RODOLPHE KASSER

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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Dictionaries

DICTIONARIES From the time when the Copts, like other nations or linguistic entities, felt the need to have at their disposal in writing the equivalents, exact or approximate, of the words of their language, attempts were made to compose modest lists of bilingual vocabulary; these may justly be considered the ancestors of modern Coptic dictionaries. …

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Sporadic Dialect

SPORADIC DIALECT A “sporadic dialect” is any dialect attested by one or more texts that, while certainly idiolectal, are of a “transparent” IDIOLECT, allowing one to see clearly the greater part of the essential dialectal characteristics of the idiom; however, throughout the document(s), these characteristics are rivaled by those of another dialect that is continually …

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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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Bashmuric

BASHMURIC The history of the Bashmuric dialect is in large measure that of a “phantom dialect.” Coptic Egypt had many more dialects than modern science has been able to identify from the texts discovered; but some of these never reached the literary stage. Others did (perhaps poorly enough), but none of their witnesses has been …

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