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The Poetic Middle Armenian of Kafas in the Alexander Romance

Alex MacFarlane    University of Oxford, UK    



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.

28 Ottobre 2022
23 Marzo 2022
14 Gennaio 2022

Keywords: Xač‘atur Keč‘aṙec‘iAlexander RomanceMiddle ArmenianClassical ArmenianKafasZak‘aria Gnunec‘iGrigoris Ałt‘amarc‘i

Copyright: © 2022 Alex MacFarlane. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.