Etudes Finno-Ougriennes 35

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at
Tue Mar 2 13:18:44 UTC 2004

>From ADÉFO <adefo at>

We are pleased to inform you of the release of the latest issue of "Etudes
Finno-Ougriennes". You will find below the table of contents of the volume
(in French), as well as abstracts (mostly in English).

"Etudes Finno-Ougriennes" is published yearly in Paris by the ADEFO
(Association pour le Développement des Etudes Finno-Ougriennes),
e-mail: adefo at   Internet:

Order from:
5-7 rue de l'Ecole-Polytechnique,
F-75005 Paris, FRANCE

Price: 28 euros


Tome 35 - Année 2003 - 265 p. - 28 euros
ISSN 0071-2051   ISBN 2-7475-5525-9

- Laur VALLIKIVI, Naître à une vie nouvelle : la conversion au christianisme
des éleveurs de rennes nenets
- Ildikó LEHTINEN, Les villages khantys ont-ils un avenir ?
- Eva TOULOUZE, Y a-t-il eu une écriture oudmourte dans des temps reculés ?
- Katrina KALDA, Le plurivoque et le discontinu dans les nouvelles d'Arvo
- Michel B. FINCOEUR, Jacques Baruch, alias Sulev J. Kaja, la Finlande et
- Outi DUVALLON, L'ordre sujet-complément-verbe dans les textes oraux en
- Bernard LE CALLOC'H, Aladár Bán et les Finno-Ougriens
- Jean GERGELY, Réflexions sur la mentalité hongroise

- Quelques thèses de doctorat soutenues en 2002 et concernant le domaine
finno-ougrien (Jean Perrot)

- Quelques nouvelles éditions sur le folklore nenets (Eva Toulouze)
- Tapio HOKKANEN, Slips of the Tongue : Errors, Repairs, and a Model (Outi


Laur Vallikivi: Being born to a new life:
the conversion of Nenets reindeer herders to Christianity

The Yamb-to Nenets are reindeer herders living in the extreme northeast of
European Russia who have managed to escape the changes and traumatisms
connected with the Soviet era. In the last decade, some of them have
undergone conversion to Baptism. This process has induced significant
changes in the worldview of such people. This article reviews and analyzes
some of these changes : for instance, the penetration of Russian language
and written culture, now dominating traditional values, these last being
seen, more and more, as part of some "old" world, connected with paganism
and drinking. The article also takes into account the peculiar position the
anthropologist may come to occupy, as he dives deeper into such phenomena.
The analysis of "conversion narratives" reveals the world view of Baptist
neophytes: they all show their "former" lives as lives of Sin, which at some
point led to a "crisis" ­ crises due to alcohol, more often than not. Such
narratives, we see, are collectively reconstructed and inserted into the
community's new ideological framework, thus contributing to establish a new
identity, wider than ethnic identity.

Ildikó Lehtinen: Les villages khantys ont-ils un avenir?

Les Khantys vivent en Sibérie occidentale, au bord de l'Ob et de ses
affluents. À la suite de l'industrialisation pétrolière, la région est en
mutation rapide. Comment le mode de vie des Khantys survit-il dans un monde
en voie de globalisation ? L'article se propose d'analyser les modèles de
survie, sur la base de travaux de terrain réalisés par l'auteur dans le
village de Kyshyk, où la population continue de fonder son existence sur les
ressources de la nature : la chasse, la pêche et l'élevage des rennes à
petite échelle. L'existence, en 2001, de vingt gisements de gaz et de
pétrole dans la région laisse mal présager de l'avenir. La survie au
quotidien en tant que Khanty est un processus qui a produit des modèles

Eva Toulouze: Did the Udmurts possess an ancient writing system?

This article discusses the question of the existence of a writing system
specific to the Udmurts before Russian colonisation, as it was risen by the
Udmurt themselves in the 1920-ies. Here are developed several arguments in
favour of such a hypothesis : for signs of a Udmurt writing system seem to
appear both in archeological findings and in folklore. It has been proved
that Udmurts, like most Eurasian peoples, up to some centuries ago used
various graphic signs in order to convey limited messages. Moreover,
researchers at the end of the 19th century have collected several legends
about the disappearance of an ancient book in which the Udmurts would have
written their laws and rituals. These elements, however, do not provide
enough convincing evidence of the actual existence of Udmurt literacy before
Russian missionaries introduced it. Still, on an ideological plane, such an
issue remains important, since it was a factor in asserting Udmurt national
identity at a most decisive period of that people's history.

Katrina Kalda: Plurivocity and discontinuity in Arvo Valton's short stories

The Estonian writer Arvo Valton (b. 1935) is neither the first nor the only
writer whose work is strongly marked by the absurd ­ his use of absurdity,
however, stands in a class of its own. Valton makes the absurd become a
strong motive for satisfaction, at the same time denouncing the unjustified
value of life and the madness of inhuman political systems. Nothing, indeed,
could seem more positive than the playful disorder Valton brings into an
implacable, constraining social order : the absurd then starts to mimic the
fight of freedom against the tyranny of meaning. And what could be more true
to life than Valton's principle of discontinuity, always denying that things
and beings could be made uniform? What could be more friendly than the
intrusion of the author, breaking into the reader's solitude, and freeing
him from the spell brought upon him by the narrative? And finally ­ what
greater consolation might there be than this fictional denial of even the
most sombre forecasts, while the narrative itself had let readers expect
quite another outcome?

Michel B. Fincoeur: Jacques Baruch, alias Sulev J. Kaja, Finland and Estonia

Jacques Baruch (1919-2002), a Belgian journalist and writer, spared no
efforts, at the end of the 30s and in the 40s, to make the Belgian public
become familiar with his two adoptive countries, Finland and Estonia, and
with their national literatures. Having taken on, in 1939, the pseudonym of
'Sulev Kaja', he travelled through Estonia just before the Soviet invasion,
and started learning Estonian. In occupied Belgium, he embarked on an
ambitious strategy for promoting Finnish and Estonian writers. He wrote
numerous articles, published a newsletter, gave lectures, and adapted
literary works into French ­ among which a novel by the Estonian writer
August Gailit, Toomas Nipernaadi. Working clandestinely in the publishing
world of the post-war era, he provided the inspiration for one of Hergé's
(the Belgian comics writer's) characters ­ the Estonian fighter pilot, Piotr

Outi Duvallon: The subject-complement-verb word order in spoken Finnish

This article chooses to study the use, in spoken Finnish, of a marked word
order : 'Subject ­ Complement ­ Verb Form' (SXV), from the perspective of
the construction of verbal utterances. Such a syntactic approach aims to
bring out regularities in the use of the sequence, in longer sentences and
contexts. Two kinds of contexts are examined here : on the one hand,
contexts where the sequence is inserted due to the choice of lexical items ;
on the other hand, contexts where its insertion indicates anticipated
concession. The properties of such insertions enable linguists to formulate
a hypothesis, as concerns textual value of this 'Subject ­ Complement ­ Verb
Form' order. Such order seems to mark a break in syntactic and utterance
construction, and to be used in dependent position, in terms of
text-architecture. 'Subject ­ Complement ­ Verb Form' sequences are
double-linked to context : they refer to preceding text, and at the same
time, give clues to what is to follow. We suggest this be seen as a
syntactic process which speakers may use to manage "projection" of
structurally complex emerging units.

Bernard Le Calloc'h: Aladár Bán and Finno-Ugrians

Hungarian folklorist Aladár Bán (1871-1960) was, his whole life long, an
untiring propagandist of close cultural relations between Finland, Estonia,
and his own country ­ Hungary. As director of the Finnish and Estonian
Institute of Budapest, he greatly contributed ­ through his books, articles,
translations, poems and lectures ­ to a better mutual knowledge between the
three Finno-Ugrian peoples of Europe, from the very beginning of the XXth
century. He took special interest in Estonian literature, translating
several works by Eduard Vilde, A. H. Tammsaare and Mait Metsanurk, and
becoming famous in 1929 with the publication of his Hungarian translation of
the Estonian national epic, "Kalevipoeg". Regrettably, however, this book ­
for political reasons ­ was only re-published one year before Bán's death.
Aladár Bán also put up several Finno-Ugrian congresses or international
meetings ­ in which he always took an active part ­ thus laying the
foundations of a cultural cooperation between the three Finno-Ugrian nations
of Europe. Not only was he a writer, a poet, a folklorist and a translator ­
he was also one of the most influent members of several literary and learned
societies, and first of all, of the "Turanian Society".

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johanna Laakso
Institut für Finno-Ugristik der Universität Wien
Universitätscampus AAKH, Spitalg. 2-4 Hof 7, A-1090 Wien
Tel. +43 1 4277 43009 | Fax +43 1 4277 9430
johanna.laakso at |

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