I couldn't have said it better myself. I haven't learned Estonian as a foreign language, so I don't know any formal explanations nor many of the rules. When explaining, I usually try to suck something out from my subconsciousness, which after writing down often ends up a cryptic and incoherent mess.Linguaphile wrote:Right, you do use the locative cases with negations too: Ma ei lähe Tartusse.
It helps to divided Estonian cases into two groups: grammatical cases (nominative, genitive, partitive) and semantic cases (all the others, including the six locative cases). The semantic cases behave a little differently from the grammatical cases - thankfully, they are simpler for the most part. So, yep, the semantic cases including the illative -sse keep their endings in the negative.
I would have also first thought about "Lõuna" in "Lõuna-Eesti" being genitive - a genitive that in meaning is similar to adjectival form southern in English, e.g. eesti keel, Hollandi juust, Ameerika auto, etc.
But you do have a point. Of course the non-final components of compound words don't (mostly) decline. And hyphenated words (or at least hyphenated names) act (as far as I know) exactly like regular compound words.
Some corrections though:
With Suurbritannia and Väike-Maarja you have to use inner locative cases (Suurbritannias and Väike-Maarjast) when talking about going into, being in or coming from those places.
I think Ladina in Ladina-Ameerika is also genitive (again, in meaning similar to an adjective in English; I think you can't even use this word by itself alone).
This is not a good example. The case ending of the last four cases is only appended to the final word, so you couldn't form *häädeni meesteni even if these were separate word (hääde meesteni is correct).Linguaphile wrote:Häädemeesteni "until Häädemeeste" (not *Häädeni-meesteni or *Häädenimeesteni).
The reason for this, because the comitative case has grown out of genitive + the word ka(a), kaas or kah. Terminative has probably a similar origin, because it doesn't exist in other Finnic languages. Essive case was supposedly pretty much gone from Estonian, but was reintroduced from Finnish, but was reconstructed analogically to comitative and terminative. But I'm not sure about abessive case. Maybe it has mutated like this also because of the influence of other surrounding cases.