25 Facts About Coptic language


Major Coptic language dialects are Sahidic, Bohairic, Akhmimic, Fayyumic, Lycopolitan, and Oxyrhynchite.

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The Coptic language is spoken only in Egypt and historically has had little influence outside of the territory, except for monasteries located in Nubia.

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Coptic language belongs to the Later Egyptian phase, which started to be written in the New Kingdom of Egypt.

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Coptic language, 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.

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The transition from the older Egyptian scripts to the newly adapted Coptic language 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.

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Old Coptic language is represented mostly by non-Christian texts such as Egyptian pagan prayers and magical and astrological papyri.

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The Egyptian language, now written in the Coptic alphabet, flourished in the second and third centuries.

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However, it was not until Shenoute that Coptic became a fully standardised literary language based on the Sahidic dialect.

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Literary Coptic language gradually declined, and within a few hundred years, Egyptian bishop Severus Ibn al-Muqaffa? found it necessary to write his History of the Patriarchs in Arabic.

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However, ecclesiastically the Coptic language retained an important position, and many hagiographic texts were composed during this period.

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Until the 10th century, Coptic remained the spoken language of the native population outside the capital.

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Efforts at Coptic language revitalisation continue to be undertaken, both inside and outside the Church, and have attracted the interest of Copts and linguists in and outside of Egypt.

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Coptic language 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.

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Old Coptic language texts used several graphemes that were not retained in the literary Coptic language orthography of later centuries.

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Coptic language'snoute helped fully standardise the Coptic language through his many sermons, treatises and homilies, which formed the basis of early Coptic literature.

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Core lexicon of Coptic is Egyptian, most closely related to the preceding Demotic phase of the language.

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Old Coptic language texts use many such words, phrases and epithets; for example, the word in (His) Mountain', is an epithet of Anubis.

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Coptic language provides the clearest indication of Later Egyptian phonology from its writing system, which fully indicates vowel sounds and occasionally stress pattern.

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Coptic language is agglutinative with subject–verb–object word order but can be verb–subject–object with the correct preposition in front of the subject.

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All Coptic nouns carry grammatical gender, either masculine or feminine, usually marked through a prefixed definite article as in the Romance languages.

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Coptic language has a number of broken plurals, a vestige of Older Egyptian, but in the majority of cases, the article marks number.

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In general, the four grades of Coptic language verb are not predictable from the root, and are listed in the lexicon for each verb.

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Coptic language has a very large number of distinct tense-aspect-mood categories, expressed by particles which are either before the verb or before the subject.

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An unusual feature of Coptic language is the extensive use of a set of "second tenses", which are required in certain syntactic contexts.

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Sahidic is the dialect in which most known Coptic language texts are written, and was the leading dialect in the pre-Islamic period.

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