Pidgins and Creoles
With about three million speakers, Albanian is the last remaining member of the Illyrian branch of Indo-European. It is spoken in Albania, and the Kosovo region of Yugoslavia. There are two major dialects: Tosk, spoken in the south, and Gheg, spoken in the north. There are also smaller communities in Southern Italy and Greece who speak a third dialect, Arbëresh. Albanian literature began in the sixteenth century. In 1908 the Roman alphabet was adopted. There is little difference between the dialects, mainly the equivalence of Gheg -VnV- to Tosk -VrV- (rhotacism) and the morphology of the future tense.
The standard word order is SVO.
The spelling of Albanian is regular. Albanian uses the Roman alphabet (except w) with the addition of ç and ë (which represents the phoneme /ə/). The following digraphs are used:
stops: p, b, t, d, k, g, k´, g´
affricates: ʦ, ʣ, ʧ, ʤ
fricatives: f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ʃ, ʒ, j, h
nasals: m, n, ɲ, ŋ
laterals: l, ɫ, r, rr
Tosk has seven vowels and Gheg has twelve, including five nasals.
The Tosk vowels are:
i, e, a, ə, o, u, y
MORPHOLOGY AND SYNTAX
There are two genders, masculine and feminine. A few nouns are neuter, but this has almost disappeared. Masculine plurals end in -a, -e, -nj, -q(e), -gj(e), -ë; some nouns indicate plural by internal vowel mutation. The feminine plurals are -a, -e, or no change.
The singular indefinite article is një, and the plural ca or disa. The definite article is indicated by a noun affix and has grammatical gender. Masculine affixes are -i, -u, -ri/-ni, -a, the feminine affix is -a.
There are four cases, nominative, genitive, dative and accusative. Feminine and masculine nouns are declined differently.
Masculine noun (mal = mountain)
Feminine noun (shtëpi = house)
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