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  • The Lithuanian language belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and together with Latvian constitutes the extant Baltic group of languages.

  • The Lithuanian name for the language is Lietuvių kalba.

  • Lithuanian developed two main dialects, namely, Zemaiciu (Samogitian) spoken by western Lithuanians, and Aukstaiciu (Highlander) spoken by southern, eastern and northern Lithuanians.
  • Spoken Lithuanian preserves still dialects and subdialects, but these are gradually leveled out under the impact of literary Lithuanian.
  • Between 400-600 AD, the Lithuanian and Latvian languages split from the Western Baltic (Prussian) language group, which subsequently became extinct.
  • The first known written Lithuanian text dates from a hymnal translation in 1545. Printed books in Lithuanian language are known since 1547, but the level of literacy among Lithuanians were not big in 16th – 18th centuries and number of books wasn't big too. Literacy in Lithuania strongly increased during the 19th century, despite victimization, made by Russian authorities (which reached its peak after suppression of January Uprising, in 1864 – 1904, when Russian officials forbade any public spoken usage of Lithuanian language and usage of Latin alphabet for written language).
  • There are two grammatical genders in Lithuanian. It has a free and mobile stress. Lithuanian language is inflected. It has 5 noun and 3 adjective declensions and 3 verbal conjugations. All verbs have present, past, past iterative and future tenses of the indicative mood, conditional and imperative moods (both without distinction of tenses) and infinitive. These forms, except the infinitive, are conjugative, having 2 singular, 2 plural persons and the 3rd person form common both for plural and singular. Nouns and other declinable words are declined in seven cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative, and vocative (nouns only).
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