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This contribution studies the Egyptian phonetic change between “Ꜣ” and “ḥ,” a question so far dealt with only marginally. Therefore, the phonetic change is considered here for the first time from a broader perspective. An important role has likely been played by the fact that both sounds belong to the laryngals. This phonetic change is also known from other Hamito–Semitic (Afro–Asiatic) languages—particularly Akkadian and Punic. Furthermore, the phenomenon continued in Coptic.
The investigation adduces two different types of material. First, the phonetic change is documented in eleven examples of writings of single words. In this way, a solid foundation is laid for the following procedure. Second, seventeen examples of plays on words are examined which confirm the influence of the phonetic change. These examples demonstrate that the phonetic change occurred in both directions.