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The Armenian orthography reform occurred between 1922 and 1924 in
Soviet Armenia The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also commonly referred to as Soviet Arm ...
and was partially reviewed in 1940. Its main features were neutralization of classical etymological writing and the adjustment of phonetic realization and writing. This orthographic reform is not to be confused or associated with the 13th century alphabet extension introducing letters and . The original orthography is now known as the classical orthography ( hy, դասական ուղղագրութիւն ''dasakan uġġagrut'yun'') and is sometimes referred to as ''Mashtotsian orthography'' (), after
Mesrop Mashtots Mesrop Mashtots ( hy, Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց '; Eastern Armenian: ; Western Armenian: ; la, Mesrobes Mastosius; 362February 17, 440 AD) was an early medieval Armenian linguist, composer, theologian, statesman and hymnologist. He is best ...

Mesrop Mashtots
, who invented the Armenian alphabet in 405 AD.


Acceptance and evaluation

Today it is the officially used orthography for the
Armenian language Armenian (Classical Armenian orthography, classical: , Armenian orthography reform, reformed: , , ) is an Indo-European languages, Indo-European language belonging to an independent branch of which it is the only member. It is the official language ...
in
Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is ...

Armenia
, and widely used by Armenian communities in
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
and
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
. It was rejected by the Armenian diaspora, most of which speak
Western Armenian Western Armenian ( Classical spelling: , ) is one of the two standardized Standardization or standardisation is the process of implementing and developing technical standard A technical standard is an established norm or requirement for ...
, including the Armenian communities in
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
, which also speak
Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standard language, standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian is spoken in Armenia, Repub ...
and still use the classical orthography of the
Armenian alphabet The Armenian alphabet ( hy, Հայոց գրեր, ' or , '; Eastern Armenian: ; Western Armenian: ) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a ...

Armenian alphabet
. It is still doubted if the reform resulted in orthography simplification. Some authors hold that changes introduced into the Armenian alphabet actually simplified writing; for example, the alternation of the letters ‹o› and ‹ո› inside words was finally regulated.


History

One of the most significant and successfully achieved policies of the former
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a that spanned during its existence from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a of multiple national ; in practice and were highly until its final years. The ...
was the rise in the overall population's literacy, which began in the early 1920s. That was most probably the urgent need that was one of the reasons for reforming the orthography. With a variety of other educational reforms, the reformed orthography resulted in a literacy rate of 90% in the country by the early 1950s. Pursuing faster progress, some other nations of the Soviet Union changed their scripts from
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
(
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China and Mongolia in the east, and from Afghanistan and Iran in the south to Russia in the north, including the former Soviet Union, Soviet republics of the Sov ...

Central Asia
n nations) and
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
(
Moldova Moldova (, ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to ...

Moldova
) to
Cyrillic , bg, кирилица , mk, кирилица , russian: кириллица , sr, ћирилица, uk, кирилиця , fam1 = Egyptian hieroglyphs Egyptian hieroglyphs () were the formal writing system A writing system is ...
in the same period. It can be seen as a rather progressive step in the spirit of the historical developments in that it did not hinder the ability of all of the former Soviet nations to develop literature, education, research and science. Considering the vast panorama of the linguistic reforms carried out on the whole territory of the Soviet Union, the Armenian case is undoubtedly among the less radical ones. . This process was initiated in January 1921, when the historian Ashot Hovhannisyan, then Minister of Education of
Armenian SSR The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also commonly referred to as Soviet Arm ...

Armenian SSR
, organized an advisory meeting to encourage education and fight illiteracy, as required by the Soviet
likbez Likbez (russian: ликбе́з, ; from a Russian abbreviation for "likvidatsiya bezgramotnosti", ликвида́ция безгра́мотности, , meaning "elimination of illiteracy") was a campaign of eradication of illiteracy in Soviet ...
policy. During this consultation, the linguist and philologist Manuk Abeghyan proposed a number of orthographic changes that denoted a radical departure from the general norm in use since the Middle Ages. Abeghyan's position was not new: in fact, he had written extensively on the issue since the late 1890s. Indeed, this document, which was accepted by a special committee in 1921, presented the same theses of another paper Abeghyan read in 1913 in
Echmiadzin Vagharshapat ( hy, Վաղարշապատ ) is the 4th-largest city in Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Wester ...

Echmiadzin
. Hovhannisyan's successor, the translator and journalist Poghos Makintsyan, continued to work in this direction, forming a new committee in February 1922. Instead of transmitting the committee's conclusions, Makintsyan directly presented Abeghyan's proposal to the Soviet of Popular Commissars. On March 4, 1922, under the chairmanship of
Aleksandr Myasnikyan Alexander Fyodori Miasnikian, Myasnikyan or Myasnikov ( hy, Ալեքսանդր Ֆեոդորի (Աստվածատուրի) Մյասնիկյան; russian: Алекса́ндр Фёдорович Мяснико́в; Aleksandr Fyodorovich Myasnikov; ...
, the reform was officially decreed.


Rules

Since pronunciation has changed, the spelling was modified to follow the modern pronunciation. Changes can be summarized as follows: *Letter of
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
replacements (classical/reformed): , , , , , . *Elimination of the silent at the end of a word *The digraph becomes the 34th independent letter of the alphabet. *The letters and were deleted from the alphabet but reinstated in 1940. Since then, they are written only at the beginning of a word and in compound words. or are used respectively in their places. The only exceptions are "who" and "those (people)" and the present tense of "to be": "I am", "you () are", "we are", "you () are", "they are". *The letter is no longer an independent letter and appears only as a component of . In its place, is written. *The ligature was initially abolished, but in 1940, it became the 37th independent letter of the alphabet. Some words originally written with are now written with it. *In the conjugation of verbs, in both the indicative and the conditional modes, is added directly, without an apostrophe before vowels or before consonants.


Reception and review

Reform met immediate, unfavorable reactions. Notably, the poet
Hovhannes Tumanyan Hovhannes Tumanyan ( hy, Հովհաննես Թումանյան, Classical Armenian orthography, classical spelling: Յովհաննէս Թումանեան,  – March 23, 1923) was an Armenian poet, writer, translator, and literary and publi ...

Hovhannes Tumanyan
, chairman of the Union of Armenian Writers, expressed his discontent in a letter to the Soviet of Popular Commissars, written in May 1922. Later on, many objected to the reform, asking the restoration of traditional Armenian spelling. Ch․ S. Sarkisyan's requested to correct the mistakes of the 1922 reform: “Armenian spelling now urgently needs the elimination of the mistakes made in 1922, that is, the abolition of those changes that were introduced into the alphabet”. As a consequence, on August 22nd, 1940, the linguist Gurgen Sevak (1904-1981) promoted a second reform of Armenian orthography, which marked a partial return to Mesropian spelling.


After-effects

These reforms, which were part of the
likbez Likbez (russian: ликбе́з, ; from a Russian abbreviation for "likvidatsiya bezgramotnosti", ликвида́ция безгра́мотности, , meaning "elimination of illiteracy") was a campaign of eradication of illiteracy in Soviet ...
policy carried out by the Soviets, have deeply affected not only the Eastern Armenian alphabet, but also the set of rules and conventions governing writing and word formation. Since the establishment of the third Republic of Armenia in 1991, there has been a fringe movement in some Armenian academic circles to reinstate the classical orthography as official in Armenia. Some members of the
Armenian Church Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia Armenia (; hy, Հայաստան, translit=Hayastan, ), officially the Republic of Armenia,, is a landlocked country located in the Armenian Highlands of Western Asia.The UN ...
in Armenia also support the use of the classical orthography. However, neither official circles nor the general population or pedagogical and scientific communities in Armenia supports reversing the reform.ORTHOGRAPHY, STATE & DIASPORA: A Political Analyst's View on Unified Spelling Problem
by Haroutiun Khachatrian
Nevertheless, since 1991 the ligature is oftentimes intentionally avoided in some print media, where or is used instead. In nowadays Armenia, the 1922 orthography reform is still perceived as a heavy burden, insofar as it undermines the relationship between the two diasporas and the homeland.


Examples


See also

*
Reforms of Russian orthography The Russian orthography Russian orthography ( rus, правописа́ние, r=pravopisaniye, p=prəvəpʲɪˈsanʲɪjə) is formally considered to encompass spelling Spelling is a set of conventions that regulate the way of using graphe ...
*
German orthography reform of 1996 The German orthography reform of 1996 (') was a change to German spelling German orthography is the orthography used in writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symb ...
*
Belarusian orthography reform of 1933 The orthography of the Belarusian language was reformed in 1933 under Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet rule. Differences between the old and the new orthography # The soft sign is no longer written when denoting assimilation of 'sof ...
*
Reforms of French orthography The French orthography French orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themsel ...


References


External links

Armenian Orthography converters
Armenian Orthography Converter
{{DEFAULTSORT:Spelling Reform Of The Armenian Language 1922-1924 Spelling reform Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
20th century in Armenia Orthography Reform 1920s in the Soviet Union 1922 in Armenia 1923 in Armenia 1924 in Armenia Reform in the Soviet Union