Comparison Proto-Indo-European and modern Finnish

The comparison of the two languages is shown below, it contains comparison of the morphologies and sentences’ aspects. The Proto-Indo-European language was a language of people from Proto-Caspian steppes and Proto-Finnish is a language of the Uralian family, the first existed from 4500 BC to 2500 BC and the second was formed in the period from 4000 BC to 3000 BC (it was Pre-Finnish language or Proto-Finnish). The period of the existence is 4000-3000 BC, it is a time of existing both of the languages. This era is a part of the middle European Neolithic period.

A list of Proto-Indo-European words were formed by linguists but the Proto-Finnish language’s was lacked of the same attention. The result is that the list of modern Finnish words but according to target (to notice some common words and influence of PIE onto Finnish), it can’t be used in the comparison. There is only a way to describe similarities and differences and it is the analyze of morphologies and grammars both of the languages.

Nouns and adjectives are shown below,

Proto-Finnish Proto-Indo-European
around 13 cases 8 or 9 cases
cases’ endinds of nouns and adjectives 3 grammatical genders (and ending types)
“adjective-noun” was innovated by the Indo-European languages prefix-root-suffix structure
Similar pairs contained agreement thematic and athematic nouns
Adjectives could be comparative verbal nouns
Root-suffix structure adjectives similar grammatically to nouns
Possessive suffixes

As shown above, the two languages had equal complex cases’ systems because of the big amount of cases and the similar functions of nouns and adjectives. The similarities PIE adjectives and nouns show that this language had the very big difference with Proto-Finnish because there is a difference of adjectives and nouns. These grammar traits made PIE more universal than PF (Proto-Finnish) and show some connection with any other ancient non-European languages.


PF (Proto-Finnish) PIE (Proto-Indo-European)
5 grammatical moods 3 grammatic classes
6 forms for every mood 4 grammatical moods
A special verb as mark of negation 2 grammatical voices
3 persons and 2 voices and 2 numbers 3 grammatical persons and numbers
Finite and non-finite forms of verbs developed system of participles

Proto-Finnish verbs were less development as traditional Europeans’ but they have their own traits lake finite and non-finite forms. According to it, influence PIE on PF was less valuable. The two languages have the many similar points like moods and persons for verbs and those similar points are common in all languages from the Indo-European family and the last had developed system of word constructing (prefix-root-suffix). It could be used in morphological constructions of words.

Proto-Finnish may had grammatical system for delivering the most realistic subjects and objects. This conclusion is made because of the grammatical rules for nouns and verbs. There were more cases in Finnish than in Indo-European and it gave more opportunities for grammatical way.

The neighboring language is Northern Sami and a comparison with PIE is shown in the next article.


“Finnish”, https :// ,


This article was written by Ilya Duchanin.

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