The alphabet association “Bashkimi” turns 120

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 2, 2019 13:18

The alphabet association “Bashkimi” turns 120

Story Highlights

  • This meeting “had the duty to unify Albanians regardless of religion or ancestry.” The main idea was to unite Albanians through their language.

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TIRANA, Feb. 25- In the rail of political and cultural movements within and outside Albania during the 19th century for the unity of the nation and the Albanian education, it should be pointed especially the meeting of some northern clerics in 1893 in Shkrel of Malesia e Madhe, headed by Dom Ndoc Nikaj, and the pastor from Shkreli and Mirdite’s abbot, Preng Doci. According to Nikaj who was a witness of the time, this was a secret meeting to which ending the national association “Bashkimi Shqyptar” (Albanian Unification) was created.

Nikaj writes that this meeting “had the duty to unify Albanians regardless of religion or ancestry.” The main idea was to unite Albanians through their language. Thus, in Shkoder in 1899 this society took its full official disclosure, headed by aboot Preng Doci. Many clerics met there, with the main purpose to spread the Albanian language as much as possible through the press, increasing the publishing of books using the latin alphabet, patriotic actions, all of which served as preparation for the Independence Declaration in 1912.

Clerics that took part at the “Bashkimi” association establishmet were Monsignor Preng Doçi, Monsignor Lazer Mjeda, Dom Jak Sarreqi, Father Gjergj Fishta, Dom Ndoc Sheldia, Dom Gjon Koleci, Dom Mark Shllaku, Father Pashk Bardhi, Dom Ndoc Nikaj, Dom Dode Koleci, Dom Mehill Cuni, and also seculars Mati Logoreci, Gaper Beltoja, Ndue Paluca etc..

After the 1635 vocabulary from Frang Bardhi and the 1904 one from Konstandin Kristoforidhi, the most important Albanian lexicography work until the mid 20th century is definitely the “Fialuer i rii i Schypes” (the new Albanian vocabulary) from the “Bashkimi” association published in 1908. This vocabulary was recently published in Lezhe in a commemoration for the 120th anniversary of the establishing of this society.

The commemoration in Lezhe followed a photo-exhibition with the most important figures from the society, along with the vocabulary which holds 14 thousand words. The vocabulary was published by the publishing house Gjergj Fishta in Lezhe under the care of Dom Nike Ukgjini. The cleric said that it was necessary for the Albanian culture that this vocabulary to be published. Ten years of intensive research and work were dedicated to fill this lexicon with all the dialectic words from northern Albania, but which also holds words outside from that geographical area of the country.

“Thus it was made a codification to a vocabulary which had a great value at the time, and for whicwhich all the members said that this was only the first step, because the dictionary should be perfected, should collect words, should be added new notes, the lexicon especially should be harvested, and in the future a complete version would definitely be published,” said Ukgjini, regarding the vision the “Bashkimi” members had for the lexicon.

Frano Kullo from the Gjergj Fishta publishing house said that this vocabulary must have been initially published in Jan. 9, 1908, considering its introduction. Kullo said that scholars appreciate this work as the epitome of the Albanian lexicography until that time, which crowned the work previously done by the aforementioned vocabularies. Prof. Xhevat Lloshi also appreciates this work, especially regarding the knowledge level of the Albanian lexicon at the time.

Faik Konica declared in 1904 that “Bashkimi” was preparing the fullest Albanian dictionary from all published so far, with the idea of enriching the language. As “Bashkimi” remains the first Albanian language institute, its program also foresaw other linguistic works. It gave a hand in publishing a bunch of literary works as well as some school texts.

Dom Ndoc Nikaj wanted as many books published in Albanian, so people could start reading and learning the language, be acquainted with ideas, events and the history of the country. Dom Nike Ukgjini said that “Bashkimi” published 32 works related to the Albanian education until 1908. Through these publishings, it was aimed that the Albanians all around the territories would become more unified against the Ottoman Invasion.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 2, 2019 13:18