The Women’s Surname Reform in the Lithuanian Language from the Perspective of Word Formation

  • Daiva Murmulaitytė
Keywords: personal names, female surnames, word formation, ending, systematicity


The formation of words (and consequently surnames) is an integral part of the language system. Therefore, Lithuanian female surnames must conform to this system’s regularities. For significant socio-cultural reasons, not solely based on aesthetic considerations, it is imperative to evaluate the prospects for the development of the Lithuanian language and anticipate the potential consequences of change when reforming the microsystem of surnames. The paper underscores specific aspects of Lithuanian language morphology (word formation) that are frequently overlooked or ignored in the discussions regarding the proposal to legalize Lithuanian female surnames ending in -(i)a. It delves into the relationship between tradition and systematicity. The use of the ending  for the formation of the female surnames not demonstrating women’s marital status is considered a motivated exception (due to the overlap in the form of female and male surnames) rather than a precedent to further reforming the surname system.