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>From: Vasiliy Chernov <[log in to unmask]>

> >Second, what would a modern Coptic typeface (Roman, Helvetica, Courier
>etc.)
> >look like?  I'm thinking if Coptic was "Westernized" like Cyrillic was by
> >Peter the Great.  I reckon they'd be pretty similar.
>
>Yes, the Coptic script (or at least the pieces I've seen) looks very
>similar to early forms of Cyrillics. In fact, both are nearly identical
>with certain medieval forms of the Greek script; besides, they use
>like letters for /S/ (probably inspired by Aramaic).

Both were based on uncial Greek, yes.  Gothic too, but it's a bit different.

I studied the history of the last seven letters of the Coptic script: they
all come from Demotic (which came from Hieratic which came from Hieroglyphic
Egyptian).  They were stylized in the way that Phoenician/Aramaic/Hebrew --
Jewish Square were to resemble Greek letters for Cyrillic.  Bohairic Coptic
uses both upper and lower cases, but Sahidic and Akhmimic use a unified case
which most resembles uncial, if I remember correctly.

Why Cyrillic "sha" and Coptic "shai" look alike?  Cyrillic got "shin" from
Phoe/Old Hebrew, which came from the Sinaitic for... what was it, "teeth"?
It of course came from Egyptian, but not the same hieroglyph.  The Egyptian
symbol for "sh" is a pool, a long rectangle.  It just happened to be written
with a "w-curve" in Hieratic and Demotic, so there you have it.
Coincidence, but not entirely -- there probably was Semitic influence on the
letter.

The other six Coptic letters, even "xei" (it looks kinda like "h" but has
the value of [x]), were arrived at independently and all come from Demotic
as well.  These are: "fai" [f], "xei" [x] (Bohairic only; Akhmimic uses
"hori" with a bar through it), "hori" [h], "ganga" [g] or [dZ], "cima" [q]
or [tS] and dei [ti].  In older forms of the script, there might be a few
extra Demotic-derived letters, but these are represented by Greek letters so
they're redundant.

Ob-Tech: "ganga" is either [G] (uvular G) or [dZ], while "cima" is [q] or
[tS].  How I distinguish uvular from "palatal" affricate I haven't quite
decided on.  And I can't use double "gamma" because that's reserved for [N]
(the value of "gamma" before "kappa", "mu", "ksi", "khi" and "fai" as well).

>So you'll only have to decide on the few letters having no correspondences
>in Cyrillics: f, h, C, ti.

Not really; I'll just use a "cleaned-up" version of the Coptic letters.
Note that capital "xei" is like lowercase Serbian Cyrillic /dj/ without the
bar while lowercase "xei" has that loop on top, making it resemble a bass
clef in Western musical notation, more or less.

I really have too much free time on my hands don't I.

Danny
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