A sketch of Onuškis subdialect

Asta Leskauskaitė

The subdialect of former Onuškis Valsčius is attributed to the South Aukštaitians. From the ethnographic viewpoint, it belongs to the multilingual part of Dzūkija, where people do not have clear regional self-awareness. The present paper deals with the main phonetic and other features of the subdialect as well as the dialectal attitudes at the beginning of the 21st century. Undoubtedly, the use of Onuškis subdialect depends on the mechanism of code changes (diglossia, bilingualism and/or multilingualism), which is determined by the prestige and the latter one by social relations. People of older generation have preserved the traditional features rather well, i.e., they narrow nasal vowels a, e, voice affricates c, ʒ, some old flexions of nominatives and syntactic constructions etc. The middle and younger generations give priority to semi-dialect or non-dialect language.