Täyttää // täytyä ?

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by ThomasK, May 19, 2013.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I don't know Finnish, but I like exploring it. While having a look al kinds of derivations based on 'full', I came across täytyä, which seems to mean something like 'have to'. I Just wondered whether there could be an etymological link with täytää (or ...), filling.

    Maybe not at all (I am very good at wishful thinking), but on the other hand: when something (...) is full, some kind of urge might arise. That is what I thought. Could that make sense?
  2. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hi ThomasK,

    I don't have my etymological dictionary with me right now, but I recall reading that there is thought to be a connection between the Finnish word "täysi" (meaning "full") and "täytyä". I don't know what the theorized semantic development would have been, but I think "täysi" is the simpler root form, and the meaning of "full" is also thought to be ancient. I don't know if "täytyä" has a comparable distribution (across languages) or if it has ever meant something different from "must".
  3. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see, thanks. Is it the most common form of obligation, or even: is it a real modal verb by the way, like must or can in English?
  4. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    I checked both Suomen sanojen alkuperä (”The origin of Finnish words”) and Nykysuomen etymologinen sanakirja (”Etymological dictionary of modern Finnish”), and they confirm what Gavril already said. There is indeed a link, and the direction is from täysitäytyä. Täysi (stem täyte-) is thought to be a Germanic loan (from Early Proto-Germanic *tǣwia-, cf. Anglo-Saxon tǣwe). It is stated that in Finnish dialects and some closely related languages like Karelian the verb täytyä also carries the meanings 'fill (up)' and 'ripen'.

    What do you mean by ”real modal verb”?
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  5. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Filling up and ripening: interesting...

    Now, as for 'real modal verbs': well, I must pay attention of course, but I meant those modals having special forms (or lacking forms), like can, must, will, etc.; in general there is no argument about those, whereas the others are often more like 'regular' verbs. I admit that 'real' is not the correct term. So in this case I should perhaps have asked: is it the most common modal of obligation in Finnish?
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    I'm not a native speaker, but I was taught that "täytyä" is the default verb for a certain level of obligation. There are three main verbs/phrases used for positive obligation, each corresponding to a different degree of force: "pitää" is the lowest degree, "on pakko" is the highest degree, and "täytyä" falls somewhere in between.

    Quick comment on DrWatson's post:

    Sorry to digress from the topic, but do SSA and NES both support the Germanic loan etymology for "täysi"? I thought that that explanation was considered somewhat outdated. For example, the Germanic etymology would seem to require the rejection of Hungarian tel "full" as a cognate, but I recall seeing the Hungarian word mentioned as cognate to täysi etc. in papers from the last 10 or so years.
  7. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    I remember both dictionaries specifically describe the Hungarian cognate as dubious, but I'm not totally sure. As I don't have them at hand at the moment, I'll try and check again tomorrow. Could you give me an example of one or some the papers you mentioned?
  8. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Here's a quote from Schalin 2004, "Itämerensuomen *leüta-vartalon lainaperäisyys", p.31:

    Since this is in the context of arguing the possibility that the *leüta root could be of Pre-Germanic origin, the quote seems to imply that "täysi" and its Finnic cognates are also (widely) thought to go back to a period that at least predates Proto-Germanic. (However, it doesn't directly state that Hungarian "tel-" is accepted as a cognate, so I was wrong to say that I had seen that particular point made.)

    Several years ago, I read the original paper (Koivulehto 1976) that argued for the Germanic origin of "täysi", and if I recall correctly, one of the main justifications for abandoning the earlier etymological proposal for this word (Finno-Ugric origin) was the presumed problem with *-wD- sequences that Schalin states (in the quote above) is no longer considered to be so problematic.
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  9. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Okay, it's becoming clearer now. So, according to SSA, the etymology is not "dubious" as I put it, but instead it assumes two different etymologies: it considers the Permic and Ugric words cognate, but postulates a different origin for the Samic and Finnic words. I also checked Aikio 2002, "New and old Samoyed etymologies", which agrees with Schalin and states that the Finnish word can most easily be traced back to the reconstructed Proto-Finno-Ugric *täwδi, and that the Germanic origin word would apparently require overly complex sound changes.

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