Blog Archives

Thesis release, DIY edition

One would think finishing a thesis were enough to stop needing to worry about it, but sometimes not. Earlier this year I finished my Master’s thesis on the origin of the long vowels in Finnic languages (after about three years,

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Posted in News, Reconstruction

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

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