LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 40, No.3 - Fall 1994
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas, University of Rochester
Copyright © 1994 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
DABARTINĖS LIETUVIŲ KALBOS ŽODYNAS. III pataisytas ir papildytas leidimas. (IIIrd revised and expanded edition). Keinys, St. (ed. in chief), J. Klimavičius, J. Paulauskas, J. Pikčilingis, N. Sližienė, K. Ulvydas, V. Vitkauskas. XXIV + 967 pp. Vilnius, Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidykla, 1993.
The first edition of this dictionary appeared in 1954 and the second edition in 1972. In the foreword (p. IV-VI) Keinys writes that this new third edition is revised, expanded and re-edited. Nearly a tenth of the 'lexical clusters' have been added anew. (I have used the term 'lexical cluster' to translate Lithuanian žodyno lizdas, literally 'dictionary nest,' a term which refers to a group of words having the same root.) Many words which appear to have entered in common use have been added, words which have been recently created or which have come to be widely used, including words used earlier in various areas of activity, e.g., adaptãcija 'adaptation,' apeigýnas 'ritual book,' arkángelas 'archangel,' atvykėlis 'a new arrival (from some place else),' apšvitinti 'to irradiate, to subject to radiation,' autosèrvisas 'auto service,' etc.
On the other hand in the interests of saving space and other considerations (primarily rarity, decreased relevance or incorrect-ness) certain of the lexical clusters which had been included in the second edition have been removed from this new edition. Excluded especially were narrow dialectisms, variants which were not characteristic for the standard language, e.g., abrãkinis, adjective derived from abrãkas 'horse fodder,' aeropòrtas 'airport,' áigyti 'to poke,' álvas 'lead,' alvúoti 'to cover with lead,' anormalùs 'abnormal,' apvajà same as apvijà 'winding, coils,' arìminis adjective derived from arimas 'plowing,' atsidvėsti 'to heave a sigh,' etc.
In the new edition the explanations of the meanings have been improved in many cases, but as in previous editions for the most part only the most characteristic common meanings have been given. An attempt has been made to give examples of use in a somewhat broader context than in previous editions, although the examples themselves, except for quotations from folklore, have been shortened, because it was kept in mind that a normative philological general dictionary is not a text-book for politics or some other area of activity, and that a person would search here not for quotations from the classics, science, belles-lettres or publicistic works, but for linguistic information about the words given. For many words examples of the use are not given their use is usually clear and elementary.
The dictionary has also a normative function and shows whether a word is considered correct or not. If the word is considered incorrect, then there is a reference to a correct word with the same meaning. Thus, for example, under the entry pečius 'stove' (p. 534) we find a note that the word is not considered correct, and a reference to krosnis which should be used instead.
The dictionary is designed for the general public. It should be useful to all those who use the standard language in their daily work, employees of the press, those who must speak in public, first of all teachers, directors and various specialists; it will be indispensable to students of any level. Still, it should be clear that a one-volume dictionary cannot replace the specialized dictionaries.
The foreword (p. VII-XX) states that an attempt has been made to include: (1) the fundamental as well as the actively derived lexicon of the Lithuanian language; (2) the most common dialect words occurring in belles-lettres, especially classics, publicistic literature and the periodical press, e.g., Samogitian sliñkis 'lazy-bones,' Dzukish dudénti 'to speak,' etc.; (3) archaic words and/or meanings occurring in belles-lettres and elsewhere, e.g.,godóti 'to respect,' piemuõ 'shepherd; priest,' liaupsė 'hymn of praise'; (4) the most common ethnographic and historic terms such as árklas 'wooden plow,' krivūlė 'crooked staff (used to call a meeting in old Lithuania); meeting'; (5) those terms from science, art, technology and other fields which are most commonly encountered in popular scientific literature, in the press and in introductory text-books in schools of general education, e.g., dalmuõ 'quotient,' sánkloda 'system of manufacturing relationships,' įkainis 'established price, valuation'; (6) international words commonly used in the press and in every day life, e.g., doktrina 'doctrine,' kombáinas 'combine,' receñzija 'review,' etc.; (7) widely known contemporary and historical ethnic names, e.g., gruzìnai 'Georgians,' lénkai 'Poles,' prūsai '(Old) Prussians,' romėnai 'Romans,' rùsai 'Russians,' sémbai 'Samlandians,' vókiečiai 'Germans,' etc.
In addition to these there are included (8) a small number of old borrowings into Lithuanian which have become part of the standard language and which do not have generally accepted Lithuanian counterparts, e.g., (from Slavic) anūkas 'grandson,' barščiai 'borshch,' barsùkas 'badger,' grybas 'mushroom,' etc. and (9) a small number of commonly used foreign expressions which are not recommended and which should be replaced by words recommended in the dictionary, e.g., bakūžė 'broken down hut' for recommended lūšnà, bálkis for recommended sijà 'beam, joist,' gõjus for recommended giraitė, miškelis 'woods,' etc. (although there is no head word for giraitė).
Words which were not entered in the dictionary include rare dialect words, archaisms which have long gone out of general use, highly specialized terms, neologisms, loan-translations, remodelings and foreign terms, harsh vulgarisms and improper expressions, rare prefixed verbs, rare exclamatory expressions and proper names.
Following this explanation of what the user should find (and not find) in the dictionary is an explanation as to how to use the dictionary, how words are defined, phraseology, stylistic considerations and rules of noun stress. There is also a list of dictionaries which have served as references for this dictionary.
A comparison of some of the items in the second edition and the third edition is rather interesting. Much of the explanatory material found in the second edition is also in the third edition. Still in the second edition under the heading for the names of peoples (p. VI) we find the following: rùsai 'Russians,' gruzìnai 'Georgians,' lénkai 'Poles,' vókiečiai 'Germans,' romėnai 'Romans.' Comparing this with the list given in the third edition (pt. 7 above) we note that the Russians have moved from first place to fifth place, just following the Romans, but just before the sémbai 'Samlandians.' There is an entry prūsai '(Old) Prussians' in the second edition, but no entry for sémbai in the second edition. In the third edition (p. 685) they are defined as a 'Prussian tribe which lived on the Samlandian peninsula.' Similary lacking in the second edition but to be found in the third edition are names of the following (Old) Prussian tribes: pamedėnai 'Pomesanians, one of the Prussian tribes which lived along the Vistula' (p. 491), pagudėnai 'Pogesanians, one of the Prussian tribes which lived south of the Warmians near Aismarės (Germ. Frisches Haff, Pol. zalew Wislany), 'a lagoon on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea' (p. 477), nótangai 'Notangians, one of the Prussian tribes which lived on the left bank of the Prieglius' (p. 428), varmiai 'Warmians, one of the Prussian tribes which lived near Aismarės' (p. 913), bártai 'Bartans, one of the Prussian tribes which lived to the northwest of the Great Mazovian lakes' (p. 74), nadrùviai 'Baltic (Prussian or western Lithuanian tribe which lived between Galdapė and Gilija' (p. 412). The galindai, defined in the second edition as 'a tribe of ancient Balts' (p. 160), are defined more accurately in the third edition as 'Galindians, Baltic tribes which lived on the western and eastern Baltic border' (p. 162). The word sūdùvis 'a Sudovian' is defined in the second edition as 'an inhabitant of former Sudovia' (p. 756), whereas sūdùviai are defined in the third edition as 'Sudovians, a tribe of Jatvingians (Yatvingians) which lived in the basin of the upper reaches of the Šešupė' (p. 749). The jótvingiai are defined in the second edition (p. 267) as 'one of the southern Baltic tribes' whereas in the third edition they are defined as 'Baltic tribes close to the (Old) Prussians' (p. 268).
In the second edition the word sùkčius is defined only as 'swindler, cheater' (p. 762), whereas in the third edition the first mention of the word is 'a certain folk dance (mostly Dzukish)' and only the second mention has the meaning 'swindler, cheater' (p. 755). So there is a clear Baltic orientation in the third edition which seems to be lacking in the second edition.
The modern orthography requires that certain prevocalic sequences with old bi- are now to be written as bj; so that in the second edition we find biaurùs 'ugly' whereas in the third edition we find bjaurùs. This means that in the second edition biaurùs 'ugly' precedes biznis 'occupying oneself with trade in order to gain a profit' whereas in the third edition bjaurùs follows biznis 'activity or trade producing a profit.' In the second edition biznis is preceded by burž. 'bourgeois' whereas in the third edition no characterization is given. On the other hand the example of usage: padarė biznį characterized as pasipelnė 'made a profit' is the same in both the second and the third edition. In the second edition the second meaning of ãkcija is '(in capitalist countries) securities giving a dividend (vertybinis popierius, duodantis dividendo)', whereas in the third edition the notation (in capitalist countries) is omitted, but the definition remains the same.
In the second edition we encounter both katalikýbė and katalikystė for 'Catholicism' (p. 290), but in the third edition we find only katalikýbė in the second edition krikščionýbė is defined as 'religion arising in the first century of our era and based on the cult of the mythological Christ' (p. 336), whereas in the third edition the same word is defined as 'religion based on confessing Jesus Christ' (p. 333) with no mention of His assumed 'mythological' nature. The second edition defines biblija as 'books composed of Jewish and Christian religious myths and dogmas' (p. 80), whereas the third edition defines the same word as 'the Jewish and Christian sacred books, sacred writings' (p. 81). The word ángelas in the second edition has as its first meaning 'a good spirit, in religious mythology' (p. 14), but in the third edition it is only 'a good spirit' (p. 13) having lost its mythological status. Similarly in the second edition dèmonas is 'an evil spirit, a devil in Christian mythology' (p. 113), but the third edition gives the same definition, but without the characterization 'in Christian mythology' (p. 115), so apparently even the demons or evil spirits are less mythological nowadays.
In the second edition komunizmas is defined as 'the second, higher phase of communist social formation following after socialism' (p. 324), whereas in the third edition the same word is defined merely as 'announced and sought after by Marxism, the organization of society based on public ownership of means of production and the equality of men' (p. 322). The third edition defines socializmas as 'a theory of the organization of public life according to which public ownership of means of production forms the basis for the relationships of producers' (p. 719) and gives no further meanings, whereas the second edition gives a first meaning quite similar to that above, but also a second meaning 'doctrine concerning the creation of such a social order' and a third meaning 'various petit bourgeois theories about the reform of capitalist societies removing or softening the antagonistic contradictions' (p. 726). Apparently the authors of the third edition found ir unnecessary to add these extra meanings.
The second edition defines kapitalistas as 'an owner of capital, an exploiter of hired workers' (p. 283) whereas the third edition gives the definition 'an owner of capital using hired labor' (p. 283). The owner of capital has changed from being an exploiter to being a mere user.
The word pártija has pretty much the same set of definitions in the third edition as in the second edition, but in the second edition we encounter after the first meaning the sample sentence:
'The Communist party is the leading power in our government' (p. 510), whereas in the third we find as an example the expression Demokratų, komunistų, respublikonų, socialistų partija 'Democratic, Communist, Republican, Socialist party (p. 504). In the second edition we encounter a separate entry for vykdomasis as in vykdomasis komitetas 'executive committee' (p. 938). The third edition has only the fundamental verb vykdyti 'to fulfill, to execute (a decision)' (p. 932) and one is left to form one's own participle and executive committee if one wishes, since the expression vykdomasis komitetas occurs neither under the head word vykdyti nor komitetas in the third edition. The third edition defines profsąjunga as a contraction for profesinė sqjunga 'professional union' (p. 623) and adds no explanatory sentence whereas in the second edition we encounter the sentence 'Soviet professional unions are the school of communism.' The words profkomitetas 'union committee' and proforgas 'union organizer' given in the second edition (p. 632) have been completely omitted from the third edition, since apparently they are now archaisms which are no longer in common use. In the second edition the term proletaras as defined as '(in capitalist society) one who does not possess the means of production, a hired worker; a poor person' and one finds the explanatory sentence: 'Proletarians of the world, unite' (p. 632). In the third edition the definition remains the same (p. 624) except for the omission of the explanation '(in capitalist society)', the word varguolis 'poor person' and the explanatory sentence which no longer seems necessary, since proletarians in capitalist societies might not be poor or have any need to unite any more.
Among sports terminology we find in the third edition kràulis 'crawl (in swimming)' (p. 330), a word missing in the second edition. The second edition identifies dantìraštis 'cuneiform' (p. 106) as being a Babylonian form of writing whereas the third edition more accurately says that it is an ancient form of writing of eastern peoples.
In the third edition we encounter akcelerãcija '(biological) acceleration of the growth and maturation of a new generation' and akcelerãtorius 'accelerator' (p. 5), akupunktūrà 'acupuncture' (p. 9), akvalángas 'aqualung' (p. 9), words missing in the second edition.
In the second edition albãnai are defined as 'a people living in the Albanian Peoples' Republic' (p. 10), whereas in the second edition they are defined as 'a Balkan people speaking an Indo-European language' (p. 9).
It seems to me then that as the authors claim, the new edition is more appropriate to today's society, and no longer under the yoke of required political correctness, they have produced an excellent volume which is useful for anyone interested in the Lithuanian language.
William R. Schmalstieg
The Pennsylvania State University