To the 150th anniversary of the birth of Nikol Aghbalyan

Lusine A. Avetisyan

The philological and linguistic heritage of the literary critic, teacher, public figure, ideologist Nikol Aghbalyan has almost gone unnoticed by researchers. However, the serious observations and the fundamental results achieved through the peculiar research methodology conducted by this great Armenologist are of utmost importance not only to linguistics and Armenology but can be very useful for new discoveries in the fields of philosophy of language, philosophy and psychology of the nation, for cultural studies and many other scientific branches.

This introductory article presents Nikol Aghbalyan in several essays: as a linguist, as one of the pioneers of comparative linguistics and a dissenting and zealous Armenologist.

The article reflects upon at the prehistory of Aghbalyan’s linguistic studies, shows his attitude to Indo-European studies, and the completely new theory proposed by him, in his own assessment – some of his conclusions, one of which is that the Armenians did not become Armenians as a result of assimilation, but the Armenian language is the same Urartian, only heavily modified. And the Urartian is also an Indo-European language (emphasis by L. A.).

In his articles, he thoroughly studied the phonetics of the Armenian language, dialect stress and due to that the historical phonetic changes, that resulted in the dialect variants with which the language was supplemented during the formation of the nation from different Armenian tribes acquiring words with different meaning, but of the same origin, such as the words “grain” and “bread”.

Particular attention was paid to simple and compound sounds, the examples entirely showed that there are old and relatively new sounds in the language, and that the latter appeared as a result of the synthesis of two simple sounds, which, due to the reduction of a vowel between them, turned out to be next to each other.

A large and important part of Agbalyan’s scientific works are his etymological articles, which not only supplement the research and hypotheses of other linguists, but also often object to them and substantiate their own remarks with new conclusions.