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Goldwasser, Orly
Prophets, Lovers and Giraffes: Wor(l)d Classification in Ancient Egypt
contributor(s): Afterword by Müller, Matthias;
volume: 38,3
pages/dimensions: XI, 224 pages, 45 Abb.
language: English
binding: Book (Paperback)
dimensions: 29.70 × 21.00 cm
weight: 774g
edition: 1. Auflage
publishing date: 01.01.2002
prices: 54,00 Eur[D] / 55,60 Eur[A]
ISBN: 978-3-447-04590-2
54,00 Eur

The book’s central proposition is that the prominent feature of the hiero-glyphic script which Egyptologists call “determinatives” makes up an elabo-rate system of classifiers. All items of the lexicon take motivated pictorial classifiers. By this device, the script reflects the map of knowledgeorganization of ancient Egyptian culture. The book aims to reveal the principles and constraints governing the codification of the ancient Egyptian universe in this system. There is, to date, no comprehensive study, either in Egyptology or in cognitive linguistics, of the hieroglyphic classifiers as a structured system. The present work attempts to fill the existing hiatus by bridging the disciplines of Egyptology and cognitive studies, using the tools of the latter to elucidate the former and thus perhaps arrive at new perspectives on both. From the Egyptological angle, the book deals with the ancient Egyptians’ nomenclature for “items in the world” and the relationship between lexicon and the knowledge organization. However, the events occurring in the picture-script render cognitive processes visible to our inspection hundreds of years before they have ripened into the Egyptian language. This “visibility” bears directly on a number of crucial questions in cognitive linguistics and ethnobiology. The book also includes an introduction to the hieroglyphic script.