LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 40, No.2 - Summer 1994
Editor of this issue: Robert A. Vitas, Lithuanian Research & Studies Center
Copyright © 1994 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Konstantins Karulis. Latviešu etiomologijas vardnica divos sejumos (I: a-o, II: p-ž), "Avots," Riga, 1992.
This two-volume work of 1,310 pages (638 in Vol. I, 672 in Vol. II), aside from containing a dictionary (Vol. I: pp. 53-638, Vol. II: pp. 5-581), also includes an introduction, guides to the dictionary's organization, symbols for Proto-Indo-European (including laryngeals), Albanian, Armenian, Bulgarian, Czech, Gothic, Creek (in Roman transcription), Hittite, Dutch, Estonian, Latvian, Latin, Ossetian, Polish, Rumanian, Sanskrit, Old Russian, Old Icelandic, OCS, Serbo-Croatian, Swedish, abbreviations, terms, bibliography, and source abbreviations, and at the end of Vol. 2, a 65-page exposition of the theories of historical linguistics processes involved with the development of all the Latvian words listed in this etymological dictionary (similar to what we find in Martin E. Huld's Basic Albanian Etymologies, Slavica, 1983) followed by footnotes (pp. 649-665), bibliography, and a table of contents for both volumes.
We find reference not only to E. Fraenkel's Litauisches etymologisches Worterbuch, but also to the works of numerous Lithuanian scholars including K. Būga, M. Gimbutas, V. Mažiulis, A. Tautavičius, Z. Zinkevičius, V. Vytkauskas, J. Kazlauskas, A. Sabaliauskas, V. Urbutis, S. Karaliūnas, A. Salys, etc. We, of course, find mention of things done by Latvians, including more than one reference in the Introduction, to the "works" of V. Zeps which is followed by a word of thanks to the Latvian-American Cultural Union Fund's (Amerikas Latviešu kulturas fonds) financing of the book's printing.
I find a book of this kind useful. Its very existence emphasizes the uniqueness of Latvian as a language. I shall continue to hope that it will help inspire more contrastive as well as comparative studies of Latvian and Lithuanian. This will serve to define and describe ever more exactly the special uniqueness of the Lithuanian language, especially where borrowings and calks from Latvian to Lithuanian and Lithuanian to Latvian occur. Many items in this work, new when compared with those in other works, will aid studies leading to that end.
Harvey E. Mayer