A look at the Finnish language, its history and development

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1 A look at the Finnish language, its history and development October 31, 2012 Kaj Syrjänen University of Tampere

2 Finnish language: an overview Finland's main language, approximately 5 million speakers Uralic language (unlike most European languages, which are Indo-European) Usage: mostly limited to Finland, although smaller 'varieties' are found elsewhere: Sweden meänkieli, ( our language ), Norway kven, Russia Karelian dialects of Finnish North America American Finnish or "(Old) Finglish", mostly disappeared

3 Finnish vs. other EU languages Language Spanish English Portuguese German French Italian Polish Romanian Dutch Greek Hungarian Czech Bulgarian Swedish Danish Slovak Finnish Lithuanian Slovene Latvian Estonian Irish Maltese Native speakers (million) Source: Ethnologue, 16th ed. In number of speakers Finnish is globally ranked #124 (out of 6,909 existing natural languages) Not a globally widespread language, but far from being endangered

4 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...)

5 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: talo English: a house

6 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: talossa English: in a house

7 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: talossani English: in my house

8 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: talossanikin English: in my house too

9 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: taloissanikin English: in my houses too

10 Finnish language: an overview Typologically Finnish is an agglutinative language, where words are constructed mostly by combining meaningful affixes ('morphemes') to a word base Other agglutinative languages include e. g. many other Uralic languages (Estonian, Hungarian, Samoyed languages...), Altaic languages (Turkish, Tatar...), Japanese and Korean Agglutinative languages contrast with analytic / isolating languages, which rely less on affixes and more on individual words (Chinese, Vietnamese, Afrikaans, English...) An example of agglutination vs. isolation: Finnish: taloissanikin English: in my houses too 1 word, 5 affixes 4 words, 1 affix

11 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish

12 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English in a book in a taxi Finnish

13 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa

14 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa on a plane on a bus

15 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa on a plane lentokoneessa on a bus bussissa

16 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa on a plane lentokoneessa on a bus bussissa at the cinema at work at school

17 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa on a plane lentokoneessa on a bus bussissa at the cinema elokuvissa at work töissä at school koulussa

18 Finnish language: an overview Finnish case marking works much the same way as prepositions in languages like English, but with a different logic: English Finnish in a book kirjassa in a taxi taksissa on a plane lentokoneessa on a bus bussissa at the cinema elokuvissa at work töissä / työpaikalla at school koulussa / koululla(?)

19 Finnish as a Uralic language Uralic language family: 47 languages, 38 living languages Approximately 24 million speakers Spans from Eastern Europe to Siberia Finnish is the second largest Uralic language in the number of speakers (the largest being Hungarian)

20 Finnish as a Uralic language

21 Finnish as a Uralic language Norway Sweden Germany Poland Belarus Russia Kazakhstan

22 Finnish as a Uralic language Finnish and its close relatives: Finnic

23 Finnish as a Uralic language More distant relatives: Finno-Ugric

24 Finnish as a Uralic language More distant relatives: Finno-Ugric Even more distant relatives: Samoyed

25 Indo-European vs. Uralic: numbers Indo-European English Swedish German Spanish French one en eins uno un two två zwei dos deux three tre drei tres trois four fyra vier cuatro quatre five fem fünf cinco cinq Germanic Romance Uralic Finnish Estonian Hungarian Mansi yksi üks egy äkwa kaksi kaks ketto kityg kolme kolm három hurum neljä neli négy nila viisi viis öt ät Finnic Ugric

26 Indo-European vs. Uralic: numbers Indo-European English Swedish German Spanish French one en eins uno un two två zwei dos deux three tre drei tres trois four fyra vier cuatro quatre five fem fünf cinco cinq Germanic Romance Uralic Finnish Estonian Hungarian Mansi yksi üks egy äkwa kaksi kaks ketto kityg kolme kolm három hurum neljä neli négy nila viisi viis öt ät Finnic Ugric

27 Indo-European vs. Uralic: numbers Indo-European English Swedish German Spanish French one en eins uno un two två zwei dos deux three tre drei tres trois four fyra vier cuatro quatre five fem fünf cinco cinq Germanic Romance Uralic Finnish Estonian Hungarian Mansi yksi üks egy äkwa kaksi kaks ketto kityg kolme kolm három hurum neljä neli négy nila viisi viis öt ät Finnic Ugric

28 Indo-European vs. Uralic: numbers Indo-European English Swedish German Spanish French one en eins uno un two två zwei dos deux three tre drei tres trois four fyra vier cuatro quatre five fem fünf cinco cinq Germanic Romance Uralic Finnish Estonian Hungarian Mansi yksi üks egy äkwa kaksi kaks ketto kityg kolme kolm három hurum neljä neli négy nila viisi viis öt ät Finnic Ugric

29 Indo-European vs. Uralic: numbers Indo-European English Swedish German Spanish French one en eins uno un two två zwei dos deux three tre drei tres trois four fyra vier cuatro quatre five fem fünf cinco cinq Germanic Romance Uralic Finnish Estonian Hungarian Mansi yksi üks egy äkwa kaksi kaks ketto kityg kolme kolm három hurum neljä neli négy nila viisi viis öt ät Finnic Ugric

30 "Traditional" Uralic classification From: Korhonen, Mikko. Johdatus lapin kielen historiaan (1981).

31 "Traditional" Uralic classification From: Korhonen, Mikko. Johdatus lapin kielen historiaan (1981). Finno-Saami (Early Proto-Finnic) Finno-Mordvin Finno-Volgaic Finno-Permian Uralic Finno-Ugric Ugric Ob-Ugric

32 "Traditional" Uralic classification Finnish: part of this group From: Korhonen, Mikko. Johdatus lapin kielen historiaan (1981). Finno-Saami (Early Proto-Finnic) Finno-Mordvin Finno-Volgaic Finno-Permian Uralic Finno-Ugric Ugric Ob-Ugric

33 One of many alternative Uralic classifications From: Kulonen, Ulla-Maija. "Kielitiede ja Suomen väestön juuret", in: Ennen muinoin: kuinka menneisyyttämme tutkitaan (2002).

34 One of many alternative Uralic classifications From: Kulonen, Ulla-Maija. "Kielitiede ja Suomen väestön juuret", in: Ennen muinoin: kuinka menneisyyttämme tutkitaan (2002). Finno-Saami (Early Proto-Finnic) Finno-Permian Uralic Permian Ugric Ob-Ugric

35 From Proto-Finnic to Finnish Because linguistic records of Finnish or its closest relatives do not date far back, the prehistory of Finnish relies on secondary evidence: Comparisons with related languages Linguistic reconstruction Loanword studies of other languages Toponomy studies Supporting evidence from related fields of research (e.g. archaeology, history, genetics,...)

36 From Proto-Finnic to Finnish Archaeological evidence suggests that the area around the Gulf of Finland was inhabited already ~4000 BCE by a nomadic people, who may have already spoken a language ancestral to Finnic and Saami languages However, recent linguistic work suggests that the Uralic languages, expanding from the east, reached the Gulf of Finland only later (around ~ BCE). The language spoken around the Gulf of Finland ('Early Proto-Finnic') are estimated to have separated into Saami languages and Finnic languages ~ BCE Possible motivating factors: Baltic / Germanic contacts, the adoption of agriculture by the Finnic people

37 From Proto-Finnic to Old Finnish Between ~ BCE Finnic ('late Proto-Finnic') diverged into smaller dialects, beginning their development into separate languages (Finnish, Estonian, Livonian, Veps, Karelian, etc.) However, the speakers of these languages remained in close contact with each other throughout their divergence Finnish gradually formed as a mixture of the late ProtoFinnic dialects that spread northwards over the Gulf of Finland The Saami inhabited most of Finland around 0 CE, but were gradually assimilated into the Finnic population that expanded from the south

38 Old Finnish (pre-1540s) Pre-1540s Finnish existed only as the dialects that developed from Late Proto-Finnic; linguistic material from this period is scarce An important milestone in the history of Finnish was 1150, when Finland was annexed to Sweden Under the Swedish rule Finnish became a secondary language, spoken mostly by peasants and parts of the middle class As a consequence, Swedish became an important influence particularly in the later development of standardized Finnish

39 Old Written Finnish ( ) Lutheranism: Mikael Agricola created a written standard of Finnish based on the dialects around Turku Abckiria ( the ABC Book ), 1543 Rucouskiria ( The Prayer Book ), 1544 Se Wsi Testamenti ( The New Testament ), 1548

40 Abckiria and Se Wsi Testamenti

41 Abckiria and Se Wsi Testamenti Oppe Oppenyt nytwanha wanha//iaianoori noori// joilla joillaombi ombisydhen Sydhentoori toori.. Jumalan Jumalankeskyt keskyt//iaiamielen mielen// iotca iotcataidhat taidhatsomen Somenkielen kielen.. Laki Laki//seseSielun Sielunhirmutta hirmutta// mutt muttcristus Cristussen sentas taslodhutta lodhutta.. Lue Luesijs sijshyue hyuelapsi Lapsiteste teste// Alcu Alcuoppi oppiilman ilmaneste este.. Nijte Nijtemuista muistaelemes Elemesaina aina// nin ninjesus Jesussinun sinunarmons Armonslaina laina Learn Learnnow, now,old old//and andyoung, young,// who whohave haveaafresh freshheart, heart, God's commandments God's commandments//and andthe themind, mind,// sosothat thatyou youshall shallknow knowthe thefinnish Finnishlanguage. language. Law, / it makes the soul fearful, / Law, / it makes the soul fearful, / but butchrist Christsoothes soothesititagain. again. So read from here good So read from here goodchild, child,// the thebeginning beginningofoflearning learningwithout withoutobstacles. obstacles. Remember Rememberthem themall allyour yourlife, life,// sosojesus Jesuslends lendsyou youhis hismercy. mercy.

42 Old Finnish vs. modern Finnish Orthography depends on context (vs. modern Finnish, which is much more systematic): keskyt /käskyt/ /k/ marked with 'k' iotca /jotka/ /k/ marked with 'c' ionga /jonka/ /k/ marked with 'g' quin /kuin/ /k/ marked with 'q' yxi /yksi/ /ks/ marked with 'x' A few "non-uralic" structures, e.g. the article "Se": Old Finnish: German: Modern Finnish: Se Das Wsi Testamentti Neue Testament Uusi Testamentti

43 Other Christian 'pioneers' of written Finnish Paavali Juusten Jacobus Finno Catechismus (1574) Catechismus Eli Sen Christillisen opin pää cappaleet (1583) Yxi Wähä Rucous Kiria (1583) Yxi vähä Suomenkielinen Wirsikiria (1583) Eerik Sorolainen Catechismus (1614) Postilla (1621/1625) Biblia: Coco Pyhä Raamattu (1642)

44 Grammars and dictionaries from the Old Written Finnish era Finnish grammars also started to appear, (although the earliest were in Latin) Rudimenta linguae Fennicae breviter delineata, late 1500searly 1600s Eskil Petraeus: Lingae Finnicae brevis institutio, 1649 Bartholdus Vhaël: Grammatica Fennica, 1733 Daniel Juslenius: Suomalaisen Sana-Lugun Coetus ( An Attempt at a Finnish Dictionary ), 1745

45 East-west dialect division of Finnish (first suggested in 1733)

46 Towards Early Modern Finnish The Finnish War ( ): Finland annexed to the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland Capital and the bulk of academic activity moved from Turku to Helsinki, giving standard Finnish perhaps more autonomy from the influence of Swedish as well as the western dialects of Finnish There was also a growing political movement promoting a 'Finnish' national identity

47 Early Modern Finnish ( ) The Dialect Struggle ( ): written Finnish (previously based on the western dialects) was reformed to incorporate both eastern and western dialect characteristics ; 1849: The publication of the Finnish national epic Kalevala Modern spelling conventions for Finnish were established The finnicization of Finnish: many foreign elements (loanwords, grammatical structures etc.) replaced with Finnish versions

48 Early Modern Finnish ( ) An example of an Early Modern Finnish spelling change: the replacement of 'foreign' letters (b, c, d, f, g, q, x and z): tz changed to ts: itze itse ('(one)self') katzoi katsoi ('looked') x changed to ks: laaxo laakso ('valley') ld changed to lt: häneldä häneltä ('from him/her')

49 Early Modern Finnish ( ) Finnicization of Finnish: neologisms that replaced (Swedish) loanwords: biblioteekki kirjasto ('library') telefooni puhelin ('telephone') universiteetti yliopisto ('university') Less successful neologisms(did not become popular): radio sätiö ('radio') sohva joukkoistuin ('sofa')

50 Early Modern Finnish ( ) 1850: Finnish-language publications censored to due to the European Revolutions of 1848 The censorship was relaxed in 1954 and reversed in : Finnish decreed to have equal status with Swedish in all matters directly concerning the Finnish-speaking population of the country 1870: The first Finnish-language novel ("Seven Brothers") is published

51 Modern Finnish (1870-present) ; : As part of an attempt to "Russify" Finland, Russian was declared the administrative language of Finland This was largely unsuccesful, as Russian was minority language in Finland The "Era of Russification" was shortly followed by the Finnish Declaration of Independence in 1917

52 Modern Finnish (1870-present) For the most part, the Finnish language did not experience dramatic changes between the Early Modern stage and the Modern stage. Some revisions included: Standardized spelling for loanwords in Finnish (early 20th century) Favouring shorter forms of complex words, e.g. koomillinen koominen ('comical') yksinkertaistuttaa yksinkertaistaa ('simplify')

53 Modern Finnish (1870-present) However, the worldwide growth of mass media driven by technological innovations in the 20th and 21st centuries has brought: Broader international scope for borrowings and other linguistic influences More influence from non-neighbouring languages (especially English) at the expense of Swedish

54 Modern Finnish (1870-present) The traditional dialects of Finnish have started to fade away during the 20th century as people moved into cities More recently, however, Finnish dialects have again become a more prominent part of one's identity

55 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

56 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

57 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

58 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

59 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

60 Modern Finnish (1870-present) Contemporary Finnish culture has acted both as an innovative and preserving force for Finnish language and culture, e.g. Modern Finnish music: English language vs. dialectal Finnish Aku Ankka: widely known Donald Duck stories vs. interpretations of Finnish classics as Duck stories, dialect translations etc.

61 Finnish loanword examples (roughly from old to new) king foal anecdote, story law province girl essay to date kuningas varsa kasku laki lääni likka (dialectal) essee treffailla (older) deittailla (newer) pihvi beef jeep jeeppi trend trendi printer printteri to dance; to party bailata (colloquial) sudoku sudoku sumo sumo Germanic '*kuningaz' Russian dialectal 'varža' Russian 'skazka' Swedish 'lag' Swedish 'län' Swedish 'flicka' French 'essai' Swedish 'träffa' English 'to date' English 'beef' English 'jeep' English 'trend' English 'printer' Spanish 'bailar' Japanese 'sudoku' Japanese 'sumou'

62 Finnish loan translations Literal translations of borrowed concepts, rather than loanwords, are common in Finnish: English meaning Finnish expression Literal English translation Origin highway moottoritie 'motor road' Swedish 'motorväg' kindergarten lastentarha 'children's garden' German 'Kindergarten' tank (vehicle) panssarivaunu 'armour wagon' German 'Panzerwagen' raccoon pesukarhu 'wash bear' Swedish 'tvättbjörn'

63 Slang / dialect examples English meaning home tram / streetcar (railway) station a meeting Standard Finnish koti raitiovaunu (rautatie)asema tapaaminen Helsinki slang hima spora steissi miitinki Compare Swedish 'hemma' Swedish 'spåra' English 'station' English 'meeting' English meaning curb Standard Finnish reunakiveys Tampere dialect rotvalli Compare French 'trottoir'; English 'road wall' barber restaurant thin parturi ravintola ohut puli ravinteli ohkane Standard Finnish ylpeä missä me olemme vadelma haarukka Ostrobothnian dialect ylypiä mihinä m'oomma vaarain kaffeli English meaning proud where we are raspberry fork Compare Swedish 'kaffel'

64 Some Finnish language sources for the interested Books: Fred Karlsson (1983), Finnish Grammar, WSOY (Includes a brief historical overview of Finnish) Online: The bluffer's guide to Finglish: also found by Googling a 'tongue-in-cheek' online slang dictionary of Finnish covers the basics of Finnish writing and pronunciation, as well as additional links Wikipedia and Wikibooks are also fairly good sources for learning about Finnish.

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