Blog Archives

Musings on the sociolinguistics of dialect levelling

In Probing the roots of Samoyedic I note that already the clear fragmentation to separate languages demands a deeper age for Samoyedic than for the other Uralic subgroups. H.-W. Hatting asks in the comments a good argument-sharpening question, and writing my answer

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Posted in Methodology

Probing the roots of Samoyedic

Last year I participated in a fruitful Academia.edu session on loanwords from Turkic into Samoyedic. I am now honored to see that the final article — P. S. Piispanen 2018, Turkic lexical borrowings in Samoyed, Acta Linguistica Petropolitana 14(3) —

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Posted in Reconstruction

Yurats Addenda

One step up from the likes of Meshcheran, probably the most obscure Uralic language to have still been rudimentarily documented is Yurats: a Northern Samoyedic language recorded in one wordlist by G. H. Müller in the mid-1700s. As far as

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Posted in Etymology

Observations on second-syllable vocalism in Khanty

This summer I’ve finished digitizing the main bulk of comparative data from László Honti’s Geschichte des obugrischen Vokalismus der ersten Silbe (1982): his 724 Proto-Ob-Ugric reconstructions and their descendants in the individual Mansi and Khanty varieties. Before making this available in

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Posted in Reconstruction

Subgrouping and ontology

Before going into more detailed analysis, I should however also emphasize one deeper theoretical aspect of subgrouping. Some people might look at my previous list of four methods of synchronic subgrouping, and their various weaknesses, and go “OK, so does

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Posted in Methodology

Thoughts on lexical data and its subgrouping

A general theory of distributional analysis of lexical data that incorporates also a degree of historical analysis remains a thing I would like to exist. I’ve seen plenty of work of some kind done on this already, yes, but most

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Posted in Methodology

Errata for the Karelian dialectal atlas

A recent acquisition of mine has been the not long ago released dialectal atlas of Karelian: Диалектологический атлас карельского языка / Karjalan kielen murrekartasto, Helsinki 2007; based on data collected in the 1930s. Covering 209 traits — many of them

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Posted in Commentary

Proto-Finnic *c in Karelian

During some casual investigation of Karjalan kielen sanakirja, I appear to have stumbled on something interesting. One of the more distinctive innovations among the Karelian dialects is the reflexation of Proto-Finnic *s. In Northern Karelian, and in the northernmost dialects

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Posted in Reconstruction

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