Michael wrote: expect the answer to be an Italianate or Turkish-derived term.
Well, köfte does exist in Turkish, and perhaps entered Albanian via Ottoman.
Keen eye there; sağol, kardeş
Normally, I would have been able to make the connection too, as colloquial Albanian is replete with Turkish loans (you'd love it, btw *wink*) and I enjoy learning about them, but this is the first time I learn of that specific word köfte
. I think I figured out what was confusing me in regards to qoft/e, -ja
: Its resemblance to the word qoftë
, a conjunction stemming from the isolated third-person singular optative conjugation of the copula verb (për të qenë
) that means "whether … [or not]", also used in the conjunctive phrase në qoftë se
meaning "in the case that, lest". (Sorry, I didn't mean to provide you with all that irrelevant information.) Thus in a nutshell, qoft/e, -ja
is indeed ultimately derived from Turkish, and the resemblance to qoftë
, an indigenous word, was purely coincidental!