About the estimates of divergence times of Uralic languages

Terhi Honkola terhi.honkola at utu.fi
Tue Sep 28 11:01:07 UTC 2010

Hello everyone,

I´m a PhD student in a research group called BEDLAN (Biological Evolution and the Diversification of Languages) where we analyse linguistic data with biological methods. For further information see  http://kielievoluutio.uta.fi.

The reason why I approach to you, the members of URA-LIST, now is that I have done lately timing analyses to the Uralic languages. An essential part in those analyses is the correct estimation of the calibration points. I  have already gone through different sources (i.e. Sinor 1988, Abondolo 1998, Kallio 2006) where divergence times of languages have earlier been estimated and by now I have used the following calibration points:
*Early Proto-Finnic: 2500 YBP (years before present) ± 500 years
*Obugric 1700 YBP ± 200 years
*Permic 1300 YBP ± 100 years

Do you think that these calibration points with these error scales are appropriate or would you suggest us to use some other calibration points?

I ask this as I believe research is done around this topic all the time and now I would like to hear your newest results about the divergence times of Uralic languages to see if, for example, the error scales of the timings could be narrowed. I was also hoping you could give me names of articles which I could read around this topic.

I would appreciate your answers very much.

With kind regards,

Terhi Honkola


Terhi Honkola
PhD student
Section of Ecology, Department of Biology
University of Turku

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