Two Remarkable Features of Coptic Syntax


Boud’hors, A. & Shisha-Halevy, A., 2012. Two Remarkable Features of Coptic Syntax. Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde , 139 , pp. 105–112.

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On the following pages, we propose to present and discuss our database for some features of Coptic, deviating from the “canonical” picture as seen in the grammars, from L. Stern’s to B. Layton’s, and in the grammatical literature generally. These are Lesefrüchte, and the treatise more of a work-note than a conclusive and systematic discussion; it is meant to attract attention, but also a description of environment and function. A historical dimension is of the essence in these cases, and will be addressed in some detail, for a diachronic cycle may here be in evidence, and an appeal to pre-Coptic Egyptian linguists is envisaged; also, a methodological perspective – pointing out the flimsiness of our comprehension of Coptic grammar, as well as its “canonical” nature, which is the main reason for the impulse for editorial condemnation and emendation. Finally, this essay is an homage to the syntactical sensitivity and analytic intelligence of W. E. Crum, not to be eclipsed by his lexicographical genius. In Ludwig Stern’s words, Coptic cannot easily be “erlernt”: of its terra incognita patches, our notes pick one verbal, one non-verbal feature.

See also: Coptic
Last updated on 01/18/2018