2014-09-30 CIFU 12 Submission 213

Samboka, a constructed Uralic language

Ethnofuturism and contemporary art of Finno-Ugric peoples

Author keywords:
constructed language
Uralic languages

Constructed languages have been created for different reasons, among others for easier international communication and for artistic expression. The most famous constructed language, Esperanto, is based on various European languages. Relatively few Uralic words are used in Esperanto and other constructed languages of the same type (Libert, 2013). 

There are many less known constructed languages that have a narrower base than Esperanto. Their base consists of only one family or subfamily of languages. Many constructed languages are based on Romance, Germanic and Slavic subfamilies, but only two constructed languages are based on the Uralic language family. The first one, Budinos, was published in Udmurtia in 2009 with the goal to become the common language of the Finno-Ugric peoples (Arzamazov, 2009). Budinos has been examined by linguists (Ernits, 2010). The second one, Samboka, was published in 2014 in Finland. 

The name of Samboka derives from Sampo, which is a mythical object of prosperity in the Finnic folklore that got destroyed and its pieces got scattered across the world. It is an allegory that can be applied to the linguistic past, the divergence of the proto-Uralic language to many branches. Samboka is an attempt to gather the pieces of the ancient parental Uralic language together, pieces that still remain in contemporary Uralic languages. 

The long term goal of Samboka is to act as a communicative bridge between Uralic peoples in an imaginable future scenario where the need for direct communication between Uralic peoples is greater than today. However there appears to be no immediate need for Samboka as a medium of communication. Therefore the current function of the language is to serve as a work of ethnofuturistic art. 

Arzamazov, A.A. "Койнэ «Будинос» – общий язык финно-угров." Центр информационной поддержки молодежи Удмуртской Республики «Шаер». 2009.
Ernits, Enn. "Soome-ugri plaankeel budinos: struktuur ja loomispõhimõtted." Small Languages In the Multilingual Society. Publications of Võro Institute 24 (2010): 90-112.
Libert, Alan Reed. "The Representation of Uralic Languages in Artificial International Auxiliary Languages." Journal of Universal Language 14 (2013): 117-142.

Sep 29, 2014, 21:33 GMT