2006 | 30 | 221-231
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Slavic loanwords in the northern sub-dialect of the southern part of west high Lithuanian

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Lexicon is the most fluctuating language layer; it changes along with the improving and changing life. All borrowed word-stock has several different synchronic layers. The majority of loanwords of the 20th century are of Russian origin. Going back into the past, for the identification of the language source, old writigs and the analysis of their borrowings is of utmost importance. From that period we have more loanwords from Belorussian or Polish and fewer from Russian. Currently loanwords are more frequent in spoken rather than in written language. There are just a few Slavic loanwords widespread in old texts and transferred into the standard language. More and more old Slavic loanwords have been ousted from the dialects under the influence of the standard language. In the 16th or 17th centuries the situation was slightly different. The greatest part of old Lithuanian writings in this period are translations from Slavic languages and they reflect not only Slavic loanwords, used in spoken language, but also new borrowings. Hence chronologically the inventory of Slavic loanwords in old texts overlaps with the inventory of Slavic loanwords in dialects. Moreover, the West High Lithuanian dialect took its final shape only at the end of the 17th century. 300 old Slavic loanwords, which are still used in the dialect of Zanavykai, cover a fairly limited variety of semantic groups and show the character of linguistic contacts in the middle of Lithuania.
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  • V. Sakalauskiene, Institute of the Lithuanian Language, P. Vileisio st. 5, LT-10308, Vilnius, Lithuania
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