REQUEST for registration of variant subtag 'grabar'

Doug Ewell dewell at
Mon Sep 25 16:10:25 CEST 2006

The request below was submitted on September 8 and has completed its 
2-week review period.  So far, there has been only one comment; Peter 
said that Classical Armenian was sufficiently different from modern 
Armenian that it should be proposed to ISO 639 RA/JAC as a language code 
element, not to ietf-languages as a variant subtag.

Does anyone else have any comment?  Michael is in Tokyo at the WG2 
meeting and his e-mail availability is spotty, though I suspect he'll 
respond at some point.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA
RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

> 1. Name of requester: JFC Morfin
> 2. E-mail address of requester: jefsey at
> 3. Record Requested:
>    Type: variant
>    Subtag: grabar
>    Description: Classical written Armenian
>    Prefix: hy
>    Comments: Used for all Armenian writing, 5th-18th centuries
> 4. Intended meaning of the subtag:
>         Specifies the written form of Classical Armenian,
>         used for all purposes from the 5th century (the
>         Armenian Bible) until the 18th century, and since
>         then as the liturgical language of the Armenian
>         Orthodox Church.
> 5. Reference to published description
>   of the language (book or article):
> Dictionary of Grabar (Classical Armenian)
> by Ruben Ghazarian
> Language: Grabar
> Published by: Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, Lebanon, 2004
> Format: Hardcover, 1330 pages
> Dimensions (in inches): 8.75 x 5.5
> 6. Any other relevant information:
> St. Mesrop Mashtots in 405 invented the Armenian alphabet. Classical
> Armenian (Grabar) dates from the 5th - 12th centuries, and is still
> employed as the scholarly and liturgical language, medieval Armenian
> (12th - 17th centuries). Classical, medieval and modern Armenian use
> the same alphabet, which originally had 36 letters but now has 39. 
> There
> are two main spoken dialects, Western Armenian and Eastern Armenian.
> The Catholicos Sahak the Great and St. Mesrop, encouraged by King
> Vramshapuh formed a school of translators who were sent to Edessa to
> procure and translate Syrian and Greek copies of the scriptures and
> other important works. Much of the literary activity of the 5th 
> century,
> the golden age (oskedar) of Armenian literature, was devoted to such
> translations and original works. The formation of national 
> bibliography
> records is being dated to these times.
> Since the 5th century thousands of manuscripts and printed materials 
> have
> been created all over the world by Armenian writers. The Matenadaran
> is one of the oldest and richest book-depositories in the world. Its
> collection of about 17,000 manuscripts includes almost all the areas 
> of
> ancient and medieval Armenian culture and sciences - history, 
> geography,
> grammar, philosophy, law, medicine, mathematics-cosmography, theory of
> calendar, alchemy-chemistry, translations, literature, chronology art
> history, miniature, music and theatre, as well as manuscripts in 
> Arabic,
> Persian, Greek, Syrian, Latin, Ethiopian, Indian, Japanese and others.
> The Armenian Church fostered literature, and the principal early works
> are religious or hagiographical, most of them translations. The first
> major Armenian literary work is a 5th-century translation of the 
> Bible;
> its language became the standard of classical Armenian. Early 
> Mesopotamian
> influence resulted in Syriac translations (Aphraates and St. Ephraem
> Syrus). Armenia then turned to the West for literary inspiration,
> producing translations of many religious works (Athanasius, Basil the
> Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, and John Chrysostom). 
> Among
> secular works are renderings of Aristotle and of the romance of
> Alexander. The original writings of the Golden Age are confined to 
> saints'
> lives and histories. The 5th-century history of Moses of Khorni 
> contains
> practically all that is known of pre-Christian Armenia, its folklore 
> and
> epics. Later historians include Thomas Ardzruni (10th century), 
> Matthew
> of Edessa, who described the Crusades, and Stephanos Orbelian, who 
> wrote
> of the Mongol hordes (13th century). A tradition of nationalistic epic
> poetry, influenced by Muslim forms, emerged; the best-known example is
> David of Sassoun. The principal figure of the 12th century is 
> Catholicos
> Narses IV, a prelate and poet notable for his literary style.
> ensemble d'outils (polices, pilote pour modifierle clavier, etc...)
> pour naviguer, communiquer et écrire le grabar (arménien classique).
> A set of tools (font, keyboard driver, etc.) to browse the Internet,
> communicate and write Grabar (Classical Armenian) online since: 
> 2004/04/18
> 20:00:00 , downloaded 922 times by 2006/09/07
> Note: This registration is to be reviewed by the Language Subtags and
> Extensions Reviewer, Moderator of the ietf-languages at mailing
> list according to the RFC draft-ietf-ltru-registry-14.txt.

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