Browsing by Subject "Estonian"

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  • Türk, Helen; Lippus, Pärtel; Simko, Juraj (2017)
    The three-way quantity system is a well-known phonological feature of Estonian. In a number of studies it has been shown that quantity is realized in a disyllabic foot by the stressed-to-unstressed syllable rhyme duration ratio and also by pitch movement as the secondary cue. The stressed syllable rhyme duration is achieved by combining the length of the vowel and the coda consonant, which enables minimal septets of CVCV-sequences based on segmental duration. In this study we analyze articulatory (EMA) recordings from four native Estonian speakers producing all possible quantity combinations of intervocalic bilabial stops in two vocalic contexts (/alpha-i/ vs. /i-alpha/). The analysis shows that kinematic characteristics (gesture duration, spatial extent, and peak velocity) are primarily affected by quantity on the segmental level: Phonologically longer segments are produced by longer and larger lip closing gestures and, in reverse, shorter and smaller lip opening movements. Tongue transition gesture is consistently lengthened and slowed down by increasing consonant quantity. In general, both kinematic characteristics and intergestural coordination are influenced by non-linear interactions between segmental quantity levels as well as vocalic context.
  • Björklöf, Sofia (Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura, 2019)
    Uralica Helsingiensia
    The aim of this article is 1) to describe the historical language contact situation between the genetically closely related Finnic varieties of western Ingria, 2) to give examples of the numerous loanwords originating from mutual contacts among local Finnic varieties as well as areal diffusion, and 3) to discuss the method of investigating contacts and borrowing among closely related varieties. The data are taken from old dialectal materials published in vocabularies and dictionaries as well as preserved in archives. The words that are analysed and discussed etymologically in more detail are drawn from Vote, Ingrian, and Estonian. Although it is often difficult to confirm the direction of borrowing among closely related varieties, I seek to determine the direction of diffusion in the varieties whose development cannot be described merely in terms of a traditional binary family tree model. Examples of mutual borrowing between Vote, Ingrian, Estonian, and Finnish are presented. Estonian loanwords in Vote and Ingrian can usually be recognised by their distribution. Most vocabulary originating as loans (in Vote, Ingrian, and Estonian) has been borrowed from Finnish. Loans in both Vote and Estonian often have a distribution not only in Ingrian but also in Finnish. Because of the phonetic similarity of these varieties, the donor variety usually cannot be defined. Vote loanwords occur only sporadically in Ingrian and Estonian: they may also form a substratum. The speakers of Finnic varieties in western Ingria used to live in old rural communities with long-term plurilingualism, villages with a mixed population, and vague language boundaries. The arrival of new inhabitants from the countries, which ruled this area and the foundation of St. Petersburg in 1703 changed the ethnographic balance between different peoples in Ingria. This increased linguistic diversity and altered the hierarchy of the languages leading gradually to accelerating language and identity shift of the local peoples of Ingria. [Summary in Finnish and in Estonian]
  • Rueter, Jack; Partanen, Niko (The Association for Computational Linguistics, 2019)
    This paper attempts to evaluate some of the systematic differences in Uralic Universal Dependencies treebanks from a perspective that would help to introduce reasonable improvements in treebank annotation consistency within this language family. The study finds that the coverage of Uralic languages in the project is already relatively high, and the majority of typically Uralic features are already present and can be discussed on the basis of existing treebanks. Some of the idiosyncrasies found in individual treebanks stem from language-internal grammar traditions, and could be a target for harmonization in later phases.
  • Björklöf, Sofia (Helsingfors universitet, Finska, finskugriska och nordiska institutionen, Nordica, 2017)
    Nordica Helsingiensia
    In the focus of this article are Swedish loanwords in the western subgroup of the coastal dialect of the Estonian north-eastern coastal dialects. The article is based on the material collected for the dictionary of Estonian dialects. The material studied consists of 225 words, which occur in all three or only two of the parishes (Jõelähtme, Kuusalu, Haljala) of the dialectal area. Half of the words are loanwords from neighbouring languages around the Baltic Sea. Most of the loanwords are borrowed from Finnish, the second biggest group being Swedish loanwords. A part of the latter originate from the Swedish dialects in Finland and some from other varieties of Swedish. Some words with a Swedish origin have probably been borrowed via Finnish. There are also loanwords that may have been borrowed either via Finnish or straight from Swedish dialects in Finland. In the studied Estonian regional dialect there are local derivations of the Swedish loanwords, hybrid compound words consisting of a Swedish loanword and an Estonian word, accompanied by one possible loan translation. Some of the loanwords are adapted to the phonological system of the receiving dialect: as a result of language contacts there are word-initial consonant clusters – a feature not typical for Finnic languages. Initial-syllable secondary diphtongs are a typical feature which the Finnish contact has supported, and they occur also in Swedish loanwords (as well as in the dialect’s own words). Semantically the Swedish loanwords include almost exclusively maritime vocabulary. All of the Finland-Swedish source words are known in the dialects of Eastern Nyland in Finland and some even only there. The data supports the concept of close contacts between Estonians and Finns, but at the same time it shows that the Finns were not only Finnish-speaking but also Swedish-speaking. Twelve entirely new loan etymologies are given and three prior etymologies are rectified.
  • Björklöf, Sofia (Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura, 2018)
    Uralica Helsingiensia
    The vocabulary of the Estonian North-Eastern coastal dialect group reflects the historical contact between Estonians and Finns across the Gulf of Finland. New loan etymologies in the western subgroup of the Estonian Coast dialect are at the focus of the present article. This article is based on material collected for the Dictionary of Estonian Dialects. The analysed data comprises 225 words, which are attested in all three or at least two of the parishes (Jõelähtme, Kuusalu, Haljala) where the subdialect was spoken. Half of the words are loanwords from neighbouring languages around the Baltic Sea borrowed between the beginning of the modern age all the way up to the first decades of the 20th century. A considerable amount, about 38% of the analysed words, are of Finnish origin. As a result of language contacts in the analysed Estonian dialect, word-initial consonant clusters – a feature not typical of Finnic languages – and some new suffixes emerge. In this article, all the new etymologies found in the data are presented: 40 completely new etymologies and 19 revised etymologies altogether. Almost all of the Finnish source words are known in South-Eastern Finland in Kymenlaakso and on the Karelian Isthmus; one fourth of them are attested only in both of these areas or in one of them. Some of the Swedish source words are attested only in the dialects of Eastern Nyland in Finland (the Kymenlaakso area). The results show that Estonians have had contacts mostly with the aforementioned areas and also support the concept of close contacts between Estonians and Finnish as well as Swedish-speaking Finns. Thus, there seems to be strong evidence that the contacts with Finnish-speaking Finns have been the most intense: the loanwords are mostly of Finnish origin and the thematic variability of these is as wide as in the vocabulary of Estonian origin, while the Swedish, (Low) German, and Russian loanwords are nouns concerning almost exclusively semantically maritime-related vocabulary. Furthermore, the Finnish loans emerging in all the word classes demonstrate close relations. Although the mutual intelligibility of Estonian and Finnish, two genetically relatively closely-related Finnic varieties, is somewhat limited, the receptive multilingualism seems to have supported not only the borrowing process in general but the borrowing of numerous expressive words.