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
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
- 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).