, 55 (5/6) , pp. 587–600.
0.1 The book under review is structured as follows: Presentation of the texts, previous work on them, features of the corpus; the structure of nominal phrases (bases, determiners and quantifiers, their lexical expansions; clausal expansions, the augens, number and gender, adjectives; partitive, genitival and appositive constructions). Special types of noun (PNs, numbers, verbal nouns). Verb phrases and verb clauses (bases and their expansions; the tenses; auxiliaries); the durative system (with discussion of subjects and predicates, negation, conversion, aspect and existential patterns). Predication and emphasis (esp. Nominal Predications and the Second Tenses). Appendices include Tables (demonstrative, determinators, quantifiers, pronominals, converters); the texts and their translation. Bibliographical references and Indexes (passages discussed, words discussed, other texts quoted). Individual section are structured as follows: Form (morphology, orthography, palaeography); “Function” (grammatical status and role, patterning and construction); “Content” (semantics).
0.2 This work is wondrously attractive in presentation, to a linguist, especially a ‘linguist of later Egyptian’. I must say, at the onset, that I find the book a splendid achievement. I must also personally and subjectively confess to an especially festive feeling, under the enticing sensation of Demotic as ‘Egyptian-encoded Coptic’, a sensation intensified and enhanced by carefully perusing the present work. Demotic, and especially early Demotic, is still the least familiar of all phases of Egyptian; and that not least due to this very same enigmatic balance between the Coptic-type and ‘pre-Coptic Egyptian’-type phenomena. In fact, Demotic has a special value for the typological diachrony of Egyptian: its conception as an in-between phase between the (analyzing) LE to the (agglutinating in resynthesizing) Coptic must stand or fall by precise structural information, such as is offered by this painstaking work. For instance, the Second Tenses and focalization; the perfect vs. preterite opposition; the Nominal Sentence; the aorist (atemporal) tense category; the future, the causative form-constructions — these are all features that pattern and inform the unbroken history of Egyptian, the longest unbroken evolution of any language in our experience.
This work is a non-generative, truly descriptive, methodologically impeccable grammar. It sets out to evaluate and criticize prior research as well as collect and consolidate new evidence. Its statements are clearly and convincingly expounded, offering coherent interpretations, firmly grounded in source material, and many mises en question, with a wealth of detailed information. Indeed, it is th the first Demotic grammar since Lexa’s work of 1940-1951 (Janet Johnson’s account of the verbal system in Roman Demotic  comes nearest to being a comprehensive grammar, and of course covers much more extensive ground, corpus-wise).
0.3 The corpus at the base of Simpson’s work is of a textemic genre very much sui generis. The author himself is fully aware of the limited corpus and ensuing incomplete picture of grammatical systematization (58). We have here a case of Kanzleistil - archaic, formal, formulary; arguably not a style but a genre, even a texteme. (A blend of Leviticus with a ‘Vita Monachorum’ preceptive genre comes to a Coptologist’s mind). In this corpus, the documentation of the tenses is very partial (note esp. the absence of non-converted forms. The use of the future is restricted; no modal future is attested. The prospective form is almost exclusively grammaticalized as a causative exponent). In this sense, the work is an instance of corpus-based textemic grammar. It is however only fair to observe that Simpson offers as a rule documentation from a broad range of other corpuses (cf. pp. 60, 90, 91, 93, 128, 130f., 153ff. etc.), effectively giving his statements the validity of a comprehensive grammar. When the canvas is as large and varied as in Demotic (the differences between phases are complex and rich, often comparable to those between Old and Middle Egyptian), this has a real advantage.The Index Locorum is thus especially welcome; yet one misses a Subject Index.
The Bibliography (with the discussion of grammatical opinion in the text) constitutes no less than a full resumé of the Demotistic (and to a considerable extent Egyptian and Coptic linguistic) literature of the last century (from Griffith’s Stories of the High Priests  onwards).
0.4 Non-attestation, ever an important problematic issue in dead-language linguistics, to be resolved only structurally, acquires an urgency still more acute in a Spezialgrammatik, and all the more so in a genre so special as the present one. In this context, the dilemma of the authenticity of the Demotic (in the sense of ‘linguistic validity as uninfluenced by a Vorlage text’) acquires a special meaning (22ff. - Relation of demotic and Greek texts’). On this question, I would suggest a parallel composition of the texts, with an ongoing accommodation of the Demotic to the Greek version. The validity of the Demotic as a testo di lingua is in any case beyond doubt.