Ízdō: Realizing the Finngreek Verb, Part 2

This is our final post of the series! After this, any new terms will be incorporated into the most relevant available post.

Helleno-Uralic verbs offer insight into the activities of the people involved in the Uralo-Hellenic contact period. Verbs have already been partly discussed in Part 1. In Part 2, a special class of verbs are discussed: the -ízdō verbs. These verbs are compared due to their shared suffix; and are currently only etymologized from Greek into the Finnic and Mari languages. In Finnish, the suffix -ista is found; and in Mari, the suffix -(ə)žáš is found: These Uralic suffixes are compared with Hellenic -ízd(ō) and -(á)z(d[ō]), respectively.

In Helleno-Uralic Theory, -zdō is identified along with the nominalizing derivative -(z)mós: Cf. Ma. -(ž)máš. However, it is unclear whether HMa. -mós can be reconstructed; or if they are rather cognates that ultimately descend from a PIE *-mos.

The HU -ízdō verb roots are generally defined as onomatopoeic or descriptive in origin in both Hellenic and Uralic etymologies. However, in certain cases, these verb are derived from a noun, which allows for semantic context.


*arízd- ~ arrízd
HF ‘to growl, snarl / knurren’
Fi. äristä ~ häristä <> He. arrízdō / ἀρρίζω < ?

HF *arízdō is posited due to the variation of He. arázdō ~ arrázdō. I tentatively compare Fi. äreä ‘grumpy / mürrisch’ with He. áreios / ἄρειος ‘martial, warlike’, which would ultimately derive from the name of the god Árēs / Ἄρης. This comparison is possibly fortified by the relevance of the dog to Ares: For example, Spartans sacrificed dogs to Ares. If He. arrízdō can be derived from Árēs, then the loan must be considered F < H, as the attestation of Ares predates the currently proposed timespan of HU contact. However, F < H loaning may not explain the initial h- of häristä, which suggests an original rough breathing – unless psilosis of HF *(h)arízd- was underway during HU contact. Regardless, all terms connected with He. arrízdō are ultimately of an unknown provenance, which formally leaves open the possibility of a F > H loan.

Fi. ‘to crackle (of fire) / knistern (“ritistä”), crumble / bröckeln, flutter down / rieseln, rustle / rascheln’;
He. ‘to blow up or fan (the flame)’
Fi. ripistä <<? He. ripízdō / ῥιπίζω < ripís / ῥιπίς ‘fan’ < ríptō / ῥίπτω ‘to throw (down, out)’ < ?

The exact meaning of HF ripízd- is unclear, due to the semantic variety in both the F and He. terms. Perhaps it described the fanning, and subsequent crackling, of a fire.

Fi. ‘to crash (repeatedly) / krachen’; He. ‘to move something rapidly causing noise’
Fi. rutista, rytistä <<? He. rotʰízdō / ῥοθίζω < rótʰos / ῥόθος < ?

Cf. HS rótʰ-: He. rótʰos also means ‘dash of oars, roar of waves, rushing noise’. These semantics imply nautical contact and/or travel.

HMa. ‘to smile’
see HMa. sarkazmós

Ma. ‘to cry, scream, shout, shriek, squeal, yell’; He. ‘to mangle, speak gibberish, speak like a barbarian / βαρβαρίζω’
Ma. vargəžáš / варгыжаш <> He. varkázdō / βαρκάζω < ?

He. varkázdō is an isolated term – contrast with the regular derivation seen in Ma. vargəžáš / варгыжаш > vargəžmáš / варгыжмаш. This suggests H *varkazmós / *βαρκασμός if a Ma. < He. loan. However, Ma. > He. loaning can not be ruled out, due to the lack of further He. etymology, as well as the “barbarian” semantics.

Ma. ‘to call’; He. ‘to squeal like a pig’
Ma. yžáš / ӱжаш <<? He. hyízdō / ὑΐζω < hỹs / ὗς ‘swine’ << PIE *sūs

Also reconstructed is HMa. (h)yizmós: Cf. yžmáš / ӱжмаш ‘call’ <<? He. hyizmós/ ὑϊσμός ‘squealing’.


Now that the first collection of terms has been proposed, focus in future posts will shift to the history and linguistics behind Helleno-Uralic contact. Aídālos mũtʰos ripízdẹ, daídalos vē̃nos rotʰízdẹ…

Ízdō: Realizing the Finngreek Verb, Part 1

This post discusses verbs that would have been exchanged during Helleno-Uralic contact. Previously discussed were the verbs ennustá-, iál-, logé-, maín-, and rypʰá-. Additional verbs can be inferred due to the presence of HU nouns (eg: Ma. mutayáš / мутаяш ~ He. muthéō / μυθέω ‘to speak’ < HMa. mũtʰos ‘word’), but can not necessarily be reconstructed. A special class of verbs called “-ízdō verbs” will be discussed in Part 2.

Uralo-Hellenic verbs are scant when compared with nouns: Although the -ízdō verbs attest to an intensive degree of verbal exchange, Helleno-Uralic verbs otherwise appear to be few and far between. This evaluation may be subject to change as the Uralic lexica are further dissected.

These will be the last two posts of the “Re-” series, in which I have described the foundational terms of Helleno-Uralic Theory. After this series is completed, focus will shift to related topics, such as dating and locating Uralo-Hellenic contact. I hope you have enjoyed this series as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you, lían oikeĩa sṓmatá mů.


to sit (HFV)
Fi. istua << FV *isɜ- <? hízdō / ἵζω << PIE *sisd- (cf. He. ἕζομαι)

The FV dating of the U term, and the prerequisite for debuccalization > psilosis* from an IE form, leaves the He. form to stand out in its parallelism. However, the overall correspondence is unclear: He. Dor. hísdō / ἵσδω can account for FV *-s- (although not necessary, given HFV -ízdō verbs); but the description of HS -t- as part of a “compound derivative suffix” is against the expectation of FV **-st- < He. -zd-. The absence of FV *-t- must be accounted for: It does not seem that He. /zd/ > /z/ would have yet taken place – perhaps Mord. -z- could rather be compared with Ma. -ž- as a secondary Volgaic development.

*It is perhaps more likely that U < H loans with initial h- were generally loaned without /h/, as psilosis was probably not yet completed in He. during HU contact.

kǐdá- ~ *kǐ̄dá- ~ *kǐ̃dá-
to praise, thank (HF)
Fi. kiittää <<? He. kǐdáō / κυδάω (cf. κῡδαίνω ~ κῦδαίνω) <1? PIE *keuH-

Also compare Fi. kiitos with He. kǐ̃dos / κῦδος for vowel length; although the suffixes may be coincidental (cf. HF séhō). Although not addressed in SSA, Fi. kiittää has been etymologized from B *geid- ‘to sing’. However, there is no semantic overlap between B and FS.

leú- ~ leúe
to throw (FU); to stone (He.)
FU *lewe- < He. leúō / λεύω < ?

There is unfortunately no other U *-ewe- verb found to compare with H for the fortification of this correspondence. If FU secondary *-e- is to be accounted for, then a He. conjugation with -e-, such as 3rd sng. act. ind. leúei / λεύει, might be considered.

to sleep (F); to fall asleep, snooze (S); to pass the night (He.); ? (HFS)
F nukku- (cf. Fi. nukkua), PS *nokkë– <? He. nukʰeúō / νυχεύω < núks / νύξ <1 PIE nokʷt-

The original meaning and form of HFS nukʰ- is unclear; but the correspondence FS -kk- = He. -kʰ- is precedented in HFS? mukʰá.

to blow (HU)
U *pušɜ- <?> He. pʰusáō / φυσάω (cf. pʰũsa / φῦσα) < ?

The secondary vowel correspondence is unclear due to the unstressed U *-ɜ- when compared with the He. variation -á- ~ -é- ~ -ō̃-; and U *-š- = He. -s-. The provenance of He. pʰũsa is unclear: Although compared with other IE terms, the final -sa is not explained; and the derivation pʰũsiŋks / φῦσιγξ contains the PreH suffix -iŋks / -ιγξ.

*vál– ~ váll
to pour (HFV)
FV *wala- <? He. vállō / βάλλω <1 IE *gʷelh₁-

The outcome FV *-al- < He. -áll- is unclear, but Fi. valaa suggests H *válō / *βάλω (cf. HU iálō).

Síka: Rewilding the Finngreek Animals

This post discusses terms relevant to animals that would have been present during Helleno-Uralic contact, due to their proposed loaning. Previously discussed were HFS nákā (the skin of an animal) and (e)pʰolkḗ (a vessel that might have been towed by animals, such as reindeer).


apsí– ~ (h)apsí-
mesh of a net (HS); net (HMa.);? mesh net (HSMa.?)
PS *vuopsë;? Ma. vapš / вапш <? He. apsí- / ἀψίς < háptō / ἅπτω < ?
Con.: G hābaz > EPS *ap(a/i)si > PS *vuopsë (Kallio 2009, p. 36)

The phonological advantages of a He. > PS (vs. G > PS) loan are: Initial h- could be optional; medial -ps- is explained; and final -i(-) is explained. However, the syllable stress, and absence of final -s, in S are unclear. It is also unclear how both HS apsí– and HS apʰḗ (> PS *āppē) can be phonologically explained as loans into Sami, given their mutual derivation from He. háptō. However, this incongruency might be explained by rapid pace of PS vowel shifts, as discussed by Petri Kallio re: G > S loans (Kallio 2009, p. 37). In this model, HS apsí– would have been loaned earlier than apʰḗ. Re: Ma.: Cf. vapš < vaptáš / вапташ ‘to tangle up’ with He. (h)apsí- < háptō ‘to fasten or bind to’. However, a paradigm is not reconstructed for He. (h)a- >> Ma. va-.

magpie (HF)
B (cf. Lit. šárka) ?> F harakka ?> He. karakáksa / καρακάξα* < ?

Two phonological problems are presented by the proposal of HF karakáksa: The correspondence of F h- = He. k-; and the He. final-syllable -ksa. These are both left unresolved at present: While F h- = He. kʰ- is precedented, the phonological environment that would result in F h- = He. k- is not identified; and the He. final-syllable -ksa is not identified as a morpheme.

*LSJ:GM defines He. karakáksa as “κίσσα“, which can refer to either a type of jay (Garrulus glandarius) or magpie (Pica caudata) (LSJ:FEE). He.-language Wikipedia identifies the karakáksa / καρακάξα as the Eurasian magpie.

wolf (Ud.), dog (He.)
Ud. kion / кион <? He. kǐ́ōn / κύων << PIE *ḱu̯ōn

Cf. Ko. köin / кӧин. However, Riho Grünthal writes that “the Udmurt and Komi variants suggest different reconstructive forms”. If Ud. kion was loaned from He. kǐ́ōn, this suggests that loaning was synchronous with other HU kǐ- terms.

kórak- ~ korák-
crow (HMa.)
Ma. korák / корак <<? He. kórak- / κόρᾰξ ~ korák- / κοράκι(ον) <1 PIE *kor-

It can be difficult to propose ornithological etymologies due to extra-familial similarities (eg: Fi. kurki ‘crane’ =? Sumerian kur.gi.). If HMa. korak- is correct, it is unclear from which He. form loaning into PMa. would have taken place: He. koráki(on) matches Ma. syllable stress; but a HMa. paradigm has not been reconstructed that would explain Ma. loss of He. -i(on).

squirrel (FP?); tail (He.)
FP? *ora <? He. ourā́ / οὐρά <1 PIE *h₁ors- ‘hindmost’ (cf. He. ὄρρος)

The He. term for ‘squirrel’, skíouros / σκίουρος, has been etymologized from skiá / σκιά ‘shadow’ + ourā́: Thus “shadow-tail”. However, this etymology has been disputed. The significance of the squirrel’s tail is implied in HFP? ourā́.

dirt, excrement (F); dung, mud (He.)
FU *pućka ~ *paćka > F paska ?> He. páskos / πάσκος < ?

If FUg. *pućka is the correct form, then Fi. paska shows the greatest phonological affinity with He. páskos. The revision of F -a with He. -os is reminiscent of other F > He. loans, such as HF laĩpʰos and nákos.

red (F); hair (FUg.); red, red hair (He.); red hair? (HU)
FUg. *puna <? He. purrā́ / πυρρά < ?

He. -rr- is unprecedented in HU: So it is unclear what its outcome in a H > U loan might be. If a feminine term, HFUg. purrā́ might have referred to the red squirrel (Fi. punaorava <<<? HU purrā́ ourā́). However, most He. terms for human and animal hair are feminine (cf. θρίξ, κόμη, ἔθειρα, χαίτη): So HFUg. purrā́ could simply be connected to a He. term for hair that hasn’t been reconstructed in HU; or, since ‘hair’ is already implied in He., it could describe a female.

butt (HF); tail (Er.,? He.); butt, tail (HFV?)
Fi. pylly (SSS),? Er. pulo / пуло <?> He. pýnnos / πύννος < ?

The meaning ‘tail’ attributed to He. pýnnos is by equation with πρωκτός. The primary meaning reconstructed is HF ‘butt’. Also compare Ne. pūna ‘behind’ (preposition; Lyublinskaya).

síka ~ s̜íka
pig (HF ~ HFV)
Fi. sika <(<) PF *cika ~ PFV *tika ?> He. síka / σίκα < ?

He. síka is from Laconian Doric: the dialect of Sparta. This does not necessarily mean that Spartans were involved in HF(V) contact: Only that the term was only attested in Laconian. The potential effects of assibilation on a loan into He. are unclear: So it is unclear what FV form might have been loaned into He. Assibilation is already a H feature (cf. HFUg. s͔éhō; HF sō̃ma ~ s͔ō̃mə).

Oikeîa: Rebuilding the Finngreek City

(Photo: Sami goahti in Fatmomakke, by Gunilla G.)

After more than 2,500 years since the hypothetical establishment of Helleno-Uralic contact, and various post-Hellenic lexical influences on the Uralic languages, it is unclear what everyday life would have looked like beyond and between the riparian nautical trade and immaterialism of the Uralo-Hellenic cultures. Furthermore, the Uralic peoples were likely hunter-gatherers (Aikio, p. 48), which might minimize the amount of topical terms for comparison with the urban Greek agriculturalists. Nonetheless, a small number of domestic terms are proposed.


isolated, remote (PS); obscure, unknown, unseen (He.)
SaN áidalas < PS *ājtëlës < He. aídālos / ἀΐδᾱλος <1 PIE *n̥- + *weyd-

If PS *-lës < He. -los, then HS aídālos would have referred to a masculine noun. However, S nouns in the HS lexicon are thus far only feminine, except for HFV vē̃nos. However, the -os in vē̃nos is not certainly FV < He.: So it is unclear which noun(s) that HS aídālos would have described.

building, house (HMa.)
Ma. tóma / тома <? He. dō̃ma / δῶμα <1 PIE *dem-
Con.: PIE *dṓm; Russian dom / дом

HMa. dō̃ma is phonologically similar to both PIE *dṓm and Russian dom / дом – also note adverbial doma / дома ‘at home’. However, PIE lacks final -a; and it seems unlikely that a Ru. > Ma. loan occurred, as a similar term is not found in Erzya or Permic (NDS). He. has a phonological advantage of nom. -a, and a semantic advantage of two paralleled meanings. Ma. t- <(<<) He. d- might be precedented in HMa. dugātā́. However, He. -ō̃- is unprecedented in the HMa. lexicon.

room (HF)
Fi. huone < PF *hooneh <?> He. h͔ō̃ros / χῶρος ~? h͔ṓrē / χώρη < ?

HFV vē̃nos could allow for comparison of PF *-eh with He. -os, although this correspondence is unclear. It would appear to be a secondary vowel reduction after a long vowel, as seen with HF sō̃ma and h͔rē̃ma. However, more examples are necessary for both processes.

door (PU); hatch, hole in the roof, hollow, light opening (He.)
PU *owe <? He. opḗ / ὀπή <1 PIE *h₃ekʷ-

PU *-w- < He. -p- is reminiscent of Finnic consonant gradation; and is precedented in HF kṓpā. However, He. -p- is unprecendented in PU < He. loans: So the validity of this correspondence requires more examples. The type of door described is unclear: It might be a door of a building, a flap of a tent, or a hatch of a ship.

farm, house (F); round building with a conical roof (He.)
? > F talas ~ talo ?> He. tʰólos / θόλος < ?

The various proposed etymologies of F talas ~ talo have been addressed by Sampsa Holopainen (Holopainen 2019, pp. 272-273). He. tʰólos has been compared with tʰálamos / θάλαμος ‘house, inner room, store-room, temple’, but Biliana Mihaylova describes tʰálamos from PIE *telh₂- (Mihaylova 2016, pp. 311-312). The round, conical shape of He. tʰólos is reminiscent of the Sami goahti. However, the purpose and material of the HF tʰólos is not reconstructed.

fitting, proper (HFi.); ? (HFV)
Fi. oikea << PFV *wojke < He. (w)oike- / (ϝ)οἰκεῖος < woĩkos / ϝοἶκος << PIE *u̯óiḱo-s

The FV meaning ‘straight’ might be a secondary development from ‘fitting’ that prevailed due to an unknown relevance: What was “straight” at the time of contact is unclear – perhaps amphorae or other containers in the HFV vē̃nos; or building materials for a home, such as poles for a hut.

Logéė: Recounting the Finngreek Economy

The Finngreek economy involved the exchange of goods and services between the Hellenic and Uralic peoples. I have previously discussed the transportation of contact and goods in the post Vē̃nos: Resailing the Finngreek Ship; as well as topographical features of the range of contact in the post Mukʰá: Reviewing the Finngreek Landscape. In this post, items and terms of communication of the Helleno-Uralic contact period are discussed.


now (HMa.)
Ma. ə́nde / ынде <? He. árti / ἄρτι << PIE *h₂rti (Matasović 2020, p. 14)

This loan is uncertain due to the Armenian cognate ard / արդ ‘now’; but due to synchronicity, PIE *h₂rti could not be the source of Ma. ə́nde, unless U cognates can be presented from a PIE loan – or if IU were confirmed, and the Ma. form was a sole U reflex. Because HMa. is (along with HF[S]) the best-supported HU subgroup – and there is no established basis for (Graeco-)Armenian <> Mari contact (along with the absence of final -i in the Arm. form) – He. árti is still considered exceptional in its affinity. Ma. ə́nde also means ‘already’; and He. árti also means ‘just now, recently’: So it appears that HMa. ‘now’ would have described both the present and recent past.

shirt (PG, PF); coat (PG, PH)
PG *paidō ?> PF *paita <?> He. baítā / βαίτα < ?

All paths of loaning are marked as uncertain, due to the overall unknown provenance of these terms. It is unclear whether the PF and He. terms demonstrate HU contact, or whether they are indirectly related.

amber, bead, gem, pearl (F); goods, heirlooms, money, riches, temple-treasures (He.)
Fi. helmi < PF *helmi < He. h͔rē̃ma / χρῆμα <1? PIE *ĝher-

F secondary-vowel reduction is assumed due to the length He. -ē̃- (cf. HF sō̃ma). The original HF semantic value is unclear: While it is tempting to suggest ‘amber’ due to Baltic > Mycenaean amber trade, this meaning is not found in He. It may have rather been a general term for luxury goods.

bread, cereal, grain (Ma.), barley (He.)
Ma. kínde / кинде <? He. krītʰḗ / κρῑθή < ?

Liquid metathesis to avoid initial consonant clusters is precedented in HU (cf. h͔rē̃ma, brokʰā́). Re: He. -rT- > Ma. -nd-, cf. HMa. árti. Because recessive accent does not seem applicable in the context of HMa., the initial-vowel stress of Ma. kínde must be due to long He. -ī-. This would also need to be the explanation for Ma. -í-, where -é- might rather be expected. It is difficult to make a phonological conclusion, as this is the only HU proposal including He. ī / ῑ.

too much (HF)
Fi. liian < PF *liian ~ *liiɣan > He. lían / λίαν < ?
Loaning from PF must have occurred after the weakening of gradated medial PF *-g- to /ɣ/, or H *lígan would be expected (cf. He. olígos / ὀλίγος). It also must have been an early loan, already present in Homeric (cf. λίην).

to calculate (HU)
PFU ~ PU *luke <? He. logéō / λογέω <1 PIE *leǵ-
Con.: PIE *loǵ-? (cf. He. lógos / λόγος)

conversation, speech, word (HMa.)
Ma. mut / мут <> He. mũtʰos / μῦθος < ?

*nákā ~ nákē
leather (PF); woolly/hairy skin, fleece (He.)
PF *nahka ~ PS *nākkē > He. nákē / νάκη < ?

oukí ~ oukʰí
no, not (HMa.)
Ma. uké / уке < He. oukí / οὐκί << PIE *(ne) h₂óyu kʷid (Kim 2016, p. 45)

Re: Ma. u- < He. ou-, cf. HU ourā́.

rypʰ– ~ rypʰé- ~ rýpʰō
to drink, sip (Fi.); to gulp, slurp, sup greedily up (He.)
Fi. ryypätä << He. rypʰé- / ῥυφέω << PIE *srobʰéyeti < *srebʰ-

The HF root would appear to require He. rýpʰ-, with recessive accent.

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).


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.

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-.

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.

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.

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.

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’.

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.

Mukʰá: Reviewing the Finngreek Landscape

This post focuses on reconstructed geographical features of Helleno-Uralic contact, which would have primarily taken place in northeast Europe, through the lands known as Scythia. During Helleno-Uralic contact, the mukʰá (riverbend[s]) of the Scythian rivers would have been the center(s) of trade and travel. It is unclear whether this term was used by the ancient Greeks to describe the rivers themselves – which is possible within Greek – or whether a specific term just for ‘river’ can be reconstructed from terms not currently compared. The ancient Greeks certainly had names for the Scythian rivers, such as the Borysthenes (Dnieper), the Tanais (Don), and the Rha (Volga). There are historical records of Greeks traveling these rivers, and settling upstream among the locals (eg: Gelonus).

In addition to the mukʰá, there were dams, moors, hills, cliffs, and roads. There may have also been swamps. This is a smaller collection of the terms I originally wished to share; the terms not yet shared may offer a much broader description of the landscapes, but they need more in-depth research. Over time, I will expand on this post.

wave (HU)
PU *kumpa <? He. kũma / κῦμᾰ < PH *kūmə < PIE *ḱéwh₁-mn̥ < *ḱewh₁- ‘to swell’
Con.: PU *-p-; PU *kompa? (per Aikio)

If a U < H loan, it must have been an early loan, given its wide distribution, and /u/ vs. /y/. However, PU *-p- is unexplained. Also, I am awaiting more information re: *kompa (vs. the commonplace reconstruction *kumpa). This is already an irregular proposal due to *-p-; and if I am satisfied with the reasoning for *-o-, then I will remove this proposal.

dam, dike? (HEr.)
Er. kavaz / каваз < He. *kʰówos / *χόϜος (cf. χόος, LSJ:FB) < khéō / χέω <1 PIE *ǵʰew- ‘to pour’

A citation for the Erzya term kavaz has been difficult to find: It is plainly listed on Wiktionary as ‘dam, dike’, but is without a source; and it is allegedly defined as ‘dam, pond’ / ‘плотина, пруд’ in the Erzya-language book Сырнень човалят: Стувтовозь ды чуросто вастневиця валт (Russian: Золотые бисеринки: Забытые и редко встречающиеся слова [English: Gold beads: Forgotten and rare words]), by Evgeny Vladimirovich / Евгений Владимирович. As for He. kʰó(w)os / χόος, it is defined as ‘mound, bank of earth’ (cf. χοῦς, LSJ:EW), ‘dike’ (LSJ:E>GW); and described by Hsch. as “χῶμα” = ‘mound, dike, dam’.

pond, puddle, bog (PU); damp, mud, scum (He.); mud? (HU)
PU *lampe <?> He. lámpē / λάμπη < ?
Con.: Lit. klampa ‘marsh, swamp’ (cf. Junttila, p. 282); Geo. loṗo / ლოპო ‘slime?’

It appears that the unifying HU semantic value is ‘mud’: Compare Ma. lop ‘deep-lying moist soil’ / ‘tiefliegender feuchter Boden’ and Ne. limbad ‘sand with water on the riverbank, sand with an admixture of clay’ / ‘вязкий песок с водой на берегу реки, песок с примесью глины’. However, also compare Ma. lop and Geo. loṗo, as well as the He. variant lápē / λάπη. However, the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia defines loṗo as ‘slippery moisture that settles between tree bark and timber in the spring’ / ‘ლიპი სისველე, რომელიც ხის ქერქსა და მერქანს შორის ჩადგება გაზაფხულზე’, which does not describe moist ground as seen in the U, He., and Lit. terms. If the Sy. terms are correctly attributed to PU *lampe, then it could not likely be a B loan. Re: HU, the PU phonology is ideal for a U<H loan; but as the He. term is without etymology, the direction of loaning is unclear. If U>H, it would most likely be from disintegrating PFS – or a FS descendant language.

moss (HFP)
PFP *rekɜ (lichen) <? He. leikʰḗn / λειχήν <1 PIE *leiǵh- ‘to lick’

Cf. Ma. reγeńə. Ma. -ńə ~ -ńćə̑ ~ -ńće is listed as a denominative suffix; and it is unclear how this might (or might not) correspond to the He. -n(a[s]) suffix(es) (cf. λειχήνα ~ λειχήνας). FP *r- < He. *l- is unprecedented; and the primary FP < H form must have been rendered with FP *r-, perhaps due to II influence. If the FP term(s) were in fact loaned from He., it is relevant to note that reflexes are only found in Mari and Permic (i.e. Central Uralic): This might lexically nudge the range of HU contact towards the Volga-Kama interfluve, which would likely rely on travel on the Volga river.

mukʰá(s) ~ *mukʰā́ ~ múkʰē 
bend of a river (PU); bend of the shore, nook, a bay or creek running far inland (He.)
PU *mučka > PF *mutka ?> He. mukʰá / μυχά (cf. μυχός) ~ mukʰás / μυχάς ~ múkʰē / μύχη ~ mukʰḗ / μυχή (thus *múkʰā ~ *mukʰā́) < ?

The language or proto-language from which U > H would have occurred is unclear. The term could not have been inherited from Sy. due to lack of -k-; but the PU and PF forms are too similar for disambiguation. As -tk- does not occur in He., -t- loss might be expected. However, there are examples of intra-U -t- loss in both F (cf. Fi. mukka; McCoy 2017, p. 207) and S (PS *mokkē). However, Fi. mukka is not likely synchronous with HU contact; and the S reflexes exhibit -o-, which has not demonstrably resulted in He. -u- (but compare Cypriot loc. mokʰoĩ / μοχοῖ). Although not listed in the UEW, I also tentatively suggest Ma. mugər / мугыр ‘bend, wind, meander, curve (of river, road)’ as a reflex of PU *mučka – this would open loaning into He. from the FV continuum – although the Ma. -r suffix is unclear.

Fi. ‘peninsula / Halbinsel, spit of land / Landzunge’; He. ‘thread’
Fi. niemi < PF *neemi <? He. nē̃ma / νῆμα < néō / νέω ‘to spin’ << PIE *sneh₁-

Also compare He. nē̃sos / νῆσος ‘island’, of a debated etymology: Either ultimately from PIE *sneh₂- ‘to swim’ via He. néō / νέω ‘to swim’, or from an unknown or Pre-Greek origin. Perhaps the semantics of He. nē̃sos influenced nē̃ma: Spits of land are very common along the northern Black Sea and Sea of Azov; as well as along the southeastern Baltic Sea. In this context, HF nē̃ma would have meant ‘thread of land’.

heath, moor (F); pasture (He.)
PF *nummi < He. nomī́ / νομή << PIE *nom-éh₂ < *nem-
Con.: PIE *nom-éh₂?

If the word can not be attested within U outside of F, it is not likely to have been inherited into F from PIE via U.

hill, mountain (HMor.)
Er. pando / пандо << He. págos / πάγος <1 *peh₂ǵ- ‘to attach’

It is unclear whether HFS págos ‘frost’ and HMor. págos ‘hill, mountain’ were unified, or if they represent separate borrowings: Both meanings are found in He. págos. If unified, they could represent HFV págo(s). The Mor. result -nd- would apparently be regular (cf. PFU *towkɜ > Er. tundo).

psīlḗ ~ *psī́lē
tall (HU)
PU *pide <? He. psīlḗ / ψηλή <1 PIE *h₃ewps-

Aphetic, fem. form of He. hupsīlós / ὑψηλός. The gender might connect with HU fem. nouns, such as HU pʰúē ‘tree’. Assymetric HU -īlḗ is reminiscent of -ḗlǣ: A possibility that medial -η- evolved before final -η is considered.

grass (PUg.); that which grows (He.)
PUg. *pimɜ < He. pʰy̌̃ma / φῦμα << PIE *bʰúH-mn̥

In the Uralisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch, Károly Rédei describes Ug. -u- as secondary (cf. Khanty and Mansi pum < PUg. *pimɜ). However, this is not the outcome of U *(-)imɜ in the Ug. languages (cf. PU *imɜ > Kha. imə ~ imi; PFP? *simɜ > Kha. sɑ̆mĭ ~ sĭm- etc., Man. sämi ~ siməl etc.). Unfortunately, I haven’t found any example of PU *-üm- reflexed in PUg. for a potential regular phonological comparison: In this event, the best explanation I offer is that its origin as a loanword explains the unusual vowel correspondences. In light of this, I suggest the correction of PUg. *pimɜ to *pümɜ ~ HUg. pʰy̌̃ma.

raktós ~ ráktos
ravine (HF)
Fi. rotko <<? He. raktós / ῥακτός ~ ráktos / ῥάκτος <1? PIE *wreh₁ǵ- ‘to break’
Con.: Irr.

Although a perfect semantic match, the phonology is unusual: Fi. *rahto might be expected (cf. HF ah͔tī́); but if Sa. -tk- < U *-kt- is a demonstrable irregularity (cf. PU *tuktɜ >> Sa. totko), perhaps the same could be applied to a F < He. loan. Fi. ro- << He. ra- is unexplained.

rótʰos ~ *róθē
winter road (SaN); mountain path, path, trail (He.)
SaN raŧŧi < PS *rëθē <? He. rótʰos / ῥόθος ~ *róθē / ῥόθη < PreH

Due to HU phonological standards, HS /θ/ is presented as a possibility. However, secondary development is not ruled out. The PS form suggests *rëθē < He. *róθē. However, a feminine variant of He. rótʰos is not attested.

edge (Fi.); chasm (He.)
Fi. särmä <<> He. sárma / σάρμα < saírō / σαίρω < ?

The ultimate origins of both Fi. särmä and He. sárma are unknown, so the direction of loaning can not be ascertained.

Áīma: Refeeling the Finngreek Climate

This post focuses on the description of the climate of the Helleno-Uralic contact period, through the semantics of topical term proposals.

air, weather (S); wind (He.)
PS *ājmō <? He. áīma / ἄημα < ἄημι <1 PIE *h₂weh₁-

The shift PS *-ō < HS -a is unprecedented and unclear: There are no other HS terms involving PS *-ō; and in loans, PS *-ō appears to primarily reflex from either PG *-ō (PS *ājrō < PG *airō) or PF *-o (PS *vājmō < PF *vaimo; PS *arvō < PF *arvo [if not directly from PFU *arwa]). However, there are other phonemes which result in PS *-ō: PS *pārō < Old Norse bára is one example; although it’s unclear how this change could apply to HS áīma over the result of PS *vājmō. Perhaps PS *-ō occurred within PS to avoid homophony with *ājmē ‘needle’ – the expected outcome of He. áīma – which would have already been present in the language. Perhaps PS *ājmō could have also been influenced by *vājmō.

brokʰā́ ~ brokʰḗ ~ brokʰī́; purkaiā́
snowstorm, blizzard, smoke, spray (U); rainstorm (He.); pyre, fire, flame (He.)
PFP ~ PU? *purkɜ ~ PU ~ PFU *purka ~ *purki (pp. 25-27) < He. brokʰḗ / βροχή <1 PIE *mergʰ-?; <? He. purkaiā́ / πυρκαϊά < pũr / πῦρ + kaíō / καίω << PIE *péh₂wr̥ + *keh₂w-?
Con.: Nostratic *burV ‘storm’, but Lyle Campbell considers the absence of -ki/-kV unjustifiable (p. 132).

The U variation *-a ~ *-i might be compared to the dialectal variation and/or chronological progression of He. -ā ~ (-ǣ) ~ -ē ~ -ī. U CVLC- < H CLVC- is a common feature of HU proposals, due to Uralic restrictions on initial consonant clusters. A phonological and semantic puzzle arises when considering He. purkaiā́ re: U ‘smoke’: It is unclear whether He. brokʰā́ and purkaiā́ could have both influenced the outcome of U *purkV, which would ultimately depend on whether the original meaning was ‘(snow)storm’ or ‘smoke’. Aikio describes the semantic bridge as ‘pouring, whirling in the air’. He. purkaiā́ is included as material for consideration; but brokʰā́ ~ brokʰī́ > U *purka ~ *purki is considered regular, while there is no precedent from which to analyze -iā́ loss from He. purkaiā́ into Uralic – nor the Uralic variation *-a ~ *-i.

hot, red hot, fever (PFV); heat, burning heat, fever heat (He.)
PFV *kūma < He. kaũma / καῦμα

U < H loans appear to lose their initial vowel in HU -aũ-/-eũ- diphthongs – and possibly in other environments – although the nature of this process is unclear due to few comparable proposals. In this proposal, the original He. term would have been adjectivized after loaning into Finno-Volgaic.

cold, hot (PFS); frost (PF *pakkainen); frost (He.)
PFS *pakka- ~ PS *pākkës < He. págos / πάγος <1 PIE *peh₂ǵ-

In HS, PS *-ës < He. -os / -ος. As with HFV kaũma, HFS págos is a noun that has been adjectivized in either PFS or PS: I suppose the latter, as PF seems to preserve the original meaning. The suffixation of PF *pakka- with *-inen is like *hepoinen ‘horse’, derived from *hepo(i?) ‘horse’ (cf. Fi. hepo ‘horse’). It is curious that, in their combining forms, Fi. pakkas- (eg: pakkaskausi ‘period of frost’) and hevos- (eg: hevosvoima ‘horsepower’) resemble He. -os (i.e. págos / πάγος, híppos / ἵππος) – although this is more likely a coincidence, given the overwhelming regularity of He -os >> Fi. -o/u∅.

sky, god (PU); air, spirit, spiritual being (He.)
PU *nu-mɜ <? He. pneũma / πνεῦμα << PIE *pnéwmn̥ ‘breath’
Con.: PIE *pnéwmn̥

Although phonologically and semantically suitable, chronology is an issue: Loaning into Proto-Uralic is considered permissible in the context of “Pseudo-Proto-Uralic” (i.e. loaning across a a wide geolinguistic span), but PU *nu-mɜ only reflexes in the Ugro-Samoyedic languages, while some presence in the West Uralic languages would be expected from a Helleno-Uralic loan. Although only reconstructed with the meaning ‘breath’, PIE *pnéwmn̥ includes the Albanian reflex frymë ‘breath, wind, spirit’, which might suggest that the semantics ‘sky/air/wind’ and ‘spirit’ could be reconstructed back to PIE (if the Alb. semantics were not the result of secondary contact with He., given their long history of lexical exchange).

storm, wind (U); stormwind (He.)
PFP ~ PFU? *tule ~ *tuuli ~ *tuulə̑ < He. tʰúellā / θύελλα < He. tʰúō / θύω + áella / ἄελλα < PH *aweľľā / *ἀϜελ-ι̯α < PIE *h₂eu-el- ~ *h₂ewh₁eleh₂ ~ *h₂uh₁-l-yeh₂

In his 1991 work “Uralische Evidenz für die Laryngaltheorie”, Jorma Koivulehto compares PFP *tuxli with PIE *dʰuh₂-li-s < *dʰewh₂- ‘smoke, mist, haze’, on the basis of the laryngeal parallel PFP *-x- = PIE *h₂. However, the UEW presents *tule; Ante Aikio presents *tuuli (p. 229); and Petri Kallio presents *tuulə̑ (p. 166). The “long-vowel; *x ~ *w” problem is reminiscent of the varying reconstructions of PU *puwe ~ *puxi > PF *puu; PU *luwe ~ *luxi > PF *luu; and PU *śuwe ~ *śuxi > PF *suu. Re: the phonetic value of the final vowel, a H > U loan can be interpreted regardless: He. tʰú(w)ellā > U *tuulə̑; or HFP *tʰú(w)ellē (cf. θυέλλη) > PFP *tule ~ *tuuli.

The He. semantics are preferred in comparison with PFP *tuuli vs. PIE *dʰuh₂-li-s, as the PFP form’s reflexes only show ‘wind, weather, storm, breeze’, while the PIE form’s reflexes show none of these meanings. Although not listed as a primary meaning in the UEW, I reconstruct ‘storm’ back to PFU due to its presence in Finnic, Mari, and Ugric (exclusively so in the latter two, according to UEW).

mist, fog (F); rain (He.)
Fi. usma << He. húsma / ὕσμα

A variant of Fi. usva, I consider usma to represent an original value -m-. Although written as -s- in He. (h)úsma, the pronunciation would have originally been /z/: This is reflected in HMa. proposals (eg: sarkazmós). As there was no /z/ in Proto-Finnic, /s/ would have been the closest approximation available in its phonology. It is unclear whether He. h- would have been inherited into the F(S?) term.

Vē̃nos: Resailing the Finngreek Ship

In my previous post, I discussed the hypothetical Helleno-Uralic immaterial culture. In this post, I will now discuss the foundations of the Helleno-Uralic material culture: The methods of physical exchange between the ancient Greek and Uralic peoples.

Once again, I partly draw on the the reconstruction of the Proto-Uralic material culture by Ante Aikio in his paper Proto-Uralic (p. 47), as an outline for which objects can be considered relevant to the reconstruction of the Helleno-Uralic contact period.

The Helleno-Uralic material culture, as I reconstruct it, was relevant to the settlement of Hellenic colonists along the northern Black Sea during the Archaic period of ancient Greece. This expansion relied on nautical transportation between the Greek homeland and what is today southern Ukraine and southwest Russia. As such, the Helleno-Uralic material culture centered on ships. During this contact period, ships would have been used for travel along the river systems of northeast Europe: Especially the Dnieper and Don rivers, at the mouths of which were founded the Hellenic settlements of Olbia and Tanais*, respectively. In addition, through the use of portages, travel might have been made possible to neighboring rivers. This will be discussed in detail in an upcoming post on the dating and locating of Helleno-Uralic contact.

For now, I will focus on the lexical reconstruction of the Helleno-Uralic ship, its accessories; and other terms I find relevant to the traveling material culture (but not the traded materials themselves, which I will discuss in a later post). I will address one term found in Aikio’s material reconstruction (*tukta = *dugātā́), as well as my own additions pertaining to specifically Helleno-Uralic contact. These terms are not representative of all the material culture(s) of the period, but represent the catalyst for the development and continuation of exchange between the Hellenic and Uralic peoples.

*Tanais was not founded until the Hellenistic period of ancient Greece, which postdates the beginning of Helleno-Uralic contact. However, Greeks were present in the locale of the Tanais settlement since the 7th century BCE (cf. Taganrog settlement). In addition, the major and relatively nearby Archaic settlement of Pantikapaion had already been established in the 7th century BCE.


boat (FV), ark (He.)
Fi. venho, NSa. vanas, Er. venč / венч << PFV **venos* <?> He. vē̃nos / βῆνος (“= κιβωτός“)

The Uralic languages have inherited various terms for ‘boat’ from the IE languages. Jorma Koivulehto describes PFV *veneš < PIE/PreII/Early PII *wen-(e/o-) (cf. PII *wán- ‘tree, wood’ > Sanskrit vána / वन – with PFV *veneš being “… so far, the only case on the strength of which an old deverbal suffix -eš has been posited…”. I do not have an opinion on the validity of U *-eš; but I rather reconstruct an original PFV *venos < IE *-os (eg: He. -os / -ος), based on HS aídalos and pā̃ros (PS *-ës < He. -ος), and Fi. venho, from which I reconstruct venho < PF *venoh < PFV **venos (cf. Fi. venhe < PF *veneh). The provenance of He. βῆνος is unclear, but it can not be directly inherited from PIE *wen-, as He. would not reflex β- from PIE *w-: So its consideration as a loan is more likely. Loaning from II (i.e. Scythian) does not explain well the presence of He. -ē̃-, unless it were an Attic-Ionic development from an original Doric *βᾶνος. This is perhaps a worthwhile consideration in light of HU *dugātā́; but re: Uralic, PFV *ven- shows a stronger correspondence, which rather suggests U > H loaning, regardless of the ultimate origin of the PFV term. However, given the morphology of the term (*-os), U < H loaning can not be ruled out – in which case the appropriate HFV reconstruction might rather include initial v͔- (representative of a previous /b/).

*My reconstruction of PFV **venos is incomplete due to 1. Lack of clarity on the Moksha reflex (Koivulehto provides Mo. venəš, while Neahttadigisánit provides venež / венеж; and 2. The perceived irregularity of Er. venč, where venaz might be expected (cf. HEr. kʰówos, kǐ́rios): Perhaps the Er. phonology relates to the partial FS process of -nVs>-ns/h(V), as seen in Kildin Sa. vens, Ter Sa. vâns, and Fi. venho/e.

skápʰos ~ skápʰē
boat (Mansi); ship, light boat, skiff (He.)
Mansi xāp / ха̄п <? He. skápʰos / σκάφος ~ skápʰē / σκάφη < skáptō / σκάπτω < ?

This proposal assumes s- loss due to Uralic restrictions on initial consonant clusters. PFU *k > Man. χ is regular (cf. PFU *konɜ (*kana) >> Man. χanəl / ханул). On these grounds, He. >(>) Man. loaning seems reasonable; but FEE describes potential loaning of the He. verb σκάπτω from a European substratum: So a conclusion would be premature.

pulk, small sled pulled by a person or animal (PS); small boat towed after a ship (He. [as ἐφολκίς])
PS *pulkke < He. epʰolkḗ / ἐφολκή? ‘tension, pull, dragging, towing’ <1 PIE *selk-

PS *pulkke appears to align phonologically with He. ἐφολκή, but semantically with ἐφολκίς. Perhaps *pulkke was a unique nominalization of fem. adj. ἐφολκή < ἐφολκός > Fi. polku (cf. polkea << He. *ἐφολκέω [*= ἐφέλκω ‘to drag or trail after one’] < επί ‘upon’ + ὁλκέω ‘to pull, haul [esp. a ship]’).

crossbar or seat in a boat (PU); rowing bench in a ship (He.)
PU *tukta < He. *dugātā́ / *δυγατά ~ zdugētḗ / ζυγητή <1? PIE *yugóm ‘yoke’

The semantics, as found in Hsch., rely on “= κλεὶς”: ‘bar, bolt, rowing bench in a ship’. It is easy to assume this meaning applied, because the more basic He. form zdugón / ζυγόν likewise meant ‘crossbar, thwarts/benches joining the opposite sides of a ship (in pl. ζυγά)’. As for the phonetics, the He. form is somewhat ambiguous: PU *-a parallels Dor. -ά – further justified in an expected Dor. δ- for Att./Ion. ζ- (cf. δυγός ~ ζυγός) – although a Dor. form of ζυγητή is not attested, requiring my own reconstruction as HU *dugātā́. However, Ko. sti̮k ‘crossbar’ shows s-, not found in other U reflexes. This is explained as “secondary”, which I neither agree nor disagree with. If it is secondary, He. d- > PU *t- could be attributed – if rather primary, He zd- > PU *(s)t- could also be suitable. Re. medial -ā- loss in Uralic, a comparison is drawn with HFS tʰy̌́gatēr > Early PS *tüktär. This does not explain HU *-gāt- > PU *-kt- >> Sa. -tk- in totko: But since PU *tukta >> Sa. totko has already been reconstructed, I do not attempt to resolve this.

mḗlē ~ mḗlǣ?
paddle, rudder (PU); probe, specillum (He.)
PFP *melä <> He. mḗlē / μήλη < ?

The overall vowel correspondence is unclear, as the reconstruction mḗlǣ would imply that α>η occurred asymmetrically (if μήλη < *μα-λα). Alternatively, FP > He. loaning is not ruled out, given the unknown etymology of He. μήλη. Re. semantic distance: Compare the shape of the specillum.

bottom (of a vessel)
PFP *puntɜ-ksɜ ~ PU *puntaksi > PMa. *pŭndaš ~ (Pre)PMa. **pŭndakS? > He. púndaks / πύνδαξ < ?
Con. “Germanic loanword mediated through a northern Balkan language” (Mihaylova 2016, p. 312), as would be evidenced by H Púdna / Πύδνα (a place in Macedonia; see Kretschmer 1933, pp. 115-119). However, FEE describes this proposal (along with several others) as unconvincing. I am also unconvinced, due to the lack of both evidence and need for H -dn- > -nd-; or PreH -dn- > H -nd- metathesis (see below).

If PU *puntaksi < PII b(ʰ)udʰna- continues to be accepted without objection (Holopainen 2019, p. 194), then He. πύνδαξ, of PreH origin, bears closer affinity to U than II in three regards: p-, -nd/t-, and -k-:

p-: Α “convincing” explanation has not been made for He. π- vs. φ- (FEE), which could rather be derived from a U *p- without phonological issue.

-nd/t-: He. presents -tn- (πότνια), -tʰ- (ἔθνος), and -dn- (ὕδνον – from PreH): So internal metathesis from an II or Pre-Greek loan would be unnecessary. This does not, however, explain -nd- < PU *-nt-, where instead PMa. *pŭndaš agrees with He. -nd-.

-k-: Neither -ks nor -Hs are present in PII *bʰudʰnás, leaving open the comparison of the denominative PU suffix *-ksɜ (UUE p. 117) with He. -(α)ξ, although this comparison is made strictly on a phonological vs. morphological basis, since “-ks(V)” has not yet been demonstrated as a HU suffix; and He. -αξ is a suffix found in both IE and PreH etymologies (eg: IE κόραξ and μεῖραξ, PreH λάβραξ and σκύλαξ). However, in light of the Ma. variant pŭntakš (UEW #1512), I posit (Pre)PMa. **pŭndakS, which would phonologically parallel He. púndaks, and imply a PMa. ~ PrePMa. > He. loan. Based on this, I reconstruct HMa. púndaks ~ *púndakS with the meaning ‘bottom (of a vessel)’, where “vessel” could refer to a container, sled, or possibly ship (cf. Ma. pundaš / пундаш “кленча, тер пундаш” = ‘bottom of a bottle, sled’ [MED]).

Based on this information, I reconstruct HMa. púndaks ~ púndakS with the meaning ‘bottom (of a vessel)’, where “vessel” could refer to a container, sled, or possibly ship.

handle (Fi.); handle, handle of an oar, oar (He.)
PF kahva <? He. kṓpā (cf. kṓpē / κώπη) << PIE *kóh₂p-eh₂

The exact reasoning behind the phonological shifts is uncertain. He. -ṓ- > PF *-a- vs. He. ō̃ > PF *-oo- may be due to the acute vs. circumflex accentuation. The original reconstruction of F *-h- is reminiscent of PIE *-h₂-: Perhaps this laryngeal was still pronounced in archaic Greek; or perhaps it was a F innovation (cf. Fi. kahvi < Swe. kaffe). He. -p- > F -v- is regular.

laĩf͔os ~ laíf͔ē ~ laĩf͔a ~ laív͔a
ship (Fi.); sail (He.)
PF *laiva > He. laĩf͔os / λαῖφος ~ laíf͔ē / λαίφη ~ laĩf͔a / λαῖφα ~ laív͔a / λαίβα < ?

The definition of He. λαίβα as τρίβων ‘worn garment, threadbare cloak’ may relate to λαῖφος/λαίφη ‘shabby, tattered garment; piece of cloth or canvas, sail’ (modern He. λαίφος means ‘small sail’); and is also defined as ἀσπίς ‘shield’, as with laĩpʰa / λαῖφα (and pl. acc. λαίας). The etymological connection between these terms is unknown; but all are defined as “Pre-Greek” due to the phonetic variations. Since PF *laiva has a clear etymology with regular phonology, it is suitable to consider the various He. terms as the result of PF > H loaning. The semantic discrepancy of Fi. ‘ship’ with He. ‘sail’ and ‘shield’ is unresolved; I speculate that the He. terms may have originally described the Finnic sails and vessels – perhaps in a pejorative manner. He. λαῖφος is attested in Homer’s Odyssey with the meaning ‘ragged cloth, poor garment’, with the meaning ‘sail’ found in other Archaic poetry: So it is unclear which meaning was original. The phonetic ambiguity of HF -f͔- ~ -v͔-, along with the the semantic variation between terms, makes this proposal uncertain. The HU value f͔ suggests a later loan, but these terms were present since the Archaic period, which is synchronous with initial contact: So it may rather be that He. pʰ / φ was the closest phonetic approximation (along with b / β for PF *v) that was available at the time and place of loaning.

askérā ~ askérē ~ áskaros?
step (PU); shoe (He.)
PU *aśke-lɜ ~ *aśkili ~ *aćkali- <> He. ἀσκέρα ~ ἀσκέρη ~ ἄσκαρος? < ?

The direction of loaning is unclear due to ambiguity of the PU suffix *-li; but PU has a more basal verb root *aśke ~ *aćka- ‘to step’. He. ἀσκέρα ‘winter shoe with fur lining’ has been compared with ἄσκαρος ‘type of shoe’, compared with askós / ἀσκός ‘bag made of animal skin’, compared with askéō / ἀσκέω ‘to work on, form, exercise, train’ – which are all of Pre-Greek or unknown etymologies. Also compare Fi. askare ‘chore’, of unknown etymology. The discrepancy *-śk- vs. *-ćk- is reminiscent of He. páskos / πάσκος <? PF *paska < PU *paćka ~ *pućka. This might strengthen the argument for a H < U loan.


The type(s) of boat(s) used is unclear; but it is inferred that, due to its description as an ‘ark’, the vē̃nos boat was flat-bottomed: This description is suitable to a boat used for river travel, as it would prevent its púndaks from running aground on the riverbeds – as well as on the shallow depths of the Sea of Azov. Perhaps long-distance travelers would have embarked and disembarked the vē̃nos in one of the colonies of the Bosporus, such as Pantikapaion or Phanagoria (or Olbia if on the Dnieper). From there, the vē̃nos would have been rowed north up the river(s) of Scythia during ice-free months. The rowers of the vē̃nos would have sat upon the *dugātā́, and rowed their mḗlē in unison. Sails were probably not a major feature of this boat.

The skápʰos appears to be (in the Helleno-Uralic world) a Ugric phenomenon, which might attest nautical travel along rivers better suited to small vessels, in an area outside the more central Helleno-Finno-Volgaic(-Permic) zone. This will be discussed more in an upcoming post.

The pʰolkḗ might have been a barge towed by the vē̃nos; or alternatively, a sled pulled over land and ice by some means – perhaps the primary form of winter travel, perhaps on the same frozen rivers as would have been traveled by the vē̃nos when ice-free. It would be contextually related to the pʰolkós as the path itself, showing tracks of the pʰolkḗ.

The askérā may have been a winter shoe that was suitable to wear in the cold weather of the northern contact zones. It is unclear what roles the kṓpā and laĩf͔os would have played in Helleno-Uralic contact. If they are tenable proposals, they would appear confined to Helleno-Finnic contact.

Kiitos Paljon = Kǐ̃dos Pollʲón = Κῦδος Πολλόν

So much done, yet so much to do. I am now proposing new terms on Reddit on a daily basis – we’ll see how long that can last.

I have been working on Helleno-Uralic theory for almost two years now. When I started, I had no idea what I was doing, with only maniacal enthusiasm to guide me in lieu of an education in historical linguistics. The current form of Finngreek is actually the third version I created (plus a recent, important orthographical revision): The other two versions now a distant memory. I look back at words and ideas I proposed two years ago with self-pity – and yet somehow, through every flaw, I am at a point now where I am more confident than ever to share my research with the world.

The main project I am working on now is my first academic paper. I hope for it to be complete before the year’s end. In this paper, I will divulge the anthropological and linguistic reasonings behind my theory. It will be an expansive – but hopefully succinct – foray into my current state of mind regarding Helleno-Uralic contact.

I have removed virtually all content from this website, because it is terribly outdated. The “About” page also requires extensive revision: I will probably rewrite the entire page from scratch, once I have finished my current studies regarding the background information behind my proposed contact period(s).

When I had started Finngreek – back when it was not Helleno-Uralic theory but “Helleno-Finnic theory” – my inspiration was to create an auxiliary language through which Finnish and Greek speakers could easily communicate, helping to re-cement a bond I had felt existed since 3,000 years ago.

More than ever, I continue to believe that around 2,700 years ago, a Hellenic adstrate in the Uralic language continuum resulted in a considerable amount of lexical affinity between (ancient) Greek and Finnish, Estonian, Sami, Hungarian, Khanty, Mansi, Mari, Moksha, Erzya, Udmurt, Komi, Nenets, Nganasan, Selkup, and so on. However, the more new proposals that have come into play, the more painfully evident it has been made that a mutually intelligible auxlang for any single Uralic language with Greek is simply out of the question. Even just within Greek, it is impossible to achieve mutual intelligibility with Finngreek, due to the considerable amount of obscure and obsolete Hellenic terms involved.

On the bright side, this inevitable truth has allowed for Finngreek to become a unique and abundant – if not grammatically stunted – (re)constructed language, offering great insight into the cross-cultural basis for Helleno-Uralic theory. While there are still various problems requiring attention (eg: Differentiating between Hellenic and Proto-Indo-European in ambiguous contexts), I have finally established a reliable phonological paradigm for the evaluation of my proposals: And through this, I am steadily nearing the moment when I can publish my research to share with the world. Once my paper is finally released, I will be able to contribute more time to blogging here, and creating educational and artistic content on Youtube and other platforms for the discussion and celebration of Finngreek and Helleno-Uralic theory.

I’d like to wish you all onḗn kǐkeíān (frenzied fortune) and kǐ̃dos pollʲón (much praise)!