Davit S. Gyurjinyan
In the old Armenian language, only three verbs were formed, meaning the transformation of ethnic identity: հրեանալ, պարթևանալ, պարսկանալ (“become a Jew, become a Parthian, become a Persian, accept their customs, language and faith”). In subsequent periods of the development of the Armenian language (and today too) 30 verbs were formed, uniting in the lexical-semantic subgroup of the verbs of transformation.
The semantic component of transformation refers to: a) national identity, b) religious identity, c) language, d) customs:
The word-formation basis of the verbs became: a) the names of representatives of neighboring countries or countries attached to Armenia (ռուսանալ, վրացանալ), b) the names of those nations and countries in which there were or are Armenian communities (լեհանալ, ռումինանալ), c) self-naming of Armenians – հայ (հայանալ), d) the names of religions, faiths and their followers (քրիստոնեանալ, իսլամանալ, կաթոլիկանալ).
The studied verbs mostly have one meaning, but there are also some that have multiple meanings: (թուրքանալ “1. become a Turk, 2. get furious”, etc.).
Most of the dictionaries have the verb հայանալ recorded “1. become an Armenian, 2. (rel.) adopt the Armenian-Gregorian faith”, however, many lexical units of this lexico-semantic group are not yet registered in the dictionaries. Verbs of ethnic transformation are of limited use, some are very rare, even in a single participial form.