Re: Armenian.

From: cas111jd@...
Message: 7942
Date: 2001-07-18

My own inexpert opinion is that Armenian is most directly descended
from the Anatolian languages. The Hittites even had a vassal state on
the Eurphrates called 'Armini'. After the collapse of Urartu under
Cimmerian attack, the latter people invaded Anatolia, destroying the
Phrygian kingdom and causing much disruption. This caused an
outmigration, with many neo-Hittites migrating onto the east
Anatolian plateau. All this was done in the dying days of the
Assyrian Empire, so we have no written sources beyond the destruction
of Urartu and one Assyrian king's death in Anatolia fighting the

Of course, I've never seen a study confirming or denying Hittite and
Armenian, but given the centuries of Persian, Arab, Turk, and
Caucasic language influences, I image this would be a pretty hard
thing to do.

--- In cybalist@..., markodegard@... wrote:
> Armenian is the least well served of the IE stocks. Part of this is
> the result of political and geographic realities. Most of the
> literature is either in Armenian or Russian, which means it is
> largely inaccessable.
> When you read the articles in the EIEC or Britannica, you note what
> the authors don't say, and how they say they don't say it.
> The official story is that there are two groups of Armenian,
> and Eastern, both descended from Classical Armenian, which emerged
> AD 500. Classical Armenian is Biblical Armenian, 'Church Armenian',
> and uses the Armenian alphabet. EA is spoken in Armenia proper,
> WA is the remnant of Armenian spoken in territories now controlled
> Turkey and Syria. WA is what is mainly heard in immigrant
> in the United States. Not too much else is said, beyond the
> stories about St. Mesrop.
> The reality seems to be considerably more complicated. There's an
> article in the Spring/Summer 2000 JIES by Harold C. Fleming:
> "Glottalization in Eastern Armenian". He covers a number of topics,
> the main one not being germane to my own posting here. He discusses
> the various problems with Armenian and without saying so in so
> many words, comes to the conclusion that a major clearing-of-the-
> is necessary.
> Essentially, the Armenians have carefully avoided bringing
> to their internal linguistic differences in order to maintain
> unity. Armenian is not just one language with a bunch of dialects.
> It's a language family, with distinct living languages, some of
> patently cannot be descended from Classical Armenian. Fleming's
> is the Armenians most likely went right over the Caucasus into
> as shepherds, crossing thru the world's 2nd most intense area of
> glottalization. When the Urartian state collapsed (the details are
> very obscure) the Armenian-speakers seem to have taken over,
> peacefully, leading to language-replacement. Fleming mentions
> Cavalli-Sforza stuff regarding the Armenians:
> --start quote--
> the Dargwa (of Dagestan), East Caucasic speakers, are closest of
> followed by Kabardians from (North) West Caucasic. Old neighboring
> peoples like Azeris (Turkic 'Iranians') and Syrians (Semites) are
> closest, in that order." [pp 194-5]
> --end quote--
> There seems to be a little conspiracy among all Armenians to
> they all speak the same language. They regard themselves as a
> people. The Classical Armenian language, their bible, and the
> Church are the great vessels of their nationalism. The situation is
> if the French, Spanish and Italians regarded themselves as a single
> ethnic group and averred they all speak Latin.
> As for coming over the Caucasus, why not. We know Indic-speakers
> there too. If you take the idea they were high-mountain shepherds,
> whole process would have been peaceful, and of mutual economic
> to those lower down in the valleys. Armenian has certainly joined
> Caucasian sprachbund, and is also the most radically 'strated stock
> the living IE family. It seems also to have been there for a long
> time. Fleming hints we need to look back into the 2nd millenium BCE
> for their arrival in the Caucasus, more or less part-and-parcel
> the expansion of the Indo-Iranians (and who knows else).
> Thoughts? Comments? Have I made any howlers?