Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 25 (2012): Klaipėdos krašto konfesinis paveldas: tarpdisciplininiai senųjų kapinių tyrimai = Confessional Heritage of Klaipėda Region: Interdisciplinary Research into the Old Cemeteries, pp. 77–88
The object of the research is German epitaphs in the old cemeteries of Klaipėda Region. German inscriptions are compared to Lithuanian ones on the basis of the historical-comparative method with the aim of disclosing their textological and linguistic characteristics. The analysis of inscriptions on German tombstones showed that, compared to Lithuanian tombstones, the attributes indicating the relationship of the deceased to family members were used more frequently. The profession of the deceased was indicated more often than in Lithuanian epitaphs. Starting with the 20s of the 20th century, the constructions of extended appositions were less frequent, and the epitaphs became more concise. Laconicism of linguistic expression and of the structure of the epitaphs restrained their linguistic diversity and the potential for linguistic research. The analysis considered the brief language of the epitaphs as the facts of the living language, whereas Bible and canticle citations were not studied. A few examples of dialecticisms and archaisms were identified, e.g. an archaic form of the verb geben: es giebt. Vowel reduction, a phenomenon characteristic of the High German dialect, was identified. The present article did not discuss the principle of Germanization of Lithuanian names, surnames, or place names, as well as the distribution of German epitaphs over the localities of Klaipėda Region. New data are expected that may promote linguistic research.