Jānis Endzelīns

excerpt of INTRODUCTION from
"Comparative Phonology and Morphology of the Baltic Languages."

" l. The Latvians,* Curonians, Lithuanians and Old Prussians are called Balts; Jatvingians are included as one of the tribes of the Prussians. References: Būga Liet. k. žod., LXXVIflž:, KSn., 78ff. and Gerullis, Bezzenberger - Festschrift, 44f×. Nesselmann in his book, Die Sprache der alten Preussen (1845), XXVIIIf., gave the name 'Balts' to these peoples because the land inhabited by them touches the Baltic Sea (concerning its name see Iev., 6f.). 

* Translators' note: For the four parts of Latvia the following names have been used: Kurzeme (Endzelin's Kurzeme or more often Kursa), adjective: Curonian (from the Latin form of Kurzeme, i.e. Curonia); Vidzeme, no adjective used (a description has been used, usually 'central dialect of Vidzeme'); Latgale, adjective: Latgalian; Zemgale, adjective: Zemgalian. Curonian, Latgalian, Zemgalian, and Selonian are designations for the languages of ancient Baltic tribes. Their more or less complete late merger gave rise to the Latvian language which in its dialects still preserves peculiarities of the languages (dialects) of the original tribes. There is no Vidzemian as in Vidzeme the so-called central dialect which comes closest to the Latvian literary standard is spoken so that Latvian in a narrower sense is the language of Vidzeme. Of course, this is not always the case because the central dialect is also spoken, e.g. in large parts of Kurzeme and Zemgale. The proper adjective of Vidzeme would have been Livonian from the old Latin name for Vidzeme-Livonia. English Low Latvian(s) = lejzemnieki; English High Latvian(s) = augšzemnieki. 

The extant Prussian texts begin as early as 1545, Lithuanian texts in 1547 and Latvian in 1585. These were translations of the catechisms. Grammars: J. Endzelin, Lettische Grammatik (1922); J. Plāķis, Leišu valodas rokas grāmata (1926); J. Endzelīns, Senprūšu valoda (1943, with vocabulary) and J. Endzelin, Altpreussische Grammatik (1944, without vocabulary). The Baltic languages are divided into West Baltic (= Prussian) and East Baltic (Lithuanian, Curonian and Latvian). The Prussian language differs from the East Baltic languages by such grammatical peculiarities as, for example: Pr. gen. sing. Deiwas '(of) God' - Lith. Dievo and Latv. Dieva; Pr. ains 'one' (= Goth. ains), tirtis 'third', usts 'sixth', newīnts 'ninth' (cf. Goth. niunda), (acc. plur.) tūsimtons 'thousand' - Lith. vienas 'one', trēčias 'third' (cf. OCS. tretbjb), šēštas 'sixth', devintas 'ninth' (cf. OCS. devetb), tūkstantis 'thousand' and Latv. viens 'one', trešs 'third', sests 'sixth', devīts 'ninth', tūkstuotis 'thousand'; Pr. (nom. sing. masc.) stas 'this, that', (nom. sing. fem.) stai, (gen. sing. masc.) stessei, (dat. sing. masc.) stesmu (cf. Goth. bamma), (gen. plur.) steison - Lith. (nom. sing. masc.) tas 'this, that', (nom. sing. fem.) , (gen. sing. masc.) to, (dat. sing. masc.) tam(ui), (gen. plur.) and Latv. (the corresponding forms are listed in the same order as above) tas, tā , tā , tam (cf. OCS. tomu), tuo; Pr. subs 'self' - Lith. and Latv. pats; Pr. mais 'my, mine', twais 'your, yours (sing.)', swais 'one's own' (cf. the corresponding OCS. mojb, tvojb, svojb) - Lith. manas 'my, mine', tavas 'your, yours', savas 'one's own' (and the corresponding) Latv. mans, tavs, savs; Pr. dat. mennei '(to) me', tebbei '(to) you (sing.)', sebbei '(to) oneself' (cf. the corresponding OCS. tebē, sebē), acc. mien 'me', tien 'you (sing.)', sien 'oneself', gen. plur. nouson '(of) us', dat. plur. noūma(n)s '(to) us', acc. plur. mans 'us', wans 'you (plur.)' (cf. OCS. vy) - Lith. dat. man(i) '(to) me', tav(i) '(to) you (sing.)', sav(i) '(to) oneself', acc. mane‚ 'me', tave‚ 'you (sing.)', save‚ 'oneself', gen. plur. mūsu '(of) us', dat. plur. mums '(to) us', acc. plur. mus 'us', jus 'you (plur.)' and the corresponding Latv. dat. sing. man, tav, sav, acc. sing. mani, tevi, sevi, gen. plur. mūsu, dat. plur. mums, acc. plur. mūs, jūs; Pr. dātwei 'to give' - Lith. duoti, Latv. duot; Pr. īduns 'having eaten', - stāuns 'having stood' - Lith. ēdes 'having eaten', stojes 'having stood' and the corresponding Latv. ‚ēdis, stājis. There are also differences in vocabulary; e.g. Pr. aglo 'rain': Lith. lietus 'rain' and Latv. lietus; Pr. assanis 'autumn' Lith. ruduo 'autumn', Latv. rudens; Pr. panno 'fire' (cf. Goth. fon): Lith. ugnis 'fire' and Latv. uguns and others, see Senpr., 13 f1'. - In some lexical items Prussian agrees with Lithuanian as against Latv.; e.g. Pr. soūns 'son' and Lith. sūnus as opposed to Latv. dēls. Much more rarely, Prussian agrees with Latvian and is different from Lithuanian; e.g. Pr. nabis 'navel' and Latv. naba as opposed to Lith. bamba 'navel'. Coincidences between Prussian and Curonian are rarely noted; e.g. Pr. kerscha(n) or kirscha(n) 'over, beyond' and Curonian place names Cērsupji2 and Cirspene: Lith. skersas 'cross, transverse', Latv. šķērss. The Prussian texts: Elbing vocabulary (with 802 words), which was written same time between 1300 and 1400, Simon Grunau's vocabulary (with 100 words) from the beginning of the l6th century, two catechisms published in 1545, one catechism published in 1561 and some personal and place names. Prussian died out around the end of the l7th century. Comparing the East Baltic languages with each other, one can say that the Lithuanian language is more conservative than Latvian; the greater part of the sounds and forms of Latvian have developed from sounds and forms similar to those even now used in Lithuanian. We find the beginnings of various innovations in Lithuanian, but Latvians have consistently brought these to completion. Partially, perhaps, this can be explained by Finnic (Livonian and Estonian) substratum, see FBR, VII, 176ff. The stress in Latvian has been withdrawn to the initial syllable and along with this, old long vowels and diphthongs in endings have been shortened and the old final ē and ā have been lost; in place of Lithuanian (Prussian and Curonian) an, en, in, un in Latvian we find uo, ie, i, ū; in place of Lithuanian (and Prussian) k, g, in Latvian (as in Curonian) we find c, dz; in place of Lithuanian š (< sj), ž, č dž in Latvian we have š, ž, š, ž; in place of Lithuanian š, ž, in Latvian (as in Prussian and Curonian) we find s, z; in Latvian the pronominal dative ending has been introduced into the o-stem nouns and the loc. sing. of the ā- stem nouns has been introduced into the loc. sing. of the o-stem nouns; r-stem nouns and u-stem adjectives have disappeared; for verbs with the infinitive in -īt (in the present tense ā-stem), past tense stems -ijā - have developed, for verbs with the infinitive in -uot, past tense stems with -uojā- have developed; a debitive form has been created and several innovations have been made in the choice of cases governed by the prepositions (Rektion). 

Three dialects are distinguished in Latvian: Tamian (and the closely parallel so-called Livonian dialects of Vidzeme), the central dialect (which forms the basis of the literary language) and the High Latvian dialect, see Lskf., 4ff. In Lithuanian there are two basic dialects, the Samogitian and High Lithuanian; concerning these see Gerullis' Litauische Dialektstudien and Salys, Arch. Phil., IV, 21 ff. In the Samogitian dialect tja, dja (> High Lithuanian †a, d«a) > te, de; uo, ie > ū, i (south-eastern) ou, ei (north-western), o, e ‚ (in the Klaipēda region), o (<ā ) > uo, e > ie. The High Lithuanian dialect is divided into western, central and eastern dialects. The western dialects are the basis of the contemporary Lithuanian literary language; in the eastern dialects an, am > un, um and en, em > in, im. Of the Lithuanian dialects the closest to the Latvian language is the Samogitian (concerning this see Specht in the symposium Stand und Aufgaben der Sprachwissenschaft, 626R.) and of the Latvian dialects the closest to Lithuanian is the High Latvian dialect, see Izv., XIII, 4, 176ff. 

The Curonians lived not only in modern Kurzeme, but also in Lithuania near Rietava, Telšiai and Skuoda, right up to the Klaipeda. In the 16th century they were no longer mentioned in Lithuania (it seems probable that this people was Lithuanianized), whereas those who were in Kurzeme were distinguished from the Latvians until the end of the 16th century and later were completely Latvianized. Linguistically they were most probably intermediaries between the Lithuanian and Latvian see FUF, XII, 59ff., IF, XXXIII, 96fi. and FBR, XX, 248ff.; we can make this conclusion from their remaining personal names and the Curonian dialectal characteristics. 

COMMENT: Cf. also J. Endzelīns, Latviešu valodas gramatika (Riga, 1951). A new edition of Le. Gr. keeping the same division of paragraphs as the latter; Mūsdienu latviešu literārās valodas gramatika,1-2 (Riga, 1959-62). Not a scholarly grammar but presents the modern literary standard Latvian; J. Otrebski, Gramatyka jezyka litewskiego (Warszawa, 1956-), in progress; E. Fraenkel, Die baltischen Sprachen (Heidelberg, 1950); M. Gimbutas, The Balts (New York, 1963). As an up-to-date survey of those people. Not a linguistic work. 

2. The Baltic languages belong to the Indo-European language family (i.e. the group including Aryan, Armenian, Albanian, Greek, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Tokharian, Hittite, etc.). The nearest relatives of the Balts are the Slavs. It seems that the ancestors of the Balts and the‚ Slavs, having become separated from the other Indo-Europeans, remained together for a certain time. Bearing witness to the close re- lationship between the Baltic and the Slavic languages are certain common characteristics: ur, ul, un, um as zero grade beside ir, il, in, im; *jau from eu; some accent shifts; the first person singular pronoun forms with mun-; the first person plural pronoun genitive form *nos(s)om; the definite adjective formation with the pronoun *io-; the predicate instrumental; infinitives in -ēt(e)i with a present stem in ; very many correspondences in vocabulary. The majority of features which now separate the Slavic languages from the Baltic could for the greater part have developed after the period when the Balts and Slavs lived together; in addition it is necessary to keep in mind that Baltic language texts begin only in the 16th century. It seems that not all of the Baltic peoples have had exactly the same linguistic relationships with the Slavs. Such an impression is created when one observes these facts: a) the 'circumflex' for Slavs, Prussians and Latvians is a falling intonation, but for Lithuanians a rising intonation, see 5; b) Indo-European k, g(h) > Lith. š, ž but Latv., Pr. and Slavic s, z, see 42 and 43 ; c) si > Lith. s, but Latv., Pr. and Slavic š, see 54; d) the Lithuanians have retained Indo-European sr, but the Slavs, Prussians and the Latvians have changed it into str, see 78; e) Slavic and Latv. pļ, bļ, correspond to the Lith. and Pr. sequences pj-; bj-, see 52; f) in place of Lith. and Pr. k, ģ, the Latvians have c, dz, the Slavs č, [d]ž, see 58; g) the Latvians, like their neighbors, the Russians, have lost tautosyllabic n which the Prussians and the Lithuanians (at least part of them) have retained, see 51; h) the sequences dl, tl, which are retained by the Western Slavs and in part of the Prussian dialects, were changed into gl, kl by the Lithuanians and the Latvians, see 82. All this would be more understandable, if the Lithuanians had not been formerly the immediate neighbors of the Slavs; some extinct Baltic tribes, in the south, Prussian Jatvingians, and in the east some other tribes, cf. the GOLYADb mentioned by the Russian chroniclers, could have separated the Slavs from the Lithuanians. Of the Slavs, only the neighbors of the Balts, the Russians and the north-western Slavs (Kashubians, etc.) have retained (like the Balts) the sequences -ol-, -or-, -el-, -er- without metathesis. In addition, cf. Russ. č, [d]ž < ti, di with Lith. č, dž, from which Latv. š, ž have developed. For literature about the Baltic relations with the Slavs see Le. Gr. ; also J. Safarewicz, Sprawozd. Polsk. Akad. Um., XLVI,199ff., E. Fraen- kel, Die baltischen Sprachen, 73ff. and R. Trautmann, Die slavischen Volker und Sprachen, 12ff. A few items unite the Baltic (and Slavic) languages with the Germanic languages; thus the dative plural ending with m- etc., see the literature mentioned in Le. Gr. Of the Baltic languages the nearest to Germanic is Prussian, see Senpr.,12 (with the literature mentioned therein) and 14. The Baltic languages are distinguished from other Indo-European languages partly by their vocabulary, and in addition, by these features: 
a) The Balts have retained the original sounds better than any other living Indo-European language; 
b) i has disappeared between a consonant and a following front vowel; 
c) m has been retained, also before dental consonants; 
d) the same form is used for all numbers in the third person of the verb. 

3. Influence of foreign languages. In all of the Baltic languages one finds the influence of the Slavic and Germanic languages, but in Latvian the influence of Livonian and Estonian is noted also. From the old Germanic languages the Balts borrowed only a few words, e.g. the Prussians rikijs (a form of address; from Gothic), the Lithuanians kviečiai 'wheat' and the Latvians kvieši, see Būga KSn., 60f. In the last centuries of the Middle Ages a good many words came into Latvian and Prussian from Middle Low German; after the Reformation the High German written language had considerable influence on the Latvian language and the Lithuanian dialects of Lithuania Minor; see Sehwers, Die deutschen Lehnwoter im Lettischen (1918), and Sprachlich-kulturhistorische Untersuchungen, vornehmlich uber den deutschen Einfluss im Lettischen (1936), Prellwitz, Die deutschen Bestandteile in den lettischen Sprachen, I (1891) and Alminauskis, Die Germanismen des Litauischen, I. Slavisms entered Prussian from Polish, into Lithuanian from Polish, White Rus- sian and Russian, into Latvian from Russian and (especially in Latgale) from Polish; see Bruckner, Litu-slavische Studien, I (1877), Būga, 'Die litauisch-weissrussischen Beziehunen und ihr Alter, ZslPh., I, 26-55, Skardžius, Die slavischen Lehnworter im Altlitauischen (1931), Otrebski, Wschodniolitewskie narzecze twereckie, czesc III, zapožyczenia slowianskie (1932), and Endzelin, XCuean Cmaputta, IX, 285-312. Concerning the Livonian (and Estonian) influence on Latvian see Thomsen, Beroringer mellem de finske og de baltiske Sprog, 252-88. 

COMMENT: Cf. also E. Fraenkel, Litauisches etymologisches Worterbuch (Heidelberg-Go"ttingen 1955-65); A. Summent [Zuments), Unbeachtete slavische Lehnworter im Lettischen (Gottingen,1950); V. J. Zeps, Latvian and Finnic Linguistic Convergences (Bloomington-The Hague, 1962); pp. 84-210 treat Finnic loanwords in Latvian." 

- Jānis Endzelīns', Comparative Phonology and Morphology of the Baltic Languages

Jānis Endzelīns
Jānis Endzelīns