Eemil Nestor Setälä

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Setälä, Eemil Nestor


Born Feb. 27, 1864, in Kokernäki; died Feb. 8, 1935, in Helsinki. Finnish linguist.

Setälä spent the years from 1888 to 1890 among the Livs, Votes, and Veps in order to study these peoples and their languages. He was the founder of Finno-Ugric comparative historical linguistics and the first to use the analogy method in Finno-Ugric studies. He created an original theory of consonant gradation and developed a transcription system for the Finno-Ugric languages. He also studied the folklore, history, and ethnology of the Finno-Ugric peoples.

Setälä was chairman and president of many scholarly societies and served as president of the Finnish Academy of Sciences in 1913 and 1914. He was a professor at the University of Helsinki from 1893 to 1929 and chancellor of the University of Turku from 1926 to 1935. He and K. Krun began publishing the journal Finnisch-ugrische Forschungen in 1901. He was a deputy to the parliament from 1907 to 1910 and from 1917 to 1927, minister of education in 1925, and minister of foreign affairs in 1925 and 1926.


Zur Geschichte der Tempus- und Modusstammbildung in den finnischugrischen Sprachen. Helsinki, 1887.
Yhteissuomalainen äännehistoria, fascs. 1–2. Helsinki, 1890–91.
Über Quantitätswechsel im Finnisch-Ugrischen. Helsinki, 1896.
Zur Frage nach der Verwandtschaft der finnisch-ugrischen und samojedischen Sprachen. Helsinki, 1915.
Näytteilä liivin kielestä. Helsinki, 1953.


Mikkola, J. J. Eemil Nestor Setälä. Helsinki, 1936.
Memoria saecularis E. N. Setälä. Helsinki, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.