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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 a repeatable technical task. It is usually a formal document that establishes un ...
forms of
Modern ArmenianModern Armenian ( hy, աշխարհաբար, ''ashkharhabar'' or ''ašxarhabar'', literally the "secular/lay language") is the modern vernacular (vulgar) form of the Armenian language. Although it first appeared in the 14th century, it was not until t ...
, the other being
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 ...
. It is based mainly on the Istanbul Armenian dialect contrary to Eastern Armenian which is mainly based on the Yerevan Armenian dialect. Until the early 20th century, various Western Armenian dialects were also spoken in the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
, especially in the eastern regions historically populated by Armenians known as
Western Armenia Western Armenia (Western Armenian: Արեւմտեան Հայաստան, ''Arevmdian Hayasdan'') is a term to refer to the eastern parts of Turkey (formerly the Ottoman Empire) that are part of the historical homeland of the Armenians. Western Ar ...

Western Armenia
. The spoken or dialectal varieties of Western Armenian currently in use include Homshetsi, spoken by the
Hemshin peoples , , native_name_lang = , flag = Flag of the Hemshin People.svg , image = , caption = Hamshen people by country , population = 150,000 – 200,000 , popplace = , regions = , region1 ...
; the dialects of Armenians of
Kessab Kessab, Kesab or Kasab ( ar, كسب , hy, Քեսապ, ''Kesab'') is a mostly 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 Armen ...

Kessab
,
Latakia Latakia ( ar, ٱللَّاذْقِيَّة \ ٱللَّاذِقِيَّة, '; Syrian Arabic, Syrian pronunciation: ) is the principal port city of Syria, as well as the capital of the Latakia Governorate. Historically, it has also been known as L ...
and
Jisr al-Shughur Jisr ash-Shugur ( ar, جِسْرُ ٱلشُّغُورِ, Jisr aš-Šuġūr, , also spelled Jisr al-Shughour) is a city in the Idlib Governorate in northwestern Syria. Situated at an altitude of above sea level on the Orontes river, the city was inh ...
of Syria, Anjar of Lebanon, and
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...
and Vakıflı, of Turkey (part of the "Sueidia" dialect). Sasun and Mush dialect is also spoken in modern-day Armenia villages such as Bazmaberd and Sasnashen. Forms of the
Karin dialect The Karin dialect ( hy, Կարնոյ բարբառ, ''Karno barbař'') is a Western Armenian dialect originally spoken in and around the city of Erzurum (called Karin by Armenians), now located in eastern Turkey. Before World War I, the Karin dial ...
of Western Armenian are spoken by several hundred thousand people in Northern Armenia, mostly in
Gyumri Gyumri ( hy, Գյումրի, ) is an urban municipal community and the second-largest city in Armenia, serving as the administrative center of Shirak Province in the northwestern part of the country. By the end of the 19th century, when the city w ...

Gyumri
,
Artik Artik (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-Europe ...
, Akhuryan, and around 130 villages in the
Shirak province Shirak ( hy, , ), is a (') of . It is located in the north-west of the country, bordering in the west and in the north. Its capital and largest city is . It is as much semi-desert as it is mountain meadow or high alpine. In the south, the hig ...

Shirak province
, and by Armenians in Samtskhe–Javakheti province of Georgia (
Akhalkalaki Akhalkalaki ( ka, ახალქალაქი, tr; hy, Ախալքալաք / Նոր-Քաղաք, translit=Axalk’alak’ / Nor-K’aġak’; tr, Ahılkelek) is a town in Georgia's southern region of Samtskhe–Javakheti and the administrative ...

Akhalkalaki
,
Akhaltsikhe Akhaltsikhe ( ka, ახალციხე , literally "new castle"; formerly known as Lomsia) is a small city in Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern E ...

Akhaltsikhe
). As mostly a diasporic language, and as a language that is not an official language of any state, Western Armenian faces extinction as its native speakers lose fluency in Western Armenian amid pressures to assimilate into their host countries. Estimates place the number of fluent speakers of Western Armenian outside Armenia and Georgia at less than one million.


Classification

Western Armenian is an
Indo-European language The Indo-European languages are a language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation ...
and belongs to the Armenic branch of the family, along with
Eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct American airline that operated from 1926 to 1991 *Eastern Air Lin ...
and
Classical Armenian Classical Armenian (, in Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian ...
. According to ''
Glottolog ''Glottolog'' is a bibliographic database of the world's lesser-known languages, developed and maintained first at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany (between 2015 and 2020 at the Max Planck Institute for ...
''
Antioch Antioch on the Orontes (; grc, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου, ''Antiókheia hē epì Oróntou''; also Syrian Antioch) grc-koi, Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Ὀρόντου; or Ἀντιόχεια ἡ ἐπὶ Δάφνῃ ...
, Artial, Asia Minor,
Bolu Bolu is a city in Turkey, and administrative center of the Bolu Province. The population is 131,264 (2012 census). The city has been governed by mayor Tanju Özcan (Republican People's Party (Turkey), CHP) since 2019 Turkish local elections, loca ...

Bolu
, Hamshenic,
Kilikien
Kilikien
,
Mush In , a MUSH (a ed variation on most often expanded as Multi-User Shared Hallucination, though Multi-User Shared Hack, Habitat, and Holodeck are also observed) is a social medium to which multiple are connected at the same time. MUSHes are oft ...
-Tigranakert, Stanoz,
Vanic Jesse Hughes (born May 6, 1989), known professionally as Vanic, is a Canadian DJ and producer, based in New Westminster, British Columbia. Early life A Metal music, metal Enthusiasm, enthusiast when he was in middle school, Hughes developed ...
and
Yozgat Yozgat is a city and the capital district of Yozgat province in the Central Anatolia Region The Central Anatolia Region ( tr, İç Anadolu Bölgesi) is a geographical region of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of T ...
are the main dialects of Western Armenian. Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian are, for the most part, mutually intelligible for educated or literate users of the other, while illiterate or semi literate users of lower registers of each one may have difficulty understanding the other variant. One phonological difference is that
voiced Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study th ...
stops
stops
in Eastern Armenian are
voiceless In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...

voiceless
in Western Armenian.


Speakers

Western Armenian is spoken by Armenians of most of the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
except for
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
, and
Rostov-on-Don Rostov-on-Don ( rus, Ростов-на-Дону, r=Rostov-na-Donu, p=rɐˈstof nə dɐˈnu) is a port city and the administrative centreAn administrative centre is a seat of regional administration or local government Local government is a gen ...
in
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 is spoken by only a small percentage of
Armenians in Turkey Armenians in Turkey ( tr, Türkiye Ermenileri; hy, Թուրքահայեր, also Թրքահայեր, "Turkish Armenians"), one of the indigenous peoples of Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country str ...
as a first language, with 18 percent among the community in general and 8 percent among younger people. Western Armenian used to be the dominant Armenian variety, but after the
Armenian genocide The Armenian Genocide (Terminology of the Armenian Genocide, other names) was the systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of around 1 million ethnic Armenians from Asia Minor and adjoining regions by the Ottoman Empire and its ruling ...

Armenian genocide
, Western Armenia was wiped clean of Western Armenians. Those who fled to Eastern Armenia now speak either Eastern Armenian or have a diglossic situation between Western Armenian dialects in informal usage and an Eastern Armenian standard. The only Western Armenian dialect still spoken in Western Armenia is the
Homshetsi dialect Homshetsi (Հոմշեցի ''Homshetsi lizu'' "the Hamshen language", tr, Hemşince) is an archaic Western Armenian dialect spoken by the eastern and northern group of Hemshin peoples (''Hemşinli''), a people living in northeastern Turkey, Abkhaz ...
, the
Hemshin peoples , , native_name_lang = , flag = Flag of the Hemshin People.svg , image = , caption = Hamshen people by country , population = 150,000 – 200,000 , popplace = , regions = , region1 ...
, who speak it, did not fall victim to the Armenian Genocide since they were Muslim converts. On 21 February 2009,
International Mother Language Day International Mother Language Day is a worldwide annual observance held on 21 February to promote awareness Awareness is the state of being conscious of something. More specifically, it is the ability to directly know and perceive, to fee ...

International Mother Language Day
has been marked with the publication of a new edition of the ''Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger'' by
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
in which the Western Armenian language in Turkey is defined as a definitely endangered language.UNESCO Culture Sector
UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, 2009


Phonology


Vowels


Monophthongs

Western Armenian has eight monophthongs.


Diphthongs

Western Armenian has ten environments in which two vowels in the orthography appear next to each other, called diphthongs. By definition, they appear in the same syllable. For those unfamiliar with IPA symbols, /j/ represents the English "y" sound. The Armenian letter "ե" is often used in combinations such as // (ya) and // (yo). If used at the beginning of a word, "ե" alone is sufficient to represent // (as in yes). The Armenian letter "յ" is used for the glide after vowels. The IPA // (like English long i) and // diphthongs are common, while // (English long a), // (a stretched-out long e), and // (oy) are rare. The following examples are sometimes across syllable and morpheme boundaries, and gliding is then expected:


Consonants

This is the Western Armenian Consonantal System using letters from the
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) 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 spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
(IPA), followed by the corresponding Armenian letter in brackets. The /f/ in Armenian is rare; the letter "ֆ" was added to the alphabet much later. The /w/ glide is not used except for foreign proper nouns, like Washington (by utilizing the "u" vowel, Armenian "ու").


Differences from Classical Armenian

Differences in phonology between Western Armenian and
Classical Armenian Classical Armenian (, in Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian ...
include the distinction of stops and
affricates An affricate is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pr ...
. Firstly, while
Classical Armenian Classical Armenian (, in Eastern Armenian Eastern Armenian ( ''arevelahayeren'') is one of the two standardized forms of Modern Armenian, the other being Western Armenian. The two standards form a pluricentric language. Eastern Armenian ...
has a three-way distinction of stops and affricates (one voiced and two voiceless: one plain and one aspirated), Western Armenian has kept only a two-way distinction (one voiced and one aspirated). For example, Classical Armenian has three bilabial stops ( , , and ), but Western Armenian has only two bilabial stops ( and /). Secondly, Western Armenian has both changed the Classical Armenian voiced stops and voiced affricates to aspirated stops and ''aspirated'' affricates and replaced the plain stops and affricates with voiced consonants. Specifically, here are the shifts from Classical Armenian to Western Armenian: # Bilabial stops: ## merging of Classical Armenian and as ## voicing of Classical to # Alveolar stops: ## merging of Classical Armenian and as ## voicing of Classical to # Velar stops: ## merging of Classical Armenian and as ## voicing of Classical to # Alveolar affricates: ## merging of Classical Armenian and as ## voicing of Classical to # Post-alveolar affricates: ## merging of Classical Armenian and as ## voicing of Classical to As a result, a word like 'water' (spelled in Classical Armenian) is cognate with Western Armenian (also spelled ). However, 'grandson' and 'stone' are pronounced similarly in both Classical and Western Armenian.


Orthography

Western Armenian uses
Classical Armenian orthographyClassical Armenian orthography, traditional orthography or Mashtotsian orthography ( in classical orthography and in reformed orthography, ''Hayereni tasagan ughakrutyun''), is the orthography An orthography is a set of conventions for writing ...
, also commonly known as traditional ''Mashtotsian'' orthography. The
Armenian orthography reformThe Armenian orthography reform occurred between 1922 and 1924 in Soviet Armenia The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sov ...
introduced in the
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; russian: Армянская Советская Социалистическая Республика, translit=Armyanskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also commonly referred to as Soviet Arm ...

Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
and still used by most Eastern Armenian speakers from modern
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 commonly known as the ''Abeghian'' orthography has not been adopted by Eastern Armenian speakers of Iran and their diaspora, and by Western Armenian, with the exception of periodical publications published in Romania and Bulgaria while under Communist regimes.


Morphology


Nouns

Western Armenian nouns have four
grammatical case Grammatical case is a term regarding a manner of categorizing s, s, s, s, and s according to their traditionally corresponding s within a given , , or . In some languages, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, s, participles, prepositions, numerals, art ...
s:
nominative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as ...
-
accusative The accusative case (list of glossing abbreviations, abbreviated ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is ...
(subject / direct object),
genitive In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, a ...
-
dative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as we ...
(possession / indirect object),
ablative In grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, ...

ablative
(origin) and
instrumental An instrumental is a recording normally without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocal The human voice consists of sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmissio ...
(means). Of the six cases, the nominative and accusative are the same, except for personal pronouns, and the genitive and dative are the same, meaning that nouns have four distinct forms for case. Nouns in Armenian also decline for number (singular and plural), but do not decline for gender (i.e. masculine or feminine). Declension in Armenian is based on how the genitive is formed. There are several
declension In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection. The inflectional change of verbs is called Grammatical conjugation, conjugation. Declensions ...
s, but one is dominant (the genitive in ''i'') while a half-dozen other forms are in gradual decline and are being replaced by the ''i''-form, which has virtually attained the status of a regular form:


Articles

Like English and some other languages, Armenian has definite and indefinite articles. The indefinite article in Western Armenian is , which follows the noun: ''ator mə'' ('a chair', Nom.sg), ''atori mə'' ('of a chair', Gen.sg) The definite article is a suffix attached to the noun, and is one of two forms, either -n (when the final sound is a vowel) or -ə (when the final sound is a consonant). When the word is followed by al (ալ = also, too), the conjunction u (ու), or the present or imperfect conjugated forms of the verb em (to be); however, it will always take -n: : ''kirkə'' ('the book', Nom.sg) : ''karin'' ('the barley' Nom.sg) but: : ''Sa kirkn e'' ('This is the book') : ''Parin u charə'' ('The good and the bad') : ''Inkn al'' ('S/he too') The indefinite article becomes mən when it is followed by al (ալ = also, too) or the Present or imperfect conjugated forms of the verb em (to be): : ''kirk mə'' ('a book', Nom.sg) but: : ''Sa kirk mən e'' ('This is a book') : ''Kirk mən al'' ('A book as well')


Adjectives

Adjectives in Armenian do not decline for case or number, and precede the noun: : ''agheg martə'' ('the good man', Nom.sg) : ''agheg martun'' ('to the good man', Gen.sg)


Verbs

Verbs in Armenian are based on two basic series of forms, a "present" form and an "imperfect" form. From this, all other tenses and moods are formed with various particles and constructions. There is a third form, the preterite, which in Armenian is a tense in its own right, and takes no other particles or constructions. The "present" tense in Western Armenian is based on three conjugations (a, e, i): The present tense (as we know it in English) is made by adding the particle gə before the "present" form, except the defective verbs ''em'' (I am), ''gam'' (I exist, I'm there), ''unim'' (I have), ''kidem'' (I know) and ''gərnam'' (I can), while the future is made by adding bidi: : ''Yes kirk′ə gə gartam'' (I am reading the book or I read the book, Pres) : ''Yes kirk′ə bidi gartam ''(I will read the book, Fut). For the exceptions: (I shall be, have, know, be able). In vernacular language, the particle "gor" is added after the verb to indicate present progressive tense. The distinction is not made in literary Armenian. : (I am reading the book)In vernacular language, the particle is added after the verb to indicate present progressive tense. The distinction is not made in literary Armenian. The verb without any particles constitutes the subjunctive mood, such as "if I eat, should I eat, that I eat, I wish I eat":


Personal pronouns


Demonstrative pronouns


Relative pronouns


See also

* Armenian verbs *
Hidden Armenians Hidden Armenians ( tr, Gizli Ermeniler) or crypto-Armenians ( hy, ծպտեալ հայեր ''tsptyal hayer''; tr, Kripto Ermeniler) is an "umbrella term to describe Turkish people of full or partial Armenians, ethnic Armenian origin who generally ...


References


Bibliography

* * * * *


External links


Arak29 Eastern Armenian

Arak29 Western Armenian

Arak29 A Course in Modern Western Armenia

Arak29 On-Line Dictionaries

Arak29 Etymology

Videos of people speaking Armenian
Western Armenian Online Dictionaries
Nayiri.com
(Library of Armenian dictionaries): *
Բառգիրք հայերէն լեզուի
by Rev. Antranig Granian (about 18,000 terms; published in 1998 in Beirut). Great dictionary for students. *
ՀԱՅՈՑ ԼԵԶՈՒԻ ՆՈՐ ԲԱՌԱՐԱՆ
published in two volumes in Beirut in 1992 (about 56,000 headwords). Arguably the best Western Armenian dictionary currently available. *
ՀԱՅԵՐԷՆ ԲԱՑԱՏՐԱԿԱՆ ԲԱՌԱՐԱՆ
by Stepan Malkhasiants (about 130,000 entries). One of the definitive Armenian dictionaries. (Definitions are in Eastern Armenian, but include Western Armenian meanings of headwords.) *
ՀԱՅԵՐԷՆ ԱՐՄԱՏԱԿԱՆ ԲԱՌԱՐԱՆ
by
Hrachia Acharian Hrachia Acharian ( hy, Հրաչեայ Աճառեան, reformed spelling: Հրաչյա Աճառյան; 8 March 1876 – 16 April 1953) was an Armenian linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structu ...
(5,062 word roots). The definitive study of the history and origins of word roots in Armenian. Also includes explanations of each word root as it is used today. (Explanations are in Eastern Armenian, but root words span the entire Armenian language, including Western Armenian.) *
Armenian-English dictionary
(about 70,000 entries). *
English-Armenian dictionary
(about 96,000 entries). *
Armenian-French dictionary
(about 18,000 entries). *
French-Armenian dictionary
(about 20,000 entries). {{DEFAULTSORT:Western Armenian Language Armenian languages Endangered diaspora languages Languages of France Languages of Greece Armenian, Western Languages of Iraq Languages of Lebanon Languages of Syria Languages of Turkey