Sunday, August 3, 2014

Finland From Its Prehistory To The Modern Era (UPDATED August 8, 2014)

Razib Khan has a nice little post summing up, among other things, the broad outlines of the prehistory of Finland and the means by which it arrived at its present population genetic and linguistic composition.

For full disclosure, I note than I am 50% Swede-Finn (my Lutheran Swede-Finn ancestors, who are on my maternal side, migrated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the late 1800s), and it is possible that my account may be influenced by this fact. Some key points (with some of my own additions):

Mesolithic Finland

Finland was repopulated after the Last Glacial Maximum (which covered all of Northern Eurasia in an ice sheet ca. 20,000 BCE and completely ended modern human and any other hominin population of this region) only around 9,000 BCE (some sources indicate a date closer to 7300 BCE which would be about 9300 BP which could be caused by misunderstandings regarding the units in which dates are quoted), in an era sometimes called the Mesolithic or Epipaleolithic era.

Mesolithic Finnish Genetics

Uniparental genetics suggest that the source population for the original resettlement, which has left a strong serial founder effect impact on the Saami population (albeit with strong Uralic contributions) made its way up the Atlantic Coast (e.g. the Dutch and Belgian coast), probably from a Franco-Cantabrian refugium which also contributed to the proto-Berber populations with which it shares two of its three predominant mtDNA haplogroups, in what is now Algeria and Morocco to the South as it expanded in that direction as well.

The rare mtDNA haplogroup V is found all along the maritime path of this group of Mesolithic people's expansion (although later studies have shown mtDNA V in Eastern and Central Europe as well).  For example, a new study documents a Kurgan burial of an individual from the Novosvobodnaya culture in a part of what is now Southern Russian in the Northern Caucasus mountains around 3,000 BCE with mtDNA haplogroup V7.  The author of this new paper argues from this one ancient DNA sample that the mtDNA V7 points to a link with the contemporaneous Funnelbeaker culture (often abbreviated TRB from its German spelling) further North which was characterized by herding, fishing, marginal grain farming, and the use of imported copper but not Bronze, on the grounds that there are some indications of cultural linkage between the two cultures and on the grounds that mtDNA V is found in some remains from the Linear Pottery culture (often abbreviated LBK) who were the first farmers of the region from which the author argues that the TRB is derived.  (The lack of references to ancient TRB DNA to back up this claim, and reliance on a very outdated 1999 paper from Brian Sykes for the largely disproven hypothesis that most European mtDNA haplogroups have been widespread in Europe since the Upper Paleolithic era as a foundation for his analysis, undermines confidence in his conclusion, however.)  Also, who is to say that mtDNA V didn't introgress from pre-existing Mesolithic European hunter-gathers of whom the early Finns were a part, into farmers on the frontier of the Neolithic revolution, rather than the other way around?

The other leading mtDNA haplogrop in the Saami is U5b, which is common in all European hunter-gatherer populations. But, the U5b is predominantly U5b1b1 (284 out of 292 individuals with U5b with all 8 outliers located in Southern Sweden at the fringe of the area where Saami people are found), compared to about 20% of Continental Europeans with mtDNA U5b.



Disregarding the editorial white lines of distribution provided by the author (source here), I would say that the U5b1b1 distribution is quite a good fit for the coastal migration route.

On the Y-DNA side, one of the three most common Y-DNA haplogroups of the Finns, I1, is associated with the pre-Neolithic population of Europe (or more precisely, with sister Y-DNA haplogroup I2) much like mtDNA U5b and to a lesser extent mtDNA V (which is also found in ancient DNA in some early Neolithic populations in Europe, although possibly as a result of the first farmers of Europe taking wives from prior hunter-gatherer populations).

These people may have been the source population designed Western European Hunter-Gatherer based in ancient autosomal DNA, one of the three populations, together with "Early European Farmers" and "Ancestral Northern Eurasians" who were the main contributors to modern European population genetics in most of Europe (although as explained below, Finland had another Uralic population that contributed to its population genetics).

Mesolithic Archaeological Cultures In Finland

From 9000 BCE (or 7300 BCE if the reference is inaccurate) until about 2500 BCE, Finland was inhabited by the descendants of these people, who fed themselves mostly by fishing supplemented by hunting and gathering, without farming or herding.

Ulitmately, the Comb Ceramic culture, which was closely akin to the Pitted Ware people of mainland Europe nearby on the Baltic Sea, emerged from these people, around 5300 BCE, as they engaged in trade with Neolithic cultures to the South.
For example, flint from Scandinavia and the Valdai Hills, amber from Scandinavia and the Baltic region and slate from Scandinavia and Lake Onega found their way into Finnish archeological sites, while asbestos and soap stone from e.g. the area of Saimaa spread outside of Finland. Rock paintings—apparently related to shamanistic and totemistic belief systems—have been found, especially in Eastern Finland, e.g. Astuvansalmi.
Farming and Herding Arrive In Finland

Around 2500 BCE (or perhaps as late as 2300 BCE), Finland's Comb Ceramic maritime culture merged with the linguistically Indo-European Corded Ware culture derived Battle Axe culture from the south (that made its first inroads into Southwest Finland ca. 3200 BCE) to give rise to the Kiukainen culture. The Battle Axe culture brought dairy farming and greatly disrupted the local culture, although less the ideal climate conditions impaired the desirability of the area for herding and farming, ultimately led to a resurgence in maritime fishing people's to the local culture, so that both cultures made significant contributions.

It hasn't been clear until this week how much of a contribution this archaeological culture made to the further Northern Saami people, but the sudden appearance of dairy farming as evidenced by residues on pottery suddenly appearing around 2500 BCE even above the Arctic Circle, puts to rest the possibility that dairying didn't reach the far northern reaches of Finland at that time.  It is now clear that almost everyone in the region was affected as the Neolithic revolution finally reached Finland, even if some populations subsequently reverted to a different subsistence mode.

Indo-European Farmer Genetics

The Battle Axe culture is the likely source of Y-DNA haplogroup R1a in Finns and possibly also mtDNA H mostly arrive at this time (although the antiquity of mtDNA H in the region in ancient suggests that this haplogroup could have arrived in the Mesolithic, rather than a Neolithic era.

Notably, in Japan, whose Jomon culture was also maritime fishing based before the arrival of the Yaoyi rice farmers with horse riding warriors, there the indigeneous maritime culture also had a considerable population genetic contribution, rather than the predominant replacement of terrestrial hunter-gatherers seen elsewhere.  More sedentary fishing cultures may have had more staying power vis-a-vis early farmers than terrestrial hunters and gatherers.

The Case For An Indo-European Language Shift

At this point in time, the population of Finland probably came to speak an Indo-European pre-Slavic Baltic language. (A Finnish linguist argues that this Corded Ware language was proto-Germanic, but in my view a Baltic language is more likely.)

The ancestral language of the Comb Ceramic and Pitted Ware peoples was probably lost at this time in what was probably one of its last outposts in Europe (after earlier episodes of Neolithic replacement or conquest in Continental Europe starting ca. 5500-4600 BCE), except for some place names and perhaps some twice removed substrate influences.

This first farmer Neolithic era probably persisted until the arrival of the that persisted until the Finish Bronze Age (ca. 1500 BCE-500 BCE).

The Finnish Bronze Age

Another Language Shift

Sometime after 2500 BCE, Finland received an influx of a Uralic language speaking population from Siberia, not closely related to either of its source populations.

This influx gave rise to a language shift during which the Finnish language (or at least the Finno-Saami language family) probably emerged. The Finnish Bronze Age exactly coincides with a statistical estimate of the time of origin of the Finno-Saami branch of the Uralic languages.

Realistically, the Uralic language probably arrived as part of the advent of the Finnish Bronze Age ca. 1500 BCE which arrived with Bronze using cultures from Northern and Eastern Russia according to Wikipedia with is in accord with this source regarding the earliest appearance of Bronze artifacts being located inland. But, an unsourced Internet resource claims a Western rather than Eastern source for the Finnish Bronze Age and the appearance of the Western practice of cremation around this time in Finland argues for a Western source in coastal areas.  These differences of opinion regarding the origin of the Finnish Bronze Age had nationalist implications for Finland.

Like Razib, I disagree with the Wikipedia analysis that puts the arrival of the Uralic languages according to older scholarship, in Finland ca. 4000 BCE.  The Wikipedia analysis acknowledges the possibility that this is inaccurate, but suggests an Iron Age arrival for Uralic, which I suspect is too late, although a differentiation of Finnish from neighboring Uralic languages may date to the Iron Age ca. 500 BCE.

The Genetic Impact of Bronze Age Uralic Migration Into Finland

Razib notes that they left an east Asian autosomal genetic contribution (about 5%-8% in Saami populations today), mtDNA (mtDNA haplogroups D5 and Z which make up a similar percentage of Saami mtDNA with the mtDNA Z1 subclade contribution dated to 2,000-3,000 years ago by mtDNA mutation rate dating, i.e. the Iron Age) and Y-DNA legacy (e.g. Y-DNA haplogroup N1b and N1c1), which is distinct from the "ancestral North Asian" autosomal genetic legacy in Europe (that may have arrived with first and/or subsequent waves of Indo-Europeans together with, for example, Y-DNA haplogroup R1a).

About the Uralic Language Family

The Uralic language family is shared by the people of Estonia, Latvia, the Karelian region of Russia, and the Saami people of Finland. A more distant branch of this language family is Hungarian, and another more distant branch of this language family is shared by many Siberian ethnic populations including the Mari who are arguably the last population to have continuously practiced pagan religions of Northern Asia into the present.

Some linguists such as Michael Fortescue writing in 1998, have argued that the Eskimo-Aleut languages, including Inuit, are a sister language family to the Uralic languages that together form a circumpolar mega-language family.  Morris Swadesh in 1962, Holst in 2005, and others dating back to the 1746 CE, have made similar proposals.

From a historical timing perspective, however, the Saqqaq (Arctic Paleo-Eskimos) which was present 2000-2500 BCE (the best ancient DNA example of which had Y-DNA Q1a, mtDNA D2a1, and autosomal DNA similar to the modern Koryak people of the Northeast Asia coast) , or the Dorset (second wave Arctic Paleo-Eskimos) would be a better match, and perhaps left a substrate influence on later Eskimo-Aleut languages (although there are genetic indications that these earlier populations were almost totally replaced in the Americas) which arrived with the Thule around 500 CE. Inuits lack Y-DNA N1b and N1c found in modern Finns and contributed mostly mtDNA haplogroups A (which is absent in the Finns) to the existing indigenous American mtDNA pool, while the Dorset contributed mostly mtDNA D3 (found in modern Paleo-Siberian populations and which is a sister clade to Finnish and Asian mtDNA D5), according to the ancient DNA samples.

The Bronze Age Transition Was Demographically More Important Than The Iron Age Transition

The fact that the Finnish Bronze Age arrived from the Uralic heartland with a probable demic component, while the Finnish Iron Age appears to have include more cultural exchange than demic migration, and the likely powerful capacity of a metal age culture to overwhelm a pre-metal age culture militarily, argues for an arrival ca. 1500 BCE, rather than earlier or later.  Certainly, this Siberian centered linguistic family would not have appeared at a time when the cultural influences in Finland were from Rome or Western Europe as it was from 0 CE onward.

One archaeological site from the period is this one and a number of Finnish Bronze Age papers from 2009 can be found here).

The Finnish Iron Age and the Middle Ages

The Finnish Iron Age began around 500 BCE (several hundred years later than in the Mediterranean) and around 0 CE, began to show the influence of trade with the Roman Empire that persisted until about 400 CE. The Migration Period during which there were mass folk migrations of "barbarian" Germanic tribes like the Goths and the Visigoths through Europe extended to Finland's Iron Age from ca. 400 CE to 575 CE and showed increasing Germanic influence in cultural artifacts.

The Migration period and the Merovingian period that followed also coincide historically with Slavic expansion into what is now Orthodox Christian Eastern Europe.

From 575 CE to 800 CE, "The Merovingian period in Finland gave birth to distinctive fine crafts culture of its own, visible in the original decorations of domestically produced weapons and jewelry. Finest luxury weapons were, however imported from Western Europe. The very first Christian burials are found from the latter part of this era as well. The Leväluhta burial findings suggest that the average height of a man was 158 cm [i.e. 5'2"] and that of a woman was 147 cm [i.e. 4'10"]."

Trade with the linguistically Germanic (Indo-European) Vikings (many from Sweden and some of whom started to colonize Finland) followed from 800 CE to 1025 CE during which hill forts started to be erected in Southern Finland in the earliest signs of urbanization.

The Christianization of Finland began in earnest around 1150 CE which was also around the time that Finland begins to appear in the written historic record. Swedish colonization efforts directed at Finland were stepped up in Northern Crusades in the early 1200s CE, bringing with them the other of Finland's two major languages and adding a significant Swedish population genetic component to the overall mix. According to Wikipedia the story then continued as follows:
In the early 13th century, Bishop Thomas became the first bishop of Finland. There were several secular powers who aimed to bring the Finns under their rule. These were Sweden, Denmark, the Republic of Novgorod in Northwestern Russia and probably the German crusading orders as well. Finns had their own chiefs, but most probably no central authority. Russian chronicles indicate there were conflict between Novgorod and the Finnic tribes from the 11th or 12th century to the early 13th century.

The name "Finland" originally signified only the southwestern province that has been known as "Finland Proper" since the 18th century. Österland (lit. Eastern Land) was the original name for the Swedish realm's eastern part, but already in the 15th century Finland began to be used synonymously with Österland. The concept of a Finnish "country" in the modern sense developed only slowly during the period of the 15th–18th centuries.

It was the Swedish regent, Birger Jarl, who established Swedish rule in Finland through the Second Swedish Crusade, most often dated to 1249, which was aimed at Tavastians who had stopped being Christian again. Novgorod gained control in Karelia, the region inhabited by speakers of Eastern Finnish dialects. Sweden however gained the control of Western Karelia with the Third Finnish Crusade in 1293. Western Karelians were from then on viewed as part of the western cultural sphere, while eastern Karelians turned culturally to Russia and Orthodoxy. While eastern Karelians remain linguistically and ethnically closely related to the Finns, they are considered a people of their own by most. Thus, the northern border between Catholic and Orthodox Christendom came to lie at the eastern border of what would become Finland with the Treaty of Nöteborg in 1323.

During the 13th century, Finland was integrated into medieval European civilization. The Dominican order arrived in Finland around 1249 and came to exercise huge influence there. In the early 14th century, the first documents of Finnish students at Sorbonne appear. In the south-western part of the country, an urban settlement evolved in Turku. Turku was one of the biggest towns in the Kingdom of Sweden, and its population included German merchants and craftsmen. Otherwise the degree of urbanization was very low in medieval Finland. Southern Finland and the long coastal zone of the Bothnian Gulf had a sparse farming settlement, organized as parishes and castellanies. In the other parts of the country a small population of Sami hunters, fishermen and small-scale farmers lived. These were exploited by the Finnish and Karelian tax collectors.
Trade exchanges during the early Iron Age probably did not lead to language shift, and even the influx of Swedish and other Scandinavian colonists in starting in the Viking era around 1200 CE only led to a bilingual situation with coastal colony towns speaking Germanic Swedish languages with a Finnish substrate and Finnish and Saami remaining living languages elsewhere.

Finland In The Early Modern Era

Swedish domination would continue for centuries, and in the Reformation, the Swedish sided with the Protestant Lutherans against the Catholics and had their own round of witch hunting in the 1600s, including well as a short lived effort to establish a Swedish colony in America near the Delaware-Pennsylvania area from 1638-1655 CE, with at least half of the colonists coming from Finland.

Very hard times followed for the next quarter century resulting in the death of a third of the population in a four year long famine, followed by the death of half of the population in a twenty-one year long war.  The population of Finland fell by about two-thirds in a single generation.
In 1696–1699, a famine caused by climate decimated Finland. A combination of an early frost, the freezing temperatures preventing grain from reaching Finnish ports, and a lackluster response from the Swedish government saw about one-third of the population die. Soon afterwards, another war determining Finland's fate began (the Great Northern War of 1700–21). The Great Northern War (1700–1721) was devastating, as Sweden and Russia fought for control of the Baltic. Harsh conditions—worsening poverty and repeated crop failures—among peasants undermined support for the war, leading to Sweden's defeat. Finland was a battleground as both armies ravaged the countryside, leading to famine, epidemics, social disruption and the loss of nearly half the population. By 1721 only 250,000 remained.
Constitutional monarchy with a powerful parliament followed in Sweden, but "Finland by this time was [still] depopulated, with a population in 1749 of 427,000." Potato farming (which was a dietary staple of my ancestors) arrived after the 1750s.

In 1809, Finland was annexed to Russia with the assent of a popular assembly.

Mass migration to the United States in the late 19th century was also accompanied by hard times at home in Finland.

Finland secured independence in 1917, followed by a brief civil war in 1918, as a result of the Russian revolution.

34 comments:

Maju said...

Hi, Andrew. I would agree with you that neither Iron Age nor Corded Ware seem coherent with the most likely arrival of Uralic languages to Finland or nearby areas like Sápmi or Karelia. In my understanding it was much older, at least with the arrival of Combed Pottery culture, whose expansion patterns from the Volga seem consistent with Uralic distribution.

Anyhow there is evidence in ancient mtDNA of "Eastern" influence (haplogroup C) in Karelia and nearby North Russia since the Epipaleolithic and further South in Ukraine since the Neolithic. And these patterns are confirmed and related to what we see in West Siberian aDNA since the Chalcolithic.

That does not preclude possible secondary Uralic and specifically Finnic expansions in further dates, possibly over older related peoples, much as the Inuit replaced the Tuniit in Arctic America, but in general I would say that Uralic peoples have been in NE Europe (including surely large swathes of Scandinavia Peninsula) since the Epipaleolithic. The reconstructed spread of Y-DNA N1 seems to support that but also an origin in what is today Northern China (where Y-DNA N was dominant in the Neolithic, including some instances of N1c), Mongolia and probably also nearby areas of Southern Siberia.

In this last sense I'm not sure of how strongly can be argued a relationship of Uralic with Eskimo-Aleut and I would seriously consider the Ural-Altaic hypothesis as well, if nothing else because the genetic evidence rather points in that direction. Bu, if proto-Uralic peoples were acculturated by proto-Indoeuropean ones (their neighbors by the south), then Indo-Uralic is the hypothesis to follow. Finally, if we accept that linguistic tree models are insatisfactory and that accretion "fuzzy" models are more realistic, then maybe all three are valid to some extent.

Maju said...

"Uniparental genetics suggest that the source population for the original resettlement, which has left a strong serial founder effect impact on the Saami population (albeit with strong Uralic contributions) made its way up the Atlantic Coast (e.g. the Dutch and Belgian coast), probably from a Franco-Cantabrian refugium which also contributed to the proto-Berber populations of what is now Algeria and Morocco to the South as it expanded in that direction as well".

This is a very mysterious issue in fact because so far mtDNA V has been undetected before Neolithic anywhere, although I would agree that U5b (which by the way you have repeatedly mistyped as "Ub5") among the Sámi might support this model. The presence of mtDNA H in Epipaleolithic Karelia is also important because it is the only place outside the Iberian peninsula where it has been sampled so early (if we discard Sunghir out of caution).

But then again I would argue that in the European Epipaleolithic there was already a division between Western and Eastern genetic pools, which, in spite of heavy Neolithic admixture in the West and the less important Indoeuropean inflow from Eastern Europe, it has largely persisted to this day. This is quite evident in the various degrees of Paleosiberian (Mal'ta-1) autosomal affinity, which were low among both early European farmers but also among Western European hunter-gatherers (excepted those from Sweden, which may indicate a wider Northern anomaly or just a very early Eastern influence).

Then again it is difficult also to explain in archaeological terms a flow from SW Europe to Finland in Paleolithic times. A possible source could be the Federmessian-Tarnowian group, which seems to have Azilian affinities, and hence directly related to the Franco-Cantabrian region's Epi-Magdalenian, but I don't know if this group ever made beyond Poland.

Another interesting group with more northeasterly offshoots is the Swiderian, centered in Poland. But this seems more tightly related to the NW European Ahrensburgian cultural area and is therefore less clearly related to the Franco-Cantabrian Region. In fact I would suspect that the Ahrensburgian population was, at least in some cases, carrying more Paleosiberian affinities (as suggested by the Swedish site of Motala, whose cultural affinities are yet to be determined though) than Western Epi-Magdalenian hunter-gatherers. But this remains to be determined by direct sequencing of at least one Ahrensburgian hunter-gatherer (no clear cultural identity of Lochsbour is known either and ethno-cultural divide lines may well have been important in the past).

andrew said...

A new PhD dissertation from a linguistic perspective concurs with this linguistic sequence.

Maju said...

Finnics were very possibly not the first Uralic layer in the area. That area shows sharp genetic changes even up to recent times. However cast me skeptic of Indoeuropean ever being too strong in that area and rather a side influence from the South. Instead historically Finnic extended all the way to Lithuania and, in Scandinavia, surely to not much farther North than Stockholm.

Jaska said...

Interesting writing!
I have presented the linguistic results of the new millennium about the linguistic layers in Finland here (in Finnish):
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Kielet_Suomessa_kautta_aikain.pdf

I try to translate it in English in the near future...

Uralic continuity has been narrowed to the Bronze Age, while the Stone Age Corded Ware Culture is still considered Indo-European. This means that there probably was an Indo-European language present in Finland (although only in coastal parts) before there were any Uralic language nearby.

Maju said...

And what was spoken before? What do you infer that was spoken before those so-recent layers? If you have no answer, then the most likely answer is (proto-)Uralic. Why?

There are enough ancient genetic indications of something-like-Uralic since Epipaleolithic. Archaeologically speaking, Combed Ware fits well with what would be a proto-Finnic expansion from the Volga.

Regarding IE "only in coastal parts", that's not very informative to what existed before Uralic because most people did not live in the coast. It'd be much like modern Swedish-speaking in those same areas, saying nothing about the whole region.

Jaska said...

Dear Maju, it is impossible that any Uralic language was spoken in Finland prior to the spread of Proto-Uralic from Volga-Kama around 2000 BC.

We really have nowadays a lot of traces of the languages which were spoken in Finland before Saami and Finnish.

Genetic or archaeological continuity cannot disprove any linguist results, as you already know:
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Uralic.html

andrew said...

"And what was spoken before? What do you infer that was spoken before those so-recent layers? If you have no answer, then the most likely answer is (proto-)Uralic. Why?"

My analysis is that it would be a lost Paleo-European language of Mesolithic maritime hunter-gatherers.

We know that there was a blank slate until the glaciers retreated. So the first language spoken in Finland was almost surely the language of the people who first migrated to Finland.

It is very probable that the first Finns arrived via the Atlantic coast, and very unlikely that they came from the Ural Mountain area.

Uralic language have never extended to the Atlantic coast.

There was disruptive cultural change in Finland at the time of the onset of the Bronze Age from the area that was the likely urheimat of the Uralic language family.

There is cultural continuity in the archaeological record from the time of the first Finns to the arrival of a Corded Ware derived culture.

There is no linguistic evidence to suggest that the Uralic language family has 9,000-11,000 years of time depth.

One could argue that there was a previous language shift from a lost Paleo-European language of Atlantic hunter-gathers to a lost Uralic language with the emergence of the Comb Ceramic culture ca. 5300 BCE, which was lost with the arrival of herding and farming ca. 2500 BCE, and then replaced again by a Uralic direct ancestor to Finnish ca. 1700-1500 BCE in the Finnish Bronze Age.

But, there isn't any strong reason to believe that this more complicated scenario is correct, and there is no identifiable genetic layer dated to this time period in Finnish population genetics.

Maju said...

"Genetic or archaeological continuity cannot disprove any linguist results, as you already know"...

No, sorry, I did not know that linguistics was "rocket-science". And I do not know now either.

I reckon my relative ignorance of Uralic linguistics but discussing Basque and IE linguistics I have found all kind of weird linguists with weird "theories", some of them extremely stubborn and disdainful of multidisciplinary approaches. However even when the discussion was strictly limited to linguistics they failed A LOT.

I have not much faith in the seriousness of Linguistics as science because A LOT of what is said are just more or less qualified opinions. Linguistics is even in the best case an approximative science, with zero field data from the pre-literate past (which in Finland is up to very recent times) making just inferences based on present day (and historically documented) languages.

The results are often if not always controversial, even among linguists themselves. That's a good reason to implement interdisciplinary approaches, something to what many linguists are refractory, because they usually know nothing of these other fields and fear to lose academic power to outsiders.

In synthesis: the field of linguistics, while no doubt interesting when properly done, needs a lot of humbling.

"Kalevi Wiik, for example, thinks that because we can't reach the most distant times by the methods of linguistics, we must turn to the methods of other disciplines - such as genetics and archaeology - in order to study the linguistic situation in the distant past"...

Exactly. That's the correct approach. I applaud that Wiik, although I would rather disagree with his conclusions (certainly genetics do not support them and I doubt archaeology does either).

"By pleading the archaeological and/or genetic continuity, the original area of Proto-Indo-European has been "proved" to locate in India, Caucasus, Middle-Asia, Anatolia, Ukraine and Central Europe".

In what alternate reality? The only sustainable archaeologically-based theory on IE origins place these at the Volga (Samara and Khvalynsk cultures). All the rest are, well, mostly unheard of.

"language is always one-rooted"

While I can personally and cautiously agree with this, I know linguists who disagree, more or less vehemently. Particularly regarding vocabulary (but even grammar and syntaxes can be affected by sub-/adstrate influences). It's not that simple in any case. Just for the record.

"As we have seen, one scholar thinks the Uralic language has spread to Finland along with the original inhabitants, while the other thinks it is connected with the Neolithic Combed Ware".

I think this is the real debate.

"It is simply impossible to get any reliable information about language merely by the methods of archaeology or genetics".

Depending on what you consider "reliable". I'd say that the presence of East Asian mtDNA lineages (hap. C) in Finland and other parts of Eastern Europe very early on points to the (proto-)Uralic migration, whose ultimate origins are no doubt in East Asia (Y-DNA N1), to be affecting NE Europe since very early in the Holocene. The extremely strong correlation of Y-DNA N1 with the Uralic area cannot be ignored.

"The original area of Proto-Uralic was not in Central Europe"...

Almost certainly not. And I do not think that either genetics nor archaeology support it either. They support an ultimate origin in East Asia, a second phase in the Siberian taiga and a late phase in the colder areas of Eastern Europe, with at least an expansion node related to Indoeuropeans at the Volga (Combed Ware), which does not exclude possible earlier proto-Uralic waves, not from Central Europe but from the same area of NE Europe/West Siberia.

Maju said...

"... the first language spoken in Finland was almost surely the language of the people who first migrated to Finland".

Who we know are (Karelia data actually) also the first people in Europe known to carry some notorious East Asian genetics (hap. C1). Genetic estimates regarding the spread of N1 place it in the Siberian taiga before the Epipaleolithic, in time to affect NE Europe when the ice melted (although NE Euro-Russia was free of ice all the time, so I guess that they arrived there even before the Holocene).

In a discussion with Kristiina, who is also Finnish and quite knowledgeable of North Eurasian genetics and other related stuff, she mentioned that the oldest ever pottery in West Eurasia is found in NE Europe in contexts that could be proto-Uralic. This makes good sense because pottery was invented in East Asia long before the Holocene (while in the West only once the Holocene was pretty much advanced, exception made of the terracotta "firework" figurines of Moravia's Gravettian).

"There was disruptive cultural change in Finland at the time of the onset of the Bronze Age from the area that was the likely urheimat of the Uralic language family".

Unfamiliar. But Combed Ware is much older and comes from the same area. At the very least this should be considered as the origin of Uralic in Finland and other nearby areas, regardless that Finnish as such could indeed be a later arrival from near-Estonia. Personally I think it's older however.

"... there is no identifiable genetic layer dated to this time period in Finnish population genetics".

The people of Uznyi Oleny Ostrov (Karelia, c. 7500 BP) carried 33% C1, a clear East Asian lineage. The people of Bolsoi Oleny Ostrov (Kola peninsula c. 3500 BP) carried a majority of East Asian lineages (C*, C5, D, Z1a). Both seem to be related to the Uralic expansion and cannot be explained in "paleo-European" terms. C*, C5 and D have also been found in Neolithic Ukraine, suggesting that the initial proto-Uralic expansion (in terms genetic) was wider than the modern area, affecting much of Eastern Europe.

Jaska said...



Maju,
if you knew anything about linguistics, you could yourself sort out the unscientific nutcase-hypotheses from the serious, credible linguistics. Now you cannot, so you are misguided to think that every opinion is scientifically valuable – that’s not a correct assumption.

You must understand that there is absolutely no reliable way to get any results concerning LANGUAGE only by using ARCHAEOLOGY OR GENETICS. You must know this, don't you? Even though Wiik, Künnap, Makkay, Alinei etc. did not know and went happily to the meadows of unscientific fantasies, you don’t have to follow them.

So, even though the accuracy and probability of linguistic results grows weaker by every century we go further back in time, it still is SUPERIOR compared to any other discipline for tracing the LINGUISTIC past.

Please read this, so maybe you get some understanding about the linguistic methods to tie the results together with the archaeological records:
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Problems_of_phylogenetics.pdf

Maju said...

Of all those you mention I've only heard of Alinei, whose arguments are mostly linguistic and a clear demonstration that you can do a lot of unlikely acrobatics with the oft slippery linguistic tools. His prehistoric argumentation is just totally wrong.

The question is not so much how reliable is factual information of the kind provided by archaeology and genetics to infer the ethno-linguistic past but how reliable is paleolinguistics itself.

I've seen all kind of junk in that cave and I really do not trust any linguistics-only argument, even if I can understand it well. After all we need archaeology to explain the expansion of linguistic families like Indoeuropean or Afroasiatic: no linguistics-only model ever managed to explain these satisfactorily - but prehistory can. When we discuss the IE expansion we cite no linguist but archaeologists, particularly Marija Gimbutas. In fact some purist linguists are still bouncing heads on hypothetical (and extremely unlikely) IE homelands and expansion processes, which simply do not fit the facts.

Maju said...

"Please read this"...

Actually we are mostly in agreement here: the LINGUISTIC theory proposed by Bouckaert et al. is meaningless and almost certainly wrong. In order to understand the expansion of IE we need not only to look at the more or less plausible linguistic reconstruction theories but also at the best fit with the prehistoric reconstruction, in this case the Kurgan model.

What I am not in agreement, at least not in principle, is in estimating that proto-Uralic is just 2000 years old.

Anyhow Bouckaert's model is clearly wrong in many very apparent details: Catalan and Provenzal, for example, are nearly identical and obviously come from the same root (Medieval Languedocine), while French and West Iberian Romances have different roots altogether (ancient French and ancient Leonese).

andrew said...

Proto-Finnic is at least 3500 years old, so Proto-Uralic is a fortiori older, although it is hard to know how much older.

Jaska said...

Maju:
"Of all those you mention I've only heard of Alinei, whose arguments are mostly linguistic and a clear demonstration that you can do a lot of unlikely acrobatics with the oft slippery linguistic tools."

Maju darling, you repeatedly confirm your ignorance about linguistics. Alinei is not a historical linguist but dialectologist etc. Every historical linguist immediately sees the methological faults in his work.

Maju:
"The question is not so much how reliable is factual information of the kind provided by archaeology and genetics to infer the ethno-linguistic past but how reliable is paleolinguistics itself."

Some amateurs have misused paleolinguistics, but it does not make the basic assumptions false. When applied by critical historical linguist on firm enough words (not all words are possible to reliably connect to the extra-linguistic material), it is very valid method.

It is true that we need archaeology, just like we need it in the paleolinguistic method. But it must be done properly, comparing the autonomous results of the two disciplines. We cannot mistake the archaeological or genetic continuity as a proof of linguistic continuity, if linguistic results disprove it.

The situation in the IE side is not the rule in general. In Uralic studies we have nice results concerning dating and locating Proto-Uralic, West Uralic, Pre-Finnic etc, although we are not yet sure which archaeological cultures would best fit to these results. So it is a dissimilar situation compared to IE.

Jaska said...

Maju:
"What I am not in agreement, at least not in principle, is in estimating that proto-Uralic is just 2000 years old."

When we talk about the common protolanguage of all the modern Uralic languages, that is indeed the case. There are even Late Proto-Aryan, possibly even distinctively Proto-Iranian and Proto-Indic loanwords in Proto-Uralic! 2000 BC Late Proto-Uralic was still spoken in a narrow homeland.

If you read the article I linked, you saw the evidence. Where is your counter-evidence?

Andrew:
"Proto-Finnic is at least 3500 years old, so Proto-Uralic is a fortiori older, although it is hard to know how much older."

We can date Proto-Uralic because we have loanwords from different IE branches. Besides, we have Proto-Uralic words denoting metals and agriculture, which also help us to date the terminus post quem for the dispersal of Proto-Uralic.

So far the most detailed up-to-date analysis is only in Finnish:
http://www.sgr.fi/susa/92/hakkinen.pdf

Proto-Finnic is nowadays divided into Early, Middle and Late Proto-Finnic. By comparing the loanwords from Germanic and Baltic to Finnic and Sámi we have reached a nice although rough cross-dating of different protolanguage stages:
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Jatkuvuus2.pdf
(Page 6)

Early Proto-Finnic = Late Bronze Age
Middle Proto-Finnic = around 0 AD
Late Proto-Finnic = Younger Roman Iron Age

Maju said...

"Some amateurs have misused paleolinguistics"...

Not only amateurs. I know of many "reputed" linguists who are doing total crap and even perpetrating attacks against archaeological facts that disprove their "theories" just to keep living off their universities and other academic perks. Even honest and dedicated ones' theories can only be taken as qualified opinions. Linguistics is not a hard science at all.

"Where is your counter-evidence?"

As I have said my many doubts stem from other fields than linguistics, which I consider much more serious in terms of providing hard evidence.

Of course you are in your right to stand on your opinion. The future of humankind does not depend on who is right on this discussion, so it's ok to be wrong.

"We can date Proto-Uralic because we have loanwords from different IE branches".

For example Ugric has loanwords from proto-Indo-Iranian or maybe proto-Indo-Aryan (closer to Indo-Arian than to Iranian in any case). That means that early Ugric is at least 4000 years old, what means that Finno-Ugric and Uralic are older.

For example Uralic or at least Finno-Ugric has many Proto-IE loans, making it almost certainly 6000 years old or even older.

So nope.

"Besides, we have Proto-Uralic words denoting metals and agriculture"...

Which metals specifically? Agriculture fits in the frame-set I just mentioned, as would gold, silver and copper, but iron probably not and bronze definitely not. Of course there can always be areal loans (sprachbund, wanderworts) and hence not proto-Uralic but adstrate. But first of all which metals specifically?

This does not necessarily mean that Finnic may not represent a secondary expansion of its own in whatever time-frame. But Finnic is not the same as Uralic.

Jaska said...


1. How can you tell what is crap, when you know nothing about linguistics? Please present counter-arguments - tell us which view is crap!

2. So you consider archaeology "hard" science, because it uses natural scientific methods? Then how can you claim that paleolinguistics, which relies on these very same archaeological datings, is not hard science? Where is the logic here?

How "hard" science is archaeology, when it is very possible that we haven't found the earliest possible item ever made; that the datings have errors of margin; that calibrations etc. change the actual datings even when the "natural scientific" analysis (radiocarbon) is still the same?

3. There are many levels in historical linguistics - you simply cannot bundle them all together. There really is no uncertainty when dating the Proto-Nordic loanwords in Finnic, because we have Runic texts which can be dated natural-scientifically.

And as I already told you, even uncertain linguistic guess is hundred times more credible than a guess about language based on archaeology or genetics alone.

I suggest that you stop talking about linguistics until you know something about the subject. Now your disagreement is unfortunately only based on ignorance.

Maju:
"For example Ugric has loanwords from proto-Indo-Iranian or maybe proto-Indo-Aryan (closer to Indo-Arian than to Iranian in any case). That means that early Ugric is at least 4000 years old, what means that Finno-Ugric and Uralic are older."

Your interpretation is wrong. There are Proto-Aryan loanwords in Uralic with both wide and narrow distribution. Based on sound history (one very exact subdiscipline of linguistics) we see that these layers are actually of same age.

So, the right conclusion here is that Proto-Uralic is contemporaneous with Late Proto-Aryan, but some words are only preserved in the eastern dialect of Proto-Uralic. Proto-Aryan loanwords have participated in the regular East Uralic sound changes, shared by Ugric and Samoyedic.

Maju:
“For example Uralic or at least Finno-Ugric has many Proto-IE loans, making it almost certainly 6000 years old or even older.”

Wrong again. First, archaic Indo-European is not automatically Proto-Indo-European, although ten years ago these were not distinguished from each other. Latest archaic IE loanwords in Late Proto-Uralic are contemporaneous with Late Proto-Aryan loanwords, so of course they cannot be Proto-Indo-European. See page 5:
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/UralicEvidence.pdf

Second, even if there are true Proto-Indo-European loanwords, it does not mean that Late Proto-Uralic is equally old. Every protolanguage has ancestors, and it can be Pre-Proto-Uralic which was contemporaneous with Proto-Indo-European. This is the most plausible explanation, when all the other evidence points to the later time for Proto-Uralic.

Jaska said...

Maju:
“Which metals specifically? Agriculture fits in the frame-set I just mentioned, as would gold, silver and copper, but iron probably not and bronze definitely not. Of course there can always be areal loans (sprachbund, wanderworts) and hence not proto-Uralic but adstrate. But first of all which metals specifically?”

Those innovations were known earlier in the south and later in the north. In the area we locate Proto-Uralic agriculture and animal husbandry only began around 2500 BC, and bronze metallurgy only 2000 BC. The Proto-Uralic word *wäśka ‘copper or bronze’ cannot prove that Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy, but word *äsa-wäśka ‘tin/lead’ certainly can: it is a compound denoting to the lesser component needed for bronze (lead was used in jewelry, tin in weapons etc.). It doesn’t matter if it was originally ‘X-copper’ or ‘X-bronze’, because either way it proves that Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy.

Then we have *sërńa ‘gold’ from Proto-Iranian *zaranya. It must be even later loanword than Proto-Aryan, otherwise there would be *ś in Proto-Uralic. Sibilants in both words show regular pattern (western *s ~ eastern *L and western *ś ~ eastern *s), so we know that these are not later wanderworts but borrowed into Proto-Uralic and inherited to its daughter dialects through regular sound changes.

Maju said...

"How can you tell what is crap, when you know nothing about linguistics?"

Because I do know SOMETHING about linguistics. What I do not know much is about Uralic languages specifically.

"So you consider archaeology "hard" science, because it uses natural scientific methods? Then how can you claim that paleolinguistics, which relies on these very same archaeological datings, is not hard science?"

The only thing I say here (and you seem to agree) is that archaeological data MUST be taken into consideration: some interdisciplinarity is needed.

On the rest you're claiming to heaven on technical nuances, which in no case challenge the seriousness of the archaeological method, rather the opposite.

"... even uncertain linguistic guess is hundred times more credible than a guess about language based on archaeology or genetics alone".

Not if opposed by other opinions. I don't necessarily have to believe in your particular "bible", you know: in order to see what linguistic theory of several competing ones makes better sense, I will use other relevant data, not necessarily linguistic but also.

"Your interpretation is wrong. There are Proto-Aryan loanwords in Uralic with both wide and narrow distribution."

That's not what I've been told by people who seem more knowledgeable and less dogmatic than you.

"Proto-Aryan loanwords have participated in the regular East Uralic sound changes, shared by Ugric and Samoyedic".

This makes sense to me but is still way after the Uralic and Finno-Ugric stages.

"First, archaic Indo-European is not automatically Proto-Indo-European, although ten years ago these were not distinguished from each other".

You could be right but that depends of what you understand for "archaich IE". If it is some form of proto-Indo-Iranian, then yes, but if it is more archaic, more near the root than that, then no.

"even if there are true Proto-Indo-European loanwords, it does not mean that Late Proto-Uralic is equally old. Every protolanguage has ancestors, and it can be Pre-Proto-Uralic which was contemporaneous with Proto-Indo-European".

Semantics. That's why I have been all the time speaking of Uralic and not of any particular stage of its evolution. My whole point is that, most probably, Uralic as a whole (pre-proto-ante-meta-whatever...) is much much older than what you are claiming. Derived nodes like Finnic may be more recent but Uralic is much wider than just Finnic.

It is a situation similar to that of Latin and Italic: with nearly no evidence of other Italic languages, it's difficult to discern between the two. But there is a difference of course. And once upon a time there were many Italic languages which were not Latin.

Or Basque and Vasconic too... In the last 2000 years only Basque has survived but, again, once upon a time there were, no doubt, other Vasconic languages in a much wider area. We have no choice but to use Basque as main reference (with a bit of help from ancient Iberian texts and toponyms and the often controversial Vasconic substrate in IE languages and European toponymy in general). This kind of historical developments leads to confusion and today there are still many comfortably seated linguists who claim that Basque is and have always been an isolate - being supported by political views mostly, but not by the piling up of linguistic and other prehistoric evidence.

Maju said...

"The Proto-Uralic word *wäśka ‘copper or bronze’ cannot prove that Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy, but word *äsa-wäśka ‘tin/lead’ certainly can: it is a compound denoting to the lesser component needed for bronze (lead was used in jewelry, tin in weapons etc.). It doesn’t matter if it was originally ‘X-copper’ or ‘X-bronze’, because either way it proves that Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy".

Interesting if true, but it can be interpreted otherwise, not just because tin and lead are soft metals which can be forged with low heat but also because the *äsa- term may be a qualifier (you tell me) of the kind of Basque urrezko (copper) which seems to mean "little gold" (gold = urre, -sko = Aquitanian diminutive suffix).

So I'm guessing that your alleged proto-word *äsa-wäśka could mean something like "silver-copper" and have nothing to do with bronze metallurgy.

The reality anyhow is that a quick look to a dictionary shows that neither of the main Uralic languages retain such an alleged proto-word for lead (lyiyi in Finnish, pini or seatina in Estonian, ólom in Hungarian) nor for tin (tina in Finnish and Estonian, ón in Hungarian), casting some doubt on your claim.

"Then we have *sërńa ‘gold’ from Proto-Iranian *zaranya. It must be even later loanword than Proto-Aryan"...

Please consider that, according to my best reconstruction of IE expansion, (pre-)proto-Indo-Iranian was what remained in the Western Steppe after the first expansion. They had no doubt access to gold from the Ural mountains, which is easily detectable in Kurgan burials elsewhere (particularly in the low Danube) because of its traces of platinum.

Again this *sërńa proto-word only seems to have left a legacy in the Volga-Urals area (Komi-Zyrian:zarni), not further West. So my question is: are those metal proto-words really proto-Uralic or rather areal words restricted to the Volga-Urals region?

Jaska said...

Maju:
“The only thing I say here (and you seem to agree) is that archaeological data MUST be taken into consideration: some interdisciplinarity is needed.”

Yes, it is part of the paleolinguistic method.

Maju:
“On the rest you're claiming to heaven on technical nuances, which in no case challenge the seriousness of the archaeological method, rather the opposite.”

What do you mean? I never challenged or distrusted archaeology when tracking material culture.

“Not if opposed by other opinions. I don't necessarily have to believe in your particular "bible", you know: in order to see what linguistic theory of several competing ones makes better sense, I will use other relevant data, not necessarily linguistic but also.”

What do you mean? Whatever other discipline you use, you must subordinate them to the most valid linguistic results. If linguistic results show that Proto-Uralic dispersed around 2000 BC, nothing in archaeology or genetics can question or disprove this.

“That's not what I've been told by people who seem more knowledgeable and less dogmatic than you.”

Oh really? Maybe their knowledge is not up-to-date, or then you have misunderstood what they have told you.

“This makes sense to me but is still way after the Uralic and Finno-Ugric stages.”

No. Actually there is no more Finno-Ugric stage – it was based merely on two things:
1. Samoyedic shares so few lexical cognates with other branches. However, lexical innovativeness cannot automatically prove an early split, so it alone is insufficient evidence.
2. Few tentative Finno-Ugric sound changes, which are now shown to be invalid.

Now Proto-Uralic is divided straight to two major branches: East Uralic (Ugric and Samoyedic) and West Uralic (Finno-Permic). Lexical level can lie, but sound changes cannot lie. It’s all summarized here:
http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Problems_of_phylogenetics.pdf

I wish you would finally read it. I have referred it already many times.

So East Uralic comes right after Proto-Uralic. And with the help of Aryan loanwords we know that West Uralic has preserved the original sibilants, while in East Uralic they have gone through changes: *s > *L and *ś > *s.

“You could be right but that depends of what you understand for "archaich IE". If it is some form of proto-Indo-Iranian, then yes, but if it is more archaic, more near the root than that, then no.”

What are you saying? It is generally acknowledged that Northwest Indo-European remained very archaic all the way to 2nd millennium BC. Believe me; you have no basis to question it. There are archaic IE loanwords in Proto- and West Uralic which are of the same age than distinctively Aryan loanwords. Read that link finally.

“Semantics. That's why I have been all the time speaking of Uralic and not of any particular stage of its evolution. My whole point is that, most probably, Uralic as a whole (pre-proto-ante-meta-whatever...) is much much older than what you are claiming. Derived nodes like Finnic may be more recent but Uralic is much wider than just Finnic.”

Of course every human language has roots back to 100 000 years, so what?
We know that Late Proto-Uralic (= common protolanguage of all the modern Uralic languages) only dispersed around 2000 BC.

Jaska said...


Maju:
“Interesting if true, but it can be interpreted otherwise, not just because tin and lead are soft metals which can be forged with low heat but also because the *äsa- term may be a qualifier (you tell me) of the kind of Basque urrezko (copper) which seems to mean "little gold" (gold = urre, -sko = Aquitanian diminutive suffix).
So I'm guessing that your alleged proto-word *äsa-wäśka could mean something like "silver-copper" and have nothing to do with bronze metallurgy.”

Sorry, but the word in modern Uralic languages means ONLY ‘tin’ or ‘lead’. There is no basis whatsoever that it could have meant something else earlier. It is totally incredible to assume that all these branches later changed the original meaning to ‘tin’ or ‘lead’.

And as you understand (even if you like not to), such a compound word for ‘tin/lead’ which has the second part ‘copper/bronze’ cannot be explained in any other way: PROTO-URALIC SPEAKERS KNEW BRONZE METALLURGY!

Maju:
“The reality anyhow is that a quick look to a dictionary shows that neither of the main Uralic languages retain such an alleged proto-word for lead (lyiyi in Finnish, pini or seatina in Estonian, ólom in Hungarian) nor for tin (tina in Finnish and Estonian, ón in Hungarian), casting some doubt on your claim.”

There is probably no single word from Proto-Uralic which would have been preserved in every Uralic branch (Saami, Finnic, Mordvin, Mari, Permic, Hungarian, Mansi, Khanty, Samoyedic). *äsa-wäśka is not preserved in every branch, either, but fortunately it contains both these diagnostic sibilants, which have regularly preserved in West-Central Uralic and changed in East Uralic (see above).

Therefore we know that the word must be old, despite of its narrower distribution (Udmurt, Komi and Mansi – on the different sides of the ancient dialect boundary). Besides, there is another word for ‘tin/lead’, which has complementary distribution: *olna/i in Mari, Hungarian and Khanty. See pages 25 and 27:
http://www.sgr.fi/susa/92/hakkinen.pdf

Finnish/Finnic has received lots of loanwords from Germanic, including the metal names kupari ‘copper’, pronssi ‘bronze’, tina ‘tin’, lyijy ‘lead’, rauta ‘iron’.

Maju:
“Please consider that, according to my best reconstruction of IE expansion, (pre-)proto-Indo-Iranian was what remained in the Western Steppe after the first expansion. They had no doubt access to gold from the Ural mountains, which is easily detectable in Kurgan burials elsewhere (particularly in the low Danube) because of its traces of platinum.
Again this *sërńa proto-word only seems to have left a legacy in the Volga-Urals area (Komi-Zyrian:zarni), not further West. So my question is: are those metal proto-words really proto-Uralic or rather areal words restricted to the Volga-Urals region?”

Komi and Udmurt words are later borrowings from the same word – they look too similar to the Iranian word. They would look more different if they were ancient, because the Permic vowels have gone totally upside-down through the millennia after Proto-Uralic. This older borrowing is found in Mordvin and Mari in the west, and Hungarian, Mansi and Khanty in the east. And again, the word has participated in the oldest sound changes: *s > *L in East Uralic. Page 23 here:
http://www.sgr.fi/susa/92/hakkinen.pdf

Maju said...

I already read the Häkkinen paper a week ago. I don't know why do you expect me to accept it as the last unquestionable word on the matter though. I agree also that the lexical level of analysis is a bit shallow, although not completely uninformative anyhow. But it must be acknowledged that other linguists have other somewhat different ideas and that the debate must continue, almost certainly not here.

"Sorry, but the word in modern Uralic languages means ONLY ‘tin’ or ‘lead’. There is no basis whatsoever that it could have meant something else earlier. It is totally incredible to assume that all these branches later changed the original meaning to ‘tin’ or ‘lead’".

You're telling me that *wäśka means copper and that *äsa-wäśka means lead/tin. Whatever *äsa means is the clue to understand how the word change happened. So what does *äsa mean in Uralic or is believed to have meant? All this is not evidence of bronze at all (notably lead has nothing to do with bronze, while tin was probably so rare in that area that it almost certainly just was confused with the much more common lead).

"Finnish/Finnic has received lots of loanwords from Germanic, including the metal names kupari ‘copper’, pronssi ‘bronze’, tina ‘tin’, lyijy ‘lead’, rauta ‘iron’".

Yes, it seems very apparent. While Hungarian probably took their vocabulary from Slavic (or at leas so seems from a shallow inspection). So which Uralic languages keep the alleged proto-Uralic metallurgy words. My impression is that only those of the Volga-Urals region or even a fraction of them. Aren't then we confusing here "proto-Uralic" with secondary areal loanwords?

"... which have regularly preserved in West-Central Uralic and changed in East Uralic (see above)".

An areal evolution it seems to me. That they retain certain phonetic logic of their own does not seem enough evidence to me to prove a timeline: it is way too weak.

"there is no more Finno-Ugric stage"...

I understand that's your stand but I'm unsure about that stand being definitive or just another opinion. Like with Indoeuropean, there does not seem to be any single simple tree-like structure everybody agrees with in Uralic either.

In any case Samoyedic seems more conservative than other Uralic branches (what makes sense because it's more isolate) and, if anything, the other branches of the tree should be pushed backwards (loans and sprachbund blurring their old divergence) rather than Samoyedic forwards in the timeline.

Also let's not forget about the Uralic-Yukaghir stage of the family's evolution, almost certain, which can be used as another reference point.

"It is generally acknowledged that Northwest Indo-European remained very archaic all the way to 2nd millennium BC".

Uh? Lithuanian seems particularly conservative (not as much as extinct Anatolian though) but otherwise Western IE has evolved a lot. Maybe (classic) Latin was also relatively conservative for some reason or at least so it seems when comparing with Mycenaean Greek. On the other hand Germanic particularly evolved a lot (and as far as I know also Celtic).

I'm willing to accept that Lithuanian is a peripheral variant of Western IE that has remained relatively unevolved since Corded Ware in their particular corner of Europe. But such notion cannot be extended to the whole Western IE, which quite obviously evolved at good pace (logically, as it was expanding in bursts, absorbing new masses of adults, with their substrate vocabulary and accent).

I have no more time.

Jaska said...

Maju:
“I already read the Häkkinen paper a week ago. I don't know why do you expect me to accept it as the last unquestionable word on the matter though.”

Nobody has so far disagreed or been able to present counter-arguments. That’s how it goes.

Maju:
“But it must be acknowledged that other linguists have other somewhat different ideas and that the debate must continue, almost certainly not here.”

We both know that even you can tell, which view is best argued:
A view of a linguist who only looks at the lexical level and therefore cannot see any problems in it, or a view of a linguist who compares the lexical level with the phonological level and sees the contradiction between them and can explain which level is more reliable.

In science the more restricted and more outdated view will always lose. I don’t understand what you imagine to gain by being so reluctant to accept new arguments.

Maju:
“You're telling me that *wäśka means copper and that *äsa-wäśka means lead/tin. Whatever *äsa means is the clue to understand how the word change happened. So what does *äsa mean in Uralic or is believed to have meant? All this is not evidence of bronze at all (notably lead has nothing to do with bronze, while tin was probably so rare in that area that it almost certainly just was confused with the much more common lead).”

Please stop being ridiculous.
1. There is no word *äsa alone, it is only a part of a compound *äsa-wäśka ‘tin/lead’.
2. It is based on *wäśka ‘copper/bronze’.

Here is the evidence, you just have to open your eyes and brain: THERE IS NO OTHER POSSIBILITY THAN THAT THE PROTO-URALIC SPEAKERS KNEW BRONZE METALLURGY. If you can imagine such, you would have presented already.

You just have to accept that new linguistic arguments have made Proto-Uralic younger, only a Bronze Age phenomenon. The longer you refuse to accept the linguistic arguments, the bigger fool you make of yourself.

Do you understand what I’m telling you?

Maju:
“So which Uralic languages keep the alleged proto-Uralic metallurgy words. My impression is that only those of the Volga-Urals region or even a fraction of them. Aren't then we confusing here "proto-Uralic" with secondary areal loanwords? An areal evolution it seems to me. That they retain certain phonetic logic of their own does not seem enough evidence to me to prove a timeline: it is way too weak.”

I already told you; read my previous messages. Those languages happen to locate on different side of the earliest dialect boundary, which means that those sibilant correspondences are REGULAR. Therefore the words are inherited from Proto-Uralic. If they were later borrowings, *s in one dialect would have been substituted as *s in another dialect – not with *L!

You cannot seriously believe that anyone would have substituted *L for *s when borrowing a word, can you?!

Jaska said...

Maju:
“I understand that's your stand but I'm unsure about that stand being definitive or just another opinion. Like with Indoeuropean, there does not seem to be any single simple tree-like structure everybody agrees with in Uralic either.”

So far everybody who is an expert in historical linguistics and has seen the arguments agrees – that’s all that matters. Those who haven’t yet seen it, may still support the outdated view of Finno-Ugric vs. Samoyedic. There is no similarly clear phonological dichotomy in Indo-European, although Anatolian being the first branching off from the trunk is nowadays practically universally accepted. (Again, it only matters what historical linguists, who have an expertise in sound history, think. Others only follow.)

Maju:
“In any case Samoyedic seems more conservative than other Uralic branches (what makes sense because it's more isolate) and, if anything, the other branches of the tree should be pushed backwards (loans and sprachbund blurring their old divergence) rather than Samoyedic forwards in the timeline.”

Any supporting arguments?
1. Samoyedic is lexically very innovative.
2. Samoyedic clearly branches off from East Uralic dialect together with Uralic – therefore it cannot be so old an entity as believed earlier.
3. Words connected to agriculture and metallurgy, and loanwords from rather late IE languages to Late Proto-Uralic cannot be denied, no matter how hard is your wishful thinking.

You will accept these new results in time – when you are ready to let go your beloved view about the Stone Age Proto-Uralic.

Maju:
“Also let's not forget about the Uralic-Yukaghir stage of the family's evolution, almost certain, which can be used as another reference point.”

Yukaghir has not been proven to be related to Uralic; there are only loanword contacts between the two families.
http://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust264/sust264_hakkinenj.pdf

Maju:
“Uh? Lithuanian seems particularly conservative (not as much as extinct Anatolian though) but otherwise Western IE has evolved a lot. Maybe (classic) Latin was also relatively conservative for some reason or at least so it seems when comparing with Mycenaean Greek. On the other hand Germanic particularly evolved a lot (and as far as I know also Celtic).”

So what? Nothing here can disprove that Northwest Indo-European – especially kentum-dialects – remained on very archaic level up to 2nd millennium BC.

Please think if you could change that stubbornness of yours – especially when you have no counter-arguments at all.

Maju said...

I don't care if *asa is a word or a preffix (i.e. *asa-), in any case it must mean something or have meant in the past. Maybe a diminutive, a deprecative or whatever. You are not explaining what *asa- means or may have meant in the past, just throwing the ball out with personal attacks ("don't be ridiculous").

If you'd be holding a honest discussion, you'd explain what *asa- may mean instead of beating the dead horse of bronze smelting.

In any case, it is the only "evidence" you have and it seems extremely weak.

For me this conversation is over.

Jaska said...

Dear Maju,
I expect more from you. We all know that you have simply decided not to accept the best-argued views about Proto-Uralic, because for some reason you love the outdated view.

It is totally irrelevant what is the origin and original meaning of word *äsa; it is enough that we know what the compound means! You know as well as we all, that the compound cannot be explained in any other way than that the Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy.

Yes, you have already understood that it is the only explanation for a word for 'tin/lead' being a compound based on a word for 'copper/bronze'. You haven't even tried to present any optional explanations!

Now we just wait how long it takes from you to admit it aloud. :-)

Maju said...

"It is totally irrelevant what is the origin and original meaning of word *äsa; it is enough that we know what the compound means!"

It means lead, a common soft metal with no relationship with bronze metallurgy. That's about it. That it may also have become "tin" in some cases is probably a later development (tin is much rarer than lead) and obviously obeys to the principle of similitude.

"You know as well as we all, that the compound cannot be explained in any other way than that the Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy".

Not at all. I do not know that. It's just one quite subjective interpretation. Based on that feeble evidence alone the conclusion you take for granted is actually extremely elusive.

I was indeed intrigued about the argument but, thanks to your explanations, I see now that it is nothing but a puff of smoke. Thanks for the conversation.

Jaska said...

Maju, please do not paint yourself deeper into the corner...

As I told you, bronze can be made with either tin or lead: the first one makes bronze harder, the other is easier to mold as in jewelry.

I repeat myself, and I hope you won't answer until you have understood and accepted this:

It is enough that we know what the compound means! You know as well as we all, that the compound cannot be explained in any other way than that the Proto-Uralic speakers knew bronze metallurgy.

You make a clown of yourself when resisting more now, when you should be objective and understand the argument.

And you happily forget all the other arguments which also show that Proto-Uralic dispersed only around 2000 BC.

I didn't know that you are so biased. I'm disappointed that you lock in your doll house and escape the real world...

Maju said...

No, bronze is not made with lead: bronze is standardly an alloy of nine parts of copper and one of tin. In Prehistory arsenic was also used instead of tin (but it's extremely poisonous).

Brass is made of copper and zinc. Other more modern copper alloys use aluminium, silicon or nickel.

Lead is not used in any sort of copper metallurgy, although it has got historically other uses like plumbing and wielding. However some of its properties are similar to those of tin (soft gray metal) and even today lead and tin are both used for soft wielding. I find normal that both metals were confused by some peoples at some time in the past.

"You make a clown of yourself"

Personal attack.

"... when resisting more now, when you should be objective and understand the argument".

Preacher-like pretension of holding the absolute truth and not accepting any criticism.

Ahem!

Maju said...

Notes: lead is used with tin as solder (what I meant by "soft wielding"), although modernly there is preference for lead-free solders made essentially of tin.

Tin has two allotropes, one of which is silvery gray and the other is lead-like in appearance.

Tin has been used since long ago to make pewter, of which it is the main component. Some qualities of pewter (not bronze!!!) also have some lead, although the quality used in tableware is 99% tin 1% copper.

Jaska said...

“No, bronze is not made with lead: bronze is standardly an alloy of nine parts of copper and one of tin. - - Lead is not used in any sort of copper metallurgy,”
- - Wrong. You should Google before presenting such erroneous claims.
http://pages.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/arch/metallurgy.html

“I find normal that both metals were confused by some peoples at some time in the past.”
- - Exactly that is why both Proto-Uralic words have meanings ‘tin’ and ‘lead’ in different languages.

”Personal attack.”
- - Actually it was a mere description of your behaviour. It is simple: if you want to be taken seriously, start acting accordingly. :-)

“Preacher-like pretension of holding the absolute truth and not accepting any criticism.”
- - Here I am right and you are wrong, and I can say it aloud. I take into account every piece of argumented critique, but so far you haven’t been able to present any of those! You have only blindly refused to accept the arguments I presented.

Please feel free to present any counter-arguments you can find! Otherwise make the math and accept the best-argued view. A fair deal? :-)

Jaska said...

I wrote:
"Exactly that is why both Proto-Uralic words have meanings ‘tin’ and ‘lead’ in different languages."

I mean that they didn't necessarily have need to distinguish them from each other. Or they could have used temporarily compounds to separate them, which have not preserved.