( suomi (help·info)
, or suomen kieli
) is a Finnic language
spoken by the majority of the population in Finland
and by ethnic Finns
outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages
of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden
. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli
, a Finnish dialect, are spoken. The Kven language
, a dialect of Finnish, is spoken in Northern Norway by a minority group of Finnish descent.
Finnish is a member of the Finnic language family and is typologically between fusional and agglutinative languages. It modifies and inflects nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs, depending on their roles in the sentence.
Finnish is a member of the Finnic group of the Uralic family of languages. The Finnic group also includes Estonian and a few minority languages spoken around the Baltic Sea.
Finnish demonstrates an affiliation with other Uralic languages (such as Hungarian/Magyar) in several respects including:
Several theories exist as to the geographic origin of Finnish and the other Uralic languages. The most widely held view is that they originated as a Proto-Uralic language somewhere in the boreal forest belt around the Ural Mountains region and/or the bend of the middle Volga. The strong case for Proto-Uralic is supported by common vocabulary with regularities in sound correspondences, as well as by the fact that the Uralic languages have many similarities in structure and grammar.
The Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, United States classifies Finnish as a level III language (of 4 levels) in terms of learning difficulty for native English speakers.
This page was last edited on 14 March 2018, at 04:39.
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