A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 09:36:34 +0100 From: Wolfgang Schulze <W.Schulze@lrz.uni-muenchen.de> Subject: Koptisch: Ein Leitfaden durch das Saïdische
AUTHOR: Eberle, Andrea EDITOR: Schulz, Regine TITLE: Koptisch SUBTITLE: Ein Leitfaden durch das Saïdische SERIES: Languages of the World/Materials 07 PUBLISHER: Lincom GmbH YEAR: 2004
Wolfgang M. Schulze (University of Munich)
It is a deplorable fact that the majority of approaches to General Linguistics and, more specifically, to Syntax Theory, Language Typology, and Cognitive Linguistics tend to neglect data stemming from so-called 'old' or 'dead' languages. One reasons seems to be that researchers who subscribe for instance to usage based approaches reluctantly refer to such data because they cannot be evaluated with the help of informants. In addition, 'old' languages are usually taught in a seemingly non-linguistic environment, namely Philology. The fact that the resulting terminological 'gap' is rarely bridged in the sense of Nagel's well-known 'bridging principle' conditions that 'old' languages (together with their descriptive tradition) do not figure among the hotspots of linguistic documentation. Still, it has to be stressed that 'old' languages have a considerable value in linguistic argumentation: Many of them such as Ancient Greek, Vedic, Akkadian, Sumerian, Hurrian-Urartian, Old Egyptian, or Elamic are documented over a rather long span of time, which allows the researcher to retrieve for instance a considerable number of typologically relevant 'trends' in language diachrony. In addition, 'old' languages help to train researchers in what can be called 'philological linguistics': Here, the philological interpretation of data is crucial for their interpretation, namely to unveil the textual embedding of given data, their relation to text tradition, and to the general historical setting. Finally, the writing system of 'old' languages may become a central argument for instance to discuss issues of phonology and morphology. It would in fact be highly desirable that 'modern language' linguistics assimilate at least parts of this philological tradition of texts critics to interpret their own data. Corpus linguistics surely is one of the linguistics methods that comes closer to what should be expected in this respect.
Thus, the linguistics of 'old' languages is necessarily related to corpus linguistics. This fact has both its advantages and disadvantages: On the one hand, the relevant data are included in a usually 'closed' corpus: Consequently, a given 'old' language can be described as the sum of just all data that are documented in its corpus. In other words: 'Old' languages are captured in terms of a corpus-immanent perspective, whereas 'productive' language traditions are necessarily to be described in terms of a restriction with respect to their corpus documentation: They always are 'corpus-transcendent'.
The claim that 'modern language' linguistics should be more ready to take over the methods of 'philological linguistics' as pronounced in the linguistics of 'old languages' naturally can be turned around: There are many excellent grammatical descriptions of 'old' languages, which, however, often neglect the findings of e.g. Language Typology or Structural Linguistics (in its broadest sense). Their idiosyncratic terminology, their rather interpretative analyses of linguistic data, and their often schoolbook-like presentation of grammatical issues condition that they are somewhat difficult to read for researchers not acquainted with the language at issue. Naturally, there are remarkable exceptions: For instance, the rather old grammar of Classical Arabic by William Wright (1862) still is the best description of this stage of Arabic, easy to be assimilated modern linguistics. The description of Sumerian had first been modernized by Thomsen 1984 and Wegner 2000 is an extremely valuable presentation of Hurrian from a typological perspective.
The philology of Egyptian languages (or: stages of Egyptian) has - for a long time - cut itself off against the assimilation of linguistic arguments in the narrow sense of the word. Although the latest documented stage of Old Egyptian, namely Coptic, has been taught at European universities as early as the 18th century, it has hardly ever been considered in later linguistic studies. The same holds for the other stages of Old Egyptian, by themselves cautiously described after the decipherment of the Old Egyptian script. Nevertheless, the last 20 years witnessed a growing interest at least in Coptic, not only within the community of Egyptologists, but also among linguists who look at language from a more general perspective, which ever it may be. The grammar by Lambdin (1983), Shisha-Halevy (1988), Plisch (1999), and Layton (2000) can be regarded as a nevertheless meagre evidence for this tendency. To this list of strongly didactically oriented grammars, we can now add the book under review, namely Eberle (2004).
Background Coptic (better: the dialectal cluster of Coptic) represents the latest stage of Old Egyptian, an Afroasiatic language documented from roughly 3200 BC to 700 AD. Coptic itself had been spoken in Egypt until the 16th century AD. Today, the Bohairic dialect of Coptic is sporadically used in religious service. The documentation of Coptic factually ends soon after the conquest of Egypt by Arab troops in the 7th century (the latest document seems to be represented by a poem called Triadon written in the 14th century). The beginnings of Coptic are more difficult to describe: Linguistically, the early Coptic varieties represented nothing but a variant of the latest stage of Hieroglyphic Egyptian, namely Demotic, which became a written standard in the 8th century BC. In fact, Coptic can be regarded as a late variant of Demotic written in a Greek-like alphabet from the first century AD onwards and marked for a strong Koine-Greek adstrate that became even more visible after the conversion of Coptic speaker to Christianity. After the consolidation of the Coptic written tradition in the 4th century AD, the production of Coptic literature exploded: it covered religious texts (Christian, Gnostic, Manichean), profane literature, as well as administrative and private documents.
The wealth of Coptic documents necessarily conditions that its original character as a corpus language is obscured: Any description of the language has to select its data from this corpus, just as it is true for a number of other 'old' languages such as Ancient Greek, Sumerian, Akkadian, or Old Egyptian in its narrow sense. Still, the corpus can in its totality be consulted if a specific grammatical or lexical issue is under consideration. In other words: The corpus of Coptic texts represents what can be called a semi-open corpus: Just as it is true for instance for Latin and Ancient Greek, researchers of the language may even construe new phrases for illustrative purpose, simulating its character as a (once) spoken language. This type of scientific pseudo- revitalization, however, has a great disadvantage: In case newly construed examples occur in a grammar, users may be at risk to take these examples as granted and as documents of the actual use of the language and to exploit them for a say typological argumentation. Sadly to say that the book under review is an extreme example of this type of didactically motivated pseudo-revitalization: In the 'Vorwort' (introduction), the author explicitly states: "The given examples are predominantly construed (by the author); in parts they are taken from standard grammars" (p. III, translation W.S.). Hence, what we have at hands is not a reference grammar of Coptic in its original sense, but rather a presentation of grammatical strategies, constructions etc. illustrated with the help of prevailingly artificial examples. I dwell upon this issue because I want from the very beginnings utter the strong warning not to use the examples in contexts others than for which they are intended. In order to retrieve Coptic examples from the actual corpus, one should at any rate consult the relevant grammars (e.g. Till 1966).
Coptic is represented in a number of dialects, the most prominent of which is the Saidic or Sahidic dialect in Upper Egypt. Most of the Coptic grammars strongly refer to this dialect even though the contemporary Coptic variety used in religious service is based on the Bohairic dialect (Lower Egypt). The preference for Saidic is grounded in the fact that by the time of Christianization the majority of Coptic speakers lived in Middle and Upper Egypt. Consequently, the Saidic dialect soon developed as some kind of standard Coptic. Once Alexandria in Lower Egypt became the religious centre, the corresponding dialect (Bohairic) commenced to replace the earlier Saidic standard (see Mattar 1990). Hence, the majority of classical texts have been written in Saidic, which is reflected accordingly in the given grammars of Coptic.
The Contents Andrea Eberle has written the book under review with the help of Regina Schulz, an Egyptologist of high renown. The book is in German and has appeared in Lincom's series 'Languages of the World/Materials' (LW/M, vol. 07). This series currently comprises some 150 books with great differences in quality and size. Normally, the LW/M series aims at documenting language systems from a purely descriptive perspective. Still, nearly every book also witnesses the specific linguistic interest of its author. Eberle's volume is called 'Koptisch - Ein Leitfaden durch das Saidische' (Coptic - a guide to Saidic). The title already pinpoints the main interest of the author, namely to serve as "simple study guide for beginners" (p. III, translation W.S.). The book hence is neither an introduction to the linguistics of Coptic nor a comprehensive descriptive grammar (in the sense of say the Mouton Grammar Library). Rather, it is a compendium for students who wish to check the paradigmatics and constructional principles of Coptic in an easy-to-read mode. The main purpose is to summarize the basics of Coptic morphology and syntax for students who are already somehow involved in the study of the language. Consequently, the Coptic data are always given in the Coptic script (a near-Greek script, augmented by six (Bohairic seven) signs taken from Demotic). Basically, one cannot but applaud the author for having taken this decision: Rarely enough, grammars keep the writing tradition of a speech community in case it is not Latin- based. Still, researchers who want to use Eberle's book as a reference book will probably miss a phonological transcription of the Coptic data, in case they are not ready to assimilate the Coptic script. In addition, practically none of the examples are glossed in the way General Linguists would expect it: There are no interlinear morpheme- by-morpheme glosses: the examples are simply translated into German (occasionally accompanied by morphological comments). In fact, users who want to understand for instance the function of the so- called conjunction 'dzhe' (because) from an example has to fully analyze the given examples, and consult the phrase given on p. 35, whose analysis could be: <pre> (1) ti-dzho: mmo-s na-k dzhe anok pe-k-shbe:r pe 1SG-say:PRES REL-3SG:F IO-2SG:M because I ART:M- 2SG:M:POSS-friend DEM:COP:3SG:M 'I say it to you, because I am your friend.' 'Ich sage es dir, weil ich dein Freund bin.' </pre> The lack of interlinear glosses has another negative side effect: Within longer phrases, it becomes difficult to safely identify lexical units: The grammar does not include an index of the words that occur in the examples. Hence, the user faces the problem to constantly refer to a Coptic dictionary when analyzing the Coptic examples. This fact renders the book little helpful for users not trained in Coptic.
Naturally, these observations do not go against the grammatical analyses themselves presented in the book. Once users are ready to use it as some kind of 'teach-yourself book' (with all its consequences), they will find a rather condensed, nevertheless comprehensive illustration of the morphosyntax of Coptic. The author constantly refers the readers to more detailed discussions given in other grammars (among others Till 1966, Lambdin 1983, Shisha- Havely 1988, Plisch 1999) and thus carefully guides them through the deep waters of Coptic grammar.
Eberle's book is not of extraordinary size: It comprises 80 pages of grammar, a brief text ('Apa Mena') with transliteration and word-by- word translation (pp. 81-89), a short thematic bibliography, and a brief index of grammatical terms (pp. 95-97). It starts with a short chapter on 'Language and Script' (pp. 1-5). Here, the user will strongly miss a more detailed treatment of Coptic phonology: Instead, the author only presents the writing system, informs about the pronunciation of the individual signs and some further conventions. Here, I add the corresponding phonological chart (Vd = voiced, Vl = voiceless; in brackets: Bohairic /x/ and Akhmimic /tsh/): <pre> Stops Affricates Spirants Nasal Vd Vl Asp Vd Vl Vd Vl Vd Labial b p ph f m Dental d t th z s n Palatal dzh [tsh] sh Velar g k kh [x] Velar-Pal. ky Pharyngeal h Liquids: /l/, /r/, semi-vowels: /y/, /w/. Pseudo-phonemes are /ps/ and /ks/.
The vowel chart has the following form:
i, i: u e, e: ә o, o: a </pre> Chapter II covers word classes and their ‚direct phrase combinations' (pp. 5-49). To me, the term 'direct phrase combinations' ('direkte Phrasenverbindungen') remains rather obscure. Most likely, Eberle here tries to circumscribe the term 'morphosyntax'. The chapter addresses the following issues: Determination, nominals, nominal constructions, pronouns, numerals, prepositions, particles, adverbs and adverbial phrases, verbs. The author subcategorizes determination strategies in Coptic according to four classes (standard determination (article), underdetermination (indefinite article etc.), overdetermination (deictic article), indetermination (zero). Usually, the determinating dependent reflects gender (masc., fem. sg.) and number (sg., pl.) and occurs as a proclitic, eg. p-som 'the (masc.sg.) brother', t-so:me: 'the (fem.) sister', n-ro:me 'the (pl.) people'. Quite expectably, the proclitic used for underdetermination results from the grammaticalization of the numeral 'one' (owa, mask. > ow-). Note that Coptic has a plural 'indefinite' article, too (hen- ~ hәn-).
Nouns are discussed in section 2.1. Accordingly, nouns are either masculine or feminine. Some relict forms are still marked for the dual, e.g. were:-te 'the two feet'. Usually, number is marked on the dependent (n-ro:me 'the people', hen-ro:me 'people'). Most nouns show just one general form. The status constructus is preserved witrh certain nouns in composition, inalienable body part terms may have a distinct status pronominalis, e.g. dzho:dzh 'head' > dzho:-f 'his head'.
Grammatical relations (cases) are not marked on nouns. The possessive construction is analytic (based on the general relational clitic n- or the clitic preposition nte-/nta-). The objective (O) is encoded by n-/nmo- or e-/ero-; n-/na- is used to mark the indirect objective (IO). Most adjectives (section 2.2) are uninflected and follow their head, to which they are linked with the help of the relational marker n-, e.g. p- ro:me n-sabe 'the wise man' (ART:M-man REL-wise). Few adjectives can be used without this type of izafet-construction, e.g. t-she:re she:m 'the little daughter' (ART:F-daughter little). Here, the noun phrase is marked for a single tonal pattern, resulting in the shortening of the head, e.g. shәr-bo:o:n 'bad son' (she:re 'son'). The izafet construction also occurs with possessives (section 3.2), e.g. <prE>(2) pi:-ni nte p-yo:t PROX:M-house REL ART:M-father 'This house of the father'
An example for the use of the izafet construction to mark an objective is: (3) f-ol n-tshte:n 3SG:M-take:PRES REL-dress 'He takes the dress.' </pre> Chapter 4 discusses the amazing world of pronominality in Coptic. The strong analytic typology of Coptic conditions that (especially anaphoric) pronouns play a crucial role in the organization of the syntax. Here, I cannot but just mention some of the highlights: Coptic differentiates adnominal deictic from demonstrative pronouns (both subcategorize masculine, feminine, and plurality). Intermediate positions are taken by the so-called demonstrative article and the identifying demonstrative (> copula), compare: <pre> (4) p-ro:me 'the man' (adnominal > article) pi:-ro:me 'this man' (adnominal > demonstrative article) pai 'this one' (demonstrative) pe 'X (masc.) is...' (identifying copula) </pre> Personal pronouns (p. 17ff.) are either independent ('nominal'), dependent proclitics (with stative verb constructions) or dependent enclitics (suffix conjugation, possessor). The following table illustrates the different forms (reduced independent forms are omitted): <pre> (5) Independent Proclitic Enclitic 1SG anok ti- -i, -t, -a 2SG:m nt-ok k- -k 2SG:f nt-o te- -te, -e, -ZERO 3SG:m nt-of f- -f 3SG:f nt-os s- -s 1PL an-on tn- -n 2PL nt-o:tn tetn- -tn, -te:wtn 3PL nt-ou se- -ow, -sow, -se </pre> In addition, Eberle informs about the formation of complex possessives, reflexives (no specific pronoun, only reflexive constructions), interrogatives (often in a copula-like position), interrogative particles (of Greek origin), and indefinite pronouns.
Chapter 5 discusses the system of numerals. The counting system is decimal (tens first), e.g. <pre>(6) hme-t-afte forty-EUPH-four (EUPH = euphonic) '44'
psait-tn ninety-five '95' </pre> Numerals usually precede their head, e.g. p-sashf n-oi:k (ART:M- seven REL-bread') 'the seven breads', shmt-she:re 'three child(ren)'. Ordinals are expressed by the lexical element meh- 'filling', e..g. p- meh-shomnt n-hoow 'the third day' (ART:M-ORD-three REL-day), lit. 'the filled three of the day'.
On pp. 31-33, Eberle lists the great number of Coptic prepositions. They normally are proclitics and show up in two types (linked to a nominal or a pronoun), compare hm p-ni 'in/with the house' (in ART:M- house), but nhe:t-f 'in/with him'. Prepositions are either simple or composed (PREP + NOUN, PREP + ADVERB). Favorite nouns in PREP-constructions include body part terms such as rat- 'foot', toot- 'hand', towo:- 'bosom, side', zho:- 'head'. Preposition-like forms include the above mentioned relator n- and its relatives, listed below: <pre>(7) FORM FUNCTION Nominal Pronominal e -ero- Indirect Objective, Objective with verba sentiendi n- Izafet / Attributive n- na- Indirect Objective n- nmo- Objective n-, nte- nta- Genitive </pre> After having presented the great number of conjunctions (both native and of Greek origin), the author turns to adverbs and adverb-like forms. There are 'true' (basically local) adverbs and derived forms, usually based on prepositional constructions. The relevant nouns include ese:t 'ground', bol 'outer side', me:ne 'day', hoow 'day', owoysh 'time', saf 'yesterday', owshe: 'night', ownow 'hour', he 'type', me 'truth', howo 'overflow' etc. Adverbs can modify verbs (e.g. ko: ebol 'let out') and prepositions, e.g. ebol hn 'from in/with'.
The most complex aspect of Coptic grammar is given by the verbal system. It is amazing to see that Eberle manages to comprehensively illustrate the relevant issues on just a few pages (pp. 41-49). The Coptic verb paradigms reflects the already extremely heterogeneous system if Demotic which has again resulted from important shifts in Egyptian from the beginnings of its documentation onwards. Hence, the Coptic verb does not represent a single strategy to encode the relational segment in a phrasal unit, but is marked for different layers of conservatism and innovation. The inflectional pattern of Coptic verbs depends from both the phonological structure of the verb stem and the given TAM category. Eberle refers to the seven plus one verbal classes that have been proposed by Shisha-Halevy (1988: 199- 201). These classes are (C = Consonant, ' = glottal stop): <pre>(8) I CCC II CC III C'C IV CCC[C] or CC[CC] ([C(C)] = reduplicated syllable) V t-Causatives (prefixal t- plus final -o) VI Stative verbs VII Verbs that have an -e or a -t when followed by a pronominal clitic VIII Irregular verbs </pre> Coptic verbs have two forms: an infinitive and a stative (p. 42). The infinitive occurs with a wide range of TAM forms. It again has three forms: A status absolutus or non-composite form: an NP in objective function is not linked directly to the verb, but with the help of the relator n- / nmo-: a status constructus forming a composite form verb+NP(objective); a status pronominalis (with pronominal referents in objective function). An example is: <prE>(9) a-f-mowkәh m-p-yo:t PERF-3SG:M-molest:INF REL-ART:M-father 'He molested the father.'
a-f-mekh-p-yo:t PERF-3SG:M-molest-ART:M-father 'He molested the father'
a-p-yo:t-mokh-f PERF-ART:M-father-molest-3SG:M 'The father molested him.' </pre> The standard infinitive can also be used in terms of a verbal noun, e.g. p-rime m-p-she:re 'the weeping of the child' (ART:M-weeping REL- ART:M-child). In addition, it forms the basis for analytic causatives, derived with the help of the form tre-, a t-causative of i:re 'do, make', e.g. <prE>(10) e-tm-tre-p-ro:me bo:k so.that-NEG-CAUS-ART:M-man go:INF 'so that (anybody) does not (let) the man go.' (literal) </pre> The stative has only one form. It indicates either a state or a quality.
Section 9.3 discusses the verbal conjugation or paradigm of referential echoes on the verb. A subjective/agentive ('subject') can be echoed either by proclitics or enclitics. This opposition is distributed lexically. The overwhelming majority of paradigms is marked for proclitic strategies, compare: ti-sotm 'I hear' (lit. 'I (am) at hearing', a-f- sotm 'he heard' (PERF-3SG:M-hear). Enclitic verbs are for instance pedzha-f 'he said', hna-f 'he wanted' and a small number of qualifying adjectival verbs.
The final chapter (pp. 50-72) turns to constructional patterns of the phrasal or clausal level. It starts with a presentation of nominal clauses (copula clauses) together with their pragmatic variants (prefield or postfield focus). Possessive constructions lack a verbal representation of the HAVE concept. Instead, a locative construction is used, e.g. m [n]-nte p-ro:me 'the man does not have...' (NEG-at ART:M-man). The resulting paradigm (p. 54) has acquired verb-like properties, which is illustrated by the fact that a possessed noun may be treated as an objective, compare: <pre>(11) ow-nta-i mmaw n-ow-she:re one-at-1SG:POSS there REL-ART:INDEF-daughter 'There, I have a daughter.' </pre> With two pronominal referents, the corresponding pronouns follow each other, as in: <pre>(12) m[n]-nta-s-f NEG-at-3SG:F-3SG:M 'she does not have it.' </pre> Adverbial constructions link the TAM paradigm to issues of clausal syntax (p. 55f.). The present tense (or imperfective aspect) is analytically construed with the help of a local (> adverbial) strategy, e.g. p-ro:me so:tm 'the man hears' (ART:M-man hearing). As a result, non-pronominal verbs in this tense/aspect form follow their subject. A referent in objective function must be linked with the help of the izafet construction, e.g. <pre>(13) ti-dzho mmo-s 1SG:say:INF REL-3SG:F 'I say it' (lit. 'I am] in/at saying of it.') </pre> A grammaticalized version of the motion verb now 'go' (> stative na-) can precede a present tense form to indicate some kind of near future (inchoative), e.g. f-na-dzho: 'he will soon say'. The other TAM forms of Coptic are marked for an analytic strategy that is based on grammaticalized verb forms (> TAM categories) to which the pronominal clitics are added (in subject function) plus infinitive. A nominal referent replaces the corresponding pronominal slot. Consequently, the basic word order of Coptic is V(:TAM) S/A V [O]. Coptic has developed a great number of such TAM-proclitics. A table at the end of the book (conjugation paradigms) summarizes the relevant forms, which are presented on pages 58-68. Examples are: <prE>(14) a-p-ro:me sotm PERF-ART:M-man hear 'The man heard...'
ere-p-ro:me sotm ADH-ART:M-man hear [ADH = adhortative, energetic future] 'The man shall hear...'
shant-f-so:tm until-3SG:M-hear 'Until he hears....'
ntere-tm-p-ro:me so:tm ero-i TEMP-NEG-ART:M-man hear IO-1SG [TEMP = temporalis] 'When the man did not hear me...' </pre> The last example illustrates that subordinate clauses conform to the same constructional patterns as matrix clauses. After discussing strategies of interrogation and negation, Eberle turns to what is called 'transposition'. This term is used to denote certain types of forming subordinated clauses, e.g. adverbial clauses, relative clauses and some kind of pragmatically motivated extraposition. Space does not allow to go in details here. Nevertheless, it should be stressed that the transpositional strategies of Coptic deserve more than just a descriptive treatment. In fact, they nicely show how subordination patterns may emerge.
It is out of the question that Eberle's book comprehensively characterizes the major issues of Coptic grammar. Above, I have tried to extract some kind of morphosyntactic profile of Coptic from the book. I hope that it has become evident that Eberle's Coptic grammar in fact addresses many issues of the language that are not only relevant for specialists in Egyptology (in its broader sense), but also for researchers in General Linguistics and Language Typology. Nevertheless it must be said that the organization of the book does not fully conform to what has developed as a descriptive standard in the last years. It mixes up morphological, categorial, and constructional issues and hence renders it difficult to systematically monitor the grammar of Coptic from a more general perspective. Still, it has to be stressed that the size of the book obviously limited the descriptive scope. In addition, it nearly completely lacks a diachronic perspective: However, in case users are interested not only to understand the 'how' of Coptic, but also the 'why', they will necessarily ask for the diachronic background in order to explain grammar rather than just to describe it. Viewing the fact that the different stages of Old Egyptian cover a time span of more than 4000 years it comes clear that the data of this language can serve as an important tool to retrieve and model aspects of language change. In this respect, an urgent task would be to write a historical-comparative grammar of all stages of Old Egyptian. In this light, Eberle's book does not offer anything really new: It is just another instantiation of the many presentations of Coptic, which, however, is well-done, once the readers have taken the perspective the author wants them to take: namely to use the booklet as a tool in Coptic classes.
From a formal point of view, there is nothing to complain about. The book is easy to read and the examples are well-chosen (better: well- construed) and serve their purpose. It may well be that once Coptic has been made more readily accessible for non-Coptologists, some of the descriptive parameters used by Eberle will call for revision (e.g. the section on transposition and on prepositions). For the time being, typologists will have to translate the book into their own scientific format, if ever they are ready to work through the whole book. But this is what they should do: Else, a selective browsing through Eberle's grammar in order to retrieve certain grammatical features will probably end in a disaster. This, however, is not the fault of the book. Instead, it is related to those points I have addressed in the first section of this review. Once typologists and others have worked through Eberle's grammar, they will probably get interested in learning more about this fascinating language, to work with real data, and to include it more often to their thinking about the diversity and universality of language.
Shisha-Halevy, A. 1988. Coptic Grammatical Chrestomathy, A Course for Academic and Private Study, Leuven: Peeters.
Lambdin, Thomas O. 1983. Introduction to Sahidic Coptic. Macon: Mercer UP.
Layton, Bentley. 2000. A Coptic Grammar. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Mattar, Nabil 1990. A study in Bohairic Coptic. Pasadena: Hope Publishing House.
Plisch, Uwe-Karsten. 1999. Einführung in die koptische Sprache: Sahidischer Dialekt. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Thomsen, Marie-Louise 1984. The Sumerian Language. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
Till, Walter C. 1961. Koptische Dialektgrammatik. Lepizig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie.
Till, Walter C. 1966. Koptische Grammatik (Saidischer Dialekt). Leipzig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie.
Wegner, Ilse 2000. Hurritisch. Eine Einführung. Wiesbaden: Harrasssowitz.
Wright, William 1861 [1896-98]. A Grammar of the Arabic Language: Translated from the German of Caspari and edited, with numerous additions and corrections. 3rd ed. revised by W. Robertson Smith and M. J. de Goeje, 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Wolfgang Schulze is the Head of the Institute for General Linguistics
and Language Typology at the University of Munich. His main
research topics include Language Typology, Cognitive Typology,
Historical Linguistics, language contact, the languages of the
(Eastern) Caucasus and Inner Asia, and 'Oriental' languages. He
currently works on a Functional Grammar of Udi and on a
comprehensive presentation of the framework of a 'Grammar of
Scenes and Scenarios' in terms of 'Cognitive Typology'.