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Thread: Albanian

  1. #731
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    Language

    Albanian is a language of the extensive Indo-European family and is thus related to a certain degree to almost all other languages of Europe.
    At the same time, Albanian shows no particularly close historical affinity to any other language or language group within the Indo-European family, i.e. it forms a language group of its own.

    Roman trading settlements on the Illyrian coast and Albanias absorption into the Roman Empire, left noticeable traces in the language. Borrowings from Latin, which took place over a period of several centuries, were so massive as to threaten the very structure of the language.

    The Albanian language is divided into two basic dialect groups: Gheg in the north of the country and Tosk in the south. The Shkumbin River in central Albania, flowing past Elbasan into the Adriatic, forms the approximate boundary between the two dialect regions. Here, in a zone ten to twenty kilometers wide, intermediate dialects are also found.

    The Gheg dialect group, characterized by the presence of nasal vowels, by the retention of the older n for Tosk r (e.g., ven wine for Tosk ver; Shqypnia Albania for Tosk Shqipria) and by several distinct morphological features, can be further classified into a northwestern, a northeastern, a central and a southern Gheg dialect.

    The Tosk dialect group is in general more homogenous, though it can be subdivided into a northern, a Labrian or Lab and a amrian or am dialect.

    The modern literary language (gjuha letrare), agreed upon at the Orthography Congress of 20 to 25 November 1972, is a combination of the two dialect groups, though based about eighty percent on Tosk. It is now a widely accepted standard both in Albania and elsewhere, though there have been increasing tendencies in recent years to revive literary Gheg.

    In its structure, Albanian is a synthetic language similar to most other Indo- European languages. Nouns are marked for gender, number, case and also have definite and indefinite forms. The vast majority of nouns are masculine or feminine, though there are rare examples of neuter nouns, which now function increasingly as masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural. As to number, nouns appear in the singular and plural, as in most other European languages. There are approximately 100 plural formations, including suffixes, umlauts, final consonant changes, and combinations thereof.

    The nominal system distinguishes five cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and ablative. The genitive and dative endings are always the same. Attributive genitives are in addition linked to the nouns that they qualify by a complicated system of connective particles: i, e, t and s, often reflecting the ending of the preceding word, e.g., bulevardi i qytetit the city boulevard, bukuria e bulevardit t qytetit the beauty of the city boulevard. The definite and indefinite forms of the noun are shown by the presence or absence of a postpositive definite article. The noun declension thus shows two sets of endings: definite and indefinite. Most adjectives follow the noun either directly or are preceded by a connective particle, e.g., djali nervoz the irritable boy, djali i vogl the little boy.

    The Albanian verb system has the following categories: three persons, two numbers, ten tenses, two voices and six moods. Unusual among the moods is the admirative, which is used to express astonishment on the part of the speaker, e.g. bie shi its raining, rnka shi why, its raining!

    Arbereshe Tosk subdialect

    This archaic variant of Albanian is spoken by about 90,000 people in southern Italy. Speakers are to be found, usually in remote mountain villages, in the regions of Calabria, Molise, Puglia, Basilicata, Campagnia, Abruzzi and Sicily.

    Arvanitic Tosk subdialect

    Spoken traditionally in about 300 villages of central Greece, this archaic dialect is moribund, though there may still be from 50,000 to 250,000 speakers, mostly older people.

  2. #732
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  3. #733
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  4. #734
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  5. #735
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  6. #736
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    Gheg


  7. #737
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    Tosk


  8. #738
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    Albania


  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Glauk For This Useful Post:

     Dibran (06-08-2017)

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