Diachronic Analysis of Word Formation as Basic Studies for Etymologisation

By November 23, 2016,
Page 591-596
Author Iris Metsmägi, Vilja Oja
Title Diachronic Analysis of Word Formation as Basic Studies for Etymologisation
Abstract The paper focuses on some problems of word formation in Estonian and Finnic, which are etymologically relevant. Diachronic derivational relations may be not ascertained by the synchronic approach, e.g. either due to sound changes in the stem (cf. Estonian kõõl-us ‘tendon, string’ and keel ‘tongue; language; string’), or because a root does not occur separately or is rare. A suffix may have been dropped from active use or is subject to extensive variation, e.g., many Estonian verb stems containing the component -ka, -ki, -ku etc. (kilka-ma ‘to scream’) could be interpreted as derivatives with respective suffixes (kil-ka-ma, cf. kil-ise-ma ‘to clink’). The interpretation of the morphological structure of loanwords is often complicated. The loanwords may contain derivational suffixes of the donor language, sometimes even resembling genuine ones, e.g. Estonian lusikas, Finnish lusikka ’spoon’ does not contain historically the Finnic suffix -k(k)a but is borrowed from Old Russian lŭžĭka. Sometimes foreign-sounding loanwords are subjected to folk-etymological adaption and the results are similar to a derivative or a compound, e.g. Estonian puuslik ‘idol’, looking like a derivative of the stem puu ‘tree; timber’, is rather a folk-etymological version of Russian apostol ‘apostle’.
Session Historical and Scholarly Lexicography and Etymology
Keywords etymology; derivation; loanwords; Estonian; Finnic languages
author={Iris Metsmägi, Vilja Oja},
title={Diachronic Analysis of Word Formation as Basic Studies for Etymologisation},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 17th EURALEX International Congress},
address={Tbilisi, Georgia},
editor={Tinatin Margalitadze, George Meladze},
publisher={Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi University Press},