LINGUIST List 14.934

Sat Mar 29 2003

Review: Historical Linguistics: Carpelan, et al. (2002)

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  • John Hammink, Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European

    Message 1: Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European

    Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2003 15:00:04 +0000
    From: John Hammink <>
    Subject: Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European

    Carpelan, Christian, Asko Parpola and Petteri Koskikalio, ed. (2002) Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and Archeological Considerations, Finno-Ugrian Society.

    Announced at

    John Hammink, F-Secure Corporation

    Over the years, there has been much speculation about the early identity and roots of the Uralic languages, and indeed, in recent years there seems to be a renewed interest in the topic. In fact, since the 1980's, linguists have begun to make concessions to archeologists, breaching an intellectual gulf that was considered pretty daunting up until that point, particularly due to differences in methods of study and dating. In addition, a well-known culture of academic cliquishness has always endured (as in practically every academic field) which lends credence to some ideas over others, while not necessarily putting either into the correct perspective.

    But, particularly in Finland, such topics have seen great national interest since the early 19th century, beginning with Castren and continuing up to recent times with conferences and seminars on Finno-Ugric enthnohistory. One such meeting was the 3 day symposium on ''Contacts between Indo-European and Uralic speakers in the Neolithic, Eneolithic and Bronze Age in the light of linguistic and archeological evidence'', which was held at Tv�rminne Research Station at the University of Helsinki in January, 1999. At that conference, the 18 papers and 4 abstracts that comprise this book were presented.

    The first paper, ''Persistent Identity and Indo-European Archaeology in the Western Steppes'', presented by David W. Anthony, deals with the problem of reconciling what could be seen as societal polymorphism with the notion that PIE language would appear to be linked to specific tombs and settlements. Just as ''there is no necessary relationship between the way people speak and the way they make pots or stone tools'' there is a reluctance among western archaeologists to affiliate linguistic and archaeological cultures. In the larger scheme, this article seems to set the scene for things to come, and so it appears in the right place at the beginning of the volume.

    The author argues that there should be a middle ground in the debate, that, in fact, stable ethno-linguistic (pre- state) frontiers were possible, and he cites the Northern Iroquois as an example. One practical example also cited was the western boundary of the Pontic-Caspian region, which, in several stages, remained a stable frontier for several millennia. The other Pontic-Caspian frontiers were discussed as well.

    Christian Carpelan outlines a scenario for the emergence of Uralic/Finno-Ugric speaking groups in ''Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic Settlement of the European North Possible Linguistic Implications.'' To accomplish this he describes ''an archaeological culture as a sphere of internal communication probably based on a common identity''. In his scenario, the European population north of the Alps retreated to the southeast and southwest due to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) which has been dated around 18000 BP (BP = radiocarbon years before AD 1950) or approximately 22000 calBC. This created an Eastern and a Western Block.

    The Western Block represented (among others) the Magdalenian cultures, which repopulated the depopulated territories starting around 14500BP /15400 calBC; and the aptly-named Hamburg culture, which appears to be an extension of the Magdalenian cultures. Starting from 13200 BP / 13900 calBC, the Hamburg culture spread over an area including what is nowadays northern Germany, Poland, Southern Sweden and Britain and part of the North Sea, which was then dry land. The Eastern Block represented much of the widespread Gravettian techno complex (which was displaced in Southern France by the Magdalenian cultures). Most of the discussion here seems to center on place rather than specific cultures, although it is suggested later that ''people from the west infiltrated the [Eastern Block] region, which was already inhabited by groups representing the Eastern Block.'' The author continues to trace the transition to the Mesolithic period through the initial colonization of the Scandia Peninsula around 10300 7150 BP / 10100 6000 calBC. When discussing the initial colonization of the Baltic, Northern Russia and Fennoscandia, the author discredits Bryosov's scenario that ''the northern part of Russia was initially colonized from the East.'' The article goes on to summarize events in Eastern Fennoscandia (8050 2400 BP / 7000 500 CalBC). It would appear that the Volga-Oka area eventually became a sort of cultural boiling pot, which presumably also carried linguistic and genetic influence. Of the 7 cultural horizons, the Lyalovo or Pitted Ware was highlighted, as it seems to be the culture that, evolving to Combed Ware 2, expanded to a significantly large area, encompassing Sweden, the Gulf of Bothnia, the White Sea and extending eastward to the Urals. Of course, there were several cultures that appear to have intersected with it, putting their own unique stamp on things. The article contains short sections on Craniometry and Genetics as well as Languages. The latter would appear to be a more speculative take on Uralic roots. The author doesn't appear to propose a specific geographical locale for the Uralic origins, but rather proposes only that the language has started from the Eastern Block settlers. It would appear unlikely that Ahrensbergian influence in western Russia at the end of the Paleolithic would have sparked Uralic development, although it may have left substrate elements.

    Christian Carpelan and Asko Parpola continue the linguistic line of reasoning with ''Emergence, Contacts and Dispersal of PIE, PU, and PA in Archaeological Perspective.'' ''When and where were Proto-Indo-European (PIE), Proto-Uralic (PU), and Proto-Aryan (PA) spoken? And when and where did they split into their main branches?'' While archeological findings can be mapped and dated, as no written remains exist, any correlation with definite languages is problematic. The article begins by discussing problems in distribution with radiocarbon dating when Europe (south of 54 degrees) as compared to the Volga-Oka confluence up to the Urals do not contain a proportionate amount of published dates, which appears to make checking either extremely laborious or practically impossible. The dispersal of late PIE is discussed. As all Indo-European languages possess inherited vocabulary related to wheeled transport and the PIE daughter languages have not borrowed them from one another after the dispersal, one can assume that PIE speakers knew and used wheeled vehicles. As wheeled transport was first invented sometime during the second quarter or middle of the fourth millennium BC, and dispersed over the next two centuries or so, then the dispersal of PIE cannot have taken place much earlier than 3500 calBC. The article also discusses PIE in relation to the following branches: Tocharian, Anatolian, and Proto- Northwest-Indo-European. The Pit Grave culture is considered as a central group for late PIE, while the Khvalynsk culture is considered to possibly possess the language that was the immediate predecessor of early PIE. Early Indo-European Loanwords in Uralic languages are also considered, and some existing theories are disputed. Of notable mention here is Juha Janhunen's reluctance to accept PIE loanwords into PU because of his placement of the PU homeland in central Siberia. Because this idea has no basis in the archaeological record, the authors dispute it. Also considered here are the Uralic language family and its main branches. When discussing the disintegration of PU, the authors concede that all Finno-Ugric languages ''appear to have been originally spoken in the forest area west of the Ural mountains. Thus the homeland of the Finno-Ugric protolanguage has been considered to be in one of three more or less adjacent or overlapping regions: 1) The area of the mid Volga; 2) The area between the Volga, Kama, Pechora and the Urals, and 3) The entire region between the Baltic sea and the Urals. Curiously, the Volga-Oka interfluve is again cited here as a region that ''continuously created both cultural and demographic surplus'' and the pottery styles produced here eventually appear to have made their way to Fennoscandia. But temporally speaking, the Lyalovo culture represented by Pitted Ware (c. 5000-3650 calBC) is seen as a better candidate for PU. The Lyalovo culture sprung from the upper Volga region and spread to the Onega region of Russian Karelia. Their Pitted Ware influence was felt all the way down south to the forest steppe between the Dnepr and Don. Lyalovo culture seems to have extended barely as far the Kama basin but not into it. As such, there seems to be no possibility of Samoyedic splitting off to Siberia, but there is ample evidence that this happened later. The article also discusses the corded ware cultures as a basis for northwest Indo-European loanwords. The Balanovo and Fat'yanovo cultures expanded eastward into the Volga-Oka interfluve. It is reasoned that the oldest Baltic- loanwords in Proto-Finnic came with the late Neolithic Kiukainen culture (c. 2300-1600 calBC). The interesting high-water mark of this article appears in the chapter called ''The early Aryan Loanwords for 'Honey' and 'Bee''' In it, the authors assert that it is ''generally accepted that Proto-Finno-Ugric (PFU) *mete 'honey' (distributed in Finnic, Saami, Mordvin, Udmurt, Komi, and Hungarian) is borrowed from PIE=Pre-Proto-Aryan (PA) *medhu- (which became *madhu- in Proto-Aryan).'' It is also probable that '''bee' as a compound meaning 'honey- collector' was borrowed into PFU before the PA sound change *e > a took place.'' Beeswax is discussed in a following section as ''A new Indo-Aryan Etymology for a Volga-Permic word.'' Early Indo-European and Aryan Loanwords are also found in Proto-Samoyedic (PS), for example, Northern Samoyedic *j�e 'meal, flour' is related PA *yeva < PIE *yewo. Finally, the authors present a summary of their article.

    H. P. Francfort's ''The Archeology of Protohistoric Central Asia and the Problems of Identifying Indo-European and Uralic-Speaking populations'' addresses the archaeological identification of linguistic groups in Central Asia in the Bronze Age. The author presents two cases that represent the problems of 1. tagginglinguistic groups by using available archeological data; and 2. the lack of any material representing non-Indo-European speaking populations.

    The civilizations studied are the Oxus Civilization and the Afanasevo/Okunevo sequence. The Oxus Civilization existed between ca 2500 and 1500 b.c. in the area that included present-day Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Eastern Iran. The Indian, Iranian and steppe connections are considered, along with other ethnolinguistic attributes. Finally, iconography and symbolic systems are considered as some evidence that points to Non-Indo-European influence.

    The Afans'evo-Okunevo Complex/Sequence is considered in the context of its territory and chronological sequence. The Afanas'evo culture, dating from 3rd millennium, ''was widespread in western Mongolia, northern Xingjian, southern Siberia, eastern and central Kazakhstan, with connections or extensions in Tajikistan and the Aral area.'' They were herdsmen and hunter-gatherers, they buried their dead in conic or rectangular enclosures, typically in a supine position, not unlike their Yamnaya counterparts in the European steppes. As with the Oxus Civilization, the article considers time-space location. Also discussed are iconography and symbolic systems, again pointing to non- Indo-European worlds, possibly either Uralic or Altaic. The article contains several interesting drawings: In one: an Okunevo masked figure is shown; others show tomb slabs; yet others depict Okunevo/Afanas'evo masks, monsters and petroglyphs.

    Kaisa Hakkinen's paper ''Prehistoric Finno-Ugric Culture in the Light of Historical Lexicography'' examines vocabulary elements representative of ''the oldest lexical stratum common to the Uralic languages, whether originally indigenous or borrowed.'' Apparently much data is derived from hunting cultures, for example terms for hunting and fishing equipment and game animals. Much less derived from terms relating to agriculture, which apparently have a fairly narrow geographical distribution.

    Firstly, the article defines the age of available lexical material. Oldest Finno-Ugric written documentation dates only from the middle ages, so a comparative lexicological study of related languages is necessary. Once can assume a word to be of early origin and indigenous if the words are restricted to Finno-Ugric languages yet have a wide distribution. Likewise, if a word appears in other languages, it may be, in fact a loan. Lastly, words restricted to Finno-Ugric languages, but with a narrow distribution, can be assumed to be fairly new.

    Next, the article considers the oldest common lexical stratum of the Uralic languages. Otto Donner's 1882 study of the common cultural stock of Finns and Mordvinians is considered the pioneering work here. Also mentioned here is Bj�rn Collinder's 'Fenno-Ugric Vocabulary', from 1955, as a source of study of the oldest common Uralic lexicon. In the following section, the lexical domains of the oldest common vocabulary are discussed. These include time, sensations, flora and fauna, trade and transport, quality notions, nature, hunting and fishing, processes and states, building and construction, nourishment, body parts, speech and thought, family, space and time relations, pronouns, and other miscellaneous items. The items are quantified, first in total; secondly in Uralic, thirdly in Finno-Ugric, and lastly in Finnish itself. Interestingly enough, Uralic languages dominate in pronominals and family relationship terms; while Finno-Ugric seems to record more words overall than Uralic. Lastly, before an appendix, the article evaluates distribution, and thus, certainty of etymology of the word items.

    In his article, Eugene Helimski outlines ''Early Indo-Uralic Linguistic Relationships: Real Kinship and Imagined Contacts''. He begins with the following premise: ''there may be many riddles but no wonders in linguistic prehistory.'' Or, in other words, ''all too often, the early prehistory of languages is viewed as a terra incognita with its own unknown rules (which are therefore invented by some scholars freely and with vivid imagination). While on one hand stating that early linguistic relationships can be studied with the same relevance and methodology that historical linguistic treats more recent events, linguists can only be used in the same way in this context if 1. Human language underwent no fundamental changes since Upper Paleolithic/Mesolithic times; 2. Language prior to these eras possessed structural types which lay within the same typological limits as in the contemporary world; 3. Language, prior to these eras, evolved similarly as those attested in the contemporary world.

    That said, the author begins by outlining some of the types of language kinship. The first discussed (and most common type) is direct kinship determined by divergent evolution. In this scenario, one uniform language spoken on a small territory spreads (due to historical circumstances) ''far beyond the original territory''. Over time, the distributed languages become dialectically and sociolectically distinguished, until distinct states are formed. Eventually each regional variant undergoes its own distinct and independent evolution. The most obvious example of this is the pre-classical Latin of Latium (which evolved to French, Italian, Romanian, Portuguese etc.). Other language families are mentioned here, too (Slavic => Common Slavic, Aver/Slavic, eventual rise of Polish, Russian, Bulgarian), also Mongolic, Permic, Germanic, Indo-Aryan, Bantu, Samoyedic, Turkic, Polynesian, etc. In all of the above cases, while accompanying circumstances (e.g. substratum, koine, secondary interaction) are dissimilar between each case, ''they do not introduce any major changes into the picture of kinship''.

    Another type of language kinship is lateral kinship, characterized by relexification and typical of ''mixed'' languages. This is generally a sociolinguistic phenomenon where speakers of a source need or want to speak a target language, but ''being adults grown up with another language'' are unable to handle the target grammar. So instead, they simply repopulate their source grammatical system with the target language's words. Some cases are Anglo-Romany, Ma'a or Mbugu. A more complex form does all of the above plus adds some simpler grammatical elements from the target as well (Copper Island Aleut). Another form of lateral kinship happens when the lexicon of the target is superimposed on a synthetic, simplified version of the source language grammar (like with most pidgins and creoles). These processes ''produce only new languages in which grammar and vocabulary are of different origin''. They also produce only one ''mixed'' language (as opposed to a new language family). Most, importantly, these languages typically do not evolve and are short lived. I would also add (feel free to prove me wrong) that these languages are typically also spoken in situations where interaction between speakers of the target and source languages are necessary; they are not ''native'' languages (or mother tongues) as such.

    So by applying simple inductive reasoning, it is common enough to reach the conclusion that PIE and PU share direct kinship. For example, Kaisa H�kkinen's paper demonstrates ''the direct relationship between the stability of words (stems) and their occurrence in the common vocabulary of several Eurasian language families.'' One group of 18 items demonstrated ''100% etymological certainty'', while a second group of 23 items demonstrated 90% etymological certainty,. meaning that ''their counterparts were missing or dubious'' in only 10% of the sampled languages.

    Thus, the author considers a lateral kinship between PIE and PU unlikely. First, there are broad and frequent occurrence of both vocabulary cognates and grammatical structures across all the languages. Second, ''nothing in the linguistic structures of PIE or PU implies a 'mixed' past. Lastly, the author considers the statistical rarities of a lateral kinship. The author neither accepts or dismisses the Indo-Uralic (Nostratic) kinship in this article. There is a subjective need for a proof at some level, but simply a lack of comparable data. The rest of article is devoted to rejecting alternative treatments of PIE/PU kinship.

    In ''Indo-Uralic and Ural-Altaic: on the Diachronic Implications of Areal Typology'', Juha Janhunen attempts to locate the prehistorical homeland of Uralic, Indo-European, and Altaic by studying typological relationships among regional languages. In the first section, he reviews the Indo-Uralic typological discrepancy. The most obvious difference between the two is phonology. PIE, for example, may have had from 1-5 vowel sounds, and close to 30 consonants, while PU seems to have many more vowel sounds (around 8) while much fewer consonants (probably less than 17). Morphologically, the languages actually seem to share a number of similarities, but differences include the fact the PIE employed affixation and flexion (including Ablaut), while Uralic used only a sort of mechanical suffixation (no prefixation or infixation). Syntactically, the data available would seem to remain relatively inconclusive, with SOV word order prominent in both PU and PIE, while PIE also seems to show some use of SVO.

    The Ural-Altaic Typological Parallelism is also discussed. A reference is made to the Nostratic framework in which this work is carried out. The Altaic languages are divided into two groups (both of which appear typologically similar to Uralic). Again, phonology, morphology, and syntax are discussed.

    Uralic is then viewed in the Eurasian context. The available data from Indo-European, Semitic, and Caucasian parallels seems to suggest that PIE originates from an area which includes Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and the Caucasus. However, archaeology puts it in a slightly different area, the Pontic steppes, north of the Black sea. It is more difficult to locate the original geographic center of the Ural-Altaic complex. The author suggests that around 2000 BP, all ''currently known Altaic entities were located in the northern part of the Far East'' that is, the region encompassing what is now Mongolia, Manchuria, and Korea. However there were already, by this time branches including those in the Yenisei-Baikal region going all the west to the Baltic Sea (Finnic and Saami). Lastly, the author proposes a framework for future study.

    In his article, Petri Kallio raises the question: ''Phonetic Uralisms in Indo-European?'' He deals with those features in IE languages which may attest to Uralic influence. The languages considered here are Proto-Balto- Slavic (PBS), Proto-Germanic(PG), Proto-Indo-Iranian (PII) and Proto-Tocharian (PT). The author begins with the idea of tracing phonetic Uralisms to another language, e.g. as a Finn speaks English, and extends the analogy that indeed, ''it may be possible to hear pronunciation errors made by ancient Uralians thousands of years ago.''

    The article contains a number of tables. The first of such shows phoneme substitutions in late PIE loanwords in PU/PFU/PFP. It is easy to note from this that sound shifting between IE and Uralic was, in itself, quite minimal, but taken as a whole, could add up to significant differences between source and loanwords. Also, it's noted that ''Late PIE stops had three manners of articulations and 5 places of articulation; where as PU stops had one manner of articulation and three places of articulation.'' This seems to support Janhunen's assertion about number of consonants in PIE as opposed to PU, but an exact mathematical correlation cannot be determined from this.

    The second table lists PIE and Uralic/Finno Ugric Phonemes. One can easily see from this that PIE simply does contain many more consonants and fewer vowels than PU. The third table lists Tocharian and PU phonemes. One interesting point mentioned here is the fact that places of articulation of affricates are identical between PII and PFU. The author follows with an in-depth discussion of the four languages mentioned earlier.

    Earliest Indo-European Loanwords in Uralic/Finno-Ugric are on the docket in Jorma Koivulehto's ''The Earliest Contacts between Indo-European and Uralic Speakers in the Light of Lexical Loans.'' In the first section, the author asserts that: 1. IE loanwords in Uralic are distributed across a wide area; 2. Reconstruction suggests that the words were borrowed into Uralic at a proto-stage for both languages; 3. ''in most cases the reflexes of the PU counterpart in later Uralic daughter languages do not show any internal irregularities which would point to borrowings transmitted from one secondary Uralic dialect/language to another''.

    Thus, it is probable that earliest loan words into Uralic may have been adopted when the speech area of Uralic did not exceed an area of 1,000,000 square kilometers. The author then continues with examples of the actual loanwords. Interestingly, one word, which is listed, is 'vesi', or 'water' in Finnish, which may or may not have been borrowed. It would seem to have been asserted either way, although the author's etymology of the word is pretty compelling.

    The subsequent sections are titled: ''Indo-European Loanwords in westerly Finno-Ugric''; ''Early Contacts with Pre-Aryan and Early Proto Aryan''; and ''A Proto-Iranian Feature: Reflex of an Early Depalatalization of the Common-Aryan Palatal Affricates.'' The article concludes by making several assertions about the cultures and chronologies where the borrowings and interactions occurred. The author refers to several colleagues' articles, which also appear in the volume.

    In ''The Neolithic Period of North-Western Siberia: The Question of Southern Connections'', L. L. Kosinskaya investigates the age-old question of southern connections to North-Western Siberia, evident, for example, in the similarities of regional pottery styles from more or less the same time periods. Data is compared, mostly archeological, and the locations of some of the early cultures in this area are pinpointed. Lastly, ethnolinguistic implications are considered.

    In her article, E. E. Kuz'mina elaborates on these ideas, with focus on mythological as well as archeological data. ''Contacts between Finno-Ugric and Indo-Iranian speakers in the light of archeological, linguistic, and mythological data'' begins with a discussion of Finno-Ugric languages and known branches. Secondly, linguistics and archeology are discussed in the light of Indo-Iranian borrowings (not surprisingly related to economic production, social relations and religious beliefs). Finally, some mythological comparisons are drawn between Indo-Aryan/Indo- Iranian and some Finno-Ugric beliefs. Of notable mention are the ''horse-breeding together with mythical ideas and rituals comparable to the Indian asvamedha'' adopted by many Uralic peoples.

    Alexander Lubotsky's article is titled ''The Indo-Iranian Substratum,'' and in it, he discusses the study of loanwords as a means of ''determining prehistoric cultural contacts and migrations'', particularly as they apply to loanwords of Proto-Indo-Iranian, ''before it split into two branches.'' Apparently PII maintained basically one dialect, up to the time the Indo-Aryans crossed the mountains and lost contact with their roots. Mayrhofer's EWA corpus is used as a base for the study. In the second to last section parallels are drawn between the loanword evidence and archeological evidence. This places the Indo-Iranians as having moved from the Eurasian steppes (Pit-Grave culture 3500-2500 BCE), first to the lower Volga (Pottapovo culture 2500-1900 BCE) and finally to central Asia (Andronovo culture, after 2200 BCE). Lastly, one section discusses the contact between Uralic and Indo-Iranian speakers. An appendix at the end of the article lists Indo-Iranian isolates.

    In the most controversial and adversarial paper in the whole collection, Janos Makkay addresses the problem of ''The Earliest Proto-Indo-European-Proto-Uralic Contacts: An Upper Paleolithic Model''. He starts out by examining the problem of surplus scientific production, and the asyncronicity between available archaeological vs. linguistic research and methodology. Fortunately, with the passing of time, the problem appears to be getting better, or at least more, treatment. The author is able to find much contradicting and inconsistent evidence in the other author's work in the volume. He also historically surveys different prevailing theories. Based on these, he is able to provide evidence for quite a variation of early Uralic homelands, each of which he discredits in turn. One solution he seems to be content with is the Paleolithic model of the late Miklos Gabori presented at the nice congress in 1976. In this theory, the idea that the first Eastern Baltic population was PU/PFU speaking runs into problems, because there were already presumably PIE speakers residing there as early as Paleolithic times. ''According to this model, the separation of Indo-Iranian from the parental stock began already during Upper Paleolithic times.'' Thus any PU/PIA contact must have occurred after this separation, given the loanword stock.

    ''Uralics and Indo-Europeans: Problems of Time and Space'' is J. P. Mallory's article. Presumably, we are much more able to determine Uralic homelands than Proto-Indo-European for a number of reasons, which Mallory points out. He outlines 5 assessment principles for determining a solution to a linguistic homeland problem: Temporal-spatial plausibility; Exclusion principle; Relationship principle; Total distribution principle; and Archaeological plausibility.

    Temporal-Spatial plausibility presupposes the idea that ''Time and place in homeland research are dependent variables, i.e., there is no meaningful concept of one without the other.'' This sheds some light on the sort of different ideas people have about the Uralic homeland: either there seems to be ''Deep time depth with broad territory'' or there is ''Shallow time depth with confined territory.'' A comparison is then drawn between Uralic and Northern Athapaskan and Algonquian languages, and their distributions are collectively superimposed on a map of North America.

    In subsequent sections, the author considers glottochronology (and dismisses it); Estimation (a time estimation for earliest differentiation among Uralic languages); and external contact dating (as it applies to loanwords in Uralic). The linguistic cultural date of Uralic is considered in the context of Corded Ware (Fat'yanovo) cultural distribution. In this light, it is more easy to see where Uralic contact to IE may have occurred, and also, which loanwords could have been borrowed. The Total Distribution Principle requires that, as far as the Uralic homeland problem is concerned ''all the pieces of the puzzle fit together with no exceptions. '' The total distribution principle is forfeit whenever one argues that one can fix a segment of the protolanguage if one can anchor that segment to a fixed, given area. In what could lead to the next section, Milton Nunez (1987) is quoted: ''It seems logical to assume that major migrations should be reflected in the archaeological material. But there is no evidence for a major migration that could have brought a Finnic language to Finland other than that connected with the Mesolithic colonization of the country. '' Archaeological plausibility is the idea that the archaeological record acts as a proxy to the linguistic one, in the absence of the latter.

    Vladimir Napol'skih's article ''Tocharisch-Uralische Ber�hrungen: Sprache und Arch�ologie'' focuses on Uralic borrowings from the Tocharian language branch. There is some discussion in the article about the Uralic languages that had already diverged by the time of borrowing: (Proto-Permic; Proto-Samoyedic; Proto-Ugric; and Finno- Volgaic). There is also some discussion about the cultural and technological contexts in which the Tocharian borrowings fit (metallurgy and horse breeding). The Afanas'evo culture seems to represent the target language for many of the borrowings. In this light, a number of etymologies (many for current words) are discussed.

    Tapani Salminen's article is titled: ''The rise of the Finno-Ugric Language Family.'' In it, he acknowledges that there are radically different ideas about the source of Finno-Ugric languages. As such, there are a number of problems which need to be addressed by scholars attempting to study and classify the languages: 1. How are Finno-Ugric Languages related to each other, and how are they classified? 2. What is the oldest center of expansion of the Finno-Ugric family? 3. When did the first contacts between Finno-Ugric and IE take place? 4. What are the possibilities for a distant relationship between Finno-Ugric and IE?

    The sections in the article would seem to correspond to the various problems and the way that Salminen addresses them. The ''Classification'' deals with, firstly, the traditional binary classification of the Uralic family. Firstly, of course, came Proto-Uralic, which would seem to have diverged into Proto-Saami, Proto-Finnic, Proto-Mordvin, Proto-Mari, Proto-Permian, Proto-Hungarian, Proto-Mansi, Proto-Khanty, and Proto-Samoyed, but with several overlaps (e.g. Ugro-Samoyed, Finno-Volgaic) which may be a real genetic units instead of actual transitional languages. The fulcrum here seems to be that ''whatever the value of the proposed innovations is, the crucial thing is that they are very few; so few that even their cumulative effect is not sufficient to make a lowest level intermediate protolanguage (e.g. Proto-Finno-Saami(PFS)) different from a higher-level one (i.e. PU).'' There is some subsequent discussion about which sort of model is actually best for classifying languages taxonomically, a circle, wave or tree model. (It would have been useful at this point to see some examples, rather than a reference to another work).

    In subsequent sections, the concept of Urheimat is discussed in the context of shared lexicon; as Finno-Ugric languages are distributed across chain-like across a single ecological zone, one can assume that the proto-languages began somewhere close to the center of this zone (where Mari, Udmurt, and Mordvin are spoken). The section ''Indo- European Contacts'' considers the idea that ''it does not matter much if the primeval Finno-Ugric and Indo-European centers of expansion are thought to have been located next to each other or not, because even at the time of a relatively late first contact, the dialects within the protolanguage continuums had not differentiated much.'' This means, among other things, that some early language (e.g. Proto-Samoyedic) had split from the proto-language at a point before many (if not all) of the earliest contacts with PIE. Also, the Saami word for water has a cognate only in Khanty; this give more weight to the idea that the so-called Uralic word for water is borrowed.

    In the next article, Pekka Sammalahti discusses Indo- European Loanwords in Saami. He examines the implications of early IE sources and distributions. Surprisingly, ''the concept of IE loanwords in Saami is fairly new'' dating from the 60's or so. The article contains etymologies of 18 items. Following this, the discussion turns to those loanwords borrowed from IE idioms with PIE phonetic traits. There is an indexed table of PIE loanwords in Saami which demonstrates a variety of attributes concerning the substratum, including distribution and source. Another table charts the distribution of the oldest indigenous words in Saami, which is divided by Uralic indigenous; Finno-Ugric indigenous; and Finno-Permic indigenous. content words in Saami. Lastly, the relevant implications of the distributions are discussed.

    In the very last article, Peter Schrijver discusses ''Lost Languages in Northern Europe. By this, he's referring to ''the nature and origin of words of non-Indo-European stock in northern Indo-European languages (Germanic, Celtic) which have cognates in Lappish or Finnish.'' As it happens, there has been some progress in recent years regarding the identification of non-IE substratum languages. The article acknowledges three such substratums: 1.) The ''Old European Hydronomy'' language; 2.)the ''language of bird names'' as he calls it; and 3.)The ''language of geminates'' which the author seems the most concerned with. Apparently this substratum appears in Germanic, Celtic and Balto-Slavic. This language would appear to have been localized in Northern Europe. As I understand this article, neither FU nor Uralic would appear to be the source of this language of geminates. However, there is apparently some limited evidence for Finno-Ugric loanwords in Indo-European.

    The book also contains a number of abstracts. ''Ancient Metallurgy in Northern Eurasia: On the problem of Contacts between the Indo-European and Uralic-Speaking peoples'' discusses some of the archeological and regional implications of this problem. ''Chronology of the Volga-Oka Valley; Neolithic and the Lyalovo Migrations'' looks at current evidence to ascertain ''information on ethnic history and migration in the Neolithic period.'' ''Migrations, Diffusion and Uninterrupted Development in the Stone Age of the Forest Zone of Eastern Europe: Some remarks'' considers these ideas in the context of post- glacial northeast Europe. Lastly, ''The Problem of Interaction of Cultural Traditions in the Bronze Age in Central Russia (Volga-Oka Basin)'' examines ''an analysis of the ethno cultural situation in central Russia in the Bronze Age.''

    In my opinion the book without a doubt illustrates the range of ideas and methodologies available to the modern scholar in this area. While this book could never be read as even anything resembling a popular introduction to the subject, it sheds a clear and resonant light on just how divided the camps are when considering such topics as the overlap between archaeological and linguistic evidence. While I was able, in this review, to highlight in summary, some articles containing points in the discussion I personally found interesting, writing this review was extremely difficult in the sense that it wasn't always so easy to summarize some of the articles, as some of the main points in them were not always so clear.

    Regardless of these shortcomings, I'd strongly recommend this book to any scholar who is considering a pursuit in these areas.


    John Hammink holds a B.Sc. in Linguistics from Eastern Michigan University. He has been working for the last six years in the areas of data-security software validation. His work focus has ranged from test automation and document inspections which apply corpus-linguistic methodologies. Most recently, he has developed and taught seminars to address the problem of linguistic ambiguity in software requirements and the downstream cost effects these have. His other interests include linguistic evolution and the Uralic Language family.