Academiae Grammaticorum Salenses

Organization of linguistic summer schools Academiae Grammaticorum Salenses has been one of the principal activities of the Association of Academia Salensis. The linguistic summer school was first held in the first week of August, 2004 at the Manor of Salos town (this is where the school borrowed its name from). The first week of August of the past consecutive eight years has been the time for the Manor of Salos to host both Lithuanian linguists and those from the neighbouring or more distant countries. The school was and still is the initiative brought to life by prof. habil.dr. Axel Holvoet and dr. Gina Kavaliūnaitė-Holvoet. The major goals of the school are to make the Lithuanian and regional scholarly community aware of new trends and achievements in global linguistics, to encourage communication and cooperation between Lithuanian and foreign linguists. The traditional Lithuanian linguistics has been rather isolated and conservative, which, in addition to some other (historical) reasons, has resulted in a considerable gap between the traditional Lithuanian grammar and the advancements in global linguistics; most often scarcity of research based on the latest achievements in linguistics and lack of relevant terminology have led to the fact that the Lithuanian language data is not included in the typological maps of the languages of the world. Apart from representing the most prominent linguistic trends (constructive, generative, cognitive, etc. grammar), the curriculum of the linguistic summer schools has been largely focussed on language typology issues. Academia Grammaticorum Salensis is therefore an important linguistic event for Lithuanian linguistics, which significantly contributes to the linguistics of the areal. The linguistic summer schools have been attended by a big (eventually growing and expanding in terms of geographic area represented) number of participants - from Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belorussia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and even Israel.

A number of prominent linguists have delivered lectures at the linguistic summer schools. The list includes worldwide known typologists Vladimir Plungian, Yekaterina Rakhilina, Anton Zimmerling, Bernhard Wälchli, Nicole Nau, Irena Sawicka, Peter Arkadiev. Axel Holvoet, the scientific supervisor of the school, delivered lectures on grammatical functions and other syntactic issues, for a few years in turn Pawel Rutkowski presented a course in generative grammar, Mirjam Fried introduced the school participants to construction grammar, Agata Kochańska presented essentials of cognitive grammar and the blending theory, Jadwiga Linde-Usiekniewicz, who lectured at several summer schools, analyzed important issues of the interactions between semantics and syntax of interpretation frameworks, semantics and information structures, the sector of historical linguistics and etymology has traditionally been headed by Wojciech Smoczyński, Kasper Boye analyzed important issues in the grammaticalization process (for more information on the lectures delivered at the school, please go to Materials). In addition to lectures, the linguistic summer schools hold conferences of young linguists. This has been a way to provide young researchers with the important environment for scientific discussions and to encourage them to study linguistic problems.

To make the ideas presented at the Salos linguistic school available to a wider audience, the publication of an original book series Bibliotheca Salensis, which is based on the lectures delivered in Salos, has been in progress. By now six books in the series have been issued: Hjelmslev’s Glossematics and Baltic Phonology by Bohumil Vykypěl, Laryngeal Theory and the Lithuanian Language by Wojciech Smoczyński, Introduction to Areal Phonetics (Phonetic Geography) by Irena Sawicka, Essentials of General Syntax by Axel Holvoet, Typology of Grammatical Categories (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) by Vladimir Plungian.  Outline of Generative Grammar by Pawel Rutkowski is about to be issued. In 2009 a new series, Acta Salensia, was launched, to publish collections of articles and monographs written on the basis of delivered presentations and those analyzing other important issues. By now two collections of articles have been published: The Origin and Expression of Grammatical Functions by Axel Holvoet, Rolandas Mikulskas (ed.), and Particles and Connectives in Baltic by Nicole Nau, Norbert Ostrowski (eds.).

Apart from research activities, the organizers and participants of the Salos linguistic schools attempt to attract the attention of the government and the public at large to the poor and derelict condition of the Manor of Salos. In cooperation with the local community of Salos town and M.K.Čiurlionis Heritage Foundation, public discussions on the future of the Manor of Salos have been held in an attempt to find ways to restore the manor as well as to adjust and use it for public needs.

Each year the organizers of the summer schools arrange concerts and puppet theatre performances for the people living in Salos town and the neighbouring areas. Since 2009 such events have developed into an annual Music Festival, greatly appreciated and abundantly attended by local residents, who find the concerts given by prominent artists a rare opportunity as this area is deemed too remote to be often visited by famous artists.

Academia Grammaticorum Salensis provides the possibility to deepen linguistic competences, communicate with colleagues, meet new people and spend a wonderful time in the Manor of Salos, which is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment and is emanating a unique ancient spirit.