Finngreek This Week: 7 New Proposals

Rough, Bear-like = Karhea = Harkeia = Άρκεια

The name for bear in Finnish, Karhu, has been suggested by some to be derived from the adjective Karhea, meaning ‘rough, coarse, uneven’. However, in Finngreek, the opposite seems more suitable:
Bear = Karhu = Harku = Άρκος/Άρκου, Αρκούδα
Compare with this derived term from Oikos/Οίκος in Greek:
Suitable = Oikea = Oikeia = Οικεία

This would make -ea/-eia/-εια a Helleno-Uralic adjectivizing suffix for nouns, to describe being ‘of’ or ‘from’ the noun. Harkeia would still have probably originally referred to bear fur, in particular the outer layer of guard hairs present in bear fur. However, in Finngreek, Harkeia can describe anything like the physical or behavioral properties of a bear.

Slope = Rinne = Riinnæ = Ρίνα

There is also the short form Rin/Riinn per Greek ῥῑ́ν. Riinnæ in Finngreek means ‘slope/hillside/mountainside’, as well as ‘nose’ (Greek). While Proto-Finnic *nenä (nose) bears a resemblance to Rina (compare Estonian Nina), the reconstruction of -e- vs. -i- would make it an irregular doublet, and less likely. If the Uralic etymology for Rinne is correctly from Rinta + -e, it would additionally carry the meaning ‘chest’. This might have a connection with Rinón/Rinós/Ρινόν/Ρινός (shield), with final-syllable stress resulting in metathesis of either -n or -s into -nta. However, if Rinta and Ρινόν are connected, then Rinne would not need to be from Rinta + -e, but rather from Rin/Ris/Ρίν/Ρίς, which may be Pre-Greek.

Musician = Muusikko = Muusikkoo = Μουσικό(ς)

The Finnish word for music, Musiikki, is probably borrowed from Swedish Musik, from Latin Mūsica, from Ancient Greek Mousikḗ/Musikii/Μουσική. However, the term for musician involves what is considered a native Finnish suffix for beings: -kko. This suffix is etymologized as being from Proto-Finnic *-kko(i), from the diminuitive suffix -kka + -o. However, in Greek, -(i)kó(s) is also used to denote beings and likeness – and is seen in the same context as the Finnish suffix: Compare Fyysikko (physician) with Φυσικός, Poliitikko (politician) with Πολιτικός, and Unikko (poppy) with Υπνικό (hypnic). Whether -kko would be a Finngreek feature is unclear, as it would ultimately be from Proto-Indo-European *-kos, which creates deadjectival and desubstantival adjectives denoting a characteristic. However, the geminate -kk- of -kko suggests the final stress of Greek -kó, which results in Finngreek -kkoo.

Room = Huone = Hoore = Χώρε

The Greek word Χώρε, the vocative form of Horos/Χώρος, is considered Pre-Greek. The phonological comparison with Huone involves ώ>oo>uo (compare Proto-Finnic *hooneh and Estonian Hoone), as seen in comparisons like:

Body/Person, Finn = Suoma = Sooma = Σώμα
Drink = Juoma = Pjooma = Πώμα
Food, Grape/Berry, Seed/Clove = Ruoka = Rooga = Ρώγα

The change of VrV>VnV is also seen in comparisons like Puna = Puraa = Πυρρά, meaning ‘red’.

To exert, struggle, try hard = Ponnistaa = Ponniisthae = Πονείσθαι

There is some etymological uncertainty with this proposal. Finnish Ponnistaa has been etymologized from Ponsi, which primarily refers to part of the stamen of a flower. However, it can also refer to ‘vigor’. It is ultimately listed as being from Proto-Finno-Permic *ponte. The Greek Πονείσθαι/Πονέεσθαι is from the verb Πονέω, from Ponos/Πόνος, meaning ‘hard work, bodily exertion, toil’. The comparison of the Finnish verb suffix -(i)staa with the Greek mediopassive ending -(ί)σθαι is considered regular Finngreek. However, while *ponte might be cognate with Pone/Πόνε (vocative of Πόνος), the original meaning – as well as its non-Finnic reflexes – appears to be unavailable online. The *-t- may be akin to the *-p- in Proto-Uralic *kumpa (wave). Compare Greek Kuma/Κύμα. Alternatively, Ponsi might be cognate with Ponisi/Πόνηση, also meaning ‘toil, exertion’.

That which is seen, View, Thought =
Νäkymä = Nóhema = Νόημα

These terms are probably not perfect cognates, since Νäkymä is derived from Νäkyä, rather than being directly derived from Νähdä. However, they both go back in Finngreek to Proto-Uralic *näke- (to see) and Greek Νοέω (to see, observe, perceive, think). These näke- and no(h)e- roots are ultimately paired with the -ma(t[a]) suffix, resulting in Finngreek Nóhema (pl. Nohémata). In Finngreek, Nóhema refers to anything that is seen or perceived, such as scenery, photographs, videos, ideas, and dreams.

Night, Waning = Yö<*Üje = Pye/Víi = Πύη

This is a phonologically suitable, but overall unclear proposal. Πύη/Pýe/Píi is listed as a “possibly false reading” of Φθόη in the work of Aretaios, an Ionian physician from Cappadocia; and this would give Πύη the same meaning as Φθίσις: A decline or decay; as well as the waning of the moon. If Πύη is the source of Proto-Uralic *üje, then the night would be akin to the waning or decline of the day.

The phonological basis is as follows: Overwhelming initial p- loss in Uralic reflexes, with p->v- retained in Moksha Ve and Komi-Zyrian Voj. The remaining -ye can be compared with proposals like Työ = Δύη, and Lyö = Λύε. Various Uralic reflexes show at least partial iotacism as occurred into modern Greek Pýe>Píi, such as Kildin Sami Ɨjj, Livonian Īe, Udmurt Uj, and Hungarian Éj.

Finngreek 101: Nouns 1

This week’s post is about the basics of noun suffixes in Helleno-Uralic theory. There are patterns of phonology and morphology which are used to recognize the likelihood of nouns being related through Finngreek contact. Sometimes, a word in Finnish or a Uralic language is identical to its proposed Greek equivalent; and sometimes, changes happen which can be described as “regular” or “irregular”, depending on whether these shifts co-occur in other comparisons. This is not a comprehensive guideline, but an introduction to Finngreek noun morphology and phonology. This lesson covers aspects of the Finngreek noun suffixes -os, -e, -i, and -ma.


-OS

The Finnish language lacks productive gender, meaning that words do not follow the complex grammatical rules of gender found in many Indo-European languages, such as Greek. However, non-productive suffixes indicating gender and case can still be found in Finngreek. For example, the -os nominative suffix:

Shaking, Mixing = Seos = Seos = Σέος

This is considered a 1-to-1 correspondence, as virtually every phoneme is preserved. However, in Finngreek phonology, -os can undergo several changes, such as:

Loss of final -s
Quantity/Value, Number/Word = Luku = Logos = Λόγος
Outfit, Fleece = Puku = Pokos = Πόκος
Here, and in all other comparisons, it is unclear whether o>u or -os>-o occurred first.

Ravine = Rotko = Raktos = Ρακτός
Mist, Fog, Rain, Hot Spring = Utu/Udu = Udos = Ύδος
Heap/Size, Entirety/Bulk, Body/Mass = Koko/Kogu = Hogkos = Όγκος
Summit = Huippu = Hypsos = Ύψος

Metathesis (-os>-so):
Valley, Pit/Reservoir = Laakso = Laakos = Λάκος
Laakos>Laakso

Metathesis + Debuccalization (-os>-so>-ho)
Boat = Venho = Venos = Βῆνος
Venos*>Venso>Venho
(*A possibly more accurate reconstruction at time of contact would be Banos/βænos, given the assumption of -α->-η-, as well as Samic reflexes showing Van[s]-.)

Metathesis + Debuccaliztion + -Ch->-Ck-
Path = Polku = Poros = Πόρος
Poros>Porso>Porho>Polku

This last example seems like a lot, but it’s not unprecedented in Finnish. An example I see as evidence of -Cos>-Cko (C representing a liquid consonant) is Uros>Urho>Ukko.

Venoporo = Boat Path / Canal


-E

In Finngreek, final -e nouns mean one of two things: A masculine/feminine word in the vocative (vs. nominative) case; or a feminine word ending in -η in Ancient Greek (not -ις>-η). Looking back at a previous comparison, we can analyze a Finnish term in its nominative and vocative forms:

Masculine -ος/-ε
Boat = Venho = Venos = Βῆνος (nominative)
Boat = Vene = Vene = Βῆνε (vocative)

Most examples can only be reconstructed in a vocative case:
Lake (Proto-Uralic), Place = *towe = Tope/Tokwe = Τόπε < *tò(w)-kʷV-
Satiety = Kyllä = Kore/Koorre = Κόρε
Thunder God, Eagle = Perkele = Perknee = Περκνέ
Sleep = Uni < *une = Uvne (Hupne) = Ύπνε
Moon = Kuu < *kunge = Kukle = Κύκλε

Feminine -η
Tree/Noble Growth (of a plant), Nature = Puu < *puwe = Phue = Φυή
Billow, Censer = Tuiske = Thuiske = Θυΐσκη
Yard, Field, Area = Alue = Aule = Αυλή

Iotacism (the change of a vowel towards /i/) of -e>-i can occur in -η final nouns:

Moor/Pasture = Nummi = Nomi/Nommii = Νομή
Door, Opening (architectural) = Ovi < *owe = Opi = Οπή
Pond, Scum = Lampi = Lampi = Λάμπη
Point, Tip = Kärki = Hakri = Άκρη
These terms are now pronounced with /i/ at the end in both languages, but would have originally been pronounced with a final -e.

-I

An -i final noun in Finngreek can also indicate what was -ις/-is in ancient Greek, but is now -η/-i in modern Greek:

Memory = Muisti = Mvisti(s) = Μνήστις > Μνήστη
Child, Pregnancy = Lapsi = Syllapsi(s) = Σύλλαψις >> Σύλληψη

The suffix -i can also indicate a perceived final syllable loss of a word ending in -si(s) in Greek:

Sense = Aisti/Haisti = (H)aisthisi(s) = Αίσθησις/Αίσθηση
Information/Communication = Tieto = Diadosi(s) = Διάδοσι(ς)

Some proposals could theoretically fit into either category:

Good Luck, Happiness = Onni = Oni(si[s]) = Όνησι(ς), Ονή
Plant, Growth of Plants = Kasvi = Havksi(si[s]) = Αύξησι(ς), Αύξη

Hypsohakri = Tip of the Summit


-MA

The -ma suffix is interesting when comparing Finnish and Greek, because it involves a -t(a) plural form in both languages. This will be discussed more in a post for Noun Plurals.

Rage, Suffering = Vimma = Pima/Piimma = Πήμα
Finn, Person, Human = Suoma = Sooma = Σώμα
Drink = Juoma = Pjooma = Πώμα
Edge, Chasm = Särmä = Sarma = Σάρμα
Power, Battle-cry = Voima = Voima = Βόημα
Fog, Mist, Rain = Usma = Usma = Ύσμα


There are more suffixes to be explained, like -a(s) and -kkoo, in Nouns 2.



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).