Estonian corner

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Estonian corner

Postby E}{pugnator » 2005-02-11, 11:55

Tervist!

Who would be interested in joining an Estonian discussion group?

It doesn't seem like there will be natives around, but I plan to post some bits of information I've collected around the internet which will help beginners with the basics.
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Postby Nukalurk » 2005-02-11, 13:18

Isn't Liisi learning Estonian at the moment? Maybe you ask her. :)

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Postby E}{pugnator » 2005-02-11, 13:21

I already counted her. :P

I'd like to know about anyone else.
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Postby Liisi » 2005-02-11, 14:11

E}{pugnator wrote:It doesn't seem like there will be natives around, but I plan to post some bits of information I've collected around the internet which will help beginners with the basics.


Many of the discussion groups were created around learners at first, and natives joined the discussion later. Let's see if that happens with our Estonian group, too! :) (And let's not forget about Mantaz and maeng, they speak some Estonian already, so they can probably help us).
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Postby Car » 2005-02-11, 16:14

Since there don't seem to be many resources around, but you seem to have found something, I'm in favour of it, since I'm interested in Estonian. I don't want to have to learn Finnish instead of it, because of a lack of resources. :wink:
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Postby stordragon » 2005-02-12, 11:32

Learning Finnish maybe does not essentially contribute to one's Estonian-learning, anyway..

It is said that even some native Finnish speakers find it very hard to learn Estonian; (I wonder if Liisi thinks so) the reason is, there are great differences in the usage of cases between the two: although the both have the same nice noun cases, still unfortunately it's not that simple: for instance, wherever one uses inessive, elative and illative in Finnish, he would likely have to use adessive, ablative and allative,respectively,for the Estonian version, and vice versa.

Thus if you're keen on learning Estonian, better consult directly the Estonian online-resources and never attempt to get any inspiration from Finnish, except for the vocabulary(the vocabularies are quite similar, though), for you'll perhaps be confused among the different usage of case declensions and, at this rate, to learn Finnish in advance does not necessarily seem to be of great help.
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Postby maeng » 2005-02-12, 15:14

stordragon wrote:Learning Finnish maybe does not essentially contribute to one's Estonian-learning, anyway..


I’m not trying to promote Finnish as a tool for learning Estonian, but I don’t entirely agree with you either. I’m not sure what you mean by essentially, but I’ve found Finnish to be a great asset in learning Estonian regarding both grammar and lexicon.

stordragon wrote:It is said that even some native Finnish speakers find it very hard to learn Estonian; (I wonder if Liisi thinks so) the reason is, there are great differences in the usage of cases between the two: although the both have the same nice noun cases, still unfortunately it's not that simple: for instance, wherever one uses inessive, elative and illative in Finnish, he would likely have to use adessive, ablative and allative,respectively,for the Estonian version, and vice versa.


I sure ain’t one of these native Finnish speakers ;) My guess is that you know neither Finnish nor Estonian in depth. There are indeed differences in the usage of the cases and location cases are in certain cases used differently. And sometimes one case corresponds to another the way you described (Finnish/Estonian: inessive/adessive, elative/ablative, illative/allative).

In many situations cases are used in a similar way, though. These examples are taken from Keelesild by Renate Pajusalu, Merja Hietaharju etc. and from Eesti keele käsiraamat by Mati Erelt, Tiiu Erelt and Kristiina Ross.

illative
Panen raamatu kotti. Laitan kirjan laukkuun. I put a/the book into the bag.

inessive
Raamat on kotis. Kirja on laukussa. The book is in the bag
Me elame linnas. Me asumme kaupungissa. We live in a/the city.
Tema sünnipäev on märtsis. Hänen syntymäpäivänsä on maaliskuussa. His/her birthday is in march.

elative
Võtan raamatu kotist. Otan kirjan laukusta. I take the book from the bag.
Tulin linnast. Tulin kaupungista. I came from the city.

allative
Panen raamatu lauale. Laitan kirjan pöydälle. I put the book onto the table.
Mari sõitis välismaale. Mari matkusti ulkomaille. Mari travelled abroad.
Anna raamat minule. Anna kirja minulle. Give the book to me.

adessive
Raamat on laual. Kirja on pöydällä. The book is on the table.
Raamat on minul. Kirja on minulla. I have the book.

ablative
Võtan raamatu laualt. Otan kirjan pöydältä. I take the book from the table.
Ta võttis raamatu minult. Hän otti kirjan minulta. He took the book from me.

Here are couple of examples on the differences you mentioned.

adessive in Estonian – inessive in Finnish

Uksel on silt. – Ovessa on kyltti.
Pildil on poiss. – Kuvassa on poika.

Autol on neli ratast. – Autossa on neljä rengasta.
Arvutil on uus ekraan. – Tietokoneessa on uusi näyttö.
Majal on kaks ust. – Talossa on kaksi ovea.
(Note: in Finnish inanimate possession can’t be expressed with adessive unlike in Estonian)

allative - illative
Lähen tööle, kalale, seenele, marjule – Menen töihin, kalaan, sieneen, marjaan.

adessive - inessive

Käin tööl, kalal, seenel, marjul – Käyn töissä, kalassa, sienessä, marjassa.

ablative – elative

Tulen töölt, kalalt, seenelt, marjult – Tulen töistä, kalasta, sienestä, marjasta.

Differences dont’t stop here, but I think the usage of cases still follow somekind of inner logic and these differences in tradition don’t mean Finnish would be utterly useless when learning Estonian. This escpecially regarding the location cases.

stordragon wrote:Thus if you're keen on learning Estonian, better consult directly the Estonian online-resources and never attempt to get any inspiration from Finnish, except for the vocabulary(the vocabularies are quite similar, though), for you'll perhaps be confused among the different usage of case declensions and, at this rate, to learn Finnish in advance does not necessarily seem to be of great help.


If you are learning Estonian, it’s better to consult the Estonian resources directly, but as we know resources for learning Estonian are quite poor and you may be forced to rely on Finnish. So let’s open up that Estonian corner in order to gather resources and so that those who are interested in the language would have a place to talk :D

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Postby minus273 » 2005-02-12, 15:41

I heard that a finn can understand an estonian, &vv
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Postby Mulder-21 » 2005-02-13, 2:49

I'm also in to the Estonian group, which I'll visit as often as I can.

minus273 wrote:I heard that a finn can understand an estonian, &vv


I've heard, that the languages are mutually intelligeble. And I have reason to think, that this is true, since my father told me from an Estonian captain.
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Postby Nukalurk » 2005-02-13, 6:12

Hasn't Liisi once said that Estonians can understand Finnish people but not the other way around.

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Postby stordragon » 2005-02-13, 9:17

maeng wrote:I sure ain’t one of these native Finnish speakers ;) ..
..
ablative
Võtan raamatu laualt. Otan kirjan pöydältä. I take the book from the table.
Ta võttis raamatu minult. Hän otti kirjan minulta. He took the book from me.

Thank you for instruction!^_^
OSorry, my former conclusion might be a bit too reckless; actually I'm sometimes all at sea about some Uralian case declension..

However, why can't I just use seestütlev(elative) and just say "Ma võtan raamatu lauast" but have to use alaltütlev(ablative) instead of that? Would you provide a brief account of the different usage between the two?

maeng wrote:Uksel on silt. – Ovessa on kyltti.
Pildil on poiss. – Kuvassa on poika.

Autol on neli ratast. – Autossa on neljä rengasta.
Arvutil on uus ekraan. – Tietokoneessa on uusi näyttö.
Majal on kaks ust. – Talossa on kaksi ovea.
(Note: in Finnish inanimate possession can’t be expressed with adessive unlike in Estonian)

allative - illative
Lähen tööle, kalale, seenele, marjule – Menen töihin, kalaan, sieneen, marjaan.

adessive - inessive

Käin tööl, kalal, seenel, marjul – Käyn töissä, kalassa, sienessä, marjassa.

ablative – elative

Tulen töölt, kalalt, seenelt, marjult – Tulen töistä, kalasta, sienestä, marjasta.

Hmm, the bold-faced sound-shifts seem never to have occurred in the I-E family..(Does that also occur in the Ungarian group?)

ps:However, even if such sound-shifts can happen throughout the Uralian family, I can still not imagine how the Magyar/Hungarian case suffix -tól, -ig can be related to its Finnish counterparts -lt and -ks?

Since we can often find some clues of consonant shifts among the core vocabularies of every two or three groups within the I-E family, for example the p-f consonant shift between Romance(in which the Proto-IE stop p is directly inherited) and Germanic(in which the Proto-IE stop p changed into f), then why can't we find such sound correspondance between the two groups within Uralian?(I always doubt whether Hungarian should be classified as an Uralian language) This question may be tough, but if you have clues, I'll appreciate your further reply..Thank you! :D
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Postby maeng » 2005-02-13, 12:01

stordragon wrote:However, why can't I just use seestütlev(elative) and just say "Ma võtan raamatu lauast" but have to use alaltütlev(ablative) instead of that? Would you provide a brief account of the different usage between the two?


In this case you can’t use elative because you’re not taking the book from within the table, the usage of elative would indicate that the book is actually inside the table, so the usage of ablative is more natural as the book is on surface of the table.

This is what Eesti keele käsiraamat http://www.eki.ee/books/ekkr/ had to say:
Sisekohakäänded väljendavad kinnise ruumiga seotud kohasuhteid. Väliskohakäänded väljendavad avatud pinnaga seotud kohasuhteid.

Roughly:
Inner locative cases (sisseütlev/illatiiv, seesütlev/inessiiv, seestütlev/elatiiv) indicate locative relations with a closed space. Outer locative cases (alaleütlev/allatiiv, alalütlev/adessiiv, alaltütlev/ablatiiv) locative relations with an open surface.

This article is about Finnish, but it works pretty much the same way in Estonian:
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/finnish-cases.html

stordragon wrote:Hmm, the bold-faced sound-shifts seem never to have occurred in the I-E family..(Does that also occur in the Ungarian group?)


I don’t think the comparison you’ve made is valid. And here’s why: I don’t know where the word silt comes from, but kyltti is a loan word from Swedish skylt. And the etymological equivalent of the word poika is the word poeg in Estonian and as you can see there’s no consonant shift s :arrow: k. Tööl and töissä are two different cases.

stordragon wrote:ps:However, even if such sound-shifts can happen throughout the Uralian family, I can still not imagine how the Magyar/Hungarian case suffix -tól, -ig can be related to its Finnish counterparts -lt and -ks?

Since we can often find some clues of consonant shifts among the core vocabularies of every two or three groups within the I-E family, for example the p-f consonant shift between Romance(in which the Proto-IE stop p is directly inherited) and Germanic(in which the Proto-IE stop p changed into f), then why can't we find such sound correspondance between the two groups within Uralian?(I always doubt whether Hungarian should be classified as an Uralian language) This question may be tough, but if you have clues, I'll appreciate your further reply..Thank you! :D


These are the consonant shifts in the proto-Uralic core vocabulary (escpecially in the comparison between Finnish and Hungarian) that I’ve read about:

/k/ in Finnish - /h/ in Hungarian before backvowels
kala – hal (fish)
kuolla – hal (to die)
kota (hut) – ház (house)
kolme - három

/p/ in Finnish - /f/ in Hungarian
poika – fiú (boy)
puu – fa (tree)

Other words that are said to have common origin:
käsi – kéz (hand)
silmä – szem (eye)
sydän – szív (heart)
jää – jég (ice)
yö – éj (night)
elää – él (to live)
antaa – ad (to give)
mennä – menni (to go)

The common lexicon between Finnish and Magyar is estimated to about 250 words.

-ssa (in) reconstructed to -*sna: talossa, kotona – házban, the same -*na component refers to location in both languages
menemme – megyünk – the personal suffixes are from the same origin

Magyar is classified as an Uralic language based on this common core vocabulary and similar morphological features. The languages have been apart for thousands of years and hungarians have travelled quite a distance and encountered many tribes and languages (Turkish etc.), vocabulary has always been the most interchangeable part of a language and that’s why I’m not suprised when Magyar shows only little evidence of being an Uralic language based on its vocabulary.
I’m not sure if this helped, but there’s not much more evidence that everybody can agree on. IMO seeing Sumerian and Hungarian related is rather absurd to begin with :D

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Postby Car » 2005-02-13, 14:43

stordragon wrote:Learning Finnish maybe does not essentially contribute to one's Estonian-learning, anyway..


That wasn't what I meant, anyway. I'd like to learn a Finno-Ugric language and reduced the candidates to the two. I'd prefer Estonian, but if there aren't resources for it, I'd "have to" choose Finnish. I once asked about the pros and cons.
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Postby Liisi » 2005-02-13, 17:31

Amikeco wrote:Hasn't Liisi once said that Estonians can understand Finnish people but not the other way around.


No. I even disagree with that. Finns do understand some Estonian. I don't really know how Estonians understand Finnish, but it would be logical that it's the same as Estonian for Finns.
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Postby E}{pugnator » 2005-02-14, 12:59

The Estonian corner is now open. Check the VSL.
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Postby stordragon » 2005-02-14, 13:16

maeng wrote:In this case you can’t use elative because you’re not taking the book from within the table, the usage of elative would indicate that the book is actually inside the table, so the usage of ablative is more natural as the book is on surface of the table.

..
IMO seeing Sumerian and Hungarian related is rather absurd to begin with :D

Thank you! :D

I'll spend some time digesting what you have written..
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Postby stordragon » 2005-08-22, 10:46

I shall always keep an eye on the threads where I have been involved.Yeah!
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Postby Loiks » 2005-08-22, 12:12

Liisi wrote:
Amikeco wrote:Hasn't Liisi once said that Estonians can understand Finnish people but not the other way around.


No. I even disagree with that. Finns do understand some Estonian. I don't really know how Estonians understand Finnish, but it would be logical that it's the same as Estonian for Finns.


To my opinion the two languages are not completely mutually intelligible without any studying.
I try to explain it from Estonian point of view.

Northern Estonians usually understand and speak Finnish because they have watched Finnish tv during the Soviet occupation (not the case any more with people under 25). As this language was not learned in classes it is kind of Estonian variant of colloquial Finnish (with lots of mistakes of course). Some people (as my mother for example) are just afraid to speak Finnish, although understand almost everything.

People from the south don't (want to) understand anything. I guess it is the regrettable myth of the Finns being only vodka tourists in Tallinn. But in the funny way Southern Estonian dialects share some common features with Finnish, so I have heard of some older people in there being mutually intelligible with Ingrian Finns (is that the right word in English?). Ingrian Finns were deported to Siberia by Stalin and were not allowed to go back to their old territories, so a lot of them choosed quite logically Estonia as their new home.

Well of course this is not the ultimate truth but my personal point of view. As a native Estonian I would be pleased and honoured to help everybody as much as possible here :)


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