A short grammar of Latgalian
Adam Mickiewicz University
Latgalian is a regional language of Latvia in Central Europe, regularly used by an estimated number of 150,000 speakers. Genetically it belongs to the Eastern Baltic branch of Indo-European. While its close relationship to Latvian is apparent in basic vocabulary and inflectional morphemes, there are also significant differences in the phonology, morphology and syntax of the two languages, due to divergent development during the 17th - 19th c., when Latgalia was politically and culturally separated from other Latvian territories. Furthermore, contact with Slavic languages (Polish, Belarusian, Russian) has played an important role in the history of Latgalian.
Typologically salient features of Latgalian include morphophonological harmony with an opposition of back vs. front vowels and soft (palatalized or alveolar) vs. hard consonants, a large inventory of non-finite verb forms, genitive vs. accusative marking of direct objects, dative marking of primary core arguments in a variety of constructions, the use of non-finite predicates in represented speech, and the existence of a distinct logophoric pronoun referring to the speaker of a reported discourse.
Nicole Nau is professor of Baltic languages and linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. She is also the author of LWM 217: Latvian.
ISBN 9783862880553. Languages of the World/Materials 482. 120pp. 2011.