A Coptic Grammar With Chrestomathy and Glossary. Sahidic Dialect

Layton B.

Саидский диалект

As a new century of Coptic studies begins, this grammar is meant to provide a fundamental reference tool describing and documenting the classical dialect, Sahidic, found in literary texts of the fourth to eighth centuries A.D, in Egypt. Of all the Coptic dialects, Sahidic conveniently shared the greatest number of features with others; it also had a prestigious association with the orthodox Christian establishment. The powerful combination of convenience and prestige turned Sahidic into a nationwide medium o f communication for orthodox ecclesiastical and monastic Christianity in early Coptic speaking Egypt. It is the idiom o f most native authors in Coptic.

This book does not presuppose a technical knowledge o f linguistics; undefined linguistic jargon is carefully avoided. I have explained each grammatical term, even ‘noun’ and ‘verb’, where it is first discussed in the book—and specifically as applying to Coptic, which bears little structural resemblance to the familiar Indo-European languages of Europe. Definitions can also be located through the subject index. I also call attention to the select Coptic index, which can help readers to identify many ambiguous or puzzling grammatical forms.