Dialect Nominations and Evaluations in the Area of the Southern Samogitian of Raseiniai

  • Diana Dambrauskienė
Keywords: perceptive dialectology, linguistic homeland, Southern Samogitian subdialect of Raseiniai, dialect, standard language


    Based on the methodologies of perceptual dialectology, the article addresses dialect nominations and evaluations of the respondents from the area of the Southern Samogitian subdialect of Raseiniai (areas of Kelmė, Raseiniai and Tauragė). There is a clear opposition between Samogitian and Aukštaitian dialects established in the consciousness of the respondents from all three areas. The latter is associated with Standard Lithuanian.
    According to the respondents, the Samogitian dialect is incomprehensible and easily recognizable. It is used in other towns (localities) whose residents realise the representative features of the Samogitian dialect specified by the respondents in their spoken language. The Aukštaitian dialect, which demonstrates aesthetics, understandability, correctness and meets the concept of the standard language, is spoken in the nearest towns of the ethnographic region of Aukštaitija and Lithuania’s largest cities (localities) and Central Lithuania. The speakers of the subdialect of Raseiniai associate the Aukštaitian local dialects (Lith. šnektos), which exhibit greater differences compared to the language variant spoken in their linguistic homeland and the standard language, with the names of towns and refer to them as dialects (Lith. tarmės)
    The evaluations of Samogitian and Aukštaitian dialects lead to an assumption concerning the rapid shift of the whole area of Southern Samogitian of Raseiniai into Aukštaitian (in particular in the area of Kelmė where the Samogitian dialect is most commonly evaluated as most incomprehensible).