Appearance of the Grapheme < î > in Simonas Dau Kantas’s Texts Cover Image

Raidės <î> [ẹ] atsiradimas Simono Daukanto tekstuose
Appearance of the Grapheme < î > in Simonas Dau Kantas’s Texts

Author(s): Giedrius Subačius
Subject(s): Lithuanian Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Lietuvių Kalbos Institutas
Keywords: Appearance Grapheme <î>; Simonas Dau Kantas’s Texts;

Summary/Abstract: Simonas Daukantas (1793–1864) introduced the letter for his Lowland Lithuanian dialectal vowel [ẹ] first in gen. sg. m. flexion—from page 44 of his manuscript Historya Justina (HJ; 1834 and / or later); cf. brolî ‘(of) brother’. Approximately from page 142, the grapheme in that particular flexion began dominating (as a morphological signifier). Then, approximately on page 242, Daukantas started to denote more intensely in other endings as well: in instr. sg. f., iness., nom., and acc. sg. This way he began altering the morphological signifier into a phonetic one (wilontî; kapusî; essantî; diedî). Such phonetic marking of flexions became preponderant (in gen. sg. m., iness., and instr. sg. f.) in the latest written part of HJ (in prefaces on pages 1–12) and the layer of later corrections. Further Daukantas started introducing the phonetic [ẹ] more frequently into the stems of the words as well (cf. gîr; kîmiù). Daukantas decided to place the circumflex on the letter in the open flexion most probably due to the influence of the Lithuanian texts in East Prussia that contained this diacritic in closed gen. sg. f. flexions on other letters (cf. Daukantas’s HJ: isz baimês ‘because of fear’; Grecijôs ‘[of] Greece’; weczôs ukês ‘[of] old state [country]’). Sermons (Postilla) by Mikalojus Daukša (1599) could have also had some secondary influence on Daukantas’s decision to select, but Daukša was mostly using in the stem position, while Daukantas began introducing in the endings. The initial usage of the grapheme by Daukantas presupposes such approximate sequence of three manuscripts: (1) HJ pp. 13–400; (2) HJ corrections and writing of HJ prefaces on pp. 1–12; (3) Jstoriję Justinaus (JJ); and (4) Pasakas Pdraus (PaP). Most probably Daukantas chose the letter at the beginning of his stay in St. Petersburg (the end of 1834 and somewhat later). The grapheme is absent from his manuscripts of the Rīga period (before the summer of 1834).

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 20
  • Page Range: 177-208
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: Lithuanian