A ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Finnish Linguistic Prehistory


Any field dealing with “origins” – archaeology, historical linguistics, general history – has seen its share of nonsense, usually painting a glorious past for whatever ethnicity or social group is involved. Thus a hypothesis popular with (certain) feminists and neo-pagans has an egalitarian, matriarchal, peaceful paradise all throughout the neolithic – until patriarchal, warlike, horse-riding nomads destroyed it all (with the exception of what survives underground in today’s Wiccan movement, of course). Another example may be “Afrocentric” pseudohistory, which ascribes incredible technological advancement to ancient Egyptian society, which happened also to be the cradle of ancient Greek philosophy and culture. In these two examples, pseudohistory serves a clear political goal, which could be regarded as progressive – the emancipation of women and Afro-Americans. However, the left does not have a monopoly on fantasized histories. In this essay, I want to give an example of a rather similar effort at myth-building in the guise of prehistory: namely, a hypothesis on the origins of the Finns and Finno-Ugric populations immensely popular, and raising great controversy, in Finland and Estonia. The amount of literature published recently in defense of the new “paradigm” is stupendous, the quality highly debatable; I will refer here only to those sources I have at my immediate disposal at the time of this writing.

The basic category historical linguistics deals with is that of the language family. A language family is any number of languages descended from a common ancestor, which itself is determined and partially reconstructed by positing (spatiotemporally bounded) sound changes, based on putatively common etymologies among the languages in question. Any hypothesized sound change must be productive in the sense that it can be said to have occurred regularly at a given place and time; ideally, they would lead one to uncover etymological links which were not all that obvious at first sight. Automatically, such a procedure leads to a “family tree” of languages – this is the unavoidable product of trying to reconstruct a common historical basis on the basis of current diversity. Of course, language families are irrelevant to contemporary culture (no one would deny that, culturally, Finland is much more similar to Sweden than it is to Hungary) as well as the genetic origins of individual people or groups of people (as obvious to anyone noting that American Blacks speak English, many Siberian indigenous minorities speak Russian, etc.).

In this fashion, Finnish has been known to be genetically related to Hungarian as well as a number of languages in the Volga region in Russia and Western Siberia since the early 19th century. In Finland, as well as in Hungary, language history and language origins have always been acutely relevant to national identity in a way that they are not in, for example, Western Europe during the past fifty years, and layman interest in historical linguistics has always been high. Concurrently, a number of researchers in Finland, particularly during the early part of the 20th century, may well have been partially motivated by national feeling – this is, however, largely irrelevant to the results of their research, which have always been firmly set within (historical) linguistics in general. There are exceptions, such as, for example, Sigurd Wettenhoven-Aspa who in the early 20th century envisioned a glorious Finnish prehistory complete with “Finnish-Egyptian” etymologies – there are fringe figures like him in any country. In Hungary, conversely, nationalist ideologies have been mostly hostile to mainstream historical linguistics for positing a close connection between the Hungarians and the Khanty and Mansi hunters and fishermen of the Ob river in Siberia. Hungarian nationalists (for example, László Marácz, Hungarian Revival, Nieuwegein 1996) would rather envision prehistorical kinship with the Mongols, the Sumerians, the Uyghur of Western China, and other, more “prestigious” people.

Trying to fit the results of historical linguistic research within a more holistic picture of the origins of peoples, together with archeological results and, recently, population genetics as well, is a hedgy affair at best – there is no guarantee that a given archeological culture, say, the comb ceramic culture in Northern Europe from around 4000 BC, represented an ethnically and linguistically homogenous community, as the incompleteness of the archeological record may mask cultural differences and migrations, and, putting it bluntly, pot shards don’t speak any language. These problems become more acute, of course, the father back in time one goes. Still, more or less well-founded hypotheses have been made; according to the consensus view the speakers of a Uralic/Fenno-Ugric ancestor language would have lived in the Volga region in Russia around 6000-4000 BC, and have spread to the Baltic region and Finland rather rapidly after that. It is generally considered impossible to make inferences involving languages about times much earlier than about 6000 BC, since the relentlessness of linguistic change would have wiped out most traces dating from such times.

In the mid-90s, however, the Finnish linguist Pekka Sammallahti (1995) presented a paper, ‘Language and Roots,’ in which he argued that Finland may well have been inhabited by the genetic and linguistic ancestors of the modern Finns and Saami (Lapps) immediately after the ice-cap receded in Scandinavia, about 10000 BC. His ideas were modified and expanded upon greatly (regarding both time-depth and areal space) and presented enthusiastically by, for example, the historian Kyösti Julku (1997) and in particular, Kalevi Wiik (1997, 2002), then professor of phonetics at the University of Turku, who received significant media coverage for his hypotheses, which revolved around paleolithic ancestral Saami and Finns in an enormous area of Europe (from the British isles to the Urals) at the edges of the icecap during the glacial maximum of 20000 BC and afterwards (it should be noted, by the way, that Sammallahti did not support this hypothesis). What more interests me here, though, is the other side of the origins of the alternative “paradigm”.

Anatomy of a paradigm shift

In 1995, two linguists from the Department of English at Helsinki University, Jarno Raukko and Jan-Ola Östman, presented a paper called ‘The “pragmareal”challenge to genetic language tree models’ (Raukko and Östman 1995). As I mentioned, language family trees are models depicting the disintegration of an ancestor languages into daughter languages: they are irrelevant to the cultural history of the peoples speaking those languages, and, moreover, they do not tell us about the processes by which those languages dispersed. It is widely known, and uncontroversial, that the influence that languages may exert upon one another play a key role in such disintegration processes, but, ontologically, language contact and genetic transmission of an ever-changing language from generation to generation are absolutely, conceptually different things. Östman and Raukko, however, argued for a far more holistic interpretation of the genetic “identity” of a language, taking into account language contacts as well as genetic linguistics, and placing them on par with each other: “(…) Finnish and Swedish may also be said to have a common ancestor. If we take seriously the all-embracing similarities between Finnish and Swedish, we might even be able to ‘reconstruct’ some parts of this common ancestor.” (Raukko and Östman 1995: 46).

As I said, the similarities between Finnish and Swedish and between Finnish and Hungarian are of an essentially different nature: this different nature is rooted in the very reality we are trying to research. Analogies between historical linguistics and biology are often made, and they are more than often rather unhelpful, but here a somewhat fitting analogy would be an attempt to place porcine parvovirus, or rather the symptoms of porcine parvovirus, on the same line with the prehistorical ancestors of pigs in an account of pig evolution. To pull this off, one needs to depart from the idea that linguistic evolution is based in historical reality, and defend the idea that it is a purely theoretical construct: “Concretely, we are suggesting that a theoretical construct like ‘Baltic Europe’ has a similar status to ‘Indo-European’, ‘Germanic’, ‘Uralic’ or ‘Baltic-Finnic’. The status of these is highly hypothetical – the main reason for using them all is methodological – so that they are equally important or unimportant when we start speculating about the ‘real ontology’ of things.” (Raukko and Östman 1995: 59) Thus, linguistic evolution is a totally epistemological matter, and, analogically, epistemological constructs in which porcine parvovirus is one of the ancestors of the modern pig could be just as valuable as those in which they are not. As Künnap(2000b) puts it: “The difference between the two kinds of relationship is understandably entirely subjective, following from a wish of linguists to make such a distinction.”

What Östman and Raukko were trying to do here, I believe, was to propose an adjusted (and, I believe, essentially ahistorical) historical linguistic metascience which fitted in more with their research interests within synchronic linguistics. Certainly, they were not adding their support for grand visions of Finnish prehistory, and have not spoken out on the issue, as far as I know, since 1995. However, their paper was received enthusiastically by those who followed Julku and Wiik’s new paradigm, particularly by Ago Künapp, professor of Uralic languages at the University of Tartu (Künnap1998: 30-32). Künnaphas published dozens of papers on the subject in the span of a few years, for clarity, I will refer here to a 1998 book called Breakthrough in Present-Day Uralistics. In it, Künnapcommits himself to the holistic model on Finnish prehistory as argued for by Wiik and Julku, approvingly citing Wiik’s hypothesis of ancestral Finns and Lapps in glacial Europe no less than 40000 years ago (that is, slightly before the generally accepted arrival of Cro-Magnon man in Europe) (Künnap1998: 36), but particularly criticizing the language “family tree” model, opposing it to a multiplicity of multiple-rooted trees based on, essentially, Raukko and Östman’s epistemological view on language relatedness (Künnap1998: 25-35). As it is, Künnap(1998: 9) starts off in the introduction to his book with a quote of Deleuze and Guattari – “We’re tired of trees. They’ve made us suffer too much.” and seems to dislike tree models more as such than as their particularly linguistic incarnations. A similarly holistic criticism of “tree models” is mounted by Urmas Sutrop (2000) who helpfully starts out early, with Jacob’s Ladder – here, too, tree models are seen primarily as conceptual constructs, and their rootedness in and relevance to external reality is relegated to the background.

It should be noted that, without a family tree-model and without a distinction between genetic transmission of language and language contact, or, better said, between the way languages propagate themselves over the course of generations, and the way they change in the process (two very different things), you can’t have historical linguistics. The aim of the discipline is to get an idea how a given language has changed in prehistorical times. To do that, one has to make up a reconstruction on the basis of related languages or dialects. This necessarily entails reconstructing past unity on the basis of current diversity, and therefore necessarily entails a tree model. And this is the part of historical linguistics which generates hypotheses, which may be proven or falsified. Any other hypothesis on language change – for example, concerning the possibility a certain feature may have been borrowed from another language – is dependent upon it. Throw it out, and what you have is a bunch of fancy labels with little or no content.

Thus gutting the metascientific toolkit of historical linguistics from the prehistorical reality to which they had been supposed to apply, they may be re-used with a much more contemporary political relevance. This is starkly apparent in an article by Pauli Saukkonen, who departs from the same holistic vision of linguistic genetic identity as Raukko and Östman, and argues: “The future Finnish and Estonian will be Euro-languages, more and more influenced by English and other languages. The names Finnish and Estonian will be applied to them also for innumerable years to come, but then, however, they obviously do not belong to the Finno-Ugric language family in any other sense but morphologically. And in a few thousand years comparativists discuss from where the Finnish and Estonian languages of that time, after their common Proto-European, had obtained forms which deviate from other daughter-languages as English and German!” (Saukkonen 2000: 373). Lest I sound paranoid here, let me add that the name of a collection of papers edited by Kyösti Julki in 1997 is Baltic Finland – An European Country, and that Kalevi Wiik has published colums with such titles as Europe’s Oldest Language? (Books from Finland 3/1999), Finland, a clean peripherical area of the EU (Turun Sanomat 18.7.1998, ‘clean’ here means, indeed, racially unmixed), From Mongols to Europeans (Turun Sanomat 12.6.2002) and Do genetics, too, support Finnish membership in the EU? (Turun Sanomat 10.7.2002) (translations here are mine – MdS). In other words, part of the thrust of the new paradigm seems to be to make Finnish prehistory more suitable to contemporary Finnish identity.


The paradigm that thus emerged, combining a grand vision of ancestral Finns all over early paleolithic Europe with a relativistic, eclectic view on linguistic methodology – essentially departing from both the “rational” and the “inquiry” parts of rational inquiry, has been defended by its adherents in positively Kuhnian terms. Hence the title of Künapp’s 1998 book – Breakthrough in Present-Day Uralistics and his decidedly eccentric view on scientific progress: “I am about to say by way of comparison that the unavoidable breakthrough of Uralistics paradigm is like the opening of a big abscess with a scalpel which due to the pain caused by the operation should be performed after administering a large dose of anaesthetics. A compress, sucking the abscess dry drop by drop or just local anaesthesia are not the means for recovery. Regretfully, I know no soporific agent to make it all painless so that later on there is only a tiny scar on the skin that would remind one of the process. Now, however, the patient is in a towering rage from pain and hysterical as if being slaughtered by a murderer.” (Künnap2000a: 313). Elsewhere (Künnap2000b: 27): “Every scientific society loves its old traditional theories. Scientifi paradigm changes itself from time to time. The change of scientific paradigm turns old scientific theories to myths. The majority of scientists cannot believe that old scientific paradigms turn to myths. There are always some rebels in science. The paradigm of Uralistics is changing just now under the leadership of some Uralistic rebels. Their war against tradition is not Uralic-nationalistic: the paradigm of humanities is being changed by the Indo-European scientists, not by the Uralic ones. (…) Quite a different thing is that this paradigm changes and the changes in scientific views of the rebels concerning the Uralistics are suitable for the new scientific identity of Hungarians, Estonians and Finns. It just so happened, it was not for nationalistic purposes.” Or Julku (2002) (my translation – MdS): “During the past 15 years the traditional paradigm at the base of research dealing with Fenno-Ugricity has been proved thoroughly false by new information and methods coming from geology, archeology, genetics and physical anthropology. This fact has not disturbed the large majority of linguists at all, but they have been content to repeat the truths or yesteryear and to admonish innovative researchers. Apparently they will now finally tear their clothes or be silent, as the old paradigm is destroyed in linguistics as well.” There is a striking similarity here with the athmosphere of “preposterism” in philosophy as described by Susan Haack (1997) where “we breathe an atmosphere of puffery, of announcements in paper after paper, book after book, that all previous work in the area is hopelessly misconceived, and here is a radically new approach which will revolutionize the whole field.”, and where the basic goal of rational inquiry – to find out about the truth, about how things are and work in the real world – is put on the back burner. Within Finno-Ugric historical linguistics, this has lead to a scene where, in Anttila’s (2000: 503) words: ”Now the scene is indeed full of reinvented wheels, and they tend to be squarish, or at least have serious bumps and dents. This is given as revolutionary progress.”

Criticism of the “new” paradigm appeared slowly, with, interestingly, initially researchers from other subfields of linguistics, as the general linguists Esa Itkonen and Eve Mikone, or the Indo-Europeanists Jorma Koivulehto and Petri Kallio participating in the discussion. However, long exchanges on the subject eventually appeared in Virittäjä, the main Finnish journal of general and Finnish linguistics, as well as non-scientific periodicals as Kanava and Kaltio. Anttila (2000: 496) relates the slowness of the response to an excessive collegiality typical for the Finnish academic scene: “It means that you leave your academic colleagues alone, even when they transgress all credibility. You might privately criticize a colleague’s wilder ideas, but you do not do so openly or publicly in any fora.”. In the autumn of 2002, matters nonetheless came to a head when it emerged that Kalevi Wiik’s new book Eurooppalaisten Juuret (The roots of Europeans – again, those Europeans) was nominated for a prestiguous Finnish award, the Tieto-Finlandia award for popular-scientific works. A number of researchers in the field of Finnish, Uralic and general linguistics (author of this included) published a letter to Helsingin Sanomat, the main Finnish daily newspaper, protesting this nomination. Though eventually Wiik’s book did not win, the row raised enough public interest that slightly over a thousand people attended a live debate between Kalevi Wiik and Helsinki University linguist Ulla-Marja Kulonen. Aside from this, dozens of items covering Wiik’s speculations, usually sympathetically, have appeared over the years on television, daily papers, weekly papers, monthly papers – from Helsingin Sanomat to, indeed, Valopilkku – the free door-to-door magazine of the local energy firm of the city of Turku.

Layman interest in the “new” paradigm and the debate surrounding it has always been great. Thus the “new paradigm” has spawned it’s own small solar system of, often even more wild, theories. A radical example is Andres Pääbo’s website which argues for ancient Finno-Ugrians expanding into Northern Canada. And, though Kalevi Wiik, Ago Künnapet. al. have always been careful to disavow any immediate political relevance to their hypotheses, they have been enthusiastically re-published on various sites on the internet, varying from nationalistic and anti-Swedish to Neo-Nazistic. Of course, it is no more than natural that a hypothesis proclaiming that the genetic and linguistic ancestors of Finns were not only the original inhabitants of Scandinavia, but inhabited all of Northern Europe more than twenty thousand years ago would meet with enthusiasm among nationalists. If science provides a result that racists happen to like, that’s just too bad – but it does not reflect upon the result, as long as it is science.

But it cannot be stressed enough that the “new paradigm” that is being proclaimed so pompously has nothing to do with historical linguistics. There is no scientific basis, none at all, for any speculation about the language spoken by people twenty thousand years ago. The model proposed is deeply ahistorical in that sense, that it essentially departs from the linguistic make-up of contemporary Europe, with its three main language families (Finno-Ugric, Indo-European and Basque), and extrapolates this make-up back enormous time-depths, even when it is well known that there were quite a few languages of either uncertain or decidedly non-Indo-European/Basque/Finno-Ugric origin in Europe at the dawn of the Classical Age (Pictish, Etruscan). With larger time-depths, the number of such uncertain factors can only increase. Moreover, the holistic model of language origins propagated by Künnaphas little or no basis in linguistics, and neither has a slightly modified version proposed by Wiik in his latest book Eurooppalaisten Juuret, in which languages are regarded to change exclusively through contact, and hence are defined as an amalgam of a genetic ancestor and subsequent contact “layers”. There is even less basis for the many individual hypotheses Wiik argues for, such as, to take a pick, the idea that homo habilis walked on all fours (Wiik 2002: 54), that the megalith culture constituted a religion with missionaries and all, who spoke a Basque language suffused with Hamito-Semitic elements, and that these missionaries succeeded in leaving Basque traces in the language of the ancestors of Saami (Lapp) (Wiik 2002: 136-137), that the name Athens is derived from a modern Albanian form e thÎna which apparently is a participial form of the word ‘to speak’ (Wiik 2002: 322), and so forth. Shortly, the model proposed is so overarching and includes such time-depth that it can be said to be “possibly true” only to the extent that most of it is not falsifiable by serious linguistic research (as speculations about the language of the first Cro-Magnon men happen to be). To the extent that Wiik’s model has provided us with falsifiable hypotheses, most have been falsified.

Political questions

If a new “paradigm” has little scientific basis, but all the more political relevancy, the question of its political nature becomes quite acute. It has been noted (for example, Anttila and Kallio 2002, Anttila 2000: 498) that the new paradigm bears an uncanny relevance to the linguistic ideas proposed by N.J. Marr (1865-1934), who likewise blurred the distinction between genetic transmission of languages and language contact, who stressed temporal and spatial continuity where he could, etc. Ironically, Marr’s linguistics were elevated to official orthodoxy in the Soviet Union until Stalin himself intervened in the matter. Now it seems that, at least in the former Soviet Republic of Estonia, he is making something of a comeback. Some of the critics of the new paradigm (Aikio and Aikio 2002, Anttila and Kallio 2002, Hasselblatt 2002: 3) have made it quite clear that they regard it as nationalistically motivated wishful thinking. If Wiik et. al. are given the benefit of the doubt in this regard, the decision to publish English translations of the papers from the 1997 collection Itämerensuomi – Eurooppalainen maa (Baltic Finland, an european country) in The Mankind Quarterly – an outlet that usually publishes research supporting supposed genetic intelligence differences between races and some such – shows a stunning lack of judgement.

Historical linguistics proper is not an empirical science in the sense that physics is – in which repeatable spatiotemporal occurrences are studied – but a discipline which strives to provide a picture of the past as plausible as possible, one in which the interpretations of the researcher play a vital role. This makes a strict methodology and in particular the conviction that it is historical reality we are after, not someone’s reality but reality itself, all the more necessary, since it is all too easy to slide in Von Däniken-like fantasism. Linguistic pseudoscience, invariably striving to paint a picture as glorious as possible of the past of whatever nation you belong to, has always existed, and always will – but during the last ten years in Finland and Estonia, it seems to have made a sustained push to the mainstream. One of the roots of the “new” paradigm in Finland and Estonia is epistemological relativism, the view of language families, and particularly the distinction between genetic transmission of languages and language contact, as epistemic constructs rather than existing in historical reality. And indeed, if “Finno-Ugric” is just a “theoretical construct” – why not talk about “Euro-languages” instead? Why indeed should one distinguish between recent loanwords from Swedish and shared etymological material with Hungarian if the game is no longer about testing hypotheses about linguistic prehistory, but about building up an appropriate national, historical identity in the age of the European Union? Thus, the methodology of historical linguistics have been abused to support an ahistorical, if not positively antihistorical, model of a Great and Glorious Past.

An analogical situation

Upon writing this essay, I serendipitously hit upon an article published by Subash Kak (Indic language families and Indo-European, Yavanika 6, 1996 p. 51-64). It was the first hit when searching for the terms “sanskrit”, “Indo-European” and “pseudoscience” in a search engine, proving once again that the Internet is beginning to show signs of autonomous intelligence. There are currently two large language families on the Indian subcontinent: Indic languages, belonging to the Indo-European language family, largely in the north (Hindi, Urdu, Marathi, etc.) and Dravidian languages, a family on their own, in the south and northeast (Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, etc.). In addition, a language with no relatives at all, Nahali, is spoken in central India, whereas in the east, Tibeto-Burman and Munda languages are spoken. The consensus view is that people speaking an ancestor of the current Indic languages invaded the Indian subcontinent from the northeast about 1600 B.C. (Beekes 1995: 45), before that, Dravidian languages may or may not have been spoken on a larger area than they are now; the presence of one outlying Dravidian language in Southern Pakistan, Brahui, would suggest the former. Kak attacks this consensus view, and replaces it with something strikingly similar to what we have seen in Finland: he argues that “(…) language families belong to overlapping groups, because such a view allows us to represent better the complex history of the interactions amongst their ancestor languages.” (Kak 1996: 54) – recall the attempt by Raukko and Östman to fit all linguistic relationships, including conceptually different ones, in the same holistic mold – which allows him to bypass the fact that Indic and Dravidian languages are not genetically related (Kak 1996: 59), and thereby “resolving” the problem posed by the different origins of the two language families and the possible ancient Indic invasion: “The Indian linguistic evidence requires the postulation of two kinds of classification. The first is the traditional Indian classification where the whole of India is a single linguistic area of what used to be traditionally called the Prakrit family. Linguists agree that based on certain structural relationships the North and South Indian languages are closer to each other than Sanskrit and Greek (…) Second, we have a division between the North Indian languages that should really be called North Prakrit (called Indo-Aryan by the linguists) and the South Indian languages that may be called South Prakrit (or Dravidian).” (Kak 1996: 60). Of course, the inference that “based on certain structural relationships the North and South Indian languages are closer to each other than Sanskrit and Greek” is meaningless from a linguistic point of view, unless it is clarified by what measure they are considered “closer” – trivially, they are “closer” in the sense of geographical distance between speakers, but not in terms of genetic linguistics. Anyway, Kak argues that this linguistically worthless reinterpretation is useful because: “This classification will allow us to get rid of the term Aryan in the classification of languages which is a good thing because of the racist connotation behind its 19th century use. Its further virtue is that it recognizes that language families cannot be exclusive systems and they should be perceived as overlapping circles that expand and shrink with time.” En passant, Kak (1996: 60) connects ancient Greek culture to the influence of seafaring Indians, dates Vedic Sanskrit a few millenia earlier than is commonly done (Kak 1996: 51), and it not too modest to speak of a “breakdown of the old paradigm” (Kak 1996: 62).

The analogy with the situation in Finland is that here, too, we see a gutting of the scientific basis from the conceptual toolkit of historical linguistics, which is then re-used to support a politically more pleasing view on ancient history. The difference is that Kak is considerably more sophisticated in his attack on traditional historical linguistics, arguing that “we all understand how the 19th century construction of the Orient by the West satisfied its needs of self-definition in relation to the Other. To justify its ascendancy, the Other was defined to be racially mixed and inferior; irrational and primitive; despotic and feudal. This definition was facilitated by a selective use of the texts and rejecting traditional interpretations, an approach that is now called Orientalism.” (Kak 1996: 52), and that historical linguistics, the core of which in the 19th century was indeed the study of Indo-European languages, was suffused by Eurocentric myth-building (Kak 1996: 52-53). There is little doubt that a lot of the work done in historical linguistics during the 19th century was suffused by romantic notions of origins – but the linguistic content of that work, the picture constructed of the prehistoric development of individual languages, by and large, still stands. In arguing against the old historical-linguistic paradigm, Sabhan Kak conspicuously fails to tackle the linguistic part of it.


At the beginning of this essay, I referred to Afrocentric studies as a similar paradigm, in which historical research is subverted to the political needs of the day. In the case of Afrocentrism, these political needs may be, however, regarded as mostly left-wing. In the case of glacial Super-Finland, the political relevance seems to be rather rightist, romantic and nationalist. Politicalization and politically-inspired relativism in any discipline is not essentially leftist or rightist, the popularity of, say, left-inspired critical linguistics and critical critical linguistics and critical critical critical linguistics is much more a consequence of the common political view in humanities departments than the phenomenon itself. In another situation, relativism and politicalization may serve counterposed goals.


My thanks go to Petri Kallio, Aslak and Ante Aikio, Johanna Laakso and Jorma Koivulehto for keeping me and each other informed about the vagaries of the “new paradigm” over the last few years, and to Raimo Anttila for sending me his 2000 article.


Aikio, A. and Aikio, A. 2002: Suomalaisten fantastinen menneisyys. Kaltio

Anttila, R. 2000: The Indo-European and the Baltic-Finnic interface: time against the ice –
Renfrew, C., McMahon, A. and Trask, L. (ed.): Time depth in historical linguistics. Cambridge p. 481-528.

Anttila, R. and Kallio, P. 2002: Suur-Suomen tiede harhapoluilla. Kaltio

Beekes, R.S.P.: Comparative Indo-European Linguistics. An Introduction. Amsterdam 1995.

Hasselblatt, C. 2002: Wo die wahre Revolution ist. Wiener Elektronische Beiträge des Instituts
für Finno-Ugristik

Julku, K. 1997: Eurooppa – suomalais-ugrilaisten ja indoeurooppalaisten pelikenttä – Julku, K.
(ed.): Itämerensuomi – Eurooppalainen maa. Oulu p. 249-275.
– 2002: “Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist.” Kaltio

Kak, S. C.: Indic language families and Indo-European. Yavanika 6. 1996 p. 51-64.
Pdf file

Künapp, A. 1998: Breakthrough in present-day Uralistics. Tartu.
– 2000a: Miscellanea Uralica – Künapp, A. (ed.): The roots of peoples and languages of Northern Eurasia II and III. Fenno-Ugristica 23. Tartu p. 306-317.
– 2000b: About some morphological features of Proto-Uralic – Künapp, A. (ed.): The roots of peoples and languages of Northern Eurasia II and III. Fenno-Ugristica 23. Tartu p. 27-32.

Raukko, J. and Östman, J.-O. 1995: The ‘Pragmareal’ challenge to genetic language tree models
– Suhonen, S. (ed.): Itämerensuomalainen kulttuurialue. The Fenno-Baltic cultural area. Helsinki p. 31-69.

Sammallahti, P. 1995: Language and roots – Congressus Internationalis Fenno-Ugristarum VIII
Pars I, p. 143-153.

Saukkonen, P. 2000: On the Ancestors of Lapps and Finnic Peoples – Künapp, A. (ed.): The roots
of peoples and languages of Northern Eurasia II and III. Fenno-Ugristica 23. Tartu p. 372-380.

Sutrop, U. 2000: The Forest of Finno-Ugric languages – Künapp, A. (ed.): The roots of peoples
and languages of Northern Eurasia II and III. Fenno-Ugristica 23. Tartu p.165-196.

Wiik, K. 1997: Suomalaistyyppistä ääntämistä germaanisissä kielissä Julku, K. (ed.):
Itämerensuomi – Eurooppalainen maa. Oulu p. 75-103.
– 2002: Eurooppalaisten Juuret. Jyväskylä.

Some bibliographical notes

Künnap1998 has been republished in virtually unchanged form as A. Künapp: Contact-induced perspectives in Uralic linguistics by Lincom Europa, M¸nchen 2000, and may be available more widely. Anttila 2000, which is an excellent introduction to the consensus view of Finnish prehistory, may be widely available as well. Kalevi Wiik’s bibliography on the subject (73 items in about 10 years!) is available on: here. A number of discussions germane to the point of this article took place at the Indo-European mailing list in 2001. Finally, with the help of Petri Kallio and others, I have attempted to build and update a bibliography of on-line and off-line material on the subject here.

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