Date of Defense

3-2004

First Advisor

Dr. David Lemberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Eldor Quandt

Third Advisor

Robert Dlouhy

Abstract

The Balto-Finnic languages of northeast Europe are part of the larger Uralic language family. Today, there are seven Balto-Finnic speaking nations, two of which govern their own independent sovereignties (Finland and Estonia). The other five nations lie precariously within the territorial borders of Russia and Latvia for the most part. This paper examines the geographic expanse and status of these languages over time and through space and develops a series of maps to better illustrate these patterns. Historical research demonstrates that their distribution has decreased in area, but strengthened and centralized in certain regions, enabling their presence in a predominantly Indo-European Europe. Contact and conflict with neighboring languages have had reciprocating effects on one another over time, although the present individual linguistic conditions vary, naturally, from language to language.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Geography Commons

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