A Versatile Language is One Key to Survival

A Versatile Language is One Key to Survival

Living languages are organic entities. They express meaning for the speaker and communicate that meaning to the interlocutor. As long as a language can fulfill that function, it is used.

Languages also tend to change over time. This is a mark of the vitality of a language. It so happened in modern times that many languages of Europe began to look to their native ways of communicating, rather than sticking, for example, to the ancient Latin, because Latin was no longer useful.

This is a natural phenomenon, and it is how we got, among many others, French and Spanish – although this “French” happened to be the dialect of Paris, where the royal court was located, and likewise the “Spanish” we know is specifically the dialect of Castile, the region around Madrid. “A language is a dialect with an army,” a certain saying goes.

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Opaque Bubbles and Life in Armenia

Opaque Bubbles and Life in Armenia

We all live in bubbles, don’t we? No matter who we are, where we are, we have our own circle of friends, family, community, work or school, maybe a club of this or an association of that. We create an immediate society around us, which forms part of society taken more broadly. I guess problems arise when the immediate circle becomes impervious – a more rigid, opaque bubble, divorced from broader society.

Living in Yerevan, I am very conscious of the bubble in which I find myself. It is often Diasporan, English-speaking, shared with people with disposable income. Not exclusively so, but more often than not that is the case. Spending free time in cafés and shopping malls, it is not hard to pretend to be in some other part of the world. Even though I find this to be expected – and, in fact, I am happy to note this kind of development in the country – I also find it bothersome to sense that I am at a remove from broader society in Armenia.

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More than One April 24, 2015, in Istanbul

More than One April 24, 2015, in Istanbul

It was the evening of April 24, 2015, and I was sitting on the street in Istanbul, right near where Istiklal Avenue starts off from Taksim Square. The area had been closed off especially for us—a part of town usually bustling (bursting, really) with people. Those around me were holding placards, mostly of the Armenians who had been placed under arrest that day 100 years earlier. I got a placard with one Hagop Terzian on it. “I must look him up,” I thought, somewhat ashamed of the fact that I had not heard of him before, one of the many whose memory was being honored that evening.

The atmosphere was that of a quiet crowd. There was some music, some speeches. I thought it odd that my feet were crossed on the ground next to the tracks over which the tramway ferries tourists and locals from one end of this long, touristy shopping street to the other. The tramway incessantly rings its bell as a warning because, again, Istiklal Avenue is always teeming with people. (I had earlier noticed a favorite game of one of the unfortunate newcomers to this part of the world—young refugee children from Syria, hopping on and off the protruding parts of the tramway wagon. No ringing bell ever dissuades them.) I made a mental note of exactly where I was on the street, trying to figure out a line joining the track to the shops and buildings around me. Someday I would show off the specific spot where I was on the 24th of April, 2015.

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Սահմանադրական փոփոխություններ. «Սատանան մանրամասների մեջ է»

Սահմանադրական փոփոխություններ. «Սատանան մանրամասների մեջ է»

Անգլերենով այսպիսի ասացվածք կա. «սատանան մանրամասնություններում է գտնվում» (“the devil is in the details”): Այսինքն՝ խոսքերը սիրուն են, բայց երբ բանը կա բուն գործին, ամեն ինչ կախված է այդ բուն գործը անելու ոճից: Ահավասիկ եւ այսպիսի հակազդեցություն Հայաստանի Հանրապետության սահմանադրական փոփոխությունների վերաբերյալ:

Նախ, ի՞նչ է սահմանադրություն կոչեցյալը: Շատ չխորանալով քաղաքական տեսությունների (սատանայական մանրամասնությունների՞) մեջ, երկու գլխավոր դրույթ նշեմ: Առաջինը՝ սահմանադրությունը իրենից «հասարակական պայմանագիր է ներկայացնում. ժողովուրդը ինքը ինչ-որ մի մեխանիզմով իր ընդհանուր կամքն է արտահայտում այդ փաստաթղթին միջոցով: Ոչ թե որեւէ մենապետ կամ այլ օժտյալ անձ է քաղաքական կարգ հաստատում ու քաղաքական որոշումներ կայացնում, այլ՝ ընդհանուր ժողովուրդը: Երկրորդ՝ սահմանադրություններ իշխանությունն են բաշխում. ոչ թե մի անհատ կամ խումբ՝ անգամ քվեարկությամբ ընտրված, ամբողջ իշխանությունն են ձեռք բերում, այլ զանազան գործակալություններ, զանազան պաշտոնական մարմիններ զանազան գործառույթներ են իրականացնում՝ մեկը մյուսին հակազդելով, մեկը մյուսին հակակշիռ հանդիսանալով: Այդպիսով, ոչ մի անհատ կամ խումբ չի կարող լայնածավալ ազդեցություն ունենալ:

կարդալ մնացածը

Sources, Citation, APA Style: A Brief Introduction

Sources, Citation, APA Style: A Brief Introduction

Purdue University – Online Writing Lab
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01

American Psychological Association – APA Style
http://www.apastyle.org/

Jordan Pettigrew – APA Style Citation Tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL2RrT6jFpQ

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Hello. Welcome to this brief video on a few basic aspects about sources, citation, and APA style.

Whenever you do research, you use sources of information to explore the question you have posed, to investigate the issue you have chosen. Continue reading

The shifting focus of the Armenian Cause

The shifting focus of the Armenian Cause

The issue of the Armenian Genocide did not manifest any regular political expression until the late 1960s. The Armenian Cause, as it has come to be known (Hai Tahd in Western Armenian; Hai Daht in Eastern Armenian), followed mass demonstrations in particular in 1965. That was the 50th year marking the arrest of notable Armenians in İstanbul on April 24, which heralded the massacres and deportations that followed Surprisingly, rallies took place in Yerevan in Soviet Armenia in 1965, running contrary to the anti-national policies of the USSR. It did not take long for communities within the organized Armenian diaspora to take on the mantle of genocide recognition as their primary raison d’être.

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Մեկ ազգ, քանի՞ մշակութային ոլորտ. հայկական բազմազանություն | One Nation, How Many Aspects of Culture? Armenian Diversity

Մեկ ազգ, քանի՞ մշակութային ոլորտ. հայկական բազմազանություն

Վերջերս «էլ-փոստային կռիվ» ունեցա մի անծանոթի հետ: Դրան «կռիվ» կոչելը չափազանցություն կլինի: Ավելի ճիշտ, բուռն քննարկում ունեցանք էլ-փոստեր ստանալով ու ուղարկելով:Իրար գտել էինք ընդհանուր ծանոթի միջոցով, ով խոհեմ գտնվեց ու խոսակցությունից զերծ մնաց:

Խնդիրը Արեւելահայերենի ու Արեւմտահայերենի շուրջ էր, մասնավորապես՝ եթե կան երկու առանձին Հայերեն լեզուներ, կամ եթե երկուսն էլ մի լեզվի մասնիկներն են: Ուրիշ տարբերակներ էլ կան, եւ նաեւ կարելի է, որ մարդ Արեւելահայերենին ու Արեւմտահայերենին միառժամանակ տարբեր բնորոշումներ տա: Նամակակիցս ինքնավստահորեն պնդում էր, որ կա միայն մեկ Հայոց Լեզու: Իմ դիրքորոշումն այն է, որ դրանք «քույր լեզուներ» են:

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One Nation, How Many Aspects of Culture? Armenian Diversity

Not too long ago, I had an “e-mail fight” with someone I don’t know. To call it a “fight” would be an exaggeration. Rather, we had a heated discussion back and forth via e-mail, having found each other through a mutual acquaintance who wisely slipped out of the conversation.

The issue was Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian – specifically, whether or not there are two separate Armenian languages, or whether they are both versions of one language. There are other possibilities, and it could be the case that one may characterise Eastern and Western Armenian in more than one way at the same time. My correspondent was very confident toinsist that there is only one Armenian language. My own position is to refer to the two as “sister languages”.

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Turkey’s Post-Post-Modern Coup and U.S. Foreign Policy

Turkey’s Post-Post-Modern Coup and U.S. Foreign Policy

Turkey is no stranger to changes in regime. The administration in Ankara has seen fundamental, abrupt shifts a number of times since the Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923. Following the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1938, the military perceived itself as the guardian of the secular, republican order established by one of its own. With that in mind, the army stepped in on three separate occasions—in 1960, in 1971, and in 1980—to remove certain elements from power. Turkey returned to democracy each time.

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The Early Modern Social Contract as Imagined in Philadelphia and Madras: A Comparative Analysis of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and the Vorogayt Parats-Nshavak

The Early Modern Social Contract as Imagined in Philadelphia and Madras: A Comparative Analysis of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and the Vorogayt Parats-Nshavak

Paper presented at the 40th anniversary workshop of the Society for Armenian Studies held in Yerevan, Armenia, October 3-5, 2014

Introduction

The end of the 18th century was an innovative era in terms of political organisation. The revolutions in the United States and in France, as well as such less enduring movements as the Polish Constitution, were echoed halfway across the world in Madras, India (modern Chennai), where a small but wealthy and active community of Armenians expressed ambitious plans for a future Armenian state. Although those plans did not come to fruition, the Vorogayt Parats-Nshavak reflects the Western discourse inspired by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, and others, refracted not just through an Armenian lens alone, but the specific perspective of Persian-Armenian merchants in India – a country quickly coming under the British yoke, alongside the presence of other European powers, such as the French and Portuguese. Meanwhile, after about a decade of an inefficient arrangement under the Articles of Confederation, the US Constitution tried to bring together “a more perfect Union” for its part, marrying the ideological drive of the Declaration of Independence to practical considerations of the day-to-day affairs of running a country.

This paper will examine the Vorogayt Parats-Nshavak in light of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. It presumes familiarity on the part of the reader with the latter, American documents. It will first discuss the texts of the Vorogayt Parats and the Nshavak, including some analysis, followed by a comparison with the two founding documents of the United States in terms of the conceptions of statehood and in other detils. Additionally, the problems of the authorship of the Vorogayt Parats-Nshavak will be taken up, as will its dating, and the designations of the documents in question.

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