The remains of peas and fava beans have been found in Finland dating from 500 BC. Legumes bear fruits, known as pulses in English, which we typically label as vegetables.
The Finnish word Hedelmä (fruit) has been considered to be a loan from a Baltic language, with a comparison to Lithuanian žíedas (blossom, flower) made. However, I propose that there is a Greek word which demonstrates better phonetic and semantic parallels: Χεδροπά.
Χεδροπα/Hedropá (pulse, leguminous fruit) is interestingly considered to be of Pre-Greek origin, meaning that the word has not been etymologically traced back to Proto-Indo-European. However, there is a folk etymology for the word: Χείρ+δρέπω/Hand+pluck. Although it is unsure given their PIE and Proto-Uralic etymologies, I like to compare Finnish Käsi with Greek Héri (Χέρι; compare the Doric variant Hérs/Χέρς).
I’ve previously discussed the similarities of Finnish marja (berry) and Greek moréa/μορέα (mulberry) as it pertains to berries (although I will later be making a more in-depth post) – as well as mustikka with múrtila/μύρτιλα (bilberry) – but historically, sweet fruits in Finland were not common (lingonberries and cloudberries come to mind). Meanwhile, pea soup is a Finnish staple; and according to this article, it’s traditional to eat it on Thursdays.
While most modern Greeks might not recognize the word χεδροπά from a glance – and while Finns probably wouldn’t associate the taste of peas with a sweet hedelmä, it is nonetheless a fascinating term for constructing the Finngreek language. ________________________________________________________________________ Fruit, Legume = Hedelmä = Hedropá/Hedrepá, Hedabaa (simplified) = Χεδροπά, Δρέπω Bear fruit = Kana Hedropaa/Heđabá
Sakaripurahedabaa morjaa = The berry is a sweet, red fruit Den itseram atta hedropaaontae! = I didn’t know that this is a fruit! Hamaathae poljohedrepaa aksvaa = From the ground, many fruits grow Ruhumehe puulubuutaraheđabákana = After the rain, the tree-garden bears fruit
As is regular in many word proposals from Hellenic into Proto-Uralic/Proto-Finno-Permic/Proto-Finno-Ugric, etc., the final *-e relates to Greek vocative case. However, because nominative plural is also often a source, I include Greek húpnoi > ípni, as the pronunciation of Greek οι in the modern language is /i/, as in uni – so there are two forms: Uvne and Uvni. Additionally, a third form is available through the artificial hypervowel ei/ej: Uvnei/Uvnej.
This term for ‘sleepy’ is complicated by the sheer variety of derived adjectives from ύπνε which could theoretically follow phonological shifts from Hellenic into Finnic. Because of this, there are various ways to describe being ‘sleepy, drowsy’, etc., such as: Uvneilos/Uvnejlas, Uvneleas, Uvneljos, etc. Additionally, there is a very close phonetic match to unelias, which is hupnelias>ipnilias (υπνηλίας, ‘of drowsiness’), or Finngreek Yvnelias/Uvnilias, etc. I don’t believe this would be the exact word Finnish unelias came from, as it may have only been in use since Koine Greek. However, its phonetic parallels with Greek υπνηλίας make it a great word “Hypæklæssæđe” (for the Finngreek language).
The Finngreek term Uvnikoo is a new favorite of mine. I often demonstrate the vowel stress in Greek being after geminate consonants in Finnish, thus -kko<-koo(-κό). To me, this term helps to illustrate the state of medicine in the “Finngreek era”, with poppy being used as a hypnic (sleep-inducing) substance. Its analgesic properties were probably welcome for anyone who could afford it or grow it (poppies may have originated in the Mediterranean) in Finland, since the lifestyle of living on gruel and working in the harsh fields – or gathering mushrooms and berries all day; stripping bark from trees, and so on – probably wasn’t very kind to the body.
This comparison is due to the Komi (Permic) and Erzya (Mordvinic) shared term for “dream”: On/Oн.
I believe these terms, due to their similarities in phonetics and semantics, may not be from a reconstruction like Proto-Finno-Ugric *adema, but actually from ónar/óneira (όναρ/όνειρα), or a similar variant.
One question arises for me amid these proposals: The origin of Finnish unelma (dream) and unelmoida (to daydream). I looked for comparable terms in Greek. The noun suffix ‘-ma’ is common in both Finnish and Greek; and there is a Greek term for ‘daydream’, oneiropoolejma (ονειροπόλημα; from ονειροπολέω, ‘to daydream/deal with dreams’). However, this term is quite long – and given that Finnish unelma matches more closely with ύπνε, I am inclined to believe that ‘unelma’ descends from a word that was lost (or that I can’t find) somewhere between Late Proto-Hellenic (or Mycenaean) and Homeric Greek. Were unelma<oneiropoolejma, it would require the exchange of *une/*uni in place of oneiro, as well as loss of -πό-.
While this is an obscure mystery (amara mysteejri), we can take away from this post new words to describe sleeping, dreaming – and even a flower!
The Hypervowel Heart (Finngreek: Hyvǽđifyrín) is a method to explain the relationships of vowels between Finnish and Greek. There are two types of hypervowels: 3-range (Hre-aule), and 5-range (Vindi-aule).
Three-range hypervowels (Hreaulehyvǽđes) consist of three vowels in a chain, where the middle vowel is considered the hypervowel. For example: If a vowel in Finnish is an “e”, and a vowel in Greek is an “i”, the hypervowel is “ei”. This is shown as “e-ei-i” in the hypervowel system.
Likewise, five-range hypervowels (Vindiaulehyvǽđes) consist of five vowels in a chain, where the first and fifth vowels are represented in the middle hypervowel. For example: If a vowel in Finnish is an “a”, and a vowel in Greek is a “u”, the hypervowel is “o”. This is shown as “a-å-o-uo-u” in the hypervowel system. ________________________________________________________________________
Here are some example of words that can be proposed as related through their hypervowels:
Highland = Ylämaa + Ypsåma (Ύψωμα). The hypervowel is A (æ-a-å). Note that the vowels ä and ω equal æ and å, respectively. This results in Finngreek Yvama.
Sublime = Ylevä + Ypsilaa (Υψηλά; modern Greek pronunciation). The hypervowel is EI (e-ei-i). This results in Finngreek Yveila, or Yvejlá. Please note that ei=ej, because this hypervowel oftentimes corresponds with the Greek letter ejta (Ηη), which held this phonetic value in Ancient Greek.
Moon = Kuu<*kuŋe + Kiikle (Κύκλε; modern pronunciation). The hypervowel is Y (u-y-i). This always corresponds with the letter ypsilon, which was pronounced /y/, as the letter is pronounced in modern Finnish. This results in Finngreek Kyykle. However, it can also be written Kuukle, which I often do to make it easier to recognize for Finns and Greeks, due to the similarity of u and υ.
Basically, hypervowels correspond to phonological values which are found in Ancient Greek and Proto-Hellenic – and how they descend into the modern Finnish and Greek languages. ________________________________________________________________________
Many times, Finnish and Greek vowels are only one degree apart (if they are not just the same phonetic value). For example:
Mountain = Vuori + Ori<*worwos (Όροι/Όρη). The letter W (digamma) was lost in Greek, but its remnants can still be seen in Homeric ouros (ούρος), where *wo>ou (/u/ in modern Greek); and Mycenaean Greek (wo-wo). While a range of three vowels is not demonstrated, the hypervowel is still known because of the relationship between the adjacent vowels o and uo/wo. Therefore: o-uo-u. In Finngreek, I normally write mountain as Wori. ________________________________________________________________________
Five-range hypervowels are rare by comparison, and only correspond to certain phonological values. One that is common throughout Indo-European languages is the e-o shift. Basically, throughout the evolution of languages, the vowels e and o can trade places. For example:
Tax = Vero + Foros (from fero/φέρω, ‘to carry/bring’). The Ancient Greek origin demonstrates the e in modern Finnish Vero. This is technically an example of a 5-range hypervowel, where the hypervowel is A (e-æ-a-å-o). However, in Finngreek, this manifests as a word with multiples varieties: Vero/Fero, and Voro/Foro.
This is a big part of the Finngreek concept of Poikilia Poikitse, which means “Variety Everywhere”. The relationships of vowel phonemes through their hypervowels can result in multiple ways that words can be written and pronounced. ________________________________________________________________________
In Finngreek, hypervowels are used to propose the common origin of modern Finnish (via Proto-Finnic and Proto-Uralic) and Greek words from archaic Greek. They are essential for understanding vowel shifts. The Hypervowel Heart I’ve made does not explain every way vowels can share relationships (one good example of this is the Greek αυ > Finnish ä, which I will discuss in a later post). However, a Uralic word can not be proposed to be loaned from Hellenic, unless the root word adheres to the vowel relationships illustrated in the Finngreek Hypervowel Heart.
I hope this has helped to answer some questions you may have about hypervowels. Feel free to ask more about the Hypervowel Heart in the comments!
From a glance, the equation for ‘to sing’ doesn’t seem remarkable. Many languages use the sound “Lala” as an onomatopoeia to express the sound of singing, from English to Chinese. However, Finnic and Greek are unique in that they have this sound as a stand-alone verb to express ‘to sing’.
Finnish ‘laulaa’ is from Proto-Finnic *lauladak. Other descendants include Karelian ‘laloa’ and Estonian ‘laulma’. Greek ‘lalåå/λαλώ’ means ‘to sing, talk, speak’, and is also seen in the mediopassive form ‘lalūmä/λαλούμαι’ and ‘lalūū-‘ prefix. Related words include λαλιά/λαλιή/λάλον (speech, voice, language), λάλημα (chatterer), and λάλος/λάλου/λάλα (talkative).
There is a similar set of words in IE languages regarding ‘to lull, lullaby’, such as Latin ‘lallo/lallus’ and Lithuanian ‘laluoti’. However, these terms all carry the meaning of sleepiness and laziness, which is not present in the Finnish and Greek words; these languages have separate terms for ‘to lull, lullaby’. On the contrary, the Finnish and Greek terms seem to express energy, such as Finnish laulattaa, ‘to want to sing/to cause one to sing’. However, given the phonetic components; that Latin heavily adopted Greek words; and that my proposed Hellenofinnic contact period spans the range of the Baltic sea, I believe it’s possible these terms could have all been related at one point, perhaps stemming back to the Greek λαλώ, which has an unclear etymology.