Abessive case (-tta/ttä) in Finnish is used to mean "without"/"not doing". In Finnish if a statement is negative partitive case will be required. Examples: "Minulla ei ole palloa." (I do not have a ball). "Minä en osta palloa." - I do not buy a ball.

I am wanting to know whether the same applies for sentences using abessive case and the partitive case is required with abessive.

As an example: "Uskaltaako tätä korttia olla katsomatta?" (Does one dare not to look at this card?)

Is the noun "tämä kortti" (this card) given in partitive because of ablative or is it because the verb "katsoa" itself needs partitive. Could the accusative case be used instead with abessive. For example "Hän uskalsi olla katsomatta kortit" versus "Hän uskalsi olla katsomatta korteja" (He dared not to look at the cards).

  • 1
    Unfortunately, language-specific grammar questions like this one are off-topic here. I say unfortunately, because I think this is a really good question, and I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if you can say katsomatta kortit to mean ‘not looking at (all) the cards’ and katsomatta korteja ‘not looking at (some of) cards’. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 11 '20 at 20:15
  • 2
    Looking at the closest thing I have to a proper Finnish grammar, the examples would appear to indicate that the abessive does govern the partitive in its direct object: Hän lähti ulos sanomatta sanaakaan, Yritin olla herättämättä häntä, etc. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 11 '20 at 20:25
  • 2
    Indeed, Fred Karlsson's grammar (which I only have in German) says in § 76.5: the object stands in partitive (Olutta juomatta en pärjää), and the subject in genitive or as possesive suffix, if it is a personal pronoun (Kalle teki sen (meidän) tietämättämme). – phipsgabler Oct 12 '20 at 9:33
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Hey, I kind of posted this question here because I couldn't think of a better place to ask it, but wondered if this was the correct forum for it and noticed that there aren't any Finnish learner here. What is this purpose of this language community (i.e. if not for specific language questions) and could you direct me to a better option if you know of one? – lily23 Oct 12 '20 at 17:43
  • @lily23 This site is more limited in scope, dealing with the linguistics as such – that is, the analysis of language structure itself, rather than any individual implementation of language structure (e.g., X-bar theory, generative grammar, etc.). I personally don’t think good language-specific questions should be considered off-topic, but the community as a whole has decided that they are. Unfortunately, there aren’t any better SE sites for languages that don’t have a dedicated site of their own. It would be nice if there were a stack for language questions in general. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 12 '20 at 17:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.