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Armenian language

Armenian language

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Հայերեն Hayeren
Spoken in: Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Russia, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Israel and the rest of the Armenian diaspora
Total speakers: 7 million 
Ranking: 87
Language family: Indo-European
Writing system: Armenian alphabet 
Official status
Official language of: Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh
Regulated by: no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1: hy
ISO 639-2: arm (B)  hye (T)
ISO/FDIS 639-3: hye 

The Armenian language (Armenian: հայերեն լեզու, IPA [hajɛɹɛn lɛzu]hayeren lezu, conventional short form hayeren) is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people in the Republic of Armenia, in Georgia (especially in Samtskhe-Javakheti), Mountainous Karabakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and also used by the Armenian Diaspora. It constitutes an independent branch of the Indo-European language family, though many Indo-Europeanists believe it forms a subgroup with the Greek branch (see Graeco-Armenian) and/or the Indo-Iranian family.


[edit] History

History of the
Armenian language

(see also: Armenian alphabet)
Proto-Armenian (c. 1000 BC)
Classical Armenian (from 405)
Post-Classical Armenian (c. 500–800)
Pre-Middle Armenian (c. 800–1100)
Middle Armenian (c. 1100–1700)
Modern Armenian (c. 1820)
Eastern Armenian
Western Armenian
Indo-European languages
Albanian | Anatolian | Armenian
Baltic | Celtic | Dacian | Germanic
Greek | Indo-Iranian | Italic | Phrygian
Slavic | Thracian | Tocharian
Indo-European peoples
Albanians | Anatolians | Armenians
Balts | Celts | Germanic peoples
Greeks | Indo-Aryans | Indo-Iranians | Iranians
Italic peoples | Slavs | Thracians | Tocharians
Language | Society | Religion
Urheimat hypotheses
Kurgan hypothesis | Anatolia
Armenia | India | PCT
Indo-European studies

[edit] Origins

[edit] Possible Connections to Greek and Phrygian

Main article: Graeco-Armenian

Armenian is regarded by some linguists as a close relative of Phrygian. Many scholars such as Clackson (1994) hold that Greek is the most closely related surviving language to Armenian. The characteristically Greek representation of word-initial laryngeals by prothetic vowels is shared by Armenian, which also shares other phonological and morphological peculiarities of Greek. The close relatedness of Armenian and Greek sheds light on the paraphyletic nature of the Centum-Satem isogloss. Armenian also shares major isoglosses with Greek; some linguists propose that the linguistic ancestors of the Armenians and Greeks were either identical or in a close contact relation. However other linguistics including Fortson (2004) comment "by the time we reach our earliest Armenian records in the 5th century A.D., the evidence of any such early kinship has been reduced to a few tantalizing pieces."

[edit] Anatolian Connection

Armenian, like Hittite, Lycian and Luwian, retains the third laryngeal initially and has no inherited long vowels, no palatal-velar distinction, and no feminine gender. These and other archaisms led linguists to conclude that there was an early contact between the languages. The Anatolian loan words within Armenian indicate that proto-Armenians were in contact with both Luwian speakers and with Hittites.<ref>Template:Cite journal </ref>

[edit] Iranian Language Influence

The Classical Armenian language (often referred to as grabar, literally "written (language)") imported numerous words from Middle Iranian languages, primarily Parthian, and contains smaller inventories of borrowings from Greek, Syriac, Latin, and autochthonous languages such as Urartian. Middle Armenian (11th–15th centuries AD) incorporated further loans from Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Latin, and the modern dialects took in hundreds of additional words from Modern Turkish and Persian.

The large percentage of loans from Iranian languages initially led linguists to classify Armenian as an Iranian language. The distinctness of Armenian was only recognized when Hübschmann (1875) used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian loans from the true Armenian vocabulary. 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.

[edit] First Armenian Documents

Armenian is written in the Armenian alphabet, created by Saint Mesrob Mashtots in 406 AD. This alphabet, with two additional letters, is still used today.

Literature written in Armenian appeared by the 5th century. The written language of that time, called classical Armenian or Grabar, remained the Armenian literary language, with various changes, until the 19th century. Meanwhile, spoken Armenian developed independently of the written language. Many dialects appeared when Armenian communities became separated by geography or politics, and not all of these dialects remained mutually intelligible.

[edit] Phonology

[edit] Consonants

In the following table there is listed the Eastern Armenian consonantal system. The occlusives and affricates have a special aspirated series (transcribed with a Greek spiritus asper after the letter): p῾, t῾, c῾, č῾, k῾. For each phoneme there are three symbols in the table. The topmost indicates the pronunciation in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); in the middle there is the corresponding symbol in the Armenian alphabet; and the bottom one is its transliteration in Latin alphabet (following ISO 9985).

  bilabial labio-
alveolar post-
palatal velar /
plosive p  b
պ  բ
p  b
  t  d
տ  դ
t  d
    k  g
կ  գ
k  g
aspirated plosive
nasal m
fricative   f  v
ֆ  վ
f  v
s  z
ս  զ
s  z
ʃ  ʒ
շ  ժ
š  ž
  χ  ʁ
խ  ղ
x  ġ
affricate     ʦ  ʣ
ծ  ձ
ç  j
tʃ  ʤ
ճ  ջ
č̣  j
aspirated affricate     ʦʰ
approximant     ɹ
trill     r
lateral approximant     l
Part of the series on
Armenian culture









[edit] Vowels

Classical Armenian distinguishes seven vowels: /a/, /ɪ/, /ə/ (schwa), /ɛ/ (open e), /e/ (closed e), /o/, and /u/ (transcribed as a, i, ə, e, ē, o, ow and u respectively).

a</br>ա ə</br>ը e</br>է
u</br>ու o</br>-ո-, օ ɪ</br> ի
-ɛ-, jɛ-</br>ե    

[edit] Morphology

Image:Wiki letter w.svg Please expand this section.
Further information might be found on the talk page or at Requests for expansion.
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Image:Manuscript arm 5-6AD.jpg
Armenian manuscript 5-6 cc.

Armenian resembles 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. Both classical Armenian and the modern spoken and literary dialects have a complicated system of declining nouns, 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"). 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. Interestingly enough, it shares the common -tion suffix with Latin (the Armenian cognate is t'youn, թյուն).

Lord Byron studied the Armenian language. He helped to compile an Armenian grammar textbook and translated a few Armenian books into English.

[edit] Noun

Classical Armenian has no grammatical gender, not even in the pronoun. The nominal inflection, however, preserves several types of inherited stem classes. The noun may take seven cases, nominative, accusative, locative, genitive, dative, ablative, instrumental.

[edit] Verb

Main article: Armenian verbs

Verbs in Armenian have an expansive system of conjugation with two main verb types (three in Western Armenian) changing form based on tense, mood and aspect.

[edit] Dialects

One of the greatest differences in the two modern dialects is the way certain letters are pronounced. Eastern Armenian speakers have kept the original pronunciations of the letters, pronouncing each of the 38 letters quite distinctively. On the other hand, Western Armenian speakers pronounce a few of the letters in the same way. This has to do with Western Armenians living in regions where other languages, which lacked these rich variations, were also widely spoken and therefore have been influenced by the pronunciations of these other languages (usually either Arabic or Turkish.)

For example, Eastern Armenian speakers pronounce (թ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger", (դ) like the "d" in "develop", and (տ) as an unaspirated voiceless stop, sounding somewhere between the two as in "stop" . Western Armenians will pronounce the letters differently, and in some cases, oppositely. For example, Western Armenian speakers prounounce both (թ) and (դ) as an aspirated "t" as in "tiger." The (տ) letter is pronounced like the letter "d" as in "develop." Thus, Western Armenian does not have the unaspirated voiceless stop at all.

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). The main difference between both blocks are:

Armenian can be subdivided in two major dialectal blocks and those blocks into individual dialects, though many of the Western Armenian dialects have died due to the effects of the Armenian Genocide. In addition, neither dialect is completely homogeneous: any dialect can be subdivided into several subdialects. While Western and Eastern Armenian are often described as different dialects of the same language, some subdialects are not readily mutually intelligible. It is true, however, that a fluent speaker of two greatly varying subdialects who are exposed to the other dialect over even a short period of time will be able to understand the other with relative ease.

Western Armenian

  • Turkey
    • Istanbul
  • Europe
    • Bulgaria
    • France
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Greece
    • Russia
  • Middle East
    • Lebanon
    • Syria
    • Iran
    • Iraq
    • Israel
    • Jordan
  • Africa
    • Egypt
  • North America
    • Canada
    • United States
  • South America
    • Argentina
  • Australia

Eastern Armenian

  • Former Soviet republics
    • Armenia
    • Belarus
    • Georgia
    • Russia
    • Turkmenistan
  • Unrecognized republics
    • Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Middle East
    • Iran
  • North America
    • Canada
    • United States

English - Eastern Armenian

  • Yes = Ayo (այո)
  • No = Voch (ոչ)
  • Excuse me = Neroghoutioun (ներողություն)
  • Hello = Barev (բարև)
  • Please = Khntrem (խնդրեմ)
  • Thank you = Shnorhakal em (շնորհակալ եմ)
  • Thank you very much = Shat shnorhakal em (շատ շնորհակալ եմ)
  • Welcome = Bari galust (բարի գալուստ) / Barov eq yekel
  • Goodbye = Tstesoutioun (ցտեսություն)
  • Good morning = Bari louys (բարի լույս)
  • Good afternoon = Bari or (բարի օր)
  • Good evening = Bari yereko (բարի երեկո)
  • Good night = Bari gisher (բարի գիշեր)
  • I love you = Yes sirum em qez (ես սիրում եմ քեզ)

English - Western Armenian

  • Yes = Ayo (այո)
  • No = Voch (ոչ)
  • Excuse me = Neroghoutioun (ներողութիւն)
  • Hello = Parev (բարեւ)
  • Please = Hadjis (յաճիս)
  • Thank you = Shnorhagal em (շնորհակալ եմ)
  • Thank you very much = Shad shnorhagal em (շատ շնորհակալ եմ)
  • Welcome = Pari yegar / Pari yegak (բարի եկար / բարի եկաք)
  • Goodbye = Tsdesoutioun (ցտեսութիւն)
  • Good morning = Pari louys (բարի լոյս)
  • Good afternoon = Pari or (բարի օր)
  • Good evening = Parirgoun / Pari irigoun (բարի իրկուն / բարի իրիկուն)
  • Good night = Kisher pari (գիշեր բարի)

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

<references />

[edit] References

  • Clackson, James. 1994. The Linguistic Relationship Between Armenian and Greek. London: Publications of the Philological Society, No 30. (and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing)
  • Fortson, Benjamin W. (2004) Indo-European Language and Culture. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Hübschmann, Heinrich (1875) "Über die Stellung des armenischen im Kreise der indogermanischen Sprachen," Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung 23.5-42. English translation
  • Mallory, J. P. (1989) In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Vaux, Bert. 1998. The Phonology of Armenian. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

[edit] External links

Armenian Language Samples:

be:Армянская мова bg:Арменски език ca:Armeni cs:Arménština da:Armensk (sprog) de:Armenische Sprache et:Armeenia keel es:Idioma armenio eo:Armena lingvo eu:Armeniera fa:زبان ارمنی fr:Arménien ga:Airméinis ko:아르메니아어 hy:Հայերեն hr:Armenski jezik io:Armeniana linguo id:Bahasa Armenia it:Lingua armena he:ארמנית ka:სომხური ენა lt:Armėnų kalba hu:Örmény nyelv ms:Bahasa Armenia nl:Armeens ja:アルメニア語 no:Armensk språk ug:ئەرمەن تىلى pl:Język ormiański pt:Língua arménia ro:Limba armeană ru:Армянский язык sk:Arménčina sl:Armenščina fi:Armenian kieli sv:Armeniska th:ภาษาอาร์เมเนีย tg:Забони арманӣ tr:Ermenice uk:Вірменська мова wa:Årmenyin zh:亚美尼亚语

Armenian language

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