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History of Grabar



Grabar has been the written language of the Armenians since the 5th century. It was widely used until the 19th century.

The history of this language is divided into two stages: Old Armenian (5-11cc.) and post Old Armenian (11-19cc.). In the beginning Grabar was both a written and spoken language, but in the second stage it was used only as a written language. Through the ages, influenced by the Old Greek and other classical languages, Grabar has been enriched.

Since the 19th century, the usage of Grabar has decreased and it is now being used only in the Church as a language of ceremonies and Pontifical writings.

At the same time, increasing interest towards Grabar by young people can be seen nowadays. Many people even think that Grabar must be taught in all the Armenian schools and universities.

All the classical Armenian authors of the middle ages have written their works in Grabar: Mesrop Mashtots, Movses Khorenatsi, Agathangelos, Koryoun, Pavstos Bouzand, Ghazar Parpetsi, etc..

The Grabar alphabet is almost the same as that of Modern Armenian. One of the differences is that the letter (ւ) (vyoun) of Grabar is not being used anymore as a separate letter in the Modern Armenian but it is being used jointly, with other letters. There was not letter (ֆ) (F) in Grabar as well as letter (Օ) (O). (The old alphabet of Grabar is: ա, բ, գ, դ, ե, զ, է, ը, թ, ժ, ի, լ, խ, ծ, կ, հ, ձ, ղ, ճ, մ, յ, ն, շ, ո, չ, պ, ջ, ռ, ս, վ, տ, ր, ց, ու, փ, ք):

The orthography and the pronunciation of Grabar in the 5th century were identical: each sound had its letter. Later on, several sounds have been changed but the letters still remain the same.










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