Our Coptic language > Old pronunciation vs new debate

"Real" pronunciation of Coptic H

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Both Isis and Seth's reconstructed ancient Egyptian names are in Wikipedia using scholar's approaches to reconstruct vowels based on Coptic, proto-semitic, Akkadian/canaaite tablets writing Egyptian words in their alphabets and some Meroitic and Nubian vocabulary borrowed from Egyptian.

Both Loprieno, Antonio, who wrote Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction, and James P. Allen who recently wrote a similar book talk about how they reconstructed some of the vowels. It's hypothetical, but it makes sense at least to me if you really dissect the research they've put in.

Coptic 'H' = Egyptian (long)  'u' depends on the consonants surrounding the vowel and whether it is long or short and if the syllable was stressed or not.

The two examples ?usat and sutak are perfect examples of Coptic 'H'  from long 'u'.

Coptic 'H' also supposedly comes from an original Egyptian 'i'

(Fayyumic) KHNNI - to become fat = qinjit (Egyptian)
(Fayyumic and Bohairic)  CHINI - physician = zijniw (Egyptian)
(Coptic) aMPH(h)E - asphalt = m_rihjat (Egyptian, **h** has dot under it)

This is why I say "originally" I don't believe Coptic 'H' had an "ae" sound if it 'originally came from Egyptian 'u', 'i' or Late Egyptian schwa and/or 'e'.

I am uncertain about Greek original words or Arabic, maybe Coptic 'H' had an "ae" sound in these words originally?! Maybe that's where it comes from?!


--- Quote ---CHT (Ancient Eg: Sútak = Coptic: Seet)
HCЄ (Ancient Eg: ?úsat  = Coptic Ee-seh or Eh-seh, variously pronounced)
--- End quote ---

Please give me any book with reputable author or any reliable website that would support your claim of pronunciation.


--- Quote from: Admin on 26 September , 2014, 03:48:08 PM ---
--- Quote ---CHT (Ancient Eg: Sútak = Coptic: Seet)
HCЄ (Ancient Eg: ?úsat  = Coptic Ee-seh or Eh-seh, variously pronounced)
--- End quote ---

Please give me any book with reputable author or any reliable website that would support your claim of pronunciation.

--- End quote ---


In Cuneiform/Akkadian, it shows Egyptian  'st(k)' as 'šuta', this is how the Akkadians overheard the Egyptian word (Late Egyptian)


The name Isis is the Greek version of her name, with a final -s added to the original Egyptian form because of the grammatical requirements of the Greek language (-s often being a marker of the nominative case in ancient Greek).

The Egyptian name was recorded as ỉs.t or ȝs.t and meant "(She of the Throne"). The true Egyptian pronunciation remains uncertain, however, because hieroglyphs do not indicate vowels. Based on recent studies which present us with approximations based on contemporary languages (specifically, Greek) and Coptic evidence, the reconstructed pronunciation of her name is *Usat [*ˈʔyːsəʔ]. Osiris's name, *Usir also starts with the throne glyph ʔs.[7]

7. The name "Isis" survived in Coptic dialects as Ēse or Ēsi, as well as in compound names such as "Har-si-Ese", which means "Horus, son of Isis".

**side note** doesn't the reconstructed names sound so beautiful, whether you believe it was a 'u' or 'a' or 'i' in these names?  I'm sure the language sounded so beautiful to the ear!!

so you are arguing that H is pronounced u because there is an Egyptian word that an ancient civilization over 2000km away from Egypt over heard it with u

No  :o
This was the original question:

--- Quote from: CЄTMOCЄ on 28 January , 2014, 08:51:21 PM ---Is there a rule which says when Coptic H is pronounced as "aa" and when as "ii"?

How are the Egyptian Gods CHT (Seth) and HCЄ (Isis) pronounced in reconstructed/late Coptic pronunciation? Saat, Aasa? [or Siit, Iisa?]

--- End quote ---

What I'm saying is based upon "all" of the aforementioned research, that Coptic "H" probably represented an original high vowel ('u' or 'i') or represented an original Egyptian dipthong ('aw',  'ew', 'iw') and these sounds (other than 'aw') are not related to a back vowel ('a') . Thus into the transition to Coptic for some reason the sounds were changed to 'ee'.  It is possible through Greek that the sounds may have been further altered. But at least to me it just doesn't make any sense, especially if 'H ' was pronounced 'ee', where does the 'a' sound come from?

As far as the Akkadians hearing st(k) as šuta, well it matches with ?úsat and the coincidences that both names in Coptic and Greek also spell it with a fronted or central vowel ('i', 'u' or 'ee') just makes further sense that ' H' isn't pronounced as an 'a' in these Egyptian words when they could have spelled it with an obvious 'a' if that was the pronunciation.


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