The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenians. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia and the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. It has historically been spoken throughout the Armenian Highlands and today is widely spoken in the Armenian diaspora. Armenian has its own unique script, the Armenian alphabet, invented in 405 AD by Mesrop Mashtots.
Linguists classify Armenian as an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. It is of interest to linguists for its distinctive phonological developments within the Indo-European languages. Armenian shares a number of major innovations with Greek, and some linguists group these two languages together with the Indo-Iranian family into a higher-level subgroup of Indo-European, which is defined by such shared innovations as the augment. More recently, others have proposed a Balkan grouping including Greek, Armenian, and Albanian.
Armenia was a monolingual country no later than by the second century BC. Its language has long literary history, with a fifth-century Bible translation as its oldest surviving text. Its vocabulary has been heavily influenced by Western Middle Iranian languages, particularly Parthian, and to a lesser extent by Greek, Latin, Old French, Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and other languages throughout its history. There are two standardized modern literary forms, Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian, with which most contemporary dialects are mutually intelligible. The divergent and almost extinct Lomavren language is a Romani-influenced dialect with an Armenian grammar and a largely Romani-derived vocabulary, including Romani numbers.