The place of spatial case forms in early Estonian, Latvian and Finnish grammars

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According to current morphological descriptions, Latvian has one case and Finnish and Estonian have six cases that primarily serve to specifically express spatial relations. These forms caused difficulties for the first gram­marians of these languages since there seemed to be no appropriate place for many of them in the framework of Latin grammar. The overall move towards the acknowledge­ment of critical forms in the case paradigm was slightly different in each country but, at the same time, two grammatical traditions out of three shared some traits. The sources of these similarities are the joint history of Estonia and Latvia and the linguistic kinship of Estonian and Finnish. This article seeks to describe the three traditions by first describing the background of the grammars. It will then provide an overview of the treatment of cases used to express spatial relations in each country.


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