How does the Hungarian accusative case suffix -t come from Proto-Uralic partitive case suffix? One wouldn't be understood if he consistently used the partitive case instead of the accusative case, would he?

  • 3
    It's pretty plausible. In modern Finnish, the difference between the accusative and partitive cases on the direct object is that the former means “all of it” (‘Drink the tea!’) and the latter means “some of it” (‘Drink some tea!’) It's easy to imagine that if the partitive sense gets to be expressed not only by the case alone, but also by an explicit additional word “some”, the difference between the acc. an part. can become blurred with the expression of the part. meaning shifting to “some” and the part. suffix itself coming to mean the direct object only, thus acquiring the acc. meaning.
    – Yellow Sky
    Commented Apr 6 at 19:27
  • @YellowSky though this is often true, the most common use for the partitive in Finnish is to mark atelic aspect.
    – Someone211
    Commented Apr 8 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


Well the simple answer to this is that it cannot be true since Proto-Uralic did not have a partitive case. The partitive case in Finnic languages originated from the Proto-Uralic ablative case, and the change is believed to be linked with Balto-Slavic contact, since in Balto-Slavic languages the genitive case can be used in a similar way to the Finnic partitive.

Tha Linguistics SE question previously asked about the origin of -t in Hungarian answers that it probably originated from a possessive suffix:

What is the origin of certain Hungarian suffixes?

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