The Finnic ‘secondary e-stems’ and Proto-Uralic vocalism

  • Ante Aikio


It is well-known that in the Finnic languages there is group of Uralic word-roots which appear to have undergone an unexplained vowel shift in the first and second syllables: e.g., Finnish sarvi : sarve- ‘antler’ (< Proto-Uralic *śorwa) and talvi : talve- ‘winter’ (< Proto-Uralic *tälwä). These words have been referred to as ‘secondary e-stems’, as the shape of their cognates outside Finnic suggests a proto-form with the stem vowel *a or *ä. This paper proposes a solution which provides a regular phonological account of the development of this class of word roots. The solution involves the revision of certain aspects of the theory of historical vocalism in Saami and Mordvin.

tammi 1, 2015
Aikio, A. (2015). The Finnic ‘secondary e-stems’ and Proto-Uralic vocalism. Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Aikakauskirja, 2015(95), 25–66.