Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 58


Rolf Noyer
Epenthesis and Syllable Structure in Northern Vogul

Because of extensive speaker variation, the vowel conventionally phonemicized as schwa in Northern (Sosva and Sygva) Vogul presents several challenges both descriptively and theoretically. A study of possible syllable coda clusters and of consonant sequences separated by schwa in the lexical materials of Kannisto–Liimola–Eiras (1982) and Munkácsi–Kálmán (1986) shows that “schwa” is in fact rarely contrastive with zero in non-derived words, and the variation of schwa versus zero is gradiently correlated with expected constraints on syllable structure, including sonority sequencing and the unmarked status of coronal place of articulation. A statistical study of variation in Kannisto’s texts in the forms of suffix pairs distinguished by the presence or absence of underlying schwa shows that the environments in which this contrast emerges are extremely limited once other phonetic conditioning factors are understood.


Jussi Ylikoski
Zu den adverbialen Nominalkonstruktionen im Nordsaamischen II. Finale Konstruktionen

This article presents a survey of adverbial non-finite constructions in the contemporary North Saami literary language, the main focus being on those non-finites indicating the purpose of the events expressed by their main clauses. In addition to the purposive use of the infinitive in connection with verbs of motion and in the so-called supine construction expressing negative purpose, it is shown that the infinitive is occasionally used to express also purpose of events other than motion. Moreover, special attention has been given to those formations previously analysed as consisting of the action nominal (verbal noun) and one of the purposive postpositions. With reference to their morphological, syntactic and semantic properties it is asserted that new, exclusively purposive converbs are branching away from an otherwise noun-like use of the verbal noun.


Janne Saarikivi
Über das saamische Substratnamengut in Nordrußland und Finnland

This article deals with Saami substrate toponyms in Finland, Russian Karelian and North Russian Archangel and Vologda oblasts (regions). The historical distribution of Saami settlement in Northern Europe is discussed on the basis of material from both Finnish and Russian publications and archives.

The author differentiates between the “Saami” place names according to lexical, phonetic and typological criteria. In the first case, place names can be characterised as “Saami” if they include a lexeme not present in other Uralic languages. In the second case, the “Saami” toponym should represent phonetic changes characteristic of Saami languages only. In the third case, the overall typological characteristics of a substrate place name system in a certain area are compared with the present Saami toponymic system.

The author argues that the distribution of Saami toponyms is different for each criteria discussed. Thus, Saami phonetic changes seem to be present in the toponyms of a wider northern European area than those geographical terms that restricted to Saami languages only. On the basis of this observation the author argues that the Saami languages have borrowed vocabulary, most likely from extinct Palaeo-European languages in the vicinity of Lake Onega and the area to the north of it. In the conclusion the author argues that despite a wide-spread view, the Saami languages should not be considered offsprings of stone age language forms that were located in the territory in which Saami is now spoken. Most likely, the Saami languages spread to their present territory much later.


Toni Suutari
‘Kopf’ in finnischen, estnischen und saamischen Ortsnamen

This article deals with Finnish, Estonian, and Saami toponyms that include the word for ‘head’ (Fi. pää, Est. pea, Saami oaivi). The meaning ‘head’ as a body part noun has seldom had any direct relevance for the genesis of the Finnish and Estonian toponyms, since most of them are motivated by the original spatial meaning of the Finno-Ugric word *päŋe ‘beginning, end’ (for instance, Fi. Järvenpää ‘Lake’s End’). The oaivi toponyms in Saami represent a different type. As the Uralic *ojwa ‘head’ was primarily a body part noun, its Saami reflex has metaphorically acquired meanings such as ‘round protuberance, hill with a rounded top’.