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In grammar, the illative case (/ˈɪlətɪv/; abbreviated ILL; from Latin: illatus "brought in") is a grammatical case used in the Finnish, Estonian, Lithuanian, Latvian and Hungarian languages. It is one of the locative cases, and has the basic meaning of "into (the inside of)". An example from Hungarian is a házba ('into the house', with a ház meaning 'the house'). An example from Estonian is majasse and majja ('into the house'), formed from maja ('house'). An example from Finnish is taloon ('into the house'), formed from talo ('a house'), another from Lithuanian is laivan ('into the boat') formed from laivas ('boat'), and from Latvian laivā ('into the boat') formed from laiva ('boat').

In Finnish

The case is formed by adding -hVn, where 'V' represents the last vowel, and then removing the 'h' if a simple long vowel would result. For example, talo + Vn becomes taloon with a simple long 'oo'; cf. maa + hVn becomes maahan, without the elision of 'h'. This unusually complex way of adding a suffix can be explained by its reconstructed origin: a voiced palatal fricative. (Modern Finnish has lost palatalization and fricatives other than 'h' or 's'.) In some dialects spoken in Ostrobothnia, notably South Ostrobothnia, the 'h' is not removed; one says talohon. Some dialects of Finland Proper and Kymenlaakso also have a similar feature.[1] In some instances -seen is added, e.g. huone (room) and Lontoo (London) thus huoneeseen and Lontooseen respectively.

The other locative cases in Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian are:

In Lithuanian

The illative case, denoting direction of movement, is now less common in the standard language but is common in the spoken language, especially in certain dialects. Its singular form, heard more often than the plural, appears in books, newspapers, etc. Most Lithuanian nouns can take the illative ending, indicating that from the descriptive point of view the illative still can be treated as a case in Lithuanian. Since the beginning of the 20th century it isn't included in the lists of standard Lithuanian cases in most grammar books and textbooks, and the prepositional construction į+accusative is more frequently used today to denote direction. The illative case was used extensively in older Lithuanian; the first Lithuanian grammar book, by Daniel Klein, mentions both illative and į+accusative but calls the usage of the illative "more elegant". Later, it has often appeared in the written texts of the authors who grew up in Dzukija or Eastern Aukštaitija, such as Vincas Krėvė-Mickevičius.

The illative case in Lithuanian has its own endings, which are different for each declension paradigm, although quite regular, compared with some other Lithuanian cases. An ending of the illative always ends with -n in the singular, and -sna is the final part of an ending of the illative in the plural.

Certain fixed phrases in the standard language are illatives, such as patraukti atsakomybėn ("to arraign"), dešinėn! ("turn right"), vardan ("for the sake of" or "in the name of", e.g., in the name of the political party "Vardan Lietuvos", "For Lithuania").

Examples of the illative case in Lithuanian
Nominative Illative Gloss
Singular Plural Singular Plural
masc. karas karai karan karuosna war(s)
lokys lokiai lokin lokiuosna bear(s)
akmuo akmenys akmenin akmenysna stone(s)
fem. upė upės upėn upėsna river(s)
jūra jūros jūron jūrosna sea(s)
obelis obelys obelin obelysna apple tree(s)

Further reading


  1. ^ "Jälkitavujen vokaalien välinen h". (in Finnish). Retrieved 2021-12-25.