Linguistics in Armenia

             Armenian linguistics is based on the age-long history of Armenian grammatical mind on the one hand, which has always reflected the high level of the worldwide science of its time. On the other hand it is based on the modern achievements of native and foreign linguistics. It was rapidly developed especially in the 20-th century when the Armenian statehood was established (1918) and the Armenian language acquired the status of the state language of the RA, with its forthcoming functional comprehensiveness, broad abilities of development, improvement and investigation. Armenian has become a subject of comprehensive research for different linguistic scientific categories, which examine fundamental questions concerning its origin, historical development, inner structure and social functions. Researches are carried out  in all the spheres of Armenology – contrastive and comparative examination of Armenian and other languages, the typological characterization of Armenian, historical-comparative grammar, dialectology, the theory and history of language, the description of its structure in various phases of development – phonetics and phonology, lexicology, phraseology, stylistics, terminology and lexicography. Many different dictionaries are compiled such as explanatory, parallel translatory (bilingual, multilingual), phraseological, terminological, dictionaries of synonyms and antonyms, dictionaries of Armenian proper names, surnames, place names of Armenia and adjacent regions and some other dictionaries among which most significant are “The Armenian Root Dictionary” by H. Ajaryan, “The Armenian Explanatory Dictionary” by S. Malkhasyants, “The Explanatory Dictionary of Modern Armenian” by E. Aghayan, “The Armenian Russian Dictionary” by A. Gharibyan, “the Explanatory Dictionary of Modern Armenian published by the IL NAS RA, “Armenian Russian Dictionary”, “Russian Armenian Dictionary”, “Dictionary of Armenian Dialects”, etc. School textbooks, textbooks and manuals for higher education institutions are created as well as educational dictionaries and directories, Armenian self-taught handbooks for foreigners. In the middle of the 20-th century new spheres for Armenian linguistics were developed – psycho-linguistics, socio-linguistics, structural linguistics, mathematical linguistics and the formative description of the language, the typological contrastive study of Armenian, historical dialectology and linguistic geography. The questions concerning the elaboration and regulation of literary language, term-building, culture of speech, spelling and orthoepy as well as other questions of practical type are in the centre of Armenologists’ attention.
          If in the beginnings of the 19-th and 20-th centuries Armenology  was mainly developed in European scientific centers, where the scientists’ attention was called to the comparative study of the language, thus in the 50’s of the 20-th century Armenia became the leading centre for Armenology and the comprehensive investigation of all the manifestations and variants of Armenian.
          Alongside with the study of the mother tongue, Armenian linguists are also concerned with other old and modern languages. Due attention was paid to the ancient languages of Western Asia, Balkan Peninsula and languages of Asia Minor (Illyric, Old Macedonian, Thracian, Phrygian, Hittite, Hayacian, Khumerian, Old Persian as well as Urartian, Khuritian, Akkadian, Aramaic, etc.).
          Armenia has had source and regional contacts with them in different periods, thus the study of these languages favours the historical-comparative study of Armenian, the clarification of the problems connected with its origin, linguistic and cultural relevances with the neighbouring nations. The Modern European languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, etc.) which are taught at schools and universities are studied in the context of their teaching methodology and in the context of typological and comparative linguistics for contrastive analysis. The same phenomenon refers to the modern oriental languages such as Arabic, Persian, Turkish, the study of which is also important from the viewpoint of developing international relations in the Near East territory.
          The achievements of Armenian linguists are to be marked especially in the field of general linguistics. They have made a memorable contribution to the research of such linguistic and philosophical theoretical questions as language and mind, logical and linguistic categories, the co-relations between language and extra-linguistic realities, the dialectics of the perception of subjective and objective factors of linguistic and extra-linguistic worlds,  creation of linguistic and conceptual models, the gnoseological questions of linguistic sign, the discovery of the essence of the linguistic sign, the fundamental questions of linguistic conscience and linguistic communication, creation of universal linguistic model, etc. More private questions of linguistic theory are noted as the classification of linguistic levels, linguistic units and their distinguishing features, the elaboration of the language study methods, the classification of the linguistic scientific categories and the determination of the linguistic structure, the part-of-speech teaching development, the definition of the syntactical smallest unit, etc. Other problems referring to the field of applied linguistics are also suggested and solved such as experimental phonetics, machine translation, linguistic provision of information systems.
          So, at present Armenian linguistics is a system of linguistic scientific categories, the main directions of which being the comprehensive study of Armenian, the contrastive-typological research of languages, general and comparative linguistics. These directions  have preserved their primary importance even after the establishment of the independent state. Great importance is given to the Armenian language as a guarantee for preservation of national self-sufficiency and further independent development of the RA for future comprehensive development and an important strategic means of unobstructed usage. Thus, the main problem of Armenology  is considered to be the research, regulation, elaboration, perfection of Armenian, the realization of which is in need of both the state’s care and scientific and methodological justification.    In spite of the fact that the scientific potential had a decrease during the beginning of the 90’s connected with the political and economic hardships of the transitional period, Armenian linguistics did not cease to long for the preservation of the traditional fields of Armenological researches and the utilization of new spheres. And if there was some decrease in theoretical works due to practical directions in the above mentioned period (the compilation of different dictionaries, directories, textbooks, self-taught manuals, phrasebooks, etc.) then in the recent years the interest in linguistic fundamental questions which relate to the various parts and structural levels of the language as well as to its territorial, social and historic variants has risen. Researches presented to the coverage of complex and contentious issues are carried out which are associated with the Armenian comparative grammar (the state of protoArmenian, sublevel phenomena, the reflection of Indo-European alternations in Old Armenian, the facts of comparative mythology, etc.), the historical development (the development and formation of Western and Eastern Armenian literary variants, especially the language of poetry, linguistic neologisms, the enrichment of the word stock by means of own word-building ways as well as borrowings and calques), linguistic facts in Armenia and Diaspora conditioned by ethnographical procedures (bilingualism and multilingualism, literary, informal and dialectal variants, their co-relation and social conditionality) and other aspects.
          The working out of the universal linguistic theory, the study of the symbolic system, the new interpretation of the conceptual and grammatical categories are considered significant achievements in the field of general linguistics. Psycho-linguistic researches are carried out in the direction of linguistic consciousness, logical and the formation of linguistic categories, the utilization of the mechanisms of mother tongue and foreign languages, the categorization of lingo-cultural thinking, as well as the study of the peculiarities of the child’s language development.
          Connected with the development of high technologies some questions become practically essential. Among which are the linguistic provision of informative systems based on the compilation of repositories and frames for facts, the formative description of the language, the coverage of editorial and correction programs on the one hand, and on the other hand the solution to various scientific and practical problems by computing technological means (machinery translation, the creation of different dictionaries including electronic author’s concordances, the formation of the dialectal atlas, etc.). in the recent years there has been some activity of works in these fields, too.
          Connected with inter-linguistic and cross-cultural relations and in the consequence of the immigration of masses who don’t master Armenian, there also appear unwanted linguistic influences, improper loans, negative linguistic penetrations, fall in the culture of speech, etc. The problems concerning the teaching of the mother tongue, the purity of the literary language, the increase in the culture of speech in public as well as in press and mass media, the correct use of the language gain special importance.
           The solution to the mentioned problems needs concentration of attention on the further regulation and standardization (kanonarkum) of the literary language, the creation of various teaching-methodological literature, the use of the new teaching technologies, and generally the realization of correct state lingo-politics and to preserve the wide use of high elaboration of Armenian, which allows to consider it one of the most developed modern languages.
                                                                                                    L. Hovsepyan

Last books


Defens of PhD Thesis

Tamara Nelsik Poghosyan  «Linguistic Analysis of the 17-th Century Modern Armenian (Ashkharabar) printed Books»

 10.02.01 «Armenian Language»

 on 30.03....

Defens of PhD Thesis

Zaruhi Hrayr Khachatryan  «Hypponyms in the Persian and Armenian Languages: a Comparative Study»

 10.02.02 «General and Comparative Linguistics»

 on 10.02...

Education - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.