Regional distrubition of contemporary Lithuanian dialects

Schneider, Christa; Kardelis, Vytautas (28 June 2019). Regional distrubition of contemporary Lithuanian dialects (Unpublished). In: IClave 10. Leeuwarden. 26.-28.06.2019.

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Regional Distribution of Contemporary Lithuanian Dialects

At the beginning of the 20th century, like in many other European countries, a plan to document the spoken language systematically was also brought up in Lithuania. In the 1950’s, the necessary data for the Lietuvių kalbos atlasas (LKA) 'Lithuanian Language Atlas' was collected. This linguistic atlas was published in the three volumes Lexika 'lexicon' 1977, Fonetika 'phonetics' 1982 and Morfologija 'morphology' 1991, containing dialectal data for 800 localities visualised in 376 dialect maps (cf. Mikulėninė et al. 2014). As the aforementioned volumes were published, dialectologists very often viewed language variation mono-dimensionally. But since the attempts to create a linguistic atlas of Lithuanian, dialectology has undergone a paradigm shift, and today, dialectology has become a dynamic, sociolinguistically and perceptually oriented field of research.
Contemporary projects are methodologically based on a new paradigm where crowd-sourcing methods are used to help collect large amounts of data in a short time. These new data corpora are then compared with the data corpora collected during the traditional dialectological period, which makes language variation and change relatively easy to identify and document. Given the existence of the LKA, the Lithuanian situation is also appropriate for comparison.
In this talk, we want to focus on the results of a pilot study conducted in Lithuania in 2018, for which a questionnaire was drafted in order to document language variation and investigate change. The questionnaire aimed to survey eleven variables from the LKA to allow for a first comparison of data. The questionnaire was accessible online for a total of one day during which we collected 119 completed questionnaires. The results make clear that the two major dialect regions (Aukštaitija 'Upper Lithuania' and Žemaitija 'Lower Lithuania') are still visible; however, their original area of distribution, as shown in the dialect classification that emerged out of the data of the LKA, has changed considerably. Furthermore, the results show that the linguistic homogeneity, as documented for the majority of all variables in the LKA, has been lost in most dialect regions, basically through speaker mobility. In this talk, we also want to focus on the recently discovered heterogeneity and present new dialect maps, which give us a clearer picture of the linguistic situation in Lithuania today.

Mikulėnienė, Danguolė et al. (2014). XXI a. pradžios lietuių tarmės: geolingvistinis it sociolingvistinis tyrimas. Vilnius: Briedis.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Digital Humanities
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for the Study of Language and Society (CSLS)

Graduate School:

Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Schneider, Christa


400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 490 Other languages




Christa Schneider

Date Deposited:

14 Apr 2021 10:37

Last Modified:

14 Apr 2021 10:37




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