This post focuses on the description of the climate of the Helleno-Uralic contact period, through the semantics of topical term proposals.

áīma
air, weather (S); wind (He.)
PS *ājmō <? He. áīma / ἄημα < ἄημι <1 PIE *h₂weh₁-

The shift PS *-ō < HS -a is unprecedented and unclear: There are no other HS terms involving PS *-ō; and in loans, PS *-ō appears to primarily reflex from either PG *-ō (PS *ājrō < PG *airō) or PF *-o (PS *vājmō < PF *vaimo; PS *arvō < PF *arvo [if not directly from PFU *arwa]). However, there are other phonemes which result in PS *-ō: PS *pārō < Old Norse bára is one example; although it’s unclear how this change could apply to HS áīma over the result of PS *vājmō. Perhaps PS *-ō occurred within PS to avoid homophony with *ājmē ‘needle’ – the expected outcome of He. áīma – which would have already been present in the language. Perhaps PS *ājmō could have also been influenced by *vājmō.

brokʰā́ ~ brokʰḗ ~ brokʰī́; purkaiā́
snowstorm, blizzard, smoke, spray (U); rainstorm (He.); pyre, fire, flame (He.)
PFP ~ PU? *purkɜ ~ PU ~ PFU *purka ~ *purki (pp. 25-27) < He. brokʰḗ / βροχή <1 PIE *mergʰ-?; <? He. purkaiā́ / πυρκαϊά < pũr / πῦρ + kaíō / καίω << PIE *péh₂wr̥ + *keh₂w-?
Con.: Nostratic *burV ‘storm’, but Lyle Campbell considers the absence of -ki/-kV unjustifiable (p. 132).

The U variation *-a ~ *-i might be compared to the dialectal variation and/or chronological progression of He. -ā ~ (-ǣ) ~ -ē ~ -ī. U CVLC- < H CLVC- is a common feature of HU proposals, due to Uralic restrictions on initial consonant clusters. A phonological and semantic puzzle arises when considering He. purkaiā́ re: U ‘smoke’: It is unclear whether He. brokʰā́ and purkaiā́ could have both influenced the outcome of U *purkV, which would ultimately depend on whether the original meaning was ‘(snow)storm’ or ‘smoke’. Aikio describes the semantic bridge as ‘pouring, whirling in the air’. He. purkaiā́ is included as material for consideration; but brokʰā́ ~ brokʰī́ > U *purka ~ *purki is considered regular, while there is no precedent from which to analyze -iā́ loss from He. purkaiā́ into Uralic – nor the Uralic variation *-a ~ *-i.

kaũma
hot, red hot, fever (PFV); heat, burning heat, fever heat (He.)
PFV *kūma < He. kaũma / καῦμα

U < H loans appear to lose their initial vowel in HU -aũ-/-eũ- diphthongs – and possibly in other environments – although the nature of this process is unclear due to few comparable proposals. In this proposal, the original He. term would have been adjectivized after loaning into Finno-Volgaic.

págos
cold, hot (PFS); frost (PF *pakkainen); frost (He.)
PFS *pakka- ~ PS *pākkës < He. págos / πάγος <1 PIE *peh₂ǵ-

In HS, PS *-ës < He. -os / -ος. As with HFV kaũma, HFS págos is a noun that has been adjectivized in either PFS or PS: I suppose the latter, as PF seems to preserve the original meaning. The suffixation of PF *pakka- with *-inen is like *hepoinen ‘horse’, derived from *hepo(i?) ‘horse’ (cf. Fi. hepo ‘horse’). It is curious that, in their combining forms, Fi. pakkas- (eg: pakkaskausi ‘period of frost’) and hevos- (eg: hevosvoima ‘horsepower’) resemble He. -os (i.e. págos / πάγος, híppos / ἵππος) – although this is more likely a coincidence, given the overwhelming regularity of He -os >> Fi. -o/u∅.

pneũma
sky, god (PU); air, spirit, spiritual being (He.)
PU *nu-mɜ <? He. pneũma / πνεῦμα << PIE *pnéwmn̥ ‘breath’
Con.: PIE *pnéwmn̥

Although phonologically and semantically suitable, chronology is an issue: Loaning into Proto-Uralic is considered permissible in the context of “Pseudo-Proto-Uralic” (i.e. loaning across a a wide geolinguistic span), but PU *nu-mɜ only reflexes in the Ugro-Samoyedic languages, while some presence in the West Uralic languages would be expected from a Helleno-Uralic loan. Although only reconstructed with the meaning ‘breath’, PIE *pnéwmn̥ includes the Albanian reflex frymë ‘breath, wind, spirit’, which might suggest that the semantics ‘sky/air/wind’ and ‘spirit’ could be reconstructed back to PIE (if the Alb. semantics were not the result of secondary contact with He., given their long history of lexical exchange).

tʰúellā ~ tʰúwellē
storm, wind (U); stormwind (He.)
PFP ~ PFU? *tule ~ *tuuli ~ *tuulə̑ < He. tʰúellā / θύελλα < He. tʰúō / θύω + áella / ἄελλα ~ aéllē / ἀέλλη < PH *aweľľā / *ἀϜελ-ι̯α < PIE *h₂eu-el- ~ *h₂ewh₁eleh₂ ~ *h₂uh₁-l-yeh₂

In his 1991 work “Uralische Evidenz für die Laryngaltheorie”, Jorma Koivulehto compares PFP *tuxli with PIE *dʰuh₂-li-s < *dʰewh₂- ‘smoke, mist, haze’, on the basis of the laryngeal parallel PFP *-x- = PIE *h₂. However, the UEW presents *tule; Ante Aikio presents *tuuli (p. 229); and Petri Kallio presents *tuulə̑ (p. 166). The “long-vowel; *x ~ *w” problem is reminiscent of the varying reconstructions of PU *puwe ~ *puxi > PF *puu; PU *luwe ~ *luxi > PF *luu; and PU *śuwe ~ *śuxi > PF *suu. Re: the phonetic value of the final vowel, a H > U loan can be interpreted regardless: He. tʰú(w)ellā > U *tuulə̑; or HFP *tʰú(w)ellē (cf. θυέλλη) > PFP *tule ~ *tuuli.

The He. semantics are preferred in comparison with PFP *tuuli vs. PIE *dʰuh₂-li-s, as the PFP form’s reflexes only show ‘wind, weather, storm, breeze’, while the PIE form’s reflexes show none of these meanings. Although not listed as a primary meaning in the UEW, I reconstruct ‘storm’ back to PFU due to its presence in Finnic, Mari, and Ugric (exclusively so in the latter two, according to UEW).

(h)úzma
mist, fog (F); rain (He.)
Fi. usma << He. húsma / ὕσμα

A variant of Fi. usva, I consider usma to represent an original value -m-. Although written as -s- in He. (h)úsma, the pronunciation would have originally been /z/: This is reflected in HMa. proposals (eg: sarkazmós). As there was no /z/ in Proto-Finnic, /s/ would have been the closest approximation available in its phonology. It is unclear whether He. h- would have been inherited into the F(S?) term.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s