Wiktionary:About Proto-Finnic

Proto-Finnic is the reconstructed ancestor of the Finnic languages.


  • Short vowels: i ü u e ö o ä a
  • Long vowels: ii üü uu ee öö oo ää aa
  • Strong-grade consonants: p t k c pp tt kk cc
  • Weak-grade consonants: b d g p' t' k' c'
  • Other obstruents: s h
  • Sonorants: j l m n r v

No distinction is indicated between voiced plosives and fricatives, as this distinction was not phonemically relevant. The cluster *tk is written *ťk when its South Estonian (Võro) outcome is tsk (reflecting earlier *čk), as *tk when the outcome is kk (reflecting earlier *dk and *tk).

Where relevant — primarily old loanwords such as *hakedak, *hirvi, when no Uralic proto-form exists that makes these facts clear — a reconstruction of the earlier Proto-Finnic form may be given, with *š for *h, *č for *t or *c(i) (where applicable), *w for *v, *e for final *i. Such reconstructions should not be linked.


The lemma form of nouns and adjectives is the nominative singular form, as is usual. Verbs are lemmatized under the *-dak infinitive, since most Finnic languages do the same. See under Descendants for the treatment of Estonian and Võro.


The context label "Northern Finnic" can be used for the numerous innovative words — mainly loanwords and derivatives — attested in most of the Northern Finnic subgroup (Finnish, Ingrian, Karelian, Livvi, Ludian, Veps), but absent from the southern languages (with the possible exception of Ingrian loanwords in Votic: compare WT:About Votic). The label should not be used for words that are Proto-Uralic (Proto-Finno-Permic, etc.) inheritance, or for words some derivatives of which have been attested in the southern languages: such words must have once been present in Proto-Finnic proper as well, and only later lost in the southern languages.

Template code: {{label|fiu-fin-pro|Northern Finnic}}


Descendants are listed in alphabetical order by language.

* {{desc|et|}}
* {{desc|fi|}}
* {{desc|izh|}}
* {{desc|krl|-}}
** North Karelian: {{l|krl|}}
** South Karelian: {{l|krl|}}
* {{desc|liv|}}
* {{desc|olo|}}
* {{desc|lud|}}
* {{desc|vep|}}
* {{desc|vro|}}
* {{desc|vot|}}

Descendants should be by default listed in their literary standard forms. Please consult the language-specific Wiktionary considerations pages such as Wiktionary:About Estonian, Wiktionary:About Finnish, Wiktionary:About Karelian or Wiktionary:About Livonian, in case you are unsure about the orthographic standards of a given language.

In particular, note that:

  • The creation of standardized forms of Livonian and any Eastern Finnic languages (Karelian proper, Livvi, Ludian and Veps) is quite recent, and 20th-century sources are unlikely to cite data in accordance to them.
  • No widely accepted literary standard has been established for Ingrian, but on Wiktionary the 1936 literary language (with a few modifications) is handled as main, both in entries and in Proto-Finnic descendant lists. The regional variations should be given with appropriate qualifiers.
  • No unified literary standard has been so far established for Votic.
  • No general South Estonian standard exists, and Wiktionary currently recognizes only Võro, but not other varieties such as Seto, Tartu or Leivu.
  • Whether Wiktionary should treat Kven and Meänkieli separately from Finnish, or as dialects of it, is currently under (slow-burning) discussion: see Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits#Meänkieli (fit) and Kven (fkv) into Finnish (fi).

In Estonian and Võro, it is customary (on Wiktionary and elsewhere) to use the ma-form (supine) as the lemma for verbs. In order to make comparisons between languages, and with the Proto-Finnic lemma, easier, both this lemma and the da-form should be shown in the descendants, separated by a slash. For example, for *näktäk:

  • Estonian: nägema/näha
  • Võro: nägemä/nätäq

Dialectal forms can be included, if they show substantially different development from the standard language (especially if they provide evidence relevant for the reconstruction of the Proto-Finnic form), or in case no standard-language descendant form exists. In such a case, a modifier such as (dialectal) should be used before the form. Unified formatting can be applied to these using the template {{qualifier}} (or, for short, {{qual}}).