This Proto-Finnic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.

Proto-Finnic edit

Etymology edit

Several possible origins have been proposed, including:

  1. A loan from a Sami language; compare Proto-Samic *kuomčë (bear), which could itself be a substrate word.[1] The sound substition *č → *ti would be unusual, but has a small number of parallels.
  2. *kontidak +‎ *-ja, a taboo formation meaning "the slow walker".

Aikio (2009) argues that given the exact semantic match, the first explanation should be preferred.

A large number of additional hypotheses have been explored by Oksanen (2007).

Noun edit


  1. (Northern Finnic) bear
    Synonyms: *karhu, *okci

Inflection edit

Descendants edit

  • Finnish: kontio, (dialectal) kontia
    • Estonian: (dialectal) konja
  • Karelian:
  • Livvi: kondii
  • Ludian: kondii
  • Veps: kondi

References edit

  1. ^ Aikio, Ante. 2012. "An essay on Saami ethnolinguistic prehistory."
  • Aikio, Ante. 2009. The Saami loanwords in Finnish and Karelian. PhD thesis. University of Oulu.
  • Itkonen, Erkki; Kulonen, Ulla-Maija, editors (1992–2000) Suomen sanojen alkuperä [The origin of Finnish words]‎[1] (in Finnish), [note: linked online version also includes some other etymological sources], Helsinki: Institute for the Languages of Finland/Finnish Literature Society, →ISBN
  • Oksanen, Auli. 2007. Karhu, kontio, ohto ja otso. Etymologinen tutkimus ('An etymological study'). Master's thesis. University of Helsinki.