Menen seuraavaan kursiin. Korpuspohjainen tutkimus ruotsinkielisten suomenoppijoiden illatiivin ja allatiivin käytöstä kirjallisessa tuotannossa [Corpus‐based study of the Swedish speaking learners’ usage of the illative and allative cases]

Tuija Määttä


This article contains the very first research results concerning the use of the interior local case illative and the exterior local case allative by Swedish speaking students learning Finnish as a foreign language at the beginners’ level at university. The main goal of this research has been to construct a general picture of the use of these two local cases.   The electronic material that the research is based on is the Swedish subcorpus of the International Corpus of Learner Finnish, ICLFI, which contains 43 496 tokens. The corpus consists of different forms of texts: essays, cards, letters, diaries, short stories et cetera. The corpus was analysed using a concordance programme that was included in the WordSmith Tools software package. Through the usage of different kinds of illative and allative case suffixes it was possible to find both the correct and wrong case forms. The analysis shows that there were a total of 1184 illative forms and 521 allative forms. Among the illative forms there are 62 cases in which the correct case would have been the allative case and in 51 cases the students had used allative instead of illative. Why do the students choose a wrong local case? This article also presents hypotheses that potentially enable a better understanding of why the illative and the allative cases have been used in a divergent way: 1) Are there some structural differences between the Finnish and Swedish languages? 2) Is it possible that people with different mother tongues picture the world differently? 3) Has the language in the teaching material that is mainly the vocabulary (the overuse/underuse) of some words or phrases, some influence on the use of the illative and allative cases? The fact that prepositions are used to indicate locality in Swedish, and that the illative and allative are expressed by the Swedish word ‘till’ can cause problems when the students have to choose between the two cases. One important thing to note when studying Finnish is that the perception of the world is dynamic. This dynamic aspect means that real, taught and conceivable movement is expressed, which means that the local cases have three different forms for existence, separation and arrival. There are certain aspects that have to be considered when the various local cases are used, e.g. the direction of the movement and the nature of the locality. The nature of the locality is not grammatically important in the Swedish language; there is no distinction made between interior and exterior locality. Even the direction of movement is of minor grammatical importance.


learner Finnish, corpus‐based research, illative, allative

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ISSN 2504-6616 (print/trükis)

ISSN 2504-6624 (online/võrguväljaanne)