On the tracks of the Proto-Uralic suffix *-ksi
a new but old perspective on the origin of the Mari lative
This paper presents a comprehensive reappraisal of the origins of the Mari lative case marker -(e)š. According to the received view, the suffix -(e)š originates in a Proto-Finno-Volgaic *s-lative, ultimate origin of which has not been explained. As the traditional theory of the origins of the so-called s-cases in Saami, Finnic, Mordvin and Mari suffers from various methodological shortcomings, alternative proposals have been presented, but the Mari lative continues to lack a plausible explanation. At the same time, the Finnic and Mordvin translatives in *-ksi are nowadays related to the Northern Samoyed predestinative in *-tə̑. This paper aims to present a functionally and phonologically sound theory of the origin of the Mari lative case marker -(e)š by relating the suffix to translatives and derivations in *-ksi, acknowledging that the hypothesis is not new, but actually predates the prevailing theory of the 20th century. At the same time, the paper presents the first familywide overview of the possible descendants *-ksi, a suffix that may have functioned as a case marker already in Proto-Uralic.