Sō̃ma: Remeeting the Finngreek People

This post focuses on the reconstruction of people who would have been relevant to Helleno-Uralic contact.

There is a great deal of human action and interaction that can be inferred from verbs and economic terms I will share in separate posts. Here, I will only address the people themselves who are theorized to have existed within the Helleno-Uralic sphere.

The role of the noītá has already been discussed in an earlier post: They would have been a central figure in Helleno-Uralic contact, as an exalted spiritualist. In addition, it is assumed that nautical crew (rowers, dockmen, etc.), traders, and other workers were part of Helleno-Uralic exchange. However, terms for these roles have not yet been proposed.

Re: the proposals herein, the following Helleno-Uralic people are reconstructed: Warriors (apʰḗ?, iskʰús?, ry̌̃ma), crafters (daídalos), nobility (kǐ́rios), and Proto-Finns (sō̃ma).

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apʰḗ
strength (PS), wrestling grip (He.)
PS *āppē <? He. (h)apʰḗ / ἁφή < (h)áptō / ἅπτω ‘to attack, take hold of’ < ?

Regardless of whether He. (h)apʰḗ retained h- during PS < He. loaning, it appears that h- was not loaned into PS.

daídalos
artistic (HF ~ HFS)
NSa. dáiddalaš << PS *tājδētēk <? PF *taitadak ‘to know how’ <?> He. daidállō / δαιδάλλω, daídalos / δαίδαλος <1? PIE *dens- ~ *dn̥s- ‘to learn’

Fi. taito ‘skill, art’ and SaN dáidu ‘skill, know-how’ imply HFS *daídos / *δαίδος ‘artistic skill, cunning, proficiency’. The He. verb daidállō is identified as PreΗ – but if Fi. taitaa is furthermore connected via F *taj- with taju ‘consciousness, sense’, then compare also with He. dáios / δάϊος ‘knowing, cunning’ ~ daē̃nai / δαῆναι ‘learn’, inf. aor. of dáō / δάω ‘to learn, know, teach’ <1 PIE *dens- ~ *dn̥s- (cf. He. διδάσκω). If the Sa. adjectival suffix -laš was loaned from He. or earlier IE (vs. being a “Calque of Finnish -llinen by replacing the inflectional part -ise- with the existing native Sami cognate -žža-.”), then it would be cognate with, or reflexed from, SaN -las < PS *-lës – although the phonological resemblance could rather be a coincidence, which would leave the reconstruction HF(S) *dai-, *daidV-.

iskʰús
attack, impact (Fi.); brute force, might (He.)
F isku ?> He. iskʰús / ἰσχύς < ?

Fi. iskeä would imply H *iskʰéō, whereas He. iskʰúō / ἰσχύω is instead the attested form. Because of this, it is difficult to argue for F < He. loaning. Along with the unknown He. etymology, a F > He. loan is considered.

kǐ́rios
lord, master, mister (HEr.)
Er. čirjaz / чиряз << He. kǐ́rios / κύριος <1 PIE *ḱeuh₂- ‘to swell, be strong’

NDS defines Er. čirjaz as ‘барин, господин (Ru.); herra (Fi.)’: These are all honorifics to politely address a man (historically a nobleman); and originally meant ‘lord, master’. This semantic development is paralleled in HEr. kǐ́rios.

ry̌̃ma
friend (Man.); defense, protection (He.); ally? (HUg.)
Man. ruma / рума <<? He. ry̌̃ma / ῥῦμα < ἐρύω <1? PIE *u̯eru- ‘to draw’

In light of HUg. pʰy̌̃ma, the primary form proposed is ry̌̃ma vs. rũma.

sarkazmós
smile (ΗMa.)
Ma. šərgəžmáš / шыргыжмаш << He. sarkazmós / σαρκασμός
to smile (HMa.)
Ma. šərgəž- << sarkaz(d)- / σαρκάζ- (cf. σαρκάζει ‘smiles’ / ‘μειδιᾷ‘ [Hsch.])
cheek, face (Ma.); flesh, body (He.)
Ma. šərɣə, šürɣö < PMa. *šǚrgə (Aikio 2014, p. 132) < He. sýrks ~ sýrka / σύρκ- <1 PIE *turḱ- ‘to cut’
cut, slit (PS); ? (He.)
PS *sārkē <? He. sárks ~ sárka / σάρκ- (cf. σαρκάζω ‘to tear flesh’)

It appears that the original vowel of the PMa. < He. loan was /y/ (PMa. *šǚrgə <? HMa. sýrka), which later, perhaps independently, evolved into Ma. -ə- / He. -a-. This must have been a popular word, because it can be compared through multiple derivations. It is unclear whether the U terms illustrate loaning from the acc. He. form, or if the absence of -s is due to a limitation on consonant clusters. It is also unclear whether PS *sārkē ‘cut, slit’ might be included in this proposal: Its phonology would be distinctly He., but its reconstructed meaning differs. However, the Sa. reflexes themselves have varied meanings (cf. SaI särgi ‘rib’, SaN sárgi ‘a single rib with the flesh on it’, SaS+SaSk. ‘mark/slit on a reindeer’s ear’), which might suggest a HS meaning ‘cut flesh’ that bridges the semantic gap. It is unclear whether the HMa. and HSa. forms represent separate He. loans, or if they might rather descend from a HFV loan: This ambiguity is reminiscent of HFS págos ‘frost’ vs. HEr. págos ‘hill, mountain’.

sō̃ma
Finland, Finn (Fi.); body, human, person (He.)
Fi. Suomi, suoma- < PF *sooma < He. sō̃ma / σῶμα < PH tsṓmə < *twṓmə <? PIE *tu̯ō-mn̥
Con.: PrePG *ǵʰm̥-ōn ~ PrePBS *ǵʰom-yā- (Kallio 1998, p. 617); PFS *sama- < I zam (De Smit, unpublished)

Fi. Suomi is a puzzle for etymologists seeking its ultimate provenance: The conflicts listed are just two of many proposals. De Smit excellently summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of proposals from Kallio and Koivulehto. Although I have objections to each conflicting proposal, I will not argue here against them, as they all appear to me to be reasonable enough. I will rather offer my own solution, and let it be subject to its own share of criticism.

PF *sooma can be regularly derived from HF(S?) sō̃ma (cf. PG *kookka < PG *χōka-; PF *rooka < PG *rōkā). The implication of a demonymic loan from He. is that HF(S) contact must be have been exceptionally intensive; or that it at least occurred in a geographical environment not subject to other IE adstrates (i.e. G, B, and II) to a degree greater than H. One tentative argument in favor of He. > F(S) meeting this criterion is that F(S) > He. is demonstrable in HU theory, which can not be so well-demonstrated elsewhere from U (perhaps notwithstanding Ma. > He.): Cf. HF(S) aktī́, iskʰús, laĩf͔os, lían, nákē, páskos, síka. This implies a direct line of contact between early F(S) and He. speakers – likely via the Dnieper river.

I do not attempt to connect the Sami ethnonym to this proposal, at least until a viable phonological environment can be replicated through further HU proposals.