Pronouncing Finnish compound words

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Jukka Aho
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Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Jukka Aho » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:37 pm

Non-native speakers pronouncing Finnish compound words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4iMJPDRtPo

Notes:

  • Some of those are actual, usable words. Some others are a bit... forced.
  • Whoever designed the placards did not (always) follow the recommended (best) practice of avoiding hyphenation of compound words at non-word boundaries. (Long compound words might be taxing to parse as they are. Splitting them arbitrarily in the middle of their component words probably just makes parsing them harder.)
znark

Pronouncing Finnish compound words

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Rob A.
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Rob A. » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:56 pm

Jukka Aho wrote:Non-native speakers pronouncing Finnish compound words:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4iMJPDRtPo

Notes:

  • Some of those are actual, usable words. Some others are a bit... forced.
  • Whoever designed the placards did not (always) follow the recommended (best) practice of avoiding hyphenation of compound words at non-word boundaries. (Long compound words might be taxing to parse as they are. Splitting them arbitrarily in the middle of their component words probably just makes parsing them harder.)


I suppose, all in all, it comes down to memory..... recognizing certain smaller bits and hoping that's enough to allow you to figure out the rest. Knowing the rules of vowel harmony is the only obvious easy analysis tool....that is, if the word happens to have vowels requiring different treatment.....

I decided to look up the word, avantouinti...it was small enough to remember and, although it looked like a word I should know the meaning of, I didn't.... The part I didn't know was avanto-...."hole"....I guess I just haven't encountered it before, or maybe had forgotten.

But words always are fascinating, even simple words....The word, avanto, lead me to avata...which lead me to auki.... all related words. But why (asking rhetorically), auki is related is a bit of mystery to me. The "k" and "v" are obviously related...consonant gradation....but where does the "u" come from? Something for me to go to work on... :)


Jukka Aho
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Jukka Aho » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:35 pm

Rob A. wrote:The part I didn't know was avanto-...."hole"....I guess I just haven't encountered it before, or maybe had forgotten.

I’d define the meaning of avanto in a bit more specific way: “a [usually man-made] hole (“opening”) in the ice cover of a body of water”.
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Rob A.
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Rob A. » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:19 am

Jukka Aho wrote:
Rob A. wrote:The part I didn't know was avanto-...."hole"....I guess I just haven't encountered it before, or maybe had forgotten.

I’d define the meaning of avanto in a bit more specific way: “a [usually man-made] hole (“opening”) in the ice cover of a body of water”.


I guess I shouldn't be surprised Finnish would have a special word for a "man-made hole in the ice"....

Of course, the now-debunked Franz Boas theories about the numbers of Inuit words for snow and the cultural implications of that, should make one cautious. Different languages work in different ways and, while English is certainly no stranger to the use of compound words, Finnish does it much more routinely.

I see there are other similar "hole-in-the-ice" compounds; uhkuavanto and uve/uveavanto, but these are used in a different context. And...here's an off-hand question...is there a rule as to why the avanto- initiates in, avantouinti, but follows, in uhkuavanto? ...Probably, "that's just the way it is"....


FinnGuyHelsinki
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by FinnGuyHelsinki » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:19 am

Rob A. wrote:I guess I shouldn't be surprised Finnish would have a special word for a "man-made hole in the ice"....


And not just any hole, if you drill a hole into the ice for ice-fishing, that's not avanto, just a hole (reikä). Nor does it have to be man-made, e.g. if one drops into a hole, man-made or not, (or through thin ice, even though technically the hole then would be man-made) in the water it can be said that he/she "tippui avantoon".


Jukka Aho
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Jukka Aho » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:38 pm

FinnGuyHelsinki wrote:Nor does it have to be man-made, e.g. if one drops into a hole, man-made or not, (or through thin ice, even though technically the hole then would be man-made) in the water it can be said that he/she "tippui avantoon".

Well, I’d rather say

putosi railoon
ajoi moottorikelkalla sulaan
putosi virtauspaikan ohuen jään läpi

etc.

I tend to think avanto primarily as a hole in the ice that is large enough for a person to skinny-dip in, features well-defined edges with thick ice all around, might have a geometric shape (rectangular or circular), is used and possibly maintained for some specific purpose, etc... so most likely not a natural formation.
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Rob A.
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Re: Pronouncing Finnish compound words

Post by Rob A. » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:41 pm

Hey, without intending to challenge any native speakers...my Finnish ability, after all is more mechanical than intuitive...wikipedia seems to have a more expansive view of the word, Avanto:

Avanto on jäässä oleva halkeama tai aukko. Avannot voivat syntyä jäiden liikkuessa, sulaessa, haljetessa tai ihmisen tekemänä.

="Avanto" is an in-ice being fissure or hole. "Avannot" can originate in ice that is moving, melting, cracking or (can be) man-made."

Well, a rather rough translation...I try to translate Finnish literally so that I get what practice I can thinking in a Finnish way.....

[Edit: The last bit got me thinking......tai ihmisen tekemänä. This is an example of the use of an agent participle (in the essive case). A better literal translation would be:

"Avannot can originate....or (in state of) by being man-made."]


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