Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-21, 2:43

So there is this thread in the Translations forum asking for translations of specific sentences that use various cases. I thought it would be fun to try it in Estonian, but it's harder than I expected, in part because the sentences that were used are not the best examples for those particular cases in Estonian (nor is maja an ideal word to use as an example of cases). Anyway, I thought that rather than responding there, I'd post an attempt here and ask for corrections. We can post it over there later after my initial attempts have been improved. :D
The original was in Finnish, so you can find the Finnish translations in the other thread if you want to look at them. The cases are also based on Finnish (which is why there is Accusative listed, for example, and why the cases that are listed don't always match up with the cases actually used in the Estonian sentences.)

1. (Nominative) "House" is an easy word. = "Maja" on lihtne sõna.
2. (Genitive) I don't like this house's colour. = Mulle ei meeldi selle maja värv.
3. (Accusative in Finnish. Genitive in Estonian?) I'll paint the house. Help me paint the house! = Ma värvin maja. Aidake mind maja värvida! (Should there be an "ära" here? Is "Aidake mul maja värvida" the same?)
4. (Partitive) I'm painting the house. = Ma värvin maja.
5. (Inessive) I live in the house. = Ma elan majas.
6. (Elative) Get out of my house! = Minge mu majast välja!
7. (Illative) I'm going (in)to his/her house. = Ma lähen tema majja.
8. (Adessive) See you at the house! = Näeme majas! (Better example for adessive: Näeme seal! [See you there! We'll see each other there!])
9. (Ablative in Finnish, but elative in Estonian) I walked from [one] house to another. = Ma kõndisin ühest majast teisesse. (Better example for allative: Ma kõndisin ühelt korruselt teisele [I walked from one floor to another]?)
10. (Allative in Finnish) When will you be arriving to [/at] the house? = Millal jõuate maja juurde? (Better example for allative: Paneme majale uued aknad [We're putting new windows on the house].)
11. (Essive) Are you using this shack as a house? = Kas te kasutate seda hütti majana? (Is hütt the right translation? Is kasutama the right verb in this context? Is essive even right or should it be something with nagu?)
12. (Translative) I'll turn it into a house. = Muudan seda majaks.
13. (Instructive - in Finnish. Genitive in Estonian if using järgi here is a reasonable translation. Although to be honest I'm a bit stumped with this one.) They passed on their message with(using) the houses they built. = Levitavad nende sõnumit majade järgi, mille nad ise ehitasid.
14. (Abessive) It's difficult to live without a house. = Raske on majata elada.
15. (Comitative) He appears to be wealthy, with the numerous houses he has. = Ta tundub olevat rikas nende paljude majadega, mille tal on. :?:

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby france-eesti » 2018-09-21, 4:54

Tere! Aitäh! This is wonderful for me, as I wish to understand every case of the Estonian language and compare with Hungarian! 8-)
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-21, 5:59

france-eesti wrote:Tere! Aitäh! This is wonderful for me, as I wish to understand every case of the Estonian language and compare with Hungarian! 8-)

Great! But the caveats:

(1) I'm sure I made mistakes, so wait for the corrections which I hope will come.

(2) In sentence #3 the word maja is in the genitive case but it would change to the nominative case if it were plural, because, well... (it's a total object and)... that's just what it does.

(3) Normally there are 14 cases listed for Estonian, not 15. Accusative is listed here only because it was listed that way on the original list of sentences, which was Finnish. Some linguists do list an accusative case separately for Estonian, but getting into why some linguists do and some linguists don't might scare you off, so I"ll leave it at that. :mrgreen:

(4) Maja is an odd example to use because its nominative, genitive, and partitive forms are identical in the singular form, which isn't true of most words (although it's certainly not the only word like that). Also its illative form is a bit irregular ("irregular" isn't quite the right word here, since it does follow a rule, but it's not the rule most words follow... let's just say that knowing that majja is the illative form of maja might not really help you form the illative of any other word, except maybe ojja [into the creek] and halba tujju [into a bad mood]....) :twisted:

And so on. So I'm not sure that you could say that these particular sentences will really help you "to understand every case of the Estonian language" in the way you might think. :mrgreen: But if you mean seeing which cases Estonian has and an example of one way they can be used, then yeah, it does that.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-09-21, 6:12

I would indeed choose some other word where all the cases are clearly distinguishable from each other. And which hopefully also supports obscure cases like instructive and -tsi (I can't remember what it's called) and maybe some others).

Linguaphile wrote:3. (Accusative in Finnish. Genitive in Estonian?) I'll paint the house. Help me paint the house! = Ma värvin maja. Aidake mind maja värvida! (Should there be an "ära" here? Is "Aidake mul maja värvida" the same?)
I think you could call it accusative in Estonian too. At least it acts and behaves (almost) the same way as Finnish accusative - looking like genitive in some and nominative in other situations, according to a very specific set of rules. Even in your example, the first maja "is" genitive, the second "is" nominative.

I think in Estonian, the notion of cases is usually avoided when referring to this construct. It's mostly referred to as "täissihitis" (total object?), as opposed to "osasihitis" which is effectively partitive case.

Yes, if the case is not distinguishable then you should indeed use "helper words" like "ära" (but could be also "valmis", "lõpuni", "läbi", "selgeks" and many others, depending on the sentence). Sometimes a "helper word" is even mandatory, when without it the meaning wouldn't be the same, or even the sentence wouldn't make much sense at all.

"Aidake mul maja värvida!" is better. In my opinion "Aidake mind maja värvida!" isn't very common, at least not in Standard Estonian. It even sounds a bit unnatural.
Also possible: "Aidake mind maja värvimisel/värvimisega!" (but in this case maja is genitive)


Let's also cover these examples with another word - for example "aed" (in the sense of fence; the word tara would be more correct in this case, but that's not a good word either, for these examples):

"Mulle ei meeldi selle aia värv." - I don't like the color of this fence.
"Ma värvin aeda." - I'm painting a/the fence.
"Ma värvin aia ära." - I'll paint a/the fence. (you can omit the ära if you use some other word, like punaseks for example)
"Aidake mul aed ära värvida!" - Help me paint a/the fence (completely)!
"Aidake mind aia värvimisel/värvimisega!" - Help me with painting a/the fence!

Also possible: "Aidake mul aeda värvida!" - Help me do some painting of a/the fence! (the action doesn't have to have a definitive end result)

Linguaphile wrote:8. (Adessive) See you at the house! = Näeme majas! (Better example for adessive: Näeme seal! [See you there! We'll see each other there!])
9. (Ablative in Finnish, but elative in Estonian) I walked from [one] house to another. = Ma kõndisin ühest majast teisesse. (Better example for allative: Ma kõndisin ühelt korruselt teisele [I walked from one floor to another]?)
10. (Allative in Finnish) When will you be arriving to [/at] the house? = Millal jõuate maja juurde? (Better example for allative: Paneme majale uued aknad [We're putting new windows on the house].)
Indeed, any of these are actually not the examples of the given cases in Estonian. For outer locative cases in case of house, you could use giving/adding something (some feature or part) to a house, house having something (some feature or part) and taking(removing) something (some feature or part) away from a house, for example.

"Millal maja juurde jõuate?" could be also "Millal majani jõuate?" (terminative case).

Linguaphile wrote:11. (Essive) Are you using this shack as a house? = Kas te kasutate seda hütti majana? (Is hütt the right translation? Is kasutama the right verb in this context? Is essive even right or should it be something with nagu?)
Yes, hütt sounds okay. Yes, kasutama is the right verb. And yes, essive is the right case here.

I guess, nagu should be also possible, but it doesn't sound very natural here.

Linguaphile wrote:12. (Translative) I'll turn it into a house. = Muudan selle majaks.
Again, täissihitis. "Muudan seda majaks." would be I am turning it into a house.

Linguaphile wrote:13. (Instructive - in Finnish. Genitive in Estonian if using järgi here is a reasonable translation. Although to be honest I'm a bit stumped with this one.) They passed on their message with(using) the houses they built. = (Nad) Levitavad oma sõnumit majade kaudu, mille nad (ise) ehitasid.
I think better would be "Nad levitavad oma sõnumit oma/enda ehitatud majade kaudu."

Or if it would just be "they spread their message through houses", then "Nad levitavad oma sõnumit majutsi."

Linguaphile wrote:15. (Comitative) He appears to be wealthy, with the numerous houses he has. = Ta tundub olevat rikas nende paljude majadega, mille tal on. :?:
This is tricky. You can make many sentences with different meanings by fiddling with the order of words and cases used. For example:

"Ta tundub olevat rikas nende paljude majade järgi, mis tal on (/mida ta omab)." (or "Nende paljude majade järgi, mis tal on, tundub ta olevat rikas.")
"Kõikide oma majadega näib ta olevat rikas."
"Majade poolest on ta rikas."
etc...


I'll try to make sentences with a better word, as soon as I'll have time.
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Naava » 2018-09-21, 8:41

ainurakne wrote:I would indeed choose some other word where all the cases are clearly distinguishable from each other. And which hopefully also supports obscure cases like instructive and -tsi (I can't remember what it's called) and maybe some others).

Prolative?

ainurakne wrote:I think you could call it accusative in Estonian too.

Is it common to call it accusative?

Linguaphile wrote:9. (Ablative in Finnish, but elative in Estonian) I walked from [one] house to another. = Ma kõndisin ühest majast teisesse. (Better example for allative: Ma kõndisin ühelt korruselt teisele [I walked from one floor to another]?)

You could use elative in Finnish, but it has a different meaning:
- kävelin talolta talolle / talolta toiselle = sounds like you were knocking at their doors (eg. selling stuff)
- kävelin talosta taloon = sounds like you went inside each house (visiting them)

How would you say these in Estonian?

ainurakne wrote:This is tricky. You can make many sentences with different meanings by fiddling with the order of words and cases used.

If it helps, the original one means that he has many houses, therefore he must be rich.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-21, 12:06

ainurakne wrote:"Ma värvin aia ära." - I'll paint a/the fence.
Would this make sense:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I'll paint the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - I'll paint a fence.

I think that's what they somehow suggest here:
https://et.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfektiivne_aspekt

Naava wrote:
ainurakne wrote:This is tricky. You can make many sentences with different meanings by fiddling with the order of words and cases used.

If it helps, the original one means that he has many houses, therefore he must be rich.
It's common to use "otsustades" to express this idea:
"Otsustades nende paljude majade järele/järgi, mis tal on, tundub ta olevat rikas."

france-eesti wrote:Comment va ton apprentissage de l'estonien ? ça se poursuit?
Ça se poursuit !

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-09-22, 11:55

Linguaphile wrote:("irregular" isn't quite the right word here, since it does follow a rule, but it's not the rule most words follow... let's just say that knowing that majja is the illative form of maja might not really help you form the illative of any other word, except maybe ojja [into the creek] and halba tujju [into a bad mood]....) :twisted:
And ajju (into the brain). Or actually pretty much any (C)VCV word that can become (C)VCCV in illative case (although, the short illative form is not used for all the words that can possibly have it).

Naava wrote:Prolative?
Yes!

Naava wrote:Is it common to call it accusative?
Oh, I meant that one could call this construct, that occurs in Estonian language, "accusative case" when talking about it in English. It's not called akusatiiv in Estonian.

Naava wrote:You could use elative in Finnish, but it has a different meaning:
- kävelin talolta talolle / talolta toiselle = sounds like you were knocking at their doors (eg. selling stuff)
- kävelin talosta taloon = sounds like you went inside each house (visiting them)

How would you say these in Estonian?
I would say:
- käisin ukselt uksele
- käisin majast majja

Prantsis wrote:Would this make sense:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I'll paint the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - I'll paint a fence.
If you contrast them like this, then indeed it feels as if the first one is more like the fence and the second one a fence. I wouldn't say this is something common in spoken language, though.

Whether it's a specific fence or just some random fence is usually obvious from the context (or to the people having the conversation), or it doesn't matter at all. If it's really needed to point out that it's some random fence (most likely a one that the speaker itself doesn't know about yet), then it could be referred to as üks aed. And if it needs explanation which fence is it, then one must specify which is it or whom does it belong to.

Prantsis wrote:
Naava wrote:
ainurakne wrote:This is tricky. You can make many sentences with different meanings by fiddling with the order of words and cases used.

If it helps, the original one means that he has many houses, therefore he must be rich.
It's common to use "otsustades" to express this idea:
"Otsustades nende paljude majade järele/järgi, mis tal on, tundub ta olevat rikas."
Yes, I think this a really good example.

Also possible (with comitative):
"Kõikide oma majadega tundub ta (päris/üpris) rikas olevat."
"Oma paljude majadega tundub ta (päris/üpris) rikas olevat."

---

I couldn't think of a better word for examples than laud = a table, a wooden board

  • Nominative: Laud on köögis. - The table is in the kitchen
  • Genitive: Laua üks jalg on lühem kui teised. - Table's one leg is shorter than the others
  • Partitive: Katan lauda. - I am setting the table; Katsin lauda. - I was setting the table
  • Accusative: Katan laua. - I will set the table; Katsin laua. - I set(past) the table; Kata laud! - Set the table!; Õhtusöögiks tuleb katta laud. - The table must be set for the dinner
  • Illative: Tagusin naela lauda(/lauasse) - I hammered a nail into the board/table; Also possible: Tagusin naela laua sisse.
    Illative is also used for, for example: Istusime lauda. - We sat down to the table
  • Inessive: Lauas on nael. - There is a nail in the board/table; Also possible: Laua sees on nael.
    Inessive is also used for, for example: Istume lauas. - We are sitting at the table
  • Elative: Kangutasin lauast naela (välja). - I pried a nail out from the board/table; Also possible: Kangutasin laua seest naela (välja).
  • Allative: Panin toidu lauale. - I put the food onto the table; Also possible: Panin toidu laua peale. (although in this context it emphasizes that it's really the top of the table where I put the food at)
    Allative is also used when giving/adding something to someone/something, for example: Kruvisin lauale jala alla/külge. - I screwed a leg onto the table, I attached a leg to the table
  • Adessive: Toit on laual. - The food is on the table; Also possible: Toit on laua peal. (although in this context it emphasizes that it's really the top of the table where the food is)
    Adessive is also used when someone/something has something, for example: Laual on neli jalga (all). - The table has four legs
  • Ablative: Koristasin toidu laualt. - I took off the food from on the table (after eating); Also possible: Koristasin toidu laua pealt (ära).
    Ablative is also used when taking something away from someone/something, for example: Eemaldasin laualt jala. - I removed a leg from the table
  • Translative: Muutsin selle kännu lauaks. - I turned this stump into a table
  • Terminative: Ma ei ulatu lauani. - I can't reach to the table; Kõndisin lauani ja tagasi. - I walked up to the table and back
  • Essiva: Seda kändu kasutatakse lauana. - This stump is used as a table
  • Abessive: (Ilma) Lauata on köögis kõle. - It's bleak/empty in the kitchen without (having) a table
    Could be also used kind of like an adjective: (Ilma) Lauata köök. - A kitchen without a table
    Could also mean the lack of having a "tool": Lasin (ilma) (lume)lauata mäest alla. - I slid down the hill without (having) a snowboard
  • Comitative: usually used when doing something (together) with someone/something, so I can't think of a good example here.
    Could be also used kind of like an adjective: Lauaga köök. - A kitchen with a table
    Is also used when using something as a "tool": Lasin (lume)lauaga mäest alla. - I slid down the hill with a snowboard; Äigasin talle lauaga. - I hit(past) him with a board
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-22, 23:19

ainurakne wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:("irregular" isn't quite the right word here, since it does follow a rule, but it's not the rule most words follow... let's just say that knowing that majja is the illative form of maja might not really help you form the illative of any other word, except maybe ojja [into the creek] and halba tujju [into a bad mood]....) :twisted:
And ajju (into the brain). Or actually pretty much any (C)VCV word that can become (C)VCCV in illative case (although, the short illative form is not used for all the words that can possibly have it).

Naava wrote:Prolative?
Yes!

Naava wrote:Is it common to call it accusative?
Oh, I meant that one could call this construct, that occurs in Estonian language, "accusative case" when talking about it in English. It's not called akusatiiv in Estonian.

Naava wrote:You could use elative in Finnish, but it has a different meaning:
- kävelin talolta talolle / talolta toiselle = sounds like you were knocking at their doors (eg. selling stuff)
- kävelin talosta taloon = sounds like you went inside each house (visiting them)

How would you say these in Estonian?
I would say:
- käisin ukselt uksele
- käisin majast majja

Prantsis wrote:Would this make sense:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I'll paint the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - I'll paint a fence.
If you contrast them like this, then indeed it feels as if the first one is more like the fence and the second one a fence. I wouldn't say this is something common in spoken language, though.

Whether it's a specific fence or just some random fence is usually obvious from the context (or to the people having the conversation), or it doesn't matter at all. If it's really needed to point out that it's some random fence (most likely a one that the speaker itself doesn't know about yet), then it could be referred to as üks aed. And if it needs explanation which fence is it, then one must specify which is it or whom does it belong to.

Prantsis wrote:
Naava wrote:
ainurakne wrote:This is tricky. You can make many sentences with different meanings by fiddling with the order of words and cases used.

If it helps, the original one means that he has many houses, therefore he must be rich.
It's common to use "otsustades" to express this idea:
"Otsustades nende paljude majade järele/järgi, mis tal on, tundub ta olevat rikas."
Yes, I think this a really good example.

Also possible (with comitative):
"Kõikide oma majadega tundub ta (päris/üpris) rikas olevat."
"Oma paljude majadega tundub ta (päris/üpris) rikas olevat."

---

I couldn't think of a better word for examples than laud = a table, a wooden board

  • Nominative: Laud on köögis. - The table is in the kitchen
  • Genitive: Laua üks jalg on lühem kui teised. - Table's one leg is shorter than the others
  • Partitive: Katan lauda. - I am setting the table; Katsin lauda. - I was setting the table
  • Accusative: Katan laua. - I will set the table; Katsin laua. - I set(past) the table; Kata laud! - Set the table!; Õhtusöögiks tuleb katta laud. - The table must be set for the dinner
  • Illative: Tagusin naela lauda(/lauasse) - I hammered a nail into the board/table; Also possible: Tagusin naela laua sisse.
    Illative is also used for, for example: Istusime lauda. - We sat down to the table
  • Inessive: Lauas on nael. - There is a nail in the board/table; Also possible: Laua sees on nael.
    Inessive is also used for, for example: Istume lauas. - We are sitting at the table
  • Elative: Kangutasin lauast naela (välja). - I pried a nail out from the board/table; Also possible: Kangutasin laua seest naela (välja).
  • Allative: Panin toidu lauale. - I put the food onto the table; Also possible: Panin toidu laua peale. (although in this context it emphasizes that it's really the top of the table where I put the food at)
    Allative is also used when giving/adding something to someone/something, for example: Kruvisin lauale jala alla/külge. - I screwed a leg onto the table, I attached a leg to the table
  • Adessive: Toit on laual. - The food is on the table; Also possible: Toit on laua peal. (although in this context it emphasizes that it's really the top of the table where the food is)
    Adessive is also used when someone/something has something, for example: Laual on neli jalga (all). - The table has four legs
  • Ablative: Koristasin toidu laualt. - I took off the food from on the table (after eating); Also possible: Koristasin toidu laua pealt (ära).
    Ablative is also used when taking something away from someone/something, for example: Eemaldasin laualt jala. - I removed a leg from the table
  • Translative: Muutsin selle kännu lauaks. - I turned this stump into a table
  • Terminative: Ma ei ulatu lauani. - I can't reach to the table; Kõndisin lauani ja tagasi. - I walked up to the table and back
  • Essiva: Seda kändu kasutatakse lauana. - This stump is used as a table
  • Abessive: (Ilma) Lauata on köögis kõle. - It's bleak/empty in the kitchen without (having) a table
    Could be also used kind of like an adjective: (Ilma) Lauata köök. - A kitchen without a table
    Could also mean the lack of having a "tool": Lasin (ilma) (lume)lauata mäest alla. - I slid down the hill without (having) a snowboard
  • Comitative: usually used when doing something (together) with someone/something, so I can't think of a good example here.
    Could be also used kind of like an adjective: Lauaga köök. - A kitchen with a table
    Is also used when using something as a "tool": Lasin (lume)lauaga mäest alla. - I slid down the hill with a snowboard; Äigasin talle lauaga. - I hit(past) him with a board


:congrats: Suurepärane postitus. Suur aitäh! :thanks:

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-23, 14:19

ainurakne wrote:
Prantsis wrote:Would this make sense:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I'll paint the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - I'll paint a fence.
If you contrast them like this, then indeed it feels as if the first one is more like the fence and the second one a fence. I wouldn't say this is something common in spoken language, though.

Now I realize my question was a bit stupid. On the page I linked to they say known/unknown, and I jumped to definite/indefinite (maybe because of their example?) But that's not the same thing.
In our case, I guess you could use the second word order if what you'll paint is the main new (=unknown) information in the sentence, so, likely, if the fact that you'll paint something is already known: "I'll paint a/the fence, not (the) shutters."

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-09-23, 15:34

Prantsis wrote:Now I realize my question was a bit stupid. On the page I linked to they say known/unknown, and I jumped to definite/indefinite (maybe because of their example?) But that's not the same thing.
In our case, I guess you could use the second word order if what you'll paint is the main new (=unknown) information in the sentence, so, likely, if the fact that you'll paint something is already known: "I'll paint a/the fence, not (the) shutters."
Indeed, I was wondering what other rule that I know of, this new a - the rule contradicts. But unfortunately I couldn't recall.

But of course, it's not a new rule, it's the same one, that for some reason I couldn't recognize. :silly:

Indeed, it should be something like:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I will paint a/the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - It is fence that I will paint.

There's also Aia värvin ära., but I'm having hard time figuring out the exact meaning (in English) of this. I guess, it's similar to the first one? But the topic is the fence not the action of painting it?
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-23, 16:10

ainurakne wrote:Indeed, it should be something like:
Ma värvin aia ära. - I will paint a/the fence.
Ma värvin ära aia. - It is fence that I will paint.

There's also Aia värvin ära., but I'm having hard time figuring out the exact meaning (in English) of this. I guess, it's similar to the first one? But the topic is the fence not the action of painting it?

Yes, something like:
What will you do? -> Ma värvin aia ära.
What will you paint? -> Ma värvin ära aia.
What will you do about the fence? -> Aia värvin ära.

For English, I'm not õige inimene. I guess I'd just say "the fence, I'll paint it".

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Naava » 2018-09-23, 16:16

How about "it's the fence I'm painting / I'll paint"? I could also imagine it being part of a list when a person is explaining what kind of things they're going to do, something like "oh and the fence, it needs painting". Am I right? I don't really know how Estonian word order works. :P

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby ainurakne » 2018-09-23, 16:57

ainurakne wrote:There's also Aia värvin ära., but I'm having hard time figuring out the exact meaning (in English) of this. I guess, it's similar to the first one? But the topic is the fence not the action of painting it?
Hmm, now that I started thinking about it, Aia värvin ära. could also be the answer for the question Mille sa ära värvid? (what will you paint) - so it actually seems to be more like the second meaning (it is fence that I will paint). On the other hand Mis sa täna teed? - Aia värvin ära. is also okay (and seems to be rather the first meaning - I will paint the fence).
So maybe this one is not at all about tuntud or tundmatu, but only about whether (a/the) fence is the topic / focal point of the conversation or not.

Prantsis wrote:Yes, something like:
What will you do? -> Ma värvin aia ära.
What will you paint? -> Ma värvin ära aia.
What will you do about the fence? -> Aia värvin ära.
I would rather say:
What will you do? -> Ma värvin aia ära. but Aia värvin ära. is also okay (EDIT: or actually also Ma värvin ära aia.)
What will you paint? -> Aia värvin ära. or simply Aia.
What will you do about the fence? -> Ära värvin. (EDIT: or (Ma) värvin ta ära.)

Eh, I guess it's easier to learn to use all this correctly (through experience), than actually trying to figure out what it really means.
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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-23, 17:46

ainurakne wrote:So maybe this one is not at all about tuntud or tundmatu, but only about whether (a/the) fence is the topic / focal point of the conversation or not.

From my understanding,
whether the fence is the topic = tuntud/tundmatu.
In the first two examples, fence is not the topic.

I think there are two different "rules" here that can affect the word order, in possibly contradictory ways:
- the comment (tundmatu) about the topic (tuntud) is put in last position
- something you want to emphasize can be put in first position

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-23, 20:08

ainurakne wrote:
Prantsis wrote:Yes, something like:
What will you do? -> Ma värvin aia ära.
What will you paint? -> Ma värvin ära aia.
What will you do about the fence? -> Aia värvin ära.
I would rather say:
What will you do? -> Ma värvin aia ära. but Aia värvin ära. is also okay (EDIT: or actually also Ma värvin ära aia.)
What will you paint? -> Aia värvin ära. or simply Aia.
What will you do about the fence? -> Ära värvin. (EDIT: or (Ma) värvin ta ära.)

It's difficult to translate the distinctions between these to English. It depends a lot on context and I think that English often uses intonation in the way that Estonian uses word order to put emphasis on certain words, so you may have two different sentences in Estonian that appear to have the same translation in English, when in spoken English the intonation would be different.

What will you paint? -> Aia värvin ära. or simply Aia.

I think that last part is important: "or simply Aia" - part of the problem with translating sentences like this is that in actual conversation it's less likely to involve a complete sentence and more likely to involve a shorter answer like "Aia" (or in English, "What will you paint? The fence!").
Prantsis wrote:What will you do about the fence? -> Aia värvin ära.
Ainurakne wrote:What will you do about the fence? -> Ära värvin. (EDIT: or (Ma) värvin ta ära.)

Prantsis wrote:For English, I'm not õige inimene. I guess I'd just say "the fence, I'll paint it".
Naava wrote:How about "it's the fence I'm painting / I'll paint"?

Putting the topic first as a form of emphasis is a type of construction that is used often in speech but not often written that way in English. It might even be considered two sentences (the first one being incomplete and only mentioning the topic): "The fence.... I'll paint it." "The fence? I'll paint it." Or just like Ma värvin ta ära: "I'll paint it," with no mention of "fence" at all (in either language) because we already know it's the topic being discussed.

ainurakne wrote:Eh, I guess it's easier to learn to use all this correctly (through experience), than actually trying to figure out what it really means.


Prantsis wrote:I think there are two different "rules" here that can affect the word order, in possibly contradictory ways:
- the comment (tundmatu) about the topic (tuntud) is put in last position
- something you want to emphasize can be put in first position

Yes, I think that makes sense. I tend to follow the second rule and some other 'rules' like putting certain verb forms at the end of the sentence a bit too rigidly, therefore ignoring (well, forgetting about or being ignorant of) some of the other "unwritten rules" that native speakers follow. And since Estonian has relatively free word order, there are a lot of those. In other words once I "learn" a word-order rule I'm too reluctant to "break" it when a different rule or convention should override it.
I think it's kind of like the "order of adjectives" rules in English: native speakers follow them instinctively, but most native speakers couldn't tell you what they are (a lot of native English speakers would even be surprised to discover they exist), and even when someone does tell you, it comes out seeming overly complicated and almost impossible to learn correctly. But eventually through practice it falls into place. (Although I can't say that it has fallen into place in Estonian for me yet. But I hope that it will someday. Eventually.) :mrgreen:

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-24, 20:33

Linguaphile wrote:Putting the topic first as a form of emphasis is a type of construction that is used often in speech but not often written that way in English.

I've been reading Tammsaare lately, and sometimes he does exactly that: putting the topic first, and in nominative case. I should have written down examples, I was able to find back only this one:

Ainult Krõõt, Vargamäe noor perenaine, temal ei olnud täna unistusi oma mehe kõrval.

I'm pretty sure I've never seen this type of construction in any other book so far. Do you know if it ever occurs in speech?

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-25, 1:32

Prantsis wrote:
Linguaphile wrote:Putting the topic first as a form of emphasis is a type of construction that is used often in speech but not often written that way in English.

I've been reading Tammsaare lately, and sometimes he does exactly that: putting the topic first, and in nominative case. I should have written down examples, I was able to find back only this one:

Ainult Krõõt, Vargamäe noor perenaine, temal ei olnud täna unistusi oma mehe kõrval.

I'm pretty sure I've never seen this type of construction in any other book so far. Do you know if it ever occurs in speech?


To me it sounds very literary, like a story teller telling a long story to an audience, but that is mainly the effect of the appositives or parallelism - naming the same person three different ways (Krõõt, Vargamäe noor perenaine, tema). I'm not sure why there is the shift in case. I imagine a person thinking as he speaks, not yet sure how he is going to finish the sentence: Ainult Krõõt, Vargamäe noor perenaine... [here the speaker decides how he is going to finish the sentence, so he realizes he needs adessive case] temal ei olnud...
But seriously, although I'm sure that does actually happen sometimes in speech, I doubt that's why Tammsaare wrote it that way. I don't know what the rule is but saying the whole thing in adessive case doesn't sound right to me: Krõõdal, Vargamäe noorel perenaisel, temal ei olnud... I don't know if there is some sort of rule against that, or if it sounds wrong to me just because it is unusual to use a person's name and a pronoun together in the same sentence.
Wikipedia has a good summary of Järellisandi ühildumine that seems as if it should be relevant, but none of it seems to explain the use of cases in the example you gave. Eesti keele käsiraamat also seems like it really gets close to the right topic but doesn't explain this particular example either.

*I had written a (longer, less hurried) post a few minutes ago, but made the mistake of trying to post during Unilang's system downtime without looking at the clock first to realize it was time for that, and got an SQL error message "Too many connections [1040]"... when I clicked on "back" to go back to the message I was trying to post to wait a few minutes and re-try, my message was gone. Grrrr... So this is my second attempt.
Edit: later went back and re-wrote some of that earlier post.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-25, 20:52

Linguaphile wrote:To me it sounds very literary,

In my opinion, it's a very natural construction, and I'm surprised not to see it more often.
As I understand it, the sentence's meaning tends toward "aga mis puutus Krõõdasse, siis temal ei olnud täna unistusi..." or "ainult Krõõdal omalt poolt ei olnud täna unistusi...". I don't see temal as an appositive, and I'm not even sure it has to necessarily follow perenaine directly. (And I don't think either that "Krõõdal, temal, ei olnud..." would be fine. You should probably say "Krõõdal endal ei olnud..." instead.)

I've found something in Eesti keele grammatika, but their example is quite different:
"
Märkus. Mõnikord on apositsioohina käsitletud ka selliseid lauseelemente, mis täpsustavad lause algul eraldi välja toodud elemente, nagu «Kuld − sellest metallist unistasid alkeemikud». Sellise käsitluse korral on paraku arvestatud ainult semantilisi, mitte aga süntaktilisi asjaolusid. Sõna kuld on käsitatav lausest välja tõstetud elemendina, nn (sõltumatu) TOPIKUNA, millel ei ole mingit grammatilist seost verbiga unistama. Kui kuld oleks verbi unistama laiendava lisanditarindi põhi, peaks ta olema illatiivis nagu tarind sellest metallist. Selline topik on pigem iseseisev nominaalne lause kui teise lause element. Kirjas need kaks lauset lihtsalt vormistatakse leppeliselt üheks.
"

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Prantsis » 2018-09-26, 20:56

Here's a whole article (in French) about this construction in spoken Estonian. They call it initial detachment / algteemat sisaldav lahktarind, and also eelteema "preposed theme".
In the introduction, they confirm my impression that in written language this type of construction isn't as common in Estonian as it is in French.

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Re: Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-09-27, 1:00

Prantsis wrote:Here's a whole article (in French) about this construction in spoken Estonian. They call it initial detachment / algteemat sisaldav lahktarind, and also eelteema "preposed theme".
In the introduction, they confirm my impression that in written language this type of construction isn't as common in Estonian as it is in French.

Got it. I didn't quite understand what you meant before. I would call it eelteema. In English it is called left dislocation. I think it's possible that it is not quite as common in any language as it is in French. :P Algteemat sisaldav lahktarind is probably a term invented by the author of the article that you posted :?:

Eesti keele grammatika (1993) describes it this way:
Eelteemaks nimetatakse lauseelementi, mis tähistab seda, mille suhtes kogu järgnev teade on relevantne.
Eelteema võib olla viiteseoses järgneva lause mingi moodustajaga, kuid seejuures puudub nende vahel vormiline seos: eelteema on substantiivina alati nominatiivis, verbina da-infinitiivis. Puhtsüntaktilisest aspektist võib eelteemat käsitleda iseseisva fraaslausena.

.
It seems that it should normally be written with an en dash, not a comma, but the example you from Tammsaare had an additional appositional element (Vargamäe noor perenaine) in addition to the left dislocation so that may be the reason for the difference. Without that extra element I think it should have been written
Ainult Krõõt – temal ei olnud täna unistusi oma mehe kõrval.

I'm really not sure whether you could write
Ainult Krõõt, Vargamäe noor perenaine – temal ei olnud täna unistusi oma mehe kõrval.

I want to say yes... but since that's not what Tammsaare wrote, I'm not sure. There must be some reason it was written the way it was and I'm in no position to question Tammsaare's grammar or punctuation. :D The use of comma at the beginning of the appositive Vargamäe noor perenaine may require that another one be used at the end of it, precluding the dash. Or something to do with the word ainult being included. Or something. I don't see an explanation in any of the resources I looked in and I'm pretty sure that's beyond my knowledge of Estonian punctuation. :)

These are some more examples of nimetavas käändes eelteema from Eesti keele grammatika, Eesti keele käsiraamat and Vikipeedia.
Mart – tema on üks kummaline inimene.
Laupäev – see on ju parim päev nädalas!
Poiss – temaga on meil palju muret.
Kuld – sellest metallist unistasid juba alkeemikud.
Mets, loomad, maa, vesi, õhk – seda kõike peab hoidma nagu oma hinge.
Väikesed rõõmud – neid leidub meie kõigi argipäevas.


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