ON THE ACCENTUATION OF MIKALOJUS DAUKŠA’S POSTILLA

Steven Young University of Maryland Baltimore County

This presentation investigates both the notation of stress and certain types of stress patterning in Mikalojus Daukša’s 1599 translation of J. Wujek’s Postilla Catholicka. The accentual material of this paper is drawn from a reading of the first half of Postilla copy LR 1618 in the rare books collection of the Vilnius University library.

The focus of the investigation is the stressed letter -I-: as in the earlier Catechism, I Daukša employs in the Postilla a method of marking stressed syllables with an acute diacritic on an -i- preceding a vowel letter: labiaus = labiaus, triiu = triju, iauniki („’jauniki“) for modern „jauniki“. These graphic representations of stress are missing entirely in E. Vol%ter’s editions of both the Catechism and the Postilla; in Skardzius’ classic Daukšos akcentologija, the „labiaus“ type of stress notation is lacking, and most instances of a stressed -i- syllable are adduced only with the caret diacritic (-i-), not with acute.

In the first fascicle of his edition of Daukša’s Postilla, Vol%ter refers to the difficulty in distinguishing acuted i from ordinary i. In some instances in the Postilla, this is true; but in most cases, stressed -i- is not difficult to distinguish. The failure to identify the letter -i- under an acute diacritic, marking either stressed -i- or a following stressed vowel, has led in some cases to a distorted picture of Daukša’s stress in Skardzius’ work: indeed, -i- in its various functions is the most frequent of any of the vowel letters in the Catechism, and surely is in the Postilla as well. The present paper, which adduces the data of -i- under an acute diacritic in the Postilla, contributes to a more complete picture of the oldest stressed monuments in Lithuanian.


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Samogitian Cultural Association Editorial Board, 1998.
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