Livonian has the fewest morphological case forms of any Finnic language: eight productive case forms are usually identified (in addition to some fossilized forms, the adessive
, allative, ablative, instructive and abessive, which are "learned and reproduced" (Viitso 2012 : 22).
Consider the example in (3a) showing a noun marked by the Adessive
case ending -l (glossed here as 'on') and the underlying syntactic structure in (3b) (data from Viitso 1998).
The expressions function as manner or cause (or occasionally condition) adverbials and consist of the adessive
case form of an action nominalization, a genitive attribute realizing the actor argument of the nominalization, and optional adjectival modifiers (1):
Iron nominative boex boex-toe boex genitive boex-i boex-t-i boex-y dative boex-oen boex-t-oen boex-oen allative boex-moe boex-toe-moe boex-moe ablative boex-aej boex-t-oej boex-aej inessive boex-i boex-t-i boex-y adessive
boex-boel boex-toe-boel boex-yl comitative (boexi xoeccoe) (boexti xoeccoe) boex-imoe equative boex-au boex-t-au boex-au pl.
Finnish kotona 'at home', otherwise location had been diversified into an inner locative (the inessive in *-s-nA) and an outer locative (the adessive
in *-l-nA), and the simplex suffix functions as an essive case as e.g.
It was also recorded in temporal expressions: tammuz-e-va "from july (onwards)", and the locational adverb fatnawa "above" (together with fatnaka, marked here with adessive
In (6) we find that the adessive
marker of alla 'at under' is replaced by the ablative marker.
indirectal (see Chapter 4) that occurs in the material of the 1970s, has become deeply rooted in the journalistic texts of the 1990s.
The possessed entity fills the one-place argument of the existential predicate, whereas the possessor appears as an NP marked as an oblique and is encoded by way of adessive
marking or comitative marking.
There are formal differences in the marking of Causee and Beneficiary; the former is a case-marked argument (in the adessive
), while the latter surfaces as an adpositional phrase.
The contrast shows up in (12), which is only acceptable with the locative in the allative, not the adessive
. (12) Pensa + i + ta kasvo + i hitaasti bush + PL + PAR grow + PST.3SG slowly ojanvarre + lle / * ojanvarre + lla ditch-bank + ALL / ditch-bank + ADE 'Bushes slowly grew [=appeared] on the ditch bank.'
Furthermore, Lehmann (2002:73) and Palancar (2002:126) both suggest an extension from specific locative cases (superessive in Bulgarian and adessive
in Hunzib) to Dative.