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6WC - Finnish (MGF)

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MeshGearFox
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 Message 1 of 38
15 April 2007 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
Right. Funny how things work out, sometimes. Let's just say I haven't entirely given up on Welsh yet, but that I'm probably going to postpone it till after Knarvil's done it for a bit so I can get some advice off of him. I'm not exactly sure what causes me to make this decision. Hearing that welsh numbers are, at least in part, in base sixteen may have contributed. In either case, I might pick it back up for the final five weeks and just go a week longer on it or something.

Anyway, last night I found some online forum courses. Let's just say they're gone now, unfortunately. Anyway, what did I go over?

Writen pronouns in the nominative case (Minä, Sinä, et al). The genitive case, the inessive case, and pluralization. Also a little on verbs and forming questions, which I'm forgetting a bit. The plural verb endings are nice since, really, you're just appending the plural pronoun to the end of it for two of them (Asuu -> Me asumme/Te asutte).

Anyway, I recall those old Stair/Truck Dismount games. Porrasturvat and Rekkaturvat, I believe, they were called. -Vat is the third person plural ending? Am I correct in my assumption that it's being used in these instances to form a noun that means something like "One who dismounts from stairs"?

Tonight... I focus on getting the present tense verb forms down, getting used to gradation (this resembles what Japanese verbs in plain form do, so it shouldn't be anything too strange). Hopefully this occurs regularly.

Not yet focusing on listening. The language seems phonetic, and I've heard spoken finnish before -- it sounds quite clear. I'll do this after I get the cases down. I'm not entirely sure yet how much written and spoken finnish differe. It doesn't seem like it's TOO bad but I'm not really sure about any of this yet. I only saw a brief summary on unilang wiki.

I'm not focusing too much on vocabulary right now. Once I can break down cases and consonant gradation, I can start working on that more effectively, since declining every noun I find in all 15 cases, for instance, SHOULD help me memorize it.

Anyway, I heard double vowels in Finnish diphthong. Does this also apply to 'ea' and 'ae'? I can't find any way to blend them comfortably.

One interesting thing I've noticed is that there are some interesting parallels to Russian. Some of the partitive case usages in Finnish, for instance, correspond to a few similar usages in russian, following the genitive case. Also, the way to express 'having' also comes to mind. Did the finno-ugric and Slavic languages ever interact and share some features?

Also, Finnish could be slightly helpful for my later goal of learning Swedish -- apparently, they both have a few loanwords from eachother.

---

Did some additional reading on gradation. Yky/Uku clusters go to yvy/uvu, apparently? This is interesting -- it reminds me of how 'g' in Russian tends to turn into a 'v' sound between various vowels. Doubting this is a case of interaction, though, but possibly something that could be more widespread -- some sort of lenition, maybe?

Edited by MeshGearFox on 15 April 2007 at 11:41pm



MeshGearFox
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 Message 2 of 38
16 April 2007 at 12:40am | IP Logged 
Okay, day two. Consonant gradation doesn't seem that bad. Vowel harmony is, thankfully, also much simpler than I thought it was going to be. The -i/-e ending irregularity in... the genetive case? any case? sort of confuses me, but that's a relatively minor irregularity that only has two possible forms.

Basically, I read through both parts of the unilang finnish course. No comprehensive study, but I'm just getting a feel for what I need to look for. I've seen a few things that are looking like potential trouble spots.

1) In the plural form with cases, sometimes the added i is just tacked on, and sometimes it takes the place of the final vowel in the stem. I'm not sure if there are rules or logic behind this.

2) With the illative case, I understand when and why you put in the h in certain instances -- maaan isn't phonetically possible, I'm assuming, being the biggest reason -- the reasons for the -seen endings confuse me.

3) With superlative and comparative forms of adjectives, the final parts on some words seems to... change substantially. Same for imperative verbs. Not sure if this is irregular or if I'm just not being made privvy to some sort of rule.

Definitely proving interesting so far, and finding out that the word for shop is, apparently, kauppa made me smile. I think I'll start learning words from the vocabularies for the various readings on Ymmärrä just for the fun of it.



Serpent
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 Message 3 of 38
16 April 2007 at 7:10am | IP Logged 
Great that you started Finnish! :) You might find some useful links here

Not sure about partitive, but the way of expressing "to have" in Russian is really loaned from Finnish.

I don't quite get the question about Porrasturvat and Rekkaturvat, but -va is used to form participles, not nouns.

"ae" and "ea" are not diphtongs.

Frankly speaking I don't think Finnish will be much help for your Swedish, German should help a lot more. Although there are probably more learning materials available for Swedish in Finnish than in English, German or Russian, so at least this should help :)

I'm a native speaker of Russian and yet can't come up with an example of v turning into g. Could you provide one? It seems that I don't know my mother tongue well:)

As for i->e, it happens in all cases, except (not always) partitive. e usually appears in words of Finnish origin while loanwords keep the i.

Yes, there are rules for all the three things that you mentioned as potential trouble spots.
h+vowel+n is the illative ending only in the words that have one syllable, when there are two syllables it's -seen, as simple as that:) I can't remember any word (not compound) that has three or more syllables and ends with a long vowel, but when such words end with diphtongs the ending is hVn again, like Petroskoi - Petroskoihin.
As for comparative forms, a and ä just change into e in two-syllable words. I'm not quite sure what you meant with imperative verbs, but if you meant forms like ajetaan, kirjoitetaan etc then the rule is the same except that the number of syllables is not important here.


Did I understand correctly that your current goal is to get down all the 15 cases? Actually I don't think you need them all right now, especially such rare ones as abessive, comitative and instructive that are mostly used in fixed expressions. At least the book that I used at the beginning of my Finnish studies introduced the cases gradually, in the following order: genetive, the location cases, partitive, essive and translative, the two last ones being introduced only in the 13th lesson. btw, that book has only 20 lessons and doesn't even introduce the three less common cases. So I'd recommend learning both the cases and their usage at the same time.





jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 4 of 38
16 April 2007 at 10:53am | IP Logged 
MeshGearFox wrote:
it reminds me of how 'g' in Russian tends to turn into a 'v' sound between various vowels.


Serpent - as you can see it isn't 'v' into 'g', but the other way around. I hope you're familiar with его, кого et.c. :D



Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 16 April 2007 at 10:53am



Serpent
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 Message 5 of 38
16 April 2007 at 12:52pm | IP Logged 
Oh, so you mean г pronounced as в, not turning into в (in Finnish that happens the same way as in Russian г can turn into ж like in бегать - бежать).



MeshGearFox
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 Message 6 of 38
16 April 2007 at 4:27pm | IP Logged 
"I don't quite get the question about Porrasturvat and Rekkaturvat, but -va is used to form participles, not nouns."

Looking back at the english site, I seem to have gotten the English title wrong.

"Did I understand correctly that your current goal is to get down all the 15 cases? "

I sort of mixed two different ideas. A current goal is to get all 15 cases down, yes, but a more pressing goal is just to learn the real major ones. They look like they're generally easier than, say, Russian's cases. No gender helps, and vowel harmony serves as a sort-of parallel to hard/soft endings.

In any case, I was considering going more gradually with the cases, but I think a brute force method would serve me better.

Also, the thing that was throwing me off was how words that end in -nen in their dictionary form go to -se when being inflected.

Edited by MeshGearFox on 16 April 2007 at 5:38pm



MeshGearFox
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 Message 7 of 38
16 April 2007 at 6:39pm | IP Logged 
Well, this'll be my Day 3 post. I'll update it when I have more questions/comments.

Question:

Nouns ending in -s seem to behave differently when declined. To quote Wikipedia's article on finnish grammar:

"Vocalization or lenition is found in addition to any possible consonant gradation, e.g. kuningas (nominative) ~ kuninkaan (genitive), or mies ~ miehen. The illatives are marked thus: kuninkaaseen, mieheen."

I'm not entirely sure what this means.

[Something about vesi was here. More on this later.]

Also, with the illative case, if the word you're working with usually ends in one vowel, but you add -i- to make it plural, does that count as a second vowel, this necessitating -siin or -hin, instead of just -in?

---update---

Mostly done for today. Gonna read up on pronouns in various cases, but that should be easy, then maybe list vocabulary. So, progress.

Learned about adessive, allative, and ablative. Adessive isn't hard -- as I said earlier, it's the same as У меня есть... constructions in Russian when you're using it for possession, and the other instances sound basically easy.

Allative... I think I get it. Is it similar to illative, only instead of going INTO something, going to that something and then not going inside? Like the zu/in distinction in German for if you're going to a store, and standing outside and waiting for someone, or actually going into said store? This is probably the most roundabout way I can explain how I'm interpreting it, but...

As for the ablative, I'm not exactly sure how it's different from elative. Apparently it's used if you're recieving something from someone, whereas elative can be used to show that something is made out of something (like из + genetive in Russian?)

ah, what else. Possessive suffixes. I get what they are and how to use them, but I seem to have reached a point of dissagreement. One source says you always need to use these with genetive pronouns, while one source said that this is primarily a literary feature and people don't actually use the suffixes when speaking. Anyone have any clue which is which?

Finally, this is the really big and sort of weird part I was wondering about. It deals with nouns ending in -i that go to -e in the inflected forms. Apparently, they take various other stem changes when doing this. I've seen some patterns as to what does what, and I'm just wondering if my analysis is right.

A) Suomi aside, if a word goes from -i to -e in the declined forms, nothing interesting happens.

B) If the word is two syllables and has a double vowel (Double vowels?) in it, the final -i is dropped in parative, and becomes -e in other cases.

C) If the word's final consonant is an -s, treat the stem's ending, when declining, as -te. Vesi -> Vete, Uusi -> Uute?

(By the way -- I'm not actually expecting anyone to answer these questions -- I'm mostly just thinking out loud. If anyone feels like answering my... well, admittedly poorly-phrased inquiries, go ahead :P)

Edited by MeshGearFox on 16 April 2007 at 9:31pm



Serpent
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 Message 8 of 38
17 April 2007 at 3:28pm | IP Logged 
The difference between ellative/ablative, inessive/adessive and illative/allative is the same: the former one means being inside something while the latter means being at some place or on something.

As for the possessive suffices, in "correct" language they are always used while the pronouns are left out (except the 3rd person), but in spoken language pronouns are usually not left out while the possessive suffices are (except eg the pronoun itse - oneself and some other situations)

I can't think of any word that has an i at the end and has a double vowel, but the i is not always dropped in the partitive, it depends on the consonant before it - it's easy to say merta, but try to say kivtä ;D obviously kiveä is much easier to say. If I´m not mistaken, the only consonants after which the i is dropped are n, r and l.

as for -si words, you got it right :))))

The analogy with из+genitive is also correct ;)

as for illative in the plural, the ending is siin if the word has seen in the singular and hin if i forms a diphtong with the last vowel of the stem.

wish i had known that much on my 3rd day of Finnish 0_0 I remember very well how during the first 7 or so lessons it took me 1 day to study the first one, two days to study the second one etc :D



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