By Osten Dahl, Maria Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
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Additional resources for The Circum-Baltic Languages: Past and Present v. 1 (Studies in Language Companion)
1 Vowel reduction is carried further, aﬀecting to a larger extent not only word-ﬁnal, but also word-internal syllables. Short vowels may be completely lost not only in inﬂectional endings, but also in derivational suﬃxes (if they bear no secondary stress). 3) This seems to be due to Livonian inﬂuence, as the Finnic languages lack voiced stops (the Fenno-Ugricists’ transcription would be ieD). , cf. 1. The Latvian language and its dialects 5. 1 The opposition between falling and drawn tone is neutralized, cf.
G. g’ek¸is ‘fool’ from Germ. g. sog’is ‘judge’ from Old Russ. sudija). 1 Stress. Modern Latvian has a basically non-distinctive, immobile stress on the initial syllable. Exceptions are few; they comprise negative pronouns (ne’kas ‘nothing’), and compounds developed from various types of phrases. The latter group comprises mainly adverbs, such as uzÁreiz ‘at once’ (from the prepositional phrase uz reizi ‘at one time’), and superlatives such as visÁlaba¯kais ‘the best’, originally visu laba¯kais ‘the best of all’.
Some linguists of Letgalian extraction regard this as the only major line of division among Latvian dialects, arguing that the features commonly accepted as deﬁning characteristics of Tamian are, in fact, but a more consistent realization of features shared with the central dialect. Though this may be conceded, it must also be added that the deﬁning features of High Latvian, though clearly opposing it to Low Latvian, are probably of relatively recent date (caused presumably by a Slavonic adstratum), so that no strong case can be made for the dichotomous classiﬁcation.