Greek conjunctions in non-literary Coptic in the Late Byzantine/Early Islamic period
thesisposted on 2022-03-29, 02:05 authored by Samuel Cook
Despite the long history of loanword studies in Coptic, little is known about lexical borrowing in non-literary texts. Furthermore, little research has been conducted on the borrowing of Greek function words into the Egyptian language. This study examines the use of Greek loanwords in non-literary Coptic texts through a focus on three classes of Greek conjunctions – enclitic conjunctions, subordinating conjunction and coordinating conjunctions. Data from this study is drawn from legal texts and letters from the Theban region, composed in the 7th and 8th centuries. The results from this study have important implications for our understanding of Greek and Egyptian language contact, the language of non-literary texts, and scribal practices in Late Antique Egypt. In particular, the presence of Greek conjunctions appears to be closely tied to the formulaic sections of documents. In many cases there appears to be a preference outside of these formulae for native Egyptian constructions. Furthermore, the uneven distribution of words within and outside of these formulae suggest certain Greek conjunctions were more integrated into the language of non-literary Coptic texts than others whose use may be influenced be the structure of earlier Greek documents.