Kazlų Rūda speech and its features


Aldonas Pupkis


The speech of people living in Kazlų Rūda and its surroundings belong to the Kapsai sub-dialect of the southern West Aukštaičiai dialect (West Aukštaičiai in Kaunas area). This speech is used in a large part of area administered by the Kazlų Rūda self-government, with the exception of the area between Višakio Rūda and Jankai, as well as in Gavãltuva Neighbourhood ruled by the Marijampolė self-government.

The article indicates the differences of the Kazlų Rūda speech from other ones, such as nearby speeches of Plùtiškiai–Skria÷džiai, Agu»kiškės–Víšakio Rūda–Jankai and Pílviškiai–Šunskai. Its difference from the first two speeches is rather obvious, but it differs little from Pílviškiai–Šunskai speeches and is negatively affected (neutralised) now by other speeches and the standard language. The Pilviškiai–Šunskai speech seems to be a direct spreading of the Kazlų Rūda speech into the western Kapsai speeches (and vice versa). 

Although there are some differences in the eastern and western parts of the Kazlų Rūda speech, they are neutralised by the supra-dialect formed in the town of Kazlų Rūda during eight or nine decades, which, due to its centripetal force, became a centre of attraction for all people in the surrounding areas. An exceptional feature of this supra-dialect is the speaking not in a pure dialect but in a semi-dialect form of the Kapsai sub-dialect. Therefore, describing this new linguistic formation it is necessary to see also the set of the olden traditional elements of the sub-dialect, their dynamics in time, as well as the state of new more stable phenomena. Therefore, the investigations should be performed paying stricter respect to the social status of the informants and their age. 

Brief analysis of more interesting features of the Kazlų Rūda speech, i.e., phonetics, morphology, syntaxis and lexis, is presented in the article. It is indicated that the speech was developing on its own at the phonetic level, without major external (standard language) impacts. At all other levels, the influence of standard language is more or less tangible; and new regularities being formed in the mixed entity of the sub-dialect and the standard language present one of the most interesting issues of dialectology and sociolinguistics.