Coptic Language - Name

Name

The native name of the language is ⲙⲛⲧⲣⲙⲛⲕⲏⲙⲉ (ment rəm ən kēme) in the Sahidic dialect and ⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ (met rem ən kēmi) in Bohairic. The particle prefix ment-/met- is a construct of the verb ⲙⲟⲩϯ mouti ('to speak'), which forms all abstract nouns in Coptic (not only those pertaining to "language"). The expression literally means 'language of the people of Egypt', or simply 'Egyptian language'. Another name by which the language has been called is ⲙⲛⲧⲕⲩⲡⲧⲁⲓⲟⲛ ment kuptaion from the Copto-Greek form ⲙⲛⲧⲁⲓⲅⲩⲡⲧⲓⲟⲛ ment aiguption ('Egyptian language'). The term logos ən aiguptios ('Egyptian language') is also attested in Sahidic, although logos and aiguptios are both Greek in origin. (Greek vocabulary in Coptic is comparable to Latinate vocabulary in English.) In the liturgy of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the name is more officially ϯⲁⲥⲡⲓ ⲛ̀Ⲣⲉⲙ ⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ ti-aspi ən rem ən kēmi, 'the Egyptian language', aspi being the Egyptian word for language.

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