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Tanwâr Finyarâr
Created by
Region Northern Germany, Baltic coast
Era attested 4th–2nd century BCE
Language family
  • Lúsanic
    • Finio-Dhannic
      • Peleio-Finian
        • Finian
Early forms:
  • Finian
Writing system Latin
ISO 639-3 qfi

Finian was a Lúsanic language spoken in northern Europe from the fourth century until the second century BCE when it disappeared. It was apparently recognised by Dhannic speakers as a related language albeit very different. Attested by fifty or so inscriptions, mostly of a votive kind, the known corpus of the language remains small.

General characteristics

While quite similar to the Dhannic languages in many aspects, there are some striking differences. One of the most noticeable is the shifting of several inherited stops from Finio-Dhannic. In Finian, this development first described by Indo-European linguist Berthold von Walden manifests in its earliest stages as a fricativization of the unvoiced stops, while the voiced stops series devoice thus taking their places. Cf. the reconstructed Proto-Lúsanic *pénjarōs with Finian finyarar ('that which is of the bog', 'bog-y') and its Dhannuán cognate penniaros which does not display the consonant shift (retaining p). Yet another example is Finian kina and Dhannuán úenna both meaning 'woman'.

This can be summarised as the following set of changes (note that each phoneme takes a step right)

*b → p → f (through intermediary ɸ)
*d → t → s (through intermediary θ?)
*g → k → h (through intermediary x)

Finian also has no breathy-voiced consonants; “aspiration” appears to have been lost producing new voiced stops; a development which seems to have appeared after von Walden's law.

*bʰ → b
*dʰ → d
*gʰ → g

Many of the idiosyncrasies of Finian have to do with the resulting development of these newly produced stops. Generally, these stops undergo fricativization resulting in the voiced fricatives /β/ and /ɣ/. Some speakers though, appear to have replaced /β/ with /v/ as in /'vala:r/ ('flower') attested from inscriptions (there rendered as uualaar).

One relatively strange change is the change of this new /d/ to /l/ at the beginning of words.


Like Dhannuá, Finian also exhibits anaptyxis but in more widespread environments. Finian does not appear to allow syllable onset clusters nor consonant clusters over word boundaries inserting a vowel to break these up (a and i). Finian valar "flower" is the typical example showing a-insertion between etymological *vl-, cf. Dhannuán bhlór with no intruding a. A similar phenomenon seems to occur over word boundaries. When consonant-final words collide with a consonant-initial word, an i-insertion occurs between them, as in the question ist an isa mii (lit. 'is that at me?', "Do I have it?") with the i inserted before sa. This does not occur in with sa but with mii in the answer: sa ist imii (lit. 'that one is at me', "I have it").


The only known examples of Finian verbs appear to use the secondary mi-series of pronominal endings, similar in fashion to Aurónian.

… karanâ hi ôni itani…
"I (who) eat the grain and (drink) the water"
…tuotin imilirâr igi âwirân ititâmi…
"I (who) have given (this) tribute of honey and lambs"