Rates of Lexical Change in Egyptian and Semitic


  • Ronald Cosper Saint Mary’s University


Rates of lexical change were studied for Egyptian and Semitic languages with a written historical form. Sampling is more adequate in that 200 words are used, rather than 100. More statistical sensitivity is used in the calculation of percentages of cognates. The statistic R (percentage of lexical retention per millenium) is calculated for 4 Semitic groupings (Ethiopic, South Arabian, West Aramaic and East Aramaic) and for Egyptian. For the Semitic family, R is calculated as equalling 62.7 %. For Egyptian, R equals 69.6 %. These differences are not statistically significant (t = 1.76), although the (insignificantly) higher figure for Egyptian may be related to greater linguistic isolation, and to the powerful and continuing written tradition.



How to Cite

Cosper, R. (1990). Rates of Lexical Change in Egyptian and Semitic. Papers from the Annual Meetings of the Atlantic Provinces Linguistic Association (PAMAPLA) ACTES DES COLLOQUES ANNUELS DE L’ASSOCIATION DE LINGUISTIQUE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES (ACAALPA)., 13, 145–160. Retrieved from https://conferences.lib.unb.ca/index.php/pamapla/article/view/401

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