Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 63


Jussi Ylikoski, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
The origins of the western Uralic s-cases revisited: historiographical, functional-typological and Samoyedic perspectives

The paper presents a comprehensive reappraisal of the origins of the so-called s-cases in Saami, Finnic, Mordvin and Mari. According to the received view, the element *-s- that is present in most of the basic local case markers in these languages originates in the so-called *s-lative whose origin has remained unknown. As the dominant theory suffers from various methodological shortcomings, alternative proposals have also been presented yet largely ignored. As the first functionally and typologically substantiated hypothesis on the issue, the paper proposes that the s-cases originate in Proto-Uralic postpositional phrases. Confronting the daunting task of identifying cognates of the s-cases elsewhere, it is proposed that they can be related to at least the Samoyed local cases with the element *-ntə-.

Václav Blažek, Masaryk University
On the classification of the Samoyedic languages

The article is introduced by a survey and discussion of previous models of classification of the Samoyedic languages. The main part is devoted to a new model of classification, based on the application of so-called recalibrated glottochronology, including a full documentation of wordlists with etymological remarks, statistics and sources. Finally, the present result is compared with previous models. This article follows the study by Blažek 2012, thus completing the Uralic language family.

Jeremy Bradley, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Verb-Framed Motion Events in Uralic (with special attention to Mari)

Uralic languages have been described as "satellite-framed" in general linguistic publications, meaning that the path of a motion event is typically not expressed by the verb of motion, but by an independent element – a particle, an affix, etc. – that accompanies the verb or verbal stem. While this assertion holds true for the critical mass of Uralic languages, it seems to be too broad – especially with respect to languages influenced by "verb-framed" Turkic languages, in which the verb of motion typically denotes the path. This paper aims to give a comprehensive overview of the expression of motion events in Mari, the presumably most heavily verb-framed extant Uralic language, and a brief overview of verb-framed motion events in other Uralic languages.

Merlijn de Smit, Stockholm University
Fluid intransitivity in Old Finnish

Fluid intransitivity designates the phenomenon that the intransitive subject (S) may be marked like a transitive subject (A) or an object (O) depending on the syntactic construction where it occurs. In Finnish, the S of existential and possessive clauses is marked like O in terms of case-marking and agreement. This paper examines fluid intransitivity in Old Finnish through a corpus of intransitive clauses with indefinite subjects from Agricola's New Testament and the NT portion of the 1642 Biblia. I will examine various factor groups that may influence the variation found between A-like and O-like subjects in these clauses, such as polarity, quantity, clause type and others. I will then examine the relative strength of these factor groups by a multivariate analysis. Results are that polarity is a stronger factor than quantity, and that possessive clauses exhibit O-like subjects to a greater degree than other clauses. Possible explanations for these results will be discussed.

Konstantin Zamyatin, University of Helsinki
An ethnopolitical conflict in Russia's Republic of Mari El in the 2000s: The study of ethnic politics under the authoritarian turn

The paper presents an analysis of the political confrontation between the new ruling group and the political opposition in the Republic of Mari El, which began in the early 2000s and subsequently erupted into an open ethnopolitical conflict. Based on some theoretical perspectives on conflict and diversity management, the paper analyzes the structural characteristics and the dynamics of the conflict in Mari El. The analysis reveals that authoritarian tendencies in the republic largely contributed to the eruption of the conflict and predetermined the choice of methods of conflict management.