Blog Archives

Another Phonological Relict in South Estonian

Some days ago, I decided to go for a re-reading of Setälä’s classic Yhteissuomalainen äännehistoria (1891) (that’s “Common Finnic Historical Phonology”, for the non-Finnish-reading people in the audience). This proved a good idea, in yielding not just the confirmation of

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Posted in Etymology, Reconstruction

The phonetic vagueness of laryngeal theory

While I continue to be strictly speaking Not An Indo-Europeanist, I regularly keep reading about comparative Indo-European research just as well. Including not only matters with immediate relevance to Uralic studies, but also the usual controversy honeypots: interpretations of the

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Posted in Commentary, Methodology

Some observations on Votic õ versus o

One of the bigger open problems of Finnic historical phonology is the shift *o > õ in Southern Finnic. The non-front non-open illabial vowel õ found across Southern Finnic — the exact realization varies from /ɤ/ to /ɨ/ — most

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Posted in Reconstruction

On the epistemology of sound change, part 1

Continuing from the last post, and toning the meta-ness of the discussion down just a little… What does it, at the level of everyday research, mean for me to request “justification on the basis of more elementary phenomena” for the

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Posted in Methodology

Austronesian Needs More Consonants

An interesting recent discovery: a couple of papers from Peter Norquest and Sean Downey, on enriching the consonant inventory of Proto-Austronesian. This is not a completely novel idea to pursue, but this time evidence comes from correlating widely separated branches

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Posted in Commentary, Reconstruction

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