Coptic DIALECTS

L* as a Secret Language: Social Functions of Early Coptic

L* as a Secret Language: Social Functions of Early Coptic Introduction The aim of the present chapter is to reconsider the use of Coptic as attested in the texts belonging to the Manichaean community in Kellis (Ismant al- Kharab, Dakhla Oasis). For this particular variety of Coptic, the siglum L* has been suggested by W-P. …

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Memphitic

MEMPHITIC What was formerly called the Memphitic dialect (an appellation now abandoned) was one that Egyptologists and Coptologists long sought to identify and get to know, thinking that it must have been one of the principal dialects of Coptic Egypt. It was in fact known that Memphis had been one of the two very great …

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Pre-Coptic

PRE-COPTIC This general term indicates different stages of script or script forms that to a greater or lesser extent prepared or influenced the creation of the Coptic script. Since the use of the Greek alphabet is essential to the definition of Coptic, it is obvious that one must go back to the first more or …

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Mesodialect

MESODIALECT If the term “dialect” is confined to idioms whose originality, when compared to others, is strongly characterized (by a large number of phonological and morphosyntactical oppositions of a cogent quality) and if the term “subdialect” is confined to idioms whose originality in relation to others is but weakly characterized (by a small number of …

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Metadialect

METADIALECT By common consent, the term “dialect” is used by Coptologists for those idioms whose originality, in relation to one another, is very strongly marked. The basis for judgment is, of course, on the lexical and morphosyntactical levels, but also and above all, using the most convenient and practical criterion, on the phonological level, through …

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Coptic Bible

COPTIC BIBLE The Coptic Church regarded the Old and New Testaments as a single inseparable unit. The basis of the Coptic version of the Old Testament is not a Hebrew text but the Septuagint. The Coptic Bible is based on Greek manuscripts that are older than most of the extant witnesses. However, the Coptic evidence …

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Coptic Dialects

COPTIC DIALECTS There are six main dialects: Sahidic, Bohairic, Fayumic, Oxyrhynchite (Middle Egyptian), Akhmimic, and Lycopolitan (Subakhmimic). The number of Coptic dialects has increased with the discovery of more Coptic manuscripts and the intensive research in Coptic dialects, especially in the second half of the 20th century. However, locating the dialects geographically remains a matter …

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Coptic Language

COPTIC LANGUAGE It is the final stage of the ancient Egyptian language, which was the language of the Egyptians for more than three millennia. All the essential structural aspects of Coptic, the syntax, in particular, are Egyptian. The knowledge of Coptic played a crucial role in the decipherment of the ancient Egyptian language by Jean …

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