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Affanian is an althistorical Finnic language spoken on Åland.

Affanian belonging in the Southern Finnic areal, showing some particularly close resemblance with Insular Estonian (InsE), but also with Southwestern Finnish (SWF).


The basic vowel qualities are a e i o u y ä ö (as in Finnish).

The most distinctive Southern Finnic feature of Affanian: Proto-Finnic *ë does not merge with *e, and even *o partly > *ë. However, later on *ë > ö, as also in InsE.

Long vowels

  • *ee *oo *öö > ie uo yö (not as far diphtongized as iä ua ia yä in SWF). Open aa ää and close ii uu yy remain; *ëë gives öö (compare InsE *öö *ëë > [øː œː]).

Unstressed vowels

  • Vowel harmony is either retained or re-established. ö < *ë now triggers front harmony, e.g. *louna 'south' > löyn : löynä; *pëlto 'field' > pölt : pölly.
  • Trimoraic apocope, same as in both Est. and SWF.
  • Unstressed *ü is retained.


Southern and Central Finnicisms

  • *Vns > VVs: aas 'trap', kyys 'nail', lääs 'west'.
  • *Uh and *hv merge. The result is characteristically ff (as seen even in the name of the language): *kahva > kaff 'handle', *keyhä > köff 'poor'. (Compare SWF sporadic kaff(a), ahven(a) > affen(a) 'perch'.)

Consonant gradation

  • *b > v and *mb *ld *nd > mm ll nn, as almost everywhere in Finnic.
  • *d > /ð/ is retained.
  • *g > *ɣ is lost, without vocalization: *härkä : *härgän 'bull' > Aff. härk : härä, similar to Est härg : hära, but SWF härk : härjän; *halko : *halgon 'firewood' > Aff. halk : halu, similar to Est. halg : halu, but SWF halk : halvon.
  • *ŋg seemingly remains as /ŋg/, but judging by certain Swedish loanwords outside of consonant gradation, this is a late reversion from *ŋŋ.
  • As in Finnish, the weak geminates *pˑ *tˑ *kˑ merge with the strong singletons /p t k/.

Final consonants

  • *-k *-h *-n *-t are lost, the last notably even in the nominative plural. (What happens to 1PS / 2PS?)