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Žodis valstybė Simono Daukanto pasiskolintas latvizmas [The Lithuanian word valstybė 'stae, polity' a loanword from Latvian by Simonas Daukantas]
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies, Finnish, Dutch, and German, Baltic Languages.
2016 (Lithuanian)In: Archivum Lithuanicum, ISSN 1392-737X, Vol. 18, 337-372 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

1. The Lithuanian word valstybė ‘state, polity’ was first registered in a Lithuanian text by Simonas Daukantas’s History of the Lithuanian Lowlands (Istoryje Ƶemaytyszka; IƵ; ~1828–1834 in Rīga, Latvia).

2. Daukantas borrowed the word valstybė from Latvian. He himself believed he had appropriated the word from the Herulian language (not Latvian) via Joachim Lelewel’s text. The word had reached Daukantas this way: Hasentöter (beginning of the sixteenth century) → Münster (1550) → Lazius (1557) → Lelewel (1808) → Daukantas (1828–1834).

3. Daukantas’s work at the General Governor’s office in Rīga must have stimulated him to transfer valstybė into Lithuanian. Daukantas could not miss the printed texts containing the Latvian combination Kreewu(=) walſtibas ‘of the Russian state’ that were circulating in the office, and it could have encouraged him to adapt it for his Lithuanian text.

4. Daukantas also used valstybė in his later writings. After his death (in 1864), however, valstybė was not accepted in Lithuanian for a long time. Only later, after the 1892, 1893, and 1899 (re‑)publications of his works, did valstybė reemerge.

5. One of the first to resurrect Daukantas’s loanword valstybė was Povilas Višinskis, a member of the Lithuanian Democratic Party, in the January 29 [February 11], 1905 issue ofthe Lithuanian newspaper Vilniaus žinios ‘Vilnius News’ in the article “Kiek pinigų surenka ir išleidžia Rusų vyriausybė” [‘How Much Money the Russian Government Collects and Spends’). Possibly during the beginning and certainly by the middle of the year 1905 Višinskis switched to valstybė completely and abandoned viešpatystė and valstija, popular synonyms at the time.

6. After Višinskis, a member of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party, Augustinas Janulaitis, used the word valstybė in his pamphlet "Kunigo Jurgio Gapono laiškai" (‘Letters ofthe Priest Jurgis Gaponas’) that was published in May or somewhat earlier in 1905; also in his articles “Įsteigiamasis Rūsijos seimas ir Lietuvos seimas” (‘Constitutive Parliament of Russia and the Great Lithuanian Assembly’) and “Politiškas streikas ir ramusis pasipriešinimas”(‘Political Strike and Peaceful Resistance’) that were printed in issue 4, 1905 of the magazine Darbininkų balsas (‘Voice of the Workers’).

7. The linguist Jonas Jablonskis must have accepted the fact of valstybė’s spread at the end of 1905. The Russian revolution and the war with Japan in 1905, the Great Assembly of Vilnius at the end of 1905, and the State Parliament elections at the beginning of 1906 made the concept of ‘state, polity’ very frequent and relevant, and in 1906 valstybė finally won the competition with its synonyms as the most comfortable way to express the concept. It was of significance that Višinskis (circa January 1905) and Janulaitis (circa April 1905) had selected this word, but the approval by Jablonskis (circa December 1905) could have been the most decisive factor for the subsequent substantial spread of valstybė.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Vilnius, 2016. Vol. 18, 337-372 p.
Keyword [en]
History of Lithuanian, history of Latvian, loanwords, standard language, Lith. valstybė ‘state, polity’
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Baltic Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-138268OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-138268DiVA: diva2:1066562
Available from: 2017-01-18 Created: 2017-01-18 Last updated: 2017-04-05

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