|Native to||Kosovo, Albania|
|60,000 (2011 census) (date missing)|
Area where Torlakian dialects are spoken. Number 4 (in southern Kosovo) indicates the Gora dialect area.
|South Slavic languages and dialects|
The Gorani (also Goranski) or Našinski (literally meaning "our language") language is the variety of South Slavic spoken by the Gorani people in the border area between Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia. It is part of the Torlakian dialect group, which is transitional between Eastern and Western South Slavic languages.
Distribution and classification
Spoken across the Gora region in 19 villages in Kosovo, 11 in Albania, and 2 in the Republic of Macedonia. In Kosovo and Macedonia, it is sometimes written in either the Serbian or Macedonian Cyrillic Alphabets, whereas in Albania, the Latin Albanian alphabet is used. In the 1991 Yugoslav census, 54.8% of the inhabitants of the Gora municipality said that they spoke the Gorani language, roughly in proportion to the number who considered themselves ethnic Gorani. In the same census, a little less than half of the inhabitants of Gora considered their language Serbian.
Related to the neighbouring Torlak language varieties spoken in the Prizren–South Morava area to the northeast, also spoken in the southern half of Kosovo and in southeastern Serbia, as well as to the northernmost dialects of Macedonia. In relation to Macedonian dialectology, it is described as having particular close links to the Lower Polog dialect of the Polog and Tetovo regions, which are situated just opposite the Gora area on the other side of the Šar Mountains.
Gorani has also been classified as a part of the Bulgarian dialect area, by Bulgarian as well as some foreign anthropologists. In 2007, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences sponsored and printed the first Gorani–Albanian dictionary (with 43,000 words and phrases) by Goranian researcher Nazif Dokle, who considers the language a Bulgarian dialect.
On the other hand, former Yugoslav linguists Vidoeski, Brozović and Ivić identify the Slavic dialect of the Gora region as Macedonian. According to some sources, in 2003, the Kosovo government acquired Macedonian language and grammar books to be taught in Gorani schools.
Gorani shares with standard Serbian, the northernmost dialects of Macedonian, and western dialects of Bulgarian, the vocalisation of earlier syllabic /l/ in words like vuk ('wolf') (cf. Macedonian volk, standard Bulgarian vǎlk). With Serbian it also shares the reflex of */tj, dj/ as /tɕ/, as opposed to standard Macedonian /c/ (⟨ќ⟩). With the westernmost Macedonian varieties, as well as most of the Bulgarian varieties, it shares the reflex of "big Yus" (*/ɔ̃/) as /ə/ (ǎ) in words like pǎt ('road') (cf. Macedonian pat, Serbian put). With standard Macedonian and some Bulgarian dialects it shares the reflexes of */ĭ, ŭ/ as /e, o/ in words like den ('day') and son ('dream'). With standard Macedonian, standard Serbian and some Bulgarian dialects it shares the retention of syllabic /r/ in words like krv ('blood').
- Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the Brussels Agreement. Kosovo has received formal recognition as an independent state from 112 out of 193 United Nations member states.
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