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12 May , 2020, 06:24:13 PM
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Offline Andrew

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г and б
« on: 12 May , 2020, 06:24:13 PM »
The letter “ⲅ” is used only in Greek loanwords. Does the sound “g” occur in native Coptic words?

The other question I have is regarding “ϭ.” In which dialect is this letter more commonly used? I know that in Maher’s system it is pronounced like “ϣ.” But why would there be 2 letters with similar pronunciation?

Thank you.
« Last Edit: 12 May , 2020, 06:28:59 PM by Andrew »

28 June , 2020, 12:09:52 AM
Reply #1

Offline Admin

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    • Ⲧⲉⲛⲁⲥⲡⲓ
Re: г and б
« Reply #1 on: 28 June , 2020, 12:09:52 AM »
The letter ϭ is used by both Bohairic and Sahidic dialects, I think it's also used by other dialects but I don't have enough experience to say that with absolute certainty.I've read in some old books that it was pronounced gsh or simply very heavy form of sh.

Maher's system is only concerned with how the language was pronounced during the 18th century when the Church decided to switch to an artificial pronunciation. He doesn't claim that this is how letters were pronounced at the time when the language was widely spoken.

28 June , 2020, 09:55:22 PM
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Re: г and б
« Reply #2 on: 28 June , 2020, 09:55:22 PM »
ⲅ is generally not used in genuine Egyptian words, because the Egyptian language (starting in Demotic, some centuries before Christ) did not differentiate between g and k. Everything was just ⲕ. Words which are written with the hieroglyphic sign for g usually show up as either ⲕ and ϫ in Bohairic, and ⲕ and ϭ in Sahidic, depending on the consonant environment.

ϫ in Bohairic stands for "dj" today (although many Copts pronounce it like g today because in Lower Egyptian Arabic dj turns to g - in Upper Egypt dj is still pronounced). But it stood for /c/ (in IPA, voiceless palatal stop) in earlier Bohairic. At least according to Carsten Peust "Egyptian Phonology", page 107.
ϭ in Sahidic stands for "ky", a palatalized k, while in Bohairic it stood for an aspirated voiceless palatal stop. Today, it is mostly just pronounced "tsh"


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