On the origin of the illative singular morphology in Saami
The morphology and morphophonology of the illative singular in the Saami languages has been an issue in Saami historical linguistics since K. B. Wiklund’s days and a number of reconstructions and explanations have been offered to account for its areal and temporal variation, with the exception of Inari Saami where it is highly idiosyncratic. The present paper presents a survey of illative singular forms in the present-day Saami languages, along with available historical evidence, and arrives at the conclusion that the Finno-Saamic illative suffix *-sin can be taken as a starting point for explaining the present morphology and morphophonology. This is done by reconstructing the series of innovations that have yielded the present forms. Some implications for the general theory of language change are also discussed.
Grenzgang zwischen Derivation und Flexion – das Suffix -ńńä im Mokschamordwinischen
This article deals with the form and the functions of the Moksha suffix -ńńä. The suffix is etymologically connected to the ending in -ń that is used in the expression of the genitive and the accusative case as well as in a derivational function, i.e. in the formation of denominal adjectives. It is shown that although the extended form -ńńä is in certain cases interchangeable with -ń, it has some uses in which -ń would not be possible. The latter cases include instances in which additional suffixes, such as case endings or suffixes of the nominal conjugation, are attached to the form.
The relationship between person and number agreement in Erzya non-verbal predicate constructions
Erzya non-verbal predicate clauses display agreement in person and number. It is suggested that these two agreement features differ functionally. Person agreement markers index the subject and have pronominal motivation. The plural marker -t/t´ is not capable of indexing the subject, but refers to one only feature of the subject, its number. In the third person, these two functions are expressed by the same morpheme -t/t´, which has differing functions depending on the construction type. Even though ambiguous in some cases, the suffix -t/t´ refers only to the third person plural in locational predicate constructions. The variation in the two agreement features is not free in the present tense. Agreement in person is optional, and agreement in number is obligatory, except for the locational predicates which are usually encoded by bound person markers in written Erzya. Semantically definite predicates in particular disfavour agreement in person. Thus, not only the nominal part of speech, but also the propositional act function of identification is a crucial factor constraining the presence of person indexation. On the basis of preliminary data, agreement in person is a narrower phenomenon in Erzya than in Moksha. Either person agreement has never been as general a phenomenon in Erzya as it is in Moksha, or it is losing ground in Erzya in favour of number agreement.
Béata Wagner-Nagy & Márta Sarolta Viola
Typology of affirmative and negative non-verbal predicates in the Ugric and Samoyedic languages
This paper investigates the non-verbal structures and the forms of their negation in twobranches of the Uralic language family. After a typological introduction we explore the ways in which non-verbal predicates can be expressed in Samoyedic and Ugric. First, we deal with the strategies that can be found in the Samoyedic and Ugric languages. The possibilities for expressing non-verbal predicates are presented separately for each language. After this overview of non-verbal predicates, we turn to negative structures. Not much attention has been paid so far in language typology to the negation of this sentence type, which makes this issue even more interesting. We demonstrate that even languages that are relative closely related, e.g. Hungarian and the Ob-Ugric languages, can behave differently when forming affirmative and negative sentences.
The Linguistic Background of the Ancient Meshchera Tribe and Principal Areas of Settlement
This paper considers place names which may indicate the contacts Finno-Ugric speaking populations in the Upper-Volga and Oka areas may have had before the Russian invasion. In particular, I wish to chart the geographical areas in which such contacts might have taken place and at what time, as well as to determine whether these contacts were the result of migrations, trading activities, or occurred for some other reason. I have chosen as the subject of my research place names, the names of the largest bodies of water, because they are generally older than settlement names and micro-toponyms. I endeavour to ascribe common names to different Finno-Ugric languages, modern and even extinct, on the basis of the characteristics of the name. As far as the dating is concerned, in addition to many phonetic features, I have used relevant findings from archaeological research. I also use ancient historical sources, often chronicles.
Embroidered Memory. The Meaning of Eastern Mari Embroidery
The embroidered dress was a sign of Mari identity at the beginning of the 18th century. Embroidery was of great importance. The motifs of the costume and above all the headdress indicated the wearer’s age, religion and native area as well as protected the wearer from harm. Particular attention was paid to the embroidering of wedding scarves, in which the motif was the same on both sides. On the outskirts of the Mari area, in the Belaia River basin and the Perm Province, the East Mari women have preserved the embroidered folk dress until the present. In a multicultural area, the East Mari women sew and embroider their costumes themselves, although they only wear them at home and on festive occasions, and get no assistance from officialdom. In the difficult conditions of their everyday lives, embroidery has, both in the past and now, helped the Mari forget the drudgery of everyday life, and in this way maintain contact with their ancestors. Embroidery makes it possible to survive, and to survive with the help of their ancestors.