Modern Armenian (Armenian: աշխարհաբար, ashkharhabar or ašxarhabar, literally the "secular/lay language") is the modern vernacular (vulgar) form of the Armenian language.[1] Although it first appeared in the 14th century, it was not until the 18-19th centuries that it became the dominant form of written Armenian, as opposed to Classical Armenian (grabar or the "language of the book").[2] It has two standardized forms: Western Armenian and Eastern Armenia, mostly spoken—in the 19th century—in the Ottoman and Russian empires, respectively.

The first novel written in Modern Armenian is Khachatur Abovian's Wounds of Armenia, first published posthumously in 1858.[3] Besides Abovian, other prominent advocates of the use of Modern Armenian were Mikayel Nalbandian[4] and Raphael Patkanian.[5] Pataknian's father, Gabriel, published Ararat, the first Modern Armenian periodical in the Russian-controlled Caucasus.[6][7]


  1. ^ Nichanian, Marc (2014). Mourning Philology: Art and Religion at the Margins of the Ottoman Empire. Oxford University Press. p. 41 Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780823255245. ...our vulgar language [ashkharhabar]...
  2. ^ Nersessian, Vrej (2001). The Bible in the Armenian Tradition. Getty Publications. p. 36. ISBN 9780892366408.
  3. ^ Nichanian, Marc (2002). Writers of Disaster: Armenian Literature in the Twentieth Century. Princeton, NJ: Gomidas Institute. p. 87. ISBN 9781903656099.
  4. ^ Bardakjian, Kevork B., ed. (2000). A Reference Guide to Modern Armenian Literature, 1500-1920: With an Introductory History. Wayne State University Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780814327470.
  5. ^ Adalian, Rouben Paul (2010). Historical Dictionary of Armenia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. p. xlvii. ISBN 978-0-8108-7450-3.
  6. ^ Hacikyan, Agop Jack; Basmajian, Gabriel; Franchuk, Edward S.; Ouzounian, Nourhan (2005). The Heritage of Armenian Literature: From the eighteenth century to modern times. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 316. ISBN 9780814332214.
  7. ^ Suny, Ronald Grigor (1993). Looking Toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History. Indiana University Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780253207739.