the assimilation of the glottal stop to the following m. - Reading Late Egyptian by Helmut Satzinger.
  12. Assuming the suffix pronoun j was pronounced i like in other Afroasiatic languages.
  13. jb - heart; possibly had always been pronounced with an ǐ. This word is also well attested in most Afroasiatic languages typically spelled lib(b). Omotic language = yib, also some Cushitic forms utilize lap or lip.
  14. prj - emerge is an ultimae-j root
  15. The same is true of vowel quantity and quality.
  16. -y ending appears to have been added in colloquial speech at a later date possibly Demotic/Pre-Coptic.
  17. The Coptic reflex is interesting in that it shows the original |a| before a fem. -t ending.
  18. In hieroglyphics 'father' was usually written jtf occasionally written jt. A possible explanation for this was to distinguish from other homonyms. Another example of the -f ending would be the word snf - blood [possibly to differentiate between sn - brother]; and in Coptic we have: Pω.Ϥ - mouth (-.Ϥ - his, was added to differentiate from PO - door = PwoY - doors and PO - goose).
  19. in hieroglyphs spelled mnḥ or mlḥjdem
  20. qbhtME - tendon; feminine ending appears to have completely vanished by Pre-Coptic.
  21. may represent an early Egyptian instance of |-ɜa| deletion.
  22. Also may represent an early Egyptian instance of |-ɜa| deletion or hieroglyphic |ɜ| represented a vowel.
  23. May represent an early Egyptian instance of |-aɜ| deletion or hieroglyphic |ɜ| represented a vowel.
  24. The reduced feminine ending seemed to appear after Middle Kingdom where before the feminine -t marker was not used in hieroglyphs and the word was originally masculine.
  25. The long vowel ω in Coptic may indirectly represent a syllable -āʔ.