|Regions with significant populations|
|Gheg Albanian Arbanasi dialect, Croatian, historically Venetian|
Arbanasi (Arbanasi language: Arbëneshë) is a community in the Zadar region, Croatia, of Albanian origin, who traditionally speak the Arbanasi dialect of Gheg Albanian. Their name means Albanians in Croatian and is the toponymy of the first Arbanasi settlement in the region, which today is a suburb of Zadar. In Albanian literature, they are known as "Albanians of Zadar" (Arbëreshët e Zarës).
Today, the community is spread across Croatia. Their original settlements were Arbanasi of Zadar and some villages around Zadar, namely Zemunik, Dračevac, Crno, Ploča, etc. The former village derived its name from its founders, the Albanians. The Arbanasi are known to have settled the area during two different periods of migration; the first in 1655 and the second in 1726-33. These settlers were said to be part of the Kastrioti clan, one of the numerous Northern Albanian clans known to have existed.
Arbanasi (Арбанаси) is the old ethnonym that the South Slavs used to denote Albanians, dating back to the Middle Ages. The origin of the Croatian Arbanas is from Skadarska Krajina (Albanian: Krajë) region from the villages of Briska (Brisk), Šestan (Shestan), Livari (Ljare), and Podi (Pod) located in modern southern Montenegro. Every one of the inhabitants of the village of Pod had left for migration in 1726, leaving the village completely abandoned. Ruins of old houses can still be found in the area today.  They originated from the hinterland, demonstrated by the names of fish coming from the Croatian language. This population migrated into what is today Croatia in two different periods, first in 1655 to Pula, Istria[better source needed] and then 1726–27 and 1733, to the Zadar area, supported and planned by Archbishop of Zara Vicko Zmajević and the Venetian republic to repopulate the countryside and hinterland of Zadar.
The first migration to Zadar was mentioned in March 23, 1726, when first arrivals who numbered around 56 individuals, and afterwards another 28 families, were temporarily settled in Kaštel Novi, today Herceg Novi. It is considered[by whom?] that they arrived in Zadar in the summer, in July. The group was guided by two brothers of the Pretani family, and the following people are mentioned: Luca d'Andrea Gezghenovich, Nicolo di Luca Marghicevich, Nicolo d'Andrea Gasparovich, Giovanni d'Andrea Gezghenovich, Pere di Marco, Prem Vuca Marghicevich, Paolo Giech Marghicevich, Giech Prend Marghicevich, Giech Pepa Marghicevich, Marco Discialo Marghicevich, Prenz Prema Marghicevich, Petar Vuca Gianova, Nico Matessich, Luca Prend, Boso Nico Smira, Stanica Gielencovich, Visco Gielencovich, Lech Pero Marghicevich i Luca Lucich.
The second migration to Zadar was in 1733, and in the document from March 11, 1735 can be seen another 28 families and some members: Nicolo Andre, Crasto Covac, Marco Giocca, Giocca Gionon, Giocca Giuchin, Stjepo Gjuri, Stiepo Luco, Prento Kneunichi, Lecca Marco, Prento Marcov, Paolo Marussich, Mar Mazia, Marco Nicadobrez, Pema Nichin, Nicolo Pantov, Marco Pertu, Frane Popovich, Paolo Prendi, Nicola Rose, Rado Ruco, Gen Sperc, Prento Stani, Vuco Tamartinovich, Vuksa Tancovich, Pietro Tioba, Andrea Toma, Capitano Nicolo Vlagdan i Jovan Vucin. They bore surnames Duka (Duca), Prema (extinct), Mazija (Mazia), Cotić (extinct branch of Mazija), Marušić, Ratković, Krstić, Stipčević, Mužanović (initially called Kovač), Maršan, Vladović (Vlagdan), Ugrin, Luco, Relja (branch of Vladović), Nikpalj, Musap (branch of Duka), Morović (from Petani), Prenđa (Prendi), Gjergja (Đerda), Tokša, Tamartinović, as well three Montenegrin families Zanković, Popović, and Škopelja. Other surnames are Dešpalj, Kalmeta, Karuc (Karuz), Kotlar, Jelenković, Jović, Perović, Vukić and Ćurković.
Around the same time, Chakavian-speaking families from Kukljica, Ugljan, and Zadar hinterland, settled among the Arbanasi, and included: Bajlo, Dadić, Tomas, Ćućula, Matešić, Matijaš, Bulić, Banić, Smolčić, Grdović, Zubčić, Ljubičić, Labus, who eventually integrated into the Arbanasi community to the extent that they are now considered real Arbanasi.
Their church, Saint Mary of Loreto, was built from 1734, and founded in 1737.
All these groups were integrated into the social and economic sphere of Venetian Dalmatia, but they preserved their language, customs and songs. First, the Albanian community worked to claim the marshy areas near their settlement (Arbanasi), which was originally an island now connected to the mainland, and then got the leasing right of cultivation of the land.[when?] The Venetian government took charge of construction of many homes and, at first, even meals.
Since 1901 the Arbanasi are also equipped with an Albanian school and in 1910 Giacomo Vuxani promoted and organized the Italo-Albanian Association. After the Second World War, many Arbanasi from village Borgo Erizzo emigrated to Italy, following the Yugoslav takeover of Zadar. In modern times about 4000 Arbanasi remain in Croatia.
The Gheg Albanian dialect spoken by the Arbanasi is quite unique among Albanian dialects. Among other features it has non-standard imperatives (art! instead of eja! for "come!", c.f. past participle ardhur), lack of nasal vowels (peculiar for Gheg dialects), phonological changes including alternations between /s/ and /θ/ and the deletion of /h/, and the loss of trilled /r/. Arbanasi have a long history of interacting with speakers of three other languages, Italian, Croatian and Venetian. Historically, Arbanasi were often trilingual between Albanian, Croatian and Venetian; furthermore, they assimilated a large influx of Chakavian speakers who settled among them. There is a high volume of loanwords from each, but some changes appear to have instead distanced Arbanasi from these languages-- this is the case with the replacement of all trilled /r/ (the only rhotic in all three of Croatian, Italian and Venetian) with an alveolar tap, a sound totally absent in all three of these influencers. In other ways Arbanasi behaves like a typical Gheg Albanian dialect. 
History and Politics
- Giacomo Vuxani – Albanian-Italian politician, Vice Prefect, Last Italian Authority of Zadar in 1944
- Božidar Kalmeta – Croatian politician and member of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party
- Valter Flego – Croatian politician, mayor of Buzet and prefect (Župan) of Istria County
- Aleksandar Stipčević - archeologist and historian
- Šime (Simeone) Duka – secretary of Vatican archives
- Ratimir Kalmeta – geographer and linguist
- Đani Maršan (b. 1944) – singer, musician, diplomat and Croatian Consul
- Gjon Gazulli - Albanian Dominican friar, humanist scholar, and diplomat
- Ivo Perović - Regent of Yugoslavia for the underage Peter II from 1934 to 1941
- Valter Dešpalj – cellist and professor on Academy of Music in Zagreb
- Agim Çeku - Commander in the Croatian War of Independence in Croatian Army
- Rahim Ademi - Croatian Army general of Kosovo-Albanian origin
- Ivica Matešić Jeremija – writer, military diplomat and holder of the Order of Danica Hrvatska for culture
- Šime Dešpalj – composer, music teacher, writer
- Pavle Dešpalj – music conductor and composer, member of HAZU
- Marie Kraja – Albanian opera singer
- Vlado Kalember – Croatian singer
- Bepo Matešić – tenor singer
- Valter Dešpalj – cellist and a professor at the Zagreb Academy of Music
- Pavle Dešpalj – Croatian composer and conductor
- Mladen Grdović – Croatian pop singer
- Ennio Stipčević (b. 1959) - musicologist, member of HAZU
- Anita Berisha – Croatian actress
- Helena Bulaja – Croatian multimedia artist, director and producer
- Nera Stipičević – Croatian actress
- Ivan Prenđa - Roman Catholic archbishop of the Archdiocese of Zadar
- Janko Šimrak – bishop of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Križevci
- Nikola Kekić – bishop of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Križevci
- Josip Gjergja - Former Croatian basketball player
- Vilson Džoni - Former Croatian footballer
- Ardian Kozniku - Former Croatian footballer
- Kujtim Shala - Former Croatian footballer
- Besart Abdurahimi - Croatian-Albanian footballer who plays for Partizani in the Albanian Superliga.
- Arijan Ademi – Macedonian professional footballer who plays for GNK Dinamo Zagreb and Macedonian national team
- Toni Domgjoni – Swiss-Croatian footballer who plays for FC Zürich as a midfielder
- Ahmad Sharbini – former Croatian footballer who is currently the chairman of NK Rječina
- Anas Sharbini – Croatian professional footballer who plays for NK Grobničan in Inter-county League Rijeka
- Neven Spahija - Croatian professional basketball coach
- Milan Rapaić – Croatian footballer
- Edo Flego – Croatian footballer and football manager
- Ivan Bulaja – Croatian sailor and sailing trainer
- Zedi Ramadani - Croatian footballer
- Hrvoje Macanović – sport journalist
- Agron Preteni - Croatian kick boxer
- Herdi Prenga - Albanian footballer
- Elvir Maloku - Albanian footballer
- Bogdan Cuvaj - Croatian football manager
- Mario Musa - Croatian professional footballer playing for Dinamo Zagreb
- Tomislav Duka - Croatian footballer
- Enver Idrizi - Karateka and former World Champion
- Rok Stipčević - Croatian professional basketball player
- Elsie, Robert (2004). Historical dictionary of Albania. Scarecrow Press. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-8108-4872-6. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- 1984 Martin Camaj, Leonard Fox "Albanian Grammar: With Exercises, Chrestomathy and Glossaries", page xi
- Victor A. Friedman (1997). One Grammar, Three Lexicons: Ideological Overtones and Underpinnings in the Balkan Sprachbund (PDF). University of Chicago. Archived from the original on 2012-02-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Mijo Čurković (1922). Povijest Arbanasa kod Zadra. E. Vitaliani.
- Lloshi 1999, p. 277. "The Albanians of today call themselves shqiptarë, their country Shqipëri, and their language shqipe. These terms came into use between the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. Foreigners call them albanesi (Italian), Albaner (German), Albanians (English), Alvanos (Greek), and Arbanasi (old Serbian), the country Albania, Albanie, Albanien, Alvania, and Albanija, and the language Albanese, Albanisch, Albanian, Alvaniki, and Arbanashki respectively. All these words are derived from the name Albanoi of an Illyrian tribe and their center Albanopolis, noted by the astronomer of Alexandria, Ptolemy, in the 2nd century AD. Alban could he a plural of alb- arb-, denoting the inhabitants of the plains (ÇABEJ 1976). The name passed over the boundaries of the Illyrian tribe in central Albania, and was generalised for all the Albanians. They called themselves arbënesh, arbëresh, the country Arbëni, Arbëri, and the language arbëneshe, arbëreshe. In the foreign languages, the Middle Ages denominations of these names survived, but for the Albanians they were substituted by shqiptarë, Shqipëri and shqipe.
- Kamusella 2009, p. 241. "Prior to the emergence of the modern self-ethnonym Shqiptarë in the mid-16th century (for the first time it was recorded in 1555 by the Catholic Gheg, Gjon Buzuku, in his missal), North Albanians (Ghegs) referred to themselves as Arbën, and South Albanians (Tosks) Arbër. Hence, the self-ethnonym Arbëreshë of the present-day Italo-Albanians (numbering about 100,000) in southern Italy and Sicily, whose ancestors, in the wake of the Ottoman wars, emigrated from their homeland in the 14th century. These self-ethnonyms perhaps influenced the Byzantine Greek Arvanites for ‘Albanians,’ which was followed by similar ones in Bulgarian and Serbian (Arbanasi), Ottoman (Arnaut), Romanian (Arbănas), and Aromanian (Arbineş).
- Demiraj 2010, pp. 534. "The ethnic name shqiptar has always been discussed together with the ethnic complex: (tosk) arbëresh, arbëror, arbër — (gheg) arbënesh, arbënu(e)r, arbën; i.e. [arbën/r(—)]. p.536. Among the neighbouring peoples and elsewhere the denomination of the Albanians is based upon the root arb/alb, cp. Greek ’Αλβανός, ’Αρβανός "Albanian", ‘Αρβανίτης "Arbëresh of Greece", Serbian Albanac, Arbanas, Bulg., Mac. албанец, Arom. arbinés (Papahagi 1963 135), Turk. arnaut, Ital. albanese, German Albaner etc. This basis is in use among the Arbëreshs of Italy and Greece as well; cp. arvanit, more rarely arbëror by the arbëreshs of Greece
- Barančić 2008, p. 551. "Možemo reći da svi na neki način pripadamo nekoj vrsti etničke kategorije, a često i više nego jednoj. Kao primjer navodim slučaj zadarskih Arbanasa. Da bismo shvatili Arbanase i problem njihova etnojezičnog (etničkog i jezičnog) identiteta, potrebno je ići u povijest njihova doseljenja koje seže u početak 18. st., tj. točnije: razdoblje od prve seobe 1726., razdoblje druge seobe od 1733., pa sve do 1754. godine koja se smatra završnom godinom njihova doseljenja. Svi su se doselili iz tri sela s područja Skadarskog jezera - Briske, Šestana i Livara. Bježeći od Turaka, kuge i ostalih nevolja, generalni providur Nicola Erizzo II dozvolio im je da se nasele u područje današnjih Arbanasa i Zemunika. Jedan dio stanovništva u Zemuniku se asimilirao s ondašnjim stanovništvom zaboravivši svoj jezik. To su npr. današnji Prenđe, Šestani, Ćurkovići, Paleke itd. Drugi dio stanovništva je nastojao zadržati svoj etnički i jezični identitet tijekom ovih 280 godina. Dana 10. svibnja 2006. godine obilježena je 280. obljetnica njihova dolaska u predgrađe grada Zadra. Nije bilo lako, osobito u samom početku, jer nisu imali svoju crkvu, škole itd., pa je jedini način održavanja njihova identiteta i jezika bio usmenim putem. We can say that all in some way belong to a kind of ethnic category, and often more than one. As an example, I cite the case of Zadar Arbanasi. To understand the problem of the Albanians and their ethnolinguistic (ethnic and linguistic) identity, it is necessary to go into the history of their immigration that goes back to the beginning of the 18th century., etc more precisely: the period from the first migration of 1726, the period of the second migration of 1733, and until 1754, which is considered to be the final year of their immigration. All they moved from three villages from the area of Lake Scutari - Briska, Šestan and Livara. Fleeing from the Ottomans, plague and other troubles, the general provider Nicola Erizzo II allowed them to settle in the area of today's Arbanasa and Zemunik. One part of the population in Zemunik became assimilated with the local population, forgetting their language. These are for example, today's Prenda, Šestani, Ćurkovići, Paleke etc. The second part of the population tried to maintain their ethnic and linguistic identity during these 280 years. On May 10, 2006 marked the 280th anniversary of their arrival in the suburb of Zadar. It was not easy, especially in the beginning, because they did not have their own church, school, etc., and is the only way to maintain their identity and language was verbally."
- Barančić 2008.
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- "Vicko Zmajević - mecena i dobrotvor" (in Croatian). Narodni list. 2016-05-14. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- Milan Nosić (2006). "Život i djelo Ratimira Kalmete". Riječ - časopis za slavensku filologiju (in Croatian). Rijeka: Hrvatsko filološko društvo. 12 (3): 7–22. ISSN 1330-917X.
- "Arbanasi slave 290 godina od dolaska u Zadar" (in Croatian). 057info.hr. 2016-05-10. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- "U Zadar Su Došli Prije 290 Godina "Arbanasi: jesu li više Hrvati, Albanci ili Talijani?"" (in Croatian). Zadarski.hr. 2016-05-02. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
- "Zadarski Velikani U Obnovi Kneževe Palače Pavle Dešpalj: Nadam se da će palača opet biti dom Zadarskom komornom orkestru jer on to i zaslužuje" (in Croatian). Zadarski.hr. 2017-02-08. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
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