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71731Re: Finnic loanwords (was: Dating *e > *i in Germanic)

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  • gprosti
    May 1, 2014

      ---In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, <johnvertical@...> wrote :

      > _porsas_ is an interesting data point, but are there any other widely-accepted loans of this > kind (i.e., loans that appear to show unmerged short *o)? If not, then maybe we should be
      > cautious in deciding exactly what to conclude from it: the *o could reflect dissimilation
      > (*a-a > *o-a), the (sporadic) influence of the *p-r environment, or both.

      Some other cases include (in addition to the three just brought up by Douglas):
      _orja_ "slave" < *worg^-
      _orpo_ "orphan"
      _moni_ "many"
      _uni_ (< *on@) "sleep" (~ Greek _onar_)
      _rohto_ "medicinal plant" < *g^hroH-to-

      The first four have cognates in other Uralic branches and seem fairly old, esp. _uni_ which would have to have been loaned early enough to participate in the widespread early Uralic sound change *o > *u / _C@. "Slave" has an alternate etymology from _Arya_ which would put it in the category described below. "Medicinal plant" also has an alternate etymology relating it to _ruoho_ "grass" (< Gmc) within Finnic, but this requires ad hoc assumptions on the morphology.

      NB _orpo_ and _rohto_ do not seem to have a Proto-Finnic *-o representing an original 2nd syllable *o; cf. Karelian _orboi_ and _rohtu_, which indicate *orpoi < *orpai; and *rohtV with later independent suffixation in Fi. and Ka.


      _porsas_, _morsian_, _orja_ and _orpo_ all have -r- in the syllable coda, and if we accept the *worg^- etymology of _orja_, three out of four have a labial in the onset. (_orpo_ has -r- followed by a labial.)
      _oinas_, if from earlier *owinas, would have had labial -w- in the coda. Can we rule out the possibility that these words come from an IE dialect (Baltic or otherwise) in which these phonetic environments had a coloring effect on the root vowel?

      In _rohto_, if I understand you correctly, the final -o may have been added separately within the history of Finnish, rather than reflecting earlier *-a(j) < -*as.

      Since _lohi_, _uni_ and _moni_ are not _-a_ or _-as_ stems, they don't seem to offer any evidence for or against the blocking of second-syllable -o. (By the way, is the IE origin of _moni_ and _uni_ really any more certain than that of _koke-_, which you express doubt about below?)

      Strictly speaking, we have no direct evidence. The _tulos_ type is certainly from a suffix *-wksV (cf. e.g. Fi. _punos_ ~ Erzya _ponavks_ "plait", from *puna "hair"). Modern Finnish -o is however a confluence of at least four different suffixes:
      1) "applicative" /-o-/ in verbs such as _puno-_ "to plait" is from a stem vowel *a plus *-j. This is historically identical to "applicative" /-i-/ in some other derived verbs such as _kukka_ "flower" > _kukki-_ "to bloom", but both were later applied analogically in some positions where the other would have been the regular outcome (including *punoi- here; **puni- would be expected).
      2) /-o-/ in compounding forms of nouns such as _jalka_ "foot" > _jalko-_ is similarly from *a + *-j, and similarly historically identical to /-i-/ in compounding forms of nouns such as _lehmä_ "cow" > _lehmi-_.
      3) the origin of "nomenverbal" /-o/ in cases like _tulo_ is unclear, but this was probably originally in complementary distribution to the similar -u/y in words like _pese-_ "to wash" > _pesu_ "washing"; _kylpe-_ "to bathe" > _kylpy_ "bath". This suggests *-w, as /-os/ < *-awksV mentioned above has similarly a variant /-us/, as in _kalasta-_ "to fish" > _kalastus_ "fishing".
      4) an "in-law" /-o/ appears with certainty only in the obsolete _nato_ "sister-in-law", but this can be dated all the way to Proto-Uralic (cf. Proto-Samoyedic *nåto "brother-in-law"), and whatever its source, the same original also seems to have occurred in _vävy_ "son-in-law", _käly_ "sister-in-law", and possibly _anoppi_ "mother-in-law". The o/y alternation suggests origin from *-w, though there is no explicit evidence for this.


      Thanks for this info. Do we have any evidence about when the developments *-aw- / *-aj- > *o occurred, relative to when words such as *porsas or *morsian were acquired?

      >> Some other direct examples of "vowel flattening" in loanwords:
      >> _ankerias_ "eel" < Baltic *angurjas
      >> _kirves_ "ax" < Baltic *kirvis
      >> _sisar_ "sister" < Baltic *s(w)esoor
      >> _mesi_ (_mete-_) "honey" < PIE *medhu-
      > Is Finnish _mete-_ a case of vowel flattening, or simply the "deletion" of -u
      > because *metu would have looked like a derivative of an otherwise non-existent root?

      That kind of morphologically motivated deletion _is_ pretty much exactly what I mean by "vowel flattening". There is no evidence of an actual sound change *o > *a etc. having been involved at any point here.

      How would the change of an unstressed, pre-rhotic vowel in *angurjas have been morphologically rather than phonologically motivated?

      The vowel-changes in _sisar_ and _kirves_ might reflect assimilation of the Baltic words to existing Finnish syllable structures (such as the CiCa structure of _ilma_), but that would seem to be a prosodic rather than a morphological change.
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