Edlira Mantho*: Standard Albanian

The arguments for and against the proceedings of the Durrës Conference and the Interacademy Council regarding the Albanian language

Abstract

The Albanian language, like any other language, is in a state of continuous development and therefore over these years is characterized by different changes such as reductions or new lexical contributions. Consequently, it is necessary not only to study it continuously but also to re-assess and revise some rules which time imposes.
Regarding the abovementioned, a lot of debate has erupted recently in Albania concerning the established boundaries of language, the standard of the Albanian language. It is about the reaction that The Durrës Conference and the meetings of the Interacademy Council on the Albanian language have caused.
The goal of this paper is to expound the arguments for and against the revision of the standard of the Albanian language that these two scientific organisations try to undertake. A good part of the members of these two organisations who advocate partial changes in and which improve this standard are at the same time resolute not to change the basis of the standard or tamper with its system. Another group of members argue against the first group, claiming that the real background to everything which was advanced there is political and that the real goals go beyond simply revising the standard.
The most important thing of all is the tendency that it is necessary to revise the standard and check its performance in order to see to what extent and how it has spread in the Albanian-speaking area.

Key words: standard, revision, improvement, contestation, Tosk / Gheg dialect, arguments, counterarguments.


1. Standard Albanian and the Durrës Conference. The parties for and against this conference

During the last two decades the Albanian language has entered a new and tumultuous stage as a result of the interaction of many factors. The possible changes in the standard of the Albanian language constitute one of the most sensitive topics recenlty among the Albanians. The circumstances and the goals have totally changed since the codification of the Albanian language in The Congres of Orthography, because as prof. Androkli Kostallari used to say since 1972: “eternal, absolute stability does not exist even in language; thus not even in orthography can there be final rules in the absolute meaning of the word. This is the path to be followed in the future to carry out any possible improvements, being guided by the progress of our national literary language and by the deep scientific analysis of its structure.”[1] Thus, it is natural to accept the fact that a language develops, since it resembles a living organism. But, what is more important, it is necessary that despite the changes which the Albanian language may have to undergo we should make sure to preserve its nature and form.
The interest in and devotion to the Albanian language has been expressed in a number of conferences, organisations and different scientific activities held in Albania and Kosovo. The common denominator of all these activities has been and continues to be the support that the standard of the Albanian language is receiving, with the possibility of improvement and supplementation where it is needed and necessary.
Among the activities held concerning this topic, we would like to dwell on the debates in which not only linguists have been involved and more concretely on the debates which The Interacademy Council on the Albanian Language (ICAL), established by a decision of The Academy of Sciences of Albania and The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo on 27 October 2004, has recently provoked, and on those debates which have erupted following The Durrës Conference, a themed conference held in Durrës on 15,16 and 17 December 2010.
The topics which the two abovementioned conferences have addressed have dealt solely with the standard, considered from the phonetic, orthographic, grammatic and lexical plane. Such issues have been addressed even before, they have even been object of study of The Congress of Orthography in the years following it also, but a more complete argumentation might be useful when considering the necessary changes. And such arguments are found in today’s standard of the Albanian language, by analysing its phonological and grammatical system and the tendencies of its development nowadays and in the future. On the same wavelength argues also the head of The Center of Albanological Studies, prof. dr. Ardian Marashi, who in his introductory speech in The Durrës Conference entitled: “The Albanian language at today’s stage: policies of enrichment and improvement to the standard”, admits: “It is necessary that systematic studies should be carried out and to find functional solutions to some forms of the Gheg dialect within the standard, solutions which may as well affect the corpus of the language: the dictionary, so that normative Albanian does not become fossilised; the orthography, so that it becomes easily assimilable by its users; the terminology, so that the standard follows the pace of development of modern society. Whatever the outcome, we expect many propositions of this kind to come out of this conference, which will serve as taken-for-granted guidelines for the following studies”.[2] Nevertheless, as far as this issue is concerned, there has been a reaction on the part of some individuals, linguists or not linguists, who “are convinced that the standard as it is does not offer any solutions and generates many problems therefore it is difficult to be learned by the Gheg Albanians, and it does not enable them to realise the full wealth of the lexical and grammatical output, especially by leaving aside the infinitive and that is why the parallel use of the Gheg dialect as a standard language in accordance with the empirical realities should be allowed”.[3]
Regarding this statement prof. Rami Memushaj first poses the question: Is Standard Albanian totalitarian”, i.e. product of the dictatorship?”[4] This question in fact has caused a lot of debate in the abovementioned Conference held in Durrës. Some of the participants there held the opinion that nothing of the abovementioned is true. According to prof. Memushaj the standard language fulfills at the same time two very important functions: unifying and differentiating. By using the Gheg dialect, the Albanian minority expresed its unity agains the Serbs; but by using the Tosk dialect (Standard Albanian), the official norm of the country of origin, this community extended the boundaries of this unity placing itself under the same linguistic authority as their fellow-countrymen in the country of origin.
In this decision, the Albanians in Yugoslavia were not at all influenced by the Albanians in Albania, as Arshi Pipa states. J. Byron, who has studied the linguistic situation of the Albanian territories in Yugoslavia, says that before 1968 the planners of the language in Tirana did not see beyond the boundaries of political Albania. On the other hand, the participation of the Albanians of Yugoslavia in The Congress of Orthography made the Albanian government realise for the first time that "it should not follow an independent course in the field of linguistic planning anymore". Standard language is for Arshi Pipa a Stalinist instrument to ensure the Tosk Albanian political-military hegemony over the Gheg Albanians; it serves to discriminate against the Gheg Albanians, "who, due to the important structural differences between the two dialects, cannot speak the Tosk dialect correctly." [5]
Thus, Standard Albanian is not "the language of Albanian communism", an offspring of totalitarianism, but a creation of national conscience, a fruit of the efforts to preserve the unity of the nation. It is true – prof. Memushaj admits, that the totalitarian regimes use language as a means of propaganda, by interfering in its lexicon and by developing a special speech through the linguistic means, but this does not make languages totalitarian at all, as Ardian Vehbiu explains, who proceeding from a syllogism, comes to the conclusion that "the use of an instrument causes changes in the intrument itself". Speech is one thing and the system being used in speech is another thing. To talk about totalitarian Albanian language, means to admit that before it there existed a “royal“ Albanian language and today a “democratic“ Albanian language, that is to say to talk nonsense.”[6]
In support of the abovementioned thesis the linguist Idriz Ajeti states that the Albanian language had gained clear outlines and the premises of a real literary language since the Albanian national awakening in the pen of Kostandin Kristoforidhi, Naim Frasheri and Sami Frasheri; outlines of a literary language which is not only literary just because books are written in it, but because it has a chosen and determined lexicon, a stable syntax with generalised and accepted constructions, it also has its own working structure and a clear physiognomy.[7]
Even prof. Jorgji Gjinari, one of the delegates who participated in The Congress of Orthography held in 1972, has also taken a stand on The Durrës Conference. This is what he states: “I think that since this conference is at the level of debates and opinions, this conference is useful. When the time comes to take a decision, and if the decision is to change the basic structure of the literary Albanian language, then i agree that this is a mistake, because i also do not agree to change the basic structure of the Albanian language (as it is today). I disagree with the infinitive of the Gheg dialect, because it damages the structure, it adulterates the structure, it is one of those particularities which damage the structure. This is the wish of some who are not specialists or of those who have some kind of regionalistic motive, and as such think that an injustice has been done to that dialect. This is not a motive to be taken in consideration, what should be taken in consideration is the national motive of all the Albanians.”[8]
In the same line of argumentation, the scholar Shefki Sejdiu states: “We should be serious because language is a serious matter, it is not a coffeehouse talk, spiritualist séance or a joke that augurs ill. The standard of the Albanian language has been accepted from a long time now, in certain conditions and circumstances, as there have been finally accepted also the standards of many languages, a standard which meets pretty well the functions and linguistic needs of its carrier, a standard which has by now come of age, an age which would not allow any linguistic and non-linguistic adventures without suffering grave consequences, a standard with problems like every other standard, a standard which should be developed and enriched, a standard which should be further developed and not ruined.”[9]
Differently form the above group of scholars, there is a group who in fact supports especially the integration of the lexical and phraseological wealth of the Gheg dialect into the standard of the language. The scholar Kolec Topalli is one of the representatives of this group. He states: “The necessity to revise some rules of the orthography of the standard is dictated by some changes which have taken place in the Albanian society and in the standard of the Albanian language... The Gheg dialect as a dialect should integrate all of its phraseological and lexical wealth into today’s standard and this is only enrichment.”[10]
A member of the group who asks for the opening of the standard of the Albanian language towards the lexicon of the Gheg dialect is also another renowned scholar, prof. Mehmet Elezi: “Ways should be found to draw more linguistic wealth, and here i am talking about substantial linguistic wealth, not small things. 70 per cent of the Albanians speak Gheg dialect, the riches of the Gheg dialect should be incorparated, because they are the riches of the Albanian language before being riches of the Gheg dialect.”[11]
The academician Rexhep Qosja totally supports the standard that all the Albanians have, but according to him there is room for small improvements which do not infringe on its foundations. So, small changes can be done, but they have to be such that in no way must they jeopardise the basis, the foundations, the entirety of the standard language. And regarding the question that the journalist asks him: if the standard language should provide more acccess to the Gheg dialect, prof Qosja answers: “The standard language is open to the Gheg dialect. I myself am an author who introduce a lot of words of the Gheg dialect to the standard language, because i grew up where the best and purest dialect of the Gheg is spoken, in the highland. And the people who established the standard language have stated that the national literary language is open to words, to lexicon, to dialects. No one has and can never put any obstacles in the way of it... So, standard language is open to the Gheg dialect and to the other dialects. They are arguing in vain. They are opening doors which are already open.”[12]
As a counter-response to the above three arguments the linguist Mehmet Çeliku also voices his opinion. Quote: I am a northener and i appreciate the Gheg dialect as a very rich literary variant, but i think that the solution that has been given to this issue, to use the Tosk dialect at the basis of the standard is the best solution from the scientific point of view. Because literary Tosk is more unified, it has no subdialects as the northern Gheg does, and as the Gheg dialect spoken in Elbasan has branches and subdialects. Tosk dialect is more unified and as a literary variant is more easily grasped, it is better used, it is studied and learned more easity.”[13]
But there are also other extremists, who do not only dispute but also deny the literary standard. Thus, for example, according to the publicist Agron Tufathe standard language which has leaned toward the Tosk dialect, constitutes a hindrance to all the speakers of the Gheg dialect”. He adds: “the standard language is exclusive and damages the style of every Gheg writer. Where does phonetic simplicity lie, if we talk about the succint language of poetry? To say “immediately” or “instantly”? To say “continuouly/always/forever”or“ for all time?”– he argues[14].
Similarly, prof. Bahri Beci has often repeated his thoughts against the equalised literary language. He talks “about the injustice that has been done to the Gheg dialect on the part of those who did not like it; about the obligation which the inhabitants of Shkoder have to preserve the ancient traditions of the Gheg territories; that as soon as possible each dialect should become a literary dialect, to have a literary Tosk and Gheg; that everyone of us should preserve his dialect in the spoken language so in other words that standardised language should exist only in the written form.”[15] Regarding the representatives of this group, the scholar Anastas Dodi states: “sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly, instead of an equalised language they want the creation of two literary languages – literary Tosk and literary Gheg, forgetting that equalised language is a powerful means of national unity... Thus, unfortunately, the effort for the spread of these ideas in some cases has taken the shape of a campaign, something which is evident in the way of the organisation of these activities, in their pomposity, in the declarations published, and also in the stand taken against those linguists who have different opinions. It is interesting the fact that recently the opponents of this equalised language present themselves as its “protectors”, who only want to improve it, of course by setting it on new foundations and back on track”. [16] On the same wavelength prof. Shezai Rrokaj asserts that the debate about the standard, deep down hides in many cases also a distrust, insecurity or doubts among “the groups”; accusations which vary from communist ideology to comparing the current Gheg leadership with the old communist leaders or to reassessing the numerical factor as a condition of the basis of the standard. At times the groups feel stabbed in the back by the other group, by nourishing feelings of a linguistic “rematch”, proceeding from regionalistic feeling and why not also from prescientific arguments of a numerical Gheg supremacy over the Tosk speakers – prof. Rrokaj admits.[17]
In fact the analyses which are carried out should help us to understand, draw lessons and not to accept something and get rid of something else. For as long as language is in continuous development and change so will these analyses go side by side. In complete accord go the analyses regarding the debates which have erupted not only among the linguists, during the meetings which The Interacademy Council has organised. A short exposition follows.

2. Standard Albanian and The Interacademy Council on The Albanian language. The groups for and against this Council

The Interacademy Council on the Albanian language, established by a decision of The Academy of Sciences of Albania and The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo, as we mentioned earlier, has organised some meetings in Tirana and Prishtina and which concern the use and development of Standard Albanian. Concretely these meetings have been held: on 27th June 2012; on 16th April 2013; on 6th December 2013; on 14th March 2014. The scientific conference held recently by the Faculty of History and Philology of The University of Tirana, on 9th December 2014, with the topic: “The Orthography of Albanian language and the current discussions about it”, aimed at holding discussions as concrete as possible regarding the proposals made by the meetings organised by the ICAL before. This conference published a summary of all the conclusions which were reached during the previous meetings of the ICAL, approved as proposals, but supported with respective scientific arguments.
During the whole period, since the creation of this Council up to the latest meetings that it has organised regarding the reassessment of the standard, there exists a public perception in the media fueled by big televised debates as if the academicians themselves are divided as far as the stands on the Tosk and Gheg dialect are concerned. The problem is that these discussions have now been largely politicised and we often hear being spoken about the left wing – the fanatic supporters of the standard and the right wing – the subverters, those who seek to overthrow the standard.[18] Regarding this fact, prof. Jani Thomai states: “It is being talked about “deep changes“, about “devastating reform in the orthography”, about “alienation of the basis of the standard”, about “overthrow of The Congress of Orthography” etc. And all the members of the ICAL indiscriminately are accused of this. And this means going to far with the judgement. In addition to this, willingly or unwillingly, “changes in the standard” transforms into “changes of the standard”... because “the meeting of the Interacademy Council concluded on deep changes of the orthography”, when this Council does not have the right to take decisions etc.”[19]
In fact, this Council, can only propose changes and corrections, but not conclude. Established by a decision of the two Academies of Sciences, respectively The Academy of Sciences of Albania (ASA) and The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosovo (ASAK), on its establishment had 17 academicans and professors. Later the number grew to 22, but later two members, Rami Memushaj and Emil Lafe, withdrew from it. Part of this council was also the illustrious figure and foremost personality, the late prof. Shaban Demiraj. Now, part of this Council, are these members: Jani Thomai, Ethem Likaj, Kolec Topalli, Seit Mansaku, Enver Hysa, Shezai Rrokaj, Gjovalin Shkurtaj, Tomorr Osmani, Mehmet Çeliku, Rexhep Ismajli, Besim Bokshi, Idriz Ajeti, Shefkije Islamaj, Bardh Rugova, Isa Bajçinca, Fadil Raka, Abdullah Zumberi, Imri Badallaj, Remzi Nesimi, Françesko Altimari and also the respective working groups: the group on orthography and orthoepy, the group on morphology, the group on syntax, the group on lexicology, the group on the transcription of foreign languages and also the group on language in schools.
Below we mention some of the dialogic voices who are for the Council, dwelling on the viewpoints and arguments they put forward.
The academician Jani Thomai, on the occasion of the meeting of The Interacademy Council, says: “as an organ with scientific authority, this Council, discusses on a scientific plane the issues which it deems worthy of being discussed, but it cannot “overthrow” the decisions of The Congress of Orthography (1972)”.[20] He also admits: “ It has been emphasised many times that this council does not have the authority to take decisions which are binding, but discusses and proposes solutions which are thought to improve the standard[21].
Of the same opinion is also the other academician Kolec Topalli, who says: “It is not about changing the standard, it is not about creating a new standard, it is not about Kosova having one standard and us another standard. No! This would be a very big mistake”.[22]
Profesor Seit Mansaku emphasises the argumentation of the fact that the composition of the Council is pan-national. The members of the Council are from Albania, Kosova, Macedonia and from the Arbereshe community of Italy and there are professors and academicians of linguistics and other fields. Some of them were participants in The Congress of Orthography, others have published books about and studies of the equalised literary language and the culture of language. In his line of argumentation prof. Mansaku admits that the Council is always guided by the principle one nation one common language and in every case has kept clear of any destructive idea as far as the standard is concerned according to which now there are two Albanian states in the Balkans and consequently there can be two standards. This is the reason why the Council has acted carefully, patiently and persitently so that the conclusions regarding the isssues which have been discussed, should be reached through a consensus as wide as possible so as not to create any regional rifts regarding the functioning of standard. [23]
The scholar Ledi Shamku-Shkreli asserts: “...proceeding mainly form bad symptoms which uses of written Albanian display and also from a number of orthographic issues which The Congress of Orthography itself in 1972 left to be solved at a later time, this Council decided to address them. And in fact there are a number of concrete issues left unsolved, such as, the irregular cases of the unstressed vowel “ë”, the case of irregular plural nouns, the cases of use of the capital letter, the orthography of foreign names, the orthography of neolatine loanwords in the Albanian language on whose orthography Çabej did not agree until the end etc. Dwelling on these concrete issues i would like to say that in these 10 years there has been an ongoing debate about the differing viewpoints in the written press, and even in the few academic debates.”[24]
 Differently form the above voices, the following voices position themselves against the previous group listing their counter arguments. These are the voices and their arguments:
Prof. dr. Qemal Murati, among the most illustrious scholars in Kosova and Macedonia and an ardent supporter of the standard language, says that ICAL is a quite narrow council and nonrepresentative, even unprofessional, formed and functioning rather through the old boys‘ network and not according to professional expertise. To carry out their manipulations, a Directorate of ICAL has been created, which ( based on its own regulation) it is said that it will harmonise the actvity of the ICAL with the other research and scientific institutions, with the policymaking institutions, with the media and other such institutions, despite the fact that this directorate cannot even coordinate itself... Furthermore prof. Murati states: Actually, the aims of some of the members of the ASAK of this Council have been “intervention from above” regarding the revision of the standard, the integration of the forms of the Gheg dialect. ASAK on behalf of a Committee (2006) had published the so-called “Instructions” regarding various issues of Standard Albanian, respectively replanning or changes in the standard; the motivation being “new circumstances require new linguistic policy”. This attempt regionally motivated, has been strongly opposed by other groups of linguists and “Instructions“ have been labelled “Bad instructions”.[25]
Another voice who positions himself totally against the activity of the Council itself is prof. Rami Memushaj. Initially an ex-member of the Council, seeing how the issues of the standard were being addressed, later on he saw fit to withdraw from this Council. This is what he says: “The changes approved by the Interacademy Council go too far. They... erode the foundations of orthography, orthoepy and morphology of standard language.”[26] According to him the reasons are not scientific. The efforts to intervene in the standard have begun 20 years ago, but they have now changed form. There are some people who are interested to see this happen also pushed by political factors who stand behind the academicians and linguists...[27] Similarly prof. Memushaj who was interviewed by an Albanian newspaper states: “I have no doubt that the implementation of this project will not contribute to the facilitation of orthography, but to the creation of two parallel orthographies, i.e. to a chaos in the orthography of the Albanian language, in a way, ICAL, instead of improving standard language will ruin it. The whole of this has resulted because this organism has circumvented the platform set by The Academy of Sciences of Albania and followed the platform of The Academy of Sciences and Arts of Kosova, which, since 2004, declared as the only objective of the group the changing of the orthography. Efforts of this kind, which are not based on any kind of data, on any survey or field testing, show the level to which Albanian liguistics has been reduced to these 20 plus years”.[28]
Of the same opinion as the above voices is prof. Emil Lafe (also an ex-member of the Council) one of the most reputable and influential linguists in terms of the literary standard of the Albanian language and who criticises even strongly this Council. In one of the epistles he addressed to the latter, he states: The Interacademy Council is a fabrication with predetermined goals, to realise the instructions of ASAK regarding the standard language, which border on linguistic schism” And finally he adds: Among us who have dedicated our life to orthography, grammar, lexicography, terminology, purity of the Albanian language, it is with deep regret that i note that there is a hint of sadness and gloom instead of optimism and radiance that this centenary of The Declaration of Independence demands. The whole work that has been done for decades in this field is viewed as state property and he who is faster/stronger can privatise it, declaring, first, the literary Albanian as having “a bad communist record”, then, “with serious flaws, which contradict today’s course of development”[29]
The historian academician, Kristo Frashëri, in an article on 2nd May in the newpaper “Shqiptarja.com”, after following the activities and the results of the Interacademy Council on the Language has declared that: “Actually, the efforts that some Albanian linguists are making, even though they have their academic titles, to introduce grammatical categories to the language or to accept two grammatical forms for the same word only with the argument that they are asset to their dialect, are unacceptable from the scientific point of view. It is the same as deforming and raping the standard, if we are allowed to use Voltaire’s term: to massacre standard language. In short, this would mean to bury standard language... Such a phenomenon is noticed in the activity of The Interacademy Council, the members of which, with all the due respect that i have for them as academicians, with their geminates try to “ eat the cake and have it”, i.e. try to satisfy both Tosk dialect and Gheg dialect: teatro - teatra, kuadro - kuadra. If we continue like this, we will fill Albanian grammar with hundreds, if not more geminates....”[30]
Among the voices who state their stand againt this Council is the politican, Mr. Pandeli Majko. He addresses the linguists with these words: “... Linguists and succesors to the Testament to the Congress of Manastir! PLEASE, understand carefully that before having your titles and the daily nervousness of being “better than one-another“,...REMEMBER that you stand above time and ordinary daily details, to pay proper attention to the fundamental phenomenon which is the Albanian language that makes Albanians who they are.... Mistake does not exist in your unique science. There is either blessing or curse which will follow you even after death. [31]
It is not only linguists have been filled with the fear of undoing the standard of the Albanian language related to the activity of the Interacademy Council. There are a number of personalities of social and political life who have made their stand clear. The letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama with the title: “Stop the destruction of the Albanian language by the academicians” testifies to this. [32] Through the letter, which linguists, historians, publishers and translators have signed they ask the government to intervene in order to protect the Albanian language. Linguists like Emil Lafe, Xhevat Lloshi, Valter Memisha, Kristina Jorgaqi, Rami Memushaj, Hajri Shehu, writers like Kiço Blushi, Nasi Lera and Moikom Zeqo, historians like Kristo Frashëri and Pëllumb Xhufi etc., in their letter display their dissatisfaction with the activity and the decisions of the Interacademy Council which, according to them, is damaging the standard. In the framework of endless debates about the changes effected by the Interacademy Council, the intellectuals say that now is the time that equalised Albanian be actually placed under the protection of the state and be declared cultural object of special importance.
Contrary to the abovementioned assertions, the academician Seit Mansaku[33] and the linguist Ledi Shamku-Shkreli[34] state their opinions together with the arguments.
Thus, prof. Seit Mansaku after a lengthy and detailed reasoning, rounds off the concluding arguments in his reply letter as follows:
• ...An unfounded accusation against The Academy of Science that is not protecting the standard language, but “has become an accessory to the attack against the sacred institution of the language of the nation”...
• History has shown that great problems of language and national culture, like the problem of common alphabet, the problem of equalised national language have been resolved through wisdom, agreement, prudence and understanding. In this way did our great men manage to hold the Congress of Manastir, The Albanian Literary Commission in Shkoder, The Congres of Orthography and the Linguistic Consultation of Prishtina. Not through fake clashes. This is the way of the men of knowledge. It is good to walk in this way.[35]
The linguist Ledi Shamku-Shkreli argues by asking the question: “What do our letter writers propose? That the standard code be declared object of cultural legacy of special importance. I do not know if this is ridiculous or terrible! They want to freeze Albanian language, mummify it and treat it as a cultural monument exhibited in a museum which is studied in school the same way ancient Greek or Latin are, languages which do not have speakers anymore. While the role of the linguist is to maintain the standard, by cultivating it strongly in schools but also by studying its kinks and simplifying them. For the good of the standard itself...”[36]
And the dialogic voices and debates continue...

Conclusion:

As to the above, we tried to give a brief overview of the for and against opinions which have been articulated recently regarding the issue of the revision of the standard.
Although from a temporal context, ICAL precedes The Durrës Conference (respectively the first was held 2005 and the latter in 2010), we saw fit to present first the arguments for and against The Durrës Conference and later the arguments for and against ICAL, because The Durrës Conference concluded with the passing of a resolution of 12 points which were considered conclusions and also with the proposal to create the Pan-national Council on Language, which would have the status of public figure. In fact, ICAL created since 2005 has had precisely this goal and this role, something which is proved by the consecutive meetings, held year after year and on the basis of this Council was also held the latest scientific conference organised by the Faculty of History and Philology of the University of Tirana, on 9th December 2014.
Regarding the proceedings of The Durrës Conference, and also the ICAL, we think that now after almost fourty three years of Standard Albanian time has come that scientific revisions should be made regarding certain issues and special problems, which consequently will open new necessary scentific and research perspectives. Constructive debating does not bring regress. On the contrary it stimulates and initiates proposals and ideas which time itself demands so as not to remain simply such, but to turn into concrete decisions and gain implementation.
This standard shoud remain open to the possibility of the integration of the Gheg infinitive and also of the Gheg words.
This standard also needs improvements (especially the orthography of the vowel ë, and also problems related to the use of the capital letter), but it does not need great changes which affect and infringe on its systemic charater. These improvements should be carried out as many times as the language demands and not to resort to violence or to clothe them in prevailing let alone nationalistic political ideology, which in fact would dissolve the real goal that constitutes the essence of the scientific studies.
The scholar Androkli Kostallari emphasised long ago: “Our society itself, is interested in discovering the objective laws of evolution of literary Albanian language, as a social phenomenon, explaining their rhythms, but not to change, replace or extinguish these laws of language in an arbitrary manner. Society chooses and picks the results of those objective linguistic laws which better suit its development, but does not create mechanically new laws, or new reults. The national literary norm is after all a consequence of a choice with general social values”.[37]
In this context, the advice that prof. Eqrem Çabej has once given, is a wake-up bell for us all today: “No one has the right to write about language without first having really studied it for many years! No one! Because language is the most precious item of a people, and for the Albanian people is the only treasure! And do not touch the tresure with your hands, dear dilettantes!... Whosoever wants to write about the Albanian language, first should have studied The Indo-European languages in general, and then should have studied all the Albanian writers and all the foreign albanologists, whose number is so big that their study requires years of incessant work. Because philosophy is not a joke, it is far from dilettantism, it is erudition, and to rival in erudition, you should know!” [38]
That is why, above all it is our patriotic duty to protect and take care of our national treasure, our language.


* Doc. dr. / Department of Albanian language
Faculty of Education and Social Sciences
“Eqrem Çabej” University, Gjirokastër


References

1. Anastas Dodi: “The literary Albanian language facing the dangers which threaten it” in “ Albanological studies”, II, Tiranë, 1996.
2.       Androkli Kostallari: “On some functional and structural particularities of literary language” in “Philological studies”, nr. 2, Tiranë, 1970.
3.       Androkli Kostallari: “Today’s literary Albanian language and some fundamental issues of its orthography”: “The Congress of Orthography of the Albanian language”, 20–25 November, 1972, Tiranë, p. 132.
4.       Ardian Marashi: “The Albanian language at today’s stage: the challenges of the language and of the linguists” in “The Albanian language at today’s stage: policies of enrichment and improvement to the standard ” (The proceedings of the scientific conference – Durrës, 15 – 17 December 2010), Tiranë, 2011.
5.       Ardian Vehbiu: “Mysticism in the Gheg dialect fogs the real problem” in the newspaper “Shekulli”, 05.08.2007, Tiranë.
6.       Emil Lafe: “The academies of Sciences are causing a linguistic schism” in the newspaper “Shqip”, 01.07.2012, Tiranë.
7.       Eqrem Çabej: “Against the pseudophilologists”, held in Graz, 8.11.1929 in Shaban Demiraj: “Eqrem Çabej”, Tiranë, 2008.
8.       Idriz Ajeti: “Standard Albanian and The Kosovar society today” in “Philological studies”, nr. 3 – 4, Tiranë, 2002.
9.       Jani Thomai: “On the scientific criticism and discussions about the orthography of the Albanian language” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 1, Prishtinë, 2013.
10.   Jani Thomai: “We are not overthrowing “The Congress of Orthography” in “Gazeta shqip”, 16.7.2012, Tiranë.
11.   Jani Thomai: “There is no likelihood of a congress”, interview with Qemal Murati, in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 3, 2013, Prishtinë.
12.   Jorgji Gjinari: “Today’s standard features Gheg dialect and Tosk dialect” in “Gazeta shqiptare”, 17.12.2010, Tiranë.
13.   Kolec Topalli: “The revision of the standard, a necessity” in the newspaper “Mapo”, 17.12.2010.
14.   Lemdi Shamku-Shkreli: “(Reaction)/The farce of the post-communist professors” in the newspaper “Tema”, 05.05.2014, Tiranë.
15.   Mehmet Çeliku: “Standard Albanian, when did it start and its evolution” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 2, 2013, Prishtinë.
16.   Mehmet Elezi: The Standard does not have moral immunity anymore” in the newspaper “Mapo”, 17 December 2010.
17.   20 Professors, letter to Rama: “Stop the destruction of The Albanian language by the academicians”. Published in “Gazeta Shqiptare/Balkanweb”, 01.05.2014, Tiranë.
18.   Pandeli Majko: “The charlatanism in politics has poisoned the linguists also” in “Telegrafi.com”, 16.07.2012, Tiranë.
19.   Qemal Murati: “Standard Albanian and the linguistic tribalism” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 2, 2013, Prishtinë.
20.   Rami Memushaj: “The standard language, a national and not a totalitarian creature” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 3, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 26 and also in the newspaper “Shekulli”, 20.11.2010, Tiranë.
21.   Rami Memushaj: “An ill omen regarding standard Albanian”, in the newspaper “Shekulli”, 07.07.2012, Tiranë.
22.   Rami Memushaj: “The changes, with dangerous consequences” in the newspaper “Shqip”, 20.04.2013, Tiranë.
23.   Rexhep Ismajli: “Beyond the infinitive alternative or minority status” in “Philological studies”, nr. 8, 9, 2001 – 2002, Prishtinё.
24.   Rexhep Qosja: “The standard of the Albanian language must not be changed” in the newspaper “Panorama”, 19.04.2013, Tiranë.
25.   Shefki Sejdiu: “Something else about (The Albanian) language, (equalised) language and national (standard) language”, in “Kultura e gjuhës”, publication of The Association of The Albanian language of Kosovo, nr. 2, Prishtinë, 2013.
26.   Shezai Rrokaj: “Problems of the orthography of standard Albanian’ in “The Papers I” (summary of of the proceedings of the scientific conference “Java e Shkencës, 2012), Linguistic, cultural and historic sciences, Prishtinë, 2013.

The following links have also been utilised:

http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2012/07/06/debati-mbi-shqipen-shume-zhurme-per-asgje/
http://www.kosova.com/artikulli/106624
http://www.gazetatema.net/web/2014/05/05/farsa-e-profesoreve-postkomuniste/
http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2012/07/01ëmil-lafe-akademite-e-shkencave-po-shkaktojne-percarje-gjuhesore/
http://shqiptarja.com/kulture/2730/akademia-e-shkencave-nuk-duam-nj-kull-t-babelit-brenda-kombit-213213.html
http://www.telegrafi.com/lajme/sharlatanizmi-i-politikes-i-ka-semure-edhe-gjuhetaret-78-7899.html
http://www.panorama.com.al/2013/04/19/qosja-te-mos-ndryshoje-standardi-i-gjuhes-shqipe/
http://www.sot.com.al/kultura-intervista/rami-memushaj-gjuha-shqipe-n%C3%AB-kaos-akademik%C3%ABt-po-krijojn%C3%AB-dy-drejtshkrime
http://www.indeksonline.net/?FaqeIDç2&LajmIDç95500
http://shekulli.com.al/web/p.php?idç47594&katç92






[1] Androkli Kostallari: “Today’s literary Albanian language and some fundamental issues of its orthography”: “The Congress of Orthography of the Albanian language”, 20–25 November, 1972, Tiranë, p. 132.
[2] Ardian Marashi: “The Albanian language at today’s stage: the challenges of the language and of the linguists” in “The Albanian language at today’s stage: policies of enrichment and improvement to the standard” (The proceedings of the scientific conference – Durrës, 15 – 17 December  2010), Tiranë, 2011, p. 12 – 13.
[3] Rexhep Ismajli: “Beyond the infinitive alternative or minority status” in “Philological studies”, nr. 8, 9, 2001 – 2002, Prishtinё, p. 56.
[4] Rami Memushaj: “Standard language, a national and not a totalitarian creature” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 3, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 26 and also in the newspaper  “Shekulli”, 20.11.2010, Tiranë.
[5] Rami Memushaj: In the same place.
[6] Rami Memushaj: “Standard language, a national and not a totalitarian creature”. Quoted above.
[7] Idriz Ajeti: “Standard Albanian and the Kosovar society today” in “Philological studies”, nr. 3 – 4, Tiranë, 2002, p. 24.
[8] Jorgji Gjinari: “Today’s standard features Gheg dialect and Tosk dialect” in “Gazeta shqiptare”, 17.12.2010, Tiranë, p. 26.
[9] Shefki Sejdiu: “Something else about (the Albanian) language, (equalised) language and national (standard) language”, in “Kultura e gjuhes”, publication of The Association of the Albanian Language of Kosovo, nr. 2, Prishtinë, 2013, p. 56.
[10] Kolec Topalli: “The revision of the standard, a necessity” in the newspaper “Mapo”, 17.12.2010, Tiranë, p. 21.
[11] Mehmet Elezi: “The standard does not have moral immunity anymore” in the newspaper “Mapo”, 17.12.2010, Tiranë, p. 21.
[12] Rexhep Qosja: “The standard of the Albanian language must not be changed” in the newspaper “Panorama”, 19.04.2013, Tiranë or click on the  link: http://www.panorama.com.al/2013/04/19/qosja-te-mos-ndryshoje-standardi-i-gjuhes-shqipe/
[13] Mehmet Çeliku: “Standard Albanian, when did it start and its evolution” in “Gjuha Shqipe”, nr. 2, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 115.
[14] Ardian Vehbiu: “Mysticism in the Gheg dialect fogs the real problem” in the newspaper “Shekulli”, 05.08.2007, Tiranë, p. 14.
[15] Anastas Dodi: “The literary Albanian language facing the dangers which threaten it” in “Albanological studies”, II, Tiranë, 1996, p. 79.
[16] Anastas Dodi: In the same place, p. 77.
[17] Shezai Rrokaj: “Problems of the orthography of the standard Albanian’ in “The papers  I” (summary of the proceedings of the scientific conference “Java e Shkences, 2012), Linguistic, cultural and historic sciences, Prishtinë, 2013, p. 405.
[18] Jani Thomai: “On the scientific criticism and discussions about the orthography of the Albanian language” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 1, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 8.
[19] Jani Thomai, In the same place, p  9 – 10.
[20] Jani Thomai: “We are not overthrowing “The Congress of Orthography” in “Gazeta shqip”, 16.7.2012, Tiranë.
[21] Jani Thomai: “There is no likelihood of a congress”, interview with Qemal Murati, in  “Gjuha Shqipe”, nr. 3, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 17.
[22] Mustafa Nano: “Debate about  the Albanian language: Much ado about nothing” the link:
 http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2012/07/06/debati-mbi-shqipen-shume-zhurme-per-asgje/
[23] Seit Mansaku: “The letter from  20 professors, offensive and embarassing” the link: http://www.kosova.com/artikulli/106624
[24] Lemdi Shamku-Shkreli: “(Reaction)/The farce of post-communist professors” in the newspaper “Tema”, 05.05.2014, Tiranë or click on the link http://www.gazetatema.net/web/2014/05/05/farsa-e-profesoreve-postkomuniste/
[25] Qemal Murati: “Standard Albanian and linguistic tribalism” in “Gjuha shqipe”, nr. 2, 2013, Prishtinë, p. 24.
[26] Rami Memushaj: “An ill omen regarding standard Albanian”, in the newspaper “Shekulli”, 07.07.2012, Tiranë, p. 6.
[27] Rami Memushaj: “The changes, with dangerous consequences” in the newspaper “Shqip”, 20.04.2013, Tiranë.
[28] Rami Memushaj: “The Albanian language in chaos, the academicians are creating two parallel orthographies” in http://www.sot.com.al/kultura-intervista/rami-memushaj-gjuha-shqipe-n%C3%AB-kaos-akademik%C3%ABt-po-krijojn%C3%AB-dy-drejtshkrime
[29] Emil Lafe: “The Academies of Sciences are causing a linguistic schism” in the newspaper “Shqip”, on 1st June 2012, Tiranë or click on the  link http://gazeta-shqip.com/lajme/2012/07/01/emil-lafe-akademite-e-shkencave-po-shkaktojne-percarje-gjuhesore/
[30] Click on the link: http://shqiptarja.com/kulture/2730/akademia-e-shkencave-nuk-duam-nj-kull-t-babelit-brenda-kombit-213213.html
[31] Pandeli Majko: “The charlatanism in politics has poisoned the linguists also” in the newspaper “Telegrafi.com”, 16.07.2012 or click on the link http://www.telegrafi.com/lajme/sharlatanizmi-i-politikes-i-ka-semure-edhe-gjuhetaret-78-7899.html
[32] 20 Professors, letter to Rama: “Stop the destruction of The Albanian language by the academicians”. Published in “Gazeta Shqiptare/Balkanweb”, 01.05.2014, Tiranë or click on the link:
http://www.indeksonline.net/?FaqeIDç2&LajmIDç95500
[33] Seit Mansaku: “The letter from 20 professors, offensive and embarassing”. In the same place.
[34] Lemdi Shamku-Shkreli: “(Reaction)/The farce of the post-communist professors”. In the same place.
[35] Seit Mansaku: “The letter from  20 professors, offensive and embarassing”. In the same place.
[36] Lemdi Shamku-Shkreli: “(Reaction)/The farce of the post-communist  professors ”. In the same place.
[37] Androkli Kostallari: “On some functional and structural particularities of literary language” in “Philological studies”, nr. 2, Tiranë, 1970, p. 23 – 24.
[38] From the speech of Eqrem Çabej: “Against the pseudophilologists”, held in Graz, 8.11. 1929. See: Shaban Demiraj: “Eqrem Çabej”, Tiranë, 2008, p. 251.

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