Konstantinas Sirvydas’s ‘Promptuarium dictionum Polonicarum, Latinarum et Lituanicarum’ as the Reflection of the Linguistic Situation in Grand Duchy of Lithuania of the Seventeenth Century

  • Anželika Smetonienė
Keywords: Konstantinas Sirvydas, dictionary, Slavic loanwords, hybrids


Konstantinas Sirvydas’s Promptuarium dictionum Polonicarum, Latinarum et Lituanicarum published in 1620 is a unique source because it reflects the Lithuanian lexis of the beginning of the seventeenth century. It is distinguished from other written Lithuanian sources by the abundance of loanwords, hybrids, and neologisms. A considerable number of Slavic loanwords and Slavic-root words are known only from Promptuarium: they are not attested in other written works of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Lithuania Minor, and are either not recorded in contemporary dialects or are represented there only very sparsely. The aim of this article is to identify which of the Slavic loanwords and hybrids in Promptuarium are occasional words and which were widely used in the Lithuanian language of that time but did not find their way into other Lithuanian written works of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. All the written works that appeared in the Duchy were exclusively of a religious character, which could have predetermined their limited lexis. Meanwhile, targeted at the students of Vilnius Academy, Promptuarium included the names of various tools, clothes, fabrics, and other realities for which Sirvydas had to find words in the Lithuanian language.