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The Uralic Origin of Finngreek: A Sami Source

Finngreek started out as a project that was based on lyrics in Finnish music, which I recognized as similar to Greek words. Because of this, the Finngreek language has a Finnish bias from the comparisons I’ve made, which can also be seen in the name Finngreek itself. I have spent more time comparing Greek with Finnish than I have any other Uralic language, in part due to its accessibility online.

However, Finngreek is much more than just a proposed relationship between Finnish and Greek: It also involves the Uralic language family as a whole. Sometimes, a word in Estonian, Hungarian, or a minority language in Russia – like Moksha – can phonologically parallel Greek more closely when compared with its cognate Finnish reflex. This is because the hypothetical Finngreek contact period would have likely taken place when Proto-Finno-Ugric was a living language, with cognates also proposed in Samoyedic, making it applicable to Proto-Uralic etymology as a whole (however, these are complicated, given that Greek-Samoyedic comparisons are often too close to Proto-Indo-European to ascertain an exclusive connection).

The reason I’m bringing this up in a blog post is because I am in the process of enriching Finngreek vocabulary with a variety of non-Finnish Uralic words – especially from Sami. The Sami languages contain various words which are comparable with Greek, but may have been lost in Finnic languages, or preserve certain phonemes which have changed in Finnish from a common source. This means that Finngreek, while named after the Finnish language, has certain vocabulary that is not always going to be recognizable to Finns. Some examples include:

Wife (Inari Sami) = Kálgu = Hálogo = Άλοχος
Drum (Northern Sami) = Gobdis = Kopti = Κόπτει (Strike/Beat/Pound/Knock)
Rain (Ter Sami) = Âbbʹre = Ambre = Όμβρε
Squirrel (Inari), Tail/Rear = Uárree = Órre = Όρρε
Eye (Lule Sami) = Tjalmme = Thalme/Thalmmé = Οφθαλμέ
Air/Wind (Inari) = Alme = Aleme/Alme/Aneme/Anme = Άνεμε

Additionally, there are words in Greek which can be equally compared with Finnish and Sami, resulting in multiple forms of a word, like Ourá (compare Orava, related to Uárree), or Noitá/Noitis (compare Noita/Noaidi, in Finnish/Northern Sami, respectively). This variety can either be the result of related Greek terms – like Finngreek Ourá/Órre – or because of different endings between Finnish and Sami which are both found in Greek – like Noitis/Νοητής being nominative, and Noitá/Νοητά being vocative. This is a complex situation that is relevant throughout Helleno-Uralic comparisons, and plays into the overall unique vocabulary of the Finngreek language, in which the most phonologically similar etymological comparisons are prioritized, and a random array of case declensions and conjugations exist in a high degree of grammatical irregularity.

Some of these proposals go against the organization of phonological developments from Proto-Uralic into descendant languages, meaning that I have certain disagreements with the reconstructions of some Uralicists, where I may believe a certain vowel or consonant to be more suitable than what is currently accepted (eg: Instead of the current PU reconstruction for ‘eye’, *śilmä, I would instead reconstruct *tʰalmé/*tʰəlmé/*tʰelmé, (with a/ə/e depending on whether Οφθαλμέ is really Pre-Greek, or if it has an IE origin). Having more Uralic reflexes to compare with Greek means that I can make more thorough comparisons, due to the different phonological shifts that have taken place in sub-Uralic language groups.

At this moment, I am focusing on discovering and including more Helleno-Samic comparisons, because I’ve been introduced by some kind Sami people to resources which allow me to do so. Over time, I hope to not only add more Sami words to Finngreek, but from all the Uralic languages where they can be found. This means that, while Finngreek will always have a Finnish foundation, it will become a more enriched mosaic of Uralic terms, perhaps spanning all the way from Nganasan to Hungarian – from Selkup to Sami – and every language inbetween.

I am debating whether or not to continue using the name Finngreek, as I want the name of my project to accurately portray that the language, with its included etymological proposals, involves a tapestry of Uralic vocabulary and grammar. It may be that certain Uralic groups were either more relevant to, or better preserved, my proposed historical connection with Greece.

For example, I believe the gender dualism of Phoibos/Phoibē (Φοίβος/Φοίβη; pronounced as Fiivos/Fiivi in modern Greek), or Apollo/Artemis, may be best preserved in Northern Sami Beaivváš/Beaivi, showing that there is a masculine form of the name, whereas reflexes like Inari Peivi and Finnish Päivä are more obscure (although Finnish does have the given name Päivi for women, which is quite popular). This is an important situation to understand, because an underlying tone of my proposed Helleno-Uralic contact is that the Uralic people involved were, at least in part, the Phoibos-worshipping Hyperboreans, who helped to settle and manage religious rites at various spiritual centers of Greece. Of course, it is also possible that Proto-Uralic *päjwä is just the vocative form of Φοίβος, Φοίβε/Phoibe/Fiive, with the final –ä in Finnish being a shift specific to Finnish, as Proto-Samic *peajvē exhibits the final -e in most reflexes.

This particular word for ‘sun’ is only found in Finnic and Samic languages, which might imply that either the direct ancestors, or areal influencers, of the Finnic and Samic peoples were the main group involved in contact with Greece, while other Proto-Uralic peoples might have only played a peripheral role, or not have been involved at all. This is a complicated puzzle of relationships between Uralic languages and Greek, with the proposed periods of contact perhaps being as early as the Proto-Hellenes or Mycenaeans with the Proto-Uralic peoples (either including or excluding the Samoyedic peoples), and/or as recent (in the case of Hungarian) as a contact period between Byzantines living on the north coast of the Pontic Sea with the migrating Magyars. The ways which words were loaned among the diverse Uralic languages is obscure.

Hopefully, the additions of more Uralic languages into Finngreek can provide clarity. For now, Phaívankheíli – The Language of the Sun – will continue to brightly burn with autumn’s approach.

(The featured image is sourced from this article on the genetic histories of Uralic peoples.)

Vene: The Finngreek Boat from 1,000 BC

I try not to make too many posts about individual words, but this particular word is significant enough that I believe it deserves a special explanation. The equation for boat is as follows:

Boat/Ark = Venho, Vene<*Veneh; Vanas<*Vënës (Sami) = Venos/Vene = βῆνος/βῆνε (vocative)

This word has taken me a long time to find: I searched through English and Greek wiktionaries, as well as lsj.gr (A very useful site on Ancient Greek), unable to find a semantic comparison for ‘boat’ that was a convincing phonological source. However, upon discovering the majesty that is Hesychius of Alexandria’s “Alphabetical Collection of All Words“, I now have open-source access to a treasure trove of obscure Greek words, many of which have fallen out of use.

Βῆνος/Bênos (defined by Hesychius as “κιβωτός”, meaning ‘ark’ [like Noah’s ark]), which would be pronounced in modern Greek as Vinos, is one of the aforementioned obscure words, and thus must be learned for the modern Greek speaker. However, its phonology is quite regular.

Of the reconstructions, Proto-Samic *Vënës is the most accurate, showing the preservation of final nominative (presumably masculine) -s. In Finnish Venho, the -s may have metathesized with penultimate -o- (a relatively regular occurrence: Compare Laakso = Λάκκος; Urho<Uros = Ούρος, etc.). In addition, this now penultimate -s- has debuccalized into -h- in the presence of -n-, likely resulting in the shift: Benos>Venso>Venho. My proposal of Proto-Finnic *Venso is meant to serve as a simplification of the currently reconstructed *Veneh, due to the likelihood that the final -e in Finnish (i.e. Vene) is actually a preserved vocative form: Βῆνε. In Finnish, vocative masculine -e is preserved as /e/ from Greek. The case of the Finnic reflexes Veneh/Venhe may be due to contamination from the original forms of Venos/Vene (Compare the Eastern Samic reflexes Vens [Kildin] and Vâns [Ter], which show the -ns- cluster).

In the case of Samic vowel reflexes such as Northern Sami Vanas, there may be two separate situations occurring: A regular opening of -os to -as; and either a raising of -e- to -a-, or a preservation of an original Doric form of Βῆνος, which would be Βᾶνος/Banos>Vanas.

As the reconstruction of these terms in Uralic appears restricted to Finno-Samic, it is conceivable that areal contact between the diverging and diverged dialects resulted in a series of cross-contaminations, explaining the unique correspondences across the aforementioned languages.

The significance of Venos/Vene (the Finngreek forms) is that it provides a written attestation for the potential of sea travel – although an intermediate land route would still be necessary – during the period of Uralo-Hellenic contact, which has always been significant to the Finno-Samic and Hellenic peoples. This reconstruction expands on the geography where interaction would have taken place, which had until now been obscured by the inheritance of a non-Greek IE term (*meri) to describe the sea in Finno-Samic.

(Featured image: The Finnish pollution control vessel Louhi)

Today, Greece is the largest shipowning nation in the world, with a history of maritime trade extending to at least the Mycenaean period (~1600 BC onward); and Finland is world-renowned for its shipbuilding industry, including some of the largest passenger vessels in the world having been built in the southwestern city of Turku – not to mention being home to one of the world’s oldest fishing nets, from 8,540 BC, thousands of years before Helleno-Uralic contact occurred.

The ancient Venos, of the hypothetical Finngreek times, is a legacy that lives on today in the maritime nations of Finland and Greece. Delphic Apollo, the “Patron of seafarers, foreigners; and protector of fugitives and refugees”, would surely shine upon these descendants of Pythā, as the solar Phoibos/Päivä to his lunar sister Artemis, the resplendent Phoebe/Päivi, who likewise gave her light to the Hyperboreans on their sacred travels.

Finngreek and the Oracle of Delphi

(Top picture: Hercules and Omphale, by Jacopo Amigoni)

The etymological research undertaken for Finngreek suggests a possible connection between Helleno-Uralic contact and oracular activity.

Holy, Sacred = Pyhä = Pythā = Πῡθώ, Πῡθῐ́ᾱ

Pythā (the Finngreek form of Πῡθώ) means ‘Pytho(n)’. Pytho is the ancient name of Delphi, and the Python was the monstrous snake which lived at the Oracle when it was dedicated to Gaia (the Earth), until it was slain by Pythian Apollo, making the Oracle of Delphi instead dedicated to him. The Pythia was the high priestess of the Oracle, and the one who breathed the sacred fumes in order to give prophecies to her supplicants. Finnish Pyhä, from reconstructed Proto-Finno-Permic *pišä (with which I disagree), has an interesting duality along with its Uralic cognates: The descendant terms (except for Finnic and Samic) primarily have a strongly negative meaning, including ‘unholy, heathen, sin, dirty’, and ‘foul’. I wonder about whether this might have implications for the “evil” that was the Python; or even conversion from paganism to other religions. Regardless, the resulting Finngreek term is Pythā (-ā because ä = a, ā = ω). This analysis comes with more terms:

Man, Slave, Servant = Orja = Orjā(n) = Ορεάν/Ορειάν
Perfume, Incense = Tuoksu = Thuosku = Θύος/Θυοσκόος/Θυοσκοπία/θυΐσκη/Θύλημα < Θύω
Storm, Wind, Future; To come = Thulla, Thuuli, etc.* < Θύελλα/Θυέλλη < Θύω
(*There is a great deal of variety to this term: Thullea, Thule, Thulli, and so on.)

Starting with Orjā: The Finnish term Orja (slave) has been compared with ‘Aryan’, but it is unknown where both terms come from. Finngreek offers an alternative etymology for Orja, being Ορεάν(ες), which is the term for ‘men’ in the Pythia’s mystical language that she spoke at the Oracle of Delphi. The semantics of ‘slave, servant’ from Uralic reflexes, if stemming from Ορεάν, would not describe the life of a typical slave, but the male priest attendants of the Pythian high priestess.

The Greek Θύω (To sacrifice, burn, consult [an oracle]; to rush in, storm, rage), may have resulted in a wide array of terms in Finnish and Greek. This includes Greek Θύελλα (Storm), Θύος (Burnt sacrifice), Θυοσκόος (The sacrificing priest), Θυοσκοπία (Divination), θυΐσκη (Incense holder), Θύλημα (Incense), along with many other terms; as well as Finnish Tulla (To come), Tulva (Flood), Tuleva (Future), Tuuli (Wind), Tuulahdus (Breeze, Gust, Waft, Blowing), and Tuli (Fire).

I hypothesize that these terms all illustrate the experience of the Oracle: Receiving a prophecy from the holy “Priestess of the Python”, during which she was intoxicated with the sweetly perfumed, smoky vapors rising from under the earth.

Terpe!

Worker, Slave = Työläinen = Duulain/Δούλαιν

 Under the Yoke (Burning the Brushwood), by Eero Järnefelt

Today’s post explores the potential origin of two Finnish terms – Työ (work) and -lainen (person) – in the Greek term Duulos/Δούλος (slave) – and an alternative in Dye/Δύη (misery), from PIE *dew-.

Work (neutral) = Työ, Duuni = Duu, Duuli = Δουλειά < Δούλος
Work, Misery, Anguish, Pain = Työ < *Tewe = Dye = Δύη < *Dew-

I have read multiple theories about the origin of the word Duuni. Some have compared it with Swedish Dona (tool), and others with the English word Do. The ultimate origin of Duuni is not too important to me, as my comparison relies on Työ, which is a Proto-Uralic word. However, the word Duuni, whether or not coincidental, lends itself to be compared with Δουλειά/Duulia (granted this is using my own transliteration for creating Finngreek).

Getting into Työ, I consider two Greek words as the possible ultimate source of the Finnish word. The first is Dye/Δύε – and the reason I make this comparison is the similarity in their respective Proto-Uralic and Proto-Indo-European reconstructions: *Tewe and *Dew. The second, Δούλος, is compared with Työ for semantic affinity, as well an interesting stem: -lain-.

Finnish -lainen indicates a person (Suomalainen = Suoma- [Finland] + -lainen [person] = Finn). Duulos/Δούλος works as both a noun and adjective, meaning ‘slave’ or ‘slavish’. In ancient Greek noun declension, -los/-λος is the singular nominative, denoting a slave as the subject of a sentence. However, there is another ending, -loin (masculine) and -lain (feminine), found in the genitive and dative cases.

Either suffix is suitable for comparison, but for simplicity, I compare it with -lain/-λαιν, because from my comparisons so far, several nouns identifying women have been able to be proposed (Aunt = Täti = Tæthī = Τηθί, Grandma = Mummi = Mommi = Μάμμη), but none identifying specifically male roles for humans. This leads me to suspect that the majority of workers may have been women, perhaps in industries such as weaving, midwifery, and domestic labor. If the contact between Finns and Greeks involved an economy based on slavery, perhaps it is possible that women, who worked in the home, had more of a need to learn Greek, while men might have not needed it as much if they were working in agriculture among themselves. This idea is just a suggestion for why the feminine -ain- (vs. -oin-) is predominate in the Finnish language, if it does come from the same source as the Hellenic -ain/-αιν.

It’s possible that, if -lainen and -lain/-λαιν are related – with -lainen identifying a person or type – that duulain/Δούλαιν would have been the original term that -lainen was repurposed from. The etymology I’ve found describse -lainen (when a person) as a combination of the -la and -inen suffixes, with -lainen (when a type) being from -laji (ultimately from Swedish) and -inen. My proposed Greek etymology provides one source for both -lainen and -lainen.

Worker = Työläinen = Duulain = Δούλαιν
In Finngreek, Duu and Duulain are neutral terms to describe any work or working person, while Dye can be used to express either a more emphatic or negative sense of meaning.

Musikkoon duulain = The worker is a musician
Duu mu diskova kaa duu su dye = My work is difficult, and your work is anguish
Philaame duuli mes kaa philaate uvne tes = We like our work, and you all like your sleep

Päivi and Phoebe: A New Perspective

Giuseppe Collignon, Prometheus Steals Fire from Apollo’s Sun Chariot, 1814

At times, I’ve frustrated myself with how far I’ve gone in order to find comparisons – how I’ve complicated things which, at a later time, are revealed to be simple. The Finngreek project has been a tidal series of creating, erasing, and revising proposals, in order to build the ideal language from the proper etymologies. However, I’m getting to a point where not only vowels make sense, but consonants as well. As I gain experience and resources, establishing relationships has become an increasingly more relaxed task.

Regarding Päivä (day, sun), with which I had previously speculated on a connection with the Greek terms Pyr/Πυρ+Auos/Αύως or Auge/Αυγή (with now justified doubt, however), I see that it’s another situation involving words I had already known, but not thought to connect (As I had compared Puutarha with Πουλυβότειρα vs. the appropriate Φυταλιά<pu-ta-ri-ja). There are now two words (perhaps ultimately from the same source) which I am speculating on in regards to the following:

Päivä = Φοίβος/Φοίβη<bʰeigʷ- <(?) Φάος/Φαύος<bʰeh₂-

It is not my assertion that φοίβος<φάος, but the view of some entries found at LSJ. It is definitely an interesting relationship phonetically, if they are related. Looking into these terms:

Φοίβος/Φοίβη (Phoebus/Phoebe): Phoebus (Phoibos in the Greek transliteration) is a proper noun and epithet of Apollo (who was conlfated with Helios, the Sun God), from the word φοίβος (bright, pure, radiant), which then makes Apollo “The Bright One”. Phoebe is associated with Selene, Goddess of the Moon, and is the feminine counterpart to Phoebus (compare Selene and Helios with Artemis and Apollo).

Φάος/Φαύος (Phaos/Phauos) is, semantically, a near-perfect match with Päivä: It describes the sunlight in Homer’s Iliad and Plato’s Republic, and alludes to the day in Euripides’ Rhesus.

In regards to which term appears phonetically to be a potential cognate or ancestor of Päivä, there are a couple things to consider. Φοίβος/Φοίβη exhibits a presumed develarization from gʷ>b>v. It is realistic that η could manifest as either ä or i (eg: Päivä>Päivi = Phoibe/Fivi), given η<α. However, Ι’ve only recorded η>/i/ when in the final position, so η>ä in final would be unprecedented. In this case, while Φοίβη may be able to explain Päivi, it could not simultaneously explain Päivä. This could allude to Päivä having originally been a masculine word, which could be related with Apollo<~Helios as the charioteer of the sun. This would imply Päivä<Φοίβος.

*bʰeigʷ- > *bʰoigʷ-o- > Φοίβο- > Päivä
However, I have a reservation about o>ä. On a purely phonological basis, I prefer:
*bʰeigʷ-e > Päivä
The final -e represents vocative case (Φοίβε), which is a common feature in comparisons. This is in comparison with Proto-Samic *peajvē, which I believe may be the only other real descendant of Proto-Uralic *päjwä beyond Proto-Finnic *päivä, making is a word exclusive to the Finno-Samic contact area. The proposed absence of e>o ablautization is something I’m studying in a few of my proposals. However, if *bʰeigʷ- was the ultimate source of Päivä, but it was not through Hellenic, then it would have had to have been directly from PIE, as other IE descendants do not share these phonological shifts.

Meanwhile, Φαύος (the Aeolic form of Φάος/Φώς) contains the letter ypsilon, which can result in front-vowel harmony (a>ä: Αμαυρά>hämärä). However, while Φάος contains the initial pha- – which manifests in related word like Φαίνω and Φαεινά – as well as the plural -ta suffix (compare Päivät and Ta Phaea/Τα Φάεα, presumably Φαύεα in Aeolic) – it is unclear whether or not this phonology could better justify itself as cognate with Päivä, vs. Φοίβος/Φοίβε, Φοίβη, etc.

Regardless, the words themselves allow for a variety of constructions:

Day, Light = Päivä/-i, *peajvē =
Pha/Phaia/Phaiva(-ta plural), Phaive/Phaivi/Pheive/Pheivi/Phoive/Phoivi (-es plural), Phoivo =
Φοίβος/Φοίβε, Φοίβη, Φάεα/Φαύεα, Φαίνω

Φοίβος/Phoebus/Sun = Phaiva(s)/Phoivo(s), Phaive/Pheive/Phoive
Φοίβη/Phoebe/Moon = Phaivi/Pheivi/Phoivi, Phaive/Pheive/Phoive

_______________________________________________________________________

Auri plus Phaiva = The sun is also the Sun
Kuukle plus Pheivi = The moon is also the Moon
Mja phaiva nyn? = What day is now?
Uros poljophaivakaa = The sky is with much daylight
Lavkophoivos yveilaa! = The white Phoebus is sublime!

Hungarian-Hellenic Affinity: Teljes = Τelḗeis (Τελήεις)

(This post is not written as an article, but just notes about my proposal of affinity between the following Hungarian [and thereby Uralic] and Hellenic terms.)

teljes (also **tele/teli** for ‘full’):

entire, full, total

complete

τελήεις/telḗeis:

(of sacrificial victims) complete, perfect, entire, without blemish

(of animals and humans) full-grown, adult

Related to, and largely synonymous with…

τέλειος:

having reached its end, finished

(of victims) complete, perfect, entire, without blemish

(of animals and humans) full-grown, adult

(of persons) absolute, complete, accomplished, perfect

(of things)

(of prayers, vows, etc.) fulfilled, accomplished

(of numbers) full, complete

(in arithmetic) those numbers which are equal to the sum of their divisors

the third bowl offered to Zeus

(of the gods) perfect, omnipotent, infinite

last

(neuter substantive) a royal banquet

(feminine substantive) a full stop, period

(adverb) at last

completely, absolutely

The Hungarian is ultimately from Proto-Uralic *täwde, with cognates like Nganasan ťerə, Inari Sami tievâs, Finnisη täydellinen (‘perfect’, which I compare with reduplicated τετελεσμένος/tetelesmenos, ‘that which has been perfected’); while the Greek is from PIE *kʷel-. Out of all IE descendants, only Greek presents *kʷ>t. Furthermore, the semantic value of “full, complete” in Greek Τελήεις/Τέλειος does not appear present in IE cognate terms (from what is available on Wikipedia) descended from *kʷel-, itself meaning ‘to move/turn’. This is also the source of *kʷékʷlos > κῠ́κλος/kúklos , which I believe is related to Proto-Uralic *kuŋe, with the listed descendants:

Samoyedic: *kïj

Kamassian: ки (ki)

Ugric:

Hungarian: hó, hold

Mordvinic:

Erzya: ков (kov)

Finnic: *kuu

In Hungarian, telihold is the full moon. I believe the Greek equivalent would be τέλειε κύκλε (or perhaps τελήεν κύκλε). If Τele/Teli=Τελή/Τέλει- are related, Hungarian is phonologically closer to the Greek term than any other IE or Uralic language (with Khanty [also Ugric] tel a close second).

This is another example of a term that does not exist “as-is” in PIE, but rather has developed into Hellenic and the Uralic languages with a higher phonological and exclusive semantic affinity.

Oikeia: Comparing Finnish and Greek through Finngreek poetry

My lyrical piece, titled “Oikeia”, will be the first of many songs and mantras in the Finngreek language. These comparative lyrics are meant to serve as an accessible learning tool, especially for Finns and Greeks, so that they can enjoy studying the language through listening exercises.

“Oikeia” is an homage to the relationship between the moon, earth, and sun, focusing on the benefits that the moon has given to life on earth through its theoretical impact, which physicists call the Giant Impact Hypothesis. From debris becoming a satellite in Earth’s orbit, to the tides created by lunar influence, the moon has impacted our lives, for the better, for billions of years.

Proper/Fitting/Suitable = Oikea = Oikeia = Οἰκεῖᾰ

Perhaps the best-preserved word from the Finngreek contact period, Oikeia/Oikea is absolutely fascinating to me. Here is more information about this term:

Finnish: Oikea < *oikeda < *wojketa
Meaning: Right, Correct, Appropriate, Proper, Fitting, Real, True, Just, Fair

Greek: Οἰκεῖᾰ < Οἶκος < Woîkos < *weyk- (Proto-Indo-European)
Meaning: Domestic, Related, Friendly, Personal, Proper, Fitting, Suitable, Belonging (to)

The original Greek meaning re: Oikos is, quite simply, a house. The original Finnish meaning of *oikeda is constructed to have probably described something that is straight, right, or correct.

When looking into the derivatives (where Οίκος is considered the “original” Greek word, and Oikea the “original” Finnish word in regards to their respective etymological trees), some interesting terms and meanings can be observed. From Finnish Oikea is derived Oikeus, meaning “law, justice, court”, as well as “rightness, fairness”. From Oikeus, there is a compound word that, for obvious reasons, catches my eye: Oikeudenmukainen. I previously introduced the term ‘mukainen’ in this long rant about who the Greeks in Finland might have been. Basically, Mukainen means ‘consistent, compatible, compliant’, and the greater term Oikeudenmukainen describes something which is ‘just’ or ‘fair’.

Given that the Finnish derived terms focus heavily on law and justice, I focus my attention on Greek terms derived from Οίκος with similar meanings:

Οικέω: Inhabit, Colonize, Settle, Manage, Direct, Govern, Am Governed
Οἴκημᾰ: Home, Building, Chamber, Brothel, Temple/Shrine, Prison/Cell, etc.
Οἴκησις: Management, Administration
Δῐοίκησῐς: Housekeeping, Control, Government, Administration, (later) Diocese
Σῠνοικίζω: To make someone live with someone, To give someone to someone else in marriage, To combine/unite
Οἰκοδεσπότης: Master of a house, Native ruler (vs. foreign ruler)
Οἰκονόμος: Master of a house, Steward of an estate, Manager, Administrator
Οἰκονομέω: To manage, To dispense, To order, To regulate

The term Οικονόμος (source of the word Economy) is of interest to me, because Nomos/Νόμος (Noummos/Νούμμος in Doric) is defined as, among other things, a law or ordinance. In searching for a Finnish counterpart to Nomos, the only one I have so far in Finngreek is:
Pasture/Moor = Nummi = Nomii = Νομή
which is derived from Νόμος.

Whether Finnish Oikeus could be a semantic counterpart to Oἰκονομῐ́ᾱ is unclear, but it is clear that both roots of the compound Oikonomia can be found in some form in Finnish.

From these terms, the main question I have is how they might relate to inequality (eg: slavery) vs. friendship. In Ancient Greek, derived terms of Οίκος can describe anyone from a neutral inhabitant of a home, to a colonist, to a prisoner or slave (Οἰκεύς, ‘Inmate of a house, servant’; I am not certain how connected this word might be with Oikeus, despite phonological affinity, as they may have formed separately, which resulted in different definitions), to a domestic animal, to a builder (Oἰκοποιός, perhaps related somehow to the meaning of something ‘straight, not bent/crooked’?), to a friend or kinsman (Oἰκειόω, ‘to make someone one’s friend/kinsman’).

Further obscuring the power dynamic (or lack thereof) that these cognates may represent, the ‘manager’, or Oikonomos, “Often functioned as the “steward” of a household, and was generally a freedman – i.e. a slave released from forced, legal servitude… (whether free-born, or, as was usually the case, a freed-man or slave) to whom the head of the house or proprietor has intrusted the management of his affairs, the care of receipts and expenditures, and the duty of dealing out the proper portion to every servant and even to the children not yet of age (J. Thayer)”.

Regardless of what relationship Oikeia/Oikea describes during the period when Greeks and Finns would have prehistorically been in contact with each other, the modern terms, in both languages, signify something positive. Modern Greek Οικεία means ‘familiar, personal, intimate’, while Finnish Oikea describes, among other things, correctness and justice. However, the semantics ultimately connecting the two involves that which is “suitable, appropriate, fitting, and proper.” Because of this, the following is constructed in Finngreek:

Suitable/Appropriate/Fitting, Correct/True/Right/Just, Friendly/Intimate/Related/Belonging (to) =
Oikea = Oikea/Oikeia = Οἰκεῖᾰ
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Totopokoon oikeia = This garment is suitable
Tatabaita oikeaa = This shirt fits
Oikeontae? = Is this correct?
Worespoikimehenoikeande vena heiposukaa jon kravaaizdas vena kampolinde =
After (going) through the mountains, go to the right on your horse, if you need to go into town
Kinuothirviion oikeiaan emii = That deer belongs to me
Nomiiseon oikeathirves koju tso kluklada =
In the pasture, there are friendly deer which eat flowers
Oikeiaas favitoemperikle… = You are right about the food…











Finngreek Syntax

The word order of sentences in Finngreek is, like Greek and Finnish, very flexible. The structure is understood by the suffixes at the ends of words. Here are some examples of the free word order in Huve/Hypae:

What drink is this? / Mja pjoma an tåtå?
(å may be o/å/a: totoon/tåtåån/tataan)

Mja pjomaan tåtå?
Mja pjoma tåtåån?
Mjaan tåtå pjoma?
Mja tåtå pjomaan?
Tåtå pjoma mjaan?
Pjomaan tåtå mja?

The last one is pretty unusual, and I would probably never naturally think or say it, but it’s still understandable to read, which underlines the free word order. Let’s try a more complex sentence:

The fruit is made by the tree / Hedloba tehdontae phuthae (fruit made-is tree-from)

Hedloba tehdontae phuthae
Phuthae tehdontae hedloba
Tehdontae phuthae hedloba
Hedloba phuthae tehdontae
Phuthae hedloba tehdontae
Tehdontae hedloba phuthae

In each sentence, the same information is communicated, because Finngreek syntax relies on suffixes, instead of word order. We know that the Hedloba is made by the Phu, because it is Phuthae, with the -thae meaning ‘from’ (as Greek -θε and Finnish -lta). Also, we know that the Hedloba is the object instead of the subject (The fruit is made vs. The fruit makes [from the tree]), because the ending of the Tehd- root is -ontae, which is passive, instead of the active -an suffix.

Now, there is one situation where word order does matter in Finngreek: Simple SVO. Because Finngreek doesn’t have articles (a/the) with cases like Greek – nor a true partitive case like Finnish – direct subject>object in 3rd person may rely on the subject to be placed before the object.

The person eats the food = Ahrava tso rahito
Because the person and food are both in 3rd person, there is no way to determine who is eating whom. If it were “Rahito tso ahrava“, then the food is eating the person.

However, there is one way this sentence can be made flexible: With the -n accusative suffix.

I don’t often use the accusative -n suffix, but it is still useful in situations like this. By simply adding -n to the end of the object (think like -ontae), the sentence order can be free again:

The person eats the food = Ahrava tso rahiton

Ahrava tso rahiton
Rahiton ahrava tso
Tso rahiton ahrava
Ahrava rahiton tso
Rahiton tso ahrava
Tso ahrava rahiton

Now you can make any three-word sentence into 6 options. Poikilia poikitse!

Taking a Break…

Before I started on this journey, I didn’t have much of a goal in mind for what I wanted to do with my life. I was always making music, and that has given me a path to walk, but I never took it too seriously. I usually take a very long time to do things – but I want to be more diligent and ambitious.

For the last 9 months, I’ve been figuring out language patterns between Uralic and Greek, and making Finngreek from it. There have been a lot of sleepless nights trying to understand word relations – and a lot of revisions to the language. Finally, I have the foundation for an auxlang that I feel is (mostly) as etymological and efficient as possible. However, there is still so much left to create and comprehend. I probably only understand a small amount of how big the picture really is.
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My goal in comparing Uralic with Greek has been to establish reasoning for the contact period I propose. My goal in making this new language is so that Finnic and Hellenic peoples can have a new medium, which is unique to them, for enjoying and building a mutual culture. I hope that Finngreek can be used in both social and academic environments some day.

As for me, I am finding the inspiration that was missing from my life, because of this project. When I talk and write in Finngreek, I feel more comfortable expressing myself. I have new ideas about what I want my future to be: And now, I need to devote some time to fulfilling a destiny, and take care of my roots, and create, which I think is my strength and purpose in this world. I hope this will mean I can share more with you all through music, because it is my happy place. I also don’t want to only make music in Finngreek: I want to make music in Finnish, Greek, and many other languages.
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What this means for the subreddit is that I will be posting more general content about Finland, Greece, and other related topics, perhaps more often than I’ll be posting content specifically about the Finngreek language (other than the music I intend to make and share with you all). For my website, posts will be less frequent – but I do encourage all of you reading this on finngreek.com to join the Finngreek subreddit, where there is daily content!

I hope you will all feel free to ask questions about the language, practice with the 21 lessons I’ve made (I will be making “Lesson 22: Animals” soon! The Family and Friends lesson will be online again after some revisions; and I will be making new example sentences for the advanced lessons), and enjoy yourselves in this community.

Our comfy Discord is also growing, so come hang out with us! We talk in Finngreek, Finnish, Greek, and English. Iketoivom otto idonimenete aiona! I hope that you all are always happy.