The Ambiguity of Expression “Simple Language” in the Balto-Slavic Border Region from the Perspective of the Lithuanian Language

  • Koji Morita
Keywords: Balto-Slavic border region, multilingualism, multiculturalism, język prosty, prosta mova, Grand Duchy of Lithuania


    This paper deals with the so-called język prosty which has been used for ages by various national groups living in the Balto-Slavic border region. This homely and unofficial language functions among the lower social classes only as a vehicle for verbal communication within multilingual communities.
    The author also mentions the fact that in the past there existed a language called by a similar name. From the 16th century to the middle of the 17th century, in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania there functioned a written language referred to as prosta mova. It was then the official literary language, apart from Old Church Slavonic. It also served as a communication tool for the upper social classes in the multilingual country.
The main goal of this paper is to highlight the ambiguity of expression simple language in the Balto-Slavic border region, paying more attention to the interpretation of the meaning from the perspective of the Lithuanian language.