Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IE Loanwords in Fenno-Ugric

Jorma Koivulehto has been working on some interesting stuff regarding largyngeals and loan words from Indo European into Proto Fenno-Ugric. According to Koivulehto, the reflex of the laryngeal in these loans is still apparent and, depending upon the position of the laryngeal in the word, as well as the time of borrowing, the laryngeal will develop into a number of phonemes. For example, we have PFU (Proto Fenno-Ugric) *k- from IE *H-: IE *h1es-en- 'harvest' > Fi. (Finnish) kesa 'summer'. Also, he argues that PFU *š is a reflex of any word-internal laryngeal; exx. IE *dheh1-ti- 'deed' > PFU *tešte > Est. teht.

Adam Hyllested has taken up this thesis, and, in a forthcoming paper which was recently presented at an IE Conference, has examined the tenability of some of Koivulehto's reconstructions. He finds that some are plausible, but takes issue with others. (All this is based upon an abstract for this paper). He seems to not take issue with Koivulehto's main conclusions, which, incidentally, are very interesting: (1) PIE *h1 was an aspirated fricative (and not a glottal stop, which it is traditionally assumed to be); (2) at the time of contact between IE and PFU, laryngeals were still around. I look forward to getting my hands on this paper when it is published.

Tis crazy stuffs.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

The link of the original abstract is: