Re: Questions on Finnish and Estonian Phonology and Orthography
Posted: 22 Nov 2021 23:28
Well I mean, obviously if /θ/ was a reflex of earlier /ts/, then /ts/ would have been widespread before it turned into /θ/. But apart from that, all I can say is that Setälä's argument seems pretty solid, especially since he cites numerous fairly unambiguous contemporary sources. And in general, I'm kind of inclined to trust the experts on this (as I am in most matters); there's literally hundreds of years' worth of scholarship on this, so a couple of hours of Doing My Own Research™ on Google or whatever is... unlikely to give me any real insight they've somehow never thought of.Vlürch wrote: ↑22 Nov 2021 11:38So we're kind of talking about two different things. If /θ/ was spread because of Old Swedish or Old Norse influence or both, and if it was the standard pronunciation before the modern standardisation, it is relevant in that it was the "standard" before the standard. That's what I find hard to believe in the first place, or I mean I believe it was widespread, but like I've said many times, I also believe /ts/ was more widespread at least at some point. It's possible all the dialectal pronunciations derived from /θ/ in a straightforward way, but it seems more likely it spread from the west. That's the core of what I'm trying to say, that it doesn't matter even if /θ/ really had become the most widespread pronunciation before standardisation (which I doubt, but whatever) because during standardisation it "reverted" to /ts/ and that became the most common.Xonen wrote: ↑21 Nov 2021 22:38The modern standard pronunciations were established in the 19th century, so the relevant Swedish influence is 19th century Swedish-speaking intelligentsia getting caught up in Finnish nationalism and starting to learn Finnish. It has absolutely nothing to do with Old Swedish or Vikings or even Agricola.
To summarize, /θ(:)/ was considered standard and was fairly widespread in western dialects in the 17th and 18th centuries at least. Although it seems to have been replaced in Turku by /t(:)/ during the latter, and there's some weirdness regarding Ostrobothnia (Vhaël, who was from Oulu, describes /θ(:)/ as occurring "in most dialects" in the early 18th century, but some other sources from a little bit later give the Ostrobothnian pronunciation as "tz" or "z" - apparently as a difference from "anglorum th", which was said to occur in Satakunta - so go figure).
By contrast, Savonia seems to have had /ht/ fairly early on: according to this, it was in place by about 1550 at the latest.
Yeah, maybe. There was considerable debate in the 19th century on which dialectal features should be represented in the orthography, so I'd imagine there would have to be something on the rationale for using <ts> as well, but I'm not finding anything on Google right now. At least Carl Borg and Reinhold von Becker apparently wanted to replace it with <ht>, though.Sure, but there was also intentional influence from eastern dialects even outside of Finland (and maybe even other Finnic languages?) when the language was standardised, so that's another reason for /ts/. It was probably a mix of both influences, but there was /ts/ in extreme southeastern dialects throughout all the changes in other dialects.Xonen wrote: ↑21 Nov 2021 22:38Now, dental fricatives were probably on their way out from Finnish anyway at that point, so the fact that Swedish-speaking folks couldn't pronounce them either isn't the only or even the main reason why they were phased out from the standard. However, the pronunciations that replaced them, namely /ts/ for <tz> and /d/ for <d>, were quite clearly chosen at least partially because they were intuitive spelling pronunciations for Swedish-speakers; neither of these had much support in actual spoken Finnish dialects. Going by those, we'd expect /t(:)/ or maybe /s(:)/ for the former, and /r/ or nothing for the latter.
Incidentally, here's Borg complaining about anti-vaxxers in 1807:
Orthographies come and go, but at least some things never change.Kuinka nostit hullut huhut
vastān vaccīnin panoa
somā lastes suojelusta
Spanish is the most famous example, and there's a few others here. There are also some (such as /tʃ/ > /θ/ and /ḱ/ > /θ/) which seem like they've probably gone through an intermediate stage, which I would assume is most likely /t͡s/.
Well yeah, obviously people talk about municipal politics, but I still wouldn't say kunnallispolitiikka and all its associated terminology are exactly casual-register everyday words. Also, topics tend to come and go, so even if some issue is important enough that you need to use words relating to it in almost every conversation you have with anyone for a week, there's probably some other ridiculous controversy by the next.Dunno, occasionally there's talk about a certain statue in Roihuvuori that some people find controversial since it's two naked ladies and it's outside an elementary school (and at least once someone put bras on them, which also caused some controversy). But of course it's not like you'd randomly ask someone "hey, what do you think about that statue?" when you walk past it and another person walks past it in the opposite direction or anything...
Come to think of it, I suppose Finnish could've gone through the same intermediate stage... Would fit well with how some Finnish dialects have (or used to have) seseo. Then again, I'm not sure if an intermediate stage needs to be assumed; I guess would be articulatorily fairly plausible to go directly from /t͡s/ to /θ/ as well. And unfortunately, unlike for Spanish, we don't have much in terms of direct attestations of Finnish from the relevant time period, so I guess we can't really know for certain.sangi39 wrote: ↑22 Nov 2021 14:01