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Another New Coptic Grammar

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  • Rick Hubbard
    Another Coptic Grammar has been published in English: _Coptic: A learning Grammar (Sahidic)_ by Johanna Brankaer ((Harrasowitz Verlag, 2010). At a mere 203
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 6, 2010
      Another Coptic Grammar has been published in English: _Coptic: A learning
      Grammar (Sahidic)_ by Johanna Brankaer ((Harrasowitz Verlag, 2010).

      At a mere 203 pages, of which 100 pages are exercises, chrestomathies, a
      glossary (Coptic dictionary) and other back-matter, it is compact to say the
      least. The grammar itself is packed into 476 tersely worded paragraphs
      divided into three sections: Elements, Constructions and Complex Sentences.

      The author's introduction pretty well sums up the way to use the grammar:
      "I suggest that in a teaching context, you start with the constructions and
      learn the elements [section] as they show up in the constructions and
      complex sentences [sections]. This will allow you to progress without having
      too much baggage to carry along from the start. A system of cross references
      makes it possible to 'commute' between both grammar parts and the exercises
      and text [chrestomathies]."

      The author also notes that, "This book should be useful as a basic grammar
      for students who have already familiarized themselves with the Coptic
      language."

      Brankaer uses what I call "modern" grammatical terminology (meaning that she
      uses Layton's terminology) so that if you learned Coptic from Lambdin's
      grammar some of the terminology in this handbook may be confusing. For
      example, the adverbial or bipartite sentence is called the "durative
      sentence (as does Layton's grammars). What used to be called the tri-partite
      pattern is now the non-durative sentence (again following Layton) while the
      old suffix conjugations are now "suffixically conjugated verboids". Ahhh-The
      joys of progress.

      A couple of interesting features in the grammar's back-matter include a
      short two page "concordance of grammatical terms" that glosses the newer
      grammatical terminology with the traditional variety. Also there is a really
      interesting "concordance" that cross references the paragraph numbers in
      this grammar with sections in grammars by Layton, Plisch, Till and Vergote.
      Unfortunately, Lambin's (and Plumley's) grammars are not cross-indexed.

      I can't quite decide if this grammar is more, or less, useful than Layton's
      _Coptic in 20 Lessons_ (Peeters, 2007), but I'm inclined to think that since
      Layton's "Introduction" is already cross-keyed to his reference grammar,
      _Coptic in 20 Lessons_ might be the better choice. Of course, if you are
      feeling flush, I suppose you could buy both :-).

      Rick Hubbard
    • CJED5@aol.com
      Ah - my chance to commit to learning the language. I ll road-test it and evaluate. Watch (patiently, I m afraid) for my review.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jun 6, 2010
        Ah - my chance to commit to learning the  language.  I'll road-test it and evaluate.  Watch (patiently, I'm afraid) for my review.
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