Maryan Coptic

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Maryan Coptic
Created byCastillerian
  • Central
  • Nahlic
  • Cholevic
  • Thebian
Language codes
ISO 639-3mcp
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Maryan Coptic (ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲣⲉⲙⲭⲏⲙⲉ, tr. temutremkʰēme), often shortened to 'Maryan', is an a posteriori language created by conlanger Castillerian. The initial intent of this language was to envision a modern register of Classical Coptic while preserving its core grammar, vocabulary, and estimated phonology.

The first drafts of what would become the Maryan Coptic language were created in March 2018, initially titled 'New Coptic' and 'Neo-Egyptian'.These early drafts detailed a modified Latin alphabet as the language's primary writing system, and its phonology more atone with the Greco-Bohairic pronunciation found in modern uses of Coptic. Discontent with the language's current state, the creator redrafted the language's entire phonology and grammar in May 2019, along with its entire lexicon.


The native name of Maryan is ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲣⲉⲙⲭⲏⲙⲉ (temutremkʰēme), thus meaning "the speech of the Egyptian people". The native name for Egypt, Ⲭⲏⲙⲉ (Kʰēme), stems from Egyptian kmt ME. /ˈkuːmaʔ/ ("Egypt, the Nile valley"), which itself stems from km ME. /ˈkuːmaw/ ("black"), in reference to the fertile soil around the Nile Delta.

The -ⲙⲩⲧ- (-mut-) in ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲣⲉⲙⲭⲏⲙⲉ (temutremkʰēme) stems from Egyptian mdw ME. /ˈmaːtʼaw/ ("word, speech").

The morpheme -ⲣⲉⲙ- (-rem-) is the construct state of ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (rōme, "person, human"), which derives from Egyptian rmṯ ME. /ˈɾaːmaʔ/ ("person, human"). In combination with Ⲭⲏⲙⲉ (Kʰēme), it forms the term ⲣⲉⲙⲭⲏⲙⲉ (remkʰēme, "Egyptian person").


Maryan's phonology bears immense resemblance to Bohairic Coptic, aside from the theory of Bohairic Coptic not retaining long vowels.


Coptic alphabet

Maryan is primarily written in a modified Coptic alphabet, which in return is a modified Greek alphabet augmented by Demotic-based glyphs. The script contains 32 pairs of glyphs (each pair containing one majuscule and one minuscule form) and 3 individual minuscule glyphs, adding up to 67 total glyphs. 48 of these glyphs originate from the Greek alphabet, while the remaining 19 originate as augmentations from the Demotic script.

In the earliest drafts dating back to March 2018, Maryan initially used a modified Latin alphabet, until a secondary script utilizing Coptic glyphs was introduced a month later in April. By July of the same year, the Latin script ceased all future and current usage, as all remaining texts which still used the Latin script were replaced with the more polished Coptic script.

Coptic alphabet
Letter Numeric
Name Transliteration Standard
Ⲁ ⲁ 1 alpha, ⲁⲗⲫⲁ a [ä], [äʔ]
Ⲃ ⲃ 2 beta, ⲃⲏⲧⲁ b [β], [ɸ]
Ⲅ ⲅ 3 gamma, ⲅⲁⲙⲙⲁ g [k]
Ⲇ ⲇ 4 delta, ⲇⲉⲗⲧⲁ d [t]
Ⲉ ⲉ 5 ei, ⲉⲓ e [ɛ], [ɛʔ], [ə]
6 sou, ⲥⲟⲩ
Ⳣ ⳣ wau, ⳣⲁⲩ w [w]
Ⲍ ⲍ 7 zeta, ⲍⲏⲧⲁ z [s̠]
Ⲏ ⲏ 8 eta, ⲏⲧⲁ ē [eː], [e]
Ⲑ ⲑ 9 theta, ⲑⲏⲧⲁ [tʰ]
Ⲓ ⲓ 10 iota, ⲓⲟⲧⲁ i [iː], [i], [j]
Ⲕ ⲕ 20 kappa, ⲕⲁⲡⲡⲁ k [k]
Ⲗ ⲗ 30 laula, ⲗⲁⲩⲗⲁ l [l]
Ⲙ ⲙ 40 me, ⲙⲉ m [m]
Ⲛ ⲛ 50 ne, ⲛⲉ n [n], [ŋ], [m]
Ⲝ ⲝ 60 ksi, ⲝⲓ x [ks̠]
Ⲟ ⲟ 70 o, o [ɔ], [ɔʔ]
Ⲡ ⲡ 80 pi, ⲡⲓ p [p]
Ⲣ ⲣ 100 ro, ⲣⲱ r [ɾ]
Ⲥ ⲥ 200 sima, ⲥⲓⲙⲁ s [s̠]
Ⲧ ⲧ 300 tau, ⲧⲁⲩ t [t]
Ⲩ ⲩ 400 u, u [uː], [u]
Ⲫ ⲫ 500 phi, ⲫⲓ [pʰ]
Ⲭ ⲭ 600 khi, ⲭⲓ [kʰ]
Ⲯ ⲯ 700 psi, ⲯⲓ ps [ps̠]
Ⲱ ⲱ 800 ou, ⲱⲩ ō [oː], [o]
Ϣ ϣ shai, ϣⲁⲓ š [ʃ]
Ϥ ϥ 90 fai, ϥⲁⲓ f [f]
Ϧ ϧ xai, ϧⲁⲓ [x]
Ϩ ϩ hore, ϩⲱⲣⲉ h [h], [ç]
Ϫ ϫ canga, ϫⲁⲅⲅⲁ c [t͡ʃ]
Ϭ ϭ chima, ϭⲓⲙⲁ [t͡ʃʰ]
Ϯ ϯ ti, ϯ ti [tiːʔ], [tiː]
hat, ϩⲁⲧ ' [ʔ]
900 sampi, ⲥⲁⲙⲡⲓ

Sou () and sampi () are used strictly for their numeric values and do not carry any phonemic values.

Hat () modifies and moves the stress of ei ().

  • ⲁⲙⲣⲉⳕ (baker) - /amˈɾɛʔ/
  • ⲙⲉⳕⲣⲉ (noon) - /ˈmɛʔɾə/
  • ϧⲉⳕⲧⲉⲃ (kill [construct]) - /ˌxətəβ/
  • ⲥⲁⲓⲉⳕ (beautiful) - /saˈjɛʔ/

Latin script

Ever since its initial drafts, Maryan and its creator had struggled to find a suitable Latin script. Its native Coptic script is not compatible with many modern devices, and an alternative "Unicode-friendly" script would serve as a convenient means of mass communication in the language over the internet.

The first drafts of the language utilized a crude Latin script, full of letters and diacritics most fonts did not support. Although it could be portrayed as compact and functional, the script failed to meet the creator's more aesthetic expectations by favoring functionality over compatibility. Ultimately, a more compatible Coptic script would start to see usage by May of the same year. In July, two months later, the Latin script went defunct, and all remaining texts written in the script were purged.

In October 2018, a second attempt at a Latin script would surface in the form of the "Chat" script, a writing system similar in use to the Arabic chat alphabet. Although the script lasted almost 2 years, it never served as an official writing system and saw very limited public use. The Chat script went defunct by late March 2020.

In April 2020, a third attempt at a Latin script would surface, seeing more positive results as development continued, and the script was finalized by November of the same year. Most current Maryan texts/translations use this new Latin script, informally titled "Latin v2". Although most documentation on the language's grammar is written in the Coptic script, the current Maryan Coptic-English dictionary is written entirely in the Latin script to ease potential Western-oriented students into the language.

Official Latin orthography
Letter A B C D E Ê F G H I J K L M N O Ô P R S T U W X Y Z
Name a del e ê ef ha i jot ka el em en o ô pi er es u wau xai ypsi zêt
Phoneme(s) /a/ /β/ /tʃ/ /t/ /ɛ/, /ə/ /eː/ /f/ /k/ /h/ /iː/ /j/ /k/ /l/ /m/ /n/ /ɔ/ /oː/ /p/ /ɾ/, /r/ /s/ /t/ /uː/ /w/ /x/ /i/ /s/

Digraphs + other letters
Name chê e etti e main i main kha phi shai thê
Phoneme(s) /tʃʰ/ /jə/ /ˈɛ/ /ˈiː/ /kʰ/ /pʰ/ /ʃ/ /tʰ/

Phoneme(s) /aɪ/ /aʊ/ /ɛɪ/, /əɪ/ /ɛʊ/ /eːɪ/ /eːw/ /iːw/ /ɔɪ/ /ɔw/ /oːɪ/ /oːw/ /uːɪ/


Maryan's consonants remain the same among most Coptic dialects, even retaining the velar fricative /x/ found in Bohairic Coptic.

Bilabial Labio-
Alveolar Post-
Palatal Labio-
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive modal p t k ʔ
Fricative β f ʃ x h
Affricate modal t͡ʃ
aspirated t͡ʃʰ
Approximant l j w
Flap ɾ


The exact qualities of Bohairic Coptic's vowels remain unknown. Maryan's vowels were created largely from personal preference and with limited knowledge on Koine Greek spoken in the 1st Century CE.

Front Near-front Central Back
Close i[1] iː u[2] uː
Close-mid e[3] eː o[4] oː
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open ä
IPA [äi̯] [äu̯] [ɛi̯][5] [ɛu̯] [eːi̯] [eːu̯] [əi̯] [əu̯][6] [iːu̯] [ɔi̯] [ɔu̯] [oːi̯] [oːu̯]
Coptic script ⲁⲓ ⲁⲩ ⲉⲓ ⲉⲩ ⲏⲓ ⲏⲩ ⲉⲓ, ⲉⲩ ⲓⲩ ⲟⲓ ⲟⲩ ⲱⲓ ⲱⲩ



Maryan uses a lexical stress system. The primary stress is always found either on the penult or the ultima, depending on the vowels present, and the secondary stress is always found at least two syllables before the primary stress, usually in conjugated verbs and compound nouns. However, borrowed loanwords tend to break this pattern, as Maryan Coptic attempts to preserve the stress from the loanword's source language. Fortunately, inherited loanwords are constructed specifically to fit Maryan's native stress system, making their stress patterns more predictable than direct borrowings.

Every vowel, aside from ei (), are 'strong vowels' and can indicate the primary stress of a word. alpha () and o () are 'short strong' vowels, and eta (), iota (), u (), and ou () are 'long strong' vowels. Ei (), and sometimes iota (), are 'weak vowels' and are primarily unstressed if a strong vowel is present. In verb forms, the verb root is always given the primary stress.

  • Ⲭⲏⲙⲉ (Egypt): /ˈkʰeːmə/
  • ⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ (to be born): /məˈsiːt/
  • Ⲉⲥⲛⲟϥⲣⲉ (Esnofre [female-given name]): /əsˈnɔfɾə/

If multiple strong vowels are found in a word, usually from agglutination, the final strong vowel or root word gets the primary stress, and any remaining long vowels are shortened. The main exception is if the final vowel is a strong u () and the penult vowel is either alpha () or o (). Other exceptions may occur in more formal registers of speech, leaving long vowels in unstressed positions.

  • ϯⲙⲁ (to allow): /tiːˈmaʔ/
  • ⲁⲙⲁⲓⲩ (seas): /aˈmajjuː/
  • ϫⲱⲣⲁⲥⲡⲉ (linguistics): /t͡ʃoːɾˈaspə/
  • ⲧⲏϩⲓⲙⲉ (that woman): /teːˈhiːmə/

If a short strong vowel is found on the penult and the ultima contains one onset consonant, then a glottal stop acts as a coda for the stressed syllable. If the stressed syllable's coda is a iota () or u (), then the consonant is geminated.

  • ⲥⲁϫⲉ (to speak): /ˈsaʔt͡ʃə/
  • ⲁⲧⲟⲩⲉ (morning): /aˈtɔwwə/
  • ⳣⲟⲓⲉ (farmer): /ˈwɔjjə/
  • ⲟⲛⲉⲛ (chin): /ˈɔʔnən/
  • ϣⲁⲣⲉ (to hit): /ˈʃaʔɾə/





Most native Maryan words follow a syllable structure of (C)(C)V(C)(C), while foreign loanwords, mainly of Greek origin, can retain a structure of (C)(C)(C)V(C)(C)(C). Less proficient speakers may use a short schwa for ease of pronunciation.

  • ⲥⲧⲣⲁⲧⲏⲅⲏⲥ (general [military]): standard /stɾateˈkes/, compared to /ə̆stɾateˈkes/
  • ⲁⲣⲝ (bear): standard /aɾks/, compared to /ˈaɾkə̆s/


Most nouns have one of two grammatical genders: masculine and feminine. Some nouns, compounded with certain agent particles, can take either gender. All adjectives, most pronouns, and most verb forms indicate the gender of the noun they reference of modify.

Distinguishing the gender of most root nouns is very challenging and requires prior context, but in general, most nouns that end in ei () or a long vowel are feminine, and most nouns that end in a consonant are masculine; however, there are countless exceptions. Verbal nouns are always masculine.

  • Masculine:
    • ⲥⲟⲛ (brother), ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (human, person), ⲱⲓⲕ (bread), ⳣⲱⲙ (food)
  • Feminine:
    • ⲥⲱⲛⲉ (sister), ϩⲓⲙⲉ (woman), ⲙⲁⲩ (mother), ⲁϩϭⲱ (history)

Nominal particles always carry a fixed gender.

  • ϫⲓⲛ- (gerund marker) - masculine
    • ϫⲓⲛⲙⲓⲥⲉ (birth), ϫⲓⲛⲕⲁⲧⲉ (understanding)
  • ⲙⲉⲧ- (abstract nominalizer) - feminine
    • ⲙⲉⲧⲣⲱⲙⲉ (humanity), ⲙⲉⲑⲙⲏϣ (republic)
  • ⲙⲁⲛ- (place of) - masculine
    • ⲙⲁⲛϣⲱ (beach, lit. "place of sand"), ⲙⲁⲛⲁⲗⲟⲗⲉ (vineyard, lit. "place of grapes")
  • ⲥⲁⲛ- (profession marker) - masculine/feminine
    • ⲥⲁⲛⲑⲱⳣⲉ (shoemaker, lit. "shoe seller"), ⲥⲁⲛⲧⲉⲃⲧ (fisherman, lit "fish seller")
  • ⲣⲉϥ- (grammatical agent) - masculine/feminine
    • ⲣⲉϥϣⲁⲛϣ (nurse, lit. "one who nourishes"), ⲣⲉϥⲥⲁϫⲉ (speaker, lit. "one who speaks")


All adjectives are placed after the noun they modify and agree to nouns in terms of gender (masculine/feminine). Most feminine forms of adjectives end in either ei () or a long vowel.

Adjectives ending in a consonant decline to their feminine form by adding the feminine ei () suffix. In adjectives descended from the qualitative case of class 5 verbs, ei () and the final consonant undergo metathesis.

  • ⳣⲏⲛ (wēn, open) > ⳣⲏⲛⲉ (wēne)
  • ϩⲟⲗϫ (holc, sweet) > ϩⲟⲗϫⲉ (holce)
  • ⲁⲩⲓⲛ (auin, yellow) > ⲁⲩⲓⲛⲉ (auine)
  • ⲗⲁϧⲉⲙ (laḫem) boiled) > ⲗⲁϧⲙⲉ (laḫme)
  • ϧⲟⲧⲉⲗ (ḫotel) various) > ϧⲟⲑⲗⲉ (ḫotʰle)

Adjectives with a long vowel and ending in ei () are prone to replacing their long vowel with a short equivalent and a consonant, usually ro () and sometimes tau (). The exact consonant is largely unpredictable without historical context.

  • ⲙⲏⲧⲉ (mēte, central) > ⲙⲁⲑⲣⲉ (matʰre) (from pseudo-Late Egyptian mtr.t */ˈmøtɾə/)
  • ϩⲏⲕⲉ (hēke, hungry) > ϩⲁⲭⲣⲉ (hakʰre, from pseudo-Late Egyptian ḥqr.t */ˈħøqʼɾə/)
  • ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (rōme, human) > ⲣⲟⲙⲧⲉ (romte, from pseudo-Late Egyptian rmṯ.t */ˈɾamtə/)
  • ⲧⲱϣⲉ (tōše, dark red) > ⲧⲁϣⲣⲉ (tašre, from pseudo-Late Egyptian dšr.t */ˈtʼaʃɾə/)

All Greek-derived adjectives have a masculine declension of -ⲟⲥ (-os) and a feminine declension of -ⲏ ().

  • ⲁⲝⲓⲟⲥ (axios, worthy) > ⲁⲝⲓⲏ (axiē)
  • ⲕⲟⲓⲛⲟⲥ (koinos, common) > ⲕⲟⲓⲛⲏ (koinē)
  • ⲧⲟⲡⲓⲕⲟⲥ (topikos, local) > ⲧⲟⲡⲓⲕⲏ (topikē)


There are 8 confirmed verb classes in Maryan. More than half of all Maryan's verbs can be identified by and classified into one of these classes. These verbs are broken into four states depending on the context in the sentence: Absolute (no direct object, active voice), Construct (direct object is specified via noun), Pronominal (direct object is specified via pronoun), and Qualitative (passive voice).

Absolute Construct Pronominal Qualitative
Class 1 (C)C() (C)C (C)C- (C)C
Class 2 (C)CC (C)CC (C)CC- (C)CC
Class 3 ()VC(C) ()VC(C)ⲉⳕ ()VC(C)- ()VC(C)ⲏⲩⲧ
Class 4 (C)C (C)C (C)C- (C)Cⲓⲧ
Class 5 (C)CC (C)ⲉⳕCC (C)CC- (C)CC
Class 6 (C1)C2C3C2C3 (C1)C2C3C2C3 (C1)C2C3C2C3- (C1)C2C3C2C3
Class 7 CC(C) CC(C) CC(C)- CC(C)
Class 8 C1C2C2 C1C2C2 C1C2 C1C2


Absolute Construct Pronominal Qualitative
Class 1 ("to turn") ⲕⲱⲧⲉ ⲕⲉⲧ ⲕⲟⲧ- ⲕⲏⲧ
Class 2 ("to show") ⳣⲱⲛϩ ⳣⲉⲛϩ ⳣⲟⲛϩ- ⳣⲟⲛϩ
Class 3 ("to heal") ⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ⲧⲁⲗϭⲉⳕ ⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ- ⲧⲁⲗϭⲏⲩⲧ
Class 4 ("to birth") ⲙⲓⲥⲉ ⲙⲉⲥ ⲙⲁⲥ- ⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ
Class 5 ("to kill") ϧⲱⲧⲉⲃ ϧⲉⳕⲧⲉⲃ ϧⲟⲑⲃ- ϧⲟⲧⲉⲃ
Class 6 ("to befriend") ⲥⲟⲛⲥⲉⲛ ⲥⲉⲛⲥⲉⲛ ⲥⲉⲛⲥⲱⲛ- ⲥⲉⲛⲥⲱⲛ
Class 7 ("to be sweet") ϩⲗⲟϫ ϩⲗⲉϫ ϩⲟⲗϫ- ϩⲟⲗϫ
Class 8 ("to shower") ϩⲙⲟⲙ ϩⲙⲉⲙ ϩⲱⲙ- ϩⲏⲙ
  • Ou () becomes u () after me () and ne ().
  • O () becomes alpha () before shai (ϣ), xai (ϧ), and hore (ϩ).
  • In the pronominal state, all modal voiceless stops become aspirated before beta (), wau (), laula (), me (), ne (), and ro ().




Constituent order

Noun phrase

Verb phrase

Sentence phrase

Dependent clauses

Example texts

Language Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
English All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Maryan Coptic
(Coptic Script)
ⲛⲉⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲧⲏⲣ ⲥⲉⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙϩⲉⳕ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲏϣ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲧⲁⲓⲟ ⲛⲉⲙ ϩⲁⲛⲙⲉⲡϣⲁ.
ⲥⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲗⲟⲅⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲧⲁⲙⲟ ⳣⲟϩ ⲉⲛⲧⲩϭⲓⲛ ⲛⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲡⲛⲉⲩⲙⲁ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ⲧⲉⲙⲉⲧⲙⲁⲓⲥⲟⲛ.
Maryan Coptic
Nerōme tēr semesit ənremhe' nem ənšēš ḫen utaio nem hanmepša.
Sešōpe nem ulogos nem utamo woh entucʰin nuerēu ḫen upneuma ənte temetmaison.
Maryan Coptic
(Latin Script)
Nerôme têr semesit n’remhé nem n’shêsh xen utajo nem hanmepsha.
Seshôpe nem ulogos nem utamo woh entuchin nuerêu xen upneuma n’te temetmaison.
[nəˈɾoː.mə teːɾ ˌsə.məˈsiːt ən.ɾəmˈɦɛʔ nəm ənˈʃeːʃ xən‿u.täˈjɔʔ nəm ɦäm.məpˈʃäʔ ‖
səˈʃoː.pə nəm‿uˈlɔ.kɔs nəm‿u.täˈmɔʔ wɔh ən.tuˈt͡ʃʰiːn nu.ʔəˈɾeˑu̯ xən‿uˈpnɛʊ̯.mä ʔənˌtə təˌmət.mäɪ̯ˈsɔn]

Other resources

  1. ^ Loanwords only
  2. ^ Loanwords only
  3. ^ Loanwords only
  4. ^ Loanwords only
  5. ^ Loanwords only
  6. ^ Construct verbs only