In Finnish grammar
Finnish grammar
This article deals with the grammar of the Finnish language . For the ways in which the spoken language differs from the written language, see Colloquial Finnish...

, the momentane is a verb aspect indicating that an occurrence is sudden and short-lived.

Finnish has a number of momentane markers; they differ in the valency
Valency (linguistics)
In linguistics, verb valency or valence refers to the number of arguments controlled by a verbal predicate. It is related, though not identical, to verb transitivity, which counts only object arguments of the verbal predicate...

 and voice of the verbs they produce, but all indicate sudden, short-lived occurrences; for example, the verb ammahtaa (to dash ahead suddenly; not said of a person) is an anticausative
Anticausative verb
An anticausative verb is an intransitive verb that shows an event affecting its subject, while giving no semantic or syntactic indication of the cause of the event. The single argument of the anticausative verb is a patient, that is, an experiencer...

, momentane version of ampua (to shoot). Another example is the verb katsaista (to take a quick look), which is a momentane version of katsoa (to look). For semantic reasons, not all momentane markers can be used with all verbs; for example, an anticausative marker can only be used with verbs representing occurrences that can happen accidentally or on their own. Verbs with momentane markers are considered independent words, and native speakers rarely analyze them, but do synthesize them. Often the parent verb is not in use, leaving only the derived forms such as the momentane.

Often these are combined with a frequentative
In grammar, a frequentative form of a word is one which indicates repeated action. The frequentative form can be considered a separate, but not completely independent word, called a frequentative...

 to indicate a series of short actions. For example, heilua "to swing"; heilahtaa "to swing once by itself"; heilahdella "to swing to and from continuously". Another note is that the root may not be a fully formed verb, but mere onomatopoeia, e.g. pam+auttaa "to bang (something suddenly once)".

The markers are affected by consonant gradation
Consonant gradation
Consonant gradation is a type of consonant mutation, in which consonants alternate between various "grades". It is found in some Uralic languages such as Finnish, Estonian, Northern Sámi, and the Samoyed language Nganasan. In addition, it has been reconstructed for Proto-Germanic, the parent...

, as illustrated by this pair of first infinitives vs. second-person indicatives: pamahtaa ~ pamahdat, pamauttaa ~ pamautat.

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