Curiosities in Finnish

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Omzinesý
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Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

Years ago, I made a Finnish course here. Honestly, the Internet is full of better ones. Finnish is not that rare. I learned more myself than if somebody ever read my explanations.
Anyway, I think there are curiosities in Finnish (and surely every other language someone happens to know) that people here could be interested in, curiosities that are not mentioned in basic text books. So, this thread is rather a blog on things I think might interest linguistics nerds.

Content:

Words for 'friend': This massage below
Difference between pronouns hän and se: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7129#p298170
Word order and information structure: viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7129#p298477
Modal verbs for 'be able': viewtopic.php?f=29&t=7129#p298566


Finnish has several words for 'friend'. One might theorize how is caused by our stereotypical love of privacy.
The difference between (1), (2), and (3) is basically the degree of closeness. (4) rather based on something shared, rather than closeness.

1) tuttu (~ tuttava)
Etymologically it is a passive participle of tuntea 'to feel' or 'to know'. The corresponding participles in modern language are tunnettu and tunnettava. At some stage of Proto-Finnic clusters of three consonants were not allowed, so tun(e)ttu => tuttu, tunn(e)ttava => tuttava (similarly *lapsta => lasta, lapsi 'child').
Semantically it means a not-very-close friend, person you greet when you happen to meet. i think "acquaintance" does as a translation.

2) kaveri
I have at least heard a theory that kaveri is an amalgamation of "comrade" (not a Finnish word but appears in languages of the area) and toveri (in 4).
This is the word you usually use for "friends". They are people you like and have voluntary contact with. You hang together etc.

3) ystävä
Its etymology is vague. The nicest I found is there was an old verb *yskätä 'to hug'. So ystävä would be an old passive participle *yskättävä 'one being hugged'.
Ystävä means a very close friend. People usually have only one or two of them. Many have none. You should be able to trust your ystävä and tell them intimate things etc.

(4)
There is also word toveri.
It's a loan from Russian товарищ.
You don't need to like your toveri. Toveri is one with whom you have something in common.
luokkatoveri 'class friend' i.e. person at the same class
kohtalotoveri 'destiny friend' i.e. a person that has experienced similar things
työtoveri 'colleague'
huonetoveri 'room mate'
Toveri has, however, had some inflation because it is nowadays heavily associated with communists. toveri Stalin, toveri Kuusinen, toveri Jylling etc. Our new prime minister Sanna Marin, though, likes to start her speeches with "Toverit, ..." 'Friends, ...'. I don't know if that is wise political rhetoric.
IMO the inflation of toveri is sad because making distinction with people you like and people with whom you cooperate is quite important.



If somebody disagrees with my analyses, let me know.
Last edited by Omzinesý on 07 Feb 2020 17:10, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by DesEsseintes »

This was fun to read.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

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Thanks. Memes are funny but it's good to know the truth.
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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Vlürch »

I'd heard kaveri is a loanword from Yiddish, and Wiktionary mentions that as well. No idea how it'd have been borrowed considering how few Jews there are in Finland, but well... the Finnish Wiktionary also mentions a theory that it's from the verb kaveerata, from Russian говорить, which would logically sound like the most plausible etymology but has the problem that Hungarian has haveri, which is probably 100% certainly a Yiddish loanword, so I guess that confirms it's a Yiddish loanword in Finnish as well.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

Vlürch wrote:
22 Dec 2019 16:56
I'd heard kaveri is a loanword from Yiddish, and Wiktionary mentions that as well. No idea how it'd have been borrowed considering how few Jews there are in Finland, but well... the Finnish Wiktionary also mentions a theory that it's from the verb kaveerata, from Russian говорить, which would logically sound like the most plausible etymology but has the problem that Hungarian has haveri, which is probably 100% certainly a Yiddish loanword, so I guess that confirms it's a Yiddish loanword in Finnish as well.
говорить sounds plausible.
Finnish has some loans from Low-Saxon but Yiddish sounds quite odd a source. Would it be possible that both Finnish and Yiddish borrowed it from Slavic?

-eerata verbs usually are loans from Swedish but idk.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Vlürch »

Omzinesý wrote:
23 Dec 2019 12:39
Finnish has some loans from Low-Saxon but Yiddish sounds quite odd a source. Would it be possible that both Finnish and Yiddish borrowed it from Slavic?
Presumably not, considering it exists in Hebrew too, from which it has (according to Wiktionary) been directly borrowed into English and Ladino, and the Dutch gabber is apparently also borrowed from Yiddish (which I probably knew because of the genre of music, but had forgotten). Then again, it's not like Wiktionary is 100% reliable all the time... but maybe the Yiddish word was borrowed into some Slavic language, and then Finnish borrowed it from that? Maybe even an extinct North Slavic one? [:O] It'd help narrow it down if it was known when the word was first attested, but...
Omzinesý wrote:
23 Dec 2019 12:39
-eerata verbs usually are loans from Swedish but idk.
Hmm, I'd never paid attention to that before. I guess it's one of those words whose etymology will remain a mystery forever. This probably isn't the right thread to rant about the etymology of peruna again, but... I'll just briefly mention once again that I highly doubt that it's from Swedish päron, especially since Hungarian has burgonya and Tatar and Bashkir have бәрәңге, whose etymologies are uncertain. The sound correspondences couldn't be regular, but I believe there's some relation between them even if it's crackpottery to suggest.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Xonen »

Omzinesý wrote:
23 Dec 2019 12:39
-eerata verbs usually are loans from Swedish
Well yes, but kaveerata exists without having a clear Swedish loan original, so it's not out of the question that it could've been borrowed from some other source and simply adapted to the existing model. That being said, I think it's more likely that it was derived from kaveri rather than the other way around. After all, a verb-forming suffix can easily be extracted from loans and start being used on its own; cf. English verbs derived with -ify, which originally come from Latin (via Old French) - and yet here we are with words like "nerdify".

By contrast, I'm not sure if there's enough of an established model in Finnish for deriving nouns from -eerata verbs with -eri. (The only thing I can think of would be analogy with the pair palaveerata - palaveri... but that strikes me as kind of iffy.)

Finally, just to add one more wildly speculative etymology to the mix, I'll say kaveri is actually an irregular shortening of kavaljeeri.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Aszev »

Vlürch wrote:
23 Dec 2019 13:35
This probably isn't the right thread to rant about the etymology of peruna again, but... I'll just briefly mention once again that I highly doubt that it's from Swedish päron, especially since Hungarian has burgonya and Tatar and Bashkir have бәрәңге, whose etymologies are uncertain. The sound correspondences couldn't be regular, but I believe there's some relation between them even if it's crackpottery to suggest.
So you have this plant that's popularized in Sweden in the 18th century; a time when present-day Finland constitutes the eastern part of its territory. In this region, Swedish speakers call the new plant p(e,ä)(:)r(u,o)n and Finnish speakers call it peruna. But you think it's more likely the Finnish word is related to those found in faraway languages like Hungarian and Bashkir, than to the one found in its immediate neighboring language, with which it shared a society, and where the sound correspondence is an almost perfect match? Might I suggest this could be an anti-Swedish bias seeping through? (In reference to your own mentioning of this in another thread.)
Xonen wrote:
23 Dec 2019 18:45
Well yes, but kaveerata exists without having a clear Swedish loan original, so it's not out of the question that it could've been borrowed from some other source and simply adapted to the existing model. That being said, I think it's more likely that it was derived from kaveri rather than the other way around.
I don't intend to debate the etymology of kaveri, as it's not really my field of expertise, but I did find a Swedish word kavera. In its first sense it means 'to bail out' (< Ger. kavieren < Lat. caveō) and in its second, Finland-Swedish, sense it variously means 'to chat, to boast, to make gestures'. The traditionally suggested etymology for the latter is Ger. kavieren < Italian cavare 'to take out; to extract' < Lat. cavō 'make hollow, excavate', with the semantic shift focused on the arms:

~dig around in the air (cf. an older sense of kavera as a fencing term meaning 'to disengage')
>
make gestures, wave one's arms around (this is apparently the common meaning of kavera in Åland; also cf. an older expression kavera med armarna 'to wave one's arms around', related to the fencing term above)
>
make gestures and boast (this sense is also common in Åland)
>
boast, brag, talk a lot (this sense and the one below seem to be the common ones in mainland Finland)
>
talk, chat

Mikael Reuter notes that (my transl.) "According to the Finnish slang dictionary Tsennaaks Stadii, bonjaaks slangii, 'kaveeraa' has had the sense 'to talk, to tell' during the first half of the 20th century, while the nowadays most common sense 'to hang out, to be friends with' is of a later date." He suggests influence from kaveri on the verb, and also that Russian govorit' might have influenced the semantics of an older Finnish kaveerata.
(For those who read Swedish his two articles make an intersting read: here and here)

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Vlürch »

Aszev wrote:
18 Jan 2020 12:05
So you have this plant that's popularized in Sweden in the 18th century; a time when present-day Finland constitutes the eastern part of its territory. In this region, Swedish speakers call the new plant p(e,ä)(:)r(u,o)n and Finnish speakers call it peruna. But you think it's more likely the Finnish word is related to those found in faraway languages like Hungarian and Bashkir, than to the one found in its immediate neighboring language, with which it shared a society, and where the sound correspondence is an almost perfect match?
Okay, what the... I had no idea it's perun in some Swedish dialects, but looking it up, it is and it can mean potato even in Swedish! [O.O] Well, you just convinced me that, as much as I like to desperately even grasp at straws for any and all possible non-Germanic etymologies for Finnish words to have something to counter the idea that Finnish is more Germanic than Uralic, it literally had to come from Swedish...
Aszev wrote:
18 Jan 2020 12:05
Might I suggest this could be an anti-Swedish bias seeping through? (In reference to your own mentioning of this in another thread.)
Well, yeah... but like, I figured it could at the very least be a Eurasian wanderwort since the Hungarian, Bashkir and Tatar words exist, but I guess there can't be any kind of etymological connection even though their etymologies are unknown... well, there could be a connection between the Hungarian word and the Bashkir and Tatar words, and proverbially the Ural-Altaic club once again kicks Finnish out for not belonging. [>_<]

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

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Aszev wrote:
18 Jan 2020 12:05
I don't intend to debate the etymology of kaveri, as it's not really my field of expertise, but I did find a Swedish word kavera. In its first sense it means 'to bail out' (< Ger. kavieren < Lat. caveō) and in its second, Finland-Swedish, sense it variously means 'to chat, to boast, to make gestures'. The traditionally suggested etymology for the latter is Ger. kavieren < Italian cavare 'to take out; to extract' < Lat. cavō 'make hollow, excavate', with the semantic shift focused on the arms:

~dig around in the air (cf. an older sense of kavera as a fencing term meaning 'to disengage')
>
make gestures, wave one's arms around (this is apparently the common meaning of kavera in Åland; also cf. an older expression kavera med armarna 'to wave one's arms around', related to the fencing term above)
>
make gestures and boast (this sense is also common in Åland)
>
boast, brag, talk a lot (this sense and the one below seem to be the common ones in mainland Finland)
>
talk, chat

Mikael Reuter notes that (my transl.) "According to the Finnish slang dictionary Tsennaaks Stadii, bonjaaks slangii, 'kaveeraa' has had the sense 'to talk, to tell' during the first half of the 20th century, while the nowadays most common sense 'to hang out, to be friends with' is of a later date." He suggests influence from kaveri on the verb, and also that Russian govorit' might have influenced the semantics of an older Finnish kaveerata.
(For those who read Swedish his two articles make an intersting read: here and here)
Huh. So essentially, our word for 'to be friends' ultimately derives from 'to carve hollow'. That's... a somewhat surprising etymology, but yeah, I suppose I can buy that. Figures, really.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

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Vlürch wrote:
18 Jan 2020 13:30
Aszev wrote:
18 Jan 2020 12:05
So you have this plant that's popularized in Sweden in the 18th century; a time when present-day Finland constitutes the eastern part of its territory. In this region, Swedish speakers call the new plant p(e,ä)(:)r(u,o)n and Finnish speakers call it peruna. But you think it's more likely the Finnish word is related to those found in faraway languages like Hungarian and Bashkir, than to the one found in its immediate neighboring language, with which it shared a society, and where the sound correspondence is an almost perfect match?
Okay, what the... I had no idea it's perun in some Swedish dialects, but looking it up, it is and it can mean potato even in Swedish! [O.O] Well, you just convinced me that, as much as I like to desperately even grasp at straws for any and all possible non-Germanic etymologies for Finnish words to have something to counter the idea that Finnish is more Germanic than Uralic, it literally had to come from Swedish...
Aszev wrote:
18 Jan 2020 12:05
Might I suggest this could be an anti-Swedish bias seeping through? (In reference to your own mentioning of this in another thread.)
Well, yeah... but like, I figured it could at the very least be a Eurasian wanderwort since the Hungarian, Bashkir and Tatar words exist, but I guess there can't be any kind of etymological connection even though their etymologies are unknown... well, there could be a connection between the Hungarian word and the Bashkir and Tatar words, and proverbially the Ural-Altaic club once again kicks Finnish out for not belonging. [>_<]
This post really puts your skepticism in new light. I took it for granted that you already knew that päron referred to 'potato' in Swedish, so I apologize if my post came across as a bit harsh. It's quite common for (at least) western European languages to refer to potatoes as apples or pears, cf. European French pomme de terre (earth apple), southern German Erdapfel (earth apple) and older German Erdbirne (earth pear). In earlier Swedish, (jord)päron ((earth) pears) was a common term, still remaining in traditional dialects as jolpron, pärer etc. It was later replaced by potät and then potatis, from English potato and potatoes, respectively.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Vlürch »

Aszev wrote:
20 Jan 2020 12:55
I took it for granted that you already knew that päron referred to 'potato' in Swedish, so I apologize if my post came across as a bit harsh.
Nah, I don't know pretty much any Swedish words except for the few I've learned in the last couple of months and a handful of random ones that all Finns know due to unavoidable exposure, and those are all standard Swedish or whatever rather than dialectal or historical terms. Your post didn't come across as harsh at all because it was just educational.
Aszev wrote:
20 Jan 2020 12:55
It's quite common for (at least) western European languages to refer to potatoes as apples or pears, cf. European French pomme de terre (earth apple), southern German Erdapfel (earth apple) and older German Erdbirne (earth pear). In earlier Swedish, (jord)päron ((earth) pears) was a common term, still remaining in traditional dialects as jolpron, pärer etc. It was later replaced by potät and then potatis, from English potato and potatoes, respectively.
I knew the French one but thought it sounded kinda poetic or whatever so I didn't think much of it, and although I had come across the Swedish jordpäron, I figured päron by itself could only ever mean pear and had never heard anything about it meaning potato by itself, even though I had tried to search for something about the etymology of peruna at least once before in an attempt to either debunk or strengthen my theory that it wasn't (directly) related to päron, and all I'd found were stuff implying that the semantic shift happened only in Finnish and nothing to explain the sound shifts either. The only result I could find saying that it happened already in Swedish was when I searched with perun, which I didn't even know existed before (and none of the things I'd found earlier had mentioned it), so... [:$]

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

Pronouns hän/he vs. se/ne

Standard Finnish third person pronouns are easily understandable for an English speaker and less easily for a German speaker because the distinction is based on humanness:
hän ’she/he’, he ’they (plural of hän)’
se ‘it’, ne ‘they (plural of se)’

It was one of the biggest mistakes of the kielimiehet the developers of Standard Finnish. Because they didn’t understand how the pronouns worked, they just decided they work like in Swedish. Even a sex distinction was proposed, but fortunately it never happened. It has been suggested that the original usage of hän was a logophoric pronoun, one referring to the subject of a main clause in a subordinate clause.
Spoken language, however, never adapted the distinction of standard language. One strategy in modern spoken language is just to ignore hän and he and only use se and ne for animates and inanimates alike. So, you don’t sound odd, but hän/he hasn’t quite disappeared from the spoken language either. The situation in less standard language is much more complex.


This is my armchair analyses of the distinction in spoken Finnish.


My understanding/interpretation is that hän/he vs. se/ne expresses social distance, while tämä ‘this’ vs. tuo ‘that’ expresses physical distance. Se/ne is the neutral variant while some kind of a contrast is created by hän/he.


i) Disagreement

Sen ois pitäny kysyä multa, mutta ei, hän tekee oman mielensä mukaan.”
‘(S)he should have asked me, but no, (s)he does as (s)he likes.’

The example above could well do with se. It just doesn’t emphasize the contrast between my and his/her opinion as much.

Sen ois pitäny kysyä multa, mutta ei, se tekee oman mielensä mukaan.”


ii) Third person present who is not an interlocutor

Person A speaks to person B about person C. C is thus present but (s)he is not quite an interlocutor like A and B.

B: Kenen pari sä oot? ’Whose pair you are?’
A: Hänen. ‘His/hers.’ (Maybe accompanied by a small nod towards C.)

In this context, hän can be replaced by tuo (often pronounced toi in spoken language), but tuo can be somewhat unpolite because it’s rather a demonstrative referring to anything visible.


iii) A less animate person/animal

Standard Finnish differs from English in that animals should be referred by se ‘it’ instead of hän. I once read children fantasy book Redwall in Finnish and wondered why even the protagonists that were mice were referred with se. If you listen to pet owners, they do however refer to their pets with hän. Babies are also often referred to with hän. It’s quite funny that in practice the humane pronoun of standard language is used to refer to pets and babies, not adult people. Partially this is of course the same ii) Third person that is not an interlocutor, but there is something else too. I think pet owners and babytalkers think they handle pets and babies like humans when speaking like that. But I think hän actually encodes that babies and pets are less human than the interlocutors, which is a kind of social distance as well.

"Onpas hän sulonen!" 'How cute (s)he is!'


iv) Polite you, in old times

In old times, hän was one of the polite pronouns for you. Nowadays only te (plural second person pronoun) is used. Servants especially called their masters with hän, while masters called their servants by name.

Servant: Ottaako hän kahvia? / Ottaako herra/rouva kahvia? ’Do you take coffee? / Does mr/mrs take coffee?’

It’s quite evident that there is a social distance emphasized. Actually, I think T/V (Finnish teititellä ‘to call te’) distinction always expresses social distance. Equals call each other sinä 'you' (or some of its dialectal variants) in Finnish (sinutella ‘to call sinä’).


Of course, spoken every-day language and literal standard language are no separate islands. There are people like me who read too much and speak too little, and practices of standard language including hän also penetrate to spoken language.
Edit: I have to add that some Eastern dialects use hän more. I don't know the semantic distinctions there.
As usual, comments/critique/different opinions are welcome!
Last edited by Omzinesý on 04 Feb 2020 14:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by LinguistCat »

This is all very interesting to me as a beginner in the language [:)]

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

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Word Order

This time, I am lazy and just link an article https://web.stanford.edu/~laurik/public ... wrdord.pdf , which gach once linked to me.

I summarize something though. The following examples are from the article.

Finnish word order is called free.
There is a dogma in linguistics that if there is a formal difference (e.g. in order or morphemes) there must always be a meaning difference, as well. Meaning can of course be coding of information structure, register, dialect etc. If so, real free word order cannot exist in any language.

The initial position of a clause codes the topic. The topic can be an agent* (1) or any other participant (2). There is no real passive in Finnish.

(1) SVO
Esa luki kirjan.
Esa-NOM read book-ACC
'Esa read the book.'

(2) OVS
Kirjan luki Esa.
book-ACC read Esa-NOM
'The book was read by Esa.'

*The participant that causes verb agreement and has Nominative case, is called the subject, but it usually encodes the agent (or actor in Val Valin's terms).

Clauses similar to (1) and (2) appear in many "case languages". Finnish can however utilize other word orders to code focus (3 - 5). Russian for example don't have clauses like (3 - 5).
In those atypical word orders, the initial position is reserved for the focus.

(3) OSV
Kirjan Esa luki.
book-ACC rea Esa-NOM
'It was the book that Esa read.'

(4) SOV
Esa kirjan luki.
Esa-NOM book-ACC read
'It was Esa who read the book.'

(5) VSO
Luki Esa kirjan.
read Esa-NOM book-ACC
'Esa did read the book.'

VOS is however ungrammatical or at least strange. It has no function.

Emphasizing intonation (6) is though also possible, like in English. Cleft clauses are rare.

(6)
Esa luki KIRJAN.
'Esa read the BOOK.'

Cases thus encode semantic roles and word order codes information structure. As a rule, that is much easier than those of English where the initial position codes both topic and agent in the prototypical scenario and passives and other "transformations" are done if in the atypical scenarios.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Khemehekis »

Omzinesý wrote:
21 Jan 2020 14:33
It has been suggested that the original usage of hän was a logihoric pronoun, one referring to the subject of a main clause in a subordinate clause.
I've never seen the word "logihoric". Did you mean "logophoric"?
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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

Khemehekis wrote:
04 Feb 2020 12:36
Omzinesý wrote:
21 Jan 2020 14:33
It has been suggested that the original usage of hän was a logihoric pronoun, one referring to the subject of a main clause in a subordinate clause.
I've never seen the word "logihoric". Did you mean "logophoric"?
Me neither. Let us celebrate its first appearance!
Corrected.

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

Modal verbs for potentiality

Finnish has several modal verbs meaning 'be able'. They encode what makes you (un)able to do something.

Voida is the most generic potential verb.

It often implies that the thing is also done, (1). B doesn't usually continue that they can but will not.
(1)
A: Voitko tiskata astiat? 'Can you wash the dishes.?'
B: Joo, voin mä. 'OK, I can.'

Osata means 'have skills to do'. In (2), just the ability is asked about, not if B really plays. Osata also means 'know a language'.

(2)
A: Osaatko soittaa saksofonia? 'Can you play saxophone?'

(3)
Osaan kaikkia germaanisia kieliä. 'I know all Germanic languages.'

Ehtiä means 'to have time to do something'.
(4)
Ehdin juoda aamukahvit ennen kuin piti viedä lapset tarhaan. 'I had time to drink my morning coffee before I had to bring my children to kindergarten.'

Jaksaa means 'to have strength to do something'.
(5)
Jaksan juosta kymmenen kilometrin lenkin. 'I can run a ten kilometer loop.' *
(6)
Muurahainen jaksaa nostaa kaksi kertaa itsensä painoisen taakan. 'The ant can carry twice the weight of its weight.'


*Is loop the correct word for that context?

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Re: Curiosities in Finnish: Pro-Drop

Post by Omzinesý »

Pro-drop

As usual, pro-drop is one of the features that differ quite much between standardized Finnish and spontaneous spoken Finnish.

Standard Finnish
In Standard Finnish, the rules are simple.

1st and 2nd person pronouns can can (and are preferred to) be dropped. Personal pronouns express "emphases", whatever it is.
3rd person pronouns are not dropped.

The SG3 form without a subject is interpreted as an impersonal. It is especially typical in sayings and conditional clauses (1)

(1)
Jos lähtee sutta pakoon, niin tulee karhu vastaan.
if leave.SG3 wolf.PART escape.ILL, then come.SG3 bear.NOM toward
'If you escape a wolf, you meet a bear.'

Spoken language
I have read no research on the theme (it may well exist), so this is only my introspection and discussions with some friends.

In spoken language, all pronouns can be dropped, but dropping is far less frequent than, say, in Spanish. I think, even spoken English sometimes allowes pro-drop, "dunno" instead of "I dunno".
Unstressed personal pronouns (mä, sä, se, me, te, ne [and their varieties in other dialects]) usually appear. Dropping them codes some continuity in discourse. Basically, you start dropping pronouns when you get bored to repeating them in all sentences.

So, if spoken Finnish should be stuck to a yes-no typology of pro-drop, I think it would rather be a no-pro-drop language. It's interesting that standard Russian forbids pro-drop but it is very common in spoken language, and standard Finnish allows pro-drop but it is relatively rare in spoken language.

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Omzinesý
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Re: Curiosities in Finnish

Post by Omzinesý »

A new attempt

Final Gemination

Final Gemination is the most interesting abstract phoneme in Finnish. Its only characteristic is that it is a consonant. All other characteristics it gets by assimilating with the following phoneme. In this message, I mark it as /ʔ/, but see that it is only a mark representing the phoneme.

Final Gemination is not written in standard orthography. A similar phenomenon was written with <q> in Võru , but it seems it didn't get popural. South-Eastern and South-Western dialects also lack it. But the most prominent dialects have it, so I think I can say it belongs to Standard Finnish. I often call lack of it murrepiirre, (1).

(1)
<murrepiirre>
most dialects: [mur:ep:i:r:eʔ], those dialects [mur:epi:r:e]
murreʔ-piirreʔ
dialect-feature
'dialectal feature'

Phonetic Realizations

i) When followed by a consonant, Final Gemination assimilates with that consonant, (2) (3).

(2)
<kaverillekin>
[kɑʋeril:ek:in]
kaveri-lleʔ-kin
friend-ALL-too
'to the friend too'

(3)
<Tule tänne!>
[tulet:æn:eʔ]
tule-ʔ tänneʔ
come-IMP here
'Come here!'

ii) When followed by a vowel, Final Gemination realizes as a geminate glottal stop [ʔ:], (4). Note that Finnish words do not usually begin with a glottal stop like those of German or Somali.

(4)
<Anna olla!>
[ɑn:ɑʔ:ol:ɑʔ]
anna-ʔ ol-daʔ
let-IMP be-INF
'Let it be!'

iii) I am not sure how it realizes utterance-finally. I think there is more dialectal and idiolectal variation. I think there is some kind of a glottal stop however. See the final letter in (1),(3), and (4).


It, however, seems that (3) and (5) have a difference. I think the geminate is somehow longer in (5). In spoken language, (5) would usually be Sä tulet tänne. anyway.

(5)
<Tulet tänne>
[tulet:æn:eʔ]
tule-t tänneʔ
come-SG2 here
'You come here.'


Morphological appearance

Historically Final Gemination derives from older /h/ or /k/.


i) Most nouns ending in <e> do actually end in /eʔ/.

(6) 'room'
NOM huoneʔ <huone>
GEN huone:n <huoneen> <= huonehen
PART huonet:a ~ huoneʔta <huonetta>


ii) SG2 Imperative marker is /ʔ/, (3) (4).


iii) Sc. 1st infinitive marker ends in Final Gemination, (4).

In Helsinki dialect, a new infinitive marker is grammaticalizing. It combines the functions of infinitives /aʔ/ and /ma:n/. It is formed by lengthening the last vowel and adding Final gemination (7a). It thus differs from sg2 Imperative (7b) in vowel lengthening and sg3 Indicative (7c) in Final gemination.

(7a) mene:ʔ 'to go' (instead of mennäʔ and menemään)
(7b) meneʔ 'go!'
(7c) mene: 'goes'


(iv) In many dialects Allative marker also has Final Gemination, (2).


Why does it appear word-finally?

I think there is no fundamental problem with analyzing all Finnish geminates as Final Gemination + a consonant. It's though easier to analyse them just as two similar consonant and let Final Gemination appear on word boundaries, where its realization depends on the following phoneme. Final Gemination can, however, appear before clitics, (1).

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