Summary and Info
As historical relationships of Slavs and Albanians in the western Balkans have been subject to a wide range of scholarly interpretations, this dissertation seeks to present the facts of linguistic evidence of Slavic-Albanian contact, and apply them to an informed understanding of Slavs’ and Albanians’ interactions historically. Although individual linguistic features are important for establishing the historical fact of language contact, only a systematic, comprehensive analysis of the several interrelated parts of language—vocabulary, phonology, and morphosyntax—can indicate how the languages, and the communities speaking them, have been affected by the long-standing contact. This study also considers the languages from the perspective of several language-contact theories, creating a multifaceted approach that reveals strengths and weaknesses of each theory, and also paints a multidimensional picture of the effects of language contact and sociocultural reasons for the languages’ changes. This layered analysis demonstrates that contact between Slavs and Albanians has brought about many linguistic changes, particularly in dialects that have remained in contact with one another. While the most obvious effects are the plenteous lexical borrowings, language contact is also present in phonology and morphosyntax, thus affecting every aspect of the dialects in contact. As the linguistic data shows, Albanian and Slavic communities have enriched one another linguistically and likely in other aspects of their cultural inheritances as well.
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