In the early 16th century a new stage in the history and cultural life of Lithuania began: the development of a national written culture.
Two basic periods are distinguished in the development of the written Lithuanian language:
1. The Old Period (16th-18th Centuries)
Because of religious and cultural circumstances, Lithuanian was used as a written medium in both Lithuania and the Prussian Dukedom.
In the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the written language is divided into two variants:
· the eastern variant of the written
language (based on the traditional language spoken in the capital of
the Lithuanian state, in the Vilnius Bishopric);
Three main functional styles are distinguished in the written Lithuanian language of the Old Period:
· ecclesiastical prose (biblical texts,
prayers, sermons, etc.)
· administrative-bureaucratic (various
government orders and decrees)
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