Andréas Stauder. 2020. “Scripts.” Edited by Elizabeth Bloxam and Ian Shaw. Copy at


Egyptian writing comprises a variety of structurally and historically related scripts (hieroglyphic, hieratic, demotic), distributed according to historically shifting spheres of use. Egyptian scripts are mixed systems that represent both meaning and the sounds of language, allowing for a remarkable variety of historically changing spelling patterns. Hieroglyphic writing had major aesthetic and sacralizing functions, related to its enduring pictoriality. Beyond representing speech, Egyptian writing was also used to express non-linguistic dimensions of meaning. This chapter discusses categories of signs, different types of spellings of words, the roles played by determinatives and classifiers, and the nature of linear hieroglyphs, hieratic, abnormal hieratic, and demotic. It also considers cultural contacts and influences on the various Egyptian scripts, and the eventual process of their obsolescence.


OEB 284277