Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lesson 9


Past Imperfect Tense *


* Starting from this lesson, I shall provide only the Eastern Armenian (recommended) pronunciation for Classical Armenian words and texts, both in transcription and audio recording. However, in the Vocabulary page of this blog you will find also the Western Armenian transcriptions of the words, if  you ever need them.

The past imperfect tense is usually used for an action that started in the past and was either continuous at some point of time, thus unfinished, "imperfect", like the past continuous of English, or would occur repeatedly or periodically. For example, ուտէի can be translated either "I was eating [when you entered]" or "I would eat (/ate) [every evening]." Sometimes the past imperfect is used in the sense of the past simple too, though there is a separate tense for the past simple in Classical Armenian, which we'll learn later.

We form the past imperfect tense in the same way as the present indicative, that is, we take the present stem of the verb and add the proper endings to it (see Lesson 7).

Conjugations "ե" and "ի" (have the same endings for this tense)


վազել -   to run [vazel]
վազ - the present stem
անկանել (իլ) - to fall [ankanel or ankanil]
անկան - the present stem
 

վազ+էի - վազէի - I was running, I would run [vaze:i]
վազ+էիր - վազէիր - you (sing.) were running, you would run [vaze:ir]
վազ+էր - վազէր - he/she/it was running, he/she/it would run [vazer]
վազ+էաք - վազէաք - we... [vaze:ak']
վազ+էիք - վազէիք - you (pl.)... [vaze:ik']
վազ+էին  - վազէին - they... [vaze:in]


անկանէի - I was falling, I would fall [ankane:i]
անկանէիր - you (sing.) were falling, you would fall [ankane:ir]
անկանէր - he/she/it was falling, he/she/it would fall [ankaner]
անկանէաք - we... [ankane:ak']
անկանէիք - you (pl.)... [ankane:ik']
անկանէին - they... [ankane:in]

These same endings for conjugations "ե" and "ի", when used separately, are the short forms of the verb "to be" in the past.

էի [e:i] (I) was

էիր [e:ir] (you-sing.) were
էր [er] (he/she/it) was
էաք [e:ak'] (we) were
էիք [e:ik'] (you-pl.) were
էին [e:in] (they) were

For example:
Ես անդ էի։ I was there. 
Գեղեցիկ էր նա։ He/she/it was beautiful. 
Տրտում էաք։ We were sad.
 

Conjugation "ա"

վերանալ- to go up [veranal]
վերան - the present stem

վերան+այի - վերանայի - I was going up / I would go up [veranayi]
վերան+այիր - վերանայիր [veranayir]
վերան+այր - վերանայր [veranayr]
վերան+այաք  - վերանայաք [veranayak']
վերան+այիք - վերանայիք [veranayik']
վերան+ային - վերանային [veranayin]

Conjugation "ու" 

լնուլ - to fill [lәnul]
լն - the present stem

լն + ուի - լնուի -  I was filling, I would fill  [lәnu:i]
լն +  ուիր - լնուիր [lәnu:ir]
լն + ոյր - լնոյր [lәnuyr]
լն +  ուաք - լնուաք [lәnu:ak']
լն + ուիք - լնուիք [lәnu:ik']
լն +  ուին - լնուին [lәnu:in]

The negative is formed in the same way as the negative of the present indicative; see Lesson 7.

ոչ վերանայի or չվերանայի - I wasn't going up


READING
(The translations in the brackets are literal)

Երկնէր երկին,  
[In travail was (/was travailing) heaven]
երկնէր երկիր,
[in travail was earth]
երկնէր եւ ծովն ծիրանի.
[in travail was and (=also) the sea purple]
երկն ի ծովուն ունէր եւ զկարմրիկն եղէգնիկ։
[travail in the sea was having (=holding) and (=also) the reddish small reed]
Ընդ եղեգան փող ծուխ ելանէր,
[Through reed's pipe (=stalk) smoke was coming forth]
ընդ եղեգան փող բոց ելանէր, 
[through reed's pipe (=stalk) flame was coming forth] 
եւ ի բոցոյն վազէր խարտեաշ պատանեկիկ։
[and from the flame was running golden-haired youth] 
Նա հուր հեր ունէր,
[He fire hair had]  
բոց ունէր մօրուս,
[flame (he) had beard]  
եւ աչկունքն էին արեգակունք։
[and the eyes were suns]  

This is one of the oldest preserved Armenian poems or songs. It is pagan and dedicated to Vahagn, the Armenian Heracles, who is born of fire and is all fire-like. This song has reached us through the History by Moses of Khoren (Movses Khorenatsi, V century). 

The English translation of this song:
In labour were heaven and earth,
In labor was also the purple sea!
The labor held also the small red reed in the sea.
Through the stalk of the reed, smoke came forth,
Through the stalk of the reed, flame came forth,
And out of the flame a blond boy was running!
He had fiery hair,
He had a flaming beard,
And his eyes were suns!

***
Some more reading

Մտանէին ի տուն (They were entering home/house)։ Յամենայն աւուր գայիր ի դպրոց ուսուցանել զմեզ (Every day you would come to school to teach us)։ Յորժամ լնուիր զամանն աղիւ, տեսանէի ես, զի աղն ոչ էր մաքուր (When you were filling the vessel with salt, was seeing I, that the salt was not pure)։ Հողմ սաստիկ շնչէր, երկիր շարժէր, եւ ամենեքեան մեք երկնչէաք (Wind strong was blowing, earth was moving, and all we were afraid)։ Թողուիր զայգին քո եւ յո՞ երթայիր (You were leaving the garden your and to where you were going?)։ Երթայի անդր ուր ոչ են աղմուկ եւ կիրք մարդկայինք (I was going there where not there are noise and passions human)։ Գայր յայգին մեր եւ քաղէր խաղող (He would come to the garden our and he would gather (pick) grape)։ Ուրախ էր յոյժ (Glad [he] was much)։ Զի՞նչ կամէիք առնել (What you wanted (=did you want) to do?)։

To listen to the audio recording of the Classical Armenian words and texts of this lesson, click on the following link:
http://www.mediafire.com/listen/oh909oeu25e18up/Classical_Armenian-9-mp3.mp3