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Lexicon of Early Indo-European Loanwords Preserved in Finnish

Introduction to the etymological word list (lexicon)
This site is designed to provide access for English speakers to the fascinating domain of Finnish loan etymologies. Finnish is not an Indo-European language like English, Latin or Greek but belongs to the Uralic language family. Yet Finnish contains plenty of borrowings from all developmental stages of the neighboring Indo-European language families. Finnish has sometimes been compared to a “freezer” because once a word was borrowed it has often changed much less than its original. For example the word kuningas ‘king’ gives us independent information about Proto-Germanic, validating the data produced by theoretical reconstruction methods. In much the same way the Finnish word kulke- ‘to go, wander, move’ gives us valuable independent information about Proto-Indo-European (PIE) , for which a verb root *kw(e)lH-e- (*kw(e)lH-o-) ‘go, wander, move’ has been reconstructed. The root is known to English speakers from the noun wheel < *kwekwlH-o-, derived from the root by means of reduplication of the first syllable (the little asterisk means that the form is not attested in historical sources but rather reconstructed from later representatives of the word. Two asterisks ‘**’ marks a form erroneously reconstructed, often for the sake of an argument).
The lexicon (word list or glossary, if you wish) posted on this site provides lots of information even for a linguist. Yet the lexicon is also provided with English and Swedish cognates and links to popular resources explaining the relationships between the words. The links and cognates are added in order to give anyone, without much prior knowledge of historical linguistics or Indo-European studies, a possibility to surf and explore and get a fair picture of the landscape without having to understand all the details. One target group might be foreigners learning Finnish or Estonian that wonders where a lot of Finnish vocabulary comes from. Another target group is indeed Indo-Europeanists who lack access to the literature on Finnic etymology, largely published in German, Finnish and other less accessible languages.
The data on the site is based on etymologies published in scientific sources for the scrutiny of the research community. This is not one of those sites where anything goes, whatever the author feels is plausible. Of course it is still part of this discipline that a certain percentage of the etymologies would be uncertain, and occasionally I use a question mark to show this. The way of presenting the etymologies is one of my own design and despite the strict selection of etymologies I would discourage you from using this site as a primary source for scientific works. I have for example had to simplify some of the orthography, especially that of the Baltic and Slavic languages, in lack of all the fonts needed. There is also no place on this site to reproduce separately for each etymology the arguments and parallels for the sound substitutions nor for the sometimes less obvious development of the meanings. I also have no place to record the author of each etymology separately (special recognition is due to the Finnish scholar Jorma Koivulehto, due to whom the number of irreproachable loan etymologies has been greatly increased in the last decades). For a more precise presentation I encourage you to consult the literature below. Any possible etymology which has not been published in a scientific context will be marked accordingly.
The lexicon is far from complete. The number of possible etymologies is far greater, especially with respect to the last millennium BC, corresponding to Early Proto-Germanic as well as Proto-Baltic. For the purpose of economy a time-line has been drawn (see below on this page) to exclude more recent etymologies. This lexicon also, for the purpose of popular legibility, generally excludes words, which do not have any cognates in English and Finnish. Many words have become obsolete in Finnish despite their existence in Saami, Estonian, Mordvinic, Cheremis (=Mari), Votyak (=Udmurt) or Zyryan (=Komi). Others are not represented at all in English. For those with an interest in these words I refer to the literature below. Without this criterion the number of etymologies would be considerably larger.
On the time scale, descent of language families and presumed relations between them
For the purpose of this site “early borrowings”, or “early” dialects of proto-languages, refers to Neolithic stone age and early metal age, roughly the three last millennia BC. According to mainstream genetic (historical) linguistics our scientific means to recover ancient languages beyond written records are essentially limited to the comparative method. Because of the pace by which languages are changing, it is not possible to reconstruct genetic relations among languages much beyond this time-frame, certainly not into the era when Europe was repopulated after the ice age (more like 10 000 years ago). Most of what is written about the linguistic characteristics of Paleolithic populations moving north into lands exposed from melting glaciers must be dismissed as pure speculation.
Uralic languages may or may not be related to IE languages. Much has been written about this subject, for example the Nostratic and Indo-Uralic hypotheses. Extending the time frame enough, such a relationship is not excluded. It could explain the first sound of some pronouns in Uralic (*m- 1st person singular English me French moi etc. ; *t- 2nd person singular thou, Latin tu etc. ; *k- interrogative and relative pronouns Danish hvad < *kwod ‘what’ Spanish que etc.) for which no other tenable explanation has been given. Pronouns are known to be very resistant to language change. Also some endings have been compared in a similar way. It cannot, however, be sufficiently emphasized that Proto-Uralic and PIE as they were spoken perhaps some 5000 years ago differ very much in all grammatical categories, including phonology and vocabulary and also in the category of general typology, which should be very resistant to language change. PIE was a flective language whereas Proto-Uralic was an agglutinative one. A few isolated word stems/roots that seem similar like Finnic nimi- ~ PIE *Hne(h3)mn > name or veti- ~PIE (plural) *uedōr > water or teki- ~PIE *dheh1- > to do, may therefore certainly not be taken as proof for genetic relationship, especially since they may well be satisfactorily explained as borrowings from PIE to Uralic. Borrowings in the other direction should also not be a priori excluded. The PFU wordstem *weŋći- ‘knife’ may for example, according to Petri Kallio, have been borrowed into Pre-Indo-Aryan *ueh1ih2-.
On the Neolithic and early metal age context of lexical borrowings
Lexical borrowings is one of the best examples of how Uralic studies may contribute to our knowledge of Indo-European. According to the traditional classification most of the Uralic languages, including Hungarian, Saami, Estonian and Finnish (excluding only Samoyedic) also count as Finno-Ugric. All Uralic languages contain lexical borrowings from early Indo-European (IE) dialects. In Samoyed they are however very scarce.
Through the lexical borrowing we may even get a glimpse into stages of development that are intermediate to the neat reconstruction levels accessible to the comparative method.
Finnish contains borrowings from all stages of Indo-Iranian, that is from Pre- and Proto-Indo-Aryan (precursor of Old Indic ~ Sanskrit), from Pre- and Proto-Iranian, from Pre– and Proto- Balto-Slavic as well as Proto- and North(-East)ern Baltic, and last but not at all least from all stages of Pre- and Proto-Germanic development.
The very earliest borrowings appear to come from a dialect close to Proto-Indo-European (PIE) itself. In some of these oldest borrowings speakers of Finno-Ugrian have reproduced so called laryngeal (‘H-like’) sounds of PIE, which later disappeared from all IE languages except Hittite and its closest relatives. Borrowings with laryngeals which appear only in the western Finno-Permic languages, often only in Baltic-Finnic or in Saami (“Lapp”), may also originate from an early Pre- or Proto-Balto-Slavic IE dialect, a dialect which may well have been a very archaic one in comparison to others within the Indo-European language family a couple of millennia B.C.
From what is known today it seems, partly because of the large number of loanwords listed on this site, that speakers of Finno-Ugric and IE languages have been continuously living in neighboring areas at least for the last four millennia. It has been demonstrated that the PIE “homeland” must have included the civilization north of the Black Sea, in present day Ukraine. Proto-Uralic speakers may have lived north from this area in the European part of present day Russia, probably earliest in an area just west to the Ural  mountains in the vicinity of the river Kama, flowing into Volga. The Uralic “homeland” should at an early stage have become relatively extended in an east-west direction. Judging from archaic loan words in Finno-Permic languages the speakers of these dialects came into early contact with both branches of Indo-Europeans, which in the 4th and 3rd millennia had migrated, one towards the Aral Sea (the Pit-Grave and Andronovo cultures) and further towards India and Persia in the east, and the other towards the Baltic Sea (the Corded Ware complex) in the north west.
Many of the borrowings, which are most widely diffused among Finno-Ugric daughter languages, appears on phonological grounds to be of Pre- or Proto-Indo-Aryan origin. This is consistent with the fact that in the “Copper” (latest Neolithic) and Bronze Ages cultural customs and artifacts spread to the Baltic sea region from the South-East. Some very old “western” borrowings, which display very archaic sound substitutions, have a more limited distribution that is typically limited to Finno-Permic or Baltic-Finnic on the Finno-Ugrian side and sometimes only to Germanic and/or Balto-Slavic on the IE side.
On the future evolution of this site
My harvest of the literature is not completed. I will add on more etymologies over time. I will not however add any etymologies which cannot pass strict scientific criteria. 
The limitation put by the word “early” is somewhat arbitrary. I have drawn a limit by including borrowings up until Middle Proto-Finnic (synchronous with very early North-West Germanic). Baltic borrowings with northern distribution (in Finnish rather than Livonian or Estonian only) are assumed to be of this age unless phonological reasons stands in contradiction. Some hundreds of word stems of later Proto-Germanic origin are however excluded by these criteria. These are not accounted for except in the following cases: 1) The word displays a phonologic substitution rule/reflex suggesting either a Paleo-Germanic (Pre-Germanic or Early Proto-Germanic) original or a Middle Proto-Finnic (preceding “late” Proto-Finnic) substitution form. 2) Slightly later Proto-Finnic borrowings (synchronous with late North-West Germanic/early Proto-Norse, first half of first millennium C.E.) are nevertheless accounted for in cases where the original is a cognate to an original of an earlier borrowing and thus sheds light on it or displays some other feature of special interest.
With these limitations, and the limitation concerning preservation in Finnish and English, I expect the number of etymologies to reach nearly three hundred.
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Further reference:
· Bammesberger, Alfred. & Vennemann Theo (eds.): Languages in Prehistoric Europe. Heidelberg 2003
· Beekes, Robert S.P.: Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. An Introduction. Amsterdam - Philadelphia 1995. ISBN 90-272-2150-2 (Europe), ISBN 1-55619-504-4 (U.S.).
· Carpelan, Christian; Parpola, Asko & Koskikallio, Petteri (eds.): . Helsinki (Mémoires de la Societé Finno-Ougrienne *242*) 2001.
· Clackson, James: Indo-European Linguistics. An Introduction. New York (Cambridge University Press) 2007.
· Kalima, Jalo: Itämerensuomalaisten kielten balttilaiset lainasanat. [‘The Baltic Loanwords in the Baltic-Finnic Languages’]. Helsinki 1936.
· Koivulehto, Jorma: Uralische Evidenz für die Laryngaltheorie. Veröffentlichungen der Komission für Linguistik und Kommunikationsforschung nr. 24. Wien (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) 1991. ISBN 3-7001-1794-9.
· Koivulehto, Jorma: Verba mutuata. Quae vestigia antiquissimi cum Germanis aliisque Indo-Europaeis contactus in linguis Fennicis reliquerint. Helsinki. (Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne *237*). 1999
· Koivulehto, Jorma: Finno-Ugric Reflexes of North-West Indo-European and Early Stages of Indo-Iranian. In: K. Jones-Bley, M.E. Huld & A. della Volpe (eds.), Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference, Los Angeles June 4–5, 1999 (= The Journal of Indo-European Studies; Monograph Series No. 35). Washington, D.C., S. 21–43.
· Koivulehto, Jorma: Contacts with non-Germanic languages II: Relations to the East, in Oskar Bandle (eds.), The Nordic Languages. An international Handbook of the History of the North Germanic Languages. Berlin-New York 2002.
· Sinor, Denis (red.) Handbuch der Orientalistik. Abt. 8, Handbook of Uralic studies, Vol. 1, () Leiden: E.J. Brill. .
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