Spelling reform of the Armenian language 1922-1924

Spelling reform of the Armenian language 1922-1924

The Spelling reform of the Armenian language 1922-1924 was a spelling reform of the Armenian alphabet conducted in the Armenian SSR. However, it is barely practiced outside of Armenia and the Post-Soviet states because it was not adopted by Armenians in the diaspora, which make up about half of the Armenian population.

History

In the Soviet Union during the 1920s, a majority of the population consisted of farmers and illiterates. To speed up the alphabetization throughout this variety of social classes, the orthography of many languages was simplified. These changes affected the Armenian language, which was the de facto official language of the Armenian SSR. The original orthography is known today as "Mashdotsian orthography" (langWithName|hy|Armenian|Մաշտոցեան ուղղագրութիւն) (named after Saint Mesrob Mashdots) and also as "classical orthography" ; the reformed spelling is known as "Reformed orthography" (langWithName|hy|Armenian|հայաստանյան ուղղագրություն).

ocial and political issues

Since the establishment of the third Republic of Armenia in 1991, there has been a fringe movement in some Armenian academic circles to reinstate the Mashdotsian spelling as official policy in Armenia. [cite book
last = Khacherian
first = L. G.
title = History of Armenian Orthography (V - XX cc.)
publisher = Yerevan Press
date = 1999
location = Los Angeles
] Some members of the Armenian church in Armenia also support the use of the Mashdotsian spelling. [cite paper
author = Fr. Mesrop Aramian
title = Restoring the Orthography of the Armenian Nation: A Task for Our Generation
version =
publisher = Vem
date = October 14, 2006
url = http://www.vem.am/files/projects/orthography/orteng.pdf
format = PDF
accessdate = 2006-11-17
] However, others in Armenia want to keep the Reformed spelling, and oppose any change. [ [http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/conference2002/htms/docs/khachatrian.htm ORTHOGRAPHY, STATE & DIASPORA: A Political Analyst's View on Unified Spelling Problem] by Haroutiun Khachatrian]

Regulations of Reformed Spelling

In the cases where pronunciation has changed in the course of time, one should, today, write as one would speak. This issue concerns the letter pairs յ/հ, ու/վ and diphthongs ոյ/ույ, եա/յա, եօ/յո, իւ/յու.

In the following, more complex changes are made:

  1. If "ye" is spoken in the initial sound of a word, one writes "ե," when "e", then "է."
  2. The letter pair "ու" becomes a full, independent letter in the 34th place of the alphabet.
  3. The "օ" is only written in the beginning of a word and in compound words. Otherwise, "ո" is used. The only exceptions are ով and ովքեր.
  4. The "ւ" is no longer an independent letter and appears only as a compenent of "ու" and "և." In its place, "վ" is written.
  5. The "և" becomes a full, independent letter in the 37th place of the alphabet. Some words originally written with "եվ" are now written with this letter, but the new letter is generally used as an ampersand.
  6. In the spelling of conditionals, "կ" is added directly (without an apostrophe before vowels or "ը" before consonants).

Opinions

In 2004, a Paris daily Armenian newspaper "Ashkharh" (World) interviewed then National Assembly Speaker Arthur Baghdassarian, when asked: "What do you think about the issue of the common Armenian orthography?" Baghdassarian responded::cquote|During all my foreign official visits I try to meet members of the Armenian community. The issue of the common Armenian orthography is always being raised, more precisely; proposals are made to return to Mesropian orthography. I think that this, indeed is difficult, not an issue to tackle in a day issuing one decree. Linguists are to have their say in the matter. They must seek, find and propose the most acceptable suggestion for everyone. It is obvious that since the 20s of the last century new linguistic thinking was formed in Armenia, which we can no longer bypass or abandon. I think the solution is not in renouncing any version of Armenian or return to any version these times are long over, but their correlation. We don’t have the right to abandon those historic and cultural values created by our compatriots in various corners of the world this is our legacy and our wealth, the fruit of our efforts to preserve our national identity worthy of careful and purposeful attitude. At the same time, brilliant cultural values were created in the motherland as well that have proven their right to exist. [ [http://www.parliament.am/news.php?do=view&cat_id=5&day=10&month=09&year=2004&ID=949&lang=eng National Assembly of Armenia] ]

References

See also

*Traditional Armenian orthography
*Armenian language
*Armenian SSR
*Reforms of Russian orthography


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