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Re: OT: Finns.

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 25, 2009, 0:23
Hello all. I'm back, but maybe not for long.

On 25/02/09 01:12:01, Lars Finsen wrote:
> Andreas Johansson wrote: > > > quoting [Lars] > >> Anybody here more in the know about [kwenn->penn->fenn]? Wikipedia > tantalisingly > >> mentions a theory that the two words may be cognates, but gives no > > >> reference. > > > > Seems more than a little unlikely - why would Germanics borrow a > word > > for Finns from Celtic? > > Yes, it would seem an odd route. But Celts were once very widespread > and admired by the Germani. Words often take strange routes, so I > don't see that it's impossible, at least.
No borrowing is necessarily necessary, because we have kwinkwe -> En. five/De. fünf/etc.. I don't know what conditions were necessary to override the normal kw->hw development, but it happened in at least one word.
> > The usual guess is that "Finn" is related to the verb "find" (Sw. > > _finna_, same in Norwegian I think?), the original Finns being > nomads > > who around finding their food as opposed to sedentary > > Scandinavian-speakers. > > Yes, I have come across that one. It does not fill me with deep > satisfaction, somehow.
Yeah, I heard that, I thought it sounded like a folk etymology. (Were the original Finns nomadic? I thought they were meant to be a relatively technically developed --- not as good as the Indo-Europeans, to be sure, but Uralic languages survived well enough into the historical age, which most of the other prehistoric languages of the area can't claim... Then, my knowledge of the people and the time is just a haze of historical linguistics.) -- Tristanc.


Andreas Johansson <andreasj@...>