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Quiz about From Budapest to Volochanka
Quiz about From Budapest to Volochanka

From Budapest to Volochanka Trivia Quiz


This is a quiz about the Uralic language family. Many of these languages are unfamiliar to anyone but specialists in linguistics, so the quiz may be tough! We wrap up with several questions about Uralic in general.

A multiple-choice quiz by Sapir. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
Sapir
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
357,904
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
12 / 20
Plays
361
Last 3 plays: PurpleComet (17/20), DeepHistory (9/20), Guest 37 (18/20).
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Question 1 of 20
1. Hungarian is the largest Uralic language in number of speakers, and these speakers comprise nine major dialect continua. Eight of these dialects are relatively mutually-intelligible--that is, speakers of those eight dialects can understand each other with relative ease. The ninth dialect, however, is greatly divergent (different) from the others. What is the name of this dialect? Hint


Question 2 of 20
2. Which of the Saami languages has the greatest number of speakers? Hint


Question 3 of 20
3. Although the Saami languages are not a monolithic entity with variance only in pronunciation and lexicon, they share most of the same basic characteristics. They are closely related to Finnish, but have some major differences with standard Finnish. Which of these is a characteristic found in (most of) the Saami languages, but not in Finnish? Hint


Question 4 of 20
4. Which of the following is NOT a dialect continuum of Finnish? Hint


Question 5 of 20
5. Estonian is also closely related to Finnish, and it, too, has a "breakaway" dialect--one that has become a separate language of its own. What is the name of this language, which has vowel harmony that standard Estonian lacks? Hint


Question 6 of 20
6. A number of "small" Finnic languages are spoken in Russia, near Russia's borders with Finland and the Baltic states. Which of these is NOT one of them? Hint


Question 7 of 20
7. Moving ever eastward, we come to a group of languages traditionally referred to as the "Finno-Volgaic" branch of Uralic. This branch has a handful of less-known languages in it. One of them, formerly known as Cheremis, has two primary dialects: Hill and Meadow. What is the name of this language? Hint


Question 8 of 20
8. The other branch of Finno-Volgaic is occupied by a pair of languages once considered dialects of a single language; they are now thought to be closely-related (but not mutually-intelligible) languages. Erzya and Moksha are the two languages, but under what name were they previously lumped together? Hint


Question 9 of 20
9. Zyrian and Permyak are the two major dialect continua of which Uralic language, whose speakers are centered around the cities of Syktyvkar and Kudymkar? Hint


Question 10 of 20
10. The other major branch of the Permic group was a language once known as Votyak. What is the modern name for this language? Hint


Question 11 of 20
11. The Khanty and Mansi languages are Hungarian's closest relatives.


Question 12 of 20
12. The Vakh dialect is divergent enough to be considered a separate language, but of which language is it still often considered a divergent dialect? Hint


Question 13 of 20
13. Which is the largest of the Samoyedic languages (both in terms of number of speakers and geographic area), with dialects divided into the highly-divergent Tundra and Forest varieties, and is the language from which the English word "parka" is ultimately derived? Hint


Question 14 of 20
14. The Sayan Mountain region has often been thought to be the birthplace of the Samoyedic peoples, who moved north and mingled with the early Uralic peoples. Those Samoyedic peoples who moved back into the region spoke now-extinct languages such as Kamass and Mator (the last-known speaker of Kamass died in 1989). Most of the Sayan Samoyedic people were assimilated by tribes from other groups, and most of these tribes spoke languages from one specific family. Which language family did most of the Sayan Samoyeds "convert" to? Hint


Question 15 of 20
15. And, finally, to Volochanka, which is a tiny community on Russia's Taimyr Peninsula. Volochanka is where you may have the best chance of hearing which Uralic language spoken? (It's the most-eastern of all of the extant Uralic languages.) Hint


Question 16 of 20
16. The remaining questions deal with overall characteristics of the Uralic languages.

Where is the Urheimat (original homeland) of the Uralic peoples believed to have been located?
Hint


Question 17 of 20
17. Most of the Uralic languages are considered "vowel harmony" languages. What does vowel harmony entail? Hint


Question 18 of 20
18. The Uralic languages are predominantly of what type of language? Hint


Question 19 of 20
19. Basic word order in Uralic languages is either subject-verb-object or which other type? Hint


Question 20 of 20
20. In 2002, a group of "rogue" Uralicists came out with a book that made a surprising claim about Uralic. What was this claim? Hint



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May 22 2024 : PurpleComet: 17/20
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Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Hungarian is the largest Uralic language in number of speakers, and these speakers comprise nine major dialect continua. Eight of these dialects are relatively mutually-intelligible--that is, speakers of those eight dialects can understand each other with relative ease. The ninth dialect, however, is greatly divergent (different) from the others. What is the name of this dialect?

Answer: Csángo

Csángo is a Hungarian dialect spoken largely in Romania (Abondolo, 1998). Due to its geographic isolation, it contains many archaic characteristics not preserved in the other dialects. Unfortunately, the Csángo dialect also carries with it many negative attitudes from other ethnic groups (as well as from the local Church), so that the Csángo people are often ashamed to use their own language.
2. Which of the Saami languages has the greatest number of speakers?

Answer: North Saami

North Saami is not only the largest in number of speakers, it's also the largest in geographic coverage; the North Saami dialect continuum covers parts of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. While the Saami languages contain numerous strata of loanwords, borrowings from Finnish make up the largest percentage of loanwords in North Saami.

Many of these Finnish words were borrowed into North Saami via Germanic languages--an oddly-circuitous route!
3. Although the Saami languages are not a monolithic entity with variance only in pronunciation and lexicon, they share most of the same basic characteristics. They are closely related to Finnish, but have some major differences with standard Finnish. Which of these is a characteristic found in (most of) the Saami languages, but not in Finnish?

Answer: Voiced stops in native words

Although Finnish does allow for at least one voiced obstruent--/v/--this is the only one common in native Finnish vocabulary. Voiced stops (b, d, g) occur almost exclusively in words borrowed into Finnish. The Saami languages, however, have voiced stops as a common feature in their native lexicons.

The essive case (which is used to mark a temporary state of existence, a transformation, or a temporary location) is not found in every Saami language, but is present in the majority of them. According to Pekka Sammallahti, the essive case ending (/-n/) in Saami languages was derived from the Uralic locative case marker *-na/nä. (The Uralic locative forms are also the same as the modern Finnish essive forms.)
4. Which of the following is NOT a dialect continuum of Finnish?

Answer: Valdres

Valdres is actually a dialect of Norwegian, and is spoken in the south-central part of the country.

A couple of Finnish dialects--Kven and Meänkieli--are sometimes considered separate languages from Finnish.
5. Estonian is also closely related to Finnish, and it, too, has a "breakaway" dialect--one that has become a separate language of its own. What is the name of this language, which has vowel harmony that standard Estonian lacks?

Answer: Vőro

Vőro is a descendent of the southern dialect of Estonian; it has a separate literary standard from standard Estonian. In addition to having vowel harmony, Vőro has a negative particle attached to the verb stem (rather than a negative verb, as in Estonian) and a glottal stop (not found in standard Estonian) that serves (among other things) as a nominative plural marker.
6. A number of "small" Finnic languages are spoken in Russia, near Russia's borders with Finland and the Baltic states. Which of these is NOT one of them?

Answer: Selkup

Although a Uralic language, Selkup is a member of the Samoyedic branch of the family. It's spoken farther into the Russian interior, between the Ob' and Yenisei Rivers.

Veps, Ingrian, and Karelian can be found in an arc around Finland's eastern border, through the "Three Lakes" region of Russia, and down to the Russian/Estonian border. Other Finnic languages in this region include Votic, Ludian, and Livonian; the latter, once spoken in the historic Kingdom of Livonia, may already be extinct.
7. Moving ever eastward, we come to a group of languages traditionally referred to as the "Finno-Volgaic" branch of Uralic. This branch has a handful of less-known languages in it. One of them, formerly known as Cheremis, has two primary dialects: Hill and Meadow. What is the name of this language?

Answer: Mari

As with so many Uralic languages, Hill and Meadow Mari are thought by some linguists to be separate languages. Some 94% of the 480,000 Mari speakers speak Meadow Mari; both dialect continua are spoken primarily in the Russian Republic of Mari-El.

Mari has been heavily influenced by the Turkic language Chuvash, spoken nearby in the Chuvash Republic. The two races are bound together in a Russian saying--"sobirat' kokury"--which means "to cheat the Mari and Chuvash; i.e. to swindle money out of" (Dal' 1881).
8. The other branch of Finno-Volgaic is occupied by a pair of languages once considered dialects of a single language; they are now thought to be closely-related (but not mutually-intelligible) languages. Erzya and Moksha are the two languages, but under what name were they previously lumped together?

Answer: Mordvin

The Mordvin languages are spoken largely in the Republic of Mordovia, in the middle Volga region. Their lack of mutual intelligibility can be observed in even simple words such as the Mordvin terms for "no"-- aras' (Erzya), ash (Moksha). (See Katzner, 1995.) Erzya has about 750,000 speakers, Moksha about 400,000.
9. Zyrian and Permyak are the two major dialect continua of which Uralic language, whose speakers are centered around the cities of Syktyvkar and Kudymkar?

Answer: Komi

Komi is one of the two Permic languages; these are on a branch separate from Finno-Volgaic in the Finno-Permic branch of Uralic. (Complicated, yes!) Syktyvkar is the capitol of the Komi Republic; Kudymkar was once the administrative center of the Komi-Permyak Autonomous Okrug (an okrug is a region or district, somewhat analogous to a US state).

The Old Permic script, dated to the 14th Century, was one of the first writing systems used for a Uralic language.
10. The other major branch of the Permic group was a language once known as Votyak. What is the modern name for this language?

Answer: Udmurt

Udmurt is an official language of the Republic of Udmurtia, where it shares official status with Russian; about 600,000 people speak Udmurt as a first language. Although it uses the Cyrillic alphabet, written Udmurt has four characters not found in any other Cyrillic-based writing system.

The Udmurts are well-known for having an inordinately-high proportion of red hair among their population.
11. The Khanty and Mansi languages are Hungarian's closest relatives.

Answer: True

These two languages, spoken by no more than 15,000 people total, make up the Ob'-Ugric branch of Uralic (Hungarian is the Ugric branch). Khanty, previously known as Ostyak, may itself be a family of closely-related but only moderately mutually-intelligible languages; Mansi (formerly Vogul) once had four highly-divergent dialect continua, but only two of these still survive.
12. The Vakh dialect is divergent enough to be considered a separate language, but of which language is it still often considered a divergent dialect?

Answer: Khanty

Vakh, spoken along the river of the same name, has a number of features not found in either standard Khanty or Mansi; among others, it has a series of front rounded vowels, and it has an ergative-accusative case system (which is very rare among the world's languages).
13. Which is the largest of the Samoyedic languages (both in terms of number of speakers and geographic area), with dialects divided into the highly-divergent Tundra and Forest varieties, and is the language from which the English word "parka" is ultimately derived?

Answer: Nenets

The Nenets are one of the four primary reindeer-herding peoples (along with the Saami, the Evenki, and the Chukchi-Koryak); some Nenets herds may contain up to 10,000 reindeer, and the styles of many other reindeer-herding cultures show a marked Nenets influence.
14. The Sayan Mountain region has often been thought to be the birthplace of the Samoyedic peoples, who moved north and mingled with the early Uralic peoples. Those Samoyedic peoples who moved back into the region spoke now-extinct languages such as Kamass and Mator (the last-known speaker of Kamass died in 1989). Most of the Sayan Samoyedic people were assimilated by tribes from other groups, and most of these tribes spoke languages from one specific family. Which language family did most of the Sayan Samoyeds "convert" to?

Answer: Turkic

The Sayan region is one of the most linguistically complicated in the world--while the peoples and languages there have Turkic, Mongolic, and Yeniseic elements, along with Samoyedic, they are primarily considered to be Turkic. This Turkicization process appears to have been completed shortly after the 8th Century.

The current Sayan peoples include the Khakas, Chulym, Altai, Karagass, Shor, Tuvans, Todzha, and Tofalar. For more information on the linguistic picture in the Sayan region, take a look at the works of Gregory D.S. Anderson and K. David Harrison, who have untangled much of what we know about the Sayan language mesh.
15. And, finally, to Volochanka, which is a tiny community on Russia's Taimyr Peninsula. Volochanka is where you may have the best chance of hearing which Uralic language spoken? (It's the most-eastern of all of the extant Uralic languages.)

Answer: Nganasan

The Nganasan are one of the most-northerly peoples in the world, and are thought to have been a Paleo-Siberian people who were assimilated by the Samoyedic people who migrated into the Taimyr region. This might explain why the Nganasan language is so divergent from the other Samoyedic languages. They have also been highly influenced by the Evenki (Tungusic) and Dolgan (Turkic) peoples, in addition to the Russians.

Nganasan has two major dialect continua, Avam (Western) and Khatanga (Eastern). Despite the wide area over which these are spoken, most of the dialectal differences are considered minor, and mutual intelligibility is high.

Fewer than 500 people are native speakers of Nganasan.
16. The remaining questions deal with overall characteristics of the Uralic languages. Where is the Urheimat (original homeland) of the Uralic peoples believed to have been located?

Answer: In the Ural Mountains region

The Uralic family gets its name from its location in and around the Urals, and evidence points to this region as having been the ancestral Uralic homeland, as well.

It's believed that the original Indo-Europeans migrated from the Black Sea region.

The Central Asian steppes were the original home of the Turkic and Mongolic peoples; "In the Steppes of Central Asia" is, of course, an orchestral piece by Alexander Borodin.
17. Most of the Uralic languages are considered "vowel harmony" languages. What does vowel harmony entail?

Answer: Vowels in a word must all be of the same type

While there are several different types of vowel harmony, most of them require that all vowels in a word be of a certain specific type. In Uralic, the common type of vowel harmony is that all vowels in a word must be either "front" or "back" vowels to match the vowel in the first syllable (in non-compound words).

In American English, the primary front vowels are /i/ (as in the vowel sound of "reed"), /e/ (as in "hey"), /ae/ (the vowel in "hat"), and the vowel in "bed" (written like a Greek epsilon). Back vowels are /u/ (as in "food"), /o/ (as in "bode"), the vowel in "caught" (which needs a symbol like a backwards "c"), and /a/ (as in "nod"). If English had front/back vowel harmony, a word would only contain front vowels or back vowels, but never a mix of the two--words like "echo" wouldn't exist in their current form.

Another common form of vowel harmony is that all vowels in a word must be rounded or unrounded.
18. The Uralic languages are predominantly of what type of language?

Answer: Agglutinating

Agglutinating languages are those that attach (sometimes many) affixes to a word root, while leaving the morpheme boundaries readily apparent. Something like this, from Siberian Yupik, is an extreme example: mangteghaghrugllangllaghyunghitunga (broken down as: mangteghaq-ghruglla-ngallagh-yug-nghita-nga, "house-huge-to make N-to want-to not V-1st-singular"), "I did not want to make a huge house." (From Jacobson, 2001.)

Inflecting languages also add morphemic affixes to words, but do so in ways that are less apparent; affixes may have multiple specific "meanings," and changing an affix might change several features of a word. Wikipedia provides an example from Latin: bonus ("good"), in which the -us ending marks masculine gender, nominative case, and singular number. If we were to change gender, case, and/or number, we would have to have an entirely different ending, because -us marks all three simultaneously.

Isolating and analytic languages, such as Chinese, use separate words to carry grammatical and TAM markings, so that possession (for example) is indicated by a word, rather than (as in English -'s) a morpheme.

Languages rarely fit into one of these types 100%--exceptions are always to be found!
19. Basic word order in Uralic languages is either subject-verb-object or which other type?

Answer: Subject-object-verb

Word order in the Uralic languages is an interesting subject (no pun intended)--those languages to the west of the Urals are generally SVO, while those east of the Urals are generally SOV. This is often explained in one of two ways: that Proto-Uralic was SOV and the western languages changed under the influence of Indo-European; or that Proto-Uralic was SVO and the eastern languages changed under the influence of Turkic. This question is still undecided.

VSO order is third-most common of the orders; the Celtic and Salishan languages are mainly VSO type.

A number of Mayan and Austronesian languages are classified as VOS.

OSV order is the rarest of the six types; Nadëb, spoken in Brazil, is one such language.
20. In 2002, a group of "rogue" Uralicists came out with a book that made a surprising claim about Uralic. What was this claim?

Answer: That Uralic isn't a real language family

The basic claim in "The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths, and Statistics" is that Hungarian is actually a Turkic language, and that (therefore) the unity of the entire family is based on 19th-Century work that has not sufficiently been critically examined. By accepting this older research at face value (so the rogue faction claims), modern Uralicists have therefore built all of their research on a weak or non-existent foundation without questioning.

These claims are viewed with a great deal of skepticism by most mainstream Uralicists, and much back-and-forth arguing has ensued, both in print and on the Internet. Evidence seems to be considerably in the favor of mainstream Uralic linguistics.
Source: Author Sapir

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor LadyCaitriona before going online.
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