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The Albanian Language Landscape
Population of Albania: 3,619,778 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Albanian (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek, Vlach, Romani, Slavic dialects
Internet country code: .al
Internet users: 471,200 (2006)
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by nearly 6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including the west of Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and southern Serbia.
The Albanian language comprises its own branch of the Indo-European language family. Some scholars believe that Albanian derives from Illyrian while others, claim that it derives from Daco-Thracian. (Illyrian and Daco-Thracian, however, might have been closely related languages; see Thraco-Illyrian.)
Establishing longer relations, Albanian is often compared to Balto-Slavic on the one hand and Germanic on the other, both of which share a number of isoglosses with Albanian. Moreover, Albanian has undergone a vowel shift in which stressed, long o has fallen to a, much like in the former and opposite the latter. Likewise, Albanian has taken the old relative jos and innovatively used it exclusively to qualify adjectives, much in the way Balto-Slavic has used this word to provide the definite ending of adjectives.
Sources: CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License Related Article: The Global Language Landscape – Languages in Use on the Internet
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