Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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.



Attested only in the traditional Finno-Ugric group. No contrasting Proto-Samoyedic word for 'butter' is known either, however. A loan etymology from Indo-Iranian has been proposed (compare Sanskrit आज्य (ājya, melted butter for oblation), from Proto-Indo-European *h₃engʷ-), but this runs into phonetic difficulties.[1]


Traditionally reconstructed as *woje.[2] Finnic *voi however points to earlier *vooji (Sammallahti (1988) reconstructs *wooji already for Proto-Finno-Ugric[3]), where per Aikio long *oo is in turn from original *a, confirmed also by Moksha вай (vaj).[1]

The meaning 'butter' has sometimes been considered anachronistic for Proto-Uralic or Proto-Finno-Ugric, and to represent a later development from earlier generic 'fat'. Häkkinen[4] inversely suggests this word as part of evidence that Proto-Uralic was spoken late enough for its speakers to be at least familiar with agricultural products.



  1. butter


  • Ugric:
    • Hungarian: vaj
    • Mansi: *waaj
    • Khanty: *wooj
  • Permic:
    • Komi: *vɨj (irregular)
    • Udmurt: вӧй (vöj)
  • Mari:
    • Eastern Mari: ӱй (üj)
    • Western Mari: ӱ (ü)
  • Proto-Mordvinic: *vaj
  • Proto-Samic: *vuojë (see there for further descendants)
  • Proto-Finnic: *voi (see there for further descendants)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Luobbal Sámmol Sámmol Ánte (Ante Aikio). 2012. "On Finnic long vowels, Samoyed vowel sequences, and Proto-Uralic *x". In: Hyytiäinen, Tiina; Jalava, Lotta; Saarikivi, Janne; Sandman, Erika (eds.), Per Urales ad Orientem. Iter polyphonicum multilinguae. Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia 264, pp. 227–250.
  2. ^ Rédei, Károly (1986–88) Uralisches etymologisches Wörterbuch [Uralic Etymological Dictionary] (in German), Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Häkkinen, Jaakko. 2009. "Kantauralin ajoitus ja paikannus: perustelut puntarissa." ('Dating and locating Proto-Uralic: Weighing the evidence.') Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Aikakauskirja 92, pp. 9–56.

External links[edit]