Battiscombe Gunn's Studies in Egyptian Syntax (1924) is one of the fundamental works in Egyptian linguistics. The book, which has long been unobtainable, was published when the author was working for Alan H. Gardiner, who was preparing his renowned Egyptian Grammar (1st edition 1927, 3rd edn 1957). Gardiner perceived the significance of Gunn's work with its major discoveries, and he incorporated a number of Gunn's ideas in his own grammar. Gunn, however, was a perfectionist who was reluctant to release his ideas for publications, and the Studies did not include all the chapters he had written. Among Gunn's papers, now in the Griffith Institute, Oxford, are further studies, some that he had made ready for publication and others nearly complete, that extend his approach and its coverage.
R.S. Simpson has edited all Gunn's studies that had reached publishable form, adding half as much again to the material. The present book is an unaltered reprint of Studies in Egyptian Syntax, followed by the hitherto unpublished chapters. In his preface to the new material Dr Simpson outlines his editorial principles, which include updating text citations to refer to today's editions. As he notes, Gunn's work continues to be influential, both for his interpretations and for his insistence on a corpus-based approach. The newly available chapters will thus inform current debates about the Egyptian language on several levels.
This book is essential for understanding developments in the interpretation of Classical and Late Egyptian, as well as presenting much that is new and highly topical.