defining stems in -s ending nouns

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by plmk, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. plmk Member

    Is there a way to forsee what is the stem of a -s ending noun? I've noticed that there are at least three different ways of forming it, e.g.:
    kirjallisuus - kirjallisuuden
    lounas - lounaan
    katos - katoksen
    How do I decide which one applies to the noun in question? Or do I have to memorize the nouns and their stems?
  2. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finland (North)
    You don't have to memorize all of them. Here are a couple of rules that should come in handy:

    - Nouns ending in -uus or -yys are always inflected like kirjallisuus : kirjallisuuden: ulottuvuus 'dimension', tarkkuus 'accuracy', etäisyys 'distance', tyhmyys 'stupidity'
    - Nouns ending in a consonant followed by -os, -ös, -us or -ys are always inflected like katos : katoksen: laitos 'facility', kerros 'floor; layer', riipus 'pendant', käytös 'behaviour', päätös 'decision', päällys 'surface, covering'. This group also includes the nouns teos 'a work (of art or literature)' and seos 'mixture, compound'
    - Nouns ending in -eus or -eys are always inflected like kirjallisuus: kauneus : kauneuden 'beauty', ylpeys : ylpeyden 'pride'
    - Nouns ending in -aus, -äys, or -ous can be either way. However, if the noun's base is a verb, i.e. if it has been formed from a verb, it inflects like katos: rakkaus : rakkauden 'love', talous : talouden 'economy' vs. loukkaus : loukkauksen 'insult' (< loukata 'to insult'), tarjous : tarjouksen 'offer' (< tarjota 'to offer')
    - Nouns ending in -ius, -ias and -iäs are mostly inflected like kirjallisuus. Exceptions are hius : hiuksen and iskias : iskiaksen 'sciatica'
    - Nouns ending in a consonant followed by -as, -äs, -es, or -is can be either way: kangas : kankaan 'fabric', seiväs : seipään 'javelin, spear', kaunis : kauniin 'beautiful' vs. lihas : lihaksen 'muscle', teräs : teräksen 'steel', juures : juureksen 'root vegetable', turkis : turkiksen 'fur (clothing)'. Also includes words äes : äkeen 'harrow' and ies : ikeen 'yoke'
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    For this group of nouns/adjectives, would it be accurate to say that all of the -ks-stems are derived from other nouns and adjectives? E.g., lihas<liha, turkis<turkki ("fur"), juures<juuri, etc.

    I'm not sure about the origin of kannas "isthmus" (gen. kannaksen), but it looks like it could come from kanta "base" (I don't have my etymological dictionary with me at the moment).
  4. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finland (North)
    Many of them are but some are unclear or have become opaque. For instance, ilves :) ilveksen), jänis :) jäniksen) and varis :) variksen) don't seem to have any discernible base noun. Also, new loanwords and colloquial and slang words derived with the suffix -is are -ks-stems: tennis, anis 'anise', anjovis 'anchovy'; roskis 'litter bin' (< roska 'litter, rubbish'), julkkis 'celebrity' (< julki(nen) 'public'), depis 'depression', futis ~ fudis 'football'
  5. plmk Member

    Thank you a lot for your answers!

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