|From:||Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>|
|Date:||Sunday, September 25, 2005, 14:19|
This was supposed to arrive much earlier, but my mailer was to
braindead to send it...
> My experience with Finnish is that it's actually quite simple.
Do you really mean that? Do you speak Finnish fluently? If so,
ignore the rest of this posting.
> For example, take the word _tietosanakirja_. Tieto = compendium.
> Sana = word. Kirja = book. Tietosanakirja = encyclopedia. (Also,
> sanakirja is dictionary.)
That is only one example, composition. Composition is usually quite
straight forward, yes. Rautatieasema = rauta+tie+asema =
steel+road+station = train station. Hevosteurastamo, etc.
But if you look closer at the grammar, you'll find that suffixing is
quite irregular (due to sound changes in ancient times that you cannot
(or at least not easily) understand today by looking at the lexicon
entry of the word in question).
So the main complexity of Finnish is not in the number of cases, but
in its irregularity. Even native speakers occationally need to learn
the forms of village names they've never been to. Look at genitives,
which are <nominative>+'n' if regular.
nom: koira (dog)
gen: koiran (of a dog)
nom: Ruotsi (=Sweden)
nom: Suomi (=Finland)
nom: Suomalainen (=a Finn) [also note the 'a' in 'Suoma...']
nom: hamppurilainen (=hamburger)
nom: Turku (a city)
And I dare say that most Finnish nouns need special care.