The Reconstruction of the Priedzūkis Dialectal Features in Horizontal and Vertical Continuum: the Case of the Bottom of the Kaunas Lagoon

  • Žydrūnas Šidlauskas
Keywords: Western Aukštaitian subdialect of Kaunas, Southern Aukštaitian subdialect, horizontal continuum, vertical continuum, Kaunas Lagoon


The article analyses the horizontal and vertical continuum of the territory flooded by Kaunas Lagoon and the coastal dialect zones. The study material was collected in Rumšiškės (LKA536) and Šlienava (Margininkai (LKA553 point)). The informants once lived at the bottom of the Kaunas Lagoon; the language of two families (inhabitants of different generations) was contrasted.

The study area is the Western Aukštaitian subdialect of Kaunas area, where Priedzūkis dialectal features were expected to find. This assumption was confirmed: although theoretically, the manifestations of Priedzūkis are the clearest on the right bank of the lagoon and the vicinity of Nemunas toward the south, the findings show that the manifestations can be found on both sides of the lagoon, close to the lagoon. At the same time, it implies the distinctiveness of the area.

The article also highlights the significance of the vertical continuum: a clear correlation between dialectal characteristics and the age of informants was established. With a new approach to the typology of age, breaking away from the usual three-generation division, the vertical fragmentation is revealed in deeper cross-sections. The older informants (who, according to the traditional three-generation division, would belong to the same generation as the younger ones) have retained more of the Priedzūkis features.