Vocabulary Kildin Saami

by Michael Rießler  

The vocabulary contains 1467 meaning-word pairs ("entries") corresponding to core LWT meanings from the recipient language Kildin Saami. The corresponding text chapter was published in the book Loanwords in the World's Languages. The language page Kildin Saami contains a list of all loanwords arranged by donor languoid.

Word form LWT code Meaning Core list Borrowed status Source words

Field descriptions


The meanings of the LWT list have been filled in with Kildin Saami equivalents in the first instance with the help of the three existing user’s dictionaries of contemporary Kildin: Kuruč, Afanas’jeva and Mečkina 1985, Kert 1986, and Sammallahti and Chvorostuchina 1991. Items missing in the dictionaries have been looked up in the descriptive Kola Saami dialect dictionary of T.I.Itkonen (1958). The preliminary list was later cross-checked with native speakers with whom I also elicited certain items which were still missing.

The word forms are given in a practical phonemic transcription also used by KSDP. This transcription is based on certain practical considerations and preliminary phonological analyses which are described in Rießler and Wilbur (2007).

Stress is normally not marked in this transcription since it generally falls on the first syllable of a Kildin Saami word. Only in the case of a few recent borrowings where these stress patterns are ignored is stress marked in my transcription.

Original script

The orthographic representation of examples follows the orthographic variant used by the Kola Saami Documentation Project (KSDP) and is practically the same as the one found the large Kildin-Russian dictionary of Kuruč, Afanas’jeva, and Mečkina 1985.

Grammatical info

In fields “Comments on Word Form” and “Grammatical Info”, I have tried to give relevant information in cases where the Kildin Saami word form deviates from the LWT meaning label in regard to word class and/or grammatical form. Other non-central fields in the database are filled in somewhat inconsistently.

Comment on word form

In fields “Comments on Word Form” and “Grammatical Info”, I have tried to give relevant information in cases where the Kildin Saami word form deviates from the LWT meaning label in regard to word class and/or grammatical form. Other non-central fields in the database are filled in somewhat inconsistently.


The criteria by which a certain word was classified as “analyzable derived” are known productive or historical derivations. Some productive derivational processes are described in Kert (1971, 1987, 1988). It has to be noted, however, that my proposed glossing is preliminary. The derivational morphology in Kildin Saami needs further investigation. A better understanding especially of the semantics of certain aspect markers can facilitate the decision whether a given derivation is lexicalized or productive.


T.I. Itkonen’s Kola Saami dictionary served as a valuable source for determining the age of certain words in Kildin Saami. The occurrence of cognate word forms in different Kola Saami dialects and even in Inari and North Saami makes it easy to determine the age of a word found in this dictionary. For several entries T.I.Itkonen also suggests a loan etymology.
In order to determine the age and possible loan etymologies of inherited Saami words, these have been looked up with help of a North Saami cognate form. The starting point for this was normally the etymological database Álgu (2002–2008), which lists known etymological relations between different Saami languages or between Saami and related or unrelated non-Saami languages as well as the respective sources proposing these etymologies.

1. approx. 2000
New vocabulary coined in Sammallahti and Chvorostuchina (1991) or by the consultantsof the present investigation.

2. approx. 1980
New vocabulary coined in teaching materials during the 1980s.

3. at least 1980
Borrowed Russian vocabulary not found in T.I. Itkonen’s (1958) dictionary.

4. at least 1950
Borrowed Russian vocabulary found in T.I. Itkonen’s (1958) dictionary but without ref¬erence to his pre-revolutionary sources.

5. at least 1940
Borrowed Russian vocabulary found in the Finnish Skolt Saami varieties,i.e. these words were borrowed before the resettlement of Skolt Saami in 1940 and are found in the mod¬ern Skolt Saami dictionaries of Mosnikoff and Sammallahti (1988) and Sammallahti and Mosnikoff (1991).

6. after 1917 Typical Soviet-Russian vocabulary.

7. at least 1900
Vocabulary found in T.I. Itkonen’s (1958) dictionary with reference to his pre-revolutionary sources.

8. PS
Proto-Saami vocabulary with cognate forms in at least two western Saami languages.Proto-Saami was probably spoken until the first centuries of our era in the central and northern parts of Fenno-Scandia.

9. pre-PS
Pre-Proto-Saami vocabulary with cognate forms in other branches of Uralic.

10. PU
Reconstructed Proto-Uralic vocabulary. Proto-Uralic was probably spoken about 4500 BC in the area of present north-eastern and eastern Europe.


Most Russian loanwords from the youngest strata are clearly identifiable on the basis of their low degree of phonological integration and their semantics. Consequently, these words are classified as “clearly borrowed”.
Most Russian loanwords of pre-revolutionary origin as well as Komi, Norwegian, and Kare¬lian words in Kildin are relatively easy to identify. If these words are mentioned as possible loanwords by other authors (as, for example, by T.I. Itkonen 1958) as well they have also been classified as “clearly borrowed”.
In most cases of chronologically more remote borrowings, reference is made to certain pieces of etymological work on Proto-Saami and beyond. Normally, these words are phonologically and semantically highly integrated in current Kildin Saami. Without deeper knowledge of the historical phonology of Saami and its contact languages these words are hardly detectable as borrowings and have in most cases been classified as “probably borrowed” in my vocabulary.

Loan history

Reconstructed source forms are provided according to the reference(s) mentioned in ɹeld W21. In several cases, the etymological dictionaries or other sources I use do refer to a loan etymology without giving the assumed source form. In such cases, the respective fields for the source word’s form (W14) and meaning (W17) are filled in with a question mark.


• Aikio, Ante. 2006. New and Old Samoyed Etymologies (Part II). Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen 59:9–34.

• Aikio, Ante. 2007. Etymological nativization of loanwords. A case study of Saami and Finnish. Saami linguistics, edited by I. Toivanen et al. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 17–52.

• Itkonen, Toivo Immanuel. 1943. Karjalaiset ja Kuolan-lappi. Kalevalaseuran vuosikirja 22:40–55.

• Itkonen, Toivo Immanuel. 1958. Koltan-ja kuolanlapin sanakirja = Wörterbuch des Kolta¬und Kolalappischen. Helsinki: Suomais-Ugrilainen Seura.

• Koivulehto, Jorma. 1983. Seit wann leben die Urfinnen im Ostseeraum? Zur relativen Chronolgie der alten idg. Lehnwortstrukturen im Ostseefinnischen. Symposium Saeculare Societas Fenno-Ugricae, edited by J. Janhunen et al. Helsinki: Suomais-Ugrilainen Seura. 135–137.

• Koivulehto, Jorma. 1988. Lapin ja itämerensuomen suhteesta. Ieur. -Tr-yhtymän korvautuminen lainossa. [The substitution of the IE cluster -Tr-in Fennic-Permic.] Virittäja 92:26–51.

• Koivulehto, Jorma. 2001. The earliest contacts between Indo-European and Uralic speakers in the light of lexical loans. Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European:Linguistic and Archaeological Considerations, edited by C. Carpelan et al. Helsinki: Suomais-Ugrilainen Seura. 235–263.

• Koivulehto, Jorma. 2003. Frühe Kontakte zwischen Uralisch und Indogermanisch im nordwestindogermanischen Raum. Languages in Prehistoric Europe, edited by A. Bammesberger et al. Heidelberg: Winter. 279–317.

• Korhonen, Mikko. 1981. Johdatus lapin kielen historiaan. [Introduction into the history of the Lappish language]. Helsinki: Suomais-Ugrilainen Seura.

• Lehtiranta, Juhani. 1989. Yhteissaamelainen sanasto. [Common Saami vocabulary.]
Helsinki: Suomais-Ugrilainen Seura.

• Qvigstad, Just Knud. 1893. Nordische Lehnwörter im Lappischen. Christiania: Dybwad.

• Sammallahti, Pekka. 1998. The Saami languages. An introduction. Kárášjohka: Davvi Girji.

• Sammallahti, Pekka. 1999. Saamen kielen ja saamelaisten alkuperästä. [On the origin of the Saami language and the Saami people.] Pohjan poluilla. Suomalaisten juuret nykytutkimuksen mukaan, edited by P. Fogelberg. Helsinki: Suomen Tiedeseura. 70–90.

• Sammallahti, Pekka. 2001. The Indo-European loanwords in Saami. Early contacts between Uralic and Indo-European. Linguistic and archaeological considerations, edited by C. Carpelan et al. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura. 397–415.
• Scheller, Elisabeth. 2004. Paren’ – ett samiskt lånord i ryskan? [Paren’ – a Saami loanword?] The Sami and the Scandinavians. Aspects of 2000 years of contact, edited by J. Kusmenko. Hamburg: Kovač. 173-182.

• SKES = Itkonen, E. et al. 1955–1981. Suomen kielen etymologinen sanakirja. 7 vols. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura.

• SSA = Itkonen, E. et al. 1992–2000. Suomen sanojen alkuperä. Etymologinen sanakirja. 3 vols. Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.

• Szabó, László. 1977. Scandinavian loanwords in Scolt-and Kola-Lappish. Études finno-ougriennes 20:41–49.

• Turkin, Adolf. 1994. O vzaimootnošenijach komi i saamskogo jazykov. [On the mutual relations between the Komi and Saami languages.] Linguistica Uralica 30(1):19–27.

Álgu. 2002–2008. Sámegielaid etymologalaš diehtovuođđu = Saamelaiskielten et-ymologinen tietokanta [Etymological database of the Saami languages]. URL http://kaino.kotus.fi/algu/.

Itkonen, Toivo Immanuel. 1958. Koltan-ja kuolanlapin sanakirja = Wörterbuch des Kolta-und Kolalappischen, volume 15 of Lexica Societatis Fenno-Ugricae. Helsinki: Suomalais-ugrilainen Seura.

Kert, Georgij Martynovič. 1971. Saamskij jazyk (kil’dinskij dialekt). Fonetika, morfologija, sintaksis[The Saami language (Kildin dialect). Phonetics, morphology, syntax]. Leningrad: Nauka.

Kert, Georgij Martynovič. 1986. Slovar’ saamsko-russkij i russko-saamskij [Saami-Russian and Russian-Saami dictionary]. Leningrad: Prosveščenie.

Kert, Georgij Martynovič. 1987. O glagol’nych slovoobrazovatel’nych suffiksach v kil’dinskomdialekte saamskogo jazyka [On verbal derivational suffixes in the Kildin dialect of Saami].Sovetskoe finno-ugrovedenie 23:92–100.

Kert, Georgij Martynovič. 1988. Slovoobrazovanie imen v saamskom jazyke [Verbal deriva¬tion in Saami]. In Pribaltijsko-finskoe jazykoznanie. Voprosy leksikologii i grammatiki, ed. Georgij Martynovič Kert, 84–91. Karelskij filial AN SSSR.

Kuruč, Rimma Dmitrievič, Nina Eliseevna Afanas’jeva, and Ekatarina Ivanovna Mečkina. 1985.Saamsko-russkij slovar’ = Sām’-rūšš soagknehk’ [Saami-Russian dictionary]. Moskva: Russkij jazyk.

Mosnikoff, Jouni, and Pekka Sammallahti. 1988. U´cc sääm-lää´dd sää´nnǩeârjaž = Pienikoltansaame-suomi sanakirja [Small Saami-Finnish dictionary]. [Ohcejohka]: Jorgaleaddji.

Rießler, Michael, and Joshua Wilbur. 2007. Documenting the endangered Kola Saami lan¬guages. In Språk og språkforhold i Sápmi, ed. Tove Bull, Jurij Kusmenko, and Michael Rießler, volume 11 of Berliner Beiträge zur Skandinavistik, 39–82. Humboldt-Universität.

Sammallahti, Pekka, and Anastasija Chvorostuchina. 1991. Unna sámi-sām’ saam’-sámi sátne¬girjjáš = Udc’ sámi-sām’ saam’-sámi soagknegka [Small Saami-Saami dictionary]. Ohcejohka:Girjegiisá.

Sammallahti, Pekka, and Jouni Mosnikoʃ. 1991. Suomi-koltansaame sanakirja = Lää´dd-sää´m sää´nnǩe´rjj [Finnish-Saami dictionary]. Ohcejohka: Girjegiisá.


Glosses are given according to the Leipzig Glossing Rules; category abbreviations missing there are as follows:

ABESS abessive case
ATTR attributive
DIM diminutive
COLL collective (numerals and quantiɹers)
COMPA comparative
MED medium
GERUND gerund
NUM numeral (11–19)
MOM momentary
ORD ordinal numeral
SUB Subitive
SUP Superlative