[Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

Jussi Ylikoski jussi.ylikoski at oulu.fi
Thu Oct 11 19:39:29 UTC 2018

Dear all,

To answer the original question, many and perhaps most Uralic languages behave more or less like Finnish, at least most of the languages of the Finnic, Saami, Mordvin and Permic branches.

Strangely enough, the phenomenon has probably not been discussed in detail in comparative Uralistics. The most comprehensive source might be Alho Alhoniemi's (1967) Über die Funktionen der Wohin-Kasus im Tscheremissischen, but unfortunately I cannot remember the details now although I have touched the issue in my recent paper on the origin of the of the Mari lative (https://www.sgr.fi/susa/96/susa96ylikoski.pdf, pp. 372–373, 383–387). The Mari lative is even more curious (partly devoted to the function in question), and it has been labeled as such (lative = Uralistics for directional case) just because it is a case with functions that seem so "directional" to speakers of other Uralic languages – Finnish scholars in particular.

It goes without saying that if we hide something to a place, we will later find it from there.

Best regards,


Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> på vegne av Östen Dahl <oesten at ling.su.se>
Sendt: torsdag 11. oktober 2018 20.41
Til: Sergey Say; lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Emne: Re: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

The crucial property of Finnish is not so much that it distinguishes by case the place at which something is located from the place to which something moves as that it uses the “endpoint of motion” cases also with some verbs where there is no motion involved, such as ‘remain’ and ‘stay’, as was noted by Florian Siegl. There is a somewhat analogous use of ‘from’-cases with verbs meaning ‘find’, ‘look for’, as in Hän etsii avainta taskusta ‘He is looking for the key in his pocket’ (lit. ‘from the pocket’) . (‘Hide’ is different as it may or may not involve motion.)

I have an old paper on this, see below.

  *   Östen


Dah   Dahl, Östen. 1987. Case Grammar and Prototypes. In René Dirven & Gunter Radden (eds.), Concepts of Case, 147–161. Tübingen: Narr.

Från: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> För Sergey Say
Skickat: den 11 oktober 2018 18:52
Till: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Ämne: Re: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

Dear all,

A close colleague of mine, Natalia Zaika, wrote a paper on exactly this kind of alternation "in Lithuanian and elsewhere", see https://www.academia.edu/21511423/The_directive_locative_alternation_in_Lithuanian_and_elsewhere_2016_


The directive/locative alternation in Lithuanian and elsewhere [2016]<https://www.academia.edu/21511423/The_directive_locative_alternation_in_Lithuanian_and_elsewhere_2016_>
This article analyzes the directive/locative argument alternation, both in Baltic and Slavic languages and cross-linguistically. The alternation in question appears to be connected to a number of parameters (focus, deixis, presence or absence of

There are many references to previous studies, too.


Sergey Say

On Thursday, October 11, 2018, 7:37:28 PM GMT+3, Peter Arkadiev <peterarkadiev at yandex.ru<mailto:peterarkadiev at yandex.ru>> wrote:

Re Russian and the lative/essive expressions with verbs of displacement in general I suggest looking into the following paper:

Nikitina, Tatiana. Variation in the encoding of endpoint of motion in Russian. In: V. Hasko, R. Perelmutter (eds.), New Approaches to Slavic Verbs of Motion. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2010, pp. 267–290. https://www.academia.edu/2916470/Variation_in_the_encoding_of_endpoints_of_motion_in_Russian

Best regards,



Peter Arkadiev, PhD

Institute of Slavic Studies

Russian Academy of Sciences

Leninsky prospekt 32-A 119991 Moscow

peterarkadiev at yandex.ru<mailto:peterarkadiev at yandex.ru>


11.10.2018, 16:39, "Mike Morgan" <mwmbombay at gmail.com<mailto:mwmbombay at gmail.com>>:

Russian also "follows" the "Finnish way" of doing things:

locative (prepositional) case for static: is located in a place

accusative case for dynamic: put something in a place

Sanskrit also

I am guessing that the languages of this type are not, in face few as Ian suggests.

On Thu, Oct 11, 2018 at 6:42 PM Bakker, Dik <D.Bakker at uva.nl<mailto:D.Bakker at uva.nl>> wrote:

I think that one should not ignore

the semantics of the verb ('hide').

Sebastian's English example (trans vs intrans) makes

this very clear.

So, it seems not to be a clear-cut case where

a simple translation would render the answer

with respect to possible case/adposition differences.



dr. Dik Bakker

Dept. of General Linguistics
Universities of Amsterdam & Lancaster
tel (+31) 35 544 75 78


Societas Linguistica Europaea


Van: Lingtyp [lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>] namens Hannu Tommola [hannu.tommola at uta.fi<mailto:hannu.tommola at uta.fi>]
Verzonden: donderdag 11 oktober 2018 14:48
Aan: Hartmut Haberland
CC: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Onderwerp: Re: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

For a Finnish speaker this is the only plausible solution..;-) , besides, it seems still to be possible to use the German _verstecken_ in this way, too. See Duden Wörterbuch: Sie versteckte das Geld in ihrem Schreibtisch / (selten:) in ihren Schreibtisch.


Quoting Hartmut Haberland <hartmut at ruc.dk<mailto:hartmut at ruc.dk>>:

I am a German speaker and immediately I find the Finnish solution very plausible. After all, in German we also have

Der Stein liegt in der Schale. (Dative)

Ich legte den Stein in die Schale. (Accusative)

So German is actually Finnish-type, too, in part at least. The problem seems to be with German ‘verstecken,’ that is not seen as a movement verb.


Ich verstecke den Stein hinter dem (not: hinter das) Haus.

There are other German verbs like that, e.g. anbringen, ablegen, abstellen, parken, archivieren, speichern, … that work the same.

Same with Danish gemme ‘verstecken, aufheben’:

Jeg gemmer maden (inde) i spisekammeret.

Now inde is not obligatory, actually a bit awkward, but possible. But it indicates place (where?), not direction (whither?), and the corresponding directional adverb (ind) would be impossible here.

With verbs like legen, stellen, setzen, sich setzen German is like Finnish. But they seem to be in the minority.

Never thought of it –

Wir parkten das Auto im Hof (We parked the car in the backyard), not

*Wir parkten das Auto in den Hof (*into the backyard)


Wir stellten das Auto im Hof ab (roughly same meaning, but more like ‚because it was in the way’)

I would marginally accept

Wir stellten das Auto in den Hof ab


Hartmut Haberland
Professor emeritus


Roskilde University
Department of Communication and Arts

Universitetsvej 1
DK-4000 Roskilde
Telephone: +45 46742841

Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> På vegne af Joo Ian
Sendt: 11. oktober 2018 13:01
Til: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Emne: [Lingtyp] "I hide my stone in my house"

Dear all,

I am interested in the following hypothesis:

In most of the world's languages, the PP "in my house" in sentence (1) and (2) are the same.

(1) My stone is in my house.

(2) I hide my stone in my house.

For example, in German:

(1) Mein Stein ist "in meinem Haus".

(2) Ich verstecke meinen Stein "in meinem Haus".

Although there are few languages where the PP of (1) and (2) are not identical, such as Finnish:

(1) Kiveni on "talossani". (Locative)

(2) Piilotan kiveni "talooni". (Illative)

But cases like Finnish are far fewer than English-like cases, I think.

I think this is interesting because the PP of (1) and that of (2) are semantically different: the PP in (1) is a location whereas that in PP is the endpoint of a placement event. If I can show that the two PPs are morphologically identical in most of the world's languages, then I can suggest that placement event profiles a static location as its endpoint and not a dynamic goal, like Rohde has argued in her dissertation (https://scholarship.rice.edu/handle/1911/18015)

Although I find this issue interesting, I would like to know if others find it so as well. What do you think? (Also, I would appreciate if anyone can let me know any other Finnish-like cases)

From Hong Kong,

Ian Joo


Hannu Tommola
Professor emer. of Russian Language (Translation Theory and Practice)
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies
FIN-33014 University of Tampere, Finland

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Dr Michael W Morgan
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sign language linguist / linguistic typologist / Deaf education consultant
"Have language, will travel"
"People who are always looking down at the bottom line will always fail to see the stars"


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