Lithuanian: accentual paradigm notations

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by ahvalj, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. ahvalj Senior Member

    I always wondered if there is any reason to establish separate accentual subparadigms for Lithuanian nouns of the third accentuation class, other than the acute/non-acute.

    To date, Lithuanian grammars and dictionaries distinguish between the following subclasses:
    (3): lángas - langáms - lángus
    (3a): áudeklas - audekláms - áudeklus
    (3b): kẽpalas - kepaláms - kẽpalus
    (34a): laiškanešỹs - laiškanešiáms - láiškanešius
    (34b): tẽtervinas - tetervináms - tẽtervinus
    (examples from Ambrazas et al., 2006).

    In my view, there are only two subtypes here: the one with the acute initial vowel (3, 3a, and 34a) and the one with a non-acute (3b and 34b), and the stress simply moves between the ending and the initial syllable, so that the count from the end (3: second syllable from the end, 3a-b: third syllable from the end, and 34a-b: fourth syllable from the end) seems to be irrelevant.

    The origin of this entire accentuation class is pretty transparent: in the proto-language, those stems consisted of low-toned syllables, and when both the stem and the ending consisted of low-toned syllables, the accent automatically fell on the initial syllable of the word, and when the ending was high-toned (Dat. Pl.), the accent fell on it, according to the general rule for the Balto-Slavic ("the accent falls on the first high-toned syllable of the [word] or [word + enclitic] or [proclitic+word] or [proclitic+word+enclitic], otherwise an accent of a different kind falls on the first syllable").

    So, my question is whether there are words in modern Lithuanian that belong to the third accentuation class but have non-initial stems stressed in the Acc. Pl.? Otherwise, as I had written, I see no need in the existing notational complexity.
  2. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Hi, Ahvalj, welcome back. I have no idea. I learned Lithuanian the natural way, so it is hard for me to say. If you perhaps simplify the question a little bit, maybe I will be able to help you. What kind of tone are you referring to? Can provide a few examples of the words you have in mind? What do you mean by contemporary Lithuanian -- just the very recent Lithuanian, like the last 20 years, let's say, or the language within at least the last one hundred years. It may also depend on the dialect, slightly. Otherwise you really have to wait for a theoretical researcher who studies Indo-European phonetics.
  3. ahvalj Senior Member

    The question is quite practical — we have nouns with stressed endings in the Dative Plural but with stressed stems in the Accusative Plural (= accentuation class 3 of the Lithuanian grammars and dictionaries), see the examples above, so: are there nouns of this type with a non-initial syllable stressed in the Accusative Plural?
  4. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    I am not sure which syllables are stressed, or unstressed, in any of the languages I learned the natural way -- I just know how to say the word, if I hear it, or see it. I will think about it, but it may take me some time. Maybe I can come up with some words like that. After some more thought, I would say: I don't think so -- that there are any commonly used nouns without the stress on the first syllable in the Accusative Plural. If I can think of an exception, I will let you know.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  5. ahvalj Senior Member

    Since there are several posts about Lithuanian the last week, let me revitalize my old question. Hopefully, a native speaker can help.
  6. itsacatfish Member

    London - UK
    English - UK
    How about aštuonì - aštúonis - aštuoniéms / devynì - devýnis - devyniéms etc.

    Or do numerals not count?

    Also, note some of the examples here
  7. ahvalj Senior Member

    Thanks, the link answers my question, though this seems to be a substandard development not embraced by the existing notational system. Yet this development requires indicating the stressed syllable, though for economy I would use it only for these few words.

    The numerals fit the AP 3 indeed. I only wonder what is the origin of the stress in the Accusative.
  8. itsacatfish Member

    London - UK
    English - UK
    Judging by the information from the link, it seems that Old Lithuanian was more standardised to fit your pattern, and there is a general shift with moving the accent paradigm towards the final syllable. I suppose it is possible the same development in some very common words (such as numerals) could have occured a couple of centuries earlier and anticipated this trend?
  9. ahvalj Senior Member

    The Lithuanian nominal accentual paradigms (though not necessarily individual words) are extremely conservative and continue the Balto-Slavic ones with almost no changes as to the place of the stress. My question about the AP 3 arose because since the early Balto-Slavic times this AP showed a stress alternation between the first and the last syllables. This is caused, as it appears from the accentological studies of the last decades (Dybo etc., e. g. here: by the original tonal structure: the Balto-Slavic inherited from the Indo-European an opposition of high- and low-toned (else dominant and recessive) morphemes and developed the following rule for the position of the stress: if a word had high-toned morphemes, the stress was placed on the leftmost of them, if it contained only low-toned morphemes, the stress of a special kind fell on the first syllable (also valid for Greek but different in Indo-Aryan and Germanic). The Lithuanian AP 1 and 2 continue high-toned stems, and AP 3 and 4 — low-toned stems. The separation of AP 2 and 4 is caused by the shift of the stress from non-acute syllables on the neighboring acute ones (in the endings, e. g. in the Acc. Pl., the acute has since shortened). This still works as a model for the modern Lithuanian stress, despite the distinction of the former high- and low-tones being lost (though partly preserved in a modified form in Samogitian and Latvian). You can see how it works in the Lithuanian grammar by Ambrazas et al. on pp. 77–83 (high- and low-tones are reflected as strong and weak stems in the modern language) —

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