Essive Case ( Concept )

      |_ Abstract
            |_ Linguistic Property
                  |_ Morphosyntactic Property
                        |_ Case Property
                              |_ Essive Case


EssiveCase expresses that the referent of the noun it marks is the location at which another referent exists [Lyons 1968: 299, 301; Crystal 1985: 112; Blake 2001].

Usage Notes

Language Code: fin NO_COMMENT
2009-06-04 13:28:07
at the bear

Kiparsky (2001:316)


User Submitted Issues
Status: Pending Definition of Essive - Christian Chiarcos
2010-06-15 21:21:04

Apparently there exist alternative definitions of "essive" in Finno-Ugric languages:

The Hungarian "formativus, or essivus-formalis '-ként' ... usually expresses a position, task and manner of the person or the thing." (Nose 2003)

"Haspelmath & Buchholz (1998:321) explained the function of the essive case as 'role phrases'. Role phrases represent the role of the function in which a participant appears. They regard the role phrases as adverbial."
(Nose 2003, p. 117)

In Estonian the essive case means such things as `(I played golf)
as a student', `(I worked) as a bartender', `(you look) tired',
`(he's very good) as a dancing partner', `(we parted) as friends'.
This doesn't sound like the definition you quoted, but is similar
(though not identical) to the meaning of the Hungarian form.
(Ivan A. Derzhanski, email 2010/06/15)

Apparently, the GOLD community relies on different definitions
of essive (referring to Lyons 1968: 299, 301; Crystal 1985: 112;
Blake 2001, see

The definition there defines the term as often used in descriptions of Daghestanian languages, where an essive is a kind of locative. It is thought that the Finnish/Estonian essive started life that way too, but in the contemporary languages _karhu-na_, given on that page as an example and glossed `at the bear', means rather `as a bear', `in one's being a bear'. ... The Hungarian form on the other hand was never a locative, as far as I know.
(Ivan A. Derzhanski, email 2010/06/15)

Masahiko Nose (2003), Adverbial Usage of the Hungarian Essive Case
personal communication with Ivan A. Derzhanski and Csaba Oravecz