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71728Re: Finnic loanwords (was: Dating *e > *i in Germanic)

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  • caotope
    May 1, 2014
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      > DGK:
      (...)
      > I would be surprised if Proto-Mordvinic *purc^@s yielded Fi. _porsas_ rather than
      > *porha(s), since Proto-Finnic would have to borrow *c^ like *s,

      The Mordvinic words have the palatalized alveolar affricate /c´/, not the postalveolar /c^/.

      > Pokorny (IEW 841) regards Fi. _porsas_ as borrowed from an Iranian dialect. Kurdish
      > _purs_ has both the required secondary vowel-decentralization and secondary *-rs^- >
      > *-rs-.

      Kurdish is kind of a long way away from Finnic. Are there other Iranian cognates that do something similar?

      > The other sibilant-borrowing issue is Fi. _hanhi_ 'goose' not *hansi (evidently *-is > -i
      > regularly in these borrowings)

      I'm not sure there's any regular treatment of this stem type. This might have varied by time frame and by individual preferences of morphological adaptation. Also attested are at least
      /-es/ as in *kirvis > _kirves_ "ax"
      /-is/ as in *kapris > _kauris_ "roe deer"
      perhaps /-as/ in *s^irvis > _hirvas_ "elk/reindeer bull" (but this may be secondarily derived from _hirvi_ "elk")
      perhaps /-a/ as in Estonian _kaber, kabra-_ "roe deer" (but this might be preferrable to derive from Germanic *xafraz).

      > It appears that Proto-Finnic assimilated borrowed *s to the reflex of a preceding *s^ or *z^
      > unless a nasal cluster intervened as in *z^ámbas. Thus PBlt *z^ansís yielded Fi. _hanhi_
      > (Est. _hani_), *dárz^as 'enclosure, garden' (Lith. _dar~z^as_) yielded *tarhah, then Fi.
      > _tarha_ (Est. _tara_) not *tarhas, and *káus^as 'dipper, ladle' (Lith. _káus^as_) yielded Fi.
      > _kauha_ not *kauhas. Of course, this small sample is not definitive. Other factors may be
      > at work.

      There's no evidence for a final *-h here. This should be retained in Karelian, which however has _tarha_, _kauha_. On the other hand, there are cases like Fi. _herne_, Ka. _herneh_, but Es. _hernes_ "pea" < Baltic *z^irnis, where final *-h seems to have been a secondary innovation in Northern Finnic. This was not at all necessarily phonologically motivated: *-eh is a productive derivational suffix, and morphological normalization of the rare *-es-stem (also inflected very similarly to *-eh) could be what occurred here.

      Similarly /-as/ has been turned into a derivational suffix that may occur even in inherited roots, e.g. _koiras_ "male" < _koira_ "dog", orig. "male animal". Compare also _hirvas_ above. so it's not too surprizing that this may also occur in all sorts of unexpected contexts in loanwords:
      Fi. _hidas_ "slow" < Gmc *siiTuz
      Fi. _mallas_ "malt" < Gmc *malta~
      Fi. _saapas_ "boot" < Russian _sapóg_

      > Nevertheless the agreement between Finnish and Estonian with the 'garden'-auslaut is
      > striking, given the /s/-retention in Fi. _taivas_, Est. _taewas_ 'heaven' (OLith _deivas_
      > 'god') and the like.

      _taivas_ is usually considered to have been acquired from Indo-Iranian.

      _j.
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