How people speak in former Šeduva Valsčius

Janina Švambarytė-Valužienė

The present-day linguistic situation in the area of the former Šeduva Valsčius is reflected in the records of dialectal texts made in 2011 from June 27 to July 3 during the expedition organised by the Versmė Publishers in 2011–2012 in the area of Šeduva and based on the material of the project "Lithuanian Contemporary Research into Geolinguistics: Point Network Optimization and Interactive Dissemination of Dialect Information" carried on by Institute of Lithuanian Language. The oldest (50 and more years), average aged ((31–49) and the youngest (by 30-year old) respondents have been questioned in the area of Šeduva from three linguistic points: Šeduva (LKA 199), Raginėnai (LKA 200) and Vaiduloniai (LKA 230).

A subdialect of Šeduva people belonging to the western part of the North East Aukštaičiai (High Lithuanian) Panevėžys dialect is not homogenous due to internal and external reasons. Due to demographic reasons, the linguistic self-awareness and natural attitude of users of this subdialect is changing from the standpoint of the dialectal speech. Historical cataclysms as well as political, economic and social upheavals changed greatly the life and natural attitude in the area of Šeduva. This could be partly determined by a said opinion, that the Šeduva subdialect is not nice, dissonant and clipped even for local people. Due to geographical position, the impact and penetration of West Aukštaičiai Šiauliai dialect into the speech of Šeduva people is observed. Due to economic and social factors, a version of the standard language version is entrenching in the area; and linguists call it a non-dialectal language with some signs of a sub-dialect.

The Šeduva subdialect (which is attributed by dialectologists to that covering the largest area and being most complex, from linguistic point of view, among the East Aukštaičiai Panevėžys dialects) is notable for declined peculiarities of the East Aukštaičiai language: firstly, rising diphthongs an, am, en, em are tried to be kept intact and not turned into ọn, ọm, ẹn, ẹm; secondly, reduction of word endings becomes weaker with a murmur sound appearing inserted between the several more hardly pronounced consonants in the ending; and thirdly, the disappearing murmur sound is replaced by respondents with shorter pronunciation of the ending.

The most stable in the Šeduva subdialect is a lengthening of short stressed vowels as well as their lengthening in mixed distressed diphthongs. The law of general stress retraction also affects the accentuation of the lexis of all generations in Šeduva area.

The peculiarities of East Aukštaičiai dialect are best sustained in the linguistic point of Raginėnai (LKA 200), while other points, such as Šeduva (LKA 199) and Vaiduloniai (LKA 230), are observed to be affected by the Šiauliai dialect, i.e., the formation of suffixal, prefixal and compound words resembles greatly that of the West Aukštaičiai Šiauliai morphological and formational type.