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In this paper, I investigate the speech captions (the so-called ‘Reden und Rufe’) in the private tombs from the Old Kingdom to the Late Period. I aim to show some of the ways used by the Egyptian scribes and/or artists to formally distinguish these speeches from other captions and inscriptions displayed in private tombs. After presenting the text- image interrelation and the most common speech caption layouts, I turn my attention to the form(s) of these captions and trace back the appearance of discursive marks in Old Kingdom mastaba as first evidence of paratextuality. I then offer a diachronic overview of the other paratextual means used to categorize a caption as a speech or a song: Dd-formulas, the parenthetic in indicating a direct quotation as well as the expression xn n wSb and xn n nhm.