Finnish language noun cases

Grammatical cases
General
Declension - Grammatical case - List of grammatical cases - Morphosyntactic alignment - Oblique / objective case
Grammatical cases
Abessive - Ablative - Absolutive - Accusative - Addirective - Adelative - Adessive - Adverbial - Allative - Antessive - Apudessive - Aversive - Benefactive - Caritive - Causal - Causal-final - Comitative - Dative - Delative - Direct - Distributive - Distributive-temporal - Elative - Ergative - Essive - Essive-formal - Essive-modal - Equative - Evitative - Exessive - Final - Formal - Genitive - Illative - Inelative - Inessive - Instructive - Instrumental - Instrumental-comitative - Intransitive - Lative - Locative - Modal - Multiplicative - Nominative - Partitive - Pegative - Perlative - Possessive - Postelative - Postdirective - Postessive - Postpositional - Prepositional - Privative - Prolative - Prosecutive - Proximative - Separative - Sociative - Subdirective - Subessive - Subelative - Sublative - Superdirective - Superessive - Superlative - Suppressive - Temporal - Terminative - Translative - Vialis - Vocative
Declensions
Czech declension - English declension - German declension - Irish declension - Latin declension - Latvian declension - Lithuanian declension - Slovak declension
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Finnish nouns (including pronouns and numerals) as well as any modifying adjectives, superlatives or comparatives, can be declined by a large number of grammatical cases, which are detailed here. See also Finnish language grammar.

Finnish cases
case suffix English prep. example translation
Grammatical
nominatiivi -talohouse
genetiivi-noftalonof (a) house
akkusatiivi- or -n-talo or talonhouse
partitiivi-(t)a-taloahouse (as an object)
Locative (internal)
inessiivi-ssaintalossain (a) house
elatiivi-stafrom (inside)talostafrom (a) house
illatiivi-an, -en, etc.intotalooninto (a) house
Locative (external)
adessiivi-llaat, ontalollaat (a) house
ablatiivi-ltafromtaloltafrom (a) house
allatiivi-lletotalolleto (a) house
Marginal
essiivi-naastalonaas a house
translatiivi-ksito (role of)taloksito a house
instruktiivi-nwith (the aid of)(talon)/taloinwith (a) house
abessiivi-ttawithouttalottawithout (a) house
komitatiivi-ne-together (with)taloineniwith my house(s)

Grammatical cases

The grammatical cases perform important grammatical functions.

Nominative: The basic form of the noun
Characteristic ending: none in the singular
'talo' = 'a/the house'
'kirja' = 'book'
'mäki' = 'hill'
'vesi' = 'water'


Genitive: Characteristic ending: -n possibly modified by consonant gradation: mäki -> mäen, talo -> talon. For the nouns and adjectives that have two vowel stems, the weak vowel stem comes from the genitive singular.
The genitive indicates possession. It is also used preceding postpositions. However, it is homophonous (but not cognate!) to the accusative, which may cause some confusion.
"kirja|n kuvat" = "the pictures in the book"
"talo|n seinät" = "the walls of the house"
"mäe|n päällä" = "on top of the hill"
"vede|n alla" = "under water"


Accusative: This a case which marks direct objects. The accusative indicates telicity; that is, the object has been finalized or the intended action is done. Note that a morphologically distinct accusative case exists in Finnish only for the following pronouns:


Singular
*minut = me
*sinut = you
*hänet = him/her
Plural
*meidät = us
*teidät = you
*heidät = them
Polite
*Teidät = you
Question
*kenet = whom


In contrast, regular nouns do not have a distinct accusative case. Instead, singular direct objects look like the genitive in direct address (Tuon maton "I bring the carpet") and in the nominative with both imperatives (Tuo matto! "Bring the carpet!") and passives (Matto on tuotu "The carpet has been brought"). Plural direct objects always appear in the nominative plural.

In Finnish grammatical descriptions it is often maintained that objects in nominative or genitive form should be analyzed as distinct accusative case forms, which are merely homonymic with the nominative or the genitive. This idea is based on the premise that Finnish should have a distinct accusative case because many other languages do have such a case. However, there is no criterion in Finnish grammar that would warrant the postulation of a separate accusative case, except for the pronouns listed above. However, the similarity of the accusative and genitive endings is coincidental. The older accusative ending was -m, but in modern Finnish a m becomes a n when it is the last sound of a word.

Partitive: Characteristic ending: -ta/-tä, where the 't' elides if intervocalic. The consonant stem of a noun (if any) comes from the partitive singular. Otherwise the ending is added to the strong vowel stem.
The basic meaning of this case is a lack of telicity, that is, it is not indicated whether the intended result has been achieved. For example, Join vettä "I drank water-part." indicates that there is possibly some water left, while the accusative Join veden indicates all water has been consumed. It is not perfectivity. The partitive is the second most common case in Finnish. It has also other uses:
After numerals:
* 'kolme talo|a' = 'three houses'
* 'kaksi las|ta' = 'two children'
For incomplete actions and ongoing processes whose ending or end result is unknown (the partitive object):
* "luen kirja|a" = "I'm reading a book"
* "hän opetti minu|a lukemaan" = "s/he was teaching me to read"
* "rakastan sinu|a" = "I love you"
* "ajattelin huomis|ta" = "I thought about tomorrow"
With nouns of indefinite number or substance nouns (the partitive object):
* "onko teillä kirjo|j|a?" = "do you have any books ?"
* "haluan vet|tä" = "I want some water"
For negative statements and for tentative enquiries (the partitive object):
* "talossa ei ole yhtään kirjaa" = "there is not a book in the house"
* "en nähnyt hän|tä" = "I didn't see him/her"
* "saanko lainata kirjaa?" = "can I borrow the book?"
With prepositions
* "ennen mäke|ä" = "before the hill"
* "ilman takki|a" = "without a coat"
Very rarely indicates location (coming from/ being found somewhere):
* "rann|empa|a" = "closer to the shore"
* "länn|empä|ä" = "further west"


The formation of the partitive plural is rather variable, but the basic principle is to add '-i-' to the inflecting stem, followed by the '-(t)a' partitive ending. However, in a similar way to verb imperfects, the '-i-' can cause changes to the final vowel of the stem, leading to an apparent diversity of forms.

Locative Cases

The most important function of the locative cases is to indicate location. They are also used for miscellaneous case government, much like prepositions in other languages. For example, the suffix -lla as a locative means "on top", but may function as an instrumental case, e.g. kirjoitan kynällä "I write with a pen".

Two different kinds of suffixes are used, the internal locatives (-s-) and the external locatives (-l-).

The word in a locative case refers to the verb, for example, in Sovitan housuja ikkunassa the word ikkunassa "in the window" refers to the verb sovitan "I try on", not to the adjacent noun housuja "pants". The sentence reads out as "I'm in the window, trying on pants".

Internal Locatives

Inessive: Characteristic ending -ssa/-ssä added to the weak vowel stem
The first of the six so-called "local" cases which as their basic meaning correspond to locational prepositions in English. The inessive carries the basic meaning "inside" or "in"
* "talo|ssa" = "in the house"
It is also commonplace to indicate time or immediate contact with the inessive
* "joulukuu|ssa" = "in December"
* "joulukuuse|ssa" = "on the Christmas tree"


Elative: Characteristic ending -sta/-stä added to the weak vowel stem
The second of the local cases with the basic meaning of "coming out from inside" or "out of"
* "tuli talo|sta" = "(he) came out of the house"
Like the inessive, the elative can also be used to indicate time or immediate contact. Can also indicate origin or cause.
* "viime joulu|sta lähtien" = "since last Christmas"
* "nouse sängy|stä" = "get out of the bed"
* "tehty villa|sta" = "made of wool"
* "vihreänä kateude|sta" = "green with envy"


Illative: The ending is usually -Vn, where V indicates the preceding vowel of the stem. Singular forms use the strong stem form. In cases where the genitive stem already ends in a long vowel the ending is -seen (singular) and -siin (plural). However, for words of one syllable the ending is always -hVn and this form is also used in plural forms where the plural stem already contains a vowel (other than i ) immediately before the plural i.


Some dialects, such as Pohjanmaa, use the -hVn more generally.


This is the third of the local cases with the basic meaning "into"
* "meni talo|on" = "(he) went into the house" - regular formation from talo -Vn
* "vete|en" = into the water" - regular formation from vesi, strong singular stem vete- -Vn
* "vesi|in" = into the waters" - regular formation from vesi, plural stem vesi- -Vn
* "kuu|hun" = "to the moon" - single syllable variation -hVn
* "Lontoo|seen" = "to London" - long vowel stem variation from Lontoo (London) -seen
* "kaunii|seen talo|on" ="into the beautiful house" -kaunis has singular stem -kaunii- therefore -seen variation
* "kaunii|siin taloi|hin" ="into the beautiful houses" - plural -siin because of singular -seen and plural -hVn due to the additional vowel o in the plural stem "taloi"


The illative can also indicate close contact, time or cause


* "huomise|en" = "until tomorrow" (from huominen)
* "kevää|seen" = "until spring" (from kevät)
* "kylmä|än voi kuolla" = "one can die of cold"

External Locatives

Adessive: Characteristic ending -lla/-llä added to the weak vowel stem
The fourth of the local cases with the basic meaning 'on top of' or 'in close proximity of'
* "mäe|llä" = "on the hill"
* "ove|lla" = "at the door"
Adessive is also commonly used with the verb 'olla' to indicate possession
* "minu|lla on kirja" = "I have a book" (literally "there is a book on me")
It can also indicate time, instrument, means or way
* "aamu|lla" = "in the morning"
* "bussi|lla" = "by bus"
* "vasara|lla" = "with a hammer"
* "kävellä varpa|i|lla|an" = "to walk on tiptoe/ on one's toes"


Ablative: Characteristic ending -lta/-ltä added to the weak vowel stem
The fifth of the local cases with the basic meaning "from off of" - a poor English equivalent, but necessary to distinguish it from "from out of" which would be elative.
* "mäe|ltä" = "from (off) the hill"
* "nousin sohva|lta" = "(I) got up from the sofa"
* "Liisa sai kirjan minu|lta" = "Liisa got the book from me"
The ablative can also indicate time and it can be used to convey information about qualities
* "kahdeksa|lta" = "at eight (o'clock)"
* "hän on ulkonäö|ltä|än miellyttävä" = (freely:)"she has a pleasant appearance"


Allative: Characteristic ending -lle added to the weak vowel stem
The sixth of the local cases with the basic meaning "onto".
* "mäe|lle" = "onto the hill"
Another meaning is "to someone" or "for someone"
* "minä annan kirjan Liisa|lle" = "I give the book to Liisa"
* "pöytä kahde|lle" = "a table for two"
With verbs of sensation, it is possible to use either the ablative or allative case
* "tuoksuu hyvä|ltä/ hyvä|lle" = "(it) smells good"

Marginal Cases

As their name indicates, the use of these cases is rather marginal. The name "general locatives" is sometimes used of the essive and translative cases (as well as partitive above) because their oldest meanings imply that they have been used to indicate location.

Essive: Characteristic ending -na. If the noun or adjective has two vowel stems, the strong vowel stem comes from the essive singular. NB the consonant stem used to be quite common in the essive, and some nouns and adjectives still have this feature.
This case sometimes carries the meaning of a temporary state of being, often equivalent to the English "as a ..."
* "lapse|na" = "as a child", "when (I) was a child"
* "vete|nä" = "as water"
* "pien|i|nä palas|i|na" = "in small pieces"
* "se on täyn|nä" = "it is full"
The essive is also used for specifying days and dates when something happens.
* "huomen|na" = "tomorrow"
* "maanantai|na" = "on Monday"
* "kuudente|na joulukuuta" = "on the 6th of December" (Finnish independence day).
In ancient Finnish, essive had a meaning similar to the local cases, which can still be seen in some words (being somewhere):
* "rann|empa|na" = "closer to the shore"
* "länn|empä|nä" = "further west"


Translative: Characteristic ending -ksi added to the weak vowel stem. The ending is -kse- before a possessive suffix.
This is the counterpart of the essive, with the basic meaning of a change of state. Examples:
* "maalaa se punaise|ksi" = "paint it red"
* "tunnen itseni väsynee|ksi" = "I feel tired".
* "se muuttui vede|ksi" = "it turned into water"
Also has a meaning similar to English "for a ..."
* "mäki on englanni|ksi 'hill'" = (literally:) "'hill' is English for mäki"
* "toistaise|ksi" = "for the time being", "for now"
* "suunnitelmia perjantai|ksi" = "plans for Friday"
* "valmis perjantai|ksi" = "ready by Friday"
* "mitä sinä teet työ|kse|si?" = "what do you do for a living?"
Very rarely indicates location (going somewhere):
* "rann|emma|ksi" = "closer to the shore"
* "länn|emmä|ksi" = "further west"


Instructive: Characteristic ending -n added usually (but not always) to plural stem
This has the basic meaning of "by means of". It is a comparatively rarely used case, though it is found in some commonly used expressions.
* "omi|n silmi|n" = "with (my) own eyes"
* "käsi|n" = "by hand"
* "rinta rinna|n = "side by side"
* "jala|n" = "by foot"
It is also used with verbal second infinitives to mean "by ...ing", for example
* "lentäen" = "by flying", "by air"


Abessive: Characteristic ending -tta
This has the basic meaning of "without". This case is a rarely used by itself, especially in the spoken language, but is found in some expressions and proverbs.
* "joka kuri|tta kasvaa, se kunnia|tta kuolee" = "who grows up without discipline, dies without honor"
However, abessive is quite common in combination with the third infinitive (-ma-, -mä-).
* "syömättä" = "without eating"
* "tekemättä" = "without doing"
* "... lukuun ottamatta" = "without taking into account..."


Comitative: Characteristic ending -ine (plus a possessive suffix for nouns but none for adjectives). This ending is added to the plural stem, even if the noun is singular, which may sometimes cause confusion.
This is a rarely used case, especially in the spoken language. The meaning is "in the company of" or "together with"
* "talo kirjo|ine|en" = "the house with its books" or "book"
* "hän saapui kauni|ine vaimo|ine|en" = "he arrived together with his beautiful wife" or "wives"

Others

Prolative: This is only found in a few "fossilised" forms in modern Finnish (though it is alive and well in Estonian). Its meaning is "by way of", some common examples being
* 'post|itse' = 'by post'
* 'puhelimi|tse' = 'by phone'
* 'meri|tse' = 'by sea'
* 'kiertotei|tse' = 'by indirect route', or 'in a roundabout way'
* 'yli|tse' = 'over'
* 'ohi|tse|ni' = 'past me'


The prolative is not considered to be a case in the official grammar.

External links

declension (or declination) is the inflection of nouns, pronouns and adjectives to indicate such features as number (typically singular vs. plural), case (subject, object, and so on), or gender.
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This article or section may be confusing or unclear for some readers.
Please [improve the article] or discuss this issue on the talk page. This article has been tagged since August 2007.
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This is a list of grammatical cases as they are used by various inflectional languages that have declension.

Place and Time

Note: Most cases used for location and motion can be used for time as well.

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In linguistics, morphosyntactic alignment is the system used to distinguish between the arguments of transitive verbs and those of intransitive verbs. The distinction can be made morphologically (through grammatical case or verbal agreement), syntactically (through word
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An oblique case (Latin: casus generalis) in linguistics is a noun case of synthetic languages that is used generally when a noun is the object of a sentence or a preposition.
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In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS , from Latin abesse "to be distant"), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV ) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun.
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ablative case (abbreviated ABL ) is a name given to cases in various languages whose common thread is that they mark motion away from something, though the details in each language may differ.
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In ergative-absolutive languages, the absolutive (abbreviated ABS ) is the grammatical case used to mark both the subject of an intransitive verb and the object of a transitive verb. It contrasts with the ergative case, which marks the subject of transitive verbs.
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The accusative case (abbreviated ACC ) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions.
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adessive case (from Latin adesse "to be present") is the fourth of the locative cases with the basic meaning of "on". For example, Estonian laud (table) and laual (on the table), Hungarian asztal and asztalon (on the table).
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The adverbial case is a noun case in the Abkhaz language and Georgian language that has a function similar to the translative and essive cases in Finnic languages. The term is sometimes used to refer to the ablative case in other languages.
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Allative case (abbreviated ALL , from Latin afferre "to bring to") is a type of the locative cases used in several languages. The term allative is generally used for the lative case in the majority of languages which do not make finer distinctions.
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Antessive case[1] is used for marking before something ("before the concert"). The case is found in some Dravidian languages.

References

1. ^ S.

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Apudessive case[1] is used for marking location next to something ("next to the house"). The case is found in Tsez language.

References

1.

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The aversive or evitative case is a grammatical case found in Australian Aboriginal languages that indicates that the marked noun is avoided or feared.

Usage

For example, in Walmajarri:
Yapa-warnti pa-lu tjurtu-karrarla
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The benefactive case (abbreviated BEN ) is a case used where English would use "for", "for the benefit of", or "intended for", e.g. "She opened the door for Tom" or "This book is for Bob".

This meaning is often incorporated in a dative case.
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In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS , from Latin abesse "to be distant"), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV ) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun.
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The causal or causative case (abbreviated CAUS ) is a grammatical case that indicates that the marked noun is the cause or reason for something.

External links

  • What is causative case?

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This case in Hungarian language combines the Causal case and the Final case: it can express the cause of emotions (e.g. value sb. for sg.) or the goal of actions (e.g. for bread).
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The comitative case is the case that denotes companionship, and is used where English would use "in company with" or "together with". It, and many other cases, are found in the Finnish language, the Hungarian language, and the Estonian language.
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The dative case is a grammatical case generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given. The name is derived from the Latin casus dativus, meaning "the case appropriate to giving"; this was in turn modelled on the Greek
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The delative case (from Latin deferre "to bear or bring away or down") in the Hungarian language can originally express the movement from the surface of something (e.g. "off the table"), but it is used in several other meanings (e.g.
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direct case is the name given to a grammatical case used with all three core relations: the agent of transitive verbs, the patient of transitive verbs, and the agent of intransitive verbs.
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maittain., or "The law is ratified separately in each country". It can be used to distribute the action to frequent points in time, e.g. päivä (day) has the plural distributive päivittäin (each day).
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This case in Hungarian language can express how often something happens (eg. monthly, daily); it can vary with the Distributive case at words of temporal meaning.

This adverb type in Finnish language can express that something happens at a frequent point in time (e.g.
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See Elative for disambiguation.

Elative (from Latin efferre "to bring or carry out") is a locative case with the basic meaning "out of".

In Finnish elative is typically formed by adding "sta/stä", in Estonian by adding "st" to the genitive stem.
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The ergative case is the grammatical case that identifies the subject of a transitive verb in ergative-absolutive languages.

In such languages, the ergative case is typically marked (most salient), while the absolutive case is unmarked.
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The essive or similaris case carries the meaning of a temporary state of being, often equivalent to the English "as a...".

In the Finnish language, this case is marked by adding "-na/-nä" to the stem of the noun.
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In the Hungarian language this case combines the Essive case and the Formal case, and it can express the position, task, state (e.g. "as a tourist"), or the manner (e.g. "like a hunted animal").
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This case in Hungarian language can express the state, capacity, task in which somebody is or which somebody has (Essive case, e.g. "as a reward", "for example"), or the manner in which the action is carried out, or the language which somebody knows (Modal case, e.g.
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