Classical Armenian or Grabar had its unique place in the 5th century, and it’s distinguished by structural combination, dialectal and social nuances. So, Classical Armenian is supposed to have the spoken general basis of one or more close dialectal versions. There’re some dialects, which existed along with literary language. Thus, they differ from each other with the phonetic and lexical characteristics, at the same time keeping the generality of grammatical structure.
The literary version of the language is characterized for the widest functions: as the official language of communication, school education and enlightenment, religious ceremonies, as a literary language- artistic prose and verse work, history, science and theology, correspondence, etc. which represent the bibliography of the 5th century.
Classical Armenian hasn’t been identified with any social group language, but it was introduced as a special form of the national language existence . Classical Armenian stands out for its rich grammatical categories and meanings, inflexional and comparative structures.
The historical period of Ancient Armenian is divided into three periods: Classical Armenian (5th century), Postclassical Armenian(6-8th cc.), Pre-Intermediate Armenian(8-11th cc.)
The written and oral forms of Ancient or Classical Armenian coincided with each other. The literary language was purposefully processed. Thus, there were 2 schools, which dealt with the literary language- Armenologist and Philhellenic. The representatives of the Philhellenic school played a significant role in the creation and development of scientific terminology, in the enrichment of prefixes and created some artificial forms. According to the fact, that the Armenologist type of the Armenian language was based on the conversational base, Armenian had functional-stylistic forms, which went along with the distribution of sectors, some scientific and religious, historical and fiction works, clerical literature etc.
During the postclassical period of Classical Armenian – Grabar, the written and conversational types of the language both were far from each other, and some separate dialectical forms were developed. The enrichment of the literary language kept it away from its conversational form. However, the conversational and dialectal elements are reflected in the language, which brought some significant changes.
There’re real structural differences in the literary and conversational versions of the Pre-Intermediate Armenian. Therefore, the literary language had some differences under the influence of the conversational type of the language.
Se also: The Armenain language