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Re: [GTh] very frivolous Coptic question

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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