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Old 05-11-2021, 11:15 AM   #477
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Sorin Paliga about the origins of Albanians (2014):

One more detail, hopefully relevant: the Albanians are also the heirs of those Sclaveni of the 6th century, as proved by ethnonym shqipe 'Albanian‘, shqip (adj.), see a more detailed discussion in Paliga and Teodor 2009: 80-84. To add here the brief discussion in the etymological dictionary of Albanian by Vladimir Orel (1998). Other research in the field also proves what we wrote in Paliga and Teodor 2009, but also earlier: Alb. Shqipe, Shqiptar etc. also reflects a late, post-classical form sclavus, a variant *skljab being reconstructable for Albanian. Orel (1998: 434) assumes that shqipe would be a calque after the Slavic parallel slověne ‗Slavs‘ as derived from slovo ‗word‘, in Albanian shqipoj ‗to speak clearly = to speak in our language‘ – Shqipe, Shqiptar. Thus put, the whole issue has no sense. It is not the first and last time when speakers of a given language associate ‗speaking in their own language‘ with the idea ‗to speak clearly‘, i.e. ‗to speak in a language we can understand‘. That was the motivation of the parallel slověne – slovo, also magyar ‗Hungarian‘ – magyaráz(ni) ‗to speak clearly‘ (= to speak in our langue), shqipe ‗Albanian‘ – shqipoj ‗to speak clearly‘ etc. Therefore, the parallel shqipe – shqipoj cannot be based on a calque, this is difficult to reconstruct at a popular level in those times or later; this is an internal, logical derivation based on the obvious and frequently attested reality ‗ours speak a language we can understand‘ versus ‗the others, who speak a language we cannot understand‘ = they are dumb (cf. Slavic něm- ‗dumb‘ used for referring to the němьcь, lit. ‗the dumb ones‘) or speak with a stutter (cf. Greek barbaros, lit. ‗those who stutter‘) etc. Such extralinguistic realities make part of a correct interpretation of the facts, too.

The Albanians are, therefore, another ‗Sclavenic group‘, but – we cannot be very far from reality – of Thracian origin, most probably of Carpian origin, as I. I. Russu brilliantly suggested as early as 1982. Unfortunately, it was difficult to have a serious debate of his hypothesis in those days1 . They moved NEXT TO the Slavs proprie dictu, but not melting into their groups. This proves that the FIRST Slavic move occurred indeed from north to south following the courses of Siret and Prut rivers, then crossing the Danube. Perhaps the Proto-Albanians preceded the Slavic movement, this explaining why they settled in the remotest location, beyond the extremity of the southwest Slavs. They were also Sclaveni, post-classical colloquial form sclavi > Romanian șchiau, șchei, Albanian shqipe. For the Byzantines, they were Sclaveni, Sklavenoi, the new enemies coming from the north. We may be sure that, at the beginning at least, the Byzantines made no linguistic difference between the Proto-Albanians and the rest of the Sclaveni, they were all foreign enemies. disregarding the language they spoke.

In the preface of his work, Orel (1998: X) assumes that the Albanian homeland may be located in Dacia Ripensis, specifically the Beskydy, Polish Bieszczady mountains. The Proto‑ Albanians had, beyond any doubt, a more northern origin, and we cannot hesitate to assume a homeland beyond the Danube. It is yet impossible to accept the area suggested by Orel, as there is no archaeological proof or any other reasonable proof, of any kind, allowing to accept the Beskydy as the Proto-Albanian homeland. The obvious similarities between Romanian and Albanian, but also the differences, show that there must have been a vicinity, which must have been, precisely, the Moldavian plain and the East Carpathians, with intrusions in the Transylvanian plateau after the Roman withdrawal in 274. This location does indeed make sense, and is supported by all the documents regarding the ‗Carpian issue‘ after the Roman conquest of Dacia in 105-106.

Paliga is a supporter of the northern Balkan (Balkan-Carpathian, Transdanubian) theory of the origin of Albanians. Contrary to Orel's hypotheses about the Beskids, but on the verge of his thoughts, Paliga sees the primordial area of the proto-Albanian language in the Moldavian plain, beyond the eastern Carpathians; they entered Erdely/Transylvania during the Roman withdrawal in 274 AD. Their origin is specifically related to the Carps.
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