SUSA/JSFOu 91, 2006
Ante AIKIO (Oulu)


1. Introduction

Systematic research on Scandinavian loanwords in Saami began well over acentury ago (e.g. Thomsen 1869; Qvigstad 1893; Wiklund 1896). However, the concept of earlier Germanic borrowings in Saami is newer. In the 1960s it wasstill commonly maintained that few, if any, independent Indo-European loan-words had been directly adopted into Pre-Saami (e.g. Sköld 1961 passim). Of course, ever since the loanword studies by Thomsen (1869, 1890) it had beenknown that a few older Indo-European loan items, such as North Saami ruovdi  ‘iron’ (< Germanic) and luossa ‘salmon’ (< Baltic), were present in Saami. Butas such words were shared with Finnic whose lexicon showed a significantlystronger Indo-European impact, it was maintained that these words had beenmediated to Saami by Finnic. Thus, there seemed to be little evidence of direct   contacts  between     Pre-Saami  and  the   early     Germanic      and   Baltic tribes. During recent decades it has become clear that this classical picture had been influenced by the ways in which etymological research was conducted. With the exception of studies of Scandinavian loanwords which have a long and fruitful research history, there has been a tradition of treating Saami etymologyas a sort of extension of the etymological study of Finnish vocabulary; untilrecent times few researchers had taken the etymologisation of Saami words asan aim in itself. Recently this tradition has been changing, though. For instance, the thorough studies of Germanic loanwords conducted by Jorma Koivulehtohave revealed that there is much more to the contact history of Saami and Germanic  than  was  previously  thought. The purposes of this paper are to examine the strata of old Germanic bor-rowings in Saami and to discuss the prehistory and formation of the Saami language branch in the light of what is known of its contacts with Germanic as well as other language groups. The next section summarises the present knowledgeof the stratification of Germanic borrowings in Saami. In the third section 27 Saami words are etymologised as early Germanic loans. The concluding section discusses the main lines of Saami ethnic history on the basis of the results of the present study as well as other recent linguistic research.
Aikio 10

2. The stratification of Germanic loanwords in Saami

Jorma Koivulehto has demonstrated in his studies that there are two distinct strata of Germanic loanwords in Saami which precede the extensive stratum of Proto-Scandinavian loans, the existence of which has already for long beenrecognised. Even these older borrowings seem to have been adopted largely independent of Finnic, as most of them do not have Finnic cognates. Koivulehto’s stratification of the Germanic loan items in Saami is summarised below, asit provides the background for the study in the next section; see e.g. Koivulehto (2002)  and  the   references mentioned there for further material.The oldest stratum of Germanic loanwords has participated in all the knownProto-Saami vowel changes, including the shift *a > *uo. 2
These loanwords are often, but not always, shared with Finnic. In this layer of borrowings Saami *k  occurs in the place of Germanic *h.
The words were borrowed either before the Germanic sound shift (i.e. before Indo-European *k  > PGerm *h) or at an in-termediate phase when the Germanic sound was still pronounced as a velar fricative  (*x).  Examples  of  borrowings  in  this  layer include:
SaaN guos'si ‘guest’ < PS *kuossē  < PreS *kansa (~ Finn. kansa ‘people, crowd’) < PGerm *hansō- (> Old English hōs crowd, host’, Old HighGerman hansa id.) 3
(LÄGLOS s.v. kansa)
SaaN gierdat  ‘to endure’ < PS *kiertë- < PreS *kärti- (~ Finn. kärsiä  ‘tosuffer; to endure’) < PGerm *hardja- (> Swedish härda ‘to harden, to endure’)    (LÄGLOS  s.v. kär
SaaSk  kuârgg ‘range of rocks, reef’, SaaL guorgoj ‘rocky shore’ < PS* kuorkō(j) < PreS *karko(j) < PGerm *hargu- (> Old Norse horgr  ‘heap of rocks;  sacrificial   site’) (LÄGLOS  s.v. karkea)  The second  stratum  of  Germanic  loanwords has  also  participated in many  Proto-Saami vowel changes, such as *a > *uo, but shows Ø as the substitute for Germanic *h. These loanwords are not shared with Finnic – there are no loanwordsin Finnic showing a loss of foreign h. These borrowings were thus adopted at astage when Saami and Finnic were already distinct languages spoken in twomutually exclusive speech communities, but these languages still closely re-sembled each other, as at least most of the complex Proto-Saami vowel shiftshad not yet taken place. Examples of borrowings in this layer include: SaaN vuoma ~ vuopman ‘a kind of hunting fence’ < PS *vuomën < PreS* amin < PGerm *hamen- (> Old High German hamo ‘hunting net; net in aweir’)   (Koivulehto 2002:  589)
SaaN vuoksa ‘depth of a fishing net’ < PS *vuopsë < PreS *api/as < NwGerm *hāba-z  (< PGerm *hēba-z ) (> Old Norse háfr  ‘pocket net, hoopnet’)  (Koivulehto 1999b: 364–365; 2002: 589)
SaaN vuos'su ‘bellows’ < PS *vuosëjō < PreS *asijo < PGerm *hasja- (>Icelandic hes
‘skin pouch’)   (Koivulehto 1999a: 365–367)

On Germanic-Saami contacts and Saami prehistory 11

In the case of individual words it is often impossible to distinguish between these two layers of borrowings. Indeed, there are quite a few Germanic borrowings which have undergone the Saami vowel shift *a > uo and hence must havebeen adopted during one of these two early periods, but there are no criteria formore exact dating. But, even though the majority of the old Germanic loan-words in Saami are phonologically ambiguous so that their adoption cannot bewith any certainty assigned to either the first or the second phase of borrowing,a principal distinction between these two strata must be assumed in order toexplain the two reflexes of Germanic *h-.

The following cases are ambiguous inrespect to their stratification:

SaaN buoidi ‘fat’ < PS *puojtē < PreS *pajta < PGerm *faita- (> Old Norse feitr ‘fat’) (Koivulehto 1976: 260)
SaaL buollda ‘hillside, mountain side’ (~ Finn. dial. palsi ‘hard layer of soilor clay, e.g. in the bottom of a lake’) < PS *puoltë < PreS *palti < PGerm* falþa- (> Engl. fold)  (Koivulehto 1976: 254–257)
SaaL guobas ‘witch’ (~ Finn. kave ‘creature; mythological being; girl, maiden (myth.)’) < PS *kuopës < PreS *kapis < PGerm *skapa- (> Old English ge-sceap ‘creature, creation’). (LÄGLOS s.v. kave)
SaaN guolla ‘testicle’ < PS *kuolë  < PreS *kali < PGerm *skallV- (> OldEngl. sceallan ‘testicles’, Old Frisian skall ‘testicle’). PS *-l- in the place of foreign *-ll- is predictable in an early loan, as geminate sonorants wereoriginally not permitted in Finno-Ugric. (The etymology derives from J .Koivulehto,  p.c.)
SaaL luogge ‘rectum’ (~ Finn. lank  ‘thread’) < PS *luoŋkē < PreS *laŋka <PGerm *langan- (> Icelandic langi ‘rectum of a bovine’) (LÄGLOS s.v. lanka)
SaaN luoikat ‘to lend’ < PS *luojkkë- < PreS *lajkki- < PGerm *laigwē-/ *laigweje- (> Old Norse leiga ~ leigja ‘to hire’) (Koivulehto 2002: 588–589)
SaaN luoska (obsol.) ‘decorative seam or trimming on the edge of a Saamiman’s coat’ < PS *luoskë < PreS *lask < PGerm *laskV- (> Middle LowGerman
lasch ‘piece (of textile, leather, metal, etc.) with a sharp end; gussetin woman’s coat’; cf. Norwegian lask ‘invisible or decorative seam (onleather); cloth gusset’, which is a Low German loan) (Koivulehto 1976:262–263) 4
SaaN ruoksi ‘udder’ (~ Finn. rauhanen ‘gland’) < PS *ruovsē  < PreS *rawsa < * rawša < PGerm *hrauza- (> Norwegian røyr  ‘groin’) (cf. SSA s.v. rauhanen)
Aikio 12 SaaN ruovda ‘edge (of a boat, bed frame, shoe sole, etc.)’ < PS *ruomtë < PreS *ramti < Pre-Germ *ramdō- (> PGerm *randō- > Old Norse rond  ‘edge’)  (Koivulehto 2002: 589)
SaaN ruovdi ‘iron’ (~ Finn. rauta id.) < PS *ruovtē < PreS *rawta < PGerm *raudan- (> Old Norse rauði ‘bog iron ore’) (SSA s.v. rauta)
SaaN suovdi ‘gill; mouth, gullet’ (~ Finn. hauta ‘pit; grave’) < PS *suovδē  < PreS *sawδa < *šawδa < PGerm *sauþa- (> Old English sēaþ ‘pit, hole; well,  pool’)  (Koivulehto 1976: 35 – 37)
SaaN suovri ‘filthy person’ < PS *suovr ē < PreS *sawra < PGerm *saura- (> Old Norse
saurr ‘filth’) (the etymology was presented by J. Koivulehto, p.c.)
SaaN vuohčču ‘narrow, wet bog’ < PS *vuoččō < PreS *waććo < NwGerm *wātjō- (> Swedish dial. vät ‘boggy place which gathers water in the spring and autumn’) (Koivulehto 2002: 589)
SaaN vuohppi ‘small, narrow bay’ (~ Finn. apaja ‘fishing ground’) < PS* vuopējē PreS *apaja< PGerm *aban- (> Swedish dial. ave ‘small andnarrow bay of a lake’) or *abjōn- (> Old Norse efja ‘bay in a river; mire’) (LÄGLOS s.v. apaja)
SaaL vuolldo ‘the strongest reindeer bull in the herd’ < PS *vuoltō < PreS* walto < PGerm *waldan- (> Old Norse valdi ‘ruler (poetic)’) (Sammallahti 1984: 144; cf. Sköld 1961: 96)
SaaN vuorbi ‘lot; destiny’ (~ Finn. arpa ‘lot’) < PS *vuorpē < PreS *arpa <PGerm *arba- (> Old Norse arfr  ‘inheritance’)  (LÄGLOS  s.v. arpa)
SaaN vuordit  ‘to wait’ (? ~ Finn. vartoa, varrota id.) < PS *vuortē- < PreS* warta- < PGerm *wardō- (> Old Norse varða ‘to guard, watch over’) or *wardē- (> German
warten ‘to wait’) (SSA s.v. varrota)
SaaN vuordnut ‘to swear’ (~ Finn. vanno- ‘to swear’) < PS *vuornō- < PreS *watno- < PGerm *wahwna- (> German erwähnen ‘to mention’); there areparallels for the substitution *-Kn- > *-tn- (Koivulehto 1999b: 121)
SaaN vuotta ‘shoelace (laced around the thigh)’ (? ~ Finn vanne ‘hoop’) <PS *vuontëk < PreS *wantik < PGerm *wandu-z (> Old Norse vondr  ‘twig,  whip’)  (Koivulehto 1976: 257–258)
SaaN vuovdi ‘forest’ < PS *vuovtē < PreS *awta < PGerm *auþa- (> OldNorse auðr
‘uninhabited, desert’, German öde id.; cf. Old Norse eyði-mork ‘desolate forest land’, German
 Ein-öde ‘wilderness, wilds’) (the etymologyderives from P. Sammallahti, p.c.). As for the semantics, cf. SaaN meahcci ‘wilderness, wilds, uninhabited territory’ <  Finn. metsä ‘forest’.
On Germanic-Saami contacts and Saami prehistory 13

It must be noted that even the presence of a regular Finnic cognate does notguarantee that the borrowing belongs to the oldest stratum because it is possiblethat the words are quasi-cognates which show regular sound correspondenceeven though they do not go back to the common proto-language. It is likely thatmany words were borrowed between Pre-Finnic and Pre-Saami at a date whenthese languages were still phonologically relatively close to each other, just ase.g. many Scandinavian loanwords have recently diffused between the variousSaami languages, conforming to regular correspondences as they were trans-ferred between the already diverged idioms (see e.g. Sammallahti 1984: 145). Borrowings between relatively closely related languages frequently becomeconformed to the sound correspondences that are observed in cognate vocabu-lary, a process which can be called ‘etymological nativisation’ (see Aikio in press a).Moreover, in some cases Finnic and Saami may have independently bor-rowed the same Germanic word. This is probably the case with SaaN vuordit ‘towait’ and Finnish vartoa id.: Saami adopted the word from Proto-Germanic, whereas the Finnish item is likely to have been a later Proto-Scandinavian loan. Separate borrowing is supported by the irregular correspondence of the secondsyllable vowels (PS *ē ~ Finn. o), as well as the narrow distribution of the Fin-nish word: vartoa is only attested in the western dialects of Finnish, and is ab-sent in all other Finnic languages. 5

Another likely case of separate borrowing isSaaN vuotta ‘shoelace’ (<  *want-ik) and Finn. vanne ‘hoop’ (< *want-iš), wherethe suffixal elements differ; in this case separate adoption has been argued also by Koivulehto (1976). It appears that even the oldest Germanic loanwords were adopted into Pre-Finnic and Pre-Saami largely independently of each other (see also  Koivulehto 1988). In contrast to the two strata discussed above, the later stratum of Proto-Scandinavian loanwords is markedly different in phonological terms; and it isalso lexically more extensive, containing several hundred borrowings. Proto-Scandinavian borrowings can usually be easily distinguished from earlier loan-words on the basis of their vowel reflexes, because they were adopted after theseries of sound changes that transformed the Pre-Saami vowel system into theProto-Saami one – this process left none of the vowels in the system unaltered,and hence it could be called ‘the great Saami vowel shift’ (I owe the term toJanne Saarikivi). PScand *a and *ā are reflected as PS *ā (> SaaN á) as opposed to the PS *uo (< PreS *a) in earlier loans. Likewise, PScand *e was rendered with PS *ie (> SaaN ie), whereas in older Germanic borrowings one finds PS *ë or *ea (both < PreS *e    under   different  conditions). Consonant substitution patterns also differ from the earlier periods of borrowing. It appears that one must postulate an early dialectal division withinProto-Saami on the basis of how certain Proto-Scandinavian consonants weretreated. does not include the

Aikio 14

 In North-western Saami (henceforth NwS), which predecessors of Skolt and Kola Saami, the foreign consonants /h/ and /f / becameestablished at quite an early date. 6
Thus, in Proto-Scandinavian loanwords *f- is reflected as f- in NwS, but as  v- in Skolt and Kola Saami – but never as p incontrast to earlier borrowings. Foreign *h-, too, shows a dual treatment: in NwSit was inconsistently either dropped or retained, but in Skolt and Kola Saamialways dropped. Medial *-h- was varyingly either replaced with -k- or -f-or assimilated to a preceding sonorant. Also some initial consonant clusters, especially sk-, were retained in Proto-Scandinavian loanwords in NwS, but simpli-fied in the predecessor of the more eastern Saami idioms. A further consonantalcriterion is that loanwords in the Proto-Scandinavian period frequently show the(hitherto unexplained) sound substitution PScand *-j- > Saami *-č-, which isnot attested in earlier borrowings.

The following examples serve to illustrate the phonological ch

aracteristics of  Proto-Scandinavian  loanwords  in  comparison  to the two  earlier  strata:
SaaN áhpi ‘high sea, open sea’ < PS *āpē < PScand *haba- (> Old Norse haf ‘sea’)
SaaN ávža ‘bird-cherry’ < PS *āvčë  < PScand *hagja- (> Old Norse heggr ‘bird-cherry’)
SaaN biergu ‘meat’ < PS *pierkō< PScand *bergō-(> Old Norse bjorg ‘aid,  rescue, food’)
SaaN  fárru ‘trip; party, travelling company’ < NwS  *fārō < PScand *farō- (> Old Norse for ‘journey, journeying’); cf. SaaSk väärr ‘trip’ < *vārō, with initial v-
SaaN fiel'lu ‘board’ < NwS *fiellō < PScand *felhō- (> Old Norse fjol ‘board’)
SaaN háittis ‘very hot (of stove)’ < NwS *hājttēs < PScand *haita-z  (> Old Norse heitr ‘hot’)
SaaN lávkkis ‘flea’ < PS *lāvkkēs < PScand *flauha- (> Old Norse fló ‘flea’); cf. SaaP laaffies ‘flea’ (< NwS *lāffēs), with a different sound sub-stitution!
SaaN márfi ‘sausage’ < NwS *mārfē  < PScand *marhwa- (> Old Norse morr
‘fat   in  the  intestines’)
SaaN miel'li ‘steep, sandy bank on the shore of a river or lake’ < PS *miellē < PScand *melha- (> Old Norse melr ‘heap of sand’)
SaaN skálžu ‘seashell’ < NwS *skālčō < PScand *skaljō- (> Old Norse skel ‘shell, crust’); cf. SaaK  kā¬v z ‘seashell’(< *kālčō), with simplification of the initial     cluster

On Germanic-Saami contacts and Saami prehistory 15

The adoption of Proto-Scandinavian loanwords was contemporaneous with the disintegration of Proto-Saami, as revealed by the dialectal differences in the patterns of phonological nativisation. This suggests that the loans were adoptedinto an already widely spread dialect continuum instead of a geographicallynarrow proto-language.As this study concentrates on the earliest periods of borrowing, Proto-Scandinavian loanwords will not be discussed below. The criteria set for theinclusion in the earlier strata of loans are phonological. A Germanic loanwordmust have already been adopted into Pre-Saami if it fulfils one of the following phonological criteria: 1) The word has participated in the vowel shift PreS *a > PS *uo. 2) It shows the reflex of the metaphonic change PreS *e(–i)> *i(–i) >PS *ë(–ë) or PreS *e(–ä) > *ä(–ä) > PS *ea (–ē). 3) It shows the sound substitution PGerm *f- > PS *p- or  PGerm  *h- (*x-) > PS *k- .In addition to these criteria also the lowering and velarisation of PreS *i to PS *ë is probably a valid criterion for early Germanic origin. This change isattested in e.g. SaaN lađas ‘joint’ < PS *lëδës < PreS *liδis < PGerm *liþu-z (>Old Norse liðr id.) and in an even earlier borrowing from the same word, SaaN lahttu ‘limb’ < PS *lëttō< PreS *litto (Koivulehto 2002). However, I have not discovered any new examples of Germanic loanwords displaying this vowel correspondence, so  it  is not  of  relevance  to  the  present  study.

3. New Germanic loan etymologies

In the etymological articles below the lexical material from Saami and Germanic is first presented, with references to the relevant etymological dictionar-ies. Only one or two members of each Saami cognate set are cited as examples. The intra-Saami distribution of each item is given in parentheses, together with a reference to Juhani Lehtiranta’s common Saami vocabulary (YSS) if the cognate  set  can  be  found  there. The  following dictionaries,  which have  been  used  as sources of Saami lexical data, are not separately referred to: Bergsland & Mattsson Magga 1993 (South Saami); Lagercrantz 1939 (South Saami, PiteSaami, Sea Saami); Schlachter 1958 (Ume Saami); Halász 1891 (Pite Saami); Grundström 1946–1954 (Lule Saami); Friis 1887, Nielsen 1979 and Sammallahti 1989 (North Saami); E. Itkonen 1986–1991 and Morottaja &Sammallahti 1993 (Inari Saami); Sammallahti & Mosnikoff 1988 (SkoltSaami); T. I. Itkonen 1958 (Skolt, Kildin and Ter Saami). The cited forms have been normalised according to the modern orthographic standards of the Saamilanguages, except   for  Kildin  Saami.

Aikio 16
SaaN bahta ‘arse, behind’ (S–T; YSS 872) < PS *pëtë << (via labial dissimilation)  *potë < PreS *puti < PreGerm *putV- ‘arse; vagina’ > PGerm *fudV- > Old Norse fuð- ‘vagina’ (only attested in compounds), Icelandic fuð ‘vagina’, Middle HighGerman vut ‘vagina; arse’, English (dialectal) fud ‘buttocks; vagina’ (? < Nordic). Note also Germ Fotze ‘vagina’, which either shows expressivegemination (*futt-) or is an “s-Bildung”. (ÍO s.v. fuð; AEWb s.v. fuð-; Kluge s.v. Fotze) No etymology has been proposed for common Saami *pëtë ‘arse, behind’.However, the word very closely resembles PGerm  fudV- (< PreGerm * putV-) ‘arse; vagina’. The loan etymology is otherwise quite straightforward, but itrequires the postulation of a sporadic labial dissimilation in *o >> *ë after *p- in Proto-Saami. While the change is not regular, the Saami languages show astrong tendency towards this kind of dissimilatory development. Irregular variation between PS *o and *ë next to labial consonants is relatively common. In North Saami one finds dialectal oscillation in many words, cf. e.g. monni ~ manni ‘egg’, botnit ~ batnit  ‘to plait’, bohčit ~ bahčit  ‘to squeeze; to milk’ (SaaN-a- reflects PS *-ë-).

Illabialisation is also common in the other Saamilanguages; e.g. the three words above show only illabialised forms in Eastern Saami. The labial vowel is original in such cases, as demonstrated by extra-Saami cognates (cf. Finn. muna ‘egg’, punoa ‘to plait’, pusertaa ‘to squeeze, wring’ <  Proto-Uralic  *mun, *puna-, *puśa-). There are even other cases like PS *pëtë which uniformly show labial dis-similation in all Saami languages: cf. SaaN laksi ‘dew’ < PS *lëpsē  (the change *ps > ks is regular in SaaN) < Proto-Uralic *lupsa ‘dew’ (> Komi lïsva ‘dew’, Tundra Nenets yøbta id., etc.) and SaaN avvit ‘to leak (of boats)’ < PS *ëvē- < Proto-Uralic *uwa- ‘current; to flow’ (> Finnish vuo ‘current’, Mansi ow- ‘toflow’, etc.). Reflexes of the predictable regular forms *lopsē and *ovē- are not attested anywhere in Saami. A new example of this type can also be presented. One can connect SaaN bahkket ‘to cram, stuff; to force oneself into’, bahkat  ‘narrow, tight, taut’ and bahku ‘crowd’, which are derivatives of a PS root *pëkë-, with Finn. pukea ‘to dress, put on (clothes); to thread, slip into’ (the previous comparison to SaaN bohkat ‘to pierce’ is hardly feasible, cf. SSA s.v. pukea). Similar cases are also involved in SaaN savu: savvon- ‘smooth waters (in ariver)’ (< PS *sëvōn) ~ Finn. suvanto id. and SaaN lahppu ‘lichen on trees’ (<PS *lëppō) ~ Finn. luppo id. On distributional grounds these words are probably not cognate, though, but more likely borrowings between Saami and Finnish v