Uralic languages

Uralic languages (including e.g. Finnish, North Saami, Hungarian, Meadow Mari, Komi-Zyrian, Tundra Nenets) are spoken in North-Western Eurasia with the exception of Hungarian, which is spoken in Central Europe. Currently, the BEDLAN project has cognate coded lexical data of 26 Uralic languages. We have found phylogenetic methods are applicable to the Uralic language data (Syrjänen et al. 2013), and we have studied the divergence times of languages and its connections with changes in temperature (Honkola et al. 2013). We have also showed the connections between genes and languages of the Uralic speakers with our genetics collaborators at the University of Tartu, Estonia (Tambets et al. 2018).

We have now begun collecting typological data for the Uralic languages. In spring 2018, I received a grant from the Turku University Foundation to cover the costs of the training of the data collectors, and Professor of genetics, Päivi Onkamo (Univ. of Turku) received funding from the University of Turku for the collection of the data. Together with collaborators at the University of Tartu, we can finally make this happen!

Ambitious people have ambitious plans. We (a multidisciplinary and international group of researchers) are writing a review article about the holistic past of the Uralic speaker area. We will summarise the environment, archaeology, genes and languages in North-Western Eurasia since the last Ice Age in ca. forty pages. It will be great, so stay tuned!