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Semantic map approach to the Hungarian causal-final case

Masahiko Nose

Tohoku University/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Key words: causal-final case, postposition, Hungarian, semantic map

1. Introduction
A case marker is an element that “represents grammatical relations between noun phrases, and is
usually a suffix” (cf. Blake 1994). Hungarian has a rich case system with 18 basic cases. These can
be classified into three groups: grammatical cases, such as nominative and accusative; locative
cases, such as adessive and elative; and adverbial cases, such as essive and translative. There are
many studies on grammatical and locative cases or functions, not only in Hungarian but also in
other languages of the world. Adverbial cases and functions, however, have not been considered
before, and to address that gap this study is concerned with one of the adverbial cases, i.e., the
causal-final case in Hungarian [1].
This study tries to clarify the functions of the causal-final case by creating a semantic map of
that case. Typologically, the causal-final case is rare and apart from Hungarian, the same kind of
case (causal or causative case) is observed in Awa Pit, Epena Pedee, Pitjantjatjara, Toda, and Yidiny.
On the other hand, Finnish is a language related to Hungarian; however, it does not have a
corresponding case. The causal-final case basically means “because of” or “for,” but in addition to
the basic meaning, other meanings also are observed. This study investigates the grammatical and
lexical usages of the causal-final case in Hungarian and tries to find several functions (meanings) of
the case by contrasting it with Finnish. It then creates a semantic map of the causal-final case
This paper is divided into five sections. Section 1 is an introduction and makes some basic
assumptions. Section 2 explains the basic meanings and the grammatical behaviors of the causal-
final case, based on previous studies and Hungarian descriptive grammars. Section 3 is a text-based
study of that case and the results are shown. Section 4 discusses the functional motivations of the
forms and creates a semantic map. Finally, some conclusions from the foregoing discussion are
drawn in section 5.

2. The causal-final case and its meanings: preliminary studies

This section summarizes the basic meanings of the causal-final case with reference to some
descriptive grammars. The causal-final case is sometimes called “causal,” and is a rare case
function. Moreover, final function is rarer than causal. Iggesen (2005: 98) describes the causal case

function as follows: “(t)he case of the circumstance causing the clausal event to take place. It is
primarily found among Australian languages, such as Wambaya. The converse of the Causal is
called Caritive; it denotes circumstances, the lack of which leads to an event.” Thus, the causal-final
case in Hungarian is rare among Finno-Ugric languages, and one purpose of this study is to clarify
its functions. Some explanations of the causal-final case in Hungarian descriptive grammar are
listed below.
Korponay (2001) describes the case grammar of Hungarian by contrasting it with English, which
has few case markings and several prepositions. He points out that the causal-final case form -ért
was derived from a locative meaning “place” [2]. Later, the form acquired the causal and final
meanings, and the meaning in English corresponds to “for.” Korponay (2001: 65-71) claims that
there are two basic meanings of the causal-final case: cause (pay for one’s behavior) and purpose
(pay for music lessons). He tries to describe the meanings of the causal-final case by the causal and
the final function. He illustrates personal likes and dislikes, compensation, and restitution as the
causal function, and motion or purposeful activity, concepts connected with trade and requests, or
begging as the final function
Keresztes (1995: 121-122) says that the causal-final case can express cause, goal, and exchange
(price or value). Csepregi (1991: 133) writes about Hungarian grammar in Finnish and says that the
causal-final case expresses “syytä” (cause, reason) and “tarkoitusta” (purpose, object). She also
points out how the usage of the Hungarian causal-final case is expressed in Finnish.
Furthermore, Keszler & Lengyel (2002) give a summary of Hungarian grammar using
traditional description. They claim that the causal-final case definitely indicates cause and reason
meanings. In Keszler & Lengyel (2002), such cause and reason meanings are classified to one of the
adverbial meanings. It is called “okhatározó” (reason adverbial) (cf. Keszler & Lengyel 2002: 204-
215). This “okhatározó” includes not only the causal-final case but also other cases and forms, such
as the ablative case, causal postposition, and so on [3]. Keszler & Lengyel (2002: 214) define
“okhatározó” as specifying action, happening (including quality or state of affairs), and reason.
This study pays special attention to the causal-final case only, and also to a postposition, miatt.
First, the causal-final case has a main meaning of “okhatározó” and this study clarifies the functions
of the case. Other cases basically have locative meanings. Second, the causal postposition miatt also
has a reason meaning, but it seems to be different from that of the causal-final case. Korponay
(2001: 66) explains that the constructions with -ért can be replaced by the postposition miatt
(because of). Keresztes (1995: 124) also points out that the causal postposition miatt in (1) is
sometimes interchangeable with the causal-final case, as in (2).
(1) A rossz idő miatt
the bad weather POSTP
“Because of the bad weather” (Csepregi 1991: 134).
(2) Aggód-om a gyerek-ek-ért/a gyerek-ek miatt

am anxious-1SG the child-PL-CAUS/ child-PL POSTP
“I am anxious about the children” (Csepregi 1991: 134).

The following is the procedure of this study with the objective of creating a semantic map of the
causal-final functions. Texts in Hungarian and Finnish are used for the purpose of contrast. Many
examples are given through a text-based survey, and their functions are classified. I add the causal
postposition miatt to my investigation of the causal functions. To examine several functions of the
causal-final case and the causal postposition, this study will investigate their use through some
written texts. I gather the forms of the causal-final case and the causal postposition from the
Hungarian texts.
A purpose of this study is to create a semantic map through this functional investigation. This
study will feature a semantic map to express (mainly) cause, reason and other functions, i.e., the
functional descriptions will be illustrated by the map.
A semantic map is a visualization of multifunctionality. Haspelmath (2003: 213) demonstrates
the previous approach to the semantic map; Figure 1 shows typical dative functions.

Figure 1: Semantic map of typical dative functions (Haspelmath 2003:213)

In this paper, however, an attempt is made to create a semantic map of cause, reason, and other
functions, based on the causal-final case and the causal postposition. This will expose common and
different characteristics of the adverbial constructions.

3. A text-based investigation of causal expressions

This study briefly summarizes a methodology of the analysis and illustrates contrastive results. The
contrastive study is a text-based analysis of the Hungarian causal-final case and the causal
postposition, and Finnish equivalents. Two books have been chosen for this investigation, The
Alchemist (1988: English translation) and By the river Piedra I sat down and wept (1996: English
translation), Paul Coelho, both written originally in Portuguese as O Alquimista, and Na margem do
rio Piedra eu sentei e chorei. The books have been translated into Hungarian (Az alkimista, 2002,

and A Piedra folyó partján ültem, és sírtam, 2003) as well as Finnish (Alkemisti, 2002 and
Piedrajoen rannalla istuin ja itkin, 2004).
This study makes use of the following parallel texts (cf. Stolz 2001): The Alchemist (henceforth,
Alchemist) and By the river Piedra I sat down and wept (henceforth, Piedra) in their Finnish,
Hungarian, and English versions. When considering reasons and purposes, it is convenient to begin
with the usages of the causal case in Hungarian. First, the Hungarian books are checked in order to
identify the forms with the causal case -ért. Then, the aim is to establish how the Hungarian forms
are translated into Finnish. Moreover, it is necessary to identify not only the causal forms in
Hungarian but also the related forms (causal postpositions and other related lexical forms).
When I pay special attention to the causal-final case -ért, there is one specific marker, i.e., the
interrogative pronoun, mi-ért, which I do not include in this study. The form miért can be
interpreted as mi and -ért, and it corresponds to the interrogative marker why in English. Although I
found many examples of the form miért from the Hungarian texts (Alchemist and Piedra), I did not
include them in this study. The form miért functions as a question (reason or purpose), but there are
two problems in discussing the functions of the causal-final case. First, the interrogative form miért
is too grammaticalized as an interrogative marker, and as a result, it cannot be analyzed as the
combination of mi and -ért in present-day Hungarian. Second, the interrogative pronoun indicates
why in English and can mean all meanings, cause, reason, and purpose, and hence, it is difficult to
identify the specific meaning.
Thus, special attention is given to the following forms pertaining to reason and purpose: the
causal-final case with normal nouns (noun-ért), with demonstrative pronouns (az-ért, ez-ért), with
possessive suffix (ért-em, ért-ed, ért-e, and so on), and the causal postposition (miatt). When I
counted the examples of the causal-final case and the postpositions, there are four kinds of forms,
and more meanings (or functions).
This study further identified the following functions: cause, reason, purpose, exchange,
subordinate conjunction. I will show these functions with sentences in examples (3)–(12).
Korponay (2001) points out that the original meaning of the form -ért means place, but it does not
have such a locational meaning in the present-day causal-final usage. Thus, first, the form a halál-
á-ért indicates causal meaning in (3).
(3) És úgy beszél-nek Isten-ről, mint valami bosszúálló lény-ről,
and such speak-3PL god-LOC like something avenging being-LOC
aki az ember-t hibáztat-ja Egyszülött Fiá-nak
who the person-ACC make a mistake-3SG single born son-DAT
a halál-á-ért. (Piedra 160)
the death-POS-CAU
“And they present God to us as a vengeful being who blames man for the death of His only

Son” [4]

Next in (4), the sentence indicates cause or reason, and it is hard to distinguish between them. Thus
we use the label “cause-reason” for the sentence.
(4) Tudás-unk-ért üldöztetés-sel és máglyahalál-lal
knowledge-POS-CAU making chase-INS and death by burning-INS
fiz-ett-ünk, de túlél-t-ük. (Piedra 28)
pay-PAST-1PL but survive-PAST-1PL
“We have paid for our wisdom with persecution and burnings at the stake, but we have

In (5), the causal-final case form indicates a reason. The subject will fight for the reason of love. It
is no longer causal meaning.
(5) Mert soha nem felejt-ett-em el – bár nem tart-ott-am
because never not forget-PAST-1SG PRF though not keep-PAST-1SG
mag-am-at méltó-nak ar-ra, hogy harcol-jak ért-e. (Piedra 101)
self-POS-ACC worthy-DAT that-LOC that fight-3PL CAU-POS
“I had never forgotten love, even when it had deemed me unworthy of fighting for it”

The causal postposition miatt also indicates a reason. In (6), it took them a long hour to arrive at the
place because of rain and snow.
Reason (miatt form)
(6) Az előző napi esőzés és havazás miatt
the previous day raining and snowing POSTP
jóval lassabban kelt-ünk át a Pireneusok-on,
quite slowly cross-1PL PRF the Pyrenees-LOC
mint ahogy tervez-t-ük. (Piedra 189)
like as plan-PAST-1PL
“Crossing the Pyrenees had taken longer than we’d thought because of the rain and snow of
the previous day”

Next, in (7) and (8), the sentences will show meaning in the range from reason to purpose. In (7),
the meaning álom-ért can be interpreted as both reason and purpose, thus I label it “reason-purpose”
. Then, in (8), the meaning refers to a bigger purpose.

(7) Föl-áldoz-t-am az álmai-m-at egy fontosabb álom-ért. (Piedra 65)
PRF-sacrifice-PAST-1SG the dreams-POS-ACC one more important dream-CAU
“I’ve sacrificed my dreams in the name of a larger dream”
(8) A sólyom el-repül-t zsákmány-ért,
the falcon PRF-fly away-PAST-3SG prey-CAU
az alkimista pedig elő-ve-tte víz-zel telt palack-já-t,
the alchemist while PRF-take away-PAST.3SG water-INS full bottle-POS-ACC
s a fiú-nak nyújt-ott-a. (Alchemist 132)
and the boy-DAT pass-PAST-3SG
“The falcon flew off to find game, and the alchemist offered his water container to the boy.”

There is another meaning of the causal-final case: exchange, as in (9) and (10). As Keresztes (1995:
122) describes this meaning, it appears with actions of buying or selling, or with estimating value.
(9) Az ellenség minden tíz ember-é-ért egy arany-at kap-sz. (Alchemist 116)
the enemy every ten person-POS-CAU one gold-ACC get-2SG
“For every ten dead men among our enemies, you will receive a piece of gold.”
(10) Több-et kap-ok, mint amennyi-t a szívesség-em-ért
more-ACC get-1SG like as much as-ACC the generosity-POS-CAU
érdeml-ek. (Alchemist 159)
“But this payment goes well beyond my generosity (I deserve it for my generosity).”

Finally, I will show the demonstrative pronoun usage ezért and azért in (11) and (12). They are
combinations of az (that) or ez (this) and the causal-final case. Both forms are lexicalized as one
form (ezért, azért, respectively), and I claim that they are already grammaticalized as a conjunctive
(cf. Heine et al. 1991). In Hungarian, they are a type of conjunctions, and introduce a reason or
purpose clause. Moreover, they can connect the preceding and following sentences. As the English
translations in (11) and (12) show, they indicate because, that’s why, or therefore.
Subordinate conjunction
(11) Ez-ért ír-t-am le minden-t. (Piedra 12)
this-CAU write-PAST-1SG PRF everything-ACC
“That is why, I have written everything”
(12) Az-ért, mert most éppen részeg vagyok,
that-CAU because now just drunk I am

és eleg-em van a szürke hétköznap-ok-ból. (Piedra 50)
and enough-POS is the gray weekday-PL-LOC
“I am drunk, because I am tired of days that are all the same”

There are two remarkable points in the usages. One is a semantic boundary from cause to purpose in
(4) and (7), and the other is the usage of subordinate conjunctions in (11) and (12).
First, concerning the semantic boundary between cause and reason, reason, and purpose in (4)
and (7), it is difficult to distinguish between the meanings of cause and reason, reason, and purpose.
On the other hand, there is clear a boundary between cause and purpose. Adverbial meanings such
as cause, reason, and purpose cannot be analyzed to specific prototypical core meaning(s), and thus,
there are semantic ambiguities between them. In this study, we cannot distinguish those meanings
clearly. As a solution for such semantic ambiguities, this study claims that a semantic map
visualizes such ambiguous functions.
Second, the causal-final usage with demonstrative pronouns ez and az and the demonstrative
forms (ez-ért and az-ért) can each be regarded as one grammaticalized form. They connect
sentences like a conjunction of reason and purpose in (11) and are used to make a subordinate
clause in (12). Thus, this study calls them a subordinate conjunction. In Hungarian, there are other
adverbial cases such as essive-formal -ként and comitative-instrumental -val/-vel. However, there is
no frequent usage of essive-formal (ek-ként) or comitative-instrumental (ez-zel) with demonstrative
pronouns ez and az. The subordinate conjunctions ezért and azért are independently
grammaticalized only in the causal-final case.
Through the text-based investigation of two books (Alchemist and Piedra), 233 examples were
found: 116 from Alchemist and 117 from Piedra. In the causal-final forms, there are 204 causal-
final cases and 29 causal postpositions. The causal forms are formally classified into four types: a
noun-ért form, a form with demonstrative pronouns (ezért, azért), and a form with possessive suffix
(ért-em, ért-ed) and postposition (miatt) as shown in Table 1. In Table 1, there are only 67 examples
(29%) with “standard noun” + the case on one hand, and half the usages are subordinate
conjunctions on the other. This means that subordinate conjunctions are frequent. Moreover, there
are 29 examples (12%) of the causal postpositions, miatt. This postposition form is used to express
reason, and is functionally common with the causal-final case. This study needs to discuss the
reason why the causal postposition is still used vis-à-vis the causal-final case, although not

Table 1: Numbers of the causal-final case and the causal postposition in Hungarian:
The alchemist (116) Piedra river (117) Total: 233 (100%)
Noun-ért (37) Noun-ért (30) 67 (29%)

Ez-ért (27) Ez-ért (15) 42 (18%) 118 (51%)
Az-ért (36) Az-ért (40) 76 (33%)
Ért-possessive suffix (6) Ért-possessive suffix (13) 19 (8%)
Postposition: miatt (10) Postposition: miatt (19) 29 (12%)

The books (Alchemist and Piedra) have been translated in Finnish, English, and other languages
too. This study examines how the causal forms in Hungarian are translated in Finnish. This
contrastive study investigates formal differences between the two languages. First, there are 15
basic cases in Finnish (Karlsson 1999: 19), but there is no causal or final case. Thus, this study
examines what kinds of forms are used to express reason, purpose, and other meanings when
Hungarian uses the causal-final case or the causal postposition.
The following (13) illustrates how Finnish expresses the sentences of the causal-final examples
in Hungarian (4)–(12).
(13) Finnish translations of the Hungarian causal usages:
Hungarian Finnish Form in Finnish
a. Tudásunk-ért (4): viisaude-sta-mme: locative (elative)
b. harcoljak ért-e (5): taistellakseni häne-stä: locative (elative)
c. esőzés és havazás miatt (6): sateen ja lumen takia: causal postposition
d. egy fontosabb álom-ért (7): unelman tähden (= takia): causal postposition
e. zsákmány-ért (8): etsi-mään riistaa: verbal infinitive
f. tíz emberé-ért (9): kymmene-stä kaatunee-sta vihollise-sta: locative (elative)
g. a szívességem-ért (10): ylittää vieraanvaraisuuteni:[5] other lexical means
h. Ez-ért írtam (11): Si-ksi kirjoitin: translative
i. Az-ért, mert (12): Si-ksi, että: translative

Contrasting all 233 examples (Alchemist and Piedra) in Hungarian with the translations in Finnish,
six types formally appeared in Finnish: locative cases, translative case, causal postpositions, verbal
infinitive with cases, other lexical means, and not translated. There is no causal or final case in
Finnish, instead other locative or adverbial cases are used to express the reason and purpose
meanings (13a, b, f, h, i). On the other hand, several (at least four) causal postpositions (vuoksi,
takia, puolesta, tähden) are observed in Finnish, and such causal postpositions are frequently
observed (13c, d). Moreover, Finnish has special verbal infinitives with cases (13e) and such verbal
means can express reason and purpose. In addition, owing to translation, there are other possibilities
by expressing lexically (13g) or by not translating. In (13h, i), the subordinate conjunctions ezért,
azért are expressed by using siksi in Finnish (there are other possibilities such as sen vuoksi, sen
takia). The form siksi consists of se (it) and translative (-ksi) and these forms (siksi, sen vuoksi) are
also grammaticalized as subordinate conjunctions.

To summarize the contrastive results and (13), I demonstrate the differences between Hungarian
and Finnish. The causal case in Hungarian expresses cause, reason, purpose, and exchange in
buying and selling situations. The causal postposition in Hungarian indicates only reason.
Moreover, the causal-final case is grammaticalized with demonstrative pronouns and the forms
(ezért, azért) function as subordinate conjunctions. On the other hand, in Finnish , which lacks the
causal or final case, locative and adverbial cases (elative, translative) are used to express reason and
purpose, and in addition, verbal infinitives play a role in those meanings. Moreover, there are
several causal postpositions and Finnish prefers to use such postpositional forms and not a specific
case. Finally, Finnish also has the grammaticalized subordinate conjunction siksi and sen vuoksi,
with the translative case -ksi.

4. Discussion: semantic map and coexistence of case and postposition

This study has observed the usage of causal expressions in Hungarian, and contrasted these with the
equivalents in Finnish. Here their forms and meanings will be discussed in terms of a semantic map
and formal relations (case and postposition).
When we consider an overview of cases in the languages of the world, there are some languages
that have a causal case, e.g., Awa Pit, Epena Pedee, Pitjantjatjara, Toda, Yidiny, and so on, although
it is rather rare. The causal case in such languages has the ablative case as the origin of the causal
function. We observed that the locative case -sta (elative) is used in Finnish to express cause and
reason, and this elative has an ablative element “from.” In Hungarian, the causal-final case -ért does
not have a relation with the ablative case -tól/ -től. [6]
This study tries to visualize the functions of the causal-final case. For this, it will use a semantic
map (cf. Haspelmath 2003) and create the semantic map of the causal and the related functions. By
creating the semantic map, the functional behaviors of the adverbial cases (in this study, the causal-
final case) will be clarified. There are two forms (the causal-final case -ért and the causal
postposition miatt) for reason in Hungarian, with causal postposition as well as the causal-final
case, and in Finnish there are several causal postpositions, although other locative and adverbial
cases can express reason. This study considers the reasons why several forms (case and
postposition) are used to express one meaning.

4.1 Semantic map of the causal-final case

This study has identified cause, reason, purpose, exchange, and subordinate conjunction as the
functions of the causal-final case and causal postposition. By creating the semantic map, we can
construe the functional behaviors of the causal-final case and this semantic map clarifies the
functional relations of each function.
I have some observations from descriptive grammar and the text-based study. First, the causal-
final case originates from place meaning, but this place function is obsolete and not used any more

(thus, place function is bracketed). Then, causal meaning derives from place (possibly ablative
function), and then there are some related functions among cause, reason and purpose, which cannot
be clearly distinct. Through some grammaticalization process, a subordinate conjunction has
emerged and the forms have functions of explaining or connecting reason and purpose. Moreover,
there is another independent function: exchange for buying and selling. The exchange seems to
have a link to cause.
This study has created the semantic map (a) of causal-final case in Figure 2, and used a software
for making a phylogenetic tree (Treeview, Page 1996). By using this software, we can demonstrate
the functional relations in a tree-like figure.

Figure 2: Semantic map (a) of causal-final functions, based on a phylogenetic software

In Figure, the subordinate conjunction is later grammaticalized from reason and purpose, but both
meanings, and is located at an upper position of reason and purpose. The causal function is old and
is located on the upper side of the tree and cause neighbors on [place] and exchange.

4.2 Coexistence of the case and the postposition

Although there is the causal-final case in Hungarian, there are other forms of expressing cause,
reason, purpose, and exchange by using other cases or postpositions (see section 2, “okhatározó”).
One of the other forms is the causal postposition miatt and it mainly expresses reason. Two forms
coexist and this coexistence seems to be peculiar. Here, we discuss why there are two forms (case
and postposition) expressing reason.
Bánhidi et al. (1965) point out that the causal postposition is used when something is not quite
right with it, and the causal-final case is used when it implies certain purpose, as in (14a–b).
(14) Bánhidi et al (1965:300)
a. A pénz miatt jö-tt-em.
the money POSTP come-PAST-1SG
“I came because of the money” (something is not quite right with it).

b. A pénz-ért jö-tt-em.
the money-CAU come-PAST-1SG
“I came for the money” (to get the money).

This study distinguishes (14a) as a negative reason and (14b) as a positive reason. Almost the same
distinction is observed in Japanese too. In (15), there are two postposition-like forms (seide,and
tameni) in Japanese. The former seide in (15a) indicates a negative reason and implies some
financial problem. The latter form tameni in (15b) indicate a more neutral or positive reason and
implies getting money or gathering money.
(15) Japanese
a. Okane no seide kita
money POS because of come-PAST.1SG
”I came because of the money” (financial problem)
b. Okane no tameni kita.
money POS for the sake of come-PAST.1SG
”I came for the sake of getting the money”

This formal and functional distinction between a positive and negative reason can be observed in
the grammar of other languages and thus there exists one reason for the coexistence of two forms in
Hungarian. Finally, I added this positive/negative element of the reason function, and created a
revised semantic map (b) in Figure 3. The semantic map (b) in Figure 3 illustrates semantic
relations and formal distribution of the causal expressions in Hungarian.

Figure 3: Revised semantic map (b) of causal-final functions with the causal postposition
The causal postposition is located in the place of negative reason and positive reason is a neighbor
of the purpose meaning.

5. Conclusion
This paper has focused on one adverbial case, the causal-final case for reason and purpose, and its

semantic map has been created.
First, in Figure 3, the semantic map of the causal-final case is simple and it is remarkable that
the subordinate conjunction is frequently observed in the texts. This semantic map and the text-
based study indicate that the causal-final case plays a role in expressing reason and purpose, but the
case forms are grammaticalized as subordinate conjunctions. This study compared Hungarian with
Finnish texts and found no corresponding “causal-final case” in Finnish, but several different cases
and causal postpositions to express the equivalent meanings.
Second, it has turned out that there is another possibility; the causal postposition miatt is also
used to express reason. The postposition implies negative reason and it coexists with the causal-
final case implying positive reason. The semantic map (b) (Figure 3) has succeeded in illustrating
the semantic relations between them.
Finally, it has been established that the semantic map is helpful for visualizing the adverbial
functions of the forms, and has shown, in particular, that we can describe the functions of the
adverbial cases in Hungarian. Furthermore, in future studies, we should expand the semantic map
for other adverbial and similar functions.

This work is supported by a grant-in-aid from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
(JSPS). My thanks to the participants of The 5th Budapest Uralic Workshop (January 2006,
Budapest, Hungary). I take full responsibility for any inadvertent errors that may exist. The
following abbreviations are used: ACC “accusative,” CAU “causal-final,” DAT “dative,” INS
“comitative-instrumental,” LOC “locatives,” PAST “past tense,” POS “possessive suffix,” POSTP
“causal postposition,” PRF “verbal prefix,” SG “singular,” PL “plural,” 1,2,3 “1st, 2nd, 3rd person,
1. The causal-final case in Hungarian is also known as causal or causative case.
2. Korponay (2001: 65) writes that the causal-final case goes back to the locative forms of the
Proto-Finno-Ugrian word *ér which had the meaning “place.’” He does not describe which kind
of place (locative) meaning, “from,” “to,” or “at.”
3. Keszler & Lengyel 2002: 204-215) illustrate the following cases and postpositions in the
“okhatározó” (reason adverbial), other than the causal-final case; Locative cases, such as -ba/-
be, -ban/-ben, -ból/-ből, -n/-on/-en/-on, -ra/-re, -tól/-től, and dative case -nak/-nek, instrumental
-val/-vel, and some postpositions, miatt, fogva, után, nyomán, felől.
4. Sentence examples in English are based on the English translations of The Alchemist and By the
river Piedra I sat drawn and wept.
5. In Hungarian, a literal translation in (10) is that I get more than I deserve for my generosity. In
Finnish, it is translated as follows “this exceed my big generosity”.
6. Needless to say, the Hungarian ablative case -tól/ -től can express cause and reason meanings.


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Masahiko Nose
Department of Cross-Cultural Education
Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University
Kawauchi 41, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8576, Japan