The Periphery Subdialects of Southwestern Lithuania and the Slavic Languages
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This article deals with the relations between the southwestern Lithuanian subdialects and the neighbouring Slavic languages. In terms of sociolinguistics, Lithuanians predominate in this area. The speakers of the Slavic languages are in the minority. They speak their native tongues (Polish, Belarussian, and Russian) and Lithuanian, but their command of its local subdialects generally is rather poor, with the exception of some forms. Quite a number of new linguistic phenomena have originated in these subdialects under the influence of the Slavic languages: diphthongization of the vowels e and o, monophthongization of ie and uo, velarization of the consonants r, s, z, c, and Z and the related backing of front vowels, lengthening of unstressed short vowels, shortening of unstressed long vowels, toneme dephonologization, the use of morphemes, peculiar to the word formation of the Slavic languages etc. Some of the Slavic language speakers of this region learned Lithuanian at school, but they talk with a conspicuous accent, sometimes use forms of the local dialect 'dzukai'. Their Lithuanian language has these characteristic features: using e or ie instead of Lithuanian e, ie and monophthongization of uo, lengthening of stressed and unstressed short vowels, shortening of unstressed long vowels and diphthongs, velarization of consonants, change of stress place etc.
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