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  5. "Missä norjalainen soitin on?"

"Missä norjalainen soitin on?"

Translation:Where is the Norwegian instrument?

July 5, 2020



What is a Norwegian instrument?


It could be a number of things. Some of the possibilities are bukkehorn, harpeleik, langeleik, lur, seljefløyte, tungehorn, and munnharpe.


There's also the hardingfele (Hardanger fiddle), a type of violin with four bowed strings and four unbowed strings that vibrate sympathetically when it is played. Hardanger fiddles also typically have more decoration than regular violins. The composer Edvard Grieg was inspired by its sound and often reworked traditional melodies written for it into his compositions.


On an early question, I noticed it was using onko for asking if something is something, what are the rules for using the suffix ko? When no other interrogative words are used?


That's it! So you use it in yes/no-questions.


Yep. :) More specifically, the ending is either -ko or -kö depending on what vowels the root word has (vowel harmony). Words with front and neutral vowels require the suffix -kö, as do words with just neutral vowels, while words with back vowels and neutral vowels require the suffix -ko.

Front vowels: ä, ö, y

Neutral vowels: i, e

Back vowels: a, o, u

The -ko/kö question suffix can be attached to verbs, nouns, pronouns, numerals and adjectives (onko, siivoaako, sinäkö, tämäkö, yksikö, kolmeko, mukavako, hauskako). With adjectives the -ko/kö is much rarer, however, since the question is usually asked in another way.


Why strict "the" and "a" not acceptable for Norwegian instrument?


Well, it's to do with the positioning of "norjalainen soitin" in the Finnish sentence. The general rule is that the earlier a noun comes in a sentence, the more definite it is.

"Missä norjalainen soitin on?" - Where is THE Norwegian instrument, since the placement of the noun phrase makes you feel like the asker is talking about some specific instrument

"Missä on norjalainen soitin?" - Here you could translate "norjalainen soitin" as "A Norwegian instrument" since it feels less definite and specified coming at the end of the sentence.


That was so on the surface but I was not noticing. Thanks!


@pieni chilipalko: Your statements are always so very informative and helpful. Kiitos big smile


Would "Missä on norjalainen soitin?" Be correct?


Nope. pieni_chilipalko explains why elsewhere in this thread.


Common Finn doesn't recognize the difference between 'Missä on norjalainen soitin?' and 'Missä norjalainen soitin on?' Both are used in common Finnish and each says these the way they fit better in their mouth. The first fits a little better in a situation where one has been looking for the instrument for a longer time and is getting a bit desperate already. :)


"Common Finn" should recognize the difference, and will do if they learn a bit of grammar... We're not trying to reach the lowest common denominator here.


Sounds like a line from the villain in a cheap spy film... 'so you vill not talk... where is the norwegian instrument....'

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