LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 44, No.2 - Summer 1998
Editor of this issue: Robertas Vitas
Copyright © 1998 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
Pranas Skardžius, Rinktiniai Raštai 1-2. Parengė Albertas Rosinas. Vilnius 1996-1997: Mokslo ir enciklopedijų leidykla. l:XXVII-768 pages; 2:646 Pages.
Pranas Skardžius was born on the 26th of March 1899 in Subačius. He was one of the most promising students in the circle around Kazimieras Būga and Jonas Jablonskis. He was lucky in getting a stipend which allowed him to continue his studies in Leipzig where he got his Ph.D. with a dissertation on Slavic Loan-words in Old Lithuanian (Die slavischen Lehnwörter im Alt-litauischen, 1929). His career in Lithuania was cut short, when he left the country in 1944. After a stay in Germany he moved to the United States in 1949. Years of working in various factories followed, before he found employment in the library of Congress (from 1956 to 1971). He died in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1975.
In 1943 Skardžius published his masterly account of Lithuanian word-formation: Lietuvių kalbos žodžių daryba (Vilnius). The work basically follows the arrangement method practiced in Brugmann's Grundriss (II:1). Skardžius himself had plans to produce a German version of the work when he lived in Germany. But these plans had to be abandoned.
Skardžius' book on Lithuanian word-formation was a rarity, at least in the West. Therefore Albertas Rosinas, the Chairman of the Department of Baltic Linguistics in the University of Vilnius, is to thanked for having brought out a splendid reprint of vol. 1 of Skardžius' Collected Writings. This first volume also contains a biographical sketch, in which Albertas Rosinas points out the major stages in Skardžius' life. Brief commentaries are offered on individual works.
The second volume of the Collected Writings has now also appeared. It collects various pieces (most of them articles in scholarly publications, but some of monograph length) on individual questions of Lithuanian. The articles are arranged chronologically, with the exception of "Mano gyvata ir darbas," an autobiographical piece, originally published in Aidai (1974) and now reprinted as the first article in this volume. One article was so far unpublished: "Kai kurie žodžių darybos ir žodyno dalykai" (II 617-628).
Vol. 3 is scheduled for publication in 1998. Skardžius' writings will fill five volumes. A sixth volume will contain indices.
Katholische Universitat, Eichstat, Germany