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xr and Modal Obligation in Earlier Egyptian

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Clayton, JE (2018) xr and Modal Obligation in Earlier Egyptian. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.
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Abstract

In Future at Issue: Tense, Mood and Aspect in Middle Egyptian: Studies in Syntax and Semantics (1990), Pascal Vernus convincingly argued that xr constructions express actions or events that are “governed by an external norm or necessity”, by which he was describing modal obligation. In this study, by close contextual examination of the different xr constructions in Earlier Egyptian and by the application of elements borrowed from linguistic studies of modal necessity, Vernus’s conclusion is refined and expanded upon. It is further argued that the sDm.xr=f, xr=f sDm=f and xr sDm=f forms are not variants of nor developments of one another, as Vernus and others had assumed, but that the first expresses generic necessity, the second case-specific necessity and the third is an erroneous categorisation, being in fact a sDm=f form preceded by a sentence adverb xr which, while still expressing modal necessity, can stand in front of a variety of constructions.

 


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