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Terminative case

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Title: Terminative case  
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Subject: Komi-Permyak language, Ergative case, Old Tibetan, Veps language, Delative case
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Terminative case

In morphology, the terminative case (abbreviated TERM) is a case specifying a limit in space and time and also to convey the goal or target of an action.


  • Bashkir 1
  • Estonian 2
  • Hungarian 3
  • Sumerian 4
  • Finnish 5


In the Bashkir language, the terminative case is indicated by the suffix '-ğasa/-gäsä/-qasa/-käsä':

  • киске 12-нән таңғы етегәсә (kiske 12-nän tañğï yetegäsä) "from 12 pm up to 7 am"
  • Был аҙнала 32 градусҡаса эҫетәсәк. (Bïl aðnala 32 gradusqasa eśetäsäk) "This week, it will get hot up to 32 degrees (Celsius)".

However, postpositions тиклем (tiklem), хәтлем (xätlem), ҡәҙәр (qäðär) "till, up to" are more frequently used in Bashkir to convey this meaning.


In the Estonian language, the terminative case is indicated by the '-ni' suffix:

  • jõeni: "to the river" / "as far as the river"
  • kella kuueni: "until six o'clock"


The Hungarian language uses the '-ig' suffix.

  • a házig: "as far as the house"
  • hat óráig / hatig: "until six o'clock"

If used for time, it can also show how long the action lasted.

  • hat óráig: "for six hours" / "six hours long"
  • száz évig: "for a hundred years"

It is not always clear whether the thing in terminative case belongs to the interval in question or not.

  • A koncertig maradtam.: "I stayed until the concert (ended or started?)" Here it is more likely that the person only stayed there until the concert began.
  • Mondj egy számot 1-től 10-ig!: "Say a number from 1 to (until) 10." However here you can say 10 as well!

The corresponding question word is Meddig?, which is simply the question word Mi? ("what?") in terminative case.


In Sumerian, the terminative case not only was used to indicate end-points in space or time but also end-points of an action itself such as its target or goal. In this latter role, it functioned much like an accusative case does. This case was expressed by means of the suffix -še.


The use of the postposition asti (or synonymously saakka) with the illative (or allative or sublative) case in Finnish very closely corresponds to the terminative. These same postpositions with the elative (or ablative) case also express the opposite of a terminative: a limit in time or space of origination or initiation.

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