Metathesis in Uralic languages

Linguaphile
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Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-04-09, 2:00

Just making a list of some words with consonant metathesis (two consonants end up in swapped positions, whether they are adjacent or elsewhere in the word, i.e. sääsk/sääksi; lemmergas/remmelgas) in Uralic languages as I come across them. I have just used one language for each part of the pair even though in most cases there are cognates in other languages.
There are certainly many more. Feel free to add to the list.

(et) remmelgas willow (standard dialect) [r-l]
(et) lemmergas willow (Lihula dialect) [l-r]

(et) minestuma to faint (standard dialect) [m-n]
(vro) nimestümä to faint (Rõuge dialect) [n-m]

(smi-smn) täsni star (Inari Saami) [t-n]
(smi-sme) násti star (Northern Saami) [n-t]

(smi-smp) häffne spider (Pite Saami) [h-f]
(smi-smu) fäyhnee spider (Ume Saami) [f-h]

(krl) imehnine person [m-n]
(krl) inehmine person [n-m]

(smi-smn) jävri lake (Inari Saami) [vr]
(fi) järvi lake [rv]

(smi-smn) puáski reindeer's hind leg (Inari Saami) [sk]
(myv) pukso (пуксо) thick flesh, thigh [ks]

(et) suusk ski [sk]
(fi) suksi ski [ks]

(fi) sääksi osprey [ks]
(fi) sääski osprey [ks] (dialect)

(fi) kalasääksi osprey [ks]
(et) kalasääskas white-tailed eagle (Jämaja dialect) [sk]

(fi) oksentaa to vomit [ks]
(udm) ӧскыны (öskõnõ) to vomit [sk]

(fi) runsas sizeable, abundant [ns]
(lud) ruznaz sizeable [zn~sn]

(fi) vanha old [nh]
(vro) vahn old [hn]

(fi) karhu bear [rh]
(vro) kahr bear [hr]

(fi) tarha yard, corral [rh]
(vro) tahr fence, garden [hr]

(et) parhilla now, at present [rh]
(vro) pahrilla now, at present [hr]

(fi) velho wizard [lh]
(vro) võhl witch [hl]

(fi) jylhä rugged, majestic [lh]
(krl) jyhly small mountain [hl]

(vro) härm spider [rm]
(liv) emriki spider [mr]
Last edited by Linguaphile on 2021-04-11, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.

h34
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Re: Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby h34 » 2021-04-11, 8:04

I think I've come across another example in the list you posted here:

linguaphile wrote:(fi) oksentaa to vomit

(et) oksendama to vomit

(udm) ӧскыны (öskõnõ) to vomit
Thanks for any corrections

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Naava
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Re: Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby Naava » 2021-04-11, 10:54

Linguaphile wrote:(et) sääsk mosquito [sk]
(fi) sääksi osprey [ks]

I think you're right about the metathesis, but wrong about the definition.

There's two words in Finnish:
(fi) sääski 'mosquito', from Proto-Finno-Permic *śäśke
(fi) sääksi 'osprey', from Proto-Finno-Ugric *śäkće 'osprey, gull'

...but then in the dialects we've also got
(fi) sääski 'mosquito', from Proto-Finno-Permic *śäśke
(fi) sääski 'osprey', from Proto-Finno-Ugric *śäkće 'osprey, gull' [ with metathesis! ]

I checked the Estonian sääsk as well, and this is what I found:

(fi) sääski is related to (et) sääsk. It doesn't say where sääsk comes from, but I don't think there's a reason to doubt it wouldn't be the Proto-Finno-Permic *śäśke.

There's also a note under the page for Proto-Finnic *sääkci 'osprey' that says its descendants are (fi) sääksi and (et) sääsk "with metathesis". It doesn't have any definitions there, but the page for sääsk only lists its meaning as 'mosquito'. However, the Estonian Wikipedia says that "kalakotka [= osprey] rahvapärased nimetused on valgekotkas, sääsk, sääskas, kalasääskas, sääskkull".

Linguaphile
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Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-04-11, 15:48

h34 wrote:I think I've come across another example in the list you posted here:

linguaphile wrote:(fi) oksentaa to vomit

(et) oksendama to vomit

(udm) ӧскыны (öskõnõ) to vomit

Yep! Thanks. (It's the only one on my list so far that goes beyond Finnic/Saami languages - nice!)

Naava wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:(et) sääsk mosquito [sk]
(fi) sääksi osprey [ks]

I think you're right about the metathesis, but wrong about the definition.

Thanks!

Naava wrote:There's also a note under the page for Proto-Finnic *sääkci 'osprey' that says its descendants are (fi) sääksi and (et) sääsk "with metathesis". It doesn't have any definitions there, but the page for sääsk only lists its meaning as 'mosquito'.

Yeah, I saw that.

Naava wrote:However, the Estonian Wikipedia says that "kalakotka [= osprey] rahvapärased nimetused on valgekotkas, sääsk, sääskas, kalasääskas, sääskkull".

I looked into this and it seems kalasääskas refers to a different, similar bird (white-tailed eagle) in the Jämaja dialect (Saaremaa), and sääsk and sääskas refer to a bird in the Mustjala dialect (also Saaremaa) but it doesn't indicate which bird.

These are great, that you posted above:
(fi) sääksi 'osprey', from Proto-Finno-Ugric *śäkće 'osprey, gull'
(fi) sääski 'osprey', from Proto-Finno-Ugric *śäkće 'osprey, gull' [ with metathesis! ]
I did also see that alternate names for it in Finnish dialects are kalasääksi and kalasääski, quite similar to Saaremaa's kalasääskas.

Thanks for the info!

Linguaphile
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Joined: 2016-09-17, 5:06

Re: Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-04-17, 4:42

This one is not certain, but it is proposed that m-r (*-mᴈr) became r-m (*rᴈm).

(fi)(izh) märehtiä & (smi-sma) meerehtidh to ruminate, chew the cud & (olo) märehťie to chew, eat, devour [m-r]
(kv-kpv) рӧмидзтыны (rӧmidztõnõ) to ruminate, chew the cud, masticate, chew slowly [r-m] (& [m-dz])
(udm) ӝоместыны (džomestõnõ) to ruminate, to chew like a cow (said of children) [dž-m from r-m]

In the Estonian cognate (mäletsema) r additionally change to l. The Livonian cognate is merdõ. Both of these mean 'to ruminate, chew the cud'.

Linguaphile
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Re: Metathesis in Uralic languages

Postby Linguaphile » 2021-04-17, 5:04

(et) kihv tusk [k-v]
(et) võhk tusk [v-k] (northern dialects)

(et) pael ribbon [p-g]*
(vro) kapõl rope [g-p]**

*the expected Võro form would have inserted the intervocalic g to form *pagõl rather than kapõl, cf. nael/nagõl, nõel/nõgõl, sõel/sõgõl, tael/tagõl etc.
**native words do not begin with g, so *gapõl is not possible; word-initial g becomes k.


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