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Author Topic: Classical Coptic Pronunciation  (Read 1183 times)

17 February , 2019, 01:00:34 am
Reply #30

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #30 on: 17 February , 2019, 01:00:34 am »
Hi Bashandy:


< However, during the days of Pope Christodolou (10477-1077), he issued a decree that all prayers should be recited in Bohairic >


I admire your knowledge. Unfortunately, it seems that Bohairic was forgotten over the following 800 years, until Pope Kyrillos IV brought it back from the old books.


Andrew

17 February , 2019, 11:28:55 pm
Reply #31

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #31 on: 17 February , 2019, 11:28:55 pm »
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your feedback. The latest known hagiography that was written in Bohairic was the Martyrdom of St John Phanidjoit circa 13th Century. A few psalis & doxologies may have been contemporary to that time as Aripsalin  (by Mr Sarkis) & probably some doxologies of Kiahk.  Some of them show influence of Arabic on Grammar. Aripsalin has a grammatical mistake. So, it seemed like Bohairic was not in its best shapearound the 13-14th Century. Al-Sammanoudi & others wrote Al-Salalim & Al-Muqaddimat (Scala & Grammar books) around that time in an attempt to preserve the language and revitalise Bohairic.

Around the 17th Century, Vansleb & Al-Maqrizi had two different testimonies about people speaking Sahidic in Upper Egypt.

In the early 20th Century, Vicychl & Worell came across the oral heritage of Al-Ziniya village near Luxor where they found an oral tradition of late Bohairic that extends beyond liturgical service in the aforementioned village. They started studying it, some of the phrases used seemed to be influenced by Arabic, and some not. The pronunciation was predominantly Old Bohairic. Worrell's initial reports was critical of the pronounciation; however, later he seemed to acknowledge its authenticity.

During the 19th Century, there was a rise in nationalistic movements, Egypt was no different, Pope Cyril IV was ethusiastic about Coptic language. His efforts in revival are undeniable. He was also keen to unite Orthodox Churches. There was a project of unification between the Coptic Church & the Greek Church lead by Pope Kallinikos (1858-1861). During this time, Iryan Moftah proposed to change the pronunciation to match the Modern Greek one; as he mentioned in his book 'Al-Adella Al-Rabteya fi Sehat El-Alfadh El-Quitbyia'. Prof. Yassa AbdelMessih, reported that the change was aimed to bring closeness between both churches. Maestro Bishoy Awad & others reported that at that time about 12 Greek Orthodox hymns became part of the Coptic liturgical service.

In the late 19th Century & early 20th Century, Claudius Labib pioneered the project of revival, he single handedly published the biggest corpus of Coptic books and original texts in Coptic nad became the most influential pioneer of Coptic language in the 20th Century. Labib published numerous books including Akhomvat, and Oan Magazine; numerous church books, re-editing and publishing Al-Salalim & Al-Muqaddimat. His masterpiece was the first Coptic Arabic Dictionary. The pronunciation used by Labib is somehow different from the one proposed by Moftah. Labib excluded Greek loan words from his composition, many of the words that he used have no clear etymology, the language used in this books is closer to a pidgin rather than a replica of Nitrian Bohairic or Classical Bohairic.

Later, most of his students, seemed to adopt the neologisms that appeared in his books; and the pidginised Coptic used, including grammatical mistakes.

18 February , 2019, 03:20:32 am
Reply #32

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #32 on: 18 February , 2019, 03:20:32 am »
Hi Bashandy:
> During the 19th Century, there was a rise in nationalistic movements, Egypt was no different, Pope Cyril IV was ethusiastic about Coptic language. His efforts in revival are undeniable. He was also keen to unite Orthodox Churches. There was a project of unification between the Coptic Church & the Greek Church lead by Pope Kallinikos (1858-1861). <

Do we know how this hope arose and why it didn't come to fruition?

> Labib excluded Greek loan words from his composition, many of the words that he used have no clear etymology, the language used in this books is closer to a pidgin rather than a replica of Nitrian Bohairic or Classical Bohairic. Later, most of his students, seemed to adopt the neologisms that appeared in his books; and the pidginised Coptic used, including grammatical mistakes. <

It sounds like the situation is a lot more complicated than a debate about Bohairic pronunciation. What are your hopes and expectations regarding Coptic language?

Andrew   

18 February , 2019, 02:24:37 pm
Reply #33

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #33 on: 18 February , 2019, 02:24:37 pm »
The Union of Orthodox Churches (19th Century)

Hi Andrew,
Thank you for your reply. There is not much known about the union project. In essence, union of churches is viewed positively as reminiscent of the early church. However, since the council of Chalcedon. The Coptic church was isolated from the scence. Some postulate that the project of union between Orthodox Churches may have been fuelled by the rise of Catholicism, and possibly other devotions. It also may have been a way of strengthening the power and political presence of Christians as part of a bigger union.


Numerous resources cite that Pope Cyril IV, started by supporting the Ethiopian Church even before he was ordained Pope. Some argue that the project may have included the Russian Orthodox Church as well. Pope Kallinikos was in charge of the union on The Greek Side.Pope Kallinikos participated in the National Assemblies of Constantinople in the years 1858-1860. He tried unsuccessfully to bring about unity with the Coptic Church. He resigned from the Patriarchal Throne on 24th May 1861.

The manifestations of union included. The rituals of Resurrection and about 12 different hymns like H Parthenos by St Romanos of the Greek Church, where adopted and incorporated to the liturgical corpus. The pronunciation matched modern Greek pronunciation, which would make it easy to recite both and read them in the same manner. Coptic language was on the rise instead of Arabic, this offers easier adoption of loan Greek words and hymns (Allahn El-Rumi).

There are lots of rumours about possible assissanation of Pope Cyril IV by poisoning in response to this project in particular. Some argue that it was fear of an emerging new international political-religious power in the scene including Russian, Greek, Coptic & Amharic Churches. Some argue that there were fears of loss of the Coptic Church identity and independency. There are many conspiracy theories, but I am in no position to point fingers without evidence.
The end of the project is vague Pope Cyril IV died suddenly, Pope Kallinikos resigned abruptly. After the death of Pope Cyril IV, the project never seemed to materialise. The Coptic Church did not seem to have another renaissance that matched the magnitude of the works of Pope Cyril IV. We were only left with Greek Hymns which now sound more Coptic (tune-wise) and the Greco-Bohairic pronunciation.
I will get to the other part of your question later. Feel free to discuss.




18 February , 2019, 07:31:06 pm
Reply #34

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #34 on: 18 February , 2019, 07:31:06 pm »
Hi Bashandy:
> There are many conspiracy theories, but I am in no position to point fingers without evidence. The end of the project is vague Pope Cyril IV died suddenly, Pope Kallinikos resigned abruptly. <

Pope Kyrillos died on Jan 31st, 1861 at the age of 44. Pope Kallinikos resigned on May 24th, 1861. And this took place at a time of wars between the Ottoman Empire and Chalcedonian Orthodox nations. It does seem suspicious.

Thank you for useful information.
Andrew
« Last Edit: 18 February , 2019, 08:20:14 pm by Andrew »

19 February , 2019, 11:24:20 am
Reply #35

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #35 on: 19 February , 2019, 11:24:20 am »
With respect to the second aspect of your enquiry. The changes that happened to Coptic were not limited to pronunciation.
01. The typography of Coptic changed with the introduction of the early coptic printers, later with the coptic typewriters and coptic fonts later. Part of this may have to do with the limitations of printer capabilities the other seem to be applying typographical values of western languages to Coptic. In 14th century manuscripts onwards the letters did not have equal size, phi, fai, shima & hori were relatively bigger in size than alpha, beta was wider, kappa had a different shape, the combination of ⲟⲩ was often vertical resembling an ümlaut.

19 February , 2019, 12:12:31 pm
Reply #36

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #36 on: 19 February , 2019, 12:12:31 pm »
02. The punctuation used by Labib and books based on his work, showed changes, the usage of space between words was introduced, capitalisation in the English and French concept emerged. Full stops were used. The djinkim was overly used sometimes to denote the new changes in the pronunciation which addled a lot of glottal stops, other times to minimise consonant clustering which is an element in Arabic language and also it resembled the French accents at times.

03. The grammar showed loss of reflexivity, no equivalent of ⲫⲁⲓ ⲁⲫⲟⲧ ⲫⲁⲓ, ⲣⲁϣⲓ ⲛⲉ, ⲟⲩⲟⲛⲟϥ ⲙ̀ⲙⲟ, ⲛⲉϩⲥⲓ ⲙ̀ⲙⲟⲕ, these forms were uncommonly used. The use of ⲡⲉ, ⲧⲉ, ⲛⲉ became equivalent to verb to be or verbe être. Adjectifs started to follow nouns more like French and Arabic, in coptic it was mostly the other way round. Ⲉϩⲣⲏⲓ, ⲛ̀ϩⲣⲏⲓ, ⲛ̀ϧⲣⲏⲓ ⲉϫⲱϥ etc were seldom used.

04. Neologisms seemed to serve two main purposes in the texts of Labib. Expressions for new items, car, bicyclette, fridge, train, post office (ⲃⲉⲣⲉϭⲱⲟⲩⲧⲥ, ⲃⲉⲣⲉϭⲉⲣⲁⲧ, ⲁⲡⲗⲏϫⲓ, ⲥⲓⲑⲃⲉⲗϩⲱⲃ, ⲙⲁⲛⲃⲏⲗⲗⲁ) and to avoid Greek words for pyramid, letter, spoon etc (ⲁⲃⲙⲉⲣ, ⲃⲏⲗⲗⲁ, ⲙⲁⲛⲭⲁ) Also new expressions appeared to express modern classification as four-legged etc.

05. Anti-hellenism seemed to be a major goal in the texts of Labib, though I'm not aware of any texts that explicitly discussed the rationale. Greek vocabulary comprises about 20-40% of the Coptic lexicon depending on the nature of the text.Words like άριστον, και, γαρ, αλλά, μήπως, δε, δείπνον, χαίρε, ευχαριστώ, επιστολή, Άγιος, αμήν. Αλληλούια, μαρτυρούν, αλέκτωρ, πως, πάντως, ίνα, μη ποτέ, μη, μάλλον καλώ, κακώς πυραμίδα, Σαρξ, σώμα, πνεύμα etc. were almost non-existent from texts that Labib composed. He reverted to either uncommon words, or words with unknown etymology eg ϣⲟⲗϩⲥ (ⲥⲱⲙⲁ), ⲛ̀ⲑⲟϥ (ⲁⲗⲗⲁ), ⲁⲛ (ⲙⲏ), ⲃⲏⲗⲗⲁ (ⲉⲡⲓⲥⲧⲟⲗⲏ), ⲛⲓϥⲓ (Ⲡⲛⲉⲩⲙⲁ), ⲉⲥⲉϣⲱⲡⲓ (ⲁⲙⲏⲛ), ⲙⲁⲛⲭⲁ (ⲙⲩⲥⲑⲏⲣ) etc.

06. Style: texts used in ⲁϧⲱⲙⲫⲁⲧ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲱⲛ seem to be a bit of a literal translation from Arabic or French rather than a coptic text. This shows up in the usage of idiomatic expressions ϫⲉⲙⲫⲉϩ ⲛ̀ⲕⲁϩⲓ pomme de terre, ⲡⲁⲥⲟⲛ ⲙ̀ⲙⲉⲛⲣⲓⲧ akhi al-aziz, etc.

The total outcome of Greco-Bohairic pronunciation, avoiding Greek words, unusual grammar and style. My have lead to the emergence of a pidgin form of Coptic. The tendency to follow the same pattern of inventing words or expressions, and innovation in the language seemed to have persisted as part of handling coptic which lead to instabilities of pronunciation, style and grammar.


20 February , 2019, 03:05:24 am
Reply #37

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #37 on: 20 February , 2019, 03:05:24 am »
Hi Bashandy:

< The total outcome of Greco-Bohairic pronunciation, avoiding Greek words, unusual grammar and style. My have lead to the emergence of a pidgin form of Coptic. The tendency to follow the same pattern of inventing words or expressions, and innovation in the language seemed to have persisted as part of handling coptic which lead to instabilities of pronunciation, style and grammar. >


This is a fascinating study, complete with examples. Has anything similar happened to Sahidic? I know it's the most studied dialect in foreign universities. I can expect changes in the font, separating words and adding punctuation. But making up new words is rather strange.
Andrew

20 February , 2019, 11:15:51 am
Reply #38

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #38 on: 20 February , 2019, 11:15:51 am »
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your feedback and kind words. The message that was attributed to St Samuel Kalamon around the 9th century was urging people to restore and protect Coptic language.

In the 13th century and 14th century, the scala and grammar introduction manuscripts focused predominantly on Bohairic dialect, with no apparent neologisms or deliberate change in Coptic.

In the 19th century, the project of revival of Coptic Language was by and large sponsored by the Coptic Church and Copts like Moftah and Labib. Bohairic was established at that time as the official dialect of the church. Most local enthusiasm and teaching of Coptic in Church was geared towards Bohairic, which serves predominantly the liturgical service, which for many people is the main reason to learn coptic.

To the extent that when Dr Emile Maher proposed old Bohairic a committee condemned his teaching as influenced by Sahidic

20 February , 2019, 11:37:20 am
Reply #39

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #39 on: 20 February , 2019, 11:37:20 am »
The committee of 1968 that condemned teaching OB at the church apparently looked upon the alleged influence of Sahidic on Bohairic as a reason to discredit OB in favour of the GB.

Sahidic on the other hand, was the subject of study of Coptologists, a stark contrast was the first Coptic-Arabic dictionary by Labib was arranged in Bohairic, while Crum's dictionary (1939) was arranged by consonants in Sahidic. Thomas O Lambdin and Plumley published books explaining the grammar of Sahidic. The writings of St Shenouda Archmandrite are considered to be the jewel of the Coptic literary heritage.

In the 20th century, Sahidic gained a new height of importance when Nag Hammadi Codices of apocrypha and Gnostic gospels and writings were accidentally discovered. Before this, little was available about them. We knew they existed as church fathers condemned them, but this was the first hands on reading.

In the later part of the 20th century, Ariel Shisha-Halevy studied Bohairic dialect academically and he considers it to be of valuable literary value.

Sahidic was not part of the local revival project hence no neologisms seem to emerge from it.

The only phases of interaction were that Labib published texts in Sahidic but he did not make any changes to them.

Anonymous group translated the syllabus of ⲭⲏⲙⲓ by Emile Maher into Sahidic www.coptic.org/language

The syllabus of ⲥⲁϫⲓ adopted a few words from Sahidic as ϩⲟⲛⲃⲉ from Sahidic in its Sahidic form as there's no available Bohairic form to this word.

In short, the interest in Sahidic is geared towards understanding manuscripts, Bohairic was a subject to a different project

28 February , 2019, 05:03:39 pm
Reply #40

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #40 on: 28 February , 2019, 05:03:39 pm »
Hi Bashandy:




< In short, the interest in Sahidic is geared towards understanding manuscripts, Bohairic was a subject to a different project >






It looks like Bohairic can only continue as a liturgical language. OTOH, Sahidic is more suitable for attempts to revive Coptic language .


Andrew

02 March , 2019, 06:51:58 pm
Reply #41

Offline bashandy

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #41 on: 02 March , 2019, 06:51:58 pm »
Bohairic is not faraway from Sahidic, however, both are way behind current languages in terms of voabulary. Consider this

'I checked the gears, and brakes, inflated the tyres, before I rode my folding bike to the train station, where I booked a ticket with my credit card, fortunately there was Wi-Fi on the train so I could stream music from my mobile phone, however, the signal was not great and my battery died because I did not turn off the bluetooth'

It really would not matter which dialect you will be working through as both would struggle a lot to translate an ordinary day-to-day sentece like this.

07 March , 2019, 04:45:28 pm
Reply #42

Offline Andrew

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Re: Classical Coptic Pronunciation
« Reply #42 on: 07 March , 2019, 04:45:28 pm »
Hi Bashandy:
> 'I checked the gears, and brakes, inflated the tyres, before I rode my folding bike to the train station, where I booked a ticket with my credit card, fortunately there was Wi-Fi on the train so I could stream music from my mobile phone, however, the signal was not great and my battery died because I did not turn off the bluetooth' <

LOL.
Andrew