The Info List - Coptic Language

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Coptic or Coptic Egyptian (Bohairic: ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ti.met.rem.ən.khēmi and Sahidic: ⲧⲙⲛ̄ⲧⲣⲙ̄ⲛ̄ⲕⲏⲙⲉ t.mənt.rəm.ən.kēme) is the latest stage of the Egyptian language, a northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in Egypt
until at least the 17th century.[2] Egyptian began to be written in the Coptic alphabet, an adaptation of the Greek alphabet
Greek alphabet
with the addition of six or seven signs from demotic to represent Egyptian sounds the Greek language
Greek language
did not have, in the first century AD.[3] Several distinct Coptic dialects are identified, the most prominent of which are Sahidic, originating in parts of Upper Egypt, and Bohairic, originally from the western Nile Delta
Nile Delta
in Lower Egypt. Coptic and Demotic are grammatically closely related to Late Egyptian, which was written with Egyptian hieroglyphs. Coptic flourished as a literary language from the second to thirteenth centuries, and its Bohairic
dialect continues to be the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. It was supplanted by Egyptian Arabic as a spoken language toward the early modern period, but language revitalization efforts have been underway since the 19th century.


1 Name 2 Geographic distribution

2.1 Influence on other languages

3 History

3.1 Pre-Islamic period 3.2 Islamic period

4 Writing system 5 Literature 6 Vocabulary 7 Phonology

7.1 Vowels 7.2 Consonants

8 Grammar

8.1 Nouns

8.1.1 Pronouns

8.2 Adjectives 8.3 Verbs

8.3.1 Verbal grade system 8.3.2 Tense/aspect/mood inflection 8.3.3 Second tenses

8.4 Prepositions 8.5 Syntax

9 Sentential syntax 10 Dialects

10.1 Upper Egypt

10.1.1 Sahidic 10.1.2 Akhmimic 10.1.3 Lycopolitan

10.2 Lower Egypt

10.2.1 Bohairic 10.2.2 Fayyumic 10.2.3 Oxyrhynchite

11 See also 12 References 13 Further reading

13.1 General studies 13.2 Grammars and grammatical studies 13.3 Dictionaries 13.4 Phonology 13.5 Bibliographies

14 External links

Name[edit] The native Coptic name for the language is ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ /ti-met-rem-en-kʰeː-mi/ in the Bohairic
(Delta) dialect, ⲧⲙⲛ̄ⲧⲣⲙ̄ⲛ̄ⲕⲏⲙⲉ /t-ment-rem-en-kiː-me/ in the Sahidic
(Valley) dialect. The particle prefix me(n)t- from the verb ⲙⲟⲩϯ mouti ('to speak') forms all abstract nouns in Coptic (not only those pertaining to "language"). The term remenkhēmi/remenkēme meaning 'Egyptian', literally 'person of Egypt', is a compound of rem-, which is the construct state of the Coptic noun ⲣⲱⲙⲓ/ⲣⲱⲙⲉ, 'man, human being', + the genitive preposition (e)n- 'of' + the word for 'Egypt', ⲭⲏⲙⲓ/ⲕⲏⲙⲉ khēmi/kēme (cf. Kemet). Thus, the whole expression literally means 'language of the people of Egypt', or simply 'Egyptian language'. Another name by which the language has been called is ⲧⲙⲛ̄ⲧⲕⲩⲡⲧⲁⲓⲟⲛ /timentkuptaion/ from the Copto-Greek form ⲧⲙⲛ̄ⲧⲁⲓⲅⲩⲡⲧⲓⲟⲛ /timentaiguption/ ('Egyptian language'). The term logos ən aiguptios ('Egyptian language') is also attested in Sahidic, but logos and aiguptios are both Greek in origin. In the liturgy of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the name is more officially ϯⲁⲥⲡⲓ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ti aspi ən rem ən kēmi, 'the Egyptian language', aspi being the Egyptian word for language. Geographic distribution[edit]

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Coptic is today spoken liturgically in the Coptic Orthodox and Coptic Catholic Church (along with Modern Standard Arabic). The language is spoken only in Egypt
and historically has had little influence outside of the territory, except for monasteries located in Nubia. Coptic's most noticeable linguistic impact has been on the various dialects of Egyptian Arabic, which is characterized by a Coptic substratum in lexical, morphological, syntactical, and phonological features.[citation needed] Influence on other languages[edit] In addition to influencing the grammar, vocabulary and syntax of Egyptian Arabic, Coptic has lent to both Arabic
and Biblical Hebrew such words as:

timsāḥ, تمساح (Arabic), תמסח (Hebrew) – "crocodile"; ⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ emsaḥ; this subsequently entered Turkish as timsah. It should be noted, however, that Coptic ⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ is grammatically masculine and hence would have been vocalised pemsaḥ or bemsaḥ (Sahidic: ⲡⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ; Bohairic: ⲡⲓⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ). Hence it is unclear why the word should have entered Arabic
with an initial t, which would have required the word to be grammatically feminine (i.e. Sahidic: *ⲧⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ; Bohairic: *ϯⲉⲙⲥⲁϩ). ṭūbah طوبة "brick"; Sahidic
ⲧⲱⲃⲉ to:be; Bohairic ⲧⲱⲃⲓ to:bi; this subsequently entered Catalan and Spanish (via Andalusian Arabic) as tova and adobe respectively, the latter of which was borrowed by American English. wāḥah واحة "oasis"; Sahidic
ⲟⲩⲁϩⲉ waḥe, Bohairic ⲟⲩⲉϩⲓ weḥi; this subsequently entered Turkish as vaha

A few words of Coptic origin are found in the Greek language; some of the words were later lent to various European languages (such as barge, from Coptic ⲃⲁⲁⲣⲉ bari, "small boat"). However, most words of Egyptian origin that entered into Greek and subsequently into other European languages came directly from Ancient Egyptian, often Demotic. An example is the Greek ὄασις oasis, which comes directly from Egyptian wḥ3.t or demotic wḥỉ. However, Coptic reborrowed some words of Ancient Egyptian origin into its lexicon, via Greek. For example, both Sahidic
and Bohairic
use the word ebenos, which was taken directly from Greek ἔβενος "ebony", originally from Egyptian hbny.[citation needed] Many major cities' names in modern Egypt
are Arabic
adaptations of their former Coptic names:

– ⲧⲁⲛⲧⲁⲑⲟ (Tantatho) Asyut
– ⲥⲓⲟⲟⲩⲧ (Siowt) Faiyum
– ⲡⲉⲓⲟⲙ (Peiom) Dumyat – ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ (Tamiati) Aswan
– ⲥⲟⲩⲁⲛ (Suan) Damanhur
– ϯⲙⲓⲛϩⲱⲣ (Timinhor)

The Coptic name ⲡⲁⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ, papnoute (from Egyptian p3y-p3-nṯr), means "belonging to God" or "he of God"[4][5][6]. It was adapted into Arabic
as Babnouda, which remains a common name among Egyptian Copts
to this day. It was also borrowed into Greek as the name Παφνούτιος (Paphnutius). That, in turn, is the source of the Russian name Пафнутий (Pafnuty), like the mathematician Pafnuty Chebyshev. The Old Nubian language
Old Nubian language
and the modern Nobiin language
Nobiin language
borrowed many words of Coptic origin.[citation needed] History[edit]

Fifth–sixth century Coptic liturgic inscription from Upper Egypt.

The Egyptian language
Egyptian language
may have the longest documented history of any language, from Old Egyptian that appeared just before 3200 BC[7] to its final phases as Coptic in the Middle Ages. Coptic belongs to the Later Egyptian phase, which started to be written in the New Kingdom of Egypt. Later Egyptian represented colloquial speech of the later periods. It had analytic features like definite and indefinite articles and periphrastic verb conjugation. Coptic, therefore, is a reference to both the most recent stage of Egyptian after Demotic and the new writing system that was adapted from the Greek alphabet. Pre-Islamic period[edit] The earliest attempts to write the Egyptian language
Egyptian language
using the Greek alphabet are Greek transcriptions of Egyptian proper names, most of which date to the Ptolemaic period. Scholars frequently refer to this phase as pre-Coptic. However, it is clear that by the late pharaonic period, demotic scribes regularly employed a more phonetic orthography, a testament to the increasing cultural contact between Egyptians
and Greeks
even before Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt. Coptic itself, or Old Coptic, takes root in the first century. The transition from the older Egyptian scripts to the newly adapted Coptic alphabet
Coptic alphabet
was in part due to the decline of the traditional role played by the priestly class of ancient Egyptian religion, who unlike most ordinary Egyptians, were literate in the temple scriptoria. Old Coptic is represented mostly by non-Christian texts such as Egyptian pagan prayers and magical and astrological papyri. Many of them served as glosses to original hieratic and demotic equivalents. The glosses may have been aimed at non-Egyptian speakers.

Eighth century Coptic manuscript of Luke 5.5–9

Under late Roman rule, Diocletian
persecuted many Egyptian converts to the new Christian faith, which forced new converts to flee to the Egyptian deserts. In time, the growth of these communities generated the need to write Christian Greek instructions in the Egyptian language. The early Fathers of the Egyptian Church, such as Anthony the Great, Pachomius the Great, Macarius of Egypt
and Athanasius of Alexandria, who otherwise usually wrote in Greek, addressed some of their works to the Egyptian monks in Egyptian. The Egyptian language, now written in the Coptic alphabet, flourished in the second and third centuries. However, it was not until Shenouda/ Shenoute
that Coptic became a fully standardized literary language based on the Sahidic dialect. Shenouda's native Egyptian tongue and knowledge of Greek and rhetoric gave him the necessary tools to elevate Coptic, in content and style, to a literary height nearly equal to the position of the Egyptian language
Egyptian language
in Ancient Egypt. Islamic period[edit]

Page from 19th century Coptic Language Grammar

The Muslim conquest of Egypt
by Arabs
came with the spread of Islam
in the seventh century. At the turn of the eighth century, Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan decreed that Arabic
replace Koine Greek
Koine Greek
and Coptic as the sole administrative language. Literary Coptic gradually declined, and within a few hundred years, Egyptian bishop Severus Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ found it necessary to write his History of the Patriarchs in Arabic. However, the language ecclesiastically retained its important position, and many hagiographic texts were also composed during this period. Until the 10th century, Coptic remained the spoken language of the native population outside the capital. Persecutions under the Mamluk Sultanate (1250–1517) led to the further decline of Coptic[citation needed] until it completely gave way to Egyptian Arabic around the 17th century[citation needed], though it may have survived in isolated pockets for a little longer. In the second half of the 19th century, Pope Cyril IV of Alexandria started a national Church-sponsored movement to revive Coptic. Several works of grammar were published, along with a more comprehensive dictionary than had been previously available. The scholarly findings of the field of Egyptology
and the inauguration of the Institute of Coptic Studies further contributed to the renaissance. Efforts at language revitalization continue to be undertaken, both inside and outside the Church, and have attracted the interest of Copts
and linguists in and outside of Egypt. Writing system[edit] Main article: Coptic alphabet

Stone with Coptic inscription

Coptic uses a writing system almost wholly derived from the Greek alphabet, with the addition of a number of letters that have their origins in Demotic Egyptian. (That makes it comparable to the Latin-based Icelandic alphabet, which includes the runic letter thorn.)[8] There is some variation in the number and forms of these signs depending on the dialect. Some of the letters in the Coptic alphabet that are of Greek origin were normally reserved for words that are themselves Greek. Old Coptic texts employed several graphemes that were not retained in the literary Coptic orthography of later centuries. In Sahidic, syllable boundary may have been marked by a supralinear stroke. Such words in the northern dialects have ⲉ ([e] or [ə]) in place of the superlinear stroke. Some scribal traditions use a diaeresis over /i/ and /u/ at the beginning of a syllable. Bohairic uses a superposed point or small stroke known as a djinkim. It may be related to the Sahidic
supralinear stroke, or it may indicate a glottal stop. Most Coptic texts do not indicate a word division. Literature[edit] Main article: Coptic literature The oldest Coptic writings date to the pre-Christian era (Old Coptic), though Coptic literature consists mostly of texts written by prominent saints of the Coptic Church such as Anthony the Great, Pachomius the Great and Shenoute. Shenoute
helped fully standardize the Coptic language through his many sermons, treatises and homilies, which formed the basis of early Coptic literature. Vocabulary[edit] The core lexicon of Coptic is Egyptian, most closely related to the preceding Demotic phase of the language. Up to 20% of the vocabulary of literary Coptic is drawn from Greek, but borrowings are not always fully adapted to the Coptic phonological system and may have semantic differences as well. There are instances of Coptic texts having passages that are almost entirely composed from Greek lexical roots. However, that is likely due to the fact that the majority of Coptic religious texts are direct translations of Greek works.

‘What invariably attracts the attention of the reader of a Coptic text, especially if it is written in the Sa'idic dialect, is the very liberal use which is made of Greek loan words, of which so few, indeed, are to be found in the Ancient Egyptian language. There Greek loan words occur everywhere in Coptic literature, be it Biblical, liturgical, theological, or non-literary, i.e. legal documents and personal letters. Though nouns and verbs predominate, the Greek loan words may come from any other part of speech except pronouns.’[9]

Words or concepts for which no adequate Egyptian translation existed were taken directly from Greek to avoid altering the meaning of the religious message. In addition, other Egyptian words that would have adequately translated the Greek equivalents were not employed as they were perceived as having overt pagan associations. Old Coptic texts employ many such words, phrases and epithets; for example, the word ⲧⲃⲁⲓⲧⲱⲩ '(Who is) in (His) Mountain', is an epithet of Anubis.[10] There are also traces of some archaic grammatical features, such as residues of the Demotic relative clause, lack of an indefinite article and possessive use of suffixes. Thus, the transition from the 'old' traditions to the new Christian religion also contributed to the adoption of Greek words into the Coptic religious lexicon. It is safe to assume that the everyday speech of the native population retained, to a greater extent, its indigenous Egyptian character, which is sometimes reflected in Coptic nonreligious documents such as letters and contracts. Phonology[edit] Coptic provides the clearest indication of Later Egyptian phonology from its writing system, which fully indicates vowel sounds and occasionally stress pattern. The phonological system of Later Egyptian is also better known than that of the Classical phase of the language because of a greater number of sources indicating Egyptian sounds, including cuneiform letters containing transcriptions of Egyptian words and phrases, and Egyptian renderings of Northwest Semitic names. Coptic sounds, in addition, are known from a variety of Coptic-Arabic papyri in which Arabic
letters were used to transcribe Coptic and vice versa. They date to the medieval Islamic period, when Coptic was still spoken.[11] Vowels[edit] There are some differences of opinion among Coptic language
Coptic language
scholars on the correct phonetic interpretation of the writing system of Coptic. Differences centre on how to interpret the pairs of letters ε/η and ο/ω. In Greek spelling, the first member of each pair is a short closed vowel /e, o/, and the second member is a long open vowel /ɛː, ɔː/. In some interpretations of Coptic phonology,[12] it is assumed that the length difference is primary, with ε/η e/eː and ο/ω is o/oː. Other scholars[13][14] argue for a different analysis in which ε/η and ο/ω are interpreted as e/ɛ and o/ɔ. These two charts show the two theories of Coptic vowel phonology:

Monophthong phonemes (length theory)

Front Central Back

Close iː   uː

Close-mid eː   e   oː   o

Mid   ə  



Monophthong phonemes (vowel quality theory)

Front Central Back

Close iː   uː

Close-mid e     o  

Mid ɛ ə ɔ



In the Upper Egyptian dialects, a superlinear stroke is placed over sonorants to mark a reduced /e/. The vowel does not undergo reduction in the northern dialects, where it is indicated by ⲉ in Bohairic
and ⲏ or ⲩ in Fayyumic. For example, /ʃemʃə/ 'to worship' is Sah/Akh/Lyc ϣⲙ̅ϣⲉ, Bohairic
ϣⲉⲙϣⲓ and Fayyumic ϣⲏⲙϣⲓ. The vowel quality of /e/ can vary: either [e] or [ɛ] depending on the dialect. In Sahidic
and other Upper Egyptian dialects, word-final ⲉ corresponds to word-final ⲓ in the northern dialects. The vowel /ɑ/ is typically represented by ⲁ, and its presence may be an indicator of emphasis spread in the same syllable. For example, ⲥⲁ (used in the construction 'man of [trade]') is transcribed ⟨sˤɑ⟩ in medieval Coptic- Arabic
papyri. In some phonetic environments, /o/ is a more open [ɔ], and /a/ is a more forward [æ]. The vowel /ə/ is always unstressed and can be reduced to zero as in earlier Egyptian scripts, which did not indicate unstressed and most stressed vowels. Coptic also has three to four diphthongs (mainly [aj], [ɔj] and [aw]), but they may be interpreted as series of vowels and glides. In some dialects, they are monophthongized. Consonants[edit] As with the vowels, there are differences of opinion over the correct interpretation of the Coptic consonant letters, particular the letters ϫ and Ϭ. ϫ is transcribed as ⟨j⟩ in many older Coptic sources and Ϭ as /ɡ/[12] or /tʃ/. Lambdin (1983) notes that the current conventional pronunciations are different from the probable ancient pronunciations: ϫ was probably pronounced [tʲ] and Ϭ was probably pronounced [kʲ]. Reintges (2004, p. 22) suggests that ϫ was pronounced [tʃ]. The following chart shows the consonants that are represented in Sahidic
Coptic orthography. Consonants that are rare or found primarily in Greek loanwords are shown in parentheses:

Coptic consonants

Labial Alveolar Post- alveolar Velar Glottal

plain den. plain pal. plain pal.

Nasal m


Stop voiceless p

t tʲ

k kʲ ʔ




Affricate voiceless




Fricative voiceless

f s



voiced β


Approximant w





Coptic has an additional consonant, /x/, spelled Ϧ. It is possible that in the ancient pronunciation of Coptic that there were additional consonants not spelled in the writing system, such as /ʕ/. Earlier phases of Egyptian may have contrasted voiceless and voiced bilabial plosives, but the distinction seems to have been lost. Late Egyptian, Demotic and Coptic all interchangeably use their respective graphemes to indicate either sound; for example, Coptic for 'iron' appears alternately as ⲡⲉⲛⲓⲡⲉ, ⲃⲉⲛⲓⲡⲉ and ⲃⲓⲛⲓⲃⲉ. That probably reflects dialect variation. Both letters were interchanged with ⲫ and ϥ to indicate /f/, and ⲃ was also used in many texts to indicate the bilabial approximant /w/. Coptologists believe that Coptic ⲃ was articulated as a voiced bilabial fricative [β]. In the present-day Coptic Church services, this letter is realized as /v/, but it is almost certainly a result of the pronunciation reforms instituted in the 19th century. Whereas Old Egyptian contrasts /s/ and /z/, the two sounds appear to be in free variation in Coptic, as they were since the Middle Egyptian period. However, they are contrasted only in Greek loans; for example, native Coptic ⲁⲛⲍⲏⲃⲉ (anzībə) and ⲁⲛⲥⲏⲃⲉ (ansībə) 'school' are homophonous. Other consonants that sometimes appear to be either in free variation or to have different distributions across dialects are [t] and [d], [r] and [l] (especially in the Fayyumic dialect, a feature of earlier Egyptian) and [k] and [ɡ], with the voiceless stop consonants being more common in Coptic words and the voiced ones in Greek borrowings. Apart from the liquid consonants, this pattern may indicate a sound change in Later Egyptian, leading to a neutralization of voiced alveolar and velar plosives. When the voiced plosives are realized, it is usually the result of consonant voicing in proximity to /n/. Old Coptic texts graphically express the Egyptian pharyngeals in a variety of ways. For example, the Old Coptic grapheme ⳍ was occasionally used to convey a voiceless pharyngeal fricative. In literary Coptic, the two sounds are not indicated by separate letters, suggesting loss of phonemic status. Instead, the adapted demotic grapheme ϩ, which normally stands for /h/, is used to express either sound. In unstressed initial syllables and stressed final syllables, the voiced pharyngeal fricative is sometimes conveyed by ⲁ as in ⲁϣⲁⲓ (ʕšai) 'to multiply'. Similarly, different methods are employed to graphically express the glottal stop: with ⲁ word-initially, with ⲓ word-finally in monosyllabic words in northern dialects and ⲉ in monosyllabic words in Akhmimic and Assiutic, by reduplication of a vowel's grapheme but mostly as [∅]. Grammar[edit] Coptic is agglutinative with subject–verb–object word order but can be verb–subject–object with the correct preposition in front of the subject. Number, gender, tense, and mood are indicated by prefixes that come from Late Egyptian. The earlier phases of Egyptian did this through suffixation. Some vestiges of the suffix inflection survive in Coptic, mainly to indicate inalienable possession and in some verbs. Compare the Middle Egyptian form *satāpafa 'he chooses' (written stp.f in hieroglyphs) to Coptic (Sahidic) f.sotp ϥⲥⲱⲧⲡ̅ 'he chooses'. Nouns[edit] All Coptic nouns carry grammatical gender, either masculine or feminine, usually marked through a prefixed definite article as in the Romance languages. Masculine nouns are marked with the article /pə, peː/ and feminine nouns with the article /tə, teː/[15] in the Sahidic
dialect and /pi, əp/ and /ti, ət/ in the Bohairic
dialect. Bohairic: ⲡⲓⲣⲱⲙⲓ /pi-roːmi/ - 'the man' / ϯϫⲓϫ /ti-dʒig/ - 'the hand' Sahidic: ⲡⲉⲣⲱⲙⲉ /pə-roːme/ - 'the man' / ⲧⲉϫⲓϫ /tə-ciɟ/ - 'the hand' The definite and indefinite articles also indicate number; however, only definite articles mark gender. Coptic has a number of broken plurals, a vestige of Older Egyptian, but in the majority of cases, the article marks number. Generally, nouns inflected for plurality end in /wə/, but there are some irregularities. The dual was another feature of earlier Egyptian that survives in Coptic in only few words, such as ⲥⲛⲁⲩ (snau) 'two'. Words of Greek origin keep their original grammatical gender, except for neuter nouns, which become masculine in Coptic. Pronouns[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Coptic pronouns are of two kinds, dependent and independent. Independent pronouns are used when the pronoun is acting as the subject of a sentence, as the object of a verb, or with a preposition. Dependent pronouns are a series of prefixes and suffixes that can attach to verbs and other nouns. Coptic verbs can therefore be said to inflect for the person, number and gender of the subject and the object: a pronominal prefix marks the subject, and a pronominal suffix marks the object, e.g. "I I'have'it the ball." When (as in this case) the subject is a pronoun, it normally isn't also expressed independently, unless for emphasis. As in other Afroasiatic languages, gender of pronouns differ only in the second and third person singular. The following table shows the pronouns of the Sahidian dialect:

  Independent Proclitic As suffix

Stressed Unstressed

Singular 1. anok anəg- ti- =i

2. m. ənthok əntek- ək- =k

2. f. əntho ənte- te-, tr- =∅, =e, =r(e), =te

3. m. ənthof   əf- =f

3. f. ənthos   əs- =s

Plural 1. anon an- ten- =n

2. ənthōten ənten- teten- =ten, =teten

3. ənthōou   se- =ou

Adjectives[edit] Most Coptic adjectives are actually nouns that have the attributive particle n to make them adjectival. In all stages of Egyptian, this morpheme is also used to express the genitive; for example, the Bohairic
word for 'Egyptian', ⲣⲉⲙ̀ⲛⲭⲏⲙⲓ /remenkʰeːmi/, is a combination of the nominal prefix rem- (the reduced form of ⲣⲱⲙⲓ rōmi 'man'), followed by the genitive morpheme ən ('of') and finally the word for Egypt, khēmi. Verbs[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Verbal grade system[edit] Coptic, like Ancient Egyptian and Semitic languages, has root-and-pattern or templatic morphology, and the basic meaning of a verb is contained in a root and various derived forms of root are obtained by varying the vowel pattern. For example, the root for 'build' is kt. It has four derived forms: kɔt (the absolute state grade); ket- (the nominal state grade), kot= (the pronominal state grade), and kɛt (the stative grade). (The nominal state grade is also called the construct state in some grammars of Coptic.) The absolute, nominal, and pronominal state grades are used in different syntactic contexts. The absolute state grade of a transitive verb is used before a direct object with the accusative preposition /ən, əm/, and the nominal state grade is used before a direct object with no case-marking. The pronominal state grade is used before a pronominal direct object enclitic. In addition, many verbs also have a neutral state grade, used to express a state resulting from the action of the verb. Compare the following forms:[16] Absolute state grade

ⲁⲓϫⲓⲙⲓ a-i-dʒimi PFV-1SG-find.ABS

ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲓⲱⲧ əm-p-a-joːt PREP-DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father

ⲁⲓϫⲓⲙⲓ ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲓⲱⲧ a-i-dʒimi əm-p-a-joːt PFV-1SG-find.ABS PREP-DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father 'I found my father.'

Nominal state grade

ⲁⲓϫⲉⲙ a-i-dʒem PFV-1SG-find.NOM

ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲓⲱⲧ əm-p-a-joːt[dubious – discuss] DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father

ⲁⲓϫⲉⲙ ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲓⲱⲧ a-i-dʒem əm-p-a-joːt[dubious – discuss] PFV-1SG-find.NOM DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father 'I found my father.'

Pronominal state grade

ⲁⲓⲭⲛ̀ⲧϥ a-i-kʲənt=f PFV-1SG-find.PRONOM=3MSG

ⲁⲓⲭⲛ̀ⲧϥ a-i-kʲənt=f PFV-1SG-find.PRONOM=3MSG 'I found him.'

For most transitive verbs, both absolute and nominal state grade verbs are available for non-pronominal objects. However, there is one important restriction, known as Jernstedt's rule (or the Stern-Jernstedt rule) (Jernstedt 1927): present-tense sentences cannot be used in the nominal state grade. Thus sentences in the present tense always show a pattern like the first example above (absolute state), never the second pattern (nominal state). In general, the four grades of Coptic verb are not predictable from the root, and are listed in the lexicon for each verb. The following chart shows some typical patterns of correspondence:

Gloss Absolute state Nominal state Pronominal state Neutral state

Coptic Latin Coptic Latin Coptic Latin Coptic Latin

spread ⲡⲱⲣϣ̀ poːrəʃ ⲡⲱⲣ̀ϣ pərʃ ⲡⲱⲣϣ poːrʃ ⲡⲟⲣϣ̀ porəʃ

dig ϣⲓⲕⲉ ʃike ϣⲉⲕⲧ ʃekt ϣⲁⲕⲧ ʃakt ϣⲟⲕⲉ ʃoke

comfort ⲥⲟⲗⲥⲗ̀ solsəl ⲥⲗ̀ⲥⲗ̀ səlsəl ⲥⲗ̀ⲥⲱⲗ səlsoːl ⲥⲗ̀ⲥⲱⲗ səlsoːl

roll ⲥⲕⲟⲣⲕⲣ̀ skorkər ⲥⲕⲣ̀ⲕⲣ̀ skərkər ⲥⲕⲣ̀ⲕⲱⲣ skərkoːr ⲥⲕⲣ̀ⲕⲱⲣ skərkoːr

build ⲕⲱⲧ koːt ⲕⲉⲧ ket ⲕⲟⲧ kot ⲕⲏⲧ keːt

It is hazardous to make firm generalizations about the relationships between these grade forms, but the nominal state is usually shorter than the corresponding absolute and neutral forms. Absolute and neutral state forms are usually bisyllabic or contain a long vowel; the corresponding nominal state forms are monosyllabic or have short vowels. Tense/aspect/mood inflection[edit] Coptic has a very large number of distinct tense/aspect/mood categories, expressed by particles which are either before the verb or before the subject. The future I /na/ is a preverbal particle and follows the subject:[17]

Ⲡⲉϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ Pə-tʲoeis DEF:MASC:SG-lord

ⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ na-krine FUT-judge

ⲛ̀ⲛⲉⲗⲁⲟⲥ ən-nə-Laos PREP-DEF:PL-people

Ⲡⲉϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ ⲛ̀ⲛⲉⲗⲁⲟⲥ Pə-tʲoeis na-krine ən-nə-Laos DEF:MASC:SG-lord FUT-judge PREP-DEF:PL-people 'The lord will judge the nations.'

In contrast, the perfective /a/ is a pre-subject particle:


ⲧⲉϥⲥⲱⲛⲉ te-f-soːne DEF:F:SG-3MSG-sister

ⲇⲉ de part

ⲟⲗ ol carry.ABS

ⲛ̀ⲛⲉϥⲕⲏⲥ ən-ne-f-keːs PREP-DEF:PL-3MSG-bone

Ⲁ ⲧⲉϥⲥⲱⲛⲉ ⲇⲉ ⲟⲗ ⲛ̀ⲛⲉϥⲕⲏⲥ A te-f-soːne de ol ən-ne-f-keːs PFV DEF:F:SG-3MSG-sister part carry.ABS PREP-DEF:PL-3MSG-bone 'His sister carried his bones.'

There is some variation in the labels for the tense/aspect/mood categories. The chart below shows the labels from Reintges (2004), Lambdin (1983), Plumley (1948). (Where they agree, only one label is shown.) Each form lists the morphology found with a nonpronominal subject and a third person singular masculine pronominal subject('he'):

Tense name (Reintges) Tense name (Lambdin) Tense name (Plumley) Nominal subject 3rd masc sg pronominal subject

First Present

Present I ø NP - f- ϥ-

Second Present

ere NP ⲉⲣⲉ ef- ⲉϥ-

Relative of First Present

etere NP ⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉ etəf- ⲉⲧϥ̀-


ere NP ⲉⲣⲉ ef- ⲉϥ-

Preterite Present Imperfect Imperfect nere NP ⲛⲉⲣⲉ nef- ⲛⲉϥ-

Preterite Past

nea NP ⲛⲉⲁ neaf- ⲛⲉⲁϥ-

Future I

NP na- ⲛⲁ- fna- ϥⲛⲁ-

Future II

ere NP na- ⲉⲣⲉ ⲛⲁ- efna- ⲉϥⲛⲁ-

Future III

ere NP ⲉⲣⲉ efe- ⲉϥⲉ-

Negative Future III Negative Future III ənne NP ⲛ̀ⲛⲉ ənnef- ⲛ̀ⲛⲉϥ-

Imperfect of Future Future Imperfect nere NP na- ⲛⲉⲣⲉ ⲛⲁ- nefna- ⲛⲉϥⲛⲁ-

Perfect I

a NP ⲁ af- ⲁϥ-

Negative Perfect I

əmpe NP ⲙ̀ⲡⲉ əmpef- ⲙ̀ⲡⲉϥ-

Perfect II

ənta NP ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ əntaf- ⲛ̀ⲧⲉϥ-

Habitual I

ʃare NP ϣⲁⲣⲉ ʃaf- ϣⲁϥ-

Habitual II

eʃare NP ⲉϣⲁⲣⲉ eʃaf- ⲉϣⲁϥ-

Negative Habitual

mere NP ⲙⲉⲣⲉ mef- ⲙⲉϥ-

Jussive Injunctive Optative mare NP ⲙⲁⲣⲉ maref- ⲙⲁⲣⲉϥ-


erʃan NP ⲉⲣϣⲁⲛ efʃan- ⲉϥϣⲁⲛ-


ənte NP ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ nəf- ⲛϥ̀-

Inferential Future Conjunctive of Result Future IV tare NP ⲧⲁⲣⲉ taref- ⲧⲁⲣⲉϥ-


əntere NP ⲛ̀ⲧⲉⲣⲉ ənteref- ⲛ̀ⲧⲉⲣⲉϥ-

Terminative "Until" "Unfulfilled action" ʃante NP ϣⲁⲛⲧⲉ ʃantəf- ϣⲁⲛⲧϥ̀-

"Not yet" "Unfulfilled action" əmpate NP ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲧⲉ əmpatəf- ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲧϥ̀-

An approximate range of use for most of the tense/aspect/mood categories is shown in the following table:

Tense name (Lambdin) Approximate range of use

Present I Present time in narrative (predicate focus)

Relative of Present I Non-subject relative clause in present tense

Circumstantial Background clauses; relative clauses with indefinite heads

Imperfect Action in progress in the past

Future I Simple future tense (predicate focus)

Future II Simple future tense (adverbial focus)

Future III Future tense conveyed as necessary, inevitable, or obligatory

Perfect I Primary narrative tense (predicate focus)

Negative Perfect I Negative of Perfect I

Perfect II Primary narrative tense (adverbial focus); relative clause form of Perfect I

Habitual Characteristic or habitual action

Negative Habitual Negative of Habitual

Injunctive Imperative for first and third persons ('let me', 'let him', etc.)

Conditional Protasis (if-clause) of a conditional (if-then) statement

Conjunctive Event shares the TAM of a preceding initial verb

Future Conjunctive of Result Used in clauses that express a resultant action

Temporal Past action in a subordinate temporal clause ("when NP V-ed, ...")

Second tenses[edit] An unusual feature of Coptic is the extensive use of a set of "second tenses", which are required in certain syntactic contexts. "Second tenses" are also called "relative tenses" in some work.[3] Prepositions[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Coptic has prepositions, rather than postpositions:

hi on

p-tʲoi DEF:M:SG-ship

hi p-tʲoi on DEF:M:SG-ship 'on the ship'

Pronominal objects of prepositions are indicated with enclitic pronouns:

ero=k 'to you (m.sg)' na=n 'for us'

Many prepositions have different forms before the enclitic pronouns.[18] Compare

e p-tʲoi 'to the ship' ero=f 'to him'

Syntax[edit] Sentential syntax[edit]

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)

Coptic typically shows subject–verb–object (SVO) word order, as in the following examples:[19]


ⲧⲉϭⲁⲙⲁⲩⲗⲉ tə-kʲamaule DEF:F:SG-camel

ⲙⲓⲥⲉ mise deliver.ABS

ⲛ̀ⲟⲩϣⲏⲣⲉ ən-u-ʃeːre PREP-INDEF:SG-girl

ⲛ̀ϣⲓⲙⲉ ən-shime link-woman

Ⲁ ⲧⲉϭⲁⲙⲁⲩⲗⲉ ⲙⲓⲥⲉ ⲛ̀ⲟⲩϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲛ̀ϣⲓⲙⲉ A tə-kʲamaule mise ən-u-ʃeːre ən-shime PFV DEF:F:SG-camel deliver.ABS PREP-INDEF:SG-girl link-woman 'The she-camel delivered a daughter.'

Ⲡⲉϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ Pə-tʲoeis DEF:M:SG-lord

ⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ na-krine FUT-judge

ⲛ̀ⲛⲉⲗⲁⲟⲥ ən-nə-Laos PREP-DEF:PL-people

Ⲡⲉϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲛⲁⲕⲣⲓⲛⲉ ⲛ̀ⲛⲉⲗⲁⲟⲥ Pə-tʲoeis na-krine ən-nə-Laos DEF:M:SG-lord FUT-judge PREP-DEF:PL-people 'The Lord will judge the people.'

Ⲁⲓϭⲓⲛⲉ A-i-kʲine PFV-1sg-find.ABS

ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ əm-p-a-eioːt PREP-DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father

Ⲁⲓϭⲓⲛⲉ ⲙ̀ⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ A-i-kʲine əm-p-a-eioːt PFV-1sg-find.ABS PREP-DEF:MASC:SG-1SG-father 'I found my father.'

The verbs in these sentences are in the absolute state grade,[20] which requires that its direct object be introduced with the preposition /ən, əm/. This preposition functions like accusative case. There is also an alternative nominal state grade of the verb in which the direct object of the verb follows with no preposition:

Ⲁⲓϭⲓⲛⲉ a-i-kʲən PFV-1SG-find.NOM

ⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ p-a-eioːt DEF:M:SG-1SG-father

Ⲁⲓϭⲓⲛⲉ ⲡⲁⲉⲓⲱⲧ a-i-kʲən p-a-eioːt PFV-1SG-find.NOM DEF:M:SG-1SG-father 'I found my father.'


Sandstone stela, inscribed with Coptic text. The names Phoibammon and Abraham appear. From Egypt, find spot unknown, date known. The British Museum, London

Coptic and Arabic
inscriptions in an Old Cairo church

There is little written evidence of dialectal differences in the pre-Coptic phases of the Egyptian language
Egyptian language
due to the centralized nature of the political and cultural institutions of ancient Egyptian society. However, literary Old and Middle (Classical) Egyptian represent the spoken dialect of Lower Egypt
around the city of Memphis, the capital of Egypt
in the Old Kingdom. Later Egyptian is more representative of the dialects spoken in Upper Egypt, especially around the area of Thebes as it became the cultural and religious center of the New Kingdom. Coptic more obviously displays a number of regional dialects that were in use from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
in northern Egypt, south into Nubia, and in the western oases. However, while many of these dialects reflect actual regional linguistic (namely phonological and some lexical) variation, they mostly reflect localized orthographic traditions with very little grammatical differences. Upper Egypt[edit] Sahidic[edit]

Shred of a pottery vessel inscribed with 5 lines, Coptic Sahidic language. Byzantine period, 6th century AD. From Thebes, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

(also known as Thebaic) is the dialect in which most known Coptic texts are written, and was the leading dialect in the pre-Islamic period. It is thought to have originally been a regional dialect from the area around Hermopolis
(Coptic Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛⲉⲓⲛ Shmounein). Around 300 it began to be written in literary form, including translations of major portions of the Bible
(see Coptic versions of the Bible). By the 6th century, a standardized spelling had been attained throughout Egypt. Almost all native authors wrote in this dialect of Coptic. Sahidic
was, beginning in the 9th century, challenged by Bohairic, but is attested as late as the 14th century. While texts in other Coptic dialects are primarily translations of Greek literary and religious texts, Sahidic
is the only dialect with a considerable body of original literature and non-literary texts. Because Sahidic
shares most of its features with other dialects of Coptic with few peculiarities specific to itself, and has an extensive corpus of known texts, it is generally the dialect studied by learners of Coptic, particularly by scholars outside of the Coptic Church. Akhmimic[edit] Akhmimic was the dialect of the area around the town of Akhmim
(Greek Panopolis). It flourished during the fourth and fifth centuries, after which no writings are attested. Akhmimic is phonologically the most archaic of the Coptic dialects. One characteristic feature is the retention of the phoneme /x/, which is realized as /ʃ/ in most other dialects. Similarly, it uses an exceptionally conservative writing system strikingly similar to Old Coptic. Lycopolitan[edit] Lycopolitan (also known as Subakhmimic and Assiutic) is a dialect closely related to Akhmimic in terms of when and where it was attested, but manuscripts written in Lycopolitan tend to be from the area of Asyut. The main differences between the two dialects seem to be graphic in nature. The Lycopolitan variety was used extensively for translations of Gnostic and Manichaean works, including the texts of the Nag Hammadi library. Lower Egypt[edit] Bohairic[edit] The Bohairic
(also known as Memphitic) dialect originated in the western Nile Delta. The earliest Bohairic
manuscripts date to the 4th century, but most texts come from the 9th century and later; this may be due to poor preservation conditions for texts in the humid regions of northern Egypt. It shows several conservative features in lexicon and phonology not found in other dialects. Bohairic
is the dialect used today as the liturgical language of the Coptic Orthodox Church, replacing Sahidic
some time in the eleventh century. In contemporary liturgical use, there are two traditions of pronunciation, arising from successive reforms in the 19th and 20th centuries (see Coptic pronunciation reform). Modern revitalization efforts are based on this dialect. Fayyumic[edit] Fayyumic (also written as Faiyumic; in older works it is often called Bashmuric) was spoken primarily in the Faiyum
west of the Nile Valley. It is attested from the 3rd to the 10th centuries. It is most notable for writing ⲗ (which corresponds to /l/), where other dialects generally use ⲣ /r/ (probably corresponding to a flap [ɾ]). In earlier stages of Egyptian, the liquids were not distinguished in writing until the New Kingdom, when Late Egyptian became the administrative language. Late Egyptian orthography utilized a grapheme that combined the graphemes for /r/ and /n/ in order to express /l/. Demotic for its part indicated /l/ using a diacritic variety of /r/. Oxyrhynchite[edit] Oxyrhynchite (also known as Mesokemic or [confusingly] Middle Egyptian) is the dialect of Oxyrhynchus
and surrounding areas. It shows similarities with Fayyumic and is attested in manuscripts from the fourth and fifth centuries. See also[edit]

portal Languages portal

British Library Coptic Language Collection Coptic alphabet Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria Egyptian language Egyptian Arabic Nag Hammadi library List of Coptic place names


^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Coptic". Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ Coptic Encyclopedia; http://cdm15831.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/cce/id/520 ^ a b Reintges 2004. ^ "Projet Rosette - Dictionary detail". projetrosette.info. Retrieved 2017-10-09.  ^ "Projet Rosette - Dictionary detail". projetrosette.info. Retrieved 2017-10-09.  ^ "Coptic Dictionary Online". corpling.uis.georgetown.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-09.  ^ Allen, James P. (2010). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–2. ISBN 978-1-139-48635-4. Retrieved 19 May 2014.  ^ http://www.suscopts.org/deacons/coptic/coptic_alphabet.pdf ^ Girgis, WA (1963–64). Greek loan words in Coptic. Bulletin de la Société d’archéologie copte 17:63–73. ^ Gignac, Francis Thomas, p. 174 ^ Sijpesteijn, Petra; Lennart Sundelin (2004). Papyrology and the History of Early Islamic Egypt. Leiden, Boston: Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-13886-5.  ^ a b Plumley 1948. ^ Greenberg 1962/1990 ^ Lambdin 1983, pp. xii-ix. ^ Lambdin 1983, p. 2. ^ Lambdin 1983, p. 39. ^ Reintges 2010, p. 210. ^ Lambdin 2003, pp. 30–31. ^ Reintges 2010, p. 211; Lambdin 1983, p. 39. ^ Reintges 2010, p. 208.

Further reading[edit] General studies[edit]

Emmel, Stephen. 1992. "Languages (Coptic)". In The Anchor Bible Dictionary, edited by David Noel Freedman. Vol. 4 of 6 vols. New York: Doubleday. 180–188. Gessman, A. M. (1976). "The Birth of the Coptic Script". University of South Florida Language Quarterly 14. 2–3.  Gignac, Francis Thomas. 1991. "Old Coptic". In The Coptic Encyclopedia, edited by Aziz Suryal Atiya. Vol. 8 of 8 vols. New York and Toronto: Macmillan Publishing Company and Collier Macmillan Canada. 169–188. Kasser, Radolphe. 1991. "Dialects". In The Coptic Encyclopedia, edited by Aziz Suryal Atiya. Vol. 8 of 8 vols. New York and Toronto: Macmillan Publishing Company and Collier Macmillan Canada. 87–96. Wolfgang Kosack. Lehrbuch des Koptischen.Teil I:Koptische Grammatik.Teil II:Koptische Lesestücke, Graz 1974. Loprieno, Antonio. 1995. Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Polotsky, Hans Jakob. 1971. "Coptic". In Afroasiatic: A Survey, edited by Carleton Taylor Hodge. (Jana Linguarum: Series Practica; 163). 's Gravenhage and Paris: Mouton. 67–79.

Grammars and grammatical studies[edit]

Chaîne, Marius. 1933. Éléments de grammaire dialectale copte: bohairique, sahidique, achmimique, fayoumique. Paris: Paul Geuthner. Eberle, Andrea, & Regine Schulz. 2004. Koptisch – Ein Leitfaden durch das Saïdische. LINCOM Languages of the World/Materials 07. Munich: LINCOM Europa. Jernstedt, Peter V. 1927. Das koptische Präsens und die Anknüpfungsarten des näheren Objekts. 'Comptes rendus de l'Academice des Sciences de l'Union République Soviétique Socialistes. 2, 69–74. Lambdin, Thomas Oden (1983). Introduction to Sahidic
Coptic. Macon: Mercer University Press.  Layton, Bentley. 2000. A Coptic Grammar ( Sahidic
Dialect): With a Chrestomathy and Glossary. (Porta linguarum orientalium; N.S., 20). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Layton, Bentley. 2007. Coptic in 20 Lessons: Introduction to Sahidic Coptic with Exercises and Vocabularies. Peeters Publishers, ISBN 90-429-1810-1. Mallon, Alexis. 1956. Grammaire copte: bibliographie, chrestomathie et vocabulaire. 4th edition. Beyrouth. Mattar, Nabil. 1990. A Study in Bohairic
Coptic. Pasadena: Hope Publishing House. Plumley, John Martin (1948). Introductory Coptic Grammar. London: Home & Van Thal.  Polotsky, Hans Jakob. 1987. Grundlagen des koptischen Satzbaus. American Studies in Papyrology 28. Decatur, Ga.: Scholars Press. Reintges, Chris H. (2004). Coptic Egyptian ( Sahidic
dialect): a learner's grammar. Cologne: Rüdiger Köppe Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89645-570-3.  Reintges, Chris H. (2010). "Coordination, converbs, and clause-chaining in Coptic Egyptian typology". In Bril, Isabelle. Clause linking and clause hierarchy. Studies in Language Companion Series. 128. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. ISBN 978-90-272-0588-9.  Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. 1988. Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy: a course for academic and private study. Orientalia lovaniensia analecta 30. Leuven: Peeters. Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. 1986. Coptic Grammatical Categories: Structural Studies in the Syntax of Shenoutean Sahidic. Analecta Orientalia 53. Roma: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum. ISBN 88-7653-255-2. Shisha-Halevy, Ariel. 2007. Topics in Coptic Syntax: Structural Studies in the Bohairic
Dialect. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 160. Leuven – Paris – Dudley, MA: Peeters. ISBN 978-90-429-1875-7. Tattam, Henry, A compendious grammar of the Egyptian language
Egyptian language
as contained in the Coptic, Sahidic, and Bashmuric Dialects (London 1863) Till, Walter C. 1994. Koptische Dialektgrammatik. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter. Vergote, Jozef. 1973–1983. Grammaire copte. Leuven: Peeters. Younan, Sameh. 2005. So, you want to learn Coptic? A guide to Bohairic Grammar. Sydney: St.Mary, St.Bakhomious and St.Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church.


Černý, Jaroslav. 1976. Coptic Etymological Dictionary. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Crum, Walter Ewing. 1939. A Coptic Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprinted by Sandpiper Books Ltd, London & Powells Books, Chicago, 2000. Wolfgang Kosack: Koptisches Handlexikon des Bohairischen. Koptisch – Deutsch – Arabisch. Verlag Christoph Brunner, Basel 2013, ISBN 978-3-9524018-9-7. Vycichl, Werner. 1983. Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue copte. Leuven: Éditions Peeters. Westendorf, Wolfhart. 1965/1977. Koptisches Handwörterbuch. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.


Depuydt, Leo. 1993. “On Coptic Sounds,” Orientalia 62 (new series): 338-75. Greenberg, Joseph H (originally published 1962). “The interpretation of the Coptic vowel system,” On Language: Selected Writings of Joseph H. Greenberg, eds., K Denning & S Kemmer. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1990: 428–38. Grossman, Eitan and Martin Haspelmath. 2015. “The Leipzig-Jerusalem Transliteration of Coptic,” Egyptian-Coptic Linguistics in Typological Perspective, eds., Eitan Grossman, Martin Haspelmath & Tonio Sebastian Richter. Berlin/Munich/Boston: Walter de Gruyter. 145-56. Loprieno, Antonio. 1997. “Egyptian and Coptic Phonology,” Phonologies of Asia and Africa (Including the Caucasus), vol. 1, ed., Alan S. Kaye. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. 431–60. Peust, Carsten. 1999. Egyptian Phonology: An Introduction to the Phonology
of a Dead Language. (Monographien zur ägyptischen Sprache; 2). Göttingen: Peust & Gutschmidt.


Kammerer, Winifred (compiler), A Coptic Bibliography, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950. (Reprint New York: Kraus Reprint Co., 1969) Wolfgang Kosack: Der koptische Heiligenkalender. Deutsch – Koptisch – Arabisch nach den besten Quellen neu bearbeitet und vollständig herausgegeben mit Index Sanctorum koptischer Heiliger, Index der Namen auf Koptisch, Koptische Patriarchenliste, Geografische Liste. Christoph Brunner, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-9524018-4-2. Wolfgang Kosack: Schenute von Atripe De judicio finale. Papyruskodex 63000.IV im Museo Egizio di Torino. Einleitung, Textbearbeitung und Übersetzung herausgegeben von Wolfgang Kosack. Christoph Brunner, Berlin 2013, ISBN 978-3-9524018-5-9. Wolfgang Kosack: Basilios "De archangelo Michael": sahidice Pseudo – Euhodios "De resurrectione": sahidice Pseudo – Euhodios "De dormitione Mariae virginis": sahidice & bohairice : < Papyruskodex Turin, Mus. Egizio Cat. 63000 XI. > nebst Varianten und Fragmente. In Parallelzeilen ediert, kommentiert und übersetzt von Wolfgang Kosack. Christoph Brunner, Berlin 2014. ISBN 978-3-906206-02-8. Wolfgang Kosack: Novum Testamentum Coptice. Neues Testament, Bohairisch, ediert von Wolfgang Kosack. Novum Testamentum, Bohairice, curavit Wolfgang Kosack. / Wolfgang Kosack. neue Ausgabe, Christoph Brunner, Basel 2014. ISBN 978-3-906206-04-2.

External links[edit]

Coptic language
Coptic language
test of at Wikimedia Incubator

Coptic language
Coptic language
repository of Wikisource, the free library

For a list of words relating to Coptic language, see the Coptic language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

By Alin Suciu, a blog on Coptic literature and manuscripts France-copte.net By Mikhail David, French coptic site. Copticsounds – a resource for the study of Coptic phonology ⲡⲓⲥⲁϧⲟ: Coptic language
Coptic language
internet links and bibliography Coptica.ch Online library of Coptic texts at University of Geneva (site text in French) New Athena Unicode
font; includes the new Coptic range Online Coptic tutorial A comprehensive Coptic language
Coptic language
resource (Remenkimi) Coptic block in the Unicode
4.1 standard Heike Behlmer, Selected Bibliography on the Coptic Language[permanent dead link] Coptic texts and manuscripts at Leiden University Library Ifao N Copte – A professional Coptic font for researchers. a set of Coptic fonts GNU FreeFont—FreeSerif face includes a Coptic range.

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