11 Facts About Baltic languages


Baltic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of about 4.

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Relatively low mutual interaction for neighbouring languages historically led to gradual erosion of mutual intelligibility; development of their respective linguistic innovations that did not exist in shared Proto-Baltic and as well as substantial number of false friends and various uses and sources of loanwords from their surrounding languages are considered the major reasons for poor mutual intelligibility today.

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One reason for the late attestation is that the Baltic peoples resisted Christianization longer than any other Europeans, which delayed the introduction of writing and isolated their languages from outside influence.

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Speakers of modern Baltic languages are generally concentrated within the borders of Lithuania and Latvia, and in emigrant communities in the United States, Canada, Australia and the countries within the former borders of the Soviet Union.

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Baltic languages are of particular interest to linguists because they retain many archaic features, which are thought to have been present in the early stages of the Proto-Indo-European language.

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Several of the extinct Baltic languages have a limited or nonexistent written record, their existence being known only from the records of ancient historians and personal or place names.

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All of the languages in the Baltic group were first written down relatively late in their probable existence as distinct languages.

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Baltic languages show a close relationship with the Slavic languages, and are grouped with them in a Balto-Slavic family by most scholars.

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Under this view, the Baltic family is paraphyletic, and consists of all Balto-Slavic languages that are not Slavic.

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Finally, there are a minority of scholars who argue that Baltic languages descended directly from Proto-Indo-European, without an intermediate common Balto-Slavic stage.

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Baltic languages's theory included Phrygian in the related group, but this did not find support and was disapproved among other authors, such as Ivan Duridanov, whose own analysis found Phrygian completely lacking parallels in either Thracian or Baltic languages.

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