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Re: [GTh] Logion 68 (B)

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  • Michael Grondin
    ... been originally written in Greek? No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature
    Message 1 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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      > Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have
      been originally written in Greek?

      No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from Greek. The
      use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic language at the
      time - due no doubt to the enormous influence of Greek throughout the
      region. By way of comparison, English borrows words from all over the
      place - thereby adding 'burro' (Spanish) and 'bureau' (French) to what I
      believe is our native 'burrow'. We don't normally think much of it, but it's
      not clear to me that the average literate Copt of the time would have been
      so blind as we are to the existence of foreign words that creep into the
      native language. The situation may be more like the French - who seem to be
      quite cognizant of English words that enter into their vocabulary. But this
      is just my impression; perhaps Maurice or another French-speaker can correct
      me there.

      Mike Grondin
      Mt. Clemens, MI
    • Tom Saunders
      Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have been originally written in Greek? Tom Saunders Platter, OK [Non-text portions of this
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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        Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might have been originally written in Greek?

        Tom Saunders
        Platter, OK



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jmgcormier
        ... have been originally written in Greek? ... Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic language at the time - due no doubt to the
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 2, 2003
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          --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@c...>
          wrote:
          > > Does the existence of Greek loan words indicate that Thomas might
          have been originally written in Greek?
          >
          > No. Nor does it indicate that the Coptic GTh was translated from
          Greek. The use of Greek loan-words was simply a feature of the Coptic
          language at the time - due no doubt to the enormous influence of Greek
          throughout the region. By way of comparison, English borrows words
          from all over the place - thereby adding 'burro' (Spanish) and
          'bureau' (French) to what I believe is our native 'burrow'. We don't
          normally think much of it, but it's not clear to me that the average
          literate Copt of the time would have been so blind as we are to the
          existence of foreign words that creep into the native language. The
          situation may be more like the French - who seem to be quite cognizant
          of English words that enter into their vocabulary.

          But this is just my impression; perhaps Maurice or another
          French-speaker can correct me there.
          >
          > Mike Grondin
          > Mt. Clemens, MI

          -----------------------------

          I would say that this is a pretty fair appraisal, Mike. As you
          know, in the English speaking world, the dictionary publishers seem to
          be the true guardians of the language ... enforcing this "role" by way
          of what they thus allow to creep into "accepted use". It seems that
          "usage" is the principal criterion for inclusion ("arm candy" for
          example to describe a young "lady" hanging onto the arm of a "sugar
          daddy" ... I just love that one ...).

          In the French language, however, life is not so simple. It is not the
          dictionary publishers who decide which words will creep into the
          language and which ones will not, but rather it is the "Academie
          Francaise" which historically has does the official deciding. This
          body of learned linguists allows and rejects words based on a bit more
          than mere usage, and often carry out painstaking work and study before
          accepting or rejecting words be they French or "creeper in" words
          from other languages. For example, the closest one can come to the
          word "marketing" in French is the word "commercialization". Soooo ...
          because "marketing" (in English) is more than mere
          "commercialization", the Academie allows for "marketing" to be of
          correct usage in French. In contrast, the French word "entreprenneur"
          has no equivalency in English (except prehaps for the word "promotor")
          so "entreprenneur" simply becomes an o.k. word for the Dictionary
          publishers and thus becomes "accepted" for usage.

          My own bias is that usage will ultimately decide which words we use,
          but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no "body") is
          watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure at
          which point) the language in question loses much of its authenticity.

          As for Copt and Greek, I am not sure how hostile the Copts might have
          been to "word creepage". As you know, Greek became very widespread
          after Alexander's conquests and as a minimum, I expect neighbouring
          languages made use of it "as required" ... especially in the case of
          technical words where their might not have been equivalencies. In
          fact, western languages still do this now (e.g. "Pyromaniac" is
          widespread in both English and French usage, although the "pyro" part
          comes to us from Alexandrian/Greek origins. However, as a follow-up,
          the English more readily uses "fire bug" to describe a "pyromaniac"
          because (I think) it better describes the idea (an arson
          "enthusiast") and is mor colorful. Don't hold out on the Academie
          following suit with some "fire bug" equivalent word, however ... well,
          at least not in the near future I suspect.


          Maurice Cormier
        • David C. Hindley
          ... use, but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no body ) is watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure at which point)
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 5, 2003
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            --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "jmgcormier" <cobby@n...> wrote:

            >>My own bias is that usage will ultimately decide which words we
            use, but in fairness to the French system, if nobody (or no "body")
            is watching for word creepage into a language, pretty soon (not sure
            at which point) the language in question loses much of its
            authenticity.<<

            "Language is what language does," as the movie character Forrest Gump
            might say. The koine of the 1st century CE was quite different than
            the Attic of classical Greek times (slightly simpler grammer, full of
            new words created from a variety of sources - not all of which were
            of "pure" Greek origin).

            The upper classes were quite aware of this, as they were tutored in
            Attic literature and spoke that form of the language among
            themselves. I cannot recall the source off hand (I am on vacation in
            Texas) but one critic quotes (in English translation) a writer from
            around the 1st century who was very critical of other elites who
            stooped to speak or make use of elements of the Greek koine dialect.

            Of course, that kind of attitude among the elite classes does not
            stop his baker or lower level retainer or slave from using the
            somewhat simpler and more "colorful" koine for everyday business.

            Dave Hindley
            Cleveland, Ohio USA
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