Kainuun saamelaisperäisiä paikannimiä

  • Alpo Räisänen
Avainsanat: lainasanat (ks. myös kielikontaktit, sanastontutkimus), paikannimet, saame


Kainuu place-names of Saami origin (englanti)

1995 (99)

Alpo Risnen (University of Joensuu; Department of Finnish; address: PL 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu)

Kainuu place-names of Saami origin

The writer has earlier discussed Kainuu place-names that date from before the present settlement in the area (Risnen 1990). The present settlement of Kainuu dates from the 16th and 17th centuries, and came mainly from Savo. In the previous study, three strata were distinguished in the older place-names: (1) Saami names, (2) Karelian names, and (3) Ostrobothnian names.

The present article discusses additional Kainuu place-names that the writer argues to be of Saami origin. In addition to linguistic factors, particular attention is paid to the naming motive, i.e. the actual nature of the places referred to. For example, names with the form ntti- in Kainuu and n- and nkk- in East Finland often mean large lakes or bodies of water. These names can thus be linked to the Saami word dne- 'big' (compare Finnish en-). The four Finnish Jaappa(a) names denote bodies of water. They can be related to the Saami word cap'pd 'black' (cf. Nielsen), because the colour of the water or the shadow of the surrounding forest often motivated such Finnish names as Mustalampi 'black pool' and Mustalahti 'black bay'. There are about 40 names in Finland of the form Laatas, Laattaa, and they all originate in the Saami adjective lhtes 'level'. The Laattaa-names in North Savo and Kainuu nevertheless require the original form *laattaga, so they cannot come directly from the Saami form lhtes but from its g-form derivative.

Of particular interest are the two Juolunka names in Kuhmo and the Juolu names in Central Ostrobothnia and western Lapland, whose source is Saami cuollo 'salmon-dam bar, fence'. Both the Kuhmo names originally denoted a long, narrow peninsular between two lakes. In Central Ostrobothnia Juolu often means a narrow sandy ridge. Such sites were good places to trap wild deer. This evidence from place-names confirms the suggestion made by A. Nesheim (1947: 159, 174-177) that Saami cuollo was not only a fishing term but also related to deer hunting.

The Kuhmo name Jms (the only occurrence in Finland) is linked to Saami jmes 'dead, deceased'. The problem with this association is that the Saami word has a central a (), for which the Finnish equivalent is usually a or aa, as in the word saame < Saami sabme. The writer nevertheless assumes that could also have been replaced by in Karelian areas. Alongside the Jms name he cites Smjrvi (a large lake in Olonets) and Sminki (Sminginsalo in documents as early as 1364; the same place is probably meant by the name Samosalo in the 1323 peace treaty of Phkinsaari). These names are then linked to Saami sabme.

The name Nljnk is assumed to contain the numeral njeallja 'four' or the ordinal njealjt 'fourth'. There are many Aska names in the region between Puolanka and Sodankyl. With some hesitation, the writer links these names to the word aske 'lap, etc.' (= Niels. s'ke), because the velar a is usually matched by Finnish i. Another possibility is that the place-name contains an unknown personal name; this is suggested by the fact that most Aska names begin with genitive segments.

The name Hossa is entirely Finnish in West Finland, (< hosia 'horsetail'), but at least the Suomussalmi Hossa seems to originate from Saami hoas'sa 'horsetail' (the Saami word is a fairly recent loan from the Finnish one): near Hossanjrvi in Suomussalmi there is a place called Huosiusjrvi, a form that contains the East-Finnish/Karelian equivalent huosia. Hossanjrvi and Huosiusjrvi are clearly related, and the names were probably given by the Lapps. It therefore appears that the Russian Karelians translated the Huosius name into their own language, but the name of the larger lake has kept the original Saami form Hossa.

tammi 4, 1995
Räisänen, A. (1995). Kainuun saamelaisperäisiä paikannimiä. Virittäjä, 99(4), 532. Noudettu osoitteesta https://journal.fi/virittaja/article/view/38824