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Classical Armenian Online

Lesson 3

Todd B. Krause, John A.C. Greppin, and Jonathan Slocum

The Artashesian Dynasty

Although the Yervandunis had succeeded in securing an independent Armenia, Seleucid influence again began to assert itself when Antiochus III convinced two members of the Yervanduni family to revolt. These two, Artashes and Zareh, succeeded in overthrowing Yervanduni rule, with Artashes taking control of Greater Armenia and Zareh taking Dsopk. Antiochus, however, went too far when he tried to drive the Romans out of Macedonia and Greece. Defeated decisively at Magnesia, Antiochus was forced in 188 B.C. to cede Asia Minor and northwest Syria to the Romans. Seleucid reign was further weakened under Antiochus IV, when Jewish uprisings caused enough instability for the Parthians to gain control of Persia. At the same time Rome lured the states of Armenia, Cappadocia, Commagene, and Pontus away from the Seleucids to create a buffer between Roman holdings and the Parthians.

Upon securing his kingdom, Artashes marked its borders with boundary stones written in Aramaic. He then endeavored to extend his realm, eventually conquering regions belonging to the Medes, Caucasian Albanians, and Iberians. He was repulsed, however, by Dsopk and Lesser Armenia. Within his borders, Artashes distributed land among nobles and established a system of taxation. But the Seleucids eventually quelled the Jewish uprisings in 165 B.C. and attacked Armenia. Antiochus IV captured Artashes, reinstating his reign only under the condition that he pay tribute to the Seleucids. Seleucid power nevertheless entered swiftly into a period of decline, leaving the Arsacid ruler Mithridates I an opportunity to extend Parthian dominion throughout Mesopotamia.

Artavazd I (160 - 115 B.C.) and Tigran I (115 - 95 B.C.), the successors of Artashes, were both subject to Parthian domination, forced to pay tribute and send royal family members as hostages to the Parthian capital at Ctesiphon. When Tigran I died in 95 B.C., his son Tigran II, then a hostage at Ctesiphon, secured his freedom by giving the Parthians a portion of southeastern Armenia. Upon his return, Tigran quickly conquered Dsopk and created a unified Greater Armenia. There was now little separating Tigran's kingdom from the Romans, and so he struck up an alliance with Mithridates of Pontus. Armenia was thus protected from the Romans, and Pontus from the Parthians. This left Tigran free to expand eastward, which he did in 90 B.C. by reconquering the lands he gave to the Parthians. He then turned south to take Commagene, northern Syria, Cilicia, and Phoenicia, so that Armenia was for a brief time an empire extending from the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean. Greek and Persian became the languages of the nobility, Persian used mainly for admistrative affairs and Greek for cultural entertainment.

The situation changed drastically with Rome's invasion of Pontus in 74 B.C. Tigran remained loyal to his alliance with Mithridates, resisting the Roman advance. In 69 B.C., Rome turned toward Tigranakert, a major city of the Armenian empire, and took it by force; this destroyed the Armenian hold on Syria and Mesopotamia. Finally Rome sent Pompey to advance on Armenia; when the Parthians simultaneously attacked from the east, Tigran struck a peace treaty with the Romans in 66 B.C. Rome allowed Tigran to maintain his rule of Armenia in order to keep this a buffer region between Roman and Parthian interests. Tigran ruled until his death in 55 B.C.

One of Tigran's sons, Artavazd II, came to the Armenian throne amidst the signs of an inevitable clash between Rome and Parthia. Initially Artavazd attempted to court the favor of Crassus, who was then in charge of the Roman forces in the area. When Crassus failed to take notice, Artavazd shifted his loyalty to the Parthians, a status sealed by the marriage of Artavazd's sister to the Parthian heir-apparent. Artavazd still tried to appear friendly to Rome when Mark Antony took command of Roman forces in the region. But when Armenia refused to commit troops to the Roman effort against the Parthians, Antony blamed Artavazd for his defeat and took the Armenian capital by force in 35 B.C. Artavazd was taken to Egypt and executed.

Artavazd's son, Artashes II, enlisted the aid of the Parthians and regained his country in 30 B.C. For the next several years rulers of the Artashesian dynasty continued to direct Armenia's loyalty back and forth between Rome and Parthia. Finally the Artashesian dynasty came to an end around 10 A.D., and Armenia fell into Roman hands.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The History of Armenia, by Faustos Buzand, is also called The Epic Histories, by Pseudo Fawstos. It covers nearly sixty years of Christian Armenia's earliest history, from ca. 330 to 387, from the late Arsacid dynasty to the partition of Armenia between Byzantium and Sasanian Iran. The author deals with the political issues of that period, and with the development of Armenian Christianity. This reading is taken from Book IV, Chapter 5.

Apa vasn xal'al'ut'ean uxtin miabanut'ean dashinn, or ér ashxarhin Hayots' e'nd kaysern Yunats', dép el'ew arrak'el andr kazmut'eamb metsaw ark'ayin Hayots'. zi ink'nin mets kat'ol'ikosn Hayots' Nersés, ew i metsametsats'n Hayots' satraps tasn e'nd nma arrnel, zi ert'its'é, i méj kaysern ew i méj iwreants' zuxtn hawanut'ean ew xal'al'ut'ean norogests'en :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • vasn -- preposition; <vasn> because of, on account of, for the sake of -- because of
  • xal'al'ut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <xal'al'ut'iwn> peace -- of peace
  • uxtin -- noun; genitive singular of <uxt> agreement, covenant + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the covenant
  • miabanut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <miabanut'iwn> unity -- of unity
  • dashinn -- noun; genitive singular of <dashn> alliance, agreement, treaty + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the alliance # in apposition to uxtin
  • or -- relative pronoun; nominative singular of <or> who, what, which -- which
  • ér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <em> I am -- was
  • ashxarhin -- noun; genitive singular of <ashxarh> land, realm + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- (between) the land
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • e'nd -- preposition; <e'nd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- and
  • kaysern -- noun; locative singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the emperor
  • Yunats' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks
  • dép -- adjective; nominative singular of <dép> fitting, suitable; happening, occuring -- appropriate
  • el'ew -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <el'anim> I become -- it was
  • arrak'el -- verb; infinitive nominative singular of <arrak'em> I send -- to send
  • andr -- adverb; <andr> there, to there, thither -- thither
  • kazmut'eamb -- noun; instrumental singular of <kazmut'iwn> arrangement, order, pomp -- pomp
  • metsaw -- adjective; instrumental singular of <mets> great, big -- with great
  • ark'ayin -- noun; dative singular of <ark'ay> archon, leader, king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- for the king
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- so that
  • ink'nin -- emphatic pronoun; nominative singular of <ink'nin> he himself, he personally, the very one -- himself
  • mets -- adjective; undeclined form of <mets> great, big -- the great
  • kat'ol'ikosn -- noun; nominative singular of <kat'ol'ikos> catholicos + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- catholicos
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • Nersés -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Nersés> Nerses -- Nerses
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- of
  • metsametsats'n -- adjective used as substantive; ablative plural of <metsamets> very great, grand, important + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the greatest
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- Armenians
  • satraps -- noun; accusative plural of <satrap> satrap -- satraps
  • tasn -- adjective; accusative plural of <tasn> ten -- ten
  • e'nd -- preposition; <e'nd> through, along, by way of; against; during; instead of, in exchange for; with, in the company of; under -- ...
  • nma -- pronoun; locative singular of <na> he, she, it -- him
  • arrnel -- verb; infinitive nominative singular of <arrnem> I do, make -- to furnish
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- so that
  • ert'its'é -- verb; 3rd singular aorist subjunctive of <ert'am> I go, set out -- he should go
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • méj -- noun; locative singular of <méj> middle, midst -- between
  • kaysern -- noun; genitive singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the emperor
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • méj -- noun; locative singular of <méj> middle, midst -- ...
  • iwreants' -- reflexive pronoun; genitive plural of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- themselves
  • zuxtn -- direct object marker <z->... + noun; accusative singular of <uxt> agreement, covenant + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the treaty
  • hawanut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <hawanut'iwn> accord -- of accord
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • xal'al'ut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <xal'al'ut'iwn> peace -- of peace
  • norogests'en -- verb; 3rd plural aorist subjunctive of <norogem> repair, renew -- (and) they renew

Apa ch'ogan gnats'in hasin i kayserakan pal'atn t'agaworats'n Yunats' :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- then
  • ch'ogan -- verb; 3rd plural aorist mediopassive of <ert'am> I go, set out -- They... set out
  • gnats'in -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <gnam> go, walk -- travelled
  • hasin -- verb; 3rd plural aorist of <hasanem> I approach, arrive; obtain -- (and) reached
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- ...
  • kayserakan -- adjective; undeclined form of <kayserakan> imperial -- imperial
  • pal'atn -- noun; accusative singular of <pal'at> palace + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the... palace
  • t'agaworats'n -- noun; genitive plural of <t'agawor> king -- of the kings
  • Yunats' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks

Zaynu zhamanakaw t'agaworn mets Yunats' Val'és i xotorut'ean heretikosut'ean al'andut'eann arianosats' ér i hawats :

  • zaynu -- preposition; <z-> during; for; concerning; around, about + demonstrative pronoun; instrumental singular of <ayn> that, that over there -- at about that
  • zhamanakaw -- noun; instrumental singular of <zhamanak> time -- time
  • t'agaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the... king
  • mets -- adjective; nominative singular of <mets> great, big -- great
  • Yunats' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Yoyn> Greek -- of the Greeks
  • Val'és -- proper noun; nominative singular of <Val'és> Valens -- Valens
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- under
  • xotorut'ean -- noun; locative singular of <xotorut'iwn> bend; deviation; straying -- the sway
  • heretikosut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <heretikosut'iwn> heresy -- of heresy
  • al'andut'eann -- noun; genitive singular of <al'andut'iwn> deception + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- of the... sect
  • arianosats' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <arianosk'> (pl.) Arians -- Arians'
  • ér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <em> I am -- was
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- in matters of
  • hawats -- noun; locative plural of <hawat> belief, religion -- faith

Ard ibrew etes znosa t'agaworn, zarrajinn metsapaytsarr p'arrôk' metsaw shk'ov metsareats' znosa :

  • ard -- adverb; <ard> now; so, then -- Then
  • ibrew -- conjunction; <ibrew> when -- when
  • etes -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <tesanem> I see -- saw
  • znosa -- direct object marker <z->... + pronoun; accusative plural of <na> he, she, it -- them
  • t'agaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • zarrajinn -- preposition; <z-> during; for; concerning; around, about + adjective used as substantive; accusative singular of <arrajin> first + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- first
  • metsapaytsarr -- adjective; undeclined form of <metsapaytsarr> brilliant -- marvellous
  • p'arrôk' -- noun; instrumental plural of <p'arrk'> (pl.) glory, majesty -- with... glory
  • metsaw -- adjective; instrumental singular of <mets> great, big -- (and) great
  • shk'ov -- noun; instrumental singular of <shuk'> pomp -- splendor
  • metsareats' -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <metsare> I honor, venerate -- he honored
  • znosa -- direct object marker <z->... + pronoun; accusative plural of <na> he, she, it -- them

Apa dép el'ew` zi ordi miamôr kaysern, ayn isk gtanér nora zawak, angeal dnér yaxts sastik hiwandut'ean. apa t'agaworn vasn al'ôt's arrneloy i veray mankann stipér zsurb kat'ol'ikos Hayots' zNersés :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • dép -- adjective; nominative singular of <dép> fitting, suitable; happening, occuring -- happened
  • el'ew -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <el'anim> I become -- it
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- that
  • ordi -- noun; nominative singular of <ordi> son -- son
  • miamôr -- noun; nominative singular of <miamawr> only begotten, only -- the only
  • kaysern -- noun; genitive singular of <kaysr> chief, emperor + demonstrative suffix <-s> this, this here, the -- of the emperor
  • ayn -- demonstrative pronoun; nominative singular of <ayn> that, that over there -- that one
  • isk -- conjunction; <isk> but, truly, and -- truly
  • gtanér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <gtanem> I find, get, obtain -- was... considered
  • nora -- pronoun; genitive singular of <na> he, she, it -- his
  • zawak -- noun; nominative singular of <zawak> child, offspring, progeny -- progeny
  • angeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <ankanim> I fall -- lapsed
  • dnér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect mediopassive of <dnem> I put, place -- had
  • yaxts -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of + noun; accusative plural of <axt> illness, disease -- into the throes # or locative
  • sastik -- adjective; undeclined form of <sastik> severe, grievous -- a severe
  • hiwandut'ean -- noun; genitive singular of <hiwandut'iwn> disease, illness -- of... illness
  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- thereupon
  • t'agaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • vasn -- preposition; <vasn> because of, on account of, for the sake of -- On account of
  • al'ôt's -- noun; accusative plural of <al'awt'k'> (pl.) prayers -- prayers
  • arrneloy -- verb; infinitive genitive singular of <arrnem> I do, make -- making
  • i veray -- compound preposition; <i veray> upon, over -- over
  • mankann -- noun; genitive singular of <manuk> child + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the child
  • stipér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <stipem> I push, urge -- urged
  • zsurb -- direct object marker <z->... + adjective; accusative singular of <surb> holy, blessed -- holy
  • kat'ol'ikos -- noun; accusative singular of <kat'ol'ikos> catholicos -- catholicos
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zNersés -- direct object marker <z->... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Nersés> Nerses -- Nerses # the ensuing speech of Nerses is omitted -- the narrative continues with the king's reply

Ew ibrew luaw t'agaworn zays amenayn, zi minch' derr xôsérn arraji nora` na lurr ewet' kayr, otn zotamb arkeal, armukn i tsung ew dzerrn i tsnôti` nstaw aynpés, minch'ew katareats' xôsets'aw zamenayn zbans iwr :

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • ibrew -- conjunction; <ibrew> when -- when
  • luaw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <lsem> I hear -- heard
  • t'agaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • zays -- direct object marker <z->... + demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular of <ays> this, this right here -- this
  • amenayn -- adjective; undeclined form of <amenayn> all, every -- all
  • zi -- conjunction; <zi> for; that; because -- for
  • minch' -- conjunction; <minch'> until, up to, as far as; while, during -- while
  • derr -- adverb; <derr> still -- still
  • xôsérn -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect mediopassive of <xawsim> I say, speak + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- he was... speaking # a demonstrative suffix is often placed after the first accented word of a subordinate clause
  • arraji -- preposition; <arraji> before, in front of -- before
  • nora -- pronoun; genitive singular of <na> he, she, it -- him # referring to the king
  • na -- pronoun; nominative singular of <na> he, she, it -- he # the king
  • lurr -- adjective; nominative singular of <lurr> silent -- silent
  • ewet' -- adverb; <ewet'> only, solely -- but
  • kayr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <kam> I am, exist -- remained
  • otn -- noun; accusative singular of <otn> foot -- foot
  • zotamb -- preposition; <z-> during; for; concerning; around, about + noun; instrumental singular of <otn> foot -- over foot
  • arkeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <arkanem> I throw, cast, hurl -- having set
  • armukn -- noun; accusative singular of <armukn> elbow -- elbow
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- on
  • tsung -- noun; accusative singular of <tsunr> knee -- knee # oblique cases built from tsung
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • dzerrn -- noun; accusative singular of <dzerrn> hand -- hand
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- on
  • tsnôti -- noun; locative singular of <tsnaw\t> chin, cheek -- chin
  • nstaw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <nstim> I sit -- he sat # the king
  • aynpés -- adverb; <aynpés> so, thus -- thus
  • minch'ew -- adverb; <minch'ew> until, as far as -- until
  • katareats' -- verb; 3rd singular aorist of <katarem> I complete, carry out -- he finished # referring to Nerses
  • xôsets'aw -- verb; 3rd singular aorist mediopassive of <xawsim> I say, speak -- speaking
  • zamenayn -- direct object marker <z->... + adjective; undeclined form of <amenayn> all, every -- all
  • zbans -- direct object marker <z->... + noun; accusative plural of <ban> speech, word -- words
  • iwr -- reflexive pronoun; genitive singular of <iwr> him-, her-, it-self -- his

Ew gréin zays semiark' notarats'i ark'ayin, ork' kayinn arraji t'agaworin :

  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- And
  • gréin -- verb; 3rd plural imperfect of <grem> I write -- transcribed
  • zays -- direct object marker <z->... + demonstrative pronoun; accusative singular of <ays> this, this right here -- this
  • semiark' -- noun; nominative plural of <semiar> stenographer -- stenographers
  • notarats'i -- adjective; undeclined form of <notarats'i> notarizing -- notary
  • ark'ayin -- noun; genitive singular of <ark'ay> archon, leader, king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the archon's
  • ork' -- relative pronoun; nominative plural of <or> who, what, which -- who
  • kayinn -- verb; 3rd plural imperfect of <kam> I am, exist + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- were # a demonstrative suffix is often placed after the first accented word of a subordinate clause
  • arraji -- preposition; <arraji> before, in front of -- before
  • t'agaworin -- noun; genitive singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the king

Apa metsapés i ts'asumn brdeal linér t'agaworn, ew tayr hraman` erkat'i kapanôk' metsapés kapel zsurb episkoposapetn Hayots' zNersés, ew arkanel i p'iwl'aké :

  • apa -- conjunction; <apa> but; then, afterwards, later -- Then
  • metsapés -- adverb; <metsapés> greatly -- fiercely
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- into
  • ts'asumn -- noun; accusative singular of <ts'asumn> rage, anger -- a rage
  • brdeal -- verb; past participle nominative singular of <brdem> I fall, descend -- fell
  • linér -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <linim> I am, exist -- ...
  • t'agaworn -- noun; nominative singular of <t'agawor> king + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the king
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • tayr -- verb; 3rd singular imperfect of <tam> I give; permit, let -- gave
  • hraman -- noun; accusative singular of <hraman> command, order -- an order
  • erkat'i -- noun; genitive singular of <erkat'> iron -- iron
  • kapanôk' -- noun; instrumental plural of <kapank'> (pl.) chains -- with... chains
  • metsapés -- adverb; <metsapés> greatly -- fast
  • kapel -- verb; infinitive accusative singular of <kapem> I bind -- to bind
  • zsurb -- direct object marker <z->... + adjective; accusative singular of <surb> holy, blessed -- holy
  • episkoposapetn -- noun; accusative singular of <episkoposapet> archbishop + demonstrative suffix <-n> that, that over there, the -- the... archbishop
  • Hayots' -- adjective used as substantive; genitive plural of <Hay> Armenian -- of the Armenians
  • zNersés -- direct object marker <z->... + proper noun; accusative singular of <Nersés> Nerses -- Nerses
  • ew -- conjunction; <ew> and; even, also, too -- and
  • arkanel -- verb; infinitive accusative singular of <arkanem> I throw, cast, hurl -- to cast (him)
  • i -- preposition; <i> to, in(to), upon; at, under; from, out of, away from; from among; by, through the agency of -- into
  • p'iwl'aké -- noun; accusative singular of <p'iwl'aké> prison -- prison

Lesson Text

Apa vasn xal'al'ut'ean uxtin miabanut'ean dashinn, or ér ashxarhin Hayots' e'nd kaysern Yunats', dép el'ew arrak'el andr kazmut'eamb metsaw ark'ayin Hayots'. zi ink'nin mets kat'ol'ikosn Hayots' Nersés, ew i metsametsats'n Hayots' satraps tasn e'nd nma arrnel, zi ert'its'é, i méj kaysern ew i méj iwreants' zuxtn hawanut'ean ew xal'al'ut'ean norogests'en : Apa ch'ogan gnats'in hasin i kayserakan pal'atn t'agaworats'n Yunats' : Zaynu zhamanakaw t'agaworn mets Yunats' Val'és i xotorut'ean heretikosut'ean al'andut'eann arianosats' ér i hawats : Ard ibrew etes znosa t'agaworn, zarrajinn metsapaytsarr p'arrôk' metsaw shk'ov metsareats' znosa : Apa dép el'ew` zi ordi miamôr kaysern, ayn isk gtanér nora zawak, angeal dnér yaxts sastik hiwandut'ean. apa t'agaworn vasn al'ôt's arrneloy i veray mankann stipér zsurb kat'ol'ikos Hayots' zNersés : Ew ibrew luaw t'agaworn zays amenayn, zi minch' derr xôsérn arraji nora` na lurr ewet' kayr, otn zotamb arkeal, armukn i tsung ew dzerrn i tsnôti` nstaw aynpés, minch'ew katareats' xôsets'aw zamenayn zbans iwr : Ew gréin zays semiark' notarats'i ark'ayin, ork' kayinn arraji t'agaworin : Apa metsapés i ts'asumn brdeal linér t'agaworn, ew tayr hraman` erkat'i kapanôk' metsapés kapel zsurb episkoposapetn Hayots' zNersés, ew arkanel i p'iwl'aké :

Translation

Then, because of the covenant of peace -- the alliance of unity, which was between the realm of the Armenians and the emperor of the Greeks -- it was appropriate for the king of the Armenians to send thither with great pomp, so that the great catholicos of the Armenians, Nerses himself, -- and to furnish him ten satraps of the greatest Armenians -- so that he should go and they renew the treaty of peace and accord between the emperor and themselves. They then set out, travelled, and reached the imperial palace of the kings of the Greeks. At about that time in matters of faith the great king of the Greeks, Valens, was under the sway of heresy of the Arians' sect. Then, when the king saw them, first he honored them with marvellous glory and great splendor. Then it happened that the only son of the emperor -- that one was truly considered his progeny -- had lapsed into the throes of a severe illness. On account of making prayers over the child, the king thereupon urged Nerses the holy catholicos of the Armenians.
[Nerses continues with a discussion of the content of the orthodox faith, and makes the son's healing dependent on the Arian king's acceptance of this doctrine. The following continues with the king's reply.]
And when the king heard all this -- for, while he was still speaking before him, he remained but silent, having set foot over foot, elbow on knee, and hand on chin -- he sat thus until he finished speaking all his words. And the notary archon's stenographers who were before the king transcribed this. Then the king fell fiercely into a rage, and gave an order to bind fast with iron chains Nerses the holy archbishop of the Armenians, and to cast him into prison.

Grammar

11. Mixed Nominal Declension
11.1. Substantives with -n in the Plural Only

These declensions are followed by both nouns and adjectives. Several nouns follow an i- or u-declension. Adjectives of this type display an -r in the nominative and accusative which drops in the remaining forms. The plural forms of both nouns and adjectives display stems in -n. The substantives may have either two or three stems within the declension. The noun k'ar 'stone', with stems k'ar-/k'arin-/k'aran-, illustrates the i-declension; parraw 'old woman', with stems parraw-/parrawun-/parrawan- illustrates the u-declension. Adjective declensions are illustrated by p'ok'r 'small', stems p'ok'-/p'ok'un-; and bardzr 'high', stems bardz-/bardzun-/bardzan-. These follow the u-declension.

    i-decl.   u-decl.   u-decl.   u-decl.
    T-i, Nt + T-n, Ht-A   T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B   T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B   T-u, Ht + T-n, Ht-B
                 
N Sg.   k'ar   parraw   p'ok'r   bardzr
Ac   k'ar   parraw   p'ok'r   bardzr
G   k'ari   parrawu   p'ok'u   bardzu
D   k'ari   parrawu   p'ok'u   bardzu
L   k'ari   parrawu   p'ok'u   bardzu
Ab   k'aré   parraw(u)é   p'ok'ué   bardzué
I   k'ariw   parrawu   p'ok'u   bardzu
                 
N Pl.   k'arink'   parrawunk'   p'ok'unk'   bardzunk'
Ac   k'arins   parrawuns   p'ok'uns   bardzuns
G   k'arants'   parrawants'   p'ok'unts'   bardzants'
D   k'arants'   parrawants'   p'ok'unts'   bardzants'
L   k'arins   parrawuns   p'ok'uns   bardzuns
Ab   k'arants'   parrawants'   p'ok'unts'   bardzants'
I   k'ariwk'   parrawumbk'   p'ok'unbk'   bardzumbk'
11.2. Substantives with -n in the Singular Only

Certain nouns display -n only in the singular forms. The plural then follows the a-declension, sometimes the i-declension. Nouns of this type may typically have two or three stems within the paradigm. The nouns dzerrn 'hand', stems dzerrn-/dzerrin-/dzerr-; serund 'breed, race', stems serund-/serdean-; and otn 'foot', stems otn-/otin-/ot-, illustrate the paradigms.

    a-decl.   a-decl.   i-decl.
    T-n, Ht-A + T-a   T-n, Ht-A + T-a   T-n, Nt-B1 + T-a
             
N Sg.   dzerrn   serund   otn
Ac   dzerrn   serund   otn
G   dzerrin   serdean   otin
D   dzerrin   serdean   otin
L   dzerrin   serdean   otin
Ab   dzerrané   serdené   otané
I   dzerramb   serdeamb   otamb
             
N Pl.   dzerrk'   serundk'   otk'
Ac   dzerrs   serunds   ots
G   dzerrats'   serundats'   otits'
D   dzerrats'   serundats'   otits'
L   dzerrs   serunds   ots
Ab   dzerrats'   serundats'   otits'
I   dzerrawk'   serundawk'   otiwk'

Note the singular forms Ab dzerrané, otané and I dzerramb, otamb wherein a precedes the nasal instead of i.

11.3. Anomalous Nouns

Certain common nouns display enough peculiarity of declension that they do not fit easily within the patterns already mentioned. These are collected here. The nouns hayr 'father', k'oyr 'sister', and awr '(24-hour) day' are declined as follows.

    hayr   k'oyr   awr
    'father'   'sister'   '(24-hour) day'
    T-r, Nt-B        
             
N Sg.   hayr   k'oyr   awr
Ac   hayr   k'oyr   awr
G   hawr   k'err   awur
D   hawr   k'err   awur
L   hawr   k'err   awur
Ab   hawré   k'erré   awré (< awuré)
I   harb   k'erb   awurb
             
N Pl.   hark'   k'erk'   awurk'
Ac   hars   k'ers   awurs
G   harts'   k'erts'   awurts'
D   harts'   k'erts'   awurts'
L   hars   k'ers   awurs
Ab   harts'   k'erts'   awurts'
I   harbk'   k'erbk'   awurbk'

The nouns mayr 'mother' and el'bayr 'brother' follow the pattern of hayr.

The nouns nu 'daughter-in-law', gewl' 'village', and tiw 'day(light)' are declined as follows.

    nu   gewl'   tiw
    'daughter-in-law'   'village'   'day(light)'
             
N Sg.   nu   gewl'   tiw
Ac   nu   gewl'   tiw
G   nuoy   gel'j   tue'njean
D   nuoy   gel'j   tue'njean
L   nu   gel'j, gewl'   tue'njean
Ab   nuoy   gel'jé   tue'njené, tué
I   nuov, nuav   giwl'iw   tue'jeamb
             
N Pl.   nu(an)k'   gewl'k'   tiwk'
Ac   nu(an)s   gewl's   tiws
G   nua(n)ts'   giwl'its'   -
D   nua(n)ts'   giwl'its'   -
L   nu(an)s   gewl's   -
Ab   nua(n)ts'   giwl'its'   -
I   nuawk'   giwl'iwk'   -

Below are the paradigms of the nouns ayr 'man, husband', kin 'woman, wife', tér 'lord', tikin 'lady'. Note that tér is a contracted form of te(y)-ayr or ti-ayr and thus parallels tikin in construction.

    ayr   kin   tér   tikin
    'man'   'woman'   'lord'   'lady'
                 
N Sg.   ayr   kin   tér   tikin
Ac   ayr   kin   tér   tikin
G   arrn   knoj   tearrn   tiknoj
D   arrn   knoj   tearrn   tiknoj
L   arrn   knoj   tearrn   tiknoj
Ab   arrné   knojé   tearrné   tiknojé
I   aramb   kanamb, knaw   teramb   tiknamb
                 
N Pl.   ark'   kanadzk'   teark'   tiknayk'
Ac   ars   kanadzs   tears   tiknays
G   arants'   kanants'   terants'   tiknants'
D   arants'   kanants'   terants'   tiknants'
L   ars   kanadzs   tears   tiknays
Ab   arants'   kanants'   terants'   tiknants'
I   arambk'   kanambk'   terambk'   tiknambk'

The two nouns akn and unkn require special attention because of the fact that their meanings change depending on what form their plurals take. Specifically, akn may have three separate meanings: (1) 'eye', (2) 'source', (3) 'gem'. In the plural, each meaning is associated with a distinct stem. All three meanings, however, are associated with the same forms in the singular. Thus akn has the following declension.

    Sg.   Pl. (1) 'eye'   Pl. (2) 'source'   Pl. (3) 'gem'
N   akn   ach'k'   akunk'   akank'
Ac   akn   ach's   akuns   akans
G   akan   ach'ats'   akants'   akanots'
D   akan   ach'ats'   akants'   akanots'
L   akan   ach's   akuns   akans
Ab   ak(a)   ach'ats'   akants'   akanots'
I   akamb   ach'awk'   akambk'   akanovk'

A similar situation obtains for the noun unkn. This noun has a twofold semantic split in the plural: (1) 'ear', (2) 'handle'. The declension is as follows.

    Sg.   Pl. (1) 'ear'   Pl. (2) 'handle'
N   unkn   akanjk'   unkunk'
Ac   unkn   akanjs   unkuns
G   unkan   akanjats'   unkants'
D   unkan   akanjats'   unkants'
L   unkan   akanjs   unkuns
Ab   unk(a)   akanjats'   unkants'
I   unkamb   akanjawk'   unkambk'
12. Personal Pronouns and Possessives
12.1. Personal Pronouns

The personal pronouns es 'I' and du 'thou' are the only substantives in Classical Armenian whose nominative and accusative forms differ. Their declensions are as follows.

    es   du
    'I'   'thou'
         
N Sg.   es   du
Ac   is   k'ez
G   im   k'o
D   imdz   k'ez
L   is   k'ez
Ab   inén, indzén   k'én, k'ezén
I   inew   k'ew
         
N Pl.   mek'   duk'
Ac   mez   dzez
G   mer   dzer
D   mez   dzez
L   mez   dzez
Ab   ménj, mezén   dzénj, dzezén
I   mewk'   dzewk'

The secondary ablative forms may be used in an intensive role. When used as intensives, these ablative forms need not be in the same case as the pronoun which they emphasize. They do, however, agree in number. For example:

  • orpés ew duk' isk dzezén vkayets'ék' 'as you yourselves have borne witness';
  • es indzén gitem 'I myself know'.
12.2. Reflexive and Intensive Pronouns

For the third person Classical Armenian has a separate reflexive pronoun iwr '-self, -selves'. The pronoun ink'n '-self, -selves' may be used as a reflexive for all of the first, second, and third persons. These are comparable to Latin se and ipse respectively. ink'n may be used in an intensive sense; there is an emphatic form ink'nin, derived by adding the suffix -in. In addition to these pronouns, the noun andzn 'person, self' may be used in a reflexive role. The paradigms for iwr, ink'n, and andzn are as follows.

    iwr   ink'n   andzn
    refl. pron.   refl./intens. pron.   refl. noun
             
N Sg.   -   ink'n   andzn
Ac   -   ink'n   andzn
G   iwr   ink'ean   andzin
D   iwr   ink'ean   andzin
L   iwr   ink'ean   andzin
Ab   iwrmé   ink'ené   andzné
I   iwrew, iwreaw, iwreamb   ink'eamb   andzamb
             
N Pl.   -   ink'eank'   andzink'
Ac   iwreans   ink'eans   andzins
G   iwreants'   ink'eants'   andzants'
D   iwreants'   ink'eants'   andzants'
L   iwreans   ink'eans   andzins
Ab   iwreants'   ink'eants'   andzants'
I   iwreambk'   ink'eambk'   andzambk'

Note the genitive of iwr may be used with participles as the subject, e.g. zor iwr ch'ér gortseal '(the sins) which he had not committed'. The subject of the relative clause is the same as that of the main clause.

The reflexive ink'n is found in the phrase ays ink'n 'that is, really'.

The noun andzn is often found with a possessive pronoun or adjective: yaytneats' zandzn iwr 'he revealed himself'; but this is not always the situation: och' unik' keans yandzins 'you do not have life in yourselves'.

12.3. Possessive Pronouns and Adjectives

The possessive pronouns are supplied by the genitive case of the corresponding personal pronouns, im 'mine, of me'; k'o 'thine, of you'; nora 'his, of him; her, of her; its, of it'; iwr 'of him-, her-, it-self' (reflexive); mer 'of us'; dzez 'of you'; nots'a 'of them'; iwreants' 'of themselves' (reflexive). These then form the basis for a series of possessive adjectives, whose declensions follow.

    im   k'o   nora   iwr   mer   dzer   nots'a   [iwreants']
    'my'   'thy'   'his'   'his'(refl.)   'our'   'your' (pl.)   'their'   'their' (refl.)
                                 
N Sg.   im   k'o   nora   iwr   mer   dzer   nots'a   [iwreants']
Ac   im   k'o   nora   iwr   mer   dzer   nots'a    
G   imoy   k'oyoy, k'oy   norayoy   iwroy   meroy   dzeroy   nots'ayoy    
D   imum   k'um   norayum   iwrum   merum   dzerum   nots'ayum    
L   imum   k'um   norayum   iwrum   merum   dzerum   nots'ayum    
Ab   immé   k'umé   norayoy   iwrmé   mermé   dzermé   nots'ayoy    
I   imov   k'uov   norayov   iwrov   merov   dzerov   nots'ayov    
                                 
N Pl.   imk'   k'oyk'   norayk'   iwr   merk'   dzerk'   nots'ayk'   [iwreants']
Ac   ims   k'oys   norays   iwr   mers   dzers   nots'ays    
G   imots'   k'oyots', k'ots'   norayots', norayits'   iwrots'   merots'   dzerots'   nots'ayots', nots'ayits'    
D   imots'   k'oyots'   norayots', norayits'   iwrots'   merots'   dzerots'   nots'ayots', nots'ayits'    
L   ims   k'oys   norays   iwrum   mers   dzers   nots'ays    
Ab   imots'   k'oyots'   norayots', norayits'   iwrots'   merots'   dzerots'   nots'ayots', nots'ayits'    
I   imovk'   k'oyovk'   norayovk', norayiwk'   iwrovk'   merovk'   dzerovk'   nots'ayovk', nots'ayiwk'    

Note that the NAcL Pl. forms of iwr are the same as the singular. The expected forms iwrk' and iwrs are found instead as substantives: yiwrs ekn ew iwrk'n zna och' e'nkalan 'he came to his own and his own did not receive him.'

Examples are dzerramb iwrov 'with his own hand', es och' inch' yandzné immé xawsim 'I say nothing by myself.' Nouns found in the plural with singular meanings often take singular possessive adjectives: dzawréns k'um 'in thy law'.

13. Verbal Classification and Anomalous Verbs
13.1. Present-Aorist Classification

One may classify verbs according to how a given present type leads regularly to a given aorist type. Such a classification scheme is given below.

(i) Regular verb classes with -Vts'- aorist:

Type   Present   Aor. stem   Example Present   Aorist
                 
(A)   -em (primary)   -ats'-i   asem 'I say'   asats'i
            gitem 'I know'   gitats'i
            karem 'I can'   karats'i
    -em (denominative)   -ets'-i   gortsem 'I make'   gortsets'i
            p'ordzem 'I tempt'   p'ordzets'i
            bnakem 'I dwell'   bnakets'i
                 
(B)   -im (denominative)   -ets'-ay   gortsim 'I am made'   gortsets'ay
            nmanim 'I resemble'   nmanets'ay
            hamarim 'I regard'   hamarets'ay
                 
(C)   -am   -ats'-i   al'am 'I grind'   al'ats'i
            gnam 'I go'   gnats'i
            hawatam 'I believe'   hawatats'i
    -am   -ats'-ay   al'am 'I am made'   al'ats'ay
            gt'am 'I pity'   gt'ats'ay
            yusam 'I hope'   yusats'ay
                 
(D)   -anam   -ats'-i / -ay   luanam 'I wash'   luats'i
            luanam 'I wash myself'   luats'ay
            arbenam 'I get drunk' (< *arbi-anam)   arbets'ay (< *arbi-ats'ay)
    -anam   -ats'-ay   imanam 'I understand'   imats'ay
            e'nt'anam 'I run'   e'nt'ats'ay
            morranam 'I forget'   morrats'ay
                 

(ii) Regular verb classes with root aorist:

Type   Present   Aor. stem   Example Present   Aorist
                 
(E1)   -em (primary)   root   berem 'I carry'   beri
            atsem 'I bring'   atsi
            hanem 'I draw'   hani
                 
(E2)   -im (primary)   root   nstim 'I sit'   nstay
                 
(E3)   -um   root   argelum 'I hinder'   argeli
            t'ol'um 'I let, remit'   t'ol'i
            hel'um 'I pour'   hel'i
                 
(F)   -anem   root   bekanem 'I break'   beki
            tesanem 'I see'   tesi
            lk'anem 'I leave'   lk'i (3 Sg. elik')
                 
(G)   -anim   root   ankanim 'I fall'   ankay
            tesanim 'I am seen'   tesay
            usanim 'I learn'   usay
                 
(H)   -(n)ch'im   -eay   hangch'im 'I rest'   hangeay
            p'axch'im 'I flee'   p'axeay
            martnch'im 'I fight'   marteay
                 
(I)   -nam   root   darrnam 'I (re)turn' (< *dardz-nam)   dardzay
            barrnam 'I raise' (< *bardz-nam)   bardzi
                 

(iii) Verbs classes with root or -ts'- aorists:

Type   Present   Aor. stem   Example Present   Aorist
                 
(J1)   -C-num   root   arrnum 'I take'   arri
            jernum 'I warm'   jerray
                 
(J2)   -V-num   root   erdnum 'I swear' (< *erdu-num)   erduay
            aytnum 'I swell' (< *ayti-num)   ayteay (< *ayti-ay)
            k'al'ts'num 'I hunger' (< *k'al'ts'i-num)   k'al'ts'eay (< *k'al'ts'i-ay)
                 
(J3)   -V-num   -ts'-i / -ay   zgenum 'I clothe myself'   zgets'ay
            lnum 'I fill'   lts'i (< *li-ts'i, cf. 3 Sg. elits')
            e'nkenum 'I throw'   e'nkets'i (NB. 3 Sg. e'nkéts' instead of *e'nkeats')
13.2. Anomalous and Suppletive Verbs

Although most verbs obey the above-outlined categories regarding present and aorist classification, there are some verbs that depart from the regular formations. The most notable among these anomalous verbs are collected here. In this section, suppletion is treated as an extreme form of irregularity. The irregularities are broken down into three major categories and examples listed under each.

(a) Irregular stem contrast without inflectional peculiarities

Verbs in this category inflect normally, though the present/aorist stem contrast does not fall into the patterns above.

    Present   Aorist
    harkanem 'I strike'   hari
    yants'anem 'I trespass'   yants'eay
    barrnam 'I raise'   bardzi
    darrnam 'I (re)turn'   dardzay
    chanach'em (< *tsanach'em) 'I know'   tsaneay
    e'mpem 'I drink'   arbi
    unim 'I take hold, have'   kalay

(b) Irregular stem contrast with peculiar forms in the imperative and/or aorist subjunctive

    Present   Aorist   Aor. Subj.   Imperative
    arrnem 'I do, make'   arari   ararits', arasts'es, ...   Sg. ara
    tanim 'I carry'   taray   -   tar, tarayk'
    yarrnem 'I rise'   yareay   -   ari, arik'
    ert'am 'I go'   ch'ogay   ert'ayts', ert'its'es, ...   -
    mel'anch'em 'I sin'   mel'ay   mal'ayts', mel'its'es, ...   -
    lsem 'I hear'   luay   luayts', luits'es, ...   lur, luaruk'
    utem 'I eat'   keray (3 Sg. eker, keraw)   kerayts', kerits'es, ...   ker, kerayk'

(c) Irregular inflection in the aorist group generally

Present                
    gam 'I come'   tam 'I give'   dnem 'I put'   linim 'I become'
                 
Aor. Ind.                
1 Sg.   eki   etu   edi   el'é
2   ekir   etur   edir   el'er
3   ekn   et   ed   el'ew
                 
1 Pl.   ekak'   tuak'   edak'   el'eak'
2   ekik'   etuk'   edik'   el'ék'
3   ekin   etum   edin   el'en
                 
Aor. Subj.                
1 Sg.   ekits'   tats'   edits'   el'ets'
2   eke(s)ts'es   tats'es   dits'es   lits'is (el'its'is)
3   eke(s)ts'é   tats'é   dits'é   lits'i (el'its'i)
    etc.            
                 
Imperative                
2 Sg.   ek   tur   dir   ler (el'ijir)
2 Pl.   ekayk'   tuk'   dik'   leruk' (el'eruk')
                 
Participle                
N A Sg.   ekeal   tueal   edeal   leal (el'eal)

The conjugation of linim parallels that of dnem. The augmented forms el'its'is, el'its'i, etc. are later developments which eventually gave rise to a new present form el'anim.

The aorist subjunctive and aorist imperative forms of em 'I am' are supplied by the forms lits'is, etc. and ler, leruk' of the verb linim 'I become'.

14. The Passive Voice
14.1. Passive Voice in the Present System

In Classical Armenian transitive verbs occur in both active and passive contructions. The distinction between active and passive, however, is not universally distinguished through morphology. That is to say, the contrast between active forms and passive forms does not hold throughout the Classical Armenian verbal system. In the present indicative, verbs of the e-conjugation may form a passive by changing the stem vowel from e to i, e.g. varem 'I lead' vs. varim 'I am led'; chanach'em zimsn ew chanach'im yimots'n 'I know my own and I am known by my own'. This distinction is in keeping with the distribution of verbs between the e- and i-conjugations, since most of the verbs in the e-conjugation are transitive, most in the i-conjugation intransitive. The e-/i- manner of active/passive contrast has been extended to the prohibitive and to the present subjunctive. Thus one finds the following contrast pattern.

    Active   Passive
Pres. Indic.   varem, -es, -é, ... 'I lead'   varim, -is, -i, ... 'I am led, I behave'
Prohibitive   mi varer, -ék' 'do not lead'   mi varir, -ik' 'do not behave'
Pres. Subj.   varits'em, -es, -é, ... 'I shall lead'   varits'im, -is, -i, ... 'I shall be led, I shall behave'

Such distinction is lost in the imperfect: since e-conjugation verbs follow the same imperfect paradigm as i-conjugation verbs, the distinction between active and passive is lost in this tense. Thus the active varem 'I lead' and the passive varim 'I am led' both have imperfect varei, -eir, -ér, ... 'I was leading, I was being led'. Compare patmein zbann Astuatsoy 'they proclaimed the word of God' and patmein bank's aysok'ik 'all these things were told'.

Verbs of the a- and u-conjugations, and verbs which are inherently of the i-conjugation, do not form passives by such vowel substitution. These verbs make no formal distinction between active and passive throughout the entire present system:

        Active Meaning   Passive Meaning
Present            
    hamarim   'I regard'   'I am regarded'
    banam   'I open'   'I am opened'
    argelum   'I hinder'   'I am hindered'
             
Imperfect            
    banayi   'I was opening'   'I was being opened'
    argelui   'I was hindering'   'I was being hindered'
             
Subjunctive            
    hamarits'im   'I shall regard'   'I shall be regarded'
    argeluts'um   'I shall hinder'   'I shall be hindered'
14.2. The Aorist System and Mediopassive

The aorist system maintains a morphological distinction between active and passive. Regular alternation of endings displays the voice contrast:

    Present   Aor. Active   Aor. Passive
             
Indicative            
    p'ordzem 'I tempt'   p'ordzets'i 'I tempted'   p'ordzets'ay 'I was tempted'
    patmem 'I tell'   patmets'in 'they told'   patmets'an '(things) were told'
    argelum 'I hinder'   argel 'he hindered'   argelaw 'he was hindered'
             
Subjunctive            
    p'ordzits'em 'I shall tempt'   p'ordzets'its' 'I shall tempt'   p'ordzets'ayts' 'I shall be tempte'
    argelits'um 'I shall hinder'   argelts'en 'they will hinder'   argelts'in 'they will be hindered'
             
Imperative            
    (mi) mrkter '(don't) baptize'   mrktea 'baptize'   mrkteats' 'be baptized'
    (mi) luanayk' '(don't) wash, (don't) wash yourselves'   luats'ék' 'wash'   luats'aruk' 'wash yourselves'

There are, however, forms which are the same in both active and passive. Such forms are the aorist indicative first person plural, e.g. p'ordzets'ak' 'we tempted, we were tempted'; the aorist subjunctive first person plural, e.g. argelts'uk' 'we shall hinder, we shall be hindered' and second person plural, e.g. p'ordzesjik' 'you will tempt, you will be tempted'.

Some transitive verbs are found only with passive forms in the aorist system. These forms are therefore ambiguous when taken out of context; they may have active meaning and take an object, or have true passive (and therefore intransitive) meaning. For this reason, the term mediopassive is often used instead of 'passive' to describe the non-active forms of aorist conjugation. Verbs which are so found with only mediopassive endings in the aorist typically have presents in -im, -anam, and -num. Below are examples of some verbs that distinguish active and passive forms in the aorist, and some that have only mediopassive forms.

    Present   Aorist Active   Aor. Mediopassive   Aor. Passive
                 
    banam 'I open/am opened'   bats'i 'I opened'       bats'ay 'I was opened'
    argelum 'I hinder/am hindered'   argeli 'I hindered'       argelay 'I was hindered'
    hamarim 'I regard/am regarded'       hamarets'ay 'I regarded/was regarded'    
    morranam 'I forget/am forgotten'       morrats'ay 'I forgot/was forgotten'    
    e'nt'errnu 'he reads/(something) is read'       e'nt'erts'aw 'he read/(something) was read'    
14.3. General Notes on Passive Usage

The active/passive contrast is not morphologically distinguished in non-finite verb forms, i.e. the infinitive, verbal adjectives, participle. These forms may have either active or passive meaning, determined by context: p'ordzeal i Satanayé 'tempted by Satan'; haneal zna 'having drawn him'.

When morphology does not distinguish voice contrast, ambiguity is often avoided by one of two means: (1) stem substitution, e.g. hel'u 'he pours' vs. hel'ani '(something) is poured'; (2) compound tenses, e.g. bereal linei, lineir, linér, ... 'I was being carried' vs. berei, bereir, berér, ... 'I was carrying/was being carried'.

In passive statements, agents of the action are treated differently depending on whether they be animate or inanimate. When the agent is a

  • person, it is signified by the preposition i + Ablative;
  • thing, it is placed in the Instrumental.

For example, mrktein i nmané 'they were baptized by him'; ahiw metsaw tagnapein 'they were struck with fear'.

15. Negation

The particle och' is used to negate declarative and interrogative statements. The particle mi is used in negative wishes, requests, commands and final clauses. The particle och', when placed just before the verb, is shortened to ch'- and written together with the verb: ch'é 'he is not'; ch'tesanein 'they did not see'.