Lexical Distance Among the Languages of Europe / Chomsky, Tyshchenko and Albanian

This chart shows the lexical distance — that is, the degree of overall vocabulary divergence — among the major languages of Europe. The original research data for the chart comes from K. Tyshchenko (1999), Metatheory of Linguistics. (Published in Russian.)


Was reading this article which was immediately recognized among my friends because it distinguished Albanian as a stand alone language and it is nice to see your language in the map….

Although it is nice to be on the chart… And although the study (which I have not read) definitely has some solid arguments, I would not completely agree with this representation. I find it hard to understand how Albania is closer to Slavic languages then to Romance languages!?!?

Also, Albanian should have a direct connection to Germanic languages and if you have to show roots to Indo-European languages, you have to put them on the map as well. Such studies should be done on basic and very primitive words people use for simple things (like eat, drink, sit, cover etc) which are not part of technological/cultural developments.

First of all, Albania has no connection through Greece with Germanic languages but a direct connection. Let’s look at some primitive words:

German-Albanian similarities:
German Flackern – English translation Flare – with Albanian probable root Flakë, quite a primitive word. (Albanian Flake translates in English as Flame or Blaze as well)
German Stühl – English Chair – > Albanian “Stol” for a pre-chair sitting place.

An Albanian Stol

And this is not all.

Let’s link Albanian to some old “Indo-Language”

Albanian “Ha” (Doubt there is a primitiver word than “Eat”, outside of grammar rules which are influenced by Latin) which means “To Eat” – Bangladeshi/(indian?): Eat: খাও khao

Same word “Pi” as in Drink – is used in Bangladeshi but I am missing the correct spell of it.


There is more to link Albanian and Latin, Albanian and Greek (Alb: mendja, Gre: montya, Eng: mind), but due to close borders these are traded words sometime and sometimes show the same root..



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