Let's take kazakh language as an example. In every source I've read there are 7 cases in kazakh language:

  1. nominative üi - a house, baqşa - garden;
  2. genitive üi-diŋ - of a house, baqşa-niŋ - of a garden;
  3. dative üi-ge - (in)to a house, baqşa-ğa - to a garden;
  4. accusative üi-di - a house, baqşa-ni - a garden;
  5. locative üi-de - in a house, baqşa-da - in a garden;
  6. ablative üi-den - from a house, baqşa-dan - from a garden;
  7. instrumental üi-men - with a house, baqşa-men - with a garden.

But I could distinguish at least 3 more cases:

  1. abessive üi-siz - without a house, baqşa-siz - without a garden
  2. essive üi-she - as a house, baqşa-sha - as a garden
  3. comparative üi-dei - like a house, baqşa-dai - like a garden

Are these 3 more can be considered as grammatical cases?


There are similar cases in turkish language:

İlgisizlik Hali (abessive) bahçe-siz "without garden"

Eşitlik Hali (essive) bahçe-ce "as a garden"

  • No, because those change the part of speech (eg from noun to adjective). Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 18:53
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    It's nothing unique to Turkic by the way, it's just like English -less. Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 18:54
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    @AdamBittlingmayer can you back up your first statement with a source?
    – Tuňuquq
    Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 22:29
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    @AdamBittlingmayer, while 8-10 all have attributive readings, they also all have adverbial readings (not to mention potential substantive readings). Many of the other cases have adverbial readings—which makes me wonder about the basis of your argument. Why can't a noun case change the grammatical function of the noun? (And how do you distinguish that from deriving a new word with a different part of speech?) Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 3:28
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    @AdamBittlingmayer Cases like the abessive and essive, also change the functional part of speech of nouns in Uralic languages, but they’re still considered cases. Declined case forms of nouns act as other parts of speech in many languages. What is and isn’t considered a case in a given language is largely down to convention. Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 10:05

1 Answer 1


DISCLAIMER: I'm not a linguist and I don't have an authoritative source to back my reasoning, so take my answer with a grain of salt.

Grammatical case reflects the grammatical function performed by a word in a phrase, clause or sentence. Noun in a given case (e.g. úi-ge) remains a noun and retains its meaning.

That gives us multiple good reasons to not treat the word-forming suffixes, like -siz, as additional grammatical cases:

  • suffix doesn't reflect the grammatical function of a word in a sentence;
  • suffix changes the part of speech, úi-siz becomes an adjective (as @AdamBittlingmayer said in the comments);
  • suffix creates a new word, with a new meaning (as @kabraxis said in the comments);
  • this new word, can have a grammatical case of its own:

    1. nominative úi-siz - homeless
    2. genitive úı-siz-diń - of homeless
    3. dative úı-siz-ge - to homeless
    4. accusative úı-siz-di - homeless
    5. locative úı-siz-de - by (at?) homeless
    6. ablative úı-siz-den - from homeless
    7. instrumental úı-siz-ben - with homeless
  • suffixes can be combined multiple times, creating new words: úi-siz-dei - like a homeless, úi-siz-der-siz - without homeless.

It's much more convenient to treat úi-siz as a new word than a case of úi.

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    Consider this sentence: Men sensiz ómir súre almaımyn. I cannot live without you. Here suffix -siz doesn't produce an adjective.
    – Tuňuquq
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 10:32
  • Also it doesn't produce a new word but rather denotes a lack of the given noun. In this case you.
    – Tuňuquq
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 10:40
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    @Tuňuquq This is an interesting example. I suggest editing it into your question, it will certainly benefit from usage examples. You can actually build a similar example with úi-siz: men úısiz qaldym (I was left without a home). Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 11:03
  • @Tuňuquq Now, when I see where you're coming from your question looks much more interesting to me. Indeed, the lines between declension and word formation become murky here. Still, I'm not entirely convinced that sensiz isn't a new word. It serves as a modifier to ómir (you-less life, so to speak) answers the question "how?" (qalaı?) and can be replaced with an adverb: Men bylaı ómir súre almaımyn (I can't live a life this way). Actually, some sources put both -sha and -siz as adverb-generating suffixes. Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 11:45
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    @defaultlocale, I don't see it as modifying ómir here, but as being adverbial to the verb (ómir) súr-. In principle it could be ambiguous here, but there are definitely examples where it couldn't be considered attributive in any way. Maybe something like ol jerge sensiz bara almaımyn (I can't go there without you). Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 3:21

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