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#1 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:37 AM

A few questions:

1) Despite my near-hatred of Soviet orthography, I'm interested in learning all the rules, to try make sense of it all.

Does anyone know of a website that details the rules?

I also know there was a more radical version of spelling changes in the beginning, but that they were modified to the current version some decades ago.


2) As a secondary question, I always wondered how the spelling rules were put into place. I imagine that there must have been lots of opposition to it. And, I imagine it was quite an upheaval, quite an undertaking. How long did it take? Were people opposed to it?

And today, do Armenian linguists in Armenia hate the spelling system? Do they oppose it?

Do old people in Armenia still use the 'tasagan' orthography?


3) Finally: What was the point??? I learned the 'crazy' spelling rules of classical orthography. It's not that hard. I imagine if I lived in a country where everyone used Armenian (w/ classical orthography), it would have been even easier to learn. English is a language that has no spelling system. At least classical Armenian orthography had many rules and reasons behind its spelling rules. Why the change?

#2 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:10 AM

You couldn’t have asked the question at a more opportune time. Or had you seen this news item already.? In a nutshell; A committee was elected to tackle the problem to reestablish the Mesropian Orthography. The committee includes linguists and academicians from both Armenia and the Diaspora.
My next complaint will be acronyms such as արտգործնախ, and many more. What is so difficult to say արտաքին գործոց նախարար?
====

AZG Armenian Daily #228, 14/12/2005

«ՄԵՍՐՈՊՅԱՆ ՈՒՂՂԱԳՐՈՒԹՅՈՒՆԸ ՎԵՐԱԿԱՆԳՆՈՂՆԵՐԻ» ՄԻԱՎՈՐՈՒՄՆ ԸՆՏՐԵԼ Է ՊԱՏՎԱՎՈՐ ՆԱԽԱԳԱՀՆԵՐ ԵՎ ԽՈՐՀՈՒՐԴ
Օրերս կայացել է «Մեսրոպյան ուղղագրությունը վերականգնողների» միավորման նիստը, որի ժամանակ միավորման պատվավոր նախագահներ են ընտրվել Ներսես արք. Պոզապալյանն ու քանդակագործ Ղուկաս Չուբարյանը: Միավորման սփյուռքի ներկայացուցիչներն են բանաստեղծ Զահրատը, Զարեհ Խրախունին, Սարի Ասլանը եւ այլք՝ Կ Պոլսից, Պերճ եւ Սեդա Թերզյանները՝ Եգիպտոսից, Վահան Վահանյանը՝ Մ. Նահանգներից, Վիեննայի Մխիթարյանների աբբահայր հայր Պողոսը, Անջեյ Պիսովիչը՝ Լեհաստանից:
Գործադիր խորհրդի անդամ է ընտրվել Պարգեւ Շահբազյանը, խորհրդի կազմում ընդգրկվել են ակադեմիկոսներ Գրիգոր Գուրզադյանը, Պարիս Հերունին, Լեւոն Զեքիյանը, պրոֆ. Հենրիկ Բախչինյանը, Հիլտա Գալֆայանը, Սուրեն Դանիելյանը, Ռուբեն Ղազարյանը, Արշակ Մադոյանը եւ ուրիշներ: Միավորման գործադիր մարմնի կազմում են համակարգչի մասնագետ Արամ Գորոյանը, Գրիգոր Գույումջյանը, Գեւորգ Յազըճյանը եւ ուրիշներ, իսկ սփյուռքից՝ Վաչե Գալստյանը, Արտավազդ Ավագյանը, Սալբի Գասպարյանը, Ռոբեր Հատեճյանը, Հակոբ Պալյանը, Թորոս Թորանյանը եւ այլք:
Մասնագիտական հանձնախմբում ընդգրկված են Հիլտա Գալֆայանը, Լեւոն Զեքիյանը, Ռուբեն Ղազարյանը, Արշակ Մադոյանը, Հայկանուշ Մեսրոպյանը, Խորեն Պալյանը եւ հայր Պողոսը:
Ռ. Պ.


#3 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:26 AM

The day schoolchildren in Armenia have arguments over how to spell words will be the day I can die in peace! smile.gif

It's եկեղեցւոյ. No! It's եկեղեցուոյ!

Ahhh, one can dream.

#4 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:36 AM

BTW, thanks for that news clip, Arpa.

I realize it would cost lots of money to switch back to the original orthography (storefront signs, textbooks, government documents, dictionaries, teacher re-training, etc), so I hope it is done over a long period of time.

Say, along with bringing in Mesrobian spelling, can we get rid of the '39th letter'??? I mean "yev," of course...lol

#5 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (Gor-Gor @ Dec 19 2005, 11:36 AM)
Say, along with bringing in Mesrobian spelling, can we get rid of the '39th letter'??? I mean "yev," of course...lol

Until recently I thought the inclusion of "yev" as the 37th letter was just a popular misconception until when recently I saw an article, it may have been in AZG that the teachers were actually teaching it as a fact. And I did write about it on several occasions and many here agreed.
Duhh!!
How stupid! Many English speaking children reciting the alphabet when they get to W X Y they recite "and" before Z. Does that mean "and" is a letter? It is just a childih game and sounds almiost a sign odf relief when they finally reach the end of the run after such an "ordeal(?)". smile.gif smile.gif
If ԵՒ/YEV is a letter why is not ՈՒ/OU?
Is it not obvious that "yev" is a word, not a letter, that it was inserted between the 36th and the 37th letter to stress the fact that the 37th and 38th letters, i.e. O and F were later added, during the Kilikian period to be precise.
Speaking of stupid. I still cannot understand why it was so urgent that the so called Soviet orthography was devised in such a hurry, as if we had nothing better to do. I may have an idea, and I have heard this as well that it was a compromise to get closer to Russian oergography as there was at the time a movement advocating to drop the Mesropian and adopt the Cyrillic
Anyway, I will try and find the reason and the history of that assinine sovietized orthography.

BTW GorGor, you seem to have learned how to pull my strings smile.gif

Edited by Arpa, 19 December 2005 - 09:12 AM.


#6 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:11 AM

QUOTE (Gor-Gor @ Dec 19 2005, 11:36 AM)
BTW, thanks for that news clip, Arpa.

I realize it would cost lots of money to switch back to the original orthography (storefront signs, textbooks, government documents, dictionaries, teacher re-training, etc), so I hope it is done over a long period of time.

Say, along with bringing in Mesrobian spelling, can we get rid of the '39th letter'??? I mean "yev," of course...lol

Of course, I m sure that your stirring a whole rotten can of worms.
There is blame to in every direction.
Before we proceed let us consider what Jesus had said about the subject;


Matt.7
[3] And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

John.8
[7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.


#7 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:36 AM

The arch-villain in this crime was Manuk Abeghian (1865-1944), who was otherwise a celebrated and valuable intellectual, linguist, professor of literature, lexicographer and dictionarian. He was at the head of the “junta” that advocated the government to issue a March 4, 1922 decree passing into law the review of orthography.
He was an unabashed russophile as opposed to Ajarian who at times shows a tinge of turkophilia as the latter was born in Istanbul and was brought up speaking Turkish in his earlier years. Plus one can see that Ajarian is far from russophilia as very little in his works points to that direction. Even though he does invoke the Russian language to corroborate some of his assertions, he does it no more than he invokes English, German, Greek….and more
So much so that at times that un-orthography is unofficially known as the Abeghian Orthography.

#8 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:45 AM

I had aired this some time ago. It may be appropriate to air it again.
You will note that this idiot is a political science-economist. Which may partially answer your questio about he cost of doing business. Yet he cannot hie his disdain of the so called diasporan orthography.
====

Armenian News Network / Groong

Armenia-Diaspora Conference 2002 Commentary
Redistribution of Groong articles, such as this one, to any other media, including but not limited to other mailing lists and Usenet bulletin boards, is strictly prohibited without prior written consent from Groong's Administrator.
? Copyright 2002 Armenian News Network/Groong. All Rights Reserved.

ORTHOGRAPHY, STATE & DIASPORA

Edit.
I decided to remove the full text of said article and instead redirect us to this, where the said article is reprodced in full on page 2;
http://hyeforum.com/...opic=10100&st=0

Edited by Arpa, 19 December 2005 - 07:57 AM.


#9 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:06 AM

And now the history of orthography.
A concise translation from the Hanragitaran monograph ;
Note that I spelled he word as is, i.e , -թյուն instead of -թիւն.
Comments as footnotes.
You will be surprised as I was to learn some little known facts.

ՈՒՂՂԱԳՐՈՒԹՅՈՒՆ
The Armenian alphabet was devised on a phonetic (1) bases. It has gone through several phases and amendments (corruptions?, Arpa). The first phase, the phonetic was 5th to 10th c. From the 11th c. until 1922, during which, along with the phonetic the morphological was used. The sond phase was 11th c. till 1922.The third phase began in 1922 when some letters like Ւ/Hyun, Է/E and O (2) have all but were removed of existence and replaced by Vev Yech and Vo, just as the diphthong IU Իւ has been replaced by Hi Յ(3). After 1940 some letters like the 5th and O were reestablished in their respective value, I.e. once again writing EM/ES instead of YEM/YES.

1. Here the reference is that Բ was designed to sound like the Greek Beta and the Latin B ,Գ was to sound like the Greek Gamma and the Latin G.
2. Of course we know when the diphthong of Ayb- Hyun that was supposed to sound like the Latin AU=O was replaced by adoptin the Latin O, when at the same time F was also adopted.
3. Here is what surprised me and threw into a loop. We all know that the fifth letter Ե was never meant to sound like YE. My opinion about that is that it was the Russian influence, as the Russians will write “eltsin” and pronounce it as “yeltsin”. Why do we write ԵՐԵՒԱՆ and pronounce it as Yerevan, while we pronounce Erebuni, the precursor of Erevan is pronounced Erebuni, not Yerebuni. Another rason why the fifth letter ended up sounding like YE is dependent where the letter is. Consider this. When we say “hos ekur” but when we say “asti ekur” we elide it and it ends sounding like “ast-yekur”, that is, if the previous word ends in a vowel as in the latter case the E sounds like YE while as in the firmer case if the previous word ends in a consonant the E sounds like E. Here is what threw me into a tizzy. It is also mentioned that at one time it was suggested that words like ԵՍ(I, me) ԵՄ(am, as I am) be written as ՅԵՍYES and ՅԵՄ YEM respectively. Apparently some “geniuses” saw the ridiculousness and at was dropped.
4. The rules of Ր/Re v Ռ/Ra, Է/E v Ե/E, Դ/Da v Թ/Tho, Գ/Gim v Կ/Ken/,Ք/Qe etc. are well explained that we may come to subsequently.
5. When we talk about “enough blame to go around”, the westerners are not as innocent as we may like to think. The so called Istanbul and Kiikian, where, if the orthography was preserved in the classical form the phonetics is a total disaster where the consonants suffered so that one cannot tell whether it is a Gim or Qe, Da or To, Ben, Pe or Pyur.. A real ordeal and an unnecessary burden on students in western schools, as opposed to students in the esst where "դարբին/darbin" not "տարպին/թարփին/tarpin"

#10 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 10:20 AM

Dear mods and ads, would it be wise to merge this subject topic with this

http://hyeforum.com/...opic=10100&st=0

and in the process create a combined topic, say, as ORTHOGRAPHY so we won't have to repeat all that has been said before?
Thank you.

#11 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 11:43 AM

Does the Armenian Alphabet need a revision and revamping?
No, I don’t mean the removal of E, Hyun etc.
We pride ourselves t have the most complete and perfect Alphabet , with its 38 charactares. oops.gif, I mean 39 J, only possibly next to the likes of Chinese hieroglyphics.
Don’t blame St. Mesrop, and I mean SAINT, he deserves all the adulation and adoration we can bestow, for as he did not have the advantage as we do, of knowing some of the Romance languages. He devised his composition mostly based on the Greek. He deliberated and was tortured if he should devise it based on the eastern fashion, i.e, to write from right to left, or have it linked like the Semitic or separated . The advantage he did not have was that at that time the Latin, English, French and the German were not even heard of.. That is why he felt compelled to devise a letter for every possible sound.
Had he been exposed to some of the Romance languages mentioned above he would have reconsidered his zeal to cret a character for every sound, specially those uniquely particular to us. Many of our neighbors have no letters/sounds for many of ours, such as SH, CH, GH, KH and more. If he had had the advantage he could have devised a method of diphthongs and spared us, and more so the “otar” learning our system much trouble memorizing all 38 characters and whittle it down to a more “friendly” level.
Why can’t we do away with all those unique sounds and characters and instead do “when in Rome do as the Romans do”, like combine Ս /S and Հ/H to sound likeՇ/SH, Կ and Հ to sound like Ղ/GH ,C and H for Չ/CH… Ք and Հ to sound like Խ/KH and so on …

Edited by Arpa, 19 December 2005 - 11:46 AM.


#12 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 02:38 PM

Regarding yev/oo -- You'll probably want to hang yourself after I tell you this. There are several websites on the internet that list the 34th letter of the alphabet as ՈՒ not Ւ. It's a tragedy. (I just clicked on the link you provided to the Eastern Armenian thread, and it seems that this is quite popular among Armenians from Armenia.)

When I was in school, our teacher told us that the reason for adopting the new orthography was two-fold: (1) To make it similar to Russian, with the eventual goal of using Russian letters; and (2) To make the language easier to learn, so that schoolchildren would not be disgruntled by Armenian and simply choose to learn another language. I kind of don't believe either one. Maybe it was a conspiracy to further divide the Armenian nation -- as if dialect wasn't enough, now we'd have spelling differences, too.

Somewhere in the passages you quoted, it stated that from the 5th to the 10th centuries, we used a different orthography. I'd love to know more about this (sarcasm, as I don't think that is true).

I think part of the beauty of the classical orthography is that you can see the history of the words. Once you change the spelling, the history goes out the window.

Also, classical orthography DOES FOLLOW STRICT RULES. Things like Է --> Ի in words like Սէր (becomes Սիրել Սիրամարգ Սիրտ, etc). These rules of thumb are lost in Soviet orthography. The language loses its flavor.

As for Western Armenians being blameless -- I think we are! Our pronunciation has nothing to do with this. Even with our pronunciation problems, we can still learn how to spell correctly. So, it should be even easier for Easterners. (Case in point: Barsgahays.)

#13 Proud EXPAT

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 04:27 PM

Guys I apologize ahead of time, not sure how much the letter HEE has been talked about, and sorry I dont know how to get the Armenian letters on here.

How do we know that the letter HEE has not always been pronounced Y and not Y for some words and H for other words as we know it?

For example the word resurrection Harutyun, is it possible that it used to be pronounced Yarutyun? I know that sounds weird, but what does Arpa have to say?

#14 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 05:03 PM

Even if you're right, the Soviet changes were not made to correct things like that. If anything, the Soviet changes distanced the language even further from how the letter was supposed to be pronounced.

This is what I meant by original orthography preserving the history of the language. If Յարութիւն was meant to be pronounced Yaroutiun, then the Soviet change to Հարություն didn't do us any favors. It makes it even harder to see if Յարութիւն was supposed be pronounced Yaroutiun...

#15 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 07:39 PM

QUOTE (Proud EXPAT @ Dec 19 2005, 10:27 PM)
Guys I apologize ahead of time, not sure how much the letter HEE has been talked about, and sorry I dont know how to get the Armenian letters on here.

How do we know that the letter HEE has not always been pronounced Y and not Y for some words and H for other words as we know it?

For example the word resurrection Harutyun, is it possible that it used to be pronounced Yarutyun? I know that sounds weird, but what does Arpa have to say?


Dear Proud, you couldn’t ask an easier question could you? smile.gif smile.gif
Let’s first deal with “harutiun”. Perhaps it should be spelled with the HO rather than the HEE. There is no equivalent of it in other languages unlike Hovsep and Hakob as both are of Biblical origin Yosef and Yakob respectively. We are one of he very people that pronounce those names beginning with the sound of H except maybe the Spanish “khozeh”. Most others either pronounce them beginning with J as Jacob or Josef where J=Y. Therefore in the case of Harut we have no foreign reference to draw from.
As far as I am concerned , and this exclusively my opinion, in this case the chicken comes before the egg so to speak. As to “harutiun” mesning “resurrection, to rise there is no root word in Armenian to explain this, and if there is like “harnil”it is probably derived from the application of “harutiun” as “resurrection”. Once again, my opinion is that Harutiun as in resurrection is none other than the Christianization of the Armenian pagan spring rite, just as Christmas is a christianized winter feast of solstice and Easter is the spring feast of Oester (sun, east)… of Horot Morot,/Haurot/Maurot/Harut Marut.
See below. There are other references to the phrase most of which are Qoranic.


QUOTE
http://bibletools.or...RTD/ISBE/ID/743

later held to preside over the underworld (compare Persephone; Hellenistic). Among her assistants as genii of fertility were Horot and Morot (HaurvataT and AmeretaT), tutelary deities of Mt. Massis (now styled Ararat). Aramazd's worship seems to have fallen very much into the background in favor of that of inferior deities, among the chief of whom was his daughter Anahit (Anahita), who had temples in many places

http://www.commercem...AASR_2003_3.htm

One could compare the Armenian observance to the Candlemas of various peoples, but the Iranian tags make it very specific. Similarly, there mare many analogues to the Armenian custom of fortune-telling, vichakakhagh, on Assumption eve. Even if vichak, "lot," were not itself an Iranian word (as most Armenian words are), we would still have the flower used in the rite, called horot-morot, which is put in water. It bears the name of Haurvatat and Ameretat, or Khordad and Amurdad, the Zoroastrian spiritual divinities who preside over plants and water. In its symbolism of light, its vocabulary, its folk rituals, and a great deal else, Armenian Christianity demonstrates an Iranian substratum so strong and so ubiquitous that if Iran had become Christian instead of Moslem, its form of the faith would be very like that which has survived in Armenia.


To the letter HEE.
Like I said. You could have asked an easier question smile.gif
The more I read the more confused I get.
Ajarian make several strong statements about the prevailing usage. We will come to that, but first, it is said that the letter has three uses in three different positions. At the beginning of the word it is H, within the word it is Y and at the end it is usually silent, with exceptions.
He is the argument. Ajarian states that Mashtots was not crazy, if he had meant that HEE be pronounced as H then why did he design both letters, would not one or the other do the job? In other words he is saying that Hee was created to sound like Y regardless, and he brings many example from Greek to Pahlavi and or German, Russian etc.
As far as Hee within the word it is only meant to be used between two vowels as in Hayastan, when the sound is needed between a vowel and a consonant, more often than not when the sound is needed before the vowel rather than after we usually use the letter I /EE as in “miayn” as opposed to “mayrik“ . The hee at the end of a word is again a corruption, that is if it were to remain silent then why use it at all. We have words that end in A but don’t take a hee at the end like na, nora/nra, ima etc The argument is that those words that end in hee were meant to pronounce it , mostly words taken from other cultures as in “abeghaY” . Many other examples.

Edited by Arpa, 19 December 2005 - 08:02 PM.


#16 Arpa

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:28 PM

Oops! oops.gif
I lied.
When I said above there is no Armenian word to mean “resurrect”, I was looking at the wrong places. One should look under r “harrnel/ՅԱՌՆԵԼ, of course Soviet era dictionaries spell it as Հառնել. The word is supposed to be based on the native Armenian word Ar/ԱՐ as in the imperative “ari/արի” come/ekur also to mean "rise". It is in fact spelled with the RE rather than RA in other forms as in Յարութիւն, the reason it is a RA in harrnel is because the R preceding N becomes RA as in “aryun/արիւն” and “arrnanman/առնանման”

#17 Gor-Gor

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Posted 19 December 2005 - 09:45 PM

I'm surprised Soviet orthography maintains the rule that before the "noo" comes the "ra" and not "re."

Interesting.

#18 Proud EXPAT

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 03:49 PM

So Arpa do you think its meant to be pronounced Yarutyun? I've always thought that it should be.

#19 Arpa

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 06:32 PM

QUOTE (Proud EXPAT @ Dec 20 2005, 09:49 PM)
So Arpa do you think its meant to be pronounced Yarutyun? I've always thought that it should be.

Yes I chickened out.
I stopped short of stating that.
Does not all that point in that directeion?
What do you think?

Next the case of the 35th letter Փ փ Pyur.
Perhaps under another subject.

#20 Proud EXPAT

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Posted 21 December 2005 - 02:10 AM

QUOTE (Arpa @ Dec 20 2005, 06:32 PM)
Yes I chickened out.
I stopped short of stating that.
Does not all that point in that directeion?
What do you think?

Next the case of the 35th letter Փ փ Pyur.
Perhaps under another subject.


So tell me about this wonderful letter now. smile.gif




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