Ancient Lithuanian Kanklės / History

Kanklės of the Baltic Sea nations

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Lithuanian kanklės are kindred to the kanklės of Baltic Sea nations. The same instruments like Lithuanian kanklės are: Lettish kokle, kokles, Estonian, Votian kannel, Finnish, Izhorian kantele, Karelian kandeleh, Vepsian kandel, Livian kendla, Lappian gan'del, North Western Russian gusli. Baltic Finnish names better than Lithuanian kanklės, kankliai, kunkliai and Latvian kokle, kokles (pronounced as kuokle, kuokles) correspond to the supposedly Baltic primary form *kantles, *kantle (see Pokorny 1951:525 - 526; Toivonen 1974:156). According to the peculiar features of loanword adaptation in the Baltic Finnish languages most stiff became the extremely ancient Baltic name forms.

The traditional deriving the names of the kanklės from the Indo - European supposed root *Qan-, 'to sing, sound' (Bender 1921:93; Walde 1930:401) is discussed. In author's opinion, the primary form of the name of kanklės - *kantles may be related to the Indo - European root *gan(dh)-, 'a vessel; haft (of a sword) ' (Pokorny 1951:351; Walde 1930:535). The primary form of the name of North Western Russian gusli - *gandtli (Toivonen 1974:156) could be linked with this root *gan(dh)-, as well (Apanavičius 1994:36).

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Copyright © The Institute of Ethnomusic, 1996
Copyright © Romualdas APANAVIČIUS, 1996
Electronic publishing by Multimedia Center for the Humanities, 1996