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This Proto-Uralic entry contains reconstructed terms and roots. As such, the term(s) in this entry are not directly attested, but are hypothesized to have existed based on comparative evidence.



Reconstructed as *keele in the UEW, mainly on the basis of Finnic. Sammallahti (1988) reconstructs *käxle; according to Aikio (2012), it is not necessary to posit a separate element *x, and vowel length in Finnic can be considered the result of secondary lengthening.



  1. tongue
  2. language



  • Proto-Samoyedic: *käəj (see there for further descendants)
  • Ugric:
  • Proto-Permic: *ku̇l (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Mordvinic: *kēĺ
  • Proto-Samic: *kielë (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Finnic: *keeli (see there for further descendants)


  • Rédei, Károly (1986–88) Uralisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Uralic Etymological Dictionary] (in German), Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó
  • Sammallahti, Pekka (1988), “Historical Phonology of the Uralic Languages”, in Denis, Sinor, editor, The Uralic Languages: Description, History and Foreign Influences, Leiden: E. J. Brill, →ISBN, pages 478-554

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