Maryan Coptic (ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲭⲏⲙⲉ, tr. temutkʰēme), 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.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Morphology
- 4 Syntax
- 5 Example texts
- 6 Other resources
The native name of Maryan is ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲭⲏⲙⲉ (temutkʰēme), thus meaning "the speech of Egypt". 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 ⲧⲉⲙⲩⲧⲭⲏⲙⲉ (temutkʰēme) stems from Egyptian mdw ME. /ˈmaːtʼaw/ ("word, speech").
An older/liturgical name for the language is ⲧⲉⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲭⲏⲙⲉ (temetremkʰēme), thus meaning "the speech of the Egyptian people". The morpheme -ⲣⲉⲙ- (-rem-) is the construct state of ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (rōme, "person, human"), which derives from Egyptian rmṯ ME. /ˈɾaːmaʔ/ ("person, human").
Maryan's phonology bears immense resemblance to Bohairic Coptic, aside from the theory of Bohairic Coptic not retaining long vowels.
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.
|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]|
|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||[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||[ks]|
|Ⲟ ⲟ||70||o, ⲟ||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, ⲩ||u||[uː], [u]|
|Ⲫ ⲫ||500||phi, ⲫⲓ||pʰ||[pʰ]|
|Ⲭ ⲭ||600||khi, ⲭⲓ||kʰ||[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||ḫ||[x]|
|Ϩ ϩ||hore, ϩⲱⲣⲉ||h||[h], [ɦ], [ç]|
|Ϫ ϫ||canga, ϫⲁⲅⲅⲁ||c||[t͡ʃ]|
|Ϭ ϭ||chima, ϭⲓⲙⲁ||cʰ||[t͡ʃʰ]|
|Ϯ ϯ||ti, ϯ||ti||[tiː], [ti]|
|ⳕ||hat, ϩⲁⲧ||'||∅, [ʔ]|
Sou (ⲋ) and sampi (ⳁ) are used strictly for their numeric values and do not carry any phonemic values.
One of the main functions of hat (ⳕ) is to modify and move the stress of a given word, usually placed after ei (ⲉ).
- ⲁⲙⲣⲉⳕ (baker) - /amˈɾɛʔ/
- ⲙⲉⳕⲣⲉ (noon) - /ˈmɛrrə/
- ϧⲉⳕⲧⲉⲃ (kill [construct]) - /ˌxətəβ/
- ⲥⲁⲓⲉⳕ (beautiful) - /saˈjɛʔ/
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.
|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/|
|Name||chê||e etti||e main||i main||kha||phi||shai||thê|
Maryan's consonants remain the same among most Coptic dialects, even retaining the velar fricative /x/ found in Bohairic Coptic.
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.
|Close||i iː||u uː|
|Close-mid||e eː||o oː|
|Coptic script||ⲁⲓ||ⲁⲩ||ⲉⲓ||ⲉⲩ||ⲏⲓ||ⲏⲩ||ⲉⲓ, ⲓ||ⲓⲩ||ⲟⲓ||ⲟⲩ||ⲱⲓ||ⲱⲩ|
|Chat script||ai||au||ei||eu||yi||yu||ei, i||iu||oi||ou||w'i||wu|
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 (ⲉ), are called 'strong vowels' and can indicate the primary stress of a word. alpha (ⲁ) and o (ⲟ) are classified as 'short strong' vowels, and eta (ⲏ), iota (ⲓ), u (ⲩ), and ou (ⲱ) are classified as 'long strong' vowels. Ei (ⲉ), and sometimes iota (ⲓ), 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/
- ⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ (to be born): /məˈsiːt/
- 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 (ⲩ) and the penult vowel is either alpha (ⲁ) or o (ⲟ). Other exceptions may occur in more formal registers of speech, leaving long vowels in unstressed positions.
- ϯⲙⲁ (to allow): /ˌtiˈmaʔ/
- 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/
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 (ⲉ) 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.
- ⲥⲟⲛ (brother), ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (human, person), ⲱⲓⲕ (bread), ⳣⲱⲙ (food)
- 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 (ⲉ) or a long vowel.
Adjectives ending in a consonant conjugate to their feminine form by adding the feminine ei (ⲉ) 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) > ⲙⲁⲑⲣⲉ (from pseudo-Late Egyptian mtr.t */ˈmøtɾə/)
- ϩⲏⲕⲉ (hungry) > ϩⲁⲭⲣⲉ (from pseudo-Late Egyptian ḥqr.t */ˈħøqʼɾə/)
- ⲣⲱⲙⲉ (human) > ⲣⲟⲙⲧⲉ (from pseudo-Late Egyptian rmṯ.t */ˈɾamtə/)
- ⲧⲱϣⲉ (dark red) > ⲧⲁϣⲣⲉ (from pseudo-Late Egyptian dšr.t */ˈtʼaʃɾə/)
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).
|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 (ⲱ) becomes u (ⲩ) after me (ⲙ) and ne (ⲛ).
- O (ⲟ) becomes alpha (ⲁ) before shai (ϣ), xai (ϧ), and hore (ϩ).
- In the pronominal state, all modal voiceless stops become aspirated before beta (ⲃ), wau (ⳣ), laula (ⲗ), me (ⲙ), ne (ⲛ), and ro (ⲣ).
|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.
|ⲛⲉⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲧⲏⲣ ⲥⲉⲙⲉⲥⲓⲧ ⲛ̀ⲣⲉⲙϩⲉⳕ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲏϣ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲧⲁⲓⲟ ⲛⲉⲙ ϩⲁⲛⲙⲉⲡϣⲁ.|
ⲥⲉϣⲱⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲗⲟⲅⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲩⲧⲁⲙⲟ ⳣⲟϩ ⲉⲛⲧⲩϭⲓⲛ ⲛⲩⲉⲣⲏⲩ ϧⲉⲛ ⲩⲡⲛⲉⲩⲙⲁ ⲛ̀ⲧⲉ ⲧⲉⲙⲉⲧⲙⲁⲓⲥⲟⲛ.
|Nerōme tēr semesit ənremhe' nem ənšēš ḫen utaio nem hanmepša.|
Sešōpe nem ulogos nem utamo woh entucʰin nuerēu ḫen upneuma ənte temetmaison.
|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]
- Contionary index
- Swadesh list
- Maryan Coptic – English Dictionary (Google Docs) (Updated 31 March 2021)
- ConWorkShop page (inactive)