Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences


Linguistic Theory & Typology

First Advisor

Andrew M. Byrd

Second Advisor

Dennis R. Preston


The Albanian language is relatively unique among the Indo-European languages with its word initial nasal-stop sequences. Despite broad characterizations, the phonetic, phonological, and sociolinguistic properties of these sequences have not been analyzed with the same rigor as languages with similar sequences. I employ phonetic, perceptual dialectological and historical methods to examine not only how these clusters are employed by speakers in today’s Albanian linguistic landscape, but also to the historical mechanisms and timing of the development of these clusters and their variants within Albanian. With a combined spectral and aerodynamic analysis, I have identified that these clusters are phonemically composed of a discrete nasal and stop, but phonetically are highly variable and do not fit neatly into any partially-nasal category outlined by previous research. In folk linguistics, the variants of these sequences are socially but not phonemically contrastive. This suggests a partially-nasal system in transition, but also challenges our categorical framework for partially-nasal sequences, which is currently uncorroborated by perceptual studies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)