Armenian alphabet

The Armenian alphabet is a graphically unique alphabet that has been used to write the Armenian language since the year 405 or 406. It was introduced by Saint Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist and ecclesiastical leader, and originally contained 36 letters. Armenian literature with pre-Mashtotsian letters was burned during the introduction of Christianity. Two more letters, օ and ֆ, were added in the Middle Ages, and Soviet reforms of the alphabet in 1922-1924 created two new letters (the letter Ւ ւ was discarded but reintroduced as part of a new letter ՈՒ ու (which was a diagraph before), also a new letter և (capital ԵՎ) was added (which was a ligature before ե+ւ)). Until the 19th century, Classical Armenian was the literary language; since then, the Armenian alphabet has been used to write the two official literary dialects of Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. Its directionality is horizontal left-to-right, like the Latinand Greek alphabets. Both Eastern and Western Armenian Alphabets include 39 letters and 36 sounds.