B.7 Areal effects in prehistoric contacts between Uralic and Indo-European

The purpose of this symposium is to bring together scholars carrying out research either on early varieties of Uralic or Indo-European languages, or contacts between these two families. Prehistorical Indo-European influence in Uralic has been a constant topic in the research of the languages of prehistoric North Europe and Russia. This topic has been addressed repeatedly in recent research, see for instance the symposium volumes The Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European (published in 2001) and A Linguistic Map of Prehistoric Northern Europe (published in 2012). Nevertheless, the beginning of the 21st century has given push for several new ideas in Uralic phonology and prehistory, which suggests that statements about early contacts between Uralic and Indo-European should be revisited as well.

The proposed workshop aims at 1) up-dating the study of prehistoric contacts between Uralic and Indo-European in terms of most recent results most notably in the field of Uralic and Indo-European phonology and lexicology; 2) extending the geographical perspective of contacts from the well-researched languages of the Baltic area to central and eastern parts of the Uralic language family covering the geographical distribution of contemporary Mordvinic, Mari, Permic, Ob-Ugric and Samoyedic languages. Naturally, presentations focusing on language contacts in the Baltic Sea region are equally welcome. Yet, the proposed workshop emphasizes the need to examine in more detail contacts between more eastern branches of Uralic languages with prehistoric Indo-European; 3) broadening the scope of the loanword and contact research from etymology to other aspects of linguistics as well, including morphology and syntax. Quite frequently, the Indo-European influence on other aspects than the lexicon of Uralic has been considered as non-existent or controversial. Recently, de Smit (FUF 62, 2014) has underlined the lack of treatments of these topics in recent studies. Moreover, one may assume that early language contacts have had influence in the opposite direction as well, that is, the influence of Uralic on lexicon and grammar of various Indo-European languages (Baltic, Germanic, Indo-Iranian). Despite of a somewhat controversial perception of this issue, fresh insights to this topic are also welcome.

The international congress of Finno-Ugric studies in Vienna 2020 is an ideal instance for the proposed workshop, making it possible to invite many specialists of Indo-European studies to participate in the workshop.


Carpelan, Christian & Asko Parpola & Petteri Koskikallio (eds.) 2001: Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European: linguistic and archaeological considerations. Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 242. Helsinki: Société Finno-Ougrienne.

Grünthal, Riho & Petri Kallio (eds.) 2012: A Linguistic map of Prehistoric Northern Europe. Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 266. Helsinki: Société Finno-Ougrienne.

de Smit, Merlijn 2014: Northern European Prehistory, from above (review of Riho Grünthal & Petri Kallio (eds): A linguistic map of prehistoric Northern Europe). Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 62.


Sampsa Holopainen, University of Helsinki (sampsa.holopainen@helsinki.fi)
Santeri Junttila, University of Helsinki
Juho Pystynen, University of Helsinki
Riho Grünthal, University of Helsinki