Contexts and inferences: The grammaticalization of the later Egyptian Allative Future

Eitan Grossman, Guillaume Lescuyer, Stéphane Polis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The goal of this paper is to describe the gradual emergence of an innovative future construction in the extant Late Egyptian and Demotic textual material and to discuss the grammaticalization of this construction down to Coptic, where it became a regular future form known as the “First Future” or “Future I”. We propose that, during the grammaticalization process, the selectional restrictions of the construction are relaxed due to the spread of speaker-oriented inferences. As a consequence, new types of subject and predicates can appear and innovative grammatical meanings associated with future time reference, e.g., prediction, become increasingly entrenched. In a final section, we briefly comment on the future cycles in Ancient Egyptian and propose that the comparative notion of allative future is not only useful for comparing specific patterns across languages, but also within a single language with a lengthy attested history.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOn Forms and Functions
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Ancient Egyptian Grammar
Editors Eitan Grossman , Stéphane Polis , Andréas Stauder , Jean Winand
Place of PublicationHamburg
PublisherWidmaier Verlag
ISBN (Print)9783943955156
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

Name Lingua Aegyptia ; Studia Monographica
PublisherWidmaier Verlag, Hamburg, Germany


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