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Baltic Online

Lesson 2: Lithuanian

Virginija Vasiliauskiene and Jonathan Slocum

In the summer of 1941 Nazi Germany occupied Lithuania, but the Nazis were unable to form Lithuanian legions for their army. In revenge, in March of 1943 they arrested a group of Lithuanian intellectuals and sent them to the Stuthoff concentration camp. Among these was Balys Sruoga, a writer, specialist in literature, and a professor at Vytautas the Great and Vilnius universities. He considered totalitarianism the greatest enemy of mankind. In Stutthof it fell to his lot to experience the horror of the Nazi system of violence, and several times he narrowly escaped death. But still another tragedy awaited him on his return to Lithuania in 1945. His wife, an historian, and his daughter, fleeing from Soviet occupation, had gone west as had thousands of other Lithuanian scholars, artists and writers. The cruelties of Soviet occupation, the trains with Lithuanians exiled to Siberia had forced Sruoga to send them a warning: "Don't return home." He never saw them again.

After the war, Sruoga wrote in a few months a book about the Stutthof concentration camp called Dievų̃ mìškas 'Forest of the gods'. This is one of the first memoirs in Europe about the Nazi concentration camps. In it the process of dehumanization, which the totalitarian systems perpetrated, is exposed from within. Unlike many other works of this genre, here an attempt is made to conceal fragile human nature under external irony, laughter through tears, a screen for what cannot be completely told. But the book was received with hostility by the Soviet system because of its subtle irony, which did not allow a note of sentimentality to thrust its way through in the presence of the brutality and meaninglessness of death. The book was not published until about a decade later, when Europe had more or less had its fill of this kind of memoir. It is entitled "Forest of the Gods," after the name of the swampy place in which the Stutthof concentration camp had been built. Sruoga's health never recovered after Stutthof, and he died in 1947.

Reading and Textual Analysis

In the selection given below, the repressed voice of the humanist Sruoga (a voice which frequently recurs in this book) breaks through when he sees the Stutthof camp's "team of klipatas." Sruoga had invented the new word klìpata to denote the lame and crippled people who could hardly move, the physically injured and morally broken prisoners, out of whom the desire to live had been beaten and who no longer wished to resist death. His 'team' does not resemble living people, but a moving crowd of ghosts. The Nazis didn't kill the Stutthof prisoners immediately, but turned them into floundering shadows, klìpatas.

Here, Nazism is treated as contempt for the human being and a rejection of the ethical and cultural norms of millennia of human history. The writer depicts the forced death as an act of degradation of the world, rejecting all of the values which had existed until the present time. It is not the horror of death that is accentuated, but rather its senselessness, its outrageous, disfigured, befouled image. It is beyond the realm of natural relationships and natural feelings. It is unimaginable to measure it with the emotions of pity and sympathy. This death does not even evoke protest, because it is unclear to whom to protest.

In this selection we encounter a few phraseologisms: ́mą nurýti 'to smoke', maũškę išmèsti 'to take a strong drink', nustóti prõto 'to go mad'. The book was translated into English by Balys Sruoga's granddaughter Aušrìnė (Aush) Bylà in 1996 (Vilnius: Vaga). A few changes have been made in the selected part of this translation in order to adapt it better for English speakers.

Mìršta žmónės kãro laukuosè baisiosè kančiosè.

  • mìršta -- verb; 3rd person present of <mir̃ti, mìršta, mìrė> die -- die
  • žmónės -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <žmónės> people -- people
  • kãro -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <kãras> war -- of the war
  • laukuosè -- noun, masculine; locative plural of <laũkas> field -- on the fields
  • baisiosè -- adjective; locative plural feminine of <baisùs, baisì> terrible, horrible -- horrible
  • kančiosè -- noun, feminine; locative plural of <kančià> agony, suffering -- in agony

Bèt tenaĩ - visì lýgūs.

  • bèt -- conjunction; <bèt> but -- but
  • tenaĩ -- adverb; <tenaĩ> there -- there
  • visì -- pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <vìsas, visà> all -- all
  • lýgūs -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <lýgus, lýgi> equal -- (are) equal

Teñ tàvo mirtìs ir̃ kañčios šiokiõs tokiõs prasmė̃s tùri: dė̃l kuriõs nórs idė́jos kariáujama, dė̃l tėvỹnės, dė̃l láisvės...

  • teñ -- adverb; <teñ> there, thither -- there
  • tàvo -- pronoun; genitive singular of <> you -- your
  • mirtìs -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <mirtìs> death -- death
  • ir̃ -- conjunction; <ir̃> and -- and
  • kañčios -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <kančià> agony, suffering -- sufferings
  • šiokiõs tokiõs -- pronoun; genitive singular feminine of <šióks tóks, šiokià tokià> some, a little -- some kind
  • prasmė̃s -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <prasmė̃> sense, meaning -- of meaning
  • tùri -- verb; 3rd person present of <turė́ti, tùri, turė́jo> have -- have
  • ̃l -- preposition; <̃l> because, for -- for
  • kuriõs nórs -- pronoun; genitive singular feminine of <kurìs nórs, kurì nórs> any, some -- any
  • idė́jos -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <idė́ja> idea -- an idea
  • kariáujama -- verb; neuter of present participle passive of <kariáuti, kariája, kariãvo> fight -- (somebody is)fighting
  • ̃l -- preposition; <̃l> because, for -- for
  • tėvỹnės -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <tėvỹnė> homeland -- a homeland
  • ̃l -- preposition; <̃l> because, for -- for
  • láisvės -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <láisvė> freedom -- a freedom

Õ čià - niẽkur niẽko! Jokiõs prasmė̃s!

  • õ -- conjunction; <õ> and, but -- but
  • čià -- adverb; <čià> here -- here
  • niẽkur -- adverb; <niẽkur> anywhere -- anywhere
  • niẽko -- pronoun; genitive singular of <niẽkas> no one, nobody, nothing -- nothing
  • jokiõs -- pronoun; genitive singular feminine of <jóks, jokià> no, none -- no
  • prasmė̃s -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <prasmė̃> sense, meaning -- meaning

Niẽkas táu jokiõs pagálbos neteĩks.

  • niẽkas -- pronoun; nominative singular of <niẽkas> no one, nobody, nothing -- no one
  • táu -- pronoun; dative singular of <> you -- to you
  • jokiõs -- pronoun; genitive singular feminine of <jóks, jokià> no, none -- any
  • pagálbos -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <pagálba> aid, help -- aid
  • neteĩks -- negative particle; <ne> not + verb; 3rd person future of <teĩkti, teĩkia, teĩkė> give, render -- will not give

Niẽkas tavę̃s neatjaũs, nepaguõs, į̃ mirtiẽs pãslaptį pakeleivìngos méilės žodžiù nepalydė̃s.

  • niẽkas -- pronoun; nominative singular of <niẽkas> no one, nobody, nothing -- no one
  • tavę̃s -- pronoun; genitive singular of <> you -- you
  • neatjaũs -- negative particle; <ne> not + verb; 3rd person future of <atjaũsti, atjaũčia, àtjautė> sympathize, comfort -- will not comfort
  • nepaguõs -- negative particle; <ne> not + verb; 3rd person future of <pagúosti, pagúodžia, pagúodė> console -- will not console
  • į̃ -- preposition; <į̃> at, for, in, to -- to
  • mirtiẽs -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mirtìs> death -- of death
  • pãslaptį -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <paslaptìs> mystery -- the mystery
  • pakeleivìngos -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <pakeleivìngas, pakeleivìnga> fellow traveller -- parting
  • méilės -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <méilė> love -- of love
  • žodžiù -- noun, masculine; instrumental singular of <žõdis> word -- with a word
  • nepalydė̃s -- negative particle; <ne> not + verb; 3rd person future of <palydė́ti, palỹdi, palydė́jo> accompany -- will not accompany

Seniaũ, beñt kituosè kraštuosè, kariamájam beñt paskutìnį nórą paténkindavo - dúodavo paválgyti, dū́mą nurýti, láišką parašýti, kókią maũškę išmèsti...

  • seniaũ -- adverb; comparative of <seniaĩ> early, long ago -- in earlier times
  • beñt -- particle; <beñt> at least -- at least
  • kituosè -- pronoun; locative plural masculine of <kìtas, kità> other -- other
  • kraštuosè -- noun, masculine; locative plural of <krãštas> country -- in countries
  • kariamájam -- verb /; dat.sg.masc. of pres.ptc.pass.def. of <kárti, kãria, kórė> hang -- to a hanging one
  • beñt -- particle; <beñt> at least -- at least
  • paskutìnį -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <paskutìnis, paskutìnė> last, final -- final
  • nórą -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <nóras> wish -- a wish
  • paténkindavo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative of <paténkinti, paténkina, paténkino> meet, satisfy, grant -- used to grant
  • dúodavo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative of <dúoti, dúoda, dãvė> give -- used to give (him)
  • paválgyti -- verb; infinitive of <paválgyti, paválgo, paválgė> eat -- to eat
  • ́ -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <́mas> smoke -- a smoke
  • nurýti -- verb; infinitive of <nurýti, nurỹja, nurìjo> swallow -- to swallow
  • láišką -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <láiškas> letter -- a letter
  • parašýti -- verb; infinitive of <parašýti, parãšo, parãšė> write -- to write
  • kókią -- pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <kóks, kokià> any, some -- any
  • maũškę -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <maũškė> beret -- shot (of liquor)
  • išmèsti -- verb; infinitive of <išmèsti, ìšmeta, ìšmetė> down -- to down

Õ čià - pàspiria kója - ir̃ vìskas.

  • õ -- conjunction; <õ> and, but -- but
  • čià -- adverb; <čià> here -- here
  • pàspiria -- verb; 3rd person present of <paspìrti, pàspiria, paspýrė> kick -- (they) kick
  • kója -- noun, feminine; instrumental singular of <kója> foot -- with foot
  • ir̃ -- conjunction; <ir̃> and -- and
  • vìskas -- pronoun; nominative of <vìskas> everything -- that's all

Baĩsūs bùvo kitì naikìnimo lãgeriai, kur̃, bū́davo, àtveža kãlinį ir̃ tuojaũ nužùdo.

  • baĩsūs -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <baisùs, baisì> terrible, horrible -- atrocious
  • bùvo -- verb; 3rd person preterit of <́ti, yrà, bùvo> be -- were
  • kitì -- pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <kìtas, kità> other -- other
  • naikìnimo -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <naikìnimas> extermination, destruction -- extermination
  • lãgeriai -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <lãgeris> camp -- the camps
  • kur̃ -- adverb; <kur̃> where -- where
  • ́davo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative of <́ti, yrà, bùvo> be -- used to
  • àtveža -- verb; 3rd person present of <atvèžti, àtveža, àtvežė> bring -- bring in
  • kãlinį -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <kalinỹs> prisoner -- a prisoner
  • ir̃ -- conjunction; <ir̃> and -- and
  • tuojaũ -- adverb; <tuojaũ> at once, immediately -- immediately
  • nužùdo -- verb; 3rd person present of <nužudýti, nužùdo, nužùdė> kill -- kill (him)

Bèt tàs pàts žùdymas faktinaĩ vỹko ir̃ Dievų̃ mìško padángėj.

  • bèt -- conjunction; <bèt> but -- however
  • tàs pàts -- pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <tàs pàts, tà patì> the same -- this same
  • žùdymas -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <žùdymas> killing -- killing
  • faktinaĩ -- adverb; <faktinaĩ> in fact, practically -- in fact
  • vỹko -- verb; 3rd person preterit of <vỹkti, vỹksta, vỹko> take place -- took place
  • ir̃ -- particle; <ir̃> and -- also
  • Dievų̃ -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <diẽvas> god -- of the Gods
  • mìško -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <mìškas> forest -- of the forest
  • padángėj -- noun, feminine; locative singular of <padángė> sky -- under the skies

Skìrtumas bùvo tiktaĩ tasaĩ, kàd čià žmõgų nukankìndavo, čiulptè iščiul̃pdavo jõ sveikãtą, jõ jėgàs, ver̃sdavo jį̃ mir̃ti ìš bãdo...

  • skìrtumas -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <skìrtumas> difference -- difference
  • bùvo -- verb; 3rd person preterit of <́ti, yrà, bùvo> be -- was
  • tiktaĩ -- particle; <tiktaĩ> only -- the only
  • tasaĩ -- pronoun; nominative singular masculine definite of <tàs, tà> this, that -- ...
  • kàd -- conjunction; <kàd> that -- that
  • čià -- adverb; <čià> here -- here
  • žmõgų -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <žmogùs> human being, person -- a person
  • nukankìndavo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative of <nukankìnti, nukankìna, nukankìno> torture -- (they) used to torture
  • čiulptè -- second infinitive; <čiul̃pti, čiul̃pia, čiul̃> sucking -- ...
  • iščiul̃pdavo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative; <iščiul̃pti, iščiul̃pia, ìščiulpė> suck -- used to suck
  • -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <jìs, jì> he, she, it -- his
  • sveikãtą -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <sveikatà> health -- health
  • -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <jìs, jì> he, she, it -- his
  • jėgàs -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <jėgà> energy -- energy
  • ver̃sdavo -- verb; 3rd person frequentative of <ver̃sti, ver̃čia, ver̃tė> force, compel -- used to force
  • jį̃ -- pronoun; accusative singular masculine of <jìs, jì> he, she, it -- him
  • mir̃ti -- verb; infinitive of <mir̃ti, mìršta, mìrė> die -- to die
  • ìš -- preposition; <ìš> from -- from
  • bãdo -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <bãdas> starvation -- starvation

Kurì lãgerių rūšìs geriaũ atitiñka mū́sų ámžiaus kultū̃ros laimė́jimus, dievàž neleñgva bū́tų nusprę́sti.

  • kurì -- pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <kurìs, kurì> which, who -- which
  • lãgerių -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <lãgeris> camp -- of camps
  • rūšìs -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <rūšìs> type -- type
  • geriaũ -- adverb; comparative of <geraĩ> better -- better
  • atitiñka -- verb; 3rd person present of <atitìkti, atitiñka, atitìko> correspond -- complements
  • ́ -- pronoun; genitive plural of <mẽs> our -- our
  • ámžiaus -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <ámžius> century -- century's
  • kultū̃ros -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <kultūrà> culture -- of culture
  • laimė́jimus -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <laimė́jimas> achievement, winning -- the achievements
  • dievàž -- interjection; <dievàž> god knows -- God knows
  • neleñgva -- negative particle; <ne> not + adjective; neuter of <leñgvas, lengvà> easy -- (it is) not easy
  • ́ -- verb; 3rd person subjunctive of <́ti, yrà, bùvo> be -- would be
  • nusprę́sti -- verb; infinitive of <nusprę́sti, nuspréndžia, nuspréndė> decide -- to decide

Pagaliaũ, - taĩ individualaũs skõnio reĩkalas...

  • pagaliaũ -- conjunction; <pagaliaũ> after all, at last -- after all
  • taĩ -- pronoun; neuter of <tàs, tà> this, that -- it (is)
  • individualaũs -- adjective; genitive singular masculine of <individualùs, individualì> individual -- individual
  • skõnio -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <skõnis> taste -- of taste
  • reĩkalas -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <reĩkalas> matter -- a matter

Naujõkas, pìrmą kar̃tą sàvo gyvẽnime išvýdęs klìpatų komándą, lýg prõto nustója.

  • naujõkas -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <naujõkas> newcomer -- a newcomer
  • pìrmą -- number; accusative singular masculine of <pìrmas, pirmà> first -- first
  • kar̃tą -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <kar̃tas> time -- for the ... time
  • sàvo -- pronoun; genitive of <sàvo> he, she -- his
  • gyvẽnime -- noun, masculine; locative singular of <gyvẽnimas> life -- in ... life
  • išvýdęs -- verb; nominative singular masculine of preterit participle active of <išvýsti, išvýsta, išvýdo> see, witness -- witnessing
  • klìpatų -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <klìpata> cripple -- of cripples
  • komándą -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <kománda> detachment, brigade -- the detachment
  • lýg -- conjunction; <lýg> as, like -- (it is) as if
  • prõto -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <prõtas> mind -- (his) mind
  • nustója -- verb; 3rd person present of <nustóti, nustója, nustójo> lose -- he is losing

Nè mirtiẽs jám baisù, - baisù šìto išniẽkinto žmogaũs vaĩzdo.

  • -- particle; <> no, not -- not
  • mirtiẽs -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mirtìs> death -- death
  • jám -- pronoun; dative singular masculine of <jìs, jì> he, she, it -- for him
  • baisù -- adjective; neuter of <baisùs, baisì> terrible, horrible -- (is) horrible
  • baisù -- adjective; neuter of <baisùs, baisì> terrible, horrible -- (is) horrible
  • šìto -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <šìtas, šità> this -- this
  • išniẽkinto -- verb; genitive singular masculine of preterit participle passive of <išniẽkinti, išniẽkina, išniẽkino> desecrate -- desecrated
  • žmogaũs -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <žmogùs> human being, person -- of man
  • vaĩzdo -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <vaĩzdas> sight, image -- sight

Ir̃ nè tíek žmogaũs, - baisù šito išniẽkinto, subjauróto, sùdergto mirtiẽs vaĩzdo!

  • ir̃ -- particle; <ir̃> and -- even
  • -- particle; <> no, not -- not
  • tíek -- adverb; <tíek> so much, so many -- so much
  • žmogaũs -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <žmogùs> human being, person -- (the image) of the man
  • baisù -- adjective; neuter of <baisùs, baisì> terrible, horrible -- (is) horrible
  • šito -- pronoun; genitive singular masculine of <šìtas, šità> this -- this
  • išniẽkinto -- verb; genitive singular masculine of preterit participle passive of <išniẽkinti, išniẽkina, išniẽkino> desecrate -- desecrated
  • subjauróto -- verb; genitive singular masculine of preterit participle passive of <subjauróti, subjaurója, subjaurójo> disfigure, defile -- disfigured
  • sùdergto -- verb; genitive singular masculine of preterit participle passive of <suder̃gti, suder̃gia, sùdergė> befoul -- befouled
  • mirtiẽs -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <mirtìs> death -- of death
  • vaĩzdo -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <vaĩzdas> sight, image -- image

Lesson Text

Mìršta žmónės kãro laukuosè baisiosè kančiosè. Bèt tenaĩ - visì lýgūs. Teñ tàvo mirtìs ir̃ kañčios šiokiõs tokiõs prasmė̃s tùri: dė̃l kuriõs nórs idė́jos kariáujama, dė̃l tėvỹnės, dė̃l láisvės...

Õ čià - niẽkur niẽko! Jokiõs prasmė̃s! Niẽkas táu jokiõs pagálbos neteĩks. Niẽkas tavę̃s neatjaũs, nepaguõs, į̃ mirtiẽs pãslaptį pakeleivìngos méilės žodžiù nepalydė̃s.

Seniaũ, beñt kituosè kraštuosè, kariamájam beñt paskutìnį nórą paténkindavo - dúodavo paválgyti, dū́mą nurýti, láišką parašýti, kókią maũškę išmèsti... Õ čià - pàspiria kója - ir̃ vìskas.

Baĩsūs bùvo kitì naikìnimo lãgeriai, kur̃, bū́davo, àtveža kãlinį ir̃ tuojaũ nužùdo. Bèt tàs pàts žùdymas faktinaĩ vỹko ir̃ Dievų̃ mìško padángėj. Skìrtumas bùvo tiktaĩ tasaĩ, kàd čià žmõgų nukankìndavo, čiulptè iščiul̃pdavo jõ sveikãtą, jõ jėgàs, ver̃sdavo jį̃ mir̃ti ìš bãdo...

Kurì lãgerių rūšìs geriaũ atitiñka mū́sų ámžiaus kultū̃ros laimė́jimus, dievàž neleñgva bū́tų nusprę́sti. Pagaliaũ, - taĩ individualaũs skõnio reĩkalas...

Naujõkas, pìrmą kar̃tą sàvo gyvẽnime išvýdęs klìpatų komándą, lýg prõto nustója. Nè mirtiẽs jám baisù, - baisù šìto išniẽkinto žmogaũs vaĩzdo. Ir̃ nè tíek žmogaũs, - baisù šito išniẽkinto, subjauróto, sùdergto mirtiẽs vaĩzdo!

Translation

People die on the battlefields in horrible agony. But there, everyone is equal. Your death and suffering have some kind of meaning: you're fighting for a purpose, for your homeland, for your freedom...
But here - nothing anywhere! No meaning! No one will give you any help. No one will comfort you, console you, accompany you to the mystery of death with a parting word of love.
In earlier times, in other countries, they granted a final wish to the one about to hang: they gave him (something) to eat, (a chance) to smoke, to write a letter, to down a shot of liquor... But here they give you a kick, and that's all.
The other extermination camps, where they brought in a prisoner and immediately killed (him), were atrocious, too. This same killing took place under the skies of the Forest of the Gods; the only difference was that here they tortured a person to death. His health, his energy were sucked dry, they made him die of starvation...
Which type of camp better complements the achievements of our century's culture? God knows! (It is) not easy to decide. After all, it's a matter of individual taste...
A newcomer witnessing the detachment of cripples for the first time in his life, it is as if he is losing his mind. Death is not horrible (for him) - this sight of a desecrated man is horrible. And not only (the image of the) man, but even the desecrated, disfigured, befouled image of death is horrible.

Grammar

6. Diphthongs

There are 6 pure diphthongs and 16 mixed diphthongs in Lithuanian. The pure diphthongs consist of two vowels and are the following: ai, au, ei, ie, ui, uo. Each of these can be stressed or unstressed. As with the long vowels, if stressed they can have either the circumflex intonation (marked by tilde) on the second vowel, or the acute intonation (marked by acute accent) on the first vowel. A diphthong with acute intonation will have a heavier stress on the initial element, e.g., láisvė 'freedom', méilė 'love', píeva 'meadow'. Thus, the initial element will be held longer than the second. Just the reverse is true for a diphthong with the circumflex intonation, e.g., laũkas 'field', vaĩzdas 'view, sight', paguõsti 'to console'.

There are two types of pure diphthongs: gliding diphthongs (ie, uo) and compound diphthongs (ai, au, ei, ui). In pronouncing the gliding diphthongs, we do not feel a phonetic boundary between the first and the second element. The Lithuanian ie has no counterpart in English, It may be thought of as similar to the vowel of 'beard'. When this diphthong occurs in initial position, there is a tendency to pronounce it as though there were a j in front of it: ieškóti 'to look for'. The diphthong uo also has no counterpart in English; it can perhaps be compared to the "uo" of Italian 'buono'.

Both elements of the compound diphthongs are clearly marked. ái is similar to the 'ai' of English 'aisle'; is somewhat similar to the English 'a' in 'able'. áu is somewhat similar to the 'ou' of American-English 'out'; may be compared to the Canadian English 'ou' in 'out'. There is no such diphthong as éi in English. It can be roughly compared to the English 'ai' in 'sail'. is quite similar to the 'ei' in 'weight'. There is nothing like in English; ùi (which is relatively rare) sounds something like a very rapidly pronounced 'phooey'.

Diphthongs in which the vowels a, e, i, u are followed by l, m,n, r are known as mixed diphthongs. In the mixed diphthongs, as in the pure diphthongs, either the first or the second element may be stressed. If the second element is stressed, a tilde (~) will be written over the l, m, n or r, e.g., kar̃tas 'time', leñgvas 'easy, light'. The second circumflex element is half-long. If the first element is to be stressed, an acute acent is written over the letters a and e (the acute element is half-long), but a grave accent is used over the letters i and u (the acute element remains short), e.g., padángė 'the skies', kélti 'to lift', mìršta 'dies', pìlkas 'grey'. In international words, mixed diphthongs with short e and o are used: fèrma 'farm', bòmba 'bomb'.

The unstressed diphthongs sound like , , , , etc., but the unstressed syllable has less amplitude than the stressed: vaidmuõ 'role', kartùs 'bitter'. Some other diphthongs (eu, oi, ou) occur only in international words, e.g., Európa 'Europe', kolòidas 'colloid'.

7. Noun Declensions
7.1. The 3rd Declension

Most nouns of the third declension are of the feminine gender, but a few such as dantìs 'tooth', vagìs, 'thief', žvėrìs 'beast', debesìs 'cloud' are masculine (they have -ui in the dative singular). All nouns of the third declension have the ending -is in the nominative singular. The genitive singular helps to distinguish third declension nouns from those first declension nouns with the nominative singular ending -is, cf: nom.sg. brólis, gen.sg. brólio 'brother' (1st declension) and nom.sg. širdìs, gen.sg. širdiẽs 'heart' (3rd declension).

In the genitive plural some nouns of this paradigm have the ending -ų, e.g., debesų̃ 'clouds' after a hard consonant, whereas others have the following ending after a palatalized consonant -iu, e.g., rūšių̃ 'kinds'. This can be explained historically: the former nouns are traced back to the 5th declension (consonantal stems), the latter to the 3rd declension (i-stem). There is a strong tendency for masculine nouns of the 3rd declension to shift to the 1st declension (ia-stem), cf:

  • nom.sg. debesìs and debesỹs 'cloud';
  • gen.sg. dantiẽs and dañčio 'tooth'; debesiẽs and dẽbesio 'cloud'; žvėriẽs and žvė́rio 'beast';
  • inst.sg. dantimì and dančiù 'tooth'; debesimì and dẽbesiu 'cloud'; žvėrimì and žvė́riu 'beast', etc.

Some nouns can be declined either according to 1st or the 3rd declension, e.g., deguõnis 'oxygen', grobuõnis 'plunderer', veliónis 'the deceased'.

In colloquial Lithuanian and the dialects, the feminine nouns may have two alternative forms in the instrumental singular: one of the 3rd declension (i-stem) and another of the 2nd declension (io-stem), e.g., širdimì and šìrdžia 'heart'; ugnimì and ugnià 'fire'; žuvimì and žuvià 'fish', etc.

móteris 'woman' and obelìs 'apple tree' have two alternative forms in the genitive singular: móters, obel̃s and moteriẽs, obeliẽs.

The forms of the 3rd declension are as follows:

    Feminine   Masculine
Nom sg   žuvìs 'fish'   vagìs 'thief'
Gen sg   žuviẽs   vagiẽs
Dat sg   žùviai   vãgiui
Acc sg   žùvį   vãgį
Inst sg   žuvimì   vagimì
    žuvim̃   vagim̃
Loc sg   žuvyjè   vagyjè
    žuvỹ   vagỹ
Voc sg   žuviẽ   vagiẽ
         
Nom pl   žùvys   vãgys
Gen pl   žuvų̃   vagių̃
Dat pl   žuvìms   vagìms
    žuvìm   vagìm
Acc pl   žuvìs   vagìs
Inst pl   žuvimìs   vagimìs
    žuvim̃   vagim̃
Loc pl   žuvysè   vagysè
Voc pl   žùvys   vãgys
7.2. The 4th Declension

All nouns ending in -us (hard stem) and -ius (soft stem) belong to the fourth declension. They are all masculine. Those nouns which have the soft stem (iu-stem) have the plural declension exactly like the first declension (ia-stem). The 4th declension nouns are not numerous. They may obtain inflectional forms of the 1st (ia-stem) declension, e.g:

  • nom.pl. ́nūs and sūnaĩ 'sons'; tur̃gūs and tur̃gaĩ 'markets';
  • dat.pl. sūnùms and sūnáms 'sons'; tur̃gums and tur̃gams 'markets'.

On the other hand, 1st declension nouns ending in -jas have the endings of the 4th declension -au in vocative singular, e.g., ́stytojau (nom.sg. ́stytojas) 'lecturer', ́jau (nom.sg. ́jas) 'wind'; and locative singular, e.g., ́stytojuje, ́juje (́jyje is also used).

The noun žmogùs 'man', 'human being' is inflected in the singular according to the 4th declension; in the plural it is inflected according to the 2nd (ė-stem) declension (see bellow).

Below are paradigms for the 4th declension nouns sūnùs 'son', ámžius 'age' and žmogùs 'man':

    Hard   Soft   Hard
Nom sg   sūnùs 'son'   ámžius 'age'   žmogùs 'man'
Gen sg   sūnaũs   ámžiaus   žmogaũs
Dat sg   ́nui   ámžiui   žmõgui
Acc sg   ́   ámžių   žmõgų
Inst sg   sūnumì   ámžiumi   žmogumì
    sūnum̃   ámžium   žmogum̃
Loc sg   sūnujè   ámžiuje   žmogujè
    sūnùj   ámžiuj   žmogùj
Voc sg   sūnaũ   ámžiau   žmogaũ
             
    Hard   Soft   Soft
Nom pl   ́nūs   ámžiai   žmónės
Gen pl   sūnų̃   ámžių   žmonių̃
Dat pl   sūnùms   ámžiams   žmonė́ms
    sūnùm   ámžiam   žmonė́m
Acc pl   ́nus   ámžius   žmónes
Inst pl   sūnumìs   ámžiais   žmonėmìs
    sūnum̃       žmonė̃m
Loc pl   sūnuosè   ámžiuose   žmonėsè
Voc pl   ́nūs   ámžiai   žmónės
7.3. The 5th Declension

The number of nouns belonging to the 5th declension is not very large, and some are irregular. To this declension belong feminine nouns in -uo, -ė (gen.sg. -ers) and masculine nouns in -uo (gen.sg. -ens). They are a continuation of the ancient consonantal n, r and other stems. The consonantal stems have been retained only in the genitive singular. In all other cases, except the nominative singular, consonant stem nouns are now inflected like i-stem nouns. In certain cases some of these nouns have forms of the 1st declension.

In the instrumental singular the masculine nouns akmuõ 'stone', vanduõ 'water', piemuõ 'shepherd' have the endings of the 1st declension (ia-stem): ãkmeniu, vándeniu, píemeniu; the feminine nouns sesuõ 'sister' and duktė̃ 'daughter' have two alternative forms of instrumental singular: seserimì, dukterimì (i-stem) and sẽseria, dùkteria (io-stem).

The noun ́nuo (its alternative form is ́nesis) 'month' is declined according to the 1st declension.

šuõ 'dog' is irregular. In the nominative singular šuõ has an alternative form šuvà and in the genitive singular its alternatives are šuniẽs and šùnio.

The forms of the 5th declension are as folows:

    Masculine   Feminine   Feminine   Masculine
Nom sg   vanduõ 'water'   sesuõ 'sister'   duktė̃ 'daughter'   šuõ 'dog'
Gen sg   vandeñs   seser̃s   dukter̃s   šuñs
Dat sg   vándeniui   sẽseriai   dùkteriai   šùniui
Acc sg   vándenį   sẽserį   dùkterį   šùnį
Inst sg   vándeniu   seserimì   dukterimì   šunimì
        seserim̃   dukterim̃   šunim̃
Loc sg   vandenyjè   seseryjè   dukteryjè   šunyjè
    vandenỹ   seserỹ   dukterỹ   šunỹ
Voc sg   vandeniẽ   seseriẽ   dukteriẽ   šuniẽ
                 
Nom pl   vándenys   sẽserys   dùkterys   šùnys
Gen pl   vandenų̃   seserų̃   dukterų̃   šunų̃
Dat pl   vandenìms   seserìms   dukterìms   šunìms
    vandenìm   seserìm   dukterìm   šunìm
Acc pl   vándenis   sẽseris   dùkteris   šunìs
Inst pl   vandenimìs   seserimìs   dukterimìs   šunimìs
    vandenim̃   seserim̃   dukterim̃   šunim̃
Loc pl   vandenysè   seserysè   dukterysè   šunysè
Voc pl   vándenys   sẽserys   dùkterys   šùnys
8. Verb Tenses
8.1. The Frequentative Past Tense

In addition to the simple past tense (or preterit) discussed in Lesson 1 there is another past tense, the frequentative past, which denotes an action which took place several times, frequently, at repeated intervals in the past. It can be translated by such English expresions as: 'I used to...'; 'I kept...'; I 'would...'. To obtain the frequentative past tense forms, we must drop the infinitive ending -ti and add the suffix -dav- plus the preterit endings: -au, -ai, -o, -ome, -ote, -o.

The method of formation is the same for all three conjungations. The stress is always on the same syllable as in the infinitive.

A past habit can be expressed analytically by the use of the parenthetic form ́davo 'used to be' and the present of the verb, e.g., Baĩsūs bùvo kitì naikìnimo lãgeriai, kur̃, bū́davo, àtveža kãlinį ir̃ tuojaũ nužùdo 'The other extermination camps, where they brought in a prisoner and immediately killed (him), were atrocious, too'. Repeated past events that occurred on a specific occasion cannot be expressed by the frequentative past tense, cf: Jìs žaĩsdavo dvì vãlandas 'He used to play two hours'. Vãkar jìs žaĩde dvì vãlandas 'Yesterday he played two hours'.

Here the frequentative past tense paradigms of three verbs áugti 'to grow', turė́ti 'to have' and skaitýti are given:

1st sg   áugdavau   turė́davau   skaitýdavau
2nd sg   áugdavai   turė́davai   skaitýdavai
3rd sg   áugdavo   turė́davo   skaitýdavo
             
1st pl   áugdavom(e)   turė́davom(e)   skaitýdavom(e)
2nd pl   áugdavot(e)   turė́davot(e)   skaitýdavot(e)
3rd pl   áugdavo   turė́davo   skaitýdavo
8.2. The Future Tense

The future tense is formed by dropping the -ti from the infinitive and adding the future tense suffix -s(i)- plus endings: -siu, -si, -s, -sime, -site, -s.

The stress is always on the same syllable as in the infinitive. In the 3rd person an acute is replaced by a circumflex stress: turė́ti 'to have'; turė̃s '(he) will have'.

Some verbs with a monosyllabic stem shorten the root vowel in the 3rd person, e.g., inf. ́ti 'to rot'; 3 fut. pùs '(it) will rot'; inf. lýti 'to rain'; 3 fut. lìs '(it) will rain'.

Certain consonantal constractions or simplifications are characteristic of the future tense: s + s = s; š + s = š; z + s = s; ž + s = š, e.g., mès-ti 'to throw' and mes + siu = mèsiu; 'I will throw'; nèš-ti 'to carry' and neš + siu = nèšiu 'I will carry'; zir̃z-ti 'to whine' and zirz + siu = zir̃siu; 'I will whine'; vèž-ti 'to transport' and vež + siu = vèšiu 'I will transport'.

The future tense denotes a concrete or generalized action in the future, e.g., Greĩt ateĩs žiemà 'Winter will come soon'. The form of the future tense may also denote willingness, determination, intention, likelihood, threat, etc: Àš jái niekadà neatléisiui 'I will never forgive her'.

The future tense paradigms for the verbs áugti 'to grow', rýti 'to swallow' and vèžti 'to transport' are given below:

1st sg   áugsiu 'I will grow'   rýsiu 'I will swallow'   vèšiu 'I will transport'
2nd sg   áugsi   rýsi   vèši
3rd sg   aũgs   rìs   vèš
             
1st pl   áugsim(e)   rýsim(e)   vèšim(e)
2nd pl   áugsit(e)   rýsit(e)   vèšit(e)
3rd pl   aũgs   rìs   vèš
8.3. Conjungation of the Verb ́ti 'to be'

The verb ́ti 'to be' has different (suppletive) stems: es-, bu- / -. In the 3rd person present the unique stem yrà '(it) is, (they) are' is used.

Its paradigms for the present, preterit, frequentative and future tense are as follows:

    Present   Preterit   Frequentative   Future
1st sg   esù '(I) am'   buvaũ '(I) was'   ́davau '(I) used to be'   ́siu '(I) will be'
2nd sg   esì   buvaĩ   ́davai   ́si
3rd sg   yrà   bùvo   ́davo   bùs
                 
1st pl   ẽsam(e)   bùvom(e)   ́davom(e)   ́sim(e)
2nd pl   ẽsat(e)   buvot(e)   ́davot(e)   ́sit(e)
3rd pl   yrà   bùvo   ́davo   bùs

Also, more recent forms created by adding the formants -n- or -v- exist, e.g., 1st sg. būnù, būvù 'I am', 3rd ̃na, ̃va '(it) is, (they) are', etc. These forms convey the meaning of a regular process. The athematic 3rd person form ẽsti '(it) is, (they) are' has this meaning also.

9. Pronouns
9.1. The Personal Pronouns

The use of the personal pronouns is similar to that of English. 1st and 2nd person pronouns do not substitute for nouns. They refer either to masculine or feminine nouns. Only 3rd person pronouns can refer to both persons and non-persons, e.g.,

  • jìs - žmogùs 'man'; laũkas 'field'.
  • - móteris 'woman'; paslaptìs 'mystery, secret'.

One must remember, however, that the 3rd person agrees with the word it refers to in number and gender.

1st and 2nd person forms are usually used without any pronoun:

  • Atsikė́liau ankstì 'I got up early'.
  • Išvỹkstame vidùrdienį 'We are leaving at noon'.

The case of the pronoun is determined by its use in the clause in which it occurs, e.g.,

  • Edìtą pasitìksiu aeroúoste 'I will meet Edita in the airport'.
  • Prãšom jái pérduoti màno linkė́jimus 'Please give her my regards'.

The pronoun jái 'her' is feminine singular because it refers to Edità. It is in the dative case because it is the second object of the verb pérduoti 'to give'. In the clause, personal pronouns may function as subjects, objects, predicatives, adverbial modifiers of place, e.g., Jìš sėdė́jo šalià manę̃s 'He was sitting next to me' (subject and adverbial modifier of place).

The 2nd singular pronoun 'thou' is the familiar form; it is used to address animals, children, close friends, members of the immediate family, and God. The polite form ̃s is used whenever one addresses persons who are not members of the above-mentioned groups. This usage is practically identical with the use of 'du' and 'Sie' in German. Another respectful word támsta 'you' is considered old-fashioned. The forms pàts, patì 'oneself' are not as formal as ̃s 'you', but are used only rarely.

The forms of the personal pronouns are as folows:

    1st person   2nd person   3rd person Masculine   3rd person Feminine
Nom sg   àš 'I'   'you (thou)'   jìs 'he'   'she'
Gen sg   manę̃s   tavę̃s     jõs
    màno   tàvo        
Dat sg   mán   táu   jám   jái
Acc sg   manè   tavè   jį̃   ją̃
Inst sg   manimì   tavimì   juõ  
    manim̃   tavim̃        
Loc sg   manyjè   tavyjè   jamè   jojè
    manỹ   tavỹ        
                 
Nom pl   mẽs 'we'   ̃s 'you'   jiẽ 'they'   jõs 'they'
Gen pl   ́   ́   jų̃   jų̃
Dat pl   mùms   jùms   jíems   jóms
    mùm   jùm   jíem   jóm
Acc pl   mùs   jùs   juõs   jàs
Inst pl   mumìs   jumìs   jaĩs   jomìs
Loc pl   mumysè   jumysè   juosè   josè
9.2. The Dual of the Pronouns

Special forms of the personal pronouns may be used in the dual:

  • 1st masc. mùdu 'we two'
  • 1st fem. mùdvi 'we two'
  • 2nd masc. jùdu 'you two'
  • 2nd fem. jùdvi 'you two'
  • 3rd masc. juõdu (jiẽdu) 'they two'
  • 3rd masc. jiẽdvi 'they two'

They have the same endings as (masc.), dvì (fem.) 'two'. There are some demonstrative dual forms (e.g., tuõdu, tiẽdvi 'those two'; šiuõdu, šiẽdvi 'these two', anuõdu, aniẽdvi 'those two') and interrogative dual pronouns (e.g., kuriuõdu, kuriẽdvi 'which two'), but they are used much more rarely.

The pronouns abù (abùdu), abì (abi\dvi) 'both' have only the dual meaning. As the dual number of other word classes has almost disappeard, dual pronominal forms are used with the plural forms of nouns, adjectives and verbs. However, in Modern Lithuanian the dual pronominal forms are usually replaced by plural forms.

9.3. The Possessive Pronouns

Possessive forms indicate that an object belongs to some person or persons. This meaning is usually expressed by the genitive form of the personal pronouns. The personal pronouns àš 'I', 'you' ('thou'), and the reflexive pronoun have separate possessive genitive singular forms màno 'my', tàvo 'your' and sàvo. They differ from the genitive singular manę̃s, tavę̃s, savęs used in other functions, cf: Kur̃ màno knygà? 'Where is my book?'; Paláuk manę̃s 'Wait for me'; Negavaũ tàvǫ láiško 'I did not receive your letter'; Nepažį́stu tavę̃s 'I do not know you'.

Possessive pronouns can function as attributes and predicatives:

Personal pronoun   Possessive Attributive   Possessive Predicative
àš 'I'   màno 'my'   màno 'mine'
'you, thou'   tàvo 'your, thy'   tàvo 'yours'
jìs 'he'   'his'   'his'
'she'   jõs 'her'   jõs 'hers'
mẽs 'we'   ́ 'our'   ́ 'ours'
̃s 'you'   ́ 'your'   ́ 'yours'
jiẽ 'they'   jų̃ 'their'   jų̃ 'theirs'
jõs 'they'   jų̃ 'their'   jų̃ 'theirs'

Examples:

  • Vãkar kalbė́jau sù tàvo draugè 'Yesterday I spoke with your (female) friend';
  • Šìtas dvìratis yrà tàvo 'This bicycle is yours'.

Besides the possessive genitive forms, the pronouns mãnas, manà 'my', tãvas, tavà 'your', sãvas, savà exist, but are rarely used, e.g., Čià sãvas krãštas 'Here is my homeland'. The substantivized forms manìškis, manìškė 'my,', tavìškis, tavìškė 'your', mūsìškis, mūsìškė, 'our', jūsìškis, jūsìškė 'your' are also used to indicate relatives or friends:

  • Atvažiãvo mūsìškiai 'Our relatives (friends) came';
  • Ar̃ tavìškis dár negrį̃žo? 'Hasn't your husband (son, close friend) come back yet?'
9.4. The Reflexive Pronoun savę̃s

The reflexive pronoun savę̃s, etc. generally refers to the subject of the sentence, whatever person the subject may be. Therefore in English it may be translated as 'myself', 'yourself', 'himself', 'ourselves', 'themselves' depending upon whether the subject is 1st, 2nd or 3rd person and whether it is singular or plural.

This pronoun does not have nominative case and plural. savę̃s is declined as folows:

Gen   savę̃s
    sàvo
Dat   sáu
Acc   savè
Inst   savimì
    savim̃
Loc   savyjè
    savỹ

Examples:

  • Jì didžiúojasi savimì 'She is proud of herself';
  • Àš pasižiūrė́jau į̃ savè véidrodyje 'I looked at myself in the mirror';
  • Jõnas ir̃ Dianà káltino savè už tą̃ klaĩdą 'Jonas and Diana blamed themselves for that mistake';
  • Mẽs pir̃kom sáu kẽletą daiktų 'We bought some things for ourselves'.

The possessive genitive sàvo refers to the subject of sentence regardless of its person or number:

  • Àš didžiúojuosi sàvo laimė́jimais 'I am proud of my achievements';
  • Tù didžiúojiesi sàvo laimė́jimais 'You are proud of your achievements';
  • Jìs didžiúojasi sàvo laimė́jimais 'He is proud of his achievements';
  • Mẽs didžiúojamės sàvo laimė́jimais 'We are proud of our achievements', etc.
10. Negation

In Lithuanian four negative particles are used: the principal particles are 'no, not' and nebè 'not (any more/longer)', and also ̃ and neĩ 'not (a)', 'not even'. nebè differs from in that it is used to negate continuation of an action or state. It is similar in force to English 'no more, no longer' or the like. is more common than nebè. It can be used to response to a question: Ar̃ tù gyvenì Vìlniuje? - Nè 'Do you live in Vilnius? - No'.

In Lithuanian, both 'no' and 'not' are expresssed by the same negative particle . In the sense of 'no', is set off by comma: Nè, àš nemė́gstu keliaúti 'No, I do not like to travel'. and nebè usually precede that word which they negate. They are written together with verbs, adjectives and adverbs:

  • Gẽras sãpnas nesipìldo 'A good dream does not come true';
  • Negẽras sãpnas pìldosi 'A bad (not good) dream comes true';
  • Visì kalbė́jo nerimtaĩ 'Nobody spoke seriously' (lit. 'All spoke not seriously').

There is an exception in case of contrast in the clause, e.g.,

  • Pìldosi nè gẽras, õ blõgas sãpnas 'A bad dream comes true, not a good (one)';
  • Jiẽ nè kalbė́jo, bèt šaũkė víenas añt kìto 'They did not speak, but they shouted at each other'.

The negative particle is not written together with a following noun, unless the noun functions as a lexical compound, i. e. has a separate dictionary meaning:

Jìs yrà nè krẽpšininkas, õ fùtbolininkas 'He is not a basketball player, but a football player'.

The negative particle with the verbal form yrà 'is, are' forms a contraction nėrà 'is not, are not', e.g., Jiẽ nėrà màno gìminės 'They are not my relatives'.

All the verbs add to the positive form to form the negative, e.g., válgyti 'to eat' and neválgyti 'not to eat'; paténkinti 'to satisfy' and nepaténkinti 'not to satisfy'. There are, however, two exceptions: ́ti 'to be' and eĩti 'to go'. These add only n, e.g., Àš nesù žurnalìstas 'I am not a journalist'; Mẽs dár neĩname namõ 'We do not go home yet'.

The direct object of the negated verb must be in the genitive rather than accusative case, cf: Jì prarãdo vìltį 'She lost hope'; Jì neprarãdo viltiẽs 'She did not lose hope'.

Contrary to English usage, the negative must be repeated, e.g., Rìmas niekadà niẽkur niẽko nesãko 'Ri\mas doesn't ever tell anything anywhere' (lit. 'Rimas doesn't nothing tell nowhere never'); Niẽkas táu jokiõs pagálbos neteĩks 'No one will give you any help' (lit. 'Nobody will not give you any help').

The particle ̃ denotes emphatic negation, e.g. ́vas nė̃ nepàžvelgė į̃ manè 'Father did not even glance at me'. If two or more coordinated words or clauses are negated, the reduplicated negative conjunction neĩ... neĩ 'neither... nor' is used (the predicate usually has the negative prefix in this case). Its meaning is similar to the meaning of neĩ: Nedžiùgino jõs neĩ pinigaĩ, neĩ tur̃tai 'Neither the money nor the wealth gave her joy'.