Date of Degree

9-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Linguistics

Advisor

Juliette Blevins

Subject Categories

Linguistics

Keywords

lenition, sound change, fortition, syncope, apocope, loanwords, intervocalic, unstressed

Abstract

The Albanian language is an Indo-European language that constitutes a separate branch in the Indo-European language family. There are two major dialects, Geg and Tosk, spoken in present day Albania that are mutually intelligible. There are morpho-syntactic differences between the two dialects and shared words provide evidence for a number of sound changes applying in certain contexts in Tosk. The focus of this paper is n > r sound change in Tosk applying to the nasal /n/ in an intervocalic position followed by an unstressed vowel. The lenition rule has been prolific diachronically, but stopped applying some time between the 13th and the 15th centuries, or after the Turkish occupation of Albania. Turkish loanwords that have resisted the n >r sound change in Tosk provide ample evidence for this. More recent loanwords confirm this finding.

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