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The Coptic Encyclopedia

Editors and Consultants

EdHor In Chief
Azb: S. Atiya
University of Utah

William Y. Adams
University 0/ Kentucky
8asilios IV
Archbishop of Jerusalem
Pierre du Bourguct, SJ.
Louvre Museum, Paris
Ren~-Georges Coquin
College de France, Paris
W. H. C. Frend
Glasgow University
MimI Boulros Ghali
Society of Coptic Archaeology, Cairo
Bishop Gregorios
Higher Instilllte of Coptic Sludies, Cairo
Peter Grossmann
Gemlan Institute of Archaeology, Cairo
Antoine Guillaumont
College de France, Paris
Rodolphc Kasser
University of Geneva
Martin Krause
Westfalische Wilhelms·Universittit, MiinSler
Subhi Y. Labib
Kid University
Tito Orlandi
Utriversity of Rome
Marian Robertson
Utah StQte University
Khalil Samir
Pontifical Orielllal 111$1;/«le, Rome

Lahib Hahachi
Egyptian Department of Antiquities, Cairo
J. M. Robinson
Institute of Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, California
Magdi Wahba
Cairo University

Editorial Managing Committee

S. Kent Brown
Brigham Young University, Provo
Fuad Megally
Polyluhnic of Central London
Aziz S. Atiya

Volume 8

Macmillan Publishing Company

NEW 'lOR/(

Collier Macmillan Canada


.Maxwell Macmillan International

Copyright e 199\ by Macmillan Publishing Company
A Division of Macmillan, Inc.

All rights reservL>d. No part of this book may be reproduced or

transmillcd in any Conn or by any means. electronic or mcchanical.
including photocopying. recording. or by any infonnation storage
and retrieval system. without pennission in writing From the

Macmillan Publishing Company

866 Third Avenue. New York. NY 10022

Collier Macmillan Canada. Inc.

1200 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 200, Don Mills, Ontario M3C 3NI

Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 90-23448

Printed in the United States of America

plinting number
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Library of Congress Cataluging·in-Publication Data

The Coptic encyclopedia / Aziz S. Atiya, edilOr·in-chicf.
p. Cill.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 0-02-89702S·X (set)
J. Coptic Church-Dicti(IOarics. 2. COpls-Dictionaries.
I. Miya, Aziz S., 1898-
BX130.s.C66 1991 90-23448
281'.7'03-dc20 CIP

The preparation of this volume was made possible in part by a

grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an
independent federal agency.

Photographs on.pages 567. 736. 754, 755. 790. 791. 876-878. 1284. 1311. and
2168 arc reproduced courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of AI'" Photography
by the Egyptian Expedition,
Contents of Volume 8

Appendix: LinguilUics 13
Index 229


Vo/llme 1, poge XXXIV;

In the US/. of Ankles, Moonir Mcgally should be
1i5lcd :u the aUlhor of "Numerical System, Copeic."

Vo/wrle I, page U/1;

In the Ust of Conllibutors, the following ankles
should be liSle<! under the name of Mounir Megally:
"Accounts and Accounling. History of Copeic";
"Bashmuric Revolts'" , "Numerical S....tem r~~'ic'",
~~ ,~~

''Toponymy, Coplic"; "Waq'at al-Kana~~"; ''Waq'at


Volume 1, page 409:

11le signature appearing wilh the anicle "Bookbind-
ing" is incolTCCt. The author of the anicle i5 Jane

Voll/Il'le 6, poge 1811:

11lC signature appearing with the anicle "Numerical
System, Coplic" i5 incorrect. The author of the ani-
ele is Mounir Megally.

Further Acknowledgments
The editors wish to thank Nabil Selim Atalla,
who gracioll5ly offered his services in taking
photographs of objects in thc Coptic Museum,
Cairo. Thanks also to Charles Smith, SiraTl'i
Feredjian·Aivalian, Philip Friedman, Elly Dicka-
son, Sylvia Kanwischcr Miller, Jonathan Wie-
ner, and others at Macmillan for their efforts
on behalf of this encyclopedia.

I. Egypl.: General Map

2. Egypt: Provinces
3. Alexandria in Late Antiquity
4. Monasteries in and around Cairo
5. Monasteries of the Delta
6. Monasteries of the FayyOm
7. Monasteries of the Lower Sa'id
8. Monasteries of the Middle Sa'Id
9. Monasteries of !.he Upper Sa"d
10. Nubia
t I. Oases
12. Pentapolis

OUI' thanks to Pierre Laferriere of the Institut

frnm;ais d'archeologic orientale. Cairo, and 10
Mark Hafey of Salt Lake City, for their work on
the maps that follow.
2 Maps


• • al-Man~Oro~
Damonhor •
01- ahallah
• • •
Tan!O Zoqaziq ~ •..
·(Zagazigl•.:~I-lsma ,lJyyah

(CAIROI . uez ••

• .'
.' "
O.SIS ,.' •
Madinot al-FayyOm

9"'H"'~IY. •••
•• •

w E
• al-Minya


o E s E R T






'----- ---------- . - - - - ._--- ---_•. _---------

• I. Egypt: General Map.

Maps 3


, "'..-J ;--:;::-...... ,
'--.oJ '-_,,- Alexandria ,- - AI- Arish

• AI-Ismo'iliyyoh

,, 25
• •••
AI- Minya w-...,

AI- Ghordaqoh

, I


'J-J'-- 20

• AI-Kh~rjah

,.A- 21


Ll1k6 Nou.r.

o 100 2001( ..
o 50 1000111.. ~

L-- - - - - __ L#-..L--- - - - - - - - -

2. Egypt: Provinces.
City provinces: (1) Cairo (al-Qahirah). (2) Alexandria (al-Iskandariyyah). (3) Port Said. (4) Suez (al-Suways).
Lower Egypt: (5) al-Isma'iliyyah; capital, same. (6) Beheirah; capital, Damanht1r. (7) Damietta (Dumyat); capital,
same. (8) Kafr al-Shaykh; capital, same. (9) al-Gharbiyyah; capital, Tan!ii. (10) al-Daqahliyyah; capital, Mansura
(al-Man~t1rah). (11) al-Sharqiyyah, capital, Zagazig (Zaqazlq). (12) al-Mint1fiyyah; capital, Shibln al-Kom. (13)
al-Qalyt1biyyah; capital, Banha.
Upper Egypt: (14) Giza (al-Jizah); capital, same. (15) al-Fayyt1m; capital, same. (16) Bani Suef (Bani Suwayf);
capital, same. (17) al-Minya; capital, same. (18) Asyt1t; capital, same. (19) Suhaj; capital, same. (20) Qena (Qina);
capital, same. (21) Aswan; capital, same.
Frontier provinces: (22) Red Sea (al-Ba\:Ir al-Al:tmar); capital, al-Ghardaqah. (23) New Valley (ai-Wadi al-Jadld);
capital, al-~arjah. (24) Marsa Matrui:J; capital, Matrui:J. (25) Sinai; capital, al-'Ansh.
The provincial boundaries shown reflect the divisions made by Mui:Jammad 'All in 1833, with additional
provinces created after the Nasser revolution in 1953. The provinces are now formally known as governorates. (See

4 Maps

MeQos limen
Lochial okro


8.ndid'iO~"-;B:':"'~'~':i'~(~B~'::=:;'---'- ~
'n UC:OI;s'
01_ ShotbT

Konobilti pyli (NOULIOPOLlSJ
.-' ."
." Proost,io


1-.-----,-..- -E3;+Damonhtir - SlIubra Above:

o ,:I...n.. 3. Alexandria in Late Antiquity. (See article, pp.

AI-Khondoq 4. Monasteries in and around Cairo. (See article, pp.
Anb6 Nuways 1646-47.)

+, Horll Zuwoyloh

+ Horil 01- Rum

D. 01· Rtfhib6/

D. AbO Soylayn
• QOlr 0/· Sham' (D.o/·Sanol)
@~@. oI! D. Baby/On ·o/.- Ooroj
1- O. TlJdrus
"E~+ 0, Mi'khD71 01- qibli

GIZA +D. o/·Nos/ur

+ Naqizoh
etRosett ,,,
O. Sill Olmyiinoh "FCiriskur Ie

.Fuwwoh - + ~O/')~q/O/1 - Tinnis

• ,.
• - 01_ MCnZQIQIlt

• Abu Hummus

Kafr ol-Shoykh
• +
Tolkho +
+Ashmun 01- _---"
_ I:
r =


O.ol-Zujiij .• ai-Dono' b -' I:'
(0. o/-ZojjojJ

Iq I
, + :
.i 01- Forom
( P8/us;um)
+ ' • +-"'' ,. ./
,-- ,

• Nowoso
Timoy 01- Amdld

-, ....... , +
Ibyor eBirmo +
' -.. ,
r- . (Rhinocoruro)

-" '-- I-
Kltllio + ...... , r \ ';
• - Sunbat
. \ \~
-'- " ,
• • ,
\ Zift~ •
I -:.
/• :
\ .. _) AL-ISM/{ILlYYAH':
./ r -_.~
" ,
... .
Wli 01
.. . ,q ( .. "'A

Molij -"
I<afr 01- Doyr
- •
- -

,.J- - --' , "\
+ .-: : : : .:. . . .
,.:.:.:.:.:.:.:-:-:.. ~ J'
Shibin al-Kom ') •
(Minya ol-Qomh • Bohtit./
I ..
al-Ou'ilti "'';':':':':':';':';'. • '90- I 8 anna...,. A~rib • ,~ \ _ :
','.,. -'::;:;:;:;:;::" + I Mashtiil
(A/rip,) Bilboy S I
O. ol.8or~mjjs+·.·.:::::::::::-.+ D. Abu MiisQ .J I
\ Tlikh J . " \" J I
......;......... ol-Aswofl • +Ol-Doyr... _-
O. ol-Suryan ..... :t::::.t;. \
O. An/Jo Bishol O. Abii Moqir ,, • Sh ........
'\. . '' , \
"', 4 '*I
, ,\
\ Siryaqus
'\ / ~
- I Phoron
O. o/·/forrom +, \ + Misl' 01- Ood/moh f
SUEZ Roilhou
• O. Abu Soy 0rn

Giza Klysmo
I • 0051' al-Shom' fol-OulzumJ.
\+ • Turah O. Hobf/un o/-tJoroj
••• Monastery or monastery location
Ziiw;yot Ol-(Iryon

Apo Jltremioh

• Hilwan
O. Mikho';/ ol-qibff

o 25 50km
Dohshur •
a 15 30 miles
Memphis •

5. Monasteries of the Delta. Of the many monasteries in the Delta, some have vanished; some can still be
identified by ruins, such as the innumerable sites excavated in the Kellia by the French and Swiss expeditions; and
some have survived the Islamization of Egypt and the urbanization of the area. (See DAYR ANBA MAQAR; DAYR
AL-BARAMOS; DAYR AL-SURYAN; KEWA; and articles on the Beheirah. Daqahliyyah, Gharbiyyah. Minufiyyah. Qalyiiqiy-
yah, and Sharqiyyah provinces under MONASTERIES.) . U1
6 Maps

• D. Abii Li'fah

Qa ru (/.

, ()iirun D. Bomwiyoh •• •

0.01- fAjamiyyin
AI- 'Idwah
+ Saylah

• • O.ol-Ilrhwoh

Olsya •

... .
. . ... .. ... . ...,
. .
,• • • • • • •
•• • •• • •• • • •• • •• • • • • • •
0, 01- Hamuli

Oimiishyah •
· .'. .

'.' '. Ma·'sorot Arafah e

' '
•••••••••••••••••• • '. '.' '. D.ol-ljommam
'. .
'. • '.' ' '
...... •..• .• .' .'.'. '. ...
' '

' '.'.' ' '. '.' '.' '.'
Itsa (0, obii 1.&l1q)
'.' ' ' '.'.'
• • • • •• • • • •••••••
, .. . . ..


.• .'•••••
. '.' .'
•• • •• •
'.' '.' '
'. .' '.'
• ••••••
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• • • • • • Modinot Motli 0. 01- Bondt

•• •• •• • • •• ••

.•..... .'.. .'
. '. ' '

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• • • • • • • • •
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•• ••••••••••••••

• '~

• •
• • • • • •• • • • •
. .
••• • • • • • •
D. 01- Molak Ghubriyal (01- Noqlun)

•- .. .
·.. ':v.c.... .. .. . ..

• •• •
• • • • •
• • ••••••• AI- Gharaq
· •• :i;l:'••••••••• .

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+ • • ••••••••••••••••
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• •••

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• ••
• • .

+ D. Anbd Somi!'il
01- Qolomun

••• Monostery or monastery t ocotion


•• Ancient sites reoccupied by monks

0 10 20 25km
1 , I

0 5 10 15mil. .

6. Monasteries of the Fayyfun. (See article, pp, 1650-51.)

D. til· Korriim ... SUEZ
O. Abu Soyfoyn
TOmWOyh____ Z6.,iyol T"" +
(KIYIMU/ol- "u/rum)

Turah......-D. Mar Jirjis

0.01- Shom! - - Soqqara • + +, + .
0.0/- (}uloyr.

Apo Ju.miolJ+ ... O. ShaMan

Dahshur • • Hilwan


0.01- Mu/uurDqoh
Qorii n . +

• It• tih•
~~ I"
"~~ ~\ll'lll\"~

.... ......
. • ~l. - •
o ~ , ~

\I •••••
..l. .•••••••••••

Abu Sir al-Malaq _~1.~11 \\\,\,\\\\
V •••••••• •
'. . '.'
+ 0.01- Maymun- \~\\l\

I~.· • ••••••

..... ••••••••
Bush + ~l.-
\~\ 1,
1"\" •
........"" ";';':-::::':::-
'.' .
... + ~I
~J #+ ..'t\\\~"'-
"o)'n Bordoh I ~~o_ .........
b 0 tl
_ ..
...- --._"..._....
. e~~
II:) •••• .;.;.; •••••••• - /. i:::: ... ...

• •• •
";"::';:;::- "::::-.

BANI SUEF ~1u~ '" ~ .1 ... ,-
...... '.'.
. .. (BANi SUWAYF) + BayDt! ..,:
" 1\\
- 0\~"..-
' $',;)"',,,~
• 0"- Nosoro
• ,
~ ..,
....,.- " '!'
\"\1 ~"\,,,

+ 'A,\\-"
... -... ----' ,

D. Anbi Antiiniyu$ ~~
O. Anbi $omu'il ,~ I ~~
~~ ,
\\~~frj' "C':"
al-Qolomun ,;:'" ;"
~\\\\\~'ll11, h.)i\JI~~\II'lhl\\\\'t.,\'¥ ~IJ(,~ ,. }
+ Dayr al-l:Iodid
,~l;.~' +
\ ~\\\\\~\\\l\ D. Anbo Bulo
~\\\\\ iP.11 \.
Aqfahs+ ~ It ~
!~ I
,11l.- ,1"11\~
, ... 0 ~ \~~
'. Maghiighah p.'" ~
• - ~~ ...

al-Na~ara + + J~l.~l. ~
Sharunoh ~l.-
+ JABAl. .'
01- Jarnus + Mono,tery or monoltery loeotion
(al· Bohnola)
D. o/·Sonquriyyoh + • Bani Mazor ••
.. •
Ancient ,it.. reoccupied by monks



7. Monasteries of the Lower ~a'id. (See article, pp. 1652-53.) -...J

8 Maps


O. Apo Tumo

D. 01- Sanquriyyoh + • Bani Mozar

;! o. Anba Ookhum

+ - 0.01- Ourqas
Kom N1mriid
+ / +
Kom tJl-R6hib +

01- Shaylth Has. on
/.;------ ....
. .::: b'- bir 0/·"0)1_

• / /
,.../ D. 0/· Malak MikhO'il _
Sa molu! O. ol-lAdhro" (Jabal 01- Toyr)
+ • r t/ 0.01- $liuhodo'
+ + O. 01- Mo' diidi
:. Tihno

0/- Jabal Ak~,m_;i:m:::::~+ D. 01- Adhro'

'. ,'I +
O. Mar Jirjis 01- Hodidi
+ D. Apo Hiir

- Z- .
oWfya! 01- Moyyilin
+D. Anho- BislJdoh
• Boni Hasan

Qasr Hur
. • , Speas


O. Abu Fona (D. 01- ~ulbonj +• + ---------~-

O. al-Oilt
D. ol-Nosoro
N away
'. Anlinoopolis

ol-Ashmunoyn - ++-............-.. _
Mollowi • ----- ------
O. Abu tfinnis
0.01- Borsho

Dolja •

O. Abu Sorobamiin. -----____.

- D. Mowes
-I'•• Toll
•• 01- Shaykh

01- 'Amornah

+ Doyrij!
• D. 01- OUfiiyr
$Onobij+ +
O. riidru$
Mir •
+ - - Buo +
O. Mar Mina
? + O. 01- Jobrliwi

+ O.
Monlolij! -"'" ...'\.
~ -+
Buqlur Shu

O. al-'Adhro'
ol-Jowli+ Abnijb + O. Abu Ishoq

- ...+ .O. Monqobad - ,,,ASYUT


O. fJurunlroh
Abu Miisho ./
~~~:::~~~~§~~~~~~~+: ~+ O.ol-'Awonoh

O. Rifah ---..---- ~ + o. rosa

o. al-Zow;yoh - - - O.ol-BoloYrab+ •
Wodi So~oh- __ Aba TiJ· ol-Bodori
O.lIb ii Moqrufoh -=-=-=-=-'------~
~;;;;;;;;~+~ +
• + o. Apo Hormlna
O. al- Janiidlah -

Tima • • -Qaw 01- Kobir

QaW Ghorb

O. Anbo Bakhum
+ Monastery or If'OllQstery locotion
ol-Moragha_ / O. 01- Shuhodo


Ancient sites reocc.upied by monks
+ / +O.OI-MO~dildi
ol-doyr ol-AlJmor to. Anbii Bis/loi) +-O.o/-'Adhro·
+ • Akhmim
o rD. Anb8 Shinudoh) + +O. Mor
,,'-'- - - - - - , ' .'
50km 01- doyr 01- A byod
• ·v Jrrjis
o 15 30.miles SUHAJ o/-Hodidi

8. Monasteries of the Middle ~a'id, (See article, pp. 1654-55.)

Maps 9

Ooyr A"bo Sis h6i

(AI- DD}'r 01- AlJmor) + AkhmTm
Doyr Anbo SlIinudoh
+ •
ol-Abyod) _ _
• + O. Mor Jirjis 01- /jodidi
, -I...
a 1- Ill .nshOll...
+ D. Anbii Bisodoh

+ D. 0/- M%k Mikha~~1

Naj' al- Dayr

+. Dandarah
•• • (QENA)·
Abydtl .. Fiiw Oibli •
. + .',-_..,r
Bakhiinl. + +
• +
/ / al- Ballii~ •
Bahjurah ~ • Hiw _ .Oifl
NOJ' Hammodl + D. Mor Minii
(Nag Hammadi) Naqiidah
0.0/- Malok Mikhii'i! - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - . +.
o. 01- ~olib ++ D. PI•• ,,';u$
o. Abu Ufoh - - - - - - - - - -
D. Mor Jir/is --
+++ Hijiizah

O. Mor SuqluT -- :.+. OamUlii

• al- lIIadiimud

• + D. Anbii Bakhum

Armanl •
al-Dim;qriit. ai-Tad +
D. Mar Jirjls + D. Anba Abaho)'

A~fun •
O. 0/- F6lthiirT
+ + D. 01- Rumlinlyyoh
o. Ap;; l.hOo + • Isna
o 25 50km
tl---------t11l--------r1' D. 01- SlIuJlodo' + Esna)
o 15 30mil..

Jabal 01- $I/#/oh --

Ombo O. Anba Bokhum

+ • Idfu
( Edfu)

0.01- Kiib6nlyyoh

D. Qubbol al-Hawo. + + Monastery or monostery locotion

D. AnbiJ Hodrt1
(Sf Sim,on)
• • Sit . .

Jabal 0/- 5i1,lIoh --

Phi/D. •• Ancient .lte. reoccupied by monks

9. Monasteries of the Upper ~a·id. (See article, pp. 1656-58.)

10 Maps

1 sl

~ ~
Philoeti Aswon
- 01- Shollo~" ,.
.', ',. Tala
. .
..'. ".•
. '. . , , . .
.. ....
: ~ ~

. .'. ....
",.. ..

... ' ',.

• • "i ~
Tamil.;·.. · ... ·Q·o,.~ Ibrl~' -
Bollana. '. 'Jobol 'Addo ~ ~ ~
: ••.1 .Faros
2nd • "

....... ('
. ,.•.' • .' ~~
, .
N OBATIA ...... ',,""~V


C%racl C".'
'fl Karma
New \ Abu Hamid

Dongola ~
• .Kowo \.~
Cataract. 5/.

• AtbQr'Q

'ALWA 6/.
(Umm Durman' Khartoum (Khortum)
\ •
Gedoref V Axum
• 7-


••..••, Lake Nasser
O!""~5~O;=;'~O'!!'O-"""!2~O:;;:0==3;:J,b 0 km

10. Nubia. The Nubians, speakers of the Nubian family of languages, in modem times have lived principally in the
Nile Valley from Aswan, Egypt, to Debba (south of Old Dongola), Sudan. Much of this area was flooded by the
building of the Aswan dams (1963-1969). In the Middle Ages the territory ofthe Nubians extended from Aswan to
the confluence of the Blue and White Niles and comprised the kingdoms of NOBATIA, MAKOURIA, and 'ALWA. The
Biemmye or BillA TRIBES have occupied the Red Sea hills since pharaonic times. Area shown includes parts of
modem-day Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. (See NUBIA and related articles, pp. 1800-1820.)

Maps 11

0;. arl
~~id Kosio. ~+
ALEX IlliQRIA.7 ~~
-- .7
• :, AI- Faramo

Khos..hm ol-Qu ud
.. + ~
.. I
%......... wadi""'. -
ol-N4/run AL-QAHIRAH 'Klysmo (Suez I
~ 01- Oulzull'l


• Phoroh
_ AI-'Aro] +
O. 01- His

- -
J. Abu Dukhkh017 e .

Asyu,· wadi

+ O. AI- Ghonol"'"
Myn 'A-
- -

+ + O. MU1!ofo /(6$!JI'
_ AI-Bogawal
AI-Qalomun +0. ol-t/oior
•- -


o 100 200 II If!

I - - - - - T l ' ' - - - - - r ' ,'
o 80 12:0 ..11. . •

11. Oases. Christian ruins are still to be found in the oases located in the Western Desert. (See 'ARAJ, AL-; 'AYN AMUR;

12 Maps


Apollonio -
Phykous . .'. . . ' . '. Erythron .
:C ....
o. ·Po leitiiska·.·,
Ptolemois : yrene •• , Darnoh
..",~. " ..•.·Bologrol ° Limnios·· r .

./:.~. . .. I .
Arsinoe - Toucheiro •.···Borqoh "., Olbio..: .
./ .,~/""" ~, LIBYA SUPERIO'R I .:
: ,t { ". . • 500···· I LIBYA
f ~
• ••
" .... or I'"•

Be renike- •

• (.... 5 00 .:.... PE N T.~ PO LI S .:V· . IN FE RIO R

• .... ·· .. ···2.00·····~···. .... .··· .....:"1
Euesperides •
• v
• ••

• · : ..' ~~ I
· ...' r_-<" I
to Boreion' : J
co 200 km··.. :..,
. I
• •

12. Pentapolis. (See article, pp. 1933-35.)

Appendix: Linguistics

List of Articles in the Appendix

Akhmimil: Dialecls. Morphology of Capeie Phonology of the Gn:ck of Egypt,

Aleph Dictionaries Influence of Coptic on lhe
Alphabet in Coptic. Greek Ojinkim Pre-Coptic
Alphabets. Coptic Egyptian Ambic Vocabulary, Pre-Old Coptic
Alphabets, Old Coptic Coplic Influence on Protodialcct
'Ayin Etymology Sahidic
13asbmuric F:lyyumic ShCnulean Idiom
Bodmer Papyri Gemination Sullam
Bohail'ic Geography, Dialectal Syllabicalion
Bohairic. Pronunciation of Laic Greek Tr.mscriptions Vocabulal)', African Cont3ct.\ with
Cryplogrnphy Idiolect Autochthonous Coptic
CryplOI)honeme Language(s), Coptic Vocabulary, Copto-Al'abic
Dialect, Immigr.mt lyco-Diospolitan Vocabulary, Copto-Gred:
Dialcct, Sporadic Lycopolitan (or Lyco-Diospolilan Vocabulary, Cuneiform
Dialect G (or Hashmurk or or Subakhmimic) Transcriptions of PrQtQl)'pC5 of
Mansune) Mcnlphilic Autochthonous Coptic
Dialect II (or Hennopolitan Of Mesodialcct Vocabulary of Egyptian Origin,
Ashmuninic) Mcsokemic Autochthonous Coptic
Dialect i (or Proto-Lycopo!itan) Metadialect Vocabulary of Semitic Origin,
Dialect P (or Prolo-Sahidic) Muqaddimah Autochthonous Coptic
Dialects Old. Coptic
Dialects, Grouping and. Major ~leography
Groups of Phonology


TIle greatest, but a.l~ the most frotgile and delicate guagc-with all ilS regional variations, orthographi-
Ireal;Ure of any highly developed cjViH7.3lion ill its cal, phonological, morphulogical, syntaclic-is C5-
thought. !\Cnlial in an encyclopedia enlirely devoted to all
This is also true of the Egyptian pharaonic civili7..3· aspeCIS of the splendid Coplic civili7.3tion, a living
lion, the most ancient among all exceptionally cui· civilization that still remains flourishing today in
lured civiliwlions. Egypl.
The majority uf loday's lQUr'iSIS admire the Egyp- Naturally in prcscntintl the C()ptic language-in
tian monUlllents covered with figures artistically its multiplicity-one connot avoid some technical
drawn, calved, or p;lintel!, without rcally under- terminology without which it would have been diffi·
standing them. Yel it is through these figures thaI cult to treat correctly lhe subject in question. It is
the eternal Mlul of the Egyptians is expressed. '111ese hop,ed that Ihose readers whu need such linguistic
figures an; a writing, or [he essential i1Ju.~lralions to knowledge will make Ihe effort necessary to under-
ICllIS-tell.IS wliuen in the genuine Egyptian lan- Siund this terminoloGY. Other TC3ders will cunsider
guage. which hands down to us through the ages the the linguistics a... useful lools ready 10 be used, per·
mysll'l')' and profound essence of Egyptian thinking haps rnrcIy, hut to hand whenever necessary.
-through whk:h humanity in its evolution complel' Mon..'Over, ht::lw COl.lld the Coptic language be omit-
ed a decisive stage in ilS history. ted from Ihe first Coptic encyclopedia when this Ian·
In the same way we can speak of the Egyptian gu:lge-morc than 1500 years old, musically among
Coplic civilization, direct descendant of the F...gyptian the most beautiful. and rich in arll37jng subtleties
pharaonic civiliwtioll. lIS thinking, especially reli- (like those of the Egyptian Pharaonic langunge)-
gious and Chri~lian, hut also Gno:lilic, Uennetic, and still resounds in Ihe Coptic churches or today each
Manichaean, has cume down to LIS through a rich time the holy liturgy is sung or rccilecl there? This
literature. ThaI literature is exprei'iScd in thc different lunglmgc goes on living through the adoration that
variation.~ of the Coptic language, a language that i~ hun1an beings address 10 their elernal God, unique
also a direct descendanl of the Egyptian pharaonic and pcnnuncnt in its many form~ and uncleI' its
language even if it is wrinen in an alphabeticlll fOl'lll many names, multiple and various a.~ it was revealed
(a writing for the most part renovoted and simpli- 10 humanity.
fied). Ronou'up. KA.·;SER
That is why the presentation of the Coptic Ian·


AKHl\tIMIC. The Akhmirnic dial~t (siglum A). Schmidt. 1908: 1 Clem.(R) - R05ch, 1910 (pp. 1-
along with the Sahidic (5) and lhe various vemacu- 87); Elias - Steindorff, 1899: EpAp. - Schmidt.
lal"$ of the Lycopolitan dialect group (L). is one of 1919; Ex. - Lacau, 1911 (pp. 45-64); Henn...
the Upper Egyptian UlAI.ECTS of Coptic. lis range of Lefon, 1952 (pp. 1-18): In. - ROsch, 1910 (pp. 119-
distribution extend,; from Aswan to Akhmtm (Coptic. 60): MinProph. (Minor Prophets) .. Till. 1927b (for
CQI1I/'l or XMltl: Arabic, 'AI!mfm; Greek, Panos or Pano· Obadiah 1-13: Amos 1:1-2:11: 6:3-10; 7:10-16: Ha-
polls). Thebes is considered the poinl of origin as bakkuk 1:7-2:2,2:11-3:19: Haggai; Hosea: Jocll:l-
weU as the center of the AkhrnimiC'speaking region 14, 2: 19-3:21: Jonah 4:2- I I; Malachi I: 1-7: 2:9-
(Kahle, 1954, pp. 197-203: Vergote, 1973. Vol. la, p. 3:24: Micah 2: 11-5:8; 6: 1-7:20; Nahum 1:1 -3:8, 3: 14-
4). How<:v<:r. according to the fonner view of Kasser 19; Zt:phaniah: Zechariah 1:6-4:5, 7:14-14:21):
(1982a). lhc proto-Sahidic dialecl (a reconslrucled MinProph. (Minor prophets) - Malinine, 1950 (for
entity. symbol ·p5. very like DIAllCT p) also began to Obadiah 13-21; Amos 8:11-9:15; Habakkuk 1:1-7.
develop in Tht:bes after having infiltrated from the 2:2-17 (sic): Joel 1;14-2:19: Jonah 1:1-42: Micah
nonh llS early as the second half of the third century 1:1-2:11,5:8-6:1; Nahum 3:8-14; lA:chariah 1:1-6,
A.D. As a result. in lhe founh cemury A and S were 4:6-7:14); Luke - Lefon, 1953; OSlo - Till, 1931
in concurrent usc in the Upper Thebaid. While (lext A); Prv. - 8Ohlig. 1958: Sir. - lamu, 1911 (pp.
Akhmimie had nOI been unifonnly standardi1.ed, it 64-67); P (Papyrus Bodmer VI) - Kasser, 1960.
became a medium of writing as early as the fourth
1.1 Grapheme (nvenl0l')'. Beyond Sand L, A
century and re<lcheu its 7.enith in the fOUl1h and fifth
ndds the alphabetic symbol t, the postpa1atal spira1l1
centurics. Beginning in the fifth cenlUl)', it W3.'i grad-
ually displaced by the Upper Egyptian koine (5),
Ixl (or !!' [Xl] rrom the Egyptian 11 or !!.>: in P, the
symbol for this is f:).
although for its pan A (besides L') bolh influenced
1.2 Poonetlc Charaeterlttles.
S-as seen in the Nag Hammadi texIS and Shenute
1.2.1. A, L la/. 5 101 in a closed stressed syllable
-in Ihe fourth and fifth centuries and left traces in
berore a nonlaryngcal sound, e.g.. A.. L OM, S COH,
nonliterary texts from Thebes dating from the sev-
enlh and eighth centuries. These observations imply
1.2.2. A. L lei. Sial in a closed stressed syllable.
Ihat even after being displaced by S, A was Slill in
e.g.. A. L f(I"'; S r.a..... name.
use llS a slX'ken language.
1.2.3. A li:/: 5 ItI before a lal)'ngeal in the medial
and final position, e.g., A M16101f1, 111lJ1(l, S M111ICQ6, l.
1. General characterIstics
MH(Jj(J, crowd; A OYI6rMl, 5, L OytUlll, priest; A rl, S, L
The dialectical fealures typical of A may be sum· rll. sun: A OYtl, S, L Oya,lll, night.
marized in contradistinction to S (if neccssary also 1.2.4. A, (LS) lu:/, 5. L 10:1 in a long finullX'sition
to P; cr. Kasscr, 1960) and to the group of dialects or before a laryngeal. e.g.• A, (LSI Kay. S, U, (L51
included under L (i.e., LA - Manichaean texts; L5 - K_. 1..0 kM, 10 place « Egyptian 'P'); A. (L5) GOY. 5.
London Gospel of John, ed. Thompson, 1924. as well LA (LS) ~, to remain « demotic 1:3. g' < gr): A
as the Dublin fragment of the Gospel of John and rq>Oy, S, LA, LS 1Jr(D, winter; A, (1.5), l..6 .xoy: S. lA,
the Geneva fTagmenl of the Acla. Pauli, the latter two U .xu. to say.
being unpublished; U - Nag Hammadi texis of co- 1.2.5. '/ewl in stressed final syllables: A 10/. L
dices I. X. and XI, as well as the Heidelberg ACla le~/. S la~/. e.g.• A. fA (ManiH-Manidl,'lean Homi·
Paull, ed. Carl Schmidl, 1904 and (909). lies) NO. I. Ney. S N.a.y, to Sl:e; A, fA (ManiH) (l7RHO,
The lextual citations b~low refer to editions and L 6'TffH6y. S OTR"H.a.y, thaI (Ii/crally, which is Iherc).
studies of lhe documenls noted in the bibliugraphy Typical of CC11ain A lexts (bill not 011ho·
as follows: ApocSoph. - Steindorff. 1899; I Clem. - graphically slandardizcd throughout in A), insertion


uf a nasal before It I fulluwing lu:1 in open stressed A lJTCaJTH6 6N, S 6T6 N'ICaJl'R A.N, who does nOt
syllables: A in 1 Clem., Hcr'nJ., Provo (minority), In. hear.
(minOlity) HOyt/T6, S, I., etc., and elsewhere in A /.3.9. Definite articles in A, including those pre-
MOynl, tu call; A in I Clem., Herm., ProVo (majority) ceding double eunson3nts and expressions of time,
rwyrlTO, 5, 1.., ctc., and elsewhcre in A NOyrO, God. are /I., T·, and N· (wilhout 0).
f.2.6.2. In contrast, the inserted nasal (sonant) is 1.3.10. The second-person feminine singular pos·
missing in A, 1..4, LS (1..6 oscillllting) in the posHunic sessive a'1icles in A, Bare IIG-, TV-, 'W-, S tloy-, TOY',
syllable: Imtl, A t>.MT, 1.4, IS Q,lJ.HT, 1..6 Q,lJ.HNT, 5 NOy·.
Q,lOHlfT, three; A, L4, L5 ;HT, L6 2),HlfT, S 2OHNT, f.3.lf. The third'penun plural posse.'I.~ivc a11:icles
copper; A, lA, 11> C.II.HT', S cOHNT', to be strctchcd. in A, Bare noy·, TOy', troy', S rlOy', TlJy-, NGY-.
1.2.7. An3ptyctic vuwel [:l] as well as lei is written 1.4 Lexical Features (Akhmlmlc 11IOglollAu).
as 6 nt the cnd of a word l"ollowing a closed syllable /.4./. Significant function worJs:
of the pattern lvoicclcs.\ COil-mnalll + voiced A ),oy, S, L ),yuJ, and.
consonanl or svn(ur)mrlf, by which A and L4 form a Directional preposition to ur toward «
group distinct from LS, L6, e.g., A, IA CWTH6, $, (IA), Egyptian r) A, L ),', 5 e-, including the adverbs con·
L5. L6 cwTR", tu hCllr; A, L4 T),2HQ', 5 TJ.~H'. to be taining thc formative ),/6, A, /.., J.u,)" P A.BO)" S 6BO)"
invited (versus S, A, L TJ.2H6, to invite you [r.]), A OUt of; A .ll.eUyN, L >$>YN, P J.!lOYt/, S G20yN, B
llnpTpe, f. Q,lT),yrT, S (Ifl"O£'11'", to be amazed. Natu- 6~yN, into.
rally, the consonant ean also be 1'1, e.g., A OyJ.J.B6', Negative impemtive A HN·, S (L) FfnT·.
L4 OyJ.l\fl', S, LS, 1.6 Oyll..B t , to be holy « lI"b). Lexical and functional distim;tion betwecn
Note that while the representation in spelling of the eunditional panicles formed from -n6 and ·XG: A
anaptYClic vowel 0 in the configuratiOn 1~'o"l;u1rmll (.lleno, enG, if (in the sense "supposing it is true that")
+ so,,(or)all//-not Ilaryllgeal + .~OII(or)aml-is not is to be differentiated from flleXfl, iX6, if (in the
standar'dized in L4, the spelling with 0 predomin<ltes sense "as if it wcre"), the equivalent of eQ,lxe in S.
hy fur. Consistent spelling occurs only in CJ.yNO, to This distinction is found only in L6 of those tcxts
know (<llso P COOYNG). The anaptyctic vowel noted belunging to the L group: 6llJ,l116 a~ opposed 10 tllQ,lXfl
here by l:ll is phonemically r'Clevant according to (Funk, 1985).
Hint~e (1980). 1.4.2. A numher of nominal and verbal lcxemcs
1.3 Morphological Features. specific for A (d. Tm, 1928, pp. 276-78; Ka.~ser,
1.3.1. Second present tense in A, 8(1) J.'l-, 5, /.., (l'l. 1979a). While the vocabulat)' of AkJllnimic h<ls been
(in (.fIinn'ltive sentences, it is homophonic with the tretlteU throughout in Crum (1939), Ka~er (19M),
circumstarllial verbal prefix). and Westendorf (1977), a fully documented lexicon
1.3.2. Impcnect: A, B(I} NJ.'I- (lie), S, 1. Nfl'l- (n6). of Akhmimic has not yet been compiled.
1.3.3. Second perfect: A NJ.'l·, S, L lfTJ.'l·. I.S Syntactic Features.
f.3.4. In the "6TJ.~ group" (sec, the rela· 1.5./. Connecting objects.
live morpheme of the penect remains invariably Nonreduetion of the stressed vowel of the
6TJ.~· if the subject of the 1'Clative clause is identical infinitive occurs also when the object is tillaehed
to che llnteeedent in the main clause. dircctly to it. In such ca~e.~, the infinitive retains the
/.3.5. Homophony exisls between the subject pro- form of the I;/alus absolrl/Ils. In thc bipartitc conjuga-
noun of lhe conjunctive ten.,e and that or Ihe fir'St tion pattern this constr"ction is possible only with
present, cxeept the form of the first-person singular: objects not modified by a determinative (Shisha·
firsl present S, A, /.., +-; conjunctive AT),', S, L Halevy, 1976).
(lr}n-. There is a lendency loward placing (. pro·
1.3.6. Causativc prefrx A T(l·, S, L5, UJ 1l'0, (in L4 nominal indirect object (dtltive) before the direct
the prefix is not standardized, Te- occurring along- object {accusative} without an accuSlltive particle, in
side TrV-). thc C;lSC of t, to give; KTO, to bling back; and XIlO,
f.3.7. The qualitative forlll OfT- causative verbs in to bring for1h, which then tllke the respectivc forms
A almost entirely ends in ·J.orr. TO NO &> accusative, "1'6 Nil // accusative, and xno
1.3.8. The neg'ltion of the nominal sentence and Nil &> accusative.
the bil>ar1ite conjugation paller'n in A is reali~ed 1.5.2. A..~ in L, the affirlllative linal clause following
without N, i.e.• only with 6N (5 N ... )'N): A (L) XG is (II most l:llwa)'li lhe second future (5 third fu-
6'lCaJ11'1G ON, .s GN....CwTR" )'N, while he docs not hear; ture, or (wlImlll cllcrgiclim).

As is npparent in scctions 1-5 above, not all of the <Jr. 9. lind lll·e. a~ in ::; and L. illonogmphic

described fe;l\ures:He exclusivcly charm:tcristic of A. charlleter.; of Ihe I'honelllc combimltlollS II' + hi, It
Funhcr, it is the totality of all features (or, if not all + hi, and Ik + h/. Only in Ilolmilic do aspir:lOlS
features appear in a given text, the combinalion of corresponding 10 11'/, III, Ikl occur. 'I11e symbols t
sufficienl individual features within a text) that as· and, represent the phonemic combinations Ip + 51
sigll'i a document 10 the Akhmimic dialecL and fk + sl, e.g., ttc, nine, and Tell(; (5 Tlt.GCCI,
TIll:: rollowing sections will include a di5cussion of niu::(1), footprint. The graphemes (o)y and (tI)1 also
the phonemic inventory (2) and Ihe conj\lgatioo S)'!l' sel'Ye to indic31e those vowels, [u:] and Ii:], which
tern (3) of A, out of which the criler'la for group are homorganic wilh the voiced spinmts.
classification (4) of Akhmimic tcxlS will be derived. Note that in causative verbs sueh as XIllO, to cause
At the end (5), problems associated with a number to be ashamed « dj·tpj), x may be inici-preled in A
or texts lraditionally assigned to A will be treated. ali biphonemic II + if; coml'are 5. L xno, A TtlJO, P
"r.In(). 10 bring forth « dj./yJr).

2. The Phonemic Invenlory of Akhmlmlc 2.J.Z. Phonetic alterations of conson;UlIS. Assimilation: " before p > mp is not stand·
As is tmditional. consomlOlS and vowels will be
ardi~d, e.g.. n'p appear.; side by sidc with lIJ·p (2l1"
treated separalely in Ihis lnvcntol)'.
111101 as well as ~I'f 1l1l6t [not in EpAp.]. ott llll side by
2.1 Consonants.
side with OM 110 [nll"C, I Clem.]); 'I bcfon~ m > mm
1.J.I. Consonantal phOllemes and graphemes OIre
(mre), n:r~, 3-nd we fill (Prov. 13: I): s bcfon~ j >
as shown in Table I. The eighteen consonamal pho-
l'IeffieS of A l:orrespond 10 scvenl«n graphemes. The
n, ClfCI appears side by side with 1fC9CI. it is filling. Dissimilation: mm > rim, R'Hlt." (Slallls
laryngeal Slop rl does not have its own sign but is
protlQmilialis of 'IT.) A (standard) versus lfHlt.#
expressed, or may be rceogni7.ed, by Ihe following:
(EpAp.); mp > lip: 'lTno· (negative fir.;t perfecl) A
graphic vowel douhling (01' "breaking" of vowels) (standard) versus Rnll' (EpAp.).
(e.g., K.U.//'I, to plnee him) Ptll'tial depulalal17.ntion: k' lei befol'c s >
syllnbic struclure Ivoic.e1ess COtlsonanl + voiad ks, S, L tIOyGC, II liOyttC. 10 be wroth; ::; 'KlGl:", II
COtlSOllQlI1 + :V (e£. 1.2.7: oy,uMl', oy.a.Mi'. i.e., 'UJl,I::", leap: S T06I::". A TltoK'C". seal.
lwab(:,)/) Melathesis: TllOZ'C" side by side with r.DC:,
vowel narrowing I~I > 1i:1 (fit, rt; d. 1.2.3). 101 > to bite; ~'C" side by side wilh ~. 10 reap.
lu:1 (KCD, KOY: cr. 1.2.4) 2.Z VowelL
lhe poslconsonanlal first'person singular suffix 2.2.1 nil: voclllic phonemc iUVllllIQry. A new lind
pronoun (K,u4'T. to place me. Le.. /ka't/) comprehensive system of Coptic vowel phonemes.
especially modified for Ihe Septlr.lle dialects, hIlS
The phonetic articulation of fbi 5 is disputed;
been proposed by Vcrgote (1973, Vol. 1a. lM..'C. 60-65,
Vcrgote aSi~igns itlo the bilabial category, but see his
A lM..'C. 62). According 10 the phonemic S)'!ltCIll
CromlPluire cople (1973, Vol. la, sec. 28).
developed by Satzinger (1979), vocalic phonemes ap-
r lind A appear only in Greek loanwords. The
pear alwa)'!l as eanier.; of the stressed syllable. "All
replacement of K by r in the unstressed syllable Iil'"
vocalic: articulalion outside of the Sl~ 5Yllable
(e.g., S HOYM"R:, HOym·-, 10 fann) is foreign 10 A.
may be cltplained as consonantal phonemes 01' as
fJlecpt in Greek loonwords. ~ is 1101 rcpre!lCnted in
anaplyetic vowels which emerge aceOlxling to specif-
A. since ltotl7.III1G (01' vaJiously ltotlCIIIIO). sl.:hool. is not
ic rules" (ibid. p. 344). While Satzingel~1l system ha.\
attested in Akhmimic.
TABLE I. COllso.latlts of Akhmimic

Voiceless SlOps Ipln l'iT Ic/./c/X, 6 fkI' 1'1 e.g.. ,u

Voiceless spiranlS (rf 'I /sic lsi fJ1 /ltf. /hi,
Voiced spirant!> 1101'1 (o)y Ibl B Ijl (0)1
Nasals Im/H Inl n
lateral5/vibrn~lts fll1>../r/r
&sm 0/'(: Vergocc, 1973. vol. la, pp. lJ. 15.

th.., advantage of greater clarity, it ignores mOll'hn. valiations HO, NIU do not indicate the neulrulization
phonologir.:alr.:onneclions. The result is that altmor· uf a supposed opposition ·0 versus I), since in the A
phemes that in the CO·text do not function as the vocalic system [0] does not appcar as a phoneme,
main stressed syllnbles remain unconsidered. The but exisl~ only as an allophone of (a/.
following summary relies on Vergote's analysis but Note that (II for' 0 occurs occasionally as the final
does nOI treat all possible phonetic articulations. [al sound /-a'( of the causative verb Tl.G,l(U, to increase (I
as an anaptyctic vowel in closed syllables. with or Clem. 59;3, p. 77 .9; EIi'is 33:9).
wilhout a sonomnt, is not considered a phoneme 2.2.2. Vocalic OPPOSilioll depelldell/ upon syllahic
(otherwise Hintze, 1980; ef. 1.2.7). slruclure (Iollg.shorl ol!Posilioll). Sh0l1 vowels: 10(, la(: /k6tl K,(IIT, to build, /katf( Kl.T"'I", 10 build
la( A: BATCI, abomination; CAN, brothel·. Al1iculated it (ma.~c.). (porx( n(Dp'i, to spn'ad OUI, (pard(lIl.rae-l,
hefore lalyngea1s and in stl'essed final position as (0) to spread it (maSe.) oul. /mOnk( NoYN"K, to form,
(0), as in to, thou~llld; T6KO, to destroy; eOOt1 t , to /mankf/ Ml.NK6'!, to form it (mase.). (mor/ HOYf', to
be; oo~, moon; bUI OYAAf;O', to be holy. bind, /marfl Ml.p"l'", to bind it (mase.). Before laryn-
(e( e: 116016, half; r6N, name. AI1iculated as [;'I) ceals: (xOp;'l1 t(DllO, to become, (xo'p/ eoon', to be.
befor-e a sonornn! concluding a syllable or before Note that in the status nomi,wlis, /a( before a
continuants, as in Il:l:'xo, shard, pOllery; CTBC, 10 sonomnt is reduced to [;]: tfr, to bind someone(
circumcise; ~TO, to bling back. something; nTt·, to spr-ead out someone/something.
/;'1/ 0: in unstressed initial, medial, and final (iJ/, /a(: (nhiJt-/ lT~ "', to trust, /nhat(lT~l.T'.
sounds, but nol as an anaptyctic vowcl: oS-y, glory; trusting (there arc no further examples).
GOCH6, hunler; rcilN6, man, as opposed to elUTMI /e(, Ie/: /nft~(;)/ HIITtltl, to you (pl.), Inek/ N6K,
/xot9(0J)/, to kill; Tl.2M6 /tahm'J/, to call you (fern. to you (sing. mase.). Icarec(GOrIIG, hunter, (C;}ree;)/
sing.), as opr>Used to n,2MG t /tahrp(a)/ to be invited. GOp06C1, hunters. Lung vowels: /ii, (e(: /marit( MertT, beloved (one), Imarela(
Ii/ I, 61: 61N6, to bling; MIC(I, to bear; ,Xt, 10 receive. MOraTl>, beloved (olles). /1II1S;'l/ Mica, to benr', /mestfl
/e( u: KIlIffi, Egypt; MlK', going; NUTN6, to you (pl.); MOC-rq'", to bear him. Before a sonorant, (i( disap-
upll, wine. Al,iculated before l:uyngeals and at the pears and Ihe sonomnt becomes sonant and syllabir.::
ends of words as [i:]: MIO, 1Iuth; oytt, night; (Mp( (cIn;'!/ GIIlCi, to find, (cnt;'lf(
(llfT(I'I, to find him.
21111', to be hidden, as opposed to /ke'( K(lI', to be Vocalic opposition is summali~.ed in Table 2.
Note that according to Vergote, II [c:] is an llllo·
3. The Conjugation System
phone of [i:) before and after sonOl'ants (GerIlG,
HUTtle). The summary of Ihe system is based on Polotsky
/6( (D: KWT, l() build; tllDT, to lun; f'WK,~, to burn; (1960) and Funk (1981). Except in special instances
thereto the allophone [u:] (oy) llfjcr /m( and (nl (e.g., conjunctive), the fonn cited here is only lhc
before laryngcals and when final, as in HOy(tl}TO, to Ihird·pcrson masculine singular and lhe eon·cspond·
call; NOy(N)TO, God; Koy, Lo pillec; lIfOY, winter; but ing prenominal form (nom. IIC hefore nominal sub·
RMWTtl6. ject). The entire par.ldigm is not :IHested in all con-
(iJ( oy: ~oytl, intelior; COYf'lI, Lhorn; jugations.
TOyNOy610T<- (.Ul.~), to reveal (Lhis last is different Unles.~ specifically mentioned, the form is allinml·
in Vcrgote, 1973, Vol. la, sec. 56). live (neg. = negalive). Every basic tense (abbreviated Contraction vowel: hereafter to "basic") is followed (if attested) by its
(cw/ 0, (II only in final sounds afler /m( and (n(: salelliles, afler "And": cire. - circumstantial. reI. =
MO, NIU mother; NO, to see; HMO, there. The wrillen I'elative, pret. - pr-etelite, II - second tense. Forms

TAUU! 2. SummaI)' of Vocalic Opposilion


/6(W • /ilel, 1
/a/l. /e/6
/u/oy le(H

between brolckcts ( ... ] are reconslituted from VCI)' fonnal CutegOI)'. affirmallve substitute S .\'IOylD 6'4-,
similar forms (7£fO - no verbal prefix, no panicle, has already ... , neg. ffiuT'r-, has nut yel ...• see
ctc.). Funk. 1981. pp. 191-94); neg. R"tu.T'lr. (in EpAp. a
3.1 Bipartite Pallern. dissimilative (lfluTIr·], thin! plural IDl),TOy-). nom.
3.1.1. Preselll (basic) 'I', nom. 1.Cro. And tirc. (1"1', R"ll),T(I' (EpAp.(Rn.\TG·] not allested). And eire. neg.
nom. o· or Gf(l· (d. Polotsky, 1960, sec. 55); reI. UT- lIHll.\TIr·. nom. 6Hll.\TlI·.
or tiT't- rc:sp.• nom. 6T6' or eT61'6-; pret. ru,"I- ... (Uti; Aorist (ba.sic) e,l,fiN- (second pIUl'llI)
also H6"', Ex. 1:5, by influcnce o( s n. nom. 10.- (In. e.lf6T61'lf-. I-Ig. 2:16). nom. t.\ICl.; neg. tu.,,-. nom.
12,2; /00- sec also SCi:ond perfect) or tu.fEI••.. (n6); fU<I'E- or HJ.. (d. Polotsky. 1960. SCi:. 55). And eire.
II ),"1' (with Xtl. x'\Y'*IY, I Clem. 48:2), nom. ),- or 61"\1'6"'. nom. (I~'; neg. (IHJ."I-; rei. (ITaJt.I'6'1'. nom.
),1'" 01' ),ffl· (d. I'olotsky. 1960, sec. 55). 1l1'1.\ftl·; neg. IlT{lH.\"I- (Prv. 14:23); pre!. lNtlQlof6"1']
3.1.2. FI/lure (basic) "IN)". nom. 1.ero ... Ii)". And third plul'lll N6tlofO)'-; II ,.\aJt.r6'1- (EHa.s 38:13), nom.
eire. CNIU.•• nom. 6- . . . ru.-; rei. 6TfO,,· or 6T<tI4),•• "'Uf(!- (Prv. 11:10. 19:14. also 61.\1'6-, Prv. 19:15 by
nom. I1TO- •.. H..\-; prel. H..\'lH.\- ••. n8 (in lhe apodo- influence of S?).
sis of the hypothetical form - Irrelllis); II )'''IIU,-. Flllllnm, cnergicutll (or third future) (ba.~ic)
nom. ,.\.... N)'- or "\fG· ... N,.\- (second feminine sin· .\'1.\-. nom. .\.; neg. 116..• (also 1I116..•• Sir. 22,19), nom.
gular "\p"\-, I Clem. 20:7. d. PolOlsky, 1960, sec. 59; 116-; with xc, X),,!.\-, norn. ;0,-; neg. (xnIJG'!-] (e.g.,
5CCOnd nUl."euline singular also ~"\'. !?pAp. 23.4; third feminine singular' XRNGC·. Lie. 18:5), nom.
witb X6, JO.crru.-. !irst plural .x.utt4),-. 1 Clem. 58: I; X.RN6- (Elia..., I Clem.).
second masculine singul;u- also JUlKH..\-. Pry. 5:2; Imperative. e.g., 6HO, see! (Ex. 4:13; (or
nom. JO.•... H..\., PrY. 3:22, but .xe ,.\- ... H..\-. Prv. imperative with prdonnativcs, see Till. 1928, sec.
3:10; nom. ,.\(1'6)- ... 1'1,.\-; cf. Polotsky, 1960, sec. .5.5). 147d): or infinitive; or H.\ + T-causativc (no all(.'Sta·
3.2 Trlpnrtllc Pattern. lion among 1'-cnu~ative verbs of Iln impcmlivc con-
3.2.1 Tellses wil}, special "ega/iolls (if IIolll}. Inde· structed simply from an infinitive); neg. HR· + infini-
pendent (sentence) conjugations. tive; also R"IlIPr '\'. Apcx:Soph. 10,6. (this form is also Perfeci (basic) ),cr· (second feminine singu- common in LA and L6 (Nag Hammadi); m.r ::un_.
WI' ),r-), nOlll. ,.\-; neg. Rn...•• nom. R"1l6' (in EpAp. a do nul sleep (pl.). A Osl. A 10. is highly questionable.
dis~imitalive Rlf"'-, nom. l'flMl-). And eire. {I"\cr·, nom. probably an erron(.'Ous writing or R"llCDf' "\').
no; neg. IlHIl"-; ret (IT,.\'1- or lIT),:-, nom. fiT),· (to COIISillive imperutive H.\pO'I-, nom. Hlor(l·.
the I1T~P belong !?pAp.; Elias; Ex. 2:14, 4:11; 1 absolute Hlof.\N (Mi. 4:2); neg. Hlf'rlr-, nom. HlfTO-.
Clem.; In.; and Osl.; nevenbcless, lhe innt:cled form 3.2.2 Tell~ ""ith nq:.1'R(R}-. Subordinate (daaac)
GT.\. also appears in these texts under identical conjugations.
synlOCtic condilions; 1l(;1tT.\..•• Prv. 18:22, and 1fT.\..., COlljmlclive (singular first, second masc.f
ElllIS 22: II, are to be considered a.~ influenced by S); rem., third ma.\C./rcm., pluml fil'St, second, Ihird)
II tt.\'!-, nOIll. 1'1"\' (Polotsky [1937 und 19441 Is to he n-, K-, Te·, 'I' (also lfTlr-, EpAp. 2,14). C', Tn·,
credited with the discovery of the Akhmimic second TeTR-. C(I- (or COV-. EpAp. 6.7). nom. TO,.
perfect; it is found with a deriwth'e of the second Fuwre conjmlClive T.l.f6't- (second plural
degree only in the prota.~is of the hypothetical fonn T.\fGT6TR-). nom. T.\f'6-.
- IrrclJli.t, 61U.ym.~, if they had gone, Prv. 2:20). Temporal: Group I lfT.\I'£'I-. nom. lfT.\ro-
also Il.\'l- (I Clem. 31:3). [61'A'!'] (I Clem. 32:3. 1I1I! G6 (In.; Helm.; Prv.; ApocSoph. 11,2; Elias; EpAp. 3,14.
"lroY GT.\yXI G.\y "\Dy .l.YXtcc .\tlU ttTOO1'Dy 61'1 II 11j,1O); Group II np6cr·, nom. T),f(l· (I Clem., Ex .•
ztTlf HOy:&HO)'(l 1f~1 6nyclycl ..\.U.\ : " " EpAp.. MinProph.).
1l6«l'(W1a(l, "Now all of these an: glorified and elevat· Un,ilalive ("until ...") ".\TIr· (!irst singu·
ed. Mt through themselves nor Ihrough their works lar • .\f-l. nom. IIl.TO- (also 1I.\HT6·, Apoc$oph.
of righteousness which they did. but Ihrough his 18.5).
will"; cr. second po::nect of 8). First conditionul .\....... {(llso 6"1~"\', 1 Clem.; Complelive (basiC) (it is unknown whether second plural ),'1),T6TR·. also 1 Clem., but onee
the expected affirnlative substitute o.\'fOyOy 6't. is 6t,!.\TI1TJJ-, 1 Clem. 63:2). 110m. ),,,,.\- (also <;qJ..... 1
simply not attested or actually docs not: exist in .4: Clem.).
the passage cited in Crum. 1937. 373b. Hos. 13:2, Is Second conditirmaf [......J (only second plur-
nOl peninenl: .\y(oy)oy, they perished, is a finite al ,.\T6T'R·. lee. 6:15. The conjugation here refel'TCd
verb fonn in the fir~t perfect; nn the completive as a to as second conditional is that termed "simple"

conditional by Funk [1981. p, 197]. in COrltrast to his (R"tIOy-, 25:3); (1.2_2) Frn1.1'6-, neg. completive _
"expanded" conditional con~uuctcd with 11,I)" (8 +ml)"Te-, EpAp. (lflI1.TOy-, 36:4)
0I),,1'l). That the "protatic" e<!cwTtl belongs 10 tile 2. Ihe uninflected relative form of the perfecl (;1'1.2-
tripal1ite conjugation was discovered by Shisha- (as opposcd to CT1. 4)
Halevy. 1974. Aflinnative fonn~ arc notoriou~[y rare 3. the temporal conjugalion T)"J'E- (as opposed to
in Iitemry texts. The protatic ),,'1CWTM6 docs not oc- Nnrc ·)
cur in clauses beginning with tlI~ntl and is only 10 be 4. thc variant Icxical appeamncc of the conditional
distinguished from thc ~eeond present when it may pal1icle "i[ (it happens that ...)" e1l6, 6len(;
be defined by ils syntactic behavior as a (tripanile)
The criterion noted first pertains only to EpAp. This
subOI-dinate conjugation. Neg. linn singular 1.rrA"-,
phonetic feature i.~ supplemented by the fact Ihat the
Mi. 3:8; SCl:ond masculinc singular )JI,TtlN-, EpAp.
assimilation 7l1p-mlp very mrc1y occun; at mor-
40,12,14; third plural ),,)"TR-, Ex. 4:8).
pheme junctures in this text, the standard for a mOl'· Ca.usative infinitive -vr-, nom. -nl- (second
pheme junclure in EpAp. being the una«imilated
plural -TGTGTlf-, Mal. 1,7, or -TOTlf·, Mal. 2:17;
form (IN nllOl, elc.).
),flT6Tlf·, Prv. 24:23; also -Tf6T61'lf-; conceming the
The distribUlion of the remaining distinctive forms
second pluml, sec Polotsky, 1960, sec. 56; unique in
may be represented in Table 3. Where 6T1.~- and
A third masculine singular 1.Tr6['1-], Lk. 12:49, inllu·
(;1'... 4, T"'rC- and lfT1.p6-, occur simultaneously, the
enced by L).
second fonn is to be considered as unmarked.
A special group is constiluted by I C!cm., Ex.,
4. Categorization Within Standard EpAp., and Elias, which possess three comlllon fea-
Akhmlmlc tures. EpAp., moreover, is distinguished by dissimila-
tion in its labial features. In [ Clem., a distinction is
The Akhmimie litemry texts exhibit a high degree of
still to be made between the conditional particle in
standardi7.ation. Disregarding sporadic deviations
Old Testament quotations and its [onn outside of
which may occur within the same texts, four criteria
such quotations (see footnote to Table 3). At the
may be laken [or an attempt at classification:
opposite end of the spectrum is Proverbs, which is
l. dissimilation mlm and mlp _ /lIm and nip: (1.1.1) the one Akhmimic lext characterized only by the
RMO, there ---+ HMO, EpAp. 12:13, 28:14, 29:7; conditional particle en6 while lacking 61'),,2-, 1')"r6-,
(1.1.2) RM),,4 -+ lfM1.4, EpAp_ 1:5, 13; 19:1, 12; and EI~"E. John and tile Minor Prophets assume a
17:7; 29:12; (1.2.1) FrnG-, neg. perf. -+ l'ft16-, EpAp. middle position: ClenG occurs in both, but John also

eT),,!- T)"re- Glenn ,""

I Clem.(R) +
I Clem. + + +'. +'"
Ex. + + +
EpAp, + + +
Elias + + +
Jo. + +
P~. +
MinProph. + +
Os!. + Temporal nol +
"The allestations of f)t~1l6 and tnf) arc disuibuted in the 8er/i'l€r Hlwd.ehrift for I CI~tIl. as follows:
melle: p. 36, 18 (I Clem. 27:7); p. 69, B(I Clem. 54:2).
ellll: p. t l, IS (I CI~rn. S:4 _ Is. l:lS); 13, 29 (I Clem. 10:5 _ Gn. 13: 16); p. 14,5 (I Clem. 10:6 - Gn. 15:5);
p. 23, 12 (I Clem. 16:16· Ps. 21:9 LXX); p. 23. 14 (I Clem. J6:17).
The form Ino is used in four out of live pa~sages thm cite the Old Testamem, where"" lJIlIlC oceurs only
outside of'!luch quotations. The remaining fOI1Tl till) on p. B.14 may have been attracted to the
idemical fOI1Tl on p. 23,12. In 1Clem., therefore, two levels of I"nguage can be recognized in the case
of the conditional p"rtic!".


A ISI.... danlj

....- ....- "''''-

,.. Minl' mph. I'rY. (+ .,18)
I Clem. (+.nOlln citatl "na) I Clcm.(R)
EpAp. (.;. db•.l",ila tion)

5.1.2 [,.etters. Listed by SinlOn, 1940, p. 201, with

employs OTl..l· and N'TJt.f6-, whil e lhe text of the Mi-
foot note s 30-3 1.
nor Prop hets uses (IT.. .. and n,"6 ·. The position of as abov e, with fooll1ote
5.13 Mag kal falS . Sam e
0sI., which emp loys 6T~ and 6laIMl, rem ains unc er·
32; Erni ledt , 1959, no. 70.
lain beca use of the lack of a form of the temp oral .
5.2. The liter ary tcxts Ascls., Berl in Gen esis, and
The most stron gly neut raliz ed docu men t is I Clem .
the Hym n were prcv ious ly desc ribe d by Kah le (1954,
(R) in which no disli nctiv e fonn (6n.~. n,p( l', or
pp. 203- 205) as "Ak hmi mic with Sub akhm imic {that
1116) appean.
is, L] innu encc ," wilh Ascls. and Gen esis form ing a
A summary by mOJl)hologica1 char acte risti cs ap-
grou p of thei r own . The laue r texts were show n by
pears in Figu res 1 and 2. Both type s of mor phol ogi-
Kass el' 10 be earl y form s of the dial ect L. (sec espe .
cal classification lead 10 the sam e "ext rem e" groups:
ciall y Kassel', 1979b and 1982b, in whic h Ascls. and
J Clem., EpAp., Ex., and Elias, on the one hand , and
Gen esis arc refe rred to as ; and ;7, l'espcctively; see
I Clem.(R) and Prv., on the othe r. In. and MinProph.
also Fun k, 1987). Ascls. and the Berl in Gen esis have
have no disti ngui shin g feat ures in com mon with thc
defi nitel y to be elim inat ed from the body of
other main grou ps, but fonn a class of thei r own.
Akh mim ic texts, al'i does the Hym n of ~Iierakas,
whic h corr espo nds mor e dose ly to ;7 (and L) than
5. Akhmlmold Tex ts to A (lr > /5/ ~6 : h > jxj "ff-, with out an Ilnaptye·
5.1. A num ber of liten uy and nonl itera ry texiS tic vowel in Ihe sylla ble JeRI [- voiceless consoll/lIIl
(e.g.• [ette n, mag ical texts) have trad ition ally been
+ l'Oiced consonanl or SOft(or)ant), 5C'Cond perf ect
designated Akh mim ic: Hl.y-: voca lizat ion of the stres sed sylla ble as in L.) or
to Gala tians (see Kassel' and Satz inge r, 1982).
5.1.1 Literary le.:cts. The Asce nsio n of Isaia h (Asels.)
-laC D.U, 1946. The Berl in Gen esis [rag men
t, P. 8773 5.3, Akhmirnlc Psal m 46, whic h is chllr'll.cteri~cd
by irreg ular orth ogra phy. is to be cons ider ed an ear-
(Gn. 1:18 -2:5 , frag men lary ) - Leip oldl , 1904. Gal.
5:11-6:1 .. Brow ne, 1979 (pp. 19-2 1). The Hym n [of ly form of L rath er than A, sine e non e of the diale cti-
HierakasJ • Lefort, 1939. !'s. 46:3 -10 LXX, a pu- cal featu res of Akh mim ic an: disli nedy mar ked: e.g.,
),)'e , lind not M)y (see; u.l.r .'. to be holy
pil's exer cise on a wood table t • Cru m, 1934.

I Clem. ti _ in c~~ion.)
~ ..
MinP roph.
~ ..
I'nt. (+ ....,
I CI<m.(R)
I!pAp. (+ dluimi!;>lion)

FIGURE 2. Tl.p e, lfTl. p6.


(fo... 'oy.ua') and not u;ue l (see 1.2.7): oyoT6 (fu... _::-_. "Koplische lsoglo~n im obeliigyplischen
'~o) and not OYb)~TG. (he iii) fearful. In this Raum I. lllVUl 'wenn', elc." lei/schnf, {iir
connection. it is noteworthy that instead of the iJgyptisc1le Sprache u"J Allerwmskunde 112
Akhmimic :tfGl(e)t6. fl.'3 .... the S (I.) lexeme ~e (1985):19-24.
....,::-~ "Die Zcugen des koptischen UteralUrdialeklS
(:J>T6) is employed.
5.4. The nonlilerary lexts were delineated C3rtie...
i7." Zeiuchrifl fiJr iJgyptisclle Sprac1le t(ltd Aller·
1...'lsleunde 114 (1987):117-33.
by Simon (1940) as Akhmhnic with Sahidic influ·
IlinI7.e, F. "Zour kOplischcn Phonologic." Ellchoria 10
ence. 0'" As (fo... the leltel'S) and "As vl/!gai...e." 0 ... (1980);23-91.
~'Ulga ... Akhmimic with Sahidie influence (fo... Ihe Kahle. P. E. Ba/a'itIlh: Coplic TUIS from Deir cJ·
magical lex IS). While delaik-d evidence cannot be Bala';wh in Upper Egypl. Oxford and London,
offered here. it should be l)Dinted OUt Ih:lI the Mcle· 1954.
tian leue... I'ap. 1921 (betwl."Cn 330 and 340 ..... D.; cd. Knsscr, R. Popynls Bodmer VI: Livre des Prol'e,m.s.
Crum. in Bell, 1924) clearly belongs 10 L. as dues CSCO 194-195. Louvain. 1960.
Ihe lette... from the John Rylancls Uhl'ary. no. 396, _=~. Comp!rimtmts art diCliormaire cople de Crwll.
which w:t.~ claimcd by Cnull (1909, p. viii) liS an Bibliothcquc d'etude~ coptes 7. C.'liro, 1964.
cxample uf "tl pmetically pure Akhmimic" lexl. _--,~. "Un Le:ceme cople oublie, 1'KllN akhmimiquc
(Nahum 3,19)." Bullelhl de la Societe d'Jgyplologie.
5.5. II Illay be coneluded Ihat the more 01' less
CellCl'c 1 (1979a):23-25.
Akhmimoid teltlS should no longer be counted with
_....,_. "Relations de genealogle dialectale dan!> Ie
the corpus of lexts written in the Akhmimic dialect, domaine Iycopolltain." BIllie/in tie la Societe
nOl even with Ihe mitigating addition of a small s, tNgyplolvgie, Ge'leve 2 (1979b):31-36.
which is to indicatc $ahidic influence. This mean!>, "te Dialectc protosa"ldique de Thebes."
furthermore. thm the A diaft.'Ct is only represented Archiv /iir Papyrusforschung 28 (1982a):67-81-
by literary texL~ (i.e., blblica.!, apocryphal. and palm· _,--_ "Un Nouveau l>OCumeut protolycopolitain."
tie) and lhat. finally. "Akhmimic" i~ identical to Orielllalia 5 I (1982b):30-38.
"litandard Akhmimic:' The Akhmimic tCJ[!S are ex- ___ "Le Grand-Groupc dialcclal eopte de Haute-
elusively documents translated from Greek or Egypte." BlIlletill de la Soclbe d'egyplologit,
Sahidic. Just for lhe most comprehensh-e te:cu. Ge,livc 7 (1982c):47-72.
Kasse..., R., and H. satzinger. "L'ldiome du P. Mich.
(MinProph.• Prv.) it has been shown tMt they rcpn"
5421 (tfOUve a Karnnis, IlOrd'i$! du Fayoum)."
sent interlinea... verstons of Sahidic (Till, 1927b,
Wieller ltIitsehrift fUr die KWlde drs Morgen/andes
p. :u:c: BOhlig, 1936, p. 35). 74 (1982):15-32.
Lacau, P. "Textes CoptC5 en dialCCles akhmtmique Cl
sahidique:' B..lIrlill de I'fllstilllt /r(lllt;ais d'arche·
ologie orie"l(lfe 8 (1911):43-81.
Bell, H. I. Jews and ChriS/ialls in Egrpl. London. ....,::-~ "Fragment!> de j'Ascension d'isaie en cople."
1924. MUsCon 59 (1946):453-57.
DOhlig, A. Umcrsl/cJllltlgctl iiber die koplisc1Iell Lefort. L T. "Fragments d'apocryphes en copte·
Prol'crbicll/cxte. SlUlIgal1, 1936. akhmlmique." MrtStOIi 52 (1939): 1-10.
---::-. /)cr flchmimis(;1Ie ProllubicmexI >loch Ms. _::-:_ us Peres aposlaliqu/!.J ell copte. CSCO 135-
Herol. orierll. OCI. 987. Munich, 1958. 136. Louvain, 1952.
Browne, G. M. Micltigtm Coplic TexIS. Barcelona, _--,_. "Fragments bibliques en di:llecle akhrnl·
1979. mique." Museo>l 66 (1953):1-30.
(rum, W. E. CUlt~!ogue of Ihe Coplic Malluscripls ill lLeipoldl, J.]. Aegyplisclrc UrklllltlC'1 allS dell koeuig.
Ihe Colleclimr of Ihe Jalrll Rylawls Library, Mw,,'1Ies· liclrcll MltSe,m VI Berlin, Irermlsgegebe'l VOII tier
ler. Manchester. 1909. Gellcralverwaltl/Ilg, koptisc1ll! wltl I/rl/bise/re Urklm·
"Un Psaume en dialecte d'Akhmtm." dCII. Berlin, 1904.
Memoires de /'hrstilltt fram,;ais d'urcheologie orieu- Malinine, M. "Frngnlents d'une version achmimique
tale 67 (1934):73-86. des Petits ProphCtcs:' DI/Ile/ill of Ihe 8)7ftlltille Ill·
::--,--_ A Coplic Vict«mary. o:cfo...d, 1939. slitllle 2 (1950):365-415.
EmStool. P. V. Koplskie leuly Gos;. EnnitaiP. Moscow PoloL~ky, H. J. "Deux amdliain'S mt.'ConnUli cn
and Leningrnd. 1959. cOple." Comp/l~S relldl/s dll Groupe liJlglfUJiqlle
Funk. W. P. "Beitr!ige des mittelagyptischcn Dialekts
zum koptischen Konjuplionssystem." In S/lldi~
Prese,rud to /tans Jakob PolO/sky, cd. D. W. Young.
pp. 177-210. Beacon Hill, M~, 1981.
d'cllldcs c1lamito-simitiqlltS 3 (1937):1-3.
Etl/des de S)'>ltcue cople. Cairo. 1944.
'The Coptic Conjugation Systcm:' Orlell/uliG
29 (1960):392-422.

h" R&ch, F. 8mchslilcke des ernell CJelll/!l1shrie/c.f ll(Jch Louvain. 1'173. Vol. 2a, Morphologic S)'II/oglllotiquc,
I/lr de", achmimischCIl PtJpyrus der Strassburger Un;- syllloxe, partie S)'nchro"iqlle. Louvain. 1983. Vo\.
112 vtwtiil$. umdesbibliOlllek, mil bib/ischen
ulld 2b, Morphologic s)'lIfagmoliqllt', partie diachro"ique.
Tuttll der~/MJl lIalll/sellri/l. Stra.<.bourg, 1910. I...oll\'nin. 1983.
Saltingcr, H. "Phonologie des koplischcn Verbs
(sa'id~hcr Dialckl):' Fe$lschrifl Elmo, &lei. ed. A.
WClI;lcndorf. W. Kop/ischts lIulld...fjrttrouch.lX:llrbf!itet
auf Gnmd des Koprischell Halld...(jrterollchs VOII
Wuckelt and K.-J. Seyfried. pp. 343-68. o..nlbcrg. Wi/)rdm Spiegelberg. Heidelberg, 1977.
, 10 1979. Won-ell, W. H. Coptic SOImds. Ann Arbor, Mich.•
Schmidt, C. Ac/a Pal/Ii aIlS der Heidelberger koplj. 1934.
. e/. schen Pupymslumdscllri/l Nr. f. Leipzig. 1904. PIlTER NAGEl..
la,. _ _ Dt!r erste Cfemenshriel it! /llIIwpliscl,cr Vber-
$C1vmg. Textc und Untersuchungen 32. Lcip:r.ig.
1908. ALEPH. NOI onl)' in Coptic but in olher languages
-;:-. "Ein ncues Fragment del" Heidelberger Acta
also. aleph (- rJ) is a consonant or a \'el)' sJX.'(:ia[
WI!. Pauli." In Sill.Jm~sberid,'e der /Ju/i,/Cr Aklldemie
kind: it is cCl1ainly a laryngt:al occlusive, bUl is il
der W/ssellsdw/len, PhiluwplJisc!l·f1iSlorisdw
,que Kla,"lc, pp. 216-220. Berlin, 1909. ret,ll)' unvoiced? For some, it clearly Is (e.g.,
lill /!. _ . Gesprilche fe.m mil .lduclI fiillgcm Huch der Vergote, 1973, Vol. la, pp. 12-13), whik others hesi·
Auferslelilmg. Tcxte llnd Untersuchungen 43. Leip· late to plnt:c il eilht:r tlmong the unvoiced 01' among
s le zig, 1919. the voiced sounds, 01' resign themselves to pUlling il
:/I!IC Shisha.Halcvy, A. "Protalic C1'tco>TR. u Hilhel10 Un- S()lllewhen~ betwecn the two (e.g., Dicth, 1950, I'. 98;
noticed Coptic Trip'lI1lte Conjugation·Fonn and Dubois et al.. 1973. p. 25; Kassel'. 1981a). It is besl
es." Its Diachronic Connections." Orlen/alia 43 (1974): thought of as a stop followed by an abrupt cmission
369-81. or sound, ~'SJX.'(:ially a stop sept'lraling two adjacent
jn," "Akhmimoid Fcalurc~ in Shenoule's Idio- \'Owcls, for instance al the beginning of a sylltlble
lKL" Mlu~otl 89 (1976):157-80.
afler a hiatus (e.g.• in "rccnlcr" or in French "13
SinlOn. J. "Note sur Ie dos.~ier des textcs ill·
maine" [la ·cn]). or as a "glollal stop" replacing a
mlmiqucs." Ci"qlluute"uirfl de J'&oIe bib/ique el
lIfChiologiqlle de Jin15afem. MemQrial (Marie f~ consonant hurried over in pronunciation (e.g.,
stph) lAgrange, pp. 197-201. Paris. 1940. " ....on·cr" ror "water"; d. thc Arabic hanlZS).
,.) " Steindorff. G. Die ApokalypK des Elias, eine llllbe- In Coptic. so rar as it is really preserved, it is in
,du kamr/e Apolwlypst lwd 8l'l1chstllc« der Sophorlia.~ every case a CRYI"TOPIIOSEME (that is, a phonemc not
ApoblJpst. Tcxle und Untersuchungen 17. leip- rendered by any writtcn 1t.-lIer of its own). and it is
,e et zig. 1899. no doubt for this reason that its eXislcnce in Ihis
chi· Thompson. H. 11rc Gospel of St. 101m According 10 the language has long becn ignored or disputed; even
Earliest Cop/ie Marti/script. London, 1924. today it is not universally accepted. For this reason.
lI.e." Till, W. C. "Die SteHung des Achmlmischen." Aegyp- it occupies a very special place in the Coptic phono-
tlU 8 (l927a):249-57.
logical inventory.
_ . Die acJtmimische Vcrsioll der ~wiJlf Heinen
II is true thal pharaonic Egyptian, down to ils last
ProphCtCH (Codex RaineriamlS, WiclI). Coptica 4.
35- Copenhagen, 1927b. full manifestation prior 10 Coptic (i.e. demotic). p0s-
_ _. Adll11imisdl-kop/ische Grmmllfl/ik. Leipzig, sessed both thc phoneme aleph - J and the CUlTe·
1m!- 1928. sranding gmphcmc (lhe "Egypti:lIl vullure" of Gar'-
Os/erbrief ,/lid PredlCr 11/1 uchmimisclwll dineI', 1957, p. 27, tl hieroglyph Ilmt, among other
~"ig· DIlIlek/. Leipzig, 1931.
_ . "Coptic mblit::ll Tcxts Published Mler
lhing.~, hecurnc :L.> in demotic; cf. du Buurguct,
1976, pp. 3,75). Now this J was, on the onc hand,
.:1111- Va\Chalde's List." Blllle/itr of the folm Ryllllrds Li· almost evcl'ywhen: muled and disappeared (d.
brary 42 (1959-1960):220-40. Vergole, 1945, pp. 80-98, and 1973, Vol. lb. Ilfl.
Vaschalc1e, A. A. "Ce qui a ete public des versions
28-33; and 'AY1N); but, on the other hand. the aleph
coptes de la Bible, quahieme groupe, lexles
docs indeed st:em 10 have reappean:d in Coptic as a
akhmimiqucs.'· Museo" 46 (1933):306-313.
phoneme rl and as a prodUCI or the transfOlmalion
VcrgOlc, J. Grammaire cop/c. Vol. la, /lIIrodl/c/iQIl.
lillie phOlli:tique ct pho/lofogie. morplrologie syti/helllu· of various other cotlSOnants. 11 is appropriatc in this
tiqlle (stl'llcturc dcs si",allt~lPlcs}. JH2rtie synehro- connection 10 examine above all what can be ob·
nique. Louvain, 1973. Vol. lb./mrodllclioJl, phone. served in P. Bodmcr VI. the sole witness to DtAUlCT P
/iquf! d plronologie. "'QrpllOIogie s)'tltll~lIIaliqlle (which In ilS orthography and phonology orten looks
(struc/lire df!5 simall/~lIIes). partie diuehro.tiqlte. like what can be known about a primith'e proto-


Suhidic. ·ppS. that became a more evolved pr'Oto- vowel, but the second clement, although a vowel
Sahidic. 'pS, a reconstructed pToto·Sahidic, howev- grapheme, is nevertheless phonologically clearly a
er, nol situated in its regiun of origin but probably cunsonant; thus, for example, S KJo.lt.';' T, to leave me,
immigmlll into Ihe Thehan region. whet't' it was suo like (ijOlI" T, to receive me, and not like T~';' I, to
pClimposed on II and probably also on some variety reach me. It is true that one linds likewise "T and
of L; d. Vcrgotc, 1973b, and Kassel', 1982). One can not .;" in similar cases in {he dialects that do not
lher'e see the scribe rendering what seems indeed to have graphic vocalic gemination and for that reason
he 1'1 by a quite particular grapheme J., but only arc considered :IS Iraving lost even this substitute /'I
sponulically, for in lhe same or similar cases he also, (e.g.. B Xlt.';' T, to leave me, I Tm. 1:12; M KG "'T, ML
through confusion, uses - (normally equivalent to 27:46); but this shows only that these dialects also
I?(); or again, as in S properly so called, he practic- possessed this substitute consonant in an earlier
es graphic vocalic gemination; or finally he omics stage of the language and th'llthey subsequently lost
any graphic proceeding thaI might rcmlcr /'1 amI it, this phenomenon hnving come about hefore the
presentS an orthogronphy without vocalic gemination, time at which their orthographic system was fixed.
in the manner of M, for example (where it is admil- In a general way, it is admitted (Vergote, 1945,
ted that the phonological system has lost its primi- p. 71, etc.) that this subslitute phoneme is 1'/ e1early
tive /'1>. Here al"e these unique vestiges of .L and in all cases, and not now 1'1, now 1'/, as Till
(Kassel", 19R1c, p. 35): ::&.Jo..L.;, (to put) one case, hut (1955, p. 4b) expre....~es it, not without l"t.'Servations
~Jo.';' one case; <9Jo..L"'I" (deficient) one case, but and ambiguity: "'Aleph and 'Ayin arc still present in
lijJo.Jo.T' two cases, lijJo.T ' one ca~e; ~.LIl' (being) two Coptic, although no separate letters exisl for them.
ca"l:S, hut ~"t one case; .xO.L';' (to say) three cases, Both may have been pronounced alike (probably').
but .xoo" one case, .xu" one case; also ::&.lJlJ.Lc even though' in sUllie drcumstances exercises a
(.~ic) (bone) one case, but ::&.66C four cases. However, different effect on the neighbouring vowel than 3."
apart from these rcla1ively weak and evanescent reo Cet1ainly, /'I is a voiced frietltive, liS are the glides
mains of an ancient usage (and those still more rare, Iii and Iwl, and like them, in Till's hypothesis, this
vaguely similar. but, despite that, very uncertain, fricative, although a consonant in phonology, would
which one may eventually think to discover in ml"e have been rendered by tl vowel gr,lpheme, while /'I,
Old Coptic texts; Kasser, 1980, pp. 258-59), one no on the contrary, is an occlusive considered al' un-
longer find~ lIny specific grapheme for /'1 in the voiced (according to Vergole, 1973, Vul. la, pp. 12-
other Coptic OIAL.ECf"S and 1'Il.OTOlltAI.I'.crs fit present 13) and even as belonging to the c~ltegory of the
known. most unvoiced phonemes; fTOm thi.~ point of view 1'1
One noticcs, however, in some of them-espcl:ial- rather than 1'1 would appear to be the more capable
ly in A, pI.. (= i), lA, LS, 1-6. V5, F5, S, but not in M, of playing the r'ole of substilute consonant. (Stem
W, V4, F4, n, B and its subdialcets, G-a graphic also may have thought this; sec Stem, 1880, pp.
vocalic gcminlltion (succession of two identical vow- 29-30, 54-55.)
el graphemes: cr. GEMINATION. VOCAUC), of which the In spile of that, it is for various rea~ons proper 10
first clement is, in phonology, an authentic tonic sct a.~ide this solution. First, 'ayin seems to have
vowel, but Ihe second seems manifestly to render a dis'Ippearcd from Uite Egyptian before the forma·
consonantal phoneme, to define, and itself replace, a tion of literalY Coptic and even PRE-COPTIC (Vergote,
vanished eonson:lIlt such as i, " r, 01" I. 1945, pp. 122-23, and 1973, Vol. lb, pp. 31-32: after
ntis substitute phoneme is consonantal for two the sixth century A.D.). Second, as a consonant re·
rea~ons difficult to contest. Firsl, in A, every final placing i, " r, or I (or even i or 11'; see below), it is
sonant pluced lIfter a consonant becomes a r'ising manifestly 1'/ rather than 1'/ tb:1\ is the betlel" suited
voiced consonantal phoneme: thus S oyJo.Jo.s' (holy) to assume this manifold , function: for example, bin
= A oyJo.Jo.Sfl', just as S C11lTfl" (to hear) - A C11lTHfl, becomes in Coptic fha'nl SWQlfl, bad; '!r becomes
which pl'Oves that in oyJo..u' or OYJo.Jo.~fl! the second (with mcttlthcsis) jkO'f;Jj KQ)Q)'l(j (01" KaxtlS6), to con·
vowel grapheme Jo. phonologically renders a conso- .~train; dr.i./. becomes Ito'ifl TOOT"'~, his hand ref.
nant, not a vowel. On the other hand, it is known ibid., p. 35; "TIIC lendency which contributed, in
that if the pronominal suffix of the first-person singu- numerous words, to change proto-Semitic r and I
lar is :Ilways .;, I after:1 single vowel. it is always'" T into Egyptian 3 ... continued to exercise 11 certain
alier a consonallt and, likewise, after a succession of innuence during the historical period"); Imllral be-
two identical vowel graphelllcs, of which the first comes mll'ra, then Ime'wl HGflrfl, midday; sU, to
and tonic element is, in phonology, manifestly a soil, qualitative sayfu becollles sa'fll and then Iso'fl


}wel <:00'1', soiled; and w4giwlI/ hecomes wliK"'at, then (by analogy with other Coptic finals of identical
Wdwgll, then wlI'ga, and finally IwO'ca/~, jaw, spelling, and whatever lhe conditions linked with
'" mo. chcck (Vergote, 1973, Vol. lb, pp. 36-37). In Dielh etymolol!Y), would they not make the hiatus equally
I, to (1950, pp. 99-100) some similar modem examples unlikely in A and L. even if the Iinal there is leI 0 ...
,"d "'ill be found in .....hich ['] replaces even ocdusives lal lind not ffl The solution of this delicate prob-
other than /II. The linal and probably decisive argu- lem will wilhout doubt still n'quire some supplemen-
"'" ment is that the grapheme .1. in P, which seems to tary invcstig:llions (cf. in particular Kasse.... 1981h.
e/'l render fl, resemblt'5 lhe demotic 1..> = 3 in a ruther p, 37).
, Mt, striking manner (with eventual innuence from J. '" (See also.: Syllabication.]
"w ij, much more in any case tholn it doc'S the ~ (or,,"),

.rIic... ), :L, "", -,) - demQtic "
The graphic vocalic geminalion allcsting f I in

Dieth, E. Vademeklfm der PJH:me/ik. Bern, 1950,


94' .
Coplic occu~ only within a word-lhal is, eithe...
within a final syllable where this fI is fol1o~d by
another (:onsonant (d. &aMlH above) Of' at the end of
Dubois. J.; M. Giacomo; L Guespin; C. Marcellcsi;
J.-8. Marccllcsi; and J.-P, M~vel. DictiOtrrlai...~ d~
/irrguistiqlle, Paris, 1973,
:arty a penultimatc syllable where this f! is followed hy Bourguet. P, duo Grammaire forrc/ion/rdle I!t progres-
Till another cOl\SOnant beginning the final syllable (ef. siv~ d~ regyp/ien dbrroliqll~. Louvain. 1976,
:ioll$ II:--e above). It is true thai some ancient S manu- Edgcrton, W. Revit'W of W. C. Till, Koptische Grllm-
~t in scripts present spellings such as to..'. Inn'/ (and nOl mariA: (saldixh~r D/alekt'. ' .. Journal of NUlr East-
~m. ro./narll, pity) 0 ... H6f1 Im!'1 (and nOl H6 Imerl/, em Studi~$ 16 (1957):136-37.
Iy '), truth) and so on (d. Polotsky, 1957a, p. 231, and Gardiner, A. EgyptiDn Grammar, Beillg atl lmrodllc-
1957b. pp. 348-49); bot this is always before the tum to the Study of Hi~rQJ:fypJu. 3d ed. Oxford,
I J." copula 116 (masc.), T<ll (fern.), or It6 (pl.) in such a 1957.
Hinl7.e. F. "Zur kopti!IChcn Phonologic." Enclwria 10
Jides way that one may suppose thai the (atonic) copula
this was feh as fonning pan of the "word" that it imme- Kasse.... R. "Prolcgomenes a un essai de c1assifica-
~ld diately follows and lhat bealli the tonic accent on lion systematique des diak'Clcs et subdialectes
, rl. the \"Owcl of its last syllable. a vowel lhal is nonnally coptes scion les critercs de la phonctique. 11, AI·
· un- and gr.lphically the last letter of the "word"; it is pllabels Cl systemes phonetiquC5." MllseOIl 93
12- thus entirely legitimate to put, for example. oyHG6 (1980);237-97.
:- the Til lume'la/, that is tl'\.lC, in parallel wilh O.....,.,T6 ___ "Usages de la surligne dans Ie P. Bodmer VI,
wI'! IwO't;)/, to sep:U'llle. Vergote (l973. Vol. la. p, 12) notes additionnelles." BlIlIetill d~ /0 Societe
>able further eonsidc~ that A and L "present an I at the r d'egyp/ologie, Gerleve 5 (198Ia):23-32,
___. "Voyclh:lI cn fonction consonanlique. con-
item cnd of CCl1ain monosyllabic word.~, whcre it is
sonnes cn fonclion vocalique, et classes de
· ",. mal'ked by the hiatus II-e: &l.lJ palm.tree; Nl.6 to
phonemes e'n coptc," Bulle/in de fa Socibe
have pity; A 1),0 to appear (of St'II~), In Brandl F it d'egyp/ologie, Geueve 5 (198Ib):33-50.
cr to is Irnnsfomled into /j/: B I\Jo.t, lUI, 1I1l.1 01" F roe!, ~61, _-,-_. "Syllabation l'apide ou lcnte en copte, 11,
have QlGt" (ef. ibid. Vol. lb. p. 31), Howevc.... even if it Alcph et 'voyelle d'aleph,''' EnchfJna 11 (198Ic):
may lind support in etymolugy, this phonological 39-58.
,gote, interpretation of the final ICller of the A and L ___. "Le Dialeete protosa"idique de TIlebes."
after lcxemes mentioned Ilbove seems likely to mise nu- Ar(;hiv !Ur Pllpyms/orsc!llmg 28 (1982):67-81.
It l'e- merous questions; or1hogl'llphy, it must be I'emem· Nagel, P. "Ocr frUhkoptische DiDlekt von Theben."
it is bered, expresses above all not the pl'Ofound 01' semi- in KOfllOlogische S/lidiell br dcr DVR, PI', 30-49.
uited profound phonological structure of the word, but its WissenschDftliehe Zehschrift der Martin·Lulher·
" birr most superficial stl'\.1cture (cr, Hint7.e, 1980, p. 49). Unlvcrsitlil Halle·Wlttenberg. Sondel'hcft. Hallc-
ornes Thus, one might ask how there can be hi.llus if tht'Sc Wittenberg, 1965,
Polot.~ky, H. J, Review of W. C. Till, KfJplische Gram-
con· lexernes are monosyllabic. Would they be monosyl-
ma/ik (sai'discher Dilllekf), ' . , OrienWfisti${;he
f {d. labic in Pre-Coptic and polysyllabic, through their
Li/era/urtJ:i/utlg 52 (1957:1):219-34.
d, in hiatus, in Coptic? Another question is, why must one ___ . "Zu den koptischen literurischen Textcn aus
md I in this case envisage lhe presence of a hiatus if the Balaizah," Orietlwlia 26 (1957b):347-49.
~rtain final lJ - fI and nOl leI or I.J{? Arc there reasons Slem, L Koptische Grammll/ik. Leipzig, 1880.
It be· based on elymology, and nlUst these reasons be con- Till, W. C. "Alles 'Aleph und 'Ajin illl Koptischen."
if, to s~ compelling? Finally, with regard to the B Wi~IIer lei/Khn!/ filr die Klmde des Morglmlulldes
Ir):,'fl and F parallel fomlS, apparently also monosyllabic 36 (1929):186-96,

_ _ , Kop/ischl! Gramllw/ik (Sai'dischcr IJiulck/), mil the third (?) century A.D., Egypt had been wholly
Bibliugruphie, Lesesliickell wrd Wiirlerverzeidmin-en, within Ihe Hellenic sphere of intluence for more
Lcip1.ig, 1955, thtln half tI millennium, since the conquest of the
_ _ . KaJllisehe Dial<!klgwmmalik, mil l_ese.~liickell eounllY by Alexander the Greal in 332 U,c (Milller,
und Wiir/erlmch. 2d cd. MUilich, 1961. 1969). This ract explains not only the presence of so
Vtrtlott, J. Phr.melique Iris/uriq/Je de l'egyplien, les
many Greek graphemes (most frequently the entire
CUllsomw~', Louvain, 1945.
_ _ . Gramlllairt' caple, Vol. I a, III/mdlic/ion, plIO'
Greek alphabet) in the Coplic alphabets bUI also the
m!liqlll! eI phOflOfogie, morphologie syllihemalique abundance of various Greek lexemes (words) used in
(s/rue/ure des semmrlemes), pur/Ie synchrolliqlle, Cuptic. Sume 1cxemes were used ellceptionally ur
and Vol. Ib, Inlrudlle/io,r, pho'Jetique el pllOllologie, rarely in the texts lhat have survived. because they
/Ilorplro";;gie sy,r/hemaliqlle (siruclure des eonstituled a vD<.:abultuy uf specialists and were
sCl/lamimll.'s), parlie diaclrrolliqllC. Louvain, 1973a, scarcely cmployed outsidc Iheir specially; othcrs
_ _ , "Le Dialecte copte P (P. Bodmel' VI; Pro· were used more or less currently (even very CU1Tent·
ver'bes), essai d'idelltificalion," ReVljl! d'cgyp/ologie ly) almost everywhere in Coptic litemlun::, because
25 (\973b):50-57, Ihcy constituted a vocabulary so completely assimi-
ROOO1.l'llE KASSER lated (mentally) by the mtlss of the autochthonous
Copls Ihat Ihey considered il wholly Coptic as well
(IS wholly Greek (cr. VOCMIUt.ARV, COI'l'O·(;IIEEK).
ALPHABET IN COl-TIC, CREEK. The Greek Moreover, tl.~ can be seen from the texts, the
alphabet is much in evidem:c in Coptic; in fact, Gr'Cek glttphemes of Ihc Coptic alphabet wtrt in
among the various Coptic alphabets (cr. AU'IIABETS, principle sufliciellt for transclioing into Coptic those
<':OI'1"t<':), all have a considerahle majority of Greek lellemes which callle from tht Hellenic world. Il is
grllphernes, ol'leticrs (d, AU'liAIJIlTS, COI'I'I(;, especial- only rarely that one sometimes tinds in addition, at
ly the synoptic table; K.assel·, 1980b, pI. II, pp. 280- the bq~innintl of (I word or rtplacing onc of Ihe two
81). This U1:tjority varies from onc di:deettll alphabet clements of a double p, n 2 of demotic origin which
to anoTher. III the following calculalion of lhe per· seems 10 render normally the Greek rough breath·
eentages, lI,I and lil, and 2 and a, have heen consid- ing; il is also found oecasion(llly in place of tht
ered, respectively, :IS one ;lfld the stUlle gr..lphell1e, smooth breathing of stnndard Greek orthoglllphy,
whether or not provided with a diacritical sign: G which has been variuusly interpreted as a neUlmliz-
and F9, 100 percent; J, 92 percent; F7, FR, and 1'1, R3 inti of Ihe contrast in pronunciaiion bel ween Ihc
percenl; S etc. (Le., S, K, K7, F4, F5, V4, V5, W, M, rough and smooth breathings in the Greek of con'
£4, L5, and L6, together with their subdialects if temporary Egypl (Bohlig, 1958, p. 111), a "hyper·
there are any), with il7, A, i (= pL), and i7 ('" p'L), ur'banism" (VCl'gote, 1973, p. 15), and a "secondary"
80 percent; 8 etc. (Le., 84 and /15), 77 pel'cent; P, or "vulgar" aspiration (Weiss, 1966, p. 204). More·
71 percent over. in the L6 documents (and a group of S docu·
To this sTrong presence of the Greek alphabet, one ment., probably deriving from a region of Upper
may add that Coplic gmphemes of demotic origin Egypt where Vi wa.~ the autochthonous dinlect; cr.
arc :tssimilaled to thosc of Greek origin, such as (1,1 K.'"iS5er, 1980a) there is Ill, also of demotic origin,
formed like w with a tail, .. like p reversed and opell where one would expect to find un initial 2, in
at the IUp, and x like A wilh two horns or 'X resting Coptu-Greek words c01Tcsponding to Greek words
on a long horizontnl har' underncath. This assimila- beginning with 1 or fl. It is not without inlerest to
tion and this predominance tire indeed such that a note fUl1her that several Greek gmphel11ts of tht
superficial ohscrver might ver)' well take an ancient Coptic alphabets tIre used esclusively, or nearly so,
Coptic manuscript for a conteOlpomry Grcek one, for the tHlilscription of Copto-Greek wor'ds (e,g" r,
espcl:ially if it W;lS " cupy without any superlinear A., z; cf. Vergote, 1973, p. 10), All these factor'S
strokes (which rnay occur even in thc dialects in combintd produce the result that in an average Cop'
which tbc usc of such strokes is habitual). lic page aboul nine gmphemes 001 or len arc of
E',vcn if onc recalls thnt Coptic is the fin:11 stage uf Gl'cek origin (against une from demotic)-hence the
the Egyptian language, which docs not helong to the "Greek" appearance, br'Oadly speaking, of thtst Cop·
same family as Greek, this indispUI(lble supremacy of tic copies,
the Greek alphabet in Ihe Coptic ought nOI to Occa· The creators of these varieties uf Coptic alphabets
sion any undue sU'l'risc. When the first vmieties of were by no means suictly "phonologists" in thc
the Coptic alphabel were created in Ihe course of modern sense of tht term, of course, like their mod·


,, CI11 coumerpal1s, they seem to ha..e striven [0 apply than incl"t."'olSCS. It is lroe that thL~ a'lSC11ion appears
as .\Iriclly as possible the fundamemal and gencrnl at lirst 10 be in f1al contradiclion with the: facI lhat
, law according to which c\'cl)' phoneme should be the mosl ancicnt of these alph...bels, the Prc-Old

rendered exclusin."ly by a single grapheme. and this, CoptiC, is moll.' simple than ils immediate succes-
,• just as exclusively, should render Ihis one phoneme sors, the Old Coptic and Coptic alphabets. BUI the
, and no ocher. But, on the other h...nd, the means PIt:.Qld Coptic alphabet is only very imperl"ectly
, they employed and the criteria lhey applied evident· adapted to the transcription of Egyptinn; eenainly it
, ly n:mailloo emphical. Above all, they wen: nol al· could 1>atisfy the I-Iellenic milieus of Egypt. not only
, ways in a position to decide wilh l:olllplclC r,'eedom in the Ptolemaic era but e\'en down to the l3yt... nline
whether this wuml or thaI deserved to be treated epoch, because throughout lhis period it was an al·
&rophically as a distinct phoneme. in precise con· phabet of this nature that sufficed for the tl.mserip-
, [ra~1 to sollie Olher (~I(lb1ished phoneme: Ihey could tion, in Greek d<X:uments, of "utochthonous proper
. not in faci rail to take account of the work or their naml'S. Going <x:casionally beyond it~ oligimll fr..lllle,
predccc:o;soni. No Coptic.: alphnbcl emerged com- tllis type or alphabetic usage could evell be applied
. pletely new :lnd original from an earlie]' vacuum. (hefore the prescnt cnol to lire U"t\llSl.:ri]1tion of ~ome

The vcry faci thaI the grcllll,:]' p1ll1 ur lhe COptiC isoln1Cd Egyptinn words (cf. Bilahel, 1(38), and at·
,I Il,lUphemes arc Greek gmpllcmcs shows very well tempts wcre made (also before lhe preS<:llt <:ra), with
where lay lhe principal model lhat had 10 be taken ~omc diflicuhy. lu usc il for a VCI)' brief and rudi-
m<:ntfu)' lext (d. Lacau, 1934). It l'ml'rged ancw in
, inlO llccount, whence sprang the flt'St SQun;e whose
influence WQuld m;lke itsclf felt, mOl'e or les.~ strong· the By/.antine epoch in the nonlit<:mry texts (ahove
, ly, in the work of the inventors of Coptic alphabets :111 pr'ivlIte lellel'S), which constitute lhe dossier ror
, -all the more boxllusc they, though coming from a l>lAI.F.CT G; bUI that alph.loct, too cxclusively lIellen·
ie, lilways remairll:..'tI rnal'ginal so fur a~ Coptic and its
, native Egyplian milieu and carrying on thl'ir activity
there, were always close to lhe nellcnic milieu of autOChlhonous antecedcnts are conee!1l(,.'(\.
h Eg)-pt and found themselves foreed, in noading or in To the mind of non-Greek EgyptiallS and pos.~ibly
writing. 10 pr.acticc frequently Ihe Greek gmphico· of SQITlC Greeks in Egypt who were "cros.s-bn.-d" and
, phonemic system. It is WOr1hy of note thm the PRE-OU) Slrongly assimilated, a merely Gn:ck alpll;lbct would
come alphabet is the Greek alphabel, no more and
,.'. no less, whk:h was ,"ready uSI,:d according to cer1ain
nO( suffice for the transcription of lhe language or
lhe counll)', with its fundamenlal phonemic original·
, closely related rules for the transcription imo Greek ities; one could not make clttensh'e and !>)'Stematic
of lhe: proper nallles of autochthonous Egyptians (d. usc of it. first of all in Old Coptic texts (almost all of
GltEF.K TRANSCRlP110NS). thclII mugical lexlS, in which the correci prommda·
•• tion or Ihe formulas playt..'<1 an essential I'ole) and
The OlD u>p"nc alphabets, though still based on
. the Greek alphabel for the most par1, admit a strong later in Coptic tcxls (when! a va.'" and valied literary
minority of graphemt:s of demotic ol'igin, The Coplic 1)l'oouClion makes its appcar.tnce). Whcn they
alphabets eliminate scveral of Ihese, above "II for sought to clreet a real tloansition to Ihe Iitel'at)' stage
f. motiVe!; of simplilil'ation, and by that vel)' fuct the rol' their language, the aUI<x:hthono\ls mell or !eller'S
'. Greek alphubetic majority in them is reinforced. engllged in this t;\sk or necessily had recourse to an
llUlocluhonous rorm of wl"iting, Ihat of demotic, and
lienee, one may sec that if lhe Coplic lliphabets
," were created according to lhe principle of the fun· the Old Coptic alphl\bcts lhat they crt:alcd oughl
o dlUllcntal Inw stated nbove, lhe strict application of properly be eonsith::rcd not as successors to Ihe Pre·
, this principle was limited in v;lriOUS ways, lirst by old Coptic alphabet (i.e., Greek) hut lIS the results of
'. the empiricism or the melhods employed by the ere·
at01'S, and later and above all by the Hellenic phono-
a radical reform of the demulic "alphabet," with a
massive infusioll or Greek grapheme!> (Pre.Qld Cop-
, logical heritage for which these alphabets were the tic). l-esults that were eminently "cconomicul," since
> vehicle and which they trnn5miUI'<l from one 10 the demotic had many more gmphemes than Old Cop-
,f other. tic. It is thllS, to say Ihe least, a ease of a "compro-
•> In lhis process there inlen-em..'<1 also a law of
"economy," of which it will be necess.u)' 10 speak
mL~e" bclw<:en the Greek system in EIDT't and Ihe
autochthonous SY51em. bUI one Ihat, being "lone lit·
again later. in a general Vooay, one may say mal the ted like the laller for rendering the idiom of the
el'OlUlion and succession ~r Ihese alpl1<lbcl1l consli- country, did so at much less COSl (in lerms of graph·
lUte a proccs.s of simplifK:ation: Ihe number of Ihe emes and 500n of phonemes). Thc t..'Conomizing
graphemes (and of the phonemes) diminishes rather proccs.~ was continued in the pl"Olo-Coptic (cf.

I'ROffiDli\LECT) and then in the Coptic alphabets, in ___ . "Orthogmphe (sub)dialectale du vocabulaire
which (s:.wc fur the exceplion in DIAl.ECT II; cr. \)e· copto·grec 3vant Ie VIII' sieclc de notre ere." M,,·
low) the total of graphemes of Greek origin re· sewn Helveliel/Ill 40 {I983):207-215.
mained stable, but the number of graphemes uf au- Lacau, P. "Un Graffito cgyptien d'Ahydos ct'rit en
tuchthonous origin was gradually reduced: S, the ICllrcs grccques." Dudes d,~ popyro/ngic 2
( 1934):229-46.
most neutral Coptic idiom, ha.~ only six (qt, 'I, 2, oX, G,
Mallon, A. Grammaire CUple, bibliographie, dm:~'/o·
t), and H, the mOSI eeollomieal MEl"ADIALE.'.CT of all ma/hie el voeabNfaire, 4th cd., rev. M, M31inine.
(pro\)a\)ly twenty.three graphemes altogether; cf, S, Bcimt, 1956.
with thirty, and P, with as many .IS thirty·five), has Montevecchi, Orsolina. La papirofogiu. Turin, 1973.
no more than four signs derived from demotic, 11,1, a, Muller, C. D. G. Gnmdziige des chrisllich·is/amise:hen
:x:, and G, di.~pensing with the two autochthonous Agyptcn vml der Ptolemaenei/ bis WI" Gegenwarl.
gmphemes 'I (> ,) and t ( > TI), as it also does in Dllrlllstndt, 1969.
principle whh no fewer lhan three Greek graph. Percmans. W. "O\)er die Zweisprachigkeil im
emes, r· ( > 11.), ~ ( > Ke), and t (> lie), not 10 speak ptolemfiischen Agyplcn." In S/udiell zur PaT'Yro·
of two Olhcrs whose usc is considerably r'estricted, 0 logie Imd aU/ike" Wir/sclraf/sgeschidlle, Frier/ridl
( > III) and y ( > II), both excluded except in the Oerlel tum aehlvgs/cn Gehurlstag gewir/mel, pp. 49
-60. Bonn, 1964.
combination (o)y fOI· luI antI /w/.
Plumley, J, M. All hl/rodl/clory Coplie Grammar
(SahMic Dia/cel). London, 1948.
IIIBLlOGRAl'nY Prenux, C. I.e Monde hclJ.!nisliquc, /a Grece el {'Orient
(323-146 avo l.·C.). Pads, 1978.
Barns, J. W. B. "Egyptians and Greeks," Papyro/ugica Ouaegebeur, J. "The Sludy of Egyptian Proper
Bruxellensia 14 (1978):1-23, Names in Greek Tmnscription, I'roblems and Per·
Bataille, A. Les Memllmriu: Recherches de papyrolo{!,ie spectives." Olloma 18 (1974):403-420.
el d'epi{!,raphie greeques sur lu necropofe cle fa Rcmondon, R. "Problcmes du bilinguisllle dans
Thi!bes d'!1f;Yp/e aux i!poques hellcnis/iques e/ l'Egypte [agide." ChroniqllC d'Egypte 39 (1964): 126-
WI/wines, C:.iro, 1':152. 46.
Bell, H. 1. Jew.. and Ch,·i../irms in Egypl. London, SteindodT, G. Lchr/mch der koptischcl1 Grammatik.
1924. Chicago, 195 I.
BiI:tbcl, F. "Neue liter'adsche Funde in der Heidel· Stern, l. Kop/isd1<: Grammalik. Leiplig, 1880.
berger Papyrussammlung." In ACles du V' Cmlgres Till, W. C. KopJische Grammalik (saiaisdl/:r Diolekl),
inlemalimlGl de papyr%gie, pp. 72-84. Brussels, mil Bibliographie, Le.lcslileke,r lmd Wiir/e",erzeich·
1':138. lIiss/m. Leipzig, 1955.
BiJhlig, A. Die grieehisehe/l Lelmwor/cr im sahidisclJe/l --C' Koplische Diu/eklgr"mmalik, mit f.c.5cslikkell
und bolmirisc/len Neuen Tes/amenl. Munich, 1958. und Wiirlerblleh. 2J cd. Munich, 1961.
Brunsch, W. "Untersuchungen zu den gl'iechischen Vergote, J. Gramrnaire COpIC, Vol. hi, bl/roclu"lion,
Wiedergaben figyptischcr Pcrsonennamen." Enchu- pho/l(:/iqlle eI phonologic, morpholugic syl1lhenlll.
ria 8 (1978):1-142. /iqljc (stn/Clure dcs sbnamemes), partie synchru-
Chaine, M. Elemenls de gralll/llaire dia/eclale eople. Iliql.e. Louvain, 1973.
Paris, 1':133. Weiss, H.·F. "Zum Problem der griechischen Fremd·
Fra.o,cr, P. M, Plolemuie: Alcxcwdrill. Oxford, 1972. und Lehnwtirter in den Spmchen des christlichen
Gignac, F. T. A Grammur of Ihe Creek Pclpyri of the Orients." l/eliko/1 6 (1966):183-209.
Romml o"d RYt0ntine Pcriod.~, Vol. I, Phorl%gy.
Milan, 1976.
Kasser, R "L'idiomc de llachmour. ,. Bljllelin de
I'blSlitlll frall(;ais d'urcheulugie urieu/ule 75
_---:. "fupression de I'aspiration ou de la non· ALPHABETS, COPTIC. Attentive study of the
aspimtiun i\ I'initialc des rnots Copto·grecs corTes· alphabet used in each of the various Coplic UJAU!CTS
pondant it des mots grccs COlllmeno;nnt par {E)t-." and subdialects obliges one to recogni1.e that there
BI.lle/in de la Societe d'egyp/ologie, Ceneve 3
was not a single Coptic alphabet, :u; is uften be·
___ . "Prolegornenes a, un essai de cla.~sification Iieved, but several CoptiC alphabets (01', to pili it in a
systcm31ique des dialectcs Cl subdialectes coptes slightly dilferent way, several vatieties of the Coptic
selon les critc"res de la phonctique, J. Principes et alphabet). Certainly, if one eKamincs the Coptic lexts
tenninologie." MUSCOll 93 (1980b):53-512. " ... , lhemselves in their manifold vatiety, one find~ that
II, Alphabets et .~ystemes phonctiques." Museon 93 one of these alphabets, that of S etc., is employed
(1980b):237 -97. almost everywherc (it is that of almost 92 percent of

the local); il Is therdore comprehensible enough that The uncel1ainly of this intcrpretation at any given
the alph;abct of S .should practic>\lIy a.lways be called poim often derives from a qu~ion of principle and
"the Coptic alphabet," without further explanation, from a mClhodological alternative of which one
while the alphabetic variety of B eiC. (alm(X'i! 7 per- muS! be very consciOIlS. Tn fact. the investigator who
cent) is only vcry seldom menlioncd, the existence strives to rediscover and analyze the phonological
of the twelve Olher varieties (about I percent only) systems of the Coptic dialects and subdialects
being entirely ncglct:tcd. However, all these fourteen through their ol1hogmphical systems is soon con·
alphabets. major and minor, will be accorded the strained to choose belwecn two preliminary working
place to which they have 11 right herein. hypotheses: each of these presents substantitlllldvan·
II will he convenient to recall in the first place luges. but even in the bellcr hypothesis. lhey I'emain
thaI each type of Coptic diak>t:[-whcther a dialect limited and weakened by important disadvantllgt.'S.
in the nanTIW sense of the term Qr a PROTQI>IAI£CT. a TIle firsl hypothesis consists in postulating a priori
Ml'.'iODlAUCT. a MlITAOIAuer. or even a solxlialect-is a phonological unity of the COplic language, a unity
delined lirst and foremost as a phonological system, practically absolule. In pushing this hypothesis 10 i1$
\l'hill" morpho(phono)logy and rnorphosynlax inter- elllreme cOIlSl.."quences, one would have to admit
\'enc only secondarily in its definition (for want of that despite the ort!lographical appcanmces, litis lan-
evidence sufficiently fn-quenlly 8ltesled). guage is by no means divick..d into II plurality of
Coptic has lK:en a dead language for liCveral cen· dialects. The diffc~nces thaI orthography ~ms to
turics, and its demi5C preceded the beginnings of manifC51 would be only 5UperfiCial, or to put it sim·
Coptology as a modem discipline. Hence. Coptic ply, the various sc:hooh. of scribes would make LL~.
PHONOlOCY can only be known today through the In certain cases. of different gmphemes 10 cllprcss
orthography of the Coptic tellts that have survived. a the same phonemes. One should Ihen obsclve ill
I'ery small number' in comparison with the immense Coptic not various di..lccts but various "orthograph.
quantity of lhose that perished in the lempestuous ic codes" applying to a language th..l is "one" and
and painful course of Coptic history: lhruugh lheir nOI divided on the phonological level.
regular and syslemalic orthogmphy only (that which This hypolhesis is very seductive because. over
w<: find in the tell1$ of "good" quality), and not against the various eadier StagCli of the Egyptian
through the irrcgullir and disordered gmphical man· Innguuge (apparently homogeneous because dialec-
ifestations lhat may be observed in all sorts of care' tal multiplicity does not appeal' in it. or practically
less and orthographically undisciplined copies.. nOl), it sets nOt a group of Coptic phonological sys-
Prudence certainly obliges one to ~mcmber that lelllS but a single Coptic phonological syslem (0.... at
the analysis of a Coptic orthographic system is not thc vcry most. a group of systems wt difTer among
automatically the analysis of a Coptic phonological themselves only very rarely and on details thai are
.system. One must always reckon with the possibility. truly exceptional). It seems 10 be confinnl-d by the
lKlwever weak it may be, that the difference bet~n fact thut, if one compares wilh one another lhe dif·
the various Coptic alphabeu may be not only a dif· ferent ol1hographical fonns of the same autochtho-
ferenee of quantity (phonemes and graphemes in nOl.ls Coptic words, II appears evidcnt that the II. of
more or les,'i large numbers) but also. on some J)<1.r· the majority of dialects and tlte 1. of P rende... Ik/:
tkular poinl. II dUrerence of quality (3 given graph. lhe 11/ of the majority llnd the a of G ...ender lsI: lhe
erne nmdeling a given phoneme ill one idiom. and 'I of the majolity and the l' of G likewise render If/:
the same grapheme rendering another phoneme ill lhe; of P and B. the e of A and i, and finally even
another idiom; or a given phoncme being n~ndered thc X of B7 and G (see below) render 1'1./: the 6 of
by a given gl-apheme in one idiom and by anOlher the majorily and the II, of P render 11,'/: llnd SO on.
grapheme in another idiom). Howevcr that may be, However. the limils of the efficacy of this explana'
if one lIlay sometimes doubt that such an original lion are reached when one is faced with problems
a1phabetK: system really allesu a particular Coptic such as Ihese: when A in F eorresponds to r in S. the
dialcct. it nonetheless remains that each particular phoncme cannot be either 11/ or II'I uniformly for A
CoptK: alphabetic system is a piece of evidence; and and r at the same lime; and likewise, when , in A
this reality, although superficial in rdalion to ph0- corresponds to ... in S ctc., the phoneme cannot be
nology. deserves to be recognrlCd as such on i1$ own either 1'1.1 or Ii! uniformly for , and ... at the same
(me alphabetic) level; thi, recognilion. in f3C1, is noc time. By themselves alone. these exceptions prove
hound to the phonological intcrpretation, sometimes that there is in Coptic a dialectal plurality.
uncertain, of the graphemt.'S that COlllJ)(lSe the alpha· The second hypothl'Sis consists in postulating thaI
beiS. in COJltic, according to lhe unanimous intention of


the crc;tlors of ilS ldph:\bel, there is for eaeh pho- :md in the autochthnnous COptic words (for' Ifl,
neme (or each combination of phonemes, should which cuuld. huwever. at least ]m:ally, have become
uccasiun arise; d, Ithl clc. below) a singlC' corre- the al1iculation of of even in Coplo-Gr-eek). Tire same
sponding gr<lphe!lle tlHll can never sen'e 10 express confusion is manifest in the Dublin /.5 (d. below), J
another phoneme. This "law of exclusiveness" lhus (sporadically). and F9. where x appeal1i both in the
does nut alluw uf :my plurulity uf Coptic alphabets Copto-Greek words (for Ikh/) and in lhe nutochlho·
based on a difference of phonological "qualily"; this nous Coplic vOl.:ubul:try (for lei); there is fW1her-
plurality can only exist a" a consequence of rhl! morc lhe pr'Oblern of lhe usc uf x evcn fur 1111 or
"quanlity" of the indissoluble phuneme-grapheme that of the invC'l.,;e use of x for x Ikhl in some
unities: cenain Coptic idioms would make use of the Copto-Greek words in LS. (The rd:uion of x lei :tnd
Coplic series lu the full (or nearly so), while other x Ikbl or 1111 is probably of another order, or at leasl
idioms would content Themselves with a very dimin· tuo subtle and eumplcll to bc summarily expounded
ished series (luss uf Ixl or even lsi, Ihl, or lei, for here.) Finally, a similar- ambiguily nppcar'S in fI7 and
example). in some L(, tellts (d. Ka"xer, 1984-1985), where the
Huwever. if this hypothesis give... vel)' satisfoctOl)' grapheme .,. is both the "normal" Coptic t Ipsl and
results in regard to F '" versus S clc. r or A ~ versus the "normal" Coptic .~ Iti/. These are tellts n\lested
S etc. lij, for example, it seems 10 fail in other eases by tnanuseripts nearly all par1icularly ancient: F7 is
already mentioned ahove: in comparing The different The langullge of lhe bilingual I'llpyms No. I of 1·lam-
Olthogmphical forms of lhe S<lrne Cuplie won.!, it is burg (Cuptic and Greck, end of third eentlll)'). /0'9 is
difficult to seC' what phoneme P ;" could render if the Innguage of Coptic glosses in :I manUSl.:ripl in the
not Ikl <llli seems ellduded for solid reasons; d. Chester Beatty collection (third century; d. Kassel'.
Ka."ser, 1980b, pp. 244-48): in lhe S<lmc way, it 1981a, pp, 101-102). J is the language of a Coptic
seems unlikely that, corrcsponding rC'gularly to lij I~I schnolbny's tablet (end [?] of thirxl cenIUI)'; d. ibid_,
in B etc., the combinalion of gr<lphcmes C:l! in G pp. 113-15). An unpublished papyrus in Dublin (ef.
shuuld render IS1.1 rather than lsi; and when lhe q. Knsser, 1984, p. 274) secms lu be eonlemporm)' with
of G corresponds 10 'I IfI in B ctc., would it be the preceding two or scarcely Illuch later'; it contains
equivalent to Iphlrather than to IfI? Tire rigid appli- John 10:18-11:43 and 12:14-39 in a variety of LS
cation uf the 1:lw uf ellelusiveness would entail other with very panil'ulnr orlhogr-aphicophonulogieal
phonological solutions thaI would be bizarre and characteristics (Ka~ser 198fb, pp. 27-29).
difru.:ull to accept. One must then r-esign oneself to The following hypothetical explannlion could,
!lOme compromise between these two cxtreme hy- howcvcr, 10 SOIllC l.:1I1l.:nt resulve these tliverse enig-
potheses, a compromise to be negOliated and dcter- mas, except for' lhe ambiguity of q. in G. One shoultl
mined f,'om case to l.:a.~e. h:we in each instance, for two phonemes undoubted-
One panicularly troublesome alphabetic fact ly different, not a single gmphemc considercd (ex-
(above all, in cunsequence of the second hypothesis Cl.:pt for t) lIS of GreC'k oligin but two graphemes 10
and iL~ law of "exclusiveness") is lhe USl.: of (appar- be distinguishetl from one anuther, the one uf Greek
ently) tbe same grapheme to ellpress lWO differenl Oligin, the other of demotic-two gl'llphernes dis-
phonemes. When this phenomenon coincides with tinct in thcir origin but in which the autochlhonous
the opposition nf two Coptic idioms, as wilh S 6 Il.:l Egyptinn sign h(15 gnldllally been su strongly intlu-
versus n 6 leh/, one may allempt to explain it by l.:nced in its fOIll] by the Greek graphemc that it has
l"efening to Ihe divergenl principles applied by two bceume pml.:lil.:ally identical to the latter (wbence
schools of scrihes belonging 10 two difrerent cultural the confusions that ensue). In what fullows, ellcept
ambiences. BUI wh:1l is one to say of this ambiguity for special mention, references are made to du
when it appears within one and lhe samc Coptic Bourguet (1976, p. 75), where lhe dcmotic signs arc
or1hogmphieal systcm (and probably idiom)? presented in lheir "usual" forlll orl lhc left ILlld lhen
Thus, in P (compar-ed to S etc. in the onhography in cer1nin of their "variants" on the light.
of their l.:ommon vocabulal)') K is assuredly Ikl in In P, the autochthonous K Icl could be der'ivcd
the CoplO-Greek words, but il is lei in the autoch- f!"Om a sign fOl' 1;, lhe firsl uf the vari(lOts, resembling
lhunuus Coptic words. (It is diflicult to imagine th:1\ u very "nallcned" K; this ambiguous usage, alongside
P, by some palalalization, or "d:tmping," applied to l<./kl in lhe Copto-Grcl.:k words, will have led 10 the
the Greek word!;, should have syslematically 1'1." usage in S of K (no longer';") for Ik/throughout, (lnd
placed by lei all lhe Ikl in its CoplO-Greek vocabu- 6 (no longer K) for Ie/.
lary,) One sees the same ambiguity in G, where one In the Dublin LS. with J and F9, the autochtho-
find:> <I> buth in the Copto-Greek words (for Iphl) nous x lei could be descended frOIll a sign fur ~! the

fi~ of the .......rillnts (il has the look of a slightly Corto-Greck words in 87 "nd F9 (cf. also Ihe e\'enlll-
upturned x. of whkh Ihe first stroke. whkh in Greek ality of .. Ifl in C alx)\"e). There are Ihen in COplic
goes from top left 10 bottom righl. Is ncar the verti· nOl only sen:ral Coptic di"lo..,;;:ts but also sc\'t'1"31 Cop-
cal and the Sl,.'Cond stroke is con.o;cqucntly ncar the tic alph"bets employed to render th(.'SC I13rious diu-
horizonlal); confusions betwLocn the x Ildll "nd thi!'i lo..,;;:ts. lhe limits of the fidd of applic"tion of Ihese
x Ie! will havc IL-tl 10 lhe gl'aphemc x being soon alphabets not alwaY" coinciding wilh thc phonologi.
pn:fcITcd 10 it; lhis is alw descended fn.ull a sign for c,,1 inlel'dialeel:ll limits,
~. eilhel' the fmll usual sign (vaguely resembling an From Ihis pc11lpcelive, a search through tlte most
(\' the loop of which has been complclcly nllllencd) diverse Coptic lex IS finnlly ends in tlte idenlifiealion
or lhe last of lhe vtllianls (resembling II bulging a of at leMl fOU11een different COplic alph"bels. As
with the rounded Plu1 "I the OollOin and Ihe two wa.~ undedineJ at the beginning of this :lI1ide, lhey
horns al the top). val)' considerably in their relative im]X>11ance if one
In f7 and wille L6 texts, lhe ." Ipsl L~ exactly takes aCCllUnl of the number and the extent of the
identical wilh this grapheme as one sees it in lhe tCXl!! that employ each of them. One of lhese alpha-
contemjlOl'ary Greek manuscripts, which "Iso makes bets is supported by S. Ihe \'ehicular language of the
it unfortunately almost idenlical with the autochtho- whole of thl." I13lley of the Egyp!ian Nile (the Delta
nous t Iti!, llo""lbitually considered as derived from a exceplcd); il was also utilized by a large number of
demotic sign (cf.. e.g.. Stcindorlf. 1951, p. 12; but diak.,;;:ts and subdialecl!! in the I13lley and even in the
su also KaMer. 1984-1985); this ambiguity will FayyUlll. AnOlher alphabet is supported by 8. the
have inciled the Coptic scril,,:s 10 modify inlO t the vehicular language of the Egyplian Delta, 111CSC an:.
grapheme for Ipsl borrowed from lhe G~k alpha· one mighl say. the "classic alphabets" of thc Coptic
With regard 10 lhe two 6 (the ~ Olle fo,' Icl and
I"nguagc, The olhcr alphabetri arc supported (mly by
a small number (on occasion evcn by a lritllng num·
the B etc. one for !eh/), one remains within lhe her) of texIS slighl in extent and variely or ellen by (l
autochthonous Egyptian zone, withoUi i'lletference single small texl, the sole representative of an idiom
from the Greek alphllbcl. II is admined tlmt lhe 6!el whose otigin,,1 ehumcter. on Ihe level of the dialeet
derives from II demotic sign for k, the fin;t usual onc and nOI simply on Ihat of lhe IDIOl.Cer. t'enlaitls open
(which has lhe appcamnce of a., the circle of which 10 discussion: hence. one may call them, respective·
is \"el)' small, the stroke that escapes from it leaving Iy. '-marginal" and "vel)' marginal" alph:lbets.
al the sulllmit and Slrelching horizontally at length An alphabet could be marginal fOl' vtllious rea-
10 the right), The 6 !eh! could be descended from sons. It could be situ.'\t(.-d in lhe "preliminary histori·
the demotic sign for !!,. the last of lhe V'... riants (the I."al margin" of Coptic lilcrary lifc: this would be one
one lhat resembles a bulging a of which lhe round· of the I13rious alphabets crealed by way of t:55ay5 011
ed pan would be at the bonum and the two homs al Ihe time when the pionccrs of lilerary Coplie were
the top; d. abolle with regard to x and x for!c!; Ihe attcmpting. as individuals or in s"11I11 isolaled
suppression of the lert horn could well yield a kind groups. 10 forge Ihe instruments indispensable for
of 6). the rcali7.ation of their enterprise; some of these al·
As cnn he seen, this compl'omise obliSes one 10 plmbCls would not h"ve obtained lhe r:tdhesion of a
renouncc the thesis of lhe "ahsolute phonological SOl;:ial or cultural group, SO that they would vcr)'
unily" of lhe Coplic language; lhel'c nl"c then scveml quickly have becn abandoned, even by thcir few
Coplic dialects. a fact lhal is inCOnleStahlc. BUI this p1lrtis.""IIiS. Or "gain. :m alphnbet could bc nml'ginal
compromise pl'Obllbly also ohliSes one 10 consenl 10 because il was desccnded from thc invenllve spirit
some delmctlons from the hlw of cxclusivenes.~, of an individu"l or a small group living somewhat
\\.'hich Oows from lhe seCQnd hypothesis; if (admit- on the margin of the society that was eontclI1po......1)'
ling the duality of K. x. t, and 6. above) one is to see with them. and this al leas( on tm: cultural or even-
each grapheme alway.;; rendering the same ph0- tually the religious level; this alphabet would ha\"C
neme, it may come about Ihat a phoneme is ren- kno...,," only an extremely rcst:rictL-d diffusion tInd an
dered, according to the idiom. by tWO or even three ex.iSlence probably all too short. Bul whethl."r "das-
different graphemes, as with :&. and It r for /k!; - sic" or more 01' less "marginal:' all lhe Coptic aI-
and H for In{;
, .. and" for Ifl; x and x I- for !e!; It ph.'\bets thus attested by the texts of this language
I· and 6 I" for leI:' and -it for 1f</;!l. t. "nd x 2" for will be of inlerest for the researcher.
Ixj. In Ihis last case, one mighl think of the inOu- A synoplic view of lhe fourteen Coptic alphabets
cnce of a local Greek anicul"tion x Ix! rather than menlioned above will be found in Table I. Each of
x {khl and extending to the pl"Onunci"lion of the lhe alphabets is indicated eilhel' by 1111: unique dia-

Icct or subdialect that attests iI or by the principal (XIII) F9 (yery small sobdialec:t; d. Kassel', 1981a,
idiom (language or diakct) that attests it. These arc pp. 101-102), a little more than 0.0005 percent.
:is follows: (XIV) H (- OIAlE.CT II or mctadialect; cf. Kassel',
(I) P ("" a PROTQOtAU1T remarkably similar to ·pS, 1966; 1975-1976; and 1981a. pp. 104-112), 0.03 per·
the latter being the tentatively rcconstnlctcd protO'- cent.
Sahidic idiom; d. OlAl...ECT p), 0.1 percent of the In the synoptic table (Table I), everything has
whole Coptic textual surface. been grouped around S etc., thc allestation of
(II) j (- pL, proIO'-Lycopolitan dialect; d. PRoro. which, in relation to the olher Coptic idioms, is "'cry
OtAL£C1" and OIAlECT I), 0.01 percent. amply preponderant (92 percent). This is why (al.
(lin A clc. (- II, Akhmimic dialect. with i7 - p'~ ways with the cXccplion of P ~ /kl and - I~r; SI..'C
all evolved protO'-Lycopolitan dialect; d. AKHMIMIC below) Ihe order of the phonemes (or I.:ombinations
and PROTODIAlECT with OIo\lJ'..CT i), 0.6 percenl. of phonemes, should occasion nrise), along with the
(IV) 8 ell:. ("'" 85, the "cla.~liic" and relatively late alphabetic order corresponding to them, i~ first of
BOHAIRIC language, commonly designated by B, with a1l1he one habitually found in lhe Coplic t;;t"lllllllHU-S
B4, the Bohairic dialect of "ancient" alles1a1ion, d. and lexicons (or dictionary clement...) Iimiled to
KasseL 1981&, pp. 92-93; 84 lexts puhlished in Sahidic, s: (I) Fin;t comc lel1eI'S of Greek origin. (2)
Husselman, 1947; Quecke, 1974; K<!sscr, 1958, only Nexl come lel1ers of detllotil: ul'igin (10 lhe eXlenl
p. 53 of Papyros Bodmer Ill), in all, mOt'e lhan 6.5 lhat they are in u...e in $; with regard 10 the debnted
pereenl (cf. I,ANGUAGIi.tS), COPTIC). origin or 'r, sec below; ror details on the origin or
(V) S etc. (- S properly SO called, the SAllllJlC lhese non·Creek grnphemes, see AtPII"'ltrrS, OU> COP·
language, with [a] thl.: variety of the Fayyumic dia· TIC). A~ regards the alphabetical order of the Coptic
lect showing lambdacism most recently allcsted. F5 lelleTS of demotic origin, it should be mentioned
[cf. fAYYUMIC]; [b) V5, the lea.~t widely nllesled of the here that in some ancienl doc:umenl~ showing that
two mesodialeclal varieties of the Fayyumic dialect part of the Coptil: alphabet, 6 is placl.:d beforc .x
without lambdacism (d. FAYVUMtC); and [c) the three (e.g., tlall, 1905, pp. 35-36; Krall, 1888, pp. 129-30;
subdialcctal varielics [or even dialects entirely apart, question raised in di Bitonto Kassel', 1988). (3) Last
according to Funk, 1985) of I... the LYCOPOUTAN or come various "supplementary" phonemes (or com-
Lyco.OIOSl"OUTAH dialect), :is a whole nearly 92 per- bination... of phonemes), almost all descended from
cent. demotic (on their pn.-cise origins, sec ALPHABI:"1S. OlD
(VI) M eiC. (- M properly so called, the MESOKEMIC come): deriving from pre-<:Optic Egyptian, ALEPH -
diak-ct. with [a) the cryptO'-Mcsokemic mesodialCCI fl is a CRYFTOPHONEME in S, :is elsewhere in Coptic
called dialect W (published in Hus.sclman, 1962]; [b) (exct.'Pt in P), and is therefore not rendcn.'tI by any
V4, the most widely attested of the two mesodialec· grapheme exclusiyely its own; also of autochlhonous
lal varieties of the Fayyumic dialect without lambda· OIigin and pre-Coptic, 1t>I, lxi, and eventually also
cilim; [c) F4, one of lhe two varieties of the Ic~1 were abandoned in S CIC.. but have been pre·
Fayyumic dialect with lambdacl~m and of ancient served in other dialecl~ or protodialec:ts; Ichl i.'l spe·
atteslation (F4 and f7]; and [d] the 1\VQ very small cific to the Bohairic domain (8 etc. and probably
mcsodialects K and K7(J) [d. Ka.~~er and Satzinger, also 87); Ivl is the charactetiSllc or a lendency that
1982]), in all 0.7 percent. results in various manifestalions or Coptic
(VII) 87 (d. Ka.'lSer, 1981a, p. 93; subdiak'Ct), a rIIcl<\Jinlecls. In regard to the particulm'ly vllried
little less lhan 0.001 perccnt. graphemes thai conespond 10 1hese supplementary
(VIII) L5 (Dub.) (- the particular subdialect of the phoneme..., several will be noted in P that can be
Johanninc &-agment LS in Dublin), 0.015 percenl (cf. Jescribed as Old Coptic (so .L 1'1, !I 1..1, in aJdition
I.YCOPOUT"N or lYCQ·llIQSI'OL!TAN). to the 6 /kl and - In/, , already mentioned above,
(IX) f7(the PAYYUM1C subdialect n, of ancient at- which rt.'Spt.'Ctivdy in P alone replace the K and N of
testation; cf. Kassc:.r, 1981a, pp. 91-100), 0.05 per· Greek origin); olhers (~ and 6, or • and I with their
cenL diacritical :r;igns, which, respectively, mark them off
(X) F8 (a very small subdiale<:t; cf. Kassel', 19813, from, and oppose them to, .. alld ~, which them-
p. 101), a lillie less lhan 0.001 percent. selves belong in group 2) are simply of demotic
(XI) } (very small subdialect; d. Kassel', 1981a, pp. origin; others fmally (I and x) arc, or Kem to be,
113-15),0.001 percCPlt. Greek graphemes, but here play an unaccUSlomed
(Xli) G (- D1Al£CT (; or mcsodialeet [?); cf. Crum, role.
1939; Kassel', 1975, and 1981a, pp. 102-103),0.005 As regards the correspondence between thc pho-
percent. nemCli and the gr.tphemes of the \'arious Coptic al·

phabcts. it will be nOled thai in this are.. the situa· Ilil (one could likewise imaginc T~, and nol 9. for
tion in Coptic i'l very similar 10 that in Greek. Thll.'l. Ilh/. etc.). This possibility. scarcely less widely fa·
brOlldly spc;.lking. for each Coptic alphabel Ihere is a vored than the preceding onell, il' markf,.-d by Ihe
corresponding phonemic series madc up of either symbol a in Ihe synoptic table. the complemcntary
(most frequently) isoltlled phonemes (e.g.. la/. l'rJ/. e~planalions being fuund in the commentary fulluw-
Ig!. etc.• the alfricRlc 1t.1 - [IS] also being consid- ing the table.
ered lIS a "single" phoneme) or of combinations of (4) In a given alphabet. a fnll1kly more problemat-
phonemes (jdl/, Ib/. Iph/. Ik1l/. Irs/. lli/)· ic ca'lC. the proper and exclusive grapheme for a
Taking inlo account the total phooemic series re- gi\'Cn phoneme is missing: the phoneme. however. is
sulting from the addition of all Ihe particular phone. repuled to be prescnt despile this and is dlen .$iIid 10
mic ~riC5. each of which con-espond'l to one of the be a CRYnlWIIONf.ME. This is. by definition. rendered
fourteen individual Coplic alphabets. one may estab- by a grapheme or combination of graphemes each of
lish. from case to case. lhe existence of one or an· which is nomlally approprialed to the proper and
other of the five following possibilitif,.'5: cxclusive use of ::another phoneme: for example. in 5
(I) In a given Coptic 3lphabel. a given phoneme o - 101 in normal usage. and yet one may nOle the
(or combination of phonemes) is rendered by a second clemcnt of 00 (nol O.L) - lu'l in gmphic
gmpheme Ihal. according to a syslem of correspon· vucalic gemination (cf. ALEPH): or 'lgain in G. G - lsI
dence usual to this lllphubet as well 3$ to (almost) and :t - 17.f in normal usagt. and yet c:t (not lI,l) -
the whole of the Coptic dialects and subdiale<:IS. is Is/. This possibility is indicated by the symbol -l-
peculiar 10 it and liCrvf,.'5 for ilS exclusive use: thus, in the cOrTeSponding box in lhe synoptic tablc. the
fur example, in 5 ele..... for Ia!. III for fbI elc.• 9 for complementary explanations being found ill the
Ithl elC.• K for fkl etc. (It will be nOled in this commentary following the table.
regard that. according to rules which cannot be set (5) Finally. in a given alphabet the absence of lhe
out here lcf. Kasser. 1981). /if may be rendered usual grapheme (cl. point I) signifies the absence of
eilher by the grnpheme , or by the combination 61. Ihe phoneme concerned; this pm.'libility. the only
although the same I or (II may equally render Ij/; one that is really and fully negalive. is marked by an
and if luI is almost always rendered by lhe combina· empty shaded cell in the synoptic lable.
lionor. nevertheless Iw/. normally rendered by the In this table. ;lIly grnpheme betwcen parcntheses
Mme combination. often sees iL'l initi;tl 0 diS<lppcar is of considerably reduced ustlge (because it eOITC'
in ol1hography after .... e. or H. which conveys the spunds to a phonemc thtlt is itself also of greatly
illusion of a correspondence y - Iw/). This type of reduced usage) in all of the dialeci. subdialcct, or
peculiar and exclusive phonemc-grapheme relation- group of idioms concerncd (lhus. e.g., the S()llanll'
ship is in the Coptic alph;:.bcts the mOS! normal and IV. Il"fI/. II'fI. Irl in B etc.). This obviously dlX-'5 not
widely favored possibility; e\'ery graphcmc that at· apply 10 (e) in (0)1 or to (0) in (o)y, which signify.
taches to it-and likewise the eventual combina· respectively. the simultanCOl.J$ existence of spellings
tions (e)t or (o)y-is tben nOled. jll.~1 as it is in the in 61 and in I, in oy and in y. A.ny grapheme be·
synoptic table herein. tween square brackell' has had 10 be reslored. taking
(2) In a given COplil,; alphAbet. a given phoneme is account of the prob3bililies (the lextual base being
rendered by a given grapheme that. according 10 a too narrow. lher-e has been no occasion fol' this
system of con-e~pondence usual to this alphabet. al- gnlpherne 10 appear). In line ll, "gem." ~ignifics
though not to the uthel' Coptic dialeCl~ and subdia· graphic vocalic gClllination (see CliMINATION. VOCAL-
lccts. is peculiar 10 it And serves for its exclusive use: IC). a way of rendering r I in writing a,<; a
thus. for ex.ample. K for II,;I in P, Although eve,y· cryplophoneme and nOl a phoneme in the ordinary
whell' else K - /k/; 6 for It.hl in S, although every- sense.
where else 6 = Icl (bUI see earlier discussion of law For convenience,S has been assigned the function
of exclusiveness). This possibility is not the most of a norm or standard; in relation to it thc following
normal. but it remains very widely favored; this phonemic and alphabetic differences will be noIed
grapheme is then also noted. just as it is In thc (uansfomlalions and simplifications):
synoptic table. uncs 2a and 32: J. G. F9, H r. fbI > Ivl (cf. I. 26):
(l) In a givell alphabel. a given combination of D7 also has .. Iv/. but could well have preserved II
phonemes, instead of bciTIg rendered by the gr.lph· fbI simultaneously.
erne usually peculiar to it. is rendered by each of the Line l: H r 181 > K Ik/.
graphemes thai habitually render each of the com· Line 4: 11 A Idl > T It/.
ponents of this combination: thus n. and not t, for Line 5a: He leI> II I!/.

Line 6: /-1 z I'll> cis/. Line 32: See line 2a.

Line 10: P )../kl > S etc. «(111([ ,ill the Olher Coplic Line 34: P 9/...1 and alsu i ~ 1...1 > S dt:, (nnd L
dialcels CIC.) II. Ikl (d. I. 29). and all lhe olher Coptic dialects, etc.) (I,l I~/.
Line 15: H 0/01 > lD lu/. Line 35: P (d. B) fJ Ixl and [llso i (d. A) with J 8
Line 20tl: H Y Iyl > II Ie/. Ixl > S eiC. (and L and all Ihe olher Coptic dialeels,
Line 21: See line 26. etc., except A eiC. and 8 eiC. with 87 and G) ~ Ilt/:
Line 22: Sec lines 28 and 35, note 87, G x probably Ixl mlher than Ikh/.
Line 25: F9 (ij /AI > cis/. II is difficult 10 know wilh any precision lite
Line 26: J, F9, H 'I IfI > t Ivl (ef. l. 2;1); G l' names of the letters of lhe valious Coptic alphabets,
probably IfI rather than Irhl (ef. l. 21). Thuse proposed by modem ur semimodcm gr.tm-
Line 28: With regard to x (1-5 Dub. ;md J. F9) for mal'ians all rest lll)()n relalively late tmdilions and
oX, sec discussion above. represent nut lhe primitive furms but furms alrendy
Line 29: P II. lei > S CIC. (and all Ihe other dia· somcwhllt modified (Stem, 1880, p. 7; Mallon, 1907,
lects. Cle., which have this phoneme) G lei (cf. L 10); p. 7; Steindorff, 1930, pp. 6-7, nnd 1951, p. II;
note, however, Ihat in J lllld F9 6 lei> II. Ik/; F7 G Plumley, 1948, p. I; Won'Cll, 1942, pp. 314-27, lak·
lei> x Ie/. en up in Till, 1955, p. 40). To provide n useful,

TAUtE I SYlloplic Table of Coptic Alphabels•• wilh Commell/ary

P I A D 87 L5 G P9
ele. ele.
eiC. (Dub.)
" J
1 M , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
, ,
,• • • • ,• ,• ,•
2, /b ?

,.• ,.•
2b !'II UJ (II
3 IgJ ,. ,. e e le] e e e e e (e]
4 Idl A A A A A A A (A] A
5, lei , , , , , ,
l'j , A
, ,
, , (AI
5b /01 , , , , , , , , , 1'1 , , ((l)
6 14 , , , , , , (,] , ," [z] [7.] , [7. J
7 le/
8 /thl "
0 0" 0" 0" "0 "0 "0 "0 "
0 "0 "0 "
0 "
[01 "0
9, Ii! (6)1 (6)1 (6)1 , {6)1 (6)1 , (ti)1 , , (6)1 , , {ell
9b Ijl (U)I m (1))1 , (e)/ (6)1 , (6)1 , , (tj )1 , {6)1
10 1\1 ~
I Ia 111 ,
, ,
, ,
lib !!! , , , 1'1 , , [(>.)] , ? ? ? ,
12, Iml H H H H H H H H H H H H H H
I2b Iml H H H (HI H H (H) H (HI ? ? ? [M~]


Inl , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
13b I~I
, , , ("I , , I")
, 1"1
, , ? ttl?)
13, Inl B, , , , , ("I , ? ? ? [tl?]

Iksl , , ("I
, , , (,] , ("I
(,j ('I (,] I'] (,] ('I
15 foI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16 1,1
17, M
"r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r "r
17b M r r (fl r r
18 lsi ,r •
, , , , , (fl
, ,? ?
, ?
, ?
, [p?)
, ,
19 1'1 T T T T T T T T T T T T T T
200l? 1,1 y y y y y y (y] y y (y] y y (y]
20b lui oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy oy

• ••Ie op(A/labelS , mmellIary (co" I

r,\,8lF., 1, SyllOpIIC T.bl
p I A
p' •
IC ','Co
8 S M 87

F7 F8 J G FY H
etc. eiC. ele. elC. (l>Ub.)
Iwl (olY (olY (olY (olY (o)y
Iphl .; .; .; .; .;
(';1 ,,
", (olY
11 /khl x x x x x x (x?1 x? x x x, x? x
13 1..1 t 't) t t tit t 'tl t tit 'tl t [tl t It'
14 1'1 • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
26 '"III/hI •• •• •., •., •
•, • •., •• ••• l~?] -I-

2? , , , , , ", , , , ,
26 1'1 x x
, x
, x x
, x 0, x x
, 0 -1- 0 x
t t -t- -t- t -t- .,. ., - ["'71 - • •
31 /'1 QJ gem. gem. gl·m. gcm. gem. gcm,
, , , , •
51 (-J
I2l Iiil
• - - {'"?] - "

36 '"
Ichl "
[!J [!J
[!J x
Total 35 J2 31 31 30 3. 3. 2. 2. 2. 26 24 24 25

Lines 2lI-2b. In phonoiOllY. fbi has lhe: \-al..., of a eonsonalll (~"Oleed). and !ttl of a \"Ow<:l (!!Onanl) (cf. Kass."r.
, • In 8 elc. (and
1981 c).
also in ,..S. ,..... he:re inclu<lcd In S eLe. ,,00 M etc.• rt'Spe'Clively) ~I > I~I (l'S. F.. also /ybl in spo-eific cast'$); in f7 If!I > IJb/.
Iib/./ool ur Irb/. each in ~iI;e c a s t S . ' ,
liM'S Sa-Sb: lei lOOie. lal ;!Olook:.
Lines 9a-9b: In phoooIocy. /if has tnc \"ll!..., of a \~I and fJ/ ul" cumon.:ull (glide). With regan/to lhe: nil"" ul di:aI.,.,ta1 or
itlbdW«laI orthov:tphy lhal (litiS<: Ihe wrilinl ul a ()f" I for iii or fJ!, d. ICas6cr (198]) and. more detailed "nd I~ ~e"",llc.
Qued:e (1984).
UnC:ll II a- lib: In phonology. III has lhe value a consonant (voiced). III of a """"" (sonanl). (d. Ko!s5er. 1981 c). If 11/ > 1t.1/.
AI"",",I al",...". in 8etc. (amI "Iso e~erywhere in FS and f·4. ncre Included in Setc. and M eIC .• r6pecli....ly)./11 > I;AI. In 1'7/11 >
/:tl/or Iil/. each in specific cases (Ihen: Is no poMibilily of Iol/); bUl in F9/l/ln CTATOA' (- [~TfJA""'''''J). lroubled. •
Unts 1201-120: III phonology,/ml hM Ihe vatu<: of" enmonanl (\'t>lccd). and Im'l uf a ~owcl (soI"l.1nl) (d. Kll$6Cr. 19IIle). II Iml
Itm/. In 8 elC. (and also Fj and F4. here indu<lcd In S etc. lind M etc......' Spcelivcly)./ml mosl oflen > l:>nl/: in n Im/nlOSl
, >
frequently> lan'l. fin.I, "r/oon/. each in specific cases. ' •
Unes ll;a-Ilc: In phonology./nl has lhe ~alue of a eonsonanl (voiced). and Inl and Inl "f a vowel (sonant. II'!" being "I Ihe
bellinning of a syllable and FOl"mln& a syllable with 11K: eon50mml lhul full""", il; cr.Kwr. 1981<:). It In/ > Itni. In IJ CIC. (and
In 1'5 and N. hcre included in S ele. and II-! ele .• respccllvely). 1111 most uften > I..m/; in n /nl m061 f..cquenlly > lanl or lin/.
each in specific CMCS (nOl lonl appllrcntly: cf. I. J 1 ) . · ,
Line 14: H very of'e" , Iks/ > IlC Iks/.
Lines 1711-17b: In phunulngy./r/Illt. lite "lIlue of a consonanl (voiced), lind /rl , "ra ""wei (st",am). JJ II'I , > I~r/. tn n ele, (and In
f5andF4. he,.., Inclu<k...J ill S dc.and M ele .. rcsI>celivcly)./rl , 111%1 orten> lar/: in F7 Ir/, "''''I fn:quenlly > /arl or /Ir/. each in
~I"'clfic ca<t'1l (Ihere Is no posslbllily of fori). Would fV have had, /r/lhe,.., lClll has ... II/?
Unes 2Ob-20e: In phonoloilY. lui has lh" vaIn" oh vowel, and Iwl "r'a consonunl (Illidc)~ l¥Y or y for Iw/.
Une 22 (d. I. 28): Lj (Johannlne f....Il"'enls in Dublin). J, amJ F9 'cguludy n.'Plaee oX by a,.; that is vel)' probably c'Iu;~alenl ltl {?:I
and nO! /kh/; however. Ihere is in ,...ri<:Jus COlllo·Gred words a,.; that Is prob.1bly cqul~..lcnl 10 Ikh/. 1"hcse lwu lyJ>C'l of,.; may
lUll be in ongin Ihe same gr-.. ph...l1e (demolie ,.; "" Greek x).
U..., 2]; Fl (nol 874) and al:so some LIJ leJlS (under S Cle.) wnte t ror 'Yo 11 \"Cry often i'/psl > IIC IpIl/.
Litle 25: C cz ve,y probably CQul\":Ilent 10 If.!.
Line 23: C T:t \"C1)' prob3bly equlvalenl 10 Itl.
Une 30: FlI, [RJ, G, 1-"9, II n 111/; t ill gClIcroilly considered a grapheme of demotic ongill (d.• e-3-. Mallon. 1907; Stei"durlI. p. 12):
bul other illierpretations ~maill possiblc (d. Kasser. 1984-1985).
liM' ]1: Gcm.signlfio lhat fils rendered not bya gr;l.phemcofilSown but by Ihcsexond detnenl.,( alll3pliic I'OCalic Il'minalion
(we AI.Utl); in bet. in Papyrus Bodmc:r VI, the sole wilness of 1'• .L fI aleph tends 10 be replaced by Il''''. (ahhouVt a,lnc ~mc
lime -/ry' lel\ds to be n:pIaced by .LIJ.
Une ]]: The compendium" If, le~1 (1 Coptic autoc:hlOOnow wonIs PII, _ S 60. then; P fN • S 'lfGl. Ihe prolcplic panicle) also
appc:al'$ in somc Coplo-(;...,.,k wonk. in which il'" alnlOSl always l.'<Iulvalent 1010.' as in Inc G...,.,k ma.nuscripu (thus P.v<.oc
aiKD-,ju:;t. 85 percenl nllnc ea.<cs;~,6u<D«><rir"'l.juSl:icc. 86 pen::enl of Ihe~; R'\.l1Cf
life... ,,<pU>.. barKJai,..,. one casc!).
.D'np. althuugh. tine e3St';

rather standardi7.ed example. even if hs value may which is sometimes less cenain): L !k! .. -.:eloid
be open to deb'lte. here <Ire pre5ented liTht the kappa; - !nl' ,., hyphen·shaped nu; x !l:.! (for x) '"

nllUles of the Coptic lellers as in Plumley (1948). chioid janja; ..I. /'! = reverscd.tau·shapcd aleph; '" =
with some adaptation: while Plumley writes the kai compendium; 9 = 9·spiraled grapheme; OJ -
names in Coptic lcucrs. they llt·C hcre tmnslitcr;lted, crossed shai: !:J '" khai or ~ai; a .. balTed hod; G !l:.h!
generally in accordance with I'lumley's system of in B etc. = aspiraled jllnja.
phonetic equivalents (e = short c: e .. long e: 0 '"
short 0; 0 '" long 0; eh .. guttural eh ns in Genlltln
Wc/lnllac/ll. army; g' = hnrd g): ), .. alpha, 1\ .. b~ta,
r' ... gamma, A. ... dnlda. 6 '" ey (or ei), Z zeta, H ,., Bilonlo Kassel', A. dL "Ostrac"" scolastici copti a DeiI'
hllta, 0 .. thllta. 1 ,., yOta. K ,., kappn Inudl' (or cI Gitlil.... Aegyptus 68 {I988):167-75.
lawda), M '" me, N '" nco ~ '" hi. 0 '" ow. n '" pi, P = Bourguet. P. du. Grammaire fonctionnelle I:t progreso
l"l'l. c .. semma. T '" tau (or' taw). y .. he. t .. phi. x
sive de Ngypt!e'/ demOlique. Louvain. 1976.
Cr'lm. W. E. A Coptic Viclionory. Oxford, 1939.
.. khi, l' '" psi, (J) . . o. (1,1 .. shai. " .. fai, !.l .. chai. ~
Funk. W.·I'. "How Closely Relaled Arc Ihe SubakJ,·
'" hori. X = j.mjia (or j.mjya), G = g(y)ima, t '" ti. mimic Dialects," Zei/sclrrif/ fiir iigyp/isehe Spraclre
Coming closer to the testimony of the texts in Wid Aitertumskllllde 112 (1985):124-39.
their (quite confusing) manifold witness. sec also, Hall, H. R. Coptic and Greek Tex/s of Ihe Chris/larr
fwm v"rious perio<.]J; and in Coptic. the names of Period from OSlrokll. SIe!ae ele. in the Brilish Ml,se·
graphemes noted by Crum (1939). a list completed /lin. London. 1905.
here by that of the nllmes of autochthonous Coptic Husselman, E. M. "A Bohairic School Text on Papy·
leiters thai appears at the end of Ihe (unpublished) rus." loumal of Near EasU'm Sllldie$ 6 (1947):129-
Bodmer papyrus of the Acta Pauli (fourth-fifth cen· 51.
turies. L5. siglulll hercarter Bod.): ), .. ),....t),. II ,., _ _ . The Gospel of 101m ill f'ayumie Cop/ie (p.
IItlT), (or 1I1}t..),). I' = r),HM),. A. = A.),i\A), (or A.X"}t..),). Mich. II/V. J52f). Ann Arbor. Midi .. 1962.
e .. (Jl (or (;Ie). )! = )!IIT), (or )!tT)" Z),1'),), H .. (2)H1')'
Kassel'. R. Papyrus Bodmer 111. cl'ongile de lean et
(or lilT),. 2),TfI), 0 .. OIlT), (or 1)11')" 001'0). I ,., IWT),
Genese I-IV,2 en bQhai"rique. cseo 177 -178.
Louvnin. 1958.
(or 101'),. l),yA.),). I(. ,., 1(.),11I,), (or 1(.),1I),1. .... '" >,),yA.),
_,--_. "Dialectcs, sous·dia1ccles ct 'dialccticules'
(probably for .... ),l'.A)" or ),y>.)" >.0....0). M = Mil (or dans l'Egypte copte." Zei/schrift fiir iigyp/ische
M6. MI). /'/ ... /'/6 (or NI). ~ 'll. 0 '" oy (or 0). 11 '" Ill. S"rache WId AllerWlIIshmde 92 (1966): 106-15.
r .. rw (or ~ro). C ,., CtlHM), (or CyMM),. elM),. CRM),), --C" "L'Idiome de 13achmoul'." Bulle/ill de {'filS/i·
T ... ny, y = ~O (or yo, y),), t '" tl, x = Xl. l' = 1'1. IU/ fralH,ais d'arche.ologie orienlale 75 (1975):401-
W = (J) (or loy, way); then (1,1 .. lI,I),1 (or (1,161; Bod. 27.
(I,Illll[I]); " ,., '1),1 (or '101; Bod. <11101); !J ,., !J.\I (or !.lei); _-" "A propos de quelques caractclistiques
~ .. 20pl (Bod. 2Olpm); x ,., XJ.tu:'), (or XO/,/X(l; Bod. olthographique.~ du vocabulaire grec utilise dans

prob"bly x)''''~. but x.\/'/X!~ not excluded); G ,., les dinlecles H et N." Orien/illia wvrmiensiu
GlM), (Bod. 6f.!!':If.! very uncerlain); '1' ... Bod. +m. Periodicil (Miscellanea in honorem Josephi Vcr·
gote) 6-7 {I975-1976):285-94.
(I) So far as the Coptic grapheme.~ of Greek migin
_ _ . "Prolcgomcnes a un essai de clao;sification
are concerned. one will probably be closer lu their systematique des dialectes et suhdialectes copte.~
primitive names if one names them in the Greek selon les crilcl'es de la phonelique, I. Principes et
fllshion: ), ,., ulpha, Po .. bela. r .. g:lmma. A. ,., delta. lermiMlogic." Mrmiorr 93 (1980.1):53-112." ... ,
tl .. epsilon, Z = zeta, .. = elo, e = theta. 1 '" iota. " 11. Alphabets ct systCl11CS phonetiques." Muston 93
= kappa, .l. = lambda. M co mu, /'/ .. nu. ~ .. xi, 0 .. (198%):237-97. " .... 111. Systemes orthographi·
omicron. n .. pi, P ,., rho, C .. sigm:l, T ,., tau. y = ques cl categories dialecl,,1cs," Museun 94 (198Ia):
up.~ilon. l' '" phi. x .. chi, l' .. psi. (J) ... omega. 91-152.
(2) fur the Coptic graphemes of demotic odg!n in _ _ . "Usages de la surligne dans Ie P. Bodmer VI,
S. the prefer'Cnce her'C is for tire following fonns (in notes additionne1Je.~." Bllllelill de Iii Sociert
the S vocalism): (1,1 = sh<li, 'I .. fai, ~ .. hOli, x .. ,/'e.gyptologie, GelltiVe 5 (198Ib):23-32.
_ _ . "Voydles en fonelion consommtiquc. con·
jonja. G = gima (easier 10 pronounce Ih"n the more
sonncs cn fonction vocaliquc. ct classes de
exact k(y)ima), t '" ti. phonemes en copte." Bulleti" de 10 Societe
(3) for the supplcment"ry graphemes, lipan from d'egyp/ologie, Geneve 5 (1981 c):33-50.
!J. their names areJ,Jnknown. so that il was necessary ___. "EI ou I pour !i! ou !j! dans les dialectes
10 ere'lte them (if possible in relation with their coptcs." Bulletin of Ihe Ameri"mr Sociely of Papy'
wrilLen fOlm, which is certain because it elln be rologis/s 20 (1983):123-26.
observed. rather than with their phonological value. _ _ . "Orthographe et phonologic de la variete

subdialeelale IYl,;opolitainc des tClItcs gnostiqllCs traces, but two of whleh are nevenheless attested hy
copt~ dc Nag Hammadi:' Musiull 97 {I984):261- Coptic documents lh.'lt have sunrived the vicil;situdes
312. of the tormented history of the Copts: I)[AI.ECT I
___ "I'si en ti et ti pointe dans Ie P. Biling. I de (pml:QoLyeopo1itan) and OlAUCT P (an alphabetically
HambOllrg," Billie/iII tie lu Societe d'egyplolo/:ie, and phonologically an:haic idiom that often looks
Gtll~ve 9-10 (1984-1985):135-40.
like what can be known about a proto-Sahidic, tenta·
Kasser, R., and H. Sat;dnger. "L'ldiome du P. Mich. tively reconstructed and considered immigrant into
5421 (Irouve a Karanis, nOI"d·eo;t du Fayoum)."
lhe TI1cb.'ln region).
Witntr Ztilschrill liir die Kmrde ties MQ~tmfufldes
74 (1982):15-32. In the$C cin:umstanecs. it is scarcely surprising
Krall, J, "Reste koplischer SchulbueherliterJ.tur." that each of the Old Coptic leXL~ :utesL~ a panicular
Mil/hei/IIllgt" Q'/$ der Sammltmg dcr PapynlS En· Coptic alphabet (or if onj,' prefers, a panicular varie·
htr<.og Raintr 4 (1888):126-3S. ty of Coptic alphabet). It is reasonablj,' to suppose
Mallon. A, Grammaire cople, uvec bibliograplrie, that all these alphabets included all the Coptic let·
chreMomarhie et vocabulairt. 2nd cd. Heinl!, 1907. ters of Greek origin-a supposition and not a cer-
Plumley, J. M. All httrodllctnry Capric Grrmmrar tainty, bt:cause these very ancient texts are gj,'nerally
(Sohidic Diu/ectJ, London, 1948. too shon for each to attl'St all these Greek graph·
Ouccke, H, "Ein altes bohairi:>cho FrJ.gment des emes. But thcre is no reason to suspect that one or
Jakobusbriefes (P. Heid. Kopt. 452)." Orielllalia 43 more of these Greek letters was s)'!'tem:lIically elimi-
nated in one or anothcr of thl'SC alphabets, as is the
--::-: "ZUr Schreibung \/On i/j in der koptischen
Buchschrift." 1.0 S/Ildicn lJl Sproche Wid Rtligioll case in the Coptic alphabet of a late text likc that
ACfPlelU, Vol. I, Sprllcht, lJI Ehrell VOII WoIfhllr1 which atlests D1AI.F.cT H (cf. AIJ'I{ABEn). COPTIC, synop-
Wtslt'ldorf jjberrticlll \1011 stifle" Frelllldell .lIId lic table), which lacks the r, A, and ~ of Greek
Schil/em, pp. 289-326. COllingen, 1984. origin. All these Old Coptic alphabets induck-d Iet-
Stcindorff, G. KopliS€he GrllJllJIIlllik, mil Chresto- tcrs of demotic origin, generally in largcr numbers
IIIlllhit, W;men'trteicJ",is lIm/ LileruflIr. Berlin, than the Coptic alphabet properly so called, especial-
1930. ly since the varielies of Old Coptic h:wc at the same
...,"'.. Lel,rlmch der koptischell GrOJl/J11lllik. Chicago, lime a number o( phoncmes more significant than
1951. that of the Coptic idioms (the evolution proceeding
Stem. L Koplisdre GrommlJ/ik. Leipzig, 1880.
logically toward phonological and gr-J.phical simplifi.
Till, W. C. Koplische Graltlltlalik (saidisclter Dillfekl),
cation and hencc toward a reduction in the number
mil Bibliographie, f.ese.ttilckclI wrd Woncrvcncicll·
"isseI!. Lciptig, 1955, of phonemes and graphcmes), The synoptic table of
Worrell, W. H, Coptit' TexIs i'l lire U'liversily 01 Michi· Old COI)tic alphabeL~ (Table I), which includes all
g~rl eollcc/iotl. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1942. Ihe Old Coptic texis lhat arc available and makes use
of letlet"li of demotic origin, will make this evident.
The sigla for the texts used in this ta\)le are a~
follows: &:h1ll. - the Schmidt Papyrus (first-sl.'t:ond
century): Hal', - thc London Horoscope Papyrus
(firM-second century): Mich. • the Michigan Horo-
ALPHABETS, OLD COPTIC. The group of scope P\lpynlS (second centuly): Mun, - the Munich
tcxts dcsigmdcd ow corne does not represent a l'apyms ([schoolbook?J second century): Oll. - the
linguistic unity, but on the contmry a motley collec· Egyptian Oxyrltynchus Papyrus (second century):
tion of essays spaced out between the fit"lit 'IIU.! Mum, - the two mummy labels in Berlin (second
fourth centuries A.ll. Chronologically thcy most frc· century): Mim, - thc Mimllut PlIpynls (third centu·
quently pr'l;ldatc littm1)' Coptic, but wmetimL'S, ry); DMP _ the Demotic Mllglcal Papyrus of London
though rarely, are l,;ontcmpomry with its beginnings. and Leirlel1 (third-fourth century): Par, I - first
Howcver tlnlt may be, through their char.lcter as non·Greek section of the Paris Magical Papyrus
isolated essays tentatively made, not very systematic (founh century); Par. 2 - second non·Greck section
or even pmetically unsystemlltic, and through their (bllt not the third and lasl) of lhe Ptuis Magical
language, in which one observes a significant pro· Papyrus (fourth century),
portion of prl.'-Coptie features, they all logically rep' To the alphabets of these ten lexts properly desig·
resent a slage prior to th:;at of litemry Coplic. includ· nated Old Coptic are added here, by way of compari·
ing prolo-Coptic. The laller is already syslemalic and son, those of the only two protodialel,;u sunriving in
makes its appearance in the form of PROTODtAu:crs, Coptic, P and i. because both have preserved eenain
many of which have disappeared without leaving any phonemes of Old Coptic that later disappe:lred in
TAB1..£. I. S)'1lop/ie Table of Old Coptic Alp},abels, \\,;/h CommellIury
Schm. Hor, Mich. Mun. 0,. Mum. Mim. OMP. »:lr.! 1'(Ir.2 P I
, , , , , , , , ,
,i Ikl
/oJ • "• ?
, •
• • • •
• " "


•, •0'
, ,
,. •,

& ,


•• ? ,
" ,• ", ,? x
8 Ilil • • • ? • • • • 'r
9 f/ (.L )? ,, , ? ? , gem.
.L gem.
iO 101 • (I)?
• , •, • •

? :> :> ? :> "
'x) :> •
13 Ihl 3 , ? 'V?
Totnl 31 ? 35 31 32? m ? 281 34? 3D? 271 35 3Z
(In the following. "A.C.lablc" ..crers luthe ~ynoptic table in "I.PUAliEB. eo,,"ne.)
UII< I (A.C. tabk.l. 10); UO<". gcncr-IIly hal;), /k/and II./e/. but lhis tellt ICnds toconfust! ~ two pOOncme5. sincconc also fin<k
Sf!ve...1K fOt" fkI and (more ......,Iy»), for leI. Mich. is so rmtnlt'nu>ry that one eannol b..- su..., hcre ofiL' wilne1S. Did Mim. abo
uSi', alungsidc K. a kind of), fo.. /1:1 (cr. Ka,.'1(:... 1980. p. 265)1 DMf' gcnernlly has), /1:/ ami K /e/. but unc ;11$0 find~ ""me", /k/
(confU$i<>n of lhe twu phOflCllld).
Line 2 (A.C. luhle.lI. 13b-13c); Hor. has _ rOt, /n/. while I' Itu.~ it mtherrur In/.
Une J (A.C. table. I. 25); In Sellin. the choice <;>f I (or lsi i~ stmnge (in lkmolie I 'renders /r/ and :llso IfI; uu Bourguet. 1976, p. 82).
One uf the telllS of Mum. is wrillen from right [0 lei", whh all but three of ilJileucrs l'qU3l1y lurned from righttu l.,rl, bUl 3
remains withoul il1\"'~n: thc """ond lexl is wrincn from left to ri&ht, wilh i\$ 3 just a6 it is. In Mim., in (InC case, tbe cdiloro(
the TC11 imlicaTCIi thel're:'JC1>ce 0( an' (as in P) in plac:e or". but it is prefer;llble to [;Ike noaccuunl of this reading (at thifi point
lhe tCl{t is alm""t entirely el1l5Cd, and the photo sh"W$ no t.."",e to allow us to C(lnfiml this assumption, however weakly), 1"..1'. I.
a single example, hru; poerhaps the clumsy dmft of" III (mlher th"n n 3, 01' .IHI less a ", Ka.'\Ser, 1980, p. 2b7),
Line 4 (A.C. table, I. 2b): NOlhing.
Une 5 (A.C. table. I. 27); In Seh",. generally, the anelent" is rendel'L..J by a I (o( Uvery particular rorm; Ka.o;scr, 1980. p. 257), ami
the andcnt IT by 3. In Oll., the uncicnT II is g"nc:r;Illly I, and the and"nt II is I 01' r. In !)MP. for _m 0( c.-rtain ~iilpIL'" deriving
from an • ...;1<:111 h. it ;,. difficult la ~y whew.. [here I"" ancient II ~ It haw re<;onc:iled wi.- opposltion to rotlw'"G" in a
unifOnn /hI, rendcred now byl, 1I0w byy, 0<" whether eventually only the anc:\em II i!' rendered hylor y, th" ancient h having
WIl'pletcly l1isappcared; thillstrangc y or OMP is "nly then~ at The bcginninll of a ;vord (but SOlllC other beginnings of worns,
m",.., mre. al!iO have I) and for prcJer"m:e before" vowcl (supplcmenlal)' l1ela1l5 in Ku...." '.., 1... ~0. p. 2(8). In Par. 2, L is phJCeu
only t-..rcly "bcfor'e" the vowel that phonologically roll"w~ il; "'U._t orten it l_ placed above It (I ike lhe Creck epigruphic rough
breaLhi"ll, which it much resembk" Dnd of which it mighl evenTuully he a v:>riaul); it also happef15 thallhe ""ribc rClllac"" This t.
aha"e the line by a simple "acute Keent" or again that he r"'lIet! it alt"lle:ther.
Line 6 (A.C. table, I, 28): In Sehm... has the form of a large Creek D. In Mim. tbe rt'gUlaI' form isdeddcdly .. (1M t...... x rratI by the
editor of the texl.rc eXlJemdy doubtful). In ~r. I, 1t.1 is no.mally rendered by; (tWO CItl5CS), but at..... (through phonological
confusion of If-I and I<;/) by" (two cases) or evcrt by X (one eus<:. Ihrough the influence of the eomenlpor.:u), Coptic alphabet).
Line 7 (A.C. lable, J. 29): Mich. very unee.,a;n.
!.inc 8 (fl,C. lllble.1. 3D): NOlhing.
line 9 (A.C. tablc, J. 31): In HOI". lhrcc case~ only, all ruther dottblful (pilOnellle 11>:>1 could be fl. gr.. pheme mOl'e ur less
........,mbling a ~ 0 .. a ;. ("-'<C", 1980, p. 264); in Oll. the pus.'libility of a ~ rcn1.1ins tOO hazardous (ibid•• p. 264).
UlIC 10 (A.C. whit::. I. J4): n"r. presents three casa "'·he..... .,') is wrillen in place of" and pert.aps a furttx,.. casewhe,..,,, Is wriu<,n In
pI;lCe of 1:1 (confusion bet"'...... n the poonemQ /XI and I.;/). TIle only I of Mich. is in a COnlCllt olremely (perhapll "ll~iV('ly)
obscun.·. It Is not very likdy thaI "orOll, eve.. renders Illl (Kassel', 1980, p. 267). In I)MP there is evcntually (?) a case whcre/f<.1
is rendered by I.
Lit'e 11 (fl.C, lable.l. 35); In OMI' Ihere i~ an uneCl'lain!> (two eu."I:$). It ecrt"in" (one case), Imd a probable 11: (otte case). In Par. 2,
if L regtrlarly renders /hI. il also ren<1cl"l' Ill/two "UI of llll'l~" times, x renlkring il (mu con"CClly) one out ulthree times
(ten<1cney toward the ncutrolimtion of th" opposition ulthe phonemC$ /hI llnU Illl, in fu of the suiI' sun-ivai of a unifonn
Line 12 (A-c. Table. l. 36): Mim. probably does nOi h;...e this Ithl (d. Ka....."C1'". 1980. p. 269). With regard tu the problem ulthe
eYenlUal e"''''''enee 0( the phonem" It-hI r;Illher th;ln ItI in Par. I, er. Ka,.-.;cr (1980. p. 269).
Line 1.\ (no eum~sP'Onding lin., In flC t"ble); Wilh regard 10 DMP, sec above, IInc 5.


Coptic; P even h:lS in its a1phabel such a large num· The majority of the graphemes of Old Coptic al-
bel' of lelten typical of Old Coptic that it reaches a phabets presented here are considered, :is has been
tOlal alphabet of at ICOlSt thirty-five grolpherncs. This said. as being certainly of demOlic origin: for othen
is thus an alphabet as rich as the richest of Ihe Old (especially K lei. Y ItJ/, x Ixl and, above nil, some.·
Coptic alphabets (excluding exceptional gmphemlOS; timl.'S cvcn leI in Coptic, if not in olll Coptic), even
see below), that of Hor., with it~ thil1y.five lellers; if their appearance i§ wholly lhat of grolphcII1CS of
one might even s;,IY thai P has thh1y-slx gmphemes if Greek origin, one may strongly SUSf)\.'Ct that it is a
onc admits Ilml the II. Ikl of its Copto·Greek vocabu· casc of signs of de.motlc o,igin having been cntirely
Illry is to be distinb'llishcd from the K leI of its ussimiluted graphically to Greek leller~ thai resem·
autochthonous voeabuku)'. the first developing from hIe them and h.lVc influcnced their graphic form.
the Greek K, and the second from tl llemolic graph· This series of leliefS will now be reviewcd in the
erne (sec du Bourgoet, 1976, p. 75, sign for g, firsl following ordel~ first the g"'dphemc:s of Greek ap-
variant). pearance; then the. lellers of demotic origin utilizl.-d
To facilitate comparison, the ordel' of the pho- in COplic; and, linally, the grnphcOlcs uf demotic
ncmes is that of the final sections in the synoptic origin (whedu'r ecnain 01' possible), utiJi7.ed only in
table of Coptic alphabets (only nos. 25-36 are con- Old Coptic, nOl in Coptic (Ihe Coptic protodiak-ct P,
cerned), except for I'l.l and Inl,, placed right at the 1H)"'ever, here rejoining the Old Coptic group).
beginnin&. and 11.'/, placed at the vel')' end. In the In the enumeration of each of these signs below,
table hereafter. the sign ~ indicates th.1t instead of the.re is first indicated, so far :IS possihle, lhe pn.-cisc
rendering Itil by a sillgle grapheme, t, the text in demotic sign from which it derives or may be pre-
question rellders it by two leiters, TI; "gem." signi· 5Untt.-d to have derived; for these referencl.'S to the
fies that /'I is rendered not by a gl'al)heme of iL~ own dcmotic grophemcs, the work cited will in ench case
(like .l in HoI'. L? J and P) but hy the second clement he implicitly du BUUl'Kuet (1976, p. 75), where the
of a g1'llphic voealie geminulJon (see AI.EPH). "usual" gmphic fonns arc presented on the left :llld
In lhis pt\:scn1:ltion of the graphemes typical of their "variants" on lhe !'ight. Thercartel', Ihe name of
Old Coptic, each Is given in a standuroized f01'1II and lhe (Old) Coptic gmphemc will be given: the name
no account is takcn of ils numerous particular lraditionally known in lhe case of the lellers 01, <t, tJ,
grnphic valiants (sometimes very perceptibly remote t, X. 6, .,. used in Coptic and a name unknown and
from one another); 50 fur as <t is conce.mcd, it has to be created in thc ease of the other lellers. The
been fixed in the form that it habittmlly h:lS in C0p- lattcr has becn done, where possiblc. in relation 10
tic. although in Old Coptic this form is gcnerally the g...<\phic fonn (....-hich is ccnain because it can be
much closer to that (the most usual) of the demolic ob,o;en;ed) rather than to the phonological value
grnphcmc for trI (du Bourguel, 1976, p. 3), esJx:dal. (somelimes very uncertain and ahove all very varia·
Iy with ilS Mem Mrongly inclined toward the right. ble from one Old Coptic text to another).
Furthennore, thc signs arc limited to those that ap' I. K Icl could strictly speaking be Ihe same gmph.
pear regularly in these lexts (or ncarly so); it has not eme as K Ikl (of Gn.:c:k origin}, Ikl and leI being
been judged indispensable 10 include al50 ceruin phonologically close to one another and hcnce Iia·
rare fonn5 of Old Coptic gropheOiCS whose use is ble to be confused; but if that was not the case, the
occasional (01' even, in most cm;e~, ll11ceptional) llnd demotic original of II. leI (not IkfJ could be the fjn;t
docs not seem to Illlve any pfit1ieulal' phonological variant of lhe sign fol' g. Name assigncll: kuppaoid
significance (Ihese unusual forms appear above all gimll (easlet' to pronounec than the 11101'C exact
in Schm., HOI'., Oll., DMP, and Par. 1; fW1hcr details "kllppaoid k(y)ima").
will be found in K4lSSCr, 1980, pp. 256-57). 2. y 1tJ,1 (ot' Ihf!), always at the beginning of a
Right at the end, in the count of lhc total number won!, is nOI very likely to be the saine grapheme as
of the grapheml'S of each Old Coplic alphabel (and Y Iyl (of Grcc:k origin). and this even if one must
of the two prolo-Coplic alphabelS " and i). accounl recom that (with vel)' rare exceptions in F and M) in
is calcen only of the graphcmes of demolic origin Coplie y alone (hcnce not preceded by l., 6, or II
chat appt.'llT fairly regularly in these lellts (ali just and not in any case oy) can only be found in a
eltplalned), and it L~ assumed with regard to each Copco-Greek word and that at the beginning of a
texl Ihat !he alphabel it uses had the full comple. word lhc Greek 11 always has the rough breathing,
ment of the. twenly·four Jellers of Greek origin, ac- equivalent (the most normal spelling in Sahidie.
cording to the assumption made ahovc. etc.) to 'lY" in Coptic. This y could thus be II distor·

lion of the Gn:ck epigraphic roo&h bn:athing ~. 13. 6 (Coptic graphic foml) leI derives from the
placed above the y and finally confused with it; but demotic sign for k. the lil'St of the usual fomlS
this y It).l could better still have a demotic origin: (which has, however, a very !;mall loop lind stretehcs
see lhe third of the variant~ of the sign for ~. Name its upper antenna at lenglh to the right, as is the
a.~signed: Y-slwped grapheme. case also with 6 in Old Coptic; see lIbovc). It is
3. x Ixl could strictly be tile !lamc gmphcme as x prohahle lhat lhis forrH of the Old Coptic 6 should
Ikil/. cor'l'csponding to some local Greek pronuncia· not lead one to confuse II with the graphically VCI)'
tion; if nol. lhere is some chance that il issued frotn ,;imilar one thllt Par. I eventually uscs for lehl rath·
the fourth 'l3riant of the demotic sign for h. Name er than for Icl (see no. 30). Traditional nnme: gima:
assigned: chiQid ~Qi or chioid kluli. in Old Coptic ooe may also call it, if pn:ferred,
4. x ItI is phonologically 50 remote from x Ikhl $lrO!,,:h~d gimQ.
(of Greek origin) that their confusion appears very 14. 6 /thl (only in 8, etc.) cOtJld be deri\'ed IlOI
unlikely (e\'rn if one ven!lln,:s to ~uppose a local from the demotic sign for k (see above with refer-
Greek pronunci:J1ion in which [k] > [11 and [h) > ence to 6 Ie/), but from the demotic sign for d, the:
(~], hence (khl > [t~l > It]); it is more reasonable to last of the ","unts, which n:sembl(:s a bulging a
make this x I~I derive from the (!cmolic .~ign fnr ~, with the rounded pat' beluw and the twO "horns"
fit'j;l variant (slightly inclined to the len). Namc liS' above (suppression of the Icft horn would ill fact
signed: chioid ja"ja. pt'Oduce.- kind of 6). Namc assigned: IIsp/raled j6lJja.
5. l,. Ihl will t:videndy be inter'Preh:d first of all a.~ 15. t llil is gener-illy considered as derived from
a variant (in trulh not ran:) of the Greek epigraphic the delllOtic sign for I, the sewnd or eighth of the
rough breathing (the more 50 sincc in Old Copt.ic variants (with cunsidcr.lblc graphic cvolution). It
one finds l,. not only as a leiter placed between the will. how..-ver, be n:rnarlu..-d that Ihis Coptic lettcr
other graphcometi of its line but also as an "accent" has uaclly the fonn of the 'r in latin epigraphy. a
placed above graphemes in its line, as the rough compendium for Ilil, more ran:ly for lill (cf. Kassel'.
breathing would be placed). One cannot, however. 1984-1985); a strong gr.lphic innuenee from the ut-
exclude a demotic origin for this sign also: see the in compendium on the demotic sign, str"olngcly abo
grapheme for h, firth or seventh variant (with the scnt from Old Coptic but adopted in Coptic, seems
final "hook" cut 011). Name assigned: '.·shl/pe,1 to be lhe least one can admit. Tmditional name: Ii.
#fIlpheme. 16. t Ipsl is lhe customal)' forl11 of the gmphcme
6. CO IV der'ives from the demotic sign fur s, third psi in the Greek manuscripts cuntemporal), with the
usual form (see also the fifth and eighth vadants). oldest Coptic manuscript~: all the same. af'ler the
Traditional name: shui. adoption of t ltil (a non-Greek grapheme) in Cop-
7. C, 1<;1 evklendy derives from the same sign as It. tic, h was necessary to modify the fonn of the psi, t
but completed by a diacritical clement. Name as· > t, to avoid confusion with t Iti;' (1lee Coptic
signed: CTO~d PlIli. tellts that still ....The t Ipsl, all very ancient. are
8. .. (Coptic graphic fOml) IfI deri\"C!i from the ran:.) Name assigned: lioid psi.
demotic sign for (, first 'l3riaOl (which is however 17. .1 1'1 derives from the demutic sign for i. the
clearly inclined toward the right, as is 'I in it<; graph· third of the usual fonns, perhaps also innucnced hy
Ie form in Old Coptic; see above). Traditional nllme: the demotic sign for' 3, lhe lil1lt of the usual forms or
fai; in Old Coptic it could also, if prefen-ed, be coiled the lil'!lt of the variants. Name assigned: reversed
inclined flli. tall·shaped Clfeplt.
9. ~ Ixl derivcs from the demotic sign for II, lil'Sl 18. ~ Ikl derives from the demotic sign fur ~, the
usual form. Traditional name: ~IQi 01· kJl(~i. second of the usual for·ms. Name assigned: Uloid
10. ~ 1111 derives bum the demotic sign for h, kappa.
usual fonn (but not without some graphic cvolu· 19. _/nl derives from the demotic lign for n. the

tion). Traditional name: hon. first of the usual fonn~. Name assigned: hyph~n.
11 .• /xl clearly derivcs from the same sign as ~ .shaped nil.
but is completcd by a diacritical clement. Name: 20. 3. the equivalent in Old Coptic most often for
assigned: btlrTt!d hori. lsI. but also sometimes fur Ihl or 11.1/. has particu·
12. .x leI deriVCll from the demotic !;ign for !f., the larly variable graphic forms (St..'<: above) and derives
lil'!lt of the usual fo.nns or the lasl of the vari::lnts from the demolic liign for ~. the second usual fann
(but in both with .<;ome graphic evolution). Tl'I\dition· (sec :1150 the thh1eenth lind the twenty·si~th variants
al name: ;anil/. fOt' ~). Name assigned: J-shaped grapheme.
'AYIN 45

21. co. the cqUl\'alent in Old Coptic most oftcn for othel' of the varianlS of the ,ign for g. Name as-
IfO/. but also sometimL"S for 11>/. derives from the signed: divided-lriQtlg/IHhaped grapheme.
demotic sign for h, the Iirst usual form. Name as- 30, The grapheme of Mich. for leI (?) and that or
signed: 6·spiroled grap/If!nre. Par. I for Ichl (7) (sec no. 13 and KaMer. 1980,
22. " the equivalent in Old Coptic (Hor.) of Ihl or p. 269) arc Uecidedly too doubtful to merit being
(DMP and less dearly)/x/. but systematically equiva· studied here and named, given pn'5Cnt knowk-dgc.
Itnt to ItI in pruto-Coptic P (an inversion of the (;
presented just above?). deriv('S from the demotic
sign for h, the l.I.SuaI foml (?) or lim. third. or sixth BI.BLIOGRAI'HY
variant (strungly developed on the grnphic le\'el). or
Bourguct. P. duo Grummaire fO'lc/ilJllllelfe 111 progres-
eventually also from the demotic sign for h. tenth
sive de I'tgyplien deff/otiqlle. Lollr.!in, 1976.
vanant (?). Name assigned: 9-spirtllet/ grapheme. K3..'I.."Cr, R. "Pmlegomenes ;i un essai de c1aS3iilica·
23. / 151 pmbably aJi'iO derivL"S frum liome valiant tinn s~ltlllllatique deo; dialectes et subdialcctes
of a demotic sign. bUl which? FOI' phonological rea' coptes scion lcs principes de la phoneiiquc, II,
sons, one cannot compare it with the sign for r, Alphabets et systcmcs phon~tiques:' Museoll 93
second usual form, or lhe silln for f. third variant, 01' (1980):237 -97.
the sign for t, second usul'll forlll, or even the sign --:--:. "(,si cn ti et Ii pointe dans Ie P. Siling. I de
fur (I. fourth variant. Name assigned: fmc/iou·stroke· Hamboul·ll." Oulltt/i'l de la Soc/be d'cgyplologic,
shaped grapheme. Gcuil1'e 9- I0 (1984-1985): 135-40.
24. I 1r;1 (? in Mich.) does indeed seem to derive ROOO!.PHE KAssER
from the demotic sign for '!' ilCcond usual fonn.
Name 3.....~igned: Slre/ched·capil(J/,~·igllrfl·sJr(Jped graph.
eme. 'A YIN, 'Ayin (- ') is the voiced laryngeal fricative
25. ", the equivalent in Old Coplic of Ihl ($chm. (Vergote. 1945, pp. 10, 72-76, 79-80), the Ar<lbic t .
and Ox.). or again pel....aps 11.11 (I)MP). has panicu· It belongs to the phonological invcntCKY of ancient
tarly \'ariable graphic fonm: it may be almost verti· and also later Egyptian, perhaps even as fur 3..<; the
cal (Ox.) or more or Ics.s sloping ($chm.); its loop beginnings of demotic (cr. VergOle, 1945, pp. 122-
may be closed (Ox.) or less angular and largely 23. and 1973, pp. 31-32; du BourguCl, 1976, pp.
open, in the manner of a demotic h (Schm.• see 3-4. 75). However, it probably does not belong any
further on). ,. derives from the demotic sign for h, longer to the phonological im'entory or Coptic or
the usual form or the fil'$l of the variant!; (with, even Pre-coptic, not even as tI CItYPTOI'lfONEME, in
probably, a £airly ck-<Ir influence from the sign for eontr,lSt to "I£PII. (~Ience. this discusston will ~t
~. the second llsual form; see also the Iifth. sixth, aside the hypothesi... of th~ who have been tempted
and seventh variant!;. and again, phonologically in· to see. or have actually thought to ~, II phonemic
compatible. lhe sixth of the variants of the demotic survival or . in the second elemen! of the graphic
sign for w). Name as.~igned: P·shape-d ~rupl,,:me. vocalic gcmination [SL'C GEMIN"TlON. VOC"lJCl typical
though one might specify in Ox. tIJrce-comer p. of certain lexemcs belonging to S etc.)
shaped grapheme, in Schm. Irrciilled-op,m.P.shaped Uke the lost J or the o..'Vived 1'1 (d. AlJ-:I'II), 'ayin
grapheme, or in a different W'".!y demotic·h-shaped nonetheless plays an important I'ole in Coptic pho-
grapheme. nology; iu pn:scnce, althoub>h anterior to Coptic, has
26, 1 /1.11 derives fl'om the demotic sign for ~I, the not only inl1uenccd the vocalization of conternpo'
lhird of lhe usual fOlms (and fifth ami sixth vlll·iants). rdry Egyptian but has also often left it... mark in thc
Name assigned: h()()k·shllped f:rtll,ireme. VOCali1.alion of certain Coptic dialects and subdia·
27. ~ leI derives f!"Om the demotic sign for fi, a IccL~. On the other hand, it will be noted that in
compromi.'iC (clearly evulved) hctweell the first usual numel'OUs cases ' it.self has not ('ntirely disappeared
form and the last \'ari'-llll. Name 3..~~igned: mimfScule' but ha... survivt'd in .some way. being u.....nsfOI11H:d
alpho'5/rapcd grapheme. into 1'/. this phonological aleph (in tachy.
28..... leI delives from the dcmotic sign for !!. 5yllabication) normally appearing in orthography (as
second usual form (gr.lphically evolved). Name as· a phenomenon of bradysyllabicatton) through the
signed reversed-pi-shaped grapheme. graphic doubling of the phonologic tonic vowel pre:-
29. &.. 11'1 perhaps deri\'l:s from the demotic sign ceding lhis 1'/ ("echo clfcct'1, exctp( in the final
for ~. thc first or second variant (graphically position (see below and SYllABICATION).
evolved); it is difficult to see it.~ origin in one or Thus, accortling to Vergote (1973. pp. 30-33):
46 'AYIN

(I) At the beginning of the tonic syllable. both at its value, preservIng the /al that deriVe! from old u
the tx:ginning and within the ....,orc!. • has disap- and u (which shows the lale date of Ihe change in
peared In Coptic without lea\'ing tmccs (e.g.. 'Imall question). FS and VS for their part present at once
• •
16nhl mIfF. life: noD"db > IWOpI oyon, be pun:) or, the gl."mination caused by • > 1'/ and the peculiar
jusl as in the other positions (sec below). the' (after alonic final vocalization (,6 instCo1d of Ihe usual -I)
Ihe general disappcal'llilce of J) has taken the value rcsuhing fTOm the still active innuence of', Finally,
of the lal)'ngeal occlusive /'1, which is rende:n"d by F4, V4, and W appear in a manner analogou.~ to P
the lirst element (unslressed but Ihe mosl"voiced) of and n, with, however, in this case, as in VS :\lId F5.
a hiatus in the archalzing form of wr'iling nItl 'J >
languages or DIALECTS etc. S elc, Inpma61 rF!"H),O, D
an atonic tinnl vowel in ·0 instead of the usual '1, as
in "111.1"/1 > I' (and F7) /lllCMa/ NIII\I.a., W, F4 /me~:l/
/rama6/ P),H),O, M Irrpm~/ fMHO)" F5 /bmaa/ NI1I\I6, FS /lll~'~/ HllltlllE (5, B see above), crowd:
)'6tfl))" rich.

(2) At Ihe beginning and end of Ihe unstrcs,<;ed

. • • •
d,lb'u > P /tf:ba/ "IIU" FS /t~'~/ TlllIBO, d. S /Ie'oo/
-TllltW, 0 /t~1 Till. finger (d. Kas.<;er. 1981a. 94-95).
pretonic syllabic and in the stressed final syllOlblc. ' In the cases of 1'/ < ' al the end of a tonic syllnhlc
has generally disappeared. though leaving traces in befon: a consonant, 5 presents an .a. im;lt·..d of 0; on
the vocalization ("anteriori1.ation" of the stressed the other hand, it has a tonic 0 before the 1'/ de·
vowel. Of' articulation of vowels mOf'C and more for· rivro from other consonants, as in tJ!.f.f. > /to'lfl
ward, /01 > /a! and 111/ > le/./o/ being less fo,ward TOOT" 'I, hili hnnd. This prov¢s Ihat at the lime of
than /a!, and /al even less than Ie/); thus atonic ),; the general change al first in B. later In S, from /al
5, B tonic ), instC".Jd of 0; F tonic 6 instead of .a., as in 10 10/ belwC1:n Ihe seventh and the sixlh centuries
'aua/!(1!a} > lanas/ .a.11I..... elc.• oath; }'a'~iJJ/'I' > A.D.• " had preserved its value as n voiced larynge-.d
Ija·t6't. I m.a. TOOT~. etc.• wa.~h the Imnds. At thc fricative and hnd not yet become the unvoiced lal)'n.
end of monosyllabic WQrds the' > /'/ is sometimes geal occlusive /'/ ctilled ALE'H (Vel''SOie. 1973, PI'.
preserved in SOllle way (lachysyllabically) in A and F 31-32). On the olher hand, the p,'csenee of the tonic
and lhere rendered (oI1hogmphlcttlly) by the 1leeond ), in IJ, dc.~pile the disappearance or /'I < " shows
elemenl (unslressed and the less"voiced) of a hiatus lhat the laller phoneme is still later (e.g., wa'bu S
(where it Illays Ihe role of tl "simiJiglide": d. Kassel', /w:'t'b/ Oy.u.B'. 8 /wab/ oyn', holy), When the'
1981b, 1', 35). while in 8 Ihis essenlially vocnlic precedes ~, Santi B and even A and L present an 0;
linkage has becollle a veritable diphthong (ils Sl'C- it must be concluded thai by differcntintion ("dis·
ond clement being Ihe glide Ij/). as in bo' > 00' > S similation") between the two laryngt:al mcations,
MI Uo, A, L /00:4 u.s, 8 {bajl UoI, F jbCjf 1.6(6)1, Ihe voiced and the unvoiced, ' had alrendy become
palm (cf. AlE'tt, end of nrticle); but nOle, on the 1'1 before the general change of /a! to 10/ had come
other hand, dab.]' > S. A, L /Iba/ TL\. B IthOO1 QU, about (e,g" yQ'~lIf > 5, A /o'hl oat, B (phI lOt,
F Itbel T&(I,len thousand. moon). The • that ends the atonic final syllable of a
(3) At Ihe tx-ginning of the unstressed syllabic ht.... word has undergone a melalh¢sis. wilhoul, however,
fore a consonant and in the unslressed final syllable modifying thc quantity of the tonk: syllable. which
of a WQrd, • has been preserved (in some ","<ly) in then..-by becnme dosed; when Ihe sl'Cond radical was
Coptic in the fonn of rI, ellcept in M. W, V4, F4, JJ ~, either' disappeared or (after mctftlhcsis) it was

(and its subdialee\.~), and G, as in ~(I'fld > /f.6't/ 5 cntil"Cly assimilnted to this consonant; !lOmetimcs •
OIQIIIIT, IJ lQlIlT, to Cll!. When ' wa~ the third radical, was changed into 1.1 > ~: e.g. pOm/ > S /pO'nn/ •
there wa~ inversion (excepl in sOll1e particularly al" ntOOlN6, IJ /phOnh/ twN2 (d. FS /r6'nal [nwm]tm), to
chaic idiums; see below), but the' > /'I did not ehnnge; '1lI.Ia' > S /Oha/ CU2€!, B etc, /ohij O:!t, etc.,
modify lhe "timbre" of the vowel, as in "111.1"11 > S

/mc'b/ • HIIq/, crowd. Here, however,
H1111q108, 8 ImB/
stand, stay: dUIIl/l' > S /cO'm-:1/ .xCDCDHO (FS • S). B
Icom/ XCDH. hook (Vergote. 1973, pp. 30-33).
the archaic orthography will be nOled (unstressed
finals in .), inslead of the IISllal ·6 or ·1, ....1th at Ihe 8tBUOGRAPlIY
snme time gcnernJly no graphic vocalic gemination),
Bourguet. P. duo Grilmmaire fO'lc/iarmelle et progres-
which allrncts allention in some idiol115: the PROTO.
sive de rlgyptien dimotiqlle. Louvain, 1976.
DlAUCT P (in its mOSl ancient form, phonologically Kasser. R. "Proll:gomlmcs a un essai de c1assifica·
very often 5imilar to a reconstrucled .ppS, cr, DlAu:.cT lion des dinlcctcs et subdialectcs copies scion les
p) and the pelipheral.and oflen nrchnic sulxlialect crileres de la pholltliquc. tIl, S)'$l.~IIIC5 orthogra-
1-7; they an: survivals from a stage in which the phiques et categories dialectale!." Mllsiol/ 94
metathesis had nOi yet taken place and' has retained (198Ia):87 -148,

_ _ , "Voydles en fonclion consonanliquc, con- coplic are (alone ~ti1l) used. and they are in origin
SQnlll'S en fonction vocatique, el classes de a sirlgle language.
phoncffiL'S en cOplC," BlIlIelill de /n Socie/e
d'egyplologie. Gel/ell/, 5 (198Ib):33-SO. The firsl scholars whu in Ihe seventeenth century
• _.,--' "Manus Cll.'l1nc el 101 Ih~ d'une relation SCI themselves to Ihe serious study of Coptic had OIt
phonologiquc privill:gicc entre Ics !llngues cOpIes their disposal only an extremely limil(~d docUlllenla-
saIdique ('I bohaTriquc," JOllmal of Coptic Smdies I lion-above all, Bohairie lexIS, some Sahidic. and
Fayyumic texts in even smaller number. Hence, they
Satzingcr, H. "On the Origin of the Sahidic l>ialecl."
had befol'e their eye.~ thn:e Coptic idioms or "dia-
In AclS of fill! &COIIJ III/emll/ional collgress of Cop-
lie SllIdits, Romo 22-26 Sep/ember 1980, cd. T. lects," and they knew the lext of Athanasius of Oli!!.
Orlnndi and F. Wi!i,';C. pp. 307-12. Rome. 1985. who also spoke of three: Coptic "dialects" and indi-
"On the Prehistory of the Coptic Diale<:IS." cated their names and their location. These CoplOlO'
In Coptic Studies, AC/$ of ,lie Third /II/emu/julia' gists thus sought 10 give to the "diak-els" they knew
Congrt.5S 01 CIJpli,' Slm/res, Warsa .... 20-25 AI/gust, the names mentioned by Ihe bishop of ou.,.
1984, 00. W. Godlewski. pp. 413-16. Wars:l.w. For Sahidic and 9ohalric, the iderllificalion wa..~
1990. made without dilficully. The Sahidic and the 9ohai·
Stem, I... KQPlische Grllmmatik. L-ipzig. 1880. ric of Alhanasius having been identified. there reo
Till, W. C.......lll'S 'Aleph und 'Ajill im Koptischcn." mained, on the one hand, the Fayyumic documents
Wjeu~r Zci/st:hrifl fiir die KlInde des Morgeulrmdes
and, on Ihe other, the menllon of the "Bashmuric"
36 (1929):186-96.
dialect. How could they not yield to the lemptation
-:::c~ Kop/ische Grallllllalik (5Qi"diKh~r Vit>lekt), mil
Bibliographi~,Leusllieken WId Worterwruichlli5~". to confuse them-the lJ}Ol'e so since one Ihen rccov-
Leipzig, 1955. en.-d the tripartite scheme dear to the Egyptologists,
V~rgoll:, J. Pllfmitique Iri$/orique de r~'Plietl, les with the three chief regions mal'ked by Egyptian
COII,SOfllll:S. LoU\'ain, 1945. history, Uppel', Middle, and Lower Eto'pI?
-cc- Grammaire cople, Vol. Ib, lulrolil/Clio", phO' In Tallam's grammar (1830) one sees thai the texis
IIbiqm: el pllQlloIogie, morphologic :i)'/ll/limalique of the third dialt.'CI, which could not be assimilaloo
(s/me/llre de,S si!lIlltllemcsJ, partie diacllrolliqlle. to Ihose of the first (Bohairic "Coplic") or Ihe sec·
loumin, 1973. olld ("Sahidic"), are perforce lhose of "Ba..~hmuric."
ROOOU'HE KAssa Georgi (1789) affll'llled Ihat the region of Bashmur,
of which Ihe learned founecnth-ccntury grammarian
spoke. is not the ol1e in the eastern l>ella but anoth-
cr Bal;hmur, deriving fmm Ihe Coptic I1Cl.MII{', len;-
BASHMURIC, TIle history of the Bashmuric dia· tol'y "beyond the river," or the Egyptian o.'lSCS of the
!t'e! is in large mca.'iUre that of a "phantom dialccl." We~tem Desert. including the Fayyliffi (d, QUiI'
Coptic Egypt had many Illore dialL'Cts than modern trem~I'C, 1808, pp. 147-228, for whom Fayyumic
sdence ha~ heen able to identify from the texl~ dis· could not be the famous "Ba..~hmuric" of the bishop
covered: but sollle of these never reached the liter· of Qii~: hence, Qutllremcrc gOlve to Fayyumic the
ary stage. Others did (perhaps poorly enough), hut nilme Oa.~ilie). Clmmpollion (1811, 1817) look up
none of their witnesses has been found as yet. this ternlinology without contesting it: likewise
Hence, they ;ll~ as good a.~ completely lost. Such I'eyron (1835, 1841), Sehw1ll1~e (1850), :md othel'S,
might have been the fate uf 13ashmuric if it had not I~ter ~till. at the time when the first Akhmimie texts
been saved from ublivion by a Coptic gnmmmrian of appeared, 13ouri(lnl (1884-1889). by tI vel)' cur'ious
the fuuneenth century (Garitte, (972). Ath:.masius of r'ClISOning, Identified Ihem with Fayyumie and hence
Qi'I~. who wr'Ote in ArJbic as follows (d. &:ala copte wiln Bashmuric, tllthough recognl~ing vel)' well the
44 in the Natiun:\1 Ubrrtry, I'ads, p. 154, left culumn, Jialeettll difference~ that rendel'Cd them fundamen·
II. 14-22, tl'l'lns. W. Vycichl: d. K:.ISSer, 1975, p. tally dis.~imilar (Kassel', 1975, p. 405).
403): Maspero (lll99) was, it ~eems, the l:lst OIuthor who
caned one F text Bashmuric, withOUl explaining why
... 00nti you know that the Coptic language is
he 1ll00intained such an opinion, although it had long
distributed over three regions, among thcm the
been contested and become oUlmoded. In fact.
Coptic of Mi~r which is the S.,hidic, the Bohairic
Coptic known by Ihe BbJ.laira, and Ihe e.,shmUl·ic some (wenty years carlier, Slern (1880, p. 12. n. I),
Coptic ust.-d in Ihe countl)' of &shmllr, as you following (hIOllreml:I'e (1808), had alrcady categori·
know: now the Bohairic Coptic and the Sahidic cally rejected Ihi5 tenninol<>gy. "It wa.~ not out of

desire for novelty that I abandoned the usual desig. I'eyl'on, V. A. Lexicun Li~lglUU~ Copficac. Turin, 1835.
nation for Ihe di.,lel.:ts, once Bashmuric was no long- Grallllllalica Linguac Coplicut:, Arcer/wII
er tenable." ShOltly afler', all Coptologists followed Acir/iial/lcllla ad Lcxicon Copticum. Turin, 1841.
him, and since there was in fuCI no Iruly Bashmuric Quatrcmcre, E. M. RecJwrdle~ uitique~' sllr la langllc

document, people ceased to speak of this dialect, 10 I.!/ la lil!f:ra/we dt: I'Egyple. Paris, 1808.

which only the mention made of il by Athanil.~ius or Scbwllrtle. M. G. Kopti.~chc Gramma/ik ... , ht:l"(lII~'
gegcben nach des Vcr/assas "l'odt: vIm Dr. H. Sieill'
QO$ could h:we dr.lwn the attention or schol:u's; they
Ihal. Bcrlin, 1850.
oecame almOSI completely unintcrcsted in il, ir Ihey Steindodl", G. LelrrbHch der koplische'l Grmwwuik.
did not J'Cach the poinl of denying ils existence as an Chicago, 1951.
authenlic Coplic dialect. Thus, Steindorlr (195 I. p. 5) Stel"O, L KOfltische Grmwnrl/ik. Leipzig, 1880.
wrote: "According 10 Eulychius., . {he Bushmuric· Tattam, H. A CumpemJiutl~ Gram/IJar allhe li~'plilm
speaking population Wil.~ in origin Greek, not Egyp· /.mlgu0f:e a~' Conllli'led in /hc Captic mId Sahidic
tian; perh:lps Bushmurie was a Greco·Egypti:ln gib- /Ji(Jle<:/s, wilh Ob5crvaliolJ.~ ou the 13uslmlUric To·
berish and not a Coptic dialect at all," W. Cmm, gelher wilh Alphahc/s and Nwnt:m/s in Ihe /-ficro.
however, wondered if the medieval grammarian's glyphic and Ellchorial CJwra,'lers, wilh air Appcndix
famous "Bil.~hmuric" was nOI the l:mguage (written, Cmuistillg olrhc Rlulimenls 01 a Diclionary oltlrlt
Ancienl Egyplilm Language in Ihc Enchuri(Jl Clwrac·
in principle, by means of an exclusively Greek alpha.
lers by ThomaJ Young. London, 1830.
bet, without graphemes of demotic origin) of which
he published the pdodpal te.~IS in 1939. That is no RonOlJ'lIE KASSER
doubl a hypothesis in whose favor several weighly
and important argumenls speak (d. DIALECT G;
Kasser', 1975).
BODMER PAPYRI. The term "Bodmer P<lpyri"
BIBLIOGRAI'IIY is the conventional designation of an impOltant
group 01" manuscripts (75 percent on papynJs und 25
Bouril'lnl, U. "Les Papyrus d'Akhmim (fragments de
percent on parchment. lit least 950 folios) held by
IIItHlUscrits en dialectes bachmourique et
Ihebain)," M(jmoire.~ de /1' Missioll archiiologiqlle Ille Martin Bodmer Foundation, at Culugny, ncar
lraw;aisc all Cairt: I (111114-1889):243-304. Geneva. There are good reasuns for tbinking that
Champollion, J. F. "Observations SUI' Ie clltalogue these manuseript~ were found logether as a com·
des manusclits coptes du Musee Borgia :) Velletl'i, plele collection (pcrhap.~ a plivate libr~uy) in Upper
ouvmge posthumc de G. Zoega." MagasbJ clleyc/o· Egypt; the greal majority uf them (81 percent) was
pcdiqlw 5 (1811):284-317. acquired by the lea1lled Swiss collector Martin
_-;:~. "Observl'llions sur les fmgmenlS copies (en Bodmer, for his libr.uy. The percentages mentioned,
din1cctc ba\:hmourique) de l'Ancien et du NOll' like those below, are calculated, except in special
venu Tesltlment iI Copen hague." Annales ellcyc/o- instances, on the basis of folios the exislCnce and
pMiqul!:> (1817):284-317.
location of which are known today. (Other folios
Crum, W. E. "Coptic Documents in Greek Script."
lllay very likely bave perished during the centuries
Procccdillgs 01 fhe Brilish Academy 25 (1939):249-
271. or when Iheir discovery took place.) The Bochner
Gmille, G. Review of G. Bauer, AthOlru~ius VOII Q{IS collection, origin:llly known ;IS the Bibliothcca
OilOrlal al-Ial,lrfr {rUm at-lIllsfr, eil1t: kuplische Gram- Bodmeriana, became, il.~ of 1971, the Fondation
matik ill arabischl.'r Sprm:he ails dcm 13/14. Jllhr· Martin Bodmer. It is by no mcans limited to
}umdcrl. Muston 85 (1972):561-63. papyrology, and even in thl'lt lield it has seveml man-
Giol'gi, A. A. FrllgmefJIwtl Evall~c/ii S. Johannis uscripts (on papyrus, such a.~ P. Bodmer I, XVll,
Grut:cu-Cuplu-Thchai"cwn. Rome, 1789. XXVIII, XLIII, and XLVII, or on parchment, such
Kassel', R. "Dialel:tcs, sous·dialecles et 'dialccticules' as P. Bodmer XXXIX, XLII, and XLIV) c1el'lrly dis·
dnns l'Egyptc eopte." It:il~chrill liir iigyplisdre tinct in origin from the Bodmer papyri pmpcr. In·
Sprache Imd Altcrtumskunclt: 92 (1966): 106-11 5.
formation un this subjcct Wil.~ collecled from reliable
"L'ldiome de Bnehmour." Bullc/ill (Ie
I'i/wi/Ilt Irallfais d'archau/ogil.' Oriclliale 75 informers at precisely the same time as these docu-
( 1975):401-427. ments came to the Bodmer Foundalion, that is,
Maspero, G. "Fragment de l'cvangile selon S. probably shortly after their discovcl)' in the Egyplian
Matthieu en dialectc bachmoUJique." Ra'lIcil de sands.
/raV<lI/X rellllils ii la phi/ologic ct il I'lIrcJu!ologie All the Bodmer papyri al'C more or less complete
f:gyplicnllcs II (1899): 116. codices (nineteen in all, according to an estimate

confined only 10 reliable infonnation). and thl-"SC arc tainly velY tempting. but the l'eliable infomlation
works of vel)' VlU;<.::J si7.e~ and contents. They in- referred 10 above lends 10 weaken ralher than
clude, in Grc\lk (39 percell!), SOllle pagan litcmry slr'Cllg1hen il.
texIs, some booh of the Bible. some Apocrypha. and These nineteen codices arc IiSled in Table J. They
Other documents From Christian Iitcnuur(: (hagiogra- contain in all fifty·follr distinct texts and amounl 10
phy, lilullO'. religiou.'i poems. eIC.); in Coptic (58 951 (?) pl'(:sclYCd folios of which something short of
• pcn:enl), primarily biblical texts, an apocryphon. 100 arc seriously mUlila\t.'d, incomplele, and frag-
and two fragments of Christian literature; and, in mentary (thl~ apart from a minimum of 213 folios
~Iin (3 percent), two pilgan literary texts and (l IOSI, if one ca.n InJi'it the dues-and th<.-)' are nOI
fragment of Christian Iilerolurc. Hcrc, of l,;O\n"Se, ac- absolutely precise-Ihal Ihe texIS and theil' pagina-
count is wkcn only of published texts and of some tion provide). Of thcS(.' nineteen codices, four1een
unpublished ones regarding which at Icast a mini· arc slill wholly in the Bodmer Fuund;ltion; a fif-
mum of inOispcln5.'lble infonnation is available (such teenlh (Divv-G) did until recently belong to Ihe
is nOI the ca.«: fOl' the unpublished remainder a.. rc· Bodmelimm in iL~ enlirely, bUl it was dismembered
LG • the Latin-Greek codex of Barcelona; d. be- when Martin Bodmer made a gift of one of his texIS
low). (P. Bodmer VUI, 18 folios) 10 thc Vatican Library;
lh.:re are !lOme n-asoos for thinking thai the two (Jer-C and Jos-e) are partly in the Bodmer
Bodmer papyri were discovCR'd .some yenl's after Ihe Founoo.tion and partly in anOlher library: and two
end of Wol'ld War II, in Upper Egypl, either ncar {Ball:-LG and Crosby.q arc entirdy OUlside Ihe
AsyU! or, more probably, in Debha, a few miles to Bodmer Foundation; cleven of lhese codices arc
lhe northe;\S1 of Nag Hammadi (d. Kassel', 1988), Coptic, seven arc Greek, and nnly une is Ultin and
lhus in lhe $<line geneml region as lhe well-known Greek.
Coptic NAG lIAMMMIl UIlRAR,V of Gnoslie manu.<;cnpu, Following arc the signs and abbreviationli used in
the remains of a library of thirteen papyNs codices the chart of codic~ and list of papyd contenL~:
of the fourth and firth centuries, containing fifly.two
distinct texIs and amounting approxinuttely to six A ., oldest wilness: (A) oldest witness in lhal Ian·
hundred wrinen folios fairly clearly identified as guage; (A') oldesl wilness in lhat Coptic idiom;
such. Although the place and time of lhese finds A. oldest witness for almost the entire tc",t; (A.)
were more or less the same, it is impm..~ible 10 oldest witness in lhal language for almost the
group them logelher as one and the same diseoVClY; entire texl; elc.; A: oldesl wilness for a lar'ge part
while these lwO groups of m(muscl'ipIS, which (Ire of the tell.t; ete.
vel)' sizable, embmce, apUr1 from a 101 of more or a - one of the oldei'it witnesses; ClC., 3..'1 for A,
lw mUlilatt:d folios, a large number of tiny frag. mUlatis muumdis
ments, nOi iii single shred belonging to Ihe Gnostic AP.c - P. Bodmer XU (unpublished) (texl no. 38)
library has bt."Cn found among the Bodmer papyri B - Boluliric Coptic language
and vice versa. 874 and B4 = Dohairic (sub)dialt:cts (Ihe laUer
Thus, there are nineteen codices if one considers alit'Sled only by Jo-<: [imperfeclly] and [bellerj
only the reliable infonnatlon gathered by the by Ihe Pap. Vat. Copto 9, manuliCript of Ihe
Bodmer Foundalion al the lime Ibe Boomer papyri Minor Prophets in the Vatican Library)
cnme In be included io the !ibmry. There arc some BtII"C·LG - Ultin-Greek eodell. of Barcelona (par-
scholars who, on lhe basis of much later research lial puh!icalion: lCll.t~ nos. 5, 6, 53; llumDcr of
(wrne thirty years after lhe presumed d.·lle of lhe unpublished tex\.'1 (- 22(?) foliosJ still unknown)
discovery of the Bodmer papyri), think llult they can BF - Martin Bodmer Foundalion
also include in the Bodmer papyri various other .c (at the end of Ihe siglum) - in Coptic
famous manuscripts such 3..~ the P. Palau·Ribes from d. - classical veniion (in this or lhat Coptic lan-
Ball:elona (lhe Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John in guage or dialttt)
Sahidic Coptic, ediled by H. Qut:dl.e), and, above all, compo - composition
Y.lriOUS Iclters of PACHOMIUS, one of which is pre- conupt - corrupl lell.tual fonn
served in the Bodmer Foundation bUl wilh nOlhing Crosby·C - Croohy Codex (unpublished) (lex IS
til indieate llml il might bc part of the Bodmer papy· nos. 12, 17, 32, 40, 42)
rio Their sugg~tion iii th.l lhe actual librolry of lhe Ct·e - P. Bodmer XL (unpublished) (tcxt no. 16)
famous Monastcry of Saint Pachomius al Faw al· Div-G _ P. Bodmer XXVII, XLV, and XLVI (lell.1S
Qibll has be<:n rediscoven.-d. This hypothesis is eel'- nos. 4, 23, 24)

TAIll£ I. The Ni"e/eell Codicts ol/ht BDdlt/er Papyri

Siglulll here Mal. Formal Compo Age (cenlury) B.E Elsewherc [Lost) Sig.t.e.
Ap·C "h mi (7) (MA?]
" 2/3 w
V ',h MA(54 ?) (m; 2?)
" 'II
'''' MA (59 ?) [Illi ?]
c,e "
m 111·
w 5,h ml (8) (MA 71]
111- 3-41h
ml (12)
MA (93) mi (fr.)
[mi 2?) (Rahlfs 2113)
" w
{-I 8) (Mi +18) (P 72)
l>t·e I' III w 4>h MA (48)
F...~-C 2/3 w 4>h MA (80)
&·C "m III w 5(-6)lh MA (42)
Jcr-C m III w 4th MA (39) Mi (34) Lilli 2J
Jo-C I' 2/3 w "h MA (77) [mi 5]
Jo·G I' III w 2-3rd MA (100) mi (fr.) I' 66
Jos·C I' 2/3 w Sth MA (21) Mi (18) (Mi?24n]
l..uJo·G I' 112 V 3rd MA (48) lMi 17] "75
Mcn-G I' 112 V 3,d MA (26) Illi (fr.) [mi 6]
Mt·C m III w 4-51h Mi? (48) IMA? 70?]
"s·G 112 V 3-41h MA (49) IM135] Rahlfs 2110
Pv·C "m 'II w 3(-4)th MA (66) Lilli 3]
Vis·G I' 2/3 V 4-51h MA (22)

Divv·G '" P. Bodmer V (celt! no. 35). X (00. 36). mi - very small part of the Codell (followed by the
XI (no. 37). VII (no. 34), Xlii (no, 39). XII (no, number of folios, if known)
41). XX (no. 43), IX (no. 14), VIII (nos. 31. 33) Mi • relatively small bul important pan of the
Ot-C '" p, I30lImcr XVlIl (tellt no. 9) Codc:ll (followed by lhe number of rolios, if
e1se.....here • ellist..~ in some 1ibr~ry or collection known)
olher Ihan Ihe Bodmer Foundalion MI-C - P. Bodmer XlX (Ielts 1105. 25. 30)
Es-C '" P. Bodmcl' XXIII (IClll no. 18) N - completely new telt: (N) e0l11pletely new ICJl.t
I:.ll-C '" p, Bodmer XVI (Iell no. 8) hi that lal1guilge; (N') eomplelely new tellt in
fr. • f~gmenl thai Coplic idiom; N. new for almost the whole
·G (al the end of the siglu111) • ;n Greek lellt: (N.) new in Ihal language for alm01lt Ihe
Jel'·C ,. 1'. Bodmcr' XXII ( - Mississippi COI)lic whole tellt; elc.: N: new fOl' a large p:lrt of Ihe
Codex 11) (tcllL~ no,~, 19,20,21. 22) lelll; clc,; N:, new for part of Ihe tell': ell,',
Jo·C '" P, Bodmer 111 (IClIS nos. 7, 29) 01'. - the original IlIngU;lgl.: of Ihl.: tl.:ll (the Greek
Jo·G = P. Bodmer' II (texi 110. 27) of the Sepluaginl, 'hough Imnslated from He·
Jos·C • 1'. l.lodrner XXI (- Chcsler Beatly Libmry, bl'cw, is consil.krcd exceptionally here as ,he
Accession no. (389) (lexlS nos. 10, II) "ol'lglnal language" bel.:llUSe very probably illl
" - Lyco.Diospolitan COlllic dialect (or c1ullter of the Coplic Old Testament vel'Sions were lronslat·
dialects) (here of Iype LS) ed f!'Om one or olher LXX rext)
·L (at end of siglum) - in Lalin p - papyros
(lusl] '" mayellist in somc \lIIknown place, or no P • DIALF.CT r (phonologically quite ncar 10 whal
longer CJl.isls (having been destl'Oyed) can be known about ·pS, n tenratively recon·
LuJo-C ,. P. Bodmer XIV, XV (Iellts nos.. 26, 28) strocled proto-Sahidic: l"Cmarbbly archaic even
m '" parchment (membrana) in its alphabet, whe~ 6 Is missing (replaced by
MA "" major part of eodel (£ollowed by the nU111- 11,) and One finds Ihe following demotic or Old
ber of the foliato. ir known) Caplic letters: .l fl. 1. N. - /~/. ~ /r;/
Men·G'" P. Bodmer XXV. IV, XXVI (tellS nos, I, pre-d. - preclassical version (in one Coplic dialect
2, J) or another; whal has remained of il is CJl.tremcly
mat. - material rare, hence its exceptional Imeresl)

P...·G - P. I3<KImer XXIV (It'xt no. 13) 10. Joshua 1:1-11:23. followt.'t! immediately by 22: I·
Pv·C - I'. Bodmer VI (tell:t no. IS) 24:3. in S: in P. Bodmer XXI - Chto'Ster Bl'3lly
S • Sahit.lic Coptic language ... 1389, In Jos-C, fifth century [(A) eOITupt]
sig.l.c. - oUid,,1 siglulll in Greek blhllcal textual II. Tobil 14:13-15 (end) in S: in I'. Bodmer XXI -
erilidsm (of the Old Testament: Rl,hlfs ... ; of CheSH'r St'Utly ... 1389, in J()~-C, fifth cenlul)'
the New TeSlament: P ... ; this is placed in pll' [(A) comlpt J
rcnth~ wht'n unly one pal' of the cudex is 12.2 Maccabl-cs 5:27-7:41 in $: In Crosby-C, foul,h
hihlical) century I(N:) cl.]: unpublisht.'t!
V - codex com,isling of a single quire 13, Psalms 17:45-51:9[..]. 55:8-105:32 [..], 106:28-
Vis-G _ Gn.--ck codell called (in the BorJmer Foun· 118:44 [.. J in Greek: P. Bodmer XXIV - Ps-G,
dation) Codex Visionulil (pllrtial publication: P. third-fourth centuries (- Rahlfs 2110) {a] (two-
Uodmer XXIX, text no. 44; unpublished al"(: P. thirds of this tellt allest for the first time the type
8OOnll:r XXX to XXXVIII, texLS nos. 45-54) of Gn:ck text from which the Sahidic ~'erslon of
w - codell made up of several quires the I300k of PlI:tlms is derived)
1/1 - folio ltlmust 5Quure in shape (generally, 14. PS31ms 33:2-34: 16 in Greek: P. Bodmer IX in
howcvllr, a little taller tlllln its width) Divv-G, lhird-fourth cenluries (.. Rahlfs 2113)
1/1· .. roughly 1/1, although in a form Icnding [:I] (s.'1mc typc of lext ".'I 110. 13 above)
IowaI'd 2/3 15. Proverbs I: 1-2:9, 2:20-1 R: 1, 18:9-20:9, 20:25-
1/2 - folio of which thc width ;s almost hlilf the 21:4, in P: I'. Bodmer VI - Pv-C, lhlrd(-foul,h)
height century ((N') d. 5]
2/3 - folio of which the width is almost two-thirds 16. Song of SoIOlllon 1:4-3.1, 4:2-8:12, in S: P.
of the height Bodmer XL - Ct-C, fifth century (a) (N:,) d.);
[.•J - with variOl.l.5 gaps unpublisht.-d
17. Jonah, in S: in Crosby-C, fourth century [(a)
An outlhlc of the fifty-four known tcxls of the
precl.]; unpublished
Bodmer papyri folluws:
18. Isaiah 47:1-66:24 (end), in 5: P. Bodmer XXIII
- ['.s·C, rourth century [(A'.) d.]
I. Pagan Texts
19. Jeremiah 40:3-52:34 (end), In S: in P. Bodmer
1. Mcmmdel', Tire Samilm (nearly three quurters), XXll - Mississippi Cnptle Codell II - Jel~C,
in Greek: P. Bodmer XXV in Men-G, lhlrd cell' fourth eenlUl)' [{A) (N'.) d.]
lIIry [or. N:J 20. Baruch 1:1-5:5 in S: in I'. Bodmer XXII - Mis·
2. Mcnander, 71It, Dys/wlos (- Kncllw/I Ihc Misntl- sissippi Coplle Codex II - Jc...C. foul1h cenlUry
/hropc), in Gn-'Ck: P. Bodmer IV in Mcn-G, third [(A)(N'.) d.]
crntury [or. N.J 21. Lamentations, In S: in P. Bodmer XXII - Missis-
J. Mcnandcr, nrc Slril1ld (-Aspis) (roughly half), in sippi Coptic Codex II - Jer·C. fourth century
Greek: P. Bodmer XXVI, in Men·G, third centu· [(A')(N':) d.]
ry [01', N.) 22, Epislle of Jeremiah in S: in P. Bodmer XXII -
4. Thucydidl'l;, His/ory ... 6.1.1-2.6, in Creek: P. Mississippi Coptic Codes II - Jer-C. fuurth cen·
Bodrm:r XXVI] in Div·G, thlrd-foul,h centuries tUI)' [(A)(N'.) el.J
[01'. A] 23. Susannall. In Creek (Thcodotion): P. Bodtllllr
5. Cicero, III Cil/ilillam 1.6-9, 13-33, 2.1-29, in XLV In Div-G, lhlrd-foul1h centuries [or. A (or
!..utili: in Bare-Le, foul1h centuI)' [or. A] or. a)]
6. I'oem on the subject of the sacrifice of Alces/is in 24. Daniel 1:1-20, in Greek (Theodotion): P.
Latin: in Bare·Le, fourth centm)' [or. N] Bodmer XLVI in Div-G, Ihird-fourth CelllUnC!'i
[or. A (or or. a»
II. Christian Texts 25. Matthew 14:28-28:20 {end}. in S: in P. BorJmer
XIX = Mt·C, founh-fifth Cl:nturies [(A':.)(a':.)
A. Bible
7, Genesis 1:1-4:2 in 874 (mixed wilh 84): in P. 26. Luke 3:18-22, 3:33-4:2, 4:34-5:10, 5:37-18:18
Bodmer III : Jo'C, fourth century [(A') precl.] (..J, 22:4-24:53 (end), ;n Greek: r. Bodmer XIV
8. Exodus 1:1-15:21 In 8:1'. Bodmer XVI - Ex·C, in LuJo-G, third (;entlll)' (- I' 75) [or. A:, 01'. n]
lifth(-sl~th) century [(A:) el.] 27. John 1:1-6: 11 [..].6:35-7:52, immediately fol-
9. Dcllleronomy 1:1-10:7 [. .] in S: P. Ilodmel' lowed by 8:12-21:9 [.. J, in Greek: 1'. Bodl1H:r II
XVIII - Dt·C, foul,h century, [(A:) d.] • Jo·G, second-third centuries (- P 65) [01'. A.]

28, John I: 1-7:52. imlllediately followed by 8: 12- Murder of Abel by Cain (I") (Po Bodmer
13:9 [..], 14:8-15:8 (..], in Greek: r. Bodmer XXXlII), (49) The Lord to the ( ... ) (Po

XV in LI,IJO'(;. third century (- P 75) [or. A:., or.
29. John 1:1-25 [.. j, 1:40-45 [. ,), 2:9-16 [..J, 3:33,
Bodmer XXXIV), (SO) The Murder of Abel
by Cain (2°) (P. Bodmer XXXV), (51) Pocm
Wilh d.'ullaged lille (P. Bodmer XXXVI), (52)
4:5-7:52 [. . J. immediately followed by 8:12- Hymn (P. Bodmer XXXVII); all in Vis-G,
21:25 (end), in 874 mixed with 84: in P. Bodmer fifth century, (or. N), unpublished
III - Ju-C. fourth century [(A:.) (N') pred.] 53. Psalmus RespOrlsorius, ill utin: in Bare·LG,
30. Romans 1:1-2:3 (.. J, in S; in P. Bodmer XIX "'" fourth century (or. N]
Mt-C, fourth-fifth cenlulies [(A> c1.j 54. Hermas the Shephel'd, the first three visions, in
31. I Peu:r. in Cn:ck: in P. Bodmer VIII in Divv-G, Greek: P. Bodlller XXXVIII, in Vis·G, fifth cen.
third-fourth CCnluries (-P 72.) {or. AI tury [or. OIl; unpublished
32. I Peler, in S: in Crosby.c, fourth CCnlury [(All;
unpublished BIBI.1OGRAPHY
]]. 2 Peter, in Greek: in P. Bodmer VIII in Divv-G,
third-fourth centuries (-P 72) [or. A] P. Bodmer II
34. Jude, in Greek: P. Bodmer VII in Divv.(i, third-
fourth centuries (-P 72) [Of'. A] Manin, V. Papyrus Bodmer II: Evallgil~ d~ l~dn chap.
1_14. Cologny/Geneva, 1956.
___ Papyrus Bodm~r //, suppJemtltll: Evallgile de
B. Apocrypha
le/m cllllp. 14-21. Cologny/Gcneva, 1958.
]5. Nativity of Mary (or Protevangelium of James), Martin, V., and J. W. 8. Barns. Papyrus Bodmer II.
in Gn.-ek: P. Bodmer V in Divv-G, third-fourth supplcmclI/: lvaugile de lcal' chap. 14~2 I, lIouvelle
centuries [or. A] editiOlI au"mmfce et corrigl.e avec reprodl/ctiQII
36. Apocryphal COlTCSpondcncc of the Corinthians pllOlographique cOlllpfete dl/ lIlalllucri, (chap. 1-
and the Al'lostle Paul, in Greek: P. Bodmer X in 21). wlogny/Geneva, 1962.
Divv-G, third-founh ccmuries [(or. N) or. AJ
P. Bodmer III
31, Eleventh Ode of SoIOlllon, in Gn:ek: P. Bodmer
XI In Divv·G, third-fo1ll1h centuries ((or. N) or. Kassel', R. PapyrI/ii 1J<Jdmer III: El'allgilll de leatl e1
A) GCllese I-IV,2, ell bohai"riquc. CSCO 111-118.
]8, of Paul, Ephesus episode [.. J (, ,J, in U: P.
Act.~ Louvain, 1958.
Bodmer XU - AP·C, fourth century (N: (A:)];
unpuhlished P. Bodmer IV
Mllrtin, V. Pllpyms Bodmer IV: Mellalldre, I.e
C. Other Christian L1teralure Dyscofos. Colugny/Gcneva, 1958.
]9, Melito of $.1rdis, Homily un E.,\sler, in Greek: P.
Bodmer XllJ in Divv-G, third-foul1h ccntUlics I'. Bodiller V
(01". A, or or. a] TeSIU~., M. Papyrus Boomer V: Nalivilc de Marie.
40, Melito of Sardis, Homily on Easter, in S: m Cologny/Gcncva, 1958.
Crosby'C, fourth century [(N)]: unpublished
41. Liturgico.l hymn, In GI'Cek: P. Boomer XII in P. Bodmer VI
Divv·G, third-foul1h centul'ies [or. N]
Kassel', R. Pllpyrw; Budmer VI: Livre des Pml'l!rhe.~.
42. Liturg!ctll hymn, in S: io Cr'Osby·C, fourth centu·
CSCO 194-195. Louvain, 1960.
IY (NJ: ullpublished
43. Apology of Phileo.s, bishop of Tmuis, in Greek: P. P. Bodmer VII_IX
IJodmer XX in Divv-G, third-fourth centuries
[or. (N)A) Teslu~., M. Papyrus 1J<Jdmer VII-IX: VII. L'Epitre de
44. Vision of Dorotheos, in Greek: P. Bodmer XXIX lude; V/I/, Lu Deux lpflres de Piem~; IX, Les
in Vi$'G, fifth century (or. N] PSill/mes 33 et 34. Culogny/Gcneva, 1959.
45-52. Eighl religious pocms, in Greek, othelwise
unknown. with the following titles: (45) P. Bodll1er x-xu
Abratlnl (P. Bodmer XXX), (46) The Righ- TesIU~.. M. Papyms HOilmer X-XII: X. Correspolldallcc
teous (P. Bodmer XXXI). (41) [ ... ] of the apocryphe des Corilllhiells el de l'ap6lre Pal/I; XI,
Lord J(.'SUs (P. Bodmer XXXII), (48) The alltieme Ode de &fOIl101l: XII, Fraglllell' d'utl

h)'lfme limrgique, rllfllmscrit du lIIe 5iiclc. Colognyl P. Bodmer XXVI

Geneva. 1%0.
Kasscr, R. and C. Auslin. PapynlS Hodm/!r XXVI;
P. Bodmer XUI ftfblatldre, I.e Bollr:lier; en appfmJice, cOtlll1lbll~ms
all Papyros Bodlll~r IV. Cologny/GencV"J, 1%9.
TCSlOZ, M. Papyrus Bodmer XIII: Mililoll Ife Sardes.
HamMill. sur fa Piiqll/l., mamucri/ fill file tii!de. P. Bodmer XXVII
Colollny!GenilY:l, 1960.
Carlini, A. "II pllpiJ'o <Ii Tucidide Jella Bibliolhcca
P. Bodmer XIV-XV Budrncriana (P. Budmer XXVI!)," Mm'ellm Hd·
vellclIlIl 32 (197';):33-40 (111d pl. 1-3.
Manin, V., (illd R. Kasscr. l'lIpyms /Jodmer XIV:
Evaugile lie tuc chap. 3-24, Pllpyms IJodmer XV: P. UOdmer XXIX
Evallgilc de )e(l" dlap. 1-15. Cologny/Geneva,
1961. HOl'St. A.; O. Reverdin; and J_ Rudhar'dt. Pa/l)"nlS
8<Jdmer XXlX: Vision de Doro/"eos. "dili IIlIee Wle
P. Bodmer XVI introllllctiot!, wle traJl/elio" et des "OI~S. With ap·
pendix by R. Kasser and G. Cavallo, "Description
!<asser, R. Papyrus Bodme.r XVI: Exode I-XV,11 1.'11
CI d:ll.::llion du Codex des V~ions." Colagnyl
5<!hidiqllc. Cologny/Cc:neva, 1961. Geneva, 1984.
P. Bodmer XVIII
P. Bodmer XLV-XLVI
!<asser. R. Papyrus Bodmer XVlII: Dclllerollvme I-X.7
Carlini, A. and A. Cili. "Susanna e III prima visionc
til sahidiqlle. Cologny!GcncV'"<l, 1962.
di Daniele in due paph; inedili dcll(1 l3ibliOlheca
P. Bodmer XIX Dodmedana, P. I3odm. XLV e P. Boom. XLVI,"
MflSCllm Helvetiew/! 38 (1981 ):81-120 (tnd pI. 1-
Kasser. R. Papyrus BOllmer X/X: t:vmrgile (Ie Mal/hie/( 14.
XlV,28-XXVllI,20; Epilrc tWX Romaills /,I-I1,J, ell
sahidiqllc. Cologny/Gcne\'a, 1962. Other publicatlonll

P. Bodmer XX Mcrkclbach, R. "War1etext 2, P. Colon. IllY. 904.

Komooicnrragment." leitschrill liir Papyrologie
Manin, V. Pap)"rus Bodmer XX: Apofoj;ie de Pllileos, II/Id Epigrophik 1 (1967):103-104.
tvtiqlle de nil/lOuis. Cologny/Gcncy:.l. 1964. Ruca-Puig, R. Hilll"e a IQ Vergt' Maria, "Psalml/$ Res'
po"soriu$," Pflpir !fori del segfe IV. Barcelona,
P. Bodmer XXI
Kasser, R. Papyrus Bodmer XXI: Vl,16-25,
)OS4lt -,-c "Fragment de 'u &imin' de Menandre. papir
VJI,6-XI,23, XXJI,I_2, 19-XXlJl,7, 15-XX1V,23, erl de Barcelona. inyentari no. 45." BoII~lit! Je III ReQ/
stJhidique. ColognY/Gencva, 1964. Academia de bmmas /etras de IJarce101l0 32 (1967-
P. Bodmer XXII ___. Cicero, Catilinuries (I ('I JJ ill Cat.}, Pap)"ri
lJarcillomJrlses. U:u'cclona, 1977.
Kasser, R. Papyrus Botfmer XJ(JI el Mi.uis.lippl Coptic ___. Alcestis, Hexlulletres Llalins, Papyri RMc!'
Codex JI: Ur~,"le XL,J-U/,J4: £,mll/JnlalioIlS, Epi/re 110llCllSCS, ftiV. I1U. /58-161. Barcelona, 19l:12.
de JerClIlle, /1/lTuch I, / - V,S ell sahidiqlW. Cologny! Shore, A. F. Joshua 1- VI (lnd Otlrer Pllssages iu Cop·
Geneva, 1964. lic, Ediled {rum a Fourth-Centl/ry Codex II! Ihe Clres·
ler Beatty Library, !)..M". Dublin, 1963.
P. Bodmer XXIII
Willis, W. H. "A Papyrus Fragment of Cicero,"
Kasser, R. PapYflls Bodmer XXlU: &ail! XLVJI,I- TrQWi(JClions al/d Proceedil/gs of the American Plli/·
LXVI,14 /!n $lllJidique. ColognY/Gcncva, 1965. oIogical Associalion 94 (1963):321~27.
P. Bodmer XXIV

Kasser, R. and M. TestU7~

PapynlS Bodmer XXlV:
Psaum£J XVU-CXVllI. Cologny/Geneva, 1967. BOHAIRIC, a major dialcct of Coptic, calk'd "MEM·
f'HtTtC," "the nonhcm dialecl," or "dialect of Lower
P. Bodmer XXV
Egypl" in earlier tenninology, and simply "Coplic"
Kassel', R. and C. Aoslill. Papynu Bodmer XXV; In eightccnth· and ninch,::enlh.cenlUry Irealises, 80-
Mellalldre, La Samietllll!. CoI08nY/Geneva, 1969. hairic being lhe 6rst Coptic dialcct wilh which West·

em scholarship became :Iequainted. "Bohairic" (8) 1954. p. 232), it has, following Stcindorlfs Grflm-
WOolS first used by Stern (1880. p. xii). ItIQlik of 1894. been supcrscd...'(] by Sahidic as far as
Originally the nonhern local dialect of the ","'CSt· n:5Carch and tuition are concerned. (For S!.em.
em Delta (Bubaira) and WIkIT al·Na!nm. Bonahic 1880. it was still the primary muslralion dialect.)
spmuJ dramatically (beginning ;'Iftcr. and as ;'In indi- Since the 18905 "Coptic" par cxccllenn- has becn
reel result of, the ,\It.AD CONQUFST OF f£YPT) eastward Sahidic, and Bohairic has been suffering gl'3ve schol·
and southward. In lhe eighth and ninth centuries it arly neglect {cf. Erman. 1915, p. 161). This article
brokc the monopoly of Sahidie as a Pan-<:Optic idi· will attempt to provide a blief In>ological profile of
om and by the dc\'cnth century had largely complet· Uohailic gmmmar. While details of phonology and
ed the proccs... of becoming vil1ually the sole dialect nonsyslcmic mO'llhology t11'C rcl:.th·c1y well known.
of Coptic. IJoh:.irie lx:c.mlC the official ecciesiastie:.1 its Y)'Mimu~ de valellr and syntall still hold quite a few
language. and the classical I30hairie version of lhe mystelies for the linguist. The account given here is
ScriplUrcs. che onicial text. 8ol13ilic. which slU"vives predominantly synchronic and noncontl'nSlive.
only a... a liturgical langu('ge. W:IS lhe dialect that saw
Coptic oul (IS the living idiom of Egypt. The old
l. Phonology. Morphopholllllogy. and
controversial question of its prehi.'iIOl)'-whcthcr il
was never a litcrar)' Innglwgc before the Arab COil'
quest (Stern. 1880, p. 1; Lefort, 1931) or W;\S. on the 1.1. Probably thc most .~lriking feature of llohairi{;
contrnry, .(In old Iiler-try dialecl (Worrell's opinion) is lhe nonpcrlincnt, allophonic stalu.~ of consonant
has not yet bcen ~ltled. Wllnt survi\'cs in lhe \vay of aSpir..lliun in words of nalivc Egypl!.rn slo{;k. The
Bohair'ie documenlation consists, on the one hand, a.~pirated allophone (e, <j>, 'X) occurs "combinalorily"
of manuscliplS latel' than lhe ninth Cl.'ntUl)' wilh before. and in eOnlaet with, :. SOllonmt (any of /b/.
scriplural, homiletic. hClmeneutic. hagiographical, 11/./m/, In/. Ir/./w/. and Ij/) in initi:lI clusters :111(1
and liturgical tellts and. on thc other, a moch small· elsewhere {nOM. crown; "OHOY. immonal; <j>Me1lftT.
er collection of fourth- and fifth-eentury fragments. the bclo\'oo) or "spontaneously" as thc onset of a
all biblical (sce sec. 5 on the V3rieties of Bohairic). stressed syllable (indeed. "stress" is a fealure equiva·
Bohairie shares isoglos.scs with most other dialects lenl to "sonority:- and thus the "sponllll1eOmncss"
of Cop(lc. mainly with Fayyumic. Middle Egyptian is relative and only a manner of speaking). 6, lhe
(lotf..SOI:EMJC). Sahidie, and. more SUblly. certain Nag allophone of x before sonor.lnts (6M)G, bed), none-
Hammadi varielies of Sahidic (especially some lrac- theless constitutes a phoneme (611. quince. vcn>us
tates in Codex VII). DIALF.CT C and I)JAu:.CT P. The Xli. dish).
persistent. somewhat biased impression of Bohairic 1.2. The 8 phonemic inventory features lhe oppo-
as an innovating dialect is refuted by careful internal silion /xl : fhf, graphemically ~ : t (:.»'tIt', lo.....er
and conlr,lSliw examination. which shows it to be pal':tfll¥. upper pan).
rathl."r of a consel'Valivc natUI'C (cf. Shisha.Harevy. 1.3. The open Iinal unstl'essed (posltonic) vowel in
1981). Not only its gr.mlmatical minutiae but even 8 Is III (~, man; HGYI. think, thoughl). Table I
some major issues arc still obscure and in need of display!> the facts in the case of closed unstressed
rigurous and mechodologicllily car'cful investigation. syllables (cr. Polotsky, 1933).
Far from being "sufficiently well known" (Knhle, 1.4. NOllfinnl historical 131)'ngeat.\ (primary and

TALJUi I. Clu~ed Ullslressed Syll{jbll!~ in fJuhuiric


,. ,. e
coe••" c,..". -, "'"'
enlreatl hear him dlOOlSC h~ .. bn..ak choose
destroy him

secondlll)', evolved from r or I) lire nOl realized in Bohairic of n synt.lgm (the SahiJie conjunctive) in
Bohairie: lI,IOI1t, in existence: "'11, finger; C(JIll, re· which iI· lll11rks as modifier 11 nexus of ".,ClOI' plus
main ovel'; rl6-, thy. (second fcm. sing.) Finally, one verb. "
finds I: SI.'Wnd fem. sing. ~, lhou too; T«lOyHI, 2.6. The so-called third fUIUre is l:Hogely conven·
stand lhee up: masl;. OY>.l, one. ible III Bohairic (Stem, 1880. sec. 418-19;
1.5. Palatal sibilant assimilation is Ihe rule: ~...,." A.ndersson, 1904, pp. 62[.).
make live, flOurish; ...... despise. 2.7. In one variety of Bohairic (R'C 5.3) there oc-
1.6. Long diphlh<.mgs lengthellt.-d from shon vow· CUD a special negative-condilional ba~c. "'"II(J· (dis·

cis ()Ceur wilh II' and j: WIll., bl'cud: roy. honor. cussed by Cerny, 1963, (Inu Kassel", 1963). '(IJ;LN oc·
1.7. TIle syllabicily of vowels and nllsal sonOI1:mls curs only in the affinnative form of lhe conditional
is indicaled by means of a superposed poim (Xlllttltf; c1auSL..tlipanite conjugation fonll. The neg;tlivcd
see WINKIM). In ela.,~ical usage (manuscripts prior to base coincides with Ihe second presenl (J.....TEH-). a
lhc fooneenth ccntury). Ihis applies to any vOVo·et coincidence thai is diachronically significant but
eOllSlituring by i\Self a syllabic (;L"i 1'1110/0., he went synchronically probably superficial.
out; i111O'(t. bring (imp.l) and 10 Mand II conslituting 2.8. The negative jussive (causative impcr..ltive)
a radicnl or a gmmmatical clement and preceding 00sc is in Bohlliric MtHlMOf<l·: ilS conneclion Wilh the
another (mON, 1'eSl; ilOO'I, he; Mo/~, for God). This ncg:uivc impemllvc chamClelistic MIlCr' is thus scv·
syJlabichy is canceled in cel,ain combhmlolj' ci1" ered.
cumstances (d. POIOlSky. 1949). In lalel' Bohairic, 2.9. The negative aorist base is MlI"'('), showing
one 6mb the djinkim on olher consonants (¢OOI diachronic affinities with the SI.'Cond lense.
smell; KtttIO'(, you are coming). 2.10. T6f"'- is tht: second singular feminine form
I.&. Numbers arc usually symooli1.cd by letters of the future.
and not wriuen oot (Dt. 34:8, MX" Ht."OOOV. for thiny 2.11. The first singular and third 1,lul':31 actor suffix
days; Mk. 6:40, K"'T'" 1" 1" t1llM K;LT'" N N, by hun· pronouns are syllabic with the cauS<llive infinitive
dreds (HId by fifties). (opl', oroy-) and negalive lhil'd fulure (ilrn", ilJiOy':
I.!l. Thc phoneme {i{ is usually exprcs.<;ed by an d. Polol~ky, 1960, sec. 49).
iOla, even when initial (i. come, go: illl, thir.>l). 2.12. Verb Lexeme{SllIllve Pecullarille.. Histori·
1.10. Proclitically weak elements arc nO' always cal JQe ;'1/in"Qe .j infinitives (Stem's class Ill) usual·
marktd 115 such (Ennan, 1915): 1tlQK., oyott-, Httoth Iy have no ·r- in the pronominal state (ClN'" , bring;
MEG •• give binh to; .Y.6M •• find; 6J.C •• exalt). On
2. Morphology and Word Formation lhe othe.· hand. thc imperotive fOl'01 marked by ...
often ha~ ./ - (irITl', do; it/IT"', bring). Verbs of
2.1. There is superficial (struelur..llly resolvable)
Gr'Cek ()I'igin have in Bohnhic the Gr'Cek infinitive
coincidence of the pclfect base wilh the sccond
form ('11'1, ·eeoc) and al'e integraled in the COlllic
prescnl{Futurc convencl'. both ... (OpposccllO the til'-
conjugation by means of Ihe auxiliary or- (Ilr +orlli.
cumstanliaJ E1). a·vocalism characteril.es Ihe preterile
bear, 6f "'OIUOCEKI, embrace. greet). The stative of
con\·ener tu'll' and the negative aorist MIa....
Ihe causative lexemc class ends in 'I (-ltoyr',
2.2. The rclalive convener 61'0 l.. common 10 lhe
OloMtlloyr1 • being erc.'lted).
bipanite and all tripartite conjugation Forms (iIT...·I-,
2.13. The imperative of "give" has tlll'ee allo-
relative perfect).
morphs: MOl, Mlo-, HHI'" (I'OIOl~ky, 1950, pp. 78f[:
2.3, The relative and second perrecl convener:s
coincide. as ClT·. with systemic eonsequcneL'S.
2.14. II vcrb-nominalizalion rorm in Xit/· is gram·
2.4. TIt.e relative convener CT6 has no pre nominal
maticalizcd as IUOtrrCl·!ere· (Stem. 1880, sec. 470-
a1lomorph, thus differing from lhe other Ihree con-
72; Mk. 14:55. bnXltI~'II. to kill him).
venCB before the bipartite pattern. ere- is an alter·
2.15. The definite determinator pronoun {III has
nanl (variant?) of the circumstantial before the exis-
only one form (with no special prccluster allo-
lenlial oyotI. TIle converter.> and some bases have a
1'6- allornorph before lhe shm' second plul'lll suffix:
2.16. Bohairic has II plural infix '1/- (it/loy<l1. oalhs;
1r6T6N·, NlorCTGN', Il,llof6TClN', (GT)"'p6T6t1·, etc.
CN"'yZ, feller.».
2.5. The base of the conjuclive is irre·. prenomi·
2.17. The first plural object suffix is usually (post-
nally as well as prcsulfixally. In Ihe firsl singular the
cooso'lantally) ·Tllt/ (rarely 0(1").
basc-plus-aclor is irr...·: in ihe Ihird plural it is kroy.,
2.lg. Postacljunelivc Greck-origin adverbial modifi·
which is opposed 10 ftcc·. the sole representative in
ers may be marked by h (AIU.Mx;).

:I.•,....... tu. Panel.. Itt<:. (Rote verboid (0'y0ffTJ>'" / HHotrrJ>+, a.~ in Gn. 16: I; d.
Relationship), and Prosody Shislm.li:tlcvy. 1981. pp. 317[.). The pI'onomina]
1'0.I.H!.~.~lmr never occurs as object of lhc vcrboid. bUI
as the subject of the adverbial predication (Dl. 4:38).
3.1. FIN:.llzallon Pall~m•. The se<:ond tense fo- 3.5. The pronominal subject of afJinnative bimem·
cali1.es adverbs only, not actor or object (pro)nouns brol nominal sentcm,:cs is sometimes 7.eroctl when it
(except for ),f'tITCllq 0'1', How are yvu? d. Polotsky, is anaphoric to a delemlinalor or an extraposed
1960, p. 409). Interrogative pronouns may be con· topic (Shisha·Halcvy, 1981. pp. 328r.; I Cor. 5:18,
strued with an unmarked (basic lcn.'le) topic, csJl'C" ClMMt tlOyOO OYJ>1 "yt rJ>N l>f'O'I XG COlt
cially me hrst perfect (Gn. 27:33. "IH oyM ),'OCCIf.lt GOytlOf"OC). The most common instance of lhis is
O'(.EOf'C 1tHl, Who then hUnl(:d game for Ille?), but the dislinctively Bohltiric pos~ssive nGTlj<p->+ (11-)
wter more usually the nominal cleft-sentence 1'01- (Lk. 6:30,16:12).
(em. In the lauer case, lhe topic constituent is either 3.6. (trO. lhe gmmmatically opcrJlive eau!\.3tive in·
the invariable U6T· (Polouky, 1962, PI'. 419£. (-CP finitive of If't. is in Bohairie subject to the SIl.~rn­
424). whkh difers from lhe "$Ubstanlivized" rela- Jemsh:dt Rule and Ihus incompatible with Ihe me-
tive ... 6T- (ltw.- rel:llive eJl;panding a demonstrative diate (11·/Htio".) dirt:ct-object construction in the
and indeliltire pronOUrui as well as proper Rames; cr. bipartite pauem (Stem, 1880. p. 292; e.g.. MI. 5:32;
Polotsky, 1962, .sec. 9; Shisha-Halc¥)'. 1981, »p. De Vis. 1922-1929, 1.14.6).
32If.): Mt. 3:14, 1f«lK 6T(lf' xpU. G61lDHC, II is I ",,-ho 3.7. The bip<trtitc pattern predicating an ad\'ern
need 10 be bapli1.ed; MI. 9:5, oy r).f O9HOTH Axoc. favors the internll:diation of a copulaI' Sfalive (Gn.
what is it lh:.. is casy 10 say? Mt. 2:22 l.fX6UOC (lTOl 26:24. ;-:.01 116MAK. I am with you).
Itoyfo, It is Archc1aus thaI i.~ king; Mk. 8:37. q..l rJ>r 3.8. Gender. The calaphoric gender in "illlpCrson-
GT6 ....,...,. "J>THl'l l'rrCl,j'fIlUlb I'lT6'....yXtl. This is whal a al" pt'edications is as a rule the feminine. On the
man will give in cllchangc for hi~ soul. other hand, the pronominal subjeci of the pn..'dicate
3.2 £lr::traposltion. Bohairic is strikingly topic- no the dcbit/obligtttion of ...") is (at least as a
mart.ing, favoring a front (topicalizing) extraposilion variant) the masculine: Ga1. 5:3, 'fGfO'l Cqo +t+ottoc
as topic of a nominal sentence (Gn. 24:65, n)I[M. ~. he is obliged to ob:;crve the whole !..aw.
_ tJII 6TllI. Who is this man yonder?) and In other 3.9. TempusJehre Idlosyncrasll'S. The so-called
construcliorlS (Shisha.Halevy. 1981. p. 321). 1hc rear third future is in Bohairic a true tense. not a mooe.
extmposition of a noun lexcme 10 an "intcrlocutivc" in pal"..Idigm with the pl'Cscnt·ba.~cd imminent fulure
(finl!-l;econd pernon) pronoun is marked in Bohail"ic mar'ked by -tlJ>·. The conjunctive htL~ oflen a .~ubjunc·
by:u,- (e.g.. Acts 10:41. las. 4:12). tival or "that"-fot'111 value (Sterl1. 1880, sec. 442),
3.3 Nominal Synt8gmallel. The Bohahie system such as expanding the cataphoric feminine in "im-
of detenninator nudear pronouns ("ankles") is pel'!iOnal" predications (Mt. 5:29. CClr HO'ff'I rJ>r It,U(.
quaternary. ddinite-deictic ({III-}). ddini!e nondcictic ffT8 oyJ>t ~ T>.KO. It is good for you thott
({I..}). indefinite ({oy-}). generK:. nonindividuali7Jng one of your members perish ...). The second rela-
01-). Of these. Ihe first lwo are interrelated in a til'e perfcct fonn serves no! only its topicalwng ad-
complicated. still panly obscun:: sel of factors. SOllle nominal runction but also as a temporol.protatic
external (cOIellltHlI). othel"'5 intemal (i.e.. selection of "tempomHs" 10pk before a main clause (constitu·
{n.j by t\ special lexcme pllmdigm in a conSllllction ling a "lopic·comment" nexus on a macrosyntaetic
In.} 1'1. expressing inalienable possession. opposed to level of analysis; In. 11:28, q.J>t GTACXO'I ACO,lO lue.
{ttl-} NTe, which cxprcssc!l noninh<n.:nt "appurte- Having said this, she wenl away). The temporal
nance"). Elucidating this issue is probably the most clause is thus not expressed by a specifie clau.se-
urgem single task to be undertaken by students of tripartile conjugation base. (Incidentally. the S(:cond
this dialect. ,.. is also used to add further Icxemes to perfect in 80hairic cannot be further convened by
the de1enninator·plus.lexeme basic unil: ~,. 0V0:t the cln::umSI8nlial COI1\·erter.) The linal and con'
•• as in MI. 23:17. 19, HtCOX. avo: HB.6AAG. Ihe !ltu· ditional clause paradigms include in Bohairic the
pid and blind; Acta MQrtyrUm 1.21.1r.. ~ conjunctive (aftcr Greek final conjunctions of 6o,Iul.
~ fttU,HT (nolll, predicate) "piliful lind mcrciful." n:specliveJy. I Cor. 12:25. Ml. 6:14ff.). 'nle postim-
3.4. The predico.tion of pos:'It'ssion is effected in pcmtive paradigm lacks in Bohairic a specific
Bohairic by a parnrligTD of adverbial'predK:ate pat· marked apodotic form (TJ>f'6'1' in other dialects. {'S-
term prl'dicating 1rrJ>'" (U. 3: II). and IlO4 only by a pecially Sahidic) and features, typically, imperative


and jussive forms (M\. 9:6; Lk. 7:7) Ix:liiuc lhe non· IWC. 0'yH, 2JlfJ., tl~) do OCCUf elsewhere. but are
specific conjunctive (ACl~ 6:3) .wd O)"O;! plu.~ future much more comllion in Bohairic.
tcnsc (M1. 7:7; Prv. 4:6). Till: "ethical d:.ltivc" is regu· 4.3. Phraseology;m<1 idiornatlcll arc again virgin
lar aner 196 in lhc nondumlive eonjugalioll (lIJ'6 Ii),""). fields of stuJy. Peculiarly 8 afe, fOf instance. or
3.10. Prosody and Junelure. Elements of rda· (HJ.7). what for. to what purpose?; 1iEH-, OOHlo7,
tively ....~k SITl:'S5 in lhe ullerunce (nalive Egyplian togelher with: and Noy1I.oy.xJ oUl. nol small. rO!, s
enclitic par1iclcs, augenlia, .).fl. the "backgmunding" HOG, ~ W-. ClHloT8 (Act... 12:18, 15:2, etc.).
116) tend to a s.entem:c-po:;tcl"ior, "truiling" po:;ition
(Shisha·Halevy. 1981. pp. 319f.; e.g.• MI. 23:4. 26:44;
5. Varieties of BohaJrlc
In. 5:30. Lk. 16:2).
The relative convl'r1er l'IT(\, when exp:mding lhe .5.1, Wilhout takinx a stand on their relative sta-
formal demunstr'ative anteccdcnt I'll 01" 'hilt. may tus and relative chronology. one cnn point out the
bc separated from thc cUllvel1ed conjug:.l!iun,[ol·m following main subdivisions, 01' Gill/WIgen, thaI B
by at least two aJjacenl par'lldigms ("SIOIS"), the fil'llt texIS fall into, from lhe grnmmatical [lOint of view.
(pro)nominal and the second ad\'erbial (Shisha- Given thc cun-ent statc of knOwledge. one can do no
Halevy, 1981, p. 318; e,g. Dt. 2:25, "" 6T8 more; as mon' evidence comes in (e.g.• following
),~~€M lllM;'4'oUl 8y~Clr. tht:)' who shall the publication and evaluation of thc "Old &halric"
tremblc if lhey hear )'OUf name; Col. 3:7. lUI £Te T"'elve Prophets. unbiased eonsiderution of Nitrian
,*-T(ln :/WTtitl II),f'(lT(ltlHOfll ~!lf'tll ~.'}IlTOY, those in sources) and as the g-tnernl dialectologieal picture
which you 100 used to w:l.lk); this irldicat~ lhat the becom(."'!l clearer (as it mrcly will. rollowing thc pub·
converter/conjugation-form scam is juncturally open lication and study of "Middle Egypti(IO" evidence),
to a degree. one may be able 10 intcgrate these lypes of Bohllirie
3.11, TIle functional rnnge of lhe coordinating in a coherent sy.~tem,
H6tt- is considembly extended in Boh'lirie. entailing .5.2. "Classical" scriplural Bohairic conventional-
reduced funClions for O¥O!' (lffiH- is preferred as a ly scrvt.'S as a point de re"r-re for judging other types
coordinator of noun 5)'T1tagms.) and is USltall)' used fur "Bohairic proper," Although
it is by no means homog:enous (being often variously
blended wilh Nitrian; St.'C 5.4). it nevertheless repre·
4. lexicon: Idlomallcs
sents an optimal ttstu di lingutJ. cslX'Cially irt "good"
4.1. The Boh(lific lexemc invcntol)', idiooyncrnlic consistent manuscripts (such as Vnt. copto I and
10 a considel':lble extent, IHls never heen properly Bihl. Nat. copte I).
researched in respect of eithcr its inlernal or its .5.3. A group {(,gain, not monolithic) of founh·
oonlrosth'e SIlUctUI-e. In the unstl'Uctured lexicon and fifth-ecntury biblicaltcxls-extremely early doc-
peculiar to Bohairic. occasionally in common wilh umcnt(ltiOIl in comparison with Ihe hullt of Doll3ilic
Fayyumic (e.g.• l'fIon, be wroth; oycurn, send; KHft, scriplural sources-diffe~sharply from the classical
cease; ~\OX, foot; ClUlH. side; ~, pour; 6ctaIa;II. idiom in linguistic usage. The largest single docu·
up). one notl'S eases of I: I correspondence with ment of this kind published to c.ble is Papyrus
Sahidic (6HHO'I' : tlktMI. breasl; XJ.Gt1 : t&OYI'. left Bodmer J1J, containing the Gospel of John (Kassel'.
side; 0Il0Yt : ct!lOY2, gt!ther), 2: 1 (IOUrl + ~~ : 1958, and 1966, pp, 661f; cf. DlAl..E.CTS); another ex-
~lfB, children; 19),- + 2),' : 19J.-, untO), 1:2 (KHtl : oyUI tensive m(lnuscripl conlaining the Twelve Prophets
+ 2Gl, cease, have done), (lnd so on. in the Vaticana wa.~ studied by H. Quecke. In
4.2. Although no over'3l1 statistics .we availaole Bodmer III one finds, mnong others, lhe following
01\ the Greek-oligin component of the Bohairie Icxi· idiosyncrasies: HtU, there; atJ.. two (for the classical
con (cr, Kasscr, 1966. and Baucr. 1975). one ~y, au.y): 0"(0t4l, and; lhe negative condilional
impl1.'SSionistically notes the higher frequency in J.lfH(\q.: the preterite relalive COn\'cntf 8r- (known
Bohairie of the use of Grt:ek loanwords as well as also in Gnostic Sahidic. Subakhmimic. and Middle
their broader semanlic spectl'Um and their number Egyplian): absence of the djinkim: (lQ/femetll of !)-!.
in absolute terms. which is larger in comparison 6-.x. t-n. Under the samc heading. one may also
with Sahidic usolge. Some loans (e.g., 6CT1l1 1It..tI. tltl include some shorter biblical texts or apPr'Qximately
Ole, MeN oytl 60. TO "omOtl, oy llJ.rJ. TOyTO, oy t'J.p) the same C(lrly daling, including passagcll rrum
arc cxclusive to Bohairic jll1d show to whal extent it Jam(."'!l (wilh the djinkim; Qucckc:, 1974) and a bibli·
imported ready-made Greek phrnses; others (e.g., cal anthology (Hu.ssclman. 1947), On some "Bohai-
• 58 BO HA IRI C
, •

ric" dem ents in Old Cop tic, s(''C Kah le (19) 4. pp. Nitrian 80h airic arc in evid encc ; the word orde r is
243[ ). occa sion ally rem arka ble; "agr amm alic al" eonSlruc·
tion~ (suc h :\S X6 + ful. 1 in a final ctau~e, 1\16 HJo.~
5.4. Nitl'lan Doha!ric is attes ted main ly in Illlgl o·
graphical. homiletic, find herm eneu tical texts fl"()m in the dUl<llive conj ugat ion) occu r, Nominal scn·
the Nilrian Monastery of Macarius. whe re Ih('y aIX: lenc es with zcnx :d IKI arc com mon ; the conj uncl ive
gene rally supp osed 10 have been tran spos ed from a occu rs in initial position.
Sahi dic Vorf(Jge in the nint h cent ury. but ill al.so 5.6. Nonliterory Iloh airic is still a conl plet c mys·
found "see ping thro ugh" hUa classical sour ces. 111is tery. The sixt h-ei ghth ·cen tury insc ripti ons of Kellia
kliorn has !lot yet been rede eme d rl'om neglect due in Wlldi al-Na!l'itn belo ng here orlly in tl scns e (they
10 the bia.~ of "secondhandcdncs.o;'· and "tain ting
," incl ude tom bsto ne and othe r pers onal rcligiou.~
and Nitn an gram mar has not had the altcl llion it texts); Ihey arc inten.'5Iing (and as yet unn::sc:archcdl
de5ervcs. Phon olog icall y, one observC$ here !) fluctu- from !he linguistic poin l of view. One finds here
ating with l (e.g., in lIf)ftll, dow n) and 6 with x (in sporoldic variation of B - y, 0 - U, eM - H; Ihe
cox , fool; XJo.Hoy>', camel). Typically ther e (lfe conj unct ive Til'; the spelling 6.... Jo.~)ICTOC; spor adic lib·
C¥C9tlH, tree; CHOfIT, fann ; TIlOyOOY. stan d up; and sene e of na.'lal-Iabinl assi mila tion (HIl1Jo.MIUI) and of
koyl , SOlan. Spo radi cally , com bina tory aspi ratio n is com bina tory aspi ratio n (nH6)'1). Prop cr nam es are
abse nt. As regards mor phd ogy . one finds ),-(1 for expa nded by lITe C-ot+ 1IT6 11T6AH6). On the whole,
the seco nd pres ent conv erte r; t1T6f6- is found as a Ihe language COnfOl'lllS wilh the classical mlh er than
vl'1rirmt of pren omi nal (lTll'; in ccri ain eltlsscs the the Nitl'ian ~hmdal'l.1 of I3ohairic.
5.7. Kah le's "scm i·Bo hair ie" Bala'i'lllll no. 19, a
pI"t'suffix<l1 nllo mor ph of thc verb lex.l.'nle is cxte nded
to the pren omi nal state , leveling simplification into foun h-ce ntur y papy rus text with passages from Phi·
two -abs olut e and preo bjcc t-al lom orph s (set" lippians, show s som e Fayyumic and Sahi dic affini·
Polotsky, 1930, p. 875 [-CP 344J); <:oyt.IH-, TO'f"OC', ties.
(1,1011', TON-, ()Q,I', 1I,IOyO-; typical arc the conj ugat ion
ba!ICS Q,lJo.HT6- and Hru.t IT(l· (first sing. r:.tu. Hn,- , 6. Sele cted Bib liog raph ical Info rma tion
I(l).HTJo.'): OIUiO"( occu rs fOI' !he S(,.'Cond plur al
afte r
6.1 Maj or or Com preh ensi ve Tex t Edll ions . Bib-
frroT -. One enco unte rs the "fre ezin g" of the poss es-
sivc suffix in llC'lf'Ul'l, (Pololsky, 1934, p. 61 lical, hcnn eneu tic: Tau am (1836. 1852 (Prophet.~J).
de laga l'de (1867, 1886 [Pen tateu ch, New Testament
[=CP 366)]; Gr'eek loan ver'bs occu r al!!.p withotll {JF·.
Synlactically, one finds the relativc to Dc com pati blc Catena]), Bur mes ler and Devaud (1925, 1930
wilh indefinite dcte rmin atio n (OYJo.I OTJo.<t·, B."\lcstri [Psalms, Proverbs]). I'orc her (1924 Pob ]). Hom er
and Hyv ema t, 1907 -195 0, 2.206.23; f'H'1t OOfIJo.H£'t, (189 8-19 05 [New Test ame nt]). Patristic, hagiograpb-
Homefies 1.101.4) and the circ ums tant ial expa ndin g
ical, hom ileti c: Hyv ema t (188 6-18 87), Baleslri and
definitc nou ns (I1IMJo. 010 ""C HMo<t, Balestl'i and Hyvemat (1907-19SO), de Vis (192 2-19 29).
Hyv cma t, 1907 -195 0, 2.184.22f.). i\,~ in Sahi dic, lhe 6.2 Gra mm atic al DI,leull8!on. Andersson (1904)
seco nd ten!\(' may have a nonn dver hial focus cOlllains. besi de blat anl erro rs. a few nota ble obser·
(Polotsky, 1944, pp. 22, n. I, and 31; 1971, pp. 126, vations. Mallon (1956) is Ihe only mod em SPCI;ia1
(35). The nega tor Jo.lI is com pati ble with inde pen. grai lima r (cc. Polotsky, 1959, his maj or treatise con·
denlly negative elem ents : HttolI· Jo.H (Balcstri and cern ing Bohairic, as well as 1930, 1934, 1944, 1950)
Hyvernat, 1907 -195 0, 1.9.8), MIIOf' Jo.fj (ibid. 216.3). with cxten~ive bibliography, chre stom athy , and 11105'
The regu latio n of 111- irre· vel'5US 11- H- adno min al SOlry; it leaves muc h 10 he desil·ed. While Peyron's
ex.pa.nsion appe ars 10 be disruptt..-d or chan ged. IKI veneroble gram mar (1841) is still of value, Stem
occu rs (as a back grou ndin g of mac rosy ntac tic sub- (1880) is still by far the best trea tmc nt of Boh:tiric
ject) afle r verb fonn s Olher lhan the imp elfe ct (lL'! of Sahi dic) gral llma r; the Sch wan e (1850) gram-
(Hyvel'nat, 1886 -188 7, 135, 13f" Jo.'I.; 146.6r., 6y-, cir· mar is skeletal, but cont ains numerou~ impol'lant
gram mati cal obse rvat ions , Note also Sch wan e's un-
cumstanli:ll; 150.13,0)'01'1). Although nllmy of thes e
lraits are aUributable to the innu ence of Sahi dic, Ihis wieldy wor k of 1843. and !he earl y grammal'5 by
is by no mea ns true of all. Tuki and by Scholtl. and Woide (bot h 1778). Chal~
5.5. Liturgical Uohairie has neve r been t..'Spccially (1933), a deta iled and extensive contrastivt..'-(\inlecto-
l:onsidercd from the gram mati cal poim of view. The logical gram mar , ha.~ many mer its and mtlkcs quite a
djinkim occu rs over most cons onan ts, incl\lding few pioneel'ing statcment~. Till (1931) is supcdicial
surd s; phon ctic spel ling s arc very com mon . if. is and almo st useless (cc. Polotsky, 1934). Finally,
oflen zero ed. Som e of the synlactic: char acle risti cs of Erm an's famous, yet unfollowed, cont rasti ve study of

juncture (1915) aims at reviving interest in Ilohail'ic, Husselman. E. M. "A Bohairic School Tcxt on Papy-
and ShL~ha·Halcvy (1981) dwells on some conselVa- rus," lounral 01 Near E(lSlenr Studies 6 (1947): 129-
live char.lctcristks of this diak-ct. 51.
6.3 General Dlnlcclologlcal DlllCusslon. Kahle Hyvel'll,ll. H. US Ac/es fles martyrs de /'I::'i:Ypte. Paris.
(1954) i~ still the prime source of information (l..'Sp.
AC/Il Mar/ymm. II (Tr:mslationl, Addi/is
pp. 23lfr., 248ft). WOrfell (1934, esp. chaps.. 1-2) ludidbllS TO/illS Operis. cseQ 125. Louvnin, 1950.
trealS Bolmhic phonology and the general SIaIUS of Kahle, I'. E. Bultf'iUlh: Coplic Tuts Irom Deir e/·
, thl.' diakct. Vcrgotc (1973, Vol. lb) discusses B ph~ BII/,,'iUl" iu Upper Egypt. London, 1954.
nology as a component in a p3IlOl'amic presentation. Kasser, R. Papyrus Bodmer m: EI'IlIlgile de lean et
Bohuirk features in all of Ka<;.<;er's impOl1.anl dialec·
lologiCliI studies (sec esp. 1981. pp. 92fT.).
Gen<tS4,' J-JV,2 "PI bohai'riqlle. CSCO 177-178.
) Louvain, 1958.
6.4 Lexlcalogy. Only Peyron and Tatlam (bolh _ _ _ "A propos des difrerenles romles du condi-
1835) cater specially to 8. The priceless information tionncl cope." Mudu" 76 (1963):267-70.
L'Ewmgile ulou Saill/ leall el les versions
,- in Cnnll',s Dic/iOtllll')' (1939) must yet be resolved for
the individual dialects. G. Bauer's concordance copll!S de la Bib/e. NeucMtcl. 1966.
,f ___ "ProlegomcnC$ a un CS5ai de classification
, (I975) of the invariable Greek c1emenlS in the Bo-
systemalique ~ dialC(:le$ el $Ubdialecteli coptes
hairic New T~ament is a wekome 1001 of research.
selon les cril~res de In phonttique. I. Principes et
"n .....hich. onc hopes, is to be clllendl-d to Ihe res! of Ihe lemli/K)logie," Mllsian 93 (198Oa):53-11l. " ....
Grttlt. as wdl as the indigenous, lexicon. II. Alphabets ct syslcmcs phonctiqul'l;." Musiall 93
(198Ob):2J7-97. " ... , III. SYSI~mes onhogrnphi.

ques el categories dialC(:lales.'· M,uio., 94
,- (1981):91-152.
Lagarde, P. A. de. Der PePlla/elich koptiseh. LeipZig,
Andersson, E. Au.sgewlihlre Bemcrku"ge" ilber d,m
bohllirischetl DiIlIela itn I'ell/Il/tllth koplisch. Uppsa- 1867.
la, 1904. _:-_. Cllleuae ill EWlllgefia Ael:>1,liaclle Quae
Balcstri. G., and H. Hyvcmat. ACIIl Mllrl)Tllltl, I. SlIpersu,,/. Gt>llingen, 1886.
CSCO 43, 44. Paris, 1907, 1908. Ae/a Mllrtymm, II Lefol1. L.. T. "Lillcralure bohairique." Mllseoll 44
r (Tat]. CSCO 86. Paris, 1924. See also Uyvemal, (1931):115-35.
), 1950. Mallon. A. Grflltlltraire 001'16, bibliographie, chresl/)"
malflie e/ I'OCllblf/aire, 4lh L-d. rev. M. Malinine.
Bauer, G. KOtlkordllllZ der /liehtflek/ierle.. gricel,i.
se/re" Wlll'/er im bQ/lflirischetl Neueu Tesiamelll. Beirut, 1956.
Wicsbadcn, 1975. Peyro'l. V. A. Lexioou U"g"ae Cop/iclle. Turin. 1835;
repr., 1896.

BUrmC1ilCr, O. H. E. and E. DCvaud. Psal/erii Versio
Mcmphi/;ca e Recognitione Pallli de IAgaroe.
Louvain, 1925.
Grammaticf/ Ung"ae Cop/ietle. Turin. 1841.
lAJxico,r Cuplicllm. Berlin. 1896.
-,_. us Prol'ube~' de Salomoll (ClI. J. v. 1-14. v. Polull>ky, H. J. Review of H. de Vis. Humefies l:uples
26'. Cil. 24. v. 24-1'. 29 Itl v. 50'-1'. 77 e/ CJJ. 29, de la ValicmlC. Oricllwlislischc J.,ilemlllrzci/1wg 33
,r· (1930):871-81.
v. 28-1'. 38), leXIC bohaMqllC d,1 Cod. 8 de la
.,1 ___,. "ZUI' koptischcn Lautlchre 11," Zcitsc!trill fur
Rylauds I.Ihrary, M,wcl!esler, d" Cod. 53 e/ 98 de la
n· IJib/iolhi::que Valicture el rlu Cod. 1051 rlu Musee iJl:Yplisdre Spruehe IIml Allerlumskllnde 69 (1933):
0) Cople uu Cllire. (/ve~' le~' \!uri,mles de 24 aulres 125-29.
)s- mmuucrils el "ldex des "loiS copies el des IIlOI.~ Review of W. C. Till, Kopli.~chl!- Dill/lOkI-
,', gree.~. Vienne, 1930. grammalik. mil Lesesl/lcken wrd W(lnerbuch.
Cerny. J. "The Hohairic Verbal Prclix J.NN(l'l·." lei!·
sehrifl fllt iJgyplh'elrc Spraehc /Ilul Allerllllnsk,mde
90 (1963):13-16. :==.
GUllil1gi)·chl.' Gdehrlc Alluiger 196 (1934):58-67.
Eludes de s)'lI/axc COp/fJ. Cairo. 1944.
. "Unc quc~tion d'orthogmphe boha:iriquc."
.0, Chaine. M. Elemell/s de grallllllaire dia/eCla/e cople. Bulleli,t de la SociClc d'archcologic coptc 12
Paris. 1933. (1949):25-35.

Crum. W. E. A Cupti~' Dlclimlllry. Oxford, 1939. _ _ . "ModCll grees en cople?" In Cup/ie Swdies ill
Erman. A. "Unterschicue zwischen den koptischen HOllor of Wa/ler ElVlug CrUlII. PP. 73-90. Boston,
n, 1950.
Dialckten bei der Wonverbindung." Situmgs·
betiellle der Prell.ui.',eheu Aklldemie der Wissel/· ___. "Zur Ncugesla1tung dcr koplischen Gmm·

":ial selJollell,lJerli1l I (1915):161-72.

Homer, G. W. The Coplic -Version 01 lite New Testa·
Illalik." Orieu/lliislische Llteralliruil,mK 45 (1959):
lIy, mell/ ill Illc NUr/hem Dia/ec/. Otherwise Called ___. "The Coptic Conjugation Syslem." Orien/alia
, of Memplti/ic alld Boltairic. London, 1898-1905. 29 (1960):392-422.


"Nominalsatz und Cleft Sentence im analysis of spelling irregularities that arc based on
I(optischen." Orlen/alia ]1 (1962):413-30. phonetic phenomena and of traniiCriptions in the
::--:-. ColJecI~d Paper-s. Jerusalem, 1971. writing system and orthography of another language
Porcher, E. "Le Uvre de Job, version c;;opte publiCi: Ihe phonctics of which are better known. Absolute
et traduite," Pa/ro{ogia Orl~malis 18 (1924):209- proof of the issue can never be gained. But result~
239. obtained from different sources and by differenl
Om:cke, H. "Ein altes bohairisches Frogmen! des
methods arc to be regarded a.~ probable if they are
J.,kubusbriefes (P. Hefd. kupl. 452):' Oriell/alia 4]
(1974):]82-92. consislenl.
&hoIl1., C. and Charles Godfrey Waide. Gmmml/li~'/l BUI is Coptic a dead language in re.~pcct to phu·
Al!f;Ypliaca Ulrlllsque Diu/ecli. Oxford, 1778. netics? Has not the Coptic liturgy been I'cched io a
Schwar11.e, M. G. Dos a/Ie AI/Ypllm, oder Sprae/re, tradilional way down to this day? Although sollie
Geschichle, Religiotl !/trd VerflllSSUtrJ: des alum authors have e1aimed near'perfeet authenticity fol'
AgyplCtl Ilach dell a/liigypfischctl Originalschrifu!tt one or another modem tradition, It seems highly
und den Milthei/ungen der nichl.iigyplischell Ill/en improbable that thc 1II0ther tongue of the Copts has
&hrif/$/eller. leipzig. 184]. Idt no mark on the spelling of the liturgiC31 Ian·
Schwartu:, M. G. Koplische Grllmmlltik ... , herllllS- guage. It is, there£ore, advisable to take a critical
,e'~tl nllch des Verf~r-s Tode von Dr. II. Sltin·
""od-tllat is, to reconstruct the pronunciation of
IhtU. Berlin, 1850.
ancient living Coptic from contemporary sources
Shisha·Halevy, A. "Bohairic-Late'Egyptian Dia·
and to confront thc issue of such an endeavor with
glosses." In Swdies Pr~ttted 10 Hilns Jilkob
Polo/sky, ed. D. W. Young, pp. ]14-]8. East modem evidence only a.~ a last resort.
GlooCC!iter, Mass., 1981. For the literory Coptic of the thhteenth century
Stem, L Koptische Crummillik. Leipzig, 1880. (which is, of course, the BOHAIRIC di:lleet), much
Tnttnrn, H. wicott Aegyplil/et>-Lalillwll, ex Veleribl4.S elucidation can be gained from a coclex of an Arobic
Linglloe Aegyplillcoe Mottwtrenlis, el ex Operiblls Lfl version of the Apophlhegrnata Palrum thai i~ cntir-ely
erozii, Woldii, el AlioTlltll, SWIIIIIO Studio Currges. written in the Coplic alphabet (CaS£tnova, 1901;
IlI/n, crml Indice VOCl/lll IAlillomlll. Oxford, 1835. Sobhy, 1926; Burme~ter, 1965-1966). Some n~m.,rks
_ _. Dllodeeim Prophewmm Minorllm Libros in on the eharocter of Ihe Arabic idiom of the text are
LillgrlQ Aegyptiaea Vufgu Cuplica sell Memphilica ex
necessary. It has been plallJiibly classified by Blau
ManuscriplO Parisiensi Descriplus et cum Manu·
(1979) as "Middle Ambic Substandard:' He wrotc,
scriplo Johantlis Lu ... COUll lOS Laline Edidit. Ol'
"Its author(s) intcnded to write Classical Ambic, but
ford, 1836.
_,--_ Prophetae Majores, ill Dia/eclo Linguae Aegyp- whcther as a result of his (their) ignorance or negli-

tiacae Memphitica ULl Copliea, Edidu cum Ver-siorre gence, clements of Nco-Arabic penetra\(.'d into h.
Lalil1a. Oxford. 1852. Likc Middle Arabic texts in gencml, oor text is char-
Till, W. C. Koplische Dialektyammatik, mil acterized by freely altcrnating features of Classical
Luutiicken utld Wiirterbuch. Munkh. 1931; 2nd Aroble, Nco-Arobic and pseudcKorrections" (ibid.,
cd., 1961. p. 215, sec. 2). The main features of its phonctics
Tuki, R. Rlldimenta Litlgllae Coptae sive Aegyplioeue. have been elaborotcd with a SI.Ibstantial degree of
Rome, 1778. certainty. (/ WIlS pmbably pronounced In the classi·
Vergole, J. Grammairc caple, Vol. la, {nlroollclion,
c"l way (voicclcSIi uvular plosive), although a pro-
phQtI~liqllc cl pllOl1olugie, morphologic synllreml/liqllc
nunciation as lil or (g) cannot be rnlcd OUI (ibid., p.
(slTUcmre des .lcIIIOIllemes), pllrtie syllchr'Oniqlle,
and Vol. Ib, Inlrod,lCliorr, Jlhorreliqlle el phott%gie, 221, sec. 8: SnI7,inger: 1971, p. 61). ~ was of pabta·
morphologic sYl1lhemaliqllc (slrnc/llre des semutlt~­ lizcd 31ticulation ([8] or [gJ). ~ and; had c;;oalcsced
mes), fXlrtie diacNr'Onique. Loovain, 1973. in an emphatic spiront, most prob.."lbly tj.. n,is pro-
Vis, H. de. Uomclies copies de fa Valiclltle. Copenha- nunciation may also suggcst that!!. and! had pre·
gen, 1922-1929. served their spirant articulation, although there is no
WOrTell, W. H. Coptic Sounds. Ann Arbor, Mich., direct cvidence to excludc a plosive articulation d
1934. and I, respcclivdy (Blau, 1979, p. 221. 5«. 9;
ARlI!l. SIIISHA-H.\L£VY Sattinger, 1971, p. 52). The author generally pre'
serves ow and oy in diphthong transcription, but in
some cases slips to his Neo-Arobic vernacular mon-
BOHAIRlC, PRONUNCIATION OF LATE. ophthong articulation (ibid., p. 47). In fonns of the
The phonetics of a dead language can be detennined verb gifa, to COllie, he presents purely Nco-Arabic
in an indirect way only-namely, by a .scrutinizing features, clearly eliding the glottal Slop or hamz

(geyl, 1 carne, gqydl, fCIIl. sing. active p;:It1iciple; Remarks. Amble I is gcncrJlly rendered by the
ibid., p. 52). aspirate, o. tr in the final position, / nlay also be
The main regul:lf correspondences between lhe rendered by T.
Ambie phonemes of the lelll and lhe Bohairic signs Arabic ~ to; generally rendered by T; in nonfinal
of the lranSCliption are given in Ihe following tables positions it may also be rendered by o.
(ibid., pp. 49-50, but Wilh observations of Blau, Arabic k is l-endered generally by x or, more rart.~
1979. pp. 218-22. se<;. 6-10): Iy, by 11... In the final position, however, k is ellelu·
sively rendered by K.. This leiter is also used to reno
I. The Consonants del' Arabic q (see Table I).
It is remarkable that T is not used to render Ara·
zero bic I (ellccpt in some cases where the Iauer is in the
final position). This can be best eKplained by assum·

0; in lin:!! poliilion also T (see remarks)

ing a "soft" articulation (4) for T. Funhcrmon:,
three tendencies can be: observed (I) the use of
a:o;pirate signs for nonemphlltlc Mops and of nonas·
b , pirate signs for emphatic Mops, the reason for this
b • being. in all probability, the notably nonaspirated
d A character of the Arabic cmphatics; cr. Klistner, \981,
d A p. 4]); (2) the use of nonaspirate signs instead of
, r
, , aspirate signs for Mops in the final position, such as

, , T occasionally for e, and II.. regularly for x, proving

that Coptic nonaspirate stops were of soft anicl.lla-

, ,
l • tion in nonfinal positions only: (]) the use of II.. rath·
er than x (Dlau, 1979, pp. 218-20, sec. 6) (one may
d , conclude From this that the aniculation of II.. was less
I T; in nanlinal position also (see remarks)
, , lit soft than that of T and II).
In the Arabic transcriptions of Coptic liturgical

• texIS (of later date; cr. Worrell, 19]4, pp. 5-6), non·
final T is regularly rendered by Arabk d or 4 (or ~
I '
f , whkh had coalesced with d in Al"dbic), though not
q K in Greek words (.r.1}'Q, ~"If; ...,.,h...;> , xc;
k x, more rarely K; in final position, exclusively etc.). In what is probably the oldelit transcription
K (see rem;u'ksl tellt preserved, an undated eodell published in ell-
I , ecrpts by Gahier (1905), final T is regularly l'endered
m H by Arabic ,. The transcription that Sobhy (1940) pub-
" ", lished in ellccrpts-which is daled, according to
him, A.M. 1438 (but lhis cannot be confirmed from
, , the printed rendering; at any rate read "9" [ .. !d')
instead of "8" [which would be 1I<1'])-is less consis-
tent in this, a.s are the reeord~ by Pctmcus (1659; d.
No use is made of the following Copli\: [etten; ror Galtier, 1905, pp. 109-110), de Rochcmontcix (1892;
lrnnscriblng Mabie consonants: ~, 4'. t. 6, consonan· taken down 1876-\877), find Sobhy (1915 and 1918;
lui oy. taken dnwn early in this century). Modem rcfomled



,, e
T (0)
X (Mo)

q K K

pronuncinlion does not al1iculatc T "softly" at all; it tion, Here, emphatics arc only used 10 distinguish TO
is, nuber, I or ~ in all positions, in accordance with and TID (tmnscribed by !u) 1'1'O1ll Toy (tmnscribed by
the Greek pronunciatiun. IIi).

2, The Vowels
The evidence gained from the Bolllliric Imnscl'ip·
a. d if there is a !wrt mlllaJ!~am in the S...Ulle sylJ".
liun, the Ambic tmnscripliuns of liturgical Bohairic,
ble; otherwise, (j (sec Bbu. 1979, p, 222, sec. II,
and tmnscl'iptions of this into lhe L"llin :Ilph:loel
and remarks)
from the mid seventeenth century onward corrobo·
i 6, ocCllSionally I
ralCS many of the results Ihat have been gained frolll
"I I 0,occasionally oy
other evidence (see 80HAIRtC).
The Bohairic consonants are vuiceless, excepl M,
Ii oy, but also 0 if In the vicinity of a hart
N, ", r, and, if in a non/inal position, 5 (sec below),
mulal!~am (see remarks)
A "soft" al1ieultllion of lhe nonaspirale plosives is
uy ),1 if preceded by a !.,mj IIIlIttJ!!J!tJlIJ; otherwise,
nssumed fOl' all Coplic dialects. This has been cor·
(JI 01' III indiscriminately
rohorated by the evidence of the Arabic tmnscrip-
uw ),¥
lions: the usual cquivulent or T is Anlbic d 01' 4. It
Remtlrks. TatJ!Im, or the glottali7.ing effect, is a may, however, be aSSumed tlull It was nOl 01' Ihe
c\mracteristic of the ernphatics s, d. I, l, uvular q, saille "softne.'i.~" as n, T, and x; it is mther often used
and, to a les.~er extent, the post<!orsal 'lI~Ulal' consu· to render Ambic k instead of x. Worrell (1934)
n;lI1ts hand g, thc pharyngcal sounds of ' and h, and thoughl il possible Ihat l3ohnir'ic II, T, x, and It were
in ma;lY instances r. Allhough, fur example: both voiced whenever going back to Egyptian b, d, t! (=
Ambie s and .~ an~ rendered hy Coptic c, Ihe tr'fln- g), and K, respectively. In the Coplil: alphnbet of lhe
scriplion di(l'cren(ialCs in rendering 51l by CEl and .~a Arabic Apophthegmata, however, these signs repre,
by C),. This proves beyond doubl thai), and (l were sent voiceless stops: it is not T that is used for Arabic
pronounced diffcrently in the Bohaidc idiom. which d but ralher A (a le!lel' of lhe alphabel of Coptic
underlies the Coplie lmnscriptiun. Greek). If .. is used for Al'ahic b and x tor AI'abic g,
Similarly, the laler Arabic lranscriplions make use this m:ty h:lVe been done by d"f.mlt, there being no
of the Ambic emphmics 10 distinguish Coptic vowels voiced altel'llalive available, in l:Ontrasl to the case
fOl' whicll thcre (Ire no distinct Ambic graphemes. In of T,
the text published by Gallier (1905), lhe re(lder can The problem of x is !".Ither one uf Ambic dinleclol·
be sure that an Ambic .?d renders c),. whereas lhe ogy, as this lettel' has by and large been idenlilied
Arnbic slJ l-enders co (or CIl) nuher lhan c)" more with gIm, a phoneme whose aniculation vaJie.~
uften than not. Similarly, both CO nnd ClIlllre almost gl'enlly in 1I1e Arabic idiorns or Egypt (sce Woidich.
alwnys rendered by ~'Ii, whereas Sli is the l'egular 1980, pp. 207-208). De Rochemonteix's (1892) Up·
equivalent of coy. TI;e writer of lhe teXI published pel' Egyplian infOl'm:mls pronounced x as J (g),
by Sobhy (1918) docs not proceed consistently, but a though one infOl1llant offered a fl'ee(?) vaJinnt t.
tendency toward distinguishing), and (l is still clear· Sobhy (19 I8, 1" 54), on the other hand, daimed thnt
ly disccrnible. In the Coptic idioms underlying Ihese in Uppel' !!gypl, x is J whel'e it cOl'responds to
lmnscriplions (though nOt necessarily the copies Sahidic oX bUI g whel'e it COl1'Csponds to Sahidic G
preserved, one of them perhaps from lhe early eigh· (but note that xe in the text he reproduces is xe,
leenth centUlY), the vowels)" and (I were obviously nOI 6G, in Snhidie). In Lower Egypl, x preceding
pronounced in a different W:ly. But coalescence of vowel i was pronounced a.s g, but othelwise it wa.~ g,
these vowels is atle.~ted as early as the mid seven' according lu Sobhy (1915, 1" 18). A very simil.lr IUle
tee/Ilh century. In the recOl·d done by Petl'aeus applies in model'll reformed pl'onunciation, which
(1659) both lettel'S are l-egulnrly rendered by II. The has g before i and c. This is rcmarkahlc indeed, As it
S:lme is fuund in de Rochemonteix's (1892) and cannot bc explained by Arabic innuence, it is obvi·
Sobhy's (19t5 and 1918) records of lmditional pm· ously a testimony to internal Coptic development.
nunciation. It is only in the modern refOl'llled pro· In lhe final position, n, T, x. and It seem 10 have
nunciution lhat ), :md G urc again distinguished as a conlesced with the aspirates, 4>, e, G, and x, respec-
lind e [B], rendered by alif and yr.', respeclively, in tively. This. again, is corroborated by the evidence of
the popular khulagi~ whieh have lin Arabic tl'anscril)' the Mabic tmnscl'iptions.

No to aspirale stopli, in thc Ar..bic transcriplkms. a articulation. as it was in autochthonous Coptic

(possibly lale) tendency 10 pronounce'" as a frica- ~"".
li\'C, C\'cn in genuine Coplic words, is allcsled; il is Thl,: voiced stops of Greek had developed into the
sometimes rendered by Ar..bic I (corresponding evi- con-esponding mcatiV\:S in late antiquity: b > {j (b)
dence can be found with de Rochemonleix. 1892).6 > v; d > S (!!); and g before front \"Owcls > J (Ji) > ,.
is nol USl.'d for h'llnscribing Ambie. It is rendered by but uthelwise > y (t).
.I in Arabic, 1Iithough Ihe assumed pl'Onunciation is The relevant corrl,:~pondcnccs with A.....bie ~igns
~ •. This can be explained by the fact Ih(\, Ar.:tbie can be explained by as.~\Iming a similm' pronuncia·
(both clllSSical and Egyptian) hllS no (; phoneme, and tionor the Copto·Greck wonls (see espedllly for r),
the device of rendering Ihe Bolmil'ic phoneme by The aspirates of Greek hod developed lnlo the cor·
two Ambic phonemcs (and, by consequence. two responding fricatives in late 'lntiquity: pi > I/J (/I) > f;
graphemes), namely I plus S, met with reluctance, I' > " (9; and Ie' before flunl vowels > (: (9), bUl
Comparc this to the usc in modem Egypt of s to otherwise> K (h,.
n:ndcr Turkish t (which is '" in the Turkish Latin For lhe Copto-Greck words in Bohairic. note cspl-...
alphabel; St'C Prokosch. 1983. p. II). But ~ml:Wberc cially that'" was 001 rendered by Ambic b; e was apt
the t aniculation may have survivl--d. Although bolh to render Arabic !: and x was rendered by Ambic j
Petraeus (1659) and de Rochemonteix (1892) render (lhe sound value coming closest to f in Arabic) if
6 by s exclusively. Sobhy (1915. p. 18. and 1918. p. preceding a front vowel. but otherwise by Ir.
52) heard ttl (though obviously not in OG. which is One will be inclined to aUribute the introduction
lois). This could. howcV\:r. be intellll"eled n.~ a lrail of such "learned" USo'lge to a mther late period of
of the refonnctl pronuncialion. which has thc t Coptic literacy-for example. a period of high philo-
sound (rendel'ed! plus ~ in Arabic scl'ipt). again with logical interest, such as the thirteenth and rom·
the exception or oc. teenth centuries, Note, however, that some or lhe
II is assumed that 1\ was pronounced as fl voiced misspellings in eorlier Coplic (d. Crum, 1939, pp,
bilabial fricative, /3 (- £). This ol,lculolion wos still 48-49, 516, 540-41, 745) can hanlly be explained
noticed by de Rochclllonteix in 1876-1877; Sobhy otherwise than by assuming a l.....ldition of "Neo-
(1915 and 1918) notcd that nonfin'll p, is pronounced Gn:ek" pl'Onunciation. The queslion is, though.
a.~ vocalic II. and never like the rounded "' of Ara· whether this pronunciatiOn was applied 10 lhe
bic. The C\'idcncc of lhe Arabic transcriptions is in Copto-Greek words in eorlier times in lhe Sllme
agreement with Ihis: initial p, is rendered, nOl by maller~f.course ....'3y as in lhe Gallier (1905) text. for
wliw but ralher by a!if plus w:'i.w. and once in the example.
syllable-initial ~ition hamza with kasro plus w:'i.w Note th'll lhe informanli or de Rochelllonleix
(":")"!JI,~I ,HIlGJ'Uf&COI'T): by indiealing a short (1892) were not very consistent in the use of r, A.
front vowel. the writer obviously hinted at a non· and x in Copt<K;reek W(lrd~. somctiml-'S prouounc·
rounded anicul'ltion of the labial. ing them in the "Coplic" ........y. namely g ( < g1).
In the final position. ho.....ever. p, was not pro- even when preceding back vowels; d instead or !!.: k
nounced as a fricative (ef. Tuki. 1778, p. 3). This instead of lJ Of f·
cannot be verified in Ihe Apophthegmata transcrip- Pn.'Sl,:nl.(L'ty liturgical rccillltion follows the mles
tion, as Ambic filml w is reali7.cd as voc:dic II in the of a rerormed pronuncillliOIl. It is mill'nI'ed in the
",,"usal forms. But both in the lr:mSCI'ipliolls and in Arabic transcriplions lhot have replaced lhe Coplie
Ihe record~ of tmditional pl'Onunclnlion, final B is char..eters in the populo,' klrlj/ag;s, The values allli\>·
renden:d by the con-esponding plosivc (Ambic b). II uled to the Coptic signs lIppcllr systematic and uni·
is not pos.~ible tn ~y whether finul B fully coalesced ronn, making tnlOSCliption almost a trnns!iter..tion.
with final ;. or the former remained r.oflcr and/or Consonants are more or less rendered llccording 10
unaspir3ted. the Neo-Greek \'3lucs, X is g (spelled CS ) bcron:
It is a very remarkable facI lbat at the time lhc
Arabic transcription of the Galticr (19(5) lcxt was
front vuwcls i and e. but ot.helWis<: g (spelled
Olher \oaIucs have been mentioned above. A compic-
c: ).
produced. Copt<K;rcek words were mostly pro- UOWi k-ature is the mechanical rendering of Ihe
nounced according to rules similar to those of late djillkim by hamz.a: ~, 'c'drrf; ~ , kp·l'lrmQl.
toine and modem Greek. and 50 on.
In many words, T is rendered by the Ambic voicl-... These modem innovations represent the greatest
less SlOps I or !, This indicatt.'S that it was not of soft breok in lhe history of Coptic pronunciation, But

TAIlLl! 2.
ifGK",), :x:.ll~"~T
I. 'ariden ;lnOJmbU, """"
;l1lds6s hen uScb~mOI
2. arilbn enemb{;a cngas ban uiabehmOl
3. ariti!n 'en'empU 'engos hen 'uSep'chrnOt

.xo lIGHllDT GT;')oH ,*k>yI H).rG<fTOyW

I. dicbeni6t ethen nip'bJi marddlibO
2. !\;a ooni61 adhan niraul m3rarduo
3. ge pcny6l 'etl]cn Ilifi'ui mareftllv()

Nxfl m:lIl.r),H H).rocl fI.xn T6KHI1TO'(j'O

I. OJndw bck'mn lIIurcsI :m<!sc dek-medur6
2. cn!\;a b;:lkl'l\n mar.lS1 enga c.Iakmaduro
3. 'cnge pekmn mares'! 'enge tekmel'ur6

I. bedchn;.\k'
HJ.f'CI"'9GM lI '""'of
2. bedehmlk mamf~bi emcbl-fJ.di
3. petehnak marefMpi 'cmefriti

"". ",.
I. ~en tp"e
H6H tlXEtl
nem hidScn """""
bikahi clc.
2. han elba 'lelll hilian ebkahi elc.
3. hen 'etll llCrll hi~cn pi k~hi ctc.

whereas present·day liturgical recitation would per- 8lDLlOGRAPilY

haps nol be comprehensible 10 the ears of a
medieval Copt, this would certainly nOl be troe of Dlau, J. "Sollie Observalions 011 Q Middle Arabic
traditional recitalion even a.~ it was heard in thi~ Egyptian Texi in Coptic Chametel"ll." IImlsalem
cen1Ury. Although it cannot be denied thtll changes Siudies ill Arabic WId Islam I (1979):215-62.
Burmesler, O. 1·1. E. "Ful1her Leaves I"l'Orll the Am·
had occurred-because of the inlluence of Ambic
bie MS. in Coptic Script of the Apophlhegmatll
and inlernal development-the ancient lradition
I'3,rom." Bill/etitt de fa Societe d'Q~htof08it cop/e
had been preserved in an astonishing measure. An 18 (1965-1966):51-64, pl. I-V.
example (fable 2) will serle besl to clarify lhis. Casanova. P. "Un Telltc arabI.' lranseril en caractcrcs
The lin>t line of the example is a reconstroction of COplCS." BlllIlHi" de /'IIIS/itil/ frall"ais (/'archeologie
what the beginning of ,he Lord's Prayer l11uy have oriell/ale I (1901):1-20, pI. 1-11.
sounded like in classical times. BUl note thal lhe Crum, W. E. A Coplic Victiomuy. QlI.ford, 1939.
phonctic rendelirlg is quite imprecise. Voiceless Gallier, E. "Un Mnnuscrit copte en CnmClCI"e!I;
stops [q, 4l are meant by b and d; what is wriuen f is arahcs." BIlI/l!litt de I'ltlsti/ilt frattrais d'a~htologil!
thoughl to be a bilabial fricative [ell]; short t :rnd u oril!tl/ott 5 (1905):91-111.
are open vowels (t, :I): t was rather an al! sound (or Kastner, H. PhO/letiJc uttd Photlotogil! des "lOdemell
perhaps even w; d. Vycichl, 1936). Hochorabisclt. Leipzig. 1981.
Petraeus, T. P.~almIlS Primus Davidis, Cop/icf!., Arabice
The ~ccond line renders Sobhy's (1915, p. 19) reo
et I.,mine. London, 1659.
cord in the conventions used herc (.t for 511, elc.). An
Prokosch, E. Osma/lise/les Wortg'" iff! AgyptL~ch.
Upper Egyptian pronunciation J: has been assumed Arubischen. Islamkundliche Unlersuchungen 78.
for .x. Berlin, 1983.
The Ihird line is a rendering of modem church Rochemontcix, M. de. "u Prononeiation modemc
recilation as it is Irnnscribed in Arabic script in the du eople dans la HaUle Egypte." Memoires de fa
popular khulagis. Sucielc Unguisliqllfl. 7 (1892):245-76. Repr. in dc

Rochemontcix. Oeuvres divl!fSes, pp. 95-129. Bi· TAOl£ 1.

bliolheque q;yptologiquc 3. Paris, 1894.
Satringcr, H. "Zur Phonctik des 80hairischen und
I • I' • 100 P
d~ Agyplisch·Arabischen im Miltclaltcr." Wietler
2 P 2. • 200 q
].I!i/schrif/ lilr die KIiI/cle cles Morgel/falldes 63-64
4 , y 3'
A 300
400 •
Sobhy, C. P. C. '~rhc Pronunciation Qf Coptic in the 5 • 5. "• 500 .;
2 (1915):15-20.
Egypt." JOlin/a! of Egypli/IIJ Ardwl!v!ogy

-::::C' "La Prononciation modcrne du cople dans

,, •
< 6Q

,. ,•
f 600

l'Eglise." IJuIle/ilr de /'II1Sli/ll1 Ir/m~·/Ii.s d'arc/reologle
p '00
oriellw/I! 14 (1918):51-56.
"FragmentS of an Arabic MS. in COptic
• 90 900 ~ or-t

Scripl." In Hugh G. Evelyn.White. The MOl/as/eries

of the Wadi '/l Na/n'll, Vol. I, pp. 231-69. New
so on. The next set or nine letters wen: used to
York, 1926. express the hundreds, as Table 1 iIIuslrates. Here
_.,-_ "1111.' Traditional Pronunciation of Coptk in one can see thnoe archaic leuers that had fallen out
the Church of Egypt." Bullelill de 10 Societe of usc: ~ (stigma) for 6, 1 (qoppa) for 90, and " or-t
d'archtologie cop/e 6 (1940):109-117, pI. I-II. (sam pi) for 900.
Tuki. R. Rlidimellla UI/guae Cop/ae sell Aegyptiacae. During the Hellcnisllc period, imitating a Jewish
Rome. 1778. cryptogr<lphie process (called a/bam), sollie Greek
Vyt:ichl, W. "Pi&lsel, ein Dorf mit koplischcr Ober- created a similar encoding based on that division of
lieferung." AfilleiIlIIlgell des dell/$£hctl Il/s/lfIIU liir the former alphabet into three portions (or rows).
iigyp/ische Allerilimsktmde ill Kairo 6 (1936):169- This system consisted of inverting the letters of each
75. row and replacing the normal row by the inverted
Woidich, M. "Da.~ Xgyplisch-Ambische." In 11Imd·
bueh der (JTllbisehell Dialek/c, cd. W. Fischer and
row-for' example, a f3 'Y 6 ~ ~ '7/{J becoming {j 1J (
~ ~ 6 'Y {J a, and normal a being replaced by {J, {j by
O. laslrow, pp. 207-248. POI'a Unguarum Orien'
Lalium n.S. 16. Wlcsooden, 1980. 7/,6 by (, and so on (see Gardtbausen, 1913, p. 301:
Worrell, W. H. Coptic Somrds. Ann Arbor, Mich., Wissc, 1979. pp. 119-20). AJ; this systelll of inversion
1934. had the weakness of not being able to modify e (~), H
(v), and ... (,,), located al Ihe center of each row,
spt:cial cl)'Ptic symbols wen: fabricated for them.
For Instance, e was translated by • and H by III.
Whcn the Copts bonuwed this system, the archaic
CRYPTOGRAPHY. AI times the Cop15 have felt Ictter -t, which had the value of 900 and in such
the need to use clJ'PI.ogr<Iphy in order to hide the text.s was wriuen with the letter p, had fuJlcn into
contents of certain annotations, formulas, inscrip- disuse; it was thus rendered with some lack of pn:ci-
tions, and message:>. About thirty examples of this sion, as if it wcre Ihe well·known letters yr bound
have been recorded. It would, however, be exct:ssive togethcr. Such was the basis of the cryptography that
to speak herc of a "Coptic cryptogl'ilphy," for, as the CoPl~ mostly used (Table 2). It is noteworthy to
shall be seen, even in a Coptic contell:t, the scribe I'Cmark that in Coptic the Creek 1 is currently con·
used cryplOgr<.lpltic systems borrowed from Creek fused with .., by which it is replaced.
and even preferred Greek over Coplic in formu1a.~
thus disguio;cd. Thc cl)'Plographic systems employed
can be summariwd within lhree types.
.-" f·
Flrsl Type ,. , '-0 T_,
The two principal forms fully merit description a.~ A-, H-, y-x
"encoding." fur the Greeks took them not from tlte
cla.s.sical alphabet but from an archaic repertoire
0-' H-H t-t
<- A ,- H x-y
used in writing number.;.: the lil'St nine characters of
!he archaic Cnock alphabot were U5ed to cxpress the
,. , 0-' ,-T
It - I .·C
units one through nine. The next set of nine were
employed to exprC5li the tens: ten, twenty, Ihirty, and 0-' f - f

This system was suitable for encoding a text WI;t· 3. Coptic formulas to proll.'Ct oneself from dOV
ten in Greek, and in fact, in encoding fonllulas, the were not so much for the simple passerby as for
Copts mostly lL'ied Creek formulas, even in the body lovers or thieyt.'S who would fear the <10&'>' barking
of documents OIhc:rwisc wrillen completely in C0p- and biting at night; thc tc;o;t shown below ",,-as cdittod
tic. However, when Ihey wanted to hide a truly C0p- by Erman (1895) from a fragment corn;.crvcd in the
tic formula, they either did not modify the autoch· British MUSl..'\Im (Or. 1013·A). TIlc reading of the
thonous graphemcs (especially lV, 'l, t, .x., and 6), or cl')"ptographic fonnula W"olS spt.'Cified by Wisse (1979.
th(.'Y encoded them by means of convcnliorml signs. no. II). The revelation of this fonnula is aUribuled
Ilere an: liOme examples of this syslem and some 10 Isis, an allrihution that places it llmong the most
known \'3riations of il; archaic of Coptic fOllllUlas. Here an: the mOSl essen·
I. From the Coptic trcalise entitkod "Zoslrianos" tial lines only:
(Nag HaulIlHldi Libmry, Codcx VIIl [01' IV, aeconl·
ing to Dore!i.'it's numbering), p. 132) comes in GI'Cck
the following "colophon" ;1\ the 111Ictale'5 end (fiBt
half of foul1h century): [Gl]MOyf MnoyJ.p mUM IlQ,lllrO NTflC~tMe

oU' " 00;: :i:6'i [0] ijir cwf flTC TC'!MJ.[J.Y TC;)
Yf'IO m:x ),(JIl.l!' OOI\J.l.l'1
UW ID.T.Il.'l rcYf>. OOF Yf[ll.x] 1 bind thc dog of [ ... ], the son of the woman
[ ... ), who is hi.~ mother!
Ac'ryot tr)""I"fl[cr]~ 'l-rr
putuoii 1'1fOo:; aA71"fi In this lext, the three Coplic lelteB originated
a<; Ai.r)<w ~O'TP(OIIl
from demOlie, Ill. 'I, and 2. arc conserved jll51 as lhey
"Words of tnuh of Zoslrianos, lhe God of trulh, are. wilhout encoding (cr. Ennan, 1895; Kropp,
words of ZOroaster" (d. DOI'eSSC, 1950; Wis.se. 1979, 1930-1931, Vol. 2. no. S, pp. 14-16, and Vol. 3,
no. I; with some enlendatiOns). no. 249; sec Wissc, 1979, no. II, for review and
2. A Gn.-"Ck graffito from the sixth century or later comment).
found in the TIlcban mounlains (Crum and Evelyn. 4. In the Coptic medical papyrus published by
White, 1926, no. 701) reads thus: Chassinat (1921), the namcs of a cenain number of
drugs arc encoded in the same way. The manuscripl
can be dated from the ninth or the tenlh century.
to,c;~ Samples: lAc-f for HXCDf' (or ~~), onion; ~
>.9'lKc.~rt..a for XJo.f'KOC (or ?O.AKoc), bron7.e; lElSIl for l'tU.C6,
~~6f'cs[It JHOt.tIc}ll.~ calf.
t>.ocu t
'I' 'lO 'fij '19 ii:ii ·1fU.. T. 5. DUling the Persi:m invasion al the beginning of
Kf Kcri. 8V1'(I~"" the sevenlh century, lhe monks of the monasteries
rW/ltryi.o/l°xO II in the Theban lllountains (in Dancllil'ah as well as in
rWII ~-yQ~~/I fU{trU Dtlyr al·Bahri) had to Wilhdl'llw to Ihe surrounding
"010 __~ rO-<; alMlPTia(<;) desct'. Prub.lbly this tempomry exile would account
JU)lJ ~yW M[71]I't't~ 0 (il)p.ap for the Coplie gmlliti fuund in II hermitage in the
wA{ii).. 1" 1" ,,, Ki '116 { region of Armant in 1947 by l3aehatly (cf. /\bd al-
[n lines I and 5, the marks in braces { ... } are Masih el aI., 1965). This gmllilo was written by a
superlluous. [n line 1, the first t, and in line 6, the monk who carne from the great Monastery of
second and third t arc ordinary cro:s&Cs. "Lord and Phocbammon; only the lirst hulf is given here:
power of lhe holy pl""dyers of the great [monks], pray elll~IICj>eK)),,),5}l,.I",,-fElIIIW':"'"..AIK
for my sins! 1 am Menas lhe sinner. Amen, Amen, ~y{Il'twfIl.QlIIITU.
Amen, Lord! Ind(iction] 7" (cf. Wissc, 1979, no. 2, ~1[MDIIIi&fI~
which strongly improved the n'ading of this text, in _~liOlllilO"l
an approximale Greek; fomlel'ly published in Crom
and E\·elyn.White, 1926, pp. 147, 330, 386). The .utOK +Eu,ooeoc IllIlIlf'fl HKOH6C II
sampi, a rarely used symbol, is sketcht.od in some S161l.J.X1CTOC "AU.
KotlOC HT€lfK.T 1u.x0GlC
variable fashions. The siglum <to for "Aloen" is the
tc ooxc "'fI o(y)fu. NHH.\1
current Byzantine abb~viation bas<.od on the numeri·
cal value of the letten of this word: In line 2, the first t is an ordinllry cross.. The sign in
J. + M + II + " - I + 40 + 8 + 50 .. 99. braces I ... } is superlluous. In line 3, the scribe

"TOIl.' the Ii~ t wilh Ihe shape of an ankh. "I am and hundreds, 1111.' units are rcpn::scntoo by the let·
Phil()(heos, the !oOf\ of Komes, the insignificant dea· ters ), through 0, the tcns by Ihe same i through Q
con of Terkllt. My Lon.! Jesus Christ, have mercy on topped by a single dot, the hundreds by )i through ~
me .. ," Thc autochthonous coptic lellers 19 nnd x topped by two dots. This system was perhaps bor-
remain without encoding (d, ibid" p. 30; reviewed rowed from Arabic (Wissc, 1979, no. 18). Each sct of
by WL~, 1979, no. 12). the alphabet is encoded by the signs I to 9, 10 to 90,
6. To disguise the autochthonous COI)lie lellel's, lind 100 to 900, respectively, superimposed one on
the Copts l1icd employing conventional signs such the other withollt r-CSOI,ing to an inversion, as was
as !!!: for lI,l lml! txJ for x. The following elllllllple is 1I the case in Ihe system described llhove, with the
personal invocation inserted by a monk berore the r-csull Ihat the leiters ), 10 0 of lhe genuinc tClIt arc
title of an epistle on virginity allributed to Sail'll not modified by this code at all (Tablc 3),
Athanasius (Bib1. Nat. copte 131. fol. 21'. perhaps 8. In a Bohairic Gospel book dated from 1327, an
ninth 01' tenlh century; cr. vall LanL'lChool, 1929. invocation is tnmscl'ibed as follows:
Vol. I, App. I; reviewed by Wissc, 1979. no. 14):
ttit;lWW ~lJ.,.),1 ut tu.J, bll
cH-OJl5!:. i11Of.~[KI] .l..AHtI 'to 1111111
),XClIlIII'b--9'lJlOC!!{n 1
1l.~)1'f'Stfl~0I0] l1IEUHf1 OI)H),C eM- H.\.l N.\'"
.,." )"HIUl 'to >.HIVl
l.f'IlW'16Y6 I'm .\l!-MI.I]
O'(WII "1M (lTto.CDql (2M]
The wretched Thomas, Cod be merciful 10 him!
1~H6 H'T(lTHdilIAIU.]
Alllen, Amen, Amen.

An originOlI peculkHily: ellch "Amen" Is encoded in a

Remember' me in love, everyone lhut will read differenl way, The first l.~ represented by +.A.1l8, cor·
in Ihis book, ltnd pray for mc. responding to lhc !lIter lllelhod i11ustmted by lhis
invocation. Thc second is 'iii according to Ihe iso·
7. In a bricf message of grecting wrillcn on a
pscphic system already noted lIbove in eu,mple 2.
parchment SCl"olp (8.M. Or. 4720[96]), the Coptic let·
The third appears as .1..111111, according to the el)'pla-
ters of demOlic origin were encoded by Greek lellers
graphic process described at the beginning of this
used as symbols for thousands: ~ for 1,000; , for
anicle (cf. I-Iomer, 1898-1905, p. lui; Wis5e, 1979,
2,000; r; for 3,000; + for 4,000; and 41 fol' 5,000-
no. 18).
!hi:!;, respectively, for the lettcrs tf, "', " x, and 6.
These graphemes wen: conserved in their n.'gUlar
Third Type
A third system substituled for each letter of the
nonnal alphabet the cOI"n'l>-punding letter from an-
other nonnal alphabet written beside it but shifted
down by onc 01' marc letters, a process called in
OXCf'lOTKO ),y«I TI.I.e1l),
anliquity "Julius Caesar's method." If one shift:; the
I"\5~KAX+O'I ::I:ll MlIOY.x.l.t
second alphabet by one leller, starting with fJ replac-
~K)'~)"llIl"'XTI Mn),M),IIiOYTI
ing Cl', one has the following:
Ven;o: ),IIU ll),nl'+O¥t ),1111), 1I),lItIOyl'
Wilh Godl I grcct and salute the hClllth of my
pious Abba P.olphnollti.
One can sec that the name of Ihe addR'SSCc, Abba
TABU! 3,

, -1
r -,

Paphnouti, is wrinen wilhout code on the parch.

ment's verso (cf. Crum, 1905, no. 669; n:viewed by r - r ,-, T_r
Wisse, 1979, 00. 16).

, -.
Second Type

A second clyptographic system burruwct.l from
II - II II-it
Greek also llSl'!'i Ihe primitive :llphabet divided into
three rows of eltamcters representing uniL~ of tens 0-0 ,-0

(I P 'Y 6 t , " a~
A p. II f 0 .". P U 'T V If' X 1/1 til
K 10 be compared with the alphabctic order tron·
fJy6t(.,bl KAp.llfoTrpU'TII.px"'wa scribed a.~ follows:
9. Here is an e1tample allestL-d in a Gospel leXl OH~~6f"U'WlOl.I H H I ),k -t .. t x +
Y T C r
from Ihe White Monaslery d:1Ied 1112 A.1I. The same
lhc:sc two Jines were found scribbled On a piece of
process was only applied 10 the five Coptic lellers 'iii
through .x encoded by their own sequence being
wood recovenxl in the ruins of the Thehan Monas-
tcry of Apa Epiphanius (Crum and Evelyn.While,
shifled by one leuero
1926, no. 616). Thc gmlcsquc fonnula
'1t 6 .x", ltl3PoxiTt>lIJ 00 qilJtof b1JPO(vyo«op.f/1t,u'fntTtO".
The texl reads: was so well known lhat thc Palatine Anthology
r.\I~oouno.Y~lc] (9.538) had included it. 1I0wc\'(,:r, Ihere survi\'e no
"'T~~~[Y7.J~~~,t;t ellompk'li of either Coptic or Greek cncoded texts
eillployiog it as a key. And yet, the cryptogmphic
),tI()I(, 11l~1lK8 ~lkTl!'[r] purpose of this mnemonic device seems to be indis-
yc ':lQ}ltfOY[T6) '!ow ':l),l C.J~o~ putable, the normal alphabcl being COllOcctcd with
it in the fonn of three !nvel1eJ rOWS (fl'Om 9 to )"
I am the poor Viclor, son of Shenoute. Forgive
rrom 1 to I, lind from f to rl, a.~ in the fir.;t of the
s)IlItems discussed above.
(cr. Crum, 1905, no. 489; van L:mtKhoot 1929, no.
Ixu-h; Wisse, 1979, no. 19, scllied the issue of its
These syslems are the most CUll"Cnt. The fir.;t, One should ask what purpose these cryptogr.lms
transmitted by the COplic scribes to Iheir Elhiopian served, for it is clear that such systems began vinual·
colleagues, was even adaPled 10 Ihe Ge'cz language Iy al lhe birth of the Coptic language (elUlmples I
and used onder lhe dcsign;Jtion of the "learned Ian· and 3) and laslcd at least until the fool1eenth centu-
guage" or ""ggara liqtiwcrlt (Conti·Rossini, 1927, pp. ry (example 8). In answer, Ihe limited number of
524-28; unfortunately noces WT'iuen very hastily and examples so fur identified, plus the fact that severol
imprecise). cases remain unidcntifiL'<1 and that it is impmsible in
other instances 10 decide whether thc text is written
Other Types in Greek or Coptic (e.g., the calnmus box from
Anlin~ IANTtl'looPOUS] in the ancienl collection of
Were lhere other Coplic processes of encoding?
the Guimel Museum kept loday al lhe Louvre; cf.
One can suppose Ihis, since st..'Vcral formulas slill
Oon.'sse, 1951, pl. 1) allow jusl a few observations
resist efforts 10 decode them, unless they an:: crypto-
rolher than I.rue conclusions.
gram imitations devoid of meaning. It must be poilll'
It seems that inilially such systems served to hide
cd out 'hat artificial alphabets ellisted and were used
lhe entire title of an apocryphal work, to disguise a
'0 hide astrological, alchemic, and magical ronnulflS.
magic formula or make it more mystel;Ous, or to
Indeed, Hellenistic and BY7.antine occultism pro·
veil the exaCl identity of medic..l drugs from the
duced many picluresque versions (DOl'esse, 1950-
knowledge of common people (ellamples 1, 3, and
1951, pp. 221-26). FU11hennore, the Arabs, nOI
4). For the I'Cst, it became above all a guileful C1tpe·
mel'Cly satisfied to revive such formulas, added a
dient of some literates 10 communicate among
greal number of fancies that spread throughout the
Ihemselves only: an invocalion inscl1ed by a scribe
Mediterrnncan world (among othe1"5, cf. Ibn
at the end of a manuscript he has copied (examples
Wahshlya, "Lcs AlphabcL~ occultes devoi!cs," In
6, 8, and 9); a proyer of a monk Sl;:ribblcd on a wall
Hammer, 1806).
It is certain that thmugh the Dyorontiocs, the Copts
(examples 2 and 5); a brief message, esscnlially a
pmycr, to another monk (example 7). All of this was
learned the cryptogmphic method of translileraling
at once naive in il5 pmc($.~ and impoverished in its
lhe normal alphabet by a "Ioog key"-that is, by a
conlent. Apparently, Ihe worthiL'lit things hidden in
conventionalized phrase embodying all the !cUCD of
these cryptogr.uns have been totally lost, except
Ihe alphabet out of alphabetical order, as suggested
vague memories: ''The Thcbans tt'll of an angel giv.
by repetilions in the- anificial sentence
ing the liCicnce of lhe mystic language to Pachomius,
,),1f'OX6t.Um TO epyU\ OHI'~IOC, Comelius and Syrus in such a way that Ihey ex·

pressed themselvc:5 by means of a special alphabel CRYPTOPHONEME, Thc term "CryplOPho-

....-hich conccakd the meaning in hidden signs and nClllc" designalcs any phoneme that appears not di·
symbols" (Pratfatia ad ngl/las S. PQc/,ornii. in Mignc. rectly, through a grapheme (IL'lter) exclusively its
PL 23, p. 68). This would confiml a Ictler from own in the superficial foml of the language (ilS 01'-
Pacoomiw; II) Syrus (ibid., p. 1(0): "Animad\'eni thogl'aphy), but indireclly, through some grapheme
cnim lerminos esse cpistolae vesu'ac Hela ct Thela.'· not Its own and normally assigned to another pho-
where termines could specify a key 10 decodc lhc neme. 111e elliMencc of the cryptophoneme, superfi-
order of lhose:: things of which one CUll only catch a cially concealed, can be recognized (It l\ deeper level
glimpsc. (on the question of Icvels, sec Hint7.e, 1980, pp. 111,
122), where it shows Itself in Indirect fashion by its
HtllLlOGRAPIIY influence on neighbnring superficial phonological
SIl\lCIUI'CS, in various lellemes. and the like.
Abd o.J.Masih. Y.; W. C. Till; and O. H. I!. Burmcster.
"Coptic Gl"'~lIiti and Inscriptions from the Monas' If the grapheme that renders Ihe cryptophoneme
tery of Phocbammon." In C. Bachally. I.e MOlla· is normally allolled to another phoneme. it is none·
Sltre de PIJoeb,mmw/I dalls IQ Thcb6rdc. Vol. 2. pp. theless most often chosen because of the similarity
24-157. Cairo, 1965. of pronunciation belween phoneme and crypto-
Cha.Wnat, E. UII Papyrus medical coptc. Calro, 1921. phoneme. Kasser (1982) thinks he can detecl in Cop-
Conli·Rossini, C. "Di Olleuni selilti eliopici int.-diti, 4, lie the existence of at leasi three cryptophonemes in
II 'Nagara Iiqiwcnt: sc:rillura convenzionale." tachysyllabication (i.e.. quick SYUAlllCATION): the
RCIlJicotrli dcll'Accademia IlaVol/ale dei Lillcei. glide IjJ of IaChysyllabication. rendered onho-
Clas~ di scicuu mr:wali. sloriche c filolegiche. ser.
graphically by (0)1 (normally /il in lachysyl-
6, (1927):524-28.
Crum, W. E. Cutlllo!:lIc of the Coptic MIlIIUR'ripls ill labicalion and always /ilin bradysyl1abic3tion. slow
the British MII,reum. Londnn, 1905. syllabication); the glide Iwl in tachysyl1abic!ltion,
Crum, W. E" and H. G. Evelyn.Whlte, cds. The Mmr- render-ed orthographically by (o)y (normally luI in
/lS/cry of Bpi/JlumillS at Thebes, 1'1. 2. Ncw Ynrk, lachy.~yl1abication and always luI in bmdysyl-
1926. labicalion); lhe enigmatic occlusive 1'1 (d. Dieth,
[)ores.o;e, J. "'l.cs Apocalypses de Zoroa.~trc. de Zos· 1950, p. 101; Kasser, 1981:1, pp. 26-32; and Al.Erll),
Hien, de Nicothce, .. .' (Porphyre, Vic de Plotin, which of mx::cssity follows a tooic vowel. a chiefly
116:' In Coptic Stl/dies ill Hcmr:w of Wlllter Ewillg vocalic link rendered gl"'o1phically by vocalic gemina·
erum. pp. 255-63. Boston. 1950. tion (see GEMINATION. vQCAlJc). probably always
__~ "Cryptographic cOple et cryptographic grcc- equh'alent to tonic yowel plus atonic vowel in
que:' Bullelin de /'InSii/!# d'Egyple 33 (1950-
bradysyllabication (d. the problem of "glides" and
1951):215-28 and pI. 1.
"glidants" in phonology, Kasser, 1981b, pp. 37-38:
Erman. A. "Zauberspruci). fur cincn Hund." Zeits·
chrifl fiir iJgyplische Sprllche lwd Aflet1l/msk",ule and that of aleph, rather than ·AYIN. in relation 10
33 (1895):132-35. vocalic gemination).
Gardlh.ausen. V. Griechische Pll/iJogrllphie, Vol. 2, Die In the Coptic idioms, dialects. lind subdialecl!i
Sellrif/, U"'erschrifiCII und Chronologie illl AI,et1/1II1 without graphical vocalic gemination, such as 8 and
mul im bYUlIllini,tchelll Mille/llller. LciIYJ.ig, 1913. its suhdialects, and C, 1'4, V4, W, and M. there are
Hommer, J. Ancient Alphllbeu Qlrd Hieroglyphic Chllr. only thc eryptophonemes 1;/ and /w/, blll nOl 1'1.
/lc/ers. London, 1806. since even the harrowed grapheme that renders it in
[Homer, G. W.] TIre Coptic VersiOlI of the Nell' Testa· other dialects has disappearecl, although In 8 etc., C,
mlill/ in tire NOr/lrem Diulecl, O/henvise Called
F4, V4, W. and M tl'aces have survived of the influ·
Memphitic /lml Boltairic. London, 1898-1905.
ence fomlerly exerdSt.'d by lhis cryplOphoncme
Kropp. A. M. AusgewiJhlte Iroptischc. 4Jubet1e,%/e.
Brussels, 1930-1931. upon the neighboring superficial phonological struc-
lantschoot, A. van. Recl/cil des colopllOtIS des lIlalll'· tures (e.g., S K.l...l.+T /b't/, to leave me. 8 "",.(IT
serill> chliliens d'Egyple. LouV'o1in. 1929. and not -"",'0.
Migne. J. ·P.• ed. Patrologill Ullilla 23. Paris, 1865. Confronted by something lhat he has reason to
Wmkler. H. A. Siegel wrd CnllrakUre in der muhaftf< think conceals a cl')'ptophoneme, the phoneticist and
medllniscnen 4Jllberei. Berlin and Lcip7.ig, 1930. philologist may seek to "decode" it, and thus dem-
WIS5e, F. "Language Mysticism in the Nag Hammadi onstrate its existence. not by simple examination or
Texts and in Early Copt~e Monasticism. I, Cryptog- graphemes with exclusive allocation but by a com·
raphy." Elichoria 9 (1979): 101-120. plex examination of graphemes with allocations that
JEAN DoRESS.ll comparative and analogical analysis will show to be

diverse. The possibilily will 'llwa~ remain of con- DIALECT, IMMIGRANT, In Coptology, the
testing the existence of this or thai t:ryptophoncmc term "immigranl di;llecl" means any idiom spoken
(cr. Edgel10n, 1957, in regard to aleph and 'llyin, lhe nut,ide it, region of origin. The classic example is,
survival of which ['llyin only] in Coptic the author of coursc. Sabidic, wbicb in its f'lrthest origin proba·
also contests). bly derives in some way from a regional di:det:t;
Because uf valious factor,; that often lll11ke il very afterward it spread upSlream and downstr'Cam, and
difficult, or' even impossibh:, lu :Iehlcve peliect cor- bec.lme gr.lduilily a supraregional ktnguage, the ve-
respomlence between the phonological system of a hicular, or COlllmon. speech ollhe Nile Valley rrom
language and its alplmbclic and Olthographical sys- Cairo to Aswan. It is rea,onahlc to suggest that each
tems, practically ever)' lan/!,ullge bus ils crypto- Coplie idiom bas. in principle, a lerritory or wbich it
pbonemes (d. Dlctb, 1950, pp. 36-43). [I is there- is, or originally was, the naturalillnguage (cf. GROGIl.A·
fore not surprising to lind them lliso in Coptic. I'HY. DIALECTAL). The vlliidity uf Ihis gcnentl state-
ment is not afrected by the fact thaI a dialecl ele.
BIBLIOGRAPHY known 10 scholars only in a morc or lcs., advanccd
Dicth, E. Vademekum ria PhVl1etik. I'hrmelisclJe stage or nelilralization is evidem:e Olll situatiun uf
Grulld/agen fiir das lVisse~lsc1wftliche WId compromise, which, in terms of logical and chl'Ol1o-
pruktisclJe StUr!illlll der Sprache~l. Bern and Mu· logk:ll evolution, is only secondary, not prim'lry, a
nit:h, 1950. siluation in which Ihe more advallced Ihe neutraliza·
Edgel10n, W. F. Review or W. C. Till, Koptischc tion is, the more diflicult it hecomes 10 delermine
Grammatik ($ai"discher Dia/ckt), mit Bib/iographic, lhe geogmphical origin of its componenls,
Lcsestiickc~1 und WQrtc/Vcrz.cichl1issc~1. JOImwl of The origin of A, P, /3, and possibly M can be scen
Ncar Eastern SllIdie.~ 16 (19.;7):136-37. with some pred,ion. That of I.-or more precisely,
Hintze, F. "Zur koptischen Phonologie." f.nchorill 10
tb.ll of eaeb cOmponent of I. (i.e., L4, 1..5, and 1.6) as
Kassel', R. "Usages de la sudigne dans Ie P. Bodmer a dialectal cluster, pos.sibly evolved, collectively, if
VI, notes additionnelles:' Bulletill de la Sociiilc nOI degene['l'Ite, ['emains of the previuus common
d'egypi%gie, Gencve 5 (1981 a):23-]2. speech of al least II lar'Se par1 01 Upper Egypl-does
___ . "Voyelles en fonction ConWllarllique, con· not emel'Sc so clearly (to the north and perhaps also
SOllnes en l"unction vocalique, et dasses de 10 the soulh of A; cr. LYCO·UIOSI'OLll'AN). The origin of
phunemes en eopte." Bullethl de /a Societe S is even more obscure, even if some arguments
d'cgyplologie, Gel/eve 5 {I 981 b):33-50. from its phonology (so fur a, it can bc known fmm
--::::C' "Syl1abation rapide ou lente en copte, I, Les its or1hography, which lhe majol'ily of Coptologisls
Glides jjj et jwj avec leurs COITcspondanls vocali- think is possihle) and especially fmm it, morpho·
ques 'ji/' ct '/u/, (et phonemes apparics ana· synlax suggesl placing Us origin in upper Middle
logues)" 'lnd "II, l\Ieph et 'voyelle d'alcph:"
Egypt, somewhere between the region or M and lhe
Enchoria 11 (1982):23-27,39-58.
areu of which L W;lS the current language. Tbe rl'a-
Ouecke, H. Review of 1. Ver'gOle, Grammaire cuple.
MIISeon 91 (1978):476-80. son is that the secondary componentS of L and Iheir
Stern, L. Kuplische Gramnl/ltik. Leipzig, 1880. urigin ure slill nol known. This means that there is
Till, W. C. "Alles 'Aleph und 'Ajin im Koplisehen:' even greater ignornnee of lhe precise chHr'l'lcter of its
Wi,mer Zeitscl1rift fiir die Kllnde des Morgen/mules chief component, but there are good grounds for
36 (1929):186-96. t:aJling it, too, L, or pre·L, since it was from lhis
_"'~. KUpli)'che Grammalik (!wi'discher Dialf!kl), mit above all thai L emerged. The lack of knowledge 01
Bibliographie. Leseslilcken Ilnd W iirle/Vl'l7.Ciclll1isse~l. pre-I. prevents location of ilS or'igin with any preci·
Leipzig, 1955. slon.
__~. Koplischl' Dialelagrammalik, mit Leseslikken I!ven less is known about the secondary compo·
lind Wi:lrterhllch. Munich, 1961.
nCnL'l of S, and hence uOOUI the prccise characlcr of
Vergole, 1. Grann/wire cople, Vol. la, IllIrodljCliol1,
pllOH<!.tiqllc el phonologic, morp}w/ngic synthc· ils chid component, pre·S, so mueh so that some
matiql.e (slrm:turc des semamcmes), panic synchro- doubt whether it even existed and consider lhe
l1ique, Vol. Ib, 'nlroductiOI1, phonetiqlle et phunu/- seurch for it superfluuus and illusory. From this
ogie, morpllO/ugie synlhenwliqlle (slmclllre des point of view, S would nOI have any precise local
sbllal1lemes), paT/ie diachroniqlle. Vol. 2a, Mor- origin; it would he a completely neutral and hybrid
plw/ogie s)'lagmatiqllC, sy~l/axe, panic SYIlchr(miqllc, prOdUCI, Ihe result of a large number of compromis·
Vol. 2b, Morphologie SYlltagmatique, partie diachro- es among the various Coptic dialects lhe whole
niqlll'. Louvain, 1973~I9!l3. lenglh of the Nile, gathering up the results of earlier
RouOu'tlE KASSl:1l. regional compr'Omises. In Ihis view, lhen, one would

ha\'c 10 s(''C in S ultimalely some kind of a \'aS1 in belwccn remained prnclicnlly unaffected in thc
compromise embracing Ihc whole "dialcclal" pan.r short and middle lenn, and continued for a long
rama of the counlry, and hence a "language" in Ihc lime railhful to Iheir autochlhonous local dialect.
broadest sense, nOI, ,"Iriclly SJ>C'.lking, a "dialt:cl" (cf. According to the social class or the lcvel of cul-
Kassel', 1980, pp, 103-104, n. 17), ture of those who wished 10 speak it (the "social"
When a local or regional dialecl or idiom is spo- aspect of the Coptic diaJects; cf. GEOGRAPHY, OlAu;c.
kcn in lhe lemlory of iL" origin. it is the "aulochtho- TAt) and according to the time elapsed sincc ilS
nous dialect" of lhal area, One may also use this immigralion. Ihe immigrant dialcct was itself inevlta·
Icnn, by Citlension. for a somewhat neulralized dia· bly, and in wrying degrees, subject to lhe Influence
lect thaI has become regional (i.e., a large regional of the autochlhonous dialect (cf. Vergote. 1973a,
idiom originaling in a l:ompromise belween Ihe mi· 2-3,5). This hyblidi7.ation may hom: bL-cn pl'llclically
nor autochlhonous dialed of one place and minor nonexistent in those milieus which had thernstl.....,:>
neighboring aUlochthonous diak'CIS), SO long as ils immig'';Itc<1 rmtll the region where S originated or
Ulll: rem,lins l:onfllled 10 lhe region In which it has IImong rcccnt immigrolnts for whom S wa.~ Iheir
established itself lhrough these l:olllpromises. mother tongue, BUI from Ihe second or third genc::·
Some Coptic idiom,", eaeh supported by an origi· mtion onward, even in cultivatc::d dl'cles, and with
nal milieu (geogmphical and, llbove all, sodnl) more 011 the moTe rellSOn in milieus of a low culluml
dynamic tlHIIl that of its neighbor!l, progressively in· level, it would be eneoumged hy continual contllcts
vaded neighhoring ten;tory, extenuing their own between autochlhonou.~speakers .IIlU immigrnnts, or
gt-ographical area, TIlis is tnle for S nnd, to a lesser de5Cendants of immigrants, and would sometimcs
but still considerable degree. possibly also for L, and have reached the level of orthography (..-specially in
was perhap!! a tendency in V (mther than At). One vowels), where il produced percel)tible modilica-
calls Ihese "imlllignmt dialecls" when Ihey are en· lions.
toUntered oulSide die areas in which they are the In milieus of a low cultural level, this conltlmina-
aUlochthonous idioms. tion was shown by Ihe production, in quile anarchic
'Ole dialeclal invasion, Ihe mOSI important cause fashion, of very diverse idiolectal fonns, In cullivat·
of the fonnation of an lDlOun, call be seen most cd milieus in which die immigranl dialecl was sp0-
conveniently in what appeaB 10 have been the prog- ken, rcsislance 10 contamination fTOm Ihe autoch·
ress of S. It Yer)' soon, and probably a long ti~ thonous dialect may have been effeclive for a short
before the strictly Coptic epoch, became lhe com- timc after the immigralion. Succeeding generations
mon language of the whole Egyptian Nile Valk'Y would eventually undergo contaminalion 10 some
above the Delta, Bc:sidc it. of coorse. In all the im· extelll, despite dicir will to adhere to Ihelr own au-
portant economic and polilical centers there was the tochlhonous dialeclal system. They would gradually
Creek of F..gypt, but thi~ was a foreign languagc re- COllie to te,'ms not wilh die idiok'Clal anarchy of Ihe
served for the Grt:ek minority and a small elite of milieus of low cuhure but with a kind of !lystematic
bilingual Egyptians. TIle con."t-quenees of thili inV'"d- COlnpromise thai would emel'gC as, in some reo
sion or Sahidic, in the morc 01' less long term, were spect", II new di"lcctal s)'Slem slightly differcnt from
disastrous for thc:: othc::r idiom.~, especially the au- the original system that had penetrated carlier into
tochthonous dialect" nf Ihe area!l involveu; lit 1ellst this orCa of immigmtion. This would be n sySlem of
on Ihc litcnlry level. S progressively SUllpla11led hyhrid origin, in which the immigmnt phoncmic
them anu chokc::d thC::111 01r. component to a large extent prcdomlntlte~, but the
The Sahidic invasion could Inke eITecl in two main IIUlochthonous componenl, though vel)' l1U1ch In the
way:;: (a) by a slow continuous progression, through minority, also has ils p..wt.
direct contaci along the road~ by bnd, which pro- Such may have been the case wllh lll.... t.F£'T' P, in
duced a fairly homogem,'ous conqUCSI and lefl be- which wme have secn a variety of proto-Sahidic
hind various "pockets of l'e!ilSlanCe" in comers in (reconstrucloo, 'pS) immigrating inla the Thebaid
the oounllY. sometimC5 concentraled around small even before the Coptic period. liere, along."ide a
IOWns or (Ialer) monasleries that \l.'ere Ixu1icularly kind of ·pS vocabulary that would be lhe major
conservative; or (b) by a more rapid disconlinuous demelll, lhere would be found also. among remains
progre$Sion, along the lille of the river from large of SOlne lost local dialcel, .several ·pS lexemC$ (i.e..
port to lal"Jc porI, which I~ in lhe fir!lt place to the proto-Sahidic with some phonemic characteristics
esrablishment of islands of thc nt-'W idiom in certain Ihal are Lycopolitan or, in a Ial'Re number of eases.
lOCiaI milieus of the most important towns. while Akhmimic), bul not ·pSl (i.e.• proto-Sahidic wilh
the country areas and small towns (or small ports) lycopo1itan or other charactl"r1slics that are

idiolt:ctal or nonsystematic and Ihomughly in-eguJar, mental habi1.5 due to the non&hidlc mother tongue
er. Kasser, 1982). of the redactor (or the translator of the first Coplic
Analysis of the numerous Sahidic telllS found in version of a Greek original) or because these writ-
Upper Egypt would probably allow one to discover, ings were first composed in anothcr dialcct and then
alongside tOOse which '111'(: pul'(:ly idiolectal and pm· translated into Sahidic. These cOllipleli sigla will be
cnt S or SO fonns, others that systematically show $1/1. S'/a. $1/"1. SR. and so on, for Sahidic, showing
their adoption of some Lycopolilan or Akhmimic lIS condition as an immigrant diak-ct in n..-gions
phonemic characteristic. and hence present SI or Sa when:: L. A, M. F, or another dialLoct is the autochtho-
forms. nous dialect: they could also be L!ja and so on if it
Equally the product of euhiV".ttcd Sahidic milicus wa... a ca...e of Lycopolilan or Lyco-Dlospolitan immi·
in a region of which L Is the autochthonous regional gr~ting into the territory of autochthonous A, and liO
(or even local) dialect are !IOmc texts in immigrant S 00.
whose phonological 5yslelll is enlirely S (so far as Suhidie is the most neutral of ,he Coptic idioms
one can judge (rom thl.' onhography) but whose syn· llnd became the common spcl.'t:h of the entire Egyp.
talC and lexical stock arc L nuhcr lhan S. Mutatis tian Nile Valley above the Delta. As noted !lbuve in
mUlandis, it could be A rather than S, if one is lhe descriptiun uf tlte origins of the phcnomena indi-
interested in thl.' pltl.'noml.'na produced hy immigra· cnled by Ihe sigla Sf or S'/I, there al1: :Ill kinds of S,
tion of S into an areu or whkh the aUloehthonous of which only one is an autochthonous S while lhe
dialect w.:\S akin to A (and no doubt very similar) olhen; arc immigrnnt. or thc productions in immi-
and in which L, as .m immigrant dialect, may have gmnt S, some are as completely S as tlte autochtho-
been the common speech even berore the Suhidic nous; these will be described as "atypical" immi-
invasion (:is in Ihe region of Nag Hammadi) and grant S. Others will clearly bl.'tr,ly their status as
before the region was completely swamped by the immigrant S; they will be called "typical" jUlIni·
immigration of S. Should one class these texIS as grant S. in a lexicon, the siglum S should be assignl.-d
evidence of A or. on occasion. of L, rather than of 51 only to Icxemes allested by autochthonous S
That would not be very reasonable. for if in Ih(:ory (and the witnesses of atypical immigranl S): the
syntaclic and Icxical criteria are at least as imponant OIhers (witnesses of typical immigrant S) should be
as (or even more imporuntthan) phonological crite· given sigla such as Sf or $1/1 (cf. Kas,o;er, 1980. pp.
ria in the analysis of a text, the faci remains that the 108-109).
last: are the only ones which can in practice be
applit..-d in almost all cin::unu.t.ances, even if one is OIBLIOCRAPHY
dealing with a trining scrap of text in which the
~lactic structures are not readily apparent and one Kahlc, P. E. Bala'iuJ}J: Coplic TexIs from Oeir e/·
can identify only a few isolated and nOI very specific Bala'i1.llh in Upper EgyP/. Oxford and London.
words, and hence cannot lind that r.u~ word. or
Kasser, R. "DialL't:tcs, sous-dialecles et 'dialecticules'
observe the characteristic syntactic construction. dans l'Egyptc cople." Zeilsclrrifl f/lr ilgyplw:he
thai belongs to A or L and not to S. It is, thus, to the Sprache Imd Altcr/rll/1sktmde 92 (1966); 106-15.
phonological criteria thai priolity would ultimatcly _ _~. "Prolegomlmes It un esstli de classification
be given, not in tcnns of any theoretical superiority systematique des dialectes et subdialectes coptes
hut simply as a mailer of convention, bl.'cause these sclon les critCrcs dc la phonellque. I, Pl'incipes et
criteria are the most practical and, so 10 speak, uni· tcnninnlogic." Museoll 93 (1980):53-112.
verSally applicable. _ _~. "I.e Dialectc protosai'dique de Th~bcs:'
Therefore, these cases require the usc or a siglullI Archiv fUr PnpymsforschUllg 28 (1982):67-81.
more complex than the eal'lier ones. to indicate a NaScl, P. "lkr frtihkoptische Dialckt von Theben."
veneer of S phonology on either a Icxical or a syn· In Kopto/ogischc SlUdicn in dcr OOR. pp. 30-49.
Wlsscnschaflliche Zeilschrifl der Mtlr/itr-Lwhcr-
tactical system that is non·S. This kind of siglum will
Universil111 lIalle·Wille"be!'8, Sonderhclt. Halle-
designate either the non·S leliemcs adopted into im·
Wittenberg. 1965.
migrant S (with a phonological orthography perfect· Polotsky. H. J. "Coptic." In CU"CIll TrCllds in Litl'
Iy consistent with S) or Sahidic tex1.5 originating in guisties. ed. T. Scbcok, Vol. 6, l1ngllislics ill S<Rllh
another dialecl. subsequently adopted into immi· West Asia and NOr/h Africa. pp. 558-70. The Hague
grant S. and clothed. in an orthography perfectly and Paris, 1970.
consistent with S. but as a veneer on a non'S syntall. Vergote. J. Grllmmllire cople, Vol. la, Jrltroduction,
Cases of the latter sort may occur either because of phorri!iqlle el phmlol.ogie, morpllolog;e sytllhima.
liqlll! (S/fIlt'/Urll des simIJtlIemes). partie sY/lchrcr (thus J. - r
I in 11 primillve state of cvolution only
niqlH!. Louvnin, 197301, [graphic vocalic duplication in a secondary SUIte, as
___ "I.e Dialeclll caple P (P. Bodmer VI: Pro- In S, but also fn:qucntly omitted], and so on; d.
vcrbcs), essai d'identification." Rellue d'egyplologie Kasscr, 198Oa).
2S (1973b):SO-S7.
Worrell, W. H. Cop/ic SQllllds. Ann Arbor, Mich.,
RODOl.PHE KAssER Browne, G. M. Michigll1l Copfic TUIS. Barcelona,
HuSS('lman. E. M. "A Bohalric School TCltt on Papy·
IUS." JO<lmal of Near E.tUlem Swdin 6 (1947): 129-
Kahle, P. E. &fa'ivth: Coptic Tuts from Deir el-
DIALECT, SPORADIC. A "sporadic dialed" is Bala'iUth itr UpfHr Egypl. Ollford and London,
any dialect :utCSloo by one or more leJllS that, while 1954,
certainly idiolectal, are or a "transparent" IDIOl£CT, Kasser, R. Papyms Bodmer 111: Evangile de Jum e1
allowing one to see clearly the greater part of the Genise l-fV,2, en bohlllnque. CSCO 177-178.
essential dialccbl ch:tl".tclcnslic:s of the idiom; how- lnuvain, 1958.
c\'cr, throughout the document($). these chamc- ___ "A propos des differentcs fonnes du condi·
lerislics are rivaled by those of another dialect donne! cOfne." Muslotr 76 (1963):267-70.
L'l!vllngile ulon sainI Jean et /es ver.siatls
thai is continually more strongly atlested. A spo-
caples de to. Bible, Neuch4tel, 1966,
rallie dialect may be known only from almost pure ___ "Relatk>rn; de gencalagie dlalcetale dans Ie
witnesses that are nut idiolt:clal, but are (like domaine Iycopolitain." Bulle/in de 10. Societe
Hussclman. 1947. and Quecke, 1974, for 84, a subdi- d'igyplologie. Genm 2 (1979):31-36.
alect or B; d. DIALa:rs) probably (and unfortunately) "Usages de la surligne dans Ie Papym..
100 brier 10 provide a ,ruly exhauslive description of Bodmer VI." Bul/elin de /a Socitit d'tgyplologie.
most of ilS principal phonological and olher charac- Geneve 4 (198Oa):53-59,
teristics. _ _ . "Pro1egomenes II un essal de classification
Such WlIs the case with M .....hen Kahle (1954, pp. systematique des dlalcctes et subdlalectes coptes
220-27) described it before the discovery of the four scion les criteR'S de la phonctique, I, Princlpes et
great manuscripts known tod'ly: lhe Psahns (in rath· tcnninologie." Museotl 93 (198Ob):5l-112. " ... ,
III, Systcmes onhographlqucs el categories dlalec·
er good condition, but unpublished), the Gospel of
tales." Mustotl 94 (1981):91-151.
Manhew (in perfect condition and carefully edited ___ "Un Nouveau Document protolycopolitain."
by Schenke, 1981), lhe first harf of Acts (in perfect Onell/aUo 51 (1982):30-]8.
condilion, but unpublished), and the Paulinc epistles Lacau, P. "Fragments de l'A,o;censlon d'lsa'ie en
(with many lacunuc, and mpidly published by Orlan· copte." Museon 59 (1946):45]-57.
di, 1974). (Leipold!. J.] Aegyp/ische Urkumlen ails det! k/)"ig-
Such wa.~ abo lhe case wilh 874 (a southel1l [1] lichen Museetr Zll Berlin, Irertmsgegeben von der
and slighlly Ilrchaic [7] subdialect of B; cr. DIAl.E(.'TS), Gencralvcnvo!lung, kopiische Urkundcll, Berlin,
which rOl'tllS one of the componcnts of the idiolecl 1904.
of P. Bodmer 111 (first hand), before lhe discovery of Orlandi, T, I'upin della Utliversi/a degli Swd! d!
Pap, Vul. C(1)tO 9, a papyrus codex of the Minor Milallo (P, Mil, Copli), Vol, 5, LeI/ere di San Paolo
ill coplo ossinllclrila, edizjOllc, commellio e illdici di
Prophets nnw In lhe Vtltican Ubmry but still unpub·
7'. Orlandi, cOIl/nbulo Iillg,Ii.~lico di H. Qllecke, Mi-
Iished (c£. Kas.scr 1958, and 1966, p. 66-76),
lan, 1974.
So it Is, and even more evidently, with OlAlocr r. a Ouccke, H. "Ein lilies bohl1irisches Frogment des
PROTODIAU!LT of L, for in j, where a,
may appear for Jakobusbricfcs (P. Hcid, Kopt, 452)." Orienlo/ia 43
Iftl (60 percent of lhe cases), it is strongly rivaled by (1974):382-9].
~ (40 percent; cr.
Ka."5Cr, 1979; 198Ob, pp. 83-84; Schenke, tl,·M. Dos Mol/hiJlu·EvallgeIillJll im mil/ela·
1981, pp, 112-13). gyp/is<:hell Dialek/ des Kopiischen (Codu Sclteide),
A panially sporadic dialect (or PROTOOLAU£T, META· TCllte und Untersuchungen :lour Geschlchtc del'
DlAlEtT, or wbdialect) will, Iikc P, for ellample, have a1tehristlichcn Utemtur 127. Berlin, 1981-
:some of lis essential phQnemic characteristics fully WOlTell, W, H. Coplic Tats in lire University 01 Michi-
gall Collection. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1942,
aUested by onhogrnphy (thus' - Iftl, !J '" lx/),
while Olhers will be attested only in sporadic fashion RODOLPHE KASSER

DIA LEC T G (OR BA SHM UR IC OR MAN- belo w). Befo re the strc&<;'ClllT)'lng vowel and in
SUR IC) , To judg e by a rath er curi ous orthogl1lphi. wonJ-illilinl posi tion . G appe ars to replnt:c Boh airlc
cal.p hono logi cal syst cm mor e 01' less ade<luately at- II. Idl by T /t/ fairly regu larly (e.g. , l'UO
teste d by a grou p of sma ll, latc nonl itera ry Cop tic 6ut ~#, shar ing) . B aspi r.ltc s fc: fkl. n Ip/. and T
texts of the eigh th centUIY, of whic h the prin cipa l N
Into x Ikh/. t Iph/. and ~ Ith/. resp ectiv ely. in t:er-
unes have becn publ ishe d by Kmll (1887 [extm cts} ; l:lin well ·deli ned cond ition s (Ste rn, 1880. pp. 16-2 6;
1892) and, mos t com plet ely, by Crur n (1939), ther e Mal lon. 1907, pp. 17-1 8; Wor rell. 1934, pp. 18-2 3;
mUSl have exis ted, prob ably in I..ower Egypt, an idi· TIll, 1961, p. 7), but G dOC!ll not (sec belo w, on thc
om of Cop tic conv enti onal ly calle d diale ct G. occa - pho ncm cs jrJ. Ix/. Itl. and also Ithl uf 8). This Clln
sion ally cullc d llash mur ie (K{\S!ier, 1975, esp. PI). be state d in spite of the OCCUITence in G of xu etc..
406- 407} or even Man sori c (Schlis.der, 1969. p. nO( fc:U CIC •• for "put ", sinc e this cxce ptio nal in·
154). Acc ordi ng to orth ogra phic al crite ria, G shou ld
stan ce of wha t migh t, at first sight. be take n (or the
be inel uded in the lIOHATRtC diale<:tal grou p (Kassel'.
IlSI)imtion /khl of /kl rem ains ell\l rely isub ted in G;
1981. pp. 102- 103. 121- 122) . itsel f a subd ivisi on of and this :to: of G can be expl aine d diffe rentl y, 011
the non hern (di.1IccL'i and vehi cula r lang uagc )- dmc hron ic grou nds: one may assu me that the valu e
som hem (veh icul ar lang uage ) Cop tic dial cct maj or of this x is IIOt fkhl a... ill 8 hut Ixl as invari.1bty
grou p (see OTALEcrs. CROUI'INC; AND MAJOR CROUPS 01"; else whe re in G. for S elc. KlI,l and LJ xtI.l slem from
and K.a....<;CI·. 1982. p. 51). Alth ough it is difficult to Egyptian ~3', 3lth ough (01' this lexe me alon e, old J!
loca te this dial ect geog raph icall y with any prec ision . hilll exce ptio nally evol ved into /kl or /kh/, whe reas
sevc ral featu res wou ld supp al1 assi gnm cnt or it to non nall y !! !x-c ame /xl > COpllc Ihl, 1.1 in a rcw
the east crn Delta. case s simi larly lxI, in mos t part 1r;1 > I~J. On lhe
The mos t slI'iking ehar acle l'isti c of the G texts is o( othe r hand . Boh niric T ItI corr espo nds to II. Idl in G
3n alph abet ic natu re (see AU'HAflb"'TS. COPrtc): the let· whe n prec eded by II stres s-ca rryin g vowel and rol-
ters used in them al'e all of Gree k orig in. Thu s, the lowe d by 3n unstressc<1 one (e.g., IlOyll.t, God;
alph abet or G docs nol incl ude ll,I. 'I,:>. e, x. 6. and .,.
(whi ch docs not mea ll the abse nce in G o( all thc
COII .(lM, heal'; HlKN lII.(lC , 1'<!'X~iT'IJ~. (1l1isnn). Sinc
e t
in G not only rend ers the Gree k rp in Grec o-Co plic
phon emc s nom lally used in othe r diale cts by thes e wor ds bUI also corr espo nds to Boh airic " IfI In the
grap hem es o( delli otic orig in, as will be secn ). This autochtOonou,'i Cop tic voca bula ry (e.g., (lna t.
alph abet ic idiu sync rasy is glar ingl y evid enl. 10 tlte [uPl on him) . one may assu me lhal .p in G wllS IfI
poin t of over shad owin g othe r, nona lpha beli c char ac- thro ugho ut 3nd did not main tain the Iphl v.tlue in
teris tics alld with the cons eque nce that thc CUlT Cnl the Grec.:o-CopIic voca bula ry. Sim ilarl y, sinc e x in G
view o( the lallg uage o( thes e texl.'i is that it is, for all not only render'S Gree k X in Grcc o-Co ptie hut corr e-
prac tical purp oses . mOl'e or less pure lloh airic . even spol lds al."O 10 Boh niric :> Ix! in lite auto chth ono us
if a Boh airlc disg uise d by II grap hem ic syst cm dilTer- voca bula ry (e.g., xeN·, in), it is a safe assu lllpl ion
ent from that of Boh alric prop er. This view ha'i de- that x in G had the \·:J.\ue Ixl thro ugho ut and did not
layed the delin ition of G, alth ough its main texts had rnai ntain the valu e Ikhl in Gre co-C opti c-an d that
bt.'cn edite d for ovcr a ccnlUlY. even in the appa rent ly exce ptiol llli case of G X(D. put
To com pile the phon olog ical inve ntor y o( G, it (see abov e).
wou ld be simp lcst to com pare it with lhat or Bohai- Turn ing now to the serie s of Cop tic pho ncm es
ric, B, the idio m to whic h it is clos esi. If one stud ies rcnd crt'd by gmp ltcm es of dem otic mig in, one ob·
main ly the man uscr ipt K 1785 of the Aus trian Na· selv es Ihe follo .....ing: Boh airic III I~I cOll 'espo nds to
tiona l Librnry in Vien na, one may have the imp res· cz N in G (e.g., cz...·. onti l), Boh alric .. IfI 10 t IfI
sion that G lack s seve ral phol lemc s occ unin g in the in G (see abo\ 'c), and Boh airic :J /xl to x Ixl in G
B system. (see abov e); l Ihl In D does not cOll'Cspond IU any G
Fir.<it. cons ider the pho nenl e serk'li expr esse d in grap hem es. whic h may give l'CaSOn to a....O;UrllC that
Cop tic by lette rs or Gre<:k orig in, whic h may ther e- this pho nem e has com plet ely dis.l ppea n.'d (I!!:lving,
fore be take n to mat ch pho nem es exis ting in Gn.~k. how ever , som e truc es in neig hbor ing voca lism ; see
Itself. ArIel' an unsu'eSScd vowel lllld befo re a belo w). Boh airic x IfI corr espo nds to TZ in G (e.g..
stres sed one. G repl at:es Bolm iric 1 by ll: thus , (lI1Q ...., TZOH. pow er); Boh airic x Ithl also corr espo nd.. to
out( ward ), but HII6H. ever y. Unfo rtun ately , no Tl' in G (e.g., T~-, take ). from whi ch one coul d
lexe mc begi nnin g with 1 in B is attes ted in the G conc lude lhat G (pro babl y) docs not have Ihe aspirol-
docu men ts; elscw hcl'e . how ever . G has I, whh.;h lioll so typical of Boh airic (sec abov e). Fillally, G
scem s to have a Ivl ralh er than a fbI valu e (sec
does not USC the grdp heul c "'" Iti/. expr essi ng this

combil13lion of phonemes liimply by " (:15 is Iht' .J.H,),O"(, see), neg. 1\"Clali\'c) HGH- ••• (.J./i), see above.
case in all OW COPTIC alphalK'ls and in the Coplic 1>1 ...• Cau!ialive imperath'e, nOI1l. KJ.f6- I?). Conjunctive,
U::CT H as well;c> in the Fayyumic subdialeclS F8 and 1st singular TA-, 2nd masc. 11tt· (or Tll,ilt·), 3rt! Illa$(;.
F9). The foregoing gives 50me basic ideas uf G cun· 1*1 (or Til"'), and so on la morphological duality
SOI13n1ism; one should add that G replaces word· IlOI unknown in B: st.."C Shisha·llalevy, 1981, p. 324).
initial Bohairic oy /w/ by !. /v/ (e.G., IIOyrz. wish). nom. Te- (?) (or 6/fT(I-); combined with CU-, until
As for the vocalism (10 give here bul the most (limitative) C:.t'~*, nom. CZ.J.(H)TU-; combined
essential), G seems to tn-al whal is in 8 rendered by with n·. leI, allow, suffer, XJ.HT6.p. (sec: above);
0/0/ and u /0/ as a single phoneme, expres.'ied by 0 combined with GC:.t'Oy-, if, a kind of conditional,
/0/ (e.g.• COAEH, hear) exeept in the fulluwing spe- IIczoyTG.... Conditional [.J..;cz),fl.j.
cial CaS<.-S: In dw;t:d syllllble. after disappeared ~ /h/, It is hoped that one day the caprice of discovery
this vowel is u /0/ in G (e.g., MI, thing); after!. Ivl may yield a litcrary G tellt, one more extensive than
(repladng oy Iwl in BJ, thiS vuwel is oy luI (see the smull documents on which observations of lhe
sovcY., wish, above); and before Oy Iwl, this vowel orthographlcal.phonological accuunl of Ihis dialect
Is II 161 (e.g., TlIIOy61, tomorruw). In upen syllable, have perforce been m.scd. Finally, a.~ an illustration,
after disappeared 2 Ihl, this vowel is w IfJl (e.g., w, lhe inilial greeting In the text of Vienna K 1785 is
fllce, person); and after c:.t' I~/, Ihi~ vuwel i~ oy lui presenled here: X6H nfl.H (lHllHOYAI 6HC)(Opn HWft
(e.g., czoym, become, bUI CT.Ofll, IiI"St). HllIllll TtCXA(lI TtOf .J.Cru.:.(f1C06 6HIl.J.M.J.61HOYAt
The G lexts are 100 shon and ton unhomogcnous 6t1CofHl 01TAUloyT It.J.TA CHOIiT tltllON HOH 11(l1t1l1ll
10 make possible a detailed lind ellhauslive observa· "11'4> mC:l'T:.t'lIli ltoyTZI CT..J. tIIC:.t'T(I) (In God's name.
tion on the morphosyntactie level. However, one Before all things I write and I Greet my God.loving
may obsclve a negative imperative (or velative) H6/i-, brother, in all ways honored, and all thy house, from
most often followed by the negator p;tnic1e ),fl, in a small to great).
combination that is quite unusual elsewhere in <:op-
lie (combining with Ihe vel3tive HN·, normal in A D1DUOCRAPIIY
lUld P, this negator particle that is not compatible Crum, W. E. A Copfic Dic/iollaT)'. Ollrord, 19393.
with it, with some exceptions, very rare in S, less "Coptic DocumenlS in Greek Script." Pro-
rare but not frequent in B, some indicated in Crom. cudillls ollhe British Academy 25 (1939b):249-71.
1939a, p. lOb, under ),fl, sec. d; Olhers, particularly KaMer, R. "l'ldiomc de Bachmour:' Dulleli" de
for B, indicated in Shisha·llalevy, 1981, pp. 324, 333 /'/,lStitllf Irallfau d'archiologie orierrfale 7S
n. 51). Thus H6HXJt.<t GIl(», ),fl, Reh:asc him not; (1975):401_427.
H6ncrrort GTT.OOt HelH (?) OOHMICOy, Take not surely - - 7 "Proltgollllmes a un essai de classificalion
or me for (?) TInnis; HollHCOAIiH fllK:04> ),fl. Hearken systcllla!i<llIc ties dialcctes et subdialcctes coptes
not unto him; Hollmo.HT6<tcJ.HIt. AN JU.TcrTOft 6nll,i+ar, scion lLos critCR:l'i de la phoncliquc, III, Systcmcs
onhographiqucs ct calCgoriLos dialcctalL-s." Museol!
Suffer not thai he quit (?) thee without undertaking
94 (1981):91-152.
for himself; HEHlU.eltctU.oy T(ltttll'&'(IC T.J.(II&Of\1OY
--:'-' "L.e Gr-and·Grou(>e dialectal copte de Haute-
N)Jot HO/'f7(.J. I169<tIOy T6qrUWOY .J.N, No, thL'Se two EgyplC." Bulll!lhr dt! lu Soci~lt: (/'{:!:ypw/ogit!,
cmftslllcn lhal I have sent thce, sulfer not evil to Gelliwe 7 (1982):47-72.
befall them. Krall, J. "Aus clnel' koptischen Klostcrbibliothek:'
Uttle is known of the G vcrhul prefilles, till igno· MiIlJwi/WlgCII aus der Sammllllrg dcr /'apyrlls En.·
mnce duc to lhe scarcily of telllS in this uialeel, all hen.og RI,;ner I {I887):62-72, and 2-3 (1887):43-
noolllcr"r)', as well as too rare and too ShOlto Given 73.
below will be Ihe third-pen.on sinb"Ular masculine _,,-_. "Koplische Bliefe." MillhcilwrgCII alu dcr
ronn and then the corresponding prenominal fonn SmnmlrmJ.: tier Papyrus Erzhcrwt: Railler 5
(nom. • before nominal subject), if altc.~led. the (1892):21-58.
Mallon. A. Grallllllairc COpll!, al't'c bibliographie.
former in brackL-tli. n:cun5tructoo where possible ac-
chu$fOlnafhie elllOCabl/Jaire, 2nd ed. Beirut. 1907.
cording 10 an :lSSOCialed form:
SchUssler, K. Epistll/anutl CathoJicaffim Vt'rslo Sa"i·
Biptlrtile plJ/fern. Present I r+-l, nom. zero (neg. dica. MOnSler, 1969.
[+-1 ... J.H, nom. 7..ero ••• ),fl); circumstantial of Shid\a-Halevy, A. "Bohairic-Late-Egyptian Dia·
present I [6"'J; present II [*]. glO$SCS." Sllldit'S Pre5e11led to HailS Jakob Poiolsky,
Triptlrtile pallern. Perfeel I,.J.+-, neg. [Holl"'?]: rela- e<!. D. W. Young, pp. 314-J8. East Glouc("Stcr,
tive perfect I lin+-; perfect II [n<t.?]. Futurum Mass., 1981.
energicum (or third future) 6.pe-. Imperative .J.- (in Stem, L Koplische GrammtUil:. lciprig.. 1880.

Till, W, C. Kuplischc Dilllekigralllllwlik, mil lions from the Psalter. So far we hardly h:lVe any
Lesesliickcu ulld Worlcrlmell. 2nd I'd. Munich, reliable knowledge about the occasions when
1961. these Psalm quotations were lIsed in the liturgy
WOITell, W. H. Caplic SOImds, Ann Arbor, Mich., and about how they were used,
RODOLPH!,; KAssER Papyms M 636 is wlitlen in three different hunds,
ARIEL SfffSlf... ·HAUNY one or which, hand a, is disfributed in seveml sec·
tions and uses (regularly or almnst so) a completely
uriginal spelling system, If it is accepted that this
ot1hogl'aphical system is an adequate witness to the
DIALECT H (OR HERMOPOLl1'AN OR ellistence uf a corresponding phonolugiclll system,
ASHMUNINIC). Among the manuscripts of the one is led 10 think of the language of these sections
famous Pierpont Morgan collection in New York is a of M 636 a.~ a special Coptic dialect ur subdialcct,
p<lpyms, M 636, of the ninth (or eighth-ninth) cen· probllbly ., Mm·... ul... LllCT, since if e1early gives the
tury, which contnins mainly whaf lIre e"llcd II/mllen· impression of being a much·evolved and, indeed,
ciai (Ol1ecke, 1970, pp. 97 -I 00). II hemlellcia is a ba.~tard and degencmte fonn of the Cuptic languuge.
liturgical text consisting of u lllusuie uf biblicul quo- These symploms of degenerution, COlllbined with <'I
tations, chiefly from the Psalms, selected in relatiun eenain negligence in the usc of the Ol1hogmphic
tu one word thought to be centml and of pdme system. have encouraged Coptic ellpet1s previuusly
impo'1ance, and so grouped, Dt'Cscher (1958-1960, concetned with this text to reg<'lrd its l<'lngu(lge as a
p. 63) wrote: F... YYUMIC of a very special and highly pelipheral
tvne " ur again us un odd mixture , intermediate be-
The Encyclupaedias in their anicles 'Concordnnce' ~ ~

all huvc it that the fir.;t Biblical Concordnnce was tween'" and $: thus, in ClUm (1939), of the thil1y'
made in the 13th century"" [FloI' fhe Psalms the fuur words uf M 636, h'lnd a, th<lt are quuted,
CO]1t had rudimentary Concordances befure this. twenty-three are classilied under"', silt under sr, and
Coplic liturgical manuscripts from Upper Egypt five under 5, The language to which M 636, h.,nd a,
shuw th'lt the principle of vernal concordance was testifies is today conveniently called dialect N; it is
much followed in the liturgical use of the Psalms. at.<;() termed Hermopolhan or Ashmuninic, since the
The Pieqlont Morgan manuscript M. 574 (895 A,f),) ancient Hermopolis is the al·Ashmunayn of modem
is entitled 'The Bouk of the Holy Hermeniae.' Egypt, and according to Kahle (1954), in idiulect'll S
These Hermeniae are for the most part met'C col- documents, most of the ot1hographie chamcteriSlics
lections of versicles from the Psalms, Each Her-
simillir to those in Hare m(linly fuund in the region
menia is based on a key,wOt'd-'king: 'l'ise:
of Hennopolis. Apill1 from the Morgan mlllluscripl,
'light: 'house: 'eye: 'just: c1e,-and all the versi-
cles in the Hennenia must contain this key.word. some other tcxts (quite a.~ latc) show a language
Common words have two or three Hermeniae. close to that or fl, although nevcr as coherently and
The word CHOy (bless, pmise) has tht'Cc, the first as regularly, Thus, phonological and other descrip·
with 22 ver-sicles, as well as Incipil Md EJl.plicit, tions of'" will be based, above all, on an examina·
the second with 46, the third with 13-in all, tion of the ot1hography of M 636, hand a (d. Ka.o;scr,
some 86 versicles, each containing the word 1966; 1975-1976; 1981, pp. 104-112).
CHOY, After the Henneniae of this kind there fol· In listing the phonology of N, it will be appropli-
low in thc manusclipt what are called, 'Thc LillIe ate to compare it a.~ fill' a.~ possible with that of
Henneniae of the Church' but these :oeem mther di;\lcct V (or South F;tyyumic), a type of FUYYl.lmic
to be for the most part short, continuous passages without lambdacism (pat1icularly as its VS variety
from the Psalms and they need not detain us.
ha.~, like H gencmlly, the gmphic vowel gemination
Quecke (1978, p. 215) said: tlmt testifieS to the presence of /'I AW'l! ('IS a CRYI'TO,
PHONEME). Recourse will be had to P, S, or, whet'C
Although unfortunately we know VCI)' lillIe about
necessary, other Coptic idioms when such a word is
the Coptic "Hermenciue:' this designation still
seems to be best suited as a blief and relatively not attested in V 01' when this additional t'Cfel'ence
clear indication of the kind of tellts in questiun . , . seems to be of some use,
The Copts collected quotations from the Psalter The order followcd will be th'lt of the series of
ror pal1ieular purposes in the liturgy, with the phonemes of the alphabet most genel'ally used in
same key·word occurring in each instance. And in Coptit:, that of S etc" which is 'llw that of F5, VS,
any event there are inSllmces where the descrip' and almost all L, and which (ellcept for alcph, which
tion "Het'meneia" is connected with these quota· is graphically rendered by vowel gemination) is

identical to the alphabel of M ctc......hich is also tlk'll 1;)1 in the following TCStricted area: in the initial
of W. Y4. and F4 (cr. AU'tlAIJL'TS. COI'11C). Any Coptic 5)'lIablc consisting of 1;)1 followed by a consonanl or
alphabet. as is well kno....n, conventionally begins COnsistilig of Iwl followed by la/. followed by a
....ith those phoneme!> dmt arc rendered by Coptic consonant. In the first of these instances. ir the
letters of Greek origin; it continues with phonemes "close liaison" phenomenon is produced (Polotsky,
rendered by Coptic graphemes of demotic origin. 1949, Pfl. 29-.30), particularly by the altachment of
Aleph or the cryplophonl.'ffiC fl, which ....as ren- the definite articlc (not of the possessive article!)
dered by graphic vowel gemination. will be tackled before the won.!, whal W()Old otherwi:;e be inilial 0 is
at the vel)' end. so no longer and relurn!> to the onJillal)' eategol)',
)./a/: II greatly fuVOl1i this phoneme (where it has being vocalb:L'tI tI as elsewhere; thus t:lHT.a. in
the maximum presence IImong the Coptic dialects InUl6HT.a. r.u., in thy presence, bUI ...rr.a. in I"IHT).
and subdialccts. 35 percent; Kassel'. 1966. p. 115); l.U IlX.\lltC, In presence of the LonJ. II will also be
see below regarding tonic (J leI lind atonic 6 lal in noticed that H, even more than "'5, find~ it dilTJcult
V etc. to SUSlain the weight of two consecutive consonants
5 1'01: fI doc!> not seem to have this phoneme within the one syllable and SO sepamtes them by
(which is usual in V and In the great majority of the insertinll between them an atonic II (sometimes cor·
Coptic dialects and subdialeets); lhe 5 of 11 is equiva· responding 10 alonic 6 in F5, not In \I), except be-
lenlto Ivl rather than fbI. since it !llso systellllltical· fore t, where in 11 lhe inser1ed vowel Is then .a.; il
Iy replaces 'I IfI of V elC.; see below regarding '1 /fl. lhus divides the "heavy" syllahle into twu "lighter"
I' 1&1 (appear'S only in the Copto·Greek vocabu· syllables. Examples. which arc particularly numer·
lary): H docs not have lhis r Igj of V etc.. and it OUS, include II .a.tIIU.....I.IC. V ,UTtiAOC, angel; II lI'ltIlI,
replaces it by K fkl. fOI' in.~lancc. II ur, V r.a.r, for. F OMIII. poor; 11 "ftn'. V GftIT. proillisc; 11 ,l(;IIT, V
A Idl (appears only in the Copt{)oGreek vocabu· OClIT, ClIrth; II IIC),O"(, W oCJ.Y, sheep; II lUI', V k6"
lal)'); II does not have this A Id/ of V etc., and it other. also; H IUUtTll, F 1I;(!1'frn, fig; II Mil.... , V HH-, 1"
replaces it by T It/. for example. /I ~ V HNH-, H(8)N, there is no; 11 Hll,.., Y, 1" HH·. more
AlKeoc, rightL"OUS; II TllUltJQltll (in one instance liCldom F HO"', with; II H111'f11, V H6T1'It, wilnC!i!i; 11
only), V oUtGOCyHlI. ju.~ice. NOyztlH. V ttOyzH, 1"5 ItO'yt£H. 10 save; II poss.
Tonic 8 leI (exeLl" the 0 of the combination of ar1ic1es (mase. sing. etc.) sing. 2.m. I_IK', 3,m. "N·,
gt;Jphcmcs III for /if or /j/; see below under I): H 3J. "Ie', plur. I. I.UI·, 3. "1)". etc.. and V etc.•
always has II I~I where, according to the roles of V respectively. nGK·. 116'1-, fMiC'. tICN', noy-, etc.; II
adapted to the system of II. one ought to find tonic e I....X "·, V OOX6'. to !illy; 11 ftIII.r*.l. F f$q'lkl, sleep; 11
lei (in fact. only in the Copco-Grcck vocabulary; see rtlf+. V ...... F /0.(*, man of: H ptl'l', V fG.... maker of;
nil, 1948-1949, pp. 18-20). for example, kl~, F 11 CJ.f'It~. V CJ.f':t, flesh; H cetrnlH, F <;UTtiH, hear; 11
rtlHOC, relationship, rolCe, kind. A.~ regards (Ionic) 'T*1t«, V AIKtiOC, righteous; /I Tlw....., F T(W..... , joy;
IIOWcI 0 leI in V CIC., it will be $Cen ('gain Ilk'lt on II TllH....,m', F T6tfTUH', similar; H (Cltcept in the
this point H docs nol have exnctly the same vocaliza- third pcI'SOnal pronoun) Tlll'll., V Tllf", all; H
tion as V, F etc.; in U. there is ), la/also when it is T.a.(QI1 lllllG,l, F T).cq6 lllJlG,l, 10 preach; U 011&&1)., V
so in V etc. while 0 101 in S (fOf example, H. V. F 0051)., 10 humiliale; 11 O"((lltl.a.2, V OYWtl~. reveilltion;
C),II. S etc. COIl, occasion; fI, V, F T.a.K.a.. S T.a.... O. to 11 OYllflln. ,.. oY0fll·t, foot; H GlMlO,l, V Gl501, F5 Gl5ClOJ.
deslroy), when it is), /al in S elC. In opposition to t:I forgetting; f/ Gltl.a.t, V Gl1'l2. life; H O,It.....IIT, F5 1V6MIIlT,
lei (or II lei befure I Ij/) In VeIl'. (e!>pecially for betrothed; 11 O,I.a.HIIT. ,.. O,I.a.HT, three; ff OJ.a.rltl1. V
various reasons in relation to it.~ position; Vergole, OJ).rll. 1'51V1lf(o)n. first; 11 t1t51tC, F ~1t5C, lamp; II 21m·,
1973-1983. Vol. la. pp. 24-25; Kassel" 1982, pp. V 21'1'. F z(e)tI-. in; II 2.a.fI\2, V .a.rOt. S 2).r02. to guard;
61-62), for example, II .a.H. V (1rI, lhe negative pal,i H 2I.X.III'I-. V ~tXH-, ,.. :I;lX6/'1', on; II XII. V XO, thaI; H
de; H to., V HO, place; U 6ttk.a.t, V Hk8t, suffering; U XIIK.a.),C, V4 XGK6C. F5 X6te.66C. in order that; /I
H.\t:lltl. W sign; 11 Hl.OY. V HOy, (place) Ihere; G11W', F GW", ann; H &ufH6. F 61»1'6, to hunt. On the
H 10., F5 1f6(ll, pity; H -K).-, V .ml', Ihe fulUrc- auxilia· other hand, (J is in the relalive particle (nol pre-
ry, 11 flHtU,., V HllH6". with; H Dy)"'. V O"((l,', ceded by the :mide as an anlcccdent) II fIT· (bul
holy; 11..,0"(. V .,.ey, usc; H te.u.J. W, V C6X1. F (V) IIt1T·). V CT' (1l(JT-); 1/ 6TU .. , V ene-. because of; 11
~, to talk; H t).!MIC, F ztlllWlC, !>hade; H ~. F 6tfXlI, V 6l9xa, if; H eH1')' (but tlltHT),), V HT)" F
tl:e)Hz6)I., slave; 11 Z!').!, V ,tftU, upper part or lower (8)HT), face, presence; 11 6NlUt.TIl, V HKJrt.T, to !>Ieep; H
I"'"- 0"(6K-, V 0"(1+-, ,.. Dy~. there iii. On the almost total
Atonic 8 la/: When V etc. has atonic la/, 11 also disappearance in H of the preposition "toward,
has tI ItI as a general rule bul conlinues to relain 6 for" elc., which is 8· in V {pronominaJ fOnrui II

sing. J. , ...i", 2.m. ,Jo.K, 3.m. ru, etc.; d. V ctc, 6r.lo.l", with loss of 0, on which see below): H regularly
6'Jo.K, 61'''''1, etc., and F (lui", 6.UJot, 8llQ, etc.), St.'C replaces this y Iyl by" Ie/: for example, 1/ TIuo.HIC,
below. F AytU.HK:, power: /111Ut.eN, S 1Y"'OO, wood.
Z /7./ (appeal'S only in me Coplo-Greck vocabu· oy (or y aflcr "'-, 6', or u·; see above) for lui
lary): H does not have lhis Z /"1./ of V etc. and replac- vowel or Iwl consonanl: H USI.:S it without any spe-
es it by c 15/, for example, If XI9"'"e" (one inslanee cial peculiarity, ap;:u1 from the frequent disappear-
only), S KIQ"'rU!{l, to make music (with the kithar1!o, ance of the final atonic vowel aftel' oy Iw/: for
et(;,), e~ample, /I k"'OY, V "''''yl, F5 ""'0)"1, others; H HHOy,
II It-.!: As Ims been seen above l'egalxUng tonic 1) V, F MllOyl, thoughl; 1111I1Oy, V, ,.. nuoy!, hi:(IVi:ns; H
!e! 01' atonic (I !al, H greatly f.lVors II Ie! (tonic 01' 21"'Oy, V, F 21"'yl, roads; H 211110'(, V, ,.. 211110'(1, works.
atonic), Here it ha~ the maximunl presence among +' IrtS! (OCCUI'S only in the Copto-Greek vocabu-
the Coptic dialecls and subclialects, 34 percenl lary): H somelimcs keeps this leUer, which, howevel',
(K<tsscr, 1966, p. 115). II even lends 10 subslitull: II it tends 10 replace by lit lP{p).~! (which could have
for I as a finul alonie vowel; see below regarding I ended up as nte > nc): for example, 1/ IftttXH (i'HXH
(or (1) for /iI vowel or fJl consonant. is clearly ...m::r), V 'f'YXH, soul.
I (or (II) for /if vowel or fjJ consonant (exec-opt all " IfI: 1/ always replaces q If/ by 1\ Iv/.
regards the alternative I or 61, a problem too com· x It!: Sec I> Ic/(?)·
plex to go into here): 1/ behaves very like V etc.; in 6 Ic/(?): While generally H has x and 6 where V
particular, it has I /il a... a final atonic vowel, In H, also has melli, Ihere are cenain uses lhal lIIay give
however, there eltists a strung tendency toward the the impres5ion Ihat while in /I x is Ihe equivalenl or
formlltion of a metadialect, which shoWli itself in the Itl, G has the value of some allophone of ItI (dilli·
frequent n:pl[lccmcnt of final atonic I by a final alon- cull to define) rathel' than Ie/. One may here com-
ic It, These It amounl to 33 ~rcent of all the atonic pare in /I Xlllrllll, to IOtumble, with Gf... n, obstacle,
linallel1ers, and among them Illay be noted a whole and X_rt, strong, with T"'Gf"', to make strong. See
~erie~ of words wilh, in N, the final leller either also the surprising H 611"', give btr,h, llnd Gill)., 10
always in -It or in -II more rrequcntly than in -I (these insult, not to speak of 616, hand, where Ihis timc
la...t cases arc shown below in parcnlhc.scsj: "'lilli, there can be no question of the' assimilation of the
ptlP; 6_1, 10 know; lllliU, to can)'; (ll!fH, 10 do); llll9ll, final consonalll to Ihe inilial consonant (d, H .x.I.X,
to hang, suspend; KH"I, Egypt; MIClI, to give binh; sparrow).
TH·, genilive preposition; I_I, to mo\-e; rUOI, to t Iti/: 1/ everywhen: writes " /lil where V has -I-
bend; (.......1, man); ' .... 1, joy; ru-tl, sufficieney; /li/.
~I, field; QIHH, woman; 101"1, to look for; ~Jo.XH, f! or a1<:ph: It will be n()(ed that /1 generally has
word; lfWOl, poor: 2I1M1, incensc, perfume; ~I, trou· graphic vowel gemination Icstifying to the presence
ble; xctHH, book; (X.l.XII, enemy;) 61Iit1, 10 find of aleph f! as a cryptophoneme (even if Ihis f!
(twcnly.three words, against thiny-nine words where tends 10 dis.~ppe ..l t lhen: as it al50 does in olher
the alonie ending i.~ eilher always -lor -I more fre- Coptic idioms).
quenlly than '11, these laller C3.'iCS being six in num- Several observations could still be made regarding
ber). Finally, Ihe final alOnic vowel disappears com- Ihe mOl'phosynlnctic and other idiosyncra.~ies of H,
pletely after Iw!; sec below under oy Iw/. as can be noted in manuscript M 636, hand a, These
~ /k.~! (OCCUI'S only in the Copto·Greek vocllbu- idiosynel'asies havi: at yet been liule studied to date.
1111)'): H ~ometimes keeps this leller, which, howevel', It must be mentioned above .111 that H systematically
it tends to replacc by "'~, ",~c, or I(C Iks/, as in H omits both the preposition 6', toward, ill relation to,
TtIII(CJo., 8 AOl"', glory; H {l"'~OYCI"', V {l1OyC1"', ;IU' 01' for, and the numerous prepositions or particles
lhority; H arll1, V CJo.f'1, flesh, N', all of them as initial (I. (and Mo) lind N-. In n:la·
o 101 (excepl for the 0 in the combination of lion to classical Coplic, the sentence in II from then
grolphemes oy for /u/ or Iw/; sec below under y): 11 on appears 10 be complelely disaniculate and dis·
has lU 161 everywhere when, according 10 the roles membered; for u::ample, the infinitive absolute of a
of V adapted to the 11 syslem, one should find 0 101 vem can no longer be distinguished from its pre-
(therefore, in faet, always in the Copto-Gn.'ck \'OCab- nominal infinitive, Other conditions might emerge
ulary): for example, H Jo.NUtMIl(.', V Jo.n'flM)(;, angel; Ihrough the falling away of the initial consonant of
T1KIIIlC, V AIKGOC, just. the "accusalivc" preposition in ils pronominal fonn,
y Iyl (occurs only in the Coplo-Gn::ck vocabulary; which hencefonh appears 10 be felt morc or less as
y after ...., 0-, or II· is a special ca.o;e of oy lui or Iw!, a secondaly pronominal suffix, a.~ in IUflt.IIliOYZ'tH).Y,

my $a\'ior, and qlltJOtOVlHHAI, Thuu wilt save me. Kahle. I'. E. Bala'kIlh: Coptic TexiS from DeiI' el-
alongside J.KfU....~, TIlOu hasl $3\'ed me. Balll'holt ill Upper Egypt. Oxrord and London,
In conclusion. there will be presenlL-d here the 1954,
verbal prefixes allt.'Swd to dale in H. Excepl ror spe- Ka'l....cr. R. "Dialt.-cICS. sous-dialCClts el 'dialecliculcs'
cial cases (conjunctive). the rOml cited here is only dans l'Egypte copte." Zei'schnft fill' iig)'p'ische
Spraclle Imd A!tenwllsJomde 92 (1966):106-115.
the lhird·person ma.-.cutine singular. and its COI'T"C'-
--'C.' "A. propos de quelques caracteri.o;tiques
sponding prcnominal fonn (nom. - berore nominal
onhogrnphlqucs du vocabulaire gre<: ulili~ dans
subjt.'CI). The entire paradiglll is nOI attesled in all les dialeclel; H el N." Oneil/alii' Lo.'allie"sia
conjugations. Periu</icu 6-7 (1975-1976):285-94.
Unless spt.'Cifically mentioned. the rOrill is affirma· --C., "Prol~omcnes a un cssai de c1a....o;ification
tive; neg. - negative. Every ba.o;ic tense (abbreviatcd sYSI~matique deli dialcctes ct subdialectcs coptes
hereafter to "basic") is rol1owed (ir aucsloo) by its !\Clan it'S t:riICrc.s de la phonl:lique, Ill. Systcmes
salellites. ariel' "And": ckc. - ch'cumslantial, reI. - onhogl"nphiqu(.'S CIl:alcgoriL'S llialeclalcs.'· Musioll
reilltive. Il = second lenM:; ant. - wilh pronominal 94 (1981):91-152.
anlccedenl. Fonlls betwecn bmckclS [ ... ] are reo Pulutsky, H. J. "Une QUCSlion d'011hogrophc boh:iiri-
constituted from vel)' similar fOl'ms; zero - no vcr· que." Bulle/hI de Itl Sociell.! d'arc/lco!ogie cOflll! 12
bal prcfi~.
Quccke, H. UlIlcrSlldumgclI ZUlli kOplischcll Simulerl-
gebe', Louvaill. 1970.
BlparlUe Pattern -'''-' "Koptischc 'I-Icrrncneiai': Fr'agmcntc in
Neg. 7.em particle .. , J.U. Floren7." Orlen/alia 47 (1978):215-19.
Prutlll (basic) S·. nom. 7.cI"O. And cire. 6..•• nom. _ _ . "Zwei Blatter aus koptiscllcn Hennencia·
opu·; rei. [(")TIll~'?).
Typika in del' Papyl'u.-.sammlung del' O.slerrcich-
ischcn Nalionalbibliothek (P. Vindoh. K 9725 und
FlImre (basic) 11'1).-, nom. :r.eI"O ... IU.'. Alld II
9734)." In fCts'sellrift ZUlli l()(J.Jlillrigeu BcSle1,ell
Inuu.·J. nom. lip'" , ..•u.-. der Pap)"nlSsummlllllg der lJs'erreichisefll:n Nalioll-
albibliolhek, PapynlS El7,hcn.og RQiller (P, RoilIer
Tripartite Pattern Celli.). pp. 194-206. Vienna. 1983.
Till. W, C, ··Betr.u:hlungcn 7.um Worukzenl im
TenIU Wllh special negallon (If nol II).
Koptlo;chen." Billie/in de IQ Sociiti d'archlo/ogie
Ptrfect (basic) ;U•• nom. ),-; neg. (1_']. nom. llH·.
caple 13 (1948-1949):13-32.
And cire. (1l»),II' (?). nom, [(0»),-(1)]; reI. T>.&-. nom. Vergotc. J. GramlPltlire caple. Vol. la. Imroduc,ioll.
(n-]: neg. wilh zero, .. )..101. pJlOllttiqlle el phOllologiC, morphologic s)'II/Jriima.
~c'alive (or completive) (basic - neg.) Iu.n.·. lique (s,mclllre des simall'emes), panie SJ'lIchro.
nom. ""'TII-. I/iqlle, Vol. lb. Illtrodllc,ioll, p11O"i/iq"e el pJrOll()-
COI/sIHu"diflal (01" nOlist) (hasic) "'AS'. nom. "''''1'"-; logic. morphologic S)'II,hilllolique (S'nlc/Ilre des
neg. HH&•• nom. [HllfH-); rd. nLog. lllnIHlU\'), [anI. simall,emts). partie diachrolliqlle. Vol, 2n, Mor-
ntlTlIMUII'). nom. [6TUMllfu,], [ant. IIHTI1H1lrH-). ph%gie SYlllagmu,iqllc, syuta.xe, partie sYllchro-
FuI14rum euergicum (or lhlrd rl,ltul'c) (b."lSic) [0..11·]. lIiqUfl, Vol. 2b. Morphologie SYII/llgmll/iq44e. pllr/ie
(X1IPoMI- with Xli, in order Ihal, anlecedent). nom.
diachrolliqlll!. Louvtlin. 197]-198].
[lIPII']; neg. Itll"', nom. ('lIIrll')' J.!.or)()I.N/£ KAs..<;ER
Cilusulive imperutive (basic) Mllplll\', nom. Hllfll';
neg. [t1IIKTpllr;·]. nom. [t1llkTfIl']'
CO'li,mctivc (bask) (sing. I.; 2.m./r.; 3.m.; plur. OR PROTO.LYCQ.DIOSPOLlTAN). The
2./3.) n.-, K', TII-. r;•• TIITIltI, CU-, nom. TII-. And with siglum or dialect i comes from the title of Ihe text
.,.J.', IowaI'd (= limilfltive). ql,Wrn5-. nom. qlAtint-. contained in the unique documenl allesting 10 its
Temporal (basic) ntptlil-. nom. TIIf1l-. presence (Lacau. 1946). "11.e Ascension or Isaiah."
Conditional (basic) O~","·. nom, G~","-. This dialect (and partially its subdiak'Cls i7 and i74)
shoW\'; in its orthography phonological qualhies that
BIBLIOGRAPHV allow one to consider II a PROTODlAWCT-more pre-
Crum. W. E. A. Cop'ic Dic:tiolltuy, Orlord, 1939. cisely. the protodialt.-ct corresponding 10 Ihe ronncr
Drescher. J. ''11Ie EarlIC9t Biblical Concordam:cs." phonological level of some lost vluiely or the impor-
Bulletin de la Societe d'afCheoiogie caple 15 (1958- Ianl dialect L. a collective entity whose chief mani·
1960):63-67. f~tatiolU an: the subdialecls lA. 1.5, and LlJ (cr.

I.YCOPOUTAN and I.YCO·OIOSP(lUTAN). (Besides what Iikewi'iC all 'I IfI· Unfortunately this lelll has no ex·
makes i ctc. a protodialccl, mMt of thc phonological ample of •• thus lacking proof Ihat Crum's leXI be-
characlcristics of Ihis diak'Ct and its subdialccts are longs 10 i elc. (Perhaps it is only a particulnrly abel"
tha;e of onc or anOlher 01 the branches of i.. or al IOml fonn of A, although A doc5 nol have lhe ·1 of
least n:scmble them more closely than those of all EtJcI, 1961, with certain cllccptions [Uieau, 1911).
the other Coptic idioms.) These Qualities cause each 6U.:~. ancestors. 2 Mc. 6: I. 6.) The consonant ~ is
witn~ of i in particular, but also of i7 and ;74. 10 always omitted. l! i'1o maintained in a series of cases
be of greatest interest for Coplolog,}'. One must all where i and A ha\'C I. .x is relainL-d nine limes and
the more regret that up 10 now the telllS allested by l'Cplaced lhree times by x (- leI r.:tthel· Ihan Ix/; cf.
these manuscripts have bl.:en extremely brief and full AU'l-IABETS. COPTIC). G ill replaced by tl. Stressed vow-
of gal)S (the 10Iai DllloorU of (;;(1 ellpn:s:;ing ;, i7. els: They frequently COflfonn with Ihose of A and L
and i74 is scarcely 0.01 percenl of all the Coptic (56 percent). less often with Ihose of S (44 percent).
tellts known nowadays and 0.6 pcn;~cnl of those of Unslrt.'Sscd vowels: Those of L6 :Ire prefern.:d, since
the L dialect). Thill CllCCltS;Ve Ill'iefness prevents any the·lof F..del (1961). missing In I,j and lA, is regu-
observation in many impol1:mt ltCctors of i. Any pos· larly found in i etc. and 1.-6.
sible observations elsewhel'C being too isulated, this i74 (- P"L): Possibly Goehring (1984) :lr1d Brownc
textual poverty causes useful gencmliz.ations to be (1979, no. 6; d. above); certninly LefOlt (1939; from
quite problemtltic, rendering dillicult a comparntive the fourth century at the latest). The text of Crum
0l1hographic system of rules nCCC$$.\I)' to compare i (1922; foul1h 01' fifth eentul)', oriGin unknown) eould
with L4, L5, 1.-6, A, and .'10 on. rca~onably (in a sense) belong to iN al.'iO nccause or
lt is lilting here 10 specify Ihat despitc the funda· cel1nin chid charaelclislics, such as use of Ixl and
mental systematic clements lhat can be observed in Ill. a'1o in i7 and i74 (d. below). Yel one sees in it
Ihe lellis. particularly wilh rcg.:ll'(J to Ihe prolOOialcc. various sp<:llings (somelimes S)'ll'lemalic or fle-oirly)
tal quality and Ihe major characterislics of the dia· thai are very strnngc and far from L cle.; in Crum
lectal group L. each of the small ICJI;ts expressing i (1922) the nonnal c is replaced by t,I (1) in six out of
etc. remains a separate and special case under other eight cases. such as ~', painful. It also has a
IlSpttIS (as arc mon.:over, in a Icssc:r but not negligi- strong Icndancy to replace the !IOMnl (nasal) wilh
ble measure, each of the telllS Cllpressing L4, L5. and I~I followed by the sonoranl, having Ihus 1\fIT", to
1.6; ef. LVOOPOUTAN and LVOOOIOSPOUTAN). Here are cany. illh-. in; and the negation -nIH·.
these protodialL"Ctal tCJl;IS. each with its {sub}dialecul One will additionally note that i (with i7 and ;74)
atlribulion. is a protodialcct wilh an impovelislw.-d alphabel. In-
i (- pL): All of Uicau (1946; a manuscripl frolll dClod, e:teh supplementary phoneme characleri7.ing i
the fOl1l1h century al the ISlesl). with thc cllCl'plion as II proiooiaieci. pL. with n..o.gard to L. is not wrillen
of scvcrnl words that. Ihrough oversight or igno- wilh a ltpCcial grapheme but wilh a grnpheme com·
mnce, the scribe wrole with. insil-ad of proto-Lyco- man to L. supplied, however. with a diaclilical sign
Diospolitan nomml ~. (fhese wonls al'C considen..'<1 in 1'1•. Thus, Illl is I in pl. (as il is ;n A). which is
to belong, then. to ;7; cf. infr.!.) ! (the ordinary grapheme for {hI> supplied with a
i7 (..fl.): The few wOI'ds of wcau (1946) men- diaclitical sign (and in fact, in the phonological
tioned above, not n:ally typical of i; fUlthel'lllol'e, evolution, pL > L. pI.. • > L 2), wherca~ in ·pS
lhe texIS of LeilXlldt (1904; fuurth century), :md (reconstructed on lhe anlilogy of ntAWCT P, an
Goehring (1984; fOll1th centlll)') if oyro+ (d. 1.-6, LS alphabetically rich protodialect), Illl is f), used for
oyJ'ITO; L4, A oyJ'HTO) can (or could) be a case nothing else. (One will here nolice that in A • Ix/
connected with the nIle of &lel (1961). Pos:;ibly and in B f) /xl have no pl'Otooinlectal function, since
Browne (I979. nu. 6; foulth or fifth century), Ihough Ihey belong 10 the alphabet and to the phonological
unfOl1unately no lell:emc co~cred by the rule uf Edcl stock of Ihe dialect A and the language B them-
(1961) is presenl. If lhL~ two lasl telllS arc nol i7. sclvt.'S. according to their usual and traditional def·
Ihey al'C i74 (cf. below). One can be Icmpled to inilion in Coplology.) Ukewise.It;1 is '" in pL. which
relate 10 i7 in a way the telll of Crum (1934; from is • (an ordinary grapheme for IV) supplied with a
the second half of the Ihird century. boughl in diacritical sign (and in fact. in the phonological ev0-
Luxor), which indeed presents, by at least one of Ihe lution pL > L. pL i1 > L til). whereas in P (generally
typical central charaCieristiCli of ;7, a vulgar onhog. analogous 10 ·pS). ltitl is " used for nOlhing else.
raphy Ihat appears mther str1lnge (indicated by thc The essential chamcteristics of i. qualifying it as a
siglum J in Kassel', pp. Ill-IS). Consonants: TIle prolodialcct, are (I) the survival of ltitl (arising £rom
initial consonant oy Iwl is n..-placcd by I Iv/. and majority x~· d. PROIUDlAUCT), written ~; (2) the sur·

\ival of 111.1 (arising from ;1;10 united wilh minority x~ and A have GfJI', left (hand) (d. P Kur). while IA and
d. PROTODIAl.Et.T), written a; (3) the survival of the 1..5 ha\'c GWyf, and S, M, and F have ~.
final unstressed \'Owcl ·1 in til'; cases described by Finally, here an: SQmc typical ex.amplcs of proto-
Edel (1961; formerly iw). a surviwl also found in the Lyeopolitan (pL or i etc.): 17, LfJ KCK61. lA, LS, A
/A branch of L. KeKO obscurity; i. IA4, A eTFrl'lO. L4 (except 1A4).
One or more of Ihese Char':lClel'l~llc§ have dis<\~ LS, Ui 6"rJfMtly, Ihal (one) i7, lA, LfJ. S cJ.",,,, seven
pcared in i7 or i74 (following an evolulion lhal can (ma.'iC.) (LS c1e. rem. cJ.~e, H CJ.lI,ll',;l), n G,lJ.\II't, M
summarily be reprcsenll:d as i > ;7 > /74 > L). ;7 CO(l,)'1 (ulld lI,l6l1,ltl spedal dialeclal [?J vllliant of
hs Ihe second and Ihir'(l chal':lClel'l.~lics only, while n.M.Or. 5300(27), bel ween M and H ruther Ihan /0).
;74 has jusl lhe second. A CJ.I'I, P cJ.9'I; i7, A J.t,,', L4, 1.5. Ui ,1.1'1'2' (and L5
The Olher phonological Chl\l'llClerislics of ;, ;7. Utii"'. John (Lond.], u.~', John [Dub.]), 8 Oll~' (d.
and ;74 arc not chamclelistics of prolodialccts but, P I>J.!I), S Offf', At, W, V, (F) J.N~', (t.) 1/ J.llJ..z'.
rather, show their relation 10 (sub)dialcclS wilhin Ihc living; 17. lA, 1..5, f..IJ, S etc. ~"H, A ~tH, P !lIIH, lillIe.
range of L's subdiak"(;ts (LA. lJ, U,; cf. K.as:;cr, 1984, ; ~MI. P 9I)lIe, A tI)l16. lA, LS. 1.6. S etc. ",,"Ml.
p. 307). At this poinl, il will be inleresting 10 add A. become; 17 tJ.Acrl·. 174, lA, A tJ.AGT6, P :J.UTe, S
the Coptic langunge fonn whose vowels are Ihe dos- elC. :.u.a.{.l>)Tll. birtk; I, 17, 174, A aff-. P !llJ·. 8 ~N-.
es! 10 /:s and 1'5 \·owels. i. [in ;74, LfJ, and A IA. 1..5. /..6, S etc. tH-, in; I, LfJ XJ.Cl'. LA, l..5, A, At
assimilale 151 ill IiI before 11:1: ~O. LA, l.5 C6Xll. XJ.Cll', P, S .xoce', 8 GOer', F. H XJ.CI' (from [I cle.],
word. ;. li7. /741 LA, and A Il;\ve Ihe polentiallinal LA. l..5, UJ. A, S. At .x'CO, mCladialectal H .xtCll, V. F
aleph: aye. LS oyi;o. 1.6 Qy1l61. one: (l11as&.). aefore .xlCl, 8 6tCl). C;I;nhed.
the stressed vowel, i, [i7, i74J, LS, 1.6, and A have:
IfI: '1(6)1, /A &I, n;muve. i74, 1.5, and L6 have lhe 1JI11L10CRAI'HY
final somml, which on lhe conlr';.\1)' is lhe sonoranl
followed hy lal in I, 1.4, and A [/7 I:leks this formj: Browne. G. M. MiciligUlI Coplic Te.tK B:ll'cclona,
I, lA, A ClUTHO, ;74, L5, 1.6 con1l", to hear. I, 17, 1979.
C1\1Il1, W. E. "Lu M:lgie copte: Nouveuul( telltes."
{/74], IA4, and A lose Iw/ wilh I1lctaphony in the
DibliQlhcqllc de /'&/)Ie. praliqllc des lilllues elrll/cs
end strcsscd svlltl\)le that in L4 (e:;I;Ce:pt 1A4j, 1..5. and 234 (1922):537-44.
L() is l-ew/: I, 17, [/74J, LA4, A NO. lA, 1.5, 1.6 N~y, to "Un Psaume en diak"(;lc d·Akhmlm."
see. Where i and LA mave lhe stn..-..scd final vowel in A1l!lIlQir~.~ de /'Inslilll! lrollfais d·arclroo/Qgie. oriel/-
{-Q/, i74, LIJ, and A have luI (a situation quite un· tale. 67 (1934):73-86.
dear in LS; 171acks lhis form): I, IA .x_, 1.6, A xoy, Edcl, E. "Neucs Malerial WI' HcR.llnfl del' auslauten·
to say. but i74 z«<>yoy, A zwy, IA tIGI, serpent den vokale .£ und -I im Koptischt:!n." 7~il$clrrill
(fern.). The end syllable's vocalization Qf lhe pre- {iiI' iJgyptische. Sprache WId Al1Cnllm~mrJe 86
nominal fonn of causalive vcr&,; with I·initial, 1.;)1 (1961): 103-106.
Ii]. i7. [i74]. (IA), LfJ, and f.al LS: i7 (1) nJ.J~·. to Funk, W.·P. "I)ie Zellgen des kop(ischen U,e:rntur-
creale; d. A T),HOo or TEHe-, L5 T~fU-. Peculiar dialekls i7." leilscltril' {iir iigyplischc Spracllc WId
Aiterillmskmrde 114 (1987):117-33.
lexemes: 174 H6loXll, L44 (and LA, which is rare)
Goehring, J. E. "A New Coptic Fr.lgmcnt or Melilo's
I'IflX6, 1.6 HClll,l.xO, 1.5, LA HElCJ1Tll (cf. P HJ.G,lTJ.), A
Homily on lhe Passion." Museml 97 (1984):255-
H~6XO, car. The panicle of the prolcpsis i, 17, 174, 6Q.
L(), (LS), A Hm, (L5) .xt, 1.4 lJ.xI, bUl (lJ)ue or.xe (A) Ka.~ser, R. "Relations de gcncalogie dialeclale dlms
somctimc.~ also. i, ti7, ;74], IA, 1.5, A TO, 1.6 TON, Ie domaine lycOl)()lhain." Bulletill de la Societe
where (inlcrrog.); ; (?), 17, 1.5, 1.6. (A) .IofI'~, A 6rH~ /N:gyfll%gie, Genilve 2 (1979):31-36.
(or tif"lt:T6), bUI L4 tGMl6 (cf. P ::aUK), to keep. "Pru[(:gom~nes fa un l."S!iai de dassHication
Verbal prefixes: lirsl future Ihird sing. lnasc. ctc. I, sYSlemalique des dialectcs ct 5uixlialcctcs coptf.'S
17. [i74], LS, 1.6, A "NJ.-. lA, (A) .....-. First pencet first scion Ics cnlcres de In phonetique, I, Principes ('I
sing. etc. 17, ;74, IA. 1..5, A ),)., j J.(e)l· or :.a.(e)l- (ef. tenninologie." M,I.(OOJl 93 {1980a):53-112. " ... ,
II, Alphabels 1'1 systcme5 phonctiques." Ml/seQII 93
V hybrid also, M exclush'cly tlo·i·, cte.). 1.6 J.6l· or
(198Ob):237-97. " ... , lII, Syst~mes orthogr..·
1.lf'. Relative pencet third sing. rnase. etc. I, 17.
phiques el calegories dialectalcs." Mlls£o,r 94
(/741 lA, A un.,,-. LS, LfJ (6)HTJ.'1·.
The texlS attcsting i elc. arc unfonunatcly too -:-c' "Un Nouveau Document protolycopolit:lin."
brief to allow systematic observations in morphosyn· Ori~lI/alia 51 (1982):30-38.
tactic and lexicologic fields. However. Olle should -::-c' "Le Grund·Groupe dialectal copte de Haute·
nole form.<; such as i tu.Ci~. moulh, which has no Egypte." 81jll~li" de la Societe //'igy,Jlo!agie,
known Cuptic c<luivalent except A 1lJ.¥60; funher, 1 GCllilve 7 (1982):47-72.

___. "Orthogntphc cl phonologic de la valicte alphabet; See AI.PllAHRTS. COI'l'IC and Kassel'. 1980, pp.
subditllcctalc lycopolitaine de~ texte.~ gnostiques 280-81). lts thil1y-five graphemes im;lude three
copte~ de Nag Hammadi." Museun 97 (1984):261- kinds of signs: (I) (ll1twenly-four letten; of the Creek
312. alphubet, as in all Coptic dialects eKcepl H: (2) a
_ _ , "Ent,;ore un ducument protolycopolitain."
ligature of Creek origin, J<, Ic';)/, in autochthonous
Muscmr 98 (1985):79-82.
Coptic words such ;IS l' Wl. - 5 NGI. the proleptic
Lacau, P. "Textes coptes en dialectes akhmimil]ue et
sahidiqull." (Jullelill de 1'llIsfilul {ralH;ais p;1l1ic1e, and l' J<, = 8 GO, therefore; lhis inlerllsling
d'arcl1culu/jie urienlaie 8 (1911):43-81. gmpheme perhaps posscsse.~ the same phonological
_ _ . "Fmgmenls de l'Asellnsion d'Isa'ic en copte." value in the Coplo-Greek voeabuku)', where il how·
I"e MU$eon 59 (1946):453-457, ever may be also lkai/, Ikaj/, or l}I)ssibly even Ikel
LefoM, L. T. "Fragmenls d'apoeryphes en copte- or Ik'Jl (tlpP(lrenlly the C(lse (llso in various Greek
akl1l11illlique." Mllsemr 52 (1939): 1-10. and Coptic documentary texts where it occasionally
[Leipoldl. J,]. Aegyptische Urklllrdell aus dcn kOllig. appe'If!;, always optionally); and (3) no less than tcn
lie/ren Mliseell zu Ber/i", hcralHgcgcbcll vmr del' Ce- gmphemcs Ihat Originatcd in demotic. (In contr"Jst,
lleralvenvalJullg. kO(Jlische UrkllluJen. l3erlin. 1904. Bohairic has but seven demotic cha11lcter.<: and
Vel'gNe. J. "I.e DiulcCle caple P (P. Bodmer VI: Sahidic only six.)
Prvvcrbes), cssai d'idcnlification." Revue
Thc simplest way to dcscribc lhc alphabet of l' is
J'e-gyplolo!!,ie 25 (1973):50-57.
_ _ . Grammairc cOplc, Vol. la, hr/roJl/c/ion, pho- to compare it with the alphabet of Sahidic (8). Many
nClique e/ "hon%gie, morph%gie syllilremmiqlle graphemes of demotic origin th:ll belong properly to
(simc/ure des semcmlcmes), parlie synchmniqllc, P obviollsly represenl phonemes thllt 8 also posscss-
Vol. 1b. IlIlmdllclioll, pllmlcliquI! .!t phon%gie, es but expres..~cs by OthCI- combined or single chal-'
morphologic .~Ylllhcmaliqlw (sirueillre des :lcter'S. For inswnee, Ikl in S is K, whcrcus for P it is
sblllmiemes), parlie diadm:mi'lI4C, Vol. 2n, Mor- ::I., a grapheme observed in two Old Coplie texts
ph%gle synJagmMiql4C, SyntllXe, pllrtie synchro. (Kassel', 1980, p. 259). Howcvcr, Icl in 8 is 6, while
nique, Vol. 2b, MorpllOlogie sYll/agnuuiqlll.', partie: in l' Icl is K, for, as with vir'lually all Old Coptic
diclChmnique. Louvain, 1973-19&3. texts, P refrains from using G (Kassel', 1980, p_ 258).
WOlTCII, W_ H. Cop/ie SOlmds. Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Fm1hcl·. the two following signs uf P no lunger up-
pear in P. Bodmer VI, excepl vestigially, being pro-
ROt)()U'Jll! KASSER gressively forced out of usage hy newer graphemic
usages, in pal1icular those of S, Fin;t, in a primilive
state of evolution, P writes the sonantlnl , as _, like
DIALECT P (OR PROTO·THEBAN). The sig- somC Old Coplic texIs (Kassel', 1963). Then it st:lrts
to write it as N, as in classical S laler on. Also, in its
lum for this dialect. P, comes from a Coptic biblical
book of Proverbs in the form of a late-third-century primitive mode P appcan; to render g11lphkally the
parchment codcx, P. BWllLer VI, the only existing tonic vowel as geminate (Kasser, 1985) ;lnd writes
Jocumcnt written in the dialect (K.'lsser, 1960). Its the voiceless laryngeal occlusive, aleph /'1, as .1.. It
orthography exhibits phonological chal'actel'istics pl'Obably derivcs from" combinalion of both similtlr
that allow one to consider it a I'KOTOJ)JALaT. In blief demotic signs fOf 3 and j (du Bourguet, 1976, p. 3).
though more precise terms, one could think of it as Next, (Idopting the newer graphemic usages that will
a proto-Theban that often resembles what can be be those of 8 etc., I' no lunger geminates stressed
known about u hypolhetic,,1 proto-SahiJic, tentative· vowels as such, but r'alhe.' lhe Ionic vowel is gemi·
Iy reconstructed (po.<;.~ibly a proto-Sahidic imrnigmnt nated when followed by aleph. For instance, for
in the Theban region; d. DIALa•. IMMIGRANT). Ilaprol, mcaning "mouth," the primitive l' has
TJ,l1fOO, while the logically secondary P and 8 have
T.l.l\ro; for leo'f/, meaning "to say it," the primitive
Alphabet or P P has xo.1.'l, whcreas thc secondal)' l' and Shave
Even if it is of .second'll)' importance to the study XOO'I.
of Ji"lects, it is worthwhile 10 examioe the rnther Othcr graphemes peculiar to p. however, consti-
original alphabet used in 1', which looks like the Old tute the written form of phonellles no longer in
Coptic alphabel~ (see Al.PHABETS. ow COI'l"lC) "nd is more evolved Coptic (8 and most Coplic dialects).
incontestably the r4:hesl among the various Coptic Therefore, in its usage of !;) lxi, I' comes into line
alphabetic systems (many of the Coptic dialeCl~ and with 8 etc., SO P and 8 al'C gr..phemic;dly opposcd 10
subditllcets having their own vaJ"ielics of the Coptic A .md ; where Ixl i.~ 0, bul P, 8, A, and i (and the

small subdialccl$ } with ., and 87 and G with x) arc In thc remaining 1.5 percc:nt ol ca.'ics. the orthog·
phonologically opposed to all the ~ of the Coptic mphy of p. while distanl from that of S, coincide!>
languagl'S. dialct:ts, and subdialects, where Ixl disap- with some other Coptic diakOCI (kom Lower or Mid-
peared pre~iously and no lunger exists at all. BUI dle Egypt a... well a.~ Upper Egypt and dlUs ha~ing no
abo~e nil. in still using" 1..;1 (a sign found invelied Plll1icularly tn'irked llftinilY with L or A). In CIMS i, P
in many Old Cuptie texts; Kas~r, 1980. pp. 258-(0). always writes lhe siressed l(jl bcrorc final Ijl (first-
P is phonologically opposed to all Coptic dialects person singular pronoun suffix or any other e1e·
and subdialcrts (except; • pL, also a prutodialect, ment). Thus, P tiR"H1u', with me, corresponds 10
where however 1,.1 iii i). As for ", the graphemic ffililtQ in LS and 1.6; _ I I ' in lA, FS, FS6. and B;
combination )l3 is still seen in the final position _ t in A; KGHGr in M and F4; and ffitu'( in S. 'OIl",
after the tonic vowel: HOy.n, mix; ~X9, sprinkle; 10 mc, in P, fA, W, V, FS, F56, F4, (F7), and B
11Il.C. beal flat. This combination X9 could render a correspond~ to I*llll in LS, 1.6, and F/; HEI' in M. F4,
palatalltt:d affricate It21 or 1(;1 corresponding to Itr;1 and F46: HOOI in A; and tu.... in S, Also IV (not alv.H.tys
as /t.I cotTespond~ to Itiil, l'ather than It,.I, In thQ!;C final): for example. ).·itt{tt)"fT8 in P; ...1"61' and
three lexemes, the otlier Coptic dialects have. as the ...(e)teY(Tc). etc.. in A; I"eyro in A nnd fA; ).ClCy in
case arises (sec below). ·XG in S .\IId sometimes A; L6: ).l"C(lt in M; ),rer in F 1"...1' in Sand B all me'ill "10
'Xl!. in S; ·X,. in S. L, and sometimes A and B; 'Xl in grow." ).o,lll(e)tTO in P; "'o,lOOITll in A; ).o,lGI'(TO) in A
A; .x.:; in B; or simply ·x in S. This fOlms a mnge of and fA; "'Cllcm(TO) in Ui; ).o,lOOI in LS; ).o,l6l" in M, V,
possible phonemic combinations w open and di· and F: and ).~).)" in Sand B an mean "to multiply."
~ersc that the interprctution of P .X9 iii scareely tmOtN in P; HUnl in Wand F; HUUII in H; ttlJ(e)lN6 in
made any easier. A; H6Uf6 in L4; HGCtH in M; and H"'O'" in LS, 1.6, and
S all mcan "~ign." ctl6Ul in P; e1ml in F; (;111)_ in 8;
co{o)1Nll in A; Collie in fA: and coo," in M and C.\OtH
Phonological and Morphological Peeuliarilles
in 1.6 and S all mean "duelor. physician."
As ful' as dialectology is concerned, the alphabet is oyxlI(o)rro in P; OYX661 in A, f.6. and LS; oyxeltTO)
a decisive indicatOl' only insofar as its gmphcmcs an~ in II and L4; O)'XIjIjI(Te) in 1.6; oyxel" in M and f;'
able to re~eal the nature of its phonemes, Thus. it is DyX.\l" in Sand B all mean "to bc healed. saved."
the phnnology uf P thai enables one to sec il as a ~fllY in P, A, L, M. W, V. and B; ,.111' in F; and ~r"'Y in
type of protodialect oflen identical wllh a recon- S all mean "upper part," !>I'll'! in P and B; !pllr in A;
structed PI'Qto·Sahidic, On lhis subject, it should be ~ in L, M. W, and V; VJII' in F; and ~f"'\' in S all
noted that nothing ill the consonant systelll of P is Illean "lower pan." In lhis catl'gory alone, one finds
incompatible with that of S (which is common. that P reaffirms its originality. If one summarizes its
moreover, to many Coptic dialects, namely, those points of contact with other Coptic dialecl~ in thc
most m.'\I1ralued in this rcspttl. bask:ally L. M, W, previous narrow category. ooe finds that its most
and V), A comparison olthe consonant system of P pronounced affinities are with B, then wilh F. then
with that or S is given below. with L, then with A and M. wilh S definitely coming
As .....--gal'ds vocalizalion, it is undoubtedly advisable last.
to assign a preeminent importancc to strl'SSe(l vow· Some intefl'Sting obselvations call be made with
els. whit:h manifeSI most of lhe chamctelistics Ihat unstre!>.~ed vowels. ·e is ~cncrally the unstressed
alluwone 10 di~tinguish belween Coptic dialects or vowel in p. M it is in S. bUI sometimes it is .... where
subdialecl~. One diSl,:over'S thai the vocabultlry of P the COlTespondin~ Egyptian word has II final 'ayin:
agrees thus in 97 pel'cent of the cases wilh thai of S. for example, P M1l11,l"', S HlIl«90, erowd; P H).Q,lT S
Nearly half of the remaining cases (P tu.K. la!'Ee; fill, H... )..](CJ, ear; P Tllt.),. S 1lftll\6, fing('r; .md P KOOH ',
name; oy'I. one (mllSC,); oy),I, rudt; ),'" +. quench; S GOOHll', twisted, crooked, perverse, vicious, On the
!If).Y, voice; and 6U1!, wrath; cf. B AwN, in Vycichl, onc hand, it would be penllissible to consider this
1983, p, IOSb) can l'VCntuaily be explained byely· differentiated vocalizatlon as an archaism typical or
mology and the archaic 5latc of the language mther P when compared to the more neutralized S. On the
than by the influence ol othel' Coptic diakcls, partic· other hand, one finds thaI the dialectal regions of
ularly from the south. such as L or A. (It will also be Egypt where this phenomenon is manik'St arc pre'
noted that the strl"SSCd·vowel agreement of P with A cisely Lower Middle Egypt and Lower Egypt. In fuct,
and L. when thcy fire completely in fiCCOI'd. or with ,.. (except for £'7) and V, W h.wing -t as Ihe normal
any speci'll valiety of L is only between 59 percent unstressed final vowel, h.we -0 (f7 eveo has ...., like
and 63 perccnt,) P) in the 'ayin position mentioned eadieI'. and H

loses e\'el)' final VQwel in place of its nonnal ·1 (lhus, .pS. some son of ·pS from Thebes (d. i'l SOllie way
F7 HI",),.. F5 HI.~, W HlMI4!, 8 H1M1, crowd; F7 the fomler hypolhesis lhal P would be a Theoon
HfiX.I., fo'5 HIl<iXO, V H(lXO, 8 t-U.IQX, car; F5 'rnHMI, 8 protodiaieci. Nagel. 1965; Kassel', 1982; on Ihis. cr.
TH&. linger; hUi. c.g., n, F )'CDHI, W, V, 8 ptlMl, man; especially P :e', on; 6CT6, behold, here is; rttl. name;
cr. Polotsky, 1931; VergolC, 1945. p. 88). ),.BO", OlItsidc; y~. to throw), More precisely. it
HUI one mUSI not foriet lhat Ihe categories where WOllld not be an indication lhat S was principally of
P moves ranhcst a....'Olly from S to approoch 8 and Thcbnn origin. but nath'e to a place fUl1her nol1h
especi:llly F (or pcl'haps other diak-cts) rcmain quitc (between Land M), S, as a common language
rcsniclcd (Ionic \1)wels abo\'c. 1.5 percent of Ihe P spreading (many cenlUlies before Coptic limes)
\'ocahulal)'; alonic above. I percenl). so thai the southward (also nonhward) and thlUugh Ihe whole
I'l$I.lIt could hardly call in question the slliking allin· valley of Ihe Egyplian Nile above the Delta. WOI.lld be
ily tl1;l1 P and 5 have almosl evel)'Where el5C (91 implanloo fin;t of all, vel)' early on. in some greal
pen:enl) as well as cel1nin disnl:\I'CCl11ents between ul'ban cenler'S, following lhe course of that river
the two in unstressed pl'ctonic vowel~ {thus. P, I., II (Kassel', 1981), l' (a" a valiely of ·pS) could only be
GHlfTO. 5 ),.HllTfI. hell; 1', L, A 6H)"~TO, S ),.H)"~T6, "'nleblln" by means of immigl".llion (cr. DIALECT, 1M·
seize; plul'. I' o2W((Ulr, L, It o~, S ),.2OHlIr, treasures; MIGKANT).
P 82OH, I., A (j~H, S ),.:lOH, sigh; 1', L, A ),.-, S 1l-, The clOSll relationship of I' and S is confirmcd in
toward; 1', I., II ),.1lI\;l6, .s 6tl(J2, cternity) or the fact Ihe consonanlS, where thc evidence (If the protodia·
thm 1', like 1.5 and 1.(" writes In'Jl rather than final lcctal character is clear (cf. l'lIO"I'Oml\WCT), In facl,
Inl, aftcl' Iwl, hut in lhis position only, while A and the phonemes still present in I' and absent in S
fA do not recogni1.e this Ihnilalion (d. l' cooyoo. I., follow exacily Ihe well·known line of phonological
A C),.ytill. S cooyll, 10 know). Nor, finally. docs Ihe evolution from pharaonic Egyplian 10 Coptic
~itualion change much from the fact Ihal 1', as op- (Vergole. 1!M5, pp. 122fT.). Thus, l' slill ha."/r;1 (from
posed to S (and therdore coming close 10 A, I., lllld predominam x J ) wriUen ". and Ixl (from X10 relatl-d
other dialecls). readily rcplatl."S a polemial aleph af· to a minority Xj) writlen !J. The....e two phonemes are
tel' the linal stressed vowel with fJl or 1.,1 also present in dialect i, Ihe only Olher Coptic proto-
(similiglide. Kassel'. 1981b. p. 35), while the SOl" dialt:ct known al pn:sent; this has an impoverishoo
thography will refrain from indicating iI, For cllam· alphabet Uf;1 i; Ixl e. as in .4), The development of P
pll', H€EI of P; H€(e)16 of .4; HllI"6 of lA; fU.OIO of L.5 as a protodialect near to a kind of .pS \x:coming S
and 1..6; HlO'O of M; HIll of W. V, F, and B; H6f of 8; is as follows; ., 1..1 > Gil M. and !J Ixl > ~ /hI. For
and He of S all mean "to love:' HlI( of P and B; HIE example, P!lI.lfII, first. in S is IQOFlI (A ""'1. I. 19J.f'11,
of A; HlIll of l..; H6(l of 101; MGt· of IV, V. B, F4. and F7: CIC.); and l' 1JR!»J.., servant. is S :R"tu (A tA"eG". I.
MG6I of F5 and "'56; ond HG of S all ml.';!.n troth, :l't6"),
justice. "),.6 of P, .4, and I.; ItOO of M; "61' of IV; "001 A..~ fal' a.~ the vowels arc eoncemOO. the \'crbal
of F5 and F56; "l.l" of 0; and 11)" of S all mean "pity." prefixes of P also have points in common with Ihose
C),.f1 of P; c),.(e)IG of A and L; etl!" of F; C).l"{ll) of B,- of S, bUI even more willi L (CSJX.-c;;ially fA). This
and c),. of S all mean "b<:ltuly," DyGll(l) of P; oyel"6 should not be too much of a surplise, since they arc
of A and fA; Dy)"616 of /..6; oyllie of M; oytll1l' of F5; all dir'Cctly 01' imlil'ectly pretonie unstressed vowels.
OYllr or F7; oyOl of B; and oye of 5 all mean "10 1>e l\lld it is specifically in Ihe pl'elonic unslressed vow·
distanl, far.reaching." 260(1) of I); ~e(6)16 of A; 201'1J or cis Ihall' is often closer to I., and SOlllctimes A, lhan
fA; ~),.6l(l or 1.5 Md /..6; ~1Il"O of M; ~1I1' of v, F4, and II is 10 S (perhaps an early dmmctelislic neulrnlized
(B); ~llIll of F5; ~llr of 8; and ~ll or S all mcan "to later in S 01' the influence of native Thebes dialect
fall." on immigrant ·pS, in accordance with thc hypolhc·
P'~ stres..'lt'd vowels dernonslmle, if nOI ,I complete sis olTered ahove). With the consonants, however, P
identily with S, Ihen at leaM a relalionship close sonlelimcs cxhibits original solutions approximating
cnOllgh 10 consider it a n..'gional dialeclal variety alliO to A or I. (as the case atisc:l) when disagreeing
vel)' like a kind of "proto-Sahidic" (a reconstructed willi S. (As n..-gards the morphological pcruliaritics
·pS. cf. below). More precisely. it .....ould be a ·pS of P, sec especially Ihe conjug."Ition s)'Slem below.)
thai cOllld have become a typical. local or regional
varidy of S, distinguisltt.'d from classic S by only a
Conjugation System
few difference1io, oot belonging, without doubt, to the
Sahidic dialt:ctal group (1' is nearly as close 10 S as bcept in special instances (conjunctive, elc.), Ihe
IA is to L5 and U. or 1-'4 101-'5, F7, Fa. and F9 and fonn citl.-d here is only Ihe third,person masculine
conversely), Pcrhap; P wa... an immigranl varicly of singular and the corn.'sponding prenominal foml

("nom," '" bdore nominal subject). The entire para- (J.~ 6'1') (- S, L. It); neg. (- expectative) R"n.I.T.....-
digm is '101 allcsled in all conjugations. (- S, L, (A)), R"1I.I.TG"f- (5), (1.4). nOIll. [R'IUT6'] (-
Unless specifically mentioned, Ihe for'm is affirma- S, L. A). And eire. 6H1IAff· {- S, I.. A. 6H1llt.T6"- (S).
tive; "neg:' - ncg.1tive. Every ha.~ic tense (ablm::viat· (L)), nOIll. 6HIl)"TG- (= S, 1" A).
cd hen::afler to "ba.~ic") is followed (if nllcSled) by 2.1.3. CO,WIl!/uJirrlll (or ll(}ri~t) 9l..p'l· (01:a..'I· S, L,
iL~ satellites. after "And": "cke:' - circumstanlial, Q,l:a..pG'I· ([,5), (1.6). tArO'l' A), nom. !lJ.I'6- (lIJ)"ro· S, t,
"pre!." - preterite, "rei." _ relative. "II" _ second tJo,fll· A); neg. HA'" (e I •• A, Me'l' S), 110m. H"'l'6' (- L,
lense. Fomls betwl'Cn b......ckcts { ... ] arc n.:consti· A. MAfG- S, H),,' A). And dre. ®l.f't. (6_),,'1' S. L,
tuted lTom very similar fOI1l'-"; "7£ro" - no "crbn! [O_.I./'G"-) (1...5), (L6). GI),f'ti't· A). nom. I®),f'ti·]
prelix or no particle. (0"J./'ti· S. L, GP,fG' A); neg. (lJM)"..·j (- I., A, lJH6'1-
1. Bipartite Pallern. S), nom. (oH,\f6-] (~ L, [A]. 6M6f'6-S). Rei. O"r.)"f'
Nt'S. zero ... .I. or So (!lie) (lr- ... J.Ii S, (If.) ... 61i (without parallels elsewhere in Coptic) or eT~"f'I'
L. UrQ. , • jill A). (e(T6)e1),,'I- S, I., (eT_:a..... L6 once). 0Tp,f6'" A). 110m.
1.1. Pre~lI/ (basic) ..· (- S, L, A), nom. :(eru (- S, [6T®l..fil-) (e(TG)tIJ.f(l- S. f" 6TIAre- It); neg. ()Ttlm.'1-
I., A). And cire. fI'" (- S, I., A). nom. Op6- (- S, I., (- L. A. (lTGH6'1' S), nOIll. [G1'OHl..fll'] (- I.. [AJ.
(It), e- A); rcl. 61" (- S, L, A) o,' [6"1"6'1'] (- (L5), (lTGM£pe· S). Pre!. [/'I(;!l)"I"'.J (Ii(101J.'I· S, L4, (1...6),
8Ttr· S, I., A. nom. 101'01'0') (- S. 1.4. (£.5), L6, (A), 1'l0Q,lAp(l'l' (L6), [tlOeJ.fC'I·] A), nom. tlll'JJ.pe· (Hl101Ap6-
01'0- 1.5, (l.6), A); prc!. li6'1' (= S. L, 1i)"'1- (1.6), A), S, tJ-], [li6tJo,pe-] A). II [1l'J),,1"1'] (GQ,lA'I- S. L, r6lAp6'1']
nom. [HIlf6-) (- S. L, H),,(r(J.)· A); p,-el. ,'cI. 81'6tl6'1- (- 01' )"VoI'€'I- A). nom. ~lo.fG' (0'1.\1'0- S, L. ClIl,f6' or'
S. L, GHG'I' S, L, 6111..,,· A), nom. (eTGH(;f(I-] (- S, t, J.I),fG- A).
6H6f'8' S, L); II 6"- (- S, L, .I.... It), 'lorn. 6(fElr (6fti- 2.1.4. "-ulllmlll .m..rgicIIIII (01' third future) G'l)"-
S, L, J.(re). It). (probably so, nut second future) (- L. 6'1(1- S, A'I)'"
1.2. f.·II/,lre (basic) wilh .tu..: 'UUt.- ( - S, (/Al, 1.5, A), nom. 6f')"••.. .I.' (6f6.... :l:Cro S. L, :a..•.•• (A')
L6, A), nom. zero ... liJ.· (- S, L, It). And eire, G'lHJ.- A); neg. lil("- ( - (L6), /16'1' L, A, Tl"tl6'l' S), nom. till' (-
(- S. (LA), LS, U'J, A), nom. (€f6- ... m-l (e S. LO, f., A, lflill· S). 6T6'1J.·: sec 1.3.
6' .. , tU.- 1.5, A); rei, CTHJ.- (- S, I.. A) 01' eTfNtU.- (- 2.1.5. Imperative: inlinitive unaccompanied (- S,
(L5), (Ld), OT1fru.- S, (/A), 1.5, L6, A), nom. lJ1'lJP6' L. A) or el~ preceded by t,J.· (- S, L. A. always
. . . liA- ('" S, fA, 1-6, (A), 01'6- riA' 1..5, A); II tNtiA' cau!;3tivc verbs) or by 6· (- 1...6, A, A' S, lA, IS): neg.
(- S, L, A'IN),,- A), nOl1l, (lpc· tlA' (- S, L, A(rO)' H'ff· (= A. lA, (/,6), R"1Il'"' S, (L4), 1..5, 1..6, (A), R"IIWp'
. . • Ii),,- A). (L4), (A?), R"lIwr ),,- (1...6), (A)) .
1.3. I'll/I"" (ba.'lic) with .),,-: '1.1.- (on!y I'lv. 19:25) (_ 2.1.6. Callsalive Imrlera/il'e HArt· (NJo.j'(l'l· S, f., A),
fA). And rei. (?) GTlJ'IJ.· (only Prv. 6:29) (6"I"IA- 1.4). nom. lUTe- (m.re- S. L. A): neg. [HlfT'l-] (- A,
2. Tripartite: PaUe:m. H'If"Jl'fi'l- lA, R"nTJ1'll'" S, 1..5. R"IMllf ),,1fCJ'I' 1...6.
1./ Te~s wilh special /lega/iolls (if 1101 1/). Inde-- R"lIllT'l)- A), nom. NlfT6- (- It, HIlTfti· /...6, R'nl"TrO-
pl"ndent (!Io.:ntence) l,."Onjugalions. S. f..5, 1-6, m1llf'TG- LA. lA, R"nrr6- A).
2.1.1. Perfect (basic) .I.... ( - S, t. A, but twice sing. 12 Tmse$ wi/It rreg. -Tff•• Subo,'dinalc (clause)
I. 21' P - Pno. 7:15-16 (see Kasser. 1984], cf. J.~- CIC. conjugations.
UI solllelimes), nom. .I.- ( - S, L, A, o.:ltCCpl LIJ ACla 2.2.1. Conilmc;/il'/: (!ling. I., 2. mase,. [fern,], 3.
Pauli from Hdddbcrg, 2A' [but .1.'1-, like P, S, L4, 1.5. masr::., rem.; pIliI', I., 2., 3., nom.) 'If1'),,- (- S, L, TJ.-
Aj, (At),,- mrcly 1..6); nCG. Rn'lf· ('" S, L, A, Rno'l' (1..4), S. L, A), _}., 01' .l}.. (lJ"· S, (L4), (/...6), 'Nil.. L, K· (/A).
(1..5), (1...6), nom. [R"110'] (- S, L, A, 'ff1H1· (A». And (L5), A), "1' or .l'l' (If'I· S, I., 'I' (fA), (L5), A, (JI'.......- A
dre. [eA'.·] (S, L, A), nOIl1. (0),,'] (- S, f., A, CltCCpl1...6 once», .le· (twice) ('Ile· S, f., e· A), IlTlf- (- S, L,
Acla Pauli from Heidelberg, 6t),,·); neg. IGNI....-J (= S. Tlf· (1.4). A). lfTOTlf· (- 5, L, T01'lf' (1.4), (1...5), A),
f., 6HtIll'l' (1.4). (L6». nom. (6Hn6') (- S, L). ReI. lfCG- {- S, I., Cll' A, (coy- A once». nom. llTe- (- S.
OTlt.t' (- It, (e)trrJ.t-l.; ef. Funk. 1984) or leTJ....] (- 1-, Te- A).
lA, A, 8IfTJ...· S, (L6). lrn,'I' (5), f.5, IJj, (6T6(~)),,'I' 2.2.2. FWIlTe Corrjlmclil'" lfT"f'I' ( TJ./'ti'l· S, L, M.
U», nont. 6Tl... (- lA, (L6). A, 61fTJ.- 5. (L6), ll'n- nom. (llT"f'8·) (T"f'€- S, I., A).
(5), 1...5, (L6), (If'r~J.-, eT),,(t}),,·, 6NT.Uo.- L6»). neg. 2.2.3. Te/PIponl/'ffT),f'I- (If'r'l;f(;''f- S, lfnfe..- L, (A).
(OT6Htf'f-] (.:0 5, L, [A), 6T6H116'1' (L6J/, nom. nFfJ't- A). nom. (WTJ.ff'-] (- L, A, lfT6,6' S, T.l.fG· A).
[CT(lHrI(I-] (- S, L. A). II [6n...] (- (A), RTl..'I· S, I" 2.2.4. l.imilalil'e (01' conjunctive with 11.1.', until)
HA'I' A, (eA'I' 1..6), also Of6(tlT)J.'I· with a causal sense O1:a..tIT'I. (- S, (1.4), (1-6), OJAtl1'G'I' fA, (1.6), 01.1.1"'1- A),
U Tr,lClatus Tripartilus; cr, P 6p)"}.- Pry. 6:3), nOIll. n0111. 01l..tI"I'6· (- S, L, (A once), O1AT€- A).
[cn.] (lfT),,· S, L, tI),,- A); neg. :tel'O ... )" (elc.). 2.2.S. COl1lli/;onfll tl'101A- (- (LA), 1_5, (f,6), (A
2.1.2. Comple/it'e (basic) (affirmative substitutc once), (I,""),,tI· S, lA, 1...6, ),,'1'1.1.- A), nom. 6tlA- (-

(LA), (A). 6f'Ct),- (lA). (/..5). Gf'(\l:U+- S, 6fCll9Jt.- L5, (1..6), lIun. 10smother; cf. I - x i A, 11IlXt;. I_Xlt. lllDXT
6/'6"),11- 1..6. ),Cf),- A, 6q!)JfTo, IA). S. IIIDX 5 (or Sf) (cr. demolic pt}/!. V)'dchl. 1983. p.
Characteristic Lexemell
The archaic f'Re... (masc.). rR"f:IC- (fem.). f'Rfl)"
lexicographically. P, on the onc hand, displays (pl.), f'ReT· (indefinite). and not (nc\'er) f't!..., Ihe
wriOu.~ notable isolatt:d orthographical peculiarities agent pn-r.x common to all the Coplk diale<:b (;>,£1'
(apart from those lhal OC(:\lr more ~Iemalically 1'): such archaic fonns ani)' appear occasionally else.
and have tK:cn alnrody shown abo\·c) and. 00 Ihe where or at leasl are always in a minority: f'R(M}6'1-
olher, has some r1.lrc or otherwise unknown A. ""M(6)6.... f'l'Jl1&l-. f'I>H6T- IA (Tmct:lluS Tripani·
le~cmcs: ItJs).
), or i. negalivc p.i1l1ide. cr. )'Ii 5, IJ, 0" A. L. M, W, 'r.ll1O ele.• 10begel, bring forth, acquire; cr. T~IO
V, F. A, XJIO L. S, XIU M, (W). (V). F, x+O B.
116M (mase.) eyes, a pluml not :llh:sted elsewhere u.l~ (rarely _.l~ or lU(u-~), life; cr. Will A, ulff
in Coptic and corresponding to the singular 11>..\ P, 5, S, £4, W, V, F, II(ID)NF /...6, 1.5 (excellt lIIQI~ in the
fJ, 110;>, A, L, M, W, V, f-'; 1IJ.:lOY() (mase.) eyelids, n unpublished Gospel of John m:muscript from Dub·
plural nOI (1llCsted elsewhere in Coptic, cOITe.~pond_ lin;cr. Kassel', 1981a), Otl~ M, WIi~ 8.
ing to the singullll' IIOY~O S, IIW~6 (5), A, W\'21 B. !,)1I1 etc., road; d. ~1I1 5, I., M, V, F.
OTII()-: See Jf1'1I0·. ~I)', s.omething; cr. 2>11 B, 2>161 II, 1.6 (vel)' I'llrely), :1
00)1'6', more than, with no pamllels elsewhere in M, W (always "someone"); I' uses "Iso ;>"Uy(6);
Coptic (Prv. 9:3, I(ptluur,w ... 17, tl),ll6· ... lJO)'f(I' P, ~tl;>')'K, keep, the sole parallel for which in Coptic is
Il),!ill' ... Jf~ ),. A, tl),llO'y ... O:lO)'E' S, 'fCOTIl :(l;>,i.c L4 (neither P nor L4 uses Ihe Icxcme :),pti~ S,
. . . 6~)nl' B). M. opt~ A, ~ L5. L6, J.f6t W, v. 8, >..\Gt 1'); tlllHM,
K111f. Iefl;cr. &If A, GIIOyf I.., ~1IOyf S. M, F. $lccp. cr. :!tHI~ S, It, L. AI, V, F, :!tHIM 8; lllf' in Ihe
milT)" em: cr. H6/VTO LS. LA (excepl the Mani· exprcsston &f2Hf .1.f'O" )" unaW:lfC5 (Prv. 6:15
chacan Homilies. and lIlOrc rarely. the Manichacan itam~. tli oycilM> A, ~Jr OyC\.C·HO S, ~"
Psalms and Kephalaia, HflXe), ~o L6, m ..x B. ~~),utm B; Prv. 13:23 reads mlhcr C6tirr('1J; cr.
H.UXe S, H6XfJ M. V, HO(e).Xe F; H6!IlI;>" 10 cure, Kasscr. 1973~1975. Vol. 2, p. 324b), $hould be con·
without parnllels elsewhere in Coptic (Prv. 12:18, neclcd with S ZClf' 10 guard ;agaill5l, take h~ (Crum,
100'641, "TX"60 A, TU60 5, B; cr. Bcd.ja mehel, to treat 1939. p. 697b); tc#1IJ, woman. cr. (C)zIHEI S, A, L, M.
medically, Vycichl, 1983, p. 132a); HenG. to walk, go. <::!/HI V, F, B; ;tGI(u)Tl-I, wither. fade, c;\:pire. be
cr. tu.(J.)~ A, L. tlOO liB S, HOl9I B, HUjle M, W (sk). quenchOO. c;\:linguished ($hould be conncclOO with
milt V, HUlQl F; HOy.X!l, 10 mix, d. HOyX6 A, 5. L6, t«I6T. t6GR•• elc. S (ibid., p. 744b); Pnt. 10:7 and
also HOyXT 5, A, (L6), LA. B, HOXk 5 (cr. Hebrew 13:9 u/kJII'iJ/IQ'. MIll A, X/ltu.. S, 6OHO B; this ~.
mdwg and Ihe demolic m~, conlainer. wine-bowl. "tcD6R" could al a stretch have been Conf\lscd wilh
ICpariJp (?). Vycichl, 1983, p. I33b). tuTTI (ihid.• p. 724b). in Ihe sense or "be c;\:lin-
Illl',;, all; cr. IllBI W, V, F, IilMIN IJ, /'lIMI F7, 111M It, 5, guished" like a sial' setting; P uses tuTTI only in the
L, M (demotic /lb, Vyciehl, 1983, p. 142b); W- pro- sense of "to be reconciled," Pry. 6:35 and 15:2&1):
Ieplic p.\rticlc, cr. lTGI S, A, /...6, ("'1) etc., tIGll M, connected with :,:Oyo is lhe expression correspond.
«(Il)GII A), JfXl L4, (/...6), W, Xl 1.5 (Thompson, 1924), ing to H2(Oy)OOIT ),- ur .l2(OY)GeIT )". more than,
r1.x6 (£1')), (M), V, F, 8: TrKTOOK or .l.KTOK, prenm' which corresponds to H2O\'<) ),. A, O:!O"(6' S, (l:,:OT6'
lurc(ly). with no parallels elsewhere in Coptic (PI'\'. 8; the P fonn seems close to N:!O"(1ClCTtl tl·,
10:6, uwpoo;, Jfcq),r),~6 A, S, HlUTt! Tto"l' (lJG)1tl B; Pl'v. 6:,:Oyi.mcT6- M. 62OY),fCT(0)- V, P, e:,:Oy),I"cT6 o· 1:56,
II ;30, liwpoo;, :IT oyM'N'r-..),r ),~ S. ,'If etc.... A, G2QY),CTtl· F7 (cr. exceplionlll OZOYOtJICTG S. Crum,
HlUTO TtOt CijQ)l11 B, cr. demotic gIg, suddl'n(ly); 1939. p. 736(1).
Vycichl, 1983. p. 168a); mro. 10 see, Yel)' prob:lbly a
back formalion from IIl.fO", which is a COnln)Clion D1DUOGRAI'HY
for tu..(y ),)po. (cr. Cerny, 1971): lfTIIO- in lfR.6 IU".
.... so lhat is why. hUI elsewhere (l"J"W~ (C\'eo 6T&Cl Allberry. C. R.. C. A Mallichncall Psalmbook. StUltgart•
lUI, Prv. 7:15), cr. eno- S. A. t • .41, W, v. F, EOMl· B
Attridge, U. W•• ed. Nag Hammadi Codex I (The JUllg
(demotic r dbJ elc.• Vycichl, 1983. p. 47b); HOyn,
Coda), IlItrodllClioll. Texts, Tra/lSlalio/lS. Indices.
to sprinkle, d. NOyXI It, HOyxlt, HOyJt'5", HOyx 5. Nag Hammadi Studies 22. Leiden, 1985.
HOyX!.t 8 (cr. demotic /If!.~ etc.• Vycichl, 1983, p. lJ6hlig, A. Krpllalaia: lweilc J/il/fle (Ucrcrung 11-
152b). 12). Stuttgart. 1966.

(BOhlig. A., and H. J. Polotskyj. KcpllullJia: &su Nagel, P. "Dcr rriihkoplische Dialekt ~'On n,chen."
Ifalftc (Udcrung 1-10). StWtg:U1, 1940. In Kopf%gisclle S/Ildictl ill der IJDR, pp. 30-49.
Bourguel. P. duo Gwmmai,c IOllctioulleU/! el progreso Wiss~msella/tfiche Zeilseh,ift der Murtil/·ulllre,-
sive de /'Cgyplicn "'mtOliqlle. Louvnin, 1976. UlliversiliJl Hlllle·Wittellberg, Sonder·heft. Halle·
Cerny, J.; P. E. K:lhlc; "nd R. Parker. "The Old Wittenberg, 1965.
Coptic Horoscot'le." lOt/nllJl of Egyptiall Arc/me%· Osing, J. Dcr ~pillilf:YPI/M'lIe I'IIPYrl45 8.M. 10808.
IIY 43 (1957):86-100. Wicsbaden, 1976.
-,;;-_ "Coalescence or Verbs with Prepositions in Pl.'an;on, B. A., and S. Giverscn. Nag Hummadi C{J{!i·
Coptic." leitsellril' lilr ug>'plisellc Sproche ul/d ccs IX alll/ X. Nag Hammadi Siudies 15. l..eiden,
Altef/tullJkllllde 97 (1971 ):44-46. 1981.
Crum, W. E. A. Coplic Victumury. O"rord, 1939. Polotsky, H. J. "Zur koplischen WUllehre I." leit·
Funk, W.·P. "Die Morphologk- der Peneklkonjug:i' selrril' Iii' ilgyplisehe Sproehe tllld A.llemmukl/Ilde
lion im NH·subaehmimischen Dialekt." uilsehrill 67 (1931):74-77.
liir ilgyplisehe Sll'ucltc tmd A.fuf/tllIlsklfl/de III ,,-,:-c Malliehilischc Hml/i!ietl. Stuttgan, 1934.
{1984):IIO-30. Schmidl, C. Aeta Pauli QIIS de' Hcidelbergur
Kasser. R. Pupyms Bodmer VI: Livre des Provemes. koplischell Hultdsellri!1 N, I. lcip"lig, 1905.
CSCO 194-195. Lollvuin, 1960. -,,-C. "Ein neues Fr.lgment dcr Hcidelberllcr Acl"
-,,-. "Popyrus Londiniensis 98 (The Old Coptic Pauli." In SilZJmgsherichle der 8crli,lcr Ahulcmic
Horoscope) and I'apyrus Bodmer VI." )ollnlllf of der WiSSCIl.~clUI{lerJ, Philu)·uphisch.Hi.~loriscJrc
Egyptillll Archaeology 49 (1963):157-60. Kla~Ie, pp. 216-20. Berlin, 1909.
--c "ProlCgomcncs t\ un essai de c1tlssificmion "I1lOnmssen, I:", and L Painchaud. Le rroit~ lrirarti
systematique des diak'<:lcs et subdialeetes copies (Nil 1.5), lule i!lubli, ilJ/roJui/ el eOlllllllmle IHlr E.
scion Ics crit~res de la poonetique, II, Alphalx.1s CI 71101J1asstm; lrallllil par L Paillella/ld eI E.
S)'Slemcs phonctiques." Afllsro" 93 (1980):237-97. 'T1wma.uell. Bibliotheque cople de Nag Harnmadi,
___ "Usages de la surlignc dans Ie P. IJodmer VI, SoOClion "Iellles:' 19. Ou~bcc, 1989.
notes addilionnellcs." Bulletin de la Socittt Thompson, H. The Gospel 01 SI. 101m Accordil/g to Ihe
d'tgyplologie, Gel/eve 5 (198Ia):23-32. Enrliest Coptic Mamlscripl. London, 1924.
___ "Voydlcs en ronclion t;onsonanliquc, con- Vergote, J. Phol/~tiqlle his/orii/lle de f'tgyp/ien, les
sonnes en ront;liOll vocalique, CI classes de ,·OIlSOlllleS. Louvain, 1945.
pholl/::mes en copte." BlIlIelill de 11/ SOcieTe Vycichl, W. Dic/iOll/wire 1!/)'lIIologique de fa lallgue
d'egy/lw/ugie, Ce,,~ve 5 (1981 b):33-50. cople. Louvnin. 1983.
"Lc Dinlcctc pl'Olosa'idique de Thebes." RODOU'IlU KAS.<:P.R
A.rchiv {iir Papyruslur$(.·/IIIt1J: 28 (1982):67-81.
--,__ "Le pariait I copte ~. ct .t.:~. el Ie I:mgage de
l'ttrangcrc (Prov. 6,24-26 et 7,15-16)." IIcgyplUs
64 (19&4):229-36. DIALECTS. Thc gt:ogrdphical chal1'clcristics orlhe
___ "Gemination de voyelles dans Ie P. lJodmer
VI:' In Acts of 111f~ Secorrd hllemalimra/ Co"gress 01
habitable area or Egypt favored Ihe S4lbdivision of its
langUl1ge. One may note first or all 1",0 linguistic
Coptic Sludies, Rome 22-26 Septem~r /980, cd. T.
entilies, "languages" rather than "dialeclS:' or very
Orlandi and F. Wis.'iC, pp. 89-120. Rome. 1985.
Kasser, R.; M. Malinine; H.·C. Put."(;h; G. Oui~pcl; J. wide scope and more Ihan local-indeed, morc than
landee; W. Vyciehl; and R. McL Wilson. r'(lCIIlWS rcgional-char.lCter. TIle Iirsl or these corresponds
TripurlilllS, Vol. I, PI":; f, De Supemis, Codex to the Nile Delta lind the second 10 the Nile Vulley
lImg {. XXVI'-f. ur (p. 51-104), Vol. 2, Pllr~ II, nbove the Delta. These are in tUI11 (probably in the
De Crealiolle Humitli.~, Pars 11/, De GCl1cn'btu Delta, ce'1ainly in the valley) subdivided into smaller
TribllS, Codex lwrg I. Ur-J-XX' (p. 104-140). Bern, linguistic units (see especially, although wilh pal1i"l·
1973-1975. Iy divergent opinions. Kahle, 1954, pp. 193-278;
Malininc, M.; ~I.-e. Pucch; and G. Ouispcl. EVllIIge· Ka,,-';('r, 1982; Krause, 1979; wylon, 1976; Vergote,
/ill/II Veri/alis, Codex lImg'. vllr-xvr (p. 16-32', '. 1973, pp. 53-59; WOITCIl, 1934, pp. 63~82; and mA·
XJJr-XXlr (p. 37-4J). Zurich, 1956. u:crs. GROUPING -'NO MAJOR GROUPS Of' and GFDCIW'HY.
fl.Winine, M.; H.-e. Put.'Ch; G. Ouispcl; W. C. Till; R.
McL Wilson. EVlJllgelium Verita/is (Stlppfeme,,·
It appears vel')' likely tll:ll 80HAIRlC (8) was Ihe
tum', Codex lllng f. xvlr -xvllr (p. 33-36j. Zurich,
1961. indigenous language common 10 Ihe whole or the
Mlliinine, M.; H.·C. Pueeh; G. Ouispcl; W. C. Till; R. Nile Delta. [t Is called n "vehicular." or supmrocnr,
MeL. Wilson; and J. t.'1ndee. Dc Rl!)'u"ecliOlle language because it perm[tted the inlUlbitants or Ihe
(EpisllIlu 1/11 RhcgiIlWII), Codex IImg I. XXJI'-f. xxV" different regions or thi.~ De!t:l (where each spoke his
(p. 43-50). Zurich, 1963. local dialect) to unden;tand one another. (These 10'

TAUI.c L Charoclerisl;C wemes ill tire PrincipIII Coplic /)iQleCI~' wrd SlIbdialeCIS

A ". ,."
(espc) ". .....
L <spc ".a(d).· ,""
M auO
V "'"
[cspiJ ". ,".
F [cspl) " . ,".
F56 lespi] Ill· nub
F1 (~pi) a(ie)l·
{Aspi) ". aUll
Iflspc] (ll-

S flspc at· :luO

874l [aspl] al· ou6hc
8 :ispi at· 006h

The followinl may ~ ob.icrvcd wilh rtgard to L: a.Hi lAo 1.5, UJ, bur:ilia (""'f'«ially) Mum .... ill... LA, Q"dh.. Or ou4/1", etc. 1.6;
~ulf·l.A i~ ~Il/"f' LS. 1.6: kD lA, l.5 is It.Oc U: ",tie LA is miuie/.J, 1.6: mb!if/flIA is ",dei" LS, LIJ, with S: ..uk VI,LS ill ""hi l.6.
w;lh lPLJ: >lji LA ill ji 1..5, nci L6;";'1 fA is pter /..5. lAo' pel·/A is pt!tll· /..5. UJ: ref· LA. LS. LIi, bu! also rome(·IA, "tI"'C'· LIi. ""tlf- fA
(r,lre) wilh;1 (rare) erc., and everywhere "lief., eiC. 1'; sJlme LA is s(,lm U. 1..6: ouD.I,e 1.4, l.6 is 0,,0:111 W; {mil L4 is ix>(IIjh LS.
«"J,,1l 1.6; ~je 1.4, LS is sltt/e L6; shii /A is sited 1.5,1.6; 16me L4 is IMl>le (WI, Ui: i"se /A, l.S is I"s,' Ui, with pI-
With l'eganlto 101: fJ/' befOIl: eenain word~ (e.g.. sill!"), and a lillIe more frequently Mill ileil· bef'OIl: other wonls (the eMe or illll.!t
or iltil"i" is no! yet attested); ptthilf· or MHllclirllC$ ptltl.af·; ...:t. but also (fairly rare) "it, etc.
With rqard 10 V: I'll/If-, also ptmaf·, moll: rardy [pelth../·] v, but also ptw.IJ/. (rarely ptlhIJf·) W; _limes ,"ij abo V4
(idiolectal?): lIit (n,":ly nil) V is tlji W; p,flp V4, W.Yuiap V5; fairly often Jhiifalso in V4 (idiolectal?);~, alone atle51ed. but
poorly, should be jip"tI V4, W. ;i>o..1tI V5.
With regard to F: Il"J F4. fS, but alw ,<.,metilllcs M... FS; ptll/ilf· FS, prlaf· F4, (FSJ; miei FS i.s m;'i f4; Ilif F5 is "o!f F4; piel F5 Is pi; F4;
loll FS, loll ~'40' shimp FS is shflp F4: j.WJI>le ~'S would he [jO"'~l N.
With regard tn n: lilia, but alw somcllnR'lI au,),
With reprd 10 II; [kim;! II is klmt H!; rt-ni //is .d.nt H!: sMpi 11 is slNipt HI; Jhfliill is sllIijt HI ([iJrn.l ur [;M.llilJ H is;Jr.~ /I!; ;D$i H
would be [j<lstJ II!.
With rrg,ard to /': o'~ (.;) three ~, M'~ three: ~, l*/I/.I (_;) one case.
With regan!tu 8: /Jlh· B befon: the (autochthonous) voiced consonants (b, l. m, n. r) and befon: the glides (i and (u)u with the
phonological Vllluc or a consonant, rot' example, at the beginning of the word ;in, falher. and "uAsh, wish): bUI even in these
cases G alWl1YS has al·; tb61 B Is epiJl G; tIC"'''''''' 85 is elt"'''''' B4, fl74; plllll B is pdi G: pht 81s pJ G; sOlem 8 is sIN/"m G; 111M or
1I16h B (lwO dilTer~m elymologi~": d. VyclchJ, 1983, p. 226); mm6f 8 is pet'haps mllt,)p/{ G (idiulcf;tlll(?); probably to' be
pronounced ol/nOIl; ",,651. 8 is bim$l G (probably 10 be pnlllOlltlCed ..00$11); 0..611 B5 is (lUcihe 84. B?4 (lind Illso G llpjXlrently);
hJb B is iJb G: jhl 84. B5 is If 874. TIle majority OrlM other specific fonns of G (probably without phonological conscquencn)
will be ruund In DIAUCT Il

cal idioms vel)' probably existed Ihere, l\!i elsewhere, acf;ompanied ror some time in the 111eban region by
even if the pauchy of discoveries uf texts in the soil DIALECT P, Ii PROTODlAWCT that oflen looks like what
of the Delta, which is tOQ damp, prcvenls dctection Cfln be known about the logical predecessor of S, a
of th..-sc dialects; one among them could be the tentatively reconstructed ·pS, proto-Sahidic), an au-
m~erious DtAlECT c.) On the ocher hand, it is cer' tochthonous language dominating (then tending
tain thai the vehicular language of the whole Y.1J1ey gradually to stine) the multiple local and regional
of lhe Egyptian Nile above Ihe Delta was SAIUDIC (S, dialeclS of this habitablc zone, relatively na/TOW but

DIALEcrs 89

TABLE I. (cQIl/f,med)

A ,~ of- ,- ,"'I Claro

pL Ib;J of- ,- ,"'I (Clar.}
L ..h ,f- ,- ..hal e(n)Ulf.
M csh har· "- ebal cillaf·
V "h (h)af· "- ehal cl(eh}3f. CIC.

, ,,- ,- ,"'I
pcl(eh)af· elC.
'56 ish "- d"" Clltaf·
F7 l:sh nf- "- eb..'\1 clllar-
H [a~hJ abo (z.cro] b" la\)-
'< ,f- ,- ,1>61 clar·
S ish ,f- ""'1 (e)ntaf-
874! ash ,f- ,- ,1>61 Clar·
(~) elar-
8 ash (If·
"- eb61 Claro
ph~ emf-

e~tcnding for nearly 6vc hundred mil~. 1981, p. 92), and 85, called "cia."-'iical Dohairie," still
Moving Upslrc:1I11 (rolll immediately above the further to the north; F5, Fayyumic of c1a.'iSical Iype,
Delta (the land of the Bolmil'ic dialectal group), abundantly attested but relatively late; and F4, of
among the various local dinlecl~ of the valley lhal more ancient allest<ltion, with some sitnilmitics with
have left sufficient traces in extant le",ts, lhis 11l1icle V. Chief among the fOlms without lambdacislll lwe
""ill follow the chain that runs from classical B (10 V, also called "south FaY)'lIIuic"; and, at lhe extreme
lhe north) 10 A (the so-called AKHMlMlC dialect, southem limit of the "Fayyumic" group and almost
which is frequently eonsidcrcd the ancient local dia- in the M£SC)KF.J041C dialectal group, the idiom W (or
lect of Thebes and thus the mOSt southerly of the "Cryplo-Mesokemic with South Fayyumic phonolo-
known Coptic diak-<:ts). The 61"lit to eall for mention gy"). With Mcsokemie, or Middle Egyptian (M), 10-
will be the various subdialccts of FAYYUMIC. Chief Cllled immediately to the south of W. one is no
among thO!\e with lambdacism arc Fl, a kind of longer in the Fayyumic dialectal gmup, Mt:sokemic
"north Fayyumlc" pl"e.~ntlng interesting consonan· being an independent group.
lal similarities with the Bo!lairic subdialcct D74, a Should one thcn locate on the south of M (be·
kind of "south Oohairie," a transition between the tween M and L) the strange l)Io\.1.£CT H (also known
dialects of lower Middle Egypt and 84 (cf. Kasscr, as Hennopolitan or Ashmullinic)? In troth, it is rath-

TAtJLfJ l. Chfirclcleri~lic Ll!xeml!.< i'l Ihl! Pri'lcipal COfll;C lJilllecl~ ami SlIbi!iulecls (collliIllU:d)
PRESENT, I!rc. ""

A d· eire kutl kCmc krM me(e)ie

pL d· [eire) [k6] [kernel knif [m]eie
L cr- eire k6(e) kCmc krM meie
rmnkeme rnacie
cr- eire k6 m~ie
" kCme

V cr- hi k' [kerni] [kl'afJ mfi

F cr- iii k6 kemi kiM m~i
FS6 cr- ili kO kCmi [klan] [m~i)
F7 ef· (e)ili k6 kemi [k"D m~i
II eb· iri k6 [k~mi] krab [mCi (?)]
cr- (e)il-e k6 k~me kr6f meei
S cr· eire k, kerne
krof m'
874! ,f- lri ko kfmi h6f mei
B d· id kho kh6mi khrM mei

er diflicull to locate exaclly, despitc thc hypothctieal Subakhmimic, "Suhakhmimic" is a rather deceptive
name assigned to it; one must recall thaI some of ils name and h:ls been :llmost complelely abandoned: il
Chfll1lCler'islics caused it to be cunsidered fonnerly stcmmcd from Ihc belief, held for some lime at the
as a kind of Fayyumic, cel1ainly very barbaric and, beginning of the twentieth centul)' and soon re-
in any case, wilhout lambdacism; however, many of vealed 10 be unlenable, that L was a kind of subJia-
its features :llso bling il close 10 S, in addition to its lecl of Akhmimic, A, which it CCl1ainly is not, in any
vcry cvolvcd if not decadent Slroctures (sce MEITAD1A- of ils varielies. The varieties of L arc L4, attested by
LECT), II is also vel)' likely thaI the regional dialect the Mflllichaenn IcxtS; LS, found "bove all in an
th:11 became thc classical S, Ihe vehiclll"r language important Johanninc manusclipt, published by
of Ine whole valley of Ihe Egyptian Nile above the Thompson (1924); and 1.6, known frum the pub-
Delta, originatcd bctwcen M and L. lished non·Sahidic Gnostic texts and from the Hei·
However lhat may be, accol'ding to the most com- delberg rn'lOuscript of the Aet:l P:luli, published by
mon opinion of C~ptolugislS, one then finds, further Schmidt (1904, 1909). (With reg<ll"d 10 Ihesc Lyeo·
to the nor1h of M, in the region of AsyU! and up- politan or, better, LYCO·D10SPOUTAN varieties, includ-
stream, the different varietics uf LYCOPOUTAN. ur ing mhLlJCT I, or pruto·Lyeo·(Dios)polltan, pL, see
DIALEcrs 91

TA8l..E I. (contillued)
''TllUTIl'' ETc. "THEIlE" "SIGN" "PITY" "SIN"
mo 'NO 'NO
miD mmo me(e)ine
tmie eimmo "'"
pC mie mm6 (meei]ne (nae) [nabi]
Imie etmmo at[nae)
C mCe mlnell ml:clne mi, nabi
tmce etmmeu nl:kin aUlae ruibc
mO< mcein nO< nabe
" tml:e
etmmc a(ei)tnee
V mci mmeu mein nei nflbi
tlllci etmmeu aUlei
F mc(e)i mmeu meln neei mibi
tmc(c)i etmmeu alneei
'56 mcei mmeu [m~inl neei n{,bi
(meei ctmmeu atneci
F7 mei mmeu [mein) nei nabi
tmei etmmeu a(ie)tnci
mCei macin mi nabi
tm&:i etemaou atna
p m~i m~cin
etmmau "'"
S m' mmau macin mi n6bc
,m' etmmau alna
8741 m~i mm' m~ini ruii nObi
tm~i etemma atnai
B mei mmau meini nai nObi
thlllCi clcmmau alhnai

K:wer, 1984; Funk, 1985; and PROTOt>lAlECT,) active vehicular language of lhe whole Egyptian Nile
Slill further 10 the south, probably around VaHey to the soulh of thc Delta-S.
Akhmlm and perhaps even as f.:tr as Thebes (if not II would be ledious 10 describe arresh here all
Aswan), seems to be the domain of Akhmimic, the5e dialeclS and subdialcclS, eaeh of which is treal-
v.'hich was perhaps outflanked on the south (at ed, separately or in groups, in one 01' other of Ihe
Thebes and ....<jth P?) by somc variety or 1" which special linguistic articles of this encyclopedia.. Here,
tet1ded to function as a semivehicular, or supmlocal, however, is a list of the sigla of IhCS(: idioms, in
language (see DIAl.ECT, Uol\ltGaANT); of this function L alphabetical order and with mention or the article in
was to be dispossessed by the most vigorous and which it is presented,

TABlE I. CharacteriSlic Lexemes in the Principal Coptic DialeelS and SuhdialeclS (COlltillued)
"Ev~v" "O~~' "To HIM" "GREAT," "l)IAT Is" "THIS" "THlS .. "
nci pei
n 1111 IltC' "Of "'".- "J'
nci! pei pei·
V n'bi nte- nH "'"
M) nJC pCi pel'
F nfbi nte' "if nil} nje pCl pel-
F56 nibi m~ nth nil} "J' pel pel-
,;;. """Ab mij
J' pM
p "lb ntc- "or "Ak nk(e) pAl pi-
S "1m ntc· "or "Oc nei p:'li pei-
B741 n'ben m~ "or nishti nje pal pal'

• niben
"'~ "or nishti
* pMi po'.

A See AKlIMIMIC, LS Variety of Lin lhe l.ondon papynlS of John,

8 Equals 85 in agn:cment with 84: sec CIC.; fll'esented with L.
BOHAIRIC. U Variety of L in the non·Sahidic GnOSlie ICMlS
Bohahic subdiaJect; sec examples below and and the Heidelbcrx ACla Pauli; prl:$CnIL-d
Kasser, 1981. p. 92. with ‫ן‬-
.5 Clnssical Bohairic, in contl'llSl. to [J4 In the M $(,"C MESOKFJd!C.
rare eascs of disagreement betwL"Cn lJ4 and P Sec OtALF.CT P.
85; see BOHAIRIC. pL Sec DIALECT t.
874 A kind of south Bohairic: see examples below S Sec SAIIlOlC.
and Kasser, 1981. pp. 93-94.
V A kind of "south Fayyumic"; presented with
B74! Sec below. F.
F Equals FS in agreement with F4; see W A kind of "crypto-Mesokemic wilh South
fAYVUMIC. Fayyumic phonology"; pre5C:ntoo with F.
F4 FaY)'\lI11ic subdialcct. presented with F.
F5 Classical Fayyumic, in contrast to F4 in cases
of dislIgreement between F4 and F5; see
To allow readers who are not Coplologists 10 sam-
F56 A variety of FS vel)' often replacing <t by I; ple in somc way the "music," lhe sounds, or Ihe
presented with F. Coptic language (truly an aUlhentic foon of the au·
F1 A kind of somewhat archaic "north tochthonous Egyptian languagc) in its different dia·
Fayyumic"; pre5C:nted with F. lectal varieties, it has seemed useful to presem in
G Sec DIAlECT G. Table I a list of some phonologically rather charac-
H see DiALECf H. teristic lCMcmes. These specimens iIlustrnle Ihe most
HI See below. slriking char,lctcristlcs of the dialecIs and subdill'
i See pL. leets. To make them more readily accessible, the
L Equals IA in agreement with L5 and U; see Coplic is transliterolted here, following the system
LVCOPOUTAN and LVC().DIOSPOUTAN. chosen for the encyclopedia as a whole, but with the
lA Variety of L in the Manichaean texis; following remarks and adaptatloTUi.
presentcd with L The tonic accent of each word that h;u one is

TABU! I. Chllfllcteri3"/i" Uxemes irr Ihe Principal COptic Dia/eclS arid Subdialects (colliinued)
SING. AlnICI.f~ "I-lis" "THE MAN"
M=. (SING.~tAsc.ISING. "nlE MAN OF"
3.M'\'<;c'), ''THEIR'' "J\lAKEit Qt'"

pf. pajCf romc ..n ,ml "n
'" po".
~- ref-
pI. pf- pajcJ rome [ren) [smf] [san)
'" pon- prome
[nn-J ref-
/. pd- pajl:f r6me "n sml "n
m,- ref-

" '"
pcf- pcjl:f rom,
"n om'
~- ref-
V pcf- pcjCf rOmi "n ,m'
, pc per· pci'!

"n ,m' "n
lem- lef·
",b- pcj(iJ IOmi "n sm!
'" "',,- p(i)IOmi

F? pcf-
lem- lef-
IOn smt ...
[Iem-] lcr-
iI p;;b- pejab rOmi ron smf [san]
"',,- rem- reb-
I' pf- pajM romn rin sml!(':' ) "'n
,m- nncf-
S pef- pcjaf romn ,in smt ~6n

"',,- prumc
~- ref·
874! I~ ",f- pcjaf rOmi ron sUlA "'n
po,,- p(i)rOmi

, ",f- pcjaf
rem- ref-
rOmi ro" smt "'n
'" po"- phrOmi
rem- ref-

TAUU! I, ChoracterisJjc I~e.mrs in lhe. Principal Coptic Dio/a's ond SlIbdiolecl$ (colltimled)
!=EN" STIR" "THE Wtu."
A SOtmc Sl.lei tbbol.l6 tol, ~"M ouill,lc
p" SOtmc [sl.lei] tb[OO\l6] [t61,] (ounM) [ou~eJ
L sOtm(e) shei tuuM tbh oumif ouosh(e)
M sOlm shel touM '6h ollnM ouesh
(pooesh (?))
V SOtm shei "bI>; (t6h] ~"M ouOsh
F SOtem shl:i "bI>; toh oon;if ouOsh
F56 .o.m shei 'ybb; (tOh] oon:ib ouOsh
F7 """m [shei] tybba (bh ounaf oUOsh
/I sCllCm (shail [tt:bba(?)J (toh] oumib ouosh
P sOlm sl,lui lbb6 t6h ounM 01.161;
S sCltm sMi ,blx> t6h oun6f ouOsh
8741 SOtem shtai 10ub6 10h oun6f ouc>sh

• .o.om sJ:I3i ,=Ix> th61, ~"61 ou6sh


noted by an aeute accent plnced above the vowel 10 P is rendered by k(e). ~ in pL :\OJ ~ in Pare
cunecl'Tlcd. , b in F56 and especially H is prubably rendered by <; (pronounced like the ch in Gennan
to be pronounced rather [v] (it is probably the snmc ich, or nearly like the initial h in English humun,
in G), 1111 and 00 in P {when lhis vowel duplication and thus to be distinguished from ql sh, German
indicatcs simply "one" vowel, but accentuated [sec seh). .1. in P Is rendered by , (which one must be·
Kassel', 1985], and not the tunic vowel followed by ware of conrWling with the apo!ltrophe ' which
fI (see AU!P\IJ) are rendered respectively by t:{':') SCIVCS to disdnguish s'h c:: £mm sh I,l), Finally, one
and 0(':') and not by te or 60 as everywhere else. In cannot render Ihe polyvalent 6 of the various Coptic
the autochthonous Coplic vocabulary of P, II. is reno idioms unifunnly by c, for lhough c filS ror A, L, M,
dered by k and 01. by k (the Jim po6Iilbly to be and 5, 6 in W, V, F4, F5, and H has probably the
pronounced a little more to the back of the throat, value of I (10 be dislinguished in pronunciation,
somewhat like q qoph. the 5econd rather to lhe front without one's knowing exactly how, from j X), and 6
or the throat: but it remains most probable that Ihe k in 85 and 84 has the value of jh. (P, F7, and 874 do
in the autochthonouS" voctlbulary P has the value of c not have any G,)
in the other dialect:;, and thc k the autochthonous Only the Ihil1een principal Coptic idioms and
P (like the kor Copto-Greek p) thnt of k elsewhere. K. (sub)dinleclS are presented in the lable, sollle sup-

"L1vf," "BECOME" "USE, "SAYING." "SI!.U~' "WORK, "IN"
A On~ ~Opc shcu sheje h6uoo • hOb ~n-

pL imh
(sheuJ sheje [hOo.) [hOb) hn~

L O(ll)nh shOpe shcu "'je hOo. hOb hn~

(Ooh) ,hOOp sheje

onh ,hOp" shtu hO. hOb hn~
" ,,",p
V Ooh lihOpi ,he" seji h6£1l). hOb hn~

, Ooh
shOpi ,h'"
"'". hOb hn~

'56 1m'" shOpi
",,",p "'''' shl:ji
"'". hOb hn~

Ooh shOpi (sh61] shl:ji ho. hOb hin-

H onah shopi shaou shaji [hOo. ) hOb hen·
p o'~ ,Ope shau shaje (hO+) hOb hn~

S onh shOpe ,Mu shaje hM. h<\b hn~

B74./ Onh shOpi ,Mu saji hO. hOb hen-
B onh sMpi shli.u saji h•• hOb hen·

plemenlary Iillijuislic furms appearing ill additioll in the aspiration typielll of Bohairic, still vigorous III
the footnotes to the lilble. Thus, fA, IS, and 1..6 are 874 lIS in 84 rind 85 (kh for k, ph for p, th for I, in
nnled in relntion 10 one another (L4 + L5 + L6 = cel1ain well-defined conditions), will disappcllr (ih
L); tv is noted in rebtiu" to V (- V4 + V5); F4 ,lIld for j in B4 and B5 is already abandoned in B74).
1"5 are noted in I'elatlon to each other; Hi is notcd in
relation to H; B4 and B74 (and even G when its
fonns are auested, in a few cases only) llre noted in BIBLIOGRAPHY
relation to one another IlIld 10 B, which is almost
Funk, W.-P. "How Closely Related Are the Subakh-
always identical with JJ5 (JJ4 + JJ5 - JJ). An excla-
mimic Dialect.~." leitschrifl fllr ligyplisch/J Spracll/J
mation mark indicale5 "metonhogrnphy"; thus, H!
WId AlIt.rlulIIskulldt. 1II (1984):110-30.
and 874! arc, respectively, Hand 874 in Kahle, P. E. &la'itJlh: Coptic TexiS from Deir d·
metol1hogmphy. Melonhogrnphy is the Ilew onho- Bala'il/lh in Upper Egypt. Oxford and London,
graphic and phonological syslem lowdrd which IlU- 1954.
merous copyists wriling II dialect or subdiale<:1 are Kas.scr, R. "Proll:gomilncs 1.\ UII essni de c1assifica·
strongly tending; Ihu.~, in H! the final atonic vowel is lion 5ysl~malique des dialccll's CI subdiall'CICli
t rather than i; in B74! ~ will be rcplacl..'<! by h and coptes selon les crileres de In phonelique, III,

TABU: I. ChClTClclerislic J..uemes in the Principal Coptic Dialects and Sllbdi(l!ects (colltinued)
'7HAT. ..,...... "SAy" ''WRJTrEN "BEGET. "ExALT'''
800le" "ExALT£D.
A i' jl jOu j6u(ou)me '"pO jlse
pL ji: jl j6 j6me [tl;p61 jist
L j< jl j6 j6me ipO jlsc

M j, jl jO j6me jp; j'"

jl j6 jb(O)me jpa
F j< jl j6 j66me jp; jlsi
F56 j< jl j6 (jOome) jp; jisi
F7 i' jhl jO U6ma] jpa jisi
H i' jl ;0 WOmi]) Ipa Ulsil
p j< jl j6 (jOoma] '<pO jisc

S j< jl j6 jOOme jpO "'"


874/ j< jl ;0 j6m jpO jisi

B j< jhl j6 jOm jpM jhisi



A cl\m cans elj

pL [cam] [cans] elj
L cllm cans dj
M cam cans cij
V }lI1II ua]ns Jij
F I'm laos Iij
F5' I'm )tms Iij
janes . jljh

P kOm gko(":)ns klj

S cOm clj
8741 , j6m j6ns jlj
B j6m j6ns jij

Syst\lmes ol1hogrJphiques el categories seven or eight, 5, (G?), 8, F, M, A2 (. L), A, and P;

dialcctalcs:' MIISCOII 94 {I981 ):91-152. Kasser (1966), has nine, S, G, B, "', M, Al (. L}, A,
_ _ . "Lc Gr,lIId·Groupc dialectal copte de Haute- and P; and Ka.sscr (1973) reaches fifteen. of which,
Egypte." BIII/tlin de 10 Soci~l~ d'igyplologie, however, live are practically abandoned in Kasser
Gtn~ve 7 (1982):47-72. (1981): 5, G, (D}, B, (K" F, H, (N), M, L, i, A, P, (C),
"Ol1hographe et phonologic de la varictc (E).
subdialectale Iycopolitaine des tcxtCS gnostiques This multiplicity has led to revision of the very
copies de Nag Hammadi." MIIMon 97 (19S4):261-
concept of "dialect" and "subdialecl" (which should
be rigorously distinguished from an IDtOLECT) so as
-c:::co "G(:mirnalion de voyclll'S d3ns Ie P. Bodmer to eliminate certain idioR15 that are possible but too
VI." In AclJ of Ihe Second Intemalionol COPlgre.s.s of
Coptic SllIditJ, Rome, 11-26 Stplember 19M. ed. poorly or too doubtfully alttsted and (despite
T. Orlandi and F. Wissc, pp. 89-120. Rome, 1985. Chatne, 1934, pp. 2-3, :lnd Kasser, 1974) to clarify
Krause, M. "Koptische Spral:he." l.uikon dtr Agyplo- dialeclic filiations (Vel'lOle, 1973b; Kolsser, 1919; this
fOlie] (1919):731-37. concept should nOl be under.>lood in too literal a
layton. B. "CQptic Ulnguage.'· In Inlerprtler'J Dictio- way). Above all, the: multiplicity has led to a classifi-
nary of tile Bible, Suppl. vol. pp. 174-79. Nashville, cation of the different idioms inlo fu.milies or groups
Tenn., 1976. of dialects (K.asser, 1981, pp. 112-18) and then into
Schmidt, C. ACII.I Pallii ailS dtr lIeidelberger major groups, to avoid complicating in lhe extreme
knplischell Popyrllshandschri/l Hr. I. Leipzig. 1904.
the view of the phonetic and phonological facts of
-c:-~ "En nl"UC$ Fragmenl del' Heidelberger Acta
Coptic Egypt and to allow its more convenient inte-
Pauli." In 5illAmpberich/e del' Berlintr Akademit
der WissclSchaften, Philo:rophisch.Hi.slorische gration into an analysis (synchronic and diachronic)
Klas.se, pp. 216-20. Berlin, 1909. of the Egyptian language as a whole:. (On the termi·
lbompson, H. The Gospel of 51. Joh" According 10 Ihe IlOlogy here employed, see Il)tOl.ECT, f'IlOTODIA1..ECI'.
Ettrlie$l Coptic MOIIllscript. LDndon, 1924. METADIA1.ECT. and MF.SOOtALECT.)
VcliO!c, J. Grammaire copte, la, llItrodllClion. pho- Although presented lhrough the medium of anoth-
nCliqlle tl phollologit, ltlorpJlO/ogie synthemaliqfle er lenninology, such groups of dialects were distin·
(SlnlcllIrt dts silllalilelllc.~), partie synchrolliqlle. guishcd by Stenl (1880) when he contemplated lhe
louvain, 1973. existence of two dearly distinct dialects, the Lower
Vycichl, W. DicliotlllOire ilymologu,1I1! dc /0 longue Egyptian and the Upper Egyptian, which elsewhere
coP/e. Louvain, 1983.
hc prdcrred to call Bohairic and Sahidic, respective·
Worrell, W. H. Coptic $ollfld$. Ann Arbor, Mich.,
Iy, and when he dt.:fincd F as "the third dialeCl, only
a variant of Sahidic" and "of less importance." In
the same way, Stelndorlf (1951) presented two
groups of dialects: Upper Egyptian (S, A, L, F) and
LDwcr Egyptian (0, and Ba.~hmuric, a dialect practi·
cally unknown).
DIALECTS, GROUPING AND MAJOR The gmuping of "dialc<:ts" set out below is quitc
GROUPS OF, The di.'iCovcry of nlllllY Coptic similar to that of Kassel' (1981) but with some signif.
manu.'iCripL~ in the laller hnlr of the twentieth centu· icant diffcrences, the most important of which is the
ry hllS led to a multiplication in thc idcnlification new valuation of Sand 0: they are no longer consid-
(sometimes disputed) nf Coptic idioms, dialects, and cred as "dialccts" (as are, e.g., A, L. and M) but as
subdialects, an idcntification based mainly on pho· "Coptic languages," that is, "vehicular," or supra'
nology, the Illost convenient and generally used cri- local, evcn supraregional common languages, which
terion (~ee D1AU,el'. IMM1GItANT). The mO~1 likely permitted the inhabitantll of numerous Egyptian reo
working hypothesis that has been agreed upon is gions, where each spoke his own local dialcct, \0
lhal tht phonology of these idioms can be deler· communicate easily and to undcrstand one another.
mined by analYbls or theil' differtnt ol1hographic sys- So 5 ill rccognized as the common speech of the
lenlS; in practice, thi~ is thc only vi.:lble approach, whole valley of the Egyptian Nile above the Delta,
sinct Coptic is a dead language. The increase in the and 8 (more hypothctically but nevertheless rather
number of known idioms is quite obvious: Stem likely) is cOllliidcred the language of the whole Nile
(1880) has only three "dialccts:' S, B, and F; Crum Della. Coptic (supralocal etc.) languages (in touch
(1939) has five, S, B, F, A2 (. L), and A; Kahle (1954) with many local and regional dialects, which influ·
has six, S, 8, f', M, 142 (. L), and A; Kassel' (1964) has ence and neutralize them appreciably) cannot be

compared wilhout grc-.l.l caUlton with individual (lo- ing out a fourth, M, which poses a mOI'C delicate
calor " ..giani'll) dialects. problem), it appears possible to detennine lhat of
According to this system, each group of dialects the remaining two. 1- and S. with a high degree of
has a "chief," a dialecl that is well represented in probability: 1. stands betwt,.'(.'n A and S, and hence to
texts and is the one with the largcst nUIOber of Ihe north of A; S is a vehicular language (the sooth·
phonological (and, as fur as possible, morphvsyntac- em lwine of Egypc) in contact (ncar Memphis) with
tical) clements characleristic of ilS group. In princi- the second Egyptian vehicular language, 8 (the
ple, those idioms which have in common a large northem koine). and hence a strong vocalic similari·
number of consonantal .and voc.alic isophoncs be- ty between Sand 8 (probably due to Ihe innucnce
long to the same dialeclal group. Indeed, consonan· of 50me pre-8 on some pre-S in pre-Coptle lime; see
lal isophoncs are nonnally the same within a dialcc- Chaine, 1934, Pl'. 13-18. and Satzinger, 1985).
I.a1 group, but they may sometimes differ, so long as Nevertheless, mo:>t of Ihe typical phonological and
the differences are tolerable and not deci~ive. Con- morphosyntactical features of S suggcst that the par·
sonantal differences arc tolen~ble if they fit into the ticular pre-Coptic idium thM became S as a wide·
pattcrn of the nOl'lllt\1 evolution of a dialect (progres- spread commun language (see OIAI£(."1'. IMMIGRANT)
sive neutralization), ll.S in IJ > /r:;/ > /~/ (the proto- was located nOI directly ncar the DeiHl and 8, but
dialect with /r:;/ will helong to the same group as the rather more to the south, bctween 1- and M.
dialect that has /SI <: /r:;/ if their vocalic isophones 1n the following liSl of si".( groups. Its means
are in large part the ~me; ef. Kasser, 1981, p. 114). "everywhere in comaet with S as a ~upl'nlocal vehic-
On the other hand, a consonantal difference is not ular language"; and //B means "for llle subdialccls
lolerable if 11 cannot be l'eglstered in a pattern of 84, 87. 874, and probably G, if not for K and K7,
nonnal dialectal evolution. Thus. although the vocal· everywhere in contact with D lIS a supralocal vehicu-
ic isophones of ... and of some members of L are lar languagc." The presence of a question mark (?)
largely the same, the dt.-cisivc difference between A indicales strong doubt as to the dialectal identity
and L consists in the slriking fact lhal in A alone of (i.e., the possibility that one is dealing with a "dia·
all the Coptic dialects ~ > /x/ everywhere and!! also lectoid").
> /x/ steadily, and thus ~ and!! merge into I - /x/
constantly and everywhere. whereas in all the other Akhmlmlc Group UIS)
dialects almost all the ~ > /,./ > /V (merging with
A: Dialect; chief of Ihe group; further rescan:h will
the other (sf < j) and a1lthc!! (with a few IJl > /x/
possibly penni! the definition of some subdia·
> /hI (merging with the other /hi < h). This ex·
lect.~ of It (one might in particular con.~ider that
c1udes any integration of A into the same schcma as,
2 Mc. 5:27-6:21 in U1c.:aU, 1911. somewhal ar-
for cxample. P and S (e.g.. °A > 'p > ·S). II is
chaic in a few of its peculiarities. auests very
hlconcei\'ilble that if in A ~ and!! have merged into
sporadically a kind of prolo-AKHMtMIC (PA). a
Ix/, this distinclion should reappear at l'I later st{lge, practically missing protodialect). Sec AKHMIMIC.
some of these l:c/ > /,./ > /1/ because they derive
from J~ and other /".(/ > /h/ because they derive (rom
Lycopolltan Group UIS)
The si".( groups of dialects are listed below in an I (or pL): Partly spomdic protooialect of I. (t.yco.
oroer w;~ullled to cOl'respond to their geographical roUTAN 01' LYCO·l)losrOI.1TAN; cf. DIALECT i).
order, from south to north. As II whole, this schema 17: Subdialect of i, through parlial neutraliza·
COlTespond~ to a conception of dialectal gcogmphy tion and evolution toward L.
(~l,.'(.' (;I'.QCRAPHY. DIALECTAL) whcrein the situalion of L: Dialect: chief of group.
the chief of each group, thanks to comparison o( the IA.. Sllbdlalect of L.
isophoncs (Vergote, 1973, Vol. la, PI'. 55-56). may l....s.. Subdialect of L.
be detennlned in relation to at leasl two of the other 1.6.. Subdialect of I..
chiefs (those c10sesl 10 it), all these chiefs being
praclically placed on an equal fOOling vis-a·vis Ihe
criterion of local~tion constituted by their \so-
Sahldlc Croup UIS)
phones. Since the appfO,Ilimate geographical situa- P: Partially sporadic protodiaiCCI; it can be consid-
tion of at least three 'of these chiefs seems relatively ered a regional dialectal variety very like a kind
well known (£rom south to north, A, F, and 8, lcav- of (reconstructed) prolo-Sahidic, probably immi-

grant into the region of Thebes (southern region K7: Eccelltric subdialect of K (.still funhcr fC·
of A also, probably, and perhaps of some variety moved from V than K is).
of L). See DtAt£CT 1'. G: Partially sporadic mesodialecl (between a very
S: language; chief of group. Funher rcscan::h will dominant Band S [?), with probably also a third
perhaps pennit the definition of some (sub}dia· componenl, perhaps partly Hellenic and difficult
lec:lS of S. See SAHIDlC. to dctenninc).
Dillicull to classify in any group I'Cmains II: meso-
MClokemic Group (//S) dialect, on the one hand (betwccn Sand M, or
M; Dialect; c;:hicf of group. FUl1her research will rather S and v, itself a mesodialcct associated
perhaps pennit the definition of 50me sulxlia· with the Fayyumic group); on the other hand, a
lects of M. One mighl in pankular consider that typical mct(lliialect, but too poorly repfCKnted
P. Mil. Copti 1 lind the codex of the Psalms to allow one to define it al an earlier (ciassicIlI)
attest a varkty of M that could be denominated period. See mAu.:CT II.
M4 lind thaI the subdialect of Codex Scheide As .seen above, the distribution of the Coptic idi·
and Codex GlaJ.ier is MS. See MESOIi:EMI(. oms inlO six dialectal groups and their geographical
W: Sec Fayyumic group. locali'l.lltion In relation to one anothel' lire essentially
ba.~ed on the compal'ison or Ihe lsophoncs of these
Fayyumlc Group (/ IS) idioms, consonantal, on the one hund, and vocalic,
f: Dialect; chief of group. on the other. If, however, one obscrve.s that there
F4: Subdialect of F. arc very few consonantal differenct.'S between the
F5: Subdialect of F; c1a.'i.~ical FAYVUMtC, varieties of Coptic, that several of these differences
n: Ec:cemric;: and somewhllt archaic sulxlialec;:t can be put dowll to various degrees of progression
of F; possibly a marginal nonhem protodialtx:t of the llite Egyptian consonantal evolution (Vergote,
of a \'ariety of F ill known and not attested later. 1945, pp. 122-23) in the various Coptic idioms, and
f8: Ec:centric subdialect of F. thai the 11I051 neutralized idioms (V, still morc L,
1'9: Eccentric sulxlialect of F. and above all 5) arc the most difficult to situate in
F4, F5, Fl, F8, and F9 all have the typical Coptk: dialectal geography, then another method
Fayyumic;: lambdacism. can be envisaged, producing different results and
manif~ing a different .system of dialect grouping.
V; Without lambdacism: mesodialect (between a
dominant F and W, and further M) and in some Based again (for want of anything betiCI') on pho-
ways a subdialect of "'4 etc. by neutralization. nology as il Is revealed by Ihe various orthographic
systems employed, this method would rely particu-
W: Without lambdacism: mcsodialec;:t (between V
and M). Has a typical fAYYUMtC onhography, on larly on vuealic phonology, and t.'Spt.'Cially the pho-
the one hand, hut a Iypical Ml'$Okemie morpho- nology of the tonic vowels. It thereby relegates 10
syntax, on the other hand; hence its name the level of secondary importance ccnain sp<.'etl'lCU-
"c;:rypto-Mesokemic." One might also associate it lar phenomena, such as the sonant atonal finals
with the Mesokemic group. (phonologically vowelS) in S, M, L, B, and F or the
voiced consonants followed by /a/ in A und in the
LA Mnnichaean witnesses (Kassel', 1982c, p. 49, n.
Bohalrlc Group (//0)
5), and above <Ill the Ot'dinat)' lltonal fin<l! vowels I~I
B: Language; chief of group. S. M, L, A versus Iii B, F, phenomenll upon which
84: (Sub}dialcc;:t of B, possibly rather rnllrginal one might have been tempted in the first place to
and to the south. base thc most general divisions of Egypt into large
85: (Sub)dialect of 8; classical Dohairic. supradialcctal gtogr.lphical zones. The result is that,
87: Ec:centric and partially sporadic subdialect setting aside certain phenomena of extension gener-
of 8. ally more limited (ibid., p. 50, n. 7) than the phe-
874: Ec:centric (sub)diak-ct of B; in 5O'lie way nomena given the primary diacritical function. the
subdialect of B4, and perhaps more 10 the observ:l.lion of the vocalic constants noted in the
south. systematic cases considered 10 have priority leads 10
K: Mesodialcct (bctwecn'1l. very domlnanl B and V a grouping of the six "classical" entiliCli (two "lan-
[or SD. guagcs," Sand B, and four "dial~ts," A, L. M, and

F) twO by tWO, and thus to a subdivision of the Both systems (siJt group!i of dialects or three major
linguistic totality of Coptic Egypc not into six "dia· regions of dialecu) :rn: to be considered in the pres·
lectal groups" but into three "major dialectal re. cnt state of knowk-dge in Ihis lidd.

I. The muthem (dialects) major region (Upper Chaine. M. EMmetl/s de grammoire dlalec/alc cop/e.
Egypt), including A and L (and their subdialeets, Paris, 1933.
etc.). _ _ . I.es Dinlcelcs coptes assioilliqlles 112. Paris,
II. The middle (dialects) major region (middle and 1934.
lower Middle Egypt and the Fayyt1m), including Crum, W. E. A Coplic Dictionary. Oxfurd, 1939.
M and F (and their subdialccts, etc., among Kahle, P. E. Balo'llalr: Coptic Texu from Ddr el·
them V and W). Bala'izulr in Upper Eg)'pl. Oxford :lnd London,
lJI. The nonhern (dialects and vehicular language)-
Kasser, R. Complemenls QU dicliomraire cople de
southern (vehicular language) major region Crnm. Bibliothequc d'cllldes coptcs 7. Cairo, 1964.
(Lower Egypt [or the Delta], Middle Egypt, and "Complements morphologiquC!i au diclmn·
Upper EgyJx), including Band S (and their sub- naire de Crum, Ie vocabulaire caracteri$tique des
dialects etc.). sec Kasser, 1989. qualre nooveawt dialectes caples: P, !\.t, H et G."
Blllletin de I'/tlStitll/ fr/ln~Qis d'archWlogie orimtolt
By this process, one could work out a Coptic dia· 64 (1966):19-66.
lectal gt..o graphy at one and the same time perhaps -,,---_ "Lcs Dialectes CopH..s.... Bullelill de I'ImUitul
less precise and mon: nuanced than that tied to the fr/ltlfQiS d'archeulogie orienlale 73 (1973):71-101.
conception of tlte six dialectal groups above. Even if _ _ . "Y a+il une gtlltalogie des dialectcs
one admits that the moot neulr~lized idioms (V, still coptes]" In M~/Qllges d'histoire des rdigiotls o(fCrlS
more L, and above all $) of the Egyptian Nile Valley Ii Hmri·Charles Puech, pp. 431-36. Paris, 1974.
_'---' "Relations de gcncalogic dialectale dans Ie
above the Delta each had a~ principal antecedent
domaine Iycopolitain." Billie/in tie la Sodhi!
some idiom that was in origin a local dialect, this d'i!gyplolo~ie, Getreve 2 {I979):31-36.
tripartite system would envisage each of Ihem in the "Prolcgomenes a un essai dc classification
Nile Valley as the vehicular language (potentially or systematique des dialectes et subdialcctes cOples
effectively) of a given major region, without funher scion les crite~ de 101 phonetiqlle, 111, $ystcmC!i
specifying their origin (in contrast to A, M, and f). onhographiqllcs et cau!gories dialt.-ctales.... MII~am
Thus, major region I would have as its only local 94 (1981):87-148.
dialect mown at the present time A (Akhmtm and -,::-_ "Le Gmnd-Groupe dialectal Coptl; de Haute-
environs, perhaps fairly fur 10 the south) bot would Egypte." Bullttill de Ii> Societe d'egyplologie,
have L as the scmineutrali1.ed vehicular dialect of GenM 7 (1982):47-72.
this whole region (viz., the rom: of A and other -,::-_ "Le Grand.Groupe dialectal COple de Basse-
Egypte t.'t son extension vchiclliaire pancll3'P"
zones to the south and north of it). Major region )I
tienne." Bullelin de IQ Sodhi d' egyplologie,
would have as a local dialect M (cnvirons of Ox·
Gelli!ve 13 (1989):73-82.
yrhynchus?) and F (with various subdialeI;L~, the Kmuse, M. "Koplische Sprdchc." LuikOlI der Jl.gyP/Q·
Fayyitm) but would have Vas a slightly neutralized logie 3 (1979):731-37.
dialect tending to become vehicular for Ihe region Lacau, P. "Tcxtes coptes en dialectcs akhmlmique et
(viz., Ihe zone of M and F, and some zone between M sahidique." Bulle/in de /'fllSlillll fram;ais
and f', aod to the cast of F). Major region III, super- d'archiologie oriell/ale 8 (1911 ):43-81.
posing itsclf partially on major i-cgions t and II, u-)'lon, B. "Coptic Lnnguage." In III/erpreler's Dictio-
would have all the local dialects of these regions and nQry of Ihe Bibte, Suppl. vol., pp. 174-79. Nash-
both their supralocal dialects (potentially or effec· ville, Tenn. 1976.
tively, V and L) and, above all, both the major C0p- Satzinger, H. "On the Origin of the Sahidic Dialect."
In Acls of Ihe &colld 111/emQ/ional Congress of
tic vehicular languages, Sand B (funher in the Del-
Coptic Studies, Rome, 22-26 &p/ember 1980, ed.
ta, of coune, the local dialects or subdialecu of
T. Orlandi and F. Wisse, pp. 307-312. Rome, 1985.
Lower Egypt, and K and K7 of lower Middle Egypt; SchUssler, K. Epis/lllarnm Cotholicarnm Versio Salli·
see above, Bohairic group). One mUSt remember dici>. MUnster, 1969.
here that S, being dominant throughout the Egyptian Steindorff, G. uhrbuch der koplisclretr Grall/II/alik.
Nile Valley above the Delta, progressively $Iifled Chicago, 1951.
there A, L, M, W, V, and linally F. Stern, L Kop/i$clle GrQmmalik. Leipzig, 1880.

Vergote, J. P/'OIlCliqIlC hisloriqlle de f'tgypliell, les grce of consislency (i.e., less standardi~tion) within
CQlISQIIIIU. Lou\'3in, 1945. each dialect than there is on the phonological level.
_ Groll1/11oire copte, Vol. la, llIIrodllctioll, plw. Quite a number of morphemic elements that would
nCtiqlle el phonologic, morphologie SylllllCrtlaIiqllC be typical of dialect 0. may be used more or less
(51l'l,1cmre des UlllollltmesJ, partie 5yrlc/'ff}tliqlle, regularly in a single lext of dialect 0,: they arc easily
Vol. lb, h'froductUJ,I, plrolltfiqlle et phollologie,
understood in this context nOt SO much because they
I/Iorpllofogie synflttmafW/llc (sf",c'"re des
are supposed to be "known" from D, but because
stmallftmes). /Xlrtie diochrQrliqlle. Louvain, 19733.
_ _ "le Dialccte cople P (P. Dodmer VI: PI'O' they may represent basic options of the Coptic lan-
verbes), essai d'idenlific3tion." ReVile d'cgypt(Jfogie guage as a "diasystem." The higher a. given phenom-
25 (1973b):50-57. enon ranks In the system of Coptic grammar (or the
Westendorf, W. Kopiisches lIolldwfjrterbllclI, Mar. doscr it is to the fundamenlals of Coptic syntax), the
beitet 0111 Grund des KQPlischerl IhmdwiJrlerbllchs more does il seem to be capable of ncutralization in
von Wilhellll Spiegelberg. Heidelberg, 1977. lenns of dialt.'Clal distinction, its remaining variabili·
Worrell, W. H. Coptic SOIlIlds. Ann Arbor, Mich., ty being influenced by communicative perspective,
1934. texl type, and individual style.
RODOLPH!! KAss!!R A.~ for the linguistic value of a given text or varie-
ty, what counts is not primarily its degree of accord-
ance with any standards known frOIll other SOurces
DIALECTS, MORPHOLOGY OF COPTIC, (oficn lcnncd "slandardi7iltion") but iLo; degree of
Thc existence of quite a number of differenliallraits it/lemal standardimtion, which might be more ade·
in the fields of morphology and morphmyntax may qualely lcnned "nonnalization." If one takes a dos-
serve to show lhat the Coplic liler'oIry "dialects" er look at the actual dialectal varieties (i.e., gram·
comprise 1101 just dilferenl pronunciations and spell· matically homogcnous corpora) of Coptic, it is
ings, supponcd by slightly differing YOCIlbularies, of remarkable 10 see Ihat even in minor 01' marginal
the same linguistic system buI, in focI, different nor- dialects, the degree of nonnalization in the morpho-
math'e syslems of wrinen communication rcnccting logical field is cnonnous. Bolh In tenns of morphe-
more or less directly some of the locally, regionally, mic (syntactic) usage and the phonological represen·
or even sometimes nationally balanced spokcn idi- tation of gnunmaticaJ morphemes, Ihe greater
oms. To be sure, these lilemf)' dialects canOl)( be number of literary manuscripts and groups of manu-
conceived of as me~ transcripcional records of the scripts reveal a. degree of nonnalixation that is in no
spoken dialects behind them. One may safely assume way inferior to their observation of general (mo....
that each of thcm had undergone various stages of pheme-independent) phonological and orthogrnphic
balance and adjustment-be i1through its "nalural" nonns. This nonnalized usage (or tUlI d~ langue),
usage as a regional or suprorcgional vcrnacular or nl)(withslllnding all the inconsistencies so often de·
through thc cxcrtion of some standardizing force in plored by scholars, should be one of the primary
scribal cenlers-berore it wa.o; found wonhy of being subjects of study with both major and minor varie·
employcd as the literolry stand:1fl1 whose specimens Iics. Ex/enlot standardization, on the other hand,
have survived. Yet these dialectal vnrietics still re- may be mCllsured in tenns of both the amount of
veal .';0 many diverging traits-phonologic[ll, gmm- manuscripts available for one variety and the
matic"l, lInd lexical-thai only if considered in lheir amount of neighboring varieties shading into anoth-
sustained proximity to each other can thcy be identi· er cenlral "dialecl." Investigations of the latter sort
fied a.o; varieties of one language. If only thc records (for a beginning, see Kasser, 1980-1981), which
of, say, Bohairic and Akhmimic had survived as the seem to be mOllt promising in particular within the
lWO eIClremes of this continuum, one would hardly Illuhiple-eentered Akhmimic/Subakhmimic soulhern
be able to treat thcm as "dialects" but would rather area and the more dearly triangular Bohairic/Fayyu'
classify Ihem as distinct, though d05ely related, lan- mic/Middle Egyptian nonhem area, will eventually
guages. contribute a greal deal to the historical understand-
If, as is usually done, the tenn "dialect" is taken ing of the-dialect situation and development in (;0p-
to cover severnl more or less dosely related varie- tic Egypt and provide a safcr ground for penlnent
ties of Coptic (i.e. lhe varieties of Bohairic, hypotheses (which they are so much in need of).
Fayyumic, etc.), it seems that on the mOlllhological Taking Into account the large number of "supple-
and morphosynlaCtic levels, in general, there is menting" dialedal varieties of Coptic that have be-
grealer similarity between dialects, but a lower de- come known through publications during the last

few dccadCll or stillllwl\it publicalion, and consider'- published so f(II', the laller two arc wilhout any
ing the deficient supply of information about the doubl lhe mOSI inleresling. (Perhaps somewhat "less
actual morpheme-stock in many of the crucial text interesting" for the network of isoglosscs arc varie-
editions, a review of lhe morphological relalionship tics such as thaI represenled by 51. John, ed. Hussel·
of Coplic dialects at lhe present time cannot exhaust man, 1962 [Ihe most imponant member of Knsser's
the whole scale of known varieties. 105 a malleI' of former V, now W], which dlK'S not reveal (lny single
fact, comprehensive comparalive analysis will have trait thaI is not shared by eilher F or M.)
to stan by grouping and classifying the smallest dis· "Morphological" traits, in lhe sense in which the
cernible units of texts that follow a disdnCllinguistic tcnn will be applied here, fall inlO Ihree groups: (i)
norm and joining them gradually togelher inlO nalu, variables in terms of different phonological ..:pn..-
ral groups (major dialects), with the crudal isogloss- sentations of lhe samc Pan-COplic, transdialectal
es and differential trailS being broadly discussed and morpheme, or "dinmorpheme," which may be
accurately accounted for. This is one of Ibe tasks of called "diamorphemic variablcs"; (ii) variables in
fulun: research, What can be done in an anicle of tcrms of a differenl handling of allomorphic rules,
the present fonnat, however, is to providc a selec- or "allomorphic variables"; (iii) morphosyntac:lic
tion of Slandanl varielics that arc more or less lypi. variables, including some idiosyncratic grammatical
cal ()f lbe siJ,: map literary dialects accepted so fur morphs, While the latter lWO items seem to be fairly
by a greater number of Coptic scholar.;, A, B, F, L, M, eooelusive, some words of explanation may be need·
and S, and a list of traits exemplifying lheir isogIoss- ed with regard to (i),
es, in an attempt to point OI.It the complexity of the To ht:gin with, it mUSt be noted that the majority
task before scholars. 0( fonnal gnammatical dcvices used in given para·
The V'.trieties referred to an:, for A, the AKHM1MlC digms and/or for given purposes are either phone.
"medial" group of Exodus (U1cau, 1911), Epistula mically and graphemically inwriable for all Coptic
Aposlolorum (Schmidl, 1919), and Ihe Strasbourg dialects <in dear eontrast to the majority of lexical
Codex (R&ch, 1910); fur B, biblical DOHAtRlC (in morphelllcs) or Iheir varying phonemie/gr~phcmic
order 10 facilitatc roughly "synchronic" comparabili- representations an: conditioned by general phono-
ty, only such traits as aloe in concord with the usage logical rules. Such items eannot be the subject of a
of the "old·Bohairic" manuscripts will be accepled special morphological comparison. For inslance, Ihe
here); for f'. some loepresentatives of classical vocali:auion of the stressed "stem" vowel in some
FAYVUMIC proper (F5, M'cond group in Asmus, 19(4) prepositions (.s/(ll.t$ prollOttlillllles) and Ihe stressed
such as 51. John ap. Zocg."l, St. Mark (E11:1I1skaya., peBOnal pronouns slricdy follows Ihe genernl ndes
1969), Agalhonicus (EriehM'n, 1932), insofar as they govcrning the vocali7.alion of short stressed syllablcs,
are nol discordanl with earlier Fayytlmic proper (F4, dependent on the type of the following consonant.
see, e.g., Kahle, 1954, pp. 286-90); for f.. lhe Nag Thus, for example, one finds for 0:),;
1·lammndi lype (1.6) of Subakhmimic (i.e., LYCOPOU·
TAN or LYCo-UIOSI'OLlTAN), exposing ilS most valuable A, 1.6, L4, M, f S,B
representative in Codex I, 2, The Apocryphon of
James (Malinine et aI., 1968; Kirchner, 1977); for M,
),/er),'1 ,"",
d. C),N:CO/i

51. Mallhew (5ehenke, 1981; see MESOKEM1C); and for -"

(N'I'),'f) (NTO'I)
t),'f ; l!O'I

S, biblical (in paJ1icular, New Testament) SAlIlUIC. In

order to round off the picture and facilitate laxo'
But with the suffix of 2nd rcm, sing. N, one finds:
nomical opcl'(l1ions, two Olher impon.ant varieties
.~hall be added: D1A1.£CT P, the idiom of p, Boclmcr VI
A, 1.6, L4, PIS, 0 r,M
(Kasscr, 1960) for ilS outstanding characteristics,
ef. ~: t),

and the Manlchaean type of Subakhmimic (or Lyco- ),!er o 'r>
Diospolitan), hereufler referred to as L4, that is 10 MM> T.l.ko/TeKo : T6K),
say, one vtlliety of the group symboliz.ed fonnerly as (nro) (U1'),) o(o)~ : ),(),)2

L4 in Kasscr (1980a, PI', 68-69, to the exclusion,

noWbly, of Thompson's Gospel of John, LS), for iL'i Generally, with regal'd to suffixal pronouns, there is
abundant corpus, with its most nonnalized represen- very Utile dialectal varialion except for cenain con-
talive being lhe Ilomilies (Polotsky, 1934). Of ailihe lexts (!ICC thc variables qUOled below as nos. 6-10),
minor varieties whose rcprcscntat.ivcs havc bL'Cn Also, for instance, the different dialeclal rcpresenla-

tJ.on~ of such fonn~ ll~ oy)" une; 11);i, this one; 1. D1amorphemlc Variables
(jCOCUfI(l, it and other full-stress pronouns and pani·

cles can be en.~lIy reduced to general phonological lJiamorphemiC variables lire nOI classified in re-
rules. :o;pect of the reasons for their variation, e.g.• the issue
The situation is thoroughly differem with those of historical .sameness or heterogeneity, unk'SS this
morphemes that regularly occur in prclOnic syl- reason is synchronically to be seen as a difference in
Iabll,$, such :tS those establishing the basic syntactic structural principles.
relations in verbal ~mcnces or connected in some Basic Elenlenls In ConnecUon with the Conju-
way with the cunjugation system. If used in pretonic gation.
positions, 1l1orphemes occupy slots that, wilh regard (1) Operator of n"'glltlve aorist, H11.\ to B; tu.. A,
to vowel quality, arc vcry little, if at all, dclennined L6, lA, P; H6 to 1'. M, S.
by transparenl (dialecl.)phono!ogieal principles. II is (2) Operator of affirmative perfect, .a. to A, B, F, LA.
rather the morpholexieal identity of the form. usual· P, S; ~ to M: ~),) to, .a. to 1.6 (depending on the
ly balancec.l by a p:m,Coplic noml, that dctenTlines sofflJl: chosen; but not fully nonnalizcd).
the quality of the5C sytlables. Compare for prctonic e (3) Operator (initial vowel) of energetic future.
in all dialects. the circumstantial converter; (;~, .a.to A; eto B. F, 1.6, lAo At, P, S.
if; 6TT.CI-. because of: 6QtT. ground; eeooy. sheep; (4) Operator of conditional. homonymous with
x6f'O. kindle; etc.; and for pretonic .a. in all dialects, second present and coinciding with vocalization of
the perfect and aorist conjugation bases; >.HO/Il.IJ.ttOfl; "imperfect:' .a. to A. D, F, M; e to 1.6, IA. P, S.
nio. hOIlOr; ),T-, ·Iess; tf.a.·, toward; ,• .a.(H} condit. (5) "Causativc infinitive:' presence versus absence
infix; etc.; hut on the OIher hand, II A. 1.6, LA, P of·r- ('.....). presence 8, F, 1.6, S; absence A: nonnor-
versus ), B. F, M, 5 in certain l-causatives like TJ.Jl.O, ma1i7.ed lAo M. P.
TUO, TJ.fKO, TCUO. T.a.yo. T~. ~tc.; or II A. LA, P Vocall:mtlon of Pronominal Sullixes.
versus .a. 8. F, 1.6, M, 5 In words like ~Te, prevail. (6) First singular with ncgative cnergetic future.
and lo.lO. treasure. If the distribution, in terms of (H)tI.\- A, B. M. 5; (")"1' 1.6, LA; IlOnnonnalw:d F (?)
diak-cls. of G versus), in a particular gr,lmmatical (unknown for P).
nKlrpheme, say, a conjugation or con\'erter base, is (7) First singular with "causative infinitive:' 0/.".·
found to follow one of these lauer groupings, it may D, F. L.6; T(r).a.· A, LA. M. S (unknown for Pl.
well be c1assHied as detennlned by some phonologi. (8) Second feminine singular whh pos.<;cs.~ive
cal (though less transparent) ratio. But if it shows a article, tlOY' AI,S; 110- ..t, B, F, 1.6. LA (unknown
grouping of its own, diffen'm from any other phono- for Pl.
logical lI"3il (as is the case with almost all grammati· (9) Third plural with po5Slossive anicle. lie)'· F, M.
cal morphemC!l unless they arc invariable). it may S; noy- A, 8, LA, P; llonnonllalizcd L.6.
cum /;'(1110 solis be counted as a "morphological" (10) Third plural with cau."Ol.tive infinitive (similar-
trait. although it still features not the morphological ly with the negativc cnergctic future). T(r)ey- M. S;
"system" but its phooological representation (or the O/T(f)OV' A, B, F, lA, fA. P.
pial! de /'e;xprcssion). Formallon of Qualitative (Slidlve) Verb Forms.
This comparison cannot be based on the phone. whal should !lot be neglected in this conneclion is
mic ~ystem relations wilhin each dilliect (espcci;llIy the hasic morphemic change concel1ling the verhal
for the vowel system) or the phonological rules ap· lcxcmc, that is, th"t bctween infinitive .Iml qualita·
plying for the tmnsition from one dialect to another. tive (or more Pl1l1icullldy, the formation of the qual·
since Ihis would nOl provide II COlllmon basis for the itative fom): "long" 01' "ShOI1" form; presence or
comparison. Thus, its validity largely resL~ on the 'Ibsencc of final/·t/. c.:tc.). However. there appcal1i 10
overall assumption thaI the phonetic (!) values of the be but little nonnall7.nlion in this field for quite a
vowel graphemes are approxlmately the same in all number uf varieties. so thaI it seems Impossible to
diakctal writing s)'lItems. or at least tlJ:tt a S:lhidic .a.. give distinct specimens of val'iables at the present
for example. is remarkably more similar in quality to state of rcse'lrch. A special ellse is the qu(,litative
an Akhmimic or Fayyumic .a. than it is to Akhmimic fOnTI or 61ft!:
or fayyumie 6 or Akhmimic o. This cannot be (II) Vowel quality tal - 101 VCI1iUS leI, D. F. 1.6,
proved, even after a careful phonemic analysis of the M. P. 5 versus A; nonnommlized lAo
respective V,Iphenlic syst~ms; it simply has to be (12) Presence versus absence of l-i(e)/. pn'SCnec
as.~umed. B. F, 1.6: absence M. P, 5; nonnonlmli:ted A. lAo

Mlsc:dlaneous Grammatical Forma: of Tl"I.nsdla- seems to be a different "signaling" funclion of 1'6'..

leetal Idenllty_ While in all Olher diale<:u il serves to expand a
(13) Postdelerminer "each," HIH A, 1.6, LA. M, 5: (greater) number of base morphemes so as 10 make
tIlMIH B: HI&! F; HIll P. them more "conspicuous" with regard 10 cenain
(I") Full-strcss prooominal object of second plur- kinds of subject expreMions thai follow it (in panic·
al, ~!THI¥Y'( 8, F, M: ·nlHll A. L6, LA, P; .~ S. ular, nominal and second feminine singular). in
(IS) PosseMive pronoun. plund base, . . . A. F, Akhmimic it tends to give up its ellpanding function
LA: NO'(. D, UJ, P, S. and become an invariable pan of Ihe base mor-
(16) Prefix negaling infinitive, TM- (Ttfi.) A, £6,LA, pheme for a (smaller) number of ba.~s. the resl (in
M, P, S: 1lTEH- B, F. partic;:ular, present converted bases) being left with·
(17) Infinitive connector: inlcrfl:,,; of affinnativc en· out any expansion at all. The resuh is stronger mor-
ergetic future: preposition (G-/OfO. ctc.). 6· B. F, M. phemic uniformity and l~~ submorphemic ,,!lema..
S; ,l,. A. UJ, LA, P. tlon. The following instances in terms of isogloM;Cs
(18) Marker (initial vowel) uf "special" impera· may be typical of Ihe situation:
tives such as ltoNI-/ltoNl •• ltoN,l,y. ltoFI·/.l.FI •. ),.,XI •. etc.. (25) Circumstantial prcsenl. prcnominal form. firO-
G(FI)· UJ. P: ,l,(FI)· A. B. F. L4, M, S. (6).(1·) S, F. L4. M. S; u· A; nonnormali1:ecl (1-. llf'(;' 1.6.
(19) Proclitic panicle of epistcmic wndition (ICXO 1'.
B. GI9XO S. ... (61),no A). second element, ·n6 A, /..6, (26) Second prescnt. prcnominlll form. apa·/ltop6·
P: -XG B. F. L4, M, S. (M6') B. F, 1.6. L4. M. P, S; nonnol'malizcd lto·, ltorll' A-
(20) Interrogative adverb of place, presence versus (27) Affirmative aorist, oil Ihird"pcrson forms.
absence of -1'4, e/TQm/TOfl LJ, f, 1.6, M. S; TO/TOy A. p.r«(I)..·• etc. A. ~,l,"'- P; CI1,l" •• ell'. B. "-, lA, S: non·
LA, P. normalized UJ, M (bolh seem to prefer Cl;llto'- 10
Miscellaneous "Nonldenlleal" Fontl5 Filling th.e CI1.l.f'i1q.).
Same (or Partially Same) Pamdlgms, i.e., Lexlco. (28) Circumstantial present, second present, im·
gmmmalical Traits. perfect, and conditional, before sulli.o: of second
(21) Indefinite pronoun (NP equivalent in nonaffir· plum! (which then appears in different allomorphs
mative contexts). ltoUy(e)/u,(o}ye..4, £6. LA, p. S; tM accordingly), (")It.f6 +/{H)q4l+ D, UJ; (")lto. /(1')0.
B; u,nc/u..n t F: 21 (personal), NlIf8Y (ooopersonal) M. A, F, LA, M. P, S.
(22) Prefix fOlming negative imperative. HtI· A, P; Intradl.lectal Interference of Submorphemlc
HIl(8)r- etc. D, F. UJ, LA, M. S. Ahem.tlon. The generaliution of an allomolllh be-
(23) Proclilic relative convener preceding perfecl yond the contextual scope it is otherwise strictly
conjugation oper.ator, tIT· A, B, F, LA, M, P: NT- £6, S. bound to is a phenomenon very dose to grammati-
(24) Presence versus absence of a special augeRS cal error. In Coptic, as well as in other languages, it
form H.\YU{T) + !f.wu.y,l,T+ beside the usual is rarely found to be characteristic of a litemry stan-
OYU(T). !OV,l,tIT. , etc.. , presence D,S; absence A, clard variety or the language. within the same hislOri·
F, £6, LA. M, P. cal perio<!. A case in point is Ihe eombinalion of the
second-person pluml pronominal (subj...'CI) suffilt-
II. Allomorphic Variables Ihat is, iLS two basic allomorphs -T(O)N and 'TflT(e)N
-with the Vtlrious conjugation ba~e.'l, which may be
Allomorphlc Expanilion of ConJugallon Balles. divided into "ShOI1" and "long" ones (depending on
Allomorphic expansion by 'ro- in prenominal conju. whether Ihey contain ·pe· or nOI). The general mol"
gation forms is handled very much alike in all dio- phological role of Coptic that say!! the short suffix
lects, allowing for frequenl variation in nonnormal . only comblnes with the long bases and the long
ized manuscripts. and wilh slriking deviations occur- suffix only combines with Ihe ShOl1 bases is invali·
ring ooly in Akhmimic;: (see Pololsky, 1960, sec. 52- clat...-d in dialects A and M in opposite direclions (d.
56). Diale<:t-spcc;ifie expansion of presuffixal bases PoIOISky, 1960, sec. 56: Funk. 1981, sec. 1.4.1). This
may pertain either to the whole par.adigm (e.g.• the may be presenled in terms of l~losses as follows:
Akhmimic affinnativc aorisl, see ibid.) or to panicu· (29) Second plurn.l sulf]J(, short foml: only with
Jar combinations, such as (a) all third-pcrson fonns long bases A, D. F. UJ. L4. p. S: also with short bases
(fluctuations in the affinnative aorist paradigm in UJ M.
and M), (b) the second-person feminine singular. (30) Second plurn.l suf[]J(, long form: only with
and (c) the sec.:ond·person plural. The rationale to be sIlon bases D, F. UJ, LA, M. P, S: also with long bases
recognized behind the outstanding Akhmimic usage A.

III. Morphosyntactlc Variables (37) Element forming "instans" verb form (to be
ust.-d in bipanite conjugation to express "future"),
Special "Portmanteau" MorpluJ. S1alive ~rb fO,. \'CI'SUS infinitive connector 6-/),', in
(31) Special clement fer-/ incorporating {rei} + particular aftcr subject pronouns like K, 'I, c, .fO,../
{perf} + (third·person subj. pron.), presence M; a~ -Ne· A, B, F, 1.6, M, P, S; '),- LA,
$ence A, B, F, L6, L4, P, S. (38) Prenorninal form of the "causative impera-
(32) Special clement /·ah·/ (preceded by relative tive" OPCl1ltor. {H.l.-} + {causative infiniti~} ~rsus
convener trr-/HT.) incorporating (perf) + {third- prenominal analogue to H.l.f"6't0111'nt causalive imper-
pelWn wbj. pron.}, presence A, 1.6, P; absence B, F, lltive, H.l.' TIl' P; tu.f6- A, B, F, 1.6, LA, M, S.
L4, M, S,
(33) Special element -9l.f- f ....ar-/ (phonologically These dialecllll isoglosses selected for a brood va-
corresponding in P 10 Sahidic "'),f·/·~r./ (preceded riety of morphological items may be used as a dalll
by rclnlive convener 6T-) ineOl"pQl'aling {aol'ist} + basis to determine the degrees (and hierarchical or-
{third-pcrwn subj, pron,}, presence P; absence A, B, der) of relationship between the eight di:tlectal varie-
F, L6, lA, M, S. ties considered, by means of various "clustering"
Spechtl Conjugallon Ollse. techniques supplied by modern numcrical taxono--
(34) Preselll;e versus absence of n special "tern· my. Wilh a numhcr of such methods having been
pornlis" clause conjugation ttrere'I'/NTlofWI- ("ab- applied successfully and yiclding vel)' similar l'esuIL~,
sence" implies the usc uf reI. perf. in the same a classification based on morphological traits might
paradigm). presence A, UJ, lA, fI, S; absence B, F, M be suggested as shown in Figure 1 (neglecting, fol'
(Fayyulllic proper is splil here; this notation ac· the prCSCll1 purpose, the precise hierarchical level
counts for the usage of biblkal manuscripts). fOl' the location of division nodes on the tree),
Use of Dllferenl (Coell:IJlenl) FOrmJ In lhe The primary division in the SCI of individual dia·
Same Paradigm. lects tums oul to be that between A, L6, LA, P and B,
(35) Prefix deriving Greek·loaned verb stems, (e)r- F, M, S, corresponding to only oue tnait (which then
/Glo- A, 8, "'; 7.ero S, M; nonnormaliled 1.6, LA, P. is the most typical differential trait), namely, the
(36) Nuclear clement of NP-equivalent relative vocalic reprc:sc:nllltion of the Egyptian prep06ilion ,-
clau5C$ (not fully normalb.ed), IJH, ctc. B; 11-, etc. A, (as Coptic ),- vcrsus &-) in its various grammatical
F, 1.6, lA, M, P, S. paradigms (cf. item 14 abo,·e). Although nonmor·

,. A U US M F B



phemic (and quasi-phonologil::al) in nature, this tl-ail with that of unstressed syllables and with t:onsonant
seems to symbolize the most profitable division of Il-aits), eilher of Ihe classifications shown in Figures
the whole cluster of diak-cts into two subsets In 2 and 3 may be prcfemxl. Since it has not yet been
tenns of morphological isoglosses. detennined whether a binary division of the whole
Some fUr1her traits of similarity along branch 101 sct of individuals is really appropriate here, even a
are (14) -TtiOO, (21) UJo.y{o)/u{o)ye> (shared with third alternative might be wonh considering. name-
S), (34) "tcmporalis" (shared with S), (l6) TH- ly, that shown in Figure 4 (cf. al!lO Hintze. 1984).
(shanxi wilh Ai and Sl, and (13) monosylJabil:: fonn Irrespccti\'e of the actual hicl1m:hy preferred, the
of HIM/llt1!. (shared with AI and S). Along branch Ib difference between these cla.~ificalions and the one
arc (22) H11{O)r-, (27) aorist withoUl 1'fl~ elliension based on morphological dma is quile obvious. The
(both shared with 1.6 and LA), (20) nIH, etc_ (sh::u'ed most striking (though least sUI'Prislng) detail is thc
with 1.6), (19) e-,x(I, ctc. (shared with L4), and (18) differing allocation of 1', not only changing its "neal'·
~'I-, etc_ (shared with A and L4)_ cst neighbor" affiliation but rather shuttling between
The differential tn, its lit node 2 are (22) MH' A, P poles (cf. earlier statements to similar CffCl:t5 in
ven;us MIlr- l.6, lA, plus, perhaps, thc prcscnt:c or PolnL~ky, 1970, p. 561, n. II; Kasser, 1960, pp. lIll-viii
llbsence of -pll- elltension with the aor'ist base, (27) ff.). A satisfaelOl)' eltplanlttion of this phenomenon is
e~p(ll) '" A, ~~r '" P ven;us CI,)), '" L4, (/..6). Some fur· not known 10 have been proposed so far, of much
ther tmits or silllilllrily within bronch 201 .m:: either greater bearing, however, taking into lIcenun! the
shared with 1..4, as in (20) TO/Toy, (28) noneJlrended historical role of rhe variou.~ dialects and di.,lecllll
ba...c (plus F, M, $), (2) pelfect ~ 9 (plus B, F, 5), and varieties, is the differing degree of relationship be·
(23) reI. l;lT- with perfect (plus B, F, M), or Shlll'ed tween Sahidic and lJohalrlc, on one hand (being
with 1.6, 35 in (19) (IIeno, etc., and (32) .~_ Within remarkably stronger in the phonological than in the
branch 2b, !lOme further eont:urring items are (6) morphologit:al field), and between either of these
(H)"-, (41) nonnonnalb.ed usc ofr' (shared with P), tlIld Fayyt.unic or Me.o;okemic, on the other. Also, in
(4) e>-vocalbation (shared with P, plus S). and some tenns of serial order, il is obvious that Sahidic is
other lI"'3its shared with either P or A plus B, F, M, S, much closer to the southern dialects (A, 1.6, U) in
as in (3), (JO), and (38). the morphological field than in the phonological,
The differential traits at node 3 are US) zero M, S while the situation of F and M is the re~rse_ As far
ver.ous 6f-/a.- S, F, (16) TH- versus 'lIT6H-, (7) Tf),- as Sahidic is concerned, it may well be the social
versus e/Tft-, (8) noy- ~o;u.s 116-, (I0) -6"( versus nature and prehistory or this diak-cl as a suprare-
-or_ Some funhcr trails of similarity along branch gional vernacular rather than lUI geographical home-
301 are (13) tflM (plus A,I.6, IA), (1) tie 9 (shared with land that provides the clue to a gfC3ter part of its
F). (15) ooy+ (shared with 8. plus 1.6, Pl, (6) (tI)tI),- characteristics and its overoll neutrali-,;ing behavior.
(shared with 8, plus A). Along branch 3b, most of
the fUr1her concul1;ng itcms are Ilhared with M: (14) BlDtlOGRAf'HY
o/TlttlO'(, (34) reI. perl'. for "tempol'alis," (23) reI.
The bibliogr..phy below has been compiled to sat-
OT- with perf. (plus A, L4, P), (4) ~-vocalization (plus
isfy two entirely different needs and thus comprises
A). Shared with none is (13) dlsyllabieity in !iI";l)tl/
mel; some traits lire shared with 5 plus A. (1..6), /..4, 1',
as in (2) and (29), nr S plus 1..6, as in (5).
This dassificlIlion b.'1sed on morphological traits,
perhaps in a more fully c1abomted fonn, may be
used to supplement and reinteq)ret the results of a
dassiliclltion b.'ISCd on purely phonological dat:l (the
more so, if any such clllssifications should be used as
a guide to the geographical allocation of dialect cen-
ters). It is interesting to note that in tenns of both
serial and hierarchical order, the two sets of crileria
lead to consklerably different results_ This is easily
seen by comparing Figure I with what may be the
n::sWt of a phonological classification. Depending on
, , , M , •
how much additional emphasis is put on the "natu· FIGURE 2. GROUPING BASEDON PHONOLOGICAL DATA,
ral" vocalwtion of stressed syllables (as compared wml EQUAL WEIGHTING FOR All. VARIABLES.

koclS. may slill be used with profit to gain infamia·

lion aboul dialeclal mOlphology. AmQng Ihem are L
Stem. Koplisehe Grummafik (leipzig, 1880, l'Cpr.
Osnabmck, 1971), and G. Steindorff, uhrb"dt der
koplisc!lIm Grammalik (Chicago, 1951). Still of b'lSic
rclevance .\Od indispensable for dia1cctological work
in the field of morphology arc W. E. Crulll'S Coplic
Dictionary {Oxford, 1939) and R. Kasser's CQlllpM-
merds uu tUctiOlllluire de Crtlm (Cairo. 1964). as \\.'Cll
as Kahle (1954). WeslendorlPs Koptisches lJalldwOr.
femlleh, allhough offering an enormous alllount of
infonnatK)Jl based on more· recently published
sources. does not in general guide the user back 10
FIGURE). GROUPING BASEOON PHONOLOGIC.... L OAT..... lhe sources (3.\ Crum docs) and thus i~ informative
WITH mOilER WEIGHTING FOR STRESSED VOWI'J.$ (HI. on dialeelal usage only for those who are content
NARY SOLUTtON). wilh the c1l1SSilication of dialects used lherein.
(Much the same applies to Till, 1961.) It should be
noted that somc of the tCllt editions cited have intro·
rcfercnc(.'S of two kinds: (a) a number' of texthooks, ductory Chll]ltel'S providing ltscl"ul infOl'mation on
research papel'S, and monographs providing basic the respective dialects.
infomlalion about the mOlphology of one or several
Coplic dialects. and (b) editions of Capeic lexts that 81DLlOGRAPHY
have been used ::IS main rcpresenlative specimens of
the dialectal varieti~ covered by this ankle, llpan Asmus. H. Ober Fragmenle im miue1af:)plisdll.·11
from "biblical" 8 and S. The laller group of items Diu/eete. GOttingen, 1904.
includes Elanskaya, Erichsen, Kahle (pp. 286-90), Chaine. M. EUments dt grammaire dialeetale copte.
!<asser (1960), Kirchner, Lacau, Malinine et aI., P:ui.<;. 1933.
PololSky (1934), Rfuch, Schenke (1981), and l.es Dialcet/.'s caplCS llssiomiques 112. Paris,
Schmidt. 1934.
As 10 the particular dialects (especially the !lO' Elanskaya, A. I. "Rukopis' no. 53 koptskol novollH,:lii
called minor dialccts) Covct'Cd by the present ;\rtidc, (7.aklyuchltcl'nye glavy Evangcliyn 01 Marka na
some basic int'otmalion in lhe morphological field falyumskom dialcktc)." In Koplskie rukopisi
can be OOlllincd from Till (1928) for A; from A.~nlU.~, CQSudurSlvcmlOf Publibtol 8ibliotcki imclti M. Eo
and Till (1930). for 10'; from Chaine (1934), Nagel, &lly/wvll.$i:edrillu. PalestillskiT soomik 20, no. 83
and Funk (1984) for LA and L6; from Quecke, (1969):96-120.
Schenke (1978). and Funk (1981) for At; and from Erichsen, W. Flli;llIIlischt Fragmente der Redell des
Kahle, Polotsky (1960), Kas5cr (1966), and VCrgOlc Agalhollicus Bischofs vatl Tarsus. Copenhagen,
for sevcral of those dialects. 1932.
Apart from Ihc:sc works some of Ihe older tell· Funk, W.·P. "8citr:ige des mittel:igyplischen Oi:l.lekl5
books of Coptic grammar, dealing wilh several dia· zum kopli5chcn Konjugalions.syslem." In SllIdies
Presellted 10 H. J. PolO/sky, ed. D. W. Young. pp.
177-210. E:lSt CIOUClOSler, Mass., 1981.
-,-;cC.' "Die Morphologie dcr Pcrlcklkonjugntinn im
NH·subtlchmimisehen Dinlekl." ZeilsclJrifl fiir
iJgyplischc Spruelle Imd AIIl!rlwnskwlde II I
Hintze. F. "£ine Kla.'isifizierung del' koptischen
Oialekle.'· In Stlfdiell lU Sprache IlIItl Religio'l
A.o'P'cPls. Vol. I, Sprache. pp. 411-432. GOuingeli.
Hussdman, E.-M. TIt/.' Gospd of John ill Faylfmic
Cop/ic (P. Mich. Illv. 3521). Ann Arbor, Mich.•
, F , F
• Kahle, P. E. 8tJfu'iwh: Coptic TexIs from Deir e/.
1Jll/o·rz.ah i" Upper Egypl. Olford and London,
WtTH HtGlmR WEiGllTlN(,; fOR STkESSED VOWELS Kas.~cr, R. PflpynlS Bodmer VI: Livre des Proverbe.~.
(NONIllNARY SOLUTION). CSCO 194-195. Louvnin, 1960.

_ _ . "Complemcnts mOl'phologiquCli au diction· - - c Kop/i:icl,e Dillleklgnmlllul/i1c. mil l..csesliJcken

naire de Cl'um, Ie vocabulaire eal'aeh~l'islique des IIl1d Wlirler/mell. 2nd cd. Munich, 1961.
qualre nouveaux dialccles eoplcs: P. M. H ct G." VCI'gote, J. Gralll/l/tlire cOIHe, Vol. la, Introductioll.
IJllflel;" de /'/":i#I/l1 IfI"'rai:i d'tlrc/,,!oIogie orie/llale pllOlIC/iqllc el Illu:mologie, mvrpJlfJ/ogie s}·mhemQ/;.
64 (1%6):19-66. q/le (stmc/ure de~' :iill/all/c/l/es), partie sy"c1'R)ni·
_ _ . "Prolcgomcnes a un essai de classification que. Louvain, 1973.
syst~malique des dialeetcs et subdi••lectcs coptes
scIon les cl'iti:I'CS dc III phon{:tiqut·. I, Principcs et
lenninologic." !dllSiotl 93 (19803):53-112. " ... ,
II, Alphabet.~ et systemes phonetique:s:' All/sOO" 93
(198Ob):237-97. " ... , Ill, SystCIllCS orthogrnphi. DICTIONARIES, From the time ",hen the Copts.
qu et catcgolics dialt:clalC5." Mllseoll 94 like other nalions or linguistic entitk'S, felt the need
(1981):91-152. 10 have at their disposal in wriling the cqui\~.dcnts,
Kirchncr, D. Ep;stula Jacobi apocrypha. lIel' exacl or approximatc, of the words of their Ian·
heral/sgcgdN!II, ii1N!rulV Imd 1commemiert. TCJI;tc guage, aUempt.s were made 10 tomposc modcst lists
und Unte''St!chungen :WI' Gesl;:hichte del' of bilingual vocabulary; these may justly be consid-
altchrisllidi\:n Uternlur 136. Berlin, 1989.
ered the ancestors of modem Coptic dictionaries.. In
Lacau, P. "Textcs copies en dialcclcs akhmimique el
general, lhese lists follow either the order of the
snhidique," Bullelitl de 1'I>l5Iilul frallfilVr
d'arclleologie on'emale 8 (1911):43-81. words as they are found In Ihe pat1icular tCJl;t thai
Malinine, M., 11.-<:. PuC(:h; G. Quispcl; W. C. Till; R. had to be tl1l.l1slatl-d, or a more or less "logical"
Kasser; R. McL. Wilson; and J. Z3ndce. Epis1ll1a order, with lexemes classed by sobjct:t or themes.
lacobi Apocrypha, Coda lUIli: f. Ir.-f. Vlllv. (p. TIIUS, although the Coptic language was only al the
1-16). Zurich nnd Stullgal1, 1968. beginning of its literary existence, when Chrislianity
Nagel, P. "UlIlel'SUchungen zur Grnmmatik dC$ sub- began to spread into the segment of the popo.ll.ltion
achmimischCIl Dialekts" (Ph.D. diss., Karl Marx tholt was almost exclusively Coptic and unfamiliar
University, 1964). with Greek, there was need for Greco-Coptic glossa-
Polotsky, H. J. Ma"iclliiisc/le /lomilie". Stungart. lies.. (At tirst Christianity was diffused through WOI'k$
in Greek, and chielly in Grcek-spcaking milieus.)
-:c-- ',he Coptic ConjUglltion System," Oricmalia The oldt'St eXlant Coplic glossar)' is in a 1l1anu-
29 (1960):392-422.
"Coptic:' In CII"em Trettds ;/1 linguislics, script in the MIJSOKE.MIC dialeci that seems 10 be
Vol. 6, Uugui$tics iu SotU!"vttSI Asia all/I Narth Afri· from the s«ond half of the thinl century (Bell and
ca, ed. A. T. 5elx.'Ok, pp. 558-70. The Hague and Thompson, 1925). Later, if use eel1ainly continued
I'm'is, 1970. to be made of such gloss;.lril'S (Bell and Crom, 1925,
Oueckc, H. "II di'llcllo," In T. Orlandi, Papin" delia nmnuscript of the sixth century, idiolectal S - S' 01'
U"iversita degli .~Illdi di MilaM (p. Mil. Copl;), Vol. 5'). thcre m;IY hllve been need also of Lalin·Coptic
5, !..cllere di Smr Paolo in cuP/u vuirillchilU, or Latin·GI·eek·Coptic gloss.'U'ics; one of them ha.~
editiOIl/:, COmmelllQ e illdiei iii T. Or/andi, been prcscrved by a rnanu~cript of lhe lirst half of
(:Qu/ribll/v Iilrgllis/it·v ,Ii H. Quet·ke. Milan, 1974. the Silllh Cenlul'Y (npparcntly Cuptic Ilingulige S; d.
RUsch, F. Brucll.lliicke ties erSIC'1 Clemellsbrieles. Schub::tt1, 1913).
Stra.~hourg, 1910.
111 the middlc of the .wventh century, Egypt ",as
Schenke, II.·M. "011 Ihc Milldlc Egyplian Dialecl of
lhe Coplic Umgmlge." EllcilOria 8 (Sondcrband) invaded llnd occupied, once :md fur all, by the Ar·
( 1978):4.1· (89) -( 104)58· . abs. Thl.~ event was decisive for lhe futurc of the
_ _ . Ihl.~ Mallhilll$·£wwgefil/II/ im milleliigypli. Coptic languagc. During the Byrantine period, in
schen f)illlekl des Kup/ische,r (Codex Scheidel. conjunction with lhe development of the Coptic
Tellie und Untersuchungen zur Gcschichte del' alt· church, lhis idiom consolldllied its position on lhe
christlichcn Utcl".ltur 127. Berlin, 1981. liter:u)' level. A large number of litem/)' tellts were
Schmidt, C. Ge.lpriJclle Jr.:SIl mit seiuell Jiin/iem /lach ll".mslated inlO one 01' another' of the various dialects
del' Allfersteltllll£. l..elpzig, 1919. of Roman Egypt. Here and there bilingual Greco-
Till, W. C. Achmfmisc!r·koplische Gl'IImmalik. Leipzig. Coptic manuscripts were also copied (Trcu. 1965),
bUI in comparison wilh the uniquely Coptic manu'
___ Kopl;scl,e CltrUlomallrie fill' dell layumischell
scripl~, they are exceptions. Thus, on the anival of
Dialekt, mil grammali:icher Skiue WId Aumerklf/l-
CC". Vienna, 1930. thc Arnbs, Coplic was full of vigor. At tirst, the Arabs
furthcr cnlmnct:d Its importance by pl'OSCribing lhe

1I.o;e of Greek in the Egyplian adminhur"lion: and cally dead, that al1rncted their allention but rather
while from the scvenlh 10 the middle of Ihe eighlh Coptic a..s the only accessible fonn, however cvoh'ed
century Greek proKres.~ivcly di~lppeared from Egyp. (degeneratc :md impoverished), of the ancient Egyp-
tian documents, Coptic look ils place, and so ic was tian language. It was through Coptic that they hoped
down to the heginning of lhe nimh century. Then, in one day to re'lch an understtmding or the hlero·
its lurn, Amhic, already offidally commiRsioned 10 glyphs. :lOd indeed it was this I'(>;.,d that finally led tu
n'Place Coplic in the udministralion fOI' u hunar'ed the success of Ch'lmpollion in 1822.
yeollS and having for' thaI reason continued to ad· After the U"I;/III Aegyplillca Resli/u/o of A. Kircher
\'3.nce to the dehimem of Coptic, soon Rupplanted il (1643) and the manuscript dictional)' of Fell at the
almost evel)'Wherc in administrative tCJlts. end of the scventc.'Cnth centul)' (the firsl in which
With this new orientation of Arab polky in Egypt. lhe words were arrangc.'<! alphabetically; d.
the ninth centul)' thus saw the appc-"rnnce of the Quatremere, 1808), sc\ocral imponanl lexicons and
fi~ mea.~urcs that threatened the vel)' existence uf dictionaries saw the light in Europe in the eight·
Ihe Cuptic language. The laller al liBt resisted with c.'Cnth lind ninetecnth centuries (abovc all, L:ICI'O~.e
SOme success. b\ll under constant pressure its resisl· lIud Scholtz, 1775, Sand B; Tallam, 1853, S, B, and
ance gmdually Cl1unbled (Illd carne 10 nOlhing. In a little F). A work of clearly superior quality 10 what
the tenth centul)' Arabic was raught to tIl\) Coptic had appear'cd before was by I'eyron (1835, S. 8, and
clergy (Casanovu. l!XJl). From the eleventh centUl)' ~, liltle F); this book l'elwescnts u I'Cmarkable ad·
on, in l;()me regions of Egypt, Coptic wa..s understood vance in Coptic lexieogrnphy. Fur the first time, the
only impelfeclly, and from lhe eleventh cent\ll)' to autochthonow; Coptic words were classified like
the founeenth, Coplic men of letters sought 10 make Ihose in the majority of Semitic languages, taking
good thili nc.'glcct by compiling grammars and, abo\"C account of the consonants in the lirst place and of
all, Copto-Arnbic vocabularies (more rnrdy Greco- the \"Owels only in secondary fu.~hion. This system
Copto-Arabic, older Greco-Coptic ones adapted to allows Ihe placing together, quile nalurnlly, of lhe
Ambic). Such a \IOCUbulul)' was called a SUUAM ...." rious dialC(:tal fonns of a single Coptic word, since
(plural, $flfiilim) or scala, and without a tmlfam these they most ohen differ in Iheir vowels, not in their
grammars could ollly be used wilh difficulty by those eon5()ntlnls. For another Ihing, it makes consultation
to whom they were to teach the Coptic I:mguage. of Coptic dictionaries easier for their pl'incipal users,
Most of them give only f10HAtRIC, notably the cele· EGYPtologists familiar with the phlll'Olonic language,
broted Scala IIW/:lltI of Abu al·D'H':.lkat (foul,eenth in which in general unly the consonants ~II'C ell.'
century: ef. Mallon, 1906-1907; Munier, 1930; vall pl1~sscd in writing.
Lantsehoot, 1948). Others, howC1/er, sct SAI1IDlC be· HO\\"Cver, p..'1rallcl wilh the:: development of Coptie
.side Bohairie, above atllhe lexicolls placed after the studies in Europe, and no dou.bt also encouraged by
famous grnrnmar of Athanasius of ~ (fuuneenlh tlte contacts cstablished in Egypt between the Egyp-
century) and thaI of AnW YuJ:m.nn:l of Samanniid tologists and the Copts. severnl Coptic personalities
(thinecnth Cemul)') in the Coptic codex 44 in the attempted to revive thLs ancient language in the
National LibraI)', Prll'is. These \"OCabulalies, like thc fonn of its Bohairic variety. Theil" work cssentially
earlit'r gloss.'1ries, nwke no distinction between Cop- st:mds in thc tmdilion of the autochthonous gl'am·
tic WOI'ds of Egyptian origin and those of non·l?gyr- marians of the thir1eemh and fourteenth centuries.
tian OIigin (fur the most part Greek). In so doing, but it could al~o render service to European
thL")' arc ill perfect harmuny with the spirit ur the Coplologisc.s. The chief lexicons puhlished within the
Coptic language in which, except for l:ertaill vel)' fl'3.me of this genuillely Coptic uelivity appeared at
specialized Icxemes of extremely rare usage, most of the end of lhe nineteenth cenlul)' and the beginning
the words of Greek oligin were felt to be not fOI'eign of the twentieth (Barsum, 1882; 1.olbib, 1915).
wonts hut genuindy Coptic, for the sallie rea..son as The twenlielh centul)' in Europe saw the appear-
words of pharaonic origin (see \IOCABU1AJtY. COFfO. ance of the first Coptic etymological didionary,
GREEK). which finnly CSl.ablished the link bet"''ecn the Coptic
However, European scholars, who from the fif· Icxicons and their counteqxu1s for pharaonic Egyp-
teenth cemul)', and still lllore from the d.'1wn of the tian (Spiegelberg, 1921; S, A, I. [called At], f: and B);
seventeenlh, took an Inlerest in this language, but this dictionlll)', concent...." tillg on etymolugy,
looked ut it from a vcry different point of vicw. It gives ollly very summarily the vnrious wri!lell forms
was 1I0t so much Coptic in itself, a I:mguugc lll'tlcti. and meaning of tlte words. One may assume that,

knowing the pn-paroliorui Crum was making for the Casanova, P. "Un TC7I:tll arobe: t~nscril en lcltrcs
publication of his greal dictionary, Spiegelberg re' coptes:' Bulll!titr dl! /'IPlSlilul fr(mruis d'urc1li!oIogil!
nOl.,lncl,:d in advance any thought of iI work 35 rich as orim/ali! 1 (1901):1-20.
thai of his rival. Cemy, J. Coplic Eiymulogical Dictiollary. Cambridge,
Crum published his work in [;\!iCicies and eomplet. 1976.
Crum, W. E. A Coplic /)jctionary. Oxford, 1939.
ed it on the eve of World War II (1939; S. A. I.
Ka.~scr, R. Complimenls Ull dicfiumwirc cople de
[called A J, F, and B), Although a lillIe outmod(.'l.I
' Cmm. Bibliothi:quc d'cludes eoptc~ 7, Cairn, 1964.
herc and there (new and irn()Ol1all1 manUi'oClipts _--,_. "Complcments morphologiqucs au diction-
havc been diseuvered since 1939), Cnllll's monu· naire de Crum, Ie vocabulair'e carru,:t(:l'istiquc des
menial work has scarcely aged, lInd onc may allinn quatrl~ nouveaux dialectes coptes: P, M, H et G,"
that it is even today by far the best Coptic dictionary Bulle/iu de I'/llsllll1/ Iral1(ais d'archeologie orieulale
(the riche.'it and the most prceise) at the disposal of 64 (1966):19-66.
Coptologist!i Lind Egyptologists. Thus, fifty years aftcr ___ "Lcs DiClionnnircs eoplcs." In Tu.les ellu,,·
its completion it has not yel been displaced. Uo,,'..cv- gages de I'Egyp/1! plraraoniqlle: /lOll/mage il Jeall'
er, Coptic lelticographers have not remained inac· Frallcois Chumpol/iOlI il I'occasiu/l du celll-eillqllall-
tive: they have sought in various ways to order the liemi! ullnivtl'$aire dl< diclriffri!n/i!1II di!s lliiroglyphes
(1822-1972), Vol, 1, pp, 209-216, Cairo, [1972J.
new material placed al their dispo&ll since 1939
Kircher, A. Lillgua Ai!gypliaca Resli/llla, Opus Tripar-
(through the Bodmer Papyri, thc Nag Hammadi
/itlllll. Duo Lillguai! Coplae sive ldiomalis JIIius
tellts, and other Coptic witnesses of even greater PrilllUl!ui AegypliOnlm Pharaollici, Vellu/a/l.' Tern·
intcfClit, though less "'"ell known). This material n." punllll PUi!lle Co/lupsi, i!X AbstnlSU Arabum MOllu,
veals the existence of mallY dialt:cts and subdialec!S melllis, Plellu Illstaura/io Comillewr. ClIi Adlli!cti/llr
hithel10 quile unknown or known only in so defi- S'lpplemell/ll1l/ Eamm Rerum, q'lue ill Prodromo
cient a way, so imprecise a fonn, Ihat they could nOI CoplO, el Opere Hoc 7'ripflrlilO, vel Omissa, vel Db·
be properly defined and systematically use<! before scurim' Traditu Smll, Rome, 1643.
(Kasscr, 1964, 1966). Spiegc1ber'g's uld HUlldwOrler· Kml1, J. "Rc~tc koptischer Schulbi.lchel'lIter'ntlll'."
bllch has evcn been republished, though after a revi- Miuheillmge'r IIW' der Samlllllmg der Papyrus En..·
sion so thorough as to makc of it practically a new Irerzog Ruiner 4 (11188): 126-35.
Ulbib, C. J. 1l"'6~"U)n ~r),cm lITo mfOHkxllMi. Cairo,
work (Westendorf, 1977): this book, gathering up
very complelely, ahhough ~mctimes withoul
Lacrme, M. V, de. Laicurr tiegyptiaco-IA/inl/III ~
enough criticnl concern, lhc material available to Veteriblu JIIiUJ Linguae MOllllmell/u Summu Studio
ilS aUlhor, is of grt--at servke for ~pid consultation. Co/lec/IIIII I!/ Elaboramm. Quod ill Com~lIdium
The fact remains that for those whose researches Redt'git ltu III Nullae VOCeJ Aqrp/iacae, Nullai!qui!
requirt consultation in somewhat greater depth, Eanlll1 Sigm'ficaliolleJ Omilli!rl!,lIur Ch,ul. Scho/lz,.
only Crum (1939) is really sati...faclOry. CoplOlogy NOluias Q"asdam, i!l bldicn Adiedt Caro/us God~
lherefore has nn urgent nccd for a new Coptic lredus Waide. Odord, 1775.
diclionary. complele and detailed, including autoch- LanlSChoot, A. van. UII PriCI/f'S<tur d'Alhallasl!
lhonous Coptic le7l:emes, Coplo-Greek, and Copto- Kircher, TlIomas Obicilli ef lu Scula VUI. COp/l! 71.
Mabie. Such a work is at pl'csent in preparation in Louvain. 1948.
Mallon, A. "Unc Ecule dc savanL.~ ~gyptiens au
Switlcrland (Kassel', (972). A new Di"liomlllire
moyen 1igc," Melallges de I'Universite Suint·Joseph
erymulugique de la lallgue eOpl1: (Vyciehl, 1983) has
de Bcywulh 1 (1906): 109-131; 2 (1907):21l-64.
also been preplIred in Geneva lind published in Munier, H. Lu sealll cuple 44 de la 8ibIiOlh~que
Louvain. Nalionale de Paris, Vol. I, TrunscrifJliOIl. Biblio--
tlH~que d'ct\ldes coptes 2. Cairo, 1930,

BlOLiOCRAPHV Osing, J. Rcview of J. Cerny, COPlic Etymological

Dicliollary. Journal of Egypliull Archaeology 64
Bachady, C. Le MomlSli:re df! Phodxlmmoll dallS fa (1978):186-89.
Thibarde, Vol. 2, pp. 33-34, 40-42. Cairo, 1965. Parthey, G. F. C. Vocubulariwrl Coprico-lAlillum ef
Barsum, I. AI·KJraridat al·801l1yah Ii Usul al-uighul U2Iino-CopliculII I! Peyrorri I!l Taltumi Lexicis Corlci·
al-Kibtfyoh. Cairo, 1882. . naloil G. Par/hey. Accl!dullt ElI!IIchllJ EpiJCQpallllllrl
Bell, 'H.'I., and W. E. Crum, "A Greek.Coptic GI~­ Aegypti,/lIdex Acgypri Grographieus Coptico-J.a/ill/lS,
ry." Al!gyptUS 6 (1925):177-226, Index Mgypti GeograpJr.icus J.alin~COplicus, Voca-
Bell, H. I., and H, lltompson. "A Gn.-ck-<:oplk Glos- bula Aeg)'p/ia a Scripturibus Gral!cis &plica/a, V~
5my to Hosea and Amos." Joun/ul of Egyplia" Ar- eabulo Ai!1O'plia a SCriplOribll$ IA/illis Exp!icala,
chaeulogy II (1925):241-46. Bel'lin, 1844.
DJlNKlM 111

Pcyron, V. A. l.exicoll Linguae Copticlll:. Turin, 1835. the letten; Hand 1'1 when they arc gmmmatical ele-
Polotsky, ~I. J. Review of W. E. Crum, A Coptic ments (prepositions, marks of lhe genitivc, negation)
Dictionary. Journa/ of Egyptiau Arc/we%gy 25 or the firSI radical before anolhcl' ~mphic
(1939): 109-113. consonant, as in rCHIQ;IIHI, Egyptian; H.l>itcul~, pris-
Quatl'emere, E. M. Recherches criliqlles el hi-~loriqllt·S on; HTori, repose; lind 1fOOK, thee (Polotsky, 1949,
sur la lau):..e ef fa lilter"wre de I'Egyple. Paris, pp. 25-29). These are lhen, in each case, eilher a
1808. graphic vowel • a vowel in phonology also. or a
Schuhart, W. "Ein Illteinisch.griechisch-koplisches
(nasal) grnphic consonant - a YOwel too in phonolo-
Gespriichbuch." Kliu 13 (1913):27-38.
Spiegelberg, W. Kopfisches Ha",I...(jrlerbuch. Heidel-
gy, more precisely a nasal sonanl. Hcnce, each Ieller
berg, 1921. marked with a d;i"killl in classical 8 is a phoneme
Tan.;l/11, H. wiccm Atgypliaco-lAtillum, ex Veteriblls with a vocalic runction and funning a syllable by
Ullguat Aegypfiacae AfOllumeltlis, el U Opt'ribus lA itself.
Crotii, Woidii, el AIiQfllm, 511I11"10 Studio COllges· In laic D, in nddilion to the 5yllabic vowels and
tllm, cum Illdice VOCWtl lAtillan,,". Oxford, 1835. sonant na.~ of classical 8 (cases I and 2 above),
Till, W. C. "Achmlmischc Bcrichtigungen und the rollowing four categories are also markcd with
Ergannmgen ZU Spiegelhrrg5 KOplischcs Hand· the dji.!kim: (3) the first of two consec;utive conso-
wtSr1erbuch." uitschri/t fiir jJgyptische Sprache lind nants at th(' bc:ginning of a word or within the word
AI'ertulllskllllde 62 (1927): 115-30. when it is a casc of Greek compounds, as in CzIHI,
Treu, K. "Gril,:chisch·kOplische Bilinguen des Neuen
woman; XAOH, crown; x+O, engender; aYulw::U,
Tt5tllments." In KflPlo/ogische Studien ill dtr DDR,
church; 1t.\f.l.l'rrlH1Jo., offense; and .LtlOtrJo.,", census;
pp. 95-100. Wisse.,schaftliche kitschri/t dtr Mar-
(4) the prefixes of lhe pre5enl 1 when they consist of
tin·l..uthe",VIlIl.'er:sitat Hal/e·Willttlbt'fX, Sondemeft.
Halle, 1965. a single consonant (2. mase. K-{X-), 3. mase. ~', 3.
Vycichl. W. Die/lOll/wire bytllologique de fa ffl>!l:ue fern. (:.) both bcrore a consonant and befure a vowel,
cople. Louvain, 1983. as in Kc.T6H, you hear; XNl.y, you see; 'i1ol, he is
Westendorf, W. Koptisches HaudnVrlerbuch, b<!tlr- placed; K(JHI, you know; and ¢()HI, 5hc resembles; (5)
Milet allf Gnmd (fu KoptUclletl HtIIldwijrterbuchs lhe WC'dk definile al1.lcle mase. 5ing. ". (.j..), fern. 1".
\lOtI Wilhdm Spi"I,oeJbug. lieidclberg, 1977. (Oo), both befure a consonanl and before a vowel. a."
RoooLPI m KASSER in '''('1, ,hc son; ~l. lite man; IWIoy, lhc glory;
T+6, heaven; Ot1l.y, the mOlhcr; and t.L+e, the head;
(6) lh(' auxiliary 4,l, be able: OYl.Tt\rI~ t1poc, which
DJINKIM. The djiuk/m (is,.) is a Coptic reader's cannot be mCo'\SUI'ed (Polotsky, 1949, pp. 25-26). In
sign in the roml or a point (derived rrom a much all these ca.~, which are laic and probably influ·
reduced supralineal' !;lroke?) 01', in UOIIAIRIC (Ll) ('need by Arnbie, Ihe consonant marked by the
only, a grove accent, plnccd above II grapheme-a diinkim never rOn11S a syllable by itself. Olle may
sign thlll is eOlllnlonly round in B (c;:f. Polotsky, thus with reason consider them SIlSpecl from the
1949) or in M, or Mcsokemic (d: Kassel', 1981; puint of vicw of Coptic phonology and exclude them
Schenke, 1981, pp. 26-30) and of which only a few from a compa11ltive analysis limited to the invcstiga-
traees hllve been discovered in V. (None arc known tion of the general value and varieties of uS.lgc of
In F or in any other of the Coplic dialects.) Polol"ky the gcnuinely Coptic diillkim.
(1949, p. 25, n. I) wrote, "The name is inspired by Tn prec!assic..1 M (fourth cell1uI)'; Orlandi, 1974)
the position of the point above some letters, superfi· the IcttCrs marked with Ihe djiukilll (which might
cially similar to that or the 1.lflmkiJI in l'elation to the well have the same material :lSpeel as Ihe djinkim of
~1If1if in Arabic writing. One cannot draw any con· classical M; sec below) 1Il"C lIS follows: (I) of vowels.
clusion fl'om this regarding Ihe significance of the only 0 when it rOmlS a syllable by itself (equally
point." In these V:\riOliS idioms the djinkim was lL"cd within the word?) In bl"duysyllablc8tlon, as in lITlW,
from the beginnings of their literary e:dstenee, but is beCaU5C of, I Tht"ll. 3: 1 (but )'1'Il.K, I, not J.Hl.K, I
employed in a way that differs from onc dialcct to Thes. 3:5): ntCT6yll, to believe, I Thcs. 2:13 (but
another or even within the samc dialccl. Thus, one 11l.J'OYC1.\, advent, nOI tu.fOYCl.L, 1 The!;. 3: 13); (2)
may distinguish at leasl rour syslems of its use, those (exactly as in point 2 of classical B) sonant H or N
of classical D, lale 8, pre.claSl'iical M, and classical M. fonning it syllable by il~lf (also within a compound
In ela.~lc::al B the only leITers marked wilh a word or at the ('nd of a wOI'd?), as in HHoT6H, you, I
djillkim are (I) any vowcl fonning a syllable by itself, Thes. 3:3; MT(JH', ncar to, 1 Thes. 2:13; AATOT(JN 01'1,
such as ),<tl tlWA, he went out, lind 1I4oHt.L, sin; (2) not you, 1 The5. 2:19 (Kassel', 1981).

In c1assicnl M (Iiftll-century, mthcr than si.>o:th-cen- Mallon, A. Grammaire (.·ople, bibfiogrrJphie, dire-slO-
IUry[?]) manuscript.s, of which only ol1e 11;IS bccn ma/hie 10/ vocllbuillire, 4th cd.. rev. M. Mulinine.
published so f<lr (Sehenke, 1981), the lellers Ihm usc Beil1.lt, 1956.
Ihe d;blkim (which has soMctimes the appearance of Orlandi, T. Papiri della UfIl·versi/a degli Siudi di
a vel1' shon Mroke, somelimes thnl of nil tlctuat Milllno (P. Mil. cop/i), Vol. 5, LeI/ere di Sill/ Prwlu ill
point; K'lsser. 1981, pp. 121-22) arc as follows: (I) cup/o·ossiri'/chi/a. cdiziollC, COUIII/CII/O c illdici di T_
Or/alldi, comribulo IinglliIlico di H. Quccke_ Milan,
of vowels, only J. and II when each furms a syllable
by ilself, in brJ.dysytlabication, as in j,~J., treasure;
Polotsky, H. J. "Une Qucstion d'orthogrtlphe
(3lin(3, trade, emf!; cays., wheat; €fJ., king; i"€fJ., liv- bohui"riquc." Bulle/in de la Sociele d'archeologie
er: and XlOyil, Sleal; (2) (exnctly as in puint 2 in COple 12 (1949):25-35.
classical Band prcclussicul M) sonant M or tl fOl'lll- Schenke, !-l.-M. Vas Mallhi!us-cwwgeliwlI im milleli!·
ing a syllable by itself, as ill HK(J2, be sml; NGHt"'-. the gyplisd,ell Via/ekl de~' KOplisd/e/l (Code.x ScheMe).
verbal prefix of the prclelitc of the negtllive pelfect Textc und Untersuchungen del' ahchristlichen Li-
(no cases attested for linal 11): NKJ.T, to sleep: MilNe)" teratur 127. Berlin, 1981.
ufter; OyN, therc is (Ka.sser, 1981). Stem, L. Kop/ische Grammalik. Leipzig, 1880.
The only traceS of the d;illkim that have been ROOOLPHE KAssER
found in V are at the beginning (Eel:!. 1-4) uf P.
Mkb. 3520 (unpublished) and appeal" it seems, only
over syllabic M or tl (hence eX<lctly and exclusively
as in point 2 of classical 8 nnd preclassical and EGYPTIAN ARABIC VOCABULARY,
clnsskul M). This would be n vestige of n usnge Ihnt COPTIC INFLUENCE ON. Coptic loanwords
is elsewhere generalized but whose influence did nm in Egyptian Arabic have been investigated to somc
suceecd in imposing itself in Ihis dialect. extent by seveml writers, among them G. Sobhy, W.
Alltlmt precedes gives sUPPol1 10 Polotsky (1949, Vycichl, W. H. Worrell, W. B. Bishai, and E. Maher
p. 27, speaking especially of the dii'lkim in cltlssictll Ishtll.l.
B): this sign "relates 10 some phonetic cha''nctel" Worrell included m<lterial collected by W. Vyciehl
common to the vowels and tu the nusals; one will and G. Sobhy. In his wOI'k, he lists 110 words, of
think directly of sonority." E<lch of the graphemes which 83 are Coptic. Bishai collected 205 lcxical
that cany the diillkim, in B as in M (or 11), forms n items, all of which had been suggested by various
syllable by itself, often in tachysyllabieation :\nd al- scholars as Coptic loanwords in Egyptinn Ambic. Of
ways in bmdysytlahication: they are sometimes these unly the 109 items treated in his a11icle were
graphic and concun-ently phonologic vowels, some- considered by him as valid loanwords. At the end of
times sonant nasals (eonsonanlal graphemes with his tIl1iclc he says, "Turkish, which was never n
vocalic function). And when. as in M, it is not JUSI vcrnllcuhlr of Egypt, left more Icxical items in Egyp-
any vowel, it i.s certainly J. and 0, the most open (or tian Arahic than Coptic did. ·111is is indicnted by a
voiccd) and one of the must open (or voiced) among partial survey of Turkish loanwords in Egyptian Ara-
the vowels, but nbove all those mOSI used in Coptic, bic by E. Littmann (1954, pp. 107-127: d. PI'Okosch,
whether e.leh forms tl syllable by itself or with an- 1983), which includes two hundred and .sixty-four
Olher phonCllle. Similarly, it is the sonunt nasals, the words." IJishai ''Cliched the conclusiun thut "the lim-
most used aillong the sonants in Coptic, that carry iled influence of Coptic on Arabic can only be ex-
the diinkim (in Coptic the voiced nasals are vel1' plained as ltlck of widespread bilingualism in Egypt
n"Cquent too). One may pl"obubly sce in this Ihe ne- during the transition from Coptic to Ambic....
cessity for the use of Ihe diinkim, pUl1icuiarly on ), Aguin il may be said that Egyptian Muslims today are
and (l alllong Ihe vowels <lnd on Hand tl among the right in claiming (I predominant Ar..lb aneestory"
sonants. (Bishai, 1964, p. 47).
E. Muher lshuq has shown Ihat, contrary 10 the
BIBLIOGRAPIlY opinion expressed by Uishai, a vcry gre(\t number of
Ka'\SCr, R. "Ul Surlignc OI-t-clte precede Ie 'djinkiln' Coptic words have, in fact, sUlVived in the modern
dans les tcxtcs buhu·iliques anciens?" ReVile colloqui(\l AJ'nbic of Egypt. Some of these itellis are
d'egyplOlogic 24 (1972):91-95. lisled below. Only the most conspicuous etymologies
- ' - ' . '''Djinkim' ou 'sudignc' duns les leXles en have been chosen (see !sh<lq, 1975, for olhel"5).
dialecte copte moyen-cgyptien." Bulletill dc la So- It is to be assumed beyond rcusonable doubt that
cieTe d'arcMolugie cup/e 23 (1981):115-57. thcre arc many other Coptic words still surviving in

remote villagC!i that have nO( yet been MHve)'(.-d. On S • Sahidic

the oth<r hand, Ihere are hundn..-ds of colloquial B - Bohairic
....,ords apparently of COplic origin Ihat cannot be A - Akhmimic
identified at presenl because tht:y have undergone F - Fayyumic
significant change, such as by metnthesls, by sound L - Lycopolilan (or Lyco-Diospolilan)
changes of a nonpredietable nature, or rn:cllUsc their
Coptic ctymon has not }'et been itlentilicd in any of
I. Agricultural HenUI
the published documents.
Most of lhe Coptic words quoted arc ~,lso allcsled 1\, Immd;.ilioll, dams, and camlls: (I) ilamlm, inun·
in hieroglyphic (lind/or dt'motk). For these etymolo· dlillon, from S eMlII'e, preceded by feminine al1iclc:
gies ~ J. Cerny (l976), W. Westendotf (1977), and (2) (am)', silt, deposit of the Nile, from 5 OM(I, 8 OM',
w. Vycichl (1983). mud, clay, preceded by feminine anide; (3) isl!!iim,
In the following, Egyptian "l':lbic is rendered in a dam, from 5 IlTOH, 8 QIOOH, c1osun:: (4) fibs/!,
notation systcm Ihat is phonologicalrulher lhan pho- brushwood bundle, reed, Cleo (wim deriV"<lICS fibs1la,
netic. Thus, vowel length is often indicated where it sheaf, /abbish, to Slack with reeds), from 5 "6&10, 8
is not realized, all in unstressed or in nonlinal dosed M;t~, fuel, brushwood; (5) fa11, canal. from B '101,
slressed syllables. Note also that q is rcalized as [g) 58 .... (the regular S fonn is '«l).
in Upper Egypt and as [') in Cairo and large pans of 8. unds, grunaries, and stables: (I) IHlnibiyya,
Lower f&ypt, ;md that i is reali1.ed as (g) in the latter plurul burayib, land used for Bruin, stubble, from S
== (~)fOOYtI, 8 (1},.ayi, stubble, preceded by ma.~u­
The vocabulary items arc discussed under the fol· line article; (2) s/wrlJqi, fallow, sllaraq, druught,
lowing headings: sharriq ur S}lfmaq, 10 be dl)' (land). from S, 8 lI~fKtl,
tack of water, drought; (3) sh,illa, granaI)', from 8
Q,loyNl, b(lm.
I. Agricultural items: A. inundntion, dams, and C. Preparing the land: (I) hi/II, ridge (between
canals; B. lands, granaries, tlnd stables: C.
fUioroWS), from S 'TN, gr'Ound, preceded by mflseu·
prepal'ing the land; D. cultivating lllld reaping:
E. inlcljcClions and work M>ngl': F. lools: G. the
line flrticle; (2) sikilya, ploughing, from S CK~r, In
plough; H. irrigating machilles plough: (3) lash, border, boundar), (with derivalc
II. Birds !awwisJt, 10 make a boundal)'), from S TOIt,!, 0 QOtI,
Ill. Other animals border, CIC.; cf. S ~, 8 0GJCtl, In be boundal)'.
IV. Body: A. pans uf the body; B. excretions of the D. Cuhivaling and reaping: (1) laqqiJ. to sow
body; C. di~ascs and swellings (com-St.-ctl), from S Tw(_)6e, to fix, to plant, or from
V. Buildings and related tenns 5, A, f· nlK, to throw; (2) nabdri, winter crop of
VI. Childrcn: A. children's play; B. olhcr words mai7,c (or other grains), from S to.Ilf6, groin, seed:
relatcd to children (3) "'U~tS(l, beams laid together, Cle., from A, L
VII. Clothes oy~. S oyEtcd, B oy~ZCOC, roof; literally, addi·
VIII. E.cclesia~lic tenns lion of bL"llms.
IX. Fire, lamps, ovens, and rcl:lted IcmlS
E. lnte,jeclions and work songs: (1) lmi, in Ihe
X. Fish
XI. Food and drink song lmi 61li ya la/pin ir-n·/.Ill)''' (0 mill or the hand
XII. Insects mill), from B 6ytll, nethe]' millstone; (2) tla Mb, hela
XIJI. Inte,jeetions and cries frOb, used when lifting hcavy 1\l1icles: second cle-
XIV. DI)' measures ment fmlll :!G)B, thillg, work, etc.; various expl:lIlflo
XV. Nauticaltcrl1ls tions possible; (3) sMb, hoi wind, also in Ihe verse
XVI. Groups and sorts of people Mb Ju'lb quIa/IIi sh·sJtM (the heat ha.~ kilk'tJ me),
XVII. Plants fmm S ~, ~, B ,,:11, 10 be wilhered, hiero-
XVIII. Sacks and baskets glyphic and demode ihb, hOi wind: (4) Mb. in the
XIX. Spt:t:ch, bluffing, silence, and noise verse quott..'t! above, ilem 3, and in hob)'O hob yo :01
XX. Sticks and tuols in-nob (0 sowing-SL-cds which bring fonh-gold),
XXI. Vessels and utensils
from S, 8 2tHI, work, matter; the ver= is !illid during
XXII. Other Items.
Ihe work of irrigating the field with the shadoof and
is answered by the translalion, yo IIMi )'a ~t{t/i yo. tar'
Uppercase letter.! indicate the various basic Coptic id.Ja1lab, (0 my business, 0 my business, 0 sowing
diaIL'ClS, as follows: gold): also cf. hOb hOb )'a sJrugh/ ill·IIM (0 work of

guld). sung while threshing wheat (Sobhy. 1950); (5) wi.kll$ aMk