Abessive case

Abessive case

In linguistics, abessive (abbreviated ABESS, from Latin "abesse" "to be distant"), caritive and privative (abbreviated PRIV) are names for a grammatical case expressing the lack or absence of the marked noun. In English, the corresponding function is expressed by the preposition "" or by the suffix "."

The name "abessive" is derived from Latin "abesse" "to be away/absent," and is especially used in reference to Finno-Ugric languages. The name "caritive" is derived from Latin "carere" "to lack", and is especially used in reference to Caucasian languages. The name "privative" is derived from Latin "privare" "to deprive."

In Afro-Asiatic Languages


In the Somali language, the abessive case is marked by "-laa" or "-la" and dropping all but the first syllable on certain words For example::"jeceyl" "love":"jeelaa" "loveless":"dar" "clothes":"darla" "clothesless" eg naked

In Australian languages


In Martuthunira, the privative case is formed with two suffixes, -wirriwa and -wirraa. What determines which suffix is used in a given situation is unclear.

In Caucasian languages

In Finno-Ugric languages


In the Finnish language, the abessive case is marked by "-tta" for back vowels and "-ttä" for front vowels according to vowel harmony. For example::"raha" "money":"rahatta" "without money"An equivalent construction exists using the word "ilman" and the partitive::"ilman rahaa" "without money"or, more uncommonly::"rahaa ilman" "without money"The abessive case of nouns is rarely used in writing and even less in speech, although some abessive forms are more common than their equivalent "ilman" forms::"tuloksetta" "unsuccessfully, fruitlessly":"Itkin syyttä." "I cried for no reason."The abessive is, however, commonly used in nominal forms of verbs (formed with the affix "-ma-" / "-mä-"), such as "puhu-ma-tta" "without speaking", "osta-ma-tta" "without buying," "välittä-mä-ttä" "without caring:":"Juna jäi tulematta." "The train didn't show up."This form can often be replaced by using the negative form of the verb::"Juna ei tullut."

It is possible to occasionally hear what is wrong usage of the abessive in Finnish, where the abessive and "ilman" forms are combined::"ilman rahatta"There is debate as to if this is interference from Estonian.


Estonian also uses the abessive, which is marked by "-ta" in both the singular and the plural::"(ilma) autota" "without a car" (preposition "ilma" is considered a mistake against textual style)
Tallinn boasts a pair of bars that play on the use of the comitative and abessive, the [http://www.nimetabaar.ee/English.html Nimeta baar] (the pub with no name) and the [http://www.baarid.ee/en/NimegaBar/programm.php Nimega baar] (the pub with a name).

The nominal forms of verbs are marked with the affix "-ma-" and the abessive marker "-ta:":"Rong jäi tulemata." "The train didn't show up."

kolt Sami

The abessive marker for nouns in Skolt Sámi is "-tää" in both the singular and the plural::"Riâkkum veä'rtää." "I cried for no reason."The abessive-like non-finite verb form (converb) is "unicode|-ǩâni" or "-kani:":"Son vuõ'lji domoi unicode|mainsteǩâni mõ'nt leäi puättam." "He/she went home without saying why he/she had come."Unlike in Finnish, the abessive is still commonly used in Skolt Sámi.

Inari Sami

The abessive marker for nouns in Inari Sámi is "-táá." The corresponding non-finite verb form is "-hánnáá," "-hinnáá" or "-hennáá."

Other Sami languages

The abessive is not used productively in the Western Sámi languages, although it may occur as a cranberry morpheme.

In Altaic Languages


The suffix "-siz" (variations: "-sız","-suz","-süz") is used. Ex: Evsiz, barksız, görgüsüz, yurtsuz.

ee also

*Essive case
*Inessive case


*cite book |first=Alan Charles |last=Dench |year=1995 |title=Martuthunira: A Language of the Pilbara Region of Western Australia |location=Canberra |publisher=Pacific Linguistics. Series C-125 |id=ISBN 0-85883-422-7 |url=http://www.linguistics.uwa.edu.au/staff/alan_dench/martuthunira |authorlink=Alan Dench

External links

* [http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/WhatIsAbessiveCase.htm Glossary of linguistic terms - What is abessive case?]

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