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Linguistica Uralica

Issue no.2 /2004


Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus

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On the Evidence of the Verbal 3rd Person Suffix *-sV in Uralic    
The Finnic-Mordvinic lepp    
O grammatikalizatsii analititsheskich glagolov estonskogo jazyka    
Was There a Finnish Settlement in Uusimaa before the Swedish One?    
Translated Title: Was There a Finnish Settlement in Uusimaa before the Swedish One?
Publication: Linguistica Uralica (2/2004)
Author Name: Nordling, Carl O.;
Language: English
Subject: Philology / Linguistics
Issue: 2/2004
Page Range: 109-128
No. of Pages: 20
File size: 138 KB
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Summary: Although there are many toponyms of undoubtedly Finnic provenance in the Swedish parishes along the southern coast of Finland, none of the demonstrably old names distinguishes themselves as exclusively Finnish. Almost every one of them could be derived from items in the Estonian vocabulary, and several show even slightly more affinity to Estonian than to Finnish. Even with access to spellings from the 14th and 15th centuries, we must realise that by that time the names had already been transferred orally through several generations and their pronunciation may have been blurred to a certain extent. The change does not necessarily follow simple rules. Therefore, a theory of the identity of the name-givers should not be based on linguistic evidence in the first place. Also, not only hypothetical residents should be taken into consideration in the name-giving situation, but also the possibility of occasional explorers, habitually visiting fishermen, etc. Supposing that the coast was considered cultivable even before the Swedish settlement, it would have been within easy reach from Estonia. We would, therefore, expect Estonians to have had some incentive to settle outside their country long before the less numerous Finns from Häme had felt any urge to clear land many days wanderings from their native region. This assumed prehistoric influx of Estonians would have resulted in a genetically mixed Swedish speaking population, containing not only genes from the Häme-Finnish neighbours of a later age but also genes from the Estonians. As a matter of fact, it can be shown that the Estonian component is even more conspicuous than the Finnish one among the Uusimaa Swedes.
Keywords: Swedish; Estonian; Finnish; toponyms; place-names; etymology; origin of place-names; language contacts
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