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Article

Votic and Ingrian Core Lexicon in the Finnic Context: Swadesh Lists of Five Related Varieties

Linguistica Uralica. 2019. Vol. 55. No. 2. P. 81-108.
Rozhanskiy F., Zhivlov M.

The main goal of this paper is compiling the Swadesh lists for five Finnic varieties: Votic, Estonian, Finnish, and the Soikkola and Lower Luga dialects of the Ingrian language. The lists are compiled using the methodology developed by the Moscow School of Comparative Linguistics. The meaning of the target words is specified not just with the translation equivalent but also with the context. Words for the lists are selected in cooperation with native speakers who help to choose the most suitable word from several synonymic variants. The resulting lists contain 111 words. For each word, etymological comments are provided. The paper also offers some preliminary observations concerning the core lexicon of the discussed varieties. In particular, we investigate the lexicostatistical distances between the languages and analyse the directions of borrowings. One of the conclusions of the research is that the lexicostatistic difference between closely related languages does not have a strong correlation with their genetic distance. The three minor varieties (Votic and two Ingrian dialects) are more similar to each other than to either of the major languages (Estonian and Finnish). The latter demonstrate more language-specific items in the core lexicon.