In Basque the terminative case (also called approximative or goal allative) marks motion up to or as far as a place. It differs from the allative, the case meaning simply 'to', and also from the directional, a case meaning 'towards'.

With inanimate nouns (and you mainly go as far as cities, houses, or mountains, not people) the terminative case ending is -(e)raino. This is compound, consisting of the allative -(e)ra 'to' and an extra suffix -ino. This is the form used in most dialects, but some in France use the form -(e)radino.

    mendi-raino   joan    gara
    mountain-TERM go:PERF AUX(1pl)
    We went as far as the mountain.
Compare with allative and directional:
    mendi-ra     joan    gara
    mountain-ALL go:PERF AUX(1pl)
    We went (on)to the mountain.

    mendi-rantz  joan    gara
    mountain-DIR go:PERF AUX(1pl)
    We went towards the mountain.
The endings after a vowel and after a consonant are as follows, using mendi 'mountain' and zuhaitz 'tree':

Singular definite: mendi-raino, zuhaitz-eraino
Plural definite: mendi-eta-raino, zuhaitz-eta-raino
Indefinite: mendi-ta-raino, zuhaitz-eta-raino

Proper names of places have a slightly different ending for their allative case, and those such as the terminative derived from it. After a consonant the allative is -a, not the expected -era: so Bilbo-raino 'up to Bilbao', but Gasteiz-aino 'up to Gasteiz (Vitoria)'.

Animate nouns have a different way of forming their local cases ('at', 'to', 'from', when used spatially, and their derivatives). The noun takes the genitive case first (which can sometimes be omitted), then another element (-gan- in the western Basque Country and -baita- in the east), and finally the case ending. This gives the following forms with gizon 'man':

Singular definite: gizon-aren-gan-aino, gizon-a-gan-aino, gizon-aren baita-raino, gizon-a baita-raino
Plural definite: gizon-en-gan-aino, gizon-en baita-raino
Indefinite: gizon-en-gan-aino, gizon-en baita-raino

Saltarelli, M. (1988) Basque, Croom Helm
Trask, R.L. (1997) The History of Basque, Routledge

Ter"mi*na*tive (?), a.

Tending or serving to terminate; terminating; determining; definitive.

Bp. Rust. -- Ter"mi*na*tive*ly, adv. Jer. Taylor.


© Webster 1913.

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