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Such opinion was first represented by the likes of August Schleicher, and to a certain extent, Antoine Meillet.
Endzelīns thought that the similarity between Baltic and Slavic was explainable through language contact; on the other hand, Schleicher, Meillet and others gave arguments for a genetic kinship of the two families.
The total worldwide Lithuanian-speaking population is about 3,200,000.
Lithuanian is the state language of Lithuania and an official language of the European Union.
An earlier Baltic language, Old Prussian, was extinct by the 18th century; the other Western Baltic languages, Curonian and Sudovian, went extinct earlier.
Among Indo-European languages, Lithuanian is extraordinarily conservative, retaining many archaic features otherwise found only in ancient languages such as Sanskrit or Ancient Greek.The modern Samogitian dialect formed in the 13th–16th centuries under the influence of the Curonian language. Samogitian is divided into West, North and South; Aukštaitian into West (Soduviečiai), Dainavian and East (the South and East dialects are also known as Dzūkian dialects due to their frequent use of dz for standard dž).Lithuanian dialects are closely connected with ethnographical regions of Lithuania. Each subdialect is divided into smaller units – speeches (šnektos).An attempt to reconcile the opposed stances was made by Jan Michał Rozwadowski.He proposed that the two language groups were indeed a unity after the division of Indo-European, but also suggested that after the two had divided into separate entities (Baltic and Slavic), they had posterior contact.