Category Archives: LINGUISTICS


(Diachronic and synchronic aspects)

Lalik M. Khachatryan

The article discusses the transformation of the analytical structures of the Old Armenian language into compound words. The phenomenon of transformation is analyzed both in Grabar and in the modern Armenian literary language. Ակն, ձեռն, ունկն, ծունր, արիւն, դէմք and other words act as somatic components of verbal juxtapositions.


Analysis under a new light

Miranush E. Kesoyan

Figurative-expressive means in linguistics have been examined for the most
part as stylistic tricks to make speech influential, impressive, and enriching.
However, they perform another remarkable function too, that is, to serve
expressing the implied meaning, enabling to convey information indirectly, or
sometimes masking it, depending on various circumstances. This article is an
attempt to examine the figurative and expressive means from that point of view.


In comparison with the Greek original

Sargis R. Avetyan

It is argued that attempts to characterize the semantic relationship between
the two forms of the Subjunctive (the present subjunctive and the aorist
subjunctive) in Classical Armenian as either a mood contrast or an aspect-mood
contrast are not backed up by the relevant synchronic as well as diachronic
linguistic data of Old Armenian.



Davit S. Gyurjinyan

To designate the concept of the “French language” in Armenian, words formed on the basis of the names of the tribes that took part in the formation of the French people (Franks, Gauls), the names of the country and nation (France, French) and their variants were used. There were a number of language names in use with different variants: ֆռանկերէն / ֆռանգերէն / փռանկերէն “Language of the Franks (French people)”, ֆրանցուզերեն / ֆռանցուզերեն “French language”, գաղղիերէն / գալլիերէն, գաղղիարէն / գալլիարէն “language of the inhabitants of Gaul (France)”, ֆրանսիարէն “language of France”, currently both versions of the Armenian language adopted a single name – ֆրանսերեն “French language”.

Variants of the name of the language differ in phonetic and derivational features: double sounds (գաղղիերէն / գալլիերէն), various sounds at the beginning and in the middle of the word (ֆռանկերէն / փռանկերէն, ֆրանցուզերեն / ֆռանցուզերեն), variable suffixes – արէն / -երէն, denoting “language” (գաղղիարէն / գաղղիերէն), lexical foundations: ֆռանկերէն (Frank), գաղղիերէն (Gaul), ֆրանսերեն (Frank), etc. Most of the options have a pan-Armenian character.

փռանկերէն, ֆրանցուզերեն / ֆռանցուզերեն), variable suffixes – արէն / -երէն, denoting “language” (գաղղիարէն / գաղղիերէն), lexical foundations: ֆռանկերէն (Frank), գաղղիերէն (Gaul), ֆրանսերեն (Frank), etc. Most of the options have a pan-Armenian character. In the 19th century, by analogy with the corresponding structures of the Armenian language of the 5th century, synonymous phrases were created that were used in parallel with lexical names: գաղղիական / գալլիական բարբառ / լեզու “Gallic/Gaulish speech (language)”, փռանկաց / փռանկական լեզու “Frank language, language of Franks”.

The chronology of the use of variants presents the following picture: the last quarter of the 16th century – ֆռանկերէն (the first Armenian name of the French language), 1611 – ֆռանգերէն, the middle of the 19th century – փռանկական լեզու (in the Western Armenian), ֆրանսիարէն, ֆրանցուզերեն (in the Eastern Armenian), the last quarter of the 19th century – before the 20th century – փռանկերէն. Now the variability of the Armenian name of the French language has been eliminated.

From the Middle Armenian ֆռանկերէն to the modern French ֆրանսերեն, it has been a centuries-old process of finding an acceptable name for the French language, its adoption and standardization



In the context of the philosophical problematic field

Gevorg G. Hakobyan
The subject of this analysis is the problem of the (moral, political, scientific, etc.) obligation of demonstration/not demonstration of existing or possible errors in all kinds of spheres of human activity.

At first glance, it seems clear and self-evident that any errors that exist or are possible in human relations must be revealed, educed and eliminated. And if this process of elimination requires that the existence of the error be publicly announced, then this demand also has to be met. But this seems true only at a glance.

Actually, revealing the errors is fraught with the danger of deepening, spreading, and/or strengthening those errors. That is, it is quite possible that when we point out the errors, it will lead to the exact opposite result.

Taking into account this circumstance, it can be insisted that there is a paradoxical situation. Namely, the errors have to be pointed out to be eliminated or at least neutralized, but at the same time, the errors do not have to be pointed out to be eliminated or at least neutralized.

By all appearances, this is the essence of the problem of the obligation of demonstration/not demonstration of errors, which also exists in lexicographical processes.

It is self-evident and many lexicographers also explicitly claim that the purpose of a dictionary is to demonstrate the truth and not the errors. Nevertheless, there are many cases when the lexicographers not only point out the errors and/or explain them in detail, but also put the wrong or inaccurate word in place of the correct headword.

This lexicographical practice can have many causes, perhaps the most predominant of which is the widespread use of the wrong word at the expense of obscuring the right one. Lexicographers sometimes intentionally make the wrong or even non-existent word a headword, being sure that if the correct word was put in place of the headword, the reader would not be able to find it, because the reader only knows the wrong version of that word and will eventually search for its wrong version. In these and other cases of pointing out errors, the errors can be spread, deepened, and/or more strengthened: a result against which (among others) any scientific practice as well as lexicography is directed. And here a question arises. How can we deal with the abovementioned paradoxical situation?

Overcoming this situation is very important, as lexicography has a significant impact on both the speed and direction of the development of the (Armenian) language.

It is clear that there can be more than one way to achieve a possible solution to the problem, but in the article it is suggested to deal with this situation by constructing a conventional paradigm and making it public, as the most common or perhaps the only way to get rid of paradoxical situations is the conventionalist approach.


Vardan Z. Petrosyan
Similar to historical-comparative Armenological Studies, the linguistic tradition of other Old Indo-European languages possessing x (kh) (Iranian and German old languages, Hittite, Old Greek, Old Slavonic, Lithuanian, etc.) maintain that the phoneme has developed from the Indo- European aspirated voiceless (*kh) (in our opinion, it derives from *kh, one of the two major positional variants of the IE aspirated voiceless backlingual phoneme K[/h]).

It is worth mentioning that 1) this is one of the few instances when a single IE prototype is restored for a certain phoneme (in this case – x (kh) in Armenian and other languages, 2) Based on the well-accepted “consonant movement” in classical typology, i.e., according to the standard phonemic transitions both in Armenian and in other languages, the phoneme could not have developed into x (kh). Instead, it should have developed into 􀊛 (k’) since the IE category of aspirated voiceless sounds could not have undergone any changes, i.e., no “movement” could have taken place, which we witness in the case of labial and dental phonemes (comp. ph > 􀊚 (p􀒳), *th > 􀊀 (t􀒳)). However, the fact that the k > x (kh) transition is typical of not only IE languages, but rather is of general linguistic, more precisely, a typological nature (the phonemic transitions from back-lingual voiceless occlusives (q / 􀛘 / 􀛚 / k), fricatives into Armenian 􀊄 (x) in the Armenian borrowings from non IE languages like Semitic and Caucasian can prove the idea stated). This comes to confirm the high probability of the transition from the IE *kh to Armenian 􀊄 (x), on the one hand, and of the original phonetic, rather than phonemic nature of this change, on the other hand.

Following one of the most probable explanations, the transition from the back-lingual voiceless occlusive kh to the back-lingual voiceless fricative 􀊄 (x) could have been possible due to the opening of a narrow passage rather than an explosion of the glottis, which is specific to the pronunciation of occlusives (A. Meillet).

However, we hold the opinion that the explanation could be more complete if we acknowledged the importance of the common and no less important feature necessary for the articulation of all the above mentioned phonemes – their back-lingual position.


A Synchronic and Diachronic Examination

Sargis R. Avetyan

An attempt is made to show that typological evidence (namely, the patterns
of the historical development of old presents) confirms H. Acharyan’s hypothesis
that the formations with the particle կու (կը), which are commonly used with
future meaning in Eastern Armenian, originally served functions of a standard
present. Unforunately, researchers, with a few exceptions, have not paid due
attention to H. Acharyan’s above remark. The existence of the present with the
particle կու (կը) in Eastern Armenian either has been attributed to the influence
from neighbouring dialects pertaining to the Կը branch, or has just been stated as a
fact without any explanation. However, it is no accident that the old present formed
with the particle կու (կը) does not typically express progressive meaning and is
only used as a habitual and/or historical present in the Colloquial Eastern Armenian
and a number of Armenian dialects, where the standard present (progressive in
origin) involves a participle.

It is well established cross-linguistically that when a new progressive
aspect form arises and becomes obligatory, the old present is often restricted to
habitual (as well as historical present) and future meanings. Later the progressive
may also be extended to the habitual use and become obligatory there too. When
that happens, the old present becomes confined to the future meaning. On the other
hand, the historical present meaning found in old presents is readily explained as an
archaism that has been preserved in certain narrative genres. Particularly, folklore
genres are generally conservative in this respect, so it is here that old presents tend
to appear as narrative tenses even after the new formation (the new present) has
ousted the old present tense from its central functions.

Therefore, the above typological evidence sheds new light on the historical
relationship between the present tense forms involving the participle -ում and the
formations with the particle կու (կը) as well as on their synchronic functional
distribution in Eastern Armenian (the so-called Ում branch). To put it another way,
the habitual and historical present meanings of the formations with the particle կու
(կը) in Eastern Armenian should be regarded as residual uses preserved from an
erstwhile standard present. Besides, the examination of various written records of
the 17th-18th centuries suggests that the functional-semantic replacement of the old
present involving the particle կու (կը) by the new present tense involving the
participle -ում has taken place at different rates in different territorial varieties of
Eastern Armenian.



Lusine Avetisyan
Practically, the etymology of the Armenian word “Աղջիկ” (“Aghjik” girl) is absent, all attempts to explain its origin are unconvincing.

A new etymology is presented in this article, which at the same time is based on linguistic data and on ancient ideas about phenomena, on the cosmogonic myth as well as on the ancient Armenian calendar. The subject of the article is the roots of “Աղջ” (“aghj” dark) and “Աղիջ” (“aghij” girl). It is likely that the primary variant of the second root is also “Աղջ”.

According to my hypothesis, for both concepts there is a single common root “Աղջ”, and this is substantiated by the myth about Hayk, and also by the word “Աղջամուղջ” (“aghjamughj” darkness, night), which is, in fact, the ancient Armenian name of one of the night hours.

The original Armenian chronology originates from the moment when Hayk,  according to legend, with a three-winged arrow tore Bel’s chest – the incarnation of darkness. Later, the Armenian months were named after his children. Tradition provides indirect information that units of time got male or female characteristics, since the months were named after the descendants of Hayk, both male and female.

The names of the months also give information about other realities that have been forgotten in the mist of millennia. They suggest that Armenians called their children by the names of the descendants of Hayk, or attributed the names of their children to the sons and daughters of Hayk, and we see through the millennia an incomplete list of Armenian names, probably headed by the name Hayk.

Progenitor Hayk, whom Anania Shirakatsi considers the founder of the Armenian calendar, is in fact the Armenian god of time. And the god of time is the father of all units of time, and above all, of the dualistic day. “Աւր” (“or” day) and “Աղջ” (“aghj” night) were the first children of different sexes of the god of time. Their twelve-hour divisions were defined later. “Աղջամուղջ” (aghjamughj) is also the child of the god of time and, obviously, a definite fraction of “Աղջ” (night), and reminds that she is also a child of the night.

At first, human called things and phenomena of the surrounding world, only then, in their image and likeness, he called his children. And the first thing to which the human mind has reached in the flow of endless time, undoubtedly has been a day with its harmonious existence, in which features and characteristics of its male and female children – day and night are combined.

After the initial determination of time, the wide-open eye of human consciousness in its own form of existence will find a demonstration of the equilibrium of the universe and a reflection of the daily born celestial twin. And it is natural that he distinguished his children of different sexes with the same names by which he defined two halves of day, calling his son “Աւր” (day)> “Այր” (man, husband), and daughter – “Աղջ” (night)> “Աղջ” (girl), “Աղջիկ” (little girl).