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Thread: Genetic Origin of Albanians

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    Genetic Origin of Albanians

    Maybe here a peaceful and productive discussion can arise.

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    Y-chromosome diversity of the three major ethno-linguistic groups in the Republic of North Macedonia
    Renata Jankova, Maria Seidel, Alja Videtič Paska, Sascha Willuweit, Lutz Roewer
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.07.007Get rights and content
    Abstract
    A total of 314 individuals representing the three major ethno-linguistic groups (ethnic Macedonians, Albanians and Turks) in the Republic of North Macedonia were analyzed for Y-SNPs and Y-STRs using minisequencing and fragment analysis. The haplogroup composition differed remarkably between the three groups with dominance of haplogroup I2 in ethnic Macedonians (28.1%), E1b in Albanians (35.3%) and J2a (34.9%) in Turks, respectively. The haplotype analysis using the YFilerPlus kit disclosed a significant reduction in diversity values (DC, GD) for the Turkish subgroup compared to the Macedonian and Albanian speaking populations. The Y-STR based population analysis revealed a similarity of ethnic Macedonians with neighboring Serbians and Bulgarians. The same holds true for the Albanian speakers from Macedonia and Albania, whereas the Turkish minority in North Macedonia stands apart from the population in Turkey.
    Last edited by pmokeefe; 04-09-2022 at 03:12 AM.
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  5. #3
    Thanks for your input!
    I will firstly refer to the Albanian DNA project "Rrenjet" (https://rrenjet.com) and point out their statistics:

    Of total 1382 tested people, where 1345 refer to themselves as ethnic Albanians, statistics says following:

    01_Albanians.PNG

    Albanians = Shqiptaret, people from minorities =Minoritetet

    Lets continue with a first differentiation in Gege and Tosk, the two main dialect groups, Gege being the Northern, Tosk being the Southern part:

    02_Gege dhe TOsk.PNG

    Also some characteristic regions are pointed out there. As one can see especially the haplogroup J-L283 seems to become more rare while travelling to the south. In Albanians from Cameria ( today mainly in the northwest of Greece), no J-L283 was found, but sample size is also low with 21 individuals.

    Next lets refer to the countries where the Albanians where tested:
    Shqiperi = Albania
    Kosove = Kosovo
    Maqedonia = North Macedonia
    Greqi = Greece
    Mali i Zi = Montenegro
    Serbi = Serbia
    03_Krahinat.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmokeefe View Post
    Y-chromosome diversity of the three major ethno-linguistic groups in the Republic of North Macedonia
    Renata Jankova, Maria Seidel, Alja Videtič Paska, Sascha Willuweit, Lutz Roewer
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsigen.2019.07.007Get rights and content
    Abstract
    A total of 314 individuals representing the three major ethno-linguistic groups (ethnic Macedonians, Albanians and Turks) in the Republic of North Macedonia were analyzed for Y-SNPs and Y-STRs using minisequencing and fragment analysis. The haplogroup composition differed remarkably between the three groups with dominance of haplogroup I2 in ethnic Macedonians (28.1%), E1b in Albanians (35.3%) and J2a (34.9%) in Turks, respectively. The haplotype analysis using the YFilerPlus kit disclosed a significant reduction in diversity values (DC, GD) for the Turkish subgroup compared to the Macedonian and Albanian speaking populations. The Y-STR based population analysis revealed a similarity of ethnic Macedonians with neighboring Serbians and Bulgarians. The same holds true for the Albanian speakers from Macedonia and Albania, whereas the Turkish minority in North Macedonia stands apart from the population in Turkey.
    This was an interesting study. 2 Albanians belonging to the founder effect R-Y133361 under L1029 were found in this study.

    https://www.yfull.com/tree/R-Y133361*/

    Would have been great if they listed where from within North Macedonia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XXD View Post
    PS2 - I have nothing against a pre-Roman presence of proto-Albanian speakers in Albania. If we conduct a 2000-year genetic transect across Albania and we find E-V13 and R-Z2103 subclades in pre-Roman Albania that have descendants in modern Albanians, I will rest my case. Of course in that case we would have to understand how the Albanians are genetically Illyrian but speak a language that is almost certainly unrelated to the Illyrian spoken there until late Antiquity.
    The linguistic evidence is still rather tenuous and speculative, there is also the issue that we do not actually know whether or not there was a single common Illyrian language. While Joachim Matzinger uses the all-encompassing language name "Illyrian", it is clear that this was only the language of a smaller subset of peoples from historical Illyria rather than the language of all Illyrians. In his latest book for example, it is argued that Messapic was completely unrelated to Illyrian and thus represented an unidentified and unrelated Paleo-Balkan language group. However, it is very clear from the historical and genetic data that Messapic developed in Illyria, certainly not in Dacia, Moesia, or Thrace. It can thus be labelled as one of the languages spoken (at least formerly) by the peoples of Illyria. There is also the issue of the Dardanian language which is often discussed as unrelated to "Illyrian" despite the Dardani consistently being referred to as Illyrians in primary sources, which is also supported by archaeology. Matzinger, alongside others, also currently maintain that Albanian and Messapic were related languages, the theories proposing a Thracian or Dacian origin are losing their credibility due to key developmental differences. It is clear that there is still a lot for us to understand in regards to the languages of this region, things are not so simple.

    User Bruzmi also proposed the great point that, while the Albanian form for toponyms such as Nish and Shtip show development from their ancient counterparts, they are certainly not of Proto-Albanian etymology. As far as we know they only suggest that a Proto-Albanian-speaking population was present in the area prior to the arrival of the Slavs. On the other hand, toponyms that can be explained through Proto-Albanian are found in historical Illyria and southern Italy. Examples include Brač and Brindisi which can be explained via Proto-Albanian *brina (horns, stag or deer), a cognate to Messapic bréndon bearing the same meaning. This does not mean that the language spoken in ancient Brač was directly ancestral to Albanian, but it does suggest that a related language possibly from the same linguistic family was.

    As for ancient Albania, it sure is possible that the variety of Illyrian spoken was unrelated to Proto-Albanian, however, I do believe that the Proto-Albanians were present in the region at least since the Roman period.
    Last edited by Kelmendasi; 05-20-2022 at 05:55 PM.
    Ydna: J1>P58>YSC234>ZS241>BY32817 (Y179831)

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    Yes, the linguistic picture is surely not simple. In the generation of Çabej of course much rather "imaginative" arose, but already such as Orël made progress introducing objectivity to Albanian etymology, and today with Demiraj and others it is becoming endemic. Today the German school (such as Matzinger) is still maybe more advanced, though some members maybe are too certain about some things that I do not think one can be certain about without interdisciplinary collaboration.

    One problem is with determining the nature of the languages of antiquity spoken in the region. The Celtic languages we know. The Italic languages we know. The Hellenic languages we know, and at least we know Albanian does not come from Ancient Macedonian, wherever one places that language, for which increasingly consensus emerges that it is Hellenic. Though not everyone agrees with Brixhe in calling it "Thracian", the language of Samothrace and Maroneia is now generally agreed to be especially close to Hellenic despite its radical phonological innovations. Phrygian is solidly placed within the Helleno-Armenian phylum by all today, and the work of Obrador-Cursach has shown good reasons for it to be closer to Hellenic than to Armenian but as Lubotsky would probably caution it is basically a trifurcation. And Venetic is in a similar problematic as Phrygian because its placement as "Italo-Celtic" (without implying there is consensus on for an example Germanic or Albanian's membership or non-membership) is sure but while being closer to Italic seems to be the more common view it is at least almost a trifurcation.

    More problematic it is with the languages that may show special relationship to Albanian. Maybe even they are ancestral to Albanian. Paeonian? Geographically very close, linguistically very little is known. The language of the Bryges? The Indo-European root often appeared in the ethnonyms of unrelated groups, so we know even less. Dacian? So little hope that we will ever uncover enough Dacian to make a linguistic judgement. Thracian? There is much more hope for it, but we still have so little. Was it just one language? If it was, it does not look very Albanian phonetically, but perhaps a certain equestrian connection every Albanian is familiar with is indicative of contact or presence within their area? Illyrian? Like Dacian it is not expected we will ever know much more about the language directly than we know today, and we know almost nothing, but what little we have seems to be phonetically problematic. But was Illyrian just one language? To Katičić it was not. And archaeologically, if the Glasinac culture was what it seems to be, we can expect deep divergences. One must note that the area Katičić defined as Illyrian sensu stricto happens to be the one with the attestation that creates phonetic problems and might even be the one from which Messapic comes, and yet is supposed to be the one in which Albanians arose according to the Continuity theory. But what did Katičić work from? Toponyms. To make a that big judgement on toponyms and anthroponyms is perilous. That leaves Messapic. The Messapic inscriptional corpus is larger than for any of the languages mentioned in this paragraph, so there is great hope. But the two experts, an Italian and a German I think, both agree there is not an enough solid example to be able to phonetically rule out a special relationship with Albanian yet. So I place my linguistic hope in Messapic, but I am undecided. And I think that who has decided already with just linguistics is thinking. Not knowing.

    Nothing without your help, o you people who study spit! And from spit learn the secrets of the past! For the complete picture the future is interdisciplinary. I am very bad at genes. It is seeming like both autosomal and uniparental studies show a great bottleneck and an extreme spread around AD 700-900 for the ancestral Albanian speakers. This bottleneck maybe obscures out view of the ultimate origin of the Albanians, but we must study it first, is this not so? With the data from Rrënjët, YFull, and ISOGG 2019-2020 I think so I have arrived at which precise Y haplogroups are most strongly associated with the Albanian expansion, but I am amateur.

    If we ignore all haplogroups that cannot explain the modern patrilineal genepool of not just Gheg Albania but also South Albania and Kosovo, then excluding the presence of minor lineage I think we have an initial population of 3/4 R1b1a1b1b3a1a1c…-Z2705 (TMRCA 1.45 kya) and 1/4 J2b2a1a1a1a1b1~-PH1751 (TMRCA 1.25 kya). Maybe the J-PH1751 percentage was higher as I would expect from Rrënjët, but together these are key haplogroups. Maybe I missed some other major haplogroup that expanded at this time that you know of with a similar geographic distribution? Moving on, J-PH1751 also had a cousin, and that was J-Y109700 (TMRCA 1.3 kya), which diverged from it in the Roman period, living not far but only maybe 1/10 as common in the expansion as its cousin. As the general observation, R-Z2705 is common everywhere where Albanians were present in history, while J-PH1751 is present everywhere Albanians are present today.

    Besides other minor haplogroups, surrounding this population were a group of E1b1b1a1b1…-S2979 (TMRCA 3.7 kya) descendants that had come to the area together or in more waves from some expansion that I don't know covered maybe mostly Eastern Europe including Scandinavia and the Balkan, and maybe Northwest Europe, maybe even Italy. The main groups that participated in the Albanian expansion belong to two subclades which have both the same very wide distribution as S2979: E-Z16649 (TMRCA 3.7 kya) and E-FGC611457 (TMRCA 3.4 kya). Within Z16659 there are two subclades of interest: E-PH2180 (TMRCA 1.6 kya; immediate parent TMRCA 2.5 kya still had wide distribution; was together twice as common as the minor group J-Y109700 but most internal diversity goes back all the way to the Albanian expansion itself so maybe a lack of "success"?) and E-BY168279 (TMRCA 1.25 kya; immediate parent TMRCA 2.6 kya had one other child with likely a very minor role in Albanian expansion but I don't know; minor haplogroup like J-Y109700). Within E-Z16659 there are three subclades that look interesting for Albanian expansion: E-Y173822 (TMRCA 1.45 kya; twice as common as J-Y109700), E-Y22794 (immediate parent TMRCA 2.1 kya still had wide distribution; minor haplogroup like J-Y109700), and E-Y140828 (TMRCA 900 ya; twice as common as J-Y109700, but note the late TMRCA).

    J-PH1751 it seems most likely "Illyrian", right? Ancient and modern DNA studies find its parent J-Z631 in their area, and its frequency was higher in the Illyrian period? If the Albanian language is an "Illyrian" core that heavily admixed with Romance then this I think is the best marker of the "Illyrian" component.

    R-Z2705 is tempting to use to mark the "Romance" component because its closest cousin R-Y30192 (TMRCA 2.2 kya), whose parent has TMRCA of 3.3 kya, is found in Italy and Spain, and the basal clade cousin to that parent is likewise found in Italy (Cagliari). But the scarcity of samples closely related to the Albanian clade R-Z2705 makes conclusions perilous. It could be these families, who seem to be carrying the most of the spread, who are the best marker for the Albanian core of the language, if J-PH1751 were already Romance speakers.

    With the E-S2979 subclades I am very surprised. All the Web people know "E-V13 is Albanian"! So why I am only seeing subclades of no clearly apparent interrelationship expanding in minor roles? I cannot say they did not have an important role. That would be perilous. There were highland Albanians and lowland Albanians, right? Maybe just one of them expanded every direction, while the other had a more limited/fragmented expansion with a different lifestyle? If ancestors of these E-S2979 bearers spoke a Paleo-Balkan language maybe they are the best marker for the Albanian core of the language? That would maybe mean E-S2979 expanded outward from the Balkan? But it looks to me like the clade spread into the Balkan from the north?

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    Nice summary of the scholarly discourse. Interestingly, while some scholars consider Messapic to have developed from the core Illyrian area, from which much of the linguistic data is from, Matzinger directly contradicts this by arguing that the attestations of the Illyrian from this area are enough to rule out any relation to Messapic. Complicating things even further.

    In my opinion, the Proto-Albanians most certainly belonged to a number of different lineages, although I agree that those two seem to have formed a significant percentage and are clearly tied to the emergence and expansion of the Albanians. I do not think that R1b-Z2705 has a Romance connection, the connection to the Italian and Spanish samples dates back to the second millennium BCE and thus is way too old. Also, Z2705 is currently most diverse in the Balkans; specifically in the area around northern Albania, Kosovo, and Sandžak if I recall correctly. There are also a few basal branches in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia.

    I also do think that a number of E-V13 lineages can be tied to the Proto-Albanians and their movements, although their ultimate origins may be up for debate. Clusters such as E-BY4465 are among those. As for other haplogroups, the lines under R1b-Z29758 are of great interest and were certainly present, at least in my opinion. Upstream PF7562 is rumoured to have been uncovered in a Bronze Age site in northern Albania.

    And judging by the TMRCAs of many of these haplogroups, the major demographic expansion likely occurred earlier between 172 and 572 CE. Interestingly, toponymic evidence suggests that during the sixth and eighth centuries the Albanians already occupied major areas of modern Albania in solid numbers - suggested by Slavic toponyms that show linguistic developments in Albanian indicative of contact at the early stages of Slavic settlement. The dialect split had also occurred prior to the arrival of the Slavs which further suggests an earlier demographic expansion.

    Examples of such Slavic toponyms include:

    . Berzanë
    . Bushtricë
    . Dishnicë
    . Gërdec
    . Koshovicë
    . Kovashicë
    . Leshnicë
    . Leshnjë
    . Megulle
    . Shishtavec
    . Shuec
    Last edited by Kelmendasi; 05-20-2022 at 11:17 PM.
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    Thank you very much for the haplogroups! I have much to learn.

    I am thinking, since the mutations require time to happen, that if we only have one haplogroup it could have started to spread geographically at that time or it could have spread several, maybe many generations before the mutation. But since here we have many haplogroups, perhaps we ought to give the earlier TMRCA values more weight? So it is hard to imagine Albanian starting to spread much later than ~600 (R1b-Z2705 for example). But in a hypothetical situation in which all the haplogroups that ended up throughout the range of Albanians spread out of a valley or a few valleys, then it makes sense that all these haplogroups would have had to have been in or very near that valley or those valleys. If all the mutations had to happen before the "explosion", then it is hard to imagine much out-of-valley expansion taking place much earlier than ~800 (J2b-PH1751 for example).

    But TMRCA is an average and can be centuries off. And that is just the haplogroup evidence. There are other genetic lines of reasoning that matter, and some can be even more precise. And linguistics is even more important than any but aDNA. But there are multiple lines of evidence and they do not transparently lead to the same conclusions. And perhaps some conclusions are not as strong as others? Tosk displays *-n->-r- and *aN>əN, but not in Slavic borrowings, and so on. But only a few specialists have done extensive research, and I would caution that many phonetic transformations of dialectalisation during population expansions happen because there was a substrate demographic which learned the language and as non-natives their errors had lasting effects on the dialect. I am not saying I know, nor that one cannot know. But I think a lot of reasoning must first go into this. Just to make sure Tosk was really the first dialect and not just the effects on Common Albanian of a substrate language, perhaps even Slavic: if the changes associated with Tosk were made when the Proto-Tosk population was still small and the transformations resulted from the way local Slavs learned the language, why would they bother changing their own words? This is just a thought. And of course Romance and even Greek must be considered as potential sources of dialectal phonetic transformations. A counterattack would be much appreciated!

    Looking at the various maps of toponyms by language of origin (Selishchev 1931, Popović 1984, 1988, Xhelal 2000), this does seem to be a "reality check" on late theories. But to what level? At low early population densities, the Slavs would have been responsible for fewer toponyms. There are parts of Romania where the Romanian expansion happened after the onset of Slavic historiography, where we see similarly low Slavic toponym densities despite a somewhat longer period of Slavic habitation than what could be proposed for some of the areas in Albania with sparse Slavic toponyms. Perhaps we ought to look at each etymology individually to see what sort of toponym it is and to historical sources to can we determine the time of creation? Without this research it could just as easily be that there are almost no Slavic toponyms anywhere in the tentative Albanian Urheimat except for some of late creation. Cremation burials are a nice marker of Slavic expansion in most places, but have archaeologists precisely explored the timing of the Slavic expansion into Albania, and if so, where and when? The historical sources are good, but not detailed enough on their own.

    I mentioned Romanian, and that makes another problem. Most of the "Dacianisms" in Romanian could just as easily be explained as "Albanisms" I think. If this checks out, we ought to tie the problematic of the origin of the Romanians to the origin of the Albanians. If this is linguistically plausible, that is.

    Now I have written too much. Perhaps we could pick a topic and then research it thoroughly together? Or we could split up and do what we do best. We have haplogroups (Y, X), various aspects of autosomal DNA, the vast world of dialectology (i.e. determining earliest isoglosses, determining potential phonetic substrate influence), etymology-chronology of toponyms, Slavic and Albanian settlement archaeology, and then all of this for Romanian and Bulgarian, Serbian. And even that is not everything. I think I would like to start by make some maps of Albanian arbonyms by etymology. I can map the distribution of the trees and colour code them by language of origin. Then I can upload them here, if you like?
    Last edited by anthrofennica; 05-21-2022 at 04:03 PM.

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    The core characteristics and differences of Geg and Tosk seem to have developed after the Christianisation of the Balkans but before the arrival of the Slavs. Earlier loanwords from languages such as Latin and Greek have undergone phonological changes in the Albanian dialects that are not observed in the loanwords obtained from languages such as Slavic and Ottoman Turkish, suggesting an entry after these innovations. However, based on the increased frequency of Slavic patrilineages in southern Albania it is also clear that close contacts and assimilation did occur. Some areas of southern Albania and northern Epirus seem to have been inhabited predominantly by Slavs up until the period of Ottoman conquest, in Dropull for example Slavic seems to have been a dominant spoken language up until the fifteenth century.

    I agree, the vast majority of commonalities between Albanian and Romanian are in fact simply the result of Proto-Albanian loanwords in the Eastern Romance language ancestral to Romanian, suggesting a transition of at least some of these Proto-Albanians into Balkan Latin. This of course does have important implications for the origin of Albanian as it suggests that Proto-Albanian, at some point in time, occupied a common territory with the peoples speaking the Balkan Latin ancestral to Romanian. The majority of scholars seem to place this location around modern Kosovo, south-eastern Serbia, and the adjacent territories. We must also bear in mind that early contacts between Proto-Albanian and Dalmatian also occurred, as well as with (possibly) a yet unidentified variety of Balkan Latin.

    A map would be very interesting and insightful, we would greatly appreciate it and anything else that contributes to this discussion! I am not very well read on Albanian arbonyms so it would certainly be helpful, according to Vladimir Orel (2000) the arbonyms of foreign etymology are usually to be found in the regions of southern and south-eastern Albania. Orel also makes the interesting point that the Early Proto-Albanians were not from a densely-forested area since the word for forest, pyll, is in fact from the Latin palus (swamp or marsh) via Vulgar Latin *palūdem, acquired following the movement of Proto-Albanians into the lowlands of the Adriatic coast. He further argues that they inhabited an area abundant with swamps and marshes, as well as deep rivers and whirlpools. In my opinion, while Orel does have his credits, it does not seem entirely reasonable to make such definitive conclusions based on a couple of words. Albanian does have a plethora of native words for groups of plants ranging from conifers to beech, which Orel himself attests to, that certainly formed forests. I am curious where exactly this sparsely-forested swampland with deep and dangerous rivers was located in Balkans according to his analysis, I cannot really think of a region that fits the bill.
    Last edited by Kelmendasi; 05-21-2022 at 04:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelmendasi View Post
    Nice summary of the scholarly discourse. Interestingly, while some scholars consider Messapic to have developed from the core Illyrian area, from which much of the linguistic data is from, Matzinger directly contradicts this by arguing that the attestations of the Illyrian from this area are enough to rule out any relation to Messapic. Complicating things even further.
    Matzinger's argument in many ways follows that of Hamp, hence he argues that Illyrian = language of the Illyrii proprie dicti and can't be seen as the language from which other languages diversified, but rather as existing in the same era as them. In this scheme, they are grouped under a common wider grouping.

    Matzinger (2018), Lexicon of Albanian in Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics (vol. 3), De Gruyter:

    Although it is widely believed that Albanian goes back to Illyrian or even Thracian, this view cannot be seriously upheld from the linguistic point of view (see Matzinger 2009). None of the ancient personal or local names ascribed to Illyrian are continued in Albanian without interruption (e.g. the place-name Shkodra is merely a loan from Latin Scodra). Consequently, Albanian cannot be regarded as an offspring of Illyrian or even Thracian but must be considered to be a modern continuation of some other undocumented Indo-European Balkan idiom. However, Albanian is closely related to Illyrian and also Messapic (a language spoken in Southern Italy in antiquity but originally of Balkan origin), which is why Albanian in some instances may shed some light on the explanation of Messapic as well as Illyrian words (see Matzinger 2005): (Messapic-) Oenotrian ῥινός ‘clouds’ ~ Old Geg rẽ, Old Tosk rē ‘cloud’, the Messapic gloss βρένδο- ‘stag’ and the place-name Brundisium (Italian Bríndisi) ~ Old Geg brĩ, or the name of the Illyrian tribe of the Taulantioi ~ Albanian dallëndyshe ‘swallow’ (see Eichner 2004: 10 f.).


    Albanian shares a considerable number of words in common with Rumanian (see Solta 1980: 3 f., 125 f. and Vătăşescu 1997). Some of them are remnants of an old inherited vocabulary (e.g. Albanian thark ‘pen for young livestock’ ~ Rumanian ţarc ‘id.’), while others comprise a younger category of Latin words attested in some cases only in Albanian and Rumanian (e.g. Albanian mëngon ‘get up very early’ ~ Rumanian mâneca ‘id.’ ← Latin *mānicāre ‘id.’). Both classes emerged from old and intensive contacts between the Proto-Albanians and the ancestors of the Rumanians. A widespread opinion regards the older category of the Albano-Rumanian common lexicon as the reflex of an ancient substratum of Thracian, Dacian, or unknown origin (a collection of these words is Brâncuş 1983). Aside from a few single words of perhaps non-Indo-European origin (Albanian modhullë ‘yellow vetchling [Lathyrus aphaca]’ ~ Rumanian mazăre ‘pea’), the largest part of this alleged substratum common to both Albanian and Rumanian consists simply of loan-words in Rumanian from Proto-Albanian, e.g. Rumanian ţarc ‘pen for young livestock’ from Proto-Albanian */tsárka-/ (Modern Albanian thark). The derivational base of this noun is continued in the Old Albanian verb thurën ‘interweave’ (< IE */k̑erH-/ ‘weave’, cf. Latin crātis ‘pen’; see details in Schumacher 2009: 43−45).

    It is a characteristic feature of the Albanian language to be open to loan-words from various sources. The oldest stratum is found in Ancient Greek loans, which result from contacts between Greeks and speakers of Proto-Albanian from about 600 BCE onward. Subsequent to the Roman occupation of the Balkans, Proto-Albanian was heavily influenced by Latin. Single words as well as a good many derivational suffixes were taken over. The Greek loan-words are of various chonological origins. The oldest are of Ancient Greek (Doric) provenance, mostly designations of vegetables, spices, fruits, animals, and tools (cf. Old Geg drapënë, modern Albanian drapër ‘sickle’ ← δρέπανον ‘id.’, Old Geg lakënë, modern Albanian lakër ‘cabbage’ ← λάχανον ‘potherbs’, presh ‘leek’ ← πράσον ‘id.’). These loans resulted from the earliest contacts between Greeks − either colonists of the Adriatic coastal regions or more probably Greek merchants in the Balkan hinterland − and Proto-Albanians from the 8th century BCE on.
    For Matzinger, Proto-Albanian and Illyrian and Messapic existed in the same era.

    Hamp (2012) reconstructs the relation between them as:



    Joseph and Hyllested (2022)(to be published) will reconstruct the relation between Messapic and Albanian as part of an "Illyric" branch in a broader argument about a wider Armenian-Greco-Phrygian-Illyric IE branch.

    I believe that linguistic investigations are useful, but they will be limited as they inadvertently rely on a small linguistic dataset because very little is known about Illyrian-Messapic. DNA studies about Iapygians and Illyrians have shown they shared the same origin. In my opinion, we should treat Illyrian and the relation with attested languages in the same way as the relation between Proto-Germanic and Germanic languages today. Frisian and Norwegian both stem from Proto-Germanic, but they have diversified and they are independent languages today.

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