In this book, which is aimed at general linguists as well as Uralic
specialists, Angela Marcantonio examines the history, phonology,
morphology, lexicon and onomastics of the Uralic languages. She uses both
conventional and modern statistical methods of analysis. She shows how the
belief that these languages form a genetic family is in fact based on an
interlocking set of assumptions, which, whilst self-consistent, do not in
fact have the status of scientific evidence. For example, she shows that
the reconstruction of the Uralic node has more sound-laws than regular
etymologies to obey them.
In addition to addressing the classification of the Uralic languages, the
approach adopted in this book could be applicable to other assumed
families. There is an on-going debate on the suitability of the
Comparative Method and its alternatives to establish language relations,
and this book illuminates the various approaches using detailed evidence
from an entire presumed family.