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Over the centuries, Lithuanian dialects have been the main source of the vitality and uniqueness of the Lithuanian language. They emerged as a result of various historical, geographic, social, political, administrative, and linguistic developments and provide information about Lithuanians who lived in a rather small territory, about their environment, different traditions, and even their unique way of life. Since some characteristics are already reflected in Lithuanian writings of the 16th century, it is possible to form at least an approximate picture of how these dialects have developed during the last four centuries and gather data that is important for the history of the Lithuanian language. Lithuanian has two basic dialects - High Lithuanian and Low Lithuanian - which are further divided into subdialects.

 Aukštaičiai (High Lithuanian)


Žemaičiai (Low Lithuanian)  

         Western >>>               Southern >>>   
  Kauniškiai >>>      Raseiniškiai >>> 
  Šiauliškiai >>>      Varniškiai >>> 
          Eastern>>>               Northern >>>   
  Vilniškiai >>>      Telšiškiai >>> 
  Uteniškiai >>>      Kretingiškiai >>> 
  Anykštėnai >>>             Western >>>   
  Kupiškėnai >>>       
  Širvintiškiai >>>       
  Panevėžiškiai >>>       
         Southern >>>         

Over a period of many years a huge library of sound recordings has been created at the Institute of the Lithuanian Language. Here, you can find sound recordings from all over Lithuania or at least get information on where to find them.

© Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, The Institute of the Lithuanian Language, Lithuanian Institute of History, Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, 2003 - 2006