The Uralic language family consist of ca. 40 languages spoken in across northeastern Europe and Siberia, with the exception of Hungary, which is spoken in the Central Europe. Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian are the only national languages with millions of speakers, whereas the other languages are spoken as minority languages in the geographical area of Russia, Sweden and Norway. In addition, Livonian and Kamas are now extinct.

Map of Uralic language speaker areas at beginning of 20th century (click to enlarge).  Map drawn by BEDLAN member Timo Rantanen based on sources listed below.

It is well-established by traditional linguistic methods that these languages are all descended from a common ancestor, called “proto-Uralic”.  However, exactly how long ago proto-Uralic was spoken, and in which parts of the world, is a topic of ongoing research. BEDLAN hopes to use large, multidisciplinary datasets and cutting-edge methods of analysis to help investigate these questions.

 

Map sources

Saami

Sammallahti, P. 1998. The Saami languages. An Introduction. Kárásjohka, Davvi girji.

Finnic

Finnish, Ludic, Ingrian, Livonian, Estonian, South Estonian, Livonian

Grünthal, R. & Sarhimaa, A. (toim.) 2004/2012. Itämerensuomalaiset kielet ja niiden päämurteet. Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura.

Karelian

Sarhimaa, A. 2017. Vaietut ja vaiennetut karjalankieliset karjalaiset Suomessa. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. 297 s.

Veps

Tunkelo & Leskinen (toim.) 1946. Vepsäläisten asuinalueet.

Mordvin

Grünthal, R. & Salminen, T. (edit.) 1993. Geographical distribution of the Uralic languages. Finno-Ugrian Society.

Mari

Lytkin, V. I., Maytinskaya, K. E. & Rédei, K. (edit.) 1976. The Fundamentals of Fenno-Ugric Linguistics. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR 3. Moscow, Nauka.

Permic

Komi (Zyrian) & Komi-Permyak

Lytkin, V. I., Maytinskaya, K. E. & Rédei, K. (edit.) 1976. The Fundamentals of Fenno-Ugric Linguistics. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR 3. Moscow, Nauka.

Udmurt

Maksimov, S. 2001. Pohjoisudmurtin murteiden ja komin kielen areaalisia leksikaalisia yhtäläisyyksiä. Suomalais-ugrilaisen seuran aikakauskirja 89. Helsinki.

Ugric

Mansi & Khanty

Lytkin, V. I., Maytinskaya, K. E. & Rédei, K. (edit.) 1976. The Fundamentals of Fenno-Ugric Linguistics. The Academy of Sciences of the USSR 3. Moscow, Nauka.

Hungarian

Jenő Kiss (ed.) 2001, Magyar dialektológia, Osiris, Budapest.

Samoyed

Nenets, Selkup, Enets, Nganasan

Grünthal, R. & Salminen, T. (edit.) 1993. Geographical distribution of the Uralic languages. Finno-Ugrian Society.

Kamas

Dolgix, B. O. 1960. Rodovoj I plemennoj sostav narodov Sibiri v XVII v. Moscow-Leningrad: Akademija Nauk SSSR.

Helimski, E. 1997. Die Matorische Sprache. Wörterverzeichnis – Grundzüge der Grammatik – Sprachgeschichte. Unter Mitarbeit von Beáta Nagy. SUA 41. Szeged: JATE Finnougor tanszék.