Armenian Language

History

An Indo-European language, the Armenian language shares several similarities linguistically with the Greek language. The Armenian language also has its own script, and does not use a Romanized alphabet. It is called the Armenian alphabet, and has an appearance that is similar to an italicized Russian and Greek combination. The Greek influence is unsurprising here, as Armenian and Greek have both influenced each other in terms of language. Greek is currently the closest language to Armenian in terms of aural recognition.

The oldest Armenian text is a fifth-century Bible translation, so we can see that a form of Armenian has been in existence for hundreds of years. However, through the centuries, the Armenian language has taken many influences onboard, particularly Western Middle Iranian languages, as well as Latin, French, Arabic, Turkish and Persian. This gives Armenian a very eclectic sound to it, though the grammar is relatively formulaic.

Armenian was originally classified as an Iranian language, on account of the similar vocabulary and language formation used, but was later explored in a little more detail and it is now seen that it is a separate Indo-European language in its own right.

Popularity

The Armenian language is the official language of the Republic of Armenia, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, although the latter is not internationally recognized. It has 6.7 million speakers throughout the world with Cyprus, Poland and Romania also recognizing Armenian as one of their minority languages.

There is a large divide, dialectically speaking, between Eastern and Western versions of Armenian, and yet because there are so many other languages that have influenced the Armenian language, it is very difficult to make any clear distinctions as to whether these are natural divides within the language or external influences. As a pluricentric language (having more than one standardized form: in this case, Eastern and Western) Armenian is also special in this way. Essentially, this is a very fascinating language in terms of origin, influence, and phonetic development.

Language

The Armenian language is very similar to other Indo-European languages in its structural form, though it also shares many grammatical aspects with other languages of the Caucasus region. Classical and modern Armenian versions of the Armenian language both use a grammatical system of declining nouns. There are also negative nouns, which not every language has, with differing conjugations for these verbs.

Interestingly, the Armenian language has no grammatical gender. Even when speaking in pronouns, there is no way to distinguish between masculine and feminine. With various kinds of inflections, however, one can intone seven different kinds of meaning. Verbs, on the other hand, have two main types (with three in Western Armenian) but can change form based on tense, mood, and aspect.

Why Learn The Armenian Language?

Armenian is an excellent language to begin to learn if you have an interest in languages themselves. This might sound as though it could apply to any language, but Armenian has some very interesting singularities within the language itself. For example, in the Armenian language, the stress will always fall on the last syllable of the sentence, unless the last syllable is a certain letter, in which case it shifts back to being the second-last. It is fascinating to look at in greater depth as a scholar of languages or simply to understand a language that you probably will not have encountered before. The Armenian language is also spoken in many countries around the world by emigrants of Armenia.


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