Finno-Volgaic languages

Finno-Volgaic or Fenno-Volgaic is a hypothetical branch of the Uralic languages that tried to group the Finnic languages, Sami languages, Mordvinic languages and the Mari language. It was hypothesized to have branched from the Finno-Permic languages about 2000 BC.[1][2][3]

Northern Fennoscandia, Baltic states, Southwestern and Southeastern Russia
Linguistic classificationUralic
Finno-Volgaic languages map.png
The distribution of Finno-Volgaic languages

The Finnic and Sami languages are sometimes grouped together as Finno-Samic languages, while Mordvinic and Mari were formerly grouped together as the obsolete group of the Volga-Finnic languages.

The current stage of research rejects Volga-Finnic, while the validity of Finno-Lappic and Finno-Permic remains disputed.[4] In particular the position of Mari within the alleged grouping appears to be marginal, while more evidence can be found uniting specifically Finnic, Samic and Mordvinic.[5]

Only a single uniting phonological feature of the Finno-Volgaic languages has been proposed: the loss of the consonant *w before rounded vowels.

Lexical evidence for a Finno-Volgaic group is weak as well. Less than ten word roots are known that would be shared by all four member groups, while being absent from the other Uralic languages.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Differentiation of Uralic languages over time
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe
  3. ^ The Finno-ugric republics and the Russian state By Rein Taagepera; p. 33; ISBN 0-415-91977-0
  4. ^ Salminen, Tapani 2002: Problems in the taxonomy of the Uralic languages in the light of modern comparative studies.
  5. ^ Itkonen, Terho (1997). "Reflections on pre-Uralic and the "Saami-Finnic protolanguage"" (pdf). Finnisch-ugrische Forschungen. 54. ISSN 0355-1253. Retrieved 2009-12-16.