Blog Archives

Consonant clusters growing, wilting and syllabic

From a Uralicist perspective, one thing that I find goes underappreciated in Indo-European studies is the extensive phonotactic complexity of most IE languages. Certain types of studies on PIE consonant clusters can be found these days in abundance, yes… but

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Etymology squib: Moknams

Reading old source literature is often dreary kind of work, but it has its occasional rewards: you might find out that some problem you’ve been dwelling on has actually long since received a solution, or at least a sketch to

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Etymology

*wu > *u in Finnic

One minor phonological innovation in Finnish is mentioned in historical overviews far more often than could be expected from its lexical frequency: the loss of a palatal semivowel *j when preceding its vocalic counterpart *i. This is probably because the shift

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

A Phonotactic Allewrgy…?

There are, I think, several things off about the current understanding about the treatment of the consonant clusters *wr and *wj in Proto-Finnic. There are no generally accepted instances of *-wr- in Proto-Uralic (though see below for one proposal), and

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Etymology, Reconstruction

Finnic o-umlaut, continued

I’ve often seen the Finnic languages considered to demonstrate that vowel harmony acts a counterforce to the common tendency for second-syllable (“stem”) vowels to trigger various conditional developments (umlauts) of first-syllable (“root”) vowels. At least within the larger Uralic comparative

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Commentary, Etymology

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

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Close vowel reduction in Samoyedic

A well-known feature of the Samoyedic languages is a split development of Proto-Uralic *u. The standard analysis (as first proposed, IIUC, by Janhunen 1981) is that this occurred depending on the original stem type. *u becomes *ə before original 2nd

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in 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

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Interplay of minor soundlaws: Samic glide clusters

Shifting and widening my scope a little, here’s a look into the history of two consonant clusters across the Samic languages as a whole. The two-glide cluster *-jv- is a simple place to start. The development of this is straightforward:

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Notes on Eastern Sami vowel history, part 2

(← Part 1) For initial details: a few complications involving *i and *ë. In the Kola Sami branch (Kildin & Ter Sami), the default reflex of PS *i seems to be /ï/. (I dunno if this is [ɨ] or [ɯ],

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Reconstruction

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.