The present book has been written as part of the project "Die Position des Agyptischen im
Sprachraum Nordostafrika/ Siidwestasien: Areale und Genetische Beziehungen" which was
funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft from 1996 to 1999 within the framework of
the "Schwerpunktprogramm Sprachtypologie". My conceptions about Egyptian phonology
have profited greatly from intense discussions with Dr. Frank Kammerzell who directed the
project. Without his help, this book could never have been written. It is frequently impossible to
determine which one of us first developed a particular view on an issue. Thus readers who find
useful ideas in this book should always remember that they are not necessarily based on my
inspiration alone. On the other hand, I feel fully accountable for any shortcomings of the book
or any conceptions that may draw criticism.
I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity of presenting a draft of the manuscript to Prof.
Dr. Antonio Loprieno (Los Angeles) and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schenkel (Tubingen), two
leading experts currently working in the field of Egyptian linguistics. Wolfgang Schenkel read a
preliminary version of the complete manuscript and not only provided me with a very fruitful
and detailed written commentary but he also participated in numerous subsequent debates with
me by e-mail. His friendly cooperation had a major impact on the development of this book.
Antonio Loprieno paid particular attention to those of my theses which run counter to the
predominant scholarly opinions and had very inspiring and helpful conversations with me. I am
immensely grateful to both scholars who generously helped me strengthen my presentation
while also drawing my attention to points which were (or still are) weaknesses within my
theory. I would also like to thank Peter Meyer (Berlin) who examined parts of the text from a
linguist's point of view and provided me with numerous important suggestions. Some of the
ideas presented in this book, especially with regard to the writing system, have been developed
during frequent discussions with him. I have also profited from meetings with several
members of the Sprachtypologie program.
Moreover, I would like to thank several people who advised me concerning various matters and
provided me with literature which I would have otherwise overlooked or to which I had no
access: Dr. Heike Behlmer, Prof. Dr. Rykle Borger, Dr. Heinz Felber, Dr. Eckart Frahm, Dr.
Jiirgen Horn, Prof. Dr. Friedrich Junge, Jiirgen Kraus, Victoria Loprieno, Dr. Christa Miiller,
Matthias Miiller, Prof. Dr. Klaus Schippmann, Simon Schweitzer, Christian Velde, Prof. Dr.
Wolfhart Westendorf, and some others specifically mentioned in the footnotes.
The section on the Egyptological scholarly pronunciation (§ 2.6.5) 's based to a great extent on
information provided to me by several Egyptologists. I can mention here only those who I still
remember to have guided me towards significant insights: Prof. Dr. Erhart Graefe, Rouven
Miiller, Matthias Rochholz, Dr. Silke Roth, Prof. Dr. Helmut Satzinger, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang
Schenkel, Simon Schweitzer, Prof. Dr. Ursula Verhoeven.
Last but not least, I am most grateful to Laura Catharine Smith (Madison) who took on the not
insignificant task of correcting my English. She has always been patient to reflect on the never-
ending questions I kept asking her, and this book ows a lot to her attention and competence.