Finnish language

PronunciationIPA: [ˈsuo̯mi]
Native toFinland, Sweden, Norway (in small areas in Troms og Finnmark), Russia
Native speakers
5.8 million
Finland: 5.4 million
Sweden: 0.40 million
Norway: 8,000 (Kven)
Republic of Karelia: 8,500
US: 26,000 (2020)[1]
Latin (Finnish alphabet)
Finnish Braille
Signed Finnish
Official status
Official language in
 European Union
 Nordic Council
Recognised minority
language in
Sweden (official minority language)
Russia (Karelia)[2]
Norway (Kven language) (Finnmark)
Regulated byLanguage Planning Department of the Institute for the Languages of Finland
Language codes
ISO 639-1fi
ISO 639-2fin
ISO 639-3fin
Glottologfinn1318  excluding Kven and Meänkieli
[image reference needed]
  Majority language
  Spoken by a minority
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Finnish (endonym: suomi [ˈsuo̯mi] or suomen kieli [ˈsuo̯meŋ ˈkie̯li]) is a Uralic language of the Finnic branch, spoken by the majority of the population in Finland and by ethnic Finns outside of Finland. Finnish is one of the two official languages of Finland (the other being Swedish). In Sweden, both Finnish and Meänkieli (which has significant mutual intelligibility with Finnish[3]) are official minority languages. The Kven language, which like Meänkieli is mutually intelligible with Finnish, is spoken in the Norwegian county Troms og Finnmark by a minority group of Finnish descent.

Finnish is typologically agglutinative[4] and uses almost exclusively suffixal affixation. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, numerals and verbs are inflected depending on their role in the sentence. Sentences are normally formed with subject–verb–object word order, although the extensive use of inflection allows them to be ordered differently. Word order variations are often reserved for differences in information structure.[5] Finnish orthography uses a Latin-script alphabet derived from the Swedish alphabet, and is phonetic to a great extent. Vowel length and consonant length are distinguished, and there are a range of diphthongs, although vowel harmony limits which diphthongs are possible.

  1. ^ Finnish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ О государственной поддержке карельского, вепсского и финского языков в Республике Карелия (in Russian). Archived from the original on 11 October 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
  3. ^ Öst, Heidi (2013). "Recent Legal Developments in Sweden: What Effect for Finnish and Meänkieli Speakers?". European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online. 10 (1): 563–582. doi:10.1163/22116117-01001026. ISSN 1570-7865.
  4. ^ Haspelmath, Martin Dryer; Matthew S Gil; David Comrie; Bernard Bickel; Balthasar Nichols, Johanna (2005). Fusion of selected inflectional formatives. Oxford University Press. OCLC 945596278.
  5. ^ Vilkuna, Maria (1989). Free word order in Finnish : its syntax and discourse functions. Suomalaisen kirjallisuuden seura. ISBN 951-717-558-2. OCLC 997419906.

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