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Raymond Brown scripsit:

> [A]ncient Egyptian which, like the syllabary, didn't express
> vowels (and, sadly, they are now lost probably for ever; so we don't
> really know how pronounce the language), except that one symbol is
> traditionally transcribed {i}.

We have to distinguish between conventional and actual vocalism for
Egyptian.  We construct conventional vocalism for convenience, so
we can pronounce words and names when useful or necessary.  The
rule is: pronounce ' as a, y as i, w as u, and insert e whenever
things get hairy, so NFRTYTY becomes Nefertiti and 'MNShPSWT becomes
Amon-Shepsuet.

Work on the actual vocalism, based on Coptic and comparative Afroasiatology
(ugh, what a word) is ongoing.

--
John Cowan <[log in to unmask]>     http://www.reutershealth.com
I amar prestar aen, han mathon ne nen,    http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
han mathon ne chae, a han noston ne 'wilith.  --Galadriel, _LOTR:FOTR_