- T. G. Wilfong
Coptic is the latest phase of the ancient Egyptian language, written in an alphabet partly derived from Greek and incorporating Greek vocabulary. Strongly associated with Christianity in Egypt, Coptic preserves a wide range of original and translated Christian literature as well as an important body of documentary texts of the later Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods.
Coptic is the latest phase of the ancient Egyptian language, notable for its use of a largely Greek-derived alphabet, its extensive incorporation of Greek vocabulary, and its strong association with Christianity in Egypt. Coptic texts include a wide range of documentary texts of the later Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods; an extensive and rich body of original and translated Christian literature (of particular importance for the early history of Christian monasticism); and unique witnesses to major Gnostic, Manichaean, and Hermetic texts. Coptic was ultimately supplanted by Arabic as the language of daily life in Egypt, but it continues in use to the present as a liturgical language within Christian communities in Egypt (and expatriate Coptic communities across the world).
The Coptic language is a direct development of earlier Egyptian, but Coptic script marked a radical change from the past.1 Earlier Egyptian script systems (hieroglyphs and the cursive Hieratic and Demotic scripts) used hundreds of phonetic and ideographic signs and groups, none of which indicated presence or quality of vowels. The complexity of these scripts made them difficult to learn and use, accessible only to a limited scribal and priestly elite. Exposure to Greek made Egyptians aware of the advantages of an alphabetic script system, and the importance of Greek in Egypt after its conquest by Alexander the Great in 332 bce made the adaptation of the Greek alphabet for writing Egyptian almost inevitable. The earliest uses of Greek characters to write Egyptian occur in the 3rd–1st centuries bce, with renderings of personal names and Demotic words and phrases into Greek letters.2 Differences between Greek and Egyptian phonology led to the creation of new signs from Demotic to represent sounds found in Egyptian but not Greek. The 1st–4th centuries ce saw this augmented alphabet used to write what is now known as Old Coptic, for horoscopes and magical texts, as well as glosses on Hieratic and Demotic religious texts.3
The later developments in writing Egyptian with a Greek-derived alphabet occurred alongside the introduction and spread of Christianity in Egypt. The new writing system had a considerable advantage to the increasing numbers of Christians in Egypt: it was not strongly associated with indigenous Egyptian religion, as were hieroglyphs and the related cursive scripts. What is now known as Coptic existed as an established script system and underlying language by the mid-late 3rd century ce. Coptic had some chronological overlap with the earlier scripts—the latest hieroglyphic inscription dates to 394 ce and the latest Demotic to 452 ce—but these final manifestations of the traditional scripts were associated with late survivals of indigenous religion.4 Coptic was, essentially, the indigenous language of Christianity in Egypt. The translation of the Greek New Testament into Coptic in the 3rd century helped shape and solidify the new script system and the language it represented.
Coptic is written with an alphabet that includes the twenty-four characters of the Greek alphabet in traditional Greek order, followed by six Demotic-derived characters (some dialects add more).5 The forms of Greek letters used in Coptic were derived from Greek majuscules, but there are exceptions (xi and possibly zeta use Greek minuscules, and sigma is always lunate). Coptic used the same system as Greek for writing numerals with letters, adopting Greek stigma for six, but substituting Coptic-specific characters for Greek koppa (ninety) and sampi (nine hundred). The Coptic writing system often used a superlinear stroke to mark certain consonants as a separate syllable or to mark numerals and abbreviations, while some dialects used a superlinear dot or accent (djinkim) to mark vowels standing alone as syllables or consonants acting as grammatical elements.6 Otherwise, Coptic used punctuation and diacritics similar to those found in contemporary Greek texts (although usage tended to be looser and optional in Coptic). Coptic did not indicate the accents or breathing marks of Greek, but did use a common Demotic-derived alphabetic sign (hori) to indicate initial rough breathing in Greek vocabulary; sometimes this was applied indiscriminately to vowel-initial Greek words with smooth breathing.
In terms of vocabulary, Coptic is noted for its extensive incorporation of Greek words, but the majority of Coptic vocabulary was of Egyptian origin. Coptic has a rich and complex vocabulary of indigenous words inherited from earlier phases of Egyptian that reflects the traditional landscape, religion, and occupations of Egypt in the later Pharaonic period. Greek words initially entered Egyptian as Egyptians interacted with Greek traders and mercenaries (see trade, Greek); once Greek became the major language of government and higher-level business from the late 4th century bce onwards, Greek technical and practical terms found their way into Demotic. The coming of Christianity to Egypt brought an additional wealth of religion-related Greek vocabulary. These Greek words became an integral part of Coptic, although there was an understanding of the non-Egyptian origin of such vocabulary (reflected in modern lexicography, where words of Egyptian and Greek origin are treated separately). The majority of Greek words in Coptic are nouns and verbs, along with some important particles; nouns regularly appear in the nominative, while verbs appear in the active imperative singular form. The orthography of Greek words in Coptic is not always predictable, especially in documentary texts.7 There is considerable overlap between like-meaning Greek and Egyptian-origin words that can be used interchangeably, and individual writers varied in the extent to which they used Greek vocabulary. Earlier scholars took the amount of Greek vocabulary in a Coptic text as a sign of a writer’s ethnicity or a signal that the work was a Coptic original or a translation from the Greek. It is increasingly clear, however, that such conclusions are not warranted: it is just as possible (and often more likely) that an Egyptian-born author of an original composition in Coptic might use extensive, complex, or obscure Greek vocabulary to make an impression of education or sophistication. Latin loanwords are uncommon in Coptic, but do appear, most often titles and technical terms that came into Coptic by way of documentary or literary use in Greek.8
Grammatically, Coptic is a direct descendant of earlier Demotic Egyptian and is largely uninfluenced by Greek. Coptic distinguishes masculine and feminine singular and common plural nouns, although remnants of earlier duals and gendered plurals survive in Coptic (Greek neuters are masculine in Coptic). Gender and number of nouns are typically indicated through articles and other external markers; only a few words have separate forms for masculine and feminine, or singular and plural. Coptic includes pronouns in first-person common singular and plural, in second- and third-persons masculine and feminine singular, but common plural. Special forms of pronouns that suffix directly to articles, prepositions, certain nouns, and verbal conjugation bases are survivals of the long tradition of Egyptian suffix pronouns. Nouns and pronouns are not marked for case in Coptic, aside from some instances of vocative-marked nouns from Greek. As in earlier phases of Egyptian, nonverbal sentences with nominal or adverbial predicates are common. The enclitic and non-enclitic particles important in earlier phases of Egyptian survive in Coptic, augmented by certain Greek enclitic particles, the meaning and usage of which sometimes differed significantly in Coptic. Word order is much stricter than in Greek, as it was in earlier phases of the Egyptian language.
A particularly Egyptian feature of Coptic is its use of morphs known as “converters” on both verbal and nonverbal sentences to change their relationships to surrounding clauses.9 These include the preterite (moves a clause back one step in time), circumstantial (creates a clause of circumstance, sequence, attribution, or relative meaning), relative (modifies a preceding noun or pronoun), and focalizing conversions. The focalizing conversion is a characteristic feature of Coptic and earlier forms of the language, in the past referred to as a “second-tense” system. The focalizing conversion significantly shifts the focus or emphasis of a sentence or clause, often towards an adverbial phrase, which, in traditional Egyptian word order, occurs at the end of a sentence.
Several dialects exist in Coptic, most with region-specific connections. The “standard” dialect of Coptic (both in terms of ancient primacy and modern Western pedagogy) is Sahidic, in which the majority of earlier Coptic texts were written.10 The Bohairic dialect that came to dominate Egypt in the centuries after the Arab conquest of Egypt in 642 was more a language of literary translation (from Greek as well as from Sahidic Coptic) than of original composition, and is now the standard liturgical dialect in the Coptic Orthodox Church.11 Other dialects of Coptic are less well represented and are generally related to Sahidic: they include Fayyumic (notable for its “lambdacism,” where lambda is widely used in place of rho, possibly related to earlier Egyptian), Akhmimic and Subakhmimic (best known for their use in translations of Gnostic and related literature into Coptic), Mesokemic, and various other regional dialects and subdialects.12 Dialects differ mostly in their phonology and morphology, but largely share a common grammar and syntax, although there is considerable difference between Bohairic and most of the other dialects, to the extent that some scholars go so far as to categorize Bohairic separately from the rest.
Coptic was used to write a wide range of original compositions, including documentary, literary, scholastic, monumental, scientific, and magical texts, as well as translations from Greek and other languages. Original documentary texts on papyrus, parchment, and ostraka in Coptic preserve legal documents, letters, accounts, lists, and other records of the activities of daily life in Egypt from the 4th–12th centuries ce. Large bodies of Coptic documentary material are known from the Dakhla Oasis (4th century ce),13 the villages and monasteries of Bawit and western Thebes (7th–8th centuries ce),14 and the town of Aphrodito (from the archive of lawyer-poet Dioskoros [6th century ce] and the official archive of Qurra ibn Sharik [8th century ce]),15 among other sites. Since official documents were issued in Greek (later Arabic), Coptic documents tended to come from a local level, documenting the lives, business, and administration of villages and monasteries, although official bilingual (Greek-Coptic) and even trilingual (Greek-Coptic-Arabic) administrative documents do survive.16 Likewise, inscriptions in Coptic tend to relate to individuals (memorials and graffiti) or local religious institutions (inscriptions in churches and monasteries), rather than state institutions.
A substantial body of original literature in Coptic survives from the 3rd–13th centuries ce, written by, and reflecting the concerns of, Christian authors based in Egypt.17 The works include biographies, encomia, and homilies on Egyptian religious figures, as well as an extensive range of martyrdoms and related accounts set in Egypt. Original Coptic literature is especially rich in texts relating to monasticism: not only the lives of major Egyptian monastic figures, but also literature deriving from the ongoing activities of the monasteries themselves—pastoral letters and sermons by heads of Egyptian monasteries, as well as monastic rules and related documents. Perhaps the most important Coptic monastic author was Shenoute (c. 347–465 ce), whose extensive writings took advantage of the particular features of Coptic (especially the focalizing conversion) to evolve a complex literary style.18 Later Coptic literature yielded a large amount of hymns and poetry that often featured elaborate wordplay (like earlier Egyptian literature) and frequent use of acrostics.19 Other genres in Coptic included liturgical texts; historical chronicles; and medical, alchemical, scholastic, and magical works,20 although it is not always clear whether individual compositions in these genres are original to Coptic or translations.
Although original composition in Coptic was common, the Coptic language was, essentially, founded on a program of translation of Greek Christian literature, specifically the translation of the Greek New Testament into Coptic, which helped shape and form the language in its earlier stages.21 Translations of the Old Testament and biblical apocrypha from Greek into Coptic were also made at a relatively early date. In some cases, Coptic translations are now important witnesses when the original Greek does not survive or is incomplete. Several major apocryphal gospels, notably the gospels of Thomas and Judas,22 are known primarily or exclusively from their Coptic translations. A wealth of patristic literature originally written in Greek was translated into Coptic, and literature relating to monasticism was particularly prevalent; examples include Coptic translations of the Apophthegmata Patrum,23 works of Athanasius of Alexandria,24 and the writings of the Pachomian monasteries.25 Coptic also preserved particularly important witnesses for Gnostic and Manichaean texts, mostly in the 4th-century Nag Hammadi and Medinat Madi codices,26 many of which do not survive in their Greek originals.
The majority of Coptic texts translated from the Greek were Christian and religious in nature, but a few examples of pre-Christian Greek literature survive in Coptic. The most substantial of these is a Coptic translation of a section of Plato’s Republic (588b–599b) in the Nag Hammadi codices.27 This particular excerpt of Plato was translated from a corrupt Greek text by an indifferent translator and the passage seems to highlight the limitations of Coptic in translation of Greek philosophical works. More successful in this regard is a collection of brief sayings attributed to Greek philosophers translated into Coptic.28 Two fragments of codices contain phrases from plays of Menander translated into Coptic alongside the Greek originals, suggesting a didactic purpose.29 These survivals seem random in nature but suggest some wider acquaintance with Greek classics in translation among Coptic-literate Christians in Egypt. The Greek poetry of the Coptic-literate 6th-century lawyer-poet Dioskoros of Aphrodito, for example, shows knowledge of a wide range of Classical literature.30
Coptic and Arabic
The Arab conquest of Egypt in 642 ce did not have an immediate impact on Coptic, which flourished for centuries afterward. But the growth of Arabic as the primary administrative language of Egypt and the gradual conversion of much of Egypt’s population to Islam led, ultimately, to the end of Coptic as a living language. The beginning of the 9th century seems to mark a major turning point in the transition from Coptic to Arabic, and Coptic became much less common in the centuries that followed.31 One of the latest major literary compositions in Coptic was a long poem known as the Triadon.32 Surviving in a single manuscript of the 14th century ce, with parallel Arabic translation, the Triadon was a bravura display of erudition seemingly intended to encourage knowledge and use of Coptic but actually served more as a finale for major Coptic composition in the face of the increasing dominance of Arabic. As use of Coptic decreased, many important Coptic texts were translated into Arabic. Another result of the decline of Coptic in Egypt was the production of Coptic grammars and vocabulary lists in Arabic. The Arabic-Coptic vocabularies, known as scalae, remain essential sources for Coptic lexicography, while the study of Coptic by Western scholars had its origins in Arabic grammatical treatises.33 The 17th-century polymath Athanasius Kircher published the first grammar of Coptic in a Western language in 1643,34 based on Arabic grammars of Coptic and two major scalae.
Modern Study of Coptic
After Kircher, Western study of the Coptic language initially concentrated on grammar and lexicography, alongside the establishment of the text of the Coptic New Testament and liturgy, with important work by Raphael Tuki, David Wilkins, Henry Tattam, and Amadeo Peyron in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.35 Ludwig Stern, in the later 19th century, advanced the study of Coptic language significantly with his in-depth study of Coptic grammar.36 The early 20th century saw a major milestone in Coptic lexicography, with the publication of Walter E. Crum’s Coptic Dictionary,37 still the standard lexicon of Egyptian-origin Coptic words and an extraordinary lexicographical (and typographical) accomplishment. (As of the mid-2010s, there is no comparable full lexicon of Greek-origin words in Coptic, although Hans Förster’s monumental dictionary of Greek words in Coptic documentary texts38 is a major contribution in this area.) Discovery of the Medinet Madi and Nag Hammadi codices in the 1930s and 1940s led to considerable new work on their dialects, while the complex interrelationships of dialect and local usage in documentary texts was the underlying object of Paul Kahle’s edition of documentary texts from southern Egypt.39 Important work on the grammar of Coptic appeared through the first half of the 20th century, by authors such as Alexis Mallon, Hans-Jacob Polotsky, and Walter Till.40 The1960s and 1970s saw considerable work on the etymology of indigenous Coptic words, culminating in etymological dictionaries by Wolfhart Westendorf and Jaroslav Černý (later joined by Werner Vychichl’s 1983 publication),41 and a substantial new grammar of Coptic by Jozef Vergote. In more recent years, Ariel Shisha-Halevy and Bentley Layton have brought a linguistics-informed approach to the study of Coptic grammar,42 while Layton’s recent grammar of Sahidic is an important reference grammar for Coptic. T. S. Richter’s recent study of the grammar and style of Coptic legal texts highlights the increasing importance of documentary papyri (and the field of linguistics) in the study of Coptic language.43
The Coptic Encyclopedia, edited by Aziz S. Atiya, remains a standard reference work, the eighth volume of which contains an extensive appendix” on Coptic language and linguistics that is essential for study of the Coptic language.44 This reference work is now being updated electronically, available online as the Claremont Coptic Encyclopedia by Claremont Graduate University in partnership with the Coptic community. The contemporary field of Coptic studies hosts a lively and active program of scholarship on the language and its history. Scholars who specialize in Coptic have traditionally come to it from the study of the history of Christianity or from Egyptology, but increasingly scholars are coming from linguistics, papyrology, and related fields, from which new perspectives on the language are emerging.
Today, Coptic has a split existence: as both the ancient language of historical Egyptian Christianity, studied by scholars, and as the primary liturgical language of a living religious tradition. The Coptic Orthodox Church, active in Egypt (where it is the largest Christian denomination) and in expatriate communities worldwide, uses the Bohairic dialect and is the primary promoter of the study and teaching of Bohairic. Although sporadic attempts have been made in the 20th and 21st centuries to promote Bohairic Coptic as a living language, it survives today primarily as a liturgical language within the modern Coptic community, still a vital connection to its identity, history, and faith.
A comprehensive guide to Coptic documentary texts can be found online in the Brussels Coptic Database.
- Allen, James P. The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
- Atiya, Aziz S. The Coptic Encyclopedia. 8 vols. New York: Macmillan, 1991.
- Crum, W. E. A Coptic Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939.
- Haspelmath, Martin, Eitan Grossman, and Tonio Sebastian Richter, eds. Egyptian-Coptic Linguistics in Typological Perspective. Empirical Approaches to Language Typology, 55. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2015.
- Kammerer, Winifred. A Coptic Bibliography. University of Michigan General Library Publications, 7. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950.
- Layton, Bentley. A Coptic Grammar with Chrestomathy and Glossary: Sahidic Dialect. 3d ed. Porta Linguarum Orientalium. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2011.
- Papaconstantinou, Arietta, ed. The Multilingual Experience in Egypt: From the Ptolemies to the Abbasids. Farnham: Ashgate, 2010.
- Till, Walter C. Koptische Dialektgrammatik. 2d ed. Munich: Beck, 1961.
- Vergote, Jozef. Grammaire copte. 2 vols. in 4 parts. Louvain, Belgium: Peeters, 1973–1983.
1. James P. Allen, The Ancient Egyptian Language: An Historical Study (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 1–30.
4. Jitse H. F. Dijkstra, Philae and the End of Ancient Egyptian Religion: A Regional Study of Religious Transformation (298–642 CE) (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2008).
5. Unless otherwise noted, the description of the Coptic writing system, phonology, and grammar follows Bentley Layton, A Coptic Grammar with Chrestomathy and Glossary: Sahidic Dialect, 3d ed., Porta Linguarum Orientalium (Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2011).
7. The range can be seen in Hans Förster, Wörterbuch der griechischen Wörter in den koptischen dokumentarischen Texten, Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2002), 148.
8. Irene-Maria Cervenka-Ehrenstrasser, Lexikon der lateinischen Lehnwörter: in den griechischsprachigen documentarischen Texten Ägyptens mit Berücksichtigung koptischer Quellen, 2 vols. (Vienna: Hollinek, 1996).
9. The categories outlined here follow Layton, Coptic Grammar.
10. Bentley Layton, Coptic Grammar.
11. Ariel Shisha-Halevy, Topics in Coptic Syntax: Structural Studies in the Bohairic Dialect (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 2007).
12. For a useful comparative overview of Coptic dialects, see Walter C. Till, Koptische Dialektgrammatik, 2d ed. (Munich: Beck, 1961). For individual dialects, see the relevant entries in the eighth volume of The Coptic Encyclopedia, ed. Aziz S. Atiya (New York: Macmillan, 1991).
13. Iain Gardner, Anthony Alcock, and Wolf-Peter Funk, Coptic Documentary Texts from Kellis, 2 vols. (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1999–2014).
14. For Bawit, see Sarah J. Clackson and Alain Delattre, “Papyrus grecs et coptes de Baouît conservés au Musée du Louvre,” Bibliothèque d’études coptes, 22 (Cairo: IFAO, 2014), and references; for western Thebes in general, see T. G. Wilfong, The Women of Jeme: Lives in a Coptic Town in Late Antique Egypt (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002), 1–21, and note more recent publications, e.g., Anne Bouvarel-boud’hors and Chantal Heurtel, Les ostracas coptes de la TT 29: autor du moine Frangé (Brussels: CReA-Patrimoine, 2010).
15. Leslie S. B. MacCoull, Dioscorus of Aphrodito: His Work and His World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988); and Tonio Sebastian Richter, “Language Choice in the Qurra Dossier,” in The Multilingual Experience in Egypt: From the Ptolemies to the Abbasids, ed. Arietta Papaconstantinou (Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate, 2010), 189–220.
16. Petra M. Sijpesteijn, “Multilingual Archives and Documents in Post-Conquest Egypt,” in The Multilingual Experience in Egypt: From the Ptolemies to the Abbasids, ed. Arietta Papaconstantinou (Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate, 2010), 105–126.
17. Mark Smith, “Coptic Literature,” in Cambridge Ancient History 13 (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 720–735.
18. David Brakke and Andrew Crislip, Selected Discourses of Shenoute the Great: Community, Theology and Social Conflict in Late Antique Egypt (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2015).
19. K. H. Kuhn , Thirteen Coptic Acrostic Hymns (Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1996).
20. T. G. Wilfong, “The Non-Muslim Communities: The Christian Communities,” in Cambridge History of Egypt I, ed. Carl F. Petry (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 190–191.
21. Bruce M. Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission and Limitations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), 99–152.
22. Bentley Layton, ed., Nag Hammadi Codex II, 2–7: Volume 1: Gospel according to Thomas, Gospel According to Philip, Hypostasis of the Archons (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1989); R. Kasser and Gregor Wurst, The Gospel of Judas, together with the Letter of Peter to Philip, James and a Book of Allogenes from Codex Tchacos: Critical Edition (Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2007).
23. M. Chaîne, Le manuscrit de la version copte en dialecte sahidique des “Apophthegmata Patrum” (Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 1960).
24. Alberto Camplani, Le lettere festali di Atanasio di Alessandria, Corpus dei manoscritti copti letterari (Rome: C.I.M., 1989).
25. L. Lefort, Oeuvres de S. Pachôme et de ses disciples, 2 vols., Corpus Scriptorum Christianorum Orientalium, Series Coptes, 23–24 (Louvain, Belgium: Peeters, 1956).
26. James M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Story: From the Discovery to the Publication, 2 vols., Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies, 86 (Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014); and James M. Robinson, The Manichaean Codices of Medinet Madi (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2013).
27. Louis Painchaud, Fragment de la République de Platon (NH VI, 5) (Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 1983).
28. Walter C. Till, “Griechische Philosophen bei den Kopten,” Mémoires de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 67 (1934): 165–175.
29. Monika R. M. Hasitzka, Neue Texte und Dokumentation zum Koptisch-Unterricht, 2 vols. (Vienna: Hollinek, 1990), 202–210.
30. For which, see Leslie S. B. MacCoull, Dioscorus of Aphrodito: His Work and His World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
31. T. G. Wilfong, “The Non-Muslim Communities: The Christian Communities,” in Cambridge History of Egypt I, ed. Carl F. Petry (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 181–186.
32. Peter Nagel, Das Triadon: Ein sahidisches Lehrgedicht des 14. Jahrhunderts (Halle, Germany: Martin-Luther-Universität, 1983).
33. Gertrud Bauer, ed., Athanasius von Qūs: Qilādat at-taḥrīr fī ʻilm at-tafsīr; eine koptische Grammatik in arabischer Sprache aus dem 13./14. Jahrhundert (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany: K. Schwarz, 1972); and Werner Vycichl, “Sullam,” in The Coptic Encyclopedia, ed. A, S. Atiya (New York: Macmillan, 1990), 8: 204–207.
34. Athanasius Kircher, Lingua Aegyptiaca Restituta (Rome: Herman Scheus, 1643).
35. Detailed listings of the works of early Western authors on Coptic can be found in W. Kammerer, A Coptic Bibliography (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1950).
36. L. Stern, Koptische Grammatik (Leipzig: T. O. Weigel, 1880).
37. W. E. Crum, A Coptic Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939).
38. Hans Förster, Wörterbuch der griechischen Wörter in den koptischen dokumentarischen Texten (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2002); and now see the online Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic.
39. Paul Kahle, Bala’izah: Coptic Texts from Deir el-Bala’izah in Upper Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1954).
40. Including Alexis Mallon, Grammaire copte, 4th ed. (Beirut: Impr. Catholique, 1956); H. J. Polotsky, Études de syntaxe copte (Cairo: Société d’archéologie copte, 1944); and W. C. Till, Koptische Grammatik (Saïdischer Dialekt), 2d ed. (Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopädie, 1961).
41. Wolfhart Westendorf, Koptisches Handwörterbuch (Heidelberg, Germany: C. Winter Universitätsverlag, 1965–1977); Jaroslav Černý, Coptic Etymological Dictionary (Cambridge, U.K.: University of Cambridge Press, 1976); W. Vycichl, Dictionnarie éytmologique de la langue copte (Leuven, Belgium: Peeters, 1983); and J. Vergote, Grammaire copte, 2 vols. (Louvain, Belgium: Peeters, 1973–1983).
42. E.g., Ariel Shisha-Halevy, Coptic Grammatical Categories (Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1986); and Bentley Layton, Coptic Grammar.
43. Tonio Sebastian Richter, Rechtsemantik und forensische Rhetorik: Untersuchungen zu Wortschatz, Stil und Grammatik der Sprache koptischer Rechtsurkunden, 2d ed. (Leipzig: H. Wodke und K. Stegbauer, 2008).
44. Aziz S. Atiya, The Coptic Encyclopedia, 8 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1991).