Tosk (Albanian: toskë/toskërisht) is the southern dialect group of the Albanian language, spoken by the ethnographic group known as Tosks. The line of demarcation between Tosk and Gheg (the northern dialect) is the Shkumbin River. Tosk is the basis of the standard Albanian language.
|Region||Albania, Greece, North Macedonia, Italy, Turkey|
|1.8 million (2011 census)|
|Albanian alphabet, formerly Elbasan, Greek|
A map showing Tosk speakers in red and orange
Major Tosk-speaking groups include the Myzeqars of Myzeqe, Labs of Labëria and Chams of Çamëria. The Arvanites of Greece and Arbëreshë of Italy are descendants of Tosk-speaking settlers, as are the original inhabitants of Mandritsa in Bulgaria. In North Macedonia, there were approximately 3000 speakers in the early 1980s.
- Rhotacism: Proto-Albanian *-n- becomes -r- (e.g. rëra "sand")
- Proto-Albanian *ō becomes va.
- Nasal vowels: There is a lack of nasal vowels in Tosk (e.g. sy "eye") and Late Proto-Albanian *â plus a nasal becomes ë (e.g. nëntë "nine").
- e-vowel: The e becomes ë in some dialects in some words qën for qen in Vjosë.
- ë-vowel: The ë may have several pronunciations depending on dialect: the ë is more backed in Labërisht dialects like that of Vuno, where mëz "foal" is [mʌz]). Final -ë drops in many Tosk dialects and lengthens the preceding vowel.
- y-vowel: The y vowel often derounds to i in Labërisht, Çam, Arvanitika and Arbëresh (e.g. dy "two" becomes di).
- Dh and Ll: These sounds may interchange in some words in some dialects.
- H: This may drop in any position in some dialects.
- Gl/Kl: Some dialects such as Çam, Arberësh, and Arvanitika retain kl and gl in place of q and gj (e.g. gjuhë "tongue" is gluhë in Çam, gluhë in Arberësh, and gljuhë in Arvanitika; "klumësh" for "qumësht" "milk" in Arbëresh).
- Rr: Rr becomes r in some dialects.
- Tosk at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Tosk Albanian at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Albanian-Tosk". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Language Contact - Language Conflict. p. 36.
Thus, for example, even the small numbers of Tosk Albanians of southern North Macedonia(only approximately 3,000 in the early 1980s)