Last modified on 1 February 2015, at 00:23

User talk:Tropylium


Hello, and welcome to Wiktionary. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wiktionarian! By the way, you can sign your name on Talk (discussion) and vote pages using four tildes, like this: ~~~~, which automatically produces your name and the current date. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to one of the discussion rooms or ask me on my Talk page.

Did you know that Wiktionary can be adapted to fit your style? Go have a look at your personal preference page (nicknamed “PREFS”)! In particular, you can choose the option to show hidden categories, which will be of great help if you are looking for work to do.

Again, welcome!

RuakhTALK 20:48, 26 December 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for clearing up those Finnish questions in the Etymology Scriptorium. Would you happen to have any information on the etymology of (and lack of a final vowel on) mies which would be pertinent to the discussion here? - -sche (discuss) 04:19, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

(Continuing this discussion here) When you mentioned Germanic *mēgaz I started wondering. Proto-Germanic *g was actually [ɣ] between vowels, so is it possible that this was borrowed as *mexas before the loss of *x? A sequence like *exa would give *ee I would think. And if that's not plausible because of the relative dating of changes and loaning, maybe this could still be applied to a native word. The explanation, then, would be that *mees was originally a two-syllable stem which contracted, and therefore did not necessarily have a final consonant. I don't know if the loss of *x must necessarily precede the apocope of *i after two syllables, though. If it does, then *mexVs must be the earliest known stage, but if it doesn't then *mexVsi > *mexVs > *mees is also a possibility. —CodeCat 23:22, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Interesting idea. We don't know of any precedents for anything like *-exa-, so that's not entirely ruled out.
Still, I believe that there was a change *ŋ > *x fairly early on in the Proto-Finnic era; the two are vocalized completely indistinguishably, and unlike the other nasals but alike semivowels, *ŋ fails to condition primary long vowels (the change *a *ä > *oo *ee). Given *keŋäč > *kevät "spring", I'd expect an incoming *mexäs (disharmonic stems might be anachronistic this early) to similarly end up as **meväs; or, even if vocalized completely, as **möös, given *mexə- > *möö- "to sell".
Your second approach clearly won't work, I'm afraid. There are quite a few roots like *šiŋərə > *hiiri "mouse", not **hiir; *śäxərə > *sääri "thigh", not **säär.
What might be possible is to assume that the root was adopted after the rise of primary long vowels, yet as an *ə-stem (there are plenty of examples of Germanic *-az ~ Finnic *-eh or *-es). I.e. *mēɣas → *meexəs > *mees. Though that does seem chronologically difficult — sufficiently old Germanic loans only ever seem to show *k/*g/*x → *k, I think. And *-eexə- might have still yielded *-eeve- anyway.
Even better regularity might be attainable if this were an older loan still. I don't know the etymology of the Germanic word — but if this had an original palatovelar, something like Late PIE *mēǵʰos would be expected to be adapted as Pre-Finnic *mejəs, from which *mees would be entirely expected. --Tropylium (talk) 03:14, 5 April 2014 (UTC)

Language codes, templates, etc.Edit

Our language codes are based on the ISO 639 ones, but are far from an exact match (you can look through them here). You may disagree with our codes, but if you use a language code that's not in our system, all that gets displayed is a module error. The same thing happens if you change the IPA-based spelling in a template to a transliteration, but don't replace it with something else. You should never make an edit like this (diff), and if somehow you accidentally do, you should either fix it right away, or revert it if you can't. Always check the results of your edit before you leave the page. Thanks! Chuck Entz (talk) 08:06, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

You should add this exception to the description at WT:KCA TR. The documentation of transliteration schemes is important. --Vahag (talk) 23:11, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Noted, thanks. --Tropylium (talk) 23:30, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Proto-Samic *nealjēEdit

Does PU *ń- > PS *n-? And does PS *nea- > Northern Sami njea-? Or is something else going on? —CodeCat 22:33, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

The reconstruction is wrong, is going on. :ı Apparently there has been an assimilation development *n > *ń due to the word-internal /j/ in several Uralic languages that has led to many sources to reconstruct original *ń-. --Tropylium (talk) 22:40, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Finnic verbs in -c-Edit

I created *kaictak, which seems to be well-attested. But I'm not sure about the reconstruction. Is the stem reconstructed with a single -c- or a geminate -cc-? If the former, then why did it not become -s- in Finnish? Furthermore, it appears that -ct- regularly becomes -tt- in Finnish, but it was apparently changed to the weak grade form -t- analogically. Are there other examples of this? Could you also check the conjugation? —CodeCat 01:07, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Certainly a geminate. The contraction of the infinitive from *-ccet- to *-tt- seems to be only North Finnic. Contrast *veictäk (to whittle) > Finnish veistää, Votic vessǟ, Estonian vestä. --Tropylium (talk) 14:15, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
For veistää it seems that the form was *veictädäk though. The form you gave would only have one "ä" in Finnish. But what it does demonstrate is that veitsi + -tää gives veistää.
Still, I wonder what the regular outcomes of *c, *cc and *c' (half-long) are and how one would tell them apart when reconstructing (that is, which languages distinguish them). I thought that *c would always become s in Finnish but the veitsi example seems to indicate that's not the case. Yet there are lots of examples in which *c does become s in all the Finnic languages. So what's going on here? —CodeCat 15:11, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Veitsi goes back to *cc, but the derivative veistää goes to, yes right, *veictädäk < *veiccə-tä-, with the consonant stem and cluster shortening dating already to Proto-Finnic.
Loosely, the development has been:
  • *cc (strong grade) > Finnish/Veps/Estonian/Livonian ts, Karelian čč, Votic tts.
  • *c̆c (weak grade) > Fi/Vep/Et/Liv ts, Krl č, Vot ts.
  • *c > Common Finnic s, in some positions (but not all) with a residual ts ~ ds in South Estonian.
i.e. if it looks like an affricate, it's from *cc. More often than not, reconstructing *c requires internal reconstruction, either due to paradigmatic alternation with *t, or by etymology. E.g. asia is from a Germanic *anθija and hence must come from PF *acja. Or since veitsi has *cc, we have to reconstruct *veictä- and not *veistä-. --Tropylium (talk) 15:38, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Given that the -i- in the diphthong of *veitsi was originally a consonant *j, how is it possible that *veicci has three consonants in a row? —CodeCat 20:07, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Clusters with geminates are treated slightly differently from clusters with three different consonants. I think the chronology in these types of words was roughly (but don't cite me on this):
  1. CVVCːV becomes a possible word shape
  2. Coda *j and *w are reinterpreted as vowels
  3. Words like *veicci are loaned or gain their current shape
  4. CVVC₁C₂V becomes a possible word shape
  5. CVCCːV becomes a possible word shape
  6. CVC₁C₂C₃ becomes a possible word shape
  7. CVVCCCV becomes a possible word shape
Proto-Finnic was a language at the 4th stage; we can reconstruct also e.g. *mëëkka 'sword', *joukko 'group', *paikka 'spot, mark', *viit-tä partitive of 'five', *puu-sta elative of 'tree'. On the other hand, alternations like *purttu > *purtu 'bitten' and *oncca > *occa 'forehead' were still productive. Apocope presumably dates to stage 2 (before this we'd've had been something like *veńćə, *vijtə-tä, *puwə-sta). --Tropylium (talk) 20:39, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

The Finnic prolativeEdit

I've collected a few cognate suffixes at -tse, but I'm a bit puzzled by the distribution. Finnish -ts- and Karelian -čč- clearly imply a strong-grade -cc-. But Finnish has word-final -e here along with an assimilative final consonant, which implies a previously lost consonant like -k or -h. Yet such a final consonant is incompatible with the strong grade found in Karelian. The change of final -e in Finnish with -i in the other languages is also puzzling, and perhaps even stranger is that Estonian kept the -i. What can you make of this? —CodeCat 01:47, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

At face value I would assume that the Finnish form has simply been affixed with a second element, i.e. *-icce-k, while the other languages retain bare *-icci. In Estonian suffix-final consonants sometimes have better odds of survival than stem-final ones, though that might not be the whole story about it.
(Incidentally etymologically it's not a suffix added to the plural stem, but rather a suffix that contains *-i- for its own sake, much like -inen : -ise-. But I suppose the plural analysis comes rather naturally and might be preferrable for modern Finnish.)
Hakulinen in SKRK has a brief discussion of the Finnish form, but he does not touch on Estonian, Veps and Karelian, so it's not of too much help. --Tropylium (talk) 08:58, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I created *-icci now. But I just found that Karelian also has alačči, with no -i-. Could this mean that the -i- is not part of the suffix after all? —CodeCat 15:23, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd guess it's either a reanalysis by a similar interpretation as in Finnish about -i- being the plural marker; or a loan from Veps (as a part of the substrate in Olonetsian?), where *-jcc- > -(j)čč-, versus *-cc- > -cc-. Hard to say in the absense of an etymological dictionary of Karelian, though. --Tropylium (talk) 15:37, 6 November 2014 (UTC)


I noticed that Estonian and Võro have unrounding of the vowel and loss of the -v- here. Livonian also has ü > õ. Is this a regular process? —CodeCat 03:13, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

The Livonian development is regular, yes, and involves a breaking *i- > jõ- (following the loss of *h- and the unrounding of *ü). Estonian hea ~ hää is in origin a dialectal form (there has been a ton of dialect diversity in Estonian, and Standard Estonian is perhaps less consistent yet than Standard Finnish in what forms exactly have been adopted). Perhaps generalized from an inflected form, but I don't know the details. The expected uncontracted hüva ~ hüvä is also attested from both North and South Estonian, though. --Tropylium (talk) 08:45, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

Northern Sami attributive adjectivesEdit

Adjectives in Northern Sami have a separate attributive form that is used when the adjective modifies a noun rather than standing alone. If I'm not mistaken, this is actually the original situation in Uralic, and the Finnic concord of adjectives is an innovation. But I don't know where this form came from; it's often not identical to the nominative singular. Do you know anything about this? —CodeCat 22:52, 13 November 2014 (UTC)


Do some Finnic languages really preserve the plosive in -tn-?

Evidently so. Another example is *vootna 'lamb' > Finnish vuona, Estonian voon (apparently with no compensatory gemination after a long vowel?), but Veps vodn, Votic võdna.

What about in unstressed syllables? —CodeCat 20:07, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know how t-stem essives or participles (the type *olutna > arch. olunna 'as beer' (modern oluena); or *pelätnüt > pelännyt 'having feared') are formed in the key languages, but I would not be amazed if there had been an earlier assimilation. --Tropylium (talk) 20:32, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

The Finnic verb suffixes -tu- and -u-Edit

I noticed that our entry for *-tudak has its suffixal gradation applied wrong. This is because the module treats the hyphen as standing for two syllables, so in that respect it's working right. But it puzzled me why it's still -tua in all the Finnic languages, and I started looking for Finnish examples of this suffix. The examples I found were either attached to one syllable, three, or attached to a consonant which would inhibit suffixal gradation. So then I considered what the outcome of a suffix-gradated *-dudak would be; that is, *-adudak, *-edudak etc. The first -d- would disappear in Finnish, so you'd get something like -auda, -euda, or possibly -uda (I'm not sure what process would create a monophtong here, though). And of course, this changes the syllabification, allowing the -d- to be dropped, resulting in -ua.

So my question is, am I on the right track here? Are -tua and -ua originally the same suffix? —CodeCat 18:57, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Curious, but the details don't seem to work. Principal issue: *-tu- generally applies to nominal roots, not verbal ones like *-u- does, and it is often segmentable as *-ta- + *-u-. This is the case for all three words we currently have in this suffix category:
Your odd-syllable bias does seem to exist, but it goes back to the base suffix. The usual even-syllable verbalizer -ta generally has the reflective equivalent -utua, which is kind of double-marked. We'd indeed expect endings such as -au(d)a or -eu(d)a (which IIRC is attested dialectally). But instead we find e.g. pato (dam) → padota (to dam) → patoutua (to be dammed); or in the few, often adjectival cases where no intermediate causative verb exists, kapea (narrow) → kapeutua (to become narrow).
So I am now skeptical on if there are grounds to reconstruct an independent *-tudak for PF at all.
There is still a "strong" allomorph of -u-, but this is -pua, as applied in monosyllabic stems like juopua, syöpyä, saapua (and not ˣjouda, ˣsöydä, ˣsauda). This though probably involves an epenthetic consonant of some sort. --Tropylium (talk) 19:56, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Rename Nenets to Tundra NenetsEdit

I renamed the language, but we apparently have a few entries in "Nenets" already. I know nothing about this language, so could you go through Category:Tundra Nenets lemmas and rename the language sections, while also checking if they are indeed Tundra Nenets? —CodeCat 21:51, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

OK, I've looked thru everything currently at Category:Nenets lemmas and the thus far nonexistent Category:Tundra Nenets lemmas. They seem to be all indeed Tundra Nenets. I'm for now unable to verify тиртя (looks like a derivative from тирць (to fly)?), сельбя and ӈылека, though phonologically none of these can possibly be Forest Nenets. --Tropylium (talk) 23:46, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I noticed that you left the header as "Nenets" though. Could you change that as well? —CodeCat 23:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Certainly doable, with our current number of entries. I guess assuming those three entries to be TN as well will be safe enough. --Tropylium (talk) 23:53, 30 January 2015 (UTC)


According to the vowel shift at w:Proto-Samic, this form couldn't exist. oa becomes uo before ë. So is there something missing?

This just means it's not an inherited word. If you look at my wordlist in progress, there are dozens of words with other unetymological vowel combinations (*ā-ë, *oa-ë, *ea-ë, *ē-ē, *ē-ō).

Also, is this a cognate of tulla? —CodeCat 00:13, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Probably not. IIRC Samic cognates of that are only known from Ter Sami. --Tropylium (talk) 00:23, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Return to the user page of "Tropylium".