There is debate whether the Illyrian language was a centum or a satem language.
It is also uncertain whether Illyrians spoke a homogeneous language or rather a collection of different but related languages that were wrongly considered the same language by ancient writers.
The origins debate is often politically charged, and to be conclusive more evidence is needed.
Such evidence unfortunately may not be easily forthcoming because of a lack of sources.
In the absence of prior data on the language, scholars have used the Latin and Slav loans into Albanian for identifying its location of origin.
The place where the Albanian language was formed is uncertain.
Cities whose names follow Albanian phonetic laws – such as Shtip (Štip), Shkupi (Skopje) and Nish (Niš) – lie in the areas, believed to historically been inhabited by Thracians, Paionians and Dardani; the latter is most often considered an Illyrian tribe by ancient historians.The Illyrian language and the Thracian language are often considered to have been on different Indo-European branches.Not much is left of the old Illyrian, Dacian or Thracian tongues, making it difficult to match Albanian with them.Schramm argues that such an early Christianization would explain the otherwise surprising virtual absence of any traces of a pre-Christian pagan religion among the Albanians as they appear in history during the Late Middle Ages.According to this theory, the Bessoi were deported en masse by the Byzantines at the beginning of the 9th century to central Albania for the purpose of fighting against the Bulgarians.an element of continuity from the pre-Roman provincial population is widely held plausible, on linguistic and archaeological grounds.The three chief candidates considered by historians are Illyrian, Dacian, or Thracian, though there were other non-Greek groups in the ancient Balkans, including Paionians (who lived north of Macedon) and Agrianians.However, considering the presence of some preserved old terms related to the sea fauna, some have assumed that this vocabulary might have been lost in the course of time after the proto-Albanian tribes were pushed back into the inland during invasions.The overwhelming amount of mountaineering and shepherding vocabulary, coupled with the extensive influence of Latin makes it likely that the Albanians originated north of the Jireček Line, further north and inland than the current borders of Albania suggest.Very little evidence of pre-Christian Albanian culture survives, although Albanian mythology and folklore are of Paleo-Balkanic origin and almost all of their elements are pagan, Contemporary historians conclude that, like other Balkan peoples, the Albanians are not descendants of a single ancient population; apart from a connection with prehistoric Balkan populations, such as the Illyrians, Dacians or Thracians, there is an additional admixture from Slavic, Greek, Vlach, Romano-Italian, Celtic and Germanic elements.The Albanian language is attested in a written form only in the 15th century AD, when the Albanian ethnos was already formed.