Institute of the Lithuanian Language

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Vileišis Palace houses the institute at present

The Institute of the Lithuanian Language in Vilnius is a state-supported research organization that focuses on research into the Lithuanian language.


The origins of the institute can be traced to the editorial commission Academic Dictionary of Lithuanian, founded by Professor Juozas Balčikonis in 1930. As an outgrowth of this commission, the Antanas Smetona Institute for Lithuanian Studies was founded in 1939. This institute's goal was to research the Lithuanian language.

After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1941, the Antanas Smetona Institute for Lithuanian Studies and the Lithuanian Society of Science were merged into the Institute of the Lithuanian Language, within the greater framework of the Academy of Sciences. The Institute experienced difficulties during this period; a number of prominent linguists had emigrated, there was ideological pressure to employ Marxist language theory, and contacts with the international scholarly community were curtailed.[1] In 1952 it was merged with the Institute of Lithuanian Literature. In April 1990 the Institute regained its status as an independent institution.

Structure and activities[edit]

The Institute consists of four departments (Language History and Dialectology, Onomastics, Grammar, and Language Culture), two centers (Terminology and Lexicography), and a publishing house. Institute is active in academic fields of linguistics, lexicology, lexicography, grammar, and onomastics. As of January 2007, the staff of the Institute numbered 92, including 5 Doctors of Letters, 35 Doctors of Philosophy, and 11 doctoral students, directed by Jolanta Zabarskaitė.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Compilation of a 20-volume dictionary of the Lithuanian language, including a computerised version
  • The compilation of an academic grammar of the Lithuanian language
  • Research into the evolution of Lithuanian syntax
  • Research into Lithuanian dialects, as part of an atlas of European languages
  • Study of the evolution and development of the written Lithuanian language, and creating a database of old Lithuanian writings
  • Analysis of the development of the norms and terminology of the Lithuanian language in current usage, and the compilation of a database of linguistic phenomena and their assessment
  • The preparation of an etymological dictionary of Lithuanian toponyms
  • Study of the origins of place names, personal names, and animal names in Lithuania
  • Partnership in the EuroTermBank project,[2] which focuses on harmonisation and consolidation of terminology in new European Union member states

In October 2006, the Institute hosted an international conference entitled Terminology of National Languages and Globalization, sponsored by the European Association for Terminology.[3]


  1. ^ The Lithuanian Language — Hostage Of Foreign Powers : 1940-1991
  2. ^ The EuroTermBank Project
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2007-01-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) European Association for Terminology

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°41′42″N 25°18′19″E / 54.6951°N 25.3054°E / 54.6951; 25.3054