Finngreek 101: Verbs 1

In order to make the study of Finngreek more accessible, Finngreek.com is now a weekly blog! Every week, a post will be made to provide information and materials for learning the language. These posts will be organized into Categories for relevance. Today’s post is about Verbs 1.

The Finngreek language has a simple way of dealing with verbs, based on comparisons between Greek and Finnish, as well as other Uralic languages. While there is not a complete conjugation system, which will require long-term study of non-Finnic branches, basic sentences can still be formed from proposed etymological links.

Today’s post is a relaxed guide about using basic verbs and productive verb suffixes.

Indicative Present Verbs by Person and Number

The primary verb endings of Finngreek are mainly found in the indicative mood, present tense verb suffixes.
1st singular; -ing = -en = -ein = -ειν
2nd singular = -et = -eis = -εις
3rd singular/plural* = -ee = -ei = -ει
1st plural = -emme = -eme/-eemme = -έμε
2nd plural = -ette = -ete/-eette = -έτε

*In Finngreek, 3rd person plural is the same as singular, because the plural Finnish and Greek suffixes are not connected (-vat and -σιν/-sin, respectively).

With the exception of active infinitive -ειν, all suffixes listed above are indicative present.

Examples:
Noein phanon = I see the light, Seeing the light
Noeis phoivon = You see the sun
Kluuei roglema = He/she/it hears the problem, They hear the problem
Lalaamme lalon = We sing the song
Tektete duulia = You all do the work

As can be seen in Lalaamme, the verb suffix is dependent on the final vowel of the verb root it is attached to: Since the verb ‘to sing’ is Lalaa, it is just Lalaamme, and the -e- of -eme is omitted.


ON

On = On = Όν
On is the copula verb (‘to be, is’) of Finngreek, from the Finnish 3rd person singular indicative present copula On, and the Greek active participle(s) Όν/Ών. In Finnish, On means ‘is/are’ (plural [Puhekieli]); and in Greek, Όν means ‘being’. In Finngreek, ‘is/being/are’ are all On.

Examples:
Usma on pakhu / Usma pakhu on / On usma pakhu / Pakhuusmaon / Pakhúsmån
“The mist is thick”
Usmata on pakhu / Pakhúsmatån
“The mists are thick”


-([O]ISI[N])

-oisin = -oisin = -οίσιν
The suffix -oisin can be broken down into multiple variants, such as -aisin and -iisin. This suffix involves Greek optative and Finnish conditional verbs, but the etymology of Finngreek -oisin is actually from Finnish and Greek plural nouns in the illative and dative cases, respectively. In Finnic languages, debuccalization sometimes results in -isin>-i(h)in; and in modern Greek, the dative case was lost. In Finngreek, however, it’s a productive noun and verb suffix.

Adding -oisin to nouns describes a direction towards/with them; and adding it to verbs gives them a conditional (would) or optative (could) mood.

Examples:
Emperataa = To understand
Emperataaisin = I would/could understand
Noei nommiin = They see the pasture
Noeisi nommiisin = They could see to the pasture
Tattome pjomata = We want drinks
Tattoisime pjomata, kiidos = We would like drinks, thanks


Imperative Verbs

In both Finnish and Greek, the 2nd person singular imperative present verb suffix is -e, and occasionally may be another vowel, like -a. This ending turns a statement into a command.

Noeis rakton = You see the ravine
Noe raktoisin! = Look into the ravine!
Kluueis muusiikkiin = You hear the music
Kluue muusikkooisin! = Listen to the musician!
Rodokaas venoisin = You wait for the boat
Rodoka, vene! = Wait, boat!

If you need a comparative equation for any of the Finngreek words used in this post, feel free to leave your request in the comments!

What’s going on with Finngreek? Updates!

This is a short and temporary post about what’s happening behind the scenes at Finngreek. Here’s what’s up!

Lessons 1-21 are being revised to have more accurate and concise information. During this time, you may not be able to access certain lessons while under revision. I apologize for the inconvenience, but hope you will be pleased with the results! The goal is for Finngreek to be as simple and helpful as possible, maximizing words made from etymological comparisons, while eliminating outdated and inaccurate words. This may mean there will be less words in the language – but of a better quality.

Finngreek is now being enriched with more Uralic languages than ever before. What had started out as a few comparisons between Finnish and Greek has evolved into equations sourced from reference materials for more than 20 Uralic languages, meaning that the Finngreek language is now a mosaic of Hellenic and Uralic words. This will somewhat lower mutual intelligibility between Finns and Greeks, but create a more developed picture of what kind of language was being exchanged during the hypothetical Helleno-Uralic contact.

We are expanding to more platforms. Finngreek.com began as an isolated project, but since its foundation, there is now Finngreek on Reddit, Discord; and very soon, new social media will be unveiled. Stay tuned to enjoy brand new content!

I want to thank all of you who have been with this project since its inception – and who continue to join every day. This website had its 1-year anniversary on the 7th. So much has changed from then to now; and there is always so much to do. As silly as it may seem, this project has become my life’s work: I intend to see it through to the very end. The support you all have given me has been lían loista – too wonderful! – and I truly appreciate all of you who travel with me on this journey.

To me, Finngreek and its inferred history is best summarized as Oikeia Kiikeia: A proper frenzy. From this suitable chaos, I hope we can discover more about the past, and bring it to the future.

The Hyperborean Aurora: Reflecting the Northern Lights through Finngreek Etymology

The lands of the Uralic peoples are known for their loista (splendid!) Northern Lights, which fill the sky with fleeting arrays of colors, ephemerally dancing across the polar night. Because the Aurora borealis is such a stunning phenomenon, it would stand to reason that, if Greeks and Hyperboreans (our theorized Proto-Uralic population) were in contact, this could be shown through a shared term. In this case, we are going to explore three proposals which could potentially illustrate a mutual observance of these blazing Fox-Fires. Let’s take a journey.

Our first word for the Northern Lights is Arevothulés, the Finngreek form of Finnish Revontulet.

Literally meaning ‘fox-fires’, the Finnish name for the Northern Lights describes the tail-like blaze of the Aurora borealis. Revon<Repo (fox) has a decidedly IE origin, but from which language is unclear. Greek Αλεπού<Αλωπώ<Αλώπηξ fits as well as any other candidate, with the prefixing form Alepo-/Αλεπο- fitting the best – However, synchronicity may be an issue.

Tuli (fire), from Proto-Uralic *tule, is compared with Thulí/Θυλή (tʰulé) and θύλημα, meaning ‘burnt sacrifice/offering, incense’, and goes back to the verb θύω, from which a similar comparison – Wind = Tuuli = Thuulli = Θύελλη – is also derived, along with several other terms in Finngreek, such as Thuosko/Thuoks (incense/perfume), from Finnish Tuoksu and Greek Θύος-σκ-/ (Θυοσκόος, Θυοσκοπία, etc.). The term Αlepothulés/Αλεποθυλές does not currently exist in Greek, but it is constructed to follow the natural structure (eg: Alepopordí/Αλεποπορδή) of Alepo- with an -ή final noun as a compound term. If Tuli and Thulí/Θυλή are cognates, then the “fire” involved might be comparable with the meandering motions of smoke rising from burning incense, which evokes the Aurora.

Arevothulés/Αlepothulés: Northern Lights, Fox fires, Trail of incense smoke

The next term is Harp, which can end in -a, -e, or -i, due to multiple derivations.

Northern Lights = Harp/Χарп (Nenets) < *karpə <? *korpe- (‘to blaze/scorch’) =
Harpa/Harpe/Harpi =
Αρπ- (Απράζω, Άρπη, *Αρπετόν, etc.)

The question mark between Proto-Samoyedic *karpə and Proto-Uralic *korpe- indicates that their etymological connection is uncertain. If they are related, then Nenets Harp/Χарп is connected with Finnish Korventaa/Kärventää (to scorch), and possibly Hungarian Hervad (to fade).

On the Hellenic side, The verb Harpázå/Αρπάζω, meaning ‘to seize hastily’, has a variety of derived terms, like Αρπακτικός (that which can easily/suddenly seize or ignite), Άρπαγμα (prey, windfall/good fortune), Αρπαλέος (devouring/consuming; attractive/alluring/charming), and Αρπάλιμος (defined as Προσφιλής: Beloved, lovely, pleasing).

The etymology of Αρπάζω, and its relation to other Greek terms, is disputed. It has been compared with Harpy/Άρπη (bird of prey), which may or may not be from Proto-Indo-European *serp- (to creep, crawl), like the Greek Hérpis/Έρπης (“snake”, shingles) and Herpetón/Ερπετόν (snake, creeping animal), with Aeolic Orpetόn/Ορπετόν suggesting (h)Arpetόn/*Αρπετόν.

With these potential connections in mind, the semantic possibilities for Finngreek Harpe are:
1. Something that devours, seizes, or burns suddenly, or is seized/burned suddenly
4. Prey, or an object of desire: Something lovely, pleasing, and/or alluring
3. A bird of prey (Harpy)
4. Something that creeps and crawls, such as a snake

There’s not a way for me to say any one of these could be more certain than another, at least until etymologists can make final decisions on the Indo-European and Uralic sources which my comparisons are reliant upon. The Northern Lights, as they would have been observed by the Helleno-Hyperboreanic peoples, could have been compared with fire, a bird, a creeping animal, or even simply an alluring object.

My personal feeling is that, while Harpy/Άρπη bears perhaps the closest resemblance to Finngreek Harpe, I don’t imagine a bird, sickle, tooth, fish, etc. (other meanings of Άρπη) when I look at the movement of the Aurora. The motion of the Northern Lights very plainly appears to me as either a slithering snake (‘Ερπης, *Αρπετόν), or as a line of fire igniting across the sky, depending on the formation of the lights – as well as the aforementioned stream of smoke from incense. Since the Aurora is also very beautiful, ‘object of desire’ seems suitable as well. With all of this in mind, the Helleno-Samoyedic construction results in this Finngreek term:

Harp(-a/-e/-i): Aurora; Snake; Fire (when moving across distance); Allure/Object of desire

Finally, there is Sela. Sela is constructed from two sources:
1. Finnish Salama (lightning/flash), from Proto-Uralic *śala (to flash/lighten)
2. Greek Sélas/Σέλας (light/brightness) and Selá/Σελά (to shine), which is either from “Pre-Greek”, or Proto-Indo-European *swelō (to glare, burn). In this case, it would be cognate with Sanskrit Surati/सुरति (to rule, shine), Lithuanian Svìlti (to singe), and Proto-Germanic *swelaną (to burn).

In modern Greek, Σέλας also means ‘aurora’, such as the Bóreio Sélas/Βόρειο Σέλας, or Northern Lights. In Finngreek, this is written as Borjasela(ma), as if a Finnish compound Pohja(n)-salama. Because the Greek term is neuter, -ma might be a missing suffix in another variety as seen with Finnish Sala-ma. This allows for two plural forms: Borjasélata and Borjaselámata.

Sela(-ma): Aurora, Lightning, Shine, Flash

Practice Sentences
Arevothulés on Áranáimase = The Northern Lights (Fox Fires) are in the Autumn air
Alepothulémata on Sýskausínmose = The Northern Lights are in the Autumn air
Harpe selá hamaráse = The Aurora shines in the dark
Borjaséla borjoise on = The Northern Lights are in the north
Nóe borjaselámata phaná = See the Northern Lights shine

We now have three terms for the Aurora: Arevothulés, Harp, and Sela. It brings me great pleasure to enrich the Finngreek vocabulary with such a multitude of Helleno-Uralic proposals for the Aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, as nature has always offered a generous source of etymology and inspiration for this language project.

In the future, I would like to find a comparison with Sami Kuovskâs/Guovssahas, because its s-final morphology suggests to me an Indo-European source. However, I have yet to find anything convincing – but if I do, I look forward to editing it into this post!

In the case of observing the Aurora, it requires a historical stipulation that either a Hellenic people, or Uralic peoples (Hyperboreans) with knowledge of the Greek language, gave names to the Northern Lights from Hellenic sources (perhaps with the exception of Finnish Salama, which does not carry this meaning). This could place the northern (vs. Greece as southern) Helleno-Uralic contact zone somewhere within the arctic reaches of Fennoscandia and Russia – indeed very far north for a Greek population to reach if this contact occurred. Historical references to Hyperborea place it very far from Greece, beyond the Scythian steppelands, across the Riphean mountains – which have been associated in antiquity and modern times with the Ural mountains – until finally reaching the edge of the earth. Conversely, another northern contact period could have involved Mycenaeans in Scandinavia and the Baltic – of which more can be read about here and here – from where Greek language would have reached Proto-Uralic and/or Proto-Finno-Ugric through its western periphery.

All of these speculations depend on historians reaching a consensus about the time and place of the Proto-Uralic Urheimat (homeland), as well as the chronologies and ranges of its split into its descendant languages. Wherever the true Hyperborea was located, I hope to find it; and believe that its location may contain a wealth of archaeological treasures, as well as insight into how so much archaic Greek could have been loaned in the Uralic languages.

I wish you all Syyskausi Zilo, or Ara Onisi: Autumn Happiness!

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 = Hálokho = 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 = Thalmé = Οφθαλμέ
Air/Wind (Inari) = Alme = 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.

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, 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, Phåívånkheíli – 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)

The ancient Venos, of the hypothetical Finngreek times, is a legacy that could live on today in the maritime nations of Finland and Greece. 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 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.

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!

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.

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 phuthe (fruit made-is tree-from)

Hedloba tehdontae phuthe
Phuthe tehdontae hedloba
Tehdontae phuthe hedloba
Hedloba phuthe tehdontae
Phuthe hedloba tehdontae
Tehdontae hedloba phuthe

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 Phuthe, with the -the meaning ‘from’. 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 = Sooma tso rooga
Because the person and food are both in 3rd person, there is no way to determine who is eating whom. If it were “Rooga tso sooma“, then the food would be 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, the sentence order can be free again:

The person eats the food = Sooma tso roogan

Sooma tso roogan
Roogan sooma tso
Tso roogan sooma
Sooma roogan tso
Roogan tso sooma
Tso sooma roogan

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

The Finngreek Hypervowel Heart (Hyvǽđifyrín)

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!