Universal Language Map
Writingw:Greek alphabet
Languages:w:Albanian language,

w:Modern Greek, w:Eastern Romance languages w:South Slavic languages w:Balkan Romani w:Balkan Gagauz Turkish

Population:60 million
Flag of Balkan

Africa: SEDESMiddle SemiticKintuGuosa Central Asia: JalpiCaucasZensDravindianNeo-Sanskrit Europe: IntralinguaFolksprakInterslavicBalkanSamboka Far East: Dan'a'yoIMMSEAL


The term "Balkan" refers to a peninsula, a region, a history, and a sprachbund, all bounded differently and all disagreed upon. Also known as Southeast Europe, linguists have long defined an areal sprachbund here.

There is one vote for each of the following groups

  1. Albanian
  2. Greek
  3. Northern Eastern Romance (consisting of Romanian and Moldovan)
  4. Southern Eastern Romance (consisting of Aromanian, Megleno-Romanian, and Istro-Romanian)
  5. Eastern Southern Slavic (consisting of Macedonian, Bulgarian, and Old Church Slavonic)
  6. Western Southern Slavic (consisting of Slovene, and Serbo-Croatian-Bosnian-Montenegrin), and
  7. Balkan Romani

Judeo-Spanish, and Gagauz Turkish do not normally get a vote.


Unlike a lot of other sprachbünde, the Balkans does not share much common phonology. Hence, a pan-Balkan language is necessarily left only with those elements common to all the source languages. It consists of 16 consonants, 6 vowels, and 3 diphthongs.

Balkan is written in the Greek alphabet, but borrows one letter from Cyrillic. Two sounds are digraphs and two graphemes have two sounds. θ is not "native" and ω indicates schwa.

The writing system is Greek plus Cyrillic be.


Consonantal glyphs
Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Nasal /m/ Μ/μ /n/ Ν/ν
Plosive voiceless /p/ Π/π /t/ Τ/τ /k/ Κ/κ
voiced /b/ Б/б /d/ Δ/δ /ɡ/ Γ/γ
Affricative voiceless /t͡s~t͡ʃ~t͡ɕ/ τσ
voiced /d͡z~d͡ʒ~d͡ʑ/ δζ
Fricative voiceless /f/ Φ/φ /s~ʃ/ Σ/σ/ς /x~h/ Χ/χ
voiced /v~ʋ/ Β/β /z~ʒ/ Ζ/ζ
Approximant /r~ɹ/ Ρ/ρ /j/ Ι/ι
Lateral /l~ɫ/ Λ/λ

Θ/θ is only used in the transcription of foreign words. There are also Ξ/ξ which is /ks/ and Ψ/ψ which is /ps/.


The vowels are five cardinals plus schwa, any of which can be stressed. A/α is /a/, Ε/ε is /e/, Η/η is /i/, Ο/ο is /o~ɔ/, Υ/υ is /u/, and Ω/ω is /ǝ/.


Stress is predictable and right-defined.


Balkan nouns and adjectives inflect for 3 genders, 3 cases, and 2 numbers. Gender and case generally flatten in the plural. The cases are Nominative, Accusative, and Oblique. The oblique is governed by a preposition. There is a vocative preposition. The definite article is a postposition. The indefinite article is a preposition, but just a form of the number one.



Singular Plural
1 Nom. υζ νη
Acc. μει νας
Acc. με να
Obl. μην νεμ
Obl. μη νε
2 Nom. τη βη
Acc. τει βας
Acc. τε βα
Obl. την βαμ
Obl. τη βα
3 Nom. ατη ετη
Acc. ατω
Masc. Fem. Masc. Fem.


SVO, Relative clauses after, Negations particle, evidential particles


see also Balkan/Swadesh for comparative etymologies and word list.