Albanian, Arbëreshë


A language of Italy

Alternate Names

100,000 (Salminen 2007). Ethnic population: 260,000 (Stephens 1976).


Calabria region: Catanzaro and Reggio di Calabria provinces; Sicily region: Palermo province; Molise region: Campobasso province; possibly in Apulia and Basilicata regions.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Calabrian Albanian, Campo Marino Albanian, Central Mountain Albanian, Molise Albanian, Sicilian Albanian. Speakers say 4 Italian dialects not mutually inherently intelligible. Lexical similarity: 45% with Tosk Albanian [als]. A member of macrolanguage Albanian [sqi].

Language Use

Strong position in some districts. Taught in some schools. No official status. Home. In some places there may be children learning the language but many stop using it at school age (Salminen 2007). Also use Italian [ita] and regional Italian varieties.

Language Development
Some literature. Bible portions: 1868–1869.

Greek script [Grek], no longer in use. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Descendants of 15th century mercenaries and refugees from the Ottoman invasion. Christian.