Blog Archives

Phonology squib: ‘Clay’ in Proto-Uralic

I have a principle that applies quite often when working with quantity-over-quality mass comparative dictionaries (papers, databases, etc.): what is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. The UEW is, unfortunately, a repeat offender on assertions without evidence. This

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Posted in Reconstruction

On *ü in Mari vs. Proto-Uralic

It is always a low note of sorts when a scientific dispute gets resolved by quietly shifting consensus (e.g. due to proponents of one side passing away) rather than by actual discussion. One of these seems to be the status

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Posted in Commentary, Reconstruction

Early a-umlaut in West Uralic?

In a footnote to my previous post I passingly speculated that Finnic *ä-backing: *ä-ä > *a-ə (> late Proto-Finnic *a-i : *a-ë-) should perhaps be split in two phases: stem vowel reduction leading to a split from *ä-ə as an

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Posted in Reconstruction

Proto-Uralic *ŋx?

My earlier post ‘Swan’ in Uralic alluded to the possibility of reconstructing Proto-Uralic also *x in positions where it has not previously been considered to occur, particularly by reanalyzing some clusters with *k in them. This is not an idle

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Posted in Reconstruction

‘Swan’ in Uralic

A word group among the Uralic etymological comparative material with remarkably messy sound correspondences is that for ‘swan’. The following candidates for inclusion are usually identified (all with the same meaning): Samic *ńukčë (> Southern njoktje, Northern njukča, Kildin нюххч,

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Posted in Reconstruction

*je-: A Reprise

Summer’s wrapping up, a new academic year’s about to roll in, and if all goes well, I might be returning to more active blogging around here. I have also returned, about a week ago, from the 12th International Congress for

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Posted in News, Reconstruction

Primary vs. secondary *ë

I claimed in my post “Two Lemmata” that the reconstruction of Proto-Uralic *ë rests on quite firm ground by now. Regardless, it is still not too rare to see studies which fail to recognize the idea. [1] Apparently the existence

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Posted in Reconstruction

Two Lemmata: PU *ë, PMs *ee *ëë *oo

Not “lemma” in the usual linguistic “citation form” sense, but in the mathematical “intermediate result” sense. I’ve noticed having to clarify these topics at quite a few points, so here’s a single post for the purpose. I’ll keep it brief

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Posted in Reconstruction

*ŋ in Ugric and Uralic: A Proto-Phoneme in Need of Cleanup

I’ve previously posted about the Proto-Uralic “dental spirants”, and on the problems concerning their reconstruction. These are however far from the only PU segments whose reconstruction involves unsolved difficulties. The velar nasal *ŋ provides examples of some different types of

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Posted in Reconstruction

Laterals and Palatals II: Spirantic Boogaloo

A reply I was writing in the comments to the previous post on laterals and palatals was getting long, and started to require tying in some related issues. So, after some further expansion, y’all’re getting a full post on approaches

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Posted in Reconstruction

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