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Encyclopedia > Arvanitika
Arvanitika
Arbërisht 
Pronunciation: [aɾ.bəˈɾiʃt]
Spoken in: Greece 
Region: Attica, Boeotia, S Euboea, Salamis Island; Thrace; Arkadia; Athens; Peloponnese; some villages in NW of Greece; N of island of Andros; 300 villages in total.
Total speakers: 30,000 - 150,000
Language family: Indo-European
 Albanian
  Tosk
   Arvanitika 
Writing system: Greek alphabet (Arvanitic variant)
Latin alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: alb (B)  sqi (T)
ISO 639-3: aat

Arvanitika or Arvanitic (native name: arbërisht, Greek: αρβανίτικα arvanitika) is the variety of Albanian traditionally spoken by the Arvanites, a population group in Greece. Arvanitika is sometimes also described as Graeco-Albanian or similarly,[1] although today such designations are considered offensive by many Arvanites themselves, who identify nationally and ethnically as Greeks and not Albanians (GHM 1995). Arvanitika is today an endangered language, as its speakers have been shifting to the use of Greek and most younger members of the community no longer speak it fluently. Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Attica (in Greek: Αττική, Attike; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a periphery (subdivision) in Greece, containing Athens, the capital of Greece. ... Boeotia or Beotia (//, (Greek Βοιωτια; see also list of traditional Greek place names) was the central area of ancient Greece. ... Euboea or Negropont (Modern Greek: Εύβοια Evia, Ancient Greek Εúβοια Eúboia; see also List of traditional Greek place names), is the largest island of the Greek archipelago. ... Salamis (Greek, Modern: Σαλαμίνα Salamína, Ancient/Katharevousa: Σαλαμίς Salamís) is the largest Greek island in the Saronic Gulf, about 1 nautical mile (2 km) off-coast from Piraeus. ... Thracian Tomb of Kazanlak  Thrace (Bulgarian: , Greek: , Attic Greek: ThrāíkÄ“ or ThrēíkÄ“, Latin: , Turkish: ) is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. ... This article discusses Arcadia, a region of Greece. ... Athens (Ancient Greek: αἱ Ἀθῆναι (plural), evolving into the modern Αθήναι in Greek until recently, and Αθήνα nowadays (IPA ); is both the largest and the capital city of Greece, located in the Attica periphery. ... The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος Peloponnesos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a large peninsula in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. ... Andros, or Andro (Greek: Άνδρος), an island of the Greek archipelago, the most northerly of the Cyclades, approximately 10 km (6 miles) south east of Euboea, and about 3 km (about 2 miles) north of Tinos. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... Tosk is the southern dialect of Albanian language, spoken by about 3 million people. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BCE. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. ... The Arvanitic alphabet is an adapted version of the Greek alphabet and is used to write Arvanitic. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the “International Phonetic Alphabet”. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... Unicode is an industry standard allowing computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in any of the worlds writing systems. ... Arvanites (Greek: Αρβανίτες, see also below about names) are a population group in Greece who traditionally speak Arvanitika, a form of Albanian. ...

Contents

Name

Main articles: Albania (toponym) and Arvanites#Names

The name "Arvanítika" and its native equivalent Arbërishte [2] are derived from the ethnonym "Arvanites", which in turn comes from the toponym "Arbëna" (Greek: Άρβανα), which in the Middle Ages referred to a region in what is today Albania (Babiniotis 1998). Its native equivalents (Arbërorë, Arbëreshë and others) formerly were the self-designation of Albanians in general. Both "Arbëna" and "Albania/Albanian" go further back to name forms attested since antiquity, and may be ultimately variants of the same root, although this is debated. The toponym Albania may indicate several different geographical regions: a country in the Balkans; an ancient land in the Caucasus; as well as Scotland, Albania being a Latinization of a Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba. ... Arvanites (Greek: Αρβανίτες, see also below about names) are a population group in Greece who traditionally speak Arvanitika, a form of Albanian. ...


Classification

The place of Arvanitika within Albanian
The place of Arvanitika within Albanian

It is generally agreed that Arvanitika, historically, has grown out of the medieval continuum of emerging Albanian dialects, more specifically of the Tosk branch. They were brought to southern Greece during the late Middle Ages by settlers from what is today southern Albania and Epirus. Arvanitika is also closely related to Arbërisht, the diaspora dialects of Albanian in Italy, which also belong to the Tosk group. It is believed that some of the Albanophone settlers in Italy came from the Arvanite groups in Greece, and therefore Italian Arbërisht has retained some Greek loanwords and other effects of language contact (for instance Haristis 'thank you', from ευχαριστώ; dhrom 'road', from δρόμος; Ne 'yes', from ναι, in certain villages). Image File history File links Download high resolution version (917x521, 20 KB) Summary Status of en:Arvanitic language within Albanian dialect continuum Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Arvanitic language User:LukasPietsch/Arvanitic ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (917x521, 20 KB) Summary Status of en:Arvanitic language within Albanian dialect continuum Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Arvanitic language User:LukasPietsch/Arvanitic ... Tosk may refer to several things: Tosk, a dialect of Albanian. ... Epirus, spanning Greece and Albania. ... Arbëresh (or Arbërishte or Arbërisht) is the dialect of the Albanian language spoken by the Arbëreshë, the Albanian-speaking minority in Italy. ... Tosk may refer to several things: Tosk, a dialect of Albanian. ...


There is some disagreement over the present-day status of Arvanitika as a dialect of Albanian or as a separate language. The view of Arvanitika as a separate language is today widely held in Greece, and it is propagated by Arvanite associations.[3] Many Arvanites are reported to find the designation of their language as Albanian offensive, as they feel it implies a denial of their Greek national identity (GHM 1995). The claim to separate-language status is currently reflected in the existence of separate entries for Arvanitika in some international language classification standards. However, these standards still agree in describing it also as a part of "Albanian" as a larger unit.[4]


Despite the popular perception of separateness,[5] mainstream linguistic scholarship unanimously describes Arvanitika as a dialect of Albanian. This is true both for international[6] and for Greek authors.[7] Sociolinguistic work[8] has described Arvanitika within the conceptual framework of "ausbausprachen" and "abstandssprachen".[9] In terms of "abstand" (objective difference of the linguistic systems), linguists' assessment of the degree of mutual intelligibility between Arvanitika and Standard Tosk range from fairly high (Trudgill 2004: 5, Botsi 2003) to only partial (Ethnologue). The Ethnologue also mentions that mutual intelligibility may even be problematic between different subdialects within Arvanitika. Mutual intelligibility between Standard Tosk and Arvanitika is higher than that between the two main dialect groups within Albanian, Tosk and Gheg. See below for a sample text in the three language forms. Trudgill (2004: 5) sums up that "[l]inguistically, there is no doubt that [Arvanitika] is a variety of Albanian". A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... The Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache framework is a tool developed by sociolinguists, e. ...


In terms of "ausbau" (sociolinguistic "upgrading" towards an autonomous standard language), the strongest indicator of autonomy is the existence of a separate writing system, the Greek-based Arvanitic alphabet. A very similar system was formerly in use also by other Tosk speakers between the 16th and 18th century ([7], [8]) However, this script is very rarely used in practice today, as Arvanitika is almost exclusively a spoken language confined to the private sphere. There is also some disagreement amongst Arvanites (as with the Aromanians) as to whether the Latin alphabet should be used to write their language (GHM 1995). Spoken Arvanitika is internally richly diversified into sub-dialects, and no further standardization towards a common (spoken or written) Standard Arvanitika has taken place. At the same time, Arvanites do not use Standard Albanian as their standard language either, as they are generally not literate in the Latin-based standard Albanian orthography, and are not reported to use spoken-language media in Standard Albanian. In this sense, then, Arvanitika is not functionally subordinated to Standard Albanian as a dachsprache ("roof language"), in the way dialects of a national language within the same country usually are. The Arvanitic alphabet is an adapted version of the Greek alphabet and is used to write Arvanitic. ... Tosk is the southern dialect of the Albanian language. ... Aromanians (also called: Arumanians or Macedo-Romanians; in Aromanian they call themselves Armãnji, Rrãmãnji) are a people living throughout the southern Balkans, especially in northern Greece, Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria, and as an emigrant community in Romania (Dobruja). ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... Dachsprache means a language form that serves as standard language for different dialects, mostly in a dialect continuum, even though these dialects may be so different that mutual intellegibility is not possible on the basilectal level between all dialects. ...


Geographic distribution

See also: Arvanites#Demographics

There are three main groups of Arvanitic settlements in Greece. Most Arvanites live in the south of Greece, across Attica, Boeotia, the Peloponnese and some neighbouring areas and islands. A second, smaller group live in the northwest of Greece, in a zone contiguous with the Albanian-speaking lands proper. A third, outlying group is found in the northeast of Greece, in a few villages in Thrace. Arvanites (Greek: Αρβανίτες, see also below about names) are a population group in Greece who traditionally speak Arvanitika, a form of Albanian. ... Attica (in Greek: Αττική, Attike; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a periphery (subdivision) in Greece, containing Athens, the capital of Greece. ... Boeotia or Beotia (//, (Greek Βοιωτια; see also list of traditional Greek place names) was the central area of ancient Greece. ... The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος Peloponnesos; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a large peninsula in southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth. ...


According to some authors, the term "Arvanitika" in its proper sense applies only to the southern group (Botsi 2003: 21) or to the southern and the Thracian groups together (Gordon 2005), i.e. to those dialects that have been separated from the core of Albanian for several centuries. The dialects in the northwest are reported to be more similar to neighbouring Tosk dialects within Albania and to the speech of the former Muslim Cham Albanians (Çamërishte), who used to live in the same region (Euromosaic 1996). These dialects are classified by Ethnologue as part of core "Tosk Albanian", as opposed to "Arvanitika Albanian" in the narrow sense, although Ethnologue notes that the term "Arvanitika" is also often applied indiscriminately to both forms in Greece (Gordon 2005). In their own language, the groups in the north-west are reported to use the term "Shqip" ("Albanian") to refer to their own language as well as to that of Albanian nationals, and this has sometimes been interpreted as implying that they are ethnically Albanians (GHM 1995, quoting Banfi 1994). Cham Albanians (In Albanian: Çamë, in Greek: Τσάμηδες Tsámidhes) are a group of ethnic Albanians originally residing close to the river Thyamis (Θύαμις in Greek, Çam in Albanian). ...


The Arvanitika of southern Greece is richly sub-divided into local dialects. Sasse (1991) distinguishes as many as eleven dialect groups within that area: West Attic, Southeast Attic, Northeast-Attic-Boeotian, West Boeotian, Central Boeotian, Northeast Peloponnesian, Northwest Peloponnesian, South Peloponnesian, West Peloponnesian, Euboean, and Andriote.


Estimated numbers of speakers of Arvanitika vary widely, between c.30,000 and 150,000. These figures include "terminal speakers" (Tsitsipis 1998) of the younger generation, who have only acquired an imperfect command of the language and are unlikely to pass it on to future generations. The number of villages with traditional Arvanite populations is estimated to c.300. There are no monolingual Arvanitika-speakers, as all are today bilingual in Greek. Arvanitika is considered an endangered language due to the large-scale language shift towards Greek among the descendants of Arvanitika-speakers in recent decades.[10] An endangered language is a language with so few surviving speakers that it is in danger of falling out of use. ...


Characteristics

Arvanitika shares many features with the Tosk dialect spoken in Southern Albania. However, it has received a great deal of influence from Greek, mostly related to the vocabulary and the phonological system. At the same time, it is reported to have preserved some conservative features that were lost in mainstream Albanian Tosk. For example, it has preserved certain syllable-initial consonant clusters which have been simplified in Standard Albanian (cf. Arvanitika gljuhë /'glju.hə/ ('language/tongue'), vs. Standard Albanian gjuhë /'ɟu.hə/). In recent times, linguists have observed signs of accelerated structural convergence towards Greek and structural simplification of the language, which have been interpreted as signs of language attrition, i.e. effects of impoverishment leading towards language death (Trudgill 1976/77; Thomason 2001, quoting Sasse 1992). It has been suggested that Moribund language be merged into this article or section. ...


Writing system

Arvanitika has rarely been written. Reportedly (GHM 1995), it has been written in both the Greek alphabet (often with the addition of the letters b, d, e and j, or diacritics, e.g. [9]) and the Latin alphabet. Orthodox Tosk Albanians also used to write with a similar form of the Greek alphabet (e.g. [10]). The Greek alphabet is an alphabet that has been used to write the Greek language since about the 9th century BCE. It was the first alphabet in the narrow sense, that is, a writing system using a separate symbol for each vowel and consonant alike. ... Tosk is the southern dialect of the Albanian language. ...


Language samples

Grammar

Source: Arvanitikos Syndesmos Ellados


Pronouns

  Personal pronouns Possessive pronouns
1Sg. û I ími mine
2Sg. ti you íti yours
3Sg.m. ái he atía his
3Sg.f. ajó she asája hers
1Pl. ne we íni ours
2Pl. ju you júai yours
3Pl.m. atá they (m.) atíre theirs (m.)
3Pl.f. ató they (f.) atíre theirs (f.)

Verb paradigms

  The verb HAVE The verb BE
  Pres. Imperf. Subj.Impf. Subj.Perf. Pres. Imperf. Subj.Impf. Subj.Perf.
1Sg. kam keshë të kem të keshë jam jeshë të jem të jeshë
2Sg. ke keshe të kesh të keshe je jeshe të jesh të jëshe
3Sg. ka kish të ket të kish ishtë, është ish të jet të ish
1Pl. kemi keshëm të kemi te keshëm jemi jeshëm të jeshëm të jeshëm
2Pl. kine keshëtë të kini te keshëtë jini jeshëtë të jeshëtë të jeshëtë
3Pl, kanë kishnë të kenë të kishnë janë ishnë të jenë të ishnë

Comparison with other forms of Albanian

The Lord's Prayer in Arvanitika

Compared with Standard Tosk Albanian (second row),
and Gheg Albanian (third row).
Representation of the Sermon on the Mount The Lords Prayer in Swahili. ...

Áti ýnë që jé ndë qiéjet, ushënjtëróft' émëri ýt.
Ati ynë që je qiell, u shënjtëroftë emri yt.
Ati ynë që je qiell, shejtnue kjoftë emni yt.
Our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name
árthtë mbëretëría jóte; ubëftë dashurími ýt,
arthtë mbretëria jote; u bëftë dëshira jote,
ardhtë mbretnia jote; u baftë vullnesa jote,
thy kingdom come thy will be done
si ndë qiél, edhé mbë dhét;
si në qiell, edhe mbi dhe.
si në qiell ashtu dhe.
on earth as it is in heaven
búkënë tónë të përdítëshimen' ép-na néve sót;
bukën tonë të përditëshme jepna neve sot;
Bukën tonë të përditshme epna ne sot;
give us this day our daily bread
edhé fálj-na fájetë tóna,
edhe falna fajet tona,
e ndiejna ne fajet e mëkatet tona,
and forgive us our trespasses
sikúndrë edhé néve ua fáljmë fajtórëvet tánë;
sikundër edhe ne ua falim fajtorëvet tanë;
si i ndiejmë na fajtorët tanë;
as we forgive those who trespass against us
edhé mos na shtiér ndë ngásie, shpëtó-na nga i ljígu;
edhe mos na shtjerë ngasje, po shpëtona nga i ligu;
e mos na len me ra keq, por largona prej gjith së keq;
and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
sepsé jótia është mbëretëría e fuqía e ljavdía ndë jétët jétëvet.
sepse jotja është mbretëria e fuqia e lavdia jetët jetëvet.
sepse joteja âsht rregjinija e fuqia e lafti jetët jetëvet.
for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.

Source: Η Καινή Διαθήκη στα Αρβανίτικα; "Christus Rex" website

Some common phrases

Source: Arvanitikos Syndesmos Ellados

Flet fare arbërisht? Do you speak Arvanitika at all?
Flas shumë pak. I speak very little.
Je mirë? Are you well?
Jam shumë mirë. I am very well.

Footnotes

  1. ^ E.g. Furikis (1934)
  2. ^ Misspelled as Arberichte in the Ethnologue report, and in some other sources based on that.
  3. ^ E.g. by the Arvanitic League of Greece (Αρβανιτικός Σύνδεσμος Ελλάδος), see [1]
  4. ^ There is no entry for Arvanitika in parts 1 and 2 of the international ISO 639 standard of language codes, which only has a single entry for Albanian (codes "alb", "sqi", or "sq"). However, the Ethnologue has a separate sub-entry for "Albanian, Arvanitika" ([2]), along with parallel entries for Gheg Albanian, Tosk Albanian, and Italian "Arbëreshë" (i.e. Arbërisht) ([3]). This is due to the fact that the Ethnologue applies rather less restrictive criteria for separate-language status than most other linguists (cf. Hammarström 2005), treating the existence of "well-established distinct ethnolinguistic identities" in and by itself as a sufficient criterion for separate-language status even in the absence of mutual unintelligibility (Gordon 2005). The current (as of 2006) draft ISO 639-3 standard follows the Ethnologue, listing "Arvanitika Albanian" with the code "aat" ([4]). In the terminology of ISO 639, this implies treatment of Albanian as a "macrolanguage", an intermediate category between a language family on the one hand and a single language with dialects on the other. According to [5] "macrolanguages" are defined as "clusters of closely-related language varieties that [...] can be considered individual languages, yet in certain usage contexts a single language identity for all is needed". This applies in "a transitional socio-linguistic situation in which sub-communities of a single language community are diverging, creating a need for some purposes to recognize distinct languages while, for other purposes, a single common identity is still valid".
  5. ^ For similar cases, cf. the concept of "apperceptional languages" proposed by Strauss (1978)
  6. ^ E.g. Haebler (1965); Trudgill (1976/77); Joseph (1999); Sasse (1985, 1991); Breu (1990).
  7. ^ E.g. Furikis (1934), Babiniotis (1985: 41).
  8. ^ For detailed sociolinguistic studies of Arvanite speech communities, see Trudgill/Tzavaras 1977; Tsitsipis 1981, 1983, 1995, 1998; Banfi 1996, Botsi 2003.
  9. ^ Trudgill 2004, citing the conceptual framework introduced by Kloss (1967).
  10. ^ Salminen (1993) lists it as "seriously endangered" in the Unesco Red Book of Endangered Languages. ([6]). See also Sasse (1992) and Tsitsipis (1981).

ISO 639 is one of several international standards that lists short codes for language names. ... Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics), a Christian linguistic service organization which studies lesser-known languages primarily to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language. ... Arbëresh (or Arbërishte or Arbërisht) is the dialect of the Albanian language spoken by the Arbëreshë, the Albanian-speaking minority in Italy. ... ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. ...

References

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  • Babiniotis, Georgios (1998), Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας ["Dictionary of Modern Greek"]. Athens: Kentro Lexikologias.
  • Banfi, Emanuele (1994): "Minorités linguistiques en Grèce: Langues cachées, idéologie nationale, religion." ["Linguistic minorities in Greece: Hidden languages, national ideology, religion."] Paper presented at the Mercator Program Seminar at the Maison des Sciences de l’ Homme, on 6 June 1994, in Paris.
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  • Botsi, Eleni (2003): Die sprachliche Selbst- und Fremdkonstruktion am Beispiel eines arvanitischen Dorfes Griechenlands: Eine soziolinguistische Studie. ("Linguistic construction of the self and the other in an Arvanite village in Greece: A sociolinguistic study"). PhD dissertation, University of Konstanz, Germany. Online text
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  • Tsitsipis, Lukas (1983): "Language shift among the Albanian speakers of Greece." Anthropological Linguisitcs 25(3): 288-308.
  • Tsitsipis, Lukas (1995): "The coding of linguistic ideology in Arvanitika (Albanian): Language shift, congruent and contradictory discourse." Anthropological Linguistics 37: 541-577.
  • Tsitsipis, Lukas (1998a): Αρβανίτικα και Ελληνικά: Ζητήματα πολυγλωσσικών και πολυπολιτισμικών κοινοτήτων. ["Arvanitika and Greek: Issues of multilingual and multicultural communities"]. Vol. 1. Livadeia.
  • Tsitsipis, Lukas (1998b): A Linguistic Anthropology of Praxis and Language Shift: Arvanitika (Albanian) and Greek in Contact. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-823731-6. (Review by Alexander Rusakov on Linguist List.)
  • The bilingual New Testament: H καινη Διαθηκη του Κυριου και Σωτηρος ημων Iησου Χριστου, διγλωττος, τουτεστι γραικικη και αλβανιτικη. Dhjata e re e Zotit sonë që na shpëtoi, Iisu Hrishtoit mbë di gjuhë, do me thënë gërqishte e dhe shqipëtarçe. Epistasia Grêgoriou Archiepiskopou tês Euboias. Korfoi. En tê typografia tês Dioikêseôs. 1827

This article is about the Christian scriptures. ...

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LINGUIST List 13.3170: Anthropological Ling: Tsitsipis (1998) (2360 words)
It may remarked in passing, however, that it is not quite evident that Arvanitika had the category of optative in the past; ''some aspecrs of the history of the mood remains obscure'' (34, n12).
The author clearly aimed at the description of the situation of language shift in Arvanitika and not at understanding whether the patterns revealed are generally typical of sociolinguistic situations characterized by a strong functional distribution of two (or more) co- existing languages.
Arvanitika ke Elinika: Zitimata Poliglosikon ke Polipolitismikon Kinotiton.
Arvanitika - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2246 words)
Arvanitika or Arvanitic (Greek: Αρβανίτικα; native name: Arbëríshte, spelled Αρbε̰ρίσ̈τε in the Greek-based Arvanitic alphabet) is the variety of Albanian traditionally spoken by the Arvanites, a population group in Greece.
Arvanitika is today an endangered language, as its speakers have been shifting to the use of Greek and most younger members of the community no longer speak it fluently.
Arvanitika is considered an endangered language due to the large-scale language shift towards Greek among the descendants of Arvanitika-speakers in recent decades.
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