Maryan Coptic

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Maryan Coptic
ϯⲙⲩⲧⲭⲏⲙⲉ
timutkʰēme
Maryancopticflag.png
Pronunciation /tɪˌmutˈkʰeːmə/
Created by Castillerian
Setting
Region Egypt
Language family
Dialects
Standard/Central
Nahlic
Cholevic
Thebian
Writing system Coptic
ISO 639-3 mcp

Maryan Coptic (ϯⲙⲩⲧⲭⲏⲙⲉ, tr. timutkʰēme), often shortened to 'Maryan', is an a posteriori language created by conlanger Castillerian. The initial intent of this language is to envision a modernized variant of Classical Coptic while preserving most of its grammar, vocabulary, and estimated phonology.

The first drafts of what would become the Maryan Coptic language were created in March 2018, initially called 'New Coptic' and 'Neo-Egyptian'. Early drafts detailed a modified Latin alphabet as the language's primary writing system, and its phonology more atone with modern-day Ecclesiastical Bohairic 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.

Phonology

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

Orthography

Coptic alphabet

Maryan is chiefly 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
value
Name Transliteration Standard
Pronunciation
Ⲁ ⲁ 1 alpha, ⲁⲗⲫⲁ a [ä] ~ [äʔ]
Ⲃ ⲃ 2 beta, ⲃⲏⲧⲁ b [β] ~ [ɸ] ~ [b]
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 [s]
Ⲏ ⲏ 8 eta, ⲏⲧⲁ ē [eː] ~ [e]
Ⲑ ⲑ 9 theta, ⲑⲏⲧⲁ [tʰ]
Ⲓ ⲓ 10 iota, ⲓⲟⲧⲁ i [iː] ~ [i] ~ [ɪ] ~ [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 [ks]
Ⲟ ⲟ 70 o, o [ɔ] ~ [ɔʔ]
Ⲡ ⲡ 80 pi, ⲡⲓ p [p]
Ⲣ ⲣ 100 ro, ⲣⲱ r [ɾ] ~ [r]
Ⲥ ⲥ 200 sima, ⲥⲓⲙⲁ s [s]
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 [ps]
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] ~ [ɦ] ~ [ç]
Ϫ ϫ canga, ϫⲁⲅⲅⲁ c [t͡ʃ]
Ϭ ϭ chima, ϭⲓⲙⲁ [t͡ʃʰ]
Ϯ ϯ ti, ϯ ti [tiː] ~ [ti] ~ [tɪ]
hat, ϩⲁⲧ ' ∅ ~ [ʔ]
900 sampi, ⲥⲁⲙⲡⲓ

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

One of the main functions of hat () is to modify and move the stress of a given word, usually placed after ei ().

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

The letter can also stand in as a historical consonant left unpronounced in modern speech. In more dated vernaculars, instances of hat would indicate a glottal stop, whereas in modern vernaculars the pronunciation of the word leaves hat relatively unpronounced. Instances of hat placed before ro () create an alveolar trill [r].

  • ⲓⲟⳕⲣ (canal): /jɔr/
  • ⲙⲁⳕⲃ (thirty): modern /maβ/, dated /maʔβ/)
  • ⲓⲁⳕⲧ (eyes): modern /jat/, dated /jaʔt/)
  • ⲁⳕϥ (fly): modern /af/, dated /aʔf/)

Chat script

Maryan utilizes an alternative script for efficient online communication known as picinsxai thyt (the united script). The script uses only base Latin glyphs and digraphs to represent the phonemes of Maryan Coptic, as the Coptic script remains semi-incompatible for most modern devices.

Latin chat alphabet
Letter Name Coptic
equivalent
A a alpha
B b byta
C c cagga ϫ
Ch ch chima ϭ
D d delta
E e ei
F f fai ϥ
G g gamma
H h hwre ϩ
I i iota
K k kappa
Kh kh khi
Ks ks
L l laula
M m me
N n ne
O o o
P p pi
Ph ph phi
Ps ps
R r rw
S s sima
Sh sh shai ϣ
T t tau
Th th thyta
Ti ti ϯ
U u u
W w wau
wu

X x xai ϧ
Y y yta
Z z zyta

An apostrophe (') can stand in as hat (ⳕ), but it can also be used to separate and prevent two glyphs from forming the aspirated digraphs (i.e. ϣⲉⲡϩⲙⲟⲧ (to thank) = shep'hmot, ⲛⲁϫϩⲉ (tooth) = nac'he, ⲧⲉⲕϩⲁⲗⲁⲕ (your ring) = tek'halak, ⲉⲧϩⲓϫⲉⲛ (one who is on) = et'hicen).

Consonants

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

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

Vowels

The exact qualities of Bohairic Coptic's vowels remain unknown. Maryan's vowels were created largely from personal preference and some basis in Koine Greek spoken in the 1st Centiry CE.

Vowels
Front Near-front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Near-close ɪ
Close-mid e eː o oː
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ ɔ
Open ä
Diphthongs
IPA /aɪ/ /aʊ/ /ɛɪ/ /ɛʊ/ /eːɪ/ /eːw/ /əɪ/[1] /iːw/ /ɔɪ/ /ɔw/ /oːɪ/ /oːw/
Coptic script ⲁⲓ ⲁⲩ ⲉⲓ ⲉⲩ ⲏⲓ ⲏⲩ ⲓⲩ ⲟⲓ ⲟⲩ ⲱⲓ ⲱⲩ
Chat script ai au ei eu yi yu i iu oi ou w'i wu

Prosody

Stress

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 called 'strong vowels' and can indicate the primary stress of a word. alpha () and o () are classified as 'short strong' vowels, and eta (), iota (), u (), and ou () are classified as 'long strong' vowels. Ei (), and sometimes iota (), are called '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/
  • ⲃⲉⲣⲓ (new): /βəˈɾiː/
  • Ⲉⲥⲛⲟϥⲣⲉ (Esnofre [female-given name]): /əsˈnɔfɾə/

If multiple strong vowels are found in a word, usually from agglutination, then 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): /tiˈmaʔ/
  • ⲁⲙⲁⲓⲩ (seas): /aˈmajju/
  • ϫⲱⲣⲁⲥⲡⲉ (linguistics): colloquial /t͡ʃoˈɾaspə/, formal /t͡ʃoːˈɾaspə/
  • ⲧⲏϩⲓⲙⲉ (that woman): colloquial /teˈhiːmə/, formal /teːˈhiːmə/

If a short strong vowel is found on the penult and the ultima contains one onset consonant, then that consonant is duplicated and acts as the coda for the stressed syllable.

  • ⲥⲁϫⲉ (to speak): /ˈsat̚t͡ʃə/
  • ⳣⲟⲓⲉ (farmer): /ˈwɔjjə/
  • ⲃⲟⲛⲉ (bad [feminine]): /ˈβɔnnə/
  • ϣⲁⲣⲉ (to hit): /ˈʃarrə/

Intonation

Phonotactics

Morphophonology

Morphology

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/

Nouns

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), ϩⲉⲭⲱ (history)

Nominal particles always carry a fixed gender.

  • ϫⲓⲛ- (gerund marker) - masculine
    • ϫⲓⲛⲙⲓⲥⲉ (birth), ϫⲓⲛⲕⲁⲧⲉ (understanding)
  • ⲙⲉⲧ- (abstract nominalizer) - feminine
    • ⲙⲉⲧⲣⲱⲙⲉ (humanity), ⲙⲉⲧⲙⲏϣ (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")

Adjectives

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 (ⲉ) or a long vowel.

Adjectives ending in a consonant conjugate to their feminine form by adding the feminine ei () suffix.

  • ⳣⲏⲛ (open) > ⳣⲏⲛⲉ
  • ϩⲟⲗϫ (sweet) > ϩⲟⲗϫⲉ
  • ⲃⲱⲛ (bad) > ⲃⲟⲛⲉ

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

  • ⲙⲏⲧⲉ (central) > ⲙⲁⲧⲣⲉ (from Egyptian mtr.t */ˈmutɾat/)
  • ϩⲏⲕⲉ (hungry) > ϩⲁⲕⲣⲉ (from Egyptian ḥqr.t */ˈħuqʼɾat/)
  • ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (human) > ⲣⲟⲙⲧⲉ (from Egyptian rmṯ.t */ˈɾamcit/)
  • ⲧⲱϣⲉ (dark red) > ⲧⲁϣⲣⲉ (from Egyptian dšr.t */ˈtʼaʃɾit/)

Verbs

Adverbs

Particles

Syntax

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)
ⲛⲓⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲧⲏⲣ ⲥⲉⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙϩⲉⳕ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲏϣ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲙⲉⲧⲧⲁⲓⲟ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲛⲓⲙⲉⲡϣⲁ.
ⲥⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲗⲟⲅⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲙⲉⲧⲧⲁⲙⲟ ⳣⲟϩ ⲉⲛⲧⲩϭⲓⲛ ⲛⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲡⲛⲉⲩⲙⲁ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ϯⲙⲉⲧⲙⲁⲓⲥⲟⲛ.
Maryan Coptic
(Transliteration)
Nirōme tēr semesit ənremhe' nem ənšēš ḫen umettaio nem nimepša.
Sešōpe nem ulogos nem umettamo woh entucʰin nuerēu ḫen upneuma ənte timetmaison.
Maryan Coptic
(Chat Script)
Nirwme tyr semesit n'remhe' nem n'shysh xen umettaio nem nimepsha.
Seshwpe nem ulogos nem umettamo woh entuchin nueryu xen upneuma n'te timetmaison.
Pronunciation
(Standard)
[nɪˈɾoː.mə teːɾ ˌsə.məˈsiːt ən.ɾəmˈɦɛʔ nəm ənˈʃeːʃ xən‿uˌmət̚.täˈjɔʔ nəm nɪ.məpˈʃäʔ ‖
səˈʃoː.pə nəm‿uˈlɔ.kɔs nəm‿uˌmət̚.täˈmɔʔ wɔh ən.tuˈt͡ʃʰiːn nu.(ʔ)əˈɾeˑu̯ xən‿uˈpnɛʊ̯.mä ʔən.tɪˌmət.mäɪ̯ˈsɔn]

Other resources

  1. ^ Occurs in unstressed syllables if no morphemes are present (i.e. ϩⲃⲱⲓ ('ibises'), ϭⲥⲉⲩ ('lords').