LINGUIST List 13.198

Fri Jan 25 2002

Review: Ruppel, ed., Festschrift for Koivulehto

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  1. Marc Pierce, review of Festschrift for Jorma Koivulehto, Verba mutuata

Message 1: review of Festschrift for Jorma Koivulehto, Verba mutuata

Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 12:11:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Marc Pierce <>
Subject: review of Festschrift for Jorma Koivulehto, Verba mutuata

Ruppel, Klaas Ph., ed. (1999) Verba mutuata: Quae vestigia
antiquissimi cum Germanis aliisque Indo-Europaeis contactus
in linguis Fennicis reliquerint. Finno-Ugrian Society,
paperback ISBN 952-5150-36-4, xxv+435pp, Festschrift for
Jorma Koivulehto, Publications of the Finno-Ugrian Society
237 (in German).

Reviewed by Marc Pierce, Department of Germanic Languages
and Literatures, University of Michigan

	The study of early Indo-European (and especially
Germanic) loan words into Finnish has a long scholarly
tradition, going back at least to Johan Ihre's work in the
late eighteenth century (Hovdhaugen et al 2000: 119-121).
The volume under consideration here reprints sixteen papers
by one of the giants in the field, Jorma Koivulehto
(hereafter K), now emeritus professor of Germanic philology
at the University of Helsinki, as well as a short
introductory essay by K written specifically for this
collection. The papers are generally reprinted as they were
originally published, although postscripts have been added
to some. The volume comes with the normal Festschrift
paraphernalia: a tabula gratulatoria; an introductory,
largely biographical essay, written by Osmo Nikkilae; and a
list of K's publications through 1999. There are also two
detailed indices, one for abbreviations and one for words,
and a substantial bibliography. In what follows, I briefly
describe the contents of all the papers and then make some
more general remarks.
	"Review and perspectives" ["Rueckblick und
Perspektiven"-- all translations are my own] discusses some
of the methods used by K, and then examines some of the most
important results of his work.
	The next three articles, "Germanic- Finnish loan
relations I" ["Germanisch-finnische Lehnbeziehungen I"]
(pp. 17-40); "Germanic-Finnish loan relations II"
["Germanisch-finnische Lehnbeziehungen II"] (pp. 41-82);
and "Germanic-Finnish loan relations III" ["Germanisch-
finnische Lehnbeziehungen III"] (pp. 83-120), address a
number of important issues in the treatment of Germanic loan
words in Finnish, both phonological and lexical, including
the substitution of Finnish sounds for Germanic sounds, the
preservation of Germanic (or Indo-European) sounds, and the
types of loan words (e.g. agricultural and nautical). K
illustrates these issues with new etymologies for a number
of Finnish words.
	"Germanic-Finnish loan relations: three words with
Finnish -aav- ~ Proto-Germanic -aww- > Proto-Norse -aggw-"
["Germanisch-finnische Lehnbeziehungen: drei Woerter mit fi.
-aav- ~ urgerm. -aww- > urn. -aggw-"] (pp. 121-131)
provides new loan etymologies for three Finnish words, haava
'wound', kaava 'form, pattern', and naava 'lichen' (on
	"Baltic and Germanic elements in Finnish: Finnish
stems ending in -rte and the Finnish sequence VrtV"
["Baltisches und Germanisches im Finnischen: die fi. Staemme
auf -rte und die fi. Sequenz VtrV"] (pp. 133-160) is
concerned with Finnish stems ending in -rte; K argues that
they can be classified into two groups, a group of loan
words and a group where the cluster contains a morpheme
	"Phonotactics as a signpost in loan word research:
Baltic Finnic -str- words" ["Phonotaktik als Wegweiser in
der Lehnwortforschung: die osfi. -str- Woerter"] (pp. 161-
168) discusses four Finnish words containing consonant
clusters that can be traced back to Late Proto-Finnic *-str-
, two of which were recognized early on as loan words. Here
K points out that since Finno-Ugric did not permit clusters
of three consonants morpheme-internally, it is probable that
all four of these words are loan words.
	"Reflexes of Germanic /e1/ in Finnish and the dating
of Germanic- Finnish loan relations" ["Reflexe des germ.
/e1/ im Finnischen und die Datierung der germanisch-
finnischen Lehnbeziehungen"] (pp. 169-228) addresses the
various reflexes of Proto-Germanic e1 preserved in early
Germanic loan words in Finnish. In Northwest Germanic,
Proto-Germanic e1 became aa (long a), while in Gothic it was
retained as e. Loan words in Finnish exhibit both values, which K
accounts for by proposing that there are various layers of
early Germanic loan words in Finnish-- a proposal that he
makes further use of in several of the later papers in this
book. This study also has chronological implications, e.g.,
were early Germanic words borrowed before or after the
Germanic Sound Shift?
	"How long have the Proto-Finns lived in the area of
the Baltic Sea? On the relative and absolute chronologies
of the layers of early Indo-European loan words in Baltic
Finnic" ["Seit wann leben die Urfinnen im Ostseeraum? Zur
relativen und absoluten Chronologie der alten idg.
Lehwortschichten im Ostseefinnischen"] (pp. 229-244)
suggests that the traditional dating of Germanic- Baltic
Finnic language contact (around the beginning of the CE) is
much too late, and that K's work on loan words, as well as
the archaeological evidence, indicates that these contacts
took place between about 2000 and 1300 BCE.
	"Sievers' Law in light of Germanic-Finnish loan
relations" ["Die Sieverssche Regel im Lichte der
germanisch-finnischen Lehnbeziehungen"] (pp. 245-273)
challenges the traditional view of the value of the Finnish
evidence for Sievers' Law, namely that most of the forms can
be accounted for by reference to specifically Finnish
conditions. K argues that there is a layer of early
Germanic loan words that provides solid evidence that
Sievers' Law was not functioning in Germanic at the time the
words were borrowed.
	"On the early contacts between Indo-European and
Finno-Ugric" ["Zu den fruehen Kontakten zwischen
Indogermanisch und Finnisch-Ugrisch"] (pp. 275-288)
discusses differences in stem classes between Baltic Finnic
and the remaining Finno-Ugric languages, and suggests that
these differences are the result of borrowing.
	"The replacement of the Indo-European cluster -Tr- im
Finnic-Permic" ["Die Substitution der idg. Verbindung -Tr-
im Finnisch-Permischen"] (pp. 289-293) briefly sketches the
treatment of Indo-European loan words containing this
cluster, pointing out that metathesis normally took place.
	"Indo-European laryngeals and the Finno-Ugric
evidence" ["Idg. Laryngale und die finnisch-ugrische
Evidenz"] (pp. 295-308) offers etymologies of a number of
loan words that appear to have preserved reflexes of Indo-
European laryngeals in various forms. There are some forms
that have not preserved such reflexes; K suggests that these
forms are either borrowings from Indo-European dialects that
had already lost their laryngeals at the time of borrowing,
or that the reflexes were lost in the history of the Finno-
Ugric languages.
	"The type of Baltic Finnic loan word exemplified by
palje 'bellows', turve 'turf'" ["Der Typus palje
'(Blase)balg', turve 'Torf' unter den Lehnwoertern des
Ostseefinnischen"] (pp. 309-328) points out that many early
loan words exhibit elements word-finally that resemble
suffixes. K argues that such suffixes are intended to
imitate word-final elements found in the donor languages,
and justifies this claim by means of new etymologies for a
number of such words.
	"Indo-European - Uralic: Loan relations or (also)
genetic relationship?" ["Indogermanisch-Uralisch:
Lehnbeziehungen oder (auch) Urverwandtschaft?"] (pp. 329-
340) reviews the nature of the relationship between Indo-
European and Uralic and concludes that a genetic
relationship between these language families remains
	"On Indo-European- Germanic continuity in the
neighborhood of the Finno-Ugrians" ["Zur indogermanisch-
germanischen Kontinuitaet in der Nachbarschaft der
Finnougrier"] (pp. 341-358) discusses the chronological
aspects of this problem, relying on K's earlier claim that
there are different layers of loan words in Finnish.
	"The relationship of Baltic Finnic and Lapp [Sami] in
light of early loan words: The replacement of the foreign
word ending *-CVz in Lapp [Sami]" ["Das Verhdltnis des
Ostseefinnischen und des Lappischen im Lichte der alten
Lehnwoerter: Die Substitution des fremden Wortausgangs *-CVz
im Lappischen"] (pp. 359-372) proposes new etymologies for
several Sami words, examines the replacement of the ending
*-CVz in certain Sami words, highlights the chronological
implications of these proposals, and argues that the concept
of an early Proto-Finnic language as the ancestor of the
Baltic Finnic and Sami languages cannot be sustained.
	A number of threads can be clearly discerned in this
work; I shall now discuss two of them briefly. The first of
these is K's general claim that there are a number of layers
of Indo-European (especially Germanic) loan words in
Finnish. While this claim can be trivially illustrated by
comparing older and newer borrowings (compare, for instance,
Finnish ranta 'beach', cf. Modern Swedish strand, with
protoni 'proton', where ranta is an older borrowing and thus
exhibits simplification of its initial consonant cluster and
protoni is a newer borrowing and therefore retains its
initial cluster), it has too often been glossed over. For
instance, while most analyses of Sievers' Law in North
Germanic reject the evidence of Finnish loan words, they
tend to fail to consider the possibility that different
words were borrowed at different times, with various
consequences for their proposals. In light of K's work,
however, this issue may well require reappraisal.
	The second thread is related to the first. It is
simply that Finnish (and Finno-Ugric) can provide more
evidence for Indo-European and Germanic developments than
most scholars have hitherto believed. It is clear that
Finnish can provide valuable evidence in this regard,
although the Finnish evidence is too often merely paid lip
service rather than thoroughly considered. A case in point
is the value of the Finnish evidence for Sievers' Law in
Germanic (especially North Germanic), another is the
(possible) preservation of Indo-European laryngeals in
	Sievers' Law was originally proposed by Eduard Sievers
in 1878 to account for certain vowel/semivowel alternations
found in a number of Indo-European language families,
including Germanic, and essentially states that unstressed i
or u is a semivowel following a short syllable, and a vowel
following a long syllable (Sievers 1878: 129), thus
accounting for the contrast between forms like Gothic nasjis
'(thou) savest' and sookeis '(thou) seekest'.
	Given the notorious "conservatism" of Finnish (for
instance, Finnish has retained unstressed final vowels in
some words where related languages have lost these vowels,
as well as in some early loan words), a number of scholars
have sought supporting evidence for their analyses of
Sievers' Law in Finnish. Such attempts have largely proved
fruitless, since, as Sievers himself pointed out in an
appendix to his original article, the Finnish evidence seems
to be the result of specifically Finnish developments
(Sievers 1878: 163); see also Seebold (1972), Ritter (1977),
and Syrett (1998), among others.
	K's 1986 essay reprinted here introduced a new twist to
the debate. Relying again on his claim that there are a
number of different chronological layers of Germanic loan
words in Finnish, K argued that the earliest layer of
borrowing does provide insight into the workings of Sievers'
Law in North Germanic at the time of the borrowings. To
demonstrate this, he proposed new etymologies for nine
Finnish words which are putatively borrowed from Germanic.
He further argued that the Germanic originals of several of
these words exhibited the semivocalic alternant even after a
heavy syllable, leading to the further conclusion that "at
the time of their borrowing, Sievers' Law was not (or not
yet, or no longer) valid in the Germanic proto-
language...." ["die Sieverssche Regel [galt] zur Zeit
ihrer Uebernahme in der germanischen Originalsprache (noch)
nicht (bzw. nicht mehr)."] (p. 269).
	It should also be pointed out here that I am not
entirely convinced that K is correct in this particular
analysis, but his proposals are certainly thought-provoking
and worthy of further consideration. Schulte (2000) is a
recent step in that direction.
	In sum, this volume is a welcome addition to the
linguistic literature. While most of these papers were
originally published in readily accessible journals, a
number of them were not, and the Finno-Ugrian Society
(Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran) is to be applauded for making
them available in this convenient form. It is also a
positive sign that K did not cease his linguistic research
upon retirement-- a recent paper addresses early Indo-
Iranian loan words in the Finno-Ugric languages, for
instance (Koivulehto 2000). It is to be hoped that he will
continue to contribute to linguistics for years to come.

Hovdhaugen, Even, Fred Karlsson, Carol Henriksen and Bengt
 Sigurd. 2000. The history of linguistics in the
 Nordic countries. Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum
Koivulehto, Jorma. 2000. Finno-Ugric reflexes of North-
 West Indo-European and early stages of Indo-Iranian. In:
 Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual UCLA Indo-European
 Conference. Edited by Karlene Jones-Bley et al.
 Washington, DC: Institute for the Study of Man. Pp. 21-43.
Ritter, Ralf-Peter. 1977. Zur Frage der finnischen Evidenz
 fuer die Sievers'sche Regel im Germanischen. Die
 Sprache 23: 171-179.
Schulte, Michael. 2000. Zur Transfersensitivitaet
 phonetisch-phonologischer Prozesse am Beispiel des
 Sieversschen Gesetzes. Amsterdamer Beitraege zur aelteren
 Germanistik 54: 137-150.
Seebold, Elmar. 1972. Das System der indogermanischen
 Halbvokale. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitaetsverlag.
Sievers, Eduard. 1878. Zur accent- und lautlehre der
 germanischen sprachen. Beitraege zur Geschichte der
 deutschen Sprache und Literatur 5: 63-163.
Syrett, Martin. 1998. On Sievers' Law, and its converse,
 in North Germanic. Northwestern European Language Evolution
 34: 75-98.

Biographical sketch: 	Marc Pierce is a lecturer in the
Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the
University of Michigan. His major research interests are
historical linguistics, phonology, Germanic (especially
Scandinavian) linguistics, and early Germanic religion,
culture, and literature.
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