On The Variety Of Dialects In The Armenian Language – Hamshen Magazine, 2013

The Armenian language is part of an independent group of Indo-European languages. Every year, interest in Armenian, both the literary variant and its dialects, is growing more and more among scholars and linguists from around the world. There are many reasons for this, but this material is not about them.

We aren’t going to talk about the history or grammatical features of the Armenian language. Rather, we want to show its diversity and introduce you to it. After all, who, if not we, should know our language better than anyone?

The reasons for the emergence of various Armenian dialects are numerous. However, the main reason was the lack of a single independent state for many centuries, which prevented the development of a single language. Because of this, communication between residents of various Armenian provinces was also inadequate.

Additional obstacles were the geographical impassability and isolation of many mountain regions, as well the strong influence of the languages of many conquerors that impacted both everyday Armenian life and everyday Armenian speech.

There are many dialects in the Armenian language. After the Genocide and “mixing” of the surviving Armenians from various regions in the diaspora, a large part of the dialects gradually went out of use and was replaced by a general literary language used by schools, newspapers, books, and various organizations.

But some dialects have survived to this day. The primary reason for this is the relative isolation of diaspora communities that have come from different regions of historical Armenia. Here, we want to distinguish two Western Armenian dialects from the diaspora (the Hamshen and Ani dialects), as well as the Eastern Armenian variant still used in Artsakh.

We want to add that we consider this diversity of our language a unique wealth and distinguishing feature of the Armenian language. It is good to remember your native dialect, if one exists. And, of course, you need to know the literary Armenian language.

Grigor Narinyan

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