Gheg Albanian

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Gheg
Region Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia
Native speakers
3.4 million  (2000[1] – 2001 censuses)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 aln
Glottolog gheg1238[3]
Linguasphere 55-AAA-aaa to 55-AAA-aag
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A map showing Gheg speakers in green
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Gheg (or Geg) is one of the two major varieties of Albanian. The other one is Tosk, on which standard Albanian is based. The geographic dividing line between these two varieties is the Shkumbin River, which winds its way through central Albania.

Gheg is spoken in Northern Albania, Kosovo, northwestern Republic of Macedonia, southeastern Montenegro and southern Serbia, by the ethnographic group known as Ghegs.

Gheg does not have any official status as a written language in any country. Publications in Kosovo and Macedonia are in standard Albanian, which is based on Tosk. However, some authors continue to write in Gheg.

History[edit]

The Ghegs speak "Gheg Albanian", one of the two main Albanian dialects. The Albanian communist regime based the standard Albanian language mostly on Tosk Albanian. This practice has been criticized, notably by Arshi Pipa, who claimed that this decision deprived the Albanian language of its richness at the expense of the Ghegs,[4] and referred to the literary Albanian language as a "monstrosity" produced by the Tosk communist leadership that conquered anti-communist northern Albania militarily, and imposed their Tosk Albanian dialect on the Ghegs.[5] Although Albanian writers in former Yugoslavia were almost all Ghegs, they chose to write in Tosk for political reasons.[6] This change of literary language has significant political and cultural consequences because the language is the main criterion for self-identification of the Albanians.[7]

Dialects[edit]

Gheg has several dialects, notably:

Southern Gheg[edit]

Southern Gheg is spoken in Albania (Durrës, Elbasan, Tiranë) and western Macedonia.[8]

A subdialect is Central Gheg, spoken in Tiranë, Krujë and Burrel.[8]

Northern Gheg[edit]

The Italian linguist Carlo Tagliavini puts the Gheg of Kosovo and Macedonia in Eastern Gheg.[9]

Phonology[edit]

Assimilations are common in Gheg, but are not part of the Albanian literary language, which is a standardized form of Tosk Albanian.[10]

Vowels[edit]

Oral[edit]

IPA Written as
[ə] ë (nër: 'under')
[a] a (mas: 'after')
[ɑ] â (prâpë: 'back')
[ɒ] ä (knäqët: 'having fun')
[e] e (dere: 'door')
[ɛ] ê (mênôj: 'I think')
[i] i (dritë: 'light')
[o] o (kos: 'yoghurt')
[u] u (kur: 'when')
[y] y (shyqyr: 'thank God')
[ɔ] ô (dôrë: 'hand')

Nasalized[edit]

IPA Written as[11]
[ĩ] ĩ (hĩna: 'I entered')
[ɛ̃] ẽ (mrẽna: 'within')
[ɑ̃] ã (hãna: 'moon')
[ɔ̃] õ (some dialects)
[ỹ] ỹ (gjỹs: 'half')
[ũ] ũ (hũna: 'nose')

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Figure for Serbia appears to be taken from 2000 figure for Serbia and Montenegro.
    Gheg Albanian at Ethnologue (15th ed., 2005)
  2. ^ Gheg at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gheg Albanian". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Canadian review of studies in nationalism: Revue canadienne des études sur le nationalisme, Volume 19. University of Prince Edward Island. 1992. p. 206. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Canadian review of studies in nationalism: Revue canadienne des études sur le nationalisme, Volume 19. University of Prince Edward Island. 1992. p. 207. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Arshi Pipa (1978). Albanian literature: social perspectives. R. Trofenik. p. 173. ISBN 978-3-87828-106-1. Retrieved 15 July 2013. Although the Albanian population in Yugoslavia is almost exclusively Gheg, the Albanian writers there have chosen, for sheer political reasons, to write in Tosk 
  7. ^ Telos. Telos Press. 1989. p. 1. Retrieved 16 July 2013. The political-cultural relevance of the abolition of literary Gheg with literary Tosk....Albanians identify themselves with language... 
  8. ^ a b Hinrichs, Uwe; Buttner, Uwe (1999). Handbuch der Sudosteuropa-Linguistik. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. p. 285. ISBN 978-3-447-03939-0. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  9. ^ Carlo Tagliavini (1942), Le parlate albanesi di tipo Ghego orientale: Dardania e Macedonia nord-occidentale
  10. ^ Camaj 1984, p. 4
  11. ^ Fialuur i voghel Sccyp e ltinisct [sic] (Small Dictionary of Albanian and Latin), 1895, Shkodër

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]