Conference Special Theme

Promoting research and publications on and for the Arbëresh of Italy is the mission of QSPA, the center that hosts this conference. The conference will dedicate a few entire panels to the discussion of the special theme, “The state and study of Arbëresh as an endangered language”. Therefore, contributions to this theme are geographically more focused in the areas where Arbëresh varieties are spoken. However, the special theme examines the same content as the main theme of the conference: the relation of linguistic endangerment and diaspora. We solicit contributions on all matters of endangerment of Arbëresh varieties in relation to diaspora, as well as descriptive or analytical studies that approach the language from theoretical or applied perspectives. Studies from multiple disciplines (linguistics, literary studies, anthropology, historical studies, pedagogical studies etc.) are welcome. 

QSPA and the University of Tirana plan to start a new stage of their collaboration, in which issues of Arbëresh endangerment become focal to research and PhD theses. The special theme constitutes an important step in this collaboration.

 For practical purposes and to create a space of comparison, in this conference we will consider “Arbëresh” to cover a group of four related endangered languages (each consisting of different varieties) that are spoken in different Mediterranean countries: Arbëresh, Arvanitika, Arbanasi, and Arnavutçe (AAAA).


girls Tirana


Suggested general topics in relation to the special theme of the conference
  • Measuring Arbëresh (AAAA) endangerment – the state of the language and differences from village to village
  • Factors and agents of maintenance vs. endangerment of Arbëresh (AAAA)
  • Case studies on different aspects of endangerment of Arbëresh: domains of use, functions, and linguistic attitudes (AAAA)
  • Documentation vs. revitalization of Arbëresh (AAAA)
  • The endangered languages and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages – the role of host and kin states (Italy, Albania, Greece and Turkey)
  • The role of religious rites and of elite personalities in the maintenance of Arbëresh and their activism in the host and kin-state political events (AAAA)
  • Language maintenance: historical relations between Arbëresh (AAAA) communities and Albanian communities
  • Language maintenance: historical relations between Arbëresh (AAAA) communities and the Albanian State (after 1912).
  • Codification, planning and choice of variety as factors in the maintenance and revitalization of the Arbëresh of Italy
  • Italian Law 482 and Arbëresh revitalization steps, in comparison to other protected linguistic minorities of Italy
  • Language endangerment in the diaspora of the diaspora: cases of diaspora communities that have moved a second time towards another country (ex. the Arbëresh language spoken in New Orleans-USA by groups that have emigrated from the Italian Arbëresh settlements)