Talk:Arvanitic alphabet

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Proposal to delete this article[edit]

I object to the proposal to delete this article. Dirak's reasons for deletion are specious. Unicode is not mentioned on the page, and the article on the Arvanite language does not contain this material. -- Evertype· 09:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

You obviously haven't got a clue about what this is about. What are the letters "dσ̈" "σ̈" "ν̇" "ε̰" amongst others supposed to be? This is not the script; there are no computer characters for this script. Whoever prepared that table just picked letters that looked more like what was in the external link. Look at how the letter 'u' is written using Coptic letters when everyone with an ounce of sense knows that the letter depicted in the external link is the Greek ligature Ȣ. If this script is to be displayed, it should be in a GIF or PNG file. What's currently in that table is original research. Also, I dispute the title of this page if it's going to be about the Greek-based script only, then it should be moved to Arvanitic Greek script or something like that. Everyone knows that the Latin alphabet is also used (the GHM goes far enough as to say there’s even a dispute about it). //Dirak 12:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
PS yes, whatever's sourced is at the language article. The table is not. //Dirak 12:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Evertype, I agree that Unicode has nothing to do with it; it is perfectly possible to have a real script which is not well-represented in Unicode. However, the substantive issue here is whether there is such a thing as the "Arvanitic alphabet" at all. It is undisputed that the Greek alphabet has been used to write various varieties of Albanian. (see Robert Elsie, "Albanian Literature in Greek Script: the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century Orthodox Tradition in Albanian Writing", Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 15:20 (1991)) It is also undisputed that the Greek script has been used to write the Arvanitic dialect of Albanian found in Greece, using a variety of systems. The question is whether there is (or has been) a well-defined "Arvanitic alphabet" which is not improvised by individual authors. I do not know the answer, and the current article doesn't include any sources. Google Book and Google Scholar find nothing. Google Web search finds mostly mirrors of Wikipedia.

Dirak, I agree that the current article is not good. The WP response to that is to make it better -- if it is actually on a notable topic. I do not know whether there is such a thing as the "Arvanitic alphabet" -- evidence would be helpful. --Macrakis 13:50, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

If I remember correctly, the source for this script was a 19th-century translation of the New Testament. Apparently the same script is used on the website of the "Arvanitikos Syndesmos Ellados", so apparently it is regarded as more or less normative at least by a few people. This 19th-century linguistic study ([1]) uses a slightly different system, with fewer diacritics. Fut.Perf. 11:02, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the Arvanite League use a different script. The NT translation uses σ with two dots above for the "sh", the League publications use "σσ" and Biris uses "σh". There are also other differences. The point is the letters included in the table in this article are not designed for writing arvanitika - look how it displays the capital "sh", sound, I mean come on! //Dirak 13:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
If we are going to include an example of the scripts used, then it should be in a PNG or a GIF file (like do). //Dirak 13:30, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I admit that the script does not need to be represented in unicode for it to exist, but to have to write Σ<sup>̈</sup> to get the "sh" sound is taking it too far. //Dirak 13:32, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
So you are saying that you want to delete the informative table because you don't like this alphabet bacause you find it inconvenient. That's POV. You are wrong about the Wiki 'sh' sound, too. You just use a combining diacritical mark, not superscript. Σ̈ σ̈. -- Evertype· 16:08, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Prove by citing sources that that is the way it is (not ought to be) done. Otherwise it is WP:OR which is my point all along. //Dirak 22:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
I am still not sure what the issue here. Albanian/Arvanitic have been written using a modified Greek alphabet over time. It is worth documenting the various modifications. Logically, I'd think that the Albanian alphabet and Arvanitic alphabet pages should be merged (with a table showing the variants), especially if it's true that the writing system used by the ASE is the same as that used in the past for standard Albanian. But no doubt that will run into political problems.
As for the on-line representation of the alphabet, Unicode in principle has no problem representing σ with two dots above, though proper support for combining diacriticals is alas far from universal, so the correct Unicode sequence <<σ̈>> displays the same as simply <<σ>> on many browsers. Characters like this should probably be shown using graphic files. --Macrakis 23:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Agree. As for the merger, actually, if it's true that this particular script table is from that early 19th-century bible translation, it makes little sense to treat it as specifically "Arvanitic" as opposed to "Albanian" anyway, because that was before Arvanitika began to be perceived as separate. See the reference given on the Arvanitika page: the source is "H καινη Διαθηκη του Κυριου και Σωτηρος ημων Iησου Χριστου, διγλωττος, τουτεστι γραικικη και αλβανιτικη. Dhjata e re e Zotit sonë që na shpëtoi, Iisu Hrishtoit mbë di gjuhë, do me thënë gërqishte e dhe shqipëtarçe. Epistasia Grêgoriou Archiepiskopou tês Euboias. Korfoi. En tê typografia tês Dioikêseôs. 1827". The language is self-defined as "Alvanitika" (sic) and "shqipëtarçe", i.e. Albanian - but the book was produced in Euboea, i.e. presumably for the local Arvanite population. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Future Perfect at Sunrise (talkcontribs) 00:13, 19 December 2006 (UTC).

Okay. Have we established now that:

  1. It makes sense to have some article treating the adaptations of the Greek script for Albanian/Arvantikia.
  2. There is apparently no single standard script that can be described here.
  3. Nevertheless, those spellings specified in the article now are interesting, notable, and real.
  4. It makes little sense to separate the Greek spellings of modern Arvanitika from the historical Greek spelling systems of Albanian elsewhere.

Fut.Perf. 15:11, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

I ask again, because all of you - either out of ignorance or are deliberately evading my concern - are beating about the bush. Where is the poof that the letters depicted in the link are the same as those in the table? Where is the proof that (some) Arvanites write (or have written) 'u' using a Coptic letter. That letter bares no resemblance to what's in image the link, as do a bunch of all the other non standard letters. This script cannot be written on computers - any attempt to do so by picking existing characters which you "think" look like what's in the link IS original research (imagine if I tried to write the text on the Phaistos Disk using unicode characters that looked most like the glyphs). If you want to depict that particular script, it should be in an image file.Dirak 11:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I've corrected the "ou" ligature thing, for which a more appropriate codepoint (U+0222, U+0223) indeed exists. As for the rest, I'll repeat here what I told you privately some time back: I believe the electronic encoding of that table isn't part of the encyclopedic content we have to worry about. It's just a convenient solution to get the approximate correct glyphs out on the screen. What counts, and what needs to be sourced and verified and such, is just the glyphs that the reader is going to see. What happens technically under the hood is our arbitrary decision and of no concern to anybody else. Whether we do it in Unicode, or in gif images, or in some arbitrary private encoding scheme of our own, and what Unicode characters we use, is of no significance.
Besides, with this little change made, we are in fact safely within the bounds of the standard Unicode semantics for all these codepoints.
You ask, Where is the poof that the letters depicted in the link are the same as those in the table? - Well, of course they are not "the same" insofar as the source predates all computer encodings. But by that logic, we wouldn't be allowed to transcribe any older writing into modern encodings without committing OR. These characters are "the same" insofar as their character identity and semantics are easily recognisable. That thingy there used to write the schwa is not some random squiggle, it's a GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON with a COMBINING MARK TILDE BELOW. And it was surely created like that from existing (lead) fonts by the contemporary printers, just as we are doing it now from our (computer) fonts. Encoding that combination as U+03B5 U+0330 is no more "original research" than encoding an German letter "ä" as U+00E4. This is precisely the function these codepoints have been defined for. Fut.Perf. 12:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The Arvanitic Alphabet and Kostandin Kristoforidhi[edit]

I propose that the article should be rewritten from the beginning. The picture linked in this article, in fact is "Kristoforidhi's Tosk alphabet" [2] p. 2-3. Kristoforidhi devised two alphabets, one for the Gheg dialect, and another for the Tosk. Yet, the Arvanites have used exclusively the Greek alphabet with diacritics (the Greek writing system lacks graphemes for ç, ë, j, nj, sh, xh, zh) to write their language. The New Testament of 1827, is one of the best examples. Guildenrich (talk) 22:25, 15 September 2009 (UTC)


According to this [[3]] 'The Arvanitic alphabet is an adapted version of the Greek alphabet'...Alexikoua (talk) 11:48, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

It is using as its source [WP] guess what it is ;)

Fut, may revert this page as many times as he wants, but he has to provide sources about it. Otherwise, the sourced material that I added, should be in its place.Balkanian`s word (talk) 13:11, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

The new version of that website is linguistically so poor quality we cannot use it. Certainly not by just copying over its text, as you did. The older version to which the page linked previously wasn't much better, but at least it contained only a simple list of letters, which - indirectly - was based on a more pertinent and reliable source, the 19th century Bible translation. That's still not good sourcing, but at least the article was written in a way that made sense and was consistent with the better sourced Albanian alphabet. I have no objection against just scrapping this page and redirected it to Albanian alphabet (I have strong doubts if there really is such a thing as a specifically Arvanitika alphabet rather than a wider range of Greek based general Albanian spelling models), but I do have objections against importing that ridiculously amateurish description from the current arvsynel page. Fut.Perf. 13:25, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
I see, can I have an analysis of this problems that the new version have? It does seem pretty well to me at least. I mean, can we put just the box at least? What is the problem for real in this case?Balkanian`s word (talk) 13:52, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Sigh. Where to start? Let's see:

  • "Both Arvanitic alphabets have 39 letters ...": no, they haven't. The table lists 39 letters and/or letter combinations, but obviously far fewer individual letters.
  • "... of which 37 are phonemes (7 vowels and 30 consonants) and other two (ps-ψ and ks-ξ) are diphonetic letters.": well, the Greek ψ and ξ are indeed biphonemic (not "diphonetic") letters, but their Latin counterparts are not.
  • "The order of the letters in the alphabet, is based on the phonetic sound of the ancient Greek alphabet": what does that even mean?
  • Plus: is there any evidence that either of these two alphabets is actually in use anywhere? The association's own magazine, Besa, of which an online volume is available on the same site, uses a different spelling system. Fut.Perf. 23:21, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Removing letter Ômega & Hêta (Future_Perfect_at_Sunrise)[edit]

Hi, I'm Gheg Albanian from Skopje, and I know that Epsilon is [e] & not [ɛ] it's important that you leave Hêta because Gheg & Tosk variant like Tim / Têm, Jim / Jêm are caused by Greek Hêta [ɛ / i] & Hypje / Hipje (ascent), Ftyrë / Ftirë (face), Krypë & Kripë (salt) by Ypsilon [y / i], Albanian peoples (Gheg / Tosk / Arbanitês) use [o] like in kos (yoghurt), and [ɔ] in Dorë (Hand). All albanian verb are ending with -ÔJ [-ɔj] like Greek verb using -ιζω or -ω. So Greek Ômega is [ɔ] and exist in Shqip.

The other letter are unsourced to ? Do you plane to erase ? I'm asking you to keep what I added please. Gmazdên (talk) 08:58, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Hello and thanks. I'm afraid it's not entirely clear to me what you are talking about. You seem to be talking about phonology and phonological history of Albanian, and saying that there is a phonological contrast between /o/ and /ɔ/ in Albanian, and that some historical (loan word?) relationships between Greek and Albanian are sensitive to the presence of historical "η" in Greek. That may all be fine and true, but it's not what that page is about. The Arvanitic alphabet page is not about etymological relations between Greek etymons and Albanian words, but about a specific system of spelling Albanian in the Greek alphabet, in Greece, and it says it is mainly describing the system used in a specific Albanian edition of the New Testament (I think the author meant the one by Grigor Gjirokastriti, and I seem to remember I once checked the table against that work.) If you believe Gjirokastriti used omega and eta in spelling Albanian, please provide a source; my understanding is that he apparently didn't. I suppose his translation would have been in a form of Tosk anyway, which doesn't apparently have the vowel contrasts you speak of. Fut.Perf. 09:23, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
emailed: Hi, can you check, I added Hêta & Ômega to Arvanitic alphabet but Future_Perfect_at_Sunrise reversed arguing source, other letter don't have source, so I don't understand, it's important to keep Hêta & Ômega because Gheg & Tosk use those sound. And variant of Gheg & Tosk are caused by Hêta [ɛ] becaming [i] & Ypsilon [y] becaming [i]. Also Epsilon is [e] and [ɛ]... Gmazdên
I’m not an admin here and Albanian is not one of my languages. In order to make any substantial change to an article, you have to be able to show a source, some good evidence that others can check and confirm. The only thing I could find on this was here: ... but this source does not support your position. It does not show the eta or the omega. —Stephen (talk) 10:42, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

I understand your point of view Future Perfect, but may be Arbanitês is incomplete. Also you use [ɛ] for Epsilon and in the source prowided by Stephen it's [e]... Still, those letter exist in Greek and for Shqip Greek words. I would like to implore you to keep or to add Ômega & Êta [ɛ→i] to this alphabet. It's a needed for Wiktionary, cause I need Êta & Ômega for variation [ɛ/i] [y/i] of Tosk/Gheg/Arbanitês in Alternative spelling... Has I said before the ending verb use Ômega [ɔ] in Ancient Ellêniqa & Old Latin / Etruscan. So Arbanitês surely use it in language, since Omicron is [o], we (Shqip) need Ômega [ɔ], may be their alphabet is incomplete and I would like to correct and complete.. Please, hope you understand. Don't leave in the past by keeping only what Grigor Gjirokastriti said. Everything thing evolve. Are you Arbanitês / Arbëritês ?

If so, or not, I'm searching for ΛΕΞΙΚΟΝ ΤΗΣ ΑΛΒΑΝΙΚΗΣ ΓΛΩΣΣΗΣ (1908) of Kostandin Kristoforidhi (in PDF or else). Do you know an English Arbanitês dictionary using Greek Script, I really need this one for ==Alternative Term== in Wiktionary (I would like to add Arbanitês variant using Greek script but using Hêta, Qoppa & Ômega (for ê / i, O/Ô / y/i variante between Tosk & Gheg)... Gmazdên (talk) 12:58, 1 March 2011 (UTC)


On second thought, I have redirected this page to Albanian alphabet, something that ought to have been done much earlier. We have never found any good evidence that any such thing as an alphabet specifically for Arvanitika as opposed to other forms of Albanian existed. What does exist, and what the page described, is a range of different occasional approaches to writing Albanian in the Greek script, some of which have been used on Greek territory, but none of which is specifically focussed on the the local Arvanitic dialects of Greece. The use of the Greek script for Albanian is covered in the main Albanian alphabet page. The main (implicit) source of the table we had here, the Njata e re by Vangjel Meksi and Gregory IV of Athens, is simply a translation into Tosk Albanian, directed at all orthodox Christian Albanians. Arvanitika as such has never had anything like a consistent writing tradition, and what little writing is currently practiced does not use the spelling system described here. Fut.Perf. 09:33, 1 March 2011 (UTC)