Names of body parts in the Atlas of Finnic Languages Cover Image

Names of body parts in the Atlas of Finnic Languages

Author(s): Helmi Neetar
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies
Published by: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus
Keywords: phonetic variation; derivational variation; areal distribution; semantic aspect; native words; loanwords; naming motives

Summary/Abstract: The three parts of the Atlas Linguarum Fennicarum (ALFE) were published in the years 2004–2010. Part 2 addresses, among other things, a group of concepts associated with human anatomy (gums, nostril, calf, temple, crown, eyelid, spine). Their Finnic references can be analysed from different aspects. Some of the names display considerable phonetic and derivational variation, e.g. Fin. ikenet etc., North-Est. igemed, idemed, South-Est. igimäˀ, igima ’gums’; Fin. ohimo etc., ’temple’. There are numerous compounds, most of which have an obligatory attributive component: Fin. silmä(n) ’eye’ + kansi ’eyelid’. Some names are rather widespread, such as the following two word families for nostril: *seerV- (Fin. sierain, Est. sõõre; also Veps., Vot., Liv.) and East-Fin. huokoin < huoata ’breathe (deeply); rest’ (also Kar. Ingr., Vot.). Some others are used in a very small area. There are names that are strictly limited to certain body parts, e.g. Fin. ikenet, North-Est. igemed ’gums’. Some names derive from native linguistic material. For example, the Finnish word family ohimo etc. has been associated with the adjective oha/ohut etc. ’thin’, as the human skull is thin at temples. At the same time there are several loanwords, which can be very old or rather recent (Russian, Latvian) borrowings.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 57
  • Page Range: 103-116
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Estonian