Indo-European Phonological Inventory Database

HomeLanguages › Ancient Armenian

Ancient Armenian

Family: Armenian

Region: Armenian Highlands

Time: 400-1100 C.E.


Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Voiceless stop p t k
Aspirated voiceless stop
Voiced stop b d g
Voiceless affricate ts
Aspirated voiceless affricate tsʰ tʃʰ
Voiced affricate dz
Fricative v s z ʃ ʒ x h
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Trill/tap r ɾ
Approximant w j


Vowels Front Central Back
High i u
Mid high e ə
Mid low ɛ ɔ
Low a


  1. There are other explanations of this opposition: some scholars, following the statement of the armenian translation of the Tékhnē grammatikḗ of Dionysos Thrax, interpret it as a lenght opposition, while, according to Clackson (2004:926) the two phonemes are probably a rolled alveolar trill and an unrolled approximant.

  2. /v/ and /w/ are nearly in complementary distribution, so they have probably to be regarded as allophonic alternants. The place of articulation of /v/ is uncertain (bilabial/labiodental?).

  3. The phonological status of <o> in classical armenian is uncertain. In post-classical language <o> was surely /ɔ/, because of its opposition with <ô> (/o/), a new introduced phoneme came from the diphthong <aw>.


Clackson, J. 2004. Classical Armenian. In Woodard, R. W. (ed). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s ancient Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Godel, R. 1975. An Introduction to the Study of Classical Armenian. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
Schmitt, R. 1981. Grammatik des Klassisch-Armenischen mit sprachverlgleichenden Erläuterungen. Innsbruck: Inst. für Sprachwiss. d. Univ.


Federica Lini

Credits: apnetwork