Albanian, Arbëreshë


A language of Italy

Alternate Names

100,000 (Salminen 2007). 380,000 Albanian speakers in Italy (2012 census). Ethnic population: 260,000 (Stephens 1976).


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

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


Sicilian Albanian, Calabrian Albanian, Central Mountain Albanian, Campo Marino Albanian, Molise 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. Some young people, all adults. In some places there may be children learning the language but many stop using it at school age (Salminen 2007). Also use Italian [ita]. Also use Italian [ita] and regional Italian varieties.

Language Development

Some literature. Dictionary. 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.

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