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Substrata Uralica; Studies on Finno-Ugrian Substrate in Northern Russian Dialects
Topic Started: Sep 10 2012, 08:16 AM (883 Views)
faintsmile1992
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I've found a great .pdf again. I don't agree there was ever a proto-Uralic, at least not one that includes Yukaghir and Samoyed, but the Sami racial stock at least must originally have spoken a non-Uralic lanuage before contact with the Baltic Finns. I'm also reminded of the ideas of John A. Hawkins regarding a pre-IE substrate within Germanic in this context.

The rest of it looks interesting too, its about language substrates in northeast Europe.

Substrata Uralica: Studies on Finno-Ugrian Substrate in Northern Russian Dialects
Janne Saarikivi

http://ethesis.helsinki.fi/julkaisut/hum/suoma/vk/saarikivi/substrat.pdf

"Article 5 of this volume is dedicated to the problematics of possible Palaeo-European substrate interference in Finnic and Sámi. It is argued that this old hypothesis can be proven to be more credible in the light of substrate studies conducted in other areas.

It is certain that prior to Uralic, languages of unknown genetic character were spoken in northern Europe. This must be the case because of the probable localisation of the Proto-Uralic in Central Russia, the dating of the Proto-Uralic at approx. 5000–3000 BC and the fact that there are archaelogically discernable traces of humans in most of northern Europe from considerably older periods. It is not yet clear, however, how substantial an interference these languages had on the expanding Uralic language community.

The theoretical considerations presented in article 5 may prove fruitful in looking for traces of extinct languages in the Uralic language area. As noted above, the Palaeo-European substrate features of Sámi have been treated in a very convincing way by Aikio (2004) and the existence of a Palaeo-European substrate in Sámi cannot, in all probability, be doubted any longer. A Palaeo-European substrate interference in Finnic also seems likely, although this substrate is older and not so obvious as in Sámi (cf. Kallio forthcoming). This is probably due to the fact that the Finnic languages spread mainly to those areas already occupied by Indo-European and Sámi people.

Palaeo-European substrate interference in Finnic should be studied in the future, taking into account especially the etymologically unintelligible toponyms of the Finnic language area. It should be investigated whether is it possible to find groups of toponyms which, although etymologically opaque, represent recurring phonotactic types in a similar manner to those in the Sámi area. If such an approach were to succeed, it would be regarded as a substantial argument in favour of Palaeo-European substrate interference in Finnic."
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faintsmile1992
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Here's some quotes regarding substrates within Finnic and Sami languages, which is the part of the volume I find interesting.

"Most of the examples referred to above are from Finnic languages. However, all scholars agree that many toponymic types of northern Russia cannot possibly be explained solely on the basis of the Finnic languages. It has been continuosly proposed since Castrén that besides Finnic tribes, also the Sámi inhabited northern Russia. As noted above, this argument was based on toponyms which include lexemes present in Sámi languages. It finds limited support in ethnotoponyms and there are also few fragments of oral tradition which could be related to the Sámi (see Matveev 2004: 192–193 and article by A. K. Matveev in this volume).

However, the northern Russian place names indicate very peculiar kinds of “Sámi” languages. Those Sámi languages known to present linguistics have a large amount of vocabulary without Uralic cognates or loan etymologies (cf. Itkonen 1948: 16–26). These vocabulary layers can be considered borrowings from from extinct Paleao-European substrate languages (for details see Aikio 2004, Saarikivi 2004a)."


"Thus, important layers of vocabulary present in Proto-Sámi and its offsprings are nonexistent in the “Sámi” place names of the Dvina basin."

"Moreover, as noted above, there are also northern Russian toponymic types etymologisable on the basis of Uralic languages which are, at least apparently, neither Sámi nor Finnic. For example, place names with the bases ухт- and кыч- or the formants -сара or -пала are certainly Uralic, but they cannot be labeled according to the present Uralic branches. This also implies that the toponymic types referred to by Matveev with close resemblances in the Sámi languages (cf. нюхч-, чухч-, торос- above; see Matveev 2004: 210–231 for more types) did not necessarily originate in a language which should be characterised as Sámi in the present sense of the word."

". However, not one of the central geographical appellatives which today differentiate Sámi toponymic systems from Finnic systems was present in these languages. The hypothesis that there were substrate languages of non-Finnic and non-Sámi character is further supported by the fact that the historical sources mention several tribes without parallels among the present Uralic peoples.

In the western parts of the Arkhangelsk Region, there seem to have been substrate languages closer to modern Sámi in some respects – two good candidates for areas with such a substrate language are the Beloozero region and the Lower Onega region (see Matveev 2004: 114–131; 181–186). But even these languages were lexically not similar to modern Sámi. Place names in the Dvina basin point to a dialect continuum in which lexemes and innovations present in the modern Sámi languages increase to the west and diminish to the east. Where exactly the substrate toponymy should be labeled as Sámi is a question that cannot be unambiguosly answered.

At present the question of non-Finnic substrate languages in the Dvina basin is far from settled. Further, the hypothesis that there were Sámi in the Dvina basin may find support when the etymological study of place names in the area proceeds. Most likely, this must be solved by areal investigation of toponyms. It is sure, however, that possible Sámi languages in this area were linguistically much less similar to the modern Sámi languages than Finnic tribes in the area were to modern Finnic."


"Thus, there seem to be remnants of archaic language forms with a consonantism close to Pre-Finnic (or Proto-Uralic as these are almost identical at the reconstruction level) in the Arkhangelsk Region and neighbouring areas. From the point of view of linguistic prehistory this would be only natural: as the inland area west and northwest of the Uralic linguistic homeland must have become linguistically Uralic before the Baltic Sea coast, where the (Pre-)FinnicGermanic language contacts presumable took place, it is necessary to assume that those languages which first spread to this area were of a phonologically archaic character. While the Finnic language form spread to these areas from the west some enclaves of these archaic Uralic language forms seem to have escaped this second wave of Uralicisation and probably survived until the Slavicisation of the area.

The Proto-Sámi sound shifts seem to have originated in that area which later became Finnic. After ś > ć, a change which probably occurred in the common ancestor of Proto-Finnic and Proto-Sámi, Sámi vowel rotation (a > uo, i,e > a, ä > á etc.) took place. The Sámi vowel changes are, quite probably, attested in toponyms in the western parts of the Arkhangelsk Region. As Proto-Sámi also had multiple contacts with Proto-Germanic (cf. Koivulehto 2000; Aikio forthcoming), it can be assumed that in a similar manner to the Finnic dialect continuum described above, there was also a Sámi dialect continuum capable of spreading Germanic loanwords from the, what is nowadays, the Finnish coast of the Baltic Sea to the east. The area of the Sámi languages must have been situated to the north and probably also to the east of the Finnic dialect continuum. In the area west of the Arkhangelsk Region Proto-Sámi speakers also encountered populations who spoke a Palaeo-European language(s), from whom they borrowed vocabulary that did not spread into the Dvina basin."


"The most evident deficiency of the article is that it treats only the geographical vocabulary. To make the argument for Paleo-European substrate interference in Finnic and Sámi more plausible, evidence from other fields of vocabulary and place names should be presented. In addition to geographical concepts, possible substrate words may be found in flora and fauna related vocabulary and probably to some extent even in vocabulary related to other domains.

As for the Sámi languages, I believe that after the publication of Aikio (2004) there should be no doubt that there are considerable lexical substrate interferences from extinct languages in Sámi. As for Finnic, I still find it probable that there are borrowings from extinct languages also in Finnic, although I do admit that the amount of such vocabulary is probably not very numerous. Moreover, the layer of Palaeo-European borrowings in Finnic was certainly borrowed earlier than the Palaeo-European substrate vocabulary of Sámi languages, on the basis of phonotactic criteria (cf. Kallio forthcoming). The most probable candidates for substrate words are lexemes such as mäki and niemi with a stable meaning and phonological shape, but without any etymology whatsoever.

There are clearly borrowings from extinct languages even in other branches of Uralic. In addition to Sámi, the most obvious case are the Samoyedic languages which seem to have at least two layers of substrate vocabulary, in a similar manner to the Sámi languages. One of these has been adopted into Proto-Samoyedic and is recognisable on the basis of a lack of Uralic cognates and loan etymology as well as the obscure sound structure and meanings related to the assumed speaking area of Proto-Samoyedic. In addition, there are layers of borrowings from unidentifiable sources in individual Samoyedic languages. There is also a possible layer of substrate vocabulary in the Ob-Ugrian languages.

In comparison with the Samoyedic, Sámi and Ob-Ugrian languages, the Finnic languages have substantially less possible substrate borrowings. This may be partly due to the fact that these languages have been studied more from the etymological point of view and, therefore, there are more well founded etymologies from Indo-European languages for Finnic words than for ObUgrian or Samoyedic words. This is probably not the whole explanation, however, because it is unlikely that central vocabulary layers would have been left unnoticed, even in the etymologically less studied Uralic languages. It is much more likely that the difference lies in the geographical areas in which these languages are spoken. While Ob-Ugrian, Samoyedic and the Sámi languages have spread to the northern peripheries, the Finnic languages have remained in the taiga zone and have, quite probably, spread to territories already occupied by Indo-European and Sámi languages."
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topos
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Sami is generally regarded as a Finnish language...

EDIT. Nevermind... I just wonder how safe the area is, methodologically, if you study two closely related languages, of which one derives part of its uniqueness from a pre-uralic substratum. Is it any miracle then that sami dialects are less like each other the further you go east, assuming that the pre-uralic substratum didn't exist further east?
Edited by topos, Sep 10 2012, 09:41 AM.
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Jaska
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faintsmile1992
 
I don't agree there was ever a proto-Uralic, at least not one that includes Yukaghir and Samoyed, but the Sami racial stock at least must originally have spoken a non-Uralic lanuage before contact with the Baltic Finns.

Was there a word "race" missing, or do you mean that you don't believe in Proto-Uralic (language)?

topos
 
Sami is generally regarded as a Finnish language...

Actually only Finnish is Finnish language. So you must mean Finnic language here, but Saami is not a Finnic language either. There is a general misconception that Finnic means Finno-Permic (> Saami, Finnic, Mordvin, Mari, Permic), but it does not.

topos
 
I just wonder how safe the area is, methodologically, if you study two closely related languages, of which one derives part of its uniqueness from a pre-uralic substratum. Is it any miracle then that sami dialects are less like each other the further you go east, assuming that the pre-uralic substratum didn't exist further east?

Saami and Finnic are very distant and easy to distinguish, if you mean that. For example an old Baltic loanword *šalna 'frost (on ground)' has been borrowed to the both branches before they were differentiated phonologically, or even to their common intermediary protolanguage, as *šalna. This gives regularly Late Proto-Saami *suolnee and Late Proto-Finnic *halla (the same sound correspondences are seen in a lot of old words, and Lithuanian still has šalnà). So they have developed to very different directions. Palaeo-European substratum does not change this picture.
Edited by Jaska, Sep 11 2012, 03:42 AM.
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faintsmile1992
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I'm not convinced Uralic languages are a genetic group as opposed to a language area formed through areal contacts across Eurasia. Blench classes Uralic languages as a grouping formed by pre-Neolithic not a phylum.

"Uralic is thus another example of a foraging expansion, like Pama-Nyungan. Its expansion need not be attributed to any major motivating force, but the slow expansion of populations into very difficult terrain, through the evolution of hunting techniques."
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Jaska
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faintsmile1992
Sep 11 2012, 05:16 AM
I'm not convinced Uralic languages are a genetic group as opposed to a language area formed through areal contacts across Eurasia. Blench classes Uralic languages as a grouping formed by pre-Neolithic not a phylum.

"Uralic is thus another example of a foraging expansion, like Pama-Nyungan. Its expansion need not be attributed to any major motivating force, but the slow expansion of populations into very difficult terrain, through the evolution of hunting techniques."
Uralic languages are a very clear genetic group: there is nothing unclear considering which languages are Uralic and which are not. But of course hypothetically Proto-Uralic could have been a mixed language, born in the contact of two different languages - but that does not affect the result: Uralic languages are still very clear-cut unit. Even a mixed language must be born in a narrow homeland and be coherent. The expansion of a language is always secondary.

Does Blench say anything about the "genetic groupness" of Uralic? In that quote he only talks about a motive behind its spread.
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faintsmile1992
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Clear cut? What about Yukaghir? ;)

Blench doesn't go into details but he explicitly labels Uralic as an areal grouping rather than a true phylum. Blench implies that attempts at reconstructing proto-Uralic are biased towards the better studied Finnic and Ob-Ugrian branches at the expense of Samoyedic, this may have an effect on the reconstruction.
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Jaska
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faintsmile1992
Sep 12 2012, 04:03 AM
Clear cut? What about Yukaghir? ;)

Blench doesn't go into details but he explicitly labels Uralic as an areal grouping rather than a true phylum. Blench implies that attempts at reconstructing proto-Uralic are biased towards the better studied Finnic and Ob-Ugrian branches at the expense of Samoyedic, this may have an effect on the reconstruction.
Yes, very clear-cut. Yukaghir has nearly nothing in common with Uralic languages, structurally it looks more like Chukotkan languages. The few similarities it shares with Samoyedic must be areal in nature.

Unfortunately Blench has not updated his views since 60's, because Samoyedic is nowadays a well studied branch. It is both phonologically and morphologically rather archaic branch, and it agrees well with Finnic and Saami branches, while Permic, for example, has developed more to its own direction.

https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10224/4045
https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10224/4083
http://books.google.fi/books?id=TM2NQ78dP2wC&pg=PA492&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false (from the page 478 on)
Edited by Jaska, Sep 12 2012, 09:22 AM.
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SabirHunOgur
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFKX42gF9Cw
[youtube][/youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFKX42gF9Cw
Edited by SabirHunOgur, Apr 6 2013, 03:40 PM.
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