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1. the language of the Armenians: an Indo-European language probably belonging to the Thraco-Phrygian branch, but containing many non-Indo-European elements
2. an adherent of the Armenian Church or its doctrines
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



language of the Armenians living in the Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Georgian SSR, and also Turkey, some countries of Western Europe, the Near and Middle East, India, and North and South America. Within the USSR, Armenian is spoken by more than 2.5 million people (1959) and abroad by more than 1 million people. A member of the Indo-European family of languages, Armenian was one of the ancient written languages of this group.

The history of the Armenian literary language is divided into three periods—ancient, middle, and modern. The classical period lasted from the fifth to the 11th centuries. The language of this period is called classical Armenian, and the language of the written records is called Grabar. The language of the middle period (11th to 17th centuries) is called middle Armenian. The modern period (from the 17th century on) is characterized by the formation of the contemporary Armenian language, which has been acquiring the features of the modern Armenian literary language since the end of the 19th century. It is represented by eastern and western variants which are further differentiated by numerous dialects. The inhabitants of the Armenian SSR speak the eastern variant of the Armenian language (called ashkharhabar).

Armenian has six vowel and 30 consonant phonemes. The noun has two numbers; traces of a dual number have been preserved in some dialects. Grammatical gender has disappeared. There is a postpositive definite article. Seven cases and eight types of declensions are distinguished. In modern Armenian, the verb has the categories of voice, aspect, person, number, mood, and tense. The use of analytical constructions in verb forms is widespread. The morphology of Armenian is primarily agglutinative, but with analytic elements. The Armenian alphabet was created by Mesrob Mashtots in A.D. 405–06.


Garibian, A. S. Kratkii kurs armianskogo iazyka, 3rd ed. Yerevan, 1960.
Kusik’ian, I. K. Ocherki istoricheskogo sintaksisa literaturnogo armianskogo iazyka. Moscow, 1959.
Hübschmann, H. Armenische Grammatik, part I, secs. 1–2. Leipzig, 1895–97.
Meillet. A. Esquisse d’une grammaire comparée de l’arménien classique, 2nd ed. Vienna, 1936.
Aladjariyan, H. Hayotz lezvi batmutiyun, parts 1–2. Yerevan, 1940–51.
Sevag, G. Zhamanagagitz hayereni hamarot batmutiyun. Yerevan, 1948.
Abrahamiyan, A. S. Grabari dzernark. Yerevan, 1958.
Arakeliyan, V. D. Hayereni sharahiyusutiyun, book 1. Yerevan, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bardakjian, Hitler and the Armenian Genocide (Cambridge, MA: The Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation, 1985), p.
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After the World War I, the Armenian allegations were investigated between 1919 and 1922 as part of a legal process against the Ottoman officials.
The French government has assured Turkey that they will warn socialists vis-a-vis the Armenian legislation, Bagis said.
In 1982by threatening the lives and livelihoods of Jews in TurkeyTurkey pressured the Israeli government to stop a genocide studies conference in Tel Aviv, at which a group of scholars were giving papers on the Armenian Genocide.

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