Academia Salensis

Since 2004, the Salos Manor, located in the Rokiškis region, has been housing the annual Salos Linguistics Summer Schools going by the name of Academia Grammaticorum Salensis. The venue has become a traditional place for meeting and discussions both for Lithuanian and foreign linguists. One of the major goals of the Salos linguistic summer school is to make the Lithuanian scholarly community aware of new trends in linguistics and to integrate research into the Lithuanian language within a broader context of modern linguistics.

Language typology is one of linguistic trends that here, in Lithuania, has hardly been given adequate consideration. It is basically this promising field that is given special prominence at the linguistic summer schools held in Salos, so that the achievements in this field can be incorporated in the Lithuanian language studies, with the aim invigorating the Lithuanian linguistic tradition, so far rather isolated and conservative. Typologists working worldwide and basing their research on tens or hundreds of languages seldom include evidence based on the Lithuanian language in their studies, which suggests that participation of Lithuanian linguists in the discourse led by language typologists would efficiently bridge the gap.

To encourage a greater interest in language typology and modern liguistics as such, the linguistic summer school of Salos has hosted numerous typologists from abroad: Vladimir Plungian, Anton Zimmerling, Bernhard Waelchi, Nicole Nau, Yekaterina Rakhilina, Irena Sawicka, Kasper Boye, along with foreign researchers representing other fields, such as Wojciech Smoczynski and others. The new concept of the Lithuanian grammar now under preparation was presented by Axel Holvoet, Head of the Department of Grammar, the Institute of the Lithuanian Language.

In an attempt to make the ideas presented at the Salos linguistic summer school available to a wider audience and to create Lithuanian sources on the issues of language typology and general linguistics, the publication of an original book series called Bibliotheca Salensis based on the lectures delivered in Salos is under way. By now, three books in the series have been issued: Hjelmslev's Glossematics and and Phonology of the Baltic Languages by Bohumil Vykypel, Laryngeal Theory and the History of the Lithuanian Language by Wojciech Smoczynski and Introduction to Areal Phonetics (Phonetic Geography) by Irena Sawicka. New publications are about to be issued, including Introduction to Grammatical Typology by Vladimir Plungian, Word Order Typology by Anton Zimmerling and Introduction to Generative Grammar by Pawel Rutkowski.

The organizers and participants of the Salos linguistic summer school have expressed their public interest by drawing the attention of the society at large to the problems encountered in the preservation of the Lithuanian heritage. Together with the local community of Salos and, starting from this year, with the M. K. Čiurlionis Culture and Heritage Foundation, attempts have been made to tackle issues related to the future of the Salos Manor and to find possibilities for its restoration. The Salos Manor, which till 2003 housed a secondary school, should find a new public application. It is our hope that the round table discussion on the subject of the heritage of the Northeastern Highland area of Lithuania held at the Salos linguistic summer school of the current year will give a new impetus for solving the problem.