Algirdas Patackas
Aleksandras Žarskus


about consonants and phonemes, also about harmony between essence and form,
between ear and eye in Old Lithuanian language


The authors predicate as a hypothesis that may be it is possible that Old Lithuanian language preserved connection between sound and sense, i. e. sound in this ancient language still has a meaning, and it is possible to hear the sense (situation before Babel‘s catastrophe). In Lithuanian language consonants play the role of construction, form, while vowel phonemes – the role of essence, essentia ( lith. esmė, esa), plays „musical party“.

For example Diev -as (God), formula of consonants d-v; d – compare did-is (lith.) – majestic, magnificat; v – compare ovis – reality, manifestation, phenomenon; vai-va (vaivo-rykštė) – rainbow. If we make an overturn, make a conversion, we get an inversion veid-as (face), v-d, i.e. the relation between God and Man [Then God said, „Let us make man in our image, after our likeness“  (Gen 1, 26)].

The sense of consonants is possible to comprehend from the root of the word with one consonant or with two identical, repeating consonants. That is especialy vivid in speech kids („birds language“). All Indoeuropean children speak ma-ma, pa-pa, da-ddy (lith. tė-tė [father], se-sė [sister], lė-lė [dolly] ... ca-ca [o‘key], ka-ka, [bad] and so on...). But this „hearing of sense“ is very individual, and everyone hears in one‘s own way. This circumstance is guarantee of personal creativness .

Meanwhile, the vowel phoneme doesn‘t matter at all. Phonemes are a pure sound, clear sonor, sound per se. As  music, phonemes are non definitional substances, are the only audible essence. This is the world of essentia, esà (lith.), the world of the right side of the brain, the predominance of the inner ear. Meanwhile, consonants are Kingdom of the eye, a domain of form (skvarmà – lith.).

For example:

būt-is (existence) – buit-is (family, profanic life)                            |  metaphysic level
s-à (essence) – ai-sà (metaphysic melancholy, „weltschmerz“)      |  

tvark-a (order) – tvirk-a (deprave)                                              |
draus-ti (to forbid) – drįs-ti (to dare)                                           |
švank-us (decent) – švink-ti (to spoil)                                          |  moral sphere
myluo-ti (to caress) – meluo-ti (to lie)                                         |
klaus(y)-ti (to follow) – klys-ti (to be wrong)                                 |

šil-ta (warm) – šal-ta (cold)                                                       |  natural level


An especially important role of phonemes is evident at the case of so named  nok-ti / nyk-ti (ripen / pine) law. In Lithuanian all spectre of thrive / fade, i. e. life / dead especially in nature is represented by the construction of the same consonants in the root of the word – only change of phonemes makes a turning from  life to death (vis-ti / vys-ti; kup-ti / keip-ti; tarp-ti / tirp-ti; kus-ti / kūs-ti and so on – see the list of literature).

The word without phonemes is naked construction, without vitality. The word  – especially old Lithuanian word – is a harmony between sound and sense, euphony between essence and form, concordia between ear and eye.



A. Patackas, A. Žarskus, Virsmų knyga, Kaunas, 2002, p. 42-54; t. p. A. Patackas, A. Žarskus, Kaip atsakysime į iššūkį lietuvių kalbai (garso ir prasmės ryšys mūsų kalboje), Šiaurės Atėnai, 2004.07.27, Nr 710; A. Patackas, A. Žarskus, Apie lietuvių kalbos paparčio žiedą (garso ir prasmės ryšys lietuvių kalboje), Liaudies kultūra, 2006, Nr. 2, p. 47-52.


Фонемы - „Balsės“ rusų k.

Samogloski - „Balsės“ lenkų k.

Balsės - lietuvių k.