Conlangery 132 medallion

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This episode, we discuss Coptic, the last descendant of thousands of years of Ancient Egyptian, now spoken mainly as a liturgical language in Coptic Christian churches in Egypt.

Top of Show Greeting: Nalathis

Special Mention: Go watch Conlanging: The Art of Crafting Tongues!

Links and Resources:

  • Plumley, Martin (1948) An Introductory Coptic Grammar. London: Home and van Thal.
  • Tattam, Henry (1863) A Compendious Grammar of the Egyptian Language. London: Williams and Norgate.
  • Layton, Bentley (2000). A Coptic grammar: With chrestomathy and glossary: Sahidic dialect (Vol. 20). Otto Harrassowitz.
  • Loprieno, Antonio (1995) Ancient Egyptian: a linguistic introduction. Cambridge University Press.
  • Lambdin, Thomas Oden (1983) Introduction to Sahidic Coptic. Mercer University Press.
  • Youssef, Ahmad Abdel-Hamid (2003) From Pharaoh’s Lips: Ancient Egyptian Language in the Arabic of Today. American University of Cairo Press.

3 Responses to “Conlangery #132: Coptic (natlang)”

  1. /sɑɪ̯f ɑsɑd ɑˈsːətjə/

    Fayyum is the same place that the Greeks called Crocodilopolis. I feel like Coptic’s fate might be more secure if everyone just agreed to call it Crocodilopolitan rather than Coptic.

    As for Bashmuric, Bashmur is a term for Nile delta region. Schaff 1883 says that it means “the girdled country” i.e. girdled by the Nile. I did find an entry for ⲙⲟⲩⲣ meaning gird, tie. Couldn’t find anything for the first part of the name. When I first saw Bashmur, my first thought was to wonder if it has something to do with Turkic baş “head”.

  2. Andrew J Smith

    Re-listening to this episode, I once again came across William’s statement or implication that individual languages may not always simplify over time, especially morphologically. I understand his reasoning for saying so, definitely after this episode, and I agree with him in a strict sense. However, I disagree in a broader sense. I believe that all languages do, in fact, always tend to simplify over time … COMMUNICATIVELY. It doesn’t matter whether they gain extra sounds, or words, or roots, or affixes, or other things. Over time, languages will always make it easier for a culture and/or society to communicate fully with each other. No matter how complex the details are, the message is simple.


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