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FinFlect Documentation



This is the source-level documentation and cross-referenced source broser of FinFlect, a free software library of tools and algorithms for inflecting Finnish nouns, pronouns, adjectives and numerals.

FinFlect is being developed and maintained by a small group of volunteering programmers that are in no way professionals in the Finnish language (despite of being native speakers) nor are they professional programmers (yet?). Therefore the quality of the documentation and code might vary significantly.


Finnish is a Fenno-Ugric language that mostly uses suffixes where many languages (e.g. English) use prepositions. This particular trait makes it fairly difficult to translate electronically - and also very difficult to learn.

Finnish nouns are inflected in fifteen cases:


Nominative is the basic form of nouns. It often answers the question "what?" or "which?" and is usually used in the subject part of a sentence. As you might imagine, nominative singular forms do not differ in any way from the forms you can find in English-Finnish dictionaries; the plurals of most words only add -t to the singular form.

Example: koira (singular), koirat (plural)

Nominative forms of Finnish nouns can be obtained using the functions ff_nominative_singular (which is practically useless because nominative is the most basic form) and ff_nominative_plural.


Accusative is the object part of nouns. It often answers the question "what?" or "which?" when the noun at hands is in the object part of a sentence. The accusative usually looks like genitive or partitive.

Example: koira -> koiran (genitive-like singular) or koiraa (partitive-like singular), koirien (genitive-like plural) or koiria (partitive-like plural)

Because the accusative forms depend on the context, accusative can not be implemented as a function. Use ff_genitive_singular, ff_genitive_plural, ff_partitive_singular and ff_partitive_plural where applicable.


Genitive expresses ownership. It answers the question "whose?". Genitives can usually be recognized from the suffix -n or -en.

Examples: koira -> koiran, koirien

Genitive forms of Finnish nouns can be obtained using the functions ff_genitive_singular and ff_genitive_plural.


Essives can usually be recognized from the suffix -na or -nä.

Example: koira -> koirana, koirina


Suffix -a, -ä, -ta or -tä.

Example: koira -> koiraa, koiria


Translative expresses change of state. It carries the suffix -ksi.

Example: koira -> koiraksi, koiriksi


Suffix -ssa or -ssä.

Example: koira -> koirassa, koirissa


Suffix -sta or -stä.

Example: koira -> koirasta, koirista


Suffix -aan and the like.

Example: koira -> koiraan, koiriin


Suffix -lla or -llä.

Example: koira -> koiralla, koirilla


Suffix -lta or -ltä.

Example: koira -> koiralta, koirilta


Suffix -lle.

Example: koira -> koiralle, koirille


Abessive expresses lack of something. It is not very commonly used and is even less common in singular than in plural. It can be recognized from the part -tta- which is often followed by a possessive suffix.

Example: koira -> koiratta, koiritta


Suffix -n and -in.

Example: jalka -> jalan, jaloin


Suffix -ne- and a possessive suffix, only plural

Example: koira -> koirineen (third person)

Do some bla-bla humanism for the cases

Find out how on Earth do we get those function names properly linked to the respective functions

Generated on Sun May 15 21:50:47 2005 for FinFlect by  doxygen 1.4.1