My 10-year Harvard reunion is coming up, so I’ve been in touch with a few classmates. This gives rise to adorable emails like this. Very…Harvard.
I wrote a major paper on Coptic that is coming out in Le Museon in 2012. I started looking at Coptic like 4 years ago, and basically I discovered that people who work on it don’t have a firm founding in historical linguistics. They read it letter-for-letter like Greek, but I wrote a paper pointing out that spelling rules disguise regular intervocalic and postnasal voicing, and that they had a bitch of a time pronouncing Greek words (which are all over coptic texts), but used an “affected” pronunciation like English speakers do with French. I’m super stoked for this! It’s kind of odd since I’m not an Egyptologist, but it’s a good paper.
What, you don’t study Coptic phonology in your free time? :)