Lesson 9
Lesson 8 Exercises / Courses / Lambdin. Introduction to Sahidic Coptic / Lesson 9 Lesson 9 Vocabulary

Lesson 9

9.1 Propositions with pronominal suffixes. A pronominal object of a preposition is expressed by means of a suffixed form of the pronoun. The preposition itself assumes a prepronoininal form which must be learned with each preposition. For example, the preposition ⲉ becomes ⲉⲣⲟ⸗ before pronominal suffixes. The mark ⸗ is a convention used in Coptic grammars to indicate any form to which a pronominal suffix is to be added. The prepronominal forms of the prepositions introduced thus far are as follows:

ⲛ̄          ⲙ̄ⲙⲟ⸗

ϩⲛ̄        ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧ⸗

ϩⲁ        ϩⲁⲣⲟ⸗

ϩⲓ         ϩⲓⲱ(ⲱ)⸗

ⲙⲛ̄        ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁ⸗

ϣⲁ       ϣⲁⲣⲟ⸗

ⲉ          ⲉⲣⲟ⸗

ϩⲓϫⲛ̄     ϩⲓϫⲱ⸗

ⲉϫⲛ̄      ⲉϫⲱ⸗

ϩⲓⲧⲛ̄     ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗

ⲛ̄ⲥⲁ      ⲛ̄ⲥⲱ⸗

ϩⲓⲣⲛ̄      ϩⲓⲣⲱ⸗

ⲉⲣⲛ̄       ⲉⲣⲱ⸗

ⲛⲁϩⲣⲛ̄   ⲛⲁϩⲣⲁ⸗

ϩⲁϩⲧⲛ̄   ϩⲁϩⲧⲏ⸗

ⲟⲩⲃⲉ     ⲟⲩⲃⲏ⸗

ⲉⲧⲃⲉ     ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧ⸗


Because the variety exhibited by the prepronominal forms is at first puzzling, the following comments may be of some help:

  1. In ⲉⲣⲟ⸗ and ϩⲁⲣⲟ⸗ the final syllable -ⲣⲟ⸗ is an original part of the preposition; it was lost in the normal prenominal form ϣⲁⲣⲟ⸗ is on analogy with these.
  2. ϩⲏⲧ⸗ and ϩⲓⲱ⸗ were originally compounds: ⲛ̄ ϩⲏⲧ⸗ in the belly (of), ϩⲓ ⲱ(ⲱ)⸗ on the back (of). The prenominal form ϩⲛ̄ was originally a noun meaning "interior" (cf. the ϩⲟⲩⲛ of ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ); ϩⲓ was a simple preposition.
  3. ⲓϫⲱ⸗ and ⲉϫⲱ⸗ are ϩⲓ and ⲉ with the noun  ϫⲱ⸗ (head, top); the noun is reduced to -ϫ-  in ϩⲓϫⲛ̄ and ⲉϫⲛ̄, which also contain the genitival ⲛ̄.
  4. ⲓⲣⲱ⸗ and ⲉⲣⲱ⸗ are ϩⲓ and ⲉ with the noun ⲣⲱ⸗ mouth, door; the latter is reduced to ⲣ in ϩⲓⲣⲛ̄ and  ⲉⲣⲛ̄ with genitival ⲛ̄.
  5. ⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗ is ϩⲓ plus the noun ⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗ (hand); the latter is reduced to -ⲧ-  in ϩⲓⲧⲛ̄, with genitival ⲛ̄.
  6. ϩⲣⲁ⸗ contains the noun ϩⲣⲁ⸗ (face). The initial element is obscure. ⲛⲁϩⲣⲛ̄ also contains the genitival ⲛ̄.
  7. ⲁϩⲧⲏ⸗ consists of ϩⲁ plus the noun -ϩⲧⲏ⸗ (heart, breast), reduced to -ϩⲧ-with the genitival ⲛ̄ in ϩⲁϩⲧⲛ̄.

The nouns contained in these expressions will be dealt with in a later lesson.

Typical inflections of these prepositions are as follows:

ⲉⲣⲟⲓ      to me

ⲉⲣⲟⲕ     to you (m.s.)

ⲉⲣⲟ       to you (f.s.)

ⲉⲣⲟϥ     to him

ⲉⲣⲟⲥ     to her

ⲉⲣⲟⲛ     to us

ⲉⲣⲱⲧⲛ̄  to you (pl.)

ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ   to them


ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁⲓ   with me

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁⲕ with you (m.s.)

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲉ    with you (f.s.)

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁϥ with him

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁⲥ  with her

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁⲛ  with us

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲏⲧⲛ̄            with you (pl.)

ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁⲩ  with them


ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧ    in me

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧⲕ̄  in you (m.s.)

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧⲉ   in you (f.s.)

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧϥ̄  in him

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧⲥ̄   in her

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧⲛ̄  in us

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧ-ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ     in you (pl.)

ⲛ̄ϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ            in them


ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲓ   against me

ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲕ  against you (m.s.)

[ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲧⲉ]          against you (f.s.)

ⲟⲩⲃⲏϥ against him

ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲥ   against her

ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲛ  against us

ⲟⲩⲃⲉ-ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ     against you (pl.)

ⲟⲩⲃⲏⲩ  against them


ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧ             about me

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲕ̄           about you (m.s.)

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲉ           about you (f.s.)

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧϥ̄           about him

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲥ̄           about her

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲛ̄           about us

ⲉⲧⲃⲉ-ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ̄      about you (pl.)

ⲉⲧⲃⲏⲏⲧⲟⲩ         about them


The prepronominal form of ϩⲓ appears as both ϩⲓⲱ⸗ and ϩⲓⲱⲱ⸗; typical forms are

ϩⲓⲱⲱⲧ on me

ϩⲓⲱⲱⲕ, ϩⲓⲱⲕ    on you (m.s.)

ϩⲓⲱⲱⲧⲉ            on you (f.s.)

ϩⲓⲱⲱϥ,  ϩⲓⲱϥ   on him

ϩⲓⲱⲱⲥ, ϩⲓⲱⲥ    on her

ϩⲓⲱⲱⲛ, ϩⲓⲱⲛ    on us

ϩⲓ-ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ̄          on you (pl.)

ϩⲓⲱⲟⲩ  on them

The following details on the forms of suffixed pronouns in general should be noted for future reference:

  1. The 1st pers. sing, suffix appears as ⲓ after a single vowel, as zero (nothing) after -ⲧ⸗ and as ⲧ elsewhere.
  2. The suffix of the 2nd pers. fem. sing, appears as zero after a single vowel other than -ⲁ⸗, as -ⲉ in place of a single --ⲁ⸗, as -ⲉ after -ⲧ⸗, and as -ⲧⲉ elsewhere.
  3. The suffix of the 2nd pers. pl. appears as -ⲧⲛ̄ after single -ⲟ⸗, -ⲁ⸗, -ⲱ⸗, with the change of -ⲟ⸗ to -ⲱ⸗ and -ⲁ⸗ to -ⲏ⸗. After -ⲧ⸗ one uses -ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ̄. Elsewhere  -ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ̄ is usually added to the prenominal form of the preposition or other form in question, as in ϩⲁϩⲧⲛ̄-ⲧⲏⲩⲧⲛ̄.