Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Armenian is an Indo-European language spoken in the Caucasus mountains (particularly in the Armenian Republic) and also used by the Armenian Diaspora. It is its own independent branch of the family of the Indo-European languages, with no living close relatives. Many now believe that Armenian is a close relative of the extinct Phrygian language. From the modern languages Greek seems to be the most closely related to Armenian. Armenian also contains many loanwords from Persian, which is also an Indo-European language.
While it contains many Indo-European roots, its phonology has been influenced by neighboring Caucasian languages, so that it shares a three-way distinction between voiceless, voiced, and ejective stops and fricatives.
Armenian was historically split in to two vaguely-defined primary dialects: Eastern Armenian, the form spoken in modern-day Armenia, and Western Armenian, the form spoken by Armenians in Anatolia. After the Armenian Genocide, the western form was primarily spoken only by those belonging to the diaspora.
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.
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, especially in affricative sounds such as j, ch, and ts. 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 than are positive ones (as in English “he goes” and “he does not go”). Grammatically, early forms of Armenian had much in common with classical Greek, Arabic and Latin, but the modern language, like modern Greek, has undergone many transformations.
Classical Armenian distinguishes seven vowels: a, i, schwa, open e, closed e, o, and u (transcribed as a, i, ē, e, ə, o, and ow, respectively).
The occlusives have a special aspirated series (transcribed with a Greek asper after the letter): p῾, t῾, č῾, k῾.
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 six cases, nominative, accusative, locative, genitive/dative, ablative, instrumental.
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.
- Armeniapedia.org - free Armenian lessons on the Armenian Wiki
- Free online resources for learners
- Armenian language on Ethnologue
- The Armenian alphabet
- List of online Armenian-related resources
Armenian Language Samples:
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details