On expressions for the otherworld in Baltic languages Cover Image

On expressions for the otherworld in Baltic languages
On expressions for the otherworld in Baltic languages

Author(s): Naďa Vaverová
Subject(s): Language studies, Customs / Folklore, Lexis, Comparative Linguistics, Eastern Slavic Languages, Baltic Languages
Published by: Latvijas Universitātes Akadēmiskais apgāds
Keywords: otherworld; localisation; world; Baltic languages; Slavic languages;

Summary/Abstract: The article analyses expressions for the otherworld in Baltic languages. Attention is given in particular to expressions containing the lexeme ‘world’ and to the lexeme’s origin – literally ‘a place under the sun’ – is highlighted. Comparison with close languages (Slavic) and not only linguistic approach, but also some data from folkloristics and mythology research seem to be important. Based on the linguistic analysis, comparison and folkloristic data, up to three groups of placement could be found in the analysed expressions – first: ‘beyond’, ‘behind’, included in the Latvian prefix aiz-, Lithuanian už-. Second ‘opposite to’, ‘across’, ‘on the other side’, represented by the pronoun part viņš in Latvian compounds and anas, kitas the Lithuanian set phrases. There is also possibly a third: a location conveyed by a taboo-induced concealing term in the pronoun part of the expressions. Nevertheless, the main distinction which defines the ‘otherworld’ in Baltic languages seems to be the contrast to ‘our world’, ‘the world upon which the sun is shining’.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 8
  • Page Range: 244-257
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English