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Re: [GTh] Re: Introductory Coptic Grammars

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  • CJED5@aol.com
    In a message dated 24/03/2006 00:11:12 GMT Standard Time, ... Thank you. It is time to go for it, I think, as I don t really feel happy about being dependent
    Message 1 of 19 , Mar 24, 2006
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      In a message dated 24/03/2006 00:11:12 GMT Standard Time,
      mwgrondin@... writes:

      > Personally, I'd recommend Lambdin, for


      Thank you. It is time to go for it, I think, as I don't really feel happy about being dependent on translations.

      [C.J. Chandler]

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Michael Grondin
      ... Great! For serious study of a text, there s no substitute for the original language. In the absence of knowing the language, an interlinear is very helpful
      Message 2 of 19 , Mar 24, 2006
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        > Thank you. It is time to go for it, I think, as I don't really feel happy
        > about being dependent on translations.
        >
        > [C.J. Chandler]

        Great! For serious study of a text, there's no substitute for the original
        language. In the absence of knowing the language, an interlinear is very
        helpful in identifying key words which can then be looked up for range of
        meaning in a source-language dictionary, but interlinears have their
        limitations. They won't tell you, for example, that Coptic has no true
        passive voice - and no singular neuter grammatical gender (all nouns and
        pronouns are either masculine, feminine, or plural). In any case, Lambdin's
        glossary alone is worth the price. It's the next best thing to Crum that
        I've seen, and much more user-friendly.

        Mike G.
        p.s., Does anyone have Eccles' book?
      • CJED5@aol.com
        In a message dated 24/03/2006 20:36:42 GMT Standard Time, ... Thank you. No true passive? That s interesting! Now I m intrigued. I m looking forward to
        Message 3 of 19 , Mar 24, 2006
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          In a message dated 24/03/2006 20:36:42 GMT Standard Time,
          mwgrondin@... writes:

          > They won't tell you, for example, that Coptic has no true passive
          > voice - and no singular neuter grammatical gender (all nouns and
          > pronouns are either masculine, feminine, or plural). In any case,
          > Lambdin's glossary alone is worth the price. It's the next best
          > thing to Crum that I've seen, and much more user-friendly.


          Thank you.

          No true passive? That's interesting! Now I'm intrigued.

          I'm looking forward to getting started!

          [C.J. Chandler]


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Michael Grondin
          ... The note on my site about this is as follows: Some un-English-like features of Coptic: (3) Coptic has no true passive voice (although it does have some
          Message 4 of 19 , Mar 27, 2006
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            > No true passive? That's interesting! Now I'm intrigued.
            >
            > [C.J. Chandler]

            The note on my site about this is as follows:

            Some un-English-like features of Coptic:

            (3) Coptic has no true passive voice (although it does have some
            essentially-passive verbs). Where we would say "He was begotten", the Coptic
            says "They begot him", the passive voice being assumed if the word 'they'
            lacks a referent. Obviously, this introduces an element of ambiguity, since
            the choice between the active meaning and the passive one depends on the
            presence or absence of a referent for 'they'. In these cases, I have always
            used the active voice, on the grounds that (1) if pieces of Thomas are moved
            around, a seemingly-missing referent may be supplied (or an existing one
            removed), and (2) translating in the active voice more nearly captures the
            ambiguous flavor of the original, anyway.

            (Ref: http://www.geocities.com/mwgrondin/n_oddft.htm )

            Another example, 3.4. Literally, "When you know yourselves, then THEY WILL
            KNOW YOU", but translated "then you will become known". It's unfortunate if
            someone takes the literal at face value, and tries to imagine some unnamed
            "they" lurking around, but the only way that I can see to prevent this is to
            essentially hide that feature of the original by using something like
            '(will-become-known)' - the parens indicating non-literality - for that
            verb-phrase. I may end up doing that, but I'm not yet wholly convinced that
            that's the way to go, and anyway it's not easy to go through and make all
            the necessary changes at this point. (If I thought the interlinear was in
            wide use, and particularly if an academic user requested such a change in
            order to use it in classes, say, that'd be a different story.)

            Best wishes,
            Mike Grondin
          • Gerry
            ... Hello Mike. I ve lurked here awhile, and been a fan of your interlinear site for years. I picked up Eccles _Introductory Coptic Reader_ quite by accident
            Message 5 of 19 , Mar 29, 2006
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              --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > [. . . ]
              >
              > Mike G.
              > p.s., Does anyone have Eccles' book?
              >


              Hello Mike.

              I've lurked here awhile, and been a fan of your interlinear site for
              years.

              I picked up Eccles' _Introductory Coptic Reader_ quite by accident
              one day (years ago) at Barnes & Noble. I say that only because of
              the unusual price sticker affixed to the front of the book, the
              residue of which I never could completely remove from the cover. It
              struck me as something that had come to that bookseller by some
              irregular means, but regardless of its provenance, I viewed the
              chance discovery as my gain.

              The book is terribly short, covering only 40 of the sayings from
              GTh. Rather than actually serving as an "interlinear," each of the
              passages included by the author appears first in Coptic, then in
              English translation, and then in an explanatory breakdown by words
              and phrases, as encountered in each portion of the text. Eccles
              mentions that he sought to order those verses in such a way as to
              simplify for the reader the presentation of numerous grammatical
              points. In effect, while it is really nothing like a "Grammar," I
              have found it valuable simply as a convenient resource for examining
              the morphological complexities of Coptic constructions.

              Gerry Ballance
              Roanoke Island, North Carolina
            • Michael Grondin
              ... Thanks for saying so, Gerry. It means a lot to me, especially coming from a person who knows Coptic as well as you evidently do. ... What I m wondering is
              Message 6 of 19 , Mar 31, 2006
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                [Gerry Ballance]:
                > Hello Mike.
                > I've lurked here awhile, and been a fan of your interlinear site for
                > years.

                Thanks for saying so, Gerry. It means a lot to me, especially coming from a
                person who knows Coptic as well as you evidently do.

                > [Eccles'] book is terribly short, covering only 40 of the sayings from
                > GTh.

                What I'm wondering is whether he covers 77.1. As you know, there's an
                unreferenced third person plural there, but it's not a passive construction.
                (I have it as "I am the light - the one which is upon all of them.") This
                would make sense if it was, say, appended to the saying about the 24
                prophets, since they would be the "them", but as it stands it doesn't make
                much sense to me. (If what was intended was "I am the light which is over
                everything", why not use P-THRef as it's used immediately following?.) What
                do you and/or Eccles make of it?

                Regards,
                Mike Grondin
              • Gerry
                ... coming from a ... Oh, I m hardly an expert, Mike. My lifelong, geeky fascination with languages has led me to dabble in the study of a number of them, but
                Message 7 of 19 , Apr 5, 2006
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                  --- In gthomas@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Grondin" <mwgrondin@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > Thanks for saying so, Gerry. It means a lot to me, especially
                  coming from a
                  > person who knows Coptic as well as you evidently do.
                  >


                  Oh, I'm hardly an expert, Mike. My lifelong, geeky fascination with
                  languages has led me to dabble in the study of a number of them, but
                  I've only gained some degree of proficiency in a few (all modern).
                  While I've been trying for years to acquire the materials necessary
                  to make it possible for me to teach myself Coptic, it is only in
                  recent months that I finally have what I consider to be adequate
                  resources. Now, I simply need the time required to devote to that
                  endeavor. Unfortunately, thanks to work and other demands in my
                  personal life, spare time is something that has been quite scarce for
                  me, so my mission will undoubtedly continue to be a slow process,
                  just as my involvement with Internet groups seems to have become
                  relegated to a few moments on my day off.


                  > What I'm wondering is whether he covers 77.1. As you know, there's
                  an
                  > unreferenced third person plural there, but it's not a passive
                  construction.
                  > (I have it as "I am the light - the one which is upon all of
                  them.") This
                  > would make sense if it was, say, appended to the saying about the 24
                  > prophets, since they would be the "them", but as it stands it
                  doesn't make
                  > much sense to me. (If what was intended was "I am the light which
                  is over
                  > everything", why not use P-THRef as it's used immediately
                  following?.) What
                  > do you and/or Eccles make of it?
                  >
                  > Regards,
                  > Mike Grondin
                  >



                  Sorry to say that Eccles does not cover that saying. I'm not sure
                  how Marvin Meyer's translation is received here, but my acquaintance
                  with his book on the Gospel of Thomas goes waaaay back, and I
                  occasionally still find myself resonating with his renderings in
                  instances where others leave me cold. Here's that entire passage:

                  77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all:
                  from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of
                  wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."
                  ——http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/gosthom.html

                  I would have to say that it makes more sense to me as it stands in
                  the Coptic. How exactly Meyer viewed the technical particulars for
                  his rendering is something that I could not answer. I know that
                  Lambdin says that "THR" must take a resumptive suffix, and it does
                  indeed match the same pronoun in the preceding clause (eT-2Ijw-OY),
                  so maybe the question would be better focused on finding a referent
                  for that previous instance of "–OY." I am inclined to wonder if
                  something like a prospective referential function (rather than a
                  retrospective one) could be applicable here. This would appear to be
                  consistent with the remainder of that passage, as well as with
                  Meyer's translation.

                  As for "P-THRef," it seems to me that the connotation of "the All"
                  would be lost if this phrase were also used for the first occurrence
                  of "THR." For instance, if we were to have Jesus saying that he was
                  the Light OVER the All, before saying that he WAS the All, then we
                  either diminish the concept of "the All" or we leave ourselves with
                  another contradiction. On a more technical basis, unless additional
                  changes were made to the first part of 77.1, the expression "P-THRef"
                  carries a definite article and a masculine singular suffix that would
                  need to be reconciled somehow with the rest of that sentence. I
                  don't see a way to accomplish that without altering the content to
                  the point that it becomes unnecessarily redundant.

                  Gerry
                • Judy Redman
                  Hi everyone, A while ago, we had a discussion about Coptic grammars in which Ariel Shisha-Halevy s Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy was mentioned as good,
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 1, 2006
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                    Hi everyone,

                    A while ago, we had a discussion about Coptic grammars in which Ariel
                    Shisha-Halevy's "Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy" was mentioned as good,
                    but very expensive. In case anyone is interested, it is currently available
                    through Abebooks.com at around $52 US, which from my perspective isn't
                    horribly expensive.

                    I now own a copy and would endorse April DeConick's assessment that although
                    the author suggests that you could use it to teach yourself Coptic, it isn't
                    really suitable for anyone who doesn't have at least the basics already. And
                    also her assessment about the usefulness of the tables and glossaries in the
                    back. Another rider, though: although it has a comprehenisve glossary of
                    the gramatical terms used in it in the back, I think it would be more than a
                    little daunting to anyone who has not had much exposure to the complexities
                    of grammar.

                    Judy

                    --
                    "One can easily understand a child who is afraid of the dark. The real
                    tragedy of life is when grown men and women are afraid of the light." -
                    Plato

                    Rev Judy Redman
                    Uniting Church Chaplain
                    University of New England
                    Armidale 2351
                    ph: +61 2 6773 3739
                    fax: +61 2 6773 3749
                    web: http://www.une.edu.au/campus/chaplaincy/uniting/
                    email: jredman@...
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