Armenian language

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Armenian language
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| states = Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. | speakers = 6.7 million| date = | dateprefix = c. | ref = e18| familycolor = Indo-European| ancestor2 = Classical Armenian| ancestor3 = Middle Armenian| stand1 = Eastern Armenian| stand2 = Western Armenian
  • {{flag|Armenia{edih}
  • {{flag|Artsakh}}}}| minority = Official (de jure) status:
  • {{flag|Cyprus}}WEB,weblink Implementation of the Charter in Cyprus, Database for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Public Foundation for European Comparative Minority Research, 16 June 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 24 October 2011,
  • {{flag|Hungary}}WEB,weblink Implementation of the Charter in Hungary, Database for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Public Foundation for European Comparative Minority Research, 16 June 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 27 February 2014,
  • {{flag|Iraq}}WEB, Iraqi Constitution: Article 4,weblink The Republic of Iraq Ministry of Interior General Directorate for Nationality, 16 June 2014, The right of Iraqis to educate their children in their mother tongue, such as Turkmen, Syriac, and Armenian shall be guaranteed in government educational institutions in accordance with educational guidelines, or in any other language in private educational institutions., dead,weblink" title="">weblink 28 November 2016,
  • {{flag|Kurdistan Region}weblink
  • {{flag|Poland}}WEB, Territorial languages in the Republic of Poland,weblink European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, 16 June 2014, Strasbourg, 9, 30 September 2010,
  • {{flag|Romania}}WEB,weblink Implementation of the Charter in Romania, Database for the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Public Foundation for European Comparative Minority Research, 16 June 2014, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 22 February 2012,
  • {{flag|Ukraine}}WEB,weblink Law of Ukraine "On Principles of State Language Policy" (Current version – Revision from 01.02.2014),, Document 5029-17, Article 7: Regional or minority languages Ukraine, Paragraph 2, 1 February 2014, 30 April 2014, uk,
Semi-official or unofficial (de facto) status:
  • {{flag|Georgia}}(Samtskhe-Javakheti){{efn|Armenian has no legal status in Samtske-Javakheti, but it is widely spoken by its Armenian population, which is concentrated in Ninotsminda and Akhalkalaki districts (over 90% of the total population in these two districts).BOOK, Hille, Charlotte, State Building and Conflict Resolution in the Caucasus, 2010, Brill Publishers, Leiden, Netherlands, 9789004179011, 241, There were 144 state-funded schools in the region as of 2010 where Armenian is the main language of instruction.NEWS, Javakhk Armenians Looks Ahead to Local Elections,weblink 26 May 2014, Asbarez, 31 March 2010, Javakheti for use in the region's 144 Armenian schools ..., WEB, Mezhdoyan, Slava, Challenges and problems of the Armenian community of Georgia,weblink European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, 26 May 2014, Tbilisi, 28 November 2012, Armenian schools in Georgia are fully funded by the government ..., }}
  • {{flag|Lebanon}}{{efn|The Lebanese government recognizes Armenian as a minority language,WEB, About Lebanon,weblink Central Administration of Statistics of the Republic of Lebanon,weblink" title="">weblink 26 May 2014, Other Languages: French, English and Armenian, particularly for educational purposes.WEB, Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties Under Article 44 of the Convention. Third periodic reports of states parties due in 2003: Lebanon,weblink Committee on the Rights of the Child, 26 May 2014, 108, 25 October 2005, Right of minorities to learn their language. The Lebanese curriculum allows Armenian schools to teach the Armenian language as a basic language., WEB, Sanjian, Ara, Armenians and the 2000 Parliamentary Elections in Lebanon,weblink Armenian News Network / Groong, University of Southern California,weblink" title="">weblink 26 May 2014, Moreover, the Lebanese government approved a plan whereby the Armenian language was to be considered from now on as one of the few 'second foreign languages' that students can take as part of the official Lebanese secondary school certificate (Baccalaureate) exams., }}
  • {{flag|Turkey}}{{efn|In education, according to the Treaty of LausanneBOOK, Jilali, Saib, Languages in Turkey, Extra, Guus, Gorter, Durk, The Other Languages of Europe: Demographic, Sociolinguistic and Educational Perspectives, 2001, Multilingual Matters, Philadelphia, 9781853595097, 423, No other language can be taught as a mother language other than Armenian, Greek and Hebrew, as agreed in the Lausanne Treaty ..., BOOK, Okçabol, Rıfat, Secondary Education in Turkey, Nohl, Arnd-Michael, Akkoyunlu-Wigley, Arzu, Wigley, Simon, Education in Turkey, 2008, Waxmann Verlag, Berlin, 9783830970699, 65, Private Minority Schools are the school established by Greek, Armenian and Hebrew minorities during the era of the Ottoman Empire and covered by Lausanne Treaty., }}
  • {{flag|Iran}}
Armenian National Academy of Sciences)H. ACHARIAN INSTITUTE OF LANGUAGEWEBSITE=SCI.AMARCHIVEDATE=5 OCTOBER 2014, Main Fields of Activity: investigation of the structure and functioning, history and comparative grammar of the Armenian language, exploration of the literary Eastern and Western Armenian Language, dialectology, regulation of literary language, development of terminology, | iso1 = hy| iso2b = arm| iso2t = hye| lc1 = hye| ld1 = Eastern Armenian| lc2 = hyw| ld2 = Western Armenian| lc3 = xcl| ld3 = Classical Armenian| lc4 = axm| ld4 = Middle Armenian| lingua = 57-AAA-a| map = Map-of-speakers-of-armenian.png#023858|Official language spoken by the majority}}
{{Legend|#0570b0|Recognized minority language}}
{{Legend|#74a9cf|Significant number of speakers}}| notice = IPA| protoname = Proto-Armenian| glotto = arme1241| glottorefname = Armenic
}}The Armenian language (classical: ; reformed: {{IPA-hy|hÉ‘jɛˈɾɛn|}} {{transl|hy|ISO|hayeren}}) is an Indo-European language that is the only language in the Armenian branch. It is the official language of Armenia as well as the de facto Republic of Artsakh. Historically being spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands, today, Armenian is widely spoken throughout the Armenian diaspora. Armenian is written in its own writing system, the Armenian alphabet, introduced in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.


Classification and origins

{{See also|Armenian hypothesis}}{{History of the Armenian language}}{{Indo-European}}Armenian is an independent branch of the Indo-European languages.WEB,weblink Armenian language, Encyclopedia Britannica, It is of interest to linguists for its distinctive phonological developments within that family. Armenian exhibits more satemization than centumization, although it is not classified as belonging to either of these subgroups. Some linguists tentatively conclude that Armenian, Greek (Phrygian) and Indo-Iranian were dialectally close to each other;Handbook of Formal Languages (1997) p. 6.Indo-European tree with Armeno-Aryan, exclusion of GreekIndo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, Benjamin W. Fortson, John Wiley and Sons, 2009, p383.Hans J. Holm (2011): “Swadesh lists” of Albanian Revisited and Consequences for its position in the Indo-European Languages. The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Volume 39, Number 1&2. within this hypothetical dialect group, Proto-Armenian was situated between Proto-Greek (centum subgroup) and Proto-Indo-Iranian (satem subgroup).Hrach Martirosyan. The place of Armenian in the Indo-European language family: the relationship with Greek and Indo-Iranian. Journal of Language Relationship • Вопросы языкового родства • 10 (2013) • Pp. 85—137 Kim (2018) has noted unique morphological developments connecting Armenian to Balto-Slavic languages.JOURNAL, Kim, Ronald, Greco-Armenian: The persistence of a myth, The University of British Columbia Library, 2018,weblink 9 June 2019, {{Request quotation|date=September 2019}}Armenia was a monolingual country by the 2nd century BC at the latest.Strabo, Geographica, XI, 14, 5; Հայոց լեզվի համառոտ պատմություն, Ս. Ղ. Ղազարյան։ Երևան, 1981, էջ 33 (Concise History of Armenian Language, S. Gh. Ghazaryan. Yerevan, 1981, p. 33). Its language has a long literary history, with a 5th-century Bible translation as its oldest surviving text. Its vocabulary has historically been influenced by Western Middle Iranian languages, particularly Parthian, and to a lesser extent by Greek, Persian, and Syriac. There are two standardized modern literary forms, Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian, with which most contemporary dialects are mutually intelligible.BOOK, Adalian, Rouben Paul, Historical Dictionary of Armenia, 2010, Scarecrow Press, Lanham, Maryland, 978-0-8108-7450-3, Rouben Paul Adalian, 396, Although mutually intelligible, eastern Armenian preserved classical phonology, whereas western Armenian demonstrated sound loss among closely related consonants., BOOK, Baliozian, Ara, Ara Baliozian, The Armenians: Their History and Culture, 1975, Kar Publishing House, 65, There are two main dialects: Eastern Armenian (Soviet Armenia, Persia), and Western Armenian (Middle East, Europe, and America) . They are mutually intelligible., BOOK, Campbell, George, George Campbell (linguist), Concise Compendium of the World's Languages, Armenian, Modern Standard, 2003, Routledge, 9781134720279, 33, This second form is known as Western Armenian; Eastern Armenian is the written and spoken language used in the CIS. The two forms are mutually intelligible, indeed very close to each other., BOOK, Sanjian, Avedis K., Daniels, Peter T., Bight, William, Peter T. Daniels, William Bright, The World's Writing Systems, The Armenian Alphabet, 1996, Oxford University Press, 9780195079937, 356, ...Classical (Grabar), Middle, and Modern: two mutually intelligible literary dialects, East and West Armenian., Although Armenians were known to history much earlier (for example, they were mentioned in the 6th century BC Behistun Inscription and in Xenophon's 4th century BC history, The Anabasis),"Armenia as Xenophon Saw It", p. 47, A History of Armenia. Vahan Kurkjian, 2008 the oldest surviving Armenian-language text is the 5th century AD Bible translation of Mesrop Mashtots, who created the Armenian alphabet in 405, at which time it had 36 letters. He is also credited by some with the creation of the Caucasian Albanian alphabet.While Armenian constitutes the sole member of the Armenian branch of the Indo-European family, Kossian (1997) has suggested that the hypothetical Mushki language may have been a (now extinct) Armenic language.{{citation |url=|title=The Mushki Problem Reconsidered |date=1997 |first=Aram V.|last=Kossian}} pp.262

Early contacts

W. M. Austin (1942) concludedJOURNAL, Austin, William M., Is Armenian an Anatolian Language?, Linguistic Society of America, January–March 1942, 22–25, 10.2307/409074, Language, 18, 1, 409074, that there was an early contact between Armenian and Anatolian languages, based on what he considered common archaisms, such as the lack of a feminine gender and the absence of inherited long vowels. However, unlike shared innovations (or synapomorphies), the common retention of archaisms (or symplesiomorphy) is not considered conclusive evidence of a period of common isolated development. However, there are words used in the Armenian that are generally believed to have been borrowed from Anatolian languages, particularly from Luwian, although some have identified possible Hittite loanwords as well.{{citation |url= |title=Notes on Anatolian loanwords in Armenian |work=St. Petersburg, Institute for linguistic studies, Russian Academy of sciences |date=2015 |first=Hrach |last=Martirosyan |location=Russia}}In 1985, Soviet linguist Igor M. Diakonoff noted the presence in Classical Armenian of what he calls a "Caucasian substratum" identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages.JOURNAL,weblink Hurro-Urartian Borrowings in Old Armenian, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1985, 597–603, I. M., Diakonoff, Igor M. Diakonoff, New Haven, 105, 4, 10.2307/602722, 0003-0279, 602722, 6015257905, Noting that Hurro-Urartian-speaking peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium BC, Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and animal and plant terms such as (wikt:Õ¡Õ²Õ¡Õ­Õ«Õ¶|aÅ‚axin) "slave girl" ( ← Hurr. al(l)a(e)ḫḫenne), cov "sea" ( ← Urart. ṣûǝ "(inland) sea"), uÅ‚t "camel" ( ← Hurr. uḷtu), and (wikt:Õ­Õ¶Õ±Õ¸Ö€|xnjor) "apple(tree)" ( ← Hurr. ḫinzuri). Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartian. Given that these borrowings do not undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.Loan words from Iranian languages, along with the other ancient accounts such as that of Xenophon above, initially led linguists to erroneously classify Armenian as an Iranian language. Scholars such as Paul de Lagarde and F. Müller believed that the similarities between the two languages meant that Iranian and Armenian were the same language.WEB,weblink ARMENIA AND IRAN iv. Iranian influences in Armenian Language, 26 October 2015, The distinctness of Armenian was recognized when philologist Heinrich Hübschmann (1875)WEB,weblink A Reader in Nineteenth Century Historical Indo-European Linguistics: On the Position of Armenian in the Sphere of the Indo-European Languages,, 2007-03-20, 2012-12-18, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-04-30, used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian words from the older Armenian vocabulary. He showed that Armenian often had 2 morphemes for the one concept, and the non-Iranian components yielded a consistent PIE pattern distinct from Iranian, and also demonstrated that the inflectional morphology was different from that in Iranian languages.

Graeco-Armenian hypothesis

The hypothesis that Greek is Armenian's closest living relative originates with Holger Pedersen (1924), who noted that the number of Greek-Armenian lexical cognates is greater than that of agreements between Armenian and any other Indo-European language. Antoine Meillet (1925, 1927) further investigated morphological and phonological agreement, postulating that the parent languages of Greek and Armenian were dialects in immediate geographical proximity in the Proto-Indo-European period. Meillet's hypothesis became popular in the wake of his book Esquisse d'une histoire de la langue latine (1936). Georg Renatus Solta (1960) does not go as far as postulating a Proto-Graeco-Armenian stage, but he concludes that considering both the lexicon and morphology, Greek is clearly the dialect most closely related to Armenian. Eric P. Hamp (1976, 91) supports the Graeco-Armenian thesis, anticipating even a time "when we should speak of Helleno-Armenian" (meaning the postulate of a Graeco-Armenian proto-language). Armenian shares the augment, and a negator derived from the set phrase Proto-Indo-European language {{PIE|*ne h₂oyu kʷid}} ("never anything" or "always nothing"), and the representation of word-initial laryngeals by prothetic vowels, and other phonological and morphological peculiarities with Greek. Nevertheless, as Fortson (2004) comments, "by the time we reach our earliest Armenian records in the 5th century AD, the evidence of any such early kinship has been reduced to a few tantalizing pieces".Many modern scholars have rejected the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, arguing that the linguistic proximity between the two languages has been overstated.BOOK, James Clackson, The Linguistic Relationship Between Armenian and Greek, 1995, Publications of the Philological Society, BOOK, Vavroušek P., Frýžština, Jazyky starého Orientu, Praha, 2010, Univerzita Karlova v Praze, 129, 978-80-7308-312-0, BOOK, J. P. Mallory, Douglas Q. Adams., Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture, London, 1997, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 419, 9781884964985, BOOK, Brixhe C., Phrygian, The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor, New York, 2008, Cambridge University Press, 72,

Greco-Armeno-Aryan hypothesis

Graeco-(Armeno)-Aryan is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid-third millennium BC. Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).Graeco-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European homeland to be located in the Armenian Highlands, the "Armenian hypothesis".Renfrew, A.C., 1987, Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, London: Pimlico. {{ISBN|0-7126-6612-5}}; T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov, The Early History of Indo-European Languages, Scientific American, March 1990; BOOK, Renfrew, Colin, 2003, Time Depth, Convergence Theory, and Innovation in Proto-Indo-European, Languages in Prehistoric Europe, 3-8253-1449-9, WEB,weblink Russell D. Gray and Quentin D. Atkinson, Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin, Nature 426 (27 November 2003) 435-439, 20 July 2015,weblink" title="">weblink 20 May 2011, dead, JOURNAL, J. P. Mallory, Mallory, James P., Kuro-Araxes Culture, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, 1997, 341–42, Fitzroy Dearborn, A. Bammesberger in The Cambridge History of the English Language, 1992, {{ISBN|978-0-521-26474-7}}, p. 32: the model "still remains the background of much creative work in Indo-European reconstruction" even though it is "by no means uniformly accepted by all scholars". Early and strong evidence was given by Euler's 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.Indoiranisch-griechische Gemeinsamkeiten der Nominalbildung und deren indogermanische Grundlagen (= Aryan-Greek Communities in Nominal Morphology and their Indoeuropean Origins; in German) (282 p.), Innsbruck, 1979Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armenian hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and "Armeno-Aryan" (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).


(File:Manuscript arm 5-6AD.jpg|left|thumb|Armenian manuscript, 5th–6th century.)Classical Armenian (Arm: grabar), attested from the 5th century to the 19th century as the literary standard (up to the 11th century also as a spoken language with different varieties), was partially superseded by Middle Armenian, attested from the 12th century to the 18th century. Specialized literature prefers "Old Armenian" for grabar as a whole, and designates as "Classical" the language used in the 5th century literature, "Post-Classical" from the late 5th to 8th centuries, and "Late Grabar" that of the period covering the 8th to 11th centuries. Later, it was used mainly in religious and specialized literature, with the exception of a revival during the early modern period, when attempts were made to establish it as the language of a literary renaissance, with neoclassical inclinations, through the creation and dissemination of literature in varied genres, especially by the Mekhitarists. The first Armenian periodical, Azdarar, was published in grabar in 1794.The classical form borrowed numerous words from Middle Iranian languages, primarily Parthian,Hurro-Urartian Borrowings in Old Armenian, I. M. Diakonoff, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 105, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1985), 597. and contains smaller inventories of loanwords from Greek, Syriac, Arabic,How Did New Persian and Arabic Words Penetrate the Middle Armenian Vocabulary? Remarks on the Material of Kostandin Erznkac'i's Poetry, Andrzej Pisowicz, New Approaches to Medieval Armenian Language and Literature, edited by Joseph Johannes Sicco Weitenberg, (Rodopi B.V., 1995), 96. Mongol,Tangsux in Armenia, E. SCHÜTZ, Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, Vol. 17, No. 1 (1964), 106. Persian,Razmik Panossian, The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars, (Columbia University Press, 2006), 39. and indigenous languages such as Urartian. An effort to modernize the language in Bagratid Armenia and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (11–14th centuries) resulted in the addition of two more characters to the alphabet ("" and ""), bringing the total number to 38.BOOK, Ouzounian, Nourhan, Hacikyan, Agop Jack, Basmajian, Gabriel, Franchuk, Edward S., Ouzounian, Nourhan, 3, The heritage of Armenian literature, 2000, Wayne State Univ. Press, Detroit, 0814328156, 88,weblink The Book of Lamentations by Gregory of Narek (951–1003) is an example of the development of a literature and writing style of Old Armenian by the 10th century. In addition to elevating the literary style and vocabulary of the Armenian language by adding well above a thousand new words,JOURNAL, Mirzoyan, H., 2005, Նարեկացու բառաշխարհը, Narekatsi's World of Words, Armenian, Banber Erewani Hamalsarani, 1, 115, 85–114, through his other hymns and poems Gregory paved the way for his successors to include secular themes and vernacular language in their writings. The thematic shift from mainly religious texts to writings with secular outlooks further enhanced and enriched the vocabulary. “A Word of Wisdom”, a poem by Hovhannes Sargavak devoted to a starling, legitimizes poetry devoted to nature, love, or female beauty. Gradually, the interests of the population at large were reflected in other literary works as well. Konsdantin Yerzinkatsi and several others even take the unusual step of criticizing the ecclesiastic establishment and addressing the social issues of the Armenian homeland. However, these changes represented the nature of the literary style and syntax, but they did not constitute immense changes to the fundamentals of the grammar or the morphology of the language. Often, when writers codify a spoken dialect, other language users are then encouraged to imitate that structure through the literary device known as parallelism.BOOK, Švejcer, Aleksandr D., Contemporary Sociolinguistics: Theory, Problems, Methods, 1986, John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 9027215189, 70,weblink (File:The Four Gospels, 1495, Portrait of St Mark Wellcome L0031107.jpg|thumb|The Four Gospels, 1495, Portrait of St Mark Wellcome with Armenian inscriptions)(File:The first Bible printed in the Armenian language.jpg|thumb|left|First printed Armenian language Bible, 1666)In the 19th century, the traditional Armenian homeland was once again divided. This time Eastern Armenia was conquered from Qajar Iran by the Russian Empire, while Western Armenia, containing two thirds of historical Armenia, remained under Ottoman control. The antagonistic relationship between the Russian and Ottoman empires led to creation of two separate and different environments under which Armenians lived. Halfway through the 19th century, two important concentrations of Armenian communities were further consolidated.BOOK, Khachaturian, Lisa, Cultivating nationhood in imperial Russia the periodical press and the formation of a modern Armenian identity, 2009, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, N.J., 978-1412813723, 1,weblink Because of persecutions or the search for better economic opportunities, many Armenians living under Ottoman rule gradually moved to Istanbul, whereas Tbilisi became the center of Armenians living under Russian rule. These two cosmopolitan cities very soon became the primary poles of Armenian intellectual and cultural life.BOOK, Krikor Beledian, Kara-Darvish and Armenian Futurism, Berghaus, Günter, International Yearbook of Futurism, 2014, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 978-3110334104, 264,weblink The introduction of new literary forms and styles, as well as many new ideas sweeping Europe, reached Armenians living in both regions. This created an ever-growing need to elevate the vernacular, Ashkharhabar, to the dignity of a modern literary language, in contrast to the now-anachronistic Grabar. Numerous dialects existed in the traditional Armenian regions, which, different as they were, had certain morphological and phonetic features in common. On the basis of these features two major standards emerged:
  • Western standard: The influx of immigrants from different parts of the traditional Armenian homeland to Istanbul crystallized the common elements of the regional dialects, paving the way for a style of writing that required a shorter and more flexible learning curve than Grabar.
  • Eastern standard: The Yerevan dialect provided the primary elements of Eastern Armenian, centered in Tbilisi, Georgia. Similar to the Western Armenian variant, the Modern Eastern was in many ways more practical and accessible to the masses than Grabar.
Both centers vigorously pursued the promotion of Ashkharhabar. The proliferation of newspapers in both versions (Eastern & Western) and the development of a network of schools where modern Armenian was taught, dramatically increased the rate of literacy (in spite of the obstacles by the colonial administrators), even in remote rural areas. The emergence of literary works entirely written in the modern versions increasingly legitimized the language's existence. By the turn of the 20th century both varieties of the one modern Armenian language prevailed over Grabar and opened the path to a new and simplified grammatical structure of the language in the two different cultural spheres. Apart from several morphological, phonetic, and grammatical differences, the largely common vocabulary and generally analogous rules of grammatical fundamentals allows users of one variant to understand the other as long as they are fluent in one of the literary standards.BOOK, Waters, Bella, Armenia in pictures, 2009, VGS/Twenty-First Century Books, Minneapolis, 978-0822585763, 48,weblink After World War I, the existence of the two modern versions of the same language was sanctioned even more clearly. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (1920–1990) used Eastern Armenian as its official language, whereas the diaspora created after the Armenian Genocide preserved the Western Armenian dialect.(File:Panneau près d'Ohanavan.JPG|thumb|Armenian language road sign.)The two modern literary dialects, Western (originally associated with writers in the Ottoman Empire) and Eastern (originally associated with writers in the Russian Empire), removed almost all of their Turkish lexical influences in the 20th century, primarily following the Armenian Genocide.BOOK,weblink Progress in language planning: International Perspectives, Cobarrubias, Juan, Fishman, Joshua A., Mouton Publishers, 1983, 902793388X, Berlin, 315, 319,


(File:Hy-1-ին տիպի շաքարային դիաբետ (Diabetes mellitus type 1).ogg|thumb|Spoken Eastern Armenian)Proto-Indo-European voiceless stop consonants are aspirated in the Proto-Armenian language, one of the circumstances that is often linked to the glottalic theory, a version of which postulated that the voiceless occlusives of Proto-Indo-European were aspirated.James Clackson, Indo-European Linguistics, An Introduction (2007, Cambridge)Robert S.P. Beekes, Comparative Indo-European Linguistics, An Introduction (1995, John Benjamins)Oswald J.L. Szemerényi, Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics (1996, Oxford)


In Armenian, the stress falls on the last syllable unless the last syllable contains the definite article {{IPA|[ə]}} or {{IPA|[n]}}, and the possessive articles and , in which case it falls on the penultimate one. For instance, (wikt:ախորժակ|{{IPA|[ɑχɔɾˈʒɑk]}}), (wikt:մաղադանոս|{{IPA|[mɑʁɑdɑˈnɔs]}}), (wikt:գինի|{{IPA|[ɡiˈni]}}) but (wikt:Վահագն|{{IPA|[vɑˈhɑɡən]}}) and (wikt:դաշտը|{{IPA|[ˈdɑʃtə]}}). Exceptions to this rule are some words with the final letter ( in the reformed orthography) () and sometimes the ordinal numerals (, etc.), as well as , and a small number of other words.


{{Armenians}}Modern Armenian has six monophthongs. Each vowel phoneme in the table is represented by three symbols. The first indicates the phoneme's pronunciation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). After that appears the corresponding letter of the Armenian alphabet. The last symbol is its Latin transliteration (according to ISO 9985).{| class="wikitable"Dum-Tragut|2009|p=13}}!! Front! Central! Back! style="text-align:left;"| Close {{IPAi}}/}} i {{IPAu}}/}} u! style="text-align:left;"| Mid {{IPAÉ›}}/}} , e, Ä“ {{IPAÉ™}}/}} ë {{IPAÉ”}}/}} , o, ò! style="text-align:left;"| Open|  |   {{IPAÉ‘}}/}} a


The following table lists the Eastern Armenian consonantal system. The occlusives and affricates have a special aspirated series (mostly transcribed with an apostrophe after the letter): p’, t’, k’ (but č). Each phoneme in the table is represented by three symbols. The first indicates the phoneme's pronunciation in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), after that appears the corresponding letter of the Armenian alphabet, and the last symbol is its Romanization according to ISO 9985 (1996).{| class="wikitable" style=text-align:centerDum-Tragut|2009|pp=17–20}}! colspan="2" | !Labials!Dental/Alveolar!Postalveolar!Palatal!Velar!Uvular!Glottal! colspan="2" | Nasal/m/}} – m/n/}} – n||[ŋ]}}||! rowspan="3" | Stop! voiceless/p/}} – p/t/}} – t| |/k/}} – k||! voiced/b/}} – b/d/}} – d| |/ɡ/}} – g||! aspirated/pʰ/}} – p’/tʰ/}} – t’| |/kʰ/}} – k’||! rowspan="3" | Affricate! voiceless|/t͡s/}} – ç/t͡ʃ/}} – č̣| |||! voiced|/d͡z/}} – j/d͡ʒ/}} – ǰ| |||! aspirated|/t͡sʰ/}} – c’/t͡ʃʰ/}} – č| |||! rowspan="2" | Fricative! voiceless/f/}} – f/s/}} – s/ʃ/}} – š| {{IPA/h/}} – h! voiced/v/}} – v/z/}} – z/ʒ/}} – ž| {{IPA! colspan="2" | Approximant[ʋ]}}/l/}} – l|/j/}} – y|||! colspan="2" | Trill|/r/}} – ṙ|||||! colspan="2" | Flap|/ɾ/}} – r|||||
  1. Sources differ on the place of articulation of these consonants.
The major phonetic difference between dialects is in the reflexes of Classical Armenian voice-onset time. The seven dialect types have the following correspondences, illustrated with the t–d series:{{Harvcoltxt|Price|1998}}
{| class="wikitable" style=text-align:center|+Correspondence in initial position
!Indo-Europeand}}dʰ}}t}}!Sebastiad}}{{IPA|dʱ}}{{IPA|tʰ}}!Yerevant}}!Istanbul{{IPA|d}}!Kharberd, Middle Armenian{{IPA|d}}t}}!Malatya, SWAtʰ}}!Classical Armenian, Agulis, SEAt}}d}}!Van, Artsakh{{IPA|t}}


Armenian corresponds with other Indo-European languages in its structure, but it shares distinctive sounds and features of its grammar with neighboring languages of the Caucasus region. Armenian is rich in combinations of consonants.BOOK, Kortmann, Bernd, van der Auwera, Johan, The Languages and Linguistics of Europe: A Comprehensive Guide,weblink 2011, Walter de Gruyter, 978-3110220261, 129, BOOK, The New Armenia, Vol. 11-12,weblink 1919, New Armenia Publishing Company, 1248372786, 160, Both classical Armenian and the modern spoken and literary dialects have a complicated system of noun declension, with six or seven noun cases but no gender. In modern Armenian, the use of auxiliary verbs to show tense (comparable to will in "he will go") has generally supplemented the inflected verbs of Classical Armenian. Negative verbs are conjugated differently from positive ones (as in English "he goes" and "he does not go") in many tenses, otherwise adding only the negative to the positive conjugation. Grammatically, early forms of Armenian had much in common with classical Greek and Latin, but the modern language, like modern Greek, has undergone many transformations, adding some analytic features.


Classical Armenian has no grammatical gender, not even in the pronoun, but there is a feminine suffix ( "-uhi"). For example, (usuts'ich, "teacher") becomes (usuts'chuhi, female teacher). This suffix, however, does not have a grammatical effect on the sentence. The nominal inflection, however, preserves several types of inherited stem classes. Nouns are declined for one of seven cases: nominative (ուղղական uxxakan), accusative (հայցական hayc'akan), locative (ներգոյական nergoyakan), genitive (սեռական seṙakan), dative (տրական trakan), ablative (բացառական bac'aṙakan), or conjugation with two main verb types in Eastern Armenian and three in Western Armenian changing form based on tense, mood and aspect.


{{See also|Classification des dialectes arméniens}}File:Armenian dialects, Adjarian 1909.png|thumb|upright=1.6|Map of the (Historical dialects of Armenian|Armenian dialects in early 20th century]]:{{legend|#00FF00|-owm dialects, nearly corresponding to Eastern Armenian}}{{legend|#808080|-el dialects (intermediate)}}{{legend|#FFD800|-gë dialects, nearly corresponding to Western Armenian}})Armenian is a pluricentric language, having two modern standardized forms: Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. The most distinctive feature of Western Armenian is that it has undergone several phonetic mergers; these may be due to proximity to Arabic- and Turkish-speaking communities.For example, Eastern Armenian speakers pronounce () as [tʰ], () as [d], and () as a tenuis occlusive [t˭]. Western Armenian has simplified the occlusive system into a simple division between voiced occlusives and aspirated ones; the first series corresponds to the tenuis series of Eastern Armenian, and the second corresponds to the Eastern voiced and aspirated series. Thus, the Western dialect pronounces both () and () as [tʰ], and the () letter as [d].There is no precise linguistic border between one dialect and another because there is nearly always a dialect transition zone of some size between pairs of geographically identified dialects.Armenian can be divided into two major dialectal blocks and those blocks into individual dialects, though many of the Western Armenian dialects have become extinct due to the effects of the Armenian Genocide. In addition, neither dialect is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. Although Western and Eastern Armenian are often described as different dialects of the same language, many subdialects are not readily mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, a fluent speaker of one of two greatly varying dialects who is also literate in one of the standards, when exposed to the other dialect for a period of time will be able to understand the other with relative ease.Distinct Western Armenian varieties currently in use include Homshetsi, spoken by the Hemshin peoples;BOOK, Victor A. Friedman, Ball, Martin J., The Routledge Handbook of Sociolinguistics Around the World: A Handbook, 2009, Routledge, 978-0415422789, 128,weblink Sociolinguistics in the Caucasus, the dialects of Armenians of Kessab ((:hy:Քեսաբի բարբառ|Քեսապի բարբառ)), Latakia and Jisr al-Shughur (Syria), Anjar, Lebanon, and Vakıflı, Samandağ (Turkey), part of the "Sueidia" dialect ((:hy:Սվեդիայի բարբառ|Սուէտիայի բարբառ)).Forms of the Karin dialect of Western Armenian are spoken by several hundred thousand people in Northern Armenia, mostly in Gyumri, Artik, Akhuryan, and around 130 villages in Shirak Province,JOURNAL, Baghdassarian-Thapaltsian, S. H., hy:Շիրակի դաշտավայրի բարբառային նկարագիրը, Լրաբեր հասարակական գիտությունների (Bulletin of Social Sciences), 1970, 6, 51–60,weblink 24 March 2013, hy, and by Armenians in Samtskhe–Javakheti province of Georgia (Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe).BOOK, Richard Hovannisian, Hovannisian, Richard, Armenian Karin/Erzerum, 2003, Mazda Publ., Costa Mesa, California, 9781568591513, 48, Thus, even today the Erzerum dialect is widely spoken in the northernmost districts of the Armenian republic as well as in the Akhalkalak (Javakheti; Javakhk) and Akhaltskha (Akhaltsikh) districts of southern Georgia, Nakhichevan-on-Don Armenians speak another Western Armenian variety based on the dialect of Armenians in Crimea, where they came from in order to establish the town and surrounding villages in 1779 ((:hy:Նոր Նախիջևանի բարբառ|Նոր Նախիջևանի բարբառ)).Western Armenian dialects are currently spoken also in Gavar (formerly Nor Bayazet and Kamo, on the west of Lake Sevan), Aparan, and Talin in Armenia (Mush dialect), and by the large Armenian population residing in Abkhazia, where they are considered to be the first or second ethnic minority, or even equal in number to the local Abkhaz populationWEB,weblink An unlikely home, Islam Tekushev, openDemocracy, 5 January 2016, 22 August 2016, {| class="wikitable"|+Examples!English! Eastern Armenian !Western Armenian| Yes| No| I see you| Hello| I'm going| Come!| I will eat| I must do| I was going to eat| Is this yours?| His grandma| Look at that one!| Have you brought these?| How are you? I'm OK.| Did you say it? Say it!| Have you taken it from us?| Good morning| Good evening| Good night| You love me| I am Armenian| I missed you


File:Keyboard Layout Armenian.png|thumb|Armenian keyboard layout using the Armenian alphabetArmenian alphabetThe Armenian alphabet ( or ) is a graphically unique alphabetical writing system that is used to write the Armenian language. It was introduced around AD 405 by Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader, and originally contained 36 letters. Two more letters, Ö… (o) and Ö† (f), were added in the Middle Ages. During the 1920s orthography reform in Soviet Armenia, a new letter Ö‡ (capital ÔµÕŽ) was added, which was a ligature before Õ¥+Ö‚, whereas the letter Õ’ Ö‚ was discarded and reintroduced as part of a new letter ÕˆÕ’ Õ¸Ö‚ (which was a digraph before). This alphabet and associated orthography is used by most Armenian speakers of the Republic of Armenia and the countries of the former Soviet Union. Neither the alphabet nor the orthography has been adopted by Diaspora Armenians, including Eastern Armenian speakers of Iran and all Western Armenian speakers, who keep using the traditional alphabet and spelling.

Indo-European cognates

Armenian is an Indo-European language, so many of its Proto-Indo-European-descended words are cognates of words in other Indo-European languages such as English, Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit. This table lists only some of the more recognizable cognates that Armenian shares with English (more specifically, with English words descended from Old English). (Source: Online Etymology Dictionary.WEB,weblink Online Etymology Dictionary,, 2007-06-07,weblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2007, live, ){| class="wikitable"! Armenian || English|| Latin || Persian || Classical and Hellenistic Greek || Sanskrit || Russian || Old Irish || PIE(wikt:մայր>mayr) "mother" mother ( ← Old English mōdor)>māter "mother">mɒdær "mother">mētēr "mother">mātṛ "mother" >mat' >máthair "mother" >{{PIE>*méh₂tēr}} "mother"(wikt:հայր>hayr) "father" father ( ← Old English fæder)>pater "father">pedær "father">patēr "father">pitṛ "father" >| папаpapaathair "father" >{{PIE>*ph₂tḗr}} "father"(wikt:եղբայր>eġbayr) "brother" brother ( ← Old English brōþor)>frāter "brother">bærɒdær "brother" >phrātēr "brother">bhrātṛ "brother" >brat >bráthair "brother" >{{PIE>*bʰréh₂tēr}} "brother"(wikt:դուստր>dustr) "daughter" daughter ( ← Old English dohtor)>futrei "daughter")>doxtær "daughter" >thugatēr "daughter">duhitṛ "daughter" >doč' >der, Dar- "daughter (of)" >{{PIE>*dʰugh₂tḗr}} "daughter"(wikt:կին>kin) "woman" queen ( ← Old English cwēn "queen, woman, wife")>kianæ "woman, wife">gunē "a woman, a wife">gnā/ जनि jani "woman" >žena "wife" >ben "woman" >{{PIE>*gʷḗn}} "woman, wife"(wikt:իմ>im) "my" my, mine ( ← Old English min)>me-us, -a, -um etc. "my">mæn/æm "my">em-os, -ē, -on etc. "my, of mine">mama "my">moy >mo "my, me" >{{PIE>*h₁me-}} "my, mine"(wikt:անուն>anun) "name" name ( ← Old English nama)>nōmen "name">| نام nɒm "name" (

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