Learn Hieroglyphs

Phonetic Complement

Sound signs can be used as sound complements (or phonetic complements) indicating the sound conveyed by other phonograms. In the  sign, it is added to flesh out the r of pr and in  the one-consonant sign  and are used to flesh out fr of nfr. In , the  is added to flesh out the r in Hr.

Sound complement can be added in three ways:

1. Before the phonograms

Many such cases are well documented in Old Kingdom texts. This phoneme was used in Middle Kingdom texts.


tm (tsound complement + tmphonogram)

2. Sound Complement added after the phonograms

This usage is a common feature in the inscriptions of the Old and Middle Kingdoms.


pA (pA phonogram + A sound complement).

mn (mn phonogram + n sound complement).

3. Sound Complement added before and after the phonograms

This is a rare way in which Egyptians tried to flesh out consonants in bilateral or triliteral signs.



(i sound complement + in phonogram + sound)