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Eastern Armenian

Eastern Armenian is one of the two modern dialects of Armenian (an Indo-European language), spoken in the Caucasus mountains (particularly in the Armenian Republic).

Table of contents
1 Phonology
2 Morphology
3 See also


The phonology of Eastern Armenian features a three-way distinction in its stops and affricates (here given with corresponding fricatives):

  unaspirate aspirate unaspirate aspirate  
Labial Voiced b  v
Voiceless pʻ (p) pʰ (p')   f
Nasal m  
Dental Voiced d dz z
Voiceless tʻ (t) tʰ (t') cʻ (c) cʰ (c') s
Nasal n  
Palatal Voiced   ʤ (j) ʒ (zh)
Voiceless   ʧʻ (ch) ʧʰ (ch') ʃ (sh)
Velar Voiced g  ɣ (gh)
Voiceless kʻ (k) kʰ (k')   x (kh)
Glottal Voiceless     h

Armenian also features a two-way distinction between its rhotic sounds, /r/ (r') and /ɹ/ (r). Armenian has one lateral approximant, /l/.

There are seven Armenian vowels:

  Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e ə () o
Low   a

The phonology of Eastern Armenian preserves the three-way distinction in stops and affricates that is missing from Western Armenian.

Another element of both varieties of Armenian is devoicing of final stops and affricates, so that a word like t'az ('crown') is pronounced t'as. In Eastern Armenian, the effect of devoicing renders voiced stops and affricates (which are not aspirated) as voiceless aspirate stops, meaning kamurj (bridge) sounds like kamurch'.



Eastern Armenian nouns have seven casess, one more than Western Armenian. They are: Nominative (subject), Accusative (direct object), Genitive (possession), Dative (indirect object), Ablative (origin), Instrumental (means) and Locative (position). Of the seven cases, the nominative and accusative, with exceptions, are the same, and the genitive and dative are the same, meaning that nouns have mostly five distinct forms for case. Nouns in Armenian also decline for number (singular and plural), but do not decline for gender (i.e. masculine or feminine).

Declension in Armenian is based on how the genitive is formed. There are several declensions, but two are the most used (genitive in i, and genitive in u):

  dasht (field) gari (barley)


singular plural singular plural
Nom-Acc dasht dashter gari gariner
Gen-Dat dashti dashteri garu garineri
Abl dashtic' dashteric' garuc' garineric'
Instr dashtov dashterov garov garinerov
Loc dashtum dashterum garum garinerum

Two notes:
First, notice that the Ablative form in Eastern Armenian is -ic', where it is - in Western Armenian: WA kar/EA garuc'

Second, notice that in Western Armenian, the plural forms followed the u-declension, while in Eastern Armenian the plural forms follow the i-declension: WA karineru/EA garineri


Like some other languages such as English, Armenian has definite and indefinite articles. The indefinite article in Eastern Armenian is mi, which precedes the noun:

mi girk' ('a book',, mi grk'i ('of a book',

The definite article is a suffix attached to the noun, and is one of two forms, either - or -n, depending on whether the final sound is a vowel or a consonant, and whether a preceding word begins with a vowel or consonant:

mard ('the man',
garin ('the barley'
Sa mardn ('This is the man')
Sa garin ('This is the barley')


Adjectives in Armenian do not decline for case or number, and precede the noun:

lav girk' ('the good book',
lav grk'in ('to the good book',


Verbs in Armenian are based on two basic series of forms, a "present" form and a "imperfect" form. From this, all other tenses and moods are formed with various particles and constructions. There is a third form, the preterite, which in Armenian is tense in its own right, and takes no other particles or constructions. (See also Armenian verbs and Eastern Armenian verb table for more detailed information.)

The present tense in Eastern Armenian is based on two conjugationss (a, e). In Eastern Armenian, the distinct conjugations in e and i merged as e.

'to be'
'to love'
'to read'

present participle sirum kardum

yes (I) em sirem kardam

du ( es sires kardas

na (he/she/it) siri karda

menk' (we) enk' sirenk' kardank'

duk' ( ek' sirek' kardak'

nrank' (they) en siren kardan

The present tense (as we know it in English) is made by adding the present tense of linel after the present participle form of the verb:

Yes kardum em girk' (I am reading the book)
Yes sirum em da girk' (I love this book)

See also

External links