An"Older" (more Archaic) Form
greater age of Lithuanian over Latvian was first alleged
by August Schleicher (1821-1868), who published the first
comprehensive grammatical study of the Lithuanian language.
See the Latvian Language
Insitute and the Institute of
However, Schleicher conducted most of his work in East
NEVER actually came into contact with the actual primary Lithuanian
dialect, so that his conclusions must be regarded with great
Moreover, Schleicher made his conclusions at a time when there was
a near vacuum of information and research on Latvian. The Latvian
Grammar ( Lettische Grammatik ) of Endzelins first appeared in
1922. Essentially, Schleicher's conclusions have just not been
since that time, except for a few researchers who HAVE dealt with the
Those who have dealt with the issue intensively, such as the German
Rainer Eckert or the Scandinavian Ekblom, come to other conclusions.
Professor Rainer Eckert, University of Greifswald, provides several
examples, which, according to him, point to the relatively greater
age of Latvian than Lithuanian, evidenced by:
FIRST - the retention of older Indo-European
irregular inflections (heteroclites); and,
SECOND - retention of the older i-stem in the
of nominative forms of words, which are not retained
in Lithuanian or in Old Prussian.
"Older" is used here in following sense: if we presume a proto-language,
then a language which most nearly retains the original forms of this
language is "older" and languages which show greater innovation in these
forms is "newer", although all languages are of course equally "old" in
tracing their roots back to the proto-language.
To the above two points we can add more:
THIRD - Latvian is the ONLY language in Indo-European
WITHOUT aspirates. It is impossible to argue that Latvian is an
archaic form of Indo-European and somehow allege it has LOST all
aspirates without a trace. The only possible explanation is that
Latvian NEVER had aspirates - neither did Nostratic ! -
and that this is the original state for Indo-European.
FOURTH - Latvian is the ONLY language in Indo-European
in which ALL words are stressed on the FIRST SYLLABLE,
and where later more modern "sing-song" effects are not present
and where stress or accent has not been transferred to
interceding or closing syllables carrying less than
the initial important meaning of the word.
FIFTH - the lexical origin of words is
within the Latvian language itself, without recourse to any other
outside sources or languages - it is an early language,
explaining even difficult forms in Sumerian.
SIXTH - the Latvian Dainas,
much more prevalent than the
comparable Dainos in Lithuanian, point to an early
cultural and mythical world later found in other
Indo-europeam mythical pantheons in changed form.
SEVENTH - the most ancient continuously used
cemetery in all of Northern Europe has
in Latvia, pointing to the origins of individual human burial.
EIGHTH - the oldest skull finds in the Baltic
are in East Latvia.
NINTH - the oldest pottery found in the
Baltic is in Latvia.
TENTH - the Baltic Langensteiner Wiener B Gene (LWB) is the most
prominent in Latvia
As written by CEEBIC
Net, US Department of Commerce, U.S. Embassy Reports:
NEED TO TELL US: LATVIANS -- THE MOST BALTIC OF BALTS
19. AN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH GROUP LED BY SCIENTISTS FROM THE LATVIAN
HISTORY INSTITUTE'S ANTHROPOLOGY LAB RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT THEY HAVE
FOUND A "BALTIC GENE", A SLIGHT MUTATION IN A GENE DETERMINING BLOOD
GROUPS. THE GENE, OFFICIALLY CALLED "LANGSTEINER WIENER B" (LWB), IS
MOST PREVALENT IN LATVIANS (5.9% OF THE POPULATION), FOLLOWED BY
LITHUANIANS (5.7%), AND ESTONIANS (4%). IN ADDITION, RELATIVELY HIGH
PRESENCE OF LWB WAS ESTABLISHED IN FINLAND, NORTHWEST REGIONS OF
RUSSIA, POLAND, AND IN SWEDISH POPULATION OF GOTLAND. ONLY AN
INSIGNIFICANT CONCENTRATION OF LWB WAS FOUND IN WESTERN EUROPE AND
THERE WAS NO TRACE OF THE GENE IN ASIA AND AFRICA."
As linguists over
the years work with Latvian as much as they do with Lithuanian, we are
sure that the archaic nature of Latvian in many respects will become
much clearer to them.
It is by the way unimportant to me personally which language is more
archaic, but I find that Latvian is more conducive to explaining other
ancient scripts thus far in my own work.
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