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Soldier of Macedon 07-18-2011 04:24 AM

Just to throw another angle into this (posts from TM and Onur):


TM wrote: The family of the Arabian Emir Anemas in Crete was in the service of John Tzimisces, while George Maniaces, who reconquered Sicily (1038), bears a Turkish name.

Onur wrote: "Asil" is derived from Persian and probably used in Turkish after 13th century as earliest. Turkish originated words for "Noble" are "Koklu, Soylu" but i didn't hear or know anything similar with "Maniakes" which means "Noble" in Turkish. I just know an old Turkish word like "Mank, Manik" which means "Staid, Graceful". I don't think anyone still uses "Mank" today in Turkey. It`s just a question for crossword puzzles anymore.

I heard this Byzantine general tough. Byzantines calls these people as "Tourkopouloi". They are Christians Turks converted from shamanism. George was a famous one among them. When Byzantines converted these Turks to Christianity, they usually took Greek first name but most was using their Turkish names too. Like the names of medieval Bulgarian kings, for example "Ivan shisman", Ivan is a slavic name but shisman is Turkish. So, it`s highly possible that "Maniakes" is derived from a Turkish word.[/QUOTE]

Soldier of Macedon 07-18-2011 04:47 AM

Something further to the above. The Estonian and Finnish word for brother is "veli" - quite similar to the Albanian word for brother, which is "vella".

Soldier of Macedon 07-19-2011 09:11 PM

Just with regard to Maniaces, both Komnena and Psellus make mention of him, will post the relevant sections later.

Onur 07-20-2011 03:36 AM

We don't use it much in modern Turkish anymore but "veli" means "close relative, guardian person" in Turkish. It`s probably Arabic/Persian word used in Ottoman era.

Soldier of Macedon 07-20-2011 03:43 AM

Thanks Onur. I think one of the difficulties in trying to understand the origin of some Albanian words rests with the large amount of foreign loanwords that have been mutated (almost) beyond recognition over time. Unfortunately, such examples inspire others to incorrectly consider them unique "Illyrian" words.

Soldier of Macedon 08-09-2011 09:36 AM

One thing I have always found interesting about the Albanian language when compared to other languages in the Balkans is the fact that they have a soft 'r' like in modern English and a rolled 'r' like in other Balkan languages. I am wondering if this may have something to do with Germanic influence. Both variants are also present in some Indo-Iranian languages, but that may (or may not) have something to do with their interaction with Dravidian languages.

Soldier of Macedon 08-13-2011 10:18 PM

Further to the above, Albanian dialectal differences appear to share some similarities with Semitic languages:

[QUOTE]The southern Tosk dialect (which is now the dominant literary language) of [B]Albanian changed /n/ to /r/[/B] while, for example, the Gheg dialects did not.[1] Compare:

zėri vs zāni ('the voice')
gjuri vs gjuni ('the knee')
Shqiperi vs Shqypni ('Albania')

[B]In Aramaic, proto-Semitic n is often changed to r[/B]:

bar "son" as compared to Hebrew ben (from Proto-Semitic *bnu)
trźn and tartźn "two" (masculine and feminine form respectively) as compared to Demotic Arabic tnēn and tintēn (from Proto-Semitic *ṯnaimi and *ṯnataimi). Cf. also Aramic tinyānā "the second one", without the shift.[/QUOTE]

Slovak, is the trilled 'R' older than the soft 'R'?

Delodephius 08-14-2011 04:02 AM

I don't anyone has ever asked that question. In my own opinion I think they're pretty much the same age. All phonemes producible by the human mouth are approximately of the same age. This is a fact since all humans can reproduce a sound from any language anywhere else on Earth. This means that when humans were still living in Africa they already [U][B]had the capability[/B][/U] to produce all the sounds that today exist in any language.

Onur 08-14-2011 05:44 AM

You are wrong again Mr. professor.

Not all languages contains all the phonemes. Some languages has more sounds than others and these languages are more vocal and richer in terms of phonemes. Yes, everyone can reproduce any sound but they simply don't, if a particular sound doesn't exist in their language. So, the people in Africa was only producing the phonemes and sounds which existed in their own language, not all of them. They didn't produce all the sounds, they only produced the ones they have heard from the people around them.

For example, French phoneme "Uu" doesn't exist in English, therefore a monolingual English speaker cannot properly produce that sound without doing a practice and self training because they never use it in their own language. If an English speaker never hears a foreign language, then that means, probably he doesn't even aware of the existence of "Uu" sound as in French.

Afaik, Uralic/Altaic languages with vowel harmony are the richest languages in terms of phonemes and sound changes. For example, we have the exact same sound as in French "U" in Turkish. We also have several more phonemes which doesn't exist in most IE languages, like Turkish "soft G; Ğğ" and "Iı". Also, the sound of some of the vowels in Turkish changes according to the consonant above and the one following it. It softens, rounds, stays same or becomes unrounded. These examples of Turkish are also valid for all Uralic/Altaic languages.

No one can know the age of these phonemes but some should be older, most likely "Aa, Ee" sounds.

[B][I]Edit: [/I][/B]

French "Uu" sound training for English speakers;
[url=]French sound U - YouTube[/url]

Turkish words with "Iı" phoneme;
[url=]LETTER "I" IN TURKISH ALPHABET - YouTube[/url]

Delodephius 08-14-2011 01:16 PM

To which of my posts are you responding? It's not in this thread as far as I see.

Soldier of Macedon 08-14-2011 06:13 PM

[QUOTE="Onur"]You are wrong again Mr. professor.

Not all languages contains all the phonemes.[/QUOTE]
Onur, where did he write that all languages contain all the phonemes? What he wrote was that all humans can reproduce a sound from any language. He didn't write that all of them actually do so.
[QUOTE="Delodephius"]I don't anyone has ever asked that question. In my own opinion I think they're pretty much the same age. All phonemes producible by the human mouth are approximately of the same age.[/QUOTE]
Aside from Albanian, has there ever been any other language in the Balkans (paleo or modern) that has used the soft 'r'? I know that Greek and Slavic languages haven't, and I don't think Vlach has either. Possibly Romani given the Indo-Iranian connection?

Delodephius 08-15-2011 06:29 AM

When you say "soft r" do you mean palatalized [B]ŕ[/B] or a retroflex [B]ṛ[/B] like in Indo-Aryan languages? Because Slavic languages have palatalized ŕ, not all, but Polish, Sorbian, Czech and East Slavic languages do, and so did OCS.

Soldier of Macedon 08-15-2011 09:28 AM

When I say soft 'r', I mean as in mod. English '[B]r[/B]ob', as opposed to Scottish '[B]r[/B]ob'. In Hindi both sounds exist, whereas in the Balkan languages, only the latter exists (except for Albanian which has both, and possibly Romani - but not sure about that one). So I guess it relates to the retroflex [B]ṛ[/B]. How does the palatalized [B]ŕ[/B] differ from the above?

Delodephius 08-15-2011 11:08 AM

Here are examples of various pronunciations of r (click listen):

I cannot find a sound file for palatalized r, or more precisely a palatalized alveolar trill /rʲ/. It was one of the hardest sounds to reproduce in my Russian class.

Risto the Great 08-15-2011 03:54 PM

I think the "r" SoM is talking about sounds like the way Americans would pronounce "r" in "here".

Delodephius 08-15-2011 04:32 PM

American English has a few dialects, I don't know enough about them to say which one pronounce the [B]r[/B] as in 'here' the way SoM is inquiring.

Soldier of Macedon 08-19-2011 08:40 AM

Slovak, I understand that there can be some minor differences, but I think all of the examples in that link could be grouped in two 'broader' categories:

1 - There are a couple sounds one could apply for the soft 'r' in American English, the sound of he[B]r[/B]e and [B]r[/B]ob are slightly different but still of the soft type, at least that is how I see them.

2- Compare that to the rolled 'r' from Slavic languages in words like '[B]r[/B]uski', '[B]r[/B]oden', etc. This sound occurs when the tongue touches the top of the mouth. Interestingly, while this sound doesn't exist for 'r' in American English, it can sometimes be seen in words that have 'tt', like bu[B]tt[/B]er.

The Balkan languages (and eastern European languages in general) only have category #2. The only exception is Albanian, which has both. I am wondering if this has something to do with influence from Germanic languages.

Soldier of Macedon 08-20-2011 01:07 AM

[QUOTE]Romanian seems like Maltese in some respects. The Maltese language is identifiable as Semitic by way of its grammar, just like Romanian is identified as Latin in the same way - and even then, both of their grammars are heavily influenced by other languages. However, around half of the vocabulary in both Maltese and Romanian is of non-Semitic and non-Latin origin respectively.[/QUOTE]
I posted this on another thread. I would like to see if we can determine the grammar of which linguistic group is closest to Albanian.

TrueMacedonian 09-02-2011 10:01 AM


[B]Legend of Jabal-i Alhama[/B]

[I]Travelling through southern Albania in 1670, Ottoman traveller Evliya Chelebi (1611-1684) recounts the apocryphal legend of the Arab sheikh Jabal-i Alhama, who fled to the mountains of Kurvelesh in Albania and died in Elbasan. According to Evliya, he is the father of the Albanian people.[/I]

The origin and lineage of the Albanian people. [B]They stem from the Quraysh tribe, the Arab tribe inhabiting Mecca.[/B] By God’s wisdom, a certain Arab sheikh named Jabal-i Alhama, one of their clan chieftains, accidentally put out the eye of an Arab bey. The Arab bey who lost his eye went to the caliph Omar and demanded that Jabal-i Alhama’s eye be put out in accordance with the definitive Koranic verse, “And We prescribed for them a life for a life and an eye for an eye.” In accordance with the Book of God, Omar ordered that Jabal-i Alhama’s eye be put out. Jabal-i Alhama, terrified that he would be blinded, fled to Antioch, accompanied by 3,000 of his tribesmen, and sought refuge with king Heraclius. The king gave him the Jabaliyya mountains, so-called because Jabal settled there. One of Jabal-i Alhama’s brothers, Keysu, dwelt in the Aneh and Selme desert and the Keys Arabs are named after him. After Hulagu martyred al-Mustansir-bi’allah, the last Abbasid caliph, and destroyed Baghdad (656 A.H.[1258 A.D.]), he drove out the Keys Arabs and forced them to settle in the oak forests of the Kipchak Steppe. From them stem the Cherakis Arabs who started speaking a language of their own. [B]It was thus that the Cherkess or [U]Circassian people came into being - they were originally Keys Arabs of the Quraysh tribe[/U]. [/B]Meanwhile, another clan related to Jabal-i Alhama fled from Mecca and settled in Gaza with Arab al-Hashim, the uncle of the Prophet Mohammed. This is how the Hashemite people came into being.

When Omar learned that Jabal-i Alhama had taken refuge with King Heraclius and had apostasized from Islam, he sent an expedition against him of 40,000 Muslim warriors, led by Omar ibn Abdalaziz, Khalid ibn Walid and Aswad ibn Miqdad. Jabal-i Alhama could no longer hold out in the fortress he had built in Jabaliyya, so he fled with all his followers to the Aegean islands. His three sons, Abaza, Lazka and Migral, fled by fair weather to the Genoese king living in ‘Macedonia,’ i.e. Galata in Istanbul. The king gave them grazing lands on the coast of the Black Sea. Abaza settled in the Abkhaz mountains where his people started speaking a language of their own, becoming the Abhazians. Lazka settled in the region of Trebizond where his people started speaking a language of their own - known as Chichu - and became the Laz people. The third son, Migral settled in the sandjak of Batumi on the banks of the Choruh river, which flows below of the fortress of Gönye, and thus the Mingrelian people came into being.

[B]As for Jabal-i Alhama himself, fearing the caliph Omar, he was unable to settle anywhere. Finally, travelling by ship, he took refuge with the king of Spain. When they told him that they were of the tribe of Quraysh, the king gave him the uninhabited mountains of Delvina, mentioned above. After some generations, they populated those rugged mountains and started speaking a language of their own. So as not to have their eyes put out, they used to say, “‘ār-nā-būd (“May there be no shame.”). But since they stemmed from the Quraysh tribe, they called the mountains they now occupied the Quryelesh (Kurvelesh) mountains, meaning Qurayshi. They are a ruthless people. It is they who sold their services to Venice for one gold coin a day and who always fought us in Candia. Despite this, they still claim to be Muslims. They are indeed brave and capable warriors. Such is the origin and descent of the obstreperous Albanians. Jabal-i Alhama subsequently died as a Muslim in the city of Elbasan.[/B] In the Tuhfa history, there is extensive information on this tribe. This clan of Quraysh actually do look like Arabs, and in addition to all their other weapons, they do use bows and arrows.

[Extract from: Robert Dankoff and Robert Elsie (ed.): Evliya Ēelebi in Albania and Adjacent Regions (Kosovo, Montenegro, Ohrid), Leiden 2000, p. 65-67. Translated from the Ottoman Turkish by Robert Elsie and Robert Dankoff.]

Epirot 09-02-2011 12:59 PM

The Jabal-i Alhama's story does not make any sense at all when we are speaking to origin of Albanians. Its very pointless to pay attention to a mythic story, which was never taken seriously into consideration. So it is not good to imitate behaviors of Greek nationalists, who on behalf of mythical stories make all of ancient world to look as a Greek! Indeed Evliya Ēelebi is referring not to ordinary Albanians, but to a few Muslim sects, who pays homage to a Muslim prophet and believed they are descending from him. As far as I searched, in the region of Elbasan there is not a single tradition or practice relating to the Jabal-i Alhama, with other words, his stories aren't rooted.

Soldier of Macedon 09-02-2011 10:25 PM

The story has many gaps, but it might just be a glorified version of the truth. The best way to determine Albanian origins is to study the Albanian language and figure out how it came to be. At the moment, nationalism and politics has closed some doors worthy of exploration, that is why each time the origin of a word hasn't yet been deciphered it is considered 'Illyrian', a very un-scientific process.

Valmir 09-16-2011 03:47 PM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;25184]Many of the Macedonian or Slavonic loans in Albanian appear to be in relation to verbs. Here is a list of some words that are likely loans:

Pick - Zgjedh - Zgodi or Godi
Ready - Gati - Gotov
Queue - Radhe - Red
Record - Shenim - Snima
Delete - Prish - Brishi
Walk - Shetitje - Shetaj
Run - Tirazh - Trcha
Row - Vozit - Vozi (ride)
Kick = Goditje; Godi or Pogodi (pelt)

Male - Mashkull - Mashko

Nothing - Hich - Ich
Stream - Rreke - Reka (river)
Fire - Zjarr - Zhar[/QUOTE]

Many Wrong things there!

For exemple:
English - Albanian
pick - MARR not zgjedh
ready - GATI but in Macedonian Gotov means END or Finish and not Ready!
Queue - Radhe - But in Macedonian it is дното not Red!
Record - (Shenim) is like Writing and not Record!
Delete - Fshi and not Prish! (Prish means Destroy)
Walk - EC and not Shetitje!
Run - Vrapon and not Tirazh(I dont understand what is Tirazh)
Row - RRESHT! not Vozit.
Kick - Shkelm!

There are similar words beetwen Albanian language and Slavic language but these similarities can be found only at Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia and not at Albanians from Albania,And all this because of assimilation that happend under Serbian and Macedonian Regime!

Valmir 09-16-2011 03:55 PM

Pledge/Word - Besa - Beseda (OCS)
Oath - Betim - Veti
Oral - Gojor - Govor
Spoke - Rreze - Reche
Custom - Zakon - Zakon (law)
Fun - Zbavites - Zabava

Pledge in Albanian is PENG, Besa is completly something else!
Betim - Veti I can't see any similar thing here!
Gojor - Govor - There are no similarities here,Goj - Mouth! and Gov something else idk what....
Spoke - FOLA,FLAS and not Rreze!
In Albanian RREZE means Beam!
Custom - In Albanian is DOKE or ADET!, Zakon can be found at Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia.
Fun - in Albanian is QEJF!
Zbavitese means something that is Funny.

Soldier of Macedon 09-20-2011 12:13 AM

[QUOTE="Valmir"]Many Wrong things there![/QUOTE]
I don't think so. Perhaps the semantical meaning of some aren't the same, but that doesn't mean they aren't loanwords. By the way, all of the words were obtained from a dictionary written by one of your people.
[QUOTE]There are similar words beetwen Albanian language and Slavic language but these similarities can be found only at Albanians from Kosovo and Macedonia and not at Albanians from Albania.....[/QUOTE]
Only in Kosovo and Macedonia? You don't know much about your people and language.
[QUOTE]And all this because of assimilation that happend under Serbian and Macedonian Regime![/QUOTE]
Mate, don't push your garbage agenda here, instead, try accepting the truth.

Valmir 09-20-2011 09:22 AM

[QUOTE]I don't think so. Perhaps the semantical meaning of some aren't the same, but that doesn't mean they aren't loanwords. By the way, all of the words were obtained from a dictionary written by one of your people.[/QUOTE]
Not semantical meaning but Every singel verb that you got for example had completly other meaning!

[QUOTE]Only in Kosovo and Macedonia? You don't know much about your people and language.[/QUOTE]
Only at "ALBANIANS FROM" Kosovo and Macedonia you can find words like Zakon or Vozit! And especially at Older Generation (60-70 years old ppls)
The new generations speak clear Albanian because they are learning in Albanian schools!

[QUOTE]Mate, don't push your garbage agenda here, instead, try accepting the truth.[/QUOTE]
Which truth?
Because im not seeing any Conclusion from Macedonians for Albanians!

Soldier of Macedon 09-20-2011 09:30 AM

I don't think you know much about your language, you're just another one of these deluded internet Albanians who parrot "pure" Illyrians at every turn, and try to dispute any logical argument that doesn't suit their agenda with some re-interpreted fiction. To be honest, some of your sentences are near incoherent. What did you mean with your last line? What conclusions are you talking about? Try reading this whole thread from the beginning, you will see that some of your silly suggestions have already been addressed.

Soldier of Macedon 09-22-2011 06:11 PM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;65239]I have also seen a connection proposed to the word for 'sword' in Albanian, which I will just highlight that, from the dictionaries I have seen, it is not "shp[B]e[/B]te" in Albanian, but "shp[B]a[/B]te". It is an interesting example, and it does seem possible. However, let's look at some other similarly formed words to compare. The word "shpate" looks very close to the English word 'spade', and if we look at the Albanian word for 'spade', it is a borrowing from either Macedonian, Serbian or another related language (as most Slavic langauges have a similar word for spade or shovel):

Lopata (Macedonian)
Lopate (Albanian for spade)
Shpate (Albanian for sword)

Important also is the fact that items that resemble a 'spade' have been used as weapons. If 'shpate' is an Albanian word, yet looks similar to and shares the same word ending as 'lopate', which is not an Albanian word (by origin), then how did 'shpate' come about?[/QUOTE]
Here is some more information regarding the word 'shpate':

[QUOTE]The word comes from the Latin spatha,[1] which derives from Greek σπάθη (spįthē), "any broad blade, of wood or metal" but also "broad blade of a sword".[2]

The Greek word σπάθη was used in the middle Archaic period for various types of Iron Age swords. The word is not Homeric, but is mentioned in the works of Alcaeus of Mytilene (6th century BC) [3] and Theophrastus (4th century BC).[4]

It is likely that spatha is the romanization of the Doric Greek *σπάθα (spįthā), considering the Doric acc. plural "σπάθας" (spįthās).[5] The word survives in Modern Greek as σπάθη, fem. and σπαθί, neut. The Latin word became the French épée, Catalan espasa, Portuguese and Spanish espada, Italian spada, Romanian spadă and Albanian shpata, all meaning "sword". The English word spatula is from Latin spat(h)ula, the diminutive of spatha. English spade, from Old English spadu, spędu fem., is the Germanic cognate, from a Common Germanic *spadō, ultimately from a PIE stem *sph2-dh-.

The spatha was introduced to the Roman Army in the early imperial period by Celtic cavalry auxiliaries who continued to wear their Celtic long swords, with blade lengths of 60 to 85 cm, in Roman service. The earlier gladius type was gradually replaced by the spatha over the period of the late 2nd to the 3rd century CE. From the early 3rd century CE, legionaries and cavalrymen began to wear the sword on the left side, perhaps because of the abandonment of the scutum and the adoption of the longer spatha.[6][/QUOTE]

Soldier of Macedon 09-26-2011 08:18 PM

I have merged some related threads into the one, just in case some people were wondering where they disappeared to.

Something with regard to the Venetian influence in Albania.

[QUOTE]Venetian Albania (Italian: Albania Veneta) was the name for the possessions of the Venetian Republic in southern Dalmatia that existed from 1420 to 1797. It originally covered the coastal area of what is now northern Albania and the coast of Montenegro, but the Albanian and southern Montenegrin parts were lost to the Ottomans in 1571.[1]

The word "Venetian" in the name of the region was used to differentiate the area from the Ottoman Albania, an area stretching from Kosovo to southern Albania.[2]

Venetian Albania were Venetian possessions that stretched from the southern borders of the Republic of Ragusa to Durrės in coastal Albania. The Venetian territories usually reached only 20 km from the Adriatic Sea. After 1573 the southern limit was moved to the village of Kufin near Budva, because of the Ottoman conquests of Bar, Ulcinj, Shkodėr, and Durrės. The Venetian territory was then centered around the area of the Bay of Kotor, and included the towns of Kotor, Risan, Perast, Tivat, Herceg Novi, Budva, and Sutomore.

Venice periodically controlled the small southern Dalmatian villages around in the 10th century, but did not permanently assume control until 1420. The Venetians assimilated the Dalmatian language into the Venetian dialect quickly. The Venetian territories around Kotor lasted from 1420 to 1797 and were called Venetian Albania, a province of the Venetian Republic.[3]

In the early years of the Renaissance the territories under Venetian control included areas from actual coastal Montenegro to northern Albania until Durrės: Venetians retained this city after a siege by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1466 but it fell to Ottoman forces in 1501.

In those years Venetian Albania was relatively rich (by Balkan standards) and the area around the city of Cattaro enjoyed a huge cultural and artistic development.

When the Ottoman Empire started to conquer the Balkans in 15th century, the population of Christian Slavs in Dalmatia increased greatly. As a consequence of this, by the end of 17th century the Romance speaking population of the historical Venetian Albania was a minority, according to Oscar Randi in his book Dalmazia etnica, incontri e fusioni.[4]

After the French Republic conquered and dissolved the Venetian Republic in 1797, the area of Venetian Albania became part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy,[5] and then in 1809 it was included in the French Illyrian Provinces, and then the Illyrian Provinces. In 1814 it was included in the Austrian Empire.

Albanians lived in the south of the Venetian Albania around Ulcigno and Durazzo. The area around Cattaro was populated by Croats and Romance-speakers and was fully Catholic.[6] Many klans from Albania Veneta had immigrated to Italy, Korfu and Constantinople: Klanlarets in Istanbul is an example of Venetian Albanians today.

According to the Italian historian Luigi Paulucci the population of the Venetian Albania, during the centuries of the Venetian Republic, was mainly Venetian (Italian) speaking in the urban areas (Kotor, Perast, Budva, ecc..) around the Bay of Kotor. But in the inland areas more than half of the population was Serbo-Croatian-speaking, after the beginning of the eighteenth century. Furthermore, near the border with Albania there were big communities of Albanian speaking people: Ulcinj was half Albanian, one quarter Venetian and one quarter Slav speaking.

There have been notable Italian writers in the 15th to the 18th century who originated from Venetian Albania, notably Giovanni Bona Boliris, Cristoforo Ivanovich and Ludovico Pasquali.[/QUOTE]

Soldier of Macedon 10-20-2011 12:13 AM

Here is a good article relating to plant names used by Albanians.

[QUOTE]The often expressed hypothesis that loanwords predominate for lowland, especially deciduous trees whereas native terms predominate for highland, especially coniferous trees cannot be confirmed by the present study to any measurable extent. While Latin terms are indeed common for lowland trees, Slavic loans are noticeably common for highland trees, in particular for pines. Remarkable is also the fact that Turkish loans are particularly common for fruit trees, an indication that some of them may have been imported during the centuries of Ottoman occupation. [B]All that can be stated statistically is that, broadly speaking, about half the major Albanian terms for trees and shrubs are of foreign origin (principally Latin, Slavic, Turkish and Greek) and the other half are of native origin. This is yet another indication of the exceptionally strong influence foreign languages and cultures, in particular Latin and Slavic, have exercised upon the historical development of the Albanian lexicon and the Albanian language in general.[/B][/QUOTE]

George S. 10-21-2011 03:05 AM

Som if i can ask you what is your view of the albanians coming from asia in 6/7 century.There was a place of albania there.What is your view on this?

Soldier of Macedon 10-21-2011 03:30 AM

George, I think modern Albanians have ancestors from several places. To be honest, I am still in the process of forming a more definitive opinion on this topic. Looking at their language, they could have began as a remnant Latin-speaking people akin to Romanians and/or Vlachs (or perhaps Gallo-Romance or even Iberian-Romance), but went through different linguistic changes and influences over the course of history. This may explain why they have incorporated some ancient Greek and Paleo-Balkan words in their vocabulary during the Roman period.

Soldier of Macedon 10-21-2011 04:11 AM

Here is something about the Albanian language from wikipedia:
[QUOTE]Latin element of the Albanian languageJernej Kopitar (1829) was the first to note Latin's influence on Albanian and claimed "the Latin loanwords in the Albanian language had the pronunciation of the time of Emperor Augustus".[8] Kopitar gave examples such as Albanian "qiqer" from Latin cicer, "qytet" from civitas, "peshk" from piscis, and "shėngjetė" from sagitta. The hard pronunciations of Latin ‹c› and ‹g› are retained as palatal and velar stops in the Albanian loanwords. Gustav Meyer (1888)[9] and Wilhelm Meyer-Lübke (1914)[10] later corroborated this.

Eqrem Ēabej also noticed, among other things, the archaic Latin elements in Albanian:[11]

1.Latin /au/ becomes Albanian /a/ in the earliest borrowings: aurum → "ar", gaudium → "gas", laurus → "lar". But Latin /au/ is retained in later borrowings: causa → "kafshė", laud → "lavd".
2.Latin /ō/ becomes Albanian /e/ in the oldest Latin borrowings: pōmum → "pemė", hōra → "herė". An analogous mutation occurred from Proto-Indo-European to Albanian; PIE *nōs became Albanian "ne", PIE *ōkt- became Albanian "tetė" etc.
3.Latin unstressed internal syllable becomes lost in Albanian: cubitus → "kut", medicus → "mjek", padul → "pyll". An analogous mutation occurred from Proto-Indo-European to Albanian. In contrast, in later Latin borrowings, the internal syllable is retained: paganus → "i pėganė"/"i pėgėrė", plaga → "plagė" etc.
4.Latin /tj/, /dj/, /kj/ palatalized to Albanian /s/, /z/, /c/: vitius → "ves", ratio → "(a)rėsye", radius → "rreze", facies → "faqe", socius → "shoq" etc.
Haralambie Mihăescu demonstrated that

some 85 Latin words have survived in Albanian but not in any Romance language. A few examples include bubulcus → bujk, hibernalia → mėrrajė, sarcinarius → shelqėror , trifurcus → tėrfurk, accipiter → qift, *musconea → mushkonjė, chersydrus → kulshedėr, spleneticum → shpnetkė/shpretkė, solanum → shullг/shullė.[12]
151 Albanian words of Latin origin cannot be found in Romanian. A few examples include Albanian mik from Latin amicus, anmik or armik from inimicus, bekoj from benedicere, qelq from calix (calicis), kėshtjellė from castellum, qind from centum, gjel from gallus, gjymtyrė from iunctЇra, mjek from medicus, rjetė or rrjetė from rete, shėrbej from servire, shpėrej or shpresoj from sperare, vullnet from voluntas (voluntatis).[13]
some Albanian church terminology have phonetic features which demonstrate their very early borrowing from Latin. A few examples include Albanian lterll from Latin altare, engjėll from angelus, bekoj from benedicere, i krishtenė or i krishterė from christianus, kryq from crux (crucis), klishė or kishė from ecclesia, ipeshkv from episcopus, ungjill from evangelium, mallkoj from maledicere, meshė from missa, munėg or murg from monacus, i pėganė or i pėgėrė from paganus.[14]
Other authors[15] have detected Latin loanwords in Albanian with an ancient sound pattern from the first century B.C., for example, Albanian qingėlė from Latin cingula and Albanian vjetėr from Latin vetus/veteris. The Romance languages inherited these words from Vulgar Latin: Vulgar *cingla became N. Romanian chinga meaning 'belly band, saddle girth' and Vulgar veteran became N. Romanian batrān meaning 'old'.

The center of Albanian settlement remained the Mat River. In 1079 AD they are recorded farther south in the valley of the Shkumbin river.[18] The Shkumbin, a seasonal stream that lay near the old Via Egnatia, is approximately the boundary of the primary dialect division for Albanian, Tosk-Gheg. [B]The characteristics of Tosk and Geg in the treatment of the native and loanwords from other languages are evidence that the dialectal split preceded the Slavic migration to the Balkans[19] [20] [6] which means that in that period (5th to 6th century AD) Albanians were occupying pretty much the same area around Shkumbin river, which straddled the Jirecek line.[/B][21] [16]

References to the existence of Albanian as a distinct language survive from the 14th century, but they failed to cite specific words. The oldest surviving documents written in Albanian are the "Formula e Pagėzimit" (Baptismal formula), "Un'te paghesont' pr'emenit t'Atit e t'Birit e t'Spertit Senit." (I baptize thee in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit) recorded by Pal Engjelli, Bishop of Durrės in 1462 in the Gheg dialect, and some New Testament verses from that period.

The oldest known Albanian printed book, Meshari or missal, was written in 1555 by Gjon Buzuku, a Roman Catholic cleric. In 1635, Frang Bardhi wrote the first Latin-Albanian dictionary. The first Albanian school is believed to have been opened by Franciscans in 1638 in Pdhanė.[/QUOTE]
Given that the language is first recorded in the 15th century, I would like to know how they came to the conclusion that the Tosk and Gheg dialects were already defined as seperate by the 6th century. There are some links to certain historians, but nothing goes into detail.

Carlin 01-06-2012 02:51 PM

Are Albanians of Mardaite origin?
I would like all to consider the following arguments for Albanians being of Mardaite origin.

This theory would more or less pose serious problems for the Illyrian-Albanian continuity theory; and it would also explain several "inconsistencies" simultaneously, such as:
1) The presence of Slavs and Slavic toponyms in traditional Albanian lands (which predate Albanian presence by several centuries);
2) Late appearance and mention of Albanians in historical documents (i.e. in various Byzantine/Roman texts); many state that their first mention in the Balkans is roughly in the 11th century;
3) The fact that Albanians, just like the Mardaites, were initially non-Orthodox Christians.


If there are any Albanians on this forum their insight is welcome. Please note that the object of this topic is not to spread anti-Albanian propaganda, but merely LISTING of facts which I was able to find in various books.

Who are the Mardaites?

Mardaite origins are as elusive as that of Illyrians. They inhabited the highland regions of southern Anatolia, Syria, Lebanon, Isauria. Some authors have argued that they were of Armenian, Persian, or Kurdish origin, however, these arguments rest on conjectures and speculations. We actually know nothing of them in terms of linguistic or ethnic affiliation.

What is an historical fact is that, according to medieval texts, Justinian II (in 690s) relocated a [U]large number[/U] of Mardaites to the southern coast of Asia Minor, particularly Pamphylia, Lycia and Cilicia. Later on, [B]in the 9th century[/B], Mardaites moved to the themes of the [B]Peloponnese[/B], [B]Epirus[/B] (including Acarnania, Aetolia) and [B]Cephalenia[/B]. This took place as part of Byzantine measures to restore population and manpower to areas depleted by earlier conflicts. What this means is that these regions, at the time Mardaites were settled there, were entirely depopulated or at best sparsely inhabited (by Slavs and Vlachs - this is confirmed by Byzantine sources).

Here's a quote from Ostrogorsky's "History of the Byzantine state", citing medieval sources:

"The Mardaite people, which lived in the area of Byzantine-Arab borders, were settled in the Peloponnese, the island Cephalenia, in the region of Nicopolis/Epirus, and in Antalya (coast of Asia Minor)."


Additional details can be found here:
Makrypoulias, Christos G. (2005), "Mardaites in Asia Minor".

Do Albanians have any sort of historical connection with the term/name "Mardaites"? A couple of examples:

- According to a document of the Latin sovereigns of Corfu dated 1365, which ratifies an earlier (1246) decree of Michael II, the ruler of Epirus, referring to a "DECARHIA [B]MARDATORUM[/B]".

Does this refer to Albanians (Tosks)? 95% likely, as Albanians lived in great numbers in Epirus by this time. There were also Vlachs, Slavs, and other communities (Jews, Catholics/Venetians). No other ethnicities are mentioned at this time in historical texts.

- The Mirdite tribe

[B]The Mirdite tribe, the only tribe where the Albanian language and religion is still the same as centuries before.[/B] The oldest families (which are brothers in the same time) are: Oroshi (leading family of the Mirdite), Kushneni and Spaqi. Fandi and Dibri family were hosted by the Mirdite (they came from southern Kosovo) later when those two tribe didn't want to obey the rules of the Ottoman Empire,thus, the perfect place for this was Mirdite.

- Republic of Mirdita


Again, I will let the reader judge and conclude for himself, based on the facts provided.


1) Did Albanians absorb and assimilate the Mardaites? That is, are Mardaites a separate ethnic groups from Albanians, which Albanians assimilated over the centuries?

2) Or are they simply Mardaites themselves, appearing under various names in historical texts, eventually spreading northwards from Epirus, along the Adriatic coast towards Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia? The "change" of names or use of different appellations for the same ethnicity is quite common throughout history. Albanians call themselves Shqiptarėt; the term Albanians and Albania was used and popularized by the Catholics and Venetians.

PS: My next post will deal with and address "inconsistency" #3: "Albanians, when they first appear in the Balkans, were non-Orthodox Christians (like the Mardaites)."

Soldier of Macedon 01-06-2012 06:04 PM

Carlin, I moved your post to this thread.

Carlin 01-06-2012 06:51 PM

Thanks SOM.

Carlin 01-06-2012 07:58 PM

3) [I]Albanians, just like the Mardaites, were initially non-Orthodox Christians.

I've read some of the posts above regarding the Albanian language and I think it's ultimately futile to argue one way or the other in terms of origins, because not much can be inferred in such a way. Most languages, through contact with other cultures, undergo various changes over the centuries so they end up with borrowings, etc... Albanian is and remains a separate language.

To return to point 3 and my initial post:

I always found it odd that Albanians appear in the Balkans as non-Orthodox Christians; I will attempt to explain why this poses a problem for those who adhere to the Illyrian hypothesis.

The regions of Albania and Epirus have traditionally been under the jurisdiction of the Constantinople church, and the Roman/Byzantine authorities regarded the inhabitants of these provinces as Orthodox Christians (regardless of what their ethnic background might be). I'm not aware that Western Christians/Catholics exerted any meaningful influence on these territories prior to the (roughly) 1000s but I might be mistaken. Anyway, it seems that no such influence can be found and it would appear plausible to conclude that Illyrians were Christianized (at some point) by Constantinople/Eastern church.

This is where the problem arises. If Illyrians became Orthodox Christians, how come the Albanians were not? If anything, a neutral observer would expect them to remain pagans but this is not the case. The Byzantines regarded them as "heretic" Christians and "half-believers", just like the Mardaites!

If we now trace the history of the settlement of Mardaites in these territories, starting with Epirus, the attitude of the Byzantine authorities starts to make more sense as Mardaites were either Monothelite or Monophysite Christians. These branches of Christianity originated in the Levant.

At best, the influence of the Roman Catholic church started only after 1082, when the Normans captured Durres. After the Normans, Venetians appear on the scene. It was the Roman Catholics who further popularized the term Albania, establishing Regnum Albanae.


It was only during these centuries that Latin Christianity was introduced in Albania, and many eventually converted.

- Settlement of Mardaites in Epirus, Peloponnese, and other Roman/Byzantine territories by the 9th century. The official authorities regard them as "heretics". Note: no mention of "Albanians" in the Balkans as of yet.
- Expansion of Mardaites into adjacent territories. First appearance of Albanians in the 11th century. They appear as "heretics" or "half-believers" in various documents.
- Use of terms Mardaites/Albanians/Arber etc. for the same ethnic community. "Albanians" ultimately popularized by the Venetians. Conversion of Albanians and/or Mardaites to Latin Christianity.

PS: Demographic expansion and ethnic changes were quite common and frequent in the Balkans, even after the Slavic invasions. Re-settlements of entire peoples and tribes was conducted at will by despots and kings. The Byzantines were no different. If Albanians moving to the north and occupying present day Albania and other territories in such a short time period seems implausible, may I use Vojvodina as an example. After the Battle of Mohacs in 1526 the entire territory of Vojvodina was turned into a "desert". It was uninhabited and modern day historians estimate that 10000 people (tops) of various ethnicities lived in Vojvodina after 1526. Serbs, Hungarians, Germans and others started settling: the current population of Vojvodina is roughly 2 mil.

Soldier of Macedon 02-16-2012 01:55 AM

[QUOTE][QUOTE]There is also a source (Michael Attaliates?) that apparently wrote of a people called 'Arbanitai' who were transplanted as mercenaries from Sicily to Albania by a rebel military commander called George Maniakos in 1042.[/QUOTE]
I posted the above earlier as I have seen reference made to it several times. Here is a wiki link about the author:


[QUOTE]Michael Attaleiates or Attaliates was a Byzantine statesman and historian, probably a native of Attalia in Pamphylia, whence he seems to have come to Constantinople between 1030 and 1040. He acquired in the royal city both wealth and position and was rapidly advanced, under successive emperors, to the highest offices (patrikios, anthypatos, judge of the Hippodrome and the vēlon), among others to that of judge of the supreme court of the empire. He compiled (1072) for the Emperor Michael Parapinakes a compendium of Byzantine law which supplements in a useful way the Libri Basilici. In addition to this he also drew up an Ordinance for the Poor House and Monastery which he founded at Constantinople in 1077. This work is of value for the history of Byzantine life and manners in the eleventh century. It contains a catalogue of the library of his monastery. About 1079 or 1080 he published an account of Byzantine history from 1034 to 1079, a vivid and reliable presentation of the palace revolutions and female domination that characterize this period of transition from the great Macedonian dynasty to the Comneni.

Attaliates writes as an eyewitness and contemporary. Because of this, his history is burdened with the usual Byzantine affectations. In one passage, when he talks about the emperor Romanos IV Diogenes, he makes it seem as though Botaniates– a potential candidate for the empress Eudokia Makrembolitissa's hand in marriage after the death of Constantine X Doukas, who was emperor while he was writing– should have succeeded to the throne. His judgment is also affected towards the emperor Romanos, who he regarded as a wronged soul. His writing style is in imitation of earlier Roman historians rather than Greek historians. An example of this is his reference to the senators, though like Nikephoros Gregoras he simply means the imperial officials.[/QUOTE]

If anybody is able to get their hands on this author's 'Historia', post the relevant citations if they are present.[/QUOTE]
Here the citation I found in wikipedia, sources listed at the bottom. This suggests that Albanians originated from some Italian region.
[QUOTE]Laonikos Chalkokondyles (c. 1423–1490), the Byzantine historian, thought that the Albanians hailed from Italy.[97] The theory has its origin in the first mention of Albanians, made by Attaliates (11th century): "...For when subsequent commanders made base and shameful plans and decisions, not only was the island lost to Byzantium, but also the greater part of the army. Unfortunately, the people who had once been our allies and who possessed the same rights as citizens and the same religion, i.e. the Albanians and the Latins, who live in the Italian regions of our Empire beyond Western Rome, quite suddenly became enemies when Michael Dokenianos insanely directed his command against their leaders..."[98]

97.^ The Albanians, Henry Skene, Journal of the Ethnological Society of London (1848-1856)
98.^ Michaelis Attaliotae: Historia, Bonn 1853, p. 8, 18, 297. Translated by Robert Elsie. First published in R. Elsie: Early Albania, a Reader of Historical Texts, 11th - 17th Centuries, Wiesbaden 2003, p. 4-5. [url],+Bonn,+1853,+Translated+by+Robert+Elsie&source=bl&ots=C3Q5pbDCXy&sig=KCMgnraUGPBpiN-jJqdW5htHs6Q&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Vao8T4HeOOWViQfNgtHyBA&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Michaelis%20Attaliotae%3A%20Historia%2C%20Bonn%2C%201853%2C%20Translated%20by%20Robert%20Elsie&f=false[/url][/QUOTE]

Soldier of Macedon 04-18-2012 02:26 AM

Here is some interesting information regarding the use of the 'plis' (the Greco-Latin name for the hat later used by Albanians and known by them as a 'qeleshe') from wikipedia:
[QUOTE]The pileus (from Greek πῖλος - pilos, also pilleus or pilleum in Latin) was a brimless, felt cap worn by sailors in Ancient Greece[1] and later copied by Ancient Rome. The Greek πιλίδιον (pilidion) and Latin pilleolus were smaller versions, similar to a skullcap.

The pileus was especially associated with the manumission of slaves who wore it upon their liberation.[citation needed] It became emblematic of liberty and freedom from bondage.[citation needed] During the classic revival of the 18th and 19th centuries it was widely confused with the Phrygian cap which, in turn, appeared frequently on statuary and heraldic devices as a "liberty cap."[citation needed].

GreeceThe pilos (Greek: πῖλος, felt[2]) was a common conical travelling hat in Ancient Greece. The pilos is the brimless version of the petasos. It could be made of felt or leather. Their pilos cap identifies the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, in sculptures, bas-reliefs and vase-paintings; their caps were already explained in Antiquity as the remnants of the egg from which they hatched.[3] The pilos appears on votive figurines of boys at the sanctuary of the kabeiri at Thebes, the Kabeirion.[4]

In warfare, the pilos type helmet was often worn by the peltast light infantry, in conjunction with the exomis, but it was also worn by the heavy infantry .[5] The pilos cap was sometimes worn under the helmet by hoplites, but usually they preferred to not use a helmet along with the cap before the 5th century for reasons of mobility.

The pilos helmet was made in the same shape as the original cap. It probably originated from Lakonia and was made from bronze. The pilos helmet was extensively adopted by the Spartan army in the fifth century BC and worn by them until the end of the Classical era.

[edit] RomeIn Ancient Rome, a slave was freed by a master in a ceremony that included placing the pileus on the former slave’s shaved head. This was a form of extra-legal manumission (the manumissio minus justa) considered less legally sound than manumission in a court of law.

One 19th century dictionary of classical antiquity states:

Among the Romans the cap of felt was the emblem of liberty. When a slave obtained his freedom he had his head shaved, and wore instead of his hair an undyed pileus (πίλεον λευκόν, Diodorus Siculus Exc. Leg. 22 p. 625, ed. Wess.; Plaut. Amphit. I.1.306; Persius, V.82). Hence the phrase servos ad pileum vocare is a summons to liberty, by which slaves were frequently called upon to take up arms with a promise of liberty (Liv. XXIV.32). The figure of Liberty on some of the coins of Antoninus Pius, struck A.D. 145, holds this cap in the right hand.[6][/QUOTE]

Po-drum 04-24-2012 12:14 PM

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;112482]Here is something about the Albanian language from wikipedia:

Given that the language is first recorded in the 15th century, I would like to know how they came to the conclusion that the Tosk and Gheg dialects were already defined as seperate by the 6th century. There are some links to certain historians, but nothing goes into detail.[/QUOTE]
My assumption is that this conclusion is done because of the diversity in the slavic loanwords in Gheg and Tosk dialects of albanian. If they weren't separated than we would expect in the biggest part this loanwords to be the same. It would be interesting to see the situation from this point of view with latin loanwords..
But, however, we are speaking about a thousand years between 5-15 century for which period we don't know nothing about albanian.

[QUOTE=Soldier of Macedon;125651]Here is some interesting information regarding the use of the 'plis' (the Greco-Latin name for the hat later used by Albanians and known by them as a 'qeleshe') from wikipedia:[/QUOTE]
For me, it would be more interesting to find the possible etymology of "qeleshe".
I doubt albanian "plis" is derived by "pileus". It's more close by form to slavic "[U]plesh[/U]a" which means bald, place without trees, flat. So we have today "плоча", "сплескан", "плесне', "Плеша" - only as topographic term..

Soldier of Macedon 04-28-2012 11:41 PM

[QUOTE=Po-drum;126103]My assumption is that this conclusion is done because of the diversity in the slavic loanwords in Gheg and Tosk dialects of albanian. If they weren't separated than we would expect in the biggest part this loanwords to be the same.[/QUOTE]
It's only natural that the northern Gheg dialect underwent more Slavic influences than the southern Tosk dialect. In either case, it does nothing to demonstrate that the dialect split took place prior to the 6th century. When it comes to the differences between Albanian dialects, rhotacism is quite telling. Both Gheg and Tosk dialects share the sound change [B]l > r[/B] (similar to a western Indo-Iranian development, where [I][B]l[/B]aghu[/I] becomes [I][B]r[/B]aghu[/I], [I]za[B]l[/B]d[/I] become [I]za[B]r[/B][/I], etc), thus the Latin exonym 'A[B]l[/B]bania' which became prominent during the Norman invasion of the Balkans (via the eastern Adriatic coast) in the 11th century, became A[B]r[/B]bania. This rhotic sound change is also evident in the Neapolitan dialect of Italy, spoken in many of the Italian regions conquered by the Normans prior to their invasion of the Balkans. Another example of rhotacism characterises one of the main differences between Gheg and Tosk, and that is the sound change [B]n > r[/B] in the latter, so Arba[B]n[/B]ia becomes Arbe[B]r[/B]ia in Tosk, whereas Gheg retained the original /n/. This sound change appears to be foreign to Balkan languages (both ancient and modern), but it does have a parallel in some Semitic languages, for example *b[B]n[/B]u > be[B]n[/B] > ba[B]r[/B] (son).
[QUOTE]It would be interesting to see the situation from this point of view with latin loanwords..[/QUOTE]
I think both Gheg and Tosk share most of the same Latin loanwords, with the earliest and majority being of eastern Romance origin, supplemented by later western Romance vocabulary that isn't as numerous.
[QUOTE]I doubt albanian "plis" is derived by "pileus". It's more close by form to slavic "[U]plesh[/U]a" which means bald, place without trees, flat. So we have today "плоча", "сплескан", "плесне', "Плеша" - only as topographic term..[/QUOTE]
Are there other examples of Slavic loans into Albanian which show the vowel change [B]e > i[/B] (Plesh > Plis)?

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