The Poetic Middle Armenian of Kafas in the Alexander Romance
This paper examines the use of Middle Armenian in the medieval kafas (short monorhymed poems) associated with the legendary history of Alexander III of Macedon in its Armenian translation. These poems, composed in Armenian in the 13th-16th centuries, contain classical and vernacular language. Examining the interplay between the poetic requirements of meter and rhyme and the linguistic features of Middle Armenian, this paper points to cases in the kafas where the choice between words and grammatical forms is dictated by poetry. This includes the use of both classical nominative plural ending -ք and the medieval (and modern) -(ն)եր, and the concurrent comprehensibility of the present and imperfect indicative both with and without the particle կու.