User talk:Tropylium


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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)

Finnish seEdit

This pronoun is very irregular, but I'm guessing that many of the irregularities may be archaisms. I'm struggling to figure out where all the irregularities come from, though. Could you shed some light on this, maybe?

  1. The nominative singular has a single short vowel. That is unusual in itself, but being a pronoun, I'm guessing that this is inherited. It's curious though that there is no -e > -i change.
  2. Most other case forms have the stem si-. This is rather puzzling to me. Why the e > i change?
  3. Even more striking is that instead of -ssa, -sta, -hen in the interior cases, there is -inä, -itä, -ihen.
  4. In the plural, it seems that there is the stem ni- with the regular plural infix -i- and the normal case suffix?

I'm also wondering about the nature of the "extra" cases to the right of the table. Several Finnish entries have these, although I don't know which exactly. They are apparently not true cases, but they do seem to have similar formations, so they might be of a similar nature to the -r of some of the English pronouns, like here, where, there. That is, a special ending used for pronominal suffixes alone.

The superessive and delative endings seem to reflect something like *-gellä, *-geltä, in which the g has disappeared. I have no material from other Finnic languages (Veps would be particularly useful) to compare it with. The sublative, if formed in the same way, could have *-k-na > *-nna?

What I'm also interested in is whether these endings, or at least part of them, have cognates in other languages, and what Uralic origins they may have. —CodeCat 00:18, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

Another interesting bundle of questions…
AFAIK most other Uralic languages indicate that the original shape of the root is *ći- or *śi-, and so oblique si- is probably more original. The sg.nom. se could have been be modelled after the pl.nom. ne, which is in turn probably modelled after the personal pronouns me, te, he, which come from earlier *mek, *tek, *hek or perhaps *met, *tet, *het. The vowel alternation formally goes back to at least Proto-Finnic.
The s/n alternation, then, looks like it would have been generalized from the alternations *to- : *no- > tuo : nuo and *tä- : *nä- > tämä : nämä. These two alternations are both also found in Mordvinic, and partly Mari and Samic, so they're definitely pre-Proto-Finnic in age.
The "elative" and "inessive" are actually the original Proto-Uralic locative *-na and ablative *-ta. (Other fossilized examples are the adverbs kotona, kotoa.) -i- in the plural is obviously an infix, yes; I guess it was added to the singular too to disambiguate between e.g. the partitive sitä and the (ab)lative siitä.
The "extra cases" are a very heterogeneous group, and I mostly think calling them inflected forms of se is not a very good analysis.
  • siellä, sieltä are just regular local cases based on an extended stem √sikä-, also seen in sikäläinen (and moreover cf. tämä, stem tä-täkä-täkäläinen, täällä, täältä). These likely to go back to at least Proto-Finnic. Veps has indeed sigäl 'there'. (And there's even a possible exact cognate from Eastern Khanty: ťeɣəlä 'there', but this sounds very suspicious, especially since the L-case series is a Finnic innovation.)
  • siis uses the same "lative" element *-s as appears in the adverbs alas, ulos, ylös, pois, edes, etc. Origin unknown, though it probably has something to do with the inessive/elative/illative case group.
  • sinne uses an ending which regularly forms the terminative case in Savonian and Karelian, and seems to be related to the Estonian terminative -ni as well. This can be used on most pronoun roots: tänne, tuonne, minne, jonne etc.
  • siten (also täten, joten, kuten, muuten) is probably in origin just the instructive. -t- could be from the 2nd infinitive, *-eden : *-ten, one of the most frequent places where the instructive is used.
  • silloin (also tällöin, tuolloin, jolloin) should be segmented as two components -ll- (probably somehow from the adessive) and -Oin (cf. adverbs like muinoin, muutoin, vihdoin; probably somehow from the instructive).
--Tropylium (talk) 23:14, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Regarding silloin, it seems more likely that it's si-lla-in, with the regular rounding of suffixal a. After all, something like -ll- could hardly have existed as a word-final element, there was presumably a following vowel. That leaves me wondering what the -in element could be, but in any case it's some kind of extension of the adessive, referring to a particular place.
  • Is there anything more you could say about the terminative case? Is it Proto-Finnic, and how was it formed? —CodeCat 00:00, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Jäännöslopukkeen merkitseminen taivutuskaavoihinEdit

Lienet huomannut, että joku - todennäköisesti CodeCat - on muuttanut verbien ja nominien taivutuskaavoja siten, että niissä näkyy jäännöslopuke pienellä yläviite-x:llä merkittynä. Katso esimerkiksi kirje, joutua. Mielestäni tämä on:

  • hämmennystä aiheuttavaa, koska suurin osa käyttäjistä ei ymmärrä, mitä merkki tarkoittaa,
  • turhaa, koska ne, jotka ymmärtävät, eivät tarvitse kyseisiä merkkejä,
  • harhaanjohtavaa, koska joku saattaa ryhtyä luulemaan, että suomenkieliseen kirjoitukseen pitää sirotella pikku x:iä sinne tänne,
  • raivostuttavaa, koska kävin CodeCatin kanssa asiasta keskustelun, mutta hän tapansa mukaan viis' veisaa muiden mielipiteistä,
  • ehkä väärin, koska en ole vakuuttunut siitä, että jäännöslopukkeet voidaan läiskiä jollakin kaavalla universaalisti oikein. Sinä luultavasti tiedät tämän asian paremmin kuin meikäläinen, joka on koulutukseltaan insinööri.

Minusta jäännöslopukkeiden merkintä taivutuskaavoihin pitäisi siis lopettaa. Lausumiselle on oma kohtansa. Mitäpä itse olet mieltä? Jos olet samaa mieltä kuin minä, voisimme nostaa asiasta keskustelun Beer parlourissa ja keskusteluttaa yhteisöä siitä, kenen säännöillä täällä mennään, eli onko natiivieditorien mielipiteillä mitään merkitystä, kun kieltä totaalisesti ymmärtämätön häirikkö riehuu näppäimistönsä kanssa (tietysti asiallisin sanakääntein). Samalla voisi yrittää poistaa typerän kysymysmerkin nominien taivutuskaavan nominatiiviakkusatiivin perästä. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:54, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Edelliseen vuodatukseen voisi vielä lisätä sen, että yhden ääntämyksen piirteen nostaminen taivutuskaavoihin vaikuttaa älyttömältä. Tätä ei tosin parane mainita CodeCatille, koska sitten sinne ilmestyvät esimerkiksi kysymysmerkit sellaisten sanojen kuin kuorma-auto tai vaa'an keskelle. --Hekaheka (talk) 13:07, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Kas. Joo, tää on munkin mielestä kyllä paremmin ääntämysohjeisiin kuin taivutuskaavoihin sopiva asia, eteenkin kun kyse on perusmuodot poislukien täysin sijamuodosta eikä itse sanasta riippuvasta ilmiöstä, ja joissain muodoissa tosiaan vaihteluakin esiintyy (lähinnä kyllä omistusliitteissä, joista meillä ei edes ole taulukkoja). Toisaalta: meillä ei ole vielä ääntämystä tai edes sivua monille sellaisille peruspäätteille kuin -lle tai -utua, joten mistä loppukahdennustietojen pitäisi tällä hetkellä edes olla saatavilla?
Siitä olen kyllä vähintään samaa mieltä, että jos jokin tälläinen käytäntö luodaan, sen pitäisi olla selitettynäkin jossain. Appendix:Finnish pronunciation on tällä hetkellä, noh, aika ala-arvoisessa jamassa, eikä selitystä tarjoa myöskään Wiktionary:About Finnish.
Yhden "riehuva" on sitten tietysti toisen "rohkea". Voisin aloittaa tsekkaamalla, mitä mallineiden muutoshistoriassa & aikaisemmassa keskustelussanne todettiin, ja ehkä jatkamalla juttua siitä. --Tropylium (talk) 17:57, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Tietääkseni missään kielessä ääntämistä ei merkitä taivutuskaavioihin, vaan "Pronunciation"-osaan, esim. -lle, ole, olko, liene, saa, ottaa. Lisäksi osa jäännöslopukkeista on tulkinnanvaraisia tai puuttuu kaavioista (-ksi, epäsäännölliset verbit). Voisin yrittää itse poistaa pikku äksät ja kysymysmerkin. Ei siihen tarvitse osata lua-kieltä, senkun lukee koodia rivi riviltä. Verbien koodissa on tosin 1432 riviä, mutta jos aiheutan sotkun, kumoan heti muokkaukseni. Haluaisin ensin varmistaa, että aiheesta on keskusteltu englanniksi. @Hekaheka: milloin ja missä olet keskustellut ylä-äksistä CodeCatin kanssa? Häntä voisi sen sijaan usuttaa muokkaamaan Appendix:Finnish pronunciation'ia tai Wiktionary:About Finnish'iä. --Makaokalani (talk) 10:58, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Näyttää siltä, että sekoitan johonkin toiseen keskusteluun, koska löydän vain tämän: Thread:User_talk:CodeCat/sign_ˣ_in_IPA. Viidestä pointistani kuitenkin neljä on edelleen voimassa. Beer Parlour -keskustelu siis tarvitaan, jos asialle halutaan jotakin tehdä. Voin aloittaa sen, jos tiedän saavani tukea. --Hekaheka (talk) 07:14, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Saat tukea minulta. --Makaokalani (talk) 09:44, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Finnish nominal inflection typesEdit

Hekaheka suggested asking you about my question on her talk page. Can you help with this? I'm asking in part to help improve the current Appendix:Finnish nominal inflection, where I'm making a kind of "tree" of the different types so that it's easier for people to understand how they are related. Please answer here instead of on Hekaheka's talk page. —CodeCat 02:04, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

7 in Proto-UralicEdit

I tried to reconstruct 7 as *śäjćem, but I'm not sure if all the details add up. I don't know enough about the languages outside of Samic and Finnic to tell if this form fits the sound changes known for them. Could you have a look? —CodeCat 19:30, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

A+ for trying, though thus far no one has managed to reconstruct a coherent proto-form for this word. I know of some adjustments that would help, but they are so far unpublished. --Tropylium (talk) 23:11, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
I suspected it was that bad. Still, the forms are too similar for it to be a complete coincidence. I'd like to keep the page at least to list the descendant forms, but I don't know what to call the page. Something like *ś?ćem maybe, or some other kind of wildcard character? —CodeCat 23:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:CodeCat I think you are on extremely thin ice, if not walking on the water. You are reconstructing words into a language you admit you know nothing of!!! Why don't you concentrate on something where you are on safer ground? --Hekaheka (talk) 01:27, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Why do you think I asked someone who does know? Maybe you're the one who should stay on safer ground; you've clearly stated in the past that you have little interest or knowledge in linguistics and etymology, when I asked about things. —CodeCat 02:53, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Võro orthographyEdit

I'm going through the few Võro entries we have and adding templates and a few basic inflectional forms to them. I'm using this dictionary as a reference, which is provided by the Võro language institute. But it's hard for me to understand everything as most information is written in Estonian or Võro, which I'm not exactly fluent in and I have to rely on an automatic translator. So I wonder if you could help me figure out some things?

Firstly, the dictionary indicates palatalisation with a following apostrophe, both in the dictionary entries and in the running text in the foreword. So this leads me to believe that the apostrophe is part of the standard orthography and not just a mark used in dictionaries. But the Võro Wikipedia doesn't seem to use it at all, so I'm wondering if it's actually used or if it's just a prescription that nobody follows. I've also seen sources that say palatalisation is indicated with an acute accent placed on top of the letter, so like ś, ń, t́ (or t´) etc. Of course that doesn't help to clarify the matter. So I'm wondering what representation should be used in Wiktionary entries.

What confused me even more is that in the dictionary, there is de'tsembri, with an apostrophe after a vowel. Vowels can't be palatalised, so I'm guessing that this is supposed to indicate the stress (the Estonian cognate detsember appears to have second-syllable stress, according to ÕS). But I wouldn't know how to verify it... and in any case it's strange that they use the same symbol in two meanings.

Then there's the letter y, which was introduced quite recently according to en.Wikipedia. The Võro Wikipedia has w:vro:Nõna for "nose", and our entry was formerly also spelled this way, but the dictionary indicates nyna so I moved it there. Presumably we should be using the new spelling, but it's strange if Võro Wikipedia is not using it, so again I wonder what is the general practice among Võro speakers. —CodeCat 01:50, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

I have no active familiarity with the development of the Võro literary language, really. You might have better luck looking up if we have anyone who speaks Võro. But the introduction to the Võro Instituut's Võro-Eesti synaraamat confirms some things:
  • y and palatalization apostrophe are normative. No clear info on if it's supposed to be a plain apostrophe ' or perhaps a free-standing acute accent ´ (as in e.g. Skolt Sami).
  • Apostrophes following vowels are not a part of the orthography and indeed mark stress, on the preceding syllable however.
--Tropylium (talk) 04:03, 6 March 2015 (UTC)


Hi Tropylium, I've noticed your changes in the etymology. I am not a linguist, so I can rely only on the references I use. Both the Uralonet online database and my printed ety dictionary contain the *oδa-mɜ format. What was the reason you changed this to *adema? What would be the best way to keep the proto-language items consistent? Do you have a different source? I think it would be good to provide references when we can. Thanks. --Panda10 (talk) 14:54, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Hello! Yes, the traditional reconstruction for the root "to sleep" (same as in alszik) is indeed *oda-. That this may have rather been *ade- is a recent proposal, first aired in 2013. The full details would probably be best discussed on the proto-root's appendix page, once one is around? Duplicating etymological references across a set of cognate words gets difficult to maintain quite fast. Since you've requested the refs, I guess I shall create those.
For future reference, you may wish to note that UraloNet mostly (entirely?) relies on matters of reconstruction on the Uralisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, and since it was published in the late 80s, the system cannot take into account any newer research. Not all of the roughly contemporary research (late 70s on) was consistently accounted for in it, either. --Tropylium (talk) 05:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. So what is your recommendation? To stop using Uralonet as a reference? Or to continue to use it until new research comes along? On the Appendix:Proto-Uralic/adema page one of the references is the Uralisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, the other is just as old (1988). --Panda10 (talk) 14:43, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
It's certainly still usable, and perhaps even preferrable to UEW (since it can be accessed online). I just would not consider it the latest word on issues of reconstruction. After all we need references for other types of information as well, e.g. descendants and semantics. (Also on this matter make sure to see the bare root *ade-.) --Tropylium (talk) 14:56, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thank you. This is very helpful. --Panda10 (talk) 15:22, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

j- and w- stems in Proto-FinnicEdit

From what I've seen, there are stem-forming suffixes -j and -w in Proto-Uralic, or at least in some of the descendants, including Finnic. When preceded by a vowel, these commonly coalesce with it. This is how I believe it happens in Finnic (correct me if I'm wrong):

  • -ew > -u
  • -aw > -o
  • -äw > ?
  • -ej > -i
  • -aj > -oi, -i
  • -äj > -i

I noticed that in Finnish, the stems in -i have a plural in -ei, and it got me thinking about how the plural would have evolved. Clearly -ej- alone would have become -i-, but would the plural stem not have been -ejej-? It's conceivable that this became > -eji- > -ei- in Finnic. But if that's true, then what happened to the other possible stems in the plural? You'd expect -äjej-> -äji- > -äi-, -ajej- > -aji- > -ai-, thus implying that i-stems originally had several different subclasses based on the plural vowel. Of course analogical levelling eventually preserved only the -ej/-ejej- type in Finnish. I don't know what would happen to w-stems, though.

A lot depends on relative chronology. What cases like mätä + *-jmäti or kota + *-jkoti show is that unstressed *-äj, *-aj had already become *-ej by Proto-Finnic. I don't know if these can be still distinguished from original *i-stems though, as there has been plenty of analogical levelling. What has survived at least are differing plural stems for a-stem words and ä/e-stem words in Votic (e.g. muna : munõi-, but lumi : lumi-). It might be possible to similarly reconstruct e.g. *koti *kotei : *kotei- : obl. pl. koteji-, but before having a couple different -j-derivatives of Proto-Finnic age and their reflexes in some key languages to compare with, I couldn't tell.
That's very interesting. That would mean that the plural of *muna was still *munei- in Proto-Finnic, which was then backed to *munëi- in the ancestor to Votic. But that, in turn, implies that the plural of j-stems can't also have been -ei-, because the diphthong is preserved there. It follows that i-stems must then indeed have had the plural in -eji- still, and the ji > i change happened in the dialectal period.
What is also interesting is what this implies for monosyllabic stems ending in -je-, like *voi. If the ji > i is indeed dialectal Proto-Finnic, then it stands to reason that the Proto-Finnic form was still bisyllabic *voji, stem *voje-, plural stem *vojei-, assuming that ji > i and je > i happened concurrently. And if that in turn is true, then it has implications for the productivity of suffixal gradation, as a trisyllabic partitive *vojeta would gradate to *vojeda, while Finnish reflects *voita with the gradation readjusted after the loss of the middle syllable. Thus it was still productive in the dialectal Proto-Finnic period.
That doesn't necessarily follow. E.g. the contraction of post-tonic *-Vji could be older than contraction under secondary stress, which the -i- we are assuming would have had. Or these diphthongs could have been formed primarily thru syncope rather than glide loss, as is suggested by examples involving *w, e.g. *käwe- > *käw- > käydä, *suwe- > *suw- > suu (followed by generalization from the oblique cases to the nominative, so e.g. *voji : *vojeta > *voji : *voita > *voi : voita).
That's a good point; syncope would have reduced the syllable anyway. But in the plural, it's not so clear whether contraction would have happened for *vojei-. So perhaps the plural preserved the glide until much later, *vojei- > *voji- > *voi-. On the other hand, that would probably mean that in part of Finnic it would actually be *vojëi- with a back vowel, which would resist the ei > i change. I have no idea if such a form is attested.
However, if Proto-Finnic indeed still had *munei-, and southern Finnic evidence with õ(i) suggests that it did, then we can't get around the fact that there is a clear distinction in reflexes between -i/õ(i)- < -ei- and -ei- < -ejei-. These two sequences did not fall together. Thus, I don't think there is any other possible conclusion than that the plural stem of *koti was not *kotei- but must have been a longer sequence. What sequence that was, I don't know. —CodeCat 15:42, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Your latter paragraph seems clear, yes. But to clarify: only earlier *-Ai- yields demonstrable late Proto-Finnic *-ei- (or *-ëi-). Original *-ei- was contracted to -i- early enough to trigger *t > *c (and hence e.g. vesi : vesiä; yet setä : setiä, not ˣsesiä). That is, there are two chronological changes from *ei to *i:
  • older layer (Proto-Finnic): unstressed *ei > *i, and *ai, *äi > *ei
  • newer layer (general only in parts of Northern Finnic, absent even from some Western Finnish dialects): secondary unstressed *ei > *i
The former oblique pl. stem of voi would have simplified to *-i- already in the 1st round, if it was still around by then. --Tropylium (talk) 05:56, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I never even noticed that a/ä stems never have assibilation. Thank you for clarifying this.
Well, they do; cf. lentää : lensi, uurtaa : uursi. This has been considered analogical (Finnish dialects have also imperfects like lenti, uurti), though according to a recent proposal these would be rather due to an early vowel reduction in heavy stems: *lentäj- > *lentəi- > lenci- vs. *setäj- > *setei-
It's also possible that the opposite happened. a/ä stems might have had assibilation originally, which was levelled out in nouns and many verbs, but what kept it from being levelled out in e-nouns was the nominative singular, which has -si. —CodeCat 16:39, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
If you assumed *ai >> i universally & early enough to cause assibilation, you again have no way to explain why Votic would have the declension type munõi- or Estonian mune-, but neither has anything like ˣlumõi- / ˣlume- for 'snow', or ˣkõrvõi- / kõrve- for 'ear'. --Tropylium (talk) 10:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
In any case, if we assume ei > i stage 1 happened already, then the plural of *koti was *koteji-, and remained so at least until the second stage, which prevented it from undergoing it. However, that makes me think that the stem of *voi was also still *voji-. Or is there a particular reason why the contraction *voji- > *voi- could have happened earlier than ei > i stage 2 and *koteji- > *kotei-? —CodeCat 13:41, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I notice that you propose *koti for the nominative singular. Is there a reason why it's not *kotei? Did ei > i happen word-finally before it happened medially? —CodeCat 13:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
My bad, that's inconsistent. Upon checking, e.g. Veps indeed still has some nominatives ending in -ei. --Tropylium (talk) 15:26, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
It does? Can you give examples? —CodeCat 15:42, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
First example I spotted was ńäńei corresponding to Finnish nänni (both < *nännei < *nännä-j). --Tropylium (talk) 05:56, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
This does make things trickier because it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish original -ej stems from original -aj/äj stems, unless there is a Veps attestation. Then again, the same happens between -o and -aj stems. —CodeCat 13:41, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
No? The above-mentioned Votic evidence still works, and so does e.g. dialectal Finnish evidence (say, *äitei 'mother' > Southern Ostrobothnia äitee, or similarly *kukkoi > kukkoo). Plus there is no such thing as entirely "original" -Vj-stems anyway; all cases are derivatives or loans, so generally it's possible to just compare with the underived root (e.g. in the previous case, nännä is attested dialectally in Finnish).
I guess if you want to be able to tell the stem type just from standard-language citation forms, that will be tricky (and often impossible), yes. --Tropylium (talk) 15:03, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
It's interesting that you picked äiti of all words. That's generally considered a Germanic loanword, but the Germanic source has long , not *ei (which didn't exist in later Proto-Germanic). So it's strange that *-ei was used to substitute for this ending rather than *-i. —CodeCat 16:42, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, I just checked and Veps has kodi, not *kodei. So if Veps does preserve -ei, I wonder why it was not preserved in this word. —CodeCat 23:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
If I had to guess, loaning as *äitei could have been to avoid an adaptation as **äici. As for *kotei, I'll probably need to look more into the Veps situation. There may be dialect differences involved, I know that e.g. several dialects shift *ei to /ii/ or /i/, some even in stressed syllables.--Tropylium (talk) 10:37, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Estonian (both north and south) has several vowel changing plurals that don't seem to have any counterpart in Finnish, like a:õ (kubõl, kuld), o:õ (talo, kand, vari), o:a (talo, kand, vari), u:õ (kanarik), u:a (kanarik), ü:e (häbü), ü:ä (häbü) which are found in Võro. I wonder where they come from, they might be related to this for all I know. Am I on the right track here? —CodeCat 00:10, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

The "a-plurals" of Estonian involve mainly analogical processes (on the other hand at least your 1st example is a regular epenthesis development: *kupla > *kupl > kubõl). --Tropylium (talk) 06:02, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
*kupla > *kupl > kubõl is epenthetic, but what about the stems? Compare the allative forms: singular kublalõ, plural kublõlõ; there's an a > õ change here. Am I correct that the õ reflects Proto-Finnic -ei-, just like in the Votic example? That still leaves the others though. In particular häbü is puzzling with its ü > e change. —CodeCat 13:38, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I believe the first reflects *-ëi-. Cases like häbü are probably similarly analogy; I would guess -e-/-õ- in these is probably a dialectal change from -ä-/-a-, which as said has been adopted as a general plural stem marker (though I am not sure where from). --Tropylium (talk) 15:26, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Alright, I looked up some literature on koti : kotei-. This turns out to be entirely secondary rearrangement that has no repercussions for Proto-Finnic.

  • As is shown by agent nouns like luke-lukija, pese-pesi, teke-teki, the later assimilation *ei > *i also included *ej > *i(j), and thus it's not possible to derive -ei- from *-eji-.
  • This also means that it is not necessary to assign phonemic diphthong status for Proto-Finnic; *[ei] = */ej/ remains feasible, and indeed this better accords with how some Finnish dialects have stops in the weak grade before *-oi, *-ei.
  • Instead, sometime after the shift of *ei to i, the now-awkward inflection type sg. *koti(-) : pl. *koti- was analogically extended to sg. koti(-) : kotii- in western Finnish dialects. (Eastern Finnish dialects have also fixed situations like this, but by introducing a new plural marker entirely: koti(-) : kotiloi-.)
  • This new secondary unstressed ii was diphthongized (dissimilated?) to ei in Southwestern Finnish. The change was in older literary Finnish attested also in various other cases, e.g. *etsiisi > edzeis for etsisi (= etsi- + -isi) — but this went out of the fashion over the 19th century, and it has survived 'til modern Finnish only in the plural stems of i-stem nouns, where it fulfills the need of disambiguating from the singular stem.
  • Loss of -h- in the illative was even later, and hence only forms like kotiin, kotihin have been attested, and not ˣkotein or ˣkotin.

--Tropylium (talk) 18:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

This doesn't explain why other Finnic languages (that I can see) seem to agree on the existence of -ei- in the plural of i-stem nominals. Such nominals appear in Estonian and Võro as well, while Votic has -ii- and I have no idea about Veps. It seems unlikely that Estonian, Võro and Finnish happened to innovate on the same -ii- > -ei- change separately, don't you think? Furthermore, I think it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that former -eji- is contracted straight to -i-. As you demonstrate with lukija, e > i before j as well, but then the result would still have only been -iji- which presumably contracted rather quickly to -ii-. So I think this -ii- would still need to be posited for Proto-Finnic in any case, not -i-. —CodeCat 18:32, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
For N/S Estonian it would seem to be simplest to root this in retention of original *-ei-, followed by various analogical developments, e.g. we need to assume word-final -ei > -i anyway, and this may have been generalized to the singular stem. Alternately, perhaps -e- for original *i-stems and *ei-stems has been taken from the a-stems. Votic -ii- meanwhile does seem to reflect the same kind of analogical extension as (dialectal) Finnish — but the shift *-ei > *-i probably went thru *-ii, so it does not seem possible to assume that this was Proto-Finnic, as much as later analogy.
Also I don't think we have established that there ever was an *-eji-. Symbol algebra starting from *A+j+j might suggest such a thing, but I haven't found much evidence that any of the *-ei-stem words existed that early. So it's kind of like asking "what was the Old English plural of moose, if not meese?" The two most widespread examples seem to be risti and pappi (both found everywhere in Finnic) which we can per the semantics date around 800 CE, several centuries later than Proto-Finnic. (The actual suffix is ancient, but it may have only emerged as a derivative element from attributive forms such as lehmi-.) --Tropylium (talk) 20:31, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
The trouble is that at least some cases of the derivational -j end up not as -ei, but as -oi, which then becomes -o in Finnish. Samic also has some nouns with -ōj I believe, I don't know if it's the same suffix but it might well be. If they're the same suffix, then it must have existed in Proto-Finnic in some form.
I don't know of the particular semantics associated with the -j suffix anyway. The vast majority of the words using it are loanwords where the vowel is just a filler. But at the same time, the declension pattern of i-stems with their -ei- plural can't have come out of nowhere, there must have been some motivation. Something about it must have had existing semantics that made it particularly suitable for this role. After all, why did they make a whole declension pattern up out of thin air instead of using an existing one? —CodeCat 21:07, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, there are attributive cases with *-oi all the same (say, siko-). And plenty of cases with the "wrong" suffix, including front-harmonic cases like *enä*enoi > eno/onu. If there ever was a time when the derivative suffixes based on *-j had a 100% phonologically conditioned distribution, it was over by late Proto-Finnic.
Samic *-ōj mostly corresponds to Finnic *-o or *-ü, not *-oi, and is in most cases a root formant rather than a suffix. Its history has not been worked out to anyone's satisfaction. --Tropylium (talk) 07:37, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the inflection generated by the template on *enoi, I noticed that the singular and plural stems ended up the same. Whether this is correct or not I don't know, but it does seem plausible that if they were, the plural stem had its -i- restored in some dialects to avoid homonymy. This probably happened in Finnish, although Finnish also has some other surviving cases of -oi- like in the -oida type verbs. But it didn't happen in both kinds of Estonian, which completely disallow unstressed diphthongs now and have, as a result, started to create new plural forms based on the genitive plural form, presumably because the singular forms are likewise based on the genitive singular.
In any case, if -oi- was indeed analogically restored, then the same would presumably happen to -ii-. In cases ending in an i-diphthong, like *voi, this could not take place as the sequence -oii- was not allowed. But it would still be a bit strange if -ii- ended up as -ei-. On the other hand, this is presumably still in the dialectal Proto-Finnic period, and long vowels were probably still not allowed in unstressed syllables. So that's the only way I could think of that -ii- could be turned into -ei-. But if this change did happen, it must have happened early enough to affect Estonian before diphthongs became disallowed, as it was early enough to be included in the ei > e and õi > õ changes that took place. —CodeCat 18:54, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
The introduction of this *-ii- would have been in the dialectal Finnish period, around the Middle Ages at earliest, since this analogical development postdates *ei > *i, and as you say, *oi > *o, which (to reiterate once again) did not even occur in various Finnic 'lects. If you're unclear on the reason for the diphthongization, the main point is that *ii > *ei was a sound change, not any kind of analogy. (Cf. the English Great Vowel Shift: *ī > *əi > /aɪ/.)
We also still have no reason to think any of this ever happened in Estonian, since, again, it can have just retained original *-ei-, and generalized from there to *-i-stems. If anything, the SW Fi sound change could have even been triggered due to medieval influence from Estonian, with which the dialect group shares some other developments as well. --Tropylium (talk) 19:24, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Does that mean that Estonian preserves the distinction between -ei and -i stems, which have fallen together in Finnish? There would have to be a class of -e/õ nouns then, but I can't say I've seen those yet. Or maybe just didn't recognise them. —CodeCat 20:55, 12 March 2015 (UTC)


Are you sure this is not just kymmen + -us or contraction of *kymmenennys (from kymmenent- + -us)? —CodeCat 02:28, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The latter is exactly where the mentioned suffix -nnys comes from, i.e. -nte- + -ys; I guess it's a matter of taste if we want to analyze it as a separate suffix. Hakulinen appears to think that it's the ordinal suffix + -(U)s combo that specifically denotes a fraction, though equivalently we could add a new sense + usage note for -us. --Tropylium (talk) 02:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, the suffix -us forms abstract nouns from adjectives generally, and ordinals are adjectives too. So I don't think there is really a need for any separate suffix, the semantics and morphology of ordinal + -us seem quite transparent to me. —CodeCat 03:02, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Not quite, this is the vastaus-type -us in use here, and then in the standard Finnish fraction names like kolmannes we have just a plain -s (: -kse-).
Though the last-mentioned word might be a good case for not positing separate suffixes anyway: if this were analyzed as kolme + suffix, there is no reason to expect the irregular -a- of kolmas to be duplicated. --Tropylium (talk) 03:12, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


This is a noun of the "vastaus" type, but I haven't seen those before in Proto-Finnic. Is the suffix -ks- or -kc-? I can't tell from the descendants. —CodeCat 17:51, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

It's *ks. A fairly common suffix really, but we've so far been mainly adding root words. --Tropylium (talk) 21:01, 31 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. In the meantime, I added a second one, *jänis. It appears that some descendants have -e- instead of -i-, I'm not sure why that is but they surely must be related. —CodeCat 21:18, 31 March 2015 (UTC)


I don't think that Finnic people would have known about steel... —CodeCat 19:28, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

Why not? Steel has been known, if rarely used, already since antiquity (similarly, steel also derives already from Proto-Germanic). I don't know about the archeological record, but I'd guess it was originally an imported material known mainly from its use in swords (hence the derivation). --Tropylium (talk) 19:37, 8 April 2015 (UTC)


This was just created. Could this or a related term possibly be the source of *cika? —CodeCat 12:48, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Looks promising. Slavic loans proper are too young to have participated in *ti > *ci (e.g. Finnish dialectal kaatiot ‎(underwear) is from the same source as gaće), but if there's been a Balto-Slavic root with this approximate meaning around, it could well have made its way to Finnic at an early date. Kaczyńska's source paper indeed even mentions something about Finnish sika, but I can't make head or tails of Polish though. --Tropylium (talk) 03:07, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Category:Proto-Finnic terms derived from Proto-BalticEdit

Re: Appendix:Proto-Finnic/rakja. Did you really mean to add this category, or did you just forget to put a "-" in the etyl template? Chuck Entz (talk) 19:39, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's a category we're going to need (unless we want to start enforcing the "Baltic = Balto-Slavic" approach). Liukkonen's etymology is considered less well-established though, so it's possible we should leave {{etyl}} out entirely. --Tropylium (talk) 16:41, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I thought we were enforcing it, though I may be remembering the consensus rather than an actual decision. While it's true that Proto-Balto-Slavic is different from Proto-Baltic in that they're theoretical constructs based on differently-circumscribed datasets, the prevailing consensus seems to be that the reality they're designed to model is the same for both. If we're going to use a different name for different understandings of the same thing, then we should have different names for Indo-European depending on whether Celtic, Albanian, Armenian, Tocharian, Hittite, Mycenaean Greek, etc. were included at the time, not to mention the presence of theoretical advances such as laryngeal theory, recognition of borrowing between various Uralic and Indo-European proto-languages, areal diffusion among dialects instead of binary branching, etc. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:53, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
OK. The latest understanding is anyway that the Baltic material in Finnic is substratal loans from an extinct "Northern Baltic", rather than from the ancestor of Lithuanian and Latvian. So I take it we are using the term "Balto-Slavic"? --Tropylium (talk) 00:10, 25 May 2015 (UTC)


This word does not appear exactly in your Proto-Samic list, but there's one very similar form that does, *oajāltëttētēk. Note the oa ~ va discrepancy. Is this a normal change? —CodeCat 21:58, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Spotted another: vuoitit vs. *oajtētēk. —CodeCat 22:00, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Lehtiranta lists the former as indeed a descendant, but yeah, it looks like some kind of an irregular change has happened there. The second word has evidently just been replaced with a different loan from Finnish voittaa in Northern Sami (ditto for Inari Sami vyeittiđ, Lule Sami vuojttet, all three suggesting rather pseudo-PS *vuojtē-).
(The alleged "*oajtē-" is a Finnic loanword as well, though; so I would ask if the more western and eastern varieties could just have loaned the word equally late, in shapes that merely coincidentally suggest a single common Proto-Samic form.) --Tropylium (talk) 06:10, 3 September 2015 (UTC)


The reconstructed form should be *alaictik shouldn't it? The *-inen suffix has a stem in *-ic-. —CodeCat 16:11, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

Ah, right, yes. Although I wonder if it would be more convenient for us to reconstruct *st and not *ct in these cases. I don't think anyone has stated anything explicit about the dating of this change in the literature (yet), but the similar changes *kst > *st and *pst > *st are usually considered already Proto-Finnic. --Tropylium (talk) 16:28, 6 September 2015 (UTC)

sorvâ and hirviEdit

These look like they are related, but the vowels don't match: Inari Sami seems to indicate *šurve, while Finnish has *širve. Any ideas? —CodeCat 18:16, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Inari Sami o-â is the regular reflex of Proto-Samic *ë-ë (see also e.g.: moonnâđ ‎(to go) < *mënëtēk < *mene-, nommâ ‎(name) < *nëmë < *nime); from PS *o-ë you get instead u-â (as in e.g. tullâ ‎(fire) < *tolë < *tule). --Tropylium (talk) 19:13, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
Inari Sami phonology is so annoying... Thank you! —CodeCat 19:16, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

The -ta adjective suffixEdit

Both Finnish and Northern Sami have a fairly large group of adjectives with a suffix that goes back to *-(e)ta. But the suffix doesn't seem to have any meaning, it's just present on adjectives. Do you know more about this suffix, and do you perhaps also know whether the -e- was part of the suffix or not? Both languages show a curious absence of *-ata adjectives. —CodeCat 15:41, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it's generally analyzed as *-eta, and it's noted to be more of an adjective marker than a derivational suffix (though there are various cases where a loan adjective has been "nativized" by switching to this ending: consider e.g. Fi. kalpea ~ kalvas from *h₂élbʰos). Cognates are found all across Uralic, mostly in the west. I'm not sure if you're asking for anything else in particular here though. In case you want to look into the topic in more detail, Ilona Rauhala's recent PhD on adjectives in Uralic (Uralilaiset adjektiivit: Sanaluokan historian hahmottelua) should make a good starting point.
If you want to get a PU entry *-eta started, it will be certainly possible to flesh it out in more detail later. --Tropylium (talk) 00:01, 27 October 2015 (UTC)
You told me what I wanted to know, even if you didn't realise. :) I was curious about the shape (e or not), function/meaning, and distribution. You answered all of that! I'll be creating entries for Uralic, Samic and Finnic now. —CodeCat 00:05, 27 October 2015 (UTC)

*loppu vs *lop'ettadakEdit

The words *loppu and *lop'ettadak are clearly related, but they have different stem vowels. I think that both may be derived from a hypothetical *loppi ~ *loppe-, but this doesn't seem attested anywhere. What can you make of this? —CodeCat 19:22, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Yes, that would be the obvious analysis. The assumption seems to carry out, too: SSA reports a basic noun loppi : loppe- 'end, point' as attested dialectally from Tavastian Finnish (in standard Finnish its genitive lopen has been fossilized as an adverb), and a coordinate basic verb loppe-/lõppe- 'to end' from Karelian, Ingrian and Estonian (and perhaps Livonian, but loppõ could be just as well from *loppu-). --Tropylium (talk) 20:25, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

-taa and -ttaaEdit

Is there a relation between these? And which one was used to derive täyttää? I would think that a two-consonant suffix would necessitate a prop vowel (täydettää?) so I would go for the former. —CodeCat 00:01, 11 November 2015 (UTC)

The latter suffix goes partly back already to a separate Proto-Uralic suffix *-kta- or *-pta- (which is probably but not demonstrably derived from *-ta-), but partly also to *-t-ta-, as in e.g. herätäherättää. So yes, täyttää is täyt-tä-. --Tropylium (talk) 11:50, 13 November 2015 (UTC)

The "suppletive" stems in FinnishEdit

There are a few verb types in Finnish that seem to have a stem formation that is suppletive in some way, using different stem formants in different principal parts. I wonder if you know anything more about the origin of these.

  • The tupakoida type has -oi- but some principal parts allow an optional extension to -oitse-. This formation seems relatively new, so I'm thinking of an analogical source here?
  • The valita has a stem in -tse-, but in environments where syncope of the stem vowel occurred, this has been changed to -t-. What I know about Finnic and Finnish behaviour of -cc- would lead me to think that contraction would lead to -ct- giving Finnish -st-, just like in the veitsi-type nominals. But apparently something else happened here?
  • vanheta is another mystery to me, I can't explain the -n-/-t- alternation. It does however appear to have a cognate in Northern Sami -nit though.

CodeCat 19:12, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Proto-Finnic -odak vs. -oidakEdit

I noticed in your page on Finnish inherited vocabulary that you reconstructed a few verbs with an -oidak ending where Finnish has simply -oa. I'm guessing that the change is the same as the one that turned *-t'oin into -ton.

  1. Is there a functional distinction between these suffixes?
  2. If they are distinct, what is the origin of each one?
  3. How do you know to reconstruct one or the other? I noticed Veps indeed has some -oida verbs corresponding to Finnish -oa verbs, but what if no Veps descendant is known?
  4. How did the modern Finnish -oida suffix come to be, if it didn't originate in this suffix? Veps also has this one, but the two fall together. Note also my question above about the -tse- suffix in some of these, which I found to occur in Veps too.

CodeCat 20:19, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

They're functionally distinct, yes:
  • *-o- is even in Proto-Finnic only a marginally productive suffix (probably best treated as fossilized in most modern Finnic languages), probably from something like earlier *-w-, that appears mainly in intransitive verbs such as punoa. (Some *o-stem verbs are also loanwords rather than derived.)
  • *-oi- is relatively productive in deriving transitive mostly instrumental verbs like vihtoa (← vihta), from earlier *-j-, and just as happens with the oblique plural and past tense markers -(o)i-, it is originally an allomorph of *-i- (as in luutaluutia).
  • -oida- though is IIRC in origin also simply an allomorph of *-oi- (so these never "fell together" in Veps): in numerous Finnish dialects *oi > *o only happened in unstressed syllables, while forms like satuloida would have retained it under secondary stress (as well as the -d-). If you look at the cases, you can notice that -oida never appears in bisyllabic roots, while -oa appears only in them.
Unstressed *oi and *o can be directly distinguished also e.g. in Ludian, in Southern Ostrobothnian Finnish (as oo vs. o), and in some cases in Livvi; indirectly also in Northern Karelian when followed by /n l s/ (as oń oľ os vs. on ol oš). For the most part though I've been following simply morphology: all transitive verbs transparently derived from nouns with the vocalism a-a, e-a, i-a are *-oi-.
As long as I'm on this topic, worth noting is that there is also a distinction between verbs ending in PF *-AdA- : *-At'Ak (e.g. pelätä) and PF *-AidA- : *-Ait'Ak (e.g. avata). --Tropylium (talk) 21:39, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
That does confirm my suspicions, that -oi- alternates with -ei- in Proto-Finnic even in these verbs. I had noted the lack of any -öä verbs in Finnish (well, I found one). But I am guessing that the frequentative -ia has another origin?
Sadly, I don't have access to sources for those other Finnic languages, so they aren't much help to me. Veps is all I have so far, and probably lots of rarer verbs aren't included.
I have avoided dealing with the -t'ak verbs mostly for now, because they seem to be a bit of a mess, with several formations coinciding, especially in Estonian. That said, I wonder why *avait'ak hasn't changed -ai- to -oi-, like the nouns did? Also, I had presumed that auki and avata derived from the same stem (-auga- > -aua- > -ava-) but I guess they're distinct. —CodeCat 22:42, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I just noticed *tahtoidak, which doesn't seem to derive from an a-stem noun (at least I can't find one). Is it derived from *tahto, rather than the other way around? —CodeCat 23:01, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
auki does come from the same root as ava- (ultimately PU *aŋa), but the *k has normally been considered part of a fossilized suffix of some sort.
The direction of derivation for tahto/tahtoa is per the sources I have around apparently so far unknown, but ultimately both would seem to be derived from a root *tahta- as indicated by Estonian (and, per SSA, apparently a single 17th-century Finnish source). The Samic cognate *tuostōtēk ‎(to catch) however shows that the verb is originally an *o-stem, not an *oi-stem; making the Veps form looks like a secondary derivative *tahto-i-. I might need to look up Finnish dialect variants to be sure though. --Tropylium (talk) 23:45, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

Does Finnish distinguish final -iV from -ijV in pronunciation?Edit

Does kulkija have the same ending, when pronounced, as sallia? Or is the -j- actually pronounced as a separate consonant? If they are the same, can I assume that j is silent between i and a vowel? —CodeCat 21:16, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

No difference. The orthography is not fully inconsistent on which to use in which forms, though. --Tropylium (talk) 09:17, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

-us and -os (-kse-)Edit

Could you elaborate more on the (pre-) Proto-Finnic origins of these suffixes? Did the -us and -os variants already exist then? What happened to the plain -s version, was that still productive in Proto-Finnic? And Finnish? We currently have no entry for this sense of -s, even though the etymology of -us refers to it. —CodeCat 21:58, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

-us/-os were definitely in existence in Proto-Finnic, as they have exact cognates at least as far away as Mordvinic (the classic example is punos ~ Erzya понавкс ‎(ponavks) < *punaw(e)kse, from *puna-). My current working list seems to have two examples: *endus, *harjus. -s < *-kse is more widespread in Uralic yet, and it has been productive at least up to older Finnish (though I can't think of any particularly modern coinages with it).
I suspect we may have to continue datamining and sorting derivatives in the modern languages to have a better view of various suffixes' status in Proto-Finnic. There has not been a lot of explicit research on what the derivation system in those times exactly looked like. E.g. {{R:fi:SKRK}} normally just notes if a given suffix is e.g. common Finnic, but does not give any cognates, or list which uses or which words in particular can be considered to be a part of the oldest layer. --Tropylium (talk)
What was the original meaning of *puna then? Did it always mean "red", or are there actually two different roots here? I noticed that your Samic list has both *ponētēk and *pońëtēk, which seem like they might be related at some level. —CodeCat 16:00, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
As it already says in there, PU *puna the noun is reconstructed as meaning 'hair; color', with the development to 'red' particular to Finnic.
'Braid' however derives from the verb root *puna- ‎(to braid) (hyphen now added above), which appears to have been distinct already in PU (cf. Hung. fon). Samic *pońë- is from an also distinct *puńe- ‎(to twist). These three roots (stems?) certainly appear to related to each other (and also to PIE *(s)penH-, as in pinti, *spinnaną!), but the derivation processes involved remain poorly known. --Tropylium (talk) 18:25, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
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