LINGUIST List 15.3417

Tue Dec 07 2004

Books: Language Description, Latvian: Nau

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        1.    Ulrich Lueders, Latvian: Nau

Message 1: Latvian: Nau

Date: 23-Nov-2004
From: Ulrich Lueders <>
Subject: Latvian: Nau

Title: Latvian 
 Series Title: Languages of the World/Materials 217  
 Publication Year: 2004 
 Publisher: Lincom GmbH
 Author: Nicole Nau, University of Kiel
 Paperback: ISBN: 3895862282 Pages: 74 Price: Europe EURO 32
 Latvian is the official language of the Republic of Latvia, where about 1.4
 million people speak it as a native language, and an increasing number of
 mainly Russian speaking persons use it as a second language. This sketch
 concentrates on morphology and syntax, with a short introduction to
 Latvian phonology. The sample text, as well as most of the examples that
 illustrate grammatical points, are taken from autobiographical narratives
 collected by the Latvian Archive for Oral History.
 Compared to Lithuanian, the only other living Baltic language, Latvian has
 further diverged from its Indo-European heritage in that it has abandoned
 certain inflectional forms and categories and developed new ones. The fact
 that, for centuries, speakers of Latvian have been in close contact with
 speakers of Baltofinnic, Germanic and Slavic languages has certainly been
 an important factor for innovations in all parts of the grammar. However,
 Latvian still resembles the well known old Indo-European languages in
 certain respects more closely than Standard Average European languages do.
 Latvian is a fusional language with some traits of agglutination. The
 morphology is strikingly regular, especially with nominals. Nominal
 inflectional categories are gender, number, case, and definiteness, which
 is marked on adjectives. The five morphological cases have clear syntactic
 and/or semantic functions. Particularly noteworthy in the verbal
 inflectional paradigm are evidentiality and the debitive mood, a Latvian
 innovation. Characteristic features of the syntax are non-verbal predicates
 and converb constructions. 
 Linguistic Field(s): Language Description
 Subject Language(s): Latvian (LAT)
 Written In: English  (ENG)
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