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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 Çelebi 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 Çelebi 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.

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