skip to content

Lexicon of the Old Armenian verb (DFG/ Heisenberg Stipendium)

The Old Armenian language is attested in an un-interrupted tradition from the 5th century AD Bible translation until the present day and provides a rich corpus of texts, consisting of both translations of primarily theological and philosophical works from Greek and Syriac and of original Armenian compositions. The sizeable amount of both original and translated texts offers opportunities for both comparative studies of language use in both sections of the corpus and investigations into specific areas, such as verbal morphosyntax. The goal of this project is the compilation of a comprehensive dictionary of the verbs attested in this large corpus. The last in-depth study of the Armenian verb is Klingenschmitt (1982), which treats questions of stem-formation and etymology in select Armenian verbs. While Olsen (1999) has furnished us with an encyclopedic account of the noun in Biblical Armenian, particularly of word-formation and etymology, and Matzinger (2005) has discussed the prehistory of nominal inflection, a comparable survey of the Armenian verb is lacking: There is as of yet no comprehensive account of the meanings, construction patterns and etymology of Armenian verbs. The sole synchronic grammar of Old Armenian in German that treats verbal syntax in depth is Jensen (1959: 133-224) (“Lehre vom Satz”). As last shown by Ziegler (2014), Jensen’s reports on the construction patterns of some verbs are incomplete and misleading at times and his account does not endeavour to cover all Old Armenian verbs in the first place. On the whole, the lexicographical study of the Old Armenian verb has not surpassed the Venice Dictionary by Awetik’ean, Siwrmêlean, and Awgerean (1836, repr. 1979), which, being itself written in Armenian and only providing brief meaning equivalents in Greek and Latin, is of use to only a limited circle of Armenologists. This project will endeavour to amend this situation by providing information on the use (meaning, construction patterns) and etymology of Armenian verbs – be they inherited or loanwords, primary or secondary formations – on the basis of a corpus representative of the Old Armenian language of the 5th-7th centuries.

Awetik’ean, G., X. Siwrmêlean, und M. Awgerean. 1836. Nor bargirk’ haykazean lezowi. Venice.

Jensen, Hans. 1959. Altarmenische Grammatik. Heidelberg: Winter.

Klingenschmitt, Gert. 1982. Das altarmenische Verbum. Wiesbaden: Reichert.

Matzinger, Joachim. 2005. Untersuchungen zum altarmenischen Nomen : die Flexion des Substantivs. Dettelbach: Röll.

Olsen, Birgit Anette. 1999. The noun in Biblical Armenian : origin and word formation ; with special emphasis on the Indo-European heritage. Berlin ; New York: De Gruyter.

Ziegler, Sabine. 2014. „Zur Syntax und Semantik von alt- und mittel- armenisch ‚Beten‘ und ‚Glauben‘: Ein Vergleich  zwischen eigenständigen und übersetzten Texten“. MSS 68/2:267–85.