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Re: [GTh] very frivolous Coptic question

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  • William Arnal
    ... Hey, I DID indicate it was a very frivolous question. The value, such as it is, is all mine: I want to make sure there aren t mistakes in it. An old
    Message 1 of 10 , Aug 28, 2006
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      Mike Grondin writes:

      >Tomfoolery. I think the second word should
      >be 'nhHtn', and there may be other errors.
      >Why not parse the Coptic so this will have
      >some value other than as an in-joke?

      Hey, I DID indicate it was a very frivolous question. The value, such as it
      is, is all mine: I want to make sure there aren't mistakes in it. An old
      student of mine is trying to translate some Marley into Coptic. I figured,
      hey, why not help her out? Some of it's easy -- oua me, oua hHt, for
      instance -- but I wondered about this, and hoped to weed out any gross
      errors. But yes, I will parse it.

      >ari-rmhe nHtn ebol hn tmnthmhal nhHt-tHytn.

      ari-rmhe is the imperative of compound verb r-rmhe, which means "become
      free"; no subject need be stated, since it's an imperative; and the object
      in the English (emancipate YOURSELVES) needn't be expressed since it's
      already implied in the Coptic. The nHtn is an "ethical dative," not an
      expression of object, and it's 2nd pl or na- (indirect object marker), not
      hn, as your correction would suggest. Mind you, nhHtn would also convey
      nicely the intent of "emancipate yourself." It's probably better Coptic for
      the sense of the thing. What do you think? Ebol hn is used with r-rmhe to
      express the thing/person emancipated from, which is "slavery", an
      abstraction indicated my the mnt- prefix, with hmhal (hence, abstraction,
      "slavery") n (of) hHt (mind) -tHytn (your) -- "from slavery of your mind."
      I'm not sure if this might not be better rendered as simply "slavery of the
      mind" and hence tmnthmhal mphHt. Also not sure if hHt should have an article
      or not. Aside from that, I'm reasonably confident about this line. However .
      . .

      >anon mauaan tnnashr-rmhe mpenhHt

      This one is a problem. Marley says "no one but ourselves can free our
      minds." This is probably better rendered in Coptic as "only ourselves can
      free our minds," with the intensive pronoun mauaa- used with 1st plural
      pron., 1st plural prefix, and then a first-pers. plural subject in first
      future with -sh- element to express being able to, with the verb being the
      compound r-rmhe again. I'm not sure this is right at all. The tense is fine,
      but the expression of subject seems odd to me. Is there some cleaner way to
      use mauaa- with a first future? Can it be used at all this way? Then m (=n)
      to mark the object, which is "our mind" -- expressed in the singular, which
      might be a problem, but with a proper first-pers plual possessive prefix.
      And I'm not sure r-rmhe can be used this way -- above, it is used as "become
      free" intransitively; here it is being used transitively. Is that dual use
      possible with this verb?

      Frivolous tomfoolery indeed, but hey, summer is almost over.

      cheers,
      Bill
      ______________________
      William Arnal
      University of Regina
    • Michael Grondin
      Bill, Within our membership, I think only you and Simon have the knowledge of both Coptic and Marley lyrics needed to identify the lines in question. I got the
      Message 2 of 10 , Aug 29, 2006
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        Bill,
        Within our membership, I think only you and Simon have
        the knowledge of both Coptic and Marley lyrics needed
        to identify the lines in question. I got the jist of it, but not
        being familiar with Marley lyrics, I had no idea what it
        might be a translation of. When Simon said 'Marley',
        however, I went looking through the lyrics of Marley
        songs and found it. So much for complete disclosure.

        As to your parsing of the Coptic lines, some of it
        reminded me of features of Coptic that I'd forgotten
        (e.g., ethical dative), but some of it puzzled me
        (bearing in mind that I'm not a Coptic expert).
        You write:

        > Some of it's easy -- oua me, oua hHt, for instance...

        My guess is that you meant "one 'me', one 'hHt'" (i.e,
        one instance of each of those two Coptic words), but
        I don't see any 'me' and there's two 'hHt's, so maybe
        that's not what you mean?

        > ari-rmhe nHtn ebol hn tmnthmhal nhHt-tHytn.

        > The nHtn is an "ethical dative," ...

        This makes me think that the translator either knows a
        lot more Coptic than I do, or she had an exemplar to
        follow. I don't see anything in Lambdin's text or his
        glossary entry for RM2E, for example, that would
        suggest the use of the ethical dative (30.6) with
        R-RM2E. But then maybe you and/or she use a
        different text? If so, I need to get ahold of it.

        > "slavery") n (of) hHt (mind) -tHytn (your) --
        > "... slavery of your mind."

        I don't recall a construction of this kind.
        'Your (pl) mind' would be petn-hHt, no? THytn
        could mean 'yourselves', but then it seems that
        it wouldn't be attached to hHt as it is here, by
        the hyphen. Even unattached, however, I can't
        figure its presence at this point in the sentence.
        I think it needs to be the object of a verb or
        preposition, but there don't seem to be any
        likely candidates.

        > anon mauaan tnnashr-rmhe mpenhHt
        (anon mayaan tn-nash-r-rmhe m-pen-hHt,
        where 'sh' is shai).

        > ... the expression of subject seems odd to me.
        > Is there some cleaner way to use mauaa- with
        > a first future? Can it be used at all this way?

        I'm not sure what you mean by "cleaner way".
        'anon mayaan' ('we [by] ourselves') goes together,
        no? And can be used with any verb tense?

        > And I'm not sure r-rmhe can be used this way --
        > above, it is used as "become free" intransitively;
        > here it is being used transitively. Is that dual use
        > possible with this verb?

        Yes, it seems so, given that it in addition to meaning
        'become free', it may also mean 'make free' (as in the
        2nd sentence), which is inherently transitive.

        Regards,
        Mike
      • William Arnal
        Hi again Mike: Thanks VERY much for your note -- I ve printed it off, and will pass it along to the author of this Coptic. ... It s always nice to have a
        Message 3 of 10 , Aug 29, 2006
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          Hi again Mike:

          Thanks VERY much for your note -- I've printed it off, and will pass it
          along to the author of this Coptic.

          >Within our membership, I think only you and Simon have
          >the knowledge of both Coptic and Marley lyrics needed
          >to identify the lines in question.

          It's always nice to have a niche.

          > > Some of it's easy -- oua me, oua hHt, for instance...
          >
          >My guess is that you meant "one 'me', one 'hHt'" (i.e,
          >one instance of each of those two Coptic words), but
          >I don't see any 'me' and there's two 'hHt's, so maybe
          >that's not what you mean?

          Sorry, I was not clear -- I was referring once again to Marley lyrics rather
          than Coptic -- this is just Coptic for "one love, one heart," which are
          Marley lyrics from a different song. I was simply pointing out that some of
          his lyrics go into Coptic very easily, as opposed to the ones I threw out to
          the list.

          >This makes me think that the translator either knows a
          >lot more Coptic than I do, or she had an exemplar to
          >follow.

          She's had three years, which has involved working through all of Lambdin,
          and translating a number of Nag Hammadi texts, including Thomas, Thunder
          Perfect Mind, and ApJn, as well as a bunch of apophthegmata.

          >I don't see anything in Lambdin's text or his
          >glossary entry for RM2E, for example, that would
          >suggest the use of the ethical dative (30.6) with
          >R-RM2E. But then maybe you and/or she use a
          >different text? If so, I need to get ahold of it.

          I personally have read and made some limited use of Layton's Coptic Grammar,
          though I don't recall what he says about the "ethical dative." I think it's
          indicated here in any case since it helps specify the number of the subject
          of the imperative.

          > > "slavery") n (of) hHt (mind) -tHytn (your) --
          > > "... slavery of your mind."
          >
          >I don't recall a construction of this kind.
          >'Your (pl) mind' would be petn-hHt, no? THytn
          >could mean 'yourselves', but then it seems that
          >it wouldn't be attached to hHt as it is here, by
          >the hyphen.

          Yes! I thought that looked funny. Thanks for that.

          >I'm not sure what you mean by "cleaner way".
          >'anon mayaan' ('we [by] ourselves') goes together,
          >no? And can be used with any verb tense?

          Good, then. This construction made me nervous, I'm not sure why.

          >Yes, it seems so, given that it in addition to meaning
          >'become free', it may also mean 'make free' (as in the
          >2nd sentence), which is inherently transitive.

          Also good! Thanks very much for this, Mike, both the correction to the
          possessive of hHt, and the affirmation on the other two constructions.
          Perhaps I was over-suspicious. I appreciate it all the more since the whole
          thing is, indeed, tomfoolery.

          Anyone else?

          cheers,
          Bill
          ______________________
          William Arnal
          University of Regina
        • Michael Grondin
          ... (I think Simon is resting on his laurels :-) Some second thoughts on nhHt-tHytn (N2HT-THYTN): What confuses me about this is thinking of the 2HT part of it
          Message 4 of 10 , Aug 29, 2006
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            > Anyone else?

            (I think Simon is resting on his laurels :-)

            Some second thoughts on nhHt-tHytn
            (N2HT-THYTN): What confuses me about
            this is thinking of the 2HT part of it as meaning
            'mind'. Of course, that's one of the meanings
            of 2HT, but when 2HT occurs in N2HT-x
            (which it can do, with x = THYTN), I've only
            seen it translated as 'in/of/among you(pl)'. This
            seems to be a murky area, but among the
            N2HT's in Thomas (10 by my count, none with
            THYTN), almost none of them can be understood
            as 'in the mind of x'.

            Case in point: 77.1 has "Everything came out
            of-me", where the "of-me" is N2HT with no suffix
            = 1st person sing.) Now this particular N2HT _could
            be_ understood, I suppose, as 'of-my-mind'. That
            is, it would make semantic sense. Yet I don't recall a
            single translation rendering it that way. So I think that
            the few cases where the addition of the word 'mind'
            makes sense in translating N2HT-x are simply
            accidents, and that when the Copts wanted to say
            'x's mind', they used the construction possessive +
            noun (in this case, PETN-2HT).

            Mike
          • William Arnal
            ... As well he might . . . ... I think these are actually two completely different words. There s 2HT (I like your transliteration style, so I ll adopt it
            Message 5 of 10 , Aug 29, 2006
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              Mike Grondin writes:

              >(I think Simon is resting on his laurels :-)

              As well he might . . .

              >Some second thoughts on nhHt-tHytn
              >(N2HT-THYTN): What confuses me about
              >this is thinking of the 2HT part of it as meaning
              >'mind'. Of course, that's one of the meanings
              >of 2HT, but when 2HT occurs in N2HT-x
              >(which it can do, with x = THYTN), I've only
              >seen it translated as 'in/of/among you(pl)'. This
              >seems to be a murky area, but among the
              >N2HT's in Thomas (10 by my count, none with
              >THYTN), almost none of them can be understood
              >as 'in the mind of x'.

              I think these are actually two completely different words. There's 2HT (I
              like your transliteration style, so I'll adopt it here) meaning "mind," with
              prepronominal form 2TH=, and which can in some idioms indicate possession by
              suffixation (this is an older form of the Egyptian possessive pronoun, and
              persists with some old words for body-parts, especially in prepositional
              compounds), but which normally constructs possession in the usual way
              (PA2HT, etc.). Then there's 2H, meaning belly or womb, with the
              prepronominal form 2HT=. A suffixial form of the latter is the basis for the
              preposition 2N, the prepronominal or presuffixial form of which is N2HT=;
              e.g., N2HTC, "in her," lit. "in her belly." Again, this formulation is based
              on the older style of indicating possession by a suffix, rather than by a
              pronoun joined to the definite article, and this archaism, as usual, appears
              only (?) with body parts.

              Again, I *think* that the N2HT-THYTN of the Marley lyrics was intended to be
              "of your mind(s)", modifying "slavery" (I should ask the author, and will).
              If so, I think your correction is entirely right -- 2HT's possessive, as a
              straightforward noun, should be PETN2HT, not 2HT-THYTN. But this has nothing
              to do, I think, with the preposition "in" (as 2N, N2HT=), which *looks* like
              "of/in mind," but is based on an entirely different noun.

              >that when the Copts wanted to say
              >'x's mind', they used the construction possessive +
              >noun (in this case, PETN-2HT).

              Yes, I agree completely.

              whew,
              Bill
              ______________________
              William Arnal
              University of Regina
            • Michael Grondin
              ... Spot on. Thanks for clearing that up. Mike
              Message 6 of 10 , Aug 29, 2006
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                [Bill]:
                > I think these are actually two completely different
                > words. There's 2HT ... meaning "mind," with
                > prepronominal form 2TH= ...

                > Then there's 2H, meaning belly or womb, with the
                > prepronominal form 2HT=. A suffixial form of the
                > latter is the basis for the preposition 2N, the pre-
                > pronominal or presuffixial form of which is N2HT=;
                > e.g., N2HTC, "in her," lit. "in her belly."

                Spot on. Thanks for clearing that up.

                Mike
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