Old Egyptian language

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Old Egyptian
Region Ancient Egypt
Era ca. 2600 to 2000 BC
Early form
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Old Egyptian is the stage of the Egyptian language spoken from 2600 BC to 2000 BC during the Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period. The Pyramid Texts are the largest body of literature written in this phase of the language. Tomb walls of elite Egyptians from this period bear autobiographical writings representing Old Egyptian. One of its distinguishing characteristics is the tripling of ideograms, phonograms, and determinatives to indicate the plural. Overall, it does not differ significantly from Middle Egyptian, the classical stage of the language, though it is based on a different dialect.


  • Loprieno, Antonio. Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction, Cambridge University Press, 1995. ISBN 0-521-44849-2