Tautological infinitive. the reflection of Coptic in Arabic (MS Paris BN copte 1)

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The subject of this article is language contact between Coptic and Arabic as reflected in the so-called "tautological infinitive". The corpus is the bilingual (Coptic and Arabic) MS Paris BN copte 1, and the starting point is Ariel Shisha-Halevy's observations on the matter based on this manuscript. Focus is on the Arabic text: The Arabic "inner object", al-maf'ul al-muá-laq, generally parallels a prepositional phrase in Coptic in a ηεn-oγ-pattern. Sometimes, following the Coptic, the traditional word order in the Arabic is changed (such differences are generally documented earlier in Biblical texts). In other cases the translation choices were to create a stylistic change that does not reflect the tautological infinitive in the Coptic text. Contact language here (the tautological infinitive), as reflected by the Arabic translation, seems to be 'quite convenient' for the translator into Arabic, contrary to other cases where more variety of choices is offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-311
Number of pages7
JournalActa Orientalia
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014


  • Arabic
  • Arabic grammar
  • Coptic
  • syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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