The Hamshen Language Preserved in the Villages of Western Armenia

  • by Western Armenia, April 12, 2024 in Society

The Western Hamshen-Eastern Hamshen distinction, which is often found in studies on the Hamshen people and the Hamshen language, is based on whether the language is spoken or not.

At the same time, this distinction provides a basis for the question of the relation of the Hamshen people, included in the western group, to the Armenian language to become a debatable  issue.

Travelers' notes are one of the most important sources for  the traces of the Armenian language in those regions.

Another source that enables us to follow those traces is the place names and family names of those regions.

Many Armenian names have been preserved among the names of hills, mountains, and peaks in those areas.

Among them, such a symbolic place name as "Maturna" can be mentioned.

Another source are  the tax   record books preserved in the Ottoman archives in which there are lists of taxpayers living in villages.

In the villages of the region, in the 1600s, the names of taxpayers are Armenian, and in the following years, Muslim names are gradually increasing.In some inscriptions, it is possible to meet people who bear Muslim names, but Armenian patronymics.

It should be noted that soon new studies on these  subject will be published.