NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

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NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-24, 3:28

Most nominals with a basic form ending in -i do not have a separate inflectional stem, but endings are attached directly to the basic form itself:

Nominative sing.: tunti
Genitive: tunni/n
Possesive: tunti/mme
Partitive sing. tunti/a

There are three kinds of nominals with a basic form ending in -i, all with an inflectional stem in -e. The first group, words like kivi, which also form the partitive singular from this inflectional stem:

Nominative sing.: kivi
Genitive: kive/n
Posessive: kive/mme
Partitive sing.: kive/ä

Words like kivi thus form their partitive singular from an inflectional stem in -e, and differ in precisely this respect from words of the kieli type.

Kieli type nominals only differ from the kivi type in the partitive singular, where the -e- of the inflectional stem is dropped if the preceding consonant is l, r, or n; or t occurring after these or after a vowel:

Nominative: kieli
Genitive: kiele/n
Possesive: kiele/ni
Partitive: kiel/tä

A comparison of the tunti and kivi types shows that it is not possible to derive a rule from the basic form which would determine which nominals have an inflectional stem in -e and which do not... or is it?

Anyway, it is possible to state a rule operating in the opposite direction.

Nominals with an inflectional stem ending in short -e have a basic form ending in short -i.

This rule always allows us to derive the basic form from the inflectional stem.
The rule does not cover nominals with an inflectional stem in long -ee, such as perhe ‘family’, perhee/n, although there are a few exceptions: kolme ‘three’, kolme/n; itse ‘self’, itse/n; nalle ‘teddy’, nalle/n; nukke‘doll’, nuke/n.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-24, 3:38

So my question is:

Is there a way to know which nominals have an inflectional stem in
-e and which do not?


Something similar happens to german nouns.
It is impossible to know neither the gender (m., f., n.) nor the plural form of any noun unless you take a look at your dictionary.

Therefore, do inflectional forms of nouns appear in finnish dictionaries?

I've got a finnish-english dictionary, but the inflectional forms of nouns do not appear in it.

It is difficult to get a finnish dictionary in Mexico, so I wonder whether nouns' inflectional forms appear in other dictionaries, or whether there is any rule which should help me know which nouns ending in 'i' have an inflectional stem ending in 'e' and whether they behave like 'kivi', 'kieli', or 'tunti'.

ANY HELP?

Thanks folks!

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Re: Nominals ending in “i”

Postby MillMaths » 2011-08-24, 9:02

I don't know if there are any rules. I normally look up the conjugation of words on Wiktionary; I find that site pretty handy with conjugations in languages like Finnish and Polish. :)

BTW, I believe you're using Finnish: An Essential Grammar by Fred Karlsson. :good4u:

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Muisje » 2011-08-24, 10:09

What I've read (but I always forget what I read where) is that 'new' words have a stem in -i and 'old' words have a stem in -e. The thing is that words that were borrowed, say, 200 years ago are still 'new' words. :P So if you know the word is a loan it probably has a stem in -i, and for the rest you'll just have to memorize, I guess.

And Wiktionary is awesome. :mrgreen:
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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Miumau » 2011-08-24, 12:37

Yes, the thumb rule is that in old words (of Finno-Ugric origin?), the inflectional stem is -e, which is actually a remnant of the original word (the singular nominative ending -i being a more recent development in the case of those words). In more recent loan words, the stem is -i, because these words never had an original form with an -e stem.

But basically...if you don't know or can't make a good guess about the age of the word, you need to learn it by heart, I suppose :)

Some illustrative examples with older words and recent loanwords which happen to be homonyms, but have preserved distinct inflectional stems:

viini : viinin : viiniä (meaning "wine" - recent loan)
viini : viinen : viintä (meaning "quiver", a thing where you keep arrows - old word)

laki : lain : lakia (meaning "law" - recent loan)
laki : laen : lakea (meaning "top", e.g. hilltop, top of your head - old word)

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby maeng » 2011-08-25, 16:18

Miumau wrote:Yes, the thumb rule is that in old words (of Finno-Ugric origin?), the inflectional stem is -e, which is actually a remnant of the original word (the singular nominative ending -i being a more recent development in the case of those words). In more recent loan words, the stem is -i, because these words never had an original form with an -e stem.


Not necessarily of Finno-Ugric origin, since there are e-stems among the oldest Baltic and Germanic loanwords too.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-26, 0:37

Sophie wrote:BTW, I believe you're using Finnish: An Essential Grammar by Fred Karlsson
:good4u:


That's right! Excellent book, isn't it?

Muisje wrote:What I've read (but I always forget what I read where) is that 'new' words have a stem in -i and 'old' words have a stem in -e.


Regarding loan words Finnish: An Essential Grammar by Fred Karlsson says:

New loan words ending in a final consonant form their inflectional stem by adding the vowel i, which changes to e before the plural -i-. Cf.:
stadion ‘stadium’: stadioni/n, stadioni/a, stadione/i/ta.
Loan words with a final -s, however, generally decline like ajatus, e.g.:
anis ‘aniseed’: anikse/n, anikse/ssa, anis/ta (part. sing.).


So you both Muisje and Miumau are right :wink:

Miumau wrote:But basically...if you don't know or can't make a good guess about the age of the word, you need to learn it by heart, I suppose :)


Since Finnish is not an Indo-European language, the basic vocabulary differs from Indo-European.
Therefore, if there's any finnish word I can understand without looking for it in the dictionary, then I assume it is a loan, for example:

kahvi 'coffee', kakku 'cake', kirkko 'church', kruunu 'crown', pankki 'bank', and so on.
Last edited by Jnɨɨñɨ on 2011-08-26, 1:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-26, 0:53

Thank you for your answers!
Loan words... such an interesting issue to talk about.
The problem here, however, is not with loan words, but with finnish nouns ending in 'i'.

For instance:
If one should find this finnish word väri 'colour'... how would you know how to use it?
Which one would be the correct form?
-väri/mme (declined luke 'tunti')
-väre/mme (declined like 'kivi'/'kieli')

And what about the partitive?
-väri/ä (declined like 'tunti')
-väre/ä (delined like 'kivi')
-vär/tä (declined like 'kieli')

You are never sure about the correct inflectional form of nominals.
How to know?

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-26, 1:38

This grammar book provides a sample list of finnish nouns ending in 'i' sorted according to their inflectional stems:

Merkki, Väri, Laki, Risti, and Sali end in 'i', but do not have a separate inflectional stem.
And therefore:
tunti/ssa = Correct

Kivi, Suomi, Kaikki, Lehti, Hetki, Talvi, Järvi, Lahti, Jälki, Joki, Nimi, and Ovi end all in 'i', but they do have an inflectional stem ending in 'e'.
Therefore:
Kivi/ssa = INcorrect
KivE/ssa = Correct

And Kieli, Meri, Tuli, Tuuli, Ääni, Lumi, Uni, Nuori, Suuri, Pieni, and Lapsi have an inflectional stem ending in 'e' too, but in the partitive the 'e' is dropped if it is preceeded by l, n, r, or t preceded by a short vowel.
So:
Kieli/ssa = INcorrect
KielE/ssa = Correct

Kieli/a (partitive) = INcorrect
kiel/ta (partitive) =Correct

However, this is just a sample list.
What about all the other finnish nouns ending in 'i'?

THAT is the problem.
Do your finnish dictionares include the inflectional form like this?

veri (vere~, part. verta) n. blood

That would come in handy!

But my dictionry just says:
veri n. blood

:(

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Miumau » 2011-08-26, 15:58

Jnɨɨñɨ wrote:Thank you for your answers!
Loan words... such an interesting issue to talk about.
The problem here, however, is not with loan words, but with finnish nouns ending in 'i'.

For instance:
If one should find this finnish word väri 'colour'... how would you know how to use it?
Which one would be the correct form?
-väri/mme (declined luke 'tunti')
-väre/mme (declined like 'kivi'/'kieli')

And what about the partitive?
-väri/ä (declined like 'tunti')
-väre/ä (delined like 'kivi')
-vär/tä (declined like 'kieli')

You are never sure about the correct inflectional form of nominals.
How to know?


Well, väri happens to be a loan from Swedish "färg", so it belongs to the "new loanwords group". ;)

Thus it's inflected like tunti:
väri : värin : väriä

It's true that a lot (perhaps most of them nowadays?) of the nouns ending in -i are this kind of recent loans, which have then the i-stem. So I think assuming the i-stem is the safest bet. Many of them are also easily recognisable, like you wrote above.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Jnɨɨñɨ » 2011-08-28, 0:03

Miumau wrote:It's true that a lot (perhaps most of them nowadays?) of the nouns ending in -i are this kind of recent loans, which have then the i-stem. So I think assuming the i-stem is the safest bet. Many of them are also easily recognisable, like you wrote above.


Thank you.
That must be why 'my dear book' says:

Most nominals with a basic form ending in -i do not have a separate inflectional stem, but endings are attached directly to the basic form itself


Like 'tunti'.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Serpent » 2012-01-17, 13:05

Omg. Tunti probably comes from Germanic Stunde??? So crazy how I've known this word for ages and never realized.

if I'm not sure what's the correct form I just google :)
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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Varislintu » 2012-01-20, 9:33

Serpent wrote:Omg. Tunti probably comes from Germanic Stunde??? So crazy how I've known this word for ages and never realized.

if I'm not sure what's the correct form I just google :)


Yes, it's probably from Stunde. This word exists also in Swedish as "stund", but it doesn't mean "hour", but "moment". So it looks like it wasn't a loan from Swedish this time. Whereas almost all the others mentioned above: "Merkki, Väri, Laki, Risti, and Sali", come from Swedish :lol: (except "risti" which I'm not sure where it's from). (Swedish: märke, färg, lag, sal.)
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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby lumiel » 2012-01-23, 17:01

"Risti" on muinaisslaavilainen lainasana. Lähestulkoon kaikki kristinuskossa käytetty sanasto on muinaisslaavilaista lainaa, esim. pappi, raamattu ja risti.
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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Miumau » 2012-01-26, 14:10

lumiel wrote:"Risti" on muinaisslaavilainen lainasana. Lähestulkoon kaikki kristinuskossa käytetty sanasto on muinaisslaavilaista lainaa, esim. pappi, raamattu ja risti.


Mielenkiintoista! Minä aina ajattelin että 'risti' olisi johdos krististä/Kristuksesta, joka taas tulee kreikan khristos-sanasta (joka ei kylläkään tarkoita ristiä). Vai onko se muinaisslaaviinkin tullut alunperin kreikan kautta? Vai onko sattumaa? Ristejä on varmaan ollut jo paljon ennen kristinuskoakin...

Nopealla guuglauksella risti on tosiaan nykyisinkin monissa slaavikielissä križ tai jotain sinne päin. Moniin muihin eurooppalaisiin kieliin ristiä tarkoittava sana näyttää tulleen latinan crux-sanasta.

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Re: NOMINALS ENDING IN 'I'

Postby Serpent » 2012-01-26, 21:06

Miumau wrote:Mielenkiintoista! Minä aina ajattelin että 'risti' olisi johdos krististä/Kristuksesta, joka taas tulee kreikan khristos-sanasta (joka ei kylläkään tarkoita ristiä). Vai onko se muinaisslaaviinkin tullut alunperin kreikan kautta?
Sekä että, venäläisen wikisanakirjan mukaan ainakin :) Siis se tuli alunperin muinaisslaviin ja sitten venäjän kautta suomen kieleen (venäjäksi risti on krest).
Ja kroatian kielen križ tulee latinasta, kun taas Serbiassa käytetään sanaa krst. (Myös wikisanakirjan mukaan) Mielenkiintoista :)
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