This is an introduction to the writing system of ancient Egypt and the language of hieroglyphic texts. It contains twenty-six lessons, exercises (with answers), a list of hieroglyphic signs, and a dictionary, as well as twenty-five essays on the most important aspects of ancient Egyptian history, society, religion and literature. It also offers scholars of linguistics a complete grammatical description of the classical language of ancient Egypt.
1. Language and writing: Ancient Egyptian history; 2. The sounds of Middle Egyptian: Ancient Egyptian geography; 3. Multiliteral signs: Ancient Egyptian society; 4. Nouns: the gods; 5. Pronouns: the gods on earth; 6. Adjectives: the kings' names; 7. Adjectival and nominal sentences: human nature; 8. Prepositions and adverbs: death and the afterlife; 9. Numbers: Egyptian chronology; 10. Adverbial sentences: Maat; 11. Nonverbal sentences: the world before creation; 12. Nonverbal clauses: the creation of the world; 13. Verbs: the creative word; 14. The infinitival forms: the Memphite theology; 15. The pseudoverbal construction: the creator; 16. The imperative and particles: heresy; 17. The stative: phonology and writing; 18. The perfect: Egyptian literature; 19. The subjunctive: Middle Egyptian wisdom literature; 20. The perfective and imperfective: Middle Egyptian stories; 21. The prospective and passive: historical texts; 22. Other forms of the suffix conjugation: religious texts; 23. The participles: hymns and poetry; 24. The relative forms: nonliterary texts; 25. Special uses of the relative forms: letters; 26. Middle Egyptian grammar; References; Sign list; Dictionary; Answers to the exercises.
"Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs, by James P. Allen, is a much needed addition to the meager literture available to Egyptologists, scholars and amateurs today interested studing the basic of ancient Egyptian...Middle Egyptian will always remain a difficult language to tackle, and much of the success of gaining a good grasp of the language depends on the effort of the student. Allen's book, however, will make the task a much easier, and an enjoyable one for students who have a serious interest in taking up the language." Nora Shalaby, Cario Times Vol. 4, no.32
"One particularly happy feature of Allen's volume is that the abundance of exercises that follow every lesson is accompanied, in the back of the book, with the answers to them all... Allen's textbook should now be the first text of choice for teaching Egyptian." William J. Fulco, Ancient History Bulletin
"Allen, a leading scholar of ancient Egyptian grammar and syntax, has drwan upon his own extensive teaching experience to provide an up-to-date and accessible grammar that could well become the standard textbook in English." Religious Studies Review