Published January 31, 2018
This video was recorded by Plator Gashi, in Pristina, Kosovo. Gheg Albanian, also known simply as Gheg (sometimes written ‘Geg’) and by its speakers as ‘gegnisht’, ‘gegë’, and ‘gegërishtja’, is spoken by as many as four million people, primarily in the Southern European nation of Kosovo, as well as parts of Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia. A member of the Albanian dialect continuum, Gheg is perhaps closest to Tosk Albanian, the spoken variety upon which Standard Albanian is based. Despite its prevalence as a spoken language and a notable body of literature, Gheg, along with Tosk and Arbëresh, remains politically unrecognized throughout the Albanian-speaking world in favor of the literary standard. Speakers of Gheg tend to identify eponymously. As such, it is an example of what sociolinguists call an 'ethnolect'; that is, a language variety associated with a specific cultural or ethnic group.