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The Baltic Languages

While other Indo-European languages underwent rapid transformations, the languages in the Baltic branch, and Lithuanian in particular, remained relatively unchanged. The Lithuanian language is characterized by an abundance of diverse word formations and synonyms. Out of all of the living Indo-European languages, it has best retained archaic sound systems, many morphologies and lexical features. For this reason, it is difficult for researchers to fully comprehend Indo-European languages without knowledge of Lithuanian.

Sanskrit and the Baltic languages constitute two poles between which are sought the origins of the Indo-European languages. There are in fact many similarities between these two tongues. For example, the following proverb written in modern Lithuanian and Sanskrit demonstrates these likenesses:

"Dievas dave dantis, Dievas duos duonos"
"Devas adat datas, Devas dasyati dhanas"
(God gave us teeth, God will give us bread)



next previous contents
Next: Baltic Culture Previous: The Baltic Tribes

"LITHUANIAN ROOTS", Edited by Rytis Ambrazevicius


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Copyright ©, 1996 Lithuanian Folk Culture Centre.