Volume 20, No.3 - Fall 1974
Editors of this issue: Antanas Klimas
Copyright © 1974 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


University of Rochester

It is, of course, impossible to present all the problems of word-formation of a language in one article. My task will be much simpler: it is to survey, possibly, the main contributions in this particular area which have appeared since the publication of Skardžius' book, Lietuvių kalbos žodžių daryba, Vilnius, 1943.

Unfortunately, this important book appeared in the turbulent years of World War II, and it is hardly available to all the scholars interested in this problem. Professor Skardžius had planned to translate this book into German, but, apparently, it will not be done. Without any doubt, this is the standard work which is the basis for many a contribution that appeared later.

One could now proceed chronologically and survey various contributions to this problem. However, I have chosen a different approach: to survey, first, the most important work in this area, the summation, so to say, of the whole problem. Only after this, various other contributions shall be mentioned.

Obviously, the main work in this area is the Academy Grammar of Lithuanian (Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, Vilnius, I: 1965; II: 1971). Even statistically, it is an impressive array of material. There are 615 nominal suffices alone listed here (cf., Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., pp. 722-728). It is true this number, i.e., 615, includes the so-called "international" suffixes such as -acija, -ažas, -entas, -icija, -izmas, etc., but their number is not large. One is bound to agree with the late Professor Antanas Salys (1902 -1972) who once wrote, "Mūsų kalba iš kitų išsiskiria kaip tik savo priesagingumu." ('The Lithuanian language is particularly characterized by unusual richness in suffixes.')1

For a simple statistical comparison, the author found only 113 nominal suffixes in modern English.2 On the other hand, modern English has a larger number of prefixes: 52.3 In Lithuanian we find only 36 prefixes.4

Generally speaking, the pages devoted to word-formation in this Lithuanian grammar make up about twenty-nine percent of the two volumes published so far: out of the total of 1,531 pages, 430 are devoted to word-formation.5

To be sure, this grammar is of standard literary Lithuanian, but it does encompass the more frequent features of the main dialects of Lithuanian as well, especially those features which are in some way reflected in standard literary Lithuanian. The "character" of this grammar is described as follows:

This grammar is descriptive-normative. Its aim is to describe scientifically the phonetic and grammatical structure of the present-day Lithuanian literary language; to show the most important tendencies in its phonetic and grammatical development, and to delineate, wherever that is possible, the phonetic and morphological (both inflectional and derivative) norms.6

Thus, it is clear that the derivational problems, i.e., word-formation, was considered, right from the beginning a part of grammar proper, a part and parcel of morphology. Further, the approach to word-formation is indicated in the same foreword of this grammar as follows:

Both in the chapter on the noun formation as well as in the chapters on the other parts of speech, efforts were made to give a general view of the system of that particular part of speech, to indicate its types; also to show their place in the total system, to indicate the meaning and the form of these various groups, and to form the rules.7

The Noun (V. Urbutis: I, 251 - 473)

As we have already mentioned above, the lion's share on word-formation, i.e., 223 pages out of the total of 430 pages on word-formation, is devoted to the noun. This chapter was written by Vincas Urbutis, now, without any doubt, the greatest authority on Lithuanian word-formation, especially the noun. As in most "classical" works on IE word-formation, Urbutis divides all the nouns into two major groups: the simple nouns (paprastieji daiktavardžiai): avìs 'sheep', vãkaras 'evening', etc., and derivatives (dariniai): avì'stable for sheep', pavakarė 'late afternoon, early evening, etc. Further, the derivatives are divided into two main subgroups: the derivatives proper and the compounds. The derivatives proper are again divided into three subgroups: suffixal derivatives, inflexion (ending) derivatives and prefixal derivatives.

In further discussion, we find that no real formal distinction is made between the derivatives by suffix and the derivatives by flection, or ending, since the basis for the grouping of the derivatives here are semantic considerations, and there is no great difference in meaning between the two types, e. g.,

    snáusti 'to doze' (by suffix) -------- snaudìmas
'id.' (by ending) ------------ snaudà

Now, both snaudìmas and snaudà really mean 'dozing', although snaudà is a little more abstract than snaudìmas.

Urbutis begins his description of the word-formation of the noun with the diminutives (253 - 288). The diminutives are understood to enclose all types: real diminutives, amplificatives (augmentatives), pejoratives (deterioratives), etc. There are very few amplificatives and pejoratives in Lithuanian, and they are formed mainly with the very same suffixes as the real diminutives.

Lithuanian has been known for a long time for its unusual array of diminutives, expressing an entire range of emotions in connection with the basic meaning of the main noun. Of course, quite a group of Lithuanian diminutives do express the objective size of the object, and many of them have practically no shades of expressiveness or emotion.

Generally speaking, we shall now briefly analyze, following the Academy Grammar, one such diminutive suffix. According to the author, i.e., Urbutis, between one half and two fifths of all diminutives found in Lithuanian occur with the suffix -elis, -ė. The very same suffix, then, can display an unusually wide semantic range. Urbutis lists six main semantic groups here: 1. to denote smallness; 2. to denote endearment; 3. to denote small size and endearment at the same time; 4. to denote a pejorative nuance: to denote inferiority, poor quality, even contempt; 5. to denote the opposite: greatness, strength, multitude...; 6. to give special meanings: vaikų lopšlis 'place where pre-school children are kept' (while their parents work), etc.

After giving many examples of all kinds to illustrate the various occurrences and instances, the formal derivational rules are given. E. g., the -elis, -ė derivatives are usually made from two-syllable nouns. If the basic noun is masculine, the derivative will also be masculine; if feminine, then the derivative will be feminine. However, there is one solitary exception to this last rule: ù'river', fem., but upelis 'creek, brook' is masculine, although — very infrequently — the feminine upealso occurs in some dialects.

All the other diminutive suffixes are treated in similar fashion. There are 19 regular diminutive suffixes in Lithuanian, 30 rare diminutive suffixes and 31 dialect /regional diminutive suffixes.

As in several "older" IE languages, diminutives can be formed with more than one suffix attached at one time to the same basic word. Several such cases are listed in this chapter, e.g.

    bról-is -------- brol-ùž-is -------- brol-už-ėl-is, etc.

The second large group (288 - 306) is called abstract deverbatives, or nomina actionis. (Veiksmažodžių abstraktai arba veiksmų pavadinimai).8 This group is subdivided further into the derivatives by suffix and the derivatives by ending. Derivatives can be made by the following suffixes:

-ulys (-ulis)
-yba (-ybos)
-ynė (-ynės)
-klė (-ioklė)
-čia (-čios)
-lis (-lys)

With each suffix all the semantic possibilities are given, also the formal rules for derivation. With some suffixes the derivations are practically unlimited, e.g., with -imas, -ymas; with some suffixes only a few nouns can be made. For example, with the suffix -utė, Urbutis lists only one abstract noun: suirùtė 'social, political chaos', from ìrti, suìrti 'to fall apart'. In dialects more derivatives with -utė can be found.

After the main discussion, non-productive suffixes, or rather, suffixes which yield only a few derivatives, are listed:


The above suffixes are not very productive; however, some very "important" words have been created with them which now enjoy a wide usage.

Further, the suffixes which occur here and there in various dialects of Lithuanian and which, of course, create abstract nouns from verbs are listed:


Maybe for the first time ever, i.e., in the grammar of Lithuanian, the suffixes of the abstract "international words" are listed. They are also deverbatives by nature. Here we find the following suffixes:

- ... ija

 At the end of the chapter the derivatives by flexion (ending) are discussed. There are not too many flexion derivatives, especially of this type: deverbative abstracts and nomina actionis:

    -a (-ia) 
    -is (-ys) 

In the manner described above, Urbutis describes all the other groups of derivatives by suffix and/or flexion. We certainly cannot go into a detailed discussion of each of these groups, but we will list them, in a way, statistically.

306 - 316: Vardažodžių abstraktai arba ypatybių pavadinimai.
'Denominal abstracts, or the names of characteristics'.
11 suffixes; 4 rare suffixes; 6 dialect/regional suffixes;
4 "international" suffixes; 5 endings.

317 - 340: Veikėjų ir veiksmažodinės ypatybės turėtojų pavadinimai.
'Nomina agentis and agents with partial deverbative characteristics'.
36 suffixes; 12 rare suffixes; 88 dialect/regional suffixes;
5 "international" suffixes; 4 endings.

340 - 367: Vardažodinės ypatybės turėtojų pavadinimai.
'Nomina attributiva'.
45 suffixes; 15 rare suffixes; 86 dialect/regional suffixes;
4 "international" suffixes; 4 endings.

367 - 381: Veiksmo rezultato pavadinimai.
'Nomina acti'.
18 suffixes; 22 rare suffixes; 20 dialect/regional suffixes;
1 "international" suffix; 5 endings.

381-396: Įrankių pavadinimai.
'Nomina instrumenti'.
23 suffixes; 13 rare suffixes; 36 dialect/regional suffixes;
5 "international" suffixes; 4 endings.

396 - 406: Vietų pavadinimai.
'Nomina loci'.
16 suffixes; 6 rare suffixes; 31 dialect/regional suffixes;
2 "international" suffixes; 4 endings.

406 - 410: Asmenų pavadinimai pagal profesiją.
'Names of persons according to profession'.
1 suffix; 3 rare suffixes; 5 "international" suffixes; 1 ending.

410 - 416: Asmenų pavadinimai pagal jų kilimo bei gyvenamąją vietą.
'Names of persons according to their origin and/or their residence'.
5 suffixes; 8 rare suffixes; 2 endings.

414: Vaikų pavadinimai pagal jų tėvus.
'Names of children derived from the names of their parents'.
2 suffixes; 8 rare suffixes.

414-415: Mėsos pavadinimai.
'Names of meats'.
1 suffix; 1 rare suffix.

415-416: Augalų stiebų pavadinimai.
'Names of plant stems'.
2 suffixes; 3 dialect/regional suffixes.

416: Odų bei kailių pavadinimai.
'Names of skins and sheepfells'.
1 suffix.

416: Žodžių bei posakių pavadinimai.
'Names of words and sayings'.
2 suffixes.

416-418: Pavadinimai pagal lyties skirtumą.
'Names to indicate sex'.
3 suffixes; 4 dialect/regional suffixes; 1 ending.

419 - 412: Kuopiniai pavadinimai.
'Nomina collectiva'.
7 suffixes; 5 dialect/regional suffixes; 3 "international" suffixes.

421 - 423: Švenčių bei apeigų pavadinimai.
'Names of feasts, festivals and ceremonies'.
3 suffixes; 2 dialect/regional suffixes; 3 endings.

With the chapter on the names of feasts, festivals and ceremonies, Urbutis concludes his discussion on the derivatives made by suffixation. In the following chapter only thirteen pages are devoted to noun prefixation: 423 - 436. It is a short chapter compared to the very long one on noun suffixation, since there are, as we have already indicated before, relatively speaking, very few prefixes used for Lithuanian word-formation.

There are only seventeen prefixes used in noun formation in standard literary Lithuanian:

apy- (ap-, api-)
at- (ata-, ato-)
sa- (sam, san-)
už- (užu-, užuo-)

Of all these prefixes, only the prefix pa- is very frequent in noun formation: approximately one third of all derivative nouns formed by prefixation are made with pa-. Only the prefixes už-, ant-, prie- form a larger number of derivative nouns each; all the rest are less frequent.

However, Urbutis further lists (p. 436) the so-called "international" prefixes which now number more than the genuine Lithuanian prefixes in modern Lithuanian. There are nineteen of them:


Compound nouns (437 - 473)

It is almost impossible to tell the meaning of the compound nouns according to their formal characteristics: i.e., the component parts, the linking vowel/consonant, etc.; the author classifies the compound by a different method, namely, by the nature of their component parts.

The greatest part of the compound nouns in standard literary Lithuanian, i.e., about three fourths of all, is made up of two nouns. They are, mainly, determinative nouns, with the first word usually giving the "origin", and the second noun showing the specialized application, e.g., petikaulis 'shoulder blade', literally, 'the shoulder ('s) bone': petys, petis 'shoulder' and kaulas 'bone'. We will now list these main types, as we find them in Urbutis' presentation:

1. noun + noun: petìkaulis 'shoulder blade': pets 'shoulder' + káulas 'bone'.

2. adjective + noun: bendrãbutis 'dormitory': beñdras 'common' + bùtas 'apartment'.

3. numeral + noun: trčdalis 'one-third': trčias 'third' + dalìs 'part'.

4. verb + noun: pramuštgalvis 'adventurer; go-getter': pramùšti 'to hit through' + galvà 'head'.

5. adverb + noun: šalìgatvis 'sidewalk': šalià 'beside' + gãtvė 'street'.

6. preposition + noun: tarpežis: tarp 'between' + ežià 'vegetable bed'.

7. pronoun + noun: savìmeilė 'egotism': savè 'oneself + méilė 'love'.

8. noun + verb: alùdaris 'beermaker': alùs 'beer' + darýti 'to make'.

9. adjective + verb: labdaris 'philanthropist': lãbas 'good' + darýti 'to make'.

10. numeral + verb: pirmãgimis 'first born': pìrmas 'first' + gimti 'to be born'.

11. pronoun + verb: savìžudis 'suicide': savè 'oneself + žudyti 'to kill'.

12. adverb + verb: daugìskaita 'plural': daũg 'much' + skaičiúoti 'to count' (really: skaitýti 'to read; to count')

13. adverb + adjective: júodbėris 'darkbay horse': juodaĩ + 'black(ly)' bėras 'bay'.

14. noun + adjective: vaĩkpalaikis 'urchin': vaĩkas 'child' + palaĩkis 'worn out, used up, commonplace'.

15. Iterative formation, or reduplication: niekniekis 'trifle': niekas 'nobody; nothing' + niekas 'id'.

As is well known, Skardžius in his book describes the process or word-formation in Lithuanian, i.e., his analysis is, basically, diachronic. Urbutis applies a purely synchronic method of analysis. That, of course, should be expected in this descriptive-prescriptive (normative) grammar. One example will suffice to illustrate the difference in the method.

In analyzing the suffix -ija, Skardžius (pp. 80-83) gives many examples from old Lithuanian sources, documenting each of them. Then he cites instances of this same suffix in other IE languages: Greek, Latin, OCS, Germanic, etc., also indicating all his sources. For the suffix -ija, Skardžius cites Greek frātríā, Lat. vīcīnia, OCS bratrija, etc. Skardžius also cites all the pertinent material from onomastica, whereas Urbutis does not mention any proper names at all.

On the other hand, Urbutis refers to the suffix -ija on three occasions: 1. as a suffix of several "international" nouns, as in amnèstija 'amnesty', etc., in the chapter dealing with the nomina actionis (p. 303); 2. as a suffix to form the nomina loci, like urėdijà 'head forester's office' (p. 401); 3. also in the chapter on the nomina collectiva, like studentijà 'the student body; the students' (p. 419).

In Urbutis' treatment, one will find no reference whatsoever to any Old Lithuanian documents, no older forms are cited specifically unless they appear under the rare, unusual, or dialect/regional headings. There are practically no bibliographical references in Urbutis' treatment at all.

One can draw the following conclusion, even though based only on the treatment of the noun-formation: Skardžius' book is still today more valuable for the diachronic study both of Lithuanian as well as Baltic and Indo-European languages; Urbutis' unparalleled work is more valuable for synchronic study of (modern standard literary) Lithuanian, especially for semantic analysis, but also for eventual formal analysis, as it is practiced in generative-transformational grammar.

One may wonder whether a good "combination" of Skardžius' and Urbutis' works would not be in order.

The Adjective (A. Valeckienė: I, 550-603)

The same method is applied also in the chapter on adjective formation. The division, in other words, is again by semantic criteria:

    I. With special grammatical meaning:

    1. Deverbative adjectives with primary suffixes, and word-formation flection: àkti 'to go blind' ãk-l-as 'blind'. (37 suffixes).

    2. Adjectives derived from interjections, particles, etc. Very few.

    3. Adjectives derived from various parts of speech by secondary suffixes: víenas 'one' víen-iš-as 'lonely', etc. (17 suffixes).

    II. Adjectives with generalized meaning:

    E.g., víenas 'one' vien-nìg-as 'united'... (25 suffixes and endings).

    III. Adjectives with relative meanings:

    E.g., cùkrus 'sugar' cukr-ìn-is 'made of sugar, etc.'. (27 suffixes and 1 flection/ending).

    IV. Diminutive Adjectives:

    9 suffixes, several are the same as those of nouns, e.g., -utis: mãžas 'small' mažùtis 'tiny', etc.

Further, (cf. pp. 587) the author discusses the adjective formation by prefixation. This group is very small indeed, much smaller than in nouns. Only a few prefixes occur in adjective formations:


Several of the "international" prefixes are also cited here:


Finally, compound adjectives are discussed. Almost any one of the (inflected) parts of speech can be the first word, or the first component. The main "combinations" are as follows:

Compound adjective

First word
Second word
adjective (rare)

These compound adjectives are quite numerous in (standard literary) Lithuanian, but not in all the combinations as shown occurring above. For example, the "formula", or rule, numeral+adjective, has only one solitary adjective (in standard literary Lithuanian): keturpėsčias 'on all fours', made up from keturì 'four' and pėsčias 'on foot'.

As in the huge chapter on noun formation, here, too, the method os analysis is entirely descriptive, synchronic. No reference is made to any diachronic considerations except that on some occasions Latvian forms are cited in small print.9

The Numeral (V. Mažiulis: 635 - 636)

Only about one page is devoted to the very brief outline, or sketch, on numeral formation. Two basic types are cited:

    A. Simple numeral, e.g., víenas 'one'. However, from these simple numerals one gets the various derivatives:

        a) numerals used with pluralia tantum nouns: vienerì, etc.

        b) collective numerals: trejetas, etc.

        c) ordinal numerals: (penkì >) peñktas, -à, etc.

    B. Compound numerals: aštuonì šimtaĩ trìsdešimt septynì '837', etc.

The Pronoun (A. Valeckienė: I, 718 - 721)

Only four pages are devoted to the problems of word-formation in the chapter on the pronoun. Most of the pronouns, of course, at least from the synchronic point of view, are simple, non-derivative words. But there are four derivative types, too:

    a) pronouns derived by suffixes: tù > tàvo > tãvas tavàsis > tavìškis

    b) compound pronouns: kiekvíenas 'each, everyone', etc.

    c) combinatory pronouns: kas-ne-kàs

    d) contrastive pronouns: ... kità

The second volume of this huge grammar was published in 1971. It describes the following parts of speech: verb, adverb, particle, preposition, conjunction, interjection, and onomatopoetic interjection (Lith. ištiktùkas).

The Verb (I. Jasinskaitė and J. Paulauskas: II, 218 - 298)

As could be expected, the verb gets the lion's share on word-formation in the second volume: 81 pages. Verbs are divided as follows:

    a) primary verbs ("true" and "mixed" types)

    b) secondary (derivative) verbs:

        ba) with suffixes

        bb) with prefixes

        bc) with suffixes and prefixes

    c) (There are no real compound verbs in Lithuanian.)10

For the primary verbs, their "structural types" are divided as follows: three major groups, according to the endings of the present and the past tense; these major three groups are further subdivided into several subgroups each, according to the ablaut, infixes, and formants.

Mixed verbs (pp. 238 - 246) are those in which some forms are primary, others derivative, e.g., miega, miegój-o, mieg-ó-ti.

Secondary (derivative) verbs are divided into those formed with suffixes and those formed with prefixes; the third subgroup: verbs which have both suffixes and prefixes.

There are only seven verbal suffixes:


There are only twelve verbal prefixes in Lithuanian:

ap- (api-)
at- (ati-)

The various meanings and derivational patterns are discussed in detail.

Several of the so-called "international" prefixes are now used in standard literary Lithuanian:

    de- (dez-)
    in- (im-)
    re-...                and a few others.

There are some verbs used with prefixes derived from particles such as:

    ne- (cf., netèkti 'to lose')

As in the chapters on nouns and adjectives, no diachronic discussion is given at all except for the purpose of making a subgroup based on older historical facts where, for example, ę < en, etc. Thus, this treatment stays totally in the realm of synchrony.

The Adverb (K. Ulvydas: II, 508-533; 538-541)

In the chapter on adverbs we find two separate discussions concerning word-formation: there are sixteen pages on the formation of adverbs in -(i)ai and five pages on those in -yn.

    Adverbs in -(i)ai can be made from:

    1. adjectives: blõgas 'bad' > blogaĩ 'badly, poorly'

    2. present active participles: rėkiąs 'screaming' > rėkiančiai 'very; very much, extremely'

    3. past active participles: pašėlęs 'wild; mad' > pašėlusiai 'wildly; madly'

    4. present passive participles: neĩgiamas 'negative'> neigiamaĩ 'negatively'

    5. past passive participles: sujáudintas 'excited' > sujáudintai 'excitedly*

    6. from the special participles of necessity: dìrbtinas 'artificial' > dirbtinaĩ 'artificially'

    Adverbs in -yn are formed from:

    1. two-syllable adjectives: áukštas 'high' > aukštyn 'upward'

    2. (rarely) from certain nouns: pakálnė (also pakalnė) > 'slope' pakalnėn 'down the slope'.

The Particle (V. Labutis: II, 574-576)

Only three pages are devoted to the structure and formation of the particles. They are divided into three groups:

    1. simple (primary) particles: ar, nèt, etc.

    2. compound particles: nejaũgi, etc.

    3. combination particles: vos tìk, etc.

The Preposition (E. Valiulytė: II, 578 - 582)

There is really no chapter devoted entirely to the formation of the prepositions, but several pages are devoted to explaining that there are two basic types of prepositions in standard literary Lithuanian:

    1. archaic (Lith.: senybiniai): apie, ìš, etc.

2. new, more resent (Lith. naujybiniai): vidùj 'inside' < vidujè, etc.

The Conjunction (J. Žukauskaitė: II, 655)

There is practically nothing said on the formation of the conjunctions except that they could be divided as follows:

    1. inherited, ancient conjunctions: ir 'and', etc.

    2. derived conjunctions:

        a) from adjectives and adverbs: lýg: lýgus, lýgiai

        b) from verbs: nórs: norėti

        c) from pronouns: jéi, kaĩ, etc.

This last group is the largest by far. This grammar explains that, generally speaking, there are not too many conjunctions in Lithuanian.

The Interjection (J. Pikčilingis: II, 699...)

No special chapter is devoted to the formation of the interjections. However, they are listed as follows:

    1. primary: õ, ái...

    2. derivative: di, bról... (< dive, bróli...)

    3. compound: anavè; ói véi ói véi...

In this part of the grammar several pages (715 - 718) are devoted to animal calls and similar such formations, the first and the only such treatment ever to appear in any grammar of Lithuanian. Even the so-called "international" interjections — such as Brãvo! Márš! — are discussed here.

The Onomatopoetic Interjection: Ištiktukas (I. Jasinskaitė: II, 735 - 740)

NB. Only grammars of Lithuanian consider the ištiktukas as a separate part of speech. In the grammars of other IE languages this is considered to be part of the interjection.

In the paragraphs on the structural characteristics of the onomatopoetic interjection, word formation is also touched upon. There are very few simple, primary onomatopoetic interjections in Lithuanian. Most of the others are derived mainly by analogy. For example, a small portion of the derivatives come from verbs:

    smùkt (to indicate slipping down) < smùkti 'to slip (down)'

The majority of these special interjections are simply an attempt to imitate some sounds of nature:

    bràkšt, gurguliùkšt, triókšt...

Some few of these onomatopoetic interjections are also made by using some prefixes, such as pa-. Some are also made by reduplication: talam, talam, talam (ėmė tamsoje galąsti dalgį vaiduoklis): 'talam, talam, talam — the ghost started to sharpen his scythe in the darkness'.


As in the long chapters on the noun, the adjective and the verb, no diachronic considerations are encountered in these shorter chapters. Once in a while, some more important dialect and/or regional forms are mentioned, also without diachrony proper, just to show the present-day variations.

However, this grammar is still the best, the most complete, the most up-to-date, and the most useful grammar of Lithuanian ever to appear. For any investigation in the future, it is indeed indispensable.


At about the same time when the first volume of the Academy Grammar of Lithuanian was published (1965), Jan Otrębski published the second volume of his grammar of Lithuanian. This entire volume (=X + 416 pages) is devoted to word-formation. Actually, it deals with the formation of nominals (nouns and adjectives together) and of verbs. Two hundred ninety-six pages are devoted to nominals, and ninety pages to verbs.

The book is arranged as follows:

I. Reduplicated forms; compounds; combination nominals

II. Nouns and adjectives derived by suffixation

III. Formation of verbs

Like the Skardžius treatment, Otrębski's book is pervasively diachronic, very often starting with the IE roots. It is also comparative by nature because several IE languages are considered, especially the Slavic languages. It does not formally separate the formation by flexion, i.e., ending, versus the formation by pure suffix. It also cites Old Prussian and Latvian forms. Very often, Otrębski not only discusses the problems of word-formation, but also mentions and analyzes entire etymologies (cf, pp. 51, 55 ff.).

There is no doubt in my mind that Otrębski's book, although useful for general IE studies, does not have the scope and detail of Lietuvių kalbos žodžių daryba by Skardžius. Skardžius, for example, gives older forms from various and numerous sources, also quite a bit of dialect material. Otrębski, on the other hand, quotes almost exclusively only two Old Lithuanian documents: Daukša's Postilla and Širvydas' Dictionarium trium linguarum. The "scientific apparatus" of Skardžius is also much more detailed than that in Otrębski's. Otrębski gives no bibliography whatsoever except a few citations in the text itself. Very rarely does Otrębski use footnotes: all told, on 416 pages, there are only nine bibliographical footnotes; some more are listed in the text itself, but they are not very numerous either.

Very often Otrębski uses onomastic material in his discussion. There are several cases where Otrębski makes a poor selection for his main examples or even sets up unreliable etymologies. For example:

1. (p. 25) eglė-šakė 'spruce branch' is really a rare dialect form, although Otrębski presents it as the main model. The real form used most frequently is eglì-šakis, then comes egliã-šakis, etc.

2. (p. 61) Otrębski states, that in the counties of Alytus and Seinai one finds the form platnùs instead of platùs 'wide, broad'. Now, the present writer is a native speaker of the area of Alytus, and the form platnùs is unknown to him.

3. (p. 62) Otrębski's etymology of the city named Alytùs is clearly wrong, as it was recently shown.11

Christian S. Stang once wrote:

Wenn ich meine Arbeit "Vergleichende baltische Grammatik" genannt habe, ist der Titel insofern zu weit gefasst, als ich nur Laut- und Formen-lehre, nicht aber Wortbildungslehre und Syntax behandelt habe. Das Fehlen der Wortbildungslehre kann damit gerechtfertigt werden, dass hierfiir ausfuhrliche und gute Arbeiten vor-liegen.12

One may wonder which works Stang had in mind here. One would be inclined to suspect that he may have had Skardžius, Otrębski, maybe even older works in mind.

All told, Otrębski discusses 284 suffixes in nominal, i.e., noun and adjective, formation, as compared to 615 in the Academy Grammar.

Another suggestion forces itself into one's mind: in combining Skardžius, Otrębski, and the Academy Grammar, one could indeed get a good picture of word-formation in Lithuanian.

Four more books should be mentioned in this connection. To be sure, three of them are more of a pedagogical - textbook nature, but all of them have certain good points, examples which do supplement the general discussion of Lithuanian word-formation.

Alfred Senn13 gives a vivid, clear, precise picture of the most important questions of Lithuanian word-formation. For example, one will find 133 noun and adjective suffixes discussed here, with some very good samples. Without any doubt, Senn's work is very useful for learning modern Lithuanian.

A. Paulauskienė in her recent book on the present-day Lithuanian verb14, out of the total of 108 pages, devotes 33 pages to word-formation.15 Her treatment, of course, is not as detailed as that in the Academy Grammar, but her arrangement is clear, and many examples are given to illustrate various types and their meanings. Her basic division is as follows:

    a) simple verbs

    b) derivative verbs:

        ba) prefix + root

        bb) root + suffix

        bc) prefix + root + suffix

She gives one very interesting illustration where all three types, plus all the twelve verbal prefixes are used in one and the same basic verb.

We should also mention the work of Janis Endzelīns, especially since this book is now available in Latvian, Lithuanian, and in English.16 However, since this book is, primarily, a comparative grammar of Baltic languages, we will not include it in a more detailed discussion, although it deals with word-formation in Baltic languages.

I feel that I should also mention Introduction to Modern Lithuanian where, in the Grammatical Appendix, several pages are devoted to verbal prefixes.17

There had been several articles on word-formation in Lithuanian published in various journals and other collective works. Their list is given in the Appendix. However, I see no particular reason to discuss and analyze them separately because most of their findings were incorporated in the Academy Grammar. Only one article does not fall under that classification since it was published after the Academy Grammar had appeared. This is also the most interesting article and, perhaps, the most important one. It deals not only with concrete cases, but also with the general theory of word-formation. In this article, Vincas Urbutis — by now clearly the most outstanding specialist on Lithuanian word-formation18— writes on ablaut and word-formation.19 Here he comes to one firm conclusion: for present-day Lithuanian, ablaut variations cannot be considered as one of the elements, or formants, in word-formation. His most important reasons, as they are presented in this article, are as follows:

1. This morphonological (i.e., ablaut + other varieties in the "root") change encompasses only one minor part of all the derivational words.

2. It has no specific function: in most cases, words with a different ablaut type belong to the same word-formational, or derivational type, with the same meaning, or the type meaning. For example:

    without the ablaut change:

        blõgas 'bad' : blõgis 'evil' 

    with the ablaut change:

        platùs 'wide' : plõtis 'width'

In other words, the only important element here is the suffix (and all the changes connected with the particular suffix).

3. There are no derivatives which would differ from their basic, or underlying, word, or form, only by ablaut.

4. Homology is always, both in Lithuanian as well as in many European languages, more powerful than ablaut variations. Cf., pagálba and pagélba : gélbėti. Here, pagálba 'help, support' shows an ablaut variation form the basic root gelb- as in gélbėti 'to save, help, bring help, support', but homology has reestablished pagélba by analogy to gélbėti. Now, throughout the Lithuanian speaking area both variants co-exist. In other words, at least in present-day Lithuanian, ablaut in word-formation is really a phonological adjustment caused by morphological patterning. However, Urbutis adds that ablaut variations and other sound changes should be discussed and considered in word-formation since they are, originally, morphological processes.

It is very hard in an article of this type to come to any definite conclusions. The fact remains that, in the Academy Grammar, we now have a complete picture of present-day Lithuanian word-formation from the synchronic point of view. In Skardžius and Otrębski, we have a fairly detailed picture of Lithuanian nominal and verbal formation from the diachronic point of view. What is needed, perhaps, especially for Indo-European linguistics, is a good, solid "combination" of these works, especially of Skardžius and the Academy Grammar.


A. Books:

1. Leonardas Dambriūnas, Antanas Klimas and William R. Schmalstieg. Introduction to Modern Lithuanian, Brooklyn, 1966. Second edition: 1972.
2. J. Endzelīns, Baltu valodu skaņas un formas, Rīga, 1948. 
2a. J. Endzelynas, Baltų kalbų garsai ir formos, Vilnius, 1957. 
2b. Janis Endzelins' Comparative Phonology and Morphology of the Baltic Languages. Translated by William R. Schmalstieg and Benjamiņš Jēgers, The Hague, 1971.
3. A. Paulauskienė, Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos veiksmažodis, Vilnius, 1971.
4. Jan Otrębski, Gramatyka języka litewskiego. Tom II: Nauka o budowie wyrazów, Warszawa, 1965.
5. Alfred Senn, Handbuch der litauischen Sprache, Band I: Grammatik, Heidelberg, 1966.
6. Pranas Skardžius, Lietuvių kalbos žodžių daryba, Vilnius, 1943.
7. (K. Ulvydas, Editor-in-chief), Lietuvių kalbos gramatika I, Vilnius, 1965.
7a. (K. Ulvydas, Editor-in-chief), Lietuvių kalbos gramatika II, Vilnius, 1971.

B. Articles:

1. E. Jakaitienė, "Deverbatyviniai dabartinės lietuviu kalbos veiksmažodžiai su priesaga -inti", Baltistica IV (2), 1968, 221-230.
2. E. Jakaitienė, "Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos veiksmažodžiai su priesaga -ėti", Kalbotyra XIX (1968), 31-44.
3. A. Paulauskienė, "Priešdėlėtieji eigos veikslo veiksmažodžiai", Kalbotyra XIII (1965), 165-186.
4. V. Urbutis, "Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos galūnių darybos daiktavardžiai", Kalbotyra III (1961), 27-60.
5. V. Urbutis, "Garsų kaita ir žodžių daryba", Kalbotyra XXIII (1), (1971), 71-78.


1 Antanas Salys, 'Kalbotyra mokyklinių kalbų dėstyme", Suvažiavimo darbai 1936 II, Kaunas, 1937, p. 226.
2 Cf., Hans Marchand, The Categories and Types of Present-Day English Word-Formation, 2nd ed., München, 1969, esp. pp. 524 ff.
3 Hans Marchand, op. cit., p. 523.
4 Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., p. 728.
5 Noun — 223 pages, Adjective — 52, Numeral — 2, Pronoun — 3, Verb — 79, Adverb — 31, Interjection — 25, Onomatopoetic Interjection (Lith.: ištiktukas) — 6; Index of suffixes and prefixes — 9.
6 Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., pp. 3-4.
7 Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., p. 5.
8 Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., p. 288.
9 Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, I, op. cit., p. 557,
10 Such compound verbs as dykaduoniáuti 'to live without work-king', etc., are not considered to be true compounds since they can always be derived from compound nouns by analogy with other verbs derived with the same suffix. Cf., Lietuvių kalbos gramatika, II, op. cit, pp. 268-269.
11 Cf., K. Kuzavinis, "Lietuvos vardo kilmė", Kalbotyra, X, Vilnius, 1964, esp. pp. 6 and 7.
12 Chr. S. Stang, Vergleichende Grammatik der Baltischen Sprachen, Oslo - Bergen - Tromsö, 1966, p. V.
13 Alfred Senn, Handbuch der litauischen Sprache, Band II: Grammatik, Heidelberg, 1966. (Wortbildung: pp. 316-351).
14 A. Paulauskienė, Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos veiksmažodis, Vilnius, 1971.
15 A. Paulauskienė, op. cit., pp. 172-204.
16 J. Endzelīns, Baltu valodu skaņas un formas, Rīga, 1948; J. Endzelynas, Baltų kalbų garsai ir formos, Vilnius, 1957; Janis Endzelins' Comparative Phonology and Morphology of the Baltic Languages. Translated by William R. Schmalstieg and Benjamiņš Jēgers, The Hague, 1971.
17 Leonardas Dambriūnas, Antanas Klimas and William R. Schmalstieg, Introduction to Modern Lithuanian, Brooklyn, 1966; 2nd edition, 1972. Cf., pp. 378-384.
18 His doctoral thesis Dabartinės lietuvių kalbos daiktavardžių daryba, 1971, was not available to this writer, but it should be somewhat similar to the chapter in the Academy Grammar, with a theoretical basis added.
19 V. Urbutis, "Garsų kaita ir žodžių daryba", Kalbotyra XXIII (1), Vilnius, 1971, pp. 71-78.