Finnish and Mongolian

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Woods
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Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Woods » 2015-05-12, 14:24

Is Finnish (suomen kieli) related in any way to Mongolian (mongɣol kele or монгол хэл?)

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby TheStrayCat » 2015-05-12, 15:54

This hypothesis used to be popular, but now is rejected by most linguists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ural%E2%8 ... _languages.

In fact, even the existence of the Altaic family, which would include Mongolian and all Turkic languages, is now widely disputed.

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Vlürch » 2015-05-26, 5:52

TheStrayCat wrote:This hypothesis used to be popular, but now is rejected by most linguists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ural%E2%8 ... _languages.

In fact, even the existence of the Altaic family, which would include Mongolian and all Turkic languages, is now widely disputed.

That's because most linguists ignore evidence in favour of their personal, often at least somewhat political, views. Nobody ever even seriously considered Finns or Hungarians or other Finno-Ugric people European (or even white in the traditional sense) until the 1900s, and unfortunately linguistics are heavily influenced by the western-centric view in the western world and all other views are typically discarded even if they have evidence to back them up.

It's evident that Finno-Ugric, Mongolian and Turkic languages are related. Those who reject this will never be able to see the evidence because they're too close-minded, they have this idea that language has rules to it that are universal, when it doesn't; there are so many exceptions to the "common rules" everywhere that it's kind of funny to say "everything is like this, except when it isn't", because that means it isn't like that.

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Virankannos » 2015-05-26, 22:31

Ural-Altaic hypothesis used to be the mainstream view, now it's controversial at best. Are you saying that there's some kind of a worldwide conspiracy at work that aims to disprove the relationship between Uralic and "Altaic" languages for some vague "political" reasons? What exactly are these personal and political views that you're accusing linguists of, in this case? True, there were sentiments among some even just a hundred years ago that Finns are an inferior race and whatnot. What does it have to do with the factuality of the Uralic-Altaic hypothesis? I think the scientific community and especially linguists are far past the stage where the relatedness of languages should be kept under wraps because they don't want "Europeans" to be associated with Eastern peoples, if this is what you're implying. Besides, the fact that language A and language B are related tells us absolutely nothing about the genetic relationship of the peoples speaking those languages.

You're saying that "all other views are typically discarded even if they have evidence to back them up". Where is the evidence for Ural-Altaic hypothesis? Can you establish some sound laws which would enable us to derive common words from Proto-Uralo-Altaic and maybe even reconstruct the proto-language? Can you show me a list of words that are etymologically related so that the affinity is based on sound correspondences? Random similar sounds in a handful of words that have the roughly same meaning unfortunately isn't enough. Even plain typological similarities won't cut it. Agglutinative typology and vowel harmony in both groups doesn't prove anything, as they could be the result of contact-induced change and/or Sprachbund.

In my view, it's better to be a little too close-minded (I call that healthy skepticism) than accept anything as fact on shaky grounds. Just disagreeing with the mainstream view doesn't automatically make you the underdog who will eventually win; you could just be wrong. Historical linguistics is a rather rigorous discipline, and a lot needs to be proven before we can make claims of linguistic affinity. Finally, I'm not claiming that the Uralic and Turkic and Mongolian languages couldn't be related or that it's impossible. Maybe the proto-language goes back so far in time that we just can't reach it: languages can change a lot in a couple of hundred years, let alone in 10 000. All I'm saying is that so far the research of these languages has not been able to convincingly prove the affinity.

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Woods » 2016-02-20, 22:18

Very interesting to read. What about Finnish and Hungarian - how likely do you think it is they come from the same place?

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Levike » 2016-02-20, 22:36

Woods wrote:What about Finnish and Hungarian - how likely do you think it is they come from the same place?

Me personally, I treat their relationship the same way I think about the one between Romanian and Icelandic, that is they're both Indo-European, okay, but they're so different at this point that it doesn't really matter.

Funny thing is that many Hungarians still think the Finno-Ugric theory is just a scam made up by the Habsburgs.

Now, do Hungarian and Finnish come from the same place? Probably,... I guess.

But in any case, the languages divided a very long time ago, so whatever someone were to tell me about their common roots, I'd just listen to what they have to say in a very fairytail-ish manner.

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Virankannos » 2016-03-10, 16:28

Levike wrote:Me personally, I treat their relationship the same way I think about the one between Romanian and Icelandic, that is they're both Indo-European, okay, but they're so different at this point that it doesn't really matter.
I would say that is a fairly accurate comparison. Unlike between, say, Finnish and Estonian, knowing Finnish gives you little advantage in learning Hungarian and vice versa. If you are into languages and linguistics, you might spot some correspondences in basic core vocabulary (käsi - kéz 'hand', veri - vér 'blood', silmä - szem 'eye', vesi - víz 'water' etc.) and see the similarities in grammar. Anything more requires a deeper knowledge of Uralic linguistics (like understanding how Fi ydin and Hu velő are cognates despite looking nothing like each other nowadays).
Levike wrote:Now, do Hungarian and Finnish come from the same place? Probably,... I guess.

But in any case, the languages divided a very long time ago, so whatever someone were to tell me about their common roots, I'd just listen to what they have to say in a very fairytail-ish manner.
I think it's fairly solid at the moment that the two languages share a common ancestor language, therefore they "come from the same place".

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Woods » 2016-03-10, 21:59

Virankannos wrote:you might spot some correspondences in basic core vocabulary (käsi - kéz 'hand', veri - vér 'blood', silmä - szem 'eye', vesi - víz 'water' etc.)

These are very important words, to be just coincidences.


Virankannos wrote:I think it's fairly solid at the moment that the two languages share a common ancestor language

What makes it solid? I haven't been able to find a clear answer.

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Vlürch » 2016-03-11, 0:04

Virankannos wrote:Are you saying that there's some kind of a worldwide conspiracy at work that aims to disprove the relationship between Uralic and "Altaic" languages for some vague "political" reasons?

That's exactly what I was saying, but I have no idea what I thought the political reasons would be. :lol: I was just pissed off because more than one Hungarian had told me that they, along with all Turkic and Mongolic peoples, are the descendants of the "Hunnic masterrace", but that Finns are not and that we're just a Nordic Scandinavian LARP club looking to oppress them with our white European Nazi genes. Almost all the Hungarians I've come across online hate Finns and some have described us as some type of hyperliberal Islamic Communist Nazi Jews and are so adamant about Finns not being related to them that I became convinced that we must be related to not only them but all the peoples that they claim to be related to.

I still believe in the Ural-Altaic theory, though, but I'm not an idiot about it anymore. :P

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Levike » 2016-03-11, 8:29

Vlürch wrote:I was just pissed off because more than one Hungarian had told me that they, along with all Turkic and Mongolic peoples, are the descendants of the "Hunnic masterrace", but that Finns are not and that we're just a Nordic Scandinavian LARP club looking to oppress them with our white European Nazi genes.

If it makes you feel better, that's only one breed, the other ones claim that we're Sumerians and the 3rd ones that we're Etruscans.

Almost all the Hungarians I've come across online hate Finns and some have described us as some type of hyperliberal Islamic Communist Nazi Jews

Hungarian Argumentation Lesson 101:

In any kind of debate if someone pisses you off call them Hyperliberal Islamic Communist Nazi Jews. :yep:

I think the regular Hungarian doesn't know anything about the Finns/Estonians in the sense that our relationship is almost never mentioned in school. I remember it being mentioned once as a tiny detail in 5th grade. I was positively surprised when an Erasmus student from Finland knew we have something in common.

But I don't hate you guys. :wink:

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Re: Finnish and Mongolian

Postby Virankannos » 2016-04-03, 11:32

Woods wrote:What makes it solid? I haven't been able to find a clear answer.
Well, there's a ton of literature about the subject from 17th century onwards, you can look it up. If one wants to discredit the Uralic language affinity, that means also discrediting the historical-comparative scientific method of language study and suggesting a new approach. So far this has been unsuccessful.

Here's a brief essay in English by Juha Janhunen about Proto-Uralic, its speaking area and timing. If you know Hungarian, there's been an entire book written to disprove the misconceptions and misinterpretations around the issue. A classic paper by Pekka Sammallahti "Historical phonology of the Uralic languages" (1988) is also worth reading, if you can find it.


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