NEW YORK—St. Illuminator’s Cathedral hosted a special lecture and presentation entitled “The Origin and the Evolution of the Armenian Language” by linguist Dr. Hrach Martirosyan on Sunday, May 28. The event, presided over by H.E. Archbishop Anoushavan, was organized by the cathedral and the New York chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Cultural and Educational Society.
Dr. Martirosyan is a lecturer at Leiden, Berlin and Vanadzor Universities. He earned a doctorate in comparative linguistics from Leiden University in 2008 and graduated from the Faculty of Philology of the Vanadzor Pedagogical University in 1991. A peer-reviewed and enhanced version of his dissertation was later published as the Etymological Dictionary of the Armenian Inherited Lexicon (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2010). Dr. Martirosyan’s academic interests cover the history of the Armenian language beginning from its Indo-European sources to the dialects and the modern language. Dr. Martirosyan is the author of many articles on the history of the Armenian language, dialects and the etymology of words used in Armenian throughout history. He has presented papers at international conferences and conducted courses, lectures and workshops in Leiden, Michigan, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, the University of Pavia and in Moscow and Armenia.
Dr. Martirosyan was introduced by Lalig Vartanian. After Dr. Martirosyan’s deeply substantive presentation, Rev. Fr. Mesrob Lakissian, pastor, introduced Dr. Hrand Markarian, who spoke of the importance of Dr. Martirosyan’s work and presented Dr. Martirosyan with two monographs of the collected works of Armenian authors from Artsakh and the other republics of the Soviet Union, the first of a series being published by Hamazkayin.
In his closing remarks, Archbishop Anoushavan observed how fitting it was to hear Dr. Martirosyan’s lecture on the Sunday of Pentecost and the commemoration of the Independence Day of the First Republic of Armenia. Archbishop Anoushavan stressed the vital importance of the Armenian language as a vessel of Armenian Christian and cultural tradition and the importance of teaching Armenian to the young in order to ensure the survival of that tradition. Also in attendance were special guests Rev. Fr. Vahan and Yn. Maggie Kouyoumjian and member of Hamazkayin’s Central Executive Committee Arevig Caprielian.