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Mutual Understanding among Albanians, Slavs and Aromanians in Prespa, North Macedonia: Perfect Tense as a Perfect Tool

Anastasia L. Makarova

Abstract

This chapter1 deals with a polylingual community in the geographically isolated Prespa region in Republic of North Macedonia, where Macedonians, Albanians, Aromanians, Turks, and Romani have been living for several centuries. Based on the author’s intensive fieldwork on the three languages since 2012, the chapter presents in detail one segment of this system - the past tenses. Special emphasis is put on the “Balkan perfect tense” phenomenon, with special attention given to the three analytical forms that convey the perfect tense meaning in the Macedonian Prespa dialect. This is, in turn, set against the background of the analogous grammatical constructions in Albanian and Aromanian. Data obtained by questionnaires and dialectal texts produced by multilingual informants are provided and analysed showing that mutual contacts of Albanian, Macedonian, and Aromanian dialects (all members of the Balkan Sprachbund) have generated a convergent grammar system in which the identical set of grammatical meanings is expressed by means of isomorphic forms.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston