Peräpohjola dialects

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The area marked by number 5 shows the area of Peräpohjola dialects

Peräpohjola dialects are forms of Finnish language spoken in Lapland in Finland, Sweden and Norway. The dialect group belongs to the Western Finnish dialects and it is divided to five more specific dialect groups.[1]


Like the Northern Ostrobothnian (Oulu) dialects, Peräpohjola dialects are Western dialects that show features from Eastern dialects. For instance the reflex to standard -ts- in metsä is mettä according to a Western pattern, whereas the reflex of standard -d- is deletion, 'j', or 'v', as in Eastern dialects, e.g. vedän - vejän. Epenthetic vowels (tyhjä - tyhyjä) are not common although found in southern Tornio dialects. There are no vowel or diphthong changes, a Western/standard feature, but there is a general gemination of consonants in short initial syllables (e.g. standard makaa is makkaa), as in Oulu and Eastern dialects. Palatalization is absent, which is a very Western feature, since palatalization occurs even in the (Western) Oulu dialect.

A unique feature is that unstressed syllables in e.g. the illative case are preceded with an emphatic 'h', e.g. talhon vs. standard taloon, menhään vs. standard mennään. This is highly distinctive but very difficult for outsiders to imitate correctly. The pronouns are also distinct: mie (me, "we") and sie (sinä, "you"(sg.)) are Eastern-like, while met and meän (me and meidän, "we" and "ours") and tet and teän (te and teidän, you (pl.) and yours(pl.)) are unique to Peräpohjola. Also, the reflex to the standard third-person verb suffix -vat ("they") is a simple -t, e.g. annoit vs antoivat.[2]


Tornio dialects[edit]

Tornio dialects are spoken in the area surrounding Torne River in Finnish Peräpohjola (North Bothnia) and in Swedish side of the river (Norrbotten). In Finland Tornio dialects are spoken in the municipalities of Enontekiö, Kolari, Muonio, Pello and Ylitornio. In Sweden the dialect is spoken in Alatornio, Hietaniemi, Jukkasjärvi, Junosuvanto, Kaaresuvanto, Kainulasjärvi, Karunki, Korpilompolo, Pajalo, Täräntö, Vittanki and Ylitornio.[1]

In Sweden the Tornio dialects together with Jällivaara dialects are also called meänkieli. It has an official minority language status.[3] It has many Swedish loanwords, and partly a different spelling compared to Finnish, because of a different standardization organisation.

Kemi dialects[edit]

Kemi dialects are spoken in Finland in the municipalities of Inari, Kemi, Kittilä, Rovaniemi, Simo, Sodankylä, Tervola and Utsjoki.[1]

Kemijärvi dialects[edit]

Kemijärvi dialects are spoken in Kemijärvi, Pelkosenniemi, Salla and Savukoski.[1]

Jällivaara dialects[edit]

Jällivaara dialects are spoken in Sweden in Jällivaara, Killivaara and Nattavaara.[1][4] The first people living in Jällivaara area were Sami people. The first mention of Birkarls trading with Sami people is from 1328. Some Birkarls settled to live there in the early ages, but mainly the Finnish settlers came to the area in the end of 17th and in early 18th century. The Swedish colony started about one hundred years after that. Finnish language has been a common language spoken at home in the area but the dialects differ quite much from those spoke in the Finnish side of the border.[4]

Together with Tornio dialects Jällivaara dialects are also called meänkieli in Sweden. Meänkieli has an official minority language status in Sweden[3]

Ruija dialects[edit]

Ruija dialects are spoken in Northern Norwey in Alta, Lyngen, Lakselv, Kvaenangen, Nordreisa and Vadsø.[1] This dialect is called Kven language in Norway for political and historical reasons.[5]


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