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Thread: Genetic Origin of Albanians

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    The Gegë/Tosk dialects are literally evidence that proto-Albanian was a small linguistic community that expanded, since both Gegë and Tosk come from one single dialect in the post-roman/ pre-slavic era.
    not necessarily, since it had already acquired its form by the time Slavs arrived , while you seem to be talking about the post Slavic migration period small possibly yes but definitely not that small, could be related to a population that persisted and survived incursions. Albanians also show normal IBD sharing prior to migration period

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    "The highest levels of IBD sharing are found in the Albanian-speaking individuals (from Albania and Kosovo), an increase in common ancestry deriving from the last 1,500 years.

    This suggests that a reasonable proportion of the ancestors of modern-day Albanian speakers (at least those represented in POPRES) are drawn from a relatively small, cohesive population that has persisted for at least the last 1,500 years.

    These individuals share similar but slightly higher numbers of common ancestors with nearby populations than do individuals in other parts of Europe (see Figure S3), implying that these Albanian speakers have not been a particularly isolated population so much as a small one. "

    Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiolog...l.pbio.1001555
    Same study claims normal IBD sharing prior to Slavs , what you quoted also contradicts what you said

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    "The highest levels of IBD sharing are found in the Albanian-speaking individuals (from Albania and Kosovo), an increase in common ancestry deriving from the last 1,500 years.

    This suggests that a reasonable proportion of the ancestors of modern-day Albanian speakers (at least those represented in POPRES) are drawn from a relatively small, cohesive population that has persisted for at least the last 1,500 years.

    These individuals share similar but slightly higher numbers of common ancestors with nearby populations than do individuals in other parts of Europe (see Figure S3), implying that these Albanian speakers have not been a particularly isolated population so much as a small one. "

    Link: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiolog...l.pbio.1001555
    The highest levels of IBD sharing are found in the Albanian-speaking individuals (from Albania and Kosovo), an increase in common ancestry deriving from the last 1,500 years. This suggests that a reasonable proportion of the ancestors of modern-day Albanian speakers (at least those represented in POPRES) are drawn from a relatively small, cohesive population that has persisted for at least the last 1,500 years. These individuals share similar but slightly higher numbers of common ancestors with nearby populations than do individuals in other parts of Europe (see Figure S3), implying that these Albanian speakers have not been a particularly isolated population so much as a small one. Furthermore, our Greek and Macedonian samples share much higher numbers of common ancestors with Albanian speakers than with other neighbors, possibly a result of historical migrations, or else perhaps smaller effects of the Slavic expansion in these populations. It is also interesting to note that the sampled Italians share nearly as much IBD with Albanian speakers as with each other. The Albanian language is a Indo-European language without other close relatives [53] that persisted through periods when neighboring languages were strongly influenced by Latin or Greek, suggesting an intriguing link between linguistic and genealogical history in this case.
    Can't have high IBD with Italians and Greeks and be isolated mountain shepherds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    Lalueza-Fox (2022) conclusion (50-60% Slavic/40-50% Balkan) is also relevant for the Proto-Albanians, as we can hypothesise a similar ratio mix for migrating proto-Albanian communities:

    50-60% Proto-Albanian / 40-50% West-Balkan (the lands they migrated to).

    If Slavs mixed to such a great extent when they had comparatively much larger numbers, why wouldn't proto-Albanians have mixed?
    But we have proto-Albanian samples, BA, IA, Mdv and post-Mdv? They show even lower Slavic admixture than modern Albanians. So what gives?
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    See Barbarian incursions:


    The first major Slav raids took place in the middle of Justinian's reign. In 547 and 548 they invaded the territory of modern Kosovo, and then (probably via Macedonia and the Via Egnatia across central Albania) got as far as Durres on the northern Albanian coast. [4] More substantial invasions took place in the 580s, bringing Slavs deep into Greece. Historians used to think that it was only these later invasions that involved any permanent settlement; but there is evidence of Slav place-names in the Balkans - particularly along the river Morava - by the 550s, which suggests a more continuous process of infiltration. [5] One factor which may have turned the southward movement of Slavs from a trickle to a flood was the arrival, in the north-western part of the Balkans, of an especially warlike Turkic tribe, the Avars, who subjugated or coopted some Slavic tribes but drove many others away. By the early seventh century the Avar armies were raiding as far as the walls of Constantinople, and threatening the very existence of the Byzantine Empire.

    It was at this point, in the 610s or 620s, that the Emperor of the day (according to a detailed but somewhat confused account by a later Emperor-cum-historian, Constantine Porphyrogenitus) invited the Croats to come down from central Europe and deal with the Avar threat. [6] This they did, bringing with them their neighbours, the Serbs. Both populations then settled in the territories abandoned by the Avars: the Croats in modern Croatia and western Bosnia, and the Serbs in the Rascia area on the north-western side of Kosovo, and in the region of modern Montenegro. In some of these areas they supervened on an already existing Slav population, which, as a result, must gradually have taken on a 'Croat' or 'Serb' identity. The Serbs did not have anything like a state at this stage, but they developed several small tribal territories, each called a zupa and ruled by a tribal chief known as the zupan.

    " By the mid-seventh century, Serbs (or Serb-led Slavs) were penetrating from the coastal lands of Montenegro into northern Albania. Major ports and towns such as Durres and Shkodra held out against them, but much of the countryside was Slavicized, and some Slav settlers moved up the valleys into the Malesi. By the ninth century, Slav-speaking people were an important element of the population in much of northern Albania, excluding the towns and the higher mountainous areas (especially the mountains in the eastern part of the Malesi, towards Kosovo). [8] Slav-speaking people lived in the lowlands of this area, gradually becoming a major component of the urban population too, until the end of the Middle Ages. [9]

    What had happened to the local populations of the western and central Balkans during and after the Slav invasions? Something is known about the urban inhabitants, but much less about the people in the countryside. Despite the apocalyptic tone of early Byzantine writers, who give the impression that all civilization came to an end here in about 600, there is good evidence that the main cities survived (or were revived), just as they had done after earlier sackings. Refugees from central Balkan towns such as Nis and Sofia fled to the safety of Salonica at first, but many must have gone back home later. [10] The main towns on the Dalmatian and northern Albanian coastline, too, retained their Latin-speaking populations and stayed under Byzantine rule. (For naval and commercial reasons, Durres was the most important Byzantine possession on the entire Adriatic coast of the Balkans.) [11] But outside the major cities there are signs of decline and contraction; typical of the seventh to ninth centuries are the remains of small townships based on hill-forts, such as the one at Koman in the mountains of north-central Albania, where a Christian and probably Romanized (Latin-speaking) population must have led a rather limited existence. [12] "

    Only in the ninth century do we see the expansion of a strong Slav (or quasi-Slav) power into this region. Under a series of ambitious rulers, the Bulgarians - a Slav population which absorbed, linguistically and culturally, its ruling elite of Turkic Bulgars - pushed westwards across modern Macedonia and eastern Serbia, until by the 850s they had taken over Kosovo and were pressing on the borders of Rascia. Soon afterwards they took the western Macedonian town of Ohrid; having recently converted to Christianity, the Bulgar rulers helped to set up a bishopric in Ohrid, which thus became an important centre of Slav culture for the whole region. And at the same time the Bulgarians were pushing on into southern and central Albania, which became thoroughly settled by Bulgarian Slavs during the course of the following century. [19]

    Kosovo was to remain under Bulgarian or Macedonian rulers until 1014-18, when the army of the Macedonian-based Tsar Samuel died, his empire broke up, and Byzantine power was fully re-established by a strong and decisive Emperor, Basil 'the Bulgar-killer'. For nearly two centuries after that, Kosovo would stay under Byzantine rule. [

    http://macedonia.kroraina.com/en/nm/kosovo.html
    Last edited by xz1333; 09-26-2022 at 08:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by excine View Post
    Honestly, my reasoning is as follows: If the population of Proto-Albanian was actually that small. If we all accept the current linguistic data, how did this group transmit significant toponyms such as Niš and Štip to the arriving Slavs? I do not like to draw any firm conclusions, but I would assume that a substantial population would be required for such a transfer of significant toponyms. I find that hard to believe, especially in light of the linguistic situation; given the size of the proto-albanian speaking areas during late antiquity, I would expect there to be thousands of them. Prior to the founder effect of Albanians, there may have been more people, but only a handful of them became the ancestors of contemporary Albanians, at least paternally. Also, it is possible that those Proto-Albanians who transmitted toponyms were finally absorbed by the series of migrations. Consequently, the primary progenitors of Albanians are those who survived and preserved their mother tongue. This forum has a variety of opinions about the social status of Proto-Albanians. How did this population obtain so many loanwords in the first place if they are a semi-nomadic pastoralist autonomous body? Were the Proto-Albanians truly such mountainous people? Or was there a lifestyle shift owing to unforeseen circumstances? Perhaps I am asking too much, but there are several unanswered questions surrounding missing clues. Chronologically, the Proto-Albanian language existed prior to the Roman era, which unfortunately we do not know much about their position due to the lack of data. Too much speculation to begin with and not enough hard evidence.
    Census population is always quite bigger than effective population regardless of the method used.
    Looking at mtDNA diversity should show an effective female population that is less constrained by extra-demographic factors, but you need good coverage there as well.
    Also you can look at the overall genome to detect endogamy or estimate effective population sizes in a better way. Those methods have been used in papers but not that often from what I can see.

    Personally I don't really buy the idea that Albanian was spoken in Nish as the primary language when Slavs came, that doesn't make sense to me.
    This source in Albanian so I can't read but wikipedia says that there are no other Albanian toponyms around Nish so it's unlikely there was a big presence there:
    https://www.ashak.org/repository/doc...JLI_397704.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Granary View Post
    Personally I don't really buy the idea that Albanian was spoken in Nish as the primary language when Slavs came, that doesn't make sense to me.
    This source in Albanian so I can't read but wikipedia says that there are no other Albanian toponyms around Nish so it's unlikely there was a big presence there:
    https://www.ashak.org/repository/doc...JLI_397704.pdf
    Where do you place Proto-Albanian then?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    Lalueza-Fox (2022) conclusion (50-60% Slavic/40-50% Balkan) is also relevant for the Proto-Albanians, as we can hypothesise a similar ratio mix for migrating proto-Albanian communities:

    50-60% Proto-Albanian / 40-50% West-Balkan (the lands they migrated to).

    If Slavs mixed to such a great extent when they had comparatively much larger numbers, why wouldn't proto-Albanians have mixed?
    So the 50-60% E-V13 dominant Proto-Albanians assimilated the 40-50% J2b+R1b+J2a+J1+I1 Romanised and Hellenised population?

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    Quote Originally Posted by excine View Post
    Where do you place Proto-Albanian then?
    My simplest model is that they survived mainly in Dardania/Kosovo and in the last 2 centuries between the Battle of Adrianople and the collapse of the Danube limes they established themselves in inland Albania and West Macedonia so that the Gheg/Tosk split lines up with the linguistic evidence.

    Another model is that they always lived mainly in West Macedonia and inland Albania without any real movement, with Dardania/Kosovo being too open and accessible to not be Romanized, which is what Pribislav theorized. But I can't really favour one theory over the other as they are both plausible.

    Anyhow Nish being on the other side of the Moravia, which was probably the main inland axis from the Middle Danube Limes to the Aegean, seems rather outside any of those regions I mentioned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gisti View Post
    This link you've sent here argues that the Komani-Kruja culture was latin speaking and not proto-Albanian. It also argues that the proto-Albanians were a small shepherding community living around Kosova and partially north Albania, but definitely not as far south as Durrës:

    "But if Illyrian survived as Albanian, it did so only by means of physical contraction, withdrawal and isolation, which naturally would have taken place in mountain terrain. This is why the purest element of Albanian vocabulary refers to mountains, high-altitude plants and shepherding: the point is not that the proto-Albanians had never lived any other sort of life, but that the only ones who survived as Albanian-speakers did so precisely because that was the sort of isolated and independent life they led, probably for several centuries. The Illyrians who lived on the coastal plains were Romanized, like the ones on the Dalmatian coast and indeed in most areas of Yugoslavia. By the time the Slavs began arriving in the sixth century, there were only scattered pockets of speakers of the old 'barbarian' languages left anywhere in the Balkans, and all of them were in mountainous regions."

    "Late Latin developed in two different forms in the Balkans: a coastal variety, which survived as a distinct language (known as Dalmatian) until the end of the nineteenth century, and the form spoken in the interior, which turned into Romanian and Vlach. [65] From place-names it is clear that the coastal form, spoken also in Shkodra and Durres, penetrated some way into the northern Albanian mountains. [66] There are some traces of this variety of Latin in Albanian, but the Albanian language's links with the inland variety of Balkan Latin are much stronger. This suggests that the centre of gravity of Albanian-Vlach symbiosis lay a little further to the east. [67]

    When and how did that symbiosis take place? Presumably the Latin-speaking proto-Romanians came to pastoralism later than the early Albanians. If they had been doing it for as long as the Albanians, and in similar areas, they would - just like the Albanians - have escaped Latinization altogether. Some historians have decided that the proto-Romanians must have been Latin-speaking city-dwellers, who somehow extricated themselves from their towns in the early Slav centuries and became long-distance travellers or shepherds instead; but this seems inherently implausible."

    It is, therefore, in the uplands of the Kosovo area (particularly, but not only, on the western side, including parts of Montenegro) that this Albanian-Vlach symbiosis probably developed. [71] All the evidence comes together at this point. What it suggests is that the Kosovo region, together with at least part of northern Albania, was the crucial focus of two distinct but interlinked ethnic histories: the survival of the Albanians, and the emergence of the Romanians and Vlachs.

    One large group of Vlachs seems to have broken away and moved southwards by the ninth or tenth century; the proto-Romanians stayed in contact with Albanians significantly longer, before drifting north-eastwards, and crossing the Danube in the twelfth century.
    Shepherding community in the lowlands of Moesia? Maybe you should consider more isolated areas like the mountains of Praevalitana.

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