Wiktionary:About Proto-Uralic

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Proto-Uralic is the reconstructed ancestor of the Uralic languages, including the national languages Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian.


The subgrouping of the Uralic languages is still in dispute, and not all subgroups are supported by a majority of specialists. Because of this, for the sake of practicality, the subdivision proto-languages Proto-Finno-Ugric and Proto-Finno-Permic are subsumed into Proto-Uralic on Wiktionary. Entries for these subdivisions should be created as Proto-Uralic entries. Descendant words can, however, be still marked as having cognates within this specific range, using {{der|descendant|fiu-pro|compared word}} or {{der|descendant|urj-fpr-pro|compared word}}. This will categorize the words in Category:Terms derived from Proto-Finno-Ugric or Category:Terms derived from Proto-Finno-Permic.


There are numerous transcription schemes of Proto-Uralic in use. For the purposes of consistency, a single transcription scheme, mainly based on that of UEW, is chosen for Wiktionary:


  • Stops *p, *t, *k
  • Affricates *č, *ć
  • Sibilants *s, *š, *ś
  • Spirants *d, *ď, *x
  • Nasals *m, *n, *ń, *ŋ
  • Liquids *l, *r
  • Semivowels *w, *j


  • Root-initial syllables: *a, *ä, *e, *ë, *i, *o, *u, *ü
  • Other syllables: *a, *ä, *e
  • Unreconstructible unstressed vowels may be indicated by *ɜ.

===Alternate forms=== sections are reserved for differing views on phonological reconstruction, and they should not be created just for the purpose of mentioning alternate transcriptions. Creating a redirect is possible.


All Proto-Uralic reconstruction entries should list descendants from at least two different branches of the Uralic languages.

The current standard is a mostly east-to-west ranking of the descendants:

* {{desc|syd-pro|}}
** {{desc|nio|}}
** Enets:
*** {{desc|enf|}}
*** {{desc|enh|}}
** Nenets:
*** {{desc|syd-fne|}}
*** {{desc|yrk|}}
** {{desc|sel|}}
** {{desc|xas|}}
** {{desc|mtm|}}
* Ugric:
** {{desc|hu|}}
** {{desc|mns|}}
** {{desc|kca|}}
* Permic:
** Komi:
*** {{desc|koi|}}
*** {{desc|kpv|}}
** {{desc|udm|}}
* Mari:
** {{desc|mhr|}}
** {{desc|mrj|}}
* Mordvinic:
** {{desc|myv|}}
** {{desc|mdf|}}
* {{desc|smi-pro|}}
** Western Samic:
*** {{desc|sma|}}
*** {{desc|sju|}}
*** {{desc|sje|}}
*** {{desc|smj|}}
*** {{desc|se|}}
** Eastern Samic:
*** {{desc|smn|}}
*** {{desc|sjk|}}
*** {{desc|sms|}}
*** {{desc|sia|}}
*** {{desc|sjd|}}
*** {{desc|sjt|}}
* {{desc|urj-fin-pro|}}
** {{desc|et|}}
** {{desc|fi|}}
** {{desc|izh|}}
** {{desc|krl|}}
** {{desc|fkv|}}
** {{desc|olo|}}
** {{desc|liv|}}
** Meänkieli: {{l|fit|}}
** {{desc|vep|}}
** Võro: {{l|vro|}}
** {{desc|vot|}}

If known, the Proto-Finnic (urj-fin-pro), Proto-Samic (smi-pro) and Proto-Samoyedic (syd-pro) forms should preferably be mentioned and linked to. If separate reconstruction pages have been created for these, you should only list the proto-form, followed by the template {{see desc}} to add a note indicating to users to see these for the reflexes in the individual Finnic, Samic and Samoyedic languages.

The reconstruction of the other groups is less standardized, but in case of well-established individual reconstructions, they may be useful to mention (Proto-Mordvinic (urj-mdv-pro), Proto-Mari (chm-pro), Proto-Permic (urj-prm-pro)). Proto-Ugric (urj-gur-pro) exists as a separate language on Wiktionary, but since little agreement on its reconstruction exists, it is usually only used for words without Uralic/Finno-Ugric etymologies.

Most sources list reflexes in the smaller Uralic languages in phonetic transcription. Any such forms are not to be formatted as links, and should be converted to the native orthography, if possible. An explicit request for this can be easily created by formatting the transcription inside {{l|(lang)||tr=...}} (with the entry parameter left blank). Dialect data, however, should not be converted into standardized form.

Note the following points about the treatment of language varieties on Wiktionary:

  • Mari (chm) has been deprecated in favof or distinguishing between Eastern (Meadow) Mari (mhr) and Western (Hill) Mari (mrj),
  • Komi (kv) has been deprecated in favor of distinguishing the two literary variants Komi-Zyrian (kpv) and Komi-Permyak (koi).
  • The ISO 639-3 code for Nenets (yrk) has been repurposed for Tundra Nenets specifically. Forest Nenets has been assigned the Wiktionary-internal code syd-fne.

The dialect should be specified if it's known. If it's not known which dialect a form is from, because a source lists only "Mari", "Komi" or "Nenets" with no qualification, then it's acceptable to list them as simply Mari, Komi or Nenets forms. The codes mhr, kpv, yrk should be used in that case.

A number of similar issues exist for Enets, Selkup, Khanty and Mansi.


As an unattested language, any Proto-Uralic reconstruction entry should have a ==References== section.

The following templates for general sources may come useful:

  • {{R:UEW}}, which produces:
    • Rédei, Károly (1986–88) Uralisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Uralic Etymological Dictionary] (in German), Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó
  • {{R:HPUL}}, which produces:
    • Sammallahti, Pekka (1988), “Historical Phonology of the Uralic Languages”, in Denis, Sinor, editor, The Uralic Languages: Description, History and Foreign Influences, Leiden: E. J. Brill, →ISBN, pages 478-554
  • {{R:fi:SSA}}, which produces:
    • 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

A working list of Proto-Uralic reconstructions extracted from these and other sources can be found at User:Tropylium/Proto-Uralic.