Cases, noun and adjective declensions


Votic has the following productive cases: nominative, genitive, partitive, illative, inessive, elative, allative, adessive, ablative, translative, essive, excessive, abessive, comitative and terminative. A separate accusative occures only with a few pronouns. The following is a brief outline of the cases and their uses.

The nominative has no special marker.

The marker of the genitive singular is the lengthening of the stem vowel, while the plural is formed with the addition of -jõõ/-jee or -ddjõõ/-ddjee, or it can simply be the plural stem. The genitive is used:

-To show possesion
-As an ergative
-As a dative
-As an accusative
-To show person/object doing/accomplishing something

The marker of the partitive is -ta/-tä, -tõ/-te, -sa/-sä, -a/-ä, or just the stem, which is used only to indicate the partitive plural. It is used to show:

-Partial object or subject
-With negation, the object is in the partitive
-After words of quantity
-Origin of someone/something 
-Classification of someone/something into a certain category
-With a comparative, the word with which sg is compared is in partitive
-As a place/time adverbial
-Partitivus causae

The illative is marked by -hõõ/-hee or -haa/-hää with monosyllabic word stems, while words of two or more syllables have a long stem vowel or diphthong, or else a short stem vowel is lengthened. To each of these, the emphatic particle -sõõ/-see may be added. The illative shows:

-Movement towards something
-Placing/situating someone/something somewhere
-Habitual frequentation of a certain place
-Direct connexion between different objects
-Work/activity which someone is setting out to perform
-Person/circumstance/object under whose administration/influence someone/something will come
-Time when something occurs
-It is used with the verb jäämää, "remain"

The inessive is marked by -za/-zä. The geminate stops kk, pp, tt, the geminate ss, the geminate affricates tts and ttš, and the consonant cluster hs are always in the strong grade before this case ending. The inessive indicates:

-An affecting circumstance/power/force
-The time within which something happens
-Activity/work in which someone is engaged

The elative is indicated by -ssa/-ssä. It is used to show:

-Departure/removal from a certain place
-Cessation of a direct connexion between objects
-Source/material of which something is made
-Opening/path thru which some action occurs
-Part of whole under consideration
-Person/being/object being spoken about
-Object for which something is paid/obtained in return
-That which is being caught/held
-Period of time of origin

The marker of the allative is -lõõ/-lee. It is used to indicate:

-Proceeding/putting sy/sg to a place, eg: pani leivää lavvalõõ - "he put the bread on the table"
-Continual frequentation of a place
-Setting out in the direction of someone/something
-Person/object towards whom/which an action is directed
-That which comes under some power/into some situation
-The person to whom one gets married
-Sensory impressions

The adessive is indicated by -lla/-llä, and is used to show:

-Place where/near someone/something is
-Owner (minulla on... = "I have...")
-Person/object to whom/which something happens
-Tool/means with which/with the aid of which something is done
-Situation having some action occuring simultaneously with it
-Person/thing that should do something

The ablative is marked by -lta/-ltä and is used to indicate:

-Person/thing from which something is obtained/from which something proceeds/starts out
-Person from whose place someone is coming/going
-Person/object in respect to whom/which a connexion is broken off
-Person/being by whom something is done

The marker of the translative is -ssi. The translative shows:

-Situation/state in which someone/something is
-Time during which some action stops
-Language spoken

The essive is marked by -na/-nä and is used to show:

-Idea of being/being considered to be something
-Definite time

The marker of the excessive is -ndin the singular. It does not exist in the plural. This is not a very commonly-used case, and it is used primarily with words designating persons or animals. It shows:

-Departure from a situation/sphere of action

The abessive is marked by -tta/-ttä and is used:

-With the preposition ilmaa, "without"

The comitative is formed by genitive + -kaa. Note that vowel harmony does not apply here. The comitative is used to show:

-The idea of being with or beside
-Tool/means with which something is done
-That with which someone/something is equipped

The terminative is formed in the singular by genitive or illative singular + -ssaa with a shortening of the final vowel in polysyllabic words. The terminative plural is formed by genitive plural + -ssaa. Note that vowel harmony does not apply. It indicates:

-Place up to/until which someone/something is going/coming
-Time up until which something occurs
-Measure/span that is/is to be reached


All 1 syllable words ending in a vowel are declined as follows:

          sing.                   pl.
nom       soo     --              sood       -d   
gen       soo     --              soddjee    S+ -ddjõõ/-ddjee
part      soota   -ta/-tä         soita      S+ -ita/-itä
ill       sohaa   S+ -haa/-hee    soisõõ     S+ -isõõ/-isee
iness     sooza   -za/-zä         soiza      S+ -iza/-izä
elat      soossa  -ssa/-ssä       soissa     S+ -issa/-issä
all       soolõõ  -lõõ/-lee       soilõõ     S+ -ilõõ/-ilee
adess     soolla  -lla/-llä       soilla     S+ -illa/-illä
abl       soolta  -lta/-ltä       soilta     S+ -ilta/-iltä
transl    soossi  -ssi            soissi     S+ -issi
ess       soona   -na/-nä         soina      S+ -na/-inä
excess    soond   -nd             -----
abess     sootta  -tta/-ttä       soitta     S+ -itta/-ittä
com       sookaa  gen+ -kaa       soddjeekaa gen+ -kaa
termin    soossaa gen+ -ssaa      soisõssaa  ill-S+ -ssaa

S = Shorten stem vowel
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