The Change of Phonetic Differential Feature in the Eastern Aukštaitian Subdialect of Panevėžys: the Geospatial Approach

  • Agnė Čepaitienė
  • Aidas Gudaitis
Keywords: Eastern Aukštaitian Subdialect of Panevėžys, Petras Būtėnas, “okavimas”, geospatial analysis, change of dialectal feature


    The article deals with one of the phonetic differential features of the Panevėžys subdialect of Eastern Aukštaitian. This phonetic feature is characterised by pronunciation [o̞n], [o̞m] of stressed and unstressed semi-diphthongs an, am in the stem, that is traditionally referred to as “okavimas”. The geospatial methods based on GIS technology for geolinguistic analysis were used for this dialectal feature for the first time in Lithuania. The purpose of this study is to determine the shift of the “okavimas” feature over 100 years and to assess its continuity.
    The article presents an analysis of the “okavimas” feature based on two layers of material: the research made by Petras Būtėnas (1932: 168–193) and the audio recordings stored in the Archive of the Dialects at the Institute of the Lithuanian Language. Additional socio-economic and socio-cultural data were used to assess the continuity of the analysed phonetic feature.
    The area and intensiveness of the phonetic distinctive feature “okavimas” was found to have changed and almost disappeared during the time. From a time perspective, the breaking point of the change in the intensity of use of the “okavimas” feature could have taken place during the Second World War and the post-war period. The results show a consistent and gradual decline in the “okavimas” feature. This is also evidenced by the recent socio-economic and socio-cultural data.