|Era||developed into Middle Armenian|
|Armenian alphabet (Classical Armenian orthography)|
|History of the Armenian language|
Romanization of Armenian
Classical Armenian (Armenian: գրաբար, in Eastern Armenian pronunciation: Grabar, Western Armenian: Krapar; meaning "literary [language]"; also Old Armenian or Liturgical Armenian) is the oldest attested form of the Armenian language. It was first written down at the beginning of the 5th century, and all Armenian literature from then through the 18th century is in Classical Armenian. Many ancient manuscripts originally written in Ancient Greek, Persian, Hebrew, Syriac and Latin survive only in Armenian translation.
Classical Armenian continues to be the liturgical language of the Armenian Apostolic Church and the Armenian Catholic Church and is often learned by Biblical, Intertestamental, and Patristic scholars dedicated to textual studies. Classical Armenian is also important for the reconstruction of the Proto-Indo-European language.
There are seven monophthongs:
There are also traditionally six diphthongs:
In the following table is the Classical Armenian consonantal system. The stops and affricate consonants have, in addition to the more common voiced and unvoiced series, also a separate aspirated series, transcribed with the notation used for Ancient Greek rough breathing after the letter: p῾, t῾, c῾, č῾, k῾. Each phoneme has two symbols in the table. The left indicates the pronunciation in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); the right one is the corresponding symbol in the Armenian alphabet.
|Nasals||/m/ մ||/n/ ն|
|Stops||voiced||/b/ բ||/d/ դ||/ɡ/ գ|
|unvoiced||/p/ պ||/t/ տ||/k/ կ|
|aspirated||/pʰ/ փ||/tʰ/ թ||/kʰ/ ք|
|Affricates||voiced||/dz/ ձ||/dʒ/ ջ|
|unvoiced||/ts/ ծ||/tʃ/ ճ|
|aspirated||/tsʰ/ ց||/tʃʰ/ չ|
|Fricatives||voiced||/v/ վ||/z/ զ||/ʒ/ ժ|
|unvoiced||/f/ ֆ [a]||/s/ ս||/ʃ/ շ||/χ/ խ||/h/ հ|
|Approximants||lateral||/l/ լ||/ɫ/ ղ|
|central||/ɹ/ ր||/j/ յ|