Linguistic variation within the Northwestern Gheg Albanian dialect


  • Lindon Dedvukaj The Ohio State University
  • Rexhina Ndoci The Ohio State University



Albanian dialectology, Northwestern Gheg Albanian, Gheg Albanian, Malsia Madhe, Shkodër, Lezhë, Tosk Albanian, Proto-Albanian, phonology, syntax, semantics, lexicon, etymological reconstructions, diachrony


In previous literature and linguistics analysis, the Northwestern Gheg Albanian dialect is classified as one zone that encompasses the area of northwestern Albania and southwestern Montenegro (B. Demiraj 1997: 40, Gjinari 1989: 54-8, Mëniku 2008: vii., Shkurtaj 2016: 26). The area is assumed to form a single subdialect; however, evidence from various levels of linguistic analysis discussed in this paper challenges this assumption. The area of Malsia Madhe in northwestern Albania and southwestern Montenegro exhibits different phonological, syntactic, and lexical patterns than the area of Shkodër. The southernmost point of this Gheg subdialect is Lezhë, which also has its own set of distinct idiosyncratic differences. This analysis provides an overview of the main differences between the areas of Malsia Madhe, Shkodër, and Lezhë, all typically grouped in the northwestern Gheg subdialect. This includes an evaluation of phonological, grammatical, semantic, and lexical differences between the three main areas of northwestern Gheg. Finally, it also offers a diachronic view of how this subdialect contributes to and challenges the history of the Albanian language’s development from Proto-Albanian and Proto-Indo-European.

Author Biography

  • Lindon Dedvukaj, The Ohio State University
    Graduate Student of Linguistics




How to Cite

Dedvukaj, Lindon, and Rexhina Ndoci. 2023. “Linguistic Variation Within the Northwestern Gheg Albanian Dialect”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 8 (1): 5501.