Me nje vonese ndoshta te pafalshme, po e hedh shkrimin qe e pata premtuar kahere per t'i dhene fund keqkuptimeve te qellimshme rreth origjines se shqiptareve e shqipes. Nji kujdes te vecante i kam kushtuar shkaterrimit te hipotezes dake - qe meton t'i beje shqiptaret si ardhes te njekohshem ne Shqiperi me sllavet.
Materiali eshte ne anglisht, meqe i drejtohet nje audience anglishtfolese. Nje lajm i gezueshem eshte fakti qe kam arritur ta funksionalizoj faqen time http://www.albpelasgian.com, me ç'rast do t'i mbledh shkrimet e dikurshme, si dhe do te shtoj shkrime te reja. Shkrimin metoj ta mbareshtroj ne forme dekonstruktimi ku si titull ka ''frequently asked questions for Albanians''. Sidoqofte, une po e hedh draftin e pare te shkrimit. Mund te kete gabime drejtshkrimore, por me to do te merrem me vone. Do te doja qe ky shkrim te plotesohet nga ju ne vendet ku ka me shume nevoje. Rolin e Mallakastriotit e shoh ne plotesimin me te dhena e verejtje te ndryshme ne rastet kur permenden burimet e para per shqiptaret, ceshtjet qe kane te beje me toponimin dhe etnonimin Arber/Arberi. Rolin e Zeusit e gjej ne elaborimin e karakterit centum/satem te shqipes, perderisa Bardus mund te jap kontribut te disa perkime fonetike mes ilirishtes dhe shqipes (shih pjesa te Krechmeri) si dhe te ceshtja e shnderrrimit te shumeperfolur sk>h.
What are the main theories regarding the origin of Albanians?
The origin of Albanians has given rise to a good deal of discussion. Indeed there is a proliferation of studies meddling with certain issues on modern Albanians. Unfortunately, many writers tend to obscure a pivotal aspect - that of Albanian ethnogensis. Ever since XVIII-th century, the origin of Albanians has been on the center of attention of researchers. Many theories henceforth have been put forth regarding the possible predecessors of Albanians. The most long-standing theory is the Illyrian one, according to which Albanians are the direct offspring of Illyrians, who used to live in the northern fringes of ancient Greek world. Some scholars took as their point of departure the very fact that no major migration has been noticed in the territories seated by the antecedents of Albanians. As a matter of fact, many scholars have long sniffed that Albanians primarily sprung from the ancient Illyrians who did not succumb either to alieniation. The first known proponents of Illyrian theory were Th. Kavaliotis (1790), followed by the Thumman, then a historian of highest standing. Both of them alike contended that Albanians stretch their origin back to Illyrians who were sheltered in the remote and rugged mountains of modern Albania.
Did Illyrians vanish from the historical scene?
The great uphavel which tormented most of Balkans during the decline of Roman Empire, surely affected the demography of Balkans. Since IIIth century A.D, marauding tribes of Germanic speaking family appeared in the nearby of northerly frontiers of Byzantium. The gradual weakeness of Byzantium further increased the incursions of Gothic tribes which spilled into Byzantine controlled areas. Byzantine armies could not handle the warlike Gothic groups. However, the most devastating campaign was that of Hunic tribes who ravaged most of Illyria, Thrace as far as Hellas. A powerful stream of indigenious population who once used to live in Danube areas was propelled to migrate further in south. The Byzantine cities of western Adriatic received large influxes of Illyrians who were driven by Huns. Another stream of refugees found aslyum in the city of Thessalonica. Slavic tribes put an end to the process of migrations: indeed their settlements were the most enduring of all which in turn switched drastically the ethnic make-up of Balkans. The authority of Byzantium ceased in most of Balkans which was engulfed by slavic settlements. Byzantine sources have detailed this situation pretty accurately: Slavic tribes established their Sklavinoi mainly in the lands of disposed Illyrians. It is particularly important to note that the proportion of the Slavic incursion was not nearly so great as to replace the original population which fled in south. When the Byzantine authority was reasserted in western Balkans, it may be safely stated that the Illyrian element remerged from the turbulence of VI-VII centuries quite stabilized throughut western Balkans in terms of numbers and cultural cohesion. The wholesale displacement of Illyrians from northern areas contributed to restitution of more Illyrian character of south-easten Balkans which was kept by the cities and immediate mountanious regions occupied by chiefly pastroal Illyrian population. It may be stated that even the Justinian's fortress buliding program was responsible for the salvation of Illyrian preeminence of Western Balkans. Judging from the place-names as well as other linguistic vestiges, it seems likely that Dardania, Prevalitania, Epirus Nova and Epirus Vetus were the least affected by the Slavic outporing. Though a part of Illyrians was superficially veneered with Roman culture, as time went by the veneer tended to disappear. Both archeologists and historians have observed that Illyrian population reasserted its distinct identity in a time when Roman authority was greatly weakened. The Illyrian theory laid its foundation on the seemingly irrefutable premises:
1. There was no major migration towards southern Illyrian lands;
2. There was not any wholesale replacment of population;
3. A seemingly non-Romanized and non-Slavizied ethnic group survived and kept alive its distinct language.
How is Albanian linked with ancient tongues spoken in Balkans?
The Danish historian and geographer, Conrad Malte Brun has the merit for enriching the evidences which seem to make the Illyrian theory very plausible. He went on to explain a good deal of ancient geographical names of Balkans with Albanian. Brun held that Dardani, Parthini, Delmati may be linked with alb. ,,dardhe'' (pear), ,,bardhe'' (white), ''delme'' (sheep) and so on. Such etimologies were well-received by later researchers who further enriched this list. The most detailed account on Illyro-Albanian connection is that of storied Austrian scholar, J von Hahn. His incisive work ''Albanische Studien' offers an insightful take on the history of Albanians by scrutinizing linguistics, ethnology, anthropology as well as historical sources. Being well-versed with ancient Greek and Roman sources, Hahn averred that Illyrians never ceased their existence. A part of them known as Albanoi kept intact their identity. These Albanoi was first recorded by the Claudi Ptolemy - an Alexandrine geographer - who placed them n the nearby of Dyrachium. He corroborated the very fact that Byzantine sources mentioned Arbanitai in the same areas, a fact which amount to the continous existence of Illyrians in modern day Albania.
IS there any archaeological evidence to support the Illyrian theory?
However, the Illyrian studies were on stand-still down to the XX-th century when first systematic archaeological campaigns begun. Archaeoligsts have yielded an abudance of material evidences which enabled historians to reconstruct a more satisaftorily theoritical framework on Illyrians and devise some general patterns. In the late XIX-th century, in northern Albania was discovered a distinct type of cultures named conventionally as ''Komani culture'' (according to its main location in Puke region/modern northern Albania). From the archaeological remains on cemetries, burial practices as well as material artefacts and the type of settlements, it followed that Illyrians were least tarnished by the outside influences. However, their identity acquired new elements as a result of Christianization which in turn brought a new perception of local Illyrians. Nonetheless, many questions were left unanswered. While the majority of scholars were inclined to accept the carriers of this culture as being Illyrians, the linguistic affinities of them have long tantalized their focus. A hypothesis had that these Illyrians were profusely Romanized long before Slavs crept in Balkans. This view was later amplified by some scholars who drew the attention to the chronicle of Byzantine Emperor, Constandine Porphyrogenitus who dealt also with the impact of Slavic settlements in western fringes of Byzantine Empire. He devised the term ''Romani'' (as descendants of migrants which were brought from Rome by Diocletian). According to him, ''Romani'' once used to live as far as Danube but as the time went on, they were driven in coastal cities of Dalmatia. He further mentioned ''Romania'' - a thoroughly Roman stronghold in western Balkans. If that hunch is correct, then the claim of Romanized population of northern Albania would be fully justified. However, a more clear-eyed investigation might clarify many things. First and foremost, Porphyrogenitus did not define the boundaries of this ''Romania'', which apparantely was far away from present Albanian territory. He said nothing of their ethnic affinities, though it may be rightly surmised that many of them were bilinguals. Noel Malcolm, a prominent scholar, has argued that the proof of Roman names of individuals doesn’t indicate any ethnic identity. He goes unto to say that it’s quite possible to talk of names as kind of cultural layer beneath of which is concealed one’s ethnic identity. Wilkes who has pored some doubt if Comani-Kruja Culture represents a truly non-Romanized Illyrian community, asserted that “the persistence of native names and other traditions tends to be judged as an indication of the superficiality and weakness of Roman influence”. Thus, the argument of Romanization of southern Illyrians falls short of convincing. Wilkes also underscores the importance of fact that ‘Roman influence was not present when there is no evidence of this sort, and many Illyrian communities fall into this category”.
What are the main linguistic arguments which support the Illyrian thesis?
Paul Kretchmer was the first linguist who established a well-principled stance on Illyrian affiliation of Albanian. In his impeccable book ''Einleitung in die Geschichte der griechischen Sprache'', he built his claims not on scattershot resemblances but on consistent patterns of linguistic transformation. The German linguist was firm on believing that ‘die albanesische Sprache die jungste Phase des Altillyrischen oder’’. He reiterates the importance of national name of Albanians – Albanoi who were placed by Claudi Ptolemy in the nearby of Macedonian cantons of Almopia and Orestia. Kretchmer place a special emphasis on the very fact that the name ‘Arbenia’ was applied by the Byzantines for the same areas. Some bearing on this discussion had also the inscriptions of the Illyrian tribe in southern Italy – Messapi. It is already settled down that Messapic might be well classified as Illyrian considering linguistic and archeological links with Illyria. Given that its vestiges are numerous, linguists pointed out several features which speak favourably on its relation with Albanian. Kretchmer asserted that both Messapian and Illyrian converge on the treatment of diphthong /-au/ which in turn yields in /-a/. His assertion was corroborated by numerous examples such as the city Basta from Βαῦστα (Ptolem. III 1, 76), etc. Another pertinent common feature is the treatment of palatals between Albanian and Messapian. He exemplified his point with Barzidihi, to whom he compared with alb. Bard-i (white). Accordingly, the mess. z stands for Illyr. and Alb. D. Kretchmer mention also some lexical corrospondences between Alb. And Messapian such as: mess. Βρένδιον ‘χεφαλή τοῦ έλάφου’ = alb. bri-ni (horn); Menzana = alb. Mes, fem. Meze, roman. Manz. Some scholars feigned agnosticism regarding the Illyrian ancestry of Albanian. They averred that the evidence of Illyrian is frustratingly sparse as no written document has come to the limelight. Much of what is left from Illyrian consists of a handful of glosses and numerous personal and place-names. This onomastic material, though insufficient, enabled linguists to put beyond any doubt the fact that Albanian represents a neo-Illyrian dialect. Wilkes contented that “the strongest evidence for the connection between Illyrian and Albanian must be the few direct correspondences of vocabulary often cited”. A good deal of Illyrian personal names as well as toponyms have their likely etymologies in Albanian: the name of Dardania is linked with alb. Dardhë (pear), which in turn derive from *Heg’hord- through the phonetic change -g’h- > -d- from full-grade*g’hord- and Greek άχερδοσ ‘wild pear’ (Papazoglu 1978: 261). This name is definitely Illyrian and was spread all over Thrace during the migration of Dardani towards Minor Asia. It’s worth of mentioning the toponym Δαρδαπαρα, from IE *g’hera: cf. Alb. Dardhë, ‘pear’ and IE. *bora, "pond, stream" (Georgiev, Izv.na Inst.za bulg.ezik 9 (1962). This etymology of this phitonym is bolstered by the fact that small wild pear-trees grow with some frequency in what must have been the southern portion of the Dardanian territory. Many Albanian place-names as Dardhë, Dardhishtë were thus conceived from the pear-trees. A very interesting case poses the name of sub-tribe of Dardanians, Galabroi (Strab. Geog. VII, 3.180. The second part of the name ‘abroi’ is likely derived from *abhor (strong, mighty). This root *ab-/*ap (water, river) might be matched with alb. amë (river, water spring) through -bn-/-mn- mutation. Other likely etymologies is that of Dalmatia (=delme, sheep), Ulcinium (=ulk, wolf), etc.
Are Albanians of Dacian origin?
Scholarly attention was first piqued from an article of Bulgarian linguist, Vladimir Georgiev. He found the Illyrian hypothesis as unlikely for major place-names in modern Albania do not follow the phonetic rules of Albanian. In the heart of his arguments stand the assumption that Albanian might have been spoken in central Balkans. Georgiev assumed that Albanian might derive from a language which has presumabely been spoken in the province of Mysia. He saw this region as being peopled by the Dacians and thus he conceived the term ‘Daco-Mysian’. Georgiev drew his point of departure on the fact that Albanian and Romanian share many phonetic commonalities which amount to a common cradle of both languages. Georgiev’s assumptions lack of any historical source for he appeared ill at ease with the fact that no major migration has been recorded in Albania from Dacia. The Bulgarian linguist stated that Dacian has been spoken in Dardania without further ado. His hypothesis would hold more sway if there were any historical source which speaks of any migration of Dacians towards modern Albanian lands. Later, this hypothesis was embraced by certain Romanian and Serbian scholars who tended to displace the origin of Albanians further north. The region of Carpathian mountains, Dacia Rispensis, Upper Mysia alike have been proposed as the early seats of proto-Albanians. The Dacian hypothesis is particularly interesting for the nationalist Romanian historiography. Most of Romanian scholars opt for the Dacian hypothesis in order to back up their immemorial presence in the region of Transylvania. According to this warped hypothesis, Albanians as lightly Romanized Dacians were branched off by the main body and thus dispersed into Byzantine held territories, while the majority of Dacians who were profoundly Romanized remain in what is now Romania. However, this claim is hardly plausible for all linguists consider that proto-Romanian has been spoken in south of Danube, most likely in a section of Dardania. The Albanian-speakers were prevalent as they could profoundly affect the ancestors of modern-day Romanians.
Does Albanian have any relation with Dacian?
Dacian as other Paleo-Balkan languages is poorly known. From what is left is fairly difficult to obtain any far-reaching conclusion. Ancient writers considered it merely Thracian dialect. Modern research has, however, detached Dacian from genuine Thracian noting some peculiarities. Albanian etymologies have been proposed for certain Dacian place-names: ,,mal’’ (mountain), ,,abur(e)’’ (steam, vapour), ,,balta’’ (swamp), ,,balaur’’ (dragon, monster), etc. It must be remarked that the above-mentioned examples are not good basis to establish any strict connection between Albanian and Dacian. Most of the cited names are to be found in Illyrian likewise: ,,mal’’ (Maluntum, Dimallum, etc), Balta (Dalmatia), ‘Balaur’ (whose name recalls Bolouros, an Illyrian city), etc. It’s beyond any cavil that Romanian has borrowed hundreds of words. The attempts of some scholars to assume these common words as being derived from the so-called Dacian are futile. One should not fail to remark that linguistic similarity between Albanian (Illyrian) and Romanian is better explained by contact rather than an arbitrary mutual ethnic origin. Many words ascribed as Dacian are nothing else but Illyrian. This gives some room to surmise that Illyrian exerted some influence over Dacian mostly in Roman period, when a number of Illyrian tribes were settled in southern Dacia.
Illyrian language vanished during roman period?
The proponents of Dacian origin of Albanians point out that Illyrian has ceased from being spoken in late antiquity. There is not a scrap of evidence which would indicate that Illyrian was entirely replaced by Latin. It’s beyond any doubt that certain Illyrian communities were profusely assimilated: this alienation was most poignant in coastal cities as well in cross-road regions. The claim of profound Romanization of Illyrians is invalidated by the case of Dardani. While Roman authority showed its first signs of decay, a separate province of Dardania was created in the fourth century A.D as a result of the growth of Dardania independence. At the very same time, the indigenous Illyrian populace of Dardania reasserted its distinct identity which is evidenced by the absence of Roman elements. Papazoglu in her incisive work regarding Dardanians, hold that Dardania was the least Romanized province all over Balkans. There are numerous sources which indicate that indigenous idioms continued to be spoken even during V-VII centuries. Thus St. Jerome referred to Illyrian-speakers in Dalmatia or Pannonia in the fifth century. There were only scattered pockets of speakers of old languages, mostly in mountainous regions. When tackling all sources, it seems very feasible that Albanian is the recent phase of old Illyrian.
Albanian lacks of maritime terminology? (te plotesohet me verejtje nga Zeus dhe bardus...)
This is one of the most repeated arguments of those who rule out the Illyrian origin of Albanian. It was Gustav Weigand, who averred for the first time the so-called absence of original maritime terminology. According to him, most of nautical terms in Albanian are borrowed either from Latin or Slavic. The absence of original words relating to sea infers that proto-Albanians have lived far away from Adriatic, most likely in a territory with Dacian preponderance. Nonetheless, this argument proves little to nothing that Albanians lived far away from Adriatic. It must be emphasized that the long supremacy of Greek colonies through Adriatic and Ionian has affected to a certain scale the Illyrian maritime terminology. The same goes also for the Roman period when Illyrians were prohibited from utilizing their sea. Yet Albanian contain a certain maritime and nautical terms that are basically Albanian on the ground they have no parallels to the neighboring languages. One is tempted to mention a handful words, such as: anije, guaskë, zall, fushnjezë, etc. At the same token, even the Scandinavin languages contain a range of commercial and nautical terms from Low German, which date from the supremacy of Hanseatic cities in the late Middle Ages. Another possibility is that local Illyrian population was propelled to shelter in the more mountainous regions and led a pastoral way of life which might have greatly reduced its maritime vocabulary.
Albanians are mentioned very lately? (te plotesohet nga Mallakastrioti...)
This is another argument which has been deployed very often. The Illyrians were last mentioned as such in Miracula Sancti Demetri (7th century AD), after which there is no other record of the name. Whereas Albanians as a distinguishable ethnic group are mentioned in a concise manner in 1000-1018 by an anonymous author in a Bulgarian text. Known as Arbanasi, they are described as ‘’half-believers’’ – a reference most likely to their non-Orthodox adherence. The Byzantine historian, Michael Attaliates mentioned twice Albanoi as participants on a revolt against Constandiople and of the Arbanitai as subjects of the theme of Dyrachium. The late mentioning of Albanians has no relevance in the defining their ethnogenesis. If Albanians went unmentioned for some centuries, this in no way suggests that they were not present into their historical areas. Indeed the period spanning from VIIth century down to IVth has a few sources. The Eastern Roman Empire, during this period, was wrought by civil wars and external enemies. It would follow as logical that a population in the western fringe of the empire which was fully integrated within Empire, did not attract any specific mention. Indeed the absence of the name of Albanians is best explained by the fact that no such distinction was necessary during this period. With the collapse of the Roman empire and the Slav invasions both Latin and Illyrian speakers would have retreated to the hills and obscurity. Focuse was mostly shifted towards the external invaders, like the Slavs who established their separate & independent political entities (zupanije) within Byzantine territory. There was no interest in conducting an ethnocultural study of your own citizens. At least not as far as we know. Albania was a part of the Byzantine empire, from whence the empire drew recruits for the army, officers, generals, clergies, emperors even. And the population was Orthodox -- Orthodox crucifixes have been found even in Mirdite, the heartland of Albanian Catholicism. What became different in the 1000s AD? Well whatever the reasons for it, whether the interruption came as a natural result of the changed political climate after the Slav invasions, the Albanians of "Arvanon", roughly corresponding to the Mati region of today, received a certain political autonomy. During this period, the Albanians started to manouvre independently from Constantinople, and thus a reason to actually describe the Albanians as a separate entity,"disloyal" to Byzantium, was born. Prior to that, an Orthodox population which was integrated within the Byzantine Empire was not so important to write about as it became later, when we started to win greater autonomy from Byzantium and become a political factor to reckon with.
Albanian is satem while Illyrian is centum? (...te plotesohet nga Zeus)
Albanian is divorced from Illyrian from the treatment of sk>h? (..te plotesohet nga Bardus)