March 31, 2016

Ninth Annual Coptic Studies Symposium

The Ninth Annual Coptic Studies Symposium, co-sponsored by the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies and the U of T Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, is taking place on the St. George campus this weekend and is likely to be of considerable interest to the linguistics community.

It will be running from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, April 2, in room 142 of the Earth Sciences Centre (5 Bancroft Avenue). Registration on-site is $40 for CSCS members, $45 for non-members, $25 for student members, and $30 for student non-members.

The annual Coptic Studies Symposium for 2016 will focus on the many areas of confluence and divergence between the fields of Coptic Studies and Egyptology. While the conquest of Alexander the Great delimits the usual parameters of Egyptology and subsequent periods fall within the purview of specialists in Coptic Studies, these different chronological phases are essentially points along a continuum of cultural development that has spanned more than five thousand years. One of the most striking areas of continuity and particularity is linguistic - grammatical, phraseological and lexical. Both Coptic and pre-Coptic, in use over four millennia, have been prominent objects of scholarly attention for centuries; yet the present rift between Coptological and Egyptological linguistics seems to be deepening as years go by, to the fateful loss of both Coptologists and Egyptologists. As the list of speakers and topics listed below indicates, the 2016 Coptic Studies Symposium will encourage discussion and exchange of ideas between scholars in both fields of study carrying out linguistic research, as well as those whose interests focus on other aspects of cultural production.

The keynote speaker will be Tonio Sebastian Richter (Universitat Leipzig and Freie Universtät Berlin): "Whatever in the Coptic language is not Greek might be considered to be Ancient Egyptian: From the beginnings of Egyptian lexicography to recent approaches towards an integrated lexicon of the Egyptian-Coptic language."

Other speakers include Wolf-Peter Funk (Université Laval) on Coptic dialectical morphosyntax, Helmut Satzinger, University of Vienna (Austria) on dialectical variation across millennia of Egyptian-Coptic, and Ariel Shisha-Halevy on approaches to Egyptian linguistics over the years.

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