Browsing by Subject "suomalais-ugrilaiset kielet ja kulttuurit"

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  • Yurayong, Chingduang (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    The present study investigates the use and development of demonstratives that follow head word, postposed demonstratives, which are characteristic of eastern Finnic and North Russian dialects. Some previous studies regard these postposed demonstratives as definite articles, while other recent studies identify additional functions related to information structure and discourse. Given that postposed demonstratives are not a feature common to all East Slavic languages, several studies propose that this characteristic feature of North Russian could have resulted from language contact with the Uralic-speaking population who adopted Russian as their second language, particularly Finnic speakers. The main goal of the present study is to answer three research questions: 1) How do postposed demonstratives function as grammatical markers? 2) What does the development of demonstratives tell us about the history of Finnic and Slavic languages? 3) Do postposed demonstratives result from a Finnic substratum in North Russian dialects? For this purpose, the present study examines spoken language data comprising thirteen Finnic and two North Russian varieties which have been in contact during the latest millennium, as well as Novgorod birch bark documents from the 11th–15th centuries. The typological analysis identifies properties and functions of postposed demonstratives from various perspectives: word order, host attachment, syntactic and pragmatic functions. The analysis also combines results with geographical data, which shows the correlation between the speaking areas and linguistic similarities among varieties. The results achieved in the present study justify the following conclusions. First, postposed demonstratives function as grammatical markers with a basic function to organise information structure. At the same time, the properties of information-structural uses as topic and focus markers have secondarily extended to contexts of use in which postposed demonstratives co-occur with definite referents, and are used to code the speaker’s evaluation. The functional extension is particularly common in North Russian dialects and adjacent Finnic varieties in the east. Second, the development of demonstrative systems from Proto-Finnic to modern Finnic languages is influenced by later contacts among Finnic sub-branches that share areal features. Based on these isoglosses, the Finnic demonstrative system can be classified into four groups: 1) western Finnic (Livonian, South Estonian, and North Estonian), 2) central Finnic (Votic and Ingrian), 3) Karelian Finnic (Olonets Karelian and Northern Lude), and 4) eastern Finnic (Southern Lude and Veps). Third, the postposed demonstrative “-to” and its variants in North Russian dialects do not result from the Finnic substratum, but from the adstratum. Through mutual reinforcement with the Veps demonstrative “se”, the indeclinable “-to” inherited from the Central dialect of Middle Russian has developed further properties to inflect and co-occur more often with definite referents. Such a developed pragmatic use later also spread to Lude and Olonets Karelian.
  • Kuzmin, Denis (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    The dissertation investigates the settlement history of Russian Northern Karelia, i.e. White Sea Karelia (Vienan Karjala), in the light of onomastics. It consists of six articles based on linguistic material, most notably toponyms, anthroponyms, dialectal vocabulary and oral history. A considerable part of the research materials have been collected by the author in the course of field expeditions. The main methodology employed in the articles is the investigation of the spread of toponymic types in the Finnic languages. They bear witness to early population movements that cannot be investigated in the light of archaeology or historical documents. Particular toponymic models can be connected with the spread of the Karelian population from the Lake Ladoga region to the north. Other types provide evidence of a population that entered Northern Karelia from present-day Finland. Most notably, parallels in the toponymy of the Savo and Häme provinces and the area of White Sea Karelia can be found. The other main methodology used in the articles is the investigation of the substrate toponyms, i.e. analysis of toponyms that bear witness to language forms spoken earlier in a particular area. For instance, in White Sea Karelia, a notable amount of toponyms from Saami languages can be found. In the Russian-speaking White Sea coast area, in turn, a notable Finnic substrate from Karelian is discernable. Thus, there are grounds to suggest that the present linguistic areas of the investigated region have come to being relatively late and that as late as in the Middle Ages, the linguistic map of the region was considerably different. There is evidence to suggest that the Saami population in the area survived up to the 17th century. A further source of information in the dissertation is the oral history, i.e. stories and remembrances of the history of the Karelian settlements. Most of this material has never before been collected or investigated in the historical literature. Additionally, an analysis of the Karelian family names and some elements of dialectal vocabulary has been carried out in the investigation. As a result of the investigation, a large amount of new information has surfaced regarding the settlement history of the White Sea Karelia area. Most notably, the character of the Saami languages spoken in the area, the influences from the Western Finnic areas and the directions of population movements between individual settlements has been documented in greater detail than in the earlier research. The results of the investigation are thus of importance not only for Finnic linguistics, toponymic and substrate studies but also to the historical sciences.