Research Programs: Dynamic Language Infrastructure-Documenting Endangered Languages - Fellowships

Period of Performance

6/1/2007 - 5/31/2008

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

Describing an Endangered Dialect of Albanian Spoken in Samsun, Turkey

FAIN: FN-50017-07

Kelly L. Maynard
Mizzou (Columbia, MO 65211-3020)

This project seeks to describe in a sketch grammar a heretofore unknown dialect of Gheg Albanian, located in the Samsun Province of Turkey and impinged upon by the Turkish language. The Albanian language is classified as belonging to the Indo-European language family, while the Turkish language is classified as belonging to the Altaic language family. The Albanian-speaking community in the Black Sea region of Turkey was originally formed by migrants from the Sancak of Nish (an Ottoman administrative unit north of the contemporary boundaries of Kosovo) who were forced into Kosovo in 1878 and who subsequently fled from there to the inner Ottoman Empire, especially between 1912-1914. The community has been isolated from other Albanian communities since. All the Albanian speakers are also fluent in Turkish. Documenting a Turkish variety of Albanian will add to our pool of data about Modern Albanian, and increase our knowledge of the historical development of Albanian and its dialects. In addition to being significant to Albanian linguistics, the data and texts collected will be made available to language scholars in general thus adding to our corpus of structures found in modern language which must be accounted for by general linguistic theory. The study will produce data particularly important in the fields of language contact and language death. (Edited by staff)