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Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166631

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166631.001.0001

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Mesokemic or ‘Middle Egyptian’—the Coptic Dialect of Oxyrhynchos (?)

Mesokemic or ‘Middle Egyptian’—the Coptic Dialect of Oxyrhynchos (?)

(p.31) 4 Mesokemic or ‘Middle Egyptian’—the Coptic Dialect of Oxyrhynchos (?)
Christianity and Monasticism in Middle Egypt

Frank Feder

American University in Cairo Press

Mesokemic (siglum: M) is a dialect of Coptic that was discovered relatively late. Paul E. Kahle was the first to describe its characteristics and distinguish M clearly from the other dialects of Upper Egypt and the Fayoum. The corpus of texts in Mesokemic then known to Kahle was very small, but comprised very early documents that shed light on the early development and usage of different dialectal varieties of Coptic for literary texts in the third and fourth centuries. Since then the corpus has grown substantially and there is now a comprehensive idea of Mesokemic's lexical and morphological features. This chapter provides a list of all the published biblical, literary, and documentary texts that are written in the Mesokemic, and discusses its morphophonological characteristics and geographical situation.

Keywords:   Coptic dialect, Upper Egypt, Mesokemic, Paul E. Kahle, Middle Egypt

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