"The language change in the ancient Coptic Egyptian language can be observed over more than 4,000 years of continuous textual tradition," says Professor Tonio Sebastian Richter. "This is a unique opportunity for historical linguistics." Changes in Egyptian vocabulary took place without external motivation for the first 2500 years after the invention of writing around 3000 BC. Beginning in the 4th century BC, when linguistic interaction between Egyptians and Greeks began to occur constantly, language change became apparent in vocabulary. In the approximately one thousand years between the conquest of Egypt by Alexander in 331 BC until the Arab invasion in AD 642, Coptic Egyptian was enriched with more than 5000 Greek words in almost all parts of speech and semantic fields. "Up to now this vast vocabulary consisting of loanwords was virtually untapped," said Professor Tonio Sebastian Richter.
During the first funding phase, the project was affiliated with the Egyptology Institute in Leipzig.
Prof. Dr. Tonio Sebastian Richter, Egyptology Institute, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 30 838-70291, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org