Most Coptic verbs are inflected by prefix (In fact, these prefixes are fossilized phrases, combined/prefixed with the present participle).
Fossilised phrases. How are they so?
Actually the optative is not in the prefix (it would mean the same without it)
Not always so, I would think. In cases where the prefix is necessary, the (h)arfil-jazm is what brings about the jussive.
فقط في صيغة المخاطب يكون اظهار الجزم بواسطة السكون كافياً (اخرس، فلتخرس) ولكن تصبح لام الأمر ضروريةً في الحالات الأخرى (لنذهب، ليذهب).1
The Syriac employs what you might call a future indicate, but it is also the only way to express an optative or an imperative. Usually the Syriac is straight forward indicative and uses a present particple.
I don't follow here concerning the present participle. The equivalent to this in Arabic and Syriac would be the ism faa`il and ism maf`oul (as a gerund or adjectival participle, and without conveying time as the Semitic participle is classified as a noun or adjective and not as a verb possessing grammatical tense). What purpose does this serve in Syriac, you say?
More or less the present, but subject to influence of aspect by inflected verbs.
Ok, I see what you mean. I was thrown off there: you are speaking of what I understand to be the verb rather than the participle, and of how for example a present-tense verb can be used by default to indicate the future, as in Arabic (e.g. بُكرى بنروح ; ܠܡܚܪ ܐܙܠܝܢܐܢ; غداً نذهب ) This I know, but I am not sure why you are calling this a participle since I understand the participle in Syriac and Arabic to be the ism-faa`il
. Below, you state that ܘܡܠܦ is a participle, when I mean to say that this is a verb possessing tense whereas the Semitic participle, which does not have such properties (unlike, say, a participle in Greek), in this case would be ܡܠܦܢܐ
ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ looks to me (correct me if I'm wrong) to be imperfect, with a progressive (or perhaps habitual) aspect,
( كان يعلّمهم ) formed through the addition of ܗܘܐ (same role in this case as كان in Arabic), though I think the addition is to a verb, not a participle. To note the difference in both Arabic and Syriac with the word 'sajada' for example: ܤܓܕ ܗܘܐ
كان يسجد and ܤܓܘܕ ܗܘܐ / كان ساجداً (I am guessing gdomo
is required here). The first pair involves a verb and the second a participle. Is what I have been saying correct? I presume you've taken a good deal more Syriac than I, and I'd appreciate refining what I do already know.
Example: Matthew 5:2 ܘܦܬܚ ܦܘܡܗ ܘܡܠܦ ܗܘܐ ܠܗܘܢ ܘܐܡܪ Literally "And-he opened (perfect) mouth-his and teaching (participle) he was (to) them saying" = And he opened his mouth and taught them saying.
Again, correct me if I am mistaken, but doesn't this verse literally translate to (without the diacritics, I am assuming ܘܐܡܪ is omar/aamar [present], and not emar [past]) 'And He opened His mouth and was teaching (maybe also 'would teach') them, and saying'? Or how about, since the Arabic would be much more accurate (I would prefer your evaluation of the Arabic rather than the English), وفتح فمه وكان يعلّمهم ويقول as opposed to, as your English translation would have it with the adverbial participle 'saying', وفتح فمه وعلّمهم قائلاً ?
In Matthew 21:2 the participle comes out as a future: ܘܐܡܪ ܠܗܘܢ ܙܠܘ ܠܩܪܝܬܐ ܗܕܐ ܕܠܩܘܒܠܟܘܢ ܘܡܚܕܐ ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ ܚܡܪܐ ܕܐܤܝܪܐ ܘܥܝܠܐ ܥܡܗ ܫܪܘ ܐܝܬܘ ܠܝ , Where ܡܫܟܚܝܢ ܐܢܬܘܢ is a participle with a pronoun (ܙܠܘ is an impereative). In other words, unless there is some mood other than indicative, the particple is used.
And by the way, where might I find a source for the Syriac font you are using? If you would point me the way to where I might find fonts in Estrangelo, Serto, and Madnkhaya, as well as a diagrammatic layout of a Syriac keyboard, I would appreciate it.