Proto-Finnic locative system

The reconstructed locative cases of Proto-Finnic can be classified according to a three-way contrast (to, in and from a state) in each of the two series of locative cases: inner –s- ("inside") and outer –l- ("outside", "upon", and other grammaticalized functions to denote "possessor", "instrument", etc.), to give the following system of six locative cases.

System Entering Residing Exiting
Inner sVn "into" (illative) ssA (<*s+nA) "in" (inessive) stA "from (in)" (elative)
Outer *len, *lek? "onto" (allative) llA (<*l+nA) "on" (adessive) ltA "from on" (ablative)

In the above, A stands for either a or ä depending on vowel harmony, and V for an epenthetic vowel. Note that -nA is reconstructible as the Proto-Finno-Ugric locative marker (the ancestor of the Finnic essive case), -tA the separative ("from") (ancestor of the partitive case), and –n, –s or –k the lative ("to").

This system is probably a Finnic innovation, although the –s and –l cases have corresponding forms in some other Uralic languages (Sami and Volgaic; and Permian, respectively).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Laakso, Johanna (2001), "The Finnic Languages", in Dahl, Östen; Koptjevskaja-Tamm, Maria (eds.), The Circum-Baltic Languages: Typology and Contact, Studies in Language Companion Series, 44-45, Amsterdam: John Benjamins B.V., ISSN 0165-7763