Coffin Texts 1986

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  • 8/10/2019 Coffin Texts 1986


    (#)rf in the Coffin Texts: A Functional Tableau

    Ariel Shisha-Halevy

    Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 106, No. 4. (Oct. - Dec., 1986), pp. 641-658.

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  • 8/10/2019 Coffin Texts 1986



    A structural, corpus-based role examination of the Middle Egyptian particle element written

    irflrf shows it to be anything but simple or monolithic. Scanning its environmental distribution as

    well as i ts micro- and macro-syntactic compatibili t ies and its commutabili t ies we arrive at two

    major structural identit ies (i .e., functions correlatable with distinct formal entit ies): (a) an

    analyzable, verb syntagm componential AUGENS r . f , the pronominal component of which i s

    conditioned by a preceding pronoun and noun, (b) an invariable, unanalyzable morph irf, a

    DIS CO UR SE CO HEN SIO N EX PO NE NT in d ialogic syntax , s ignall ing the non- in i tia li ty as wel l

    as non-finality of i ts clause, with an additional intra-clausal prosodic DISJUNCTOR function.

    Each of these is i llustrated and discussed in detail , und er consideration of i ts morphological and

    environmental specifics, a transitional "linking" role between the two is postulated and illustrated.

    It is suggested that a third element (rf, invariable and unanalyzable) is a secondary manifestation of

    i rf , funct ional ly specialized as a SUP ER OR DI NA TO R.

    Fo r H.J. Polotsky

    On his eightieth birthday, Septe mbe r 13th.


    with thanks. love an d admir ation,




    propo se to exam ine into conside rat ion (a) only cases of adverb al (r( .f)

    forma lly, dis t ribut ional ly and funct ional ly, the various where the pronom inal element is correferent to the

    recurring sequences of f + S U P - p r o n o u n " , p ro n o m in a l s egm en t o f t h e p reced in g v e rb -fo rm ( p r i i

    for which a rectional/complementational adjunctal r . i etc.) or to i ts pronom inal reference (p ri ( imperat ive)

    interpretat ion of the preposi t ion r- "to, against . . .

    r.k , p r i (participle) r.f; see below) and (b ) cases of

    governing a pronoun commutable with a noun is (i)rf-on th e fac e of it,


    exc lude d'. T his preliminary sifting is effected by taking

    l ine exponent in interlocut ive context where such a

    reference cannot be t raced to i ts nominal or pro-

    Some more or less detailed functional discussions of

    nomin al referate. This is admit tedly a rou gh-and -ready

    heuris t ic procedure, empirical ly conceived and with



    Edel $$613f., 616f., 818, 821 (with Nachtrage,

    little theoretical significance: isolated instances in which

    p. Ixxx), 818-42 (ir. amo ng oth er enclitics), 1007f., 1012, 1012;

    i t fai ls must be handled individual ly, by contextual

    Gar diner $5252,497-500; Lefebvre $8558, 587 (on the whole,

    considera t ion and in the accum ulated l ight of the bulk

    I agree with L.'s inte rpre tatio n of the relationship of r.f and

    of the evidence.

    irf, see below); W estend orf 1962 $5388, 392; Miiller 1975:

    0.2 Without c la iming a pr ior i homogenei ty for the

    $67(5) on irf: " after im perativ es and in clauses of purpos e; in

    Coffin Texts corpus-o n the co ntr ary , witness idio-

    questions." M. Gilula has briefly discussed this particle in his

    syncracies are here constantly in evidence-this is

    as yet unpublis hed d issertatio n (1968, p. 6-8, see



    nonetheless assumed in the present s tudy, which is

    (1972)); see also Abel 1910passim, Silverman 1980: 87ff. (97:

    restricted to th e seven volumes of the edit ion. ' The

    "sentence adve rbn-this with reference to the variable r.f-

    ques tion w hether or no t , o r to what degree th i s corpus

    "two d is t inct words both wri t ten


    one functioning in

    does in fact represent a consistent ly describable Ptat de

    rhetorical questions and the other acting as a sentence adverb;"

    no fun ctio nal distinction is suggested between rf and irf),

    Callender 1983: 89 (drawing on stan dard text-bo ok exposi-

    A . De Buc k, The Egyp tian Coffin Texts, Chica go 1935-

    tions, translating r.f/r .s "in this regard" a nd again offering no

    1961 (University of Chicago Press, the Oriental Insti tute

    forma l distinctions; rf does not feature in his l ist of enclit ics,

    Publications); the references below are to volume, page and

    ibid. 91).


  • 8/10/2019 Coffin Texts 1986


  • 8/10/2019 Coffin Texts 1986



    i)rf In th Coffin Texts

    V ink irf N / nn k irf tm (2.5 )

    V l

    sdm(.n) irf N (2.6)

    0 7 5 rf a prosodically fused close- juncture al ternant

    of irf (3.1-2); rf a S U P E R O R D I N A T O R .

    1 0 1 Th e syntag m r.f (r.i, r .k etc.), a com pon entia l

    v erb m od ifier a nd a ~ ~ e n s , ~ in th ree p atte rnccurs

    group s, namely (a) , in which i t is adverbial , expandin g

    a finite or personal verb-form; (b), in which it is

    adverbal t o im peratival-al locutive clause forms; c ,in

    which i t is adnomina l . F or the range (a)-(b) , the verb

    syntagms a re displayed wi th the i r charac te r i s t ic

    ' ~ u ~ e n s , w hich


    use for Polotsky's Verstarker(Polotsky

    1961) is originally a Celtological term ( nora augens, cf.

    Zeuss, Grammatzca Celtica (1853) 332ff., 341, 344, etc.,

    Pedersen, Vergl. Grammatik d Keltischen Sprachen, (1913)



    seman tic-functional definitions in Tab le A; they are the

    formal expo nents of the interpersonal-functional m utu-

    al i ties displayed in Tab le B as a world dram atic

    ne tw or k o f a t t i t ud ina l ve c to r s ( t he c ode use d :

    N deceased, subject and object of funerary at ten-

    tions; S the surviving relation, initiator and agent

    of these attentions; l the daevic (malevo lent,

    opponent, unjust'? deities, Dzn the benevolent, just,

    favourab le or at least objective deities). '

    1 1 0 1 The a t tes ta t ions in the CT for the augens r.f

    supply the fol lowing forma l inventory ( the references

    are representative): (1)r.i (IV


    ( i) r .k


    277f., I

    48e ), r.1 (I 289 e), r.f (I 142c), r s (I 142c),

    ir . tn

    (I 218b)

    (8), (V 56a).

    Cf. Grieshammer 1970: ISff., 71ff. On the significance of

    the personal parameter in Coptic modal paradigms, cf.

    Polotsky 1944: 15f.

    = CP


  • 8/10/2019 Coffin Texts 1986





    Journal of the American Oriental Society 106.4 (1986)

    T A B L E










    " sdm .

    (r. i)


    " imper . ( r. k ) sdm. ( r. ~) / sd m . ( r.k)"

    "n n sdm.i ( r . i ) / sdm.k ( r .k)"


    "imper. r .k sdm.k"

    "nn sdm . i"

    equest, exhortation



    (onbehalf of N)

    imper. (r .k) sdm.k (r.k)" "imper. (r .k) +

    "imper. (r .k) +sdm.


    "sdm.k (r. k)" s d m . "


    wish, exhortation demand

    (onbehalf ofN)

    "imper. (r.k ) sdm.k (r.k)" "imper. (r .k)

    " sdm .k (r.k )

    sdm l f" ( r . fl "

    Ohs.(a) take thei-variantsinthe 1stand2ndperson

    masc.sg1. to be purely orthographic;inthe otherper-

    sons except for the 3rd masc. sgl.,