The present Albanian Granmtar was originally conceived as a second
edition of rny Lehrbuch dar albanischeen Sprache (Otto l-Iarrassowitz,
Wiesbaden, i969), which is now out of print. During more than a
decades’s use of this latter work as a textbook for my classes in Albanian
(in my capacity as Professor of Albanian Studies at the University of
Munich), I came to recognize certain ureaknesses and shortcomings in it,
some of which were also drawn to my attention by the remarksof students
and colleagues. The elimination ol” such inadequacies and the incorporation o!‘ new materia] led to a change in the arrangement and consequently
in the methodological process involved.

As a result ol‘ this new conceptual approach, a completely new‘ work resulted in which I have incorporated
grammatica! forms derived from the literary tradition, as well as from
older Albanian tcxts and grammars, which were omitted from the Lehrbuch.
In view of the fact. therefore, that the Afbaniun Gran-zmrxr and the
Lehrbuch dar albanisc-hen Sprache represent two different aims and modes
of presentation, the publishing firm of Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, is
preparing a second edition 0t” the Lehrbzrcriz which will include corrections
and a few minor additions.
This restructuring was. to a certain extent, also influenced by the
language reform in Albania. begun in 1952 and ollìcially completed in

  1. The results of this reform are incorporated in the present work,
    without regard to the personal opinions of the authorrespecting certain
    aspects of the “unified language”.
    The aim of this Albanian Grummar is to present a complete pìcture
    of the language in its three most important variants: Geg, Tosk and
    Arbèresh. Viewed methodologically,the contrasts among the three are
    presented here not only in the lcxieon, but in alI elements of the grammar,
    in order that an insight into the basic structure of the language (here also
    temted Common Albanian) may be obtained. The formation of the
    standardized literary language has, of Course, also been based upon this
    The following are presented in notes:
    a) particulars of Arbèresh:
    b) older linguistic phenomena documented in early authorsand in archaic
    or peripheral dialects.
    The notes attempt to complete the presentation of Albanian grammar by
    giving a diachronic dimension which will be 0|” undoubted interest to
    linguistic historians.
    VIII Foreword
    In this Aibanian Granrmar, the Tosk variants are given in parentheses
    (cf. the Lehrbuch), as the Geg variants are more numerous and have all
    been included herein. lt should be noted. however, that the oceurrence of a
    variant outside of parentheses or notes docs not imply any priority on the
    level of the standardized forms of the language.
    In the interests o!‘ eompleteness, I did not want to omit either Tosk or
    Geg lexical variante; whìch frequently oecur in both the spoken and written
    Ianguage; they are presented with the sign r» between them. Sueh doublets
    often arise in the plural, as e.g.: sg. kopslzt-i ‘garden’—p|. kopshtew
    kapshrfie (Tosk kopshtinjwqipxlzie) ‘gardens’. From among these variants
    kopshre was finally ehosen as the standard form-in the glossary of the
    present work it is given in ilalic.
    Taking account of the proeess of standardization, the exercises are
    translated in the Key from English into the contemporary oflìcial, normalized form of the language whose foundation is Tosk.
    This Albania): Grammar is divided into three basie sections, aside from
    the Introduction: (I) Phonology, (II) Morphology and (III) Syntax. In the
    Phonemie Changes part of Section (I), dialectal transformations are given
    as well, in order to facilitate learning the spoken language and also for
    those who happen to speak one or another Albanian dialect with which
    they wish to compare the standard variants.
    The Morphology is divided systematically into 19 chapters. Form and
    function are conceived as a unity, based upon which rules are eonstructed
    and iilustrated by examples. At the end of eaeh chapter or ‘Lesson’,
    exercises and texts in the nonnalized language are presented (togetherwith
    appropriate Geg and Tosk variants, if any), so that clear accesa to the
    results of the language reform as expressed in the contemporary literary
    language is made possible. An attempt has been made throughout to bind
    together all the parts and phenomena of the language by means of copious
    examples in order to explain typologically,as well, the correlations of the
    language. In the morphological section of the book, great care has been
    taken with the word order in syntagms, as the order of words and their
    linkage by means of prepositive and postpositive elements or articles are
    fundamental eharacteristics of the language. In thìs manner, one part of
    the syntax is de facto built into the morphology in order to elucidate the
    analytiealmeehanism of Albanian directly in the structure of the syntagms.
    The Syntax is comprised in one chapter or ‘Lesson’ and provìdes the
    essential structure of clause construction. The Chrestomathy whieh follows
    includes samples of the three variants of Albanian, as well as of the
    contemporary literary language. Finally, there is a Glossary to the whole
    Foreword IX
    book eacc-lusive of the Chrestomathy,and an Index which refers to paragraph numbers, ratherthan page numbers.
    The materiali,form and divisions of this Albartian Grantmar are naturally
    geared to the practical requirements of students interested in the language.
    At the same time, this book is also intended for young people of Albanian
    ancestry in the United States, Australia and elsewhere who have perhaps
    learned Geg or Tosk at home and who wish to master the contemporary
    literary language; this applies, as well, to the ltalo-Albanians (Arbéresh) of
    Southern Italy who, for the first time in any Albanian grammar, will be
    able to compare the particular characteristics of their written or spoken
    dialect with those of Common Albanian. The interests of specialists and
    university studente have, of course, also been taken into account. The
    authorhas always been closely conneeted with the latter and wìthout their
    collaboration this grammar would never have been WTÌtten.
    I wish to thank Mr. Leonard Fox for translating this work from
    German, for preparing the Key by translating directly all the Albanian
    exereises, and {or adapting various grammatica] rules, expianations and
    vocabulary definitions to accomodate the special requìrements 0F Englishspeaking students.
    I am gratefully obliged to the publishing firm of Otto Harrassowitz,
    with which I have worked for many years, and especially to its Director,
    Dr. Helmut Petzolt, for their continua] harmonious cooperation. l would
    also like to thank the Otto Harrassowitz Verlag for its fine typographical
    work, as well as for the handsome appearance of this book.
    Munich, October 1983 Martin Camaj

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