L1 users: 1,200,000 (2012 UNSD). Ethnic population: 2,310,000 ethnic Albanians (2011 census). Total users in all countries: 2,046,480.
Widespread north of the Shkumbin river.
Northwest Gheg, Northeast Gheg, Central Gheg, Southern Gheg. A member of macrolanguage Albanian [sqi].
SVO; prepositions; noun head initial; gender (masculine/feminine/neuter); definite article affix; case-marking (4 cases); verb affixes mark person, number; passives; tense; 29 consonant and 7 vowel phonemes; non-tonal; stress on penultimate syllable.