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Partitive [1]

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Partitive marker

-ta -ita

Morphophonology and pronunciation

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  • The singular partitive suffix takes a consonant stem if available e.g. r-ta ('younger' singular partitive ) vs. nōre̮-t ( plural nominative ), päivüt-tä ('sun' singular partitive ) vs. päivǖ ( singular genitive ).
    • Thus a singular partitive is usually in a grade opposite to plural nominative, caused by consonant gradation in stems e.g. seppǟ ('a blacksmith' singular partitive ) vs. sepäD ('blacksmiths'), ammassa ('a tooth' singular partitive) vs. ampāD ('teeth') .
    • Plural partitive is always in the strong grade if available e.g. rataz ('wheel' singular nominative) vs. rattaita ( plural partitive ), linnuD ('bird' plural nominative) vs. lintuita ( plural partitive ) .

Notice the following phonetic changes!

  • s + t > ss: e.g. nais-sa ('wife') < *nais-ta.
  • k + t > tt: e.g. sie̮t-ta ('tie') < *sie̮k-ta.
  • n and m have prolonged the preceding vowel:
    • m + t > nt after primary stress: e.g. лun-ta ('snow') < *лum-ta.
    • m + t > ̄ t elsewhere: e.g. ve̮tī-ta ('key') < *ve̮tin-ta < *ve̮tim-ta.
    • n + t > ̄ t: e.g. sēmē-tä ('seed') < *sēmen-ta.
  • h has been preserved in front of the partitive -ta , but has (usually) disappeared from the end of words and in front of vowels :
    • *h + t > ht: e.g. erneh-tä ('pea') ~ erne (singular nominative), ernēD < *herneh-et (plural nominative) [2]

  • Pronunciation of partitive suffixes varies ( -ta > -ta, -tä , -ita > -ita, -itä ) according to vowel harmony e.g. īr-tä ('mouse' singular partitive ), e̮pe̮a-ta ('silver' singular partitive ), ne-itä ('they' plural partitive ), vasaroi-ta ('hammers' plural partitive ).
  • The plural morpheme -ita has usually lost it's -ta component to be pronounced as a pure plural stem e.g. jaлka+ita > jaлkoi ("leg" plural partitive ), лahse̮+ita > лahsai ("child" plural partitive ), lino+ita > linoi ("flax" plural partitive ), mutukka+ita > mutukkoi ("insects" plural partitive ), värttänī ('spindle' plural partitive ), e̮mī vellī ("own brothers" plural partitive ), me̮nikkai paлoi ("some pieces" plural partitive ).
    • Yet this is not a general rule e.g. varkā+ita > varkaita ("thieves" plural partitive ), muna+ita > mune̮ita ("egg" plural partitive ), einä+ita > einoita ("hay" plural partitive ), tüttäre+ita > tüttärītä ("daughters" plural partitive ), pillītä ("musical instruments" plural partitive ), ope̮zīta ("horses" plural partitive ), rikkāpīta ("richer ones" plural partitive ).
  • t of partitive suffixes is usually omitted after a short vowel, because Finnic obstruents were weakened after unstressed syllables [3] like in consonant gradation of suffixes e.g. lintu-a ('bird' singular partitive ), sepp-iä ('blacksmiths' plural partitive ).
    • In such cases ä and a of the stem melt together with the vowel of partitive suffix into a single long vowel e.g. leipä+ta > leipä+ä > leipǟ ('bread' singular partitive ), lidna+ta > lidna+a > lidnā ('town' singular partitive ), vorotnikka+ta > vorotnikka+a > vorotnikkā ('collar' singular partitive )
    • t of partitive suffixes may have been preserved after secondary stress by some speakers ( in some dialects ) e.g. e̮pe̮a-ta ('silver' singular partitive ).
  • The final vowel of partitive suffixes may be omitted depending in it's position in a sentence (especially in Jõgõperä dialect) e.g. kunni zvierid ve̮ittivad ̮ lintuit ('... as long as the quadrupeds were winning the birds ...'), tuon süvvä sūri pähtšinīt i e̮une̮i ('I bring (you) big nuts and apples to eat. '), tütär e̮li ke̮rke̮at kazvua ('The daughter was tall.') Lempola dialect.


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  1. Partitive marks a matter which is measured. In such a case it's preceded by a quantity unit or a number e.g. kahs pihua sūrimoi ("Two handfuls of pearl-barley.").
    1. Countable nouns will be in singular e.g. kahs pihua ("Two handfuls.").
    2. Uncountable nouns will be in plural e.g. pihu sūrimoi ("A handful of pearl-barley.").
      1. Partitive, which expresses partiality, is opposed to nominative , which marks the whole e.g. ühs pihu sūrimoi ("A handful of pearl-barley." Here the word pihu is in singular nominative.), koko pihu ("A whole handful." ), kõikk sūrimaD ("All the pearl-barley." Here the word sūrimaD is in plural nominative.).
  2. Partitive marks a partial subject while nominative marks a total subject of a sentence e.g. mā-mune̮ita lēB ("There will be some potatoes (for you)." - plural partitive) vs. māmunaD om pe̮lloll [4] ("(All the) potatoes (what we are talking about) are on the field." - plural nominative)
    1. See the page of main cases for further details.
  3. Partitive marks a partial object while nominative or genitive mark a total object of a sentence e.g. tōn süvvä lihā i ve̮ita ("I'll bring (you) some meat and butter to eat." - singular partitive ) vs. tōn lihā i ve̮i ("I'll bring all the meat and butter." - singular genitive ).
    1. See the page of main cases for further details.
  4. Partitive marks a partial predicative while nominative marks a total predicative of a sentence.
    1. tämä naizikko on tōž soikkoлaisī ('This woman also is a one of Soikkola Ingrians.' i.e. We emphasize, that she belongs to a group of certain quality - is a part of that group. - This is a partial predicative.) [5]
    2. tämä on soikkuлaine̮ (Liivtšülä dialect 'This one is a Soikkola Ingrian.' i.e. We don't emphasize, that she belongs to that group. - This is a total predicative.) [6]
    3. See the page of main cases for further details.
  5. Partitive marks time.
    1. If the time unit has an attribute, then the attribute only will be in adessive , but the time unit itself is in partitive case - e.g. senel̄   päivǟ ('on that day'), ühel̄   ke̮rtā tuli sūr tūli ('Once there was a big wind')
  6. Partitive marks origin e.g. tütär e̮li ke̮rke̮at kazvua ('The daughter was tall.') Lempola dialect, tämä naizikko on tōž soikkoлaisī ('This woman also is a one of Soikkola Ingrians.') , sika on üvǟ sukua ('The pig is of a good breed.') .
  7. Partitive marks cause e.g. lezzellä e̮li itšävä mēs ('The widow longed for her husband.') .
  8. Partitive marks direction e.g. tämä taitšinākā viskazi īr ('She threw dough towards the mouse.') .
  9. Partitive is used with comparison e.g. ke̮ikke̮a sūre̮p pojo ('a boy bigger than all the others = the biggest boy') , miä e̮лe̮n paĺĺo vanapi teitä ('I'm much older than you.') , ke̮rke̮apaлt lidnā ('higher than the town') .
  10. Partitive is used with certain postpositions and prepositions e.g. enne se̮tā ('before the war') .

Dialectal alternatives

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  • Votic of Ingria
    • Western
      • Hill dialect:
        • All Votic (both eastern and western) dialects may use doubled partitive marker ( depending in vowel harmony ) -ata, -ätä (especially the Kattila dialect) e.g. leipǟtä ('bread' singular partitive ), vävüätä ('son in law' singular partitive ), nōre̮pāta ('younger' singular partitive ).
      • Vaipooli
        • Jõgõperä dialect
          • The vowel of partitive suffix may be -e, -e̮ .
            • e.g. pǟ-te ( "head" singular partitive ), mu-ite̮ ( "others" plural partitive ), lähet-te ( "spring ~ water source " singular partitive )

See also

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  1. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 24, 46-58
  2. Словарь водского языка - Vadja keele sõnaraamat. v.1. p.210
  3. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 19
  4. Словарь водского языка - Vadja keele sõnaraamat. v.3. p.233
  5. Ariste, Paul Vadja keele grammatika. Tartu, 1948. p. 25
  6. Словарь водского языка - Vadja keele sõnaraamat. v.5 p.260
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