The structural patterns of Lithuanian affixes

  • Asta Kazlauskienė Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas
  • Jurgita Cvilikaitė-Mačiulskienė Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas


The aim of this research is to identify the main structural patterns of affixes of Lithuanian inflective words, their productivity and frequency. We present a survey of the structural diversity and productivity of these morphemes rendered in The Dictionary of Modern Lithuanian and in The Grammar of Modern Lithuanian. The frequency data was collected from The Database of the Morphemics of the Lithuanian Language.

The morpheme analysis has revealed the following tendencies: 1) while prefixes are always monosyllabic, suffixes and flexions can vary from non-syllabic to trisyllabic, 2) within these morphemes, consonant clusters are not frequent.

Prefixes in Lithuanian can have C0-2VC0-2 structure. The most productive and frequent pattern is C1V. Suffixes have structures C1-2, C0-2V(W)C0-3 and C0-1VC1-2VC0-2. The most productive are VC1 of nominal words and C1, VC0-1 verbal suffixes. In usage, VC1 suffixes of nominal words and V, C1 as well as VC1 verb patterns dominate. Flexions can have the following structures: C1, VC0-2, VC1VC0-1 or VC1VC1VC0-1. The most productive patterns are simple VC0-1, which also dominate the usage.

The analysis has revealed the influence of a root on the structure of other morphemes. The most typical root structure C1-2VC1-2 entails a C1V structure prefix on the one side, while on the other - a suffix or a flexion with VC0-1 structure. The result of such combination is quite a consistent a consonant + a vowel + a consonant (+ a consonant) + a vowel + a consonant (+ a consonant) + a vowel (+ a consonant) chain: C1V + C1-2VC1-2 + VC0-1.


Author Biographies

Asta Kazlauskienė, Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas
Prof. dr.
Jurgita Cvilikaitė-Mačiulskienė, Vytauto Didžiojo universitetas