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Aziz S.

Atiya
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Volume 8
Macmillan Publishing Company
NEW 'lOR/(
Collier Macmillan Canada
TORONTO
.Maxwell Macmillan International
NEW 'IORK OXFORD SINGAPORE SYDNEY
(BOhlig. A., and H. J. Polotskyj. KcpllullJia: &su
Ifalftc (Udcrung 1-10). StWtg:U1, 1940.
Bourguel. P. duo Gwmmai,c IOllctioulleU/! el progreso
sive de /'Cgyplicn "'mtOliqlle. Louvnin, 1976.
Cerny, J.; P. E. K:lhlc; "nd R. Parker. "The Old
Coptic Horoscot'le." lOt/nllJl of Egyptiall Arc/me%
IIY 43 (1957):86-100.
-,;;-_ "Coalescence or Verbs with Prepositions in
Coptic." leitsellril' lilr ug>'plisellc Sproche ul/d
Altef/tullJkllllde 97 (1971 ):44-46.
Crum, W. E. A. Coplic Victumury. O"rord, 1939.
Funk, W.P. "Die Morphologk- der Peneklkonjug:i'
lion im NHsubaehmimischen Dialekt." uilsehrill
liir ilgyplisehe Sll'ucltc tmd A.fuf/tllIlsklfl/de III
{1984):IIO-30.
Kasser. R. Pupyms Bodmer VI: Livre des Provemes.
CSCO 194-195. Lollvuin, 1960.
-,,-. "Popyrus Londiniensis 98 (The Old Coptic
Horoscope) and I'apyrus Bodmer VI." )ollnlllf of
Egyptillll Archaeology 49 (1963):157-60.
--c "ProlCgomcncs t\ un essai de c1tlssificmion
systematique des diak'<:lcs et subdialeetes copies
scion Ics de la poonetique, II, Alphalx.1s CI
S)'Slemcs phonctiques." Afllsro" 93 (1980):237-97.
___ "Usages de la surlignc dans Ie P. IJodmer VI,
notes addilionnellcs." Bulletin de la Socittt
d'tgyplologie, Gel/eve 5 (198Ia):23-32.
___ "Voydlcs en ronclion t;onsonanliquc, con-
sonnes en ront;liOll vocalique, CI classes de
pholl/::mes en copte." BlIlIelill de 11/ SOcieTe
d'egy/lw/ugie, 5 (1981 b):33-50.
"Lc Dinlcctc pl'Olosa'idique de Thebes."
A.rchiv {iir Papyruslur$(./IIIt1J: 28 (1982):67-81.
--,__ "Le pariait I copte ct el Ie I:mgage de
l'ttrangcrc (Prov. 6,24-26 et 7,15-16)." IIcgyplUs
64 (19&4):229-36.
___ "Gemination de voyelles dans Ie P. lJodmer
VI:' In Acts of Secorrd hllemalimra/ Co"gress 01
Coptic Sludies, Rome 22-26 /980, cd. T.
Orlandi and F. Wis.'iC, pp. 89-120. Rome. 1985.
Kasser, R.; M. Malinine; H.C. Put."(;h; G. J.
landee; W. Vyciehl; and R. McL Wilson. r'(lCIIlWS
TripurlilllS, Vol. I, PI":; f, De Supemis, Codex
lImg {. XXVI'-f. ur (p. 51-104), Vol. 2, II,
De Crealiolle Pars 11/, De GCl1cn'btu
TribllS, Codex lwrg I. Ur-J-XX' (p. 104-140). Bern,
1973-1975.
Malininc, M.; Pucch; and G. Ouispcl. EVllIIge
/ill/II Veri/alis, Codex lImg'. vllr-xvr (p. 16-32', '.
XJJr-XXlr (p. 37-4J). Zurich, 1956.
fl.Winine, M.; H.-e. Put.'Ch; G. Ouispcl; W. C. Till; R.
McL Wilson. EVlJllgelium Verita/is (Stlppfeme,,
tum', Codex lllng f. xvlr-xvllr (p. 33-36j. Zurich,
1961.
Mlliinine, M.; H.C. Pueeh; G. Ouispcl; W. C. Till; R.
MeL. Wilson; and J. t.'1ndee. Dc Rl!)'u"ecliOlle
(EpisllIlu 1/11 RhcgiIlWII), Codex IImg I. XXJI'-f. xxV"
(p. 43-50). Zurich, 1963.
D1ALECfS 87
Nagel, P. "Dcr rriihkoplische Dialekt n,chen."
In Kopf%gisclle S/Ildictl ill der IJDR, pp. 30-49.
Zeilseh,ift der Murtil/ulllre,-
UlliversiliJl HlllleWittellberg, Sonderheft. Halle
Wittenberg, 1965.
Osing, J. Dcr I'IIPYrl45 8.M. 10808.
Wicsbaden, 1976.
Pl.'an;on, B. A., and S. Giverscn. Nag Hummadi C{J{!i
ccs IX alll/ X. Nag Hammadi Siudies 15. l..eiden,
1981.
Polotsky, H. J. "Zur koplischen WUllehre I." leit
selrril' Iii' ilgyplisehe Sproehe tllld A.llemmukl/Ilde
67 (1931):74-77.
,,-,:-c Malliehilischc Hml/i!ietl. Stuttgan, 1934.
Schmidl, C. Aeta Pauli QIIS de' Hcidelbergur
koplischell Hultdsellri!1 N, I. lcip"lig, 1905.
-,,-C. "Ein neues Fr.lgment dcr Hcidelberllcr Acl"
Pauli." In SilZJmgsherichle der 8crli,lcr Ahulcmic
der
pp. 216-20. Berlin, 1909.
"I1lOnmssen, I:", and L Painchaud. Le lrirarti
(Nil 1.5), lule i!lubli, ilJ/roJui/ el eOlllllllmle IHlr E.
71101J1asstm; lrallllil par L Paillella/ld eI E.
'T1wma.uell. Bibliotheque cople de Nag Harnmadi,
SoOClion "Iellles:' 19. 1989.
Thompson, H. The Gospel 01 SI. 101m Accordil/g to Ihe
Enrliest Coptic Mamlscripl. London, 1924.
Vergote, J. his/orii/lle de f'tgyp/ien, les
,OIlSOlllleS. Louvain, 1945.
Vycichl, W. Dic/iOll/wire 1!/)'lIIologique de fa lallgue
cople. Louvnin. 1983.
RODOU'IlU KAS.<:P.R
DIALECTS. Thc gt:ogrdphical chal1'clcristics orlhe
habitable area or Egypt favored Ihe S4lbdivision of its
langUl1ge. One may note first or all 1",0 linguistic
entilies, "languages" rather than "dialeclS:' or very
wide scope and more Ihan local-indeed, morc than
rcgional-char.lCter. TIle Iirsl or these corresponds
to the Nile Delta lind the second 10 the Nile Vulley
nbove the Delta. These are in tUI11 (probably in the
Delta, ce'1ainly in the valley) subdivided into smaller
linguistic units (see especially, although wilh pal1i"l
Iy divergent opinions. Kahle, 1954, pp. 193-278;
Ka,,-';('r, 1982; Krause, 1979; wylon, 1976; Vergote,
1973, pp. 53-59; WOITCIl, 1934, pp. and mA
u:crs. GROUPING -'NO MAJOR GROUPS Of' and GFDCIW'HY.
DIAU'L""L).
It appears vel')' likely tll:ll 80HAIRlC (8) was Ihe
indigenous language common 10 Ihe whole or the
Nile Delta. [t Is called n "vehicular." or supmrocnr,
language because it perm[tted the inlUlbitants or Ihe
different regions or De!t:l (where each spoke his
local dialect) to unden;tand one another. (These 10'
88 DIALECfS
TAUI.c L Charoclerisl;C wemes ill tire PrincipIII Coplic wrd SlIbdialeCIS
"lANGUAGE" "WlTIIOlTT" "ANI)"
A
"'1'C ".
,."
pL (espc)
".
.....
L
<spc
".
,""
M
"'"
a(d). auO
V [cspiJ
".
,".
F [cspl)
".
,".
(aha)
F56 lespi] Ill
nub
F1 a(ie)l
"'" (aull)
H {Aspi)
".
aUll
p
Iflspc]
(ll- auO
S flspc
at :luO
874l [aspl] al ou6hc
8 :ispi at 006h
alh
The followinl may ob.icrvcd wilh rtgard to L: a.Hi lAo 1.5, UJ, bur:ilia (""'f'ially) Mum .... ill... LA, Q"dh.. Or ou4/1", etc. 1.6;
LS. 1.6: kD lA, l.5 is It.Oc U:",tie LA is miuie/.J, 1.6: mb!if/flIA is ",dei" LS, LIJ, with S: ..ukVI,LS ill ""hi l.6.
w;lh lPLJ: >lji LA ill ji 1..5, nci L6;";'1 fA is pter /..5. lAo' pel/A is pt!tll /..5. UJ: ref LA. LS. LIi, bu! also rome(IA, "tI"'C' LIi. ""tlf- fA
(r,lre) wilh;1 (rare) erc., and everywhere "lief., eiC. 1'; sJlme LA is s(,lm U. 1..6: ouD.I,e 1.4, l.6 is 0,,0:111 W; {mil L4 is ix>(IIjh LS.
"J,,1l 1.6; 1.4, LS is sltt/e L6; shii /A is sited 1.5,1.6; 16me L4 is IMl>le (WI, Ui: i"se /A, l.S is I"s,' Ui, with pI-
With l'eganlto 101: fJ/' befOIl: eenain (e.g.. sill!"), and a lillIe more frequently Mill ileil bef'OIl: other wonls (the eMe or illll.!t
or iltil"i" is no! yet attested); ptthilf or MHllclirllC$ ptltl.af; ...:t. but also (fairly rare) "it, etc.
With rqard 10 V: I'll/If-, also ptmaf, moll: rardy [pelth../] v, but also ptw.IJ/. (rarely ptlhIJf) W; _limes ,"ij abo V4
(idiolectal?): lIit (n,":ly nil) V is tlji W; p,flp V4, W.Yuiap V5; fairly often Jhiifalso in V4 alone atle51ed. but
poorly, should be jip"tI V4, W. ;i>o..1tI V5.
With regard to F: Il"J F4. fS, but alw,<.,metilllcs M... FS; ptll/ilf FS, prlaf F4, (FSJ; miei FS i.s m;'i f4; Ilif F5 is "o!f F4; piel F5 Is pi; F4;
loll FS, loll shimp FS is shflp F4: j.WJI>le would he N.
With regard tn n: lilia, but alw somcllnR'lI au,),
With reprd 10 II; [kim;! II is klmt H!; rt-ni //is .d.nt H!: sMpi 11 is slNipt HI; Jhfliill is sllIijt HI ([iJrn.l ur [;M.llilJ H /I!; ;D$i H
would be [j<lstJ II!.
With rrg,ard to /': (.;) three three: l*/I/.I (_;) one case.
With regan!tu 8: /Jlh B befon: the (autochthonous) voiced consonants (b, l. m, n. r) and befon: the glides (i and (u)u with the
phonological Vllluc or a consonant, rot' example, at the beginning of the word ;in, falher. and "uAsh, wish): bUI even in these
cases G alWl1YS has al; tb61 B Is epiJl G; tIC"'''''''' 85 is elt"'''''' B4, fl74; plllll B is pdi G: pht 81s pJ G; sOlem 8 is sIN/"m G; 111M or
1I16h B (lwO d. VyclchJ, 1983, p. 226); mm6f 8 is pet'haps mllt,)p/{ G (idiulcf;tlll(?); probably to' be
pronounced ol/nOIl; ",,651. 8 is bim$l G (probably 10 be pnlllOlltlCed ..00$11); 0.. 611 B5 is (lUcihe 84. B?4 (lind Illso G llpjXlrently);
hJb B is iJb G: jhl 84. B5 is If 874. TIle majority OrlM other specific fonns of G(probably without phonological conscquencn)
will be ruund In DIAUCT Il
acf;ompanied ror some time in the 111eban region by
DIALECT P, Ii PROTODlAWCT that oflen looks like what
Cfln be known about the logical predecessor of S, a
tentatively reconstructed pS, proto-Sahidic), an au-
tochthonous language dominating (then tending
gradually to stine) the multiple local and regional
dialeclS of this habitablc zone, relatively na/TOW but
cal idioms vel)' probably existed Ihere, l\!i elsewhere,
even if the pauchy of discoveries uf texts in the soil
of the Delta, which is tOQ damp, prcvenls dctection
of th..-sc dialects; one among them could be the
DtAlECT c.) On the ocher hand, it is cer'
tain thai the vehicular language of the whole Y.1J1ey
of lhe Egyptian Nile above Ihe Delta was SAIUDIC (S,

DIALEcrs 89
TABLE I. (cQIl/f,med)
"WIlA'I7"
I'IIIST "TO. "OlfT(W"RD}" RELATIVE
PERFECT. FlJlI." ETC, PF.RFF.CT.
SING.3.MASC. SING,).MASC.
A
of- ,-
,"'I
Claro
pclar-
pL
Ib;J
of- ,-
,"'I
(Clar.}
[pelaf.]
L ..h
,f- ,-
..hal e(n)Ulf.
pc(n)laf.
M csh har
"-
ebal cillaf
J'lCthnf.
V
"h
(h)af
"-
ehal cl(eh}3f. CIC.
pcl(eh)af elC.
,
,,-
,-
,"'I
entaf
penta!-
'56
ish
,f-
"-
d""
Clltaf
pcnlaf-
F7 l:sh nf-
"-
eb..'\1 clllar-
pcntnf.
H
abo
(z.cro]
b"
la\)-
pCnlan.
p
'<
,f- ,- ,1>61 clar
",oaF-
S ish
,f-
""'1
(e)ntaf-
penlaf
874! ash
,f- ,- ,1>61 Clar
elar-
8 ash
(If
"-
eb61 Claro
emf-
for nearly 6vc hundred
Moving Upslrc:1I11 (rolll immediately above the
Delta (the land of the Bolmil'ic dialectal group),
among the various local of the valley lhal
have left sufficient traces in extant le",ts, lhis 11l1icle
""ill follow the chain that runs from classical B (10
lhe north) 10 A (the so-called AKHMlMlC dialect,
which is frequently eonsidcrcd the ancient local dia-
lect of Thebes and thus the mOSt southerly of the
known Coptic diak-<:ts). The 61"lit to eall for mention
will be the various subdialccts of FAYYUMIC. Chief
among thO!\e with lambdacism arc Fl, a kind of
"north Fayyumlc" interesting consonan
lal similarities with the Bo!lairic subdialcct D74, a
kind of "south Oohairie," a transition between the
dialects of lower Middle Egypt and 84 (cf. Kasscr,
1981, p. 92), and 85, called "cia."-'iical Dohairie," still
further to the north; F5, Fayyumic of c1a.'iSical Iype,
abundantly attested but relatively late; and F4, of
more ancient allest<ltion, with some sitnilmitics with
V. Chief among the fOlms without lambdacislll lwe
V, also called "south FaY)'lIIuic"; and, at lhe extreme
southem limit of the "Fayyumic" group and almost
in the MSC)KF.J041C dialectal group, the idiom W (or
"Cryplo-Mesokemic with South Fayyumic phonolo-
gy"). With Mcsokemie, or Middle Egyptian (M), 10-
Cllled immediately to the south of W. one is no
longer in the Fayyumic dialectal gmup, Mt:sokemic
being an independent group.
Should one thcn locate on the south of M (be
tween M and L) the strange l)Io\.1.CT H (also known
as Hennopolitan or Ashmullinic)? In troth, it is rath-
TAtJLfJ l. Ll!xeml!.< i'l Ihl! Pri'lcipal COfll;C ami SlIbi!iulecls (collliIllU:d)
CIRCUM "MAKE, "PlACE, "EGYPT" "GUlI../J" "LOVE"
STANTlAL Do" LEAVE"
"" PRESENT,
I!rc. "EGYPl'lAN"

A d eire kutl kCmc krM me(e)ie
mmkemc
pL d [eire) [k6] [kernel knif [m]eie
[rmnkCme]
L cr- eire k6(e) kCmc krM meie
rmnkeme rnacie
"
cr- eire k6 kCme knif
rmnkCme
V cr- hi
k'
[kerni] [kl'afJ mfi
rmn[kCmi]
F cr- iii k6 kemi kiM
lemnkCmi
FS6 cr- ili kO kCmi [klan]
lemnkcmi
F7 ef (e)ili k6 kemi
[k"D

[lemn]kCmi
II eb iri k6 krab [mCi (?)]
rCm[kcmi]
cr- (e)il-e k6 kr6f meei
rmnkeme
S cr eire k,
kerne krof
m'
rmnkCmc
874! ,f-
lri ko kfmi h6f mei

B d id kho kh6mi khrM mei

90 DIALECTS
er diflicull to locate exaclly, despitc thc hypothctieal
name assigned to it; one must recall thaI some of ils
Chfll1lCler'islics caused it to be cunsidered fonnerly
as a kind of Fayyumic, cel1ainly very barbaric and,
in any case, wilhout lambdacism; however, many of
its features :llso bling il close 10 S, in addition to its
vcry cvolvcd if not decadent Slroctures (sce MEITAD1A-
LECT), II is also vel)' likely thaI the regional dialect
th:11 became thc classical S, Ihe vehiclll"r language
of Ine whole valley of Ihe Egyptian Nile above the
Delta, originatcd bctwcen M and L.
However lhat may be, accol'ding to the most com-
mon opinion of one then finds, further
to the nor1h of M, in the region of AsyU! and up-
stream, the different varietics uf LYCOPOUTAN. ur
Subakhmimic, "Suhakhmimic" is a rather deceptive
name and h:ls been :llmost complelely abandoned: il
stcmmcd from Ihc belief, held for some lime at the
beginning of the twentieth centul)' and soon re-
vealed 10 be unlenable, that L was a kind of subJia-
lecl of Akhmimic, A, which it CCl1ainly is not, in any
of ils varielies. The varieties of L arc L4, attested by
the Mflllichaenn IcxtS; LS, found "bove all in an
important Johanninc manusclipt, published by
Thompson (1924); and 1.6, known frum the pub-
lished nonSahidic Gnostic texts and from the Hei
delberg rn'lOuscript of the Aet:l P:luli, published by
Schmidt (1904, 1909). (With reg<ll"d 10 Ihesc Lyeo
politan or, better, LYCOD10SPOUTAN varieties, includ-
ing mhLlJCT I, or prutoLyeo(Dios)polltan, pL, see
DIALEcrs 91
TA8l..E I. (contillued)
''TllUTIl'' ETc. "THEIlE" "SIGN" "PITY" "SIN"
mo 'NO 'NO
''THE T1turn" "THAT" "PITILESS"
miD mmo me(e)ine
"'"
tmie eimmo almie
pC mie mm6 (meei]ne (nae) [nabi]
Imie etmmo at[nae)
C mCe mlnell ml:clne
mi,
nabi
tmce etmmeu nl:kin aUlae ruibc
"
mO<
mm'
mcein nO< nabe
tml:e etmmc a(ei)tnee
V mci mmeu mein nei nflbi
tlllci etmmeu aUlei
timci
F mc(e)i mmeu meln neei mibi
tmc(c)i etmmeu alneei
timc(e)i
'56
mcei mmeu neei n{,bi
(meei ctmmeu atneci
timeei
F7 mei mmeu [mein) nei nabi
tmei etmmeu a(ie)tnci
timei
H mCei

macin mi nabi
tm&:i etemaou atna

p
mmau
"'"
tmb etmmau atn:ie
S
m'
mmau macin mi n6bc
,m'
etmmau alna
8741
mm'
ruii nObi
etemma atnai

B mei mmau meini nai nObi
thlllCi clcmmau alhnai
limC:i
K:wer, 1984; Funk, 1985; and PROTOt>lAlECT,)
Slill further 10 the south, probably around
Akhmlm and perhaps even as f.:tr as Thebes (if not
Aswan), seems to be the domain of Akhmimic,
v.'hich was perhaps outflanked on the south (at
Thebes and ....<jth P?) by somc variety or 1" which
tet1ded to function as a semivehicular, or supmlocal,
language (see DIAl.ECT, Uol\ltGaANT); of this function L
was to be dispossessed by the most vigorous and
active vehicular language of lhe whole Egyptian Nile
VaHey to the soulh of thc Delta-S.
II would be ledious 10 describe arresh here all
the5e dialeclS and subdialcclS, eaeh of which is treal-
ed, separately or in groups, in one 01' other of Ihe
special linguistic articles of this encyclopedia.. Here,
however, is a list of the sigla of IhCS(: idioms, in
alphabetical order and with mention or the article in
which it is presented,
TABlE I. CharacteriSlic Lexemes in the Principal Coptic DialeelS and SuhdialeclS (COlltillued)
E v ~ v O ~ ~ "To HIM" "GREAT," "l)IAT Is" "THIS" "THlS .. "
(GENITIVe (DATIVE UkCE" (PkOl'PTIC
PREP.) PREP.. PARTICLE)
SING..l.MASC.)
A
"1m
mc-
""
"'"
nci pei pc'.
pL Inlm] me'
""
mic nci pei pel-
L /lIm ntc nef
"'"
"J'
pe(c)i pc(c)i-
M n1111 IltC'
"Of
"'"
nci! pei pei
V
n'bi
nH
.-
pCi nte- M) nJC pel'
F nfbi nte'
"if
nil} nje pCl pel-
F56 nibi m ~ nth nil}
"J'
pel pel-
F1 nimi
~
""
mij
"J'
pel pei-
H
"1m
,;;.
"Ab
naj"
....
pM !'ti-
J'
p
"lb
ntc-
"or
"Ak
nk(e) pAl pi-
S
"1m
ntc
"or
"Oc
nei p:'li pei-
B741 n'ben m ~
"or
nishti nje pal pal'

niben
~
"or
nishti
*
pMi po'.
92 DIALECTS
A
8
.5
874
B74!
F
F4
F5
F56
F1
G
H
HI
i
L
lA
See AKlIMIMIC,
Equals 85 in agn:cment with 84: sec
BOHAIRIC.
Bohahic subdiaJect; sec examples below and
Kasser, 1981. p. 92.
Clnssical Bohairic, in contl'llSl. to [J4 In the
rare eascs of disagreement betwL"Cn lJ4 and
85; see BOHAIRIC.
A kind of south Bohairic: see examples below
and Kasser, 1981. pp. 93-94.
Sec below.
Equals FS in agreement with F4; see
fAYVUMIC.
FaY)'\lI11ic subdialcct. presented with F.
Classical Fayyumic, in contrast to F4 in cases
of dislIgreement between F4 and F5; see
FAYYUMIC,
A variety of FS vel)' often replacing <t by I;
presented with F.
A kind of somewhat archaic "north
Fayyumic"; pre5C:nted with F.
Sec DIAlECT G.
see DiALECf H.
See below.
See pL.
Equals IA in agreement with L5 and U; see
LVCOPOUTAN and LVC().DIOSPOUTAN.
Variety of L in the Manichaean texis;
presentcd with L
LS Variety of Lin lhe l.ondon papynlS of John,
CIC.; fll'esented with L.
U Variety of L in the nonSahidic GnOSlie ICMlS
and the Heidelbcrx ACla Pauli; prl:$CnIL-d
with -
M $(,"C MESOKFJd!C.
P Sec OtALF.CT P.
pL Sec DIALECT t.
S Sec SAIIlOlC.
V A kind of "south Fayyumic"; presented with
F.
W A kind of "crypto-Mesokemic wilh South
Fayyumic phonology"; pre5C:ntoo with F.
To allow readers who are not Coplologists 10 sam-
ple in somc way the "music," lhe sounds, or Ihe
Coptic language (truly an aUlhentic foon of the au
tochthonous Egyptian languagc) in its different dia
lectal varieties, it has seemed useful to presem in
Table I a list of some phonologically rather charac-
teristic lCMcmes. These specimens iIlustrnle Ihe most
slriking char,lctcristlcs of the dialecIs and subdill'
leets. To make them more readily accessible, the
Coplic is transliterolted here, following the system
chosen for the encyclopedia as a whole, but with the
following remarks and adaptatloTUi.
The tonic accent of each word that h;u one is
DIALECTS 93
TABU! I. Chllfllcteri3"/i" Uxemes irr Ihe Principal COptic Dia/eclS arid Subdialects (colliinued)
COI'UU.
POSSESSIVE "HE SAys" "MAN" "NflME" "VOICE" "BROTHER"
SING. "I-lis"
"THE MAN"
M=. "nlE MAN OF"
3.M'\'<;c'), ''THEIR'' "J\lAKEit Qt'"
(SlNC.MASC.jPIJ.)
,
'"
pf. pajCf romc ..n ,ml
"n
po".
promc
ref-
pI.
'"
pf- pajcJ rome [ren) [smf] [san)
pon-
prome
[nn-J ref-
/.
pd- pajl:f r6me
"n
sml
"n
pon-
proffie
m,- ref-
"
'"
pcf- pcjl:f rom,
"n
om'
1""-
pr6me
ref-
V
pcf- pcjCf rOmi
"n
,m' ...
1""-
p(i)r6rni
ref-
,
pc per
pci'!
IOmi
"n
,m'
"n
1""-
p(i)IOmi
lem- lef
'"
",b- pcj(iJ IOmi
"n
sm!
"',,-
p(i)IOmi
lem- lef-
F? pcf- [pcjet) 16mi IOn smt ...
peu-
p(i)IOmi
[Iem-] lcr-
iI p;;b- pejab rOmi ron smf [san]
"',,-

rem- reb-
I'
pf- pajM romn rin sml!(':' )
"'n
po"-
proffiC
,m- nncf-
S
pef- pcjaf romn ,in smt
"',,-
prumc
ref
874!

",f- pcjaf rOmi ron sUlA
"'n
po,,- p(i)rOmi
rem- ref-
,
'"
",f- pcjaf rOmi
ro"
smt
"'n
po"-
phrOmi
pirOmi
rem- ref-
TAUU! I, ChoracterisJjc in lhe. Principal Coptic Dio/a's ond SlIbdiolecl$ (colltimled)
"HIOAIl, "WRITI!." "PuRIFY" "Dll;TUIUJ. "JOY" "WIU."
!=EN" STIR" "THE Wtu."
A SOtmc Sl.lei tbbol.l6 tol,

ouill,lc
POl.lo!.lc
p"
SOtmc [sl.lei] tb[OO\l6] [t61,] (ounM)
[pou&;eJ
L sOtm(e) shei tuuM tbh oumif ouosh(e)
pouosh(c)
M sOlm shel touM
'6h
ollnM ouesh
(pooesh (?))
V SOtm shei
"bI>;
(t6h]

ouOsh
p(i)ouOsh
F SOtem shl:i
"bI>;
toh oon;if ouOsh
P{i)oubsh
F56 .o.m shei
'ybb;
(tOh] oon:ib ouOsh
P{i)ouOsh
F7
"""m
[shei] tybba
(bh ounaf oUOsh
P(i)ooOsh
/I sCllCm (shail [tt:bba(?)J (toh] oumib ouosh
p{t)ouOsh
P sOlm sl,lui lbb6 t6h ounM 01.161;
poUOl;
S sCltm sMi ,blx> t6h oun6f ouOsh
pou6sh
8741 SOtem shtai 10ub6 10h oun6f ouc>sh
p(i)ouOsh

.o.om
sJ:I3i ,=Ix> th61,

ou6sh
phoot.h
pi0u6sh
94 DIALECfS
noted by an aeute accent plnced above the vowel
cunecl'Tlcd. , b in F56 and especially H is prubably
to be pronounced rather [v] (it is probably the snmc
in G), 1111 and 00 in P {when lhis vowel duplication
indicatcs simply "one" vowel, but accentuated [sec
Kassel', 1985], and not the tunic vowel followed by
fI (see AU!P\IJ) are rendered respectively by t:{':')
and 0(':') and not by te or 60 as everywhere else. In
the autochthonous Coplic vocabulary of P, II. is reno
dered by k and 01. by k (the Jim po6Iilbly to be
pronounced a little more to the back of the throat,
somewhat like q qoph. the 5econd rather to lhe front
or the throat: but it remains most probable that Ihe k
in the autochthonouS" voctlbulary P has the value of c
in the other dialect:;, and thc kor the autochthonous
P (like the k or Copto-Greek p) thnt of k elsewhere. K.
10 P is rendered by k(e). in pL :\OJ in Pare
rendered by <; (pronounced like the ch in Gennan
ich, or nearly like the initial h in English humun,
and thus to be distinguished from ql sh, German
seh). .1. in P Is rendered by , (which one must be
ware of conrWling with the apo!ltrophe ' which
SCIVCS to disdnguish s'h c:: mm sh I,l), Finally, one
cannot render Ihe polyvalent 6 of the various Coptic
idioms unifunnly by c, for lhough c filS ror A, L, M,
and 5, 6 in W, V, F4, F5, and H has probably the
value of I (10 be dislinguished in pronunciation,
without one's knowing exactly how, from j X), and 6
in 85 and 84 has the value of jh. (P, F7, and 874 do
not have any G,)
Only the Ihil1een principal Coptic idioms and
(sub)dinleclS are presented in the lable, sollle sup-
TABLE l. (CQI1/imI/JII)
"L1vf," "BECOME" "USE, "SAYING." "WORK,
"IN"
'""
VAWF.' WORD" THINe"
"Be"
A
shcu sheje
h6uoo hOb
""""
pL imh ,"ope (sheuJ sheje
[hOo.) [hOb)

.;6(o)p
L O(ll)nh shOpe shcu
"'je
hOo. hOb

(Ooh) ,hOOp sheje
"
onh
,hOp" shtu
"'je
hO. hOb

,,",p
V Ooh lihOpi ,he" seji h61l). hOb

sM(a)p (sheji(?))
,
Ooh shOpi ,h'" sheji
"'".
hOb

sha(a)p
'56 1m'"
shOpi
"''''
shl:ji
"'".
hOb

",,",p
Ooh shOpi (sh61] shl:ji
ho. hOb hin-
sMp
H onah shopi shaou shaji [hOo. ) hOb hen
",,",p
p

,Ope shau shaje (hO+) hOb

l;6'p
S onh shOpe ,Mu shaje
hM. h<\b
"","p
B74./ Onh shOpi ,Mu saji
hO. hOb hen-
,hOp
B onh sMpi shli.u saji
h hOb hen
,hOp
plemenlary Iillijuislic furms appearing ill additioll in
the footnotes to the lilble. Thus, fA, IS, and 1..6 are
nnled in relntion 10 one another (L4 + L5 + L6 =
L); tv is noted in rebtiu" to V (- V4 + V5); F4 ,lIld
1"5 are noted in I'elatlon to each other; Hi is notcd in
relation to H; B4 and B74 (and even G when its
fonns are auested, in a few cases only) llre noted in
relation to one another IlIld 10 B, which is almost
always identical with JJ5 (JJ4 + JJ5 - JJ). An excla-
mation mark indicale5 "metonhogrnphy"; thus, H!
and 874! arc, respectively, Hand 874 in
metol1hogmphy. Melonhogrnphy is the Ilew onho-
graphic and phonological syslem lowdrd which IlU-
merous copyists wriling II dialect or subdiale<:1 are
strongly tending; in H! the final atonic vowel is
t rather than i; in B74! will be rcplacl..'<! by h and
DIALECTS 9S
the aspiration typielll of Bohairic, still vigorous III
874 lIS in 84 rind 85 (kh for k, ph for p, th for I, in
cel1ain well-defined conditions), will disappcllr (ih
for j in B4 and B5 is already abandoned in B74).
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Funk, W.-P. "How Closely Related Are the Subakh-
mimic leitschrifl fllr ligyplisch/J Spracll/J
WId AlIt.rlulIIskulldt. 1II (1984):110-30.
Kahle, P. E. &la'itJlh: Coptic TexiS from Deir d
Bala'il/lh in Upper Egypt. Oxford and London,
1954.
Kas.scr, R. "Proll:gomilncs 1.\ UII essni de c1assifica
lion des dialccll's CI subdiall'CICli
coptes selon les crileres de In phonelique, III,
96 DlALECfS
TABU: I. ChClTClclerislic J..uemes in the Principal Coptic Dialects and Sllbdi(l!ects (colltinued)
'7HAT.
..,......
"SAy" ''WRJTrEN "BEGET. "ExALT'''
8ECAUSE" RECf.JVE" DocuMENT, ACQUIRE"
'.0
800le" "ExALTD.
HIGH"
A
i'
jl jOu j6u(ou)me
'"pO
jlse
j..'\sc:
pL ji: jl j6 j6me [tl;p61 jist
ji\si
L j< jl j6 j6me
ipO
jlsc
jasi
"',
M j, jl jO j6me jp;
j'"
"'"
V
"
jl j6 jb(O)me jpa jlsi
psi
F j< jl j6 j66me jp; jlsi
jasi
F56
j< jl j6 (jOome) jp; jisi
[jasiJ
F7
i'
jhl jO U6ma] jpa jisi
jl\si
H
i'
jl ;0 WOmi]) Ipa Ulsil
'psi
p
j< jl j6 (jOoma]
'<pO
jisc
"'" S j< jl j6 jOOme jpO jist:
"'"
874/ j< jl ;0 j6m jpO jisi
pi
B j< jhl j6 jOm jpM jhisi
jh6si
"PoWER, "VIOlNCI!, "HAND"
STRENGTlI" INIQUITY"
A cl\m cans elj
pL [cam] [cans] elj
L cllm cans dj
M cam cans cij
V }lI1II ua]ns Jij
F
I'm laos Iij
F5' I'm
)tms Iij
F7 jim
i"
jljh
H
I'm
janes
."
l'l
P kOm gko(":)ns klj
S cOm
~
clj
8741
,
j6m j6ns jlj
B j6m j6ns jij
DlALECfS, GROUPiNG AND MAJOR GROUPS OF 97
Syst\lmes ol1hogrJphiques el categories
dialcctalcs:' MIISCOII 94 {I981 ):91-152.
__. "Lc Gr,lIIdGroupc dialectal copte de Haute-
Egypte." BIII/tlin de 10 d'igyplologie,
7 (1982):47-72.
"Ol1hographe et phonologic de la varictc
subdialectale Iycopolitaine des tcxtCS gnostiques
copies de Nag Hammadi." MIIMon 97 (19S4):261-
312.
-c:::co "G(:mirnalion de voyclll'S d3ns Ie P. Bodmer
VI." In AclJ of Ihe Second Intemalionol COPlgre.s.s of
Coptic SllIditJ, Rome, 11-26 Stplember 19M. ed.
T. Orlandi and F. Wissc, pp. 89-120. Rome, 1985.
Krause, M. "Koptische Spral:he." l.uikon dtr Agyplo-
fOlie] (1919):731-37.
layton. B. "CQptic Ulnguage.' In Inlerprtler'J Dictio-
nary of tile Bible, Suppl. vol. pp. 174-79. Nashville,
Tenn., 1976.
Schmidt, C. ACII.I Pallii ailS dtr lIeidelberger
knplischell Popyrllshandschri/l Hr. I. Leipzig. 1904.
"En nl"UC$ Fragmenl del' Heidelberger Acta
Pauli." In 5illAmpberich/e del' Berlintr Akademit
der WissclSchaften, Philo:rophisch.Hi.slorische
Klas.se, pp. 216-20. Berlin, 1909.
lbompson, H. The Gospel of 51. Joh" According 10 Ihe
Ettrlie$l Coptic MOIIllscript. LDndon, 1924.
VcliO!c, J. Grammaire copte, la, llItrodllClion. pho-
nCliqlle tl phollologit, ltlorpJlO/ogie synthemaliqfle
(SlnlcllIrt dts partie synchrolliqlle.
louvain, 1973.
Vycichl, W. DicliotlllOire ilymologu,1I1! dc /0 longue
coP/e. Louvain, 1983.
Worrell, W. H. Coptic $ollfld$. Ann Arbor, Mich.,
1934.
ROOOU'lIF.. KASSER
DIALECTS, GROUPING AND MAJOR
GROUPS OF, The di.'iCovcry of nlllllY Coptic
in the laller hnlr of the twentieth centu
ry hllS led to a multiplication in thc idcnlification
(sometimes disputed) nf Coptic idioms, dialects, and
subdialects, an idcntification based mainly on pho
nology, the Illost convenient and generally used cri-
terion D1AU,el'. IMM1GItANT). The likely
working hypothesis that has been agreed upon is
lhal tht phonology of these idioms can be deler
mined by analYbls or theil' differtnt ol1hographic sys-
lenlS; in practice, is thc only vi.:lble approach,
sinct Coptic is a dead language. The increase in the
number of known idioms is quite obvious: Stem
(1880) has only three "dialccts:' S, B, and F; Crum
(1939) has five, S, B, F, A2 (. L), and A; Kahle (1954)
has six, S, 8, f', M, 142 (. L), and A; Kassel' (1964) has
seven or eight, 5, (G?), 8, F, M, A2 (. L), A, and P;
Kasser (1966), has nine, S, G, B, "', M, Al (. L}, A,
and P; and Ka.sscr (1973) reaches fifteen. of which,
however, live are practically abandoned in Kasser
(1981): 5, G, (D}, B, (K" F, H, (N), M, L, i, A, P, (C),
(E).
This multiplicity has led to revision of the very
concept of "dialect" and "subdialecl" (which should
be rigorously distinguished from an IDtOLECT) so as
to eliminate certain idioR15 that are possible but too
poorly or too doubtfully alttsted and (despite
Chatne, 1934, pp. 2-3, :lnd Kasser, 1974) to clarify
dialeclic filiations (Vel'lOle, 1973b; Kolsser, 1919; this
concept should nOl be under.>lood in too literal a
way). Above all, the: multiplicity has led to a classifi-
cation of the different idioms inlo fu.milies or groups
of dialects (K.asser, 1981, pp. 112-18) and then into
major groups, to avoid complicating in lhe extreme
the view of the phonetic and phonological facts of
Coptic Egypt and to allow its more convenient inte-
gration into an analysis (synchronic and diachronic)
of the Egyptian language as a whole:. (On the termi
IlOlogy here employed, see Il)tOl.ECT, f'IlOTODIA1..ECI'.
METADIA1.ECT. and MF.SOOtALECT.)
Although presented lhrough the medium of anoth-
er lenninology, such groups of dialects were distin
guishcd by Stenl (1880) when he contemplated lhe
existence of two dearly distinct dialects, the Lower
Egyptian and the Upper Egyptian, which elsewhere
hc prdcrred to call Bohairic and Sahidic, respective
Iy, and when he dt.:fincd F as "the third dialeCl, only
a variant of Sahidic" and "of less importance." In
the same way, Stelndorlf (1951) presented two
groups of dialects: Upper Egyptian (S, A, L, F) and
LDwcr Egyptian (0, and a dialect practi
cally unknown).
The gmuping of "dialc<:ts" set out below is quitc
similar to that of Kassel' (1981) but with some signif.
icant diffcrences, the most important of which is the
new valuation of Sand 0: they are no longer consid-
cred as "dialccts" (as are, e.g., A, L. and M) but as
"Coptic languages," that is, "vehicular," or supra'
local, evcn supraregional common languages, which
permitted the inhabitantll of numerous Egyptian reo
gions, where each spoke his own local dialcct, \0
communicate easily and to undcrstand one another.
So 5 ill rccognized as the common speech of the
whole valley of the Egyptian Nile above the Delta,
and 8 (more hypothctically but nevertheless rather
likely) is cOllliidcred the language of the whole Nile
Della. Coptic (supralocal etc.) languages (in touch
with many local and regional dialects, which influ
ence and neutralize them appreciably) cannot be