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Special partitive cases: toimi toimea tointa – Kotus wordtype 25

In this article, you can find more information about a small number of words which belong to Kotus wordtype 25. These words have two possible partitive case endings as well as two possible plural genitive case endings.

Words that belong to Kotus wordtype 25 all have a basic form that ends in -mi. Not every existing word ending in -mi belongs to this type, however. It’s just a select few words (see below for the full list).

1. Inflection of the word toimi

As an example, here is the word toimi inflected in the different cases. As you can see, this wordtype has 2 options for the singular partitive and the plural genitive. In all the other cases, this wordtype resembles ovi-type words.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative toimi toimet
Partitive (mitä?) toimea, tointa toimia
Genitive (-n) toimen toimien, tointen
Inessive (-ssA) toimessa toimissa
Illative (mihin) toimeen toimiin
Elative (-stA) toimesta toimista
Adessive (-llA) toimella toimilla
Allative (-lle) toimelle toimille
Ablative (-ltA) toimelta toimilta
Translative (-ksi) toimeksi toimiksi
Essive (-nA) toimena toimina

2. List of Kotus wordtype 25 words

In the table below, I’m only listing the singular partitive and plural genitive forms. As you can see in the table above, the other forms are formed the same way as they are for the word ovi.

When two options are given, both are possible. I have put the extremely rare forms between brackets. Note that, whenever it is possible, the form marked with #1 is generally more common.

Word English Partitive #1 Partitive #2 PL Genitive #1 PL Genitive #2
liemi broth lientä liemien lienten
loimi warp loimea (lointa) loimien lointen
lumi snow lunta lumien (lunten)
luomi mole (skin) luomea (luonta) luomien luonten
niemi peninsula niemeä nientä niemien nienten
taimi sapling taimea tainta taimien tainten
toimi post, position toimea tointa toimien tointen
tuomi bird cherry tuomea (tuonta) tuomien tuonten

3. Words ending in -mi that don’t belong to Kotus wordstype 25.

Next, you can find some words ending in -mi that do not belong to the group above. The old Finnish words of this group (marked #1) will inflect with -ea/eä in the singular partitive. The loanwords (marked #2) will inflect by adding an -a/ä at the end of the nominative form of the word. Both old and new words will have the same type of plural genitive, as you can see in the table below.

# Word English Partitive PL Genitive
1 nimi name nimeä nimien
1 helmi pearl helmeä helmien
1 sormi finger sormea sormien
1 suomi Finnish language suomea suomien
2 tiimi team tiimiä tiimien
2 atomi atom atomia atomien
2 filmi film filmiä filmien
2 puomi barrier puomia puomien

4. Some additional information

This wordtype can be met with a lot of opinions among Finnish speakers. While this wordtype typically has two singular partitive forms and two plural genitive forms, not every person is willing to accept both as correct. For example, Kielikello mentions that tuomi has two standard language partitive forms tuomea and tuonta, but that many Finnish speakers will consider tuonta to be incorrect. There are likely also some differences in usage in different regions of Finland.

Kielikello has published an interesting article in Finnish with examples of non-mainstream inflections of words ending in -i. There are, for example, examples when lumi and liemi are inflected as lumea and liemeä rather than the partitive forms lunta and lientä. These forms are technically incorrect in standard Finnish, but language is a fluid thing.

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Note that, whenever it is possible, the form marked with a hashtag # is generally more common.

Which hashtag do you mean?

Caroline Jacovine

Kiitos artikkelista, Inge! Sana “tuuli” kuuluu samaan Kotus 25 -ryhmään, eikö niin? Koska sanalla on myös kaksi monikkoa genetiivimuotoa, eli “tuulien” tai “tuulten, ja en luule, että “tuuli” on sanan “ovi” kaltaisessa ryhmässä.

Caroline Jacovine

No niin, kiitos taas, Inge! 🙂 Aion heti lukea tuon artikkelin “li-ni-ri”-sanoista 😉