In my study of Udmurt and Komi, I have produced an English translation of the chapter on Permian vowels from Raija Bartens’s Permiläisten kielten rakenne ja kehitys (The Structure and Development of the Permian Languages, Helsinki: Finno-Ugrian Society, 2001). While Bartens’s book no longer represents the state of the art in Uralic linguistics, and in the years since Sándor Csúcs has shaken the field up with such publications as Die Rekonstruktion der permischen Grundsprache (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 2005), Permiläisten kielten rakenne ja kehitys does provide a helpful introduction to 20th-century work on Permian vocalism.
In the beginning of April 2013, I cycled over 500 km from Rzeszów in southeastern Poland to Sighetu Marmației in northwestern Romania, crossing the Carpathian and Trans-Carpathian regions of Ukraine. This was my first cycling trip and proved an arduous learning experience, but I enjoyed the journey and am happy to have seen a part of Ukraine hitherto neglected in my extensive hitchhiking across the country.
The Диалектологический атлас удмуртского языка edited by R. I. Nasibullin et al. (Iževsk: R&C Dynamics, 2009) has a series of maps showing the distributions of the Udmurt names for various things across the area where the language is spoken. For the most items, there are only a few variants, and in the case of borrowing, Russian loans are Continue Reading »
One of the things that always made Albanian seem so mysterious to me in the 1990s and early millennium was the dearth of quality learning materials, a strange state of affairs considering that Albanian is the official language of a decent-sized European country. For a long time, the only introduction easy to purchase was Isa Continue Reading »
While I’m grateful for the marvellous opportunities it has afforded me – travelling all over the world at little cost and immense language practise – hitchhiking doesn’t excite me that much any more. One reason is that I want some space of my own instead of always having to maintain a dialogue with drivers, often having the exact same Continue Reading »
Proposals of macrofamilies are interesting, especially when based on data only recently elicited from hitherto-unstudied languages. I’ve come across a paper by Juliette Blevins titled “A Long Lost Sister of Proto-Austronesian?” published in Oceanic Linguistics vol. 46 no. 1 (June 2007) that links two Andaman languages to Austronesian. Its abstract reads: This paper applies the comparative method to Continue Reading »
Textbooks of Finno-Ugrian languages written for foreign learners really like to give children’s poetry as translation exercises.
On my recent trip to Nepal I came across two inscriptions of linguistic interest.
Here I present a translation of pp. 18–23 of the Фонетика volume of the Сравительно-историческая грамматика тюркских языков ed. E. R. Tenišev (Moscow: Nauka, 1984). This is a work which I appreciate more and more as time goes by, and I hope to bring further portions of it into English in future.
The village of Sauraha is the gateway to the Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s number-three tourist destination. It feels far away from it all, as one comes along an unpaved road from the nearby town of Tandi Bazaar through an increasingly empty countryside, and then the tourist centre of the village is just a handful of guesthouses empty at this time of year. The river flowing along Sauraha forms the border with the Chitwan National Park.