On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 10:09:28 -0400, Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>

> On Fri, Sep 17, 2004 at 01:08:20PM +0200, Andreas Johansson wrote:
>> I don't know how AE sounded, and I doubt anyone else does for sure
>> either.  What's worse, I don't even know what the conventional
>> pronunciation of 'dj' is for it.
> Right.  AE didn't get written with the Roman alphabet, so first you have
> to indicate which transcription system you're using, and even then no
> one is sure about the actual sounds.  Completely at a loss for vowels,
> in fact, although I understand we have some idea about the consonants.

Well, not entirely at a loss. We do have proper nouns transcribed into
Greek, which tend to agree with Coptic[*], and there exists a large Coptic
corpus that shows clear and direct descent from AE. AFAIK, it's fairly
usual to use Coptic vowels to vocalise AE. For instance, the word |pt|
(sky) could be |opt|, |epat|, |pit|, or any one of a multitude of other
readings. However, the Coptic word is |pe|, and given that Coptic
regularly drops AE final |t|, it seems that the old Coptic was |pet|, and
|pet| is thus the usual vocalisation of the AE word.

[*] I fully admit that some Coptic transcriptions of AE names could have
been inspired or influenced by Greek, which pokes a bit of a hole in the
theory, but doesn't severely hamper the internal reconstruction.