Sunteți pe pagina 1din 284

Urdu Morphology

i
COLLABORATORS

TITLE :

Urdu Morphology

ACTION NAME DATE SIGNATURE

WRITTEN BY Anne David, November 25,


Michael 2009
Maxwell,
Evelyn Browne,
and Nathanael
Lynn

REVISION HISTORY

NUMBER DATE DESCRIPTION NAME

ii
Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Dual-use Grammars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.3 Audience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.4 More on Uses of this Grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4.1 Grammar as a Basis for Computational Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.4.1.1 Uses of a Parser and Generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
1.4.1.2 Building a Parser and Generator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
1.4.2 Grammatical Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.5 Scope of this Grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.6 Looking to the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.6.1 Grammar Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
1.6.2 Spell Correction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
1.6.3 Grammar Adaptation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.6.3.1 Model Grammars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1.6.3.2 Automated Grammar Adaptation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1.7 Format of this Grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

2 The Urdu Language 15


2.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.1.1 History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
2.1.2 Variation in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
2.1.3 Urdu and Hindi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.2 The Written Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.2.1 Rationale for Transcription System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
2.2.2 Orthography of Vowels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

iii
2.2.2.1 Vowel Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.2.2.2 Short Vowels with Diacritics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
2.2.2.3 Long Front Vowels with ‫ ی‬yē . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.2.2.4 Long Back Vowels with ‫ و‬vāū . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.2.2.5 Other Ways of Writing Vowels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.2.2.6 Vowel Mutations Before /h/ and ‘ain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
2.2.2.7 Nasal Vowels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.2.3 Orthography of Consonants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.2.3.1 Transcription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.2.3.2 Consonantal Diacritics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2.4 Spelling Issues in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2.4.1 Vowels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2.4.2 Consonants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.2.5 Table of Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.3 List of Abbreviations and Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

3 Nouns 37
3.1 Inflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
3.1.1 Gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
3.1.1.1 Masculine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.1.1.1 Masculine Marked (Class I) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.1.1.2 Masculine Unmarked (Class II) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.1.2 Feminine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.1.2.1 Feminine Marked (Class III) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
3.1.1.2.2 Feminine Unmarked (Class IV) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.1.1.3 Some Clues to Gender of Unmarked Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.1.1.3.1 Typical Feminine Suffixes and Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . 40
3.1.1.3.2 Typical Masculine Suffixes and Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.1.2 Inflectional Affixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.1.2.1 Masculine Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.1.2.2 Feminine Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
3.1.3 Formal Grammar of Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
3.1.4 Noun Paradigms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.1.4.1 Masculine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

iv
3.1.4.1.1 Marked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
3.1.4.1.2 Unmarked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
3.1.4.2 Feminine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.1.4.2.1 Marked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.1.4.2.2 Unmarked . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.1.5 Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.1.6 About Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.1.6.1 Vocative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.1.6.2 Direct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
3.1.6.3 Oblique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
3.2 Nominal Derivational Suffixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
3.2.1 ‫ وٹ‬/-vat ̣/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
3.2.2 ‫ ؤ‬/-ō/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
3.2.2.1 Masculine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
3.2.2.2 Feminine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
3.2.3 ‫ ی‬/-ī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
3.2.3.1 ‫ ی‬/-ī/ added to stems of simple causative verbs . . . . . . . . . . . 56
3.2.3.2 ‫ ی‬/-ī/ added to stems of simple or double causative verbs . . . . . 56

3.2.3.3 /-ī/ added to nouns, adjectives, and simple verb roots . . . . . . 56

3.2.3.4 /-ī/ added to place names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56


3.2.4 ‫ ب‬/-pan/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
3.2.5 /-hat ̣/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
3.2.6 ‫ ن‬/-n/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
3.3 Borrowed Nouns in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
3.3.1 Persian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
3.3.1.1 Persian Plurals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
3.3.1.2 Common Persian Suffixes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
3.3.1.3 The Enclitic /e/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
3.3.1.4 /ham/ same, with . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

3.3.2 Arabic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
3.3.2.1 Nouns from Arabic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
3.3.2.1.1 Place Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
3.3.2.1.2 Instrument Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

v
3.3.2.1.3 Abstract Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
3.3.2.1.4 Arabic Definite Articles in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
3.3.2.1.5 Noun Plurals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
3.3.2.1.5.1 Dual Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
3.3.2.1.5.2 Regular (“Sound”) Plurals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
3.3.2.1.5.3 Irregular (“Broken”) Plurals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
3.3.2.2 Arabic Prefixes in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
3.3.2.3 ‫ و‬/-o-/ and Arabic and Persian conjunctive particle . . . . . . . . . . 67

4 Pronouns 68
4.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.2 Personal Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.2.1 Regular Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
4.2.2 Alternate Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
4.2.3 Possessive Personal Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.3 Reflexive Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.3.1 ‫ د‬/xud/ and ‫ آپ‬/āp/: X-self . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.3.2 6‫ ا‬/apnā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
4.3.3 ‫ د‬/xud/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
4.3.4 ‫آپ‬ ‫ ا‬/apnē āp/ and ‫ د‬9‫ د‬/xud baxud/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

4.3.5 ‫ب‬ ‫ آ‬/āpas mēṁ / among selves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75


4.4 Demonstrative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
4.5 Relative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.6 Interrogative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
4.7 Indefinite Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
4.7.1 @ /kōī/ some(one), any(one) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

4.7.2 ‫ ھ‬/kucʰ/ some(thing), any(thing) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

5 Postpositions 82
5.1 Grammatical Postpositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

5.1.1 ~ ~ 5 /kā ~ kē ~ kī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82


5.1.1.1 Possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
5.1.1.1.1 Possessive Noun Constructions with 5 /kā/ . . . . . . . . . 83

vi
5.1.1.1.2 Types of Possession . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
5.1.1.2 Compound Postpositions Using 5 /kā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
5.1.1.2.1 5 /kā/ + oblique noun + postposition . . . . . . . . . . . 85
5.1.1.2.2 5 /kā/ + oblique noun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
5.1.1.2.3 5 /kā/ + oblique adjective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
5.1.1.2.4 5 /kā/ + adverb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
5.1.1.2.5 ( 5 /kā/) + Perso-Arabic preposition + oblique noun . . . 90
5.1.1.3 With Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

5.1.2 @ /kō/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
5.1.2.1 Indirect Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
5.1.2.2 Direct Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
5.1.2.3 Subjects (Indirect Constructions) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
5.1.2.4 Possession of Intangible Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5.1.3 /nē/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
5.2 Spatial-Temporal Postpositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.2.1 /sē/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.2.1.1 Ablative Use (Place and Time) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.2.1.2 Instrumental/Agentive Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
5.2.1.3 Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
5.2.1.4 Adverbial Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
5.2.1.5 With Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
5.2.1.6 Postpositional Sequences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
5.2.2 /tak/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
5.2.3 ‫ ب‬/mēṁ / . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
5.2.3.1 Locative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
5.2.3.2 Change of State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
5.2.3.3 Cost in Time/Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
5.2.3.4 After Infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
5.2.4 ‫ ب‬/par/ ~ ‫ بہ‬/peh/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
5.2.4.1 Locative Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
5.2.4.2 Motion Towards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
5.2.4.3 After Infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
5.2.4.4 With Objects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

vii
5.3 Verb + Postposition Collocations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
5.4 Prepositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
5.4.1 Persian Prepositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
5.4.2 Arabic Prepositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

6 Adjectives 105
6.1 Inflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
6.1.1 Marked (Inflected) Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
6.1.1.1 Masculine and Feminine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
6.1.1.2 Direction and Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
6.1.1.3 Agreement with Multiple Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
6.1.2 Unmarked (Uninflected) Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.1.2.1 Persian Past Participles in cʰot ̣ī hē . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.1.2.2 Arabic Adjectives in ‫ ی‬/-ī/ or ‫ی‬/‫ ا‬/-ā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
6.1.2.3 Denominal Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
6.1.2.3.1 In ‫ ی‬/-ī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
6.1.2.3.2 In ‫ ابہ‬/-ānah/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

6.1.2.3.3 In ‫ ک‬/-nāk/ and ‫ ب‬/-gīn/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112


6.1.2.3.4 Other Persian Denominals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
6.1.2.4 Other Unmarked Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
6.1.2.4.1 Denominal and Deverbal Adjectives in /nā-/ . . . . . . . . 113
6.2 Attributive and Predicative Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
6.3 Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
6.3.1 Cardinals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.1.1 Cardinals 100 and Below . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.1.2 Cardinals Above 100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.2 Ordinals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
6.3.3 Fractions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.3.4 Iteration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.4 Demonstratives, Interrogatives, and Relatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
6.5 Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.5.1 Inflected with ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.5.1.1 Inflection of ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
6.5.1.2 Colloquial usage of ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

viii
6.5.2 Phrasal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.2.1 With /sē/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.2.1.1 Comparatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.2.1.2 Superlatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.5.2.2 With ‫ ز دہ‬/zyāda/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.6 Phrasal Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.6.1 With /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
6.6.1.1 Noun/Oblique Pronoun + /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

6.6.1.2 ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ + /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119


6.6.1.3 Adjective + /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
6.6.2 With ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120

7 Miscellaneous 121
7.1 Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
7.1.1 Demonstratives and Interrogative and Relative Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
7.1.1.1 Interrogatives vs Relatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

7.1.1.2 The Set ، ،‫اس‬،‫ س‬/is, us, kis, jis/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123

7.1.1.3 The Set ، ، ‫ ا‬/abʰī, tabʰī, kabʰī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123


7.1.2 Adverbial Uses of Other Parts of Speech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.1.2.1 Oblique Nouns as Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.1.3 Phrasal Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.1.3.1 With /sē/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
ً
7.1.4 Arabic Adverbs in ‫ ا‬/-an/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
7.2 Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.2.1 Emphatic Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.2.1.1 Contrastive: @ /tō/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.2.1.1.1 @ /tō/ in Conditional Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
7.2.1.1.2 @ /tō/ in Correlative Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
7.2.1.2 Exclusive: /hī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126
7.2.1.2.1 Bound Forms of /hī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
7.2.1.3 Inclusive: /bʰī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
7.2.1.3.1 In Parallel Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
7.2.1.3.2 In Emphatic and Concessive Phrases . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

ix
7.2.1.3.3 With Relatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
7.2.2 Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
7.2.2.1 Coordinating Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
7.2.2.1.1 ‫ اور‬/ɔr/ and . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
7.2.2.1.2 /yā/or . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

7.2.2.1.3 /magar/, /lēkin/ but . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133

7.2.2.1.4 ‫ہ‬ /balkeh/ on the contrary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134


7.2.2.1.5 ‫ہ‬C /jab keh/ while, since, when . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
7.2.2.2 Subordinating Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

7.2.2.2.1 ‫ اگ‬/agar/ if . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134


7.2.2.2.2 ‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ so that, and ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a /bašartekeh/ provided that . . 135

7.2.2.2.3 /jab tak/ + negative, until . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

7.2.2.3 Subordinate Clauses in ‫ہ‬C /keh/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135


7.2.2.3.1 Replacing Other Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
7.2.2.3.2 ‫ہ‬C /keh/ Clauses in the Indicative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
7.2.2.3.2.1 In Direct and Indirect Discourse . . . . . . . . . . . 137
7.2.2.3.2.2 In Other Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
7.2.2.3.3 ‫ہ‬C /keh/ Clauses in the Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
7.2.2.4 Correlative Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
7.2.2.4.1 Inclusive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
7.2.2.4.2 Exclusive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
7.2.2.5 Causal Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
7.2.2.6 Concessive Conjunctions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
7.2.3 Sentential Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
7.2.3.1 Introductory Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
7.2.3.2 Tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

7.2.3.3 8 /kyā/ for Yes-or-No Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144


7.2.4 Negative Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
7.2.5 Other Particles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
7.2.5.1 Adjectival Particle /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
7.2.5.2 Interjections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
7.2.5.2.1 Vocative expressions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

x
7.2.5.2.2 Free Interjections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
7.3 Repetition and Reduplication in Urdu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
7.3.1 Repetition and Reduplication of Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
7.3.1.1 Repetition of Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
7.3.1.2 Reduplication of Nouns (Echo Words) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
7.3.2 Repetition of Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
7.3.3 Repetition and Reduplication of Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
7.3.3.1 Repetition of Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
7.3.3.2 Reduplication of Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
7.3.4 Repetition of Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.5 Repetition of Verbal Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.5.1 Repetition of Conjunctive Participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.5.2 Repetition of Imperfective Participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
7.3.5.3 Repetition of Perfective Participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151

8 Verbs 152
8.1 The Four Basic Verb Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
8.1.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
8.1.2 The Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
8.1.3 The Imperfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
8.1.4 The Perfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
8.1.5 The Infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
8.2 The Auxiliary Verb /hōnā/̄ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
8.2.1 Present Tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
8.2.2 Simple Past Tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
8.2.3 Subjunctive Mood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
8.2.4 Future Tense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
8.2.5 Formal Grammar of /hōnā/̄ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
8.3 Verb Constructions Using the Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
8.3.1 Imperatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
8.3.1.1 Intimate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
8.3.1.2 Familiar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
8.3.1.3 Formal/Polite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
8.3.1.3.1 Regular Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166

xi
8.3.1.3.2 Irregular Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 166
8.3.2 Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
8.3.2.1 Forming the Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
8.3.2.1.1 Regular Subjunctive Conjugation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
8.3.2.1.2 Irregular Subjunctives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
8.3.2.2 Uses of the Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167
8.3.2.2.1 Subjunctive in Main Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
8.3.2.2.2 Subjunctive in Subordinate Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
8.3.2.2.2.1 A Note on Conditional Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . 174
8.3.3 Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
8.3.3.1 Forming the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
8.3.3.2 Uses of the Future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
8.3.3.2.1 In Main Clauses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
8.3.3.2.2 In Conditional Sentences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
8.3.4 Conjunctive Participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
8.3.5 Progressive Tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
8.3.5.1 Progressive Present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
8.3.5.2 Progressive Past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
8.3.5.3 Progressive Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
8.3.5.4 Progressive Presumptive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
8.3.5.5 Progressive Irrealis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
8.4 Verb Constructions Using the Imperfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
8.4.1 Bare Participle Forms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
8.4.1.1 Irrealis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184
8.4.1.2 Ellipsis in the Narrative Imperfective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
8.4.2 Imperfect Tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
8.4.2.1 Present Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
8.4.2.2 Past Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
8.4.2.2.1 Narrative Imperfective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
8.4.2.3 Subjunctive Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
8.4.2.4 Presumptive Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
8.4.2.5 Irrealis Imperfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
8.4.2.6 As Adjectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192

xii
8.5 Verb Constructions Using the Perfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
8.5.1 Miscellaneous Functions of the Perfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
8.5.1.1 Simple Perfective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
8.5.1.2 Perfective Participle + /jānā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
8.5.1.2.1 Passive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
8.5.1.2.2 Incapacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194

8.5.1.3 Perfective Participle + : /karnā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195


8.5.2 Perfect Tenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
8.5.2.1 Present Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
8.5.2.2 Past Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
8.5.2.3 Perfect Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
8.5.2.4 Presumptive Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
8.5.2.5 Irrealis Perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
8.6 Verb Constructions Using the Infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
8.6.1 As a Verbal Complement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
8.6.2 Neutral Imperative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
8.6.3 Infinitives in the Direct Case . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
8.6.3.1 As Subject . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
8.6.3.2 Indirect Constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
8.6.3.2.1 Infinitive + /hæ/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
8.6.3.2.2 Infinitive + /cāhiē/ or ‫ب‬ /cāhiēṁ / . . . . . . . . . 205

8.6.3.2.3 Infinitive + ‫ آن‬/ānā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205


8.6.3.2.4 Infinitive + ‫ بڑ‬/paṛnā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
8.6.4 Oblique Infinitive Constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
8.6.4.1 Infinitive + ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
8.6.4.2 With Postpositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
8.6.4.3 With Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
8.6.4.4 Purposive Infinitive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
8.6.4.5 Negative Assertion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
8.7 Other Auxiliary Verb Constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210

8.7.1 /saknā/: Ability/Possibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210


8.7.2 /pānā/: Contingent Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211

8.7.3 /cuknā/: Completed Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212

xiii
8.7.4 ‫ ر‬/rahnā/: Continuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
8.7.5 ‫ ر‬/rahnā/: Emphatic Continuation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
8.7.6 /jānā/: Progression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213

8.7.7 : /karnā/: Iteration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214


8.8 Formal Grammar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215

9 Complex Predicates 229


9.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
9.2 Denominative Verb Constructions (noun/adjective + verb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
9.2.1 Verbs Used to Form Denominatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
9.2.2 Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
9.3 Vector Verb Constructions (verb + verb) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
9.3.1 Intransitive Vector Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
9.3.1.1 /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
9.3.1.2 ‫ بڑ‬/paṛnā/ to fall, to befall . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233

9.3.1.3 /nikalnā/ to emerge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233


9.3.1.4 ‫ ا‬/ut ̣ʰnā/ to rise, to get up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
9.3.1.5 /bæt ̣ʰnā/ to sit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
9.3.2 Transitive Vector Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
9.3.2.1 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
9.3.2.2 /lēnā/ to take . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
9.3.2.3 ‫ ڈا‬/ḍālnā/ to put; to pour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236

9.3.2.4 ‫ ر‬/rakʰnā/ to put or place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236


9.3.3 Transitivity of Sentences with Vector Verbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
9.3.4 Restrictions on Vector Verb Constructions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238

A The Formal Grammar 240

B The Grammar for Dictionary Importation 242

References Cited or Consulted 252

Index 254

xiv
List of Tables

2.1 Short Vowel Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


2.2 hamzāh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
2.3 nūn ɣunnah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
2.4 tašdīd and jazm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
2.5 Consonants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
2.6 Vowels: Initial and Long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.7 Vowels: Short Signs (Rare) and Vowel Combinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
2.8 Diacritrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

3.1 Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ہ‬،‫ ا‬/-ā, -ah/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41


3.2 Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ اں‬/-āṁ/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.3 Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ بہ‬/-ayah/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.4 Masculine Unmarked Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
3.5 Feminine Marked Nouns in /-ī/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.6 Feminine Marked Nouns in /-iyā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.7 Feminine Unmarked Nouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
3.8 5‫ ڑ‬/laṛkā/ boy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

3.9 ‫ اں‬/kūāṁ / well . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51


3.10 ‫ ہ‬6‫رو‬/rūpayah/ rupee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

3.11 ‫ آد‬/admī/ man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

3.12 ‫ ڑ‬/laṛkī/ girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52


3.13 ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ maternal aunt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
3.14 ‫ ب‬8/kitāb/ book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

4.1 Personal Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69

xv
4.2 Personal Pronouns: Alternate Forms (Special Dative) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
4.3 Demonstrative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
4.4 Relative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
4.5 Interrogative Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77

5.1 5 /kā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

6.1 Marked Adjectival Inflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106


6.2 ‫ ں‬/-ṁ / Inflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
6.3 y-v-k-j Class of Demonstrative, Interrogative, and Relative Adjectives . . . . . . . . 116
6.4 /sā/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119

7.1 y-v-k-j Class of Demonstrative, Interrogative, and Relative Adverbs . . . . . . . . . . 122


7.2 Bound Forms of /hī/ with Personal Pronouns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

8.1 Types of Verb Stem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155


8.2 Suffixes of the Imperfective Participle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
8.3 Examples of Infinitives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
8.4 Present Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
8.5 Past Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
8.6 Subjunctive Mood Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
8.7 Future Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

8.8 Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 167


8.9 Subjunctive Paradigm of 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
8.10 Subjunctive Paradigm of /lēnā/ to take . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
8.11 Phrases Requiring the Subjunctive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169

8.12 Future Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176

8.13 Progressive Present Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178

8.14 Progressive Past Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

8.15 Progressive Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

8.16 Progressive Presumptive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

8.17 Progressive Irrealis Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183

8.18 Present Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186

8.19 Past Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187

xvi
8.20 Imperfect Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

8.21 Presumptive Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190

8.22 Irrealis Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191


8.23 Present Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
8.24 Past Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
8.25 Perfect Subjunctive Paradigm of /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
8.26 Presumptive Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
8.27 Irrealis Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201

xvii
Introduction

Chapter 1

Introduction

1.1 Overview

This book describes the grammar of Urdu, with emphasis on its morphology; the description is
supplemented by a formal grammar, written in XML, which may be used to implement a morpho-
logical parser. It is not intended as a pedagogical grammar.
This chapter describes how this grammar is structured, and for what purposes it is intended;
included is a brief description of the use of the formal grammar, and the process for converting it
into a morphological parser. The remaining chapters constitute the grammar itself, with a focus
on the morphology, or word structure, of Urdu.
This grammar may be used in several ways:

• As a linguistic description of the morphology of Urdu;

• As a grammar which is easily converted into computational tools, such as morphological parsers;

• As a template for writing similar grammars of other languages;

• As a resource for automated grammar adaptation to related languages; and

• As a description of Urdu morphology for use in grammatical ‘help’ documents.

These intended uses are described in more detail in Section 1.2 of this chapter.
The grammar is structured into two separate but parallel and intertwined grammars: one is a
traditional description of the morphology of Urdu, in a form that a researcher or engineer with a
minimum of training in formal linguistics would understand. The other grammar component is a
formal grammar of Urdu morphology, suitable for automated extraction and conversion into the
form a computer program would use. The relationship between these two grammars is described
in Section 1.2 of this chapter.

1
Introduction

1.2 Dual-use Grammars

This grammar of Urdu is tailored to its intended use as a platform- and application-independent
way of representing the grammar, and particularly the morphology, of Urdu in a way that will
make it straightforwardly usable as the basis for computational tools. (We describe the method
for converting this grammar into a form usable by computational tools later in this chapter.)
This report constitutes a “Dual-Use” grammar, meaning that the grammar is represented twice,
for two distinct but related purposes: once in descriptive terms, using English, and once in formal
terms, using an XML-based model.1
The two descriptions are woven together, the intention being that the strengths of each will support
the weaknesses of the other. In particular, a grammar written in English tends to be ambiguous,
whereas the formal grammar should be unambiguous. Our expectation is that where the English
descriptions are (unintentionally) ambiguous, referring to the formal grammar will disambiguate
our intended meaning. At the same time, a weakness of formal grammars (and particularly formal
grammars that are computer-readable, as is ours) is that they tend to be difficult for humans to
comprehend. Again, our intention is that the meaning of the formal grammar will be clarified by
the descriptive grammar.

1.3 Audience

The dual-use grammar presented here is in a format that should be useful to knowledge providers
ten or one hundred years from now, should they need to re-implement the grammar for Urdu on
a new platform or computer environment.
The primary intended audience of this report is a computational linguist, that is, a person who has
skills in both the science of linguistics and the art of creating computational tools for linguistic
analysis (including some familiarity with XML). Since the grammar is especially concerned with
the morphology of Urdu, and in particular with supporting the creation of morphological analysis
tools, the application of this grammar assumes that the computational linguist is knowledgeable
about technology for morphological analysis, and in basic linguistic terminology for morphology
(and to a lesser extent, the terminology for phonology). For such an implementation-oriented
knowledge provider, both parts of the dual-use grammar will be of interest, although the descrip-
tions of the actual usage (as opposed to form) of various affixes or constructions will probably be
of lesser concern. However, the examples in the paradigm tables and the examples of usage can
be used for testing parser implementations.
On the other hand, a linguist who wants to understand Urdu morphology will likely find the de-
scriptions of usage to be essential. These linguists (whether government or university researchers
in linguistics) who wish to learn about the grammar (and particularly the morphology) of Urdu,
form a secondary audience for this report. Since such a linguist is primarily concerned with un-
derstanding how Urdu morphology works, and with the meaning of affixes or constructions, the
formal grammar may be of less interest, except insofar as it may be necessary to refer to the formal
1
XML stands for ‘Extensible Markup Language,’ and is a computer representation of text in which the function of
pieces of text is indicated by “tags.” Our reasons for choosing this representation for the grammar are described in
an earlier technical report, TTO 1308 Technical Report M.5 “Standards for Lexical and Morphological Interchange,”
available from the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language (CASL).

2
Introduction

grammar to disambiguate the descriptive grammar. We discuss the direct use of the grammars by
a language analyst in Section 1.6.1.
Another audience we have tried to keep in mind is the linguist who is charged with describing the
morphology of another language, particularly of a language related to Urdu. Such a person may
wish to adopt the model given here to this other language. Depending on the purpose, either the
descriptive grammar or the formal grammar, or both, may be of interest in this context.2
The writing system normally used to write the Urdu language is the Urdu script (described be-
low). The differences between the Urdu script and more familiar writing systems may occasion
difficulties for the reader. We have therefore supplemented the examples written in Urdu script
with a transcription into a Latin-based script, as discussed in Chapter 2. For some purposes (such
as transcription of spoken Urdu), the Latin script may be sufficient, and readers who wish to can
safely ignore the Urdu script.

1.4 More on Uses of this Grammar

In this section we describe in more detail the potential uses we see for this grammar.
This report was produced in the Extensible Markup Language (XML), which provides a mecha-
nism for describing the structure (as opposed to the display format) of documents. Specifically,
this report is structured as a DocBook XML document; DocBook is a form of XML that has been de-
veloped for book- and article-like documents, particularly technical documents like this one. The
DocBook formalism, and the modifications to that formalism that we have used in this project, is
described in more detail in Section 1.7.
For some purposes (such as converting the grammar into a form suitable for use with computa-
tional tools, as described in the next sub-section), the native XML is the appropriate format. But
for other purposes, such as reading the report as a grammatical description, it is convenient to
format it for viewing by converting the XML tags formatting to appear on-screen or on a printed
page. This can easily be done by a variety of means, since the DocBook XML format is a widely
used format, and many tools are available for conversion.

1.4.1 Grammar as a Basis for Computational Tools

This report is primarily intended as a description of the morphology of Urdu, simultaneously


unambiguous and understandable, and therefore suitable for implementation as a computational
tool, such as a morphological parser or generator.3
2
For the sake of all audiences, we have kept the terminology and the linguistic analysis itself as basic as possible,
avoiding as much as possible the use of most modern theoretical innovations. For example, phonological rules are
expressed in terms of sets of phonemes, rather than using phonological (distinctive) features, much less autosegmental
phonology. This restriction is intentional, in keeping with our desire to create a generic analysis which will be readable
by linguists who are more concerned with practical than theoretical issues, as well as the desire to avoid linguistic
theories which may become outdated.
3
If the morphological parsing engine being used is a finite state transducer (such as the Xerox and Stuttgart Finite
State Transducer tools), the ‘parsing’ engine serves both as a parser and as a generator. Technically, we should therefore
use the term ‘transducer’ for the computational program which uses our grammar, but we continue to refer to this as
a ‘parsing engine’ for reasons of familiarity.

3
Introduction

A morphological parser is a computational tool which analyzes words into their meaningful parts.
For example, a parser that uses a grammar and lexicon (dictionary) of English could analyze the
word ‘cats’ into the noun ‘cat’ and the plural suffix ‘-s,’ or the irregular verb ‘kept’ into the verb
‘keep’ and a past tense suffix. While this is simple to do for English, because English morphology
is quite simple,4 it can be much more complex for other languages.
In theory, a grammar intended to be used by a computer would not need a descriptive component,
written in English; a formal grammar, written in some unambiguous format, would suffice. In
fact, many such formal grammars have been written for a variety of languages already. We have
opted to blend a formal grammar with a descriptive grammar, using the technology of Literate
Programming (described in Section 1.7), thereby making this grammar understandable, as well as
unambiguous to make it portable to future computing environments.

1.4.1.1 Uses of a Parser and Generator

There are many uses to which a morphological parser and generator can be put. The primary ap-
plication envisioned in this project is making dictionary lookup easier by automating the process
of converting an arbitrary inflected form of a word into the form under which it is listed in the
dictionary (the headword, or citation form). For some words, this is a trivial operation: simply
stripping off a suffix string. But for other words it can be considerably more complicated, involv-
ing, for example, changes to the pronunciation and spelling of the stem (such as the changes in
the English pairs keep-kept and break-broke).
A morphological parser can also serve as part of several fully automated applications, including a
gisting or machine translation system.5 While the morphological parsing step is unnecessary for
machine translation of some languages, because their morphology is so trivial, most languages
have at least some morphology that needs to be separated off and understood, both in order to
translate the meaning of the affixes, and in order to find a dictionary citation form so that the
word can be looked up in the translation dictionary, or otherwise converted into English.
Morphological parsing may also be useful in cross-language information retrieval, in which a user
uses a query posed in one language to search through a set of documents written in a foreign
language. For example, a user might know only English, but wish to search for documents written
in Urdu (presumably so that relevant documents can be selected for translation.)
Finally, a morphological generator can be used to produce all the inflected forms of a particular
word. For example, given a suitable grammar of English morphology, a morphological generator
could produce from the English word ‘break’ the forms ‘breaks,’ ‘breaking,’ ‘broke,’ and ‘broken.’ A
4
Specifically, the inflectional morphology of English—the part of English morphology that deals with things like the
plural of nouns and the past tense or -ing form of verbs—is simple. There is another part of English morphology, called
derivational morphology, which deals with affixes that, for example, change verbs into nouns (such as the derivation
of the noun ‘destruction’ from the verb ‘destroy’). English derivational morphology is not so simple.
5
A machine translation system is a computer program that automatically translates texts from one language to
another. While the technology is improving, a machine translation is not as good as what can be produced by a good
human translator. A gisting program is one step less than machine translation, in the sense that its translation is not
as good as what a “real” machine translation program could produce. Nevertheless, gisters have an advantage over
machine translation programs in that they are much easier to produce, in terms of human and computer resources,
and in terms of time. Gisters can therefore find use in document triage, an application in which a human who does
not know the language being translated is able to sort through a large number of gisted documents to select those for
which it appears useful to expend more energy on, e.g. by getting a translation from a human translator.

4
Introduction

chart of the inflected forms is called a “paradigm,” and is frequently used in teaching the grammar
of foreign languages.6

1.4.1.2 Building a Parser and Generator

Using this grammar for computational implementation requires several steps.7 First, we extract
the formal grammar from the grammatical description. This operation has been programmed as
a simple XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation), which operates on the complete
grammar to extract the formal grammar, and reordered to conform to a set of XML schemas. These
schemas model common linguistic structures, such as ‘affix,’ ‘phonological rule,’ and ‘allomorph,’
in XML, and were created for this project based on previous work modeling linguistic structures.
The output of this process is the formal grammar in XML format.8
Second, this extracted XML grammar is translated into the programming language of the cho-
sen morphological parsing engine. This conversion can be done by any program which deals with
XML and allows conversion into other formats. We have implemented our converter in the Python
programming language. We chose Python because it allows the use of an object-oriented program-
ming approach, in which each linguistic structure expressed in the XML grammar corresponds to
a ‘class.’ For example, there are classes in the converter (and in the XML schemas) corresponding
to ‘affix,’ ‘phonological rule,’ and ‘allomorph.’ The result is that approximately half the converter
program—that part of the program devoted to modeling the linguistic structures—is reusable re-
gardless of the morphological parsing engine being targeted. Furthermore, the entire converter
program is generic in terms of the language being described: that is, the same converter will work
for a grammar of Bengali, Urdu, or any other language for which an XML grammar conforming to
the schemas has been written.
The part of the converter that is specific to a particular morphological parsing engine is the part
that rewrites the grammar into the programming language of that parsing engine. Our converter
currently targets the Stuttgart Finite State Transducer tools,9 10 Targeting a different parsing en-
gine would require rewriting this half of the converter, so that the grammatical structures defined
in the XML-based grammars could be used with the new parsing engine.11
6
An example of this is the ‘501 X Verbs’ books, where X is one of Spanish, French, German, Italian etc. While
learners frequently find such books useful, they are only available for major languages; nor are there corresponding
books giving the declensions of nouns and adjectives.
7
The conversion process, together with the programs which perform it, is described in a separate CASL TTO 1308
deliverable.
8
An example of a piece of this formal grammar structure in XML form is given in Sec-
tion 1.4.2. The previous modeling work from which our XML schemas were adapted is described at
http://fieldworks.sil.org/ModelDoc/ModelDocumentation.chm.
9
The Stuttgart Finite State Transducer (SFST) is an open source program, available from http://www.ims.uni-
stuttgart.de/projekte/gramotron/SOFTWARE/SFST.html; it supports the kinds of constructions needed for Urdu and
many other languages. Finite state transducers combine parsing and generation capabilities,
10
While the converter accounts for virtually all the linguistic constructions needed for Urdu, there are some linguistic
constructs in other languages, such as infixes and reduplication, which are not yet handled.
11
Targeting a parsing engine which had similar capabilities to the Stuttgart Finite State Transducer, such as the Xerox
Finite State Transducer, would probably mean rewriting less than half of the converter code, since the programming
languages are similar enough that there would be significant re-use of the half of the converter that is specific to the
Stuttgart parser.

5
Introduction

The final step is to use the parsing engine to compile the converted grammar, together with an
electronic dictionary of the language.12
In summary, the XML-based grammars serve as a stable way to define the morphological analysis
of natural languages such as Bengali or Urdu, so that the grammars can be used by different
parsing engines. The converter can be used for any language for which the morphology has been
described using the formal grammar. When it is desired to build parsers using a different parsing
engine, only a part of the converter needs to be changed; the grammatical description can be
re-used without change.

1.4.2 Grammatical Description

This report may also be read as simply a linguistic description of Urdu morphology. By ‘linguistic’
description, we mean a description that a knowledge provider with training in linguistics would
expect, in which the morphology is described using such traditional linguistic terms as ‘allomorph’
and ‘morphosyntactic features.’
While Urdu is one of the world’s largest languages in terms of the number of native speakers,
published grammatical descriptions tend to leave certain issues unclear, and at times even disagree
among themselves. We have consulted a number of different grammars in writing this description;
we have reconciled those differences, and we have filled in gaps in coverage wherever possible
by consulting with Urdu linguists and native speakers. To the extent which we have succeeded
in these tasks, this report may be read as an improvement on those existing grammars, at least in
the realm of morphology.
In some cases, the differences among previous grammatical treatments of Urdu have turned out
to be ambiguities in how those grammatical descriptions were phrased. Such ambiguity is an
inherent drawback to writing in English (or in any other natural language), and it has the potential
to affect our own writing as much as anyone else’s. Nevertheless, we feel that we have succeeded in
avoiding much of the ambiguity of previous grammars, for two reasons. First, our formal grammar
was written more or less in parallel with our descriptive grammar. One effect of this is that the
author of the formal grammar frequently consulted with the authors of the descriptive grammar
about ambiguities or other difficulties with the description; in the process, the description was re-
written to remove ambiguities. Second, the formal grammar is (as far as possible) unambiguous,
and can therefore be consulted in the case of remaining ambiguities in the descriptive grammar.13
In order to make the formal grammar more accessible to linguists (particularly to linguists who are
not familiar with the XML notation), we intend in the future to produce a form of this document in
which the XML notation for the formal grammar has been converted to a notation more similar to
12
An electronic dictionary is normally a required resource. Fortunately, dictionaries are almost always more easily
obtained than grammars, at least grammars of the sort required for morphological parsing. There are two situations
where it might nonetheless be useful to do morphological parsing without a dictionary. One is where the target
language is more or less undescribed, but where there is a dictionary of a closely related language that can be searched
for cognate words, such as ‘haus’ and ‘house’ in German and English. The technology for this is not yet in place, but
could be developed. The other situation where a dictionary may not be needed is with proper nouns, for languages in
which names take inflectional morphology. Removing pieces of names that might be inflectional affixes may make a
name more recognizable or allow tracking references to names which differ by virtue of the inflectional affixes.
13
Of course, there is no guarantee that the formal grammar is correct. We expect that errors and inconsistencies will
show up as we implement the formal grammar in a parsing tool, and use this tool on Urdu texts. Any corrections will
be factored back in to our written grammars, both descriptive and formal.

6
Introduction

a traditional linguistic description. For example, the XML representation of inflectional affixation
in agglutinating languages uses a structure which (in somewhat simplified form) looks like the
following:
<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="verb'>
<Gr:affixSlots>
<Gr:InflAffixSlot id="slotCausative'>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afCausative'/>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afDoubleCausative'/>
</Gr:InflAffixSlot>
<Gr:InflAffixSlot id="slotNonfinite'>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplMsSg'/>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplMsPl'/>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplFmSg'/>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplFmPl'/>
<!-- more affixes here-->
</Gr:InflAffixSlot>
<!-- more slots here-->
</Gr:affixSlots>
<Gr:affixTemplates>
<Gr:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:refSuffixSlots>
<Mo:SuffixSlot name="Qualifier' idref="slotCausative'/>
<Mo:SuffixSlot name="Case' idref="slotNonfinite'/>
</Mo:refSuffixSlots>
</Gr:InflAffixTemplate>
</Gr:affixTemplates>
</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

For a linguist, a more useful (and more readable) display of this XML structure might be the
following table, in which the slots have been treated as columns in a table of affixes, and the
individual affixes are displayed as a pairing of a gloss and a form,14 rather than a reference to the
definition of the affix elsewhere (the ‘idref’ in the above XML code):

Stem Causative Suffix Slot Nonfinite Suffix Slot

-ā “-Causative” -tā “-ImperfectMsSgPtcpl”

-vā “-DoubleCausative” -tē “-ImperfectMsPlPtcpl”


(Verb)
-tī “ImperfectFemSgPtcpl”

-tī(ṁ )
“ImperfectFemPlPtcpl”

(etc.)
14
For the sake of simplicity, the form is displayed here transcribed in a Latin writing system, rather than in the native
Urdu script.

7
Introduction

We emphasize that this is a matter of how the XML structure is displayed, not a change in the
underlying XML. This particular step (the conversion process from our XML-based grammar to a
display in the form of tables or other forms familiar to linguists) is not implemented yet. However,
the use of an XML formalism for both the descriptive and formal grammars means that when
the display mechanism is programmed, we will be able to produce versions of this grammar as
PDFs and other formats which incorporate the new display, without changing the underlying XML
documents.

1.5 Scope of this Grammar

In keeping with the purpose of this project, this grammar covers the morphology of standard
spoken and written Urdu, especially the inflectional morphology. Where possible, we have docu-
mented variation in Urdu, both in its spoken form and in its spelling. However, this report does
not constitute field work on dialectal variation, nor of its use by non-native speakers. In particu-
lar, while Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, it is not the first language of many inhabitants
of that country. There is likely to be considerable variation among non-native speakers, including
the use of non-Urdu words and code switching.
This grammar does not cover the phonology of Urdu, except insofar as some of the allomorphs
can be seen to be derived by phonological rules.15 That is, the grammar covers what is sometimes
called morphophonemics, but not phonemics. The grammar also does not cover syntax, except at
the boundaries of morphology, such as the uses of various case markers.
We suspect that there is considerable variation in spelling, in part because there are a number
of letters in the Perso-Arabic script used to write Urdu, which are homophonous in present day
spoken Urdu.16 It seems likely that writers of Urdu (including those for whom it is their first
language) err in their choice among homophonous letters, but this is not well documented in the
literature, and we have not studied it in the corpora to which we have access. This could obviously
be important in the application of computer processing to printed texts.

1.6 Looking to the Future

In this section we describe some enhancements which could be done to make this grammar usable
for other purposes.

1.6.1 Grammar Help

The original objective of the project was to create portable grammars that could be converted into
morphological parsing engines and used to assist linguists in doing dictionary lookup, as described
in the previous section. However, while we were writing the Bengali and Urdu grammars, it
became apparent that the grammars could serve additional purposes as well. One such purpose
would be to serve as an explanation of the meaning of grammatical affixes: in essence, a ‘help’
15
For example, in- and im- are two allomorphs of an English prefix. Im- occurs before words beginning with ‘b,’ ‘p,’
and ‘m’ like impossible while in- occurs elsewhere like inappropriate.
16
Examples of homophonous letters or letter sequences in English are ‘k,’ ‘ck,’ and the “hard” ‘c.’

8
Introduction

document. In many languages (including Urdu), affixes provide essential clues—sometimes the
only clues—to who is the actor and who or what is acted on; or whether an action has happened
in the past, or is expected to happen in the future, or is even something that could have happened
but didn’t (a counterfactual). While the parser supplies a label for these affixes, the meaning of
the label may not be immediately clear to the user without some further description.
In addition, affixes can be used in what would otherwise be inappropriate situations to produce a
certain effect (such as the use of a feminine gender as a kind of diminutive). Knowledge of facts
like these is obviously important when trying to understand the meaning behind the meaning of
a text.
As with many of the applications described here, a user who is highly fluent in the target language
would probably not need help interpreting this information. But a user who did not know the
language well might be puzzled by the descriptions which the morphological parser attaches to
affixes. It would be inappropriate to attach paragraph-sized or page-length descriptions to every
occurrence of an affix, but it would not be difficult to attach a link from each occurrence to such
a description, so that a user could click on the link and be given the grammatical description.
Affixes, like any other fact about a language text, can also provide important information about
the speaker. For example, where there is dialectal variation in language usage, it may be used
to determine the origin of a speaker. As mentioned above, we have not extensively documented
such dialectal variation, although this could be done in future work.
In summary, in addition to the aid to the linguist provided by automated word analysis, we might
use our grammar (suitably rephrased) as the basis for a help document, with the information about
how affixes are used linked to the affixes found by the parser. Such an application would require
further programming effort.

1.6.2 Spell Correction

A morphological parser constitutes a spell checker, but it does not by itself constitute a spell
corrector. However, it is possible to build a spell corrector on top of a morphological parser. As we
have worked on the Bengali and Urdu grammars, it has become clear to us that for these languages
at least, spelling is probably as much of a hindrance to dictionary lookup as the morphology.
(Other languages will vary; at one extreme are languages like Vietnamese, where there is no
morphology to hinder dictionary lookup at all; at the other extreme are languages of the Semitic
family, such as Arabic or Amharic, and languages of the Philippines, such as Tagalog or Ilocano,
where mastery of the morphology—or the use of a morphological parser—is absolutely required
in order to find the dictionary lookup form of an inflected word.)
Spelling errors fall into one of several different classes, and the methods that could be used to do
spell correction differ for each of these. The first class of errors is caused by alternative ways of
writing a certain sound. English is notorious for this. One example is the sound usually written
with the letter ‘f,’ as in ‘fish.’ The sound is sometimes written with a ‘ph,’ as in ‘philosophy,’ and
rarely with a ‘gh,’ as in ‘enough.’ Fortunately for users of English dictionaries, the cases where
such alternative spellings happen tends to be after the first few letters of the word (‘philosophy’
is an exception to this tendency). The result is that if you can figure out the first few letters of
the word, you are generally at about the right place in the dictionary, and a little scanning of the
page will find the right spelling. This tendency does not, however, help the user of the Bengali or
Urdu dictionary, where the spelling difference is equally likely to be in the first letter of the word.

9
Introduction

When combined with the fact that the writing systems allow for up to four variant spellings of
certain sounds, this makes finding a word in a printed Urdu or Bengali dictionary an exercise in
frustration.
For lookup in electronic dictionaries, the use of “wild cards”—a symbol such as an asterisk standing
for any letter—can be of some help. However, since such a wild card can match any letter, whereas
the actual ambiguity in the spelling of a particular sound is only one of a few letters, the use of
wild cards may return far more results than the desired ones. Imagine for example that one was
unsure whether the English word ‘fan’ was spelled with an ‘f’ or a ‘ph’; using a wild card for the
first letter would return not only ‘fan,’ but also ‘ban,’ ‘can,’ ‘man,’ ‘ran,’ and so forth. Combined
with other difficulties in spelling of Urdu (and to a lesser extent, Bengali) words, the result can be
that lookup in an electronic dictionary of words for which one is uncertain of the spelling can be
frustratingly difficult.
Knowing something of the spelling of Urdu or Bengali, it is possible to describe the potential errors
of this sort using “regular expressions17 .” Using the English ph-f case for purposes of illustration,
instead of looking up ‘*an,’ the regular expression ‘(f|ph)an’ can be used to reduce the ambiguity
to the exact two possibilities.
One could train people doing dictionary lookup to build such regular expressions for their search
queries. However, we suspect that not all users of electronic dictionaries will be comfortable with
doing this, and one can imagine that users would tend to revert to the simpler, but clumsier, use
of wild cards. It can also be difficult to think of all possible ambiguities. Fortunately, since the
ambiguous letters are known ahead of time, it would be possible to pre-program these, so that
if the user typed in a word with ambiguities, the program could create the regular expression
accounting for all possible ambiguities, and this regular expression would be used for dictionary
lookup (perhaps after being morphologically parsed).
Of course this should not be done for all users; someone who is knowledgeable in Urdu spelling
will probably type the word right the first time, and would not appreciate homophones that might
show up , just as a good English speller would not want to be told that the word “their” that they
typed in might be “they’re” or “there.”
A second class of spelling error arises from the fact that some sounds are more difficult to dis-
tinguish than other. This is the sort of error that non-native speakers are more likely to make,
although in the presence of noise even native speakers can mistake the English word “pill” for
“bill,” say. The possible solutions to this problem are exactly the same as for the first kind of
spelling difficulty, namely the use of wild cards, human-generate regular expressions, or regular
expressions created by a program which contains knowledge of the easily confusable pairs (or
perhaps multiples) of sounds. Some research could be done to see what these pairs are, although
for Urdu it seems likely that the dental vs. retroflex distinction can be difficult for native speakers
of English to learn, and perhaps also the long vs. short vowel distinction. Again, the user should
have the choice of seeing this sort of help or not.
The third class of spelling errors is random error, such as hitting the wrong key, or typing two keys
in the wrong order. Unlike the first two classes of errors, it is in general not possible to predict
these errors (although typing a key next to the desired key might be more frequent than typing
a key that is distant from the desired key). Wild cards and regular expressions are therefore of
little help here. Instead, the lookup program must allow for random errors in a kind of “fuzzy”
17
Regular expressions are a mathematically well-defined way of expressing certain kinds of ambiguity; they have a
computationally tractable implementation.

10
Introduction

lookup, and it must penalize such errors, since otherwise too many candidate corrections will be
generated.
The Stuttgart Finite State Tools (SFST) which are being used as the parsing engine in this project
does have exactly such a fuzzy lookup capability, so it would not be difficult to incorporate this
into the parser. This does however introduce the potential for increased memory load, an issue
which would need to be studied before this idea was implemented.
In sum, we believe that spelling correction is an important technology that should be developed
in conjunction with the morphological lookup capabilities already being built in this project.

1.6.3 Grammar Adaptation

As we look to the future, it is clear that Urdu is only one of hundreds of languages for which one
might want to build morphological parsers.18 All of these, we believe, can benefit from grammar
writing using the dual-use framework we have developed for Urdu. However, it is obvious that
we cannot write that many grammars ourselves. There are two ways that our work could be
leveraged, so as to make grammars of a large number of languages, and tools built on those
grammars, available: by having it serve as a model or template for other grammar writers; and
by automatically or semi-automatically adapting the formal grammar of one language to another
language. The two sub-sections below discuss each of these approaches in turn.

1.6.3.1 Model Grammars

The traditional way to produce morphological parsers is to rely on highly trained linguists and
computational linguists to learn the programming language for some morphological parsing en-
gine (or to write one’s own parsing engine), learn the grammar and perhaps the writing system
of the target language, and then use the former knowledge to encode the latter knowledge. An
obvious impediment to this approach is that it is difficult to find one person who combines all
these skills. Another difficulty, discussed above, is that parsing engines tend to be replaced with
newer and better engines after a few years, rendering the parser that was built with so much
expert effort obsolete.
The dual use grammar method which we have developed in this project provides a way to avoid
the first problem: to the extent that the prose and descriptive grammars are separable, they can be
written by two different people who bring two different skill sets: one, knowledge of the grammar
(and writing system) of the target language; the other, experience in computer programming. It
is, we believe, easier to find two different people (or perhaps two teams of people), one with
each of these skill sets, than it is to find one person with both skills. We have in fact employed
this division of labor in both the Bengali and the Urdu grammars, and it has become clear that
the dual use grammar approach makes it easier to build teams who can construct grammars and
morphological parsers.19
18
There are in the neighborhood of 7000 languages in the world today (http://ethnologue.org is the standard refer-
ence on languages of the world). Of these, perhaps 1500 to 2000 are written languages, and probably the majority of
these have non-trivial inflectional morphologies. Over 300 languages have at least a million speakers.
19
The two grammars must still be written collaboratively, which calls for a close working relationship between the
descriptive grammar writer and the formal grammar writer. While the authors have worked in nearby offices, we
believe that this working relationship can probably be more remote; e.g., it might be mediated by email. We have not
done this experiment, although we believe it is worth trying.

11
Introduction

In addition, we have provided a more durable way to write formal grammars, one which will not
be made obsolete by the introduction of a new and better parsing engine.
It may be possible to further reduce the expertise needed to write grammars, if new grammars
can be modeled after existing grammars. To some extent, this Urdu grammar re-uses the model of
our earlier Bengali grammar, although we have introduced some new techniques the second time
around. In particular, we have written the Urdu grammar with a non-technical (or ‘non-scientfic’)
linguist in mind, in addition to a technical linguist, with the idea that the resulting grammar
may serve as a grammar help as described above, assuming some we are tasked to develop the
infrastructure for this.
We suspect that using our grammars as models would work best if the new grammars were being
written for languages related to the ones we have described. But the use of model grammars may
prove useful for unrelated languages as well.
As a further extension of our division of labor, we foresee that the production of the descrip-
tive grammar component—and possibly of the formal grammar—could be outsourced. While
outsourcing is not within the current scope of TTO 1308, but we would welcome ideas on how
it might be done. Initial experiments should probably involve collaboration with either nearby
linguists and computer programmers, or with individuals who have experience in computational
linguistics already. Later experiments might involve teaming up linguistics departments in the
countries where the languages are spoken (who would write the descriptive grammars), together
with computer science departments, perhaps at universities in the same countries (who would
write the formal grammars).
Some testing and debugging tools should also be developed for verifying the grammars using
parsers derived from the formal grammars. We have written some such tools in the process of
building the Bengali parser, but more could (and, we believe, should) be done so that the example
sentences and paradigm tables of the descriptive grammar can be better used as a source of test
cases. The present system lends itself to extracting such test cases, but does not make it easy to
compare the analyses returned by the parser with the analysis in the text. We have ideas on how
this two-way communication could be improved.

1.6.3.2 Automated Grammar Adaptation

Rather than having linguists and computer programmers write grammars, another approach would
be to create a computer program that could automatically adapt an existing formal grammar
to work for a third language, related to the initial target language. (A computer could not be
expected to adapt a descriptive grammar, since that would require understanding of an English
grammatical description, a task which is well beyond current capabilities.) This task might be
done with various sorts of resources in the third language: corpora, bilingual corpora in the third
languages and English, bilingual corpora in the third language and the initial target language
(such as Bibles), dictionaries of the third language, etc.
Automatic grammar adaptation was one of the goals of the predecessor project to this one (TTO308).
However, due to lack of sufficient personnel this goal could not be pursued.

12
Introduction

1.7 Format of this Grammar

The following information is provided for computational users.


This Urdu grammar has been written in an XML-based format. Specifically, the descriptive gram-
mar is written in DocBook (Walsh & Muellner (1999)), an XML language which has been widely
used in industry and government for documentation of computer programs, as well as for other
kinds of publications. The DocBook schema (format) is freely available, and a large number of ap-
plications have been written for it, which enable documents written in this format to be converted
into HTML, RTF (a format read by Microsoft Word), and PDF, among others.
Another application which has been written for DocBook includes a slight extension enabling the
use of “Literate Programming” (Knuth (1992)) techniques.20 Literate Programming was developed
as a way of improving the documentation of computer programs by allowing the programmer to
embed pieces of a computer program into a document describing the program, in an order and
arrangement that would make sense to the human reader, rather than an arrangement that might
be required by the computer language’s compiler program. Knuth defined two processes which
could be applied to this document, which he named ‘tangle’ and ‘weave.’ The tangle process
extracted the pieces of the computer program from the document, and rearranged those pieces
into the order required by the compiler. The weave process, on the other hand, formatted the
document into a human-readable text, such as might be printed out or displayed on a computer
screen.
We have adopted Literate Programming as a paradigm for producing computer-readable grammars
which are also human-readable descriptions. As mentioned, our use of DocBook XML as the
format for the descriptive grammars enables us to use the DocBook tools to ‘weave’ grammars
into convenient forms for display. The DocBook Literate Programming extensions also allow the
easy extraction of the formal grammar itself, rearranging it from the order which we have used
for exposition. We could have written the formal grammar in the programming language used by
some particular morphological parsing engine. Instead, to ensure that the formal grammar would
be portable, we have chosen to write it in an XML-based format. Our reasons for doing this are
described in a previous technical report (Maxwell (2007)). Briefly, this enables us to avoid the
inevitably limited (and short) lifetime which our formal grammars would otherwise be subject to,
because of the limited lifetime of particular morphological parsing engines. Additionally, our use
of XML schemas allows us to build grammars using traditional linguistic concepts such as ‘affix’
and ‘phonological rule,’ rather than the often non-linguistic formalisms of existing parsing tools.21
The text of this grammar is written in Unicode, which is now the international standard for the
representation of written texts.22

20
The DocBook Literate Programming extensions can be downloaded from
http://docbook.sourceforge.net/release/litprog/current/dtd/ldocbook.dtd.
21
For many of the same reasons, international standards committees such as ISO are developing standard ways
of representing the contents of computer-readable dictionaries, representations which abstract away from particular
database standards, and which generally use XML for interchange purposes.
22
This is not to say that support for the display of Unicode is completely satisfactory. Urdu is standardly written in
the Nasta’liq form of the Arabic script. With few exceptions, fonts for the Arabic script use the Naskh form rather than
the Nasta’liq form, and most computers will display Urdu text with a Naskh font. While the result is technically the
same, it can be quite difficult for people who are used to one form of the Arabic script to read the other. There may also
be significant rendering differences among different platforms (such as Windows vs. Macintosh). Because Nasta’liq
is the standard for Urdu, we have used a Nasta’liq font to render this document as a PDF. Readers should remember

13
Introduction

that it will look quite different if it is rendered on-screen (e.g. as HTML), unless a Nasta’liq font is used. (Even with a
Nasta’liq font, rendering of Urdu text can be quite challenging.)
Display issues on non-compliant computers can be resolved by use of the PDF format. Fortunately, the DocBook XML
format we use for editing is easily converted to PDF.

14
The Urdu Language

Chapter 2

The Urdu Language

2.1 Background

Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language of South Asia, the official language of Pakistan, and one of 23
official languages in India. In addition to being spoken in India and Pakistan, Urdu is also spoken
in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal, as well as by Muslim members
of the South Asian diaspora now living in the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and Canada.
It is the first language of at least 60.5 million speakers, with another 40 million or more who speak
it as a second language.1
The history of Urdu, its dialectal complexity, and its linguistic and cultural status, particularly in
relation to Hindi, are all fascinating and complicated issues that this grammar can barely touch
upon; a brief account will have to do.

2.1.1 History

Urdu and Hindi both descend from what was the lingua franca for the Mughal court2 of Delhi,
India, and its environs and adherents. That language was a standardized amalgam of the regional
dialects of the time, and as such was also influenced by the Kauravi, Hariyanvi, Panjabi, Rajasthani
(Mewati), and Braj languages, among others, in addition to Arabic, Persian, and Turkish elements
brought to the region by the Mughals. Under the British Raj,3 the language, known variously as
Urdu,4 Hindi, Hindustāni, and Kʰaṛī Boli, gained further ground as the standard common language
of the region.
Nowadays this common language is most often called Kʰaṛī Boli and is generally considered to
consist of four main varieties: Urdu, Hindi, Dakʰini, and Rekʰta. Dakʰini is the southern variety,
spoken in and around Hyderabad in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, as well as by Muslims in
the other towns and cities of India’s Deccan region and in Mumbai. Rekʰta is the literary, poetic,
1
Summer Institute of Linguistics Ethnologue.
2
Early sixteenth to mid-nineteenth centuries.
3
Mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries.
4
Short for ‫ ز ناردو‬/zabān-e-urdū-e-muallā/ language of the Exalted Camp. ‫ اردو‬/urdū/ means camp and in this usage
referred to the Imperial Bazaar.

15
The Urdu Language

and formal variety of Urdu, strongly influenced by Persian. Within each of the first three types,
there exists widespread dialectal variation.

2.1.2 Variation in Urdu

Urdu shows extreme register5 variation that ranges from the highly Persianized language of Urdu
ghazals (a poetic form) and other literature to the highly Anglicized Urdu of the upper class
and media. Additionally, although it is the official language of Pakistan, and one of the official
languages of India, many speakers of Urdu do not speak it natively. In Pakistan especially, it is
learned as a second language after a local language (Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, etc.). This can cause
wide dialectal variation in phonology and grammar and therefore lead to problems for the linguist,
who must take care to be aware of the socio-cultural background of any informant. It is common
for these related languages to share lexemes, but to assign them different genders; for example,
native Punjabi or Sindhi speakers often change the genders of Urdu nouns: the word ‫ د‬/dahi/
yogurt is masculine in Urdu, but many Punjabis and Sindhis treat it as feminine. An additional
complication arises from the emigration, half a century ago, of the muhājirs, the Muslims who left
what is now India to settle in Pakistan after Partition.6
Furthermore, English is now exerting a powerful influence on many Urdu speakers, particularly
those of the upper classes. As is the case all over South Asia, in many people’s eyes, education
and class are measured by how much English one knows. This is partly a carryover from the days
of Colonial India, and also a result of increased globalization and work or education abroad by
Pakistanis. Bollywood in particular is becoming increasingly Anglicized, to the extent that films
now carry titles such as “Jab We Met” When We Met and “U, Me, aur Hum” You, Me, and Us.
These films, though produced in India, carry huge cultural weight in Pakistan as well and thus
influence the younger generation. Additionally, there is even greater exposure to Western media
due to satellite TV and to the preference for English vocabulary and Latin transcription of both
Urdu and English words, so that advertising and programming can have appeal on both sides of
the border.
The biggest register gap may be tied to age. Some members of the older generations tend to use
highly Persianized Urdu expressions, with much more Perso-Arabic vocabulary, while younger
generations will freely use English lexemes and even English phrases mid-speech. This style of
speech more closely reflects code-switching phenomena rather than borrowing (which involves
the occasional use of single words or phrases from the other language), usually with Urdu acting as
the matrix language and English filling in lexical gaps. Code-switching, the continual intermixing
by bilingual speakers of more than one language within single utterances or sentences, is a sign
of even heavier linguistic influence than mere borrowing.
As much as possible, this grammar has tried to document the realities of spoken Urdu while also
acknowledging its written forms. Most of our example sentences, therefore, attempt to reflect
natural speech rather than writing.
5
A register of a language is a version of it that a speaker uses for a particular situation; e.g., writing versus speaking,
or formal versus informal. A dialect is a variety of a language that one geographic, ethnic, socio-economic, etc., group
speaks as opposed to another group, like London English versus New York English, or “upper class” (New York) English
versus “blue collar” (New York) English.
6
In 1947, what had been British-ruled India was divided into the modern states of India and Pakistan.

16
The Urdu Language

2.1.3 Urdu and Hindi

The relationship between Hindi and Urdu is best summarized by Colin Masica:7

At the colloquial level, and in terms of grammar and core vocabulary, they are virtu-
ally identical; there are minor differences in usage and terminology (and customary
pronunciation of certain foreign sounds), but these do not necessarily obtrude to the
point where anyone can immediately tell whether it is ‘Hindi’ or ‘Urdu’ that is being
spoken. At formal and literary levels, however, vocabulary differences begin to loom
much larger (Hindi drawing its higher lexicon from Sanskrit, Urdu from Arabic and
Persian), to the point where the two styles/languages become mutually unintelligible.
To the ordinary non-linguist who thinks, not unreasonably, that languages consist of
words, their status as different languages is then commonsensically obvious, as it is
from the fact that they are written in quite different scripts (Hindi in Devanagari and
Urdu in a modified Perso-Arabic). . . Many complex social and political forces. . .
have conspired to pull the two ‘styles’ ever further apart. Their identity as separate
languages may now be regarded as a cultural fact, however anomalous linguistically.

2.2 The Written Language

Urdu is written primarily in a script borrowed from Arabic via Persia. Like those scripts, and
unlike the Devanagari script in which Hindi is written, the Urdu script is an abjad: only conso-
nants are represented in normal orthography. Long vowels are indicated through special uses of
consonantal characters, and may be represented in different ways in different parts of the word;
short vowels may be indicated by diacritics, but these are generally omitted (see discussion below
for exceptions). Urdu also employs digraphs-- combinations of characters which represent single
sounds-- in writing vowels and aspirated consonants.
Like Arabic, Urdu is written from right to left. Numerals, however, are written left to right, as in
the Brāhmī-derived Indic scripts. The script is cursive, and letters may have up to four distinct
forms, or allographs: the independent form, which is unconnected to other letters; the initial form,
connected only on the left; the medial form, connected on both sides; and the final form, connected
only on the right. (Unicode rendering automatically displays the proper positional form.)
Two types of Arabic calligraphy have been widely adapted for typography: Naskh and its deriva-
tive Nasta’līq. This grammar follows the more common Urdu usage in employing Nasta’līq script.

2.2.1 Rationale for Transcription System

Urdu text may be rendered into Roman letters through transcription or transliteration. Transliter-
ation is one-for-one mapping of the Urdu characters (or character combinations) into correspond-
ing English characters (or combinations); its goal is to accurately represent the spelling of the
language. Transcription, on the other hand, maps the sounds of the Urdu language; its goal is to
accurately represent how the language is pronounced, not how it is written.
7
The Indo-Aryan Languages, pp. 27-30.

17
The Urdu Language

Because of the redundancy of the Urdu script (which possesses four distinct characters for the
sound /z/, three each for /s/ and /h/, etc.), no simple transliteration can preserve Urdu orthogra-
phy solely through the letters of the English alphabet; diacritics or other non-alphabetic characters
are required. Accordingly, we have chosen to use a broad phonemic transcription, rather than a
true transliteration. Urdu examples are transcribed in a version of traditional Urdu romanization,
slightly modified to more closely adhere to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Where an example requires Urdu orthography, we give it in Urdu script, interlinear with its Ro-
manization.

2.2.2 Orthography of Vowels

2.2.2.1 Vowel Length

Vowel length is distinctive in Urdu, though for some vowel pairs (long and short /i/, /e/, /o/,
and /u/), what was formerly only a length distinction has become a distinction of quality as well.
Long and short vowels are represented differently in Urdu orthography.

2.2.2.2 Short Vowels with Diacritics

The short vowel signs (zabar, zēr, and pēš ), when written over or under a consonant, indicate
that the consonant is followed by the short vowels [a], [i], and [u] respectively. These signs are
seldom seen outside of dictionaries and instructional materials, and we do not use them in our
Urdu examples, but they are listed here for completeness:
Table 2.1 shows short vowel signs. For syllable-initial short vowels, the vowel sign is appended

Table 2.1: Short Vowel Signs

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

َ◌8 zabar a a a

◌ِ zēr i i i

ُ◌ pēš ʊ u u

to a preceding alif. (The alif is commonly used without the diacritic, with context making it clear
which vowel is intended.) For example:
ُ
‫ اس‬/us/ that
‫ ِاس‬/is/ this
Initial vowels may also be indicated by ‫‘ ع‬ain (also spelled c ain); this character represents a pha-
ryngeal fricative in Arabic, a sound Urdu lacks. For example:
8
The small circles in this and subsequent tables stand in for the characters to which the diacritics are attached.

18
The Urdu Language

/alam/ flag (note that this spelling is ambiguous; it may also be read ِ /ilm/ knowledge.)

‫ ر‬/umr/ age (also a proper name)


‫ہ‬ /ilāqah/ area
Short [i] following another vowel, with hiatus (a pause or syllable break) between the vowels, is
indicated by a hamzāh; see following Section 2.2.2.3.

2.2.2.3 Long Front Vowels with ‫ ی‬yē

Initial [ ī ] (long [i]), [ē] (long [e]), and [æ] (as in English ash) are written with ‫ ای‬alif + yē. For
example:
‫ ا ن‬/īmān/ faith

‫ ا‬/ēk/ one
‫ ا‬/æsā/ like this
Word-medially, they are represented by ‫ ی‬yē alone. In final position, [ ī ] is represented by the
first final shape of yē (‫ ی‬cʰōt ̣ī yē) and [e] and [æ] by the second (‫ ے‬baṛī yē). When either form
of yē is used to represent [ ī ] or [æ] following another vowel, a hamzāh precedes the yē. Hamzāh̄
may also be placed directly over a vāū representing [ū] or [ō], in the same circumstances. Vowel
sequences beginning with [ ī ] generally do not take hamzāh.
Table 2.2 shows the hamzāh.

Table 2.2: hamzāh

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

‫ء‬ hamzāh hiatus - -

In this grammar, hiatus is not transcribed.


The three long front vowels are commonly distinguished by context alone. Where diacritics are
used to set them apart, long [ ī ] is specified by the diacritic zēr, written under the alif or the
consonant preceding the ye. Zabar indicates the [æ], and no sign is used for [ē]. (Compare this to
the diacritics’ usage with ‫ و‬vāū for the back vowels.)

2.2.2.4 Long Back Vowels with ‫ و‬vāū

Initial [ō], long [ū], and [ɔ] are written with alif + ‫ و‬vāū.
‫ اوڑ‬/oṛʰnā/ to drape (over the body)
‫ اوﻻد‬/ɔlād/ children
‫ اور‬/ɔr/ and
‫ اوب‬/ūpar/ above

19
The Urdu Language

Mediofinally, they are written with vāū alone.

‫ ڑا‬/pakɔṛā/ fritter
‫ @ را‬/pūrā/ whole, entire
‫ د‬/dʰōbi ̄/ washerman
Rarely, diacritics are used to distinguish among the three: pēš over the alif or the preceding
consonant for [u:], zabar for [ɔ]. There is no sign to specify [ō]. (Compare to front vowels in yē.)
َ
‫ اور‬/ɔr/ and
ُ
‫ اوب‬/ūpar/ above

Vāū, standing alone, represents short /u/ ([ʊ]) in two common words, ‫ د‬xud self and ‫ ش‬/xuš/
happy. In words of Persian origin, initial [xw] has been simplified to [x]; thus, in words beginning
xe-vāū-alif, the vāū is silent. This grammar does not transcribe this silent vāū.
Vāū after xe with no following alif is given its usual vocalic values.

2.2.2.5 Other Ways of Writing Vowels

Alif following a consonant indicates a long [ā].

‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ book


6 /nīlā/ blue
Final [h] sounds, historically present in words of Arabic and Persian origin, have been lost. For
modern Urdu orthography, this means that many words ending in [ā] spell the sound, not with
final alif, but with final cʰot ̣ī hē. (Or, more accurately, they end in an unwritten vowel and a silent
cʰot ̣ī hē.)
‫ زہ‬/tāzah/ fresh
‫ ذا ہ‬/zāiqah/ taste
In this grammar, we transcribe these words with final /-ah/, to accurately represent the vowel
sound while preserving some of the orthographic information; words with final alif are transcribed
with /ā/ alone.

2.2.2.6 Vowel Mutations Before /h/ and ‘ain

Before an /h/ (written with either cʰot ̣ī hē or baṛi ̄ hē), written /a/ and /i/ are realized as [æ]; /u
+ h/ is realized as [a]. The /h/ in these cases is silent.
‫ ا‬/æhmad/ Ahmed
‫اق‬a ‫ ا‬/æhtirāq/ combustion
‫ ر‬9 /bahūr/ seas
We transcribe these words as they are spelled in Urdu, with the silent /h/ in place.

20
The Urdu Language

Similarly, before ‘ain-- /a/ lengthens to [ā], /i/ is realized [æ], and /u/ surfaces as [o], while the
‘ain itself is unpronounced.
> /tālīm/ education

‫ اع ال‬/ætidāl/ abstinence

@ /tavaqqo/ hope
We transcribe words with these mutations as they are pronounced; silent ‘ain is omitted.

2.2.2.7 Nasal Vowels

Word-finally, vowel nasalization is indicated by nūn ɣunnah: the letter nūn without its dot.
Table 2.3 shows final nasal vowel indicator nūn ɣunnah.

Table 2.3: nūn ɣunnah

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

‫ں‬ nūn ɣunnah Ṽ ṅ or ṁ ṁ

‫ ب‬/mæṁ / I
Medially, nasal vowels are written with regular dotted nūn.
6‫ دا‬/dāṁ t/ tooth
We transcribe all nasal vowels, medially and finally, in the same way, with /ṁ /.

2.2.3 Orthography of Consonants

2.2.3.1 Transcription

The transcription system used in this grammar departs both from the IPA and from the tradi-
tional romanization of Urdu. Our intention is to create a system that accurately reflects Urdu
pronunciation while preserving phonemic and morphological information.
In keeping with Indological tradition, we use /c/ and /j/ for the palatal consonants and /y/ for
the palatal glide; and we represent the retroflex sounds with underdot.
We use /v/ for consonantal uses of vāū, and gamma, /ɣ/, for the velar fricative.
‫ وا ب‬/vālidæn/ parents
‫ غ‬/bāɣ/ garden

21
The Urdu Language

2.2.3.2 Consonantal Diacritics

This transcription does not directly represent the two rare diacritics tašdīd and jazm (also called
sukūn, after the equivalent Arabic character).
Table 2.4 shows the consonantal diacritics tašdīd and jazm.

Table 2.4: tašdīd and jazm

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

geminate
ّ◌ tašdīd consonant - CC
(rare)

absence of
ْ◌ jazm - -
vowel (rare)

Tašdīd indicates that a consonant is geminated (doubled); we transcribe all geminate consonants by
repeating the letter or letter combination representing it, rather than by using a special character.
‫ ّہ‬9 /baccah/ child
Jazm indicates the absence of a vowel (compare to the Sanskrit virama). It is rare in Urdu orthog-
raphy, and omitted entirely in our transcriptions, which represent all vowels.

2.2.4 Spelling Issues in Urdu

2.2.4.1 Vowels

Because word-internal short vowels are not represented in the Urdu script,9 transcription or
transliteration from Urdu to Roman script can be problematic for non-fluent readers. The long
vowels vāū and yē also present difficulties because each one represents several different sounds in
Urdu.
Another common problem lies with dialectal differences in pronunciation of vowels; for example,
speakers of north Indian Urdu will often have a higher vowel ([ɛ], as in English egg) for the sound
that is traditionally transcribed as /ai/ than will Pakistani speakers, whose pronunciation is more
likely to be [æ], as in English cat. (Hence our use of /æ/, as noted above.) However, a detailed
account of dialectal differences in pronunciation is beyond the scope of this grammar.

2.2.4.2 Consonants

Consonants also present a challenge for non-fluent users of Urdu because there are several cases
of multiple representations for a single sound:
9
With the exception of reading primers for children or other pedagogical or explanatory materials that have been
deliberately designed for explicitness.

22
The Urdu Language

• /s/ can be spelled with ‫ ث‬se, ‫ س‬sīn, or ‫ ص‬svād.

• /z/ can be spelled with ‫ ذ‬zāl, ‫ ز‬ze, ‫ ض‬zvād, or ‫ ظ‬zoe.

• /h/ can be spelled with ‫ ح‬baṛi ̄ he anywhere or ‫ ہ‬cʰot ̣ī hē word-initially and medially.

• /t/ can be spelled with ‫ ت‬te or ‫ ط‬toe.

As a matter of fact, even native Urdu speakers sometimes struggle with the multiple represen-
tations. A major reason for these orthographic complexities lies in widespread borrowing: the
letters ‫ ث‬se and ‫ ذ‬zāl are only seen in words of Arabic or Persian origin, and the letters ‫ ص‬svād,
‫ ض‬zvād, ‫ ظ‬zoe, and ‫ ط‬toe are confined to Arabic loanwords.
In addition, speakers of English or other western European languages will often encounter diffi-
culty in distinguishing between retroflex and dental consonants, as well as between the four-way
distinction of phonation among obstruent (= stop) consonants, traditionally labelled as voiceless
unaspirated, voiceless aspirated, voiced unaspirated, and voiced aspirated.

2.2.5 Table of Characters

Table 2.5 shows consonants; Table 2.6 shows initial and long vowels; Table 2.7 shows short vowel
signs and vowel combinations; Table 2.8 shows diacritics.

Table 2.5: Consonants

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

‫ا‬ alif various - -

‫ب‬ bē b b b

‫ھ‬ bē do cašmi ̄ hē bʰ bh bʰ

‫پ‬ pē p p p

‫ھ‬ pē do cašmi ̄ hē pʰ ph pʰ

‫ت‬ tē t̪ t t

‫ھ‬ tē do cašmi ̄ hē t ̪ʰ th tʰ

‫ٹ‬ t ̣ē ʈ ṭ ṭ

‫ھ‬ t ̣ē do cašmi ̄ hē ʈʰ t ̣ʰ t ̣ʰ

‫ث‬ sē s s s

23
The Urdu Language

Table 2.5: (continued)

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

‫ج‬ jīm ʤ j j

‫ھ‬ jīm do cašmi ̄ hē ʤʰ jh jʰ

‫چ‬ cē ʧ c c

‫ھ‬ cē do cašmi ̄ hē ʧʰ ch cʰ

‫ح‬ baṛī hē h h h

‫خ‬ xē x x x

‫د‬ dāl d̪ d d

‫دھ‬ dāl do cašmi ̄ hē d̪ʰ dh dʰ

‫ڈ‬ ḍāl ɖ ḍ ḍ

‫ڈھ‬ ḍāl do cašmi ̄ hē ɖʰ ḍh ḍʰ

‫ذ‬ zāl z z z

‫ر‬ rē r r r

‫ڑ‬ ṛe ̄ ɾ ṛ ṛ

‫ڑھ‬ ṛẹ ̄ do cašmi ̄ hē ɾʰ ṛh ṛʰ

‫ز‬ zē z z z

‫ژ‬ žē ʒ ž ž

‫س‬ sīn s s s

‫ش‬ šīn ʃ š š

‫ص‬ svād s s s

‫ض‬ zvād z z z

24
The Urdu Language

Table 2.5: (continued)

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

‫ط‬ toē t̪ t t

‫ظ‬ zoē z z z

vowel quality
‫ع‬ ‘ain ‘, ‘a ‘, -
marker

‫غ‬ ɣain ɣ ɣ ɣ

‫ف‬ fē f f f

‫ق‬ qāf q q q

‫ک‬ kāf k k k

‫ھ‬D kāf do cašmi ̄ hē kʰ kh kʰ

‫گ‬ gāf g g g

‫گھ‬ gāf do cašmi ̄ hē gʰ gh gʰ

‫ل‬ lām l l l

‫م‬ mīm m m m

‫ن‬ nūn n n n

‫و‬ vāū β, u, o, ɔ v/w, u, o, au v, ū, ō, ɔ

‫ہ‬ cʰōt ̣ī hē h h h

‫ی‬ yē (cʰōt ̣ī yē) j, i:, e, ɛ y, ī, e, ai y, ī, ē, æ

‫ے‬ yē (baṛī yē) e, ɛ e, ai ē, æ

‫ھ‬ do cašmi ̄ hē aspiration h ʰ

The formal grammar’s listing of these graphemes (and one morpheme boundary marker) appears
below.

25
The Urdu Language

Table 2.6: Vowels: Initial and Long

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar


َ
‫ا‬ a a a

‫آ‬ alif madd a: ā ā

‫ِا‬ i (ɪ) i i

‫ِای‬ i: ī ī
ُ
‫ا‬ u (ʊ) u u
ُ
‫او‬ u: ū ū

‫اے‬ e e ē

‫او‬ o o ō

‫أے‬ ɛ ai æ

‫أو‬ ɔ au ɔ

Table 2.7: Vowels: Short Signs (Rare) and Vowel Combinations

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

َ◌ zabar a a a

◌ِ zēr i i i

ُ◌ pēš ʊ u u

i (following
◌ cʰōt ̣ī yē with hamzāh i i
another vowel)

ɛ (following
‫ۓ‬ baṛī yē with hamzāh ai æ
another vowel)

u:, o (following
‫ؤ‬ vāū with hamzāh ū, ō ū, ō
another vowel)

26
The Urdu Language

Table 2.8: Diacritrics

Nasta’līq Name IPA Traditional This grammar

final nasal
‫ں‬ nūn ɣunnah ṅ or ṁ ṁ
vowel

ٔ◌ hamzāh hiatus - -

absence of
vowel
◌ْْ jazm - -
(normally
omitted)

geminate
◌ّ tašdīd - CC
consonant

<Ph:PhonemeSet>
<!-- Phonemes (or graphemes, really). Some of these are substrings of
others. Also, some are ambiguous as to consonant vs. vowel.
In particular, the Vau ('‫)'و‬, Choti He ('‫)'ہ‬, Ye ('‫)'ی‬, and
Do Cashmi He ('‫ )'ھ‬can function as both consonant and vowel.

ZWNJ is sometimes used before the -tar and -tariin suffixes


borrowed from Persian, on stems ending in Chooti He to prevent
the latter from converting to its medial form. ZWJ does not
appear to be used. Both should be removed from parser input.

Punctuation characters like the Arabic semicolon (U+061B) are


not represented here.
-->

<!--Vowels: Initial and Long-->


<Ph:Phoneme id='phShortA'>
َ
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ا‬/>
<!--Alif madd; Transliteration varies, sometimes 'a'
(but not always short)-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phLongA'>
<!--Transliteration 'ā' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'آ‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phShortI'>

27
The Urdu Language

<!--Transliteration 'i' -->


<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ِا‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phLongI'>
<!--Transliteration 'ī' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ِای‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phShortU'>
<!--Transliteration ُ 'u' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ا‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phLongU'>
<!--Transliteration ُ 'ū' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'او‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phShortE'>
<!--Transliteration 'e' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'اے‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phShortO'>
<!--Transliteration 'o' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'او‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phEpsilon'>
<!--Transliteration 'ɛ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'أے‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phOpenO'>
<!--Transliteration 'ɔ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'أو‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>

<!--Vowels: Short Signs (Rare) and Vowel Combinations-->


<Ph:Phoneme id='phZabar'>
<!--Transliteration 'a' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='َ'/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZer'>
<!--Transliteration 'i' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='ِ'/>
<!--kasra-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phPesh'>
<!--Transliteration 'ʊ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='ُ'/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<!--The Vau ('‫)'و‬, Choti He ('‫)'ہ‬, Ye ('‫)'ی‬, and Do Cashmi He ('‫)'ھ‬

28
The Urdu Language

are listed under consonants.-->

<!--Diacritrics-->
<Ph:Phoneme id='phNunGunna'>
<!--Transliteration 'ṁ' (nasalization)-->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ں‬/>
<!--U+6BA-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phHamza'>
<!--Transliteration '.' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ء‬/>
<!--U+621-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phSukun'>
<!--Transliteration '-'. Sukun is the Arabic/ Unicode name;
in Urdu, this is called 'tashdeed'-->
<Ph:Form spelling='ْ'/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phTashdid'>
<!--Transliteration 'CC' (geminate). Unicode calls
this by the Arabic term 'shadda') -->
<Ph:Form spelling='ّ'/>
<!--U+651-->
</Ph:Phoneme>

<!--Consonants-->
<Ph:Phoneme id='phAlif'>
<!--Transliteration '-' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ا‬/>
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phBe'>
<!--Transliteration 'b' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ب‬/>
<!--U+628-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phBhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'bʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>
<!--U+628 U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phPe'>
<!--Transliteration 'p' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'پ‬/>
<!--U+67E-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phPhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'pʰ' -->

29
The Urdu Language

<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>


<!--U+67E U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phTe'>
<!--Transliteration 't' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ت‬/>
<!--U+62A-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phThe'>
<!--Transliteration 'tʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>
<!--U+62A U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phTDotE'>
<!--Transliteration 'ṭ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ٹ‬/>
<!--U+679-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phThDotE'>
<!--Transliteration 'tʰ̣' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>
<!--U+679 U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phSe'>
<!--Transliteration 's' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ث‬/>
<!--U+62B-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phJim'>
<!--Transliteration 'j' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ج‬/>
<!--U+62C, Jeem=jiim-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phJhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'jʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>
<!--U+62C U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phCe'>
<!--Transliteration 'c' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'چ‬/>
<!--U+686-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phChe'>
<!--Transliteration 'cʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ھ‬/>
<!--U+686 U+6BE-->

30
The Urdu Language

</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phBarihe'>
<!--Transliteration 'h' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ح‬/>
<!--U+62D-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phXe'>
<!--Transliteration 'x' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'خ‬/>
<!--U+62E-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phDal'>
<!--Transliteration 'd' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'د‬/>
<!--U+62F-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phDHe'>
<!--Transliteration 'dʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'دھ‬/>
<!--U+62F U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phDDotal'>
<!--Transliteration 'ɖ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ڈ‬/>
<!--U+688-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phDDotHe'>
<!--Transliteration 'ɖʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ڈھ‬/>
<!--U+688 U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZal'>
<!--Transliteration 'z' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ذ‬/>
<!--U+630-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phRe'>
<!--Transliteration 'r' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ر‬/>
<!--U+631-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phRDotE'>
<!--Transliteration 'ṛ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ڑ‬/>
<!--U+691-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phRhe'>

31
The Urdu Language

<!--Transliteration 'rʰ' -->


̣
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ڑھ‬/>
<!--U+691 U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZe'>
<!--Transliteration 'z' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ز‬/>
<!--U+632-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'ʒ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ژ‬/>
<!--U+698-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phSin'>
<!--Transliteration 's' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'س‬/>
<!--U+633-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phShin'>
<!--Transliteration 'ʃ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ش‬/>
<!--U+634-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phSvad'>
<!--Transliteration 's' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ص‬/>
<!--U+635-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZvad'>
<!--Transliteration 'z' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ض‬/>
<!--U+636-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phToe'>
<!--Transliteration 't' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ط‬/>
<!--U+637-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phZoe'>
<!--Transliteration 'z' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ظ‬/>
<!--U+638-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phAyin'>
<!--Transliteration '', -' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ع‬/>

32
The Urdu Language

<!--U+639-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phGain'>
<!--Transliteration 'ɣ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'غ‬/>
<!--U+63A-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phFe'>
<!--Transliteration 'f' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ف‬/>
<!--U+641-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phQaf'>
<!--Transliteration 'q' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ق‬/>
<!--U+642-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phKaf'>
<!--Transliteration 'k' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ک‬/>
<!--U+6A9-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phKhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'kʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫ھ‬D'/>
<!--U+6A9 U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phGaf'>
<!--Transliteration 'g' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'گ‬/>
<!--U+6AF-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phGhe'>
<!--Transliteration 'gʰ' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'گھ‬/>
<!--U+6AF U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phLam'>
<!--Transliteration 'l' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ل‬/>
<!--U+644-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phMim'>
<!--Transliteration 'm' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'م‬/>
<!--U+645-->

33
The Urdu Language

</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phNun'>
<!--Transliteration 'n' -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ن‬/>
<!--U+646-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phVau'>
<!--Transliteration 'β, u, o, ɔ' (sometimes as vowel) -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'و‬/>
<!--U+648-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phChotiHe'>
<!--Unicode calls this the Heh Goal.
Transliteration 'h' (sometimes as vowel) -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ہ‬/>
<!--U+6C1-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phYeh'>
<!--Unicode calls this the Farsi Yeh; it is the same as the Choti Yeh
(not to be confused with the Choti He).
Transliteration 'y, ī, e, ɛ' (sometimes as vowel) -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ی‬/>
<!--U+6CC-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phDoCashmiHe'>
<!--Transliteration 'ʰ' (sometimes as vowel) -->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ھ‬/>
<!--U+6BE-->
</Ph:Phoneme>

<!-- Other -->


<Ph:Phoneme id='phYeHamza'>
<!--Unicode calls this a Yeh with Hamza above; 2171 says used
for izaafat-->
<Ph:Form spelling='◌ '/>
<!--U+626-->
</Ph:Phoneme>
<Ph:Phoneme id='phYeBarreeHamza'>
<!--A ligature; 2171 says used for izaafat-->
<Ph:Form spelling='‫'ۓ‬/>
<!--U+6D3-->
</Ph:Phoneme>

<!-- Boundary Markers -->


<Ph:BoundaryMarker id="bdryMorpheme_bdry">
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>
</Ph:BoundaryMarker>

34
The Urdu Language

</Ph:PhonemeSet>

The following formal grammar fragment defines a spelling rule.

<!--This grammar fragment contains some spelling rules. These are similar to
phonological rules, but apply to the spelling without making a difference
in the sound.
-->

<Ph:PhonologicalRule name="ruleGeminateYeh">
<!--When two Farsi Yehs come together, the first becomes a Yeh
with Hamza above. This applies in the nasal declension of adjectives,
and possibly elsewhere.
-->
<Ph:subrules>
<Ph:PhonologicalSubrule>
<Ph:input><Ph:refPhoneme idref="phYeh"/></Ph:input>
<Ph:output><Ph:refPhoneme idref="phYeHamza"/></Ph:output>
</Ph:PhonologicalSubrule>
</Ph:subrules>
<Ph:environments>
<Ph:Environment>
<Ph:rightContext>
<Ph:SequenceContext>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refBoundary idref="bdryMorpheme_bdry"/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref="phYeh"/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
</Ph:SequenceContext>
</Ph:rightContext>
</Ph:Environment>
</Ph:environments>
</Ph:PhonologicalRule>

2.3 List of Abbreviations and Symbols

These are the abbreviations and symbols that appear in the interlinear text examples in this gram-
mar:

• *: ungrammatical form

• 1: first person

• 2: second person

35
The Urdu Language

• 3: third person
• ACC: accusative/dative
• ADJ: adjectival informant /vālā/
• CAUS: causative
• CP: conjuctive particle /kar/
• DIM: diminutive
• DIR: direct
• EMPH: emphatic
• ERG: ergative
• EXC: exclusive particle /hiˉ/
• F: feminine
• FUT: future
• INF: infinitive
• IMP: imperative
• INC: inclusive particle /bʰiˉ/
• IP: imperfective participle
• M: masculine
• NEG: negative
• OBL: oblique
• PER: perfective
• PL: plural
• POSS: possessive
• PP: perfective participle
• PRES: present
• PROG: progressive
• PST: past
• Q: question
• REL: relative
• SG: singular
• SBJV: subjunctive
• TAG: tag

36
Nouns

Chapter 3

Nouns

3.1 Inflection

Urdu nouns show gender (masculine and feminine) and number (singular and plural) and are
inflected for three cases: direct, oblique, and vocative. Categories such as possessive, direct and
indirect object, etc., are expressed by means of postpositions following the oblique case. (See
Chapter 5).
The formal grammar’s definition of the morphosyntactic features of nouns follows:

<!--The features used on nouns. This includes both the features that
nouns carry in the lexicon (gender and sometimes number), and the
features that they are inflected for (case and number).
-->
<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Gender' id='fdefnGender'>
<!--An inherent feature of nouns in the lexicon; adjectives agree
with the nouns they modify in this feature.-->
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvMasculine' symbol='masculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvFeminine' symbol='feminine'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>
<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Number' id='fdefnNumber'>
<!--Sometimes an inherent feature of nouns in the lexicon, but
most nouns can inflect as either singular or plural.-->
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvSingular' symbol='singular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvPlural' symbol='plural'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>
<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Case' id='fdefnCase'>
<!--A feature which nouns inflect for.-->
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvDirect' symbol='direct'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvOblique' symbol='oblique'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn id='fvVocative' symbol='vocative'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

37
Nouns

3.1.1 Gender

Some nouns are recognizably either masculine or feminine by their endings, while the gender of
other nouns must simply be memorized. The first group is called “marked” and the second, “un-
marked.” There are therefore four categories of nouns: masculine marked, masculine unmarked,
feminine marked, and feminine unmarked. Inflection of a noun is based on which group it belongs
to; in other words, these four noun types are inflectional classes.
Note that although the discussion below describes noun classes in terms of their endings, those
endings cannot always be used to determine what class any particular noun belongs to, since
many unmarked nouns have endings identical to those on marked nouns, for example, the word
/hayā/ modesty is an unmarked feminine noun, even though alif ‫ ا‬/ā/ is the ending on most
marked masculine nouns. Similarly, ‫ د‬/dahī/ yogurt is masculine, even though it ends in /ī/,
which often marks feminine nouns.
Gender is arbitrary, except in living beings, where it can be determined by biological gender:
‫ ں‬/māṁ / mother (feminine)
‫ پ‬/bāp/ father (masculine)

a ‫ڈا‬/ḍākt ̣ar/ doctor (masculine when referring to a man, feminine when referring to a woman)
There are also other unmarked masculine nouns that, although they may refer to female as well
as males, remain in the unmarked masculine inflectional class even when referring to females;
for example, ‫ دوس‬/dōst/ friend and ‫ ن‬/mihmān/ guest. But even though the noun is formally
masculine in those cases, any modifying adjectives or verbs that go with it will take feminine
endings:

(3.1) ‫آب‬ ‫یدوبڑیا ّ دوس‬a

mer-ī do baṛ-ī accʰ-ī dost ā-īṁ


my-F two big-F good-F friend come-PP.3.PL
‘Two of my very good (female) friends came.’

There are also many animal nouns that have one grammatical gender, but can refer to a creature
of either sex; for example, ّ /makkʰī/ housefly (f.), meaning either a female or male fly; or ّ
/billī/ cat, which is also feminine but can refer to either a female or
ّ male cat when there is no
need to stress the cat’s sex, and has a masculine counterpart as well, /billā/, which is used when
the speaker wants to make a point that the cat is male.1
There are some instances in which the feminine gender is used to imply smallness of the object:
‫را‬ /cʰurā/ dagger, large knife → ‫ری‬ /cʰurī/ small knife, table knife
‫ڈبّہ‬ /ḍibbah/2 box → ّ ‫ ڈ‬/ḍibbī/ small box
There are also a few words whose gender varies with the dialect being used.
1
Compare the English parallel with cat and tomcat. The former can refer to either a female or male cat; the latter
only to a male. And although English nouns don’t have grammatical gender, the pronoun more often used for a cat, if
its sex is unknown and the speaker wishes to avoid using it, is she.
2
This word can also be pronounced /ḍabbah/.

38
Nouns

3.1.1.1 Masculine

3.1.1.1.1 Masculine Marked (Class I)

All marked masculine nouns end in the sounds /ā/, /ayā/ , or, rarely, /āṁ /. But note that the con-
verse is not necessarily true: not all nouns that end in /ā/, /ayā/, or /āṁ / are marked masculines;
for example, ‫ ا‬/havā/ wind, air, /tatayyā/ red and yellow wasp, and ‫ ا ّ ں‬/ammāṁ / mother are all
in the unmarked feminine class. There are also final /ā/ nouns that fall in the unmarked masculine
class, even ones that refer to biologically male entities, such as ‫ را ہ‬/rājah/ or ‫ دادا‬/dādā/.3
Many Urdu nouns (and also adjectives; see Chapter 6) that end with the sound /ā/ are actually
spelled with a “silent” final cʰot ̣ī hē; for example, ‫ ّہ‬9 /baccah/ boy. The sound /ā/ at the end
of a word can be represented three different ways in the Urdu script so, orthographically, there
are three marked masculine noun endings representing the one long /ā/ sound: ‫ ا‬/ā/, ‫ ہ‬/ah/,
and ‫ بہ‬/ayah/. Many grammars omit the silent final cʰot ̣ī hē in their roman transcription, but as
mentioned in our transcription chapter, we will represent it in ours, for clarity, with a Roman /h/.
Many of these nouns with a final cʰot ̣ī hē are of Arabic origin; however, Urdu speakers are increas-
ingly spelling even Indic words with a final cʰot ̣ī hē instead of alif.
Examples of marked nouns:
5‫ ڑ‬/laṛkā/ boy
‫ ّہ‬9 /baccah/ or 9/baccā/ (male) child
‫ ہ‬6‫رو‬/rūpayah/ rupee, money

‫ اں‬/kūāṁ / well

3.1.1.1.2 Masculine Unmarked (Class II)

Examples of unmarked masculine nouns:

‫ ر‬/gʰar/ house
‫ م‬5/kām/ work

3.1.1.2 Feminine

3.1.1.2.1 Feminine Marked (Class III)

Marked feminine nouns end in either ‫ ی‬/ī/ or /iyā/. But as with marked masculine nouns, not
all nouns with these endings fall in this class; for example, /pānī/ water and ‫ زی‬/jahāzī/ sailor
are both unmarked masculine nouns.
Examples:

‫ ڑ‬/laṛkī/ girl
3
Although note that these words are inflected like marked masculine nouns in some dialects.

39
Nouns

ّ 9 /baccī/ female child

‫ ر‬/murɣī/ hen
‫ ڑ‬/ciṛiyā/ bird

3.1.1.2.2 Feminine Unmarked (Class IV)

Some examples of unmarked feminine nouns:

‫ ب‬8/kitāb/ book
‫@ رت‬/ɔrat/ woman
a /mēz/ table

3.1.1.3 Some Clues to Gender of Unmarked Nouns

Although we said above that the gender of unmarked nouns must be learned, there are some
generalizations that can help in guessing to which gender a noun likely belongs. Remember,
however, that there are numerous exceptions: nouns with these endings do not necessarily follow
the gender patterns below. To be certain, one must check the dictionary.
Many of the suffixes listed below are also discussed in Section 3.3.

3.1.1.3.1 Typical Feminine Suffixes and Patterns

• ‫بہ‬،‫ ی‬/-ī ~ -iya/ (diminutive suffix)

• ‫ ی‬/-i/ (noun-forming suffix) (See Section 3.2.3)

• ‫ آ‬/-āhat ̣/ (abstract noun-forming suffix) (See Section 3.2.5)

• ‫ آوٹ‬/-āvat ̣/ (abstract noun-forming suffix) (See Section 3.2.1)4

• 6 /-yat/ (abstract noun-forming suffix)

• ‫ و‬/-ō/ (often used to form women’s names in rural areas) (See Section 3.2.2)

• ‫ ت‬/-at/ (Arabic loanwords)

• 6 /-iyat/ (Arabic loanwords) (See Section 3.3.2.1.3 )

• ‫ ا‬/-ā/ (Arabic loanwords)5

• Verbal nouns of the pattern tafc īl (Arabic loanwords)6


4
Although this suffix is historically feminine, modern colloquial Urdu has some nouns ending in /āvat ̣/ that are
masculine.
5
The ‫ ا‬/-ā/ is a common masculine marked suffix among native Urdu words; therefore this generalization applies
only to Arabic loanwords.
6
See discussion of Arabic pattern morpology in Section 3.3.2.

40
Nouns

• ‫ گ ہ‬/-gāh/ (Persian loanwords) (See Section 3.3.1.2)7


• ‫ اۓ‬/-āē/ (Persian loanwords)
• ‫ ی‬/-ī/ (Persian loanwords) (See Section 3.3.1.2)

• /-gī/ (Persian loanwords)(See Section 3.3.1.2)

3.1.1.3.2 Typical Masculine Suffixes and Patterns

• ‫ و‬/-ū/
• ‫ و‬/-ō/8
• ‫ ب‬/-pan/ (noun-forming suffix) (See Section 3.2.4)
• /-pā/ (noun-forming suffix)
• ‫ن‬ /-(i)stān/ (Persian loanwords) (See Section 3.3.1.2)

3.1.2 Inflectional Affixes

3.1.2.1 Masculine Nouns

Table 3.1 shows the paradigm of masculine marked nouns in ‫ ہ‬،‫ ا‬/-ā, -ah/; Table 3.2 shows the
paradigm of masculine marked nouns in ‫ اں‬/-āṁ /; Table 3.3 shows the paradigm of masculine
marked nouns in ‫ بہ‬/-ayah/; Table 3.4 shows the paradigm of masculine unmarked nouns.

Table 3.1: Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ہ‬،‫ ا‬/-ā, -ah/

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ہ‬,‫ ا‬/-ā, -ah/ ‫ ے‬/-ē/

Oblique ‫ ے‬/-ē/ ‫ وں‬/-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ے‬/-ē/ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

3.1.2.2 Feminine Nouns

Table 3.5 shows the paradigm of feminine marked nouns in ‫ ی‬/-ī/; Table 3.6 shows the paradigm
of feminine marked nouns in ‫ ا‬/-īyā/; Table 3.7 shows the paradigm of feminine unmarked nouns.
7
Note that unlike the other members of this list, ‫ گ ہ‬/gāh/ is not a suffix, but a compounding element.
8
This is most commonly a masculine suffix, but note that it can also occur at the end of women’s names. See list of
feminine suffixes above.
9
‫ وں‬/-ōṁ / has been reported as a variant suffix in colloquial speech.
10
This pattern is rare and may only apply to one word, ‫ ہ‬6‫ رو‬rūpayah ‘rupee.’

41
Nouns

Table 3.2: Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ اں‬/-āṁ/

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ اں‬/-āṁ / ‫ ب‬/-ēṁ /

Oblique ‫ ب‬/-ēṁ / ‫ وں‬/-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ب‬/-ēṁ / ‫ و‬/-ō/9

Table 3.3: Masculine Marked Nouns in ‫ بہ‬/-ayah/10

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ بہ‬/-ayah/ ‫ے‬،‫ ۓ‬/-aē ~ -ē/

Oblique ‫ے‬،‫ ۓ‬/-aē ~ -ē/ ‫ وں‬/-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ے‬،‫ ۓ‬/-aē ~ -ē/ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

Table 3.4: Masculine Unmarked Nouns

Singular Plural

Direct ∅ ∅

Oblique ∅ ‫ وں‬/-ōṁ /

Vocative ∅ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

42
Nouns

Table 3.5: Feminine Marked Nouns in /-ī/

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ ی‬/-ī/ ‫ ں‬/-iyāṁ /

Oblique ‫ ی‬/-ī/ ‫ @ ں‬/-iyōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ی‬/-ī/ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

Table 3.6: Feminine Marked Nouns in /-iyā/

Singular Plural

Direct /-iyā/ ‫ ں‬/-iyāṁ /

Oblique /-iyā/ ‫ @ ں‬/-iyōṁ /

Vocative /-iyā/ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

Table 3.7: Feminine Unmarked Nouns

Singular Plural

Direct ∅ ‫ ب‬/-ēṁ /

Oblique ∅ ‫ وں‬/-ōṁ /

Vocative ∅ ‫ و‬/-ō/9

43
Nouns

3.1.3 Formal Grammar of Nouns

The formal grammar for Nouns is given below.

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="noun" abbreviation="N">


<!-- Bearable features, i.e. the features for which nouns are marked in
the lexicon.-->
<Gr:bearableFeatures>
<Fs:refFeatureDefn idref='fdefnGender'/>
<Fs:refFeatureDefn idref='fdefnNumber'/>
</Gr:bearableFeatures>
<!--Declension class markers-->
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls1" id="classNounMarkedV"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls2" id="classNounMarkedAh"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls3" id="classNounMarkedAm"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls4" id="classNounMarkedY"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls5" id="classNounUnmarked"/>

<!-- Affix Slots


Just a single slot, which marks gender, case and number.
Declension classes are selected by the individual suffixes.
-->
<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="NounGenderCaseNumber" id="slotNounGenCaseNum">
<!--Masculine-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascSgDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascSgOblVoc"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascPlDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascPlOblique"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascPlVocative"/>
<!--Feminine-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemSg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemPlDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemPlOblique"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemPlVocative"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Template -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotNounGenCaseNum"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>

</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

The definition of suffix allomorphy based on the declension classes follows here; the declension
classes are assigned to nouns based on information in the dictionary (see Appendix B).

44
Nouns

<!--The suffixes are separated here based on the morphosyntactic features


they mark: gender, case and number. Variation based on the declension
class (marked vs. un-marked and some variations thereof) is treated
as allomorphs. While this approach allows us to capture some kinds
of syncretism, such as the fact that the singular oblique and
singular vocative are homophonous, it does not allow us to capture
syncretism that is particular to certain declension classes, such as
the fact that the unmarked singular is syncretic (while the direct
singular differs from the oblique/ vocative singular in the marked
declensions).
-->

<!--Masculine-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascSgDirect' id='afMascSgDirect'>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ā -->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ا‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ah -->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ہ‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAh'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'اں‬/>
<!-- -āṁ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAm'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'بہ‬/>
<!-- -ayah -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+'/>
<!--Null allomorph-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>

45
Nouns

</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascSgOblVoc' id='afMascSgOblVoc'>


<!-- Masculine singular oblique and vocative are syncretic -->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ے‬/>
<!-- -ē for the class -a and -ah nouns -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAh'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<!-- -ēm. -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAm'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ے‬/>
<!-- -ē is also used for the -ayah nouns
(the -ae form is also used, see below)
-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ۓ‬/>
<!-- -ae -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+'/>
<!-- Null allomorph -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>

46
Nouns

</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:vAlt>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvOblique'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvVocative'/>
</Fs:vAlt>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascPlDirect' id='afMascPlDirect'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ے‬/>
<!-- -ē for class -a, -ah and Y (class Y also allows -ae, see below)
-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAh'/>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<!-- -ēṁ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedAm'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ۓ‬/>
<!-- -ae alternative for class Y-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+'/>
<!-- Null allomorph -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>

47
Nouns

<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascPlOblique' id='afMascPlOblique'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ōm
̇ is used for all declensions-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvOblique'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascPlVocative' id='afMascPlVocative'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'و‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ō for all declensions -->
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvVocative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--Feminine-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-FemSg' id='afFemSg'>
<!--Syncretic in all three cases for all declensions -->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ی‬/>
<!-- -ī -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ '/>
<!-- -iyā -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>

48
Nouns

<Ph:Form spelling='+'/>
<!-- Null allomorph -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<!--Since this is used for all three cases, we don't mention
the case here. -->
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-FemPlDirect' id='afFemPlDirect'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫' ں‬/>
<!-- -īyām
̇ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<!-- -ēm
̇ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-FemPlOblique' id='afFemPlOblique'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'@ ں‬/>
<!-- -īyōm
̇ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedV'/>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounMarkedY'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>

49
Nouns

<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'وں‬/>
<!-- -ōm
̇ -->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classNounUnmarked'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvOblique'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-FemPlVocative' id='afFemPlVocative'>


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ō for all declensions -->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'و‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvVocative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

3.1.4 Noun Paradigms

3.1.4.1 Masculine

3.1.4.1.1 Marked

Table 3.8 shows the paradigm of masculine marked nouns in ‫ ہ‬،‫ ا‬/-ā, -ah/; Table 3.9 shows the
paradigm of masculine marked nouns in ‫ اں‬/-āṁ /. Table 3.10 shows the paradigm of masculine
marked nouns in ‫ بہ‬/-ayah/.

Table 3.8: 5‫ ڑ‬/laṛkā/ boy

Singular Plural

Direct 5‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ā/ ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ē/

Oblique ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ē/ ‫ ڑ@ ں‬/laṛk-ōm/̇

Vocative ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ē/ @‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ō/9

50
Nouns

Table 3.9: ‫ اں‬/kūāṁ / well

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ اں‬/kū-āṁ / ‫ ب‬/kū-ēṁ /

Oblique ‫ ب‬/kū-ēṁ / ‫ ؤں‬/kū-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ب‬/kū-ēṁ / ‫ ؤ‬/kū-ō/

Table 3.10: ‫ ہ‬6‫رو‬/rūpayah/ rupee

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ ہ‬6‫ رو‬/rūp-ayah/ ‫ رو‬/rūp-aē ~ rūp-ē/11

Oblique ‫ رو‬/rūp-aē ~ rup-ē/ ‫ رو@ ں‬/rūp-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ رو‬/rūp-aē ~ rup-ē/ @‫ رو‬/rūp-ō/

3.1.4.1.2 Unmarked

Table 3.11 shows the paradigm of masculine unmarked nouns.

Table 3.11: ‫ آد‬/admī/ man

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ آد‬/ādmī/ ‫ آد‬/ādmī/

Oblique ‫ آد‬/ādmī/ ‫ آد ں‬/ādm-iyōṁ /

Vocative ‫ آد‬/ādmī/ ‫ آد‬/ādm-iyō/9

11
The spelling of this form has the variants ‫ رو‬and . ‫رو‬

51
Nouns

3.1.4.2 Feminine

3.1.4.2.1 Marked

Table 3.12 shows the paradigm of feminine marked nouns in ‫ ی‬/-ī/.

Table 3.12: ‫ ڑ‬/laṛkī/ girl

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ī/ ‫ ں‬8‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-iyām/

Oblique ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ī/ ‫ ڑ ں‬/laṛk-iyōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-ī/ ‫ ڑ‬/laṛk-iyō/9

3.1.4.2.2 Unmarked

Table 3.13 shows the paradigm of feminine unmarked nouns in ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ maternal aunt; Ta-
ble 3.14 shows the paradigm of feminine unmarked nouns in ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ book.

Table 3.13: ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ maternal aunt

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ ‫ ﻻ ب‬/xālā-ēṁ /

Oblique ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ ‫ ﻻؤں‬/xālā-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ہ‬ /xālah/ ‫ ﻻؤ‬/xālā-ō/9

3.1.5 Notes

• As in English, mass nouns (nouns for things that cannot be counted) such as ‫ ۓ‬/cāē/ tea,
/cīnī/ sugar, and so on, do not have plural forms, except when talking about, say, countable
units or measures of tea, sugar, etc.; for example, in the context of serving, as in I would like two
sugars in my tea, or Three coffees, please.

• Because most /ī/-final nouns are feminine and most /ā/-final nouns masculine, native speakers
tend to assign gender to foreign loanwords in accordance with that tendency.

52
Nouns

Table 3.14: ‫ ب‬8/kitāb/ book

Singular Plural

Direct ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb-ēṁ /

Oblique ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ ‫ @ ں‬8 /kitāb-ōṁ /

Vocative ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ @ 8 /kitāb-ō/

3.1.6 About Case

Urdu has three cases: vocative, direct, and oblique.

3.1.6.1 Vocative

The vocative case is used when the speaker is addressing the person (or, rarely, thing) that the noun
names; hence, proper nouns and kinship terms are the nouns that most often take the vocative
case. A noun in the vocative can be preceded by ‫ ے‬/ē/, ‫ و‬/ō/, ‫ ا ں‬/amāṁ /, or ‫ ا‬/ajī/. See above,
Section 3.1.2, for the vocative endings, and Section 3.1.4 for examples of nouns in the vocative
case.

3.1.6.2 Direct

The direct case is called the “nominative” case in some grammars. It is the case used for subject
nouns and pronouns that are not followed by postpositions. The direct case can also be used with
direct object third person pronouns whose referents are inanimate, rather than the more usual
oblique + postposition:

(3.2) ‫ؤںگ‬ ‫ب بہ ؤںگ وہ ب‬

maiṁ yeh kʰā-ūṁ gā voh nahīṁ kʰa-ūṁ gā


I this.DIR eat-SBJV.1.SG FUT.M.SG that.DIR NEG eat-SBJV.1.SG FUT.M.SG
‘I will eat this (food), (but) not that (food).’

See above, Section 3.1.2, for the direct endings, and Section 3.1.4 for examples of nouns in the
direct case.

53
Nouns

3.1.6.3 Oblique

The oblique case is used in two situations: when a noun is followed by a postposition, and when a
noun is being used adverbially, either in a locative or a temporal sense. Direct and indirect objects
are indicated by a postposition.

1. Noun + postposition:

(3.3) ‫ب‬ ‫ڈا‬


ḍākxān-ē meṁ
post.office-OBL in
‘in the post office’

(3.4) ‫ے ر ب‬a
mēr-ē gʰar meṁ
my-OBL house.OBL in
‘in my house’

(3.5) ‫ @ د ھر ں‬9 ‫ب‬


mæṁ bacc-ē kō dēkʰ rah-ā hūṁ
I child-M.OBL.SG ACC see PROG-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I am watching the child.’

2. Adverbial use of noun:


(3.6) ‫ے رآؤ‬a
mēr-ē gʰar āō
my-OBL house.OBL come.IMP.2.PL
‘Come to my house!’

(3.7) ‫گۓ‬ 9

ham picʰl-ē haft-ē ga-ē thē


we last.OBL week.OBL go-PP.M.PL be.PST.1.PL
‘We went last week.’

See above, Section 3.1.2, for the oblique endings, and Section 3.1.4 for examples of nouns in the
oblique case.

3.2 Nominal Derivational Suffixes

Urdu has several suffixes that can be added to nouns, verbs, or adjectives to form new nouns. Most
are not productive, but some are, as indicated below. See Section 3.3 below for more examples

54
Nouns

of Urdu derived nouns.

3.2.1 ‫ وٹ‬/-vaṭ /

• Added to roots of double active and simple causative verbs.

• Result: feminine or masculine abstract nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
‫ د‬/dikʰānā/ to show > ‫ د وٹ‬/dikʰāvat ̣/ show, appearance
6 /banānā/ to make, build > ‫ وٹ‬6 /banāvat ̣/ form, shape, artificiality
7 /sajānā/ to decorate > ‫ وٹ‬7 /sajāvat ̣/ decoration, adornment

3.2.2 ‫ ؤ‬/-ō/

Urdu has two types of suffix in ‫ ؤ‬/-ō/.

3.2.2.1 Masculine

• Added to roots of double active and simple causative verbs.

• Result: masculine abstract nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
9 /bacānā/ to save, rescue, cause to escape > ‫ ؤ‬9 /bacāō/ defense
/bahānā/ to cause to flow > ‫ؤ‬ /bahāō/ flow

3.2.2.2 Feminine

• Added to girls’ names.

• Sometimes the name is shortened first (see second example).

• Result: feminine nickname. (Compare English -y or -ie, as in Jenny, Rosie, etc.)

• This suffix is productive.

• Examples:
‫رو‬ /bahār-ō/ nickname for Bahar
‫ ب‬/sab-ō/ nickname for Sabeen

55
Nouns

3.2.3 ‫ ی‬/-ī/

Urdu has four types of suffix in ‫ ی‬/-ī/.

3.2.3.1 ‫ ی‬/-ī/ added to stems of simple causative verbs12

• Result: feminine abstract nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
‫ ڑا‬/laṛānā/ to cause people to fight > ‫ ڑا‬/laṛāi/ war, battle
‫ بڑ‬/paṛʰānā/ to teach > ‫ بڑ‬/paṛʰāi/ studying

3.2.3.2 ‫ ی‬/-ī/ added to stems of simple or double causative verbs

• Result: feminine abstract nouns.

• Meaning: wages for X

• Restricted productivity (can be added to causative stems of many simple verbs)

• Example:
‫ ا‬/banvānā/ to get something made > ‫ ا‬/banvāī/ cost of construction

3.2.3.3 /-ī/ added to nouns, adjectives, and simple verb roots

• Result: feminine nouns, usually abstract.

• This suffix is productive.

• Examples:
ّ ‫ ا‬/accʰā/ good > ّ ‫ ا‬/accʰāī/ goodness
@ /bolnā/ to speak > @ /bolī/ speech; bid; dialect, language variety

3.2.3.4 /-ī/ added to place names

• Result: word meaning inhabitant (of that place)

• This suffix is productive.


12
Two other possible analyses for these same forms would be: (1) verb root + -āi ̄ or (2) masculine singular perfective
participle + -i ̄.

56
Nouns

• Such words are actually primarily adjectival, with the meaning from (that place), although they
can also be used as nouns, glossed as above and in the examples below. (See Section 6.1.2.3.1
for their adjectival origin.)

• Examples:
‫وری‬ /pešāvarī/ resident of Peshawar
‫و‬ /hindūstānī/ Indian

3.2.4 ‫ ب‬/-pan/

• Added to nouns and adjectives.

• Result: masculine abstract nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
6 /nīlā/ blue > ‫ ب‬6 /nīlāpan/ bluishness
‫ ّہ‬9 /baccah/ child > ‫ ب‬9 /bacpan/ childhood

3.2.5 /-haṭ /

• Added to adjectives and simple verb roots.

• Result: feminine abstract nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
/ciknā/ oily, greasy > /ciknāhat ̣/ greasiness

‫ا‬a /gʰabrānā/ to feel anxious, to worry > ‫ا‬a /gʰabrāhat ̣/ anxiety

3.2.6 ‫ ن‬/-n/

• Added to masculine nouns.

• Result: feminine nouns.

• Not productive.

• Examples:
/mālī/ gardener (male) > /mālan/ gardener (female)
‫ری‬ /bʰikārī/ beggar man > ‫رن‬ /bʰikāran/ beggar woman

57
Nouns

3.3 Borrowed Nouns in Urdu

When using words of Persian or Arabic origin, Urdu speakers have the option, with most of them,
of using either Urdu affixes or the morphology of the originating language. Using Persian or
Arabic morphology gives the language a higher register; i.e., makes it sound more formal and
literary. Borrowed nouns to which the original Arabic or Persian plural (or dual, in the case of
Arabic) morphology has been affixed do not simultaneously take Urdu case endings when used,
for example, as vocatives or with postpositions; that is, they remain uninflected for case. If Persian
or Arabic loanwords use the Urdu plural endings, however, the usual Urdu inflectional suffixes
will apply in the vocative or oblique case.
‫ب‬ /masjid mēṁ / in the mosque
‫وں ب‬ /masjidōṁ mēṁ / in the mosques
‫ب‬ /masājid mēṁ / in the mosques
* ‫وں ب‬ /*masājidōṁ mēṁ /13 *in the mosques
In contrast, loanwords from other languages, such as English, do not bring their original morphol-
ogy with them, except in the case of words that usually occur in the plural, like matches. In this
case, the plural suffix /-es/ is borrowed with the word, but the word is treated as singular and
inflected like an unmarked feminine noun.
‫ٹ‬a‫ س‬/šart ̣/ dress shirt
‫ ب‬a‫ س‬/šart ̣ēṁ / dress shirts

3.3.1 Persian

Urdu has borrowed many nouns from Persian, as well as many suffixes that can be added to both
indigenous words and loanwords to form nouns.

3.3.1.1 Persian Plurals

Persian loanwords or Arabic words that have come into the language via Persian may take Persian
plurals. Commonly used Persian loanwords may also take Urdu plurals, although the reverse is
not true: Urdu words of Indic origin may not take Persian plurals. Using the Persian plural, more
than with other Persian or Arabic elements, nearly always signals a highly formal or literary style.
There are two plural suffixes in Persian:

• ‫ ان‬/-ān/ (with variants ‫ گ ن‬/-gān/, ‫ ن‬/-yān/) originally for nouns that denote animate beings14

• /-hā/ originally for nouns that denote inanimate beings15


13
An asterisk indicates an ungrammatical form.
14
For the most part this distinction no longer exists in Urdu.
15
Occurs only in a few frozen expressions.

58
Nouns

Nouns ending in ‫ ہ‬/-ah/ take the variant ‫ گ ن‬/-gān/; nouns ending in ‫ ا‬/-ā/ take ‫ ن‬/-yān/.
Examples:

‫رگ‬a‫ ب‬/buzurg/ elder → ‫رگ ن‬a‫ ب‬/buzurgān/ elders16


/tālib/ student → ‫ن‬ /tālibān/ students

‫ ا‬/gadā/ beggar → ‫ ا ن‬/gadāyān/ beggars


‫ ہ‬6 /numāindah/ representative → ‫ ے‬6 /numāinde/ representatives (Urdu plural)
or ‫ گ ن‬6 /numāindagān/ (Persian plural)

3.3.1.2 Common Persian Suffixes

• Nominalizing (noun-forming) suffixes: ‫ ی‬/-ī/, /-gī/ (f.)

/-gī/ is used after words that end in /ah/; /-ī/ is used elsewhere.
Examples:
‫گ م‬/garm/ hot → ‫ گ‬/garmī/ heat

‫ز ہ‬/zindah/ alive → ‫ز‬/zindagī/ life

• Adjectivizing (adjective-forming) suffix: ‫ ور‬/-var/ (f.)


Though ‫ ور‬/-var/ is originally an adjectivizer, some adjectives created with it have adopted
nominal meanings, such as ‫ @ ر‬/jānvar/.
Examples:
‫ دا‬/dāniš/ knowledge → ‫ دا ور‬/dāniš-var/ learned, wise
‫ ن‬/jān/ soul/awareness → ‫ @ ر‬/jānvar/ animal
/tāqat/ strength/power → ‫ر‬ /tāqat-var/ powerful

• Agentive suffixes: ‫ ر‬5 /-kār/, ‫ گ ر‬/-gār/, ‫ گ‬/-gar/, /-cī/17 ‫ ن‬/-bān/, ‫ وان‬/-vān/


Examples:
‫دس‬/dast/ hand → ‫ر‬ ‫د‬/dast-kār/ craftsman
‫ دو‬/jādū/ magic → ‫ دوگ‬/jādū-gar/ magician

‫ا‬/afīm/ opium → ‫ا‬/afīm-cī/ opium addict

a /mēz/ table → ‫ ن‬a /mēz-bān/ host

‫ @ چ‬/kōc/ coach → ‫ @ ان‬/kōc-vān/ coach-driver

16
Sometimes ‫رگ‬a‫ ب‬/buzurg/ is treated as an unmarked masculine noun; that is, it can be plural without a suffix.
17
The suffix /-cī/ is originally Turkic, but was borrowed into Persian. For the most part, it is not productive in
contemporary Urdu.

59
Nouns

• Place suffix (feminine): ‫ گ ہ‬/-gāh/


Examples:
/carnā/ to graze → ‫ اگ ہ‬/carā-gāh/ place for grazing
‫ر‬ /šikār/ hunting → ‫رگ ہ‬ /šikār-gah/ place for hunting

• Place suffix (masculine): ‫ زار‬/-zār/18


Meaning: a place abounding in X
Example:

‫ گ‬/gul/ flower → ‫ار‬a ‫ گ‬/gul-zār/ garden


‫ہ‬a /sabzah/ greenery → ‫ہزار‬a /sabzah-zār/ lawn, meadow, pasture

• Place suffix (masculine): ‫ آ د‬/-ābād/


Meaning: city, town, village, or locale within a city
Example:
‫ا م‬/islām/ Islam → ‫ا مآ د‬/islāmābād/ city of Islam

‫ ز ہ‬/zindah/ alive → ‫ ) † ن(ز ہ د‬/(pākistān) zindābād/ long live Pakistan!

• Place suffix (masculine): /-(i)stān/


The /i/ is inserted when the first element ends in a consonant.
Meaning: place where a certain ethnic group lives or where something characteristic is found
Examples:
‫ چ‬/balōc/ a Baloch -> ‫† ن‬ /balōcistān/ Balochistan (province of Pakistan) (lit. land of the
Baloch)
‫ر‬/rēg/ sand → ‫ر † ن‬/rēgistān/ desert (lit. sandy place)
a /qabar/ grave → ‫ ن‬a /qabaristān/ cemetery (lit. place of graves)

• Diminutive suffixes: ‫ ہ‬/-ca/, ‫ ہ‬9 /-īca/, ‫ ک‬/-ak/ (f.)


Examples:
ّ /cammac/ spoon → ‫ہ‬ /camca/ teaspoon

‫ د‬/dēg/ cauldron, very big pot → ‫ د ہ‬/dēgcah/ largish pot (can be put on stove top)

‫ غ‬/bāɣ/ garden, grove → ‫ہ‬ /bāɣ-īcah/ vegetable garden, private garden

‫ دس‬/dast/ hand → ‫ د‬/dastak/ knock on door


‫ ب‬/æn/ eye → /ænak/ glasses (lit. little eye)
18
There are not many words with this suffix.

60
Nouns

• ‫ دان‬/-dān/ ~ ‫ دا‬/-dānī/
Meaning: receptacle for X; the two suffixes are more or less interchangeable, but ‫ دان‬/-dān/ is
masculine and ‫ دا‬/-dānī/ feminine.
The first element is in the oblique case where applicable (i.e., marked masculine nouns).
Examples:
‫ ۓ‬/cāē/ tea → ‫ ۓدا‬/cāē-dānī/ teapot
/cūhā/ mouse → ‫دان‬ /cūhē-dān/ mouse trap
/namak/ salt → ‫ا‬ /namak-dāni/ salt shaker

• ‫ دان‬/-dān/ Note that this is homophonous with the previous suffix, but has a very different
meaning.
Meaning: knower of X
Examples:
‫س‬ /syāsat/ politics → ‫دان‬ ‫س‬ /syāsat-dān/ politician
‫ ز ن‬/zabān/ language → ‫ ز ندان‬/zabān-dān/ knower of languages

3.3.1.3 The Enclitic /e/

Known as ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh or izāfat, meaning increase or addition, this enclitic joins two nouns (one of
which can be a pronoun) or a noun and an adjective.19 The first element is always a noun, pronoun,
or verbal participle. The second element modifies or qualifies the first and can be either a noun
or an adjective. In the case of two nouns, the ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh conveys a possessive relationship: the
first noun belongs to the second. In theory, the ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh can only join Perso-Arabic loanwords,
but in spoken usage it is occasionally used with words of Indic origin.
‫ ا ہ‬Ezafe is transcribed as /-e-/ in this grammar. Its representation in Urdu differs according to
the final letter of the first word in the construction:

1. After a consonant, ‫ہ‬ ‫ ا‬ezafeh is spelled with a zēr.

2. After a long vowel (‫ ا‬alif or ‫ و‬vāū), ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh is spelled with a ‫ ء‬hamzāh, often followed by
a ‫ ے‬baṛī yē in its independent form.

3. After ‫ ہ‬cʰōt ̣ī hē, ‫ہ‬ ‫ ا‬ezafeh is spelled with a ‫ ۂ‬hamzāh over cʰōt ̣ī hē.

4. After ‫ ے‬baṛī yē, ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh can represented by an unseated hamzāh, though it is usually
omitted. The ezafeh is not pronounced.

Increasingly, ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh is not pronounced in the spoken language, particularly when the first
element ends in a short vowel + consonant, as in /tālib ilm/ for /tālib-e-ilm/ student.

Examples:
19
See Chapter 6 for information on the izāfat’s function when joining a noun and an adjective.

61
Nouns

‫ @ ِم زادی‬/yōm-e-āzādī/ Independence Day

‫ وزب ِ ا‬/vazīr-e-āzam/ Prime Minister

‫†ن‬ ِ /hukūmat-e-pākistān/ the Government of Pakistan

Compare this construction with the indigenous Urdu construction that uses the postposition 5
/kā/, /kē/, /kī/:

‫ † ن‬/pākistān kī hukūmat/ Pakistan’s government


These Persian and Urdu constructions differ in both form and function:

• The word order is reversed.

• The meanings differ: ‫† ن‬ /hukūmat-e-pākistān/ is a proper noun, referring to the Gov-


ernment of Pakistan as an official entity, while ‫ † ن‬/pākistān kī hukūmat/ is a common
noun referring to whatever government happens to be in power at the time of speaking.

An ‫ ا ہ‬ezafeh compound can also form part of a larger compound by being joined in turn with
another word.

3.3.1.4 /ham/ same, with

This Persian word is used to form compounds in Urdu. The result is an adjective that can also be
used as a noun:

/ham nafas/ soulmate (< /nafas/ soul, psyche)

‫@ رت‬ /ham sūrat/ having the same face/appearance (‫ @ رت‬/sūrat/ face)

3.3.2 Arabic

Arabic morphology is radically different from the morphology of Urdu (or for that matter, English).
Roots are usually defined by three (occasionally four) consonants to which affixes and vowel
patterns are added to form derived verb and noun forms. These consonants are referred to as
“radicals.” For example, f-c -l is the root for do; it is conventionally used to illustrate patterns of
derived forms, a convention we will follow in the discussion below. The superscript /c / represents
the Arabic consonant ‫ع‬, a voiced pharyngeal fricative. This sound does not exist in Urdu, but
Perso-Arabic loanwords which have ‫ ع‬in their spelling retain it in Urdu. Its pronunciation in
Urdu varies. However, when patterns using the root f-c -l are given, each of the three radicals /f/,
/c /, /l/ stands for any consonant. See below for examples.
As with Persian, heavy use of Arabic loanwords, and more particularly, use of Arabic plurals as
opposed to the Urdu plural formations, connotes a more formal style.

62
Nouns

3.3.2.1 Nouns from Arabic

3.3.2.1.1 Place Nouns

Pattern: mafc al, mafc il


Examples:
/maktab/ school (< /kataba/ to write)20
/masjid/ mosque (< 7 /sajada/ to prostrate oneself in prayer)

3.3.2.1.2 Instrument Nouns

Pattern: ‫ل‬ mifc āl, ‫ہ‬ mifc ala21

‫ح‬ /miftāh/ key (< /fataha/ to open)


‫ان‬a /mīzān/ scales (< ‫ وزن‬/wazana/ to weigh)

3.3.2.1.3 Abstract Nouns

Adding the suffix 6 /-iyat/ to any noun forms a feminine abstract noun, sometimes with a slang
connotation. This suffix is productive, as can be seen by the last example below, where it has been
added to an English word.22
Examples:

7 /šaxsiyat/ personality (< 7 /šaxs/ person)

‫ ا‬/insāniyat/ humanity (< ‫ ا ن‬/insān/ human being)


6‫ @ ر‬/bōriyat/ boredom (< Eng. bore)

3.3.2.1.4 Arabic Definite Articles in Urdu

Urdu has a few borrowings--phrases and proper names--that include the Arabic definite article
‫ ال‬/al/. Learners of Urdu should know one important fact about this Arabic element in Urdu:
although always written the same, ‫ ال‬/al/ is frequently pronounced differently as a result of an
Arabic assimilation rule. Assimilation is a change in pronunciation whereby a consonant or vowel
becomes more similar to a consonant or vowel near it, as in Latin-derived English words like
impossible, imbecile, immobile, where the prefix in- has changed to im- before the labial consonants
p, b, and m.
This assimilation can happen to both the vowel /a/ and the consonant /l/ of the definite article:
20
The citation form for Arabic verbs is the third singular masculine perfect form.
21
The latter is rare in Urdu.
22
A possible analysis of this suffix is that it is actually composed of two suffixes: /-ī/, which forms adjectives from
nouns, plus /-at/, which forms abstract nouns from adjectives, with the meaning the quality denoted by X [= the
adjective]. Thus ‫ ا‬/insān-iy-at/ means the quality of being (a good) human; i.e., humanity.

63
Nouns

1. If the preceding word ends in an /u/, /i/, or /a/, then /a/ assimilates to that vowel. Often
this final vowel is not orthographically explicit; rather, it is the remnant of an Arabic case
ending represented as a diacritic. While this vowel can change in Arabic depending on case
(/u/ for nominative, /i/ for genitive, /a/ for accusative), in Urdu the vowel is usually fixed
depending on the manner in which it was borrowed; most commonly this will be /u/.

2. If the following word begins with a dental or alveolar consonant (،‫ص‬،‫ش‬،‫زس‬،‫ر‬،‫ذ‬،‫د‬،‫ث‬،‫ ت‬/t, s,
d, z, r, š, l, or n/),23 then /l/ assimilates to that consonant and is pronounced as a doubled
consonant.
Examples:

‫ا ب‬ /šams ud-dīn/ Shams ud-Deen (proper name; lit. sun of the religion)
‫ا‬ ‫ﷲا‬ /b-ism illāh ir-rahmān ir-rahīm/ in the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most
Merciful (often said when one is beginning something)
‫ما‬ ‫ ا‬/inzamām ul-haqq/ Inzamam-ul-Haq (famous Pakistani cricketer ; lit. union/associa-
tion of truth)
‫ ا ﷲ‬/assadullāh/ Assadullah (proper name; lit. Lion of God)

3.3.2.1.5 Noun Plurals

As noted above, if an Urdu noun has an Arabic dual or plural form, it will not take an Urdu case
ending.

3.3.2.1.5.1 Dual Forms

Unlike Urdu, Arabic distinguishes three types of number: singular, dual, and plural. Urdu has
borrowed a handful of Arabic nouns which include the Arabic dual suffix ‫ ب‬/-æn/ on them:24
‫وا‬/vālid/ father → ‫وا ب‬/vālidæn/ parents

‫ رف‬/taraf/ side → ‫ ر ب‬/tarfæn/ the two sides (of)


‫ب‬ ‫ ا‬/alālimæn/ the two worlds (Heaven and Earth)

3.3.2.1.5.2 Regular (“Sound”) Plurals

• ‫ ب‬/-īn/25
This suffix is mostly affixed to participles, as well as some Arabic masculine nouns.
23
These are known as the sun letters in Arabic. Note that while the letter šīn (‫ )ش‬is generally considered to represent
an alveolar consonant in Arabic, it represents a palatal one in Urdu.
24
This suffix is cognate with (related to) the accusative/genitive dual suffix ِ ‫ ب‬/-ayni/ in Modern Standard Arabic,
but its consonant-final form and usage as a generic dual suffix reveal it to have been borrowed from spoken Arabic,
which dropped the final vowel long ago and extended its use to all cases.
25 َ
Like the Arabic dual suffix, this form is related to an accusative/genitive suffix in Modern Standard Arabic ( ‫ب‬
/-īna/), but also like that suffix, its usage has been generalized and its final vowel dropped in the spoken dialects of
Arabic, yielding the form that was borrowed into Urdu.

64
Nouns

Examples:
‫ب‬ /mujāhidīn/ participants in a jihad
‫بب‬ /mutāsirīn/ affected ones

• ‫ ات‬/-āt/26
This suffix is affixed to nouns of either gender, including verbal nouns. It is also sometimes used
with words of Persian or Indic origin, although the latter only rarely.
Examples:
‫ ت‬/bāɣāt/ gardens (sg. ‫ غ‬/bāɣ/)
‫ت‬ ‫ ا‬/imtihānāt/ exams (sg. ‫ا ن‬/imtihān/)

‫ت‬ /jangalāt/ forests (sg. /jangal/)


‫ت‬ /mālūmāt/ information27

• ‫ ت‬/-iyāt/
This suffix is used to form the names of branches of learning. It consists of two parts, /-ī/ and
the plural suffix /-āt/.
Examples:

‫ت‬ /kīmiyāt/ chemistry


‫ ر ص ت‬/riyāziyāt/ mathematics
‫ت‬6 /hayātiyāt/ biology

3.3.2.1.5.3 Irregular (“Broken”) Plurals

Arabic broken plurals involve altering the vowel pattern of the singular noun. There are too many
patterns to cover all of them here, but the most common are as follows:

• Pattern: ‫ ا ل‬/afc āl/


Examples:
‫ ا ر‬/axbār/ newspaper (sg. a /xabar/ news)28

‫ ا م‬/aqlām/ pens (sg. /qalam/)

‫ اص ب‬/ashāb/ companions (usually in reference to companions of Muhammad) (sg. /sāhib/)


26 ٌ
Like the above suffixes, cognate with ‫ ات‬/-ātun/, ‫ات‬ٍ /-ātin/ in Standard Arabic, but again, borrowed from dialectal
Arabic, which had dropped the second syllable.
27
This doesn’t have a singular form.
28
It should be noted that while ‫ ا ر‬/axbār/ is the appropriate Arabic broken plural from a /xabar/, it has taken on a
new singular meaning in Urdu, and as such can be pluralized and take case endings, as in ‫وں ب‬a ‫ ا‬/axbārōṁ mem/ in
the newspapers. This reflects a similar development in Arabic in which ‫ ا ر‬/axbār/ can either be the plural of a /xabar/
or a singular word meaning TV news, which can then be pluralized ‫ ا رات‬/axbārāt/. The same appears in Persian where
a /xabar/ is a report and is pluralized as a /xabarhā/ and ‫ ا ر‬/axbār/ is TV news and is pluralized ‫ ا ر‬/axbārhā/.
This trend may suggest that the two terms entered Urdu separately as individual lexemes and were thus adapted to
local morphology. Urdu can use the Arabic plural ‫ ات‬/-āt/ on ‫ ا ر‬/axbār/. In addition to raising the register,it has a
more general sense, i.e. the press.

65
Nouns

• Pattern: ‫ ل‬/fuc ūl/


Examples:
ّ
‫ وق‬/huqūq/ rights (sg. /haqq/)
ّ
‫ ود‬/hudūd/ borders, boundaries (sg. /hadd/)
ّ
‫ وط‬/xutūt/ letters (sg. /xatt/)

• Pattern: /fuc ul/


Examples:
/kutub/ books (sg. ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/)

• Pattern: /fuc alā/


Examples:
/ulamā/ scholars, literati (sg. /ālim/)

‫ وزرا‬/vuzarā/ MPs (sg. ‫ وزب‬/vazīr/)


/xulafā/ Caliphs (sg. ‫ہ‬ /xalīfah/)

• Pattern: /fac āil/


Examples:
@ ‫ د‬/daqāiq/ minutes (sg. ‫ د ہ‬/daqiqah/)

• Pattern: ‫ ّ ل‬/fucc āl/. Note that the second radical is doubled in this pattern.29
Examples:
‫ ّ ر‬9 /tujjār/ merchants (sg. /tājir/)
‫ ّ ب‬8 /kuttāb/ writers (sg. 6 5 /kātib/)
• Pattern (vowels only): /a-ā-ī/30
Examples:
‫وب‬ /tasāvīr/ pictures (sg. ‫ ص ب‬/tasvīr/)
‫ ب‬5‫ د‬/dakākīn/ stores (sg. ‫ ن‬5‫ د‬/dukān/)

• Pattern: ‫ ا‬/afic lā/ This pattern is commonly applied to weak roots with a double second radical
that refer to rational beings.
Examples:
‫ ا‬/asmā/ names31 also: nouns (gram.) (sg. ‫ ا‬/ism/)

‫ ا‬/ašiyā/ things (also: pieces, as in a museum) (sg. /šæ/)

• Pattern: ‫ ا‬/fawāc il/


Examples:
‫ ا‬/qawāid/ rules (sg. ‫ہ‬ /qāidah/ base; primer (i.e., an ABC book))
29
This plural pattern almost always occurs with words signifying occupations.
30
This plural usually applies to patterns having four consonants and containing a long second vowel.
31
Usually in reference to the 99 names of God.

66
Nouns

3.3.2.2 Arabic Prefixes in Urdu

These two prefixes are almost always used with words of Arabic or Persian origin. Exceptions are
listed below.

• a /ɣær/ not (like English a(n)-, in-, or un- prefixes)32

a /ɣær mulkī/ foreign (lit. not national)


‫ا‬a /ɣær ixlāqī/ amoral
a /ɣær mazhabī/ non-Muslim or non-religious ( /mazhab/ religion)33
a /ɣær lohā/ non-ferrous metal (< Urdu /lohā/ iron)
‫ری‬ a /ɣær jānkārī/ lack of knowledge (< Hindi /jānkārī/ knowledge)

• ‫ ﻻ‬/lā/ not (like English a(n)-, in-, or un- prefixes)


‫ ﻻ اب‬/lā javāb/ the very best, irrefutable (‫ اب‬/javāb/ answer)
@ ‫ ﻻ‬/lā qānūniyat/ lawlessness ( @ /qānūniyat/ legality)
6‫ ﻻ‬/lā patā/ lost (< Urdu 6 /patā/ trace; information; address)

3.3.2.3 ‫ و‬/-o-/ and Arabic and Persian conjunctive particle

The Arabic and Persian conjunction ‫ و‬/-o-/, meaning and.

‫و ب‬ /nazm-o-zabt/ discipline (lit. order and control)

‫وا ن‬ ‫ ا‬/amn-o-amaan/ law and order


‫ دلو ن‬/dil-o-jān sē/ with heart and soul

32
Unlike other Arabic prefixes, this postposition can be attached to adjectives as well as nouns.
33
In Pakistan, the most common meaning is non-Muslim.

67
Pronouns

Chapter 4

Pronouns

4.1 Introduction

Pronouns are the words which stand in for nouns, such as she, he, they, who, this, etc.; the noun
for which a pronoun stands is its referent.
Urdu pronouns have categories for number (singular and plural) in all persons, for degree of
familiarity/respect in the second and third persons, and for distance from the speaker in the third
person. We use the term “proximal” for pronouns that refer to someone relatively near the speaker
and “distal” for those that refer to someone at a distance. There are no gender distinctions in the
pronouns, but this information is often conveyed by the verb. Pronouns take case in the same
manner as nouns: direct case (usually) when they are the subject of a verb and not followed by a
postposition, and oblique case when followed by a postposition, including the “ergative” particle
/nē/.1 , although the pronouns ‫ ب‬/mæṁ /, /ham/, @ /tū/, /tum/, and ‫ آپ‬/āp/ retain
their direct case forms before /nē/.

4.2 Personal Pronouns

4.2.1 Regular Forms

Table 4.1 shows forms of personal pronouns.

• Since Urdu verbs also show person, number, gender, and degree of respect, personal pronouns,
especially @ /tū/ and /tum/, can sometimes be omitted. In speech the pronouns are usually
expressed, but they may be dropped in certain contexts, particularly questions, responses to a
question, or in poetry.

• Degrees of familiarity, Second Person: The Urdu second person distinguishes among three
degrees of familiarity, reflecting the relationship between the speaker and the person addressed,
or sometimes, the speaker’s attitude towards that person.
1
See Chapter 5 for discussion of this particle and of the notion of ergativity.

68
Pronouns

Table 4.1: Personal Pronouns

With
Direct Oblique /nē/ (Possessive)

‫ب‬ ‫ھ‬ ‫ب‬


1st Person
/mæṁ / /mujʰ/ /mæṁ nē/
Singular
2nd Person @ ‫ھ‬9 @
(intimate) /tū/ /tujʰ/ /tū nē/

3rd Person ‫بہ‬ ‫اس‬ ‫اس‬


proximal /yeh/ /is/ /is nē/

‫وہ‬ ‫اس‬ ‫اس‬


distal
/voh/ /us/ /us nē/

1st Person
/ham/ /ham/ /ham nē/

Plural 2nd Person


familiar
/tum/ /tum/ /tum nē/

‫آپ‬ ‫آپ‬ ‫آپ‬


formal
/āp/ /āp/ /āp nē/

3rd Person ‫بہ‬ ‫ان‬ ‫ا ں‬


proximal /yeh/ /in/ /inhōṁ nē/

‫وہ‬ ‫ان‬ ‫ا ں‬
distal
/voh/ /un/ /unhōṁ nē/

69
Pronouns

1. @ /tū/ (intimate) is reserved for addressing young children in one’s family, God, a beloved,
or animals. It can also be used to express contempt or disapproval, as in an insult or a
reproof to a subordinate. It occurs more often in poetry and film songs than in everyday
speech. @ /tū/ always takes a singular verb.
2. /tum/ (familiar) is used to address equals with whom one is on close terms (and then
only in informal settings; not, for example, in a professional context), servants and others of
lower social status (subordinate co-workers, taxi drivers, servants, waiters, etc.), children
of another family, one’s wife (but generally not one’s husband2 ), and occasionally, one’s
mother.3
/tum/ always takes a plural verb, even if there is only one referent. When applied to
males, it requires a plural noun complement (and adjective, if applicable) in equational
sentences4 , no matter whether there is one male or more than one. When females are
addressed using /tum/, however, the noun complement is singular if only one person is
being addressed and plural otherwise; that is, the complement reflects the actual number
in the case of female referents.
(4.1) ‫ا ّ ڑ‬
tum accʰ-ē laṛk-ē hō
you good-M.PL.DIR boy-M.PL.DIR be.PRS.2.PL
‘You are a good boy/good boys.’

(Note that the meaning can be ambiguous without further context.)

(4.2) ‫ڑ‬ ّ‫ا‬


tum accʰ -ī laṛk -ī hō
you good-F.SG.DIR girl-F.SG.DIR be.PRS.2.PL
‘You are a good girl.’

(4.3) ‫ ں‬8‫ڑ‬ ّ‫ا‬


tum accʰ-ī laṛk-īyāṁ hō
you good-F.PL.DIR girl-F.PL.DIR be.PRS.2.PL
‘You are good girls.’

3. ‫ آپ‬/āp/ (formal) is used to address people of higher status, including family members if
they are older than oneself, skilled people of any rank, or employers; it is used by women to
address their husbands, by people of equal status who are not on intimate or informal terms
with each other or are in formal situations, by young people to address the elderly (includ-
ing servants), and in general, for anyone addressed as /sāhib/ Mr. or ‫ بہ‬/sāhibah/
Mrs./Miss.
‫ آپ‬/āp/ follows the same rules of agreement as /tum/ above.
2
These uses, however, all vary widely within individual families, and there are some wives who do use /tum/
with their husbands.
3
A few people address their mother as /tum/, but it is not very common except in films. Most use ‫ آپ‬/āp/.
4
An equational sentence is one of the form A is/are B, where B can be either a noun or adjective.

70
Pronouns

• Degrees of familiarity, Third Person: There are also three degrees of familiarity in the third
person, although the distinctions are less commonly made and are not analogous to those of the
second person. But note that when the person referred to is present, it is quite rude to refer
to him or her with a singular form; and since the pronoun /yeh/ does not indicate number,
politness requires a plural adjective form (if applicable) and a plural verb form.

1. ‫وہ‬/voh/ and ‫ بہ‬/yeh/ with singular verb are informal.


2. ‫ وہ‬/voh/ and ‫ بہ‬/yeh/ with plural verb (and singular referent) are formal and more polite.

3. ‫ آپ‬/āp/ as a third-person pronoun is highly respectful, used for example to refer to


religious personages or in situations of introduction, when the speaker wants to convey to
listeners that the person being introduced is someone to be highly respected. This usage is
also found in poetry.

• Third person proximal forms refer to he, she, it, or they here or to the person or thing just
mentioned, and third person distal forms refer to he, she, it, or they over there. The default, and
hence more common, form is ‫ وہ‬/voh/, used when no distinction of distance is intended by the
speaker.

• There are some contexts in which first person plural /ham/ can be used in place of the singular
‫ ب‬/maiṁ /:

– In colloquial usage, to give a sense of anonymity to the speaker (more commonly with women
speakers)
– In colloquial usage, to connote the speaker’s sense of superiority
– In poetry

Usually the verb form used will be masculine plural.

• The masculine plural noun ‫ گ‬/lōg/ people, which conveys plurality, can be added after pronouns
for emphasis or disambiguation. Because, for example, the second person plural /tum/, can

refer to one or more people, ‫ گ‬/lōg/ might be used when the speaker wants to make clear that
the referent is plural. The verb would then be masculine plural.

4.2.2 Alternate Forms

Even though Urdu pronouns, like nouns, generally take postpositions to express grammatical rela-
tions, there is one major exception with the postposition @ /kō/, which is used both with animate
or specified direct objects and with indirect objects.5 Although oblique pronoun + @ /kō/ is ac-
ceptable, it is more common to use an inflected form of the pronoun; that is, pronoun + suffix.
This applies to the personal, demonstrative, interrogative, and relative pronouns, except ‫ آپ‬/āp/.
These forms are sometimes called the special dative forms.A table of these special dative forms of
personal pronouns is below; the special dative forms of demonstrative and relative pronouns are
listed in the tables for those pronominal forms below.
5
See Chapter 5 for more on @ /kō/.

71
Pronouns

The suffixes that are attached to the pronoun are ‫ ے‬/-ē/, ‫ ب‬/-ēm/, or ‫ ب‬/-hēm/, depending on
the form:
Table 4.2 shows the alternate forms for the personal pronouns.

Table 4.2: Personal Pronouns: Alternate Forms (Special Dative)

Pronoun + Suffix (Pronoun + @ /kō/)

1st Person /mujʰē/ @‫ ھ‬/mujʰ kō/

Singular 2nd Person 9 /tujʰē/ @‫ ھ‬9/tujʰ kō/

3rd Person
‫ا‬/isē/ @‫اس‬/is kō/
proximal

distal ‫ا‬/usē/ @‫اس‬/us kō/

1st Person ‫ ب‬/hamēṁ / @ /ham kō/

‫ ب ~ ب‬/tumhēṁ / @ /tum kō/


Plural 2nd Person

------------ @‫آپ‬/āp kō/

3rd Person proximal ‫ا ب ~ا ب‬/inhēṁ / @‫ان‬/in kō/

distal ‫ا ب ~ا ب‬/unhēṁ / @‫ان‬/un kō/

Note that the second and third person plural forms can be spelled with either a ‫( ہ‬cʰot ̣ī hē) or a ‫ھ‬
(dō cašmī hē), but the former is more common.

4.2.3 Possessive Personal Pronouns

(See Table 4.1 in Section 4.2.1) Note that the possessive forms are actually adjectives in form and
agree in gender, number, and case with their nouns.6 They can be used either attributively (as
modifiers: my book) and predicatively (that book is mine). Also note that possessives are of two
types formally: first person and second person intimate and non-honorific possessive pronouns are
single, unique words, while in the second person (honorific) and in the third person, the possession
is expressed with a two-word phrase: oblique pronoun + postposition.

4.3 Reflexive Pronouns

Urdu does not have a complex reflexive pronominal system, but the following forms are used
when a pronoun refers back to the subject of the verb.
6
They are also covered in Chapter 6 on modifiers.

72
Pronouns

4.3.1 ‫ د‬/xud/ and ‫ آپ‬/āp/: X-self 7

These forms serve to intensify nouns or other pronouns.

(4.4) ‫ وںگ‬:‫ت‬ a ‫دڈا‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ xud ḍākt ̣ar sē bāt kar-ūṁ gā


I self doctor with talk do-1.SG.SBJV FUT.M.SG
‘I myself will talk to the doctor.’

(4.5) ‫وہآپ ںآ‬

voh āp yahāṁ ā-yā


He self here came-PP.M.SG
‘He came here himself (rather than sending someone else).’

To intensify the direct object of the verb, the speaker can place ‫ د‬/xud/ after it, but this still
remains ambiguous, as in the following sentence, where ‫ د‬/xud/ could refer to either ‫ ب‬/mæṁ̇ /
or a ‫ ڈا‬/ḍākt ̣ar/:

(4.6) ‫ وںگ‬:‫د ت‬ a ‫ب ڈا‬

mæṁ ḍākt ̣ar sē xud bāt karūṁ gā


I doctor with self talk do.1.SG.SBJV FUT.M.SG
‘I will talk to the doctor himself / I myself will talk to the doctor.’

4.3.2 6‫ ا‬/apnā/

If the subject of a verb possesses the object being talked about, then 6‫ ا‬/apnā/ one’s own must
be used, rather than the possessive personal pronoun.Remember that it is an adjective, so it must
agree with the noun it modifies. Note that the second sentence below is ungrammatical, as signaled
by the asterisk.

(4.7) ‫ ؤ‬6‫ل‬ ‫ا‬

tum apn-ē bāl banāō


you own-M.PL hair do.up.IMP
‘Do up your own hair!’

7
myself, yourself, himself, herself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves

73
Pronouns

(4.8) ‫ ؤ‬6‫رے ل‬

* tum tumhār-ē bāl banā-ō


you your-M.PL hair make-IMP.2.PL
‘*Do up your own hair!’

6‫ ا‬/apnā/ can also be used with possessive personal pronouns as an emphatic:

(4.9) ‫ب‬ 5 ‫ےا‬a

mēr-ē apn-ē jūt-e kāl-ē hæṁ


my-M.PL.DIR own-M.PL.DIR shoe-M.PL.DIR black-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘My own shoes are black (as opposed to your shoes, which are white).’

4.3.3 ‫ د‬/xud/

This form expresses either an action performed by the subject without help from others or an
action that happens spontaneously:

(4.10) 6 ‫د‬ ‫ب‬

mæm nē xud kʰān-ā banā-yā


I ERG self food-M.SG make-PP.M.SG
‘I cooked the food all by myself.’

4.3.4 ‫آپ‬ ‫ ا‬/apnē āp/ and ‫ د‬9‫ د‬/xud baxud/

These phrases may be used with intransitive verbs to express an action that the subject does by
him/her/itself or of his/her/its own accord, or which occurs spontaneously:

(4.11) ‫آپگ‬ ‫د@ ارا‬

dīvār apn-ē āp gir ga-ī


wall.DIR own-OBL self fall go-PP.F.SG
‘The wall fell by itself.’

74
Pronouns

(4.12) ‫گ‬ ‫ د‬9‫دروازہ د‬

darvāzah xud baxud kʰul ga-yā


door.DIR by itself open go-PP.M.SG
‘The door opened by itself (of its own accord).’

4.3.5 ‫ب‬ ‫ آ‬/āpas mēṁ/ among selves

This phrase expresses reciprocity.

(4.13) ‫ر‬ ‫ب‬ ‫وہآ‬

voh āpas mēṁ kʰēl rah-ē tʰē


they selves among play PROG-M.PL be.PST.M.PL
‘They were playing among themselves.’

(4.14) 6 ‫ب‬ ‫بہآ‬

yeh āpas mēṁ bānt ̣ l-ō


this selves among divide take-IMP.2.PL
‘Divide this among yourselves.’

4.4 Demonstrative Pronouns

The demonstratives distinguish number (but only in the oblique case)8 and proximity (see Sec-
tion 4.1 above for a definition of the proximity terms proximal and distal):
Table 4.3 shows demonstrative pronouns.
As in English, Urdu demonstratives can function as adjectives as well as pronouns:

(4.15) ‫وہ ں‬ ‫دی‬ ‫ باس‬8

jō kitāb us nē dī tʰī voh yahāṁ hæ


REL book he ERG give be.PST.F.SG it here be.PRS.3.SG
‘That book that he/she gave is here.’

8
The verb will convey whether the subject or direct object (in the case of perfective tenses of transitive verbs) is
singular or plural.

75
Pronouns

Table 4.3: Demonstrative Pronouns

Alternate Forms
Direct Oblique
(Special Dative)

‫بہ‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ا‬


Proximal /ye/ /is/ /isē/
Singular
this this this.ACC

‫وہ‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ا‬


Distal /voh/ /us/ /usē/
that that that.ACC

‫بہ‬ ‫ان‬ ‫ا ب ~ا ب‬
Proximal /ye/ /in/ /inhēṁ /
Plural
these these these.ACC

‫وہ‬ ‫ان‬ ‫ا ب ~ا ب‬
Distal /voh/ /un/ /unhēṁ /
those those those.ACC

4.5 Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns are used in relative clauses, which are a type of clause that describes the referent
of a noun or pronoun. For example, in the English sentence Do you see that guy who just came in?
the relative clause is who just came in, and the relative pronoun is who. In Urdu, unlike English, the
relative clause usually comes first in the sentence, and it is generally followed by a parallel clause
beginning with the distal counterpart of the relative pronoun (‫ وہ‬/voh/ in the example sentence
below). This parallel clause is known as the correlative clause; for more on relative-correlative
constructions see Chapter 7.
Table 4.4 shows relative pronouns.

(4.16) ‫وہ سو ۓ‬ :‫ م‬5

jis nē kām kār li-yā voh sō jā-ē


whoever ERG work do take-PP.M.SG he sleep go-SBJV.3.SG
‘Whoever has finished his work should sleep.’

Relative adjectives and adverbs are covered in Chapter 6 and Chapter 7 respectively.

76
Pronouns

Table 4.4: Relative Pronouns

Alternate Forms
Direct Oblique With /nē/ (Special Dative)

Singular -------------
/jō/ /jis/ /jis nē/

‫ں‬ ‫ں‬
Plural
/jō/ /jin/ /jinhōṁ nē/ /jinhōṁ /

4.6 Interrogative Pronouns

Table 4.5 shows interrogative pronouns.

Table 4.5: Interrogative Pronouns

Alternatives to + @
Direct Oblique With /nē/ /kō/9

8
Singular /kyā/ /kis/ /kis nē/ /kise/
what?

‫@ن‬
/kɔn/ /kise/
who? /kis/ /kis nē/

8 B ‫ب‬
/kyā/ ----------------
Plural /kin/ /kinheṁ /
what?

‫@ن‬ B ‫ب‬
‫ں‬
/kɔn/
/kin/ /kinhōṁ nē/ /kinheṁ /
who?

9
These are analogous to the /mujʰē/, etc. forms in Section 4.2.2.

77
Pronouns

(4.17) ‫@ را‬ ‫ا‬

æmed nē kis kō mār-ā


Ahmed ERG who.OBL ACC hit-PP.M.SG
‘Whom did Ahmed hit?’

(4.18) ‫ ر‬8‫بہ‬

yeh kyā rakʰ-ā hæ


this.DIR what.DIR place-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘What is this sitting here? (lit. What’s this (thing) (someone has) put here?)’

Notes

• 8 /kyā/ can also be used as an exclamatory adjective:

(4.19) ‫رے‬ ‫ لب‬8


kyā bāl hæṁ tumhār-ē
what.DIR hair.DIR be.PRS.3.PL your-M.PL.DIR
‘What hair you have!’

• ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ can also sometimes be used as an adjective meaning which (of several)?, but it is
generally accompanied by the particle /sā/ when used this way.See Section 6.6.1 for more
details.

• Because ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ does not have distinct singular and plural forms in the direct case, the plural
can be specified by adding ‫ گ‬/lōg/10 or by repeating ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/. ‫ @ ن گ‬/kɔn lōg/ asks about the
identity of the group as a whole, whereas ‫ @ ن@ ن‬/kɔn kɔn/ is asking which particular individuals
in a group.

(4.20) ‫ںآۓ‬ ‫وہ@ ن گ‬


voh kɔn lōg tʰē jō yahāṁ ā-ē
this.DIR who people PST.PL REL here come-PP.M.PL
‘Who are those people who came here?’

The expected answer to the above question would be a type or group; for example, Those who
weren’t invited or Those from Lahore.
10
See Section 4.2.1 above.

78
Pronouns

(4.21) ‫ںآۓ‬ ‫@ ن@ ن‬
kɔn kɔn tʰē jō yahāṁ ā-ē
who who PST.M.PL REL here come-PP.M.PL
‘Who are the people who came here?’

Here the expected response would be to name individuals; for example, Ahmed, Fatima...

4.7 Indefinite Pronouns

4.7.1 @ /kōī/ some(one), any(one)

Oblique: /kisī/

With /nē/: /kisī/

@ /kōī/ is used as both a pronoun (someone, anyone) and an adjective (some, any). When used in
a negative sentence, it means no one or no, not any.

(4.22) ‫آۓگ‬ @ ‫ ک‬8

kya kal kōī ā-ē gā


Q tomorrow anyone come-SBJV.3.PL FUT.M.SG
‘Will anyone come tomorrow?’

(4.23) ‫واﻻ گ‬ @ 5‫وہان‬

voh un k-ā kōī jān-n-ē vāl-ā hō


he.DIR they POSS-M.SG some know-INF-OBL ADJ-M.SG.DIR be.SBJV.3.SG

FUT.M.SG
‘He must be some acquaintance of theirs.’

(4.24) ‫ۓگ‬ ‫ب‬ @ ‫بہ‬

yeh kʰānā kōī nahīṁ kʰā-ē gā


this.DIR food.M.SG.DIR someone NEG eat-SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘Nobody will eat this food.’

79
Pronouns

(4.25) ‫ورت ب‬a‫ص‬

mujʰ-ē kisī.OBL k-ī zarūrat nahīṁ


I-OBL anybody POSS-F.SG need NEG
‘I don’t need anybody.’

(4.26) ‫ب‬8

kitāb kisī.OBL sē bʰī lē l-ō


book anyone from INC take take-IMP.2.PL
‘Get the book from anyone.’

4.7.2 ‫ ھ‬/kucʰ/ some(thing), any(thing)

Like @/kōī/, ‫ ھ‬/kucʰ/ can be used as either a pronoun or an adjective. As a pronoun it means
something in affirmative sentences, and nothing, not anything in negative sentences.

(4.27) ‫ں ھ ب‬ ‫دس ل‬

das sāl pehlē yahāṁ kucʰ nahīṁ tʰā


ten year before here something NEG be.PST.M.SG
‘Ten years ago there was nothing here.’

As an adjective, ‫ ھ‬/kucʰ/ means some or any and modifies both uncountable and plural count
nouns, but only in the affirmative, not in negative sentences. With count nouns in the negative,
it means not any. Hence the second sentence below is ungrammatical, as signaled by the asterisk.

• Uncountable Nouns

(4.28) ‫ں ھ دل ب‬

yahāṁ kucʰ bādal hæṁ


there some cloud be.PRS.3.PL
‘There are some clouds here (in the sky).’

80
Pronouns

(4.29) ‫ب‬ ‫ں ھ دل ب‬

*yahāṁ kucʰ bādal nahīṁ hæṁ


there some cloud NEG be.PRS.3.PL
‘*There aren’t any clouds here (in the sky).’

• Count Nouns

(4.30) ‫ب‬ ‫ں ھ‬

yahāṁ kucʰ camc-ē hæṁ


here some spoon-M.PL.DIR be.PRS.3.PL
‘There are some spoons here.’

(4.31) ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ں ھ‬

yahāṁ kucʰ camc-ē nahīṁ hæṁ


here some spoon-M.PL.DIR NEG be.PRS.3.PL
‘There aren’t any spoons here.’

81
Postpositions

Chapter 5

Postpositions

Postpositions are words that come after nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases and help to convey
the grammatical or semantic relation of that noun to the other words in the sentence. They are
analogous to prepositions in English, except that prepositions come before the noun.
Examples:

• She drove to the store.

• They talked for hours about their favorite books.

• The bee hovered over the field of dandelions.

We can divide postpositions roughly into two types, with some overlap: those that express primar-
ily grammatical functions, such as possession or object-marking; and those that express spatial or
temporal relationships, such as location or extent.

5.1 Grammatical Postpositions

5.1.1 ~ ~ 5 /kā ~ kē ~ kī/

Although it functions as a postposition and therefore requires that the preceding noun be in the
oblique case, 5 /kā/ is also inflected like an adjective; that is, when used to express a possessive
relationship between two nouns, it must agree in gender, number, and case with the second noun,
which it can be said to qualify. The examples in the sections below illustrate this agreement.1
Table 5.1 shows the postposition 5 /kā/.
1
It is important to remember that 5 /kā/ agrees with the following noun or adjective, not with the one it follows.

82
Postpositions

Table 5.1: 5 /kā/

Direct Oblique

5
Masculine Singular
/kā/ /kē/

Masculine Plural
/kē/ /kē/

Feminine Singular & Plural


/kī/ /kī/

5.1.1.1 Possession

5.1.1.1.1 Possessive Noun Constructions with 5 /kā/

~ ~ 5 /kā ~ kē ~ kī/ expresses possession between two nouns or noun phrases. The first noun
(phrase) + 5 /ka/ can be said to form an adjectival phrase modifying or qualifying the following
one:

(5.1) ‫ ر‬5 ‫ا‬

æhmad k-ā gʰar


Ahmad.DIR POSS-M.SG.DIR house.M.SG.DIR
‘Ahmad’s house.’

(5.2) ‫ی‬h ‫ا‬

æhmad k-ī gʰar-̣ī


Ahmad.DIR POSS-F.SG.DIR watch-F.SG.DIR
‘Ahmad’s watch.’

(5.3) ‫ا‬

æhmad k-ē kutt-ē


Ahmad.DIR POSS-M.PL.DIR dog-M.PL.DIR
‘Ahmad’s dogs.’

83
Postpositions

(5.4) ‫ ں‬6 ‫ا‬

æhmad k-ī cāb-īyāṁ


Ahmad.DIR POSS-F.PL.DIR key-F.PL.DIR
‘Ahmad’s keys.’

(5.5) ‫ را‬5 ‫ڑ‬

ciṛīy-ā k-ā pinjar-ā


bird-F.SG.DIR POSS-M.SG.DIR cage-M.SG.DIR
‘the bird’s cage’

(5.6) ‫رے ب‬ ‫ڑ‬

ciṛīy-ā k-ē pinjar-ē mæṁ


bird-F.SG.DIR POSS-M.SG.OBL cage-M.SG.OBL in
‘in the bird’s cage’

5.1.1.1.2 Types of Possession

Urdu uses different postpositions depending on what sort of object is possessed:

1. Inalienable possession: ~ ~ 5 /kā ~ kē ~ kī/ is used to express possession of things that


one usually, customarily, or intrinsically has, such as relatives, body parts, a home, etc.:2

(5.7) ‫ں ب‬ ‫ا‬
nida k-ī māṁ nahīṁ hæ
Neda.DIR POSS-F.SG.DIR mother.F.SG.DIR NEG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Neda has no mother.’

(5.8) ‫ردروازے ب‬ ‫گ ڑی‬


gāṛ-ī k-ē cār darvāz-ē hæṁ
car-F.SG.DIR POSS-M.PL.DIR four door-M.PL.DIR be.PRS.3.PL
‘The car has four doors.’
2
Note that in speech the word /hæ/ in the first sentence, Neda has no mother, is optional; in fact, a negative
sentence such as this would more commonly omit /hæ/. Its presence here would indicate contrastive emphasis (as
in re-affirming an assertion, or contradicting one with contradictory meaning).

84
Postpositions

(5.9) ‫گ ڑی‬
šāhid k-ī gāṛī hæ
Shahid POSS-F.SG car be.PRS.3.SG
‘Shahid has a car.’

2. Alienable possession: ‫س‬ /kē pās/ is used to express (temporary) possession or control
of physical or tangible things:
(5.10) ‫سگ ڑی‬
šāhid k-ē pās gāṛī hæ
Shahid POSS-OBL side car be.PRS.3.SG
‘Shahid does have a car (or Shahid has the car).’

Contrast the sentence above with the previous one. In the previous sentence it is obvious
the car is Shahid’s (inalienable). But in this sentence, the car may or may not be Shahid’s;
the car is simply in Shahid’s possession.

(5.11) ‫ب‬ ‫ے ب‬a @‫س‬ 5


kāšif k-ē pās kōī kapṛ-ē nahīṁ hæṁ
Kashif.DIR POSS-OBL near none cloth-M.PL.DIR NEG be.PRS.3.PL
‘Kashif has no clothes.’

(5.12) ‫گ ڑی‬ ‫سا‬ a


umær k-ē pās ek gāṛ-ī hæ
Umair.DIR POSS-OBL near one car-F.SG.DIR be.PRS.3.SG
‘Umair has one car.’

3. Intangible possession: See Section 5.1.2 below.


(5.13) ‫ ب‬5 ‫ا‬
æhmad k-ā xūb carc-ā hæ
Ahmad.DIR POSS-M.SG.DIR a lot fame-M.SG.DIR be.PRS.3.SG
‘Ahmad is very famous (lit. has a lot of fame).’

5.1.1.2 Compound Postpositions Using 5 /kā/

In all of these, 5 /kā/ is inflected to agree with the oblique noun or adjective.

5.1.1.2.1 5 /kā/ + oblique noun + postposition

• ‫و ہ‬ /kī vajah sē/ because of, on account of (‫ و ہ‬/vajah/ (f.), reason, cause)

85
Postpositions

(5.14) ‫ںآ ں‬ ‫ب < و ہ‬


mēṁ sād k-ī vajah sē yahāṁ ā-ī hūṁ
I.DIR Saad POSS-F.SG.DIR reason from here come-PP.F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I came here/have come here because of Saad.’

• /kē sabab sē/ because of ( /sabab/ (m.), reason, cause)3

(5.15) ‫آجبہ ہآ د‬ ‫ا‬


xudā k-ē sabab sē āj yeh jagah ābād
God.DIR POSS-OBL reason from today this.DIR place.F.SG.DIR inhabited.DIR

be.PRS.3.SG
‘This place is thriving because of God.’

• ( ) > ‫ذر‬ /kē zarīē (sē)/ by means of (‫ ذر> ہ‬/zarīa/ (m.), means)4

(5.16) ‫ذر > و ں ب‬ ‫گ ڑی‬


ham gāṛ-ī k-ē zarīē vahāṁ jā-ēṁ g-ē
we.DIR car-F.SG.DIR POSS-OBL means there go-SBJV.1.PL FUT-M.PL
‘We will go there by car.’

• ‫ورب‬ /kē taur par/ as, by way of (‫ ور‬/taur/ (m.), manner, way)5

(5.17) ‫ں‬ :‫ل‬ ‫ورب ا‬ a @‫ ب‬8‫ب اس‬


mēṁ is kitāb kō mēz-Ø k-ē taur par istamāl
I.DIR this.OBL book ACC table-F.SG.OBL POSS-OBL manner on use
kar-t-ī hūṁ
do-IP-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I use this book as a table.’

• ‫ب‬ /kē muqābilē mēṁ / in comparison with (‫ہ‬ /muqābila/ (m.), contrast, comparison,
opposite)
3
The word /sabab/ can also be used without /sē/.
4
This construction has a reversed form, ‫ ر> ہ‬/bazarīa-e-X/, using the Persian preposition /ba/, which is used less
frequently. See Section 5.1.1.2.5 below.
5
This construction also has a reversed form, ‫ ور‬/bataur-e-X/, with the same Persian preposition /ba/. See Sec-
tion 5.1.1.2.5 below.

86
Postpositions

(5.18) ‫و‬ 5 ‫ب‬ ‫اب ا‬


ali ibrāhīm k-ē muqābil-ē mēṁ kāfī cʰōt ̣-ā
Ali.DIR Ibrahim.OBL POSS-OBL reason-M.SG.OBL in quite small-M.SG.DIR

be.PRS.3.SG
‘Ali is quite a bit shorter/younger/smaller in comparison to Ibrahim.’

5.1.1.2.2 5 /kā/ + oblique noun

• ‫ھ‬ /kē sātʰ/ with (‫ھ‬ /sātʰ/ (m.), company)

(5.19) ‫ ن ۓ‬5‫ھد‬ ‫ر ز‬
maryam zænab k-ē sātʰ dukān jā-ē gī
Maryam.DIR Zainab.OBL POSS-OBL company store go-SBJV.3.SG FUT.F.SG
‘Maryam will go to the store with Zainab.’

• ‫ف‬ /kē xilāf/ against, contrary to (‫ف‬ /xilāf/ (m.)(adv.), opposition)

(5.20) ‫ت ب ب ں‬ @‫ف‬ ‫د‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ mahmūd k-ē xilāf kōī bāt nahīṁ sun-ūṁ g-ī
I.DIR Mahmoud POSS-OBL opposition any talk NEG hear-SBJV.1.SG FUT-F.SG
‘I will not hear any talk against Mahmoud.’

• ‫وا‬ /kē vāstē/ for, in order to (‫ و ہ‬/vāsta/ (m.), connection, reason)

(5.21) ‫ں‬ ‫ریر دار‬ ‫وا‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ ālī k-ē vāst-ē tumhār-ī rišt-ē dār
I.DIR Ali POSS-OBL connection-M.SG.OBL your-F.SG relation-M.SG.OBL posessor
hō-t-ī hūṁ
be-IMP-F.SG be-1.SG
‘I am your relative through Ali.’

• ‫رف‬ /kī taraf/ towards (‫ رف‬/taraf/ (f.), direction, way, side)

(5.22) ‫رف گ‬ ‫ڑی‬


kʰilāṛī gænd k-ī taraf bʰāg-ā
player.DIR ball.OBL POSS-F.SG.OBL side.OBL run-PP.M.SG
‘The player ran towards the ball.’

• ‫ہ‬ /kī jagah/ in place of (‫ہ‬ /jagah/ (f.), place)

87
Postpositions

(5.23) 6‫ہ ران@ ا د‬ ‫ا‬


salīm nē amjad k-ī jagah imrān kō ustād-Ø
Saleem ERG Amjad.OBL POSS-F.SG.OBL place.OBL Imran ACC teacher-DIR
ban-ā-yā
make-CAUS-PP.M.SG
‘Selim appointed Imran as the teacher in Amjad’s place.’

• ‫وہ‬ /kē ilāvah/ in addition to, besides (‫وہ‬ /ilāvah ~ alāvah/ (m.), superaddition)

(5.24) @ ‫وہ ب‬ ‫ر‬:‫را> ہ‬


rābiah arbī k-ē ilāvah paštō bʰī bōl-t-ī hæ
Rabiah.DIR Arabic POSS-OBL addition Pashto INC speak-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Rabiah speaks Pashto in addition to Arabic.’

‫وہ‬ /kē ilāvah/ can also be circumfixed around the noun, as ‫وہ‬ __ /ilāvah X kē/:
(5.25) @ ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬:‫را> ہ وہ‬
rābiah ilāvah arabi k-ē paštō bʰī bōl-t-ī hæ
Rabiah.DIR addition Arabic POSS-OBL Pashto INC speak-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Rabiah speaks Pashto in addition to Arabic.’

This latter usage is rare, however.

5.1.1.2.3 5 /kā/ + oblique adjective

In this construction, 5 /kā/ always takes the form /kē/ in agreement with the oblique adjective
(e.g., /mutāliq/, /mutābiq/, etc.)

• /kē mutāliq/ about ( /mutāliq/ connected with)

(5.26) ‫ب ھ ب ہ‬ ‫ری‬:
šaīrī k-ē mutāliq mæṁ kucʰ nahīṁ keh sak-t-ī
poetry POSS-OBL connection I.DIR anything NEG say be.able-IP-F.SG
‘I can’t say anything about poetry.’

• @ /kē mutābiq/ according to ( @ /mutābiq/ conformable, similar)

(5.27) ‫ش ب ر‬ @ @‫سق‬ @ ‫ر‬:


šāir k-ē mutābiq āšiq kō kōī hōš nahīṁ reh-t-ā
poet POSS-OBL similar lover ACC any awareness NEG stay-IP-M.SG
‘According to the poet, the lover has no awareness (of the world).’

88
Postpositions

• ‫ب اب‬ /kē barābar/ equal to, similar to, next to ( ‫ ب اب‬/barābar/ even, level, equal6 )

(5.28) ‫ب اب‬ ‫ ر ن‬6 5a


jahāngīr k-ā pīyār-Ø majnūn k-ē barābar hæ
Jihangir.DIR POSS-M.SG.DIR love-DIR Majnoon POSS-OBL equal be.PRS.3.SG
‘Jihangir’s love is equal to that of Majnoon.’

(Majnoon is the lover of Layla in Arabic and Persian poetic tradition.)

(5.29) ( ‫ب اب ) ب‬ ‫ ن‬5‫ا رد‬a


mēr-ā gʰar dukān kē barābar (mēṁ ) hæ
my-M.SG.DIR house.DIR store.OBL POSS-M.SG.OBL next.to (at) be.PRS.3.SG
‘My house is next to the store.’

5.1.1.2.4 5 /kā/ + adverb7

• > /kē bād/8 after ( > /bād/ afterwards, later)

(5.30) ‫ ن‬5‫ھب د‬ >


mahal k-ē bād sīdʰ-ē hāth par dukān-Ø hæ
palace POSS-OBL after right-M.SG.OBL side on store-DIR be.PRS.3.SG
‘After the palace, on the right hand side, there is a/the shop.’

• /kē pīcʰē/9 behind, after ( /pīcʰā/ behind, after)

(5.31) ‫ار‬h ‫وا‬ ‫ا‬a ‫ا‬


akbar apn-e vālid k-ē pīcʰ-ē kʰaṛ-ā rah-ā
Akbar.DIR own-OBL father POSS-OBL behind-OBL stand-M.SG PROG-M.SG
‘Akbar kept standing behind his father.’

• ‫اوب‬ /kē ūpar/ above ( ‫ اوب‬/ūpar/ above, up, over)

(5.32) ‫گ‬ ‫اوب‬ ‫اس رے‬


is kamr-ē k-ē ūpar k-ī cʰat gir ga-ī
this.DIR room-M.SG.OBL POSS-OBL above POSS-F.SG roof fall go-PP.F.SG
‘The roof over this room collapsed.’

6
From the Persian ‫ ب اب‬/bar-ā-bar/ side by side.
7
Some of the following postpositions are actually cases of 5 /kā/ + oblique noun. However, some oblique nouns
function adverbially and are often perceived as adverbs rather than oblique nouns.
8
Oblique noun.
9
Oblique noun.

89
Postpositions

(5.33) ‫اور‬ ‫اوب اس‬ ‫ا‬


ek ɣaltī k-ē ūpar us nē ɔr ɣaltī ki
one mistake POSS-OBL above he ERG another mistake do.PP
‘On top of one mistake he made another.’

• ‫س‬ /kē pās/ near 10 (‫ س‬/pās/ (m.)(adv.), near; side)

(5.34) ‫و‬ : ‫س‬ ‫ب‬


yāsmīn k-ē pās jā-kar bæt ̣ʰ-ō
Yasmeen POSS-OBL near go-CP sit-IMP.2.PL
‘Go sit near/next to Yasmeen!’

• ‫سوا‬ /kē sivā/ except for (‫ سوا‬/sivā/ apart from)

(5.35) ‫ب‬ @ ‫سوا‬ ‫ن‬


majnūn lælā k-ē sivā kisī kō nahīṁ cāh-t-ā
Majnoon.DIR Leila POSS-OBL except anybody ACC NEG want-IP-M.SG
‘Majnoon doesn’t love anybody except Leila.’

5.1.1.2.5 ( 5 /kā/) + Perso-Arabic preposition + oblique noun

• a> /kē baɣær/ without (< Arabic ‫ ب‬/bi-/ with + a /ɣayr/ other via Persian)

(5.36) ‫گ ڑی ب‬a >


cābī k-ē baɣær gāṛī-Ø nahīṁ cal-t-ī
key POSS-OBL without car-DIR NEG work-IP-F.SG
‘A car doesn’t work without a key.’

• ‫ۓ‬9 /kē bajāē/, /kī bajāē/, instead of (< Per. /ba/ with, by + /jā/ (f.), place)

(5.37) ‫آ‬ 5‫ ۓ‬9 ‫وہ ۓ‬


voh cāē k-ē bajāē kāfī-Ø lē ā-yā
he tea POSS-OBL instead coffee-DIR bring come-PP.M.SG
‘Instead of tea he brought coffee.’

• ‫و د‬ /kē bāvujūd/ in spite of (< Per. /bā/ with + ‫ و د‬/vujūd/ (m.), existence)
10
Oblique noun. In addition, also shows possession, see list item 2 in Section 5.1.1.1.2.

90
Postpositions

(5.38) ‫و د رآ‬ @
pōlīs-Ø hō-n-ē k-ē bāvujūd cōr-Ø ā-yā
police-DIR be-INF-OBL POSS-OBL in.spite thief-DIR come-PP.M.SG
‘In spite of the police (presence), the thief came.’

• ‫ف‬ ‫ب‬ /kē bar xilāf/ contrary to (< Per. ‫ ب‬/bar/ on, over +‫ف‬ /xilāf/ (m.), opposition)

(5.39) @‫گ ں‬ ‫ہا ادس‬C ‫ں‬ ‫ف ب بہ‬ ‫ب‬ ‫؛اس‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب ا‬


mæṁ æs-ī pālisī nahīṁ cāh-t-ā is k-ē bar xilāf mæṁ
I this-F.SG policy NEG want-IP-M.SG this POSS-OBL on contrary I
yeh cāh-t-ā hūṁ keh imdād sab lōg-ōṁ kō mil-ē
this want-IP-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG that aid all people-M.SG.OBL ACC recieve-3.PL
‘I don’t want such a policy; on the contrary, I want the aid to be received by all the people.’

• ‫در ن‬ /kē darmiyān/ between, among (< Per. ‫ در‬/dar/ in + ‫ن‬ /miyān/ (m.), the middle)

(5.40) ‫ب آ‬ @‫در ن‬ ‫ااور‬


nidā aur alī k-ē darmīyān kōī nahīṁ ā sak-t-ā
Neda and Ali POSS-OBL between nobody NEG come be.able-IP-M.SG
‘Nobody can come between Neda and Ali.’

• ‫ ر> ہ‬/bazarīa-e-X/ by means of X (< Per. /ba/ with, by + ‫ ذر> ہ‬/zarīa/ (m.), means)11

(5.41) ‫زش‬ ‫ ہبہ@ اس ا‬6 ‫د ر> ہا ت ب وزب‬


mahmūd bazarīa-e-intaxābāt nahīṁ vazīr banā balke
Mahmood.DIR by.means-of-elections NEG minister be.made-PP.M.SG rather
yeh tō us-kī ēk sāziš tʰī
this.DIR EMPH his-F.SG one conspiracy be.PST.F.SG
‘Mahmood didn’t become a minister through elections; rather, this was a conspiracy (of
his).’

• ‫ ور‬/bataur-e-X/ as, by way of X (< Per. /ba/ with + ‫ ور‬/taur/ (m.), manner)12

(5.42) ‫ں‬ :‫ا ل‬a ‫ ب@ ور‬8‫ب اس‬


mēṁ is kitāb kō bataur-e-mēz istāmāl kar-t-ī
I.DIR this.DIR book.OBL ACC in.the.manner-of-table use do-IP-F.SG
hūṁ
be.PRS.1.SG
‘I use this book as a table.’
11
This is a reversed form. See Section 5.1.1.2.1 above.
12
This is a reversed form, rare in spoken Urdu, of ‫ورب‬ /ke taur par/. See Section 5.1.1.2.1 above.

91
Postpositions

5.1.1.3 With Objects

Some verbs use 5 /kā/ to mark their objects. See Section 5.3 below for examples.

5.1.2 @ /kō/

5.1.2.1 Indirect Objects

@ /kō/ marks all indirect objects.

(5.43) !‫دو‬ @‫اس@ رت‬

us ɔrat kō kʰān-ā d-ō


that woman ACC food-M.SG.DIR give-IMP.2.PL
‘Give food to that woman!’

(5.44) ‫@ ﻻتبہ رو‬

kut-ē kō lāt nah mār-ō


dog-M.SG.OBL ACC kick NEG hit-IMP.2.PL
‘Don’t kick (lit. hit with a kick) the dog!’

5.1.2.2 Direct Objects

Animate direct objects are usually marked by @ /kō/, unless:

1. The speaker wishes to show that the direct object is unspecified (by putting the direct object
in the direct case), or
2. the verb is one that takes a different postposition13 to mark what would be a direct object
in English.

Inanimate direct objects are not usually marked with a postposition, but may be under certain
circumstances; i.e., to indicate strong, directed action toward the direct object, or to stress the
affectedness of the direct object.

(5.45) ‫ری‬ ‫و @ ﻻت ب‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē jāvēd kō lāt nahīṁ mār-ī


I ERG Javed ACC kick NEG hit-PP.F.SG
‘I did not kick Javed.’

13
5 /kā/, /se/, ‫ ب‬/par/

92
Postpositions

(5.46) ‫ب د‬ @ ‫و‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē jāvēd k-ē kutt-ē kō nahīṁ dækʰ-ā


I ERG Javed POSS-M.SG.OBL dog-M.SG.OBL ACC NEG see-PP.M.SG
‘I did not see Javed’s dog.’

(5.47) ‫ب د‬ 8 @ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē kōī kutt-ā nahīṁ dækʰ-ā


I ERG any dog-M.SG.DIR NEG see-PP.M.SG
‘I didn’t see any dog.’

(5.48) ‫ۓ‬ ‫و‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē jāvēd k-ē jūt-ē camk-ā-ē


I ERG Javed POSS-M.PL shoe-M.PL.DIR shine-CAUS-PP.M.PL
‘I shined Javed’s shoes.’

(5.49) ‫ۓ‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē jūt-ē camk-ā-ē


I ERG shoe-M.PL.DIR shine-CAUS-PP.M.PL
‘I shined shoes.’

5.1.2.3 Subjects (Indirect Constructions)

In many Urdu sentences, the semantic subject of the verb takes @ /kō/, while the verb agrees with
what would be the object in the English gloss. These are referred to as indirect or impersonal con-
structions or dative subjects, and the noun is called the logical subject, or sometimes the experiencer
subject. It is regarded as the subject even though it does not agree with the verb because it con-
trols the reflexive possessive pronoun 6‫ ا‬/apnā/14 , can be the subject of a conjunctive participial
clause15 , and usually comes first in the sentence.
These constructions generally have to do with a subjective experience of the subject; for example,
liking, remembering, feeling. The verbs commonly used in indirect constructions are /hōnā/ to
be, /ānā/ to come, ‫ بڑ‬/paṛnā/ to fall, and /lagnā/ to be applied, attached.
14
See Section 4.3.2.
15
See Chapter 8.

93
Postpositions

(5.50) ‫ری‬ ‫ا @د ہ‬

āhmed kō damah k-ī bīmārī hō ga-ī


Ahmed ACC asthma POSS-F.SG disease become go-PP.F.SG
‘Ahmed developed (the disease of) asthma.’

(5.51) ‫ا@ @ ٹ‬

abbū kō cōt ̣ lag-ī


dad ACC wound attach-PP.F.SG
‘Dad got hurt.’

(5.52) ‫@ بڑ‬a ‫ا‬

akbar kō paṛh-n-ā ā-t-ā hæ


Akbar ACC read-INF-M.SG.DIR come-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Akbar can read.’

5.1.2.4 Possession of Intangible Objects16

@ /kō/ is used to express the possession of intangible or abstract things like time, illness, etc.

(5.53) ‫ری‬ ‫آ @د‬

āsim kō dam-ē k-ī bīmārī hæ


Asim ACC asthma-M.SG.OBL POSS-F.SG disease be.PRS.3.SG
‘Asim has asthma.’

(5.54) ‫ ڈر ب‬5 @‫ہ‬

āiša kō kisī.OBL k-ā ḍār nahīṁ


Aisha ACC anyone POSS-M.SG fear.DIR NEG
‘Aisha fears nobody.’

5.1.3 /nē/

/nē/ was historically used only in the perfective tenses, where it obligatorily marks the logical
16
See Section 5.1.1.1.2 above.

94
Postpositions

subject of transitive verbs, verbs that take an object. In these constructions, the subject is in the
oblique case, and the direct object, when not marked with @ /kō/, is in the direct case. The verb
agrees with the direct object. /nē/ is not used if the verb is intransitive, and in non-perfective
cases of transitive verbs.
Some grammarians call /nē/ an ergative marker.17

(5.55) ‫ا ن‬

īmān nē kʰān-ā kʰā-yā


Iman ERG food-M.SG.DIR eat-PP.M.SG
‘Iman ate the food.’

(5.56) 6‫ڈا‬ ّ‫ا‬

ammī nē mujʰē bahot ḍāṁ t ̣-ā


mom ERG me.OBL a lot yell-PP.M.SG
‘Mom yelled at/scolded me a lot.’

It has been observed that the use of /nē/, particularly in Pakistani Urdu, appears to be evolv-
ing. It can be used with certain intransitive verbs, for example, to indicate purposefulness, or
volitionality, on the part of the subject.18

(5.57) ‫رام‬

rām kʰāṁ s-ā


Ram cough-PP.M.SG
‘Ram coughed.’

versus

(5.58) ‫رام‬

rām nē kʰāṁ s-ā


Ram ERG cough-PP.M.SG
‘Ram coughed (purposefully).’

Which intransitive verbs can take /nē/ varies by dialect, with Delhi Urdu’s list considerably
shorter than, say Pakistani Urdu’s.
Pakistani Urdu has developed another use of /nē/ in infinitive constructions, where it contrasts
with @ /kō/. If @ /kō/ follows the subject, the implication is that the action takes place as a result
17
See Section 8.5 for more discussion of /nē/ as an ergative marker.
18
This observation and the following two sentences are from Bashir (1999).

95
Postpositions

of external circumstances; that is, the subject is obliged or compelled. But the use of /nē/
after the subject implies either volition on the part of the subject or neutrality with reference to
the subject’s intent. (See Section 8.6.3.2.1.)

5.2 Spatial-Temporal Postpositions

5.2.1 /sē/

In a general sense, the semantics of /sē/ may be viewed as having to do with the origin of an
action: its place of origin; its time of origin (time from which); or its instrument, cause, or agent.

5.2.1.1 Ablative Use (Place and Time)

“Ablative” refers to movement away from something; in the case of Urdu, this movement can be
in either time or space, so /sē/ in its ablative sense usually means from (spatial) or for, since
(temporal).

(5.59) ‫ب‬ ‫ک‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē kal sē kʰān-ā nahīṁ kʰā-yā hæ


I ERG yesterday from food-M.SG.DIR NEG eat-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘I haven’t eaten since yesterday.’

(5.60) ‫آ‬ ‫ا‬:

mīnā karācī sē ā-ī hæ


Mina.DIR Karachi from come-PP.F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Mina has come (here) from Karachi.’

5.2.1.2 Instrumental/Agentive Use

• Instrumental: /sē/ indicates the instrument of an action:


(5.61) 5 ‫ری‬ ‫ب‬
mæm nē cʰurī sē sēb-Ø kāt ̣-ā
I ERG knife from apple-DIR cut-PP.M.SG
‘I cut the apple with a knife.’

96
Postpositions

• Agentive: /sē/ also marks the logical subject of verbs that convey involuntary action, which
Urdu expresses through intransitive verbs, verbs that do not take an object:19

(5.62) ‫گ س@ ڑا‬ ‫ھ‬


mujʰ sē glās t ̣ōṛ-ā
me from glass.DIR break-PP.M.SG
‘I broke the glass (by accident).’

(5.63) ‫گ س@ ڑا‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ nē glās t ̣ōṛ-ā
I ERG glass.DIR break-PP.M.SG
‘I broke the glass (on purpose).’

• With passive verbs: /sē/ is used in two different senses with passive verbs.

1. Normal passive
(5.64) ‫گ‬ ‫دو‬
kʰān-ā jādū sē pakā-yā ga-yā
food-M.SG.DIR magic from cook-PP.M.SG go-PP.M.SG
‘The food was cooked by magic.’

2. To express incapacity
(5.65) ‫ا وا تا ظ ب‬ ‫ھ‬
mujʰ sē æsē vāhiyāt alfāz nahīṁ kah-ē jā-t-ē
I from such vulgar word.PL NEG say come-IP-M.PL
‘I can’t say such vulgar words.’

• With causative verbs: /sē/ marks the intermediate agent.

(5.66) ‫ وا‬:‫ م‬5 ‫ب‬


mæṁ nē xālid sē kām kar-vā li-yā
I ERG Khalid from work do-CAUS take-PP.M.SG
‘I got Khalid to do the work.’

5.2.1.3 Comparison

/sē/ is used in adjectival constructions to express comparison. In these instances it can be


translated as than. See Section 6.5.2.1 for examples.
19
Urdu uses different forms for a verb, depending on whether it is transitive or intransitive. This is a distinction
English does not make formally: whether we say I opened the door or the door opened, there is no difference in the verb
form, even though it is transitive in the first instance and intransitive in the second.

97
Postpositions

5.2.1.4 Adverbial Use

Added to certain types of nouns, /sē/ can form an adverbial phrase. See Section 7.1.3.1 for
examples.

5.2.1.5 With Objects

Some verbs use /sē/ to mark the words they govern (what would be their direct objects in
English). See Section 5.3 below for examples.

5.2.1.6 Postpositional Sequences

As in the English prepositional collocations out of, up from, over towards, Urdu postpositions can
combine to form more complex sequences. Such sequences with /sē/ always start with a
spatial-temporal postposition and end with /sē/, which expresses movement.

(5.67) ‫گگ‬ ‫ر ر‬

cōr gʰar k-ē pīcʰē sē bʰāg gay-ā


thief house POSS-OBL behind from run go-PP.M.SG
‘The thief ran off from behind the house.’

(5.68) ‫اوب‬ ‫وں‬ ‫ے‬a

gēnd mēr-ē hātʰ-ōṁ k-ē ūpar sē nikal ga-ī


ball.DIR my-M.PL.OBL hand-M.PL.OBL POSS-OBL above from leave go-PP.F.SG
‘The ball flew over my hands.’

5.2.2 /tak/

/tak/ shows the extent or limit of an action:

(5.69) ‫بہ‬ ‫ے ھ‬a ‫ہ‬

pæsah mēr-ē hātʰ tak nah pohoṁ c-ā


money.DIR my-M.SG.OBL hand up.to NEG reach-PP.M.SG
‘The money didn’t get into my hands (lit. did not reach my hand).’

98
Postpositions

(5.70) ‫یز ب‬a ‫بہ‬ ‫اسدر‬

us daraxt tak yeh mēr-ī zamīn hæ


that.OBL tree.OBL up.to this.DIR my-F.SG land.DIR be.PRS.3.SG
‘My land extends up to that tree (lit. until that tree is my land).’

It is also part of the idiomatic expression, Y : X /X sē lē kar Y tak/ from X to Y:

(5.71) ‫ راج‬5‫وں‬a‫ا ب‬ ‫ق‬a : ‫رب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ز‬ ‫ا‬

ēk zamān-ē mēṁ maɣrib sē lē kar mašriq tak angræz-ōṁ


one time-OBL in west from take CP east until English-M.PL.OBL
k-ā rāj tʰā
POSS-M.SG rule.M.SG be.PST.M.SG
‘At one time the English ruled from West to East.’

Note that /tak/ can sometimes be used as an emphatic particle, meaning even, as well as a
postposition. When used this way, /tak/ does not trigger the oblique case in nouns.

5.2.3 ‫ ب‬/mēṁ/

‫ ب‬/mēṁ / has the basic meaning of in, and takes on a variety of functions, listed below.

5.2.3.1 Locative

The locative use of ‫ ب‬/mēṁ / can apply to location in either space or time.

(5.72) ‫ےا ری ب ر‬a ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē apnē kapṛ-ē almārī mēṁ rakʰ-ē


I ERG own cloth-M.PL.DIR dresser in put-PP.3.M.PL
‘I put my clothes in the dresser.’

(5.73) ‫ب‬ ‫را‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ا دا‬

æhmed dāniš k-ē gʰar k-ē rāst-ē mēṁ hæ


Ahmed Danish POSS-OBL house POSS-OBL path-M.SG.OBL in be.PRS.3.SG
‘Ahmed is on the way to Danish’s house.’

99
Postpositions

(5.74) ‫ںگ‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ tum sē ēk haft-ē mēṁ mil-ūn gā


I you from one week-M.SG.OBL in meet-SBJV.1.SG FUT-M.SG
‘I’ll see you in a week.’

5.2.3.2 Change of State

(5.75) ‫ل‬ ‫ص رت@ رت ب‬ ‫@ا‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ڑ‬

cuṛēl nē apn-ē kō ēk xūbsūrat ɔrat mēṁ badal li-yā


witch ERG self-OBL ACC one beautiful woman to change take-PP.M.SG
‘The witch turned herself into a beautiful woman.’

5.2.3.3 Cost in Time/Money

This usage often occurs with with the verb /lagnā/ to be applied.

(5.76) ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ڑ ں@ دو ررو‬ ‫ا‬

æs-ī cūṛ-iyāṁ tō dō cār rūp-ē mēṁ mil ja-t-ī


like.these-F bangle-F.PL.DIR EMPH two four rupee-OBL in get go-IMP-F.SG
hæṁ
be.PRS.3.PL
‘Such bangles can be bought for a couple of rupees.’

(5.77) ‫ۓگ‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ م ر‬5‫بہ‬

yeh kām cār minat ̣ mēṁ hō jā-ē gā


this.DIR work.DIR four minute in be go-SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘This work will be done in four minutes.’

100
Postpositions

5.2.3.4 After Infinitives

(5.78) ‫ب‬ ‫ذ‬ @ ‫ب‬ :‫دوری‬h

mazdūrī kar-n-ē mēṁ kōī zillat nahīṁ hæ


labor do-INF-OBL in none shame.DIR NEG be.PRS.3.SG
‘There is no shame in doing manual labor.’

(5.79) 8‫ب د‬ ‫ڑی@ ا‬

kʰilāṛī kō abʰī tak bʰī bʰāg-n-ē mēṁ dikkat hō-t-ī hæ


player ACC now until INC run-INF-OBL to trouble be-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Even now the player has trouble running.’

5.2.4 ‫ ب‬/par/ ~ ‫ بہ‬/peh/20

5.2.4.1 Locative Use

The locative sense of ‫ ب‬/par/ differs from that of ‫ ب‬/mēṁ /: ‫ ب‬/par/ expresses location on a
surface, next to something, or right at or immediately after a point in time.

(5.80) ‫ب ر‬a ‫ ب‬8

kitāb mēz par rakʰ-ī hæ


book table on put-PP.F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘The book is (has been put) on the table.’

(5.81) ‫اا ریبہر‬a

kapṛ-ā almārī peh rakʰ-ā hæ


cloth-M.SG.DIR wardrobe on place-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘The cloth is on top of the wardrobe.’

(5.82) ‫ر‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ ھ‬: 9‫ت‬

sāt baj kar cʰe minat ̣ par alī gʰar pohoṁ c-ā
seven strike CP six minute on Ali house reach-PP.3.M.SG
‘Ali reached home at six minutes past seven (o’clock).’

20
This variant occurs in both the colloquial language and poetic usage.

101
Postpositions

5.2.4.2 Motion Towards

(5.83) ‫؟‬ ‫ مبہ ؤ‬5‫آج‬

āj kām peh jā-ō gē


today work on go-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘Will you go to work today?’

(This usage is idomatic; in this sense ‫ ب‬/par/ and ‫ بہ‬/peh/ do not work for most other places; e.g.,
home, school, etc.)

5.2.4.3 After Infinitives

(5.84) ‫ر‬ ‫وک‬ ‫ہ‬C‫م ا‬ ‫ب‬ ‫د‬

kʰān-ā dēkʰ-n-ē par mālūm hu-ā keh mujʰ-ē kitn-ī


food-M.SG see-INF-OBL upon known be-PP.M.SG that me-ACC how.much-F.SG
bʰūk lag rah-ī hæ
hunger apply PROG-F.SG be.PRS.F.SG
‘Only upon seeing the food did I realize how hungry I was.’

(5.85) ‫ر‬ ‫ب‬ :‫ م‬5‫وہ‬

voh kām kar-n-ē par majbūr hæ


He/She.DIR work do-INF-OBL on obligated be.PRS.3.SG
‘He/She is obligated to work.’

5.2.4.4 With Objects

Some verbs use ‫ ب‬/par/ to mark the nouns they govern. See Section 5.3 below for examples.

5.3 Verb + Postposition Collocations

As in English, with prepositions,21 many Urdu verbs take particular postpositions with their ob-
jects. Which postposition to use with a particular verb is called a lexical property of that verb; that
is, it is intrinsic to the verb. It must therefore be memorized by speakers.
The postpositions that occur with verbs are:
21
Compare English wait for, look at, etc.

102
Postpositions

• @ /ko/, as in ‫ @ د‬/ko dēkʰnā/ to look at

• 5 /kā/, as in ‫ ذ ہ‬5 /kā zimma lēnā/ to become responsible for

• /sē/, as in /sē gutʰnā/ to start a fight with

• ‫ ب‬/par/, as in : ‫رو‬ ‫ ب‬/par bʰarosā karnā/ to rely on

(5.86) !‫ ھب بہ ؤ‬، 8 ‫ م ب‬5 @ ‫ب‬


mæṁ nē kōī ɣalat kām nahīṁ ki-yā mujʰ par nah cillā-ō
I ERG any wrong work NEG do-PP.M.SG me on NEG yell-IMP.2.PL
‘I didn’t do anything wrong; don’t yell at me!’

(5.87) ‫ب ڈر‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ jinn sē nahīṁ ḍar-t-ā
I jinn from NEG fear-IP-M.SG
‘I’m not afraid of jinns (evil spirits).’

5.4 Prepositions

Although postpositions predominate, Urdu has borrowed a few prepositions from both Persian
and Arabic. Most are listed in Urdu dictionaries.

5.4.1 Persian Prepositions22

Urdu has borrowed several Persian prepositions. They are usually written as part of the noun they
go with, with the exceptions of ‫ از‬/az/, ‫ ب‬/bar/, /bē/, and /tā/:

• ‫ از‬/az/ from, of, by (authorship)


‫ از د‬/az xūd/ of one’s own accord (‫ د‬/xūd/ self )

• ‫ب‬،‫ بہ‬/ba/ with, by


‫ دنبہذن‬/din ba din/ day by day

• /bā/ with, along with


‫ ا ق‬/bā ixlāq/ moral (‫ ا ق‬/ixlāq/ moral )
‫ اب‬/bā asr/ effective ( ‫ اب‬/asr/ effect)

• ‫ ب‬/bar/ on, over

‫ ب‬/bar aks/ on the contrary ( /aks/ converse)


22
With the exception of /bē/ and /bā/, which are somewhat productive, the prepositions below are extremely
rare outside of certain frozen expressions.

103
Postpositions

• /bē/ without 23
‫ن‬ /bē jān/ lifeless (‫ ن‬/jān/ life, soul)
‫ہ‬ /bē qāida/ abnormal (‫ہ‬ /qāida/ rule, base)
‫ر‬ /bē rang/ achromatic, colorless ( ‫ ر‬/rang/ color)

• ‫ در‬/dar/ in
‫ در‬/dar haqīqat/ actually, in truth ( /haqīqat/ truth)

• /tā/ up to
‫ دن رات‬/din tā rāt/ from morning to night

Four of these--‫ ب‬/ba/, /bā/, ‫ ب‬/bar/, and ‫ در‬/dar/--combine with nouns to form compound
postpositions. See Section 5.1.1.2.5 above.

5.4.2 Arabic Prepositions

Urdu uses many Arabic prepositions. Among them are:

• /fī/ per
Examples:
‫ی‬ /fī sadī/ per cent
‫ ا ل‬/fī-l-hāl/ for now
ّ
‫ ا نﷲ‬/fī imān allāh/ in the protection of God (said as a farewell)

• ‫ ب‬/bi/ with, in
Examples:
ّ
‫ ﷲ‬/bi-sm allāh/ in the name of God

/bi-l-kul/ completely
‫رض‬ /bi-l-farz/ for example

• ‫ ل‬/li/ for, to
Example:
‫ّہ‬ ‫ ا‬/al-hamdu li-llāh/ praise be to God

23
Compare the English prefixes a-, an-, un-, and the suffix -less.

104
Adjectives

Chapter 6

Adjectives

6.1 Inflection

Urdu adjectives fall into two broad classes: marked and unmarked. As with the noun classes
discussed in Chapter 3, unmarked adjectives have a bare stem in the citation form, while marked
adjectives employ a masculine direct singular suffix.
Marked adjectives agree with the nouns they modify in gender, number, and case, through a small
set of inflectional suffixes. Unmarked adjectives, unlike unmarked nouns, have only a single,
invariant form.
Since adjectives are inflected for the same features that nouns are inflected for, the formal gram-
mar’s listing of morphosyntactic features for nouns (given in Chapter 3) suffices for adjectives as
well.

6.1.1 Marked (Inflected) Adjectives

The normal inflectional paradigm has three endings: ‫ ا‬/-ā/ (masculine singular direct, the citation
form); ‫ ے‬/-ē/ (masculine singular and plural oblique); and ‫ ی‬/-ī/ (all feminine forms).

6.1.1.1 Masculine and Feminine

Table 6.1 shows the declension of the regular inflected (“marked”) adjective ‫ و‬/cʰōt ̣ā/ small.
The formal grammar for inflected (“marked”) adjectives is given below.

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="adjective" abbreviation="A">


<!-- Declension class markers -->
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls1" id="classAdjPlain"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls2" id="classAdjNasal"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls3" id="classAdjUnmarked"/>
<!-- Slots -->
<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="AdjGenderCaseNumber" id="slotAdjGenCaseNum">

105
Adjectives

Table 6.1: Marked Adjectival Inflection

Direct Oblique Vocative Plural (all cases)

‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬


Masculine
cʰōt ̣ā cʰōt ̣ē cʰōt ̣ē cʰōt ̣ē

‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬ ‫و‬

Feminine cʰōt ̣ī cʰōt ̣ī cʰōt ̣ī cʰōt ̣ī

<!--Four of these are "real" suffixes, while the fifth is a dummy (null)
suffix that attaches to "unmarked adjectives." This makes the
analysis of unmarked adjectives parallel to that of unmarked
nouns, although unmarked nouns do take non-null suffixes in some
paradigm cells.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjMascSgDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjMascSgOblVoc"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjMascPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjFem"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afUnmarkedAdjSuffix"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Templates -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotAdjGenCaseNum"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

The suffixes marking gender, number and case on adjectives are defined here.

<!--The suffixes for 'marked' (= inflected) adjectives are defined based on


the morphosyntactic features they mark: gender, case and number. These
suffixes are restricted to appearing only on nouns marked with particular
declension classes. A null suffix is also defined for unmarked adjectives,
see below for discussion.
-->

<!--Masculine-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascSgDirect' id='afAdjMascSgDirect'>

106
Adjectives

<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ā , used on most marked adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ا‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjPlain'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -āṁ , used on nasal declension class adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'اں‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjNasal'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascSgOblVoc' id='afAdjMascSgOblVoc'>


<!-- Masculine singular oblique and vocative are syncretic,
as is the masculine plural; we capture the singular here,
and the plural as a separate homophonous suffix below.
-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē , used on most marked adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ے‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjPlain'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<!-- -ēṁ , used on nasal declension class adjectives-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjNasal'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:vAlt>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvOblique'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvVocative'/>
</Fs:vAlt>

107
Adjectives

</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-MascPl' id='afAdjMascPl'>


<!-- Masculine plural. Homophonous with the masculine singular
oblique/vocative above. (The feminine suffix of the nasal declension
is also homographic with the masculine plural of the nasal declension,
but not homophonous.)
-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē , used on most marked adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ے‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjPlain'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<!-- -ēṁ , used on nasal declension class adjectives-->
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjNasal'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<!--Since this is used for all three cases, we don't mention
the case feature here.-->
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--Feminine-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='-Fem' id='afAdjFem'>
<!--Syncretic in all three cases, singular and plural -->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ī , used on most marked adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+‫'ی‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjPlain'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -īṁ , used on nasal declension class adjectives-->
<Ph:Form spelling='+ ‫'ب‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjNasal'/>

108
Adjectives

</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<!--Since this is used for all three cases and for both singular
and plural, we don't mention the case or number features here.
-->
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--Unmarked Adjectives are treated here by assigning a null suffix to them.


This essentially encodes an analysis that makes unmarked adjectives
parallel to unmarked nouns, even though unmarked nouns, unlike unmarked
adjectives, have some non-null suffixes in the plural.
An alternative analysis would be to treat unmarked adjectives as a slightly
different part of speech from marked adjectives, and not assign an affix
template to the unmarked adjectives. Such an analysis would fail to
capture the fact that the syntax of marked and unmarked adjectives is the
same.
-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss='' id='afUnmarkedAdjSuffix'>
<!--This is truly a null suffix: no gloss, no form, and no morpho-
syntactic features.-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling='+'/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref='classAdjUnmarked'/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!--No need to worry about features-->
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

6.1.1.2 Direction and Numbers

The ordinal numbers and the words for right and left nasalize these inflectional endings: ‫ اں‬/-āṁ /
(masculine direct singular, the citation form); ‫ ب‬/-ēṁ / (masculine oblique and plural); and ‫ب‬
/-īṁ / (all feminine forms).
Note that in the citation form, the long ‫ ا‬/ā/ vowels of the stem and the masculine singular di-
rect ending must be separated by a glide, ‫ ی‬/y/. This alternation also occurs in the perfective
participles; see Section 8.1.4.
Table 6.2 shows suffix ‫ ں‬/-ṁ / marking gender, number, and case on adjectives.

6.1.1.3 Agreement with Multiple Nouns

Adjectives modifying noun sequences generally agree with the nearest noun in number and gender.

109
Adjectives

Table 6.2: ‫ ں‬/-ṁ / Inflection

Direct Oblique Vocative Plural (all cases)

‫دا ں‬
‫دا ب‬ ‫دا ب‬ ‫دا ب‬
Masculine /dāyāṁ / /dāeṁ / /dāeṁ / /dāeṁ /
right

‫ں‬
‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬
/bāyāṁ / /bāeṁ / /bāeṁ / /bāeṁ /
left

‫دا ب‬ ‫دا ب‬ ‫دا ب‬ ‫دا ب‬


Feminine /dāīṁ̇ / /dāīṁ / /dāīṁ / /dāīṁ /

‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬


/bāīṁ / /bāīṁ / /bāīṁ / /bāīṁ /

(6.1) ‫ب‬ 5‫ّ اور ں ّ ں‬ ‫روں‬

cār-ōṁ bill-ē aur tīn-ōṁ bill-iyāṁ kālī


four-M.PL.OBL tomcat-M.PL.DIR and three-M.PL.OBL cat-F.PL.DIR black.F.SG
tʰīṁ
be.PST.F.PL
‘All four tomcats and all three cats were black.’

(Observe that the oblique plural suffix is added to cardinal numbers to indicate totality.)

6.1.2 Unmarked (Uninflected) Adjectives

Unmarked adjectives have the same form in all cases, numbers, and genders, and are likely to be
non-Indic borrowings. Since new adjectives are still being borrowed, particularly from English,
the class of unmarked adjectives is growing.

6.1.2.1 Persian Past Participles in cʰoṭ ī hē

Some nouns and adjectives, many of them Persian past participles, end in a ‘silent’ cʰot ̣ī hē. (See dis-
cussion of nouns in this form in Section 3.1.1.1.1, and the note on transcription in Section 2.2.2.5).

110
Adjectives

Among the nouns, this ending marks the citation form of a marked paradigm. Adjectives with this
ending, however, are generally unmarked.
Example:
‫ا † ہر‬a /mērā pasandīdah rang/ my favorite color
‫ہ‬ ‫ی † ہ‬a /mērī pasandīdah xālah/ my favorite maternal aunt
However, a few, like ‫ زہ‬/tāzāh/ fresh, may take both marked and unmarked endings. Whether an
adjective in this class may take the marked inflection is difficult to predict.
Example:

8‫ زہ‬/tāzāh kelā/ (m.), a fresh banana

‫ زہ‬/tāzāh xūbānī/ (f.), a fresh apricot

‫ زیرو‬/tāzī rot ̣ī/ (f.), fresh bread

6.1.2.2 Arabic Adjectives in ‫ ی‬/-ī/ or ‫ی‬/‫ ا‬/-ā/

Long /-ī/ or /-ā/, spelled with alif, are common endings for adjectives borrowed from Arabic:
Example:
‫ر‬ /ālā mēyār/ (m.), a high standard

/ālā satah/ (f.), a high level

Likewise /mubtalā/ afflicted; /bāqī/ remaining; ‫ ری‬/jārī/


continuing, etc.

6.1.2.3 Denominal Adjectives

Also of Persian origin are a number of suffixes which form adjectives from nouns.

6.1.2.3.1 In ‫ ی‬/-ī/

This suffix, identical to that found in some Arabic borrowings, derives descriptive adjectives from
nouns. Its meaning corresponds roughly with the English suffixes /-al/ and /-ish/: of, pertaining
to. It may be used with both native Urdu and borrowed Persian or Arabic vocabulary items.
‫ د‬/dēsī/ indigenous (from ‫ د‬/dēs/ country)

‫ د‬/dēsī gʰī/ (m.), indigenous ghee

‫ د‬/dēsī xūbānī/ (f.), an indigenous apricot

8 /kitābī/ bookish (from ‫ ب‬8 /kitāb/ book)

111
Adjectives

This is also the suffix seen in such adjectives of origin as † /pākistānī/ Pakistani, /panjābī/
Panjabi, /bangālī/ Bengali, etc. (See Section 3.2.3.4.)
The ‫ ی‬/-ī/ suffix may also derive adjectives from other parts of speech, or may create secondary
adjectives from existing adjectives, as ‫ ا رو‬/andarūnī/ interior (adj.) from ‫ ا رون‬/andarūn/ inner
(adj.).

6.1.2.3.2 In ‫ ابہ‬/-ānah/

This suffix derives adjectives of quality; compare the English suffix /-ly/.
Example:
‫ دو بہ‬/dōstānah/ friendly (from ‫ دوس‬/dōst/ friend)
‫ ﻻبہ‬/sālānah/ annual (from ‫ ل‬/sāl/ year)
Adjectives in ‫ ابہ‬/-ānah/ cannot be used to describe humans, though they are usually formed from
nouns referring to people or types of people.

6.1.2.3.3 In ‫ ک‬/-nāk/ and ‫ ب‬/-gīn/

These suffixes correspond roughly to English /-ful/; they create adjectives of quality from abstract
nouns. Neither is productive--that is, new words are not formed with these suffixes.

‫رک‬ /xatarnāk/ dangerous (< ‫رہ‬ /xatara/ danger)

‫ک‬ /xɔfnāk/ terrifying (< ‫ ف‬/xɔf/ fear)

‫ ک‬a‫ س‬/šarmnāk/ shameful (< ‫م‬a‫ س‬/šarm/ shame)

‫ ب‬a‫ س‬/šarmgīn/ bashful (< ‫م‬a‫ س‬/šarm/ shame)

‫ب‬ /γamgīn/ depressed, grief-stricken (< /γam/ sorrow, grief )

In general, ‫ ک‬/-nāk/ refers to the cause of the described result (generally something harmful),
and ‫ ب‬/-gīn/ to its sufferer: ‫ ک‬a‫ س‬/šarmnāk/ means causing shame, while ‫ ب‬a‫ س‬/šarmgīn/ bashful
could also be defined as subject to shame; affected by shame.

6.1.2.3.4 Other Persian Denominals

The suffixes ‫ دار‬/-dār/, ‫ اوار‬/-āvar/ or ‫ وار‬/-vār/, ‫ ور‬/-var/, ‫ ر‬/-yār/ or ‫ ب‬/-yar/, and /-mand/ also
form denominals, all with the general meaning of possessing X, characterized by X.
Examples:
‫ار‬ ‫ ا‬/īmānda̅r/ faithful, trustworthy (from ‫ ا ن‬/īmān/ faith, integrity)
‫وار‬a /hunarvār/ skillful (from a /hunar/ skill)

112
Adjectives

‫ر‬ /nāmvar/ famous, renowned (from ‫ م‬/nām/ name)

‫ر‬ /hošyār/ vigilant (from ‫ ش‬/hoš/ senses)


a /hunarmand/ skilled (from a /hunar/ skill)

‫ دو‬/dɔlatmand/ wealthy (from ‫ دو‬/dɔlat/ wealth)


/hošmand/ sensible (from ‫ ش‬/hoš/ senses)

Unlike with ‫ ک‬/-nāk/ and ‫ ب‬/-gīn/, there is no predictable difference in meaning among these
suffixes; where a stem may form adjectives with two or more of them, the precise meanings of the
derived words must be learned separately.
/-mand/ and ‫ ر‬/-yār/ are not productive, but ‫ دار‬/-dār/ is used in new compounds with all
classes of Urdu words--Indic, Perso-Arabic, or recent borrowings from other languages. It can also
produce nouns, as ‫ ز ار‬/zamīndār/ landowner, from ‫ ز ب‬/zamīn/ land.
‫ وار‬/-vār/ can also be a nominal ending, as in ‫ وار‬6 /pædavār/ production, income.
Some words with the ‫ ور‬/-var/ suffix have been reanalyzed as nouns such as ‫ @ ر‬/jānvar/ animal
(lit. possessing life)

6.1.2.4 Other Unmarked Adjectives

Other unmarked adjectives have simply a bare stem ending.


Examples:
‫ د‬/dilcasp/ interesting
The great majority of these bare-stem adjectives are of Persian and Arabic origin. Exceptions in-
clude the cardinal numbers; see adjectives in Section 6.3.1 ‫ ّھ‬/kuccʰ/ some and ‫ ا‬/alag/ separate,
and derived adjectives in /nā-/.

6.1.2.4.1 Denominal and Deverbal Adjectives in /nā-/

The prefix /nā-/ derives umarked adjectives from nouns and bare verb stems:
/nā-haqq/ unjust (< /haqq/, right)

‫ھ‬ /nā-samajʰ/ ignorant, foolish (< /samajhnā/, to know)


‫ار‬ /nā-pāe-dār/ unstable, not durable (< /pā/ foot + ‫ دار‬/dār/ possessing)
Adjectives in /nā-/ have a negative or privative meaning, comparable to English words with un-.

6.2 Attributive and Predicative Adjectives

Some otherwise unmarked adjectives may only be used predicatively in their citation forms: that
is, they may only be used as the complement of a state-of-being verb, and not in prenominal
position. Note that the second sentence below is ungrammatical, as signaled by the asterisk.

113
Adjectives

(6.2) a‫ ص‬a ‫ڈا‬

ḍākt ̣ar hāzir hæ


doctor present be.PRS.3.SG
‘The doctor is present.’

(6.3) * ‫ ں‬a ‫ڈا‬a‫ص‬

*hāzir ḍākt ̣ar yahaṁ hæ


present doctor there be.PRS.3.SG
‘*The present doctor is here.’

The suffix ‫ ہ‬/-āh/ (spelled in cʰot ̣ī hē, homophonous with the suffix discussed in Section 6.1.2.1)
makes such predicative-only adjectives attributive, allowing them to be used to directly modify
nouns.
Adjectives of this type are Arabic, and tend to be derived from participles, but there is no rule to
predict which Arabic adjectives must be modified in this way to be used predicatively.

(6.4) ‫وب‬ ‫ی‬a

mēr-i ̄ bēt ̣-i ̄ maxtūb hæ


my-F.SG.DIR child-F.SG.DIR betrothed be.PRS.3.SG
‘My daughter is betrothed.’

(6.5) ‫ی وبہ‬a

mēr-i ̄ maxtūbāh bēt ̣-i ̄


my-F.SG.DIR betrothed child-F.SG.DIR
‘My betrothed daughter’

(6.6) * ‫ ں‬a ‫ہڈا‬a‫ص‬

*hāzirāh ḍākt ̣ar yahaṁ hæ


present doctor there be.PRS.3.SG
‘*The present doctor is here.’

6.3 Numbers

In Urdu orthography, numerals are written from left to right, as in the Indic scripts.

114
Adjectives

6.3.1 Cardinals

The cardinal numbers are unmarked, though they are considered grammatically masculine.

6.3.1.1 Cardinals 100 and Below

The forms of the cardinals from one to one hundred are not totally predictable by rule-- their
compounded forms are idiosyncratic and must be learned individually.

6.3.1.2 Cardinals Above 100

Numbers above one hundred are formed using the following units:
‫ار‬a /hazār/ one thousand (1,000)

‫ھ‬D‫ ﻻ‬/lākʰ/ one hundred thousand (100,000)

‫ وڑ‬: /karōr̩/ one hundred lākʰ (ten million) (10,000,000)


‫ ارب‬/arab/ one hundred karōr̩ (one billion) (1,000,000,000)
These units are counted much as large numbers are in English: X thousand + X hundred + X.

‫ سو رہ‬9 ‫ار‬a ‫ دو‬/dō hazār pāṁ c sɔ bāra/ two thousand, five hundred twelve (2,512)
These units have gender, and the numerals that count them agree with them in gender, but they
are otherwise uninflected.
The oblique plural, added to cardinal nouns, gives the meaning of totality: /cārōṁ / all four;
/donōṁ / both, etc.

6.3.2 Ordinals

As mentioned above in Section 6.1.1.2, most of the ordinal numbers follow the paradigm for the
words for right and left. They are formed with the suffix ‫ واں‬/-vāṁ /: e.g., 9 /pāṁ c/ five, and
‫ اں‬9 /pāṁ cvāṁ , ‫ ب‬9 /pāṁ cvēṁ /, ‫ ب‬9 /pāṁ cvīṁ / fifth.
Five of the ordinals are instead formed on the standard /ā, ē, ī / paradigm, as in Section 6.1.1.1:
/pahlā/ first; ‫ا‬a‫ دوس‬/dūsrā/ second; ‫ا‬a /tīsrā/ third; /cɔtʰā/ fourth, and /cʰat ̣ā/ sixth.
The word ‫ @ اں‬/navāṁ / ninth, is also sometimes considered irregular, on account of an alteration in
its stem: the vowel in /nɔ/ nine, becomes a short /a/ when the ordinal suffix is added. However,
it inflects like the other ordinals: ‫@ ب‬، ‫@ ب‬،‫ @ اں‬/navāṁ , navēṁ , navīṁ /.
In the ordinals 11-17, the final silent cʰot ̣ī hē of the cardinals appears as a do cašmi he. This
aspiration may be pronounced as an independent short syllable: so, ‫ گ رہ‬/gyārah/ eleven, yields
‫ گ ر اں‬/gyārʰvāṁ / eleventh.

115
Adjectives

6.3.3 Fractions

The fractions @ /pɔnā/ three quarters (of ), and ‫ آد‬/ādʰā/ half (of) are inflected. All other words-
-nouns and adjectives--for fractions and fractional quantities are indeclinable.
Fractional quantities up to and including one and a half are grammatically singular, though there
is much variation on this point in the spoken language.

6.3.4 Iteration

There is no special morphology for once, twice, etc. These meanings are expressed with the number
and either the word ‫ ر‬/bār/ time, occasion or ‫ د ہ‬/dafā/ occasion, moment: ‫ ا د ہ‬/ek dafā/ one
time; ‫ دو ر‬/do bār/ two times, and so forth.

6.4 Demonstratives, Interrogatives, and Relatives

The adjectives 6‫ ا‬/itnā/ this much, and ‫ ا‬/æsā/ like this, belong to a class of four-part word sets:
near and far demonstratives, interrogatives, and relatives. These functions are distinguished by
initial sound: ‫ ی‬/y-/ (or /i-/, /æ-/, or /a-/) for the near words, ‫ و‬/v-/ or /u-/ for the far words,
/k-/ for the interrogatives, and ‫ ج‬/j-/ for the relatives. Compare this to the symmetry in English
here/there/where, hither/thither/whither, hence/thence/whence.
Table 6.3 shows the y-v-k-j class of demonstrative, interrogative, and relative adjectives 6‫ ا‬/itnā/
this much, and ‫ ا‬/æsā/ like this. 6‫ ا‬/itnā/ and ‫ ا‬/æsā/ are regularly inflected adjectives,

Table 6.3: y-v-k-j Class of Demonstrative, Interrogative, and Relative Adjectives

Near Far Interrogative Relative

6‫ا‬ 6‫ا‬
/itnā/ /utnā/
this much; these that much; that many; /kitnā/ /jitnā/
how much? as much
many; so many so many

‫ا‬ ‫و‬
/æsā/ /væsā/1
such (a); like this; of such (a); like that; of /kæsā/ /jæsā/
how? such as
this kind that kind

following the patterns in Section 6.1.1.1 and Section 6.1.1.2. They may also be used as nouns,
and as adverbs when inflected in the masculine singular oblique (see Section 7.1.2.1).
The form /tæsā/, part of the near-extinct fifth class of correlatives, survives in a handful of frozen
phrases.
1
‫ و‬/væsā/ is used primarily in spoken Urdu. In written Urdu, when the meaning is emphatic (such or such a), ‫ا‬
/æsā/ is preferred, even for remote referents.

116
Adjectives

6‫ ا‬/itnā/ and 6‫ ا‬/utnā/ tend not to occur before singular nouns, except for mass nouns--nouns that
do not form plurals, like water, snow, or milk.
The larger class of y-v-k-j word sets includes personal pronouns and adverbs of place, time, and
manner; see Section 4.4 for the demonstrative pronouns.

The interrogative pronouns 8 /kyā/ which, and ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ who, may both be used as adjectives; see
Section 4.6.

6.5 Comparison

Comparative and superlative forms may function comparatively, or they may be used as intensives,
with the meaning very X.

6.5.1 Inflected with ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/

6.5.1.1 Inflection of ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/

Some Persian-derived adjectives form the comparative with the suffix ‫ ب‬/-tar/, and the superlative
with ‫ ب ب‬/-tarīn/
Examples:
‫ بہ‬/beh-/ good (appears only as a prefix)
a /behtar/ better
‫ب‬a /behtarīn/ best
These suffixes may also be written as freestanding words, with no change in meaning; this is a
more formal usage than the phrasal comparatives below in Section 6.5.2, and is rarely used, ( ‫)س‬
/(sab) sē/ being the preferred construction.
/jadīd/ new
‫ب‬ /jadīdtar/ newer
‫بب‬ /jadīdtarīn/ newest
‫ص رت‬ /xūbsūrat/ pretty
‫ص رتب‬ /xūbsūrattar/ prettier
‫ص رتب ب‬ /xūbsūrattarīn/ prettiest
These comparatives are absolute, rather than relative: ‫ب‬a /behtarīn/ means not the best of all
(of a set), but superlative, excellent.

6.5.1.2 Colloquial usage of ‫ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/

Some Persian adjectives, such as ‫ بہ‬/beh-/ good and /bad/ bad, form comparatives only with
‫ ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/. Other Persian adjectives can take either phrasal comparatives or ‫ ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar,

117
Adjectives

tarīn/. For these adjectives which can take both (e.g., ‫ ص رت‬/xūbsūrat/ pretty), the ‫ ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar,
tarīn/ form is the more elevated; however, these elevated forms are most commonly used for
ironic or humorous effect, and consequently are usually very colloquial.
Indic adjectives rarely take ‫ ب ب‬، ‫ ب‬/tar, tarīn/, and generally are only for ironic effect. However,
the suffix appears more commonly on English borrowings, e.g., cheap-tarīn, stupid-tarīn.
In colloquial use, the superlative ‫ ب ب‬/tarīn/ is more common than the comparative ‫ ب‬/tar/.

6.5.2 Phrasal

Most Urdu comparatives are adjective phrases.

6.5.2.1 With /sē/

6.5.2.1.1 Comparatives

The comparative may be formed phrasally with the word /sē/, a postposition meaning from--or,
in this instance, than--following the modified noun.
‫ص رت‬ ‫ ھ‬/mujʰ sē xūbsūrat/ prettier than me

6.5.2.1.2 Superlatives

The superlative is formed with ‫ س‬/sab sē/ of all. An absolute superlative--the most X of all--
may be constructed, of the form Adj /se/ Adj, with both adjectives in their citation form.
‫ص رت‬ ‫ س‬/sab sē xūbsūrat/ prettiest of all
‫ص رت‬ ‫ص رت‬ /xūbsūrat sē xūbsūrat/ prettiest of the pretty

6.5.2.2 With ‫ ز دہ‬/zyāda/

‫ ز دہ‬/zyāda/ more, and ‫ ز دہب‬/zyādatar/ most, may also be used to form phrasal comparatives and
superlatives. These words precede the adjectives they modify.
Both words are also used adverbially.

6.6 Phrasal Adjectives

6.6.1 With /sā/

6.6.1.1 Noun/Oblique Pronoun + /sā/

، ، /sā, sē, sī/, following a noun or an oblique personal pronoun, forms an adjectival phrase
with the meaning like X. /sā/ agrees with the noun this adjectival phrase modifies in case,
number, and gender.
Table 6.4 shows the declension of /sā/ in phrasal adjectives.

118
Adjectives

Table 6.4: /sā/

Direct Oblique

Masculine Singular
/sā/ /sē/

Masculine Plural
/sē/ /sē/

Feminine Singular & Plural


/sī/ /sī/

6.6.1.2 ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ + /sā/

When the interrogative pronoun ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ is used as an interrogative adjective, it is generally


followed by /sā/:

(6.7) ‫@ ن گ گ‬

tum nē kɔn.sā gān-ā gā-yā


you ERG which.M.SG.DIR song-M.SG sing-PP.M.SG
‘Which song did you sing?’

When ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ is followed by a form of /sā/ (/sā ~ sē ~ sī/), only the particle inflects; oblique
forms of ‫ @ ن‬/kɔn/ are not used, even where they would otherwise appear. /kɔn sā/ has the
meaning Which (of several)? and is used most commonly of inanimate nouns.

6.6.1.3 Adjective + /sā/

/sā/ following an adjective corresponds in meaning to English /-ish/, lessening the force of the
adjective.
a ّ ‫ ا‬/accʰī xabar/ good news (a /xabar/ is feminine.)
a ّ ‫ ا‬/accʰī sī xabar/ goodish news, rather good news
‫ و ڈبّہ‬/cʰōt ̣ā dabbah/ a small box

‫ڈبّہ‬ ‫ و‬/cʰōt ̣ā sā dabbah/ a smallish box

119
Adjectives

6.6.2 With ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/

‫ وا‬، ‫ وا‬،‫ واﻻ‬/vālā, vāle, vālī/ is an adjectival formant, inflected like � /kā/. It forms phrases
meaning with (the) X when it follows an oblique noun, or engaged in X-ing when it follows an
oblique infinitive verb. (See Section 8.6.4 for more on the use of ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ with infinitives.) It
can also be added to adjectives in colloquial speech.
‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ agrees with the noun modified by the adjectival phrase.

• Like most Urdu adjectives, ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ adjectives can also function as nouns, to denote someone
who does, sells, possesses, or otherwise has to do with something.

• Though, as marked adjectives, ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ adjectives may appear in masculine or feminine forms,
‫ وا‬/-vālī/ forms do not occur in the feminine plural; instead, an inflected form of ‫ ڑ‬/laṛkī/ or
something similar is added.

• Nominal examples:

‫ رواﻻ‬/gʰar-vālā/ husband (lit. man of the house)

‫ روا‬/gʰar-vālī/ wife (lit. woman of the house)

‫واﻻ‬ /t ̣æksī-vālā/ taxi driver


‫یواﻻ‬a /sabzī-vālā/ greengrocer (< ‫ی‬a /sabzī/ vegetable)
‫ ۓواﻻ‬/cāē-vālā/ tea-monger
‫وا‬ @‫ اردو‬/urdū-bolnē-vālī/ Urdu speaker2

• Adjectival examples
‫ زارواﻻ‬/bāzār-vālā kʰānā/ food from the market
‫ ب‬8 ‫ ا ّ وا‬/acchī-vālī kitāb/ the good book3

(6.8) ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ڈ‬ ‫وا‬ ‫و‬ ‫آپ‬


āp k-ē jūt-ē cʰōt ̣-ē vāl-ē ḍab-ē mēṁ hæ
you POSS-M.PL shoe-M.PL small-OBL ADJ-OBL box-OBL in be.PRS.3.SG
‘Your shoes are in the small box.’

(6.9) ‫ب‬ ‫ےا@ ر‬a ‫وا گ ڑی‬a ‫ںس‬


yahāṁ sab sē tēz vāl-ī gāṛī mēr-ē abū calā rah-ē hæṁ
here all from fast ADJ-F.SG car my-M.PL dad drive PROG-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘My dad is driving the fastest car here.’

2
@ /bolnē/ is the infinitive of the verb to speak
3
When ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ is added to an adjective, the result is not a change in meaning of the adjective, but a more colloquial
feel and a stressing of which object is meant: the good book, (as opposed to the not-so-good one).

120
Miscellaneous

Chapter 7

Miscellaneous

7.1 Adverbs

Unlike nouns and verbs, adverbs do not change form with the structure of the sentence.1 Ac-
cordingly, most of the morphological information that we can learn from an adverb’s form is
derivational, showing from what elements the word has been formed.
This means that most adverbs may simply be looked up in a dictionary in the form in which they
appear.

7.1.1 Demonstratives and Interrogative and Relative Adverbs

Many Urdu adjectives and adverbs belong to a class of four-part word sets: near and far (or prox-
imal and distal) demonstratives, interrogatives, and relatives. These functions are distinguished
by initial sound: /y-/ (or /i-/, /æ-/, or /a-/) for the proximal words, /v-/ or /u-/ for the distal
words, /k-/ for the interrogatives, and /j-/ for the relatives. Compare this to the symmetry in En-
glish here/there/where, hither/thither/whither, hence/thence/whence. (See Section 4.4, Section 4.5,
and Section 4.6 on demonstrative, interrogative, and relative pronouns, and Section 6.4 on the
related adjectives.)
Table 7.1 shows the y-v-k-j class of demonstrative, interrogative, and relative adverbs.

The members of the set ، ،‫ اس‬،‫ اس‬/is, us, kis, jis/ are all oblique forms of the demonstra-
tive, interrogative, or relative pronouns; while they are not adverbs themselves, they are used in
adverbial phrases of place, time, or manner (see Section 4.4), and are included in this table for
completeness.
Properly, the words 6 /tab/ then, and ‫ @ ں‬/tūm/̇ thus, so, belong to an archaic class (of correlatives,
in /t-/), but as their meanings and functions fit the u/v class, they are considered a part of it.

The members of the set ، ، ‫و‬، ‫ ا‬/æsē, væsē, kæsē, jæsē/ are all oblique forms of adjectives
(see Section 6.4); their adverbial use is restricted to the masculine oblique singular.
1
However, adverbs may agree in two circumstances. Adverbs of quantity may agree with the nouns to which they
relate. And adjectives used adverbially, such as ‫ بڑی‬/baṛī/ great(ly), very agree with the modified element.

121
Miscellaneous

Table 7.1: y-v-k-j Class of Demonstrative, Interrogative, and Relative Adverbs

Proximal Distal Interrogative Relative

‫اس‬ ‫اس‬
/is/ /us/ /kis/ /jis/
in this in that in which? in such

‫اب‬ 6 8
/ab/ (/tab/) /kab/ /jab/
now (then) when? when

‫ں‬ ‫وں‬ ‫ں‬ ‫ں‬


/yahāṁ / /vahāṁ / /kahāṁ / /jahāṁ /
here there where? where

‫اد ر‬ ‫اد ر‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ر‬


/idʰar/ /udʰar/ /kidʰar/ /jidʰar/
hither (to here) thither (to there) whither? (to where?) whither (to where)

‫ں‬
‫ں‬
‫@ں‬ ‫ں‬
/jūṁ /
(/tyūṁ /) as (rare; more
/yūṁ / (thus, so (extremely /kyoṁ /
thus why? common when
rare))
reduplicated)

‫ا‬ ‫و‬
/æsē/ /væsē/ /kæsē/ /jæsē/
like this like that how? such as

6‫ا‬ 6‫ا‬
/itnē/ (/utnē/) /kitnē/ (/jitnē/)
this much, such (that much) how much, how ! (as much)

122
Miscellaneous

‫ ا‬/itnē/ and /kitnē/ are also adverbial uses of adjectives; the other members of this set are
not used as adverbs.

7.1.1.1 Interrogatives vs Relatives

Words of the k class, the interrogatives, are used in questions. Words of the j class, the relatives,
are used in relative clauses--that is, in clauses which refer back to some earlier noun and describe
it (see also Section 4.5).
The interrogative class are also commonly used in rhetorical questions, to ironically undercut or
outright deny the sense of the sentence.

(7.1) ‫وا‬ ‫رو‬ ‫وہ@ ن‬

voh kɔn hō-t-ī hæ mujʰ-ē rōk-n-ē vāl-ī


He who be-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG me-ACC stop-INF-OBL ADJ-F.SG
‘Who is she to stop me? (i.e. she has no authority)’

7.1.1.2 The Set ، ،‫ اس‬،‫ س‬/is, us, kis, jis/

This set of words is comprised of the oblique forms of four pronouns: ‫ بہ‬/yeh/ this, ‫ وہ‬/vɔ/ that,
8/kyā/ what?, and /jo/ which. These words combine with the nouns ‫ و‬/vaqt/ time, ‫ ہ‬/jagah/
place, ‫ رف‬/taraf/ direction, and ‫ رح‬/tarah/ way to form adverbial phrases. The nouns in these
phrasal adverbs must be in the oblique case.

(7.2) ‫؟‬ : 8 ‫اسو‬

is vaqt tum kyā kar-t-ē hō


this time you what do-IP-M.PL be.PRS.2.PL
‘What do you (normally) do at this time?’

7.1.1.3 The Set ، ، ‫ ا‬/abʰī, tabʰī, kabʰī/

Some of the adverbs of time, ‫ اب‬/ab/ and 8 /kab/ (but not 6 /tab/ or /jab/ when), may
be compounded with the emphatic particle /hī/:
‫ا‬/abʰī/ right now

/kabʰī/ ever, once


All these words may be repeated for further emphasis: ‫ا‬ ‫ ا‬/abʰī abʰī/ right now!

123
Miscellaneous

7.1.2 Adverbial Uses of Other Parts of Speech

7.1.2.1 Oblique Nouns as Adverbs

Nouns, too, may be used adverbially when inflected in the oblique singular. This inflection is
only visible on marked masculine nouns, though feminine and unmarked nouns used in this way
are considered oblique. Any demonstrative used with adverbial nouns must also be oblique. This
usage is especially common with adverbs of place and time.

(7.3) ‫ں‬ ‫ر ر‬ ‫ب‬

mæm gʰar jā rah-ā hūṁ


I.DIR house.M.OBL.SG go PROG-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I am going home.’

‫ آ‬/āgē/ ahead, forward (from ‫ اگ‬/āgā/ beginning, the front)


/pīcʰē/ behind, back (from /pīcʰā/ end, the rear)
/sāmnē/ opposite, across (from /sāmna/ encounter, meeting)
(Compare with these words’ use in complex postpositions; see Section 5.1.1.2.)

7.1.3 Phrasal Adverbs

7.1.3.1 With /sē/

Adverbial phrases of manner may be formed from nouns with the postposition /sē/ from.
/xāmōšī sē/ with quiet, quietly
‫ زور‬/zor sē/ with force, forcefully, loudly
/xušī sē/ with happiness, gladly

ً
7.1.4 Arabic Adverbs in ‫ ا‬/-an/
ً
The Arabic adverbial ending ً ‫ا‬ /-an/, which is seen on some borrowed words in Urdu, is spelled
with the symbol tanvīn (‫)ا‬, written over alif.
ً
‫ را‬/fauran/ immediately
ً
‫ را‬/majbūran/ compulsorily, under duress
ً
/maslan/ for example
The meanings of these adverbs and the nouns from which they ً are derived may have diverged,
and in some cases the senses must be learned separately : e.g., 6‫ ر‬/taqrīban/ approximately, from
6‫ ر‬/taqrīb/ ceremony (lit. bringing near).

124
Miscellaneous

7.2 Particles

7.2.1 Emphatic Particles

An emphatic particle emphasizes the word or phrase which precedes it. Such particles may be
free or bound-- that is, they may appear as freestanding words, or as suffixes on other modifiers.

7.2.1.1 Contrastive: @ /tō/

The particle @ /tō/ follows the noun or verb in main clauses, for contrastive emphasis: The em-
phasized word is contrasted with some other possibility, often left unstated.

(7.4) ‫گ‬ @ @‫ں‬

yahāṁ tō kōī hō gā
here EMPH someone be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘There must be someone HERE.’

(7.5) ‫گ‬ @ @‫ں‬

yahāṁ kōī tō hō gā
here someone EMPH be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘There must be SOMEONE here.’

7.2.1.1.1 @ /tō/ in Conditional Sentences

@ /tō/ marks the result clause in a conditional sentence; see discussion in Section 8.3.2.2.2. Unlike
‫ اگ‬/agar/, which introduces the condition clause, it may only rarely be omitted; accordingly, many
conditional sentences are marked only by @ /tō/.

(7.6) ‫ں‬ ‫ب @ ب‬ ‫ر‬ 6‫آپ ۓ‬

āp cāē banā hī rah-ē hæṁ tō mæṁ bʰī


you.DIR tea make EXC PROG-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL CONJ I.DIR INC
pī-ūṁ gī
drink-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG
‘If you are already making tea, then I too will drink some.’

Condition clauses consisting of commandsCondition clauses may be linked to their result clauses
by the compound conjunction /nahīṁ tō/ if not... then, otherwise:

125
Miscellaneous

(7.7) ‫ؤ‬ @ ‫ب‬ ‫ببڑ‬

xub paṛh-ō nahīm tō fæl jā-ō gē


well study-IMP.2.PL NEG CONJ fail go-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘Study hard; otherwise you’ll fail.’

This construction is synonymous with ‫ وربہ‬varnah or else.

7.2.1.1.2 @ /tō/ in Correlative Clauses

In relative sentences beginning with /jab/, @ /tō/ may mark the correlative clause.

(7.8) ‫ب‬ ‫ہب ںآ‬C : @ ‫و‬

jab ham cʰōt ̣-ē tʰē tō sunā kar-t-ē tʰē keh


when we small-M.PL be.PST.M.PL CONJ hear.PP do-IP-M.PL be.PST.3.PL that
pari-yāṁ ā-t-ī hæṁ
fairy-F.PL come-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.PL
‘When we were young we heard that fairies come.’

7.2.1.2 Exclusive: /hī/

The particle /hī/ emphasizes the word which precedes it, and excludes other possibilities (which
may be left unstated). Compare the shifting emphasis in the following two examples:

(7.9) ‫ا‬ ‫†نب‬

pākistān mēṁ hī æs-ā hō-t-ā hæ


Pakistan in EXC like.this-M.SG.DIR be-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Only in Pakistan does this sort of thing happen. (Exclusive sense)’

(7.10) ‫†نب ا‬

pākistān mēṁ æs-ā hī hō-t-ā hæ


Pakistan in like.this-M.SG.DIR EXC be-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘In Pakistan, this is the sort of thing that happens. (Emphatic sense, i.e., “What do you
expect? This is Pakistan!”)’

/hī/ may separate a noun or pronoun from its postposition, or it may follow the postposition;
either is correct.

126
Miscellaneous

(7.11) 6‫د‬ @

sēb ālim kō hī de-n-ā


apple scholar ACC EXC give-INF-M.SG.DIR
‘Give the apple only to the scholar.’

(7.12) 6‫@ د‬

sēb ālim hī kō de-n-ā


apple scholar EXC ACC give-INF-M.SG.DIR
‘Give the apple only to the scholar.’

The exception is the postposition /nē/ with the pronouns ‫ ب‬/mæṁ / and @ /tū/; these pro-
noun+postposition combinations may not be broken up by /hī/. Note that the second sentence
below is ungrammatical, as signaled by the asterisk.

(7.13) ‫د‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē hī us-ē dēkʰ-ā


I ERG EXC him-OBL see-PP.M.SG
‘I (and only I) saw him.’

(7.14) * ‫د‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬

*mæṁ hī nē us-ē dēkʰ-ā


I EXC ERG him-OBL see-PP.M.SG
‘*I (and only I)saw him.’

With an oblique imperfect participle, or with the oblique relative /jæsē/, /hī/ denotes
immediate action: as soon as.
(7.15) 6‫ب ڈالد‬ 6a‫ۓس‬ ‫بف‬

jæs-ē hī barf jam jā-ē šarbat mēṁ ḍāl


just.when-OBL EXC ice freeze go-SBJV.3.SG drink in throw
dē-n-ā
give-INF-M.SG.DIR
‘As soon as the ice freezes, put it in the drink!’

/hī/ can be inserted in-between two repeated nouns to give the meaning of nothing but x.

127
Miscellaneous

(7.16)

jangal hī jangal tʰē


jungle EXC jungle be.PST.3.PL
‘There was nothing but jungle (i.e., it was jungle everywhere).’

7.2.1.2.1 Bound Forms of /hī/

The particle /hī/ may appear suffixed to the oblique forms of all pronouns except the following:
‫ آپ‬/āp/; the nominative forms of ‫ وہ‬/voh/ and ‫ بہ‬/ye/; and the adverbs of time (‫ اب‬/ab/, 6 /tab/,
8 /kab/, /jab/) and place (‫ ں‬/yahāṁ /, ‫ و ں‬/vahāṁ /, ‫ ں‬/kahāṁ /, ‫ ں‬/jahāṁ /). In these
bound forms, it is written together with the pronoun it attaches to.
In some such compounds, /hī/ appears in the forms ‫ ی‬/-ī/ and ‫ ب‬/-īṁ /.
Table 7.2 shows bound forms of /hī/ with personal pronouns. Notice that in the bound forms,
the dō-cašmī-heh is used rather than the cʰot ̣ī heh.
See Section 7.1.1.3 above for forms of time and place adverbs with suffixed /hī/.

The suffixed word ‫ ب‬/kahīṁ / somewhere, is also delexicalized and used with or in place of ‫اگ‬
/agar/. In this usage, it denotes improbability, or, with ‫ بہ‬/na/ apprehension.

(7.17) ّ‫@ا‬ ‫اگ ب‬

agar kahīṁ kʰān-ā kʰā sak-t-ē hō tō


if somewhere food-M.SG eat be.able-IP-M.PL be.SBJV.2.PL CONJ
accʰ-ā hō
good-M.SG.DIR be.SBJV.3.SG
‘If you ate, it would be better.’

(7.18) ‫گ‬ 8 @ ‫ ولگ‬a ‫ن‬ ‫ب‬

kahīṁ fōn nambar bʰūl ga-yā tō kyā hō


somewhere phone number forget go-PP.M.SG CONJ what be.SBJV.3.SG

FUT.M.SG
‘If he forgets the phone number, then what will happen?’

7.2.1.3 Inclusive: /bʰī/

The particle /bʰī/ marks the word which precedes it as one of several possibilities: in this
usage, it may be translated with too, also.

128
Miscellaneous

Table 7.2: Bound Forms of /hī/ with Personal Pronouns

Direct Oblique

Singular

‫ب‬
1st person /mæṁ hī/ /mujʰī/
I me

@ 9
2nd person
(intimate) /tū hī/ /tujʰī/
you you

‫و‬ ‫ا‬
3rd person
proximal /vahī/ /usī/
he, she, it him, her, it

‫و‬ ‫ا‬
distal /yahī/ /isī/
he, she, it him, her, it

Plural

‫ب‬
1st person /hamīṁ /
/ham hī/
we us

‫ب‬
2nd person
informal /tum hī/ /tumhīṁ /
you you

‫آپ‬ ‫آپ‬
formal
/āp hī/ /āp hī/
you you

‫و‬ ‫ا ب‬
3rd person
proximal /vahī/ /inhīṁ /
they they

‫ا ب‬
distal /yahī/ /unhiṁ /
they they

129
Miscellaneous

(7.19) ‫؟‬ ‫ۓ‬

tum cāē bʰī pī-ō gē


you tea INC drink-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘You’ll drink tea as well?’

(7.20) ‫ں‬ ‫ب @ ب‬ ‫ر‬ 6‫آپ ۓ‬

āp cāē banā hī rah-ē hæṁ tō mæṁ bʰī


you.DIR tea make EXC PROG-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL EMPH I.DIR INC
pī-ōṁ gī
drink-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG
‘If you are already making tea, then I too will drink some.’

Especially when following a noun, /bʰī/ may also be translated as even; following a verb, it
may be translated as just.

(7.21) ‫بڑ ںگ‬ ‫ ب‬8‫ب آجبہ‬

mæṁ āj yeh kitāb bʰī paṛh-ūṁ gā


I.DIR today this book INC read-SBJV.1.SG FUT.M.SG
‘Today I’ll read even this book (or, I’ll read this book as well).’

When following the indefinite pronouns @ /kōī/, and ‫ ھ‬/kucʰ/, /bʰī/ is translated at all.

(7.22) ‫ب‬ ‫ھ‬ ‫ ن ب‬5‫د‬

dukān mēṁ kucʰ bʰī nahīṁ hæ


store in something INC NEG be.PRS.3.SG
‘There is nothing at all in the store.’

7.2.1.3.1 In Parallel Clauses

/bʰī/ may introduce the second clause of a parallel construction, where the first clause is
introduced by ‫ب‬ /hī nahīṁ /. The entire construction may be translated with not only...but
also.

130
Miscellaneous

(7.23) ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬5‫ب ادا‬ ‫ب ر‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ mōsīqār hī nahīṁ adākār bʰī hūṁ


I musician EXC NEG actor INC be.PRS.1.SG
‘I’m not only a musician, but also an actor.’

7.2.1.3.2 In Emphatic and Concessive Phrases

/bʰī/ forms phrases with ‫ر‬ /phir/ then; /tō/, the contrastive particle (see Section 7.1.1); ‫اور‬
/ɔr/ and; and ‫ ب‬/par/ on.
‫ر‬ /pʰir bʰī/ even so (coordinating conjunction)
@ /tō bʰī/ (also /tab bʰī/) still, nevertheless (coordinating conjunction)
‫ اور‬/ɔr bʰī/ even more (qualifier; may precede a noun or an adjective)
‫ ب‬/par bʰī/ despite (coordinating conjunction; follows an oblique infinitive)

(7.24) ‫ا‬ ‫وہ @ س ب‬ ‫ر‬ 7 ‫ر‬:

ɣarībī saxt tʰī pʰir bʰī voh māyūs nahīṁ


poverty.DIR extreme.DIR be.PST.F.SG then INC he.DIR desperate.DIR NEG
hu-ā
be-PP.M.SG
‘Even though the poverty was extreme, he did not despair.’

(7.25) ‫ؤ‬ ‫> اور‬ ‫اس‬

is k-ē bād ɔr bʰī kʰā-ō gē


this POSS.OBL after and INC eat-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘Will you eat even more after this?’

7.2.1.3.3 With Relatives

/bʰī/ may follow the relatives /jō/, ‫ں‬ /jahāṁ /, /jab/, and /jæsā/. To these words,
it adds the meaning -ever.

131
Miscellaneous

(7.26) ‫ے سآ‬a @ ‫گ‬ ‫وہ ں‬

voh jahāṁ bʰī ga-yā lɔt ̣-ā tō mēr-ē pās


he where INC go-PP.M.SG return-PP.M.SG CONJ my-M.SG.OBL side
ā-yā
come-PP.M.SG
‘Wherever he may have gone, when he returned he came back to me.’

7.2.2 Conjunctions

7.2.2.1 Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions link two independent clauses. The phrases ‫ ر‬/phir bʰī/ even so and
@ /tō bʰī/ or /tab bʰī/ nevertheless in Section 7.2.1.3.2 are coordinating conjunctions, as is
/jæsē hī/ as soon as (see Section 7.2.1.2 above).

7.2.2.1.1 ‫ اور‬/ɔr/ and

‫ اور‬/ɔr/ is most commonly used to connect two words, phrases, or clauses which play the same role
in the sentence.

(7.27) ‫ب‬ ‫ت ب اورک روابہ‬ ‫آپا‬

āp æhmad k-ī bāt mān-ēṁ ɔr kal ravānah hō


you Ahmed POSS-F.SG talk accept-SBJV.2.PL and tomorrow depart be
jā-ēṁ
go-SBJV.2.PL
‘You should listen to Ahmed and depart tomorrow.’

(7.28) ‫ر‬ ‫رت ب‬ ‫اور رک‬ ‫ا ع‬

ismāīl ɔr tæmūr kal bʰārat nahīṁ jā rah-ē


Ismail.DIR and Taimur.DIR tomorrow India NEG go PROG-M.PL
‘Ismail and Taimur are not going to India tomorrow.’

‫ اور‬/ɔr/ may also be used as a qualifier, meaning more (see Section 7.2.1.3.2). In this usage, the
noun it modifies may be omitted.

132
Miscellaneous

(7.29) ! ‫اور‬

ɔr kʰān-ā l-ō
and food-M.SG take-IMP.2.PL
‘Take more food!’

(7.30) ! ‫اور‬

ɔr l-ō
and take-IMP.2.PL
‘Take more (food)!’

7.2.2.1.2 /yā/or

(7.31) ‫ۓ؟‬ ‫ب‬ 5

kāfī pī-ēṁ gē yā cāē


coffee drink-SBJV.1.PL FUT.M.PL or tea
‘Will we drink coffee or tea?’

7.2.2.1.3 /magar/, /lēkin/ but

(7.32) ‫ۓ ا بہ ا‬ ‫نب‬ ‫ہوہ ج ب‬C ‫ ی‬: @ ‫دا‬

dāniš nē košiš kar-ī keh voh fɔj mēṁ kaptān ban


Danish ERG try do-PP.F.SG that he army in captain be.made
jā-ē magar æs-ā nah hu-ā
go-SBJV.3.SG but like.this-M.SG.DIR NEG be-PP.M.SG
‘Danish tried to become a captain in the army, but it didn’t happen.’

Note that ‫ ی‬: /karī/ is a dialectal form; it is rare in written Urdu, though common in the speech
of some dialects.

(7.33) ‫اب ب د‬ @ ‫اس‬ @‫سوال‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē us sē savāl pūcʰ-ā lēkin us nē kōī javāb nahīṁ


I ERG him from question ask-PP.M.SG but he ERG any answer NEG
di-yā
give-PP.M.SG
‘I asked him a question, but he didn’t answer.’

133
Miscellaneous

7.2.2.1.4 ‫ہ‬ /balkeh/ on the contrary

A clause beginning with ‫ ہ‬/balkeh/ means on the contrary when preceded by a negative clause.
It may also redirect or reinforce the meaning of an affirmative clause.

(7.34) ‫زش‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ہبہ@ ا‬ 6 ‫ت ب وزب‬ ‫د ر> ہا‬

mahmūd bazarīa-e-intaxābāt nahīṁ vazīr banā balkeh yeh


Mahmood.DIR by.means-of-elections NEG minister be.made rather this.DIR
tō us-k-ī ēk sāziš tʰī
EMPH he.OBL-POSS-F.SG one conspiracy be.PST.F.SG
‘Mahmood didn’t become a minister through elections, rather this was a (his) conspiracy.’

7.2.2.1.5 ‫ہ‬C /jab keh/ while, since, when

‫ہ‬C /jab keh/ introduces a clause contemporaneous with the action of a preceding clause:

(7.35) ‫ہ را‬C 9‫ڑ رڈ ل‬


šehryār ḍʰōl baj-ā-t-ā tʰā jab keh sārā nāc-t-ī
Shehryar drum sound-CAUS-IP-M.SG be.PST.M.SG when that Sara dance-IP-F.SG
tʰī
be.PST.F.SG
‘Shehryar played the drum while Sara danced.’

While here is contrastive, having the sense of whereas.

7.2.2.2 Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions introduce subordinate clauses.

7.2.2.2.1 ‫ اگ‬/agar/ if

(7.36) 6‫ا د‬ @ ‫ںآ ب‬ ‫اگ‬

agar cācā yahāṁ ā-ēṁ tō mujʰ-ē ut ̣ʰ-ā dē-nā


if uncle.DIR here come-SBJV.3.PL CONJ me-ACC awaken-CAUS give-INF.DIR
‘If uncle comes here, then wake me up.’

Note that /cācā/ is a common variant; the textbook form would be /cacā/.

134
Miscellaneous

‫ اگ‬/agar/ if, introduces the condition clause of a conditional sentence; see Section 8.3.2.2.2 for an
account of conditionals.

7.2.2.2.2 ‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ so that, and ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a /bašartekeh/ provided that

‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ so that, and ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a /bašartekeh/ provided that, introduce clauses in the subjunctive mood.

(7.37) ‫ل ب‬ ‫وزب ا‬ ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a ‫آ ؤں‬ ‫وا‬ ‫ا‬: ‫ب‬

mæṁ karācī vāpas ā jā-ūṁ gī bašart-e-keh mulk


I.DIR Karachi again come go-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG on.condition.that country
k-ē vazīr-e-āzim badal jā-ēṁ
POSS-PL Prime.Minister change go-SBJV.3.PL
‘I will return to Karachi on condition that the country’s Prime Minister change.’

(7.38) ‫ ے‬: ‫ م‬5‫ہوہ‬C ‫د@ ؤ‬

mahmūd kō bulā-ō tā keh voh kām xatam kar-ē


Mahmood ACC call-IMP.2.PL so that he.DIR work complete do-SBJV.3.SG
‘Call Mahmood so that he may finish the work.’

7.2.2.2.3 /jab tak/ + negative, until

/jab tak/ followed by a negative introduces a relative subordinate clause; the construction
as a whole means until.

(7.39) ‫ھ ب دوں‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ا د ںبہآ‬

jab tak abbā xud yahāṁ nah ā-ē mæṁ tumh-ēṁ kucʰ
when until dad self here NEG come-PP.M.PL I you-ACC something
nahīṁ d-ūṁ g-ī
NEG give-SBJV.1.SG FUT-F.SG
‘Until Dad is around (arrives), I’m not giving you anything.’

7.2.2.3 Subordinate Clauses in ‫ہ‬C /keh/

7.2.2.3.1 Replacing Other Conjunctions

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may replace the causal conjunction ‫ہ‬ /kyūṁ keh/ (see Section 7.2.2.5) and the subor-
dinating conjunction ‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ (see Section 7.2.2.2.2), particularly in poetry.

135
Miscellaneous

(7.40) ‫ر‬ ‫وک ب‬ ‫ہ‬C

̇keh mujʰ-ē bilkul bʰūk nahīṁ lag rah-ī tʰī


that me-ACC completely hunger NEG attach PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘Because I wasn’t hungry at all. (In answer to “Why didn’t you eat?”)’

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may replace /yā/ or, in questions presenting an either/or choice.

(7.41) ‫؟‬ ‫ہ ۓ ب‬C 5

kāfī keh cāē pī-ēṁ gē


coffee that tea drink-SBJV.1.PL FUT.M.PL
‘Will we drink coffee or tea?’

(7.42) ‫ہ ۓ؟‬C ‫ب‬ 5

kāfī pī-ēṁ gē keh cāē


coffee drink-SBJV.1.PL FUT.3.PL that tea
‘Will we drink coffee or tea?’

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may replace /jab/ in constructions showing simultaneity:

(7.43) ‫ب‬ 9‫ب ا‬ ‫ہ‬C‫دن‬

ga-ē din keh tanhā tʰā mæṁ anjuman mēṁ


go-PP.M.PL day that alone be.PST.M.SG I assembly in
‘Gone are the days when I was alone in the assembly (Schmidt (1999), quoting Iqbal).’

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may replace /jō/, in its sense of if, in linking two contrasting clauses; this is a Persian
usage, and relatively uncommon in Urdu:

(7.44) ‫ںگ‬ ‫ چا‬5‫رح دی‬ ‫ر ں‬ ‫ہ‬C ‫ب‬

mæṁ keh bēkār hūṁ kis tarah šādī k-ā


I that unemployed be.PRS.1.SG which method wedding POSS-M.SG
xarc ut ̣ʰā sak-ūṁ gā ̇
expenditure pick.up be.able-SBJV.1.SG FUT.M.SG
‘How can I pay the cost of a wedding when I’m unemployed? (Schmidt (1999))’

136
Miscellaneous

7.2.2.3.2 ‫ہ‬C /keh/ Clauses in the Indicative

7.2.2.3.2.1 In Direct and Indirect Discourse

‫ہ‬C /keh/ introduces clauses which are the direct objects of verbs of speech or perception: e.g.,
/kahnā/ to say; ‫ بڑ‬/paṛʰnā/ to read; and /sunnā/ to hear.

Following a verb of speech, ‫ہ‬C /keh/ may introduce a direct or indirect quotation:

(7.45) ‫ی ں‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ہاس‬C @ ‫اس‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē us sē pūcʰ-ā keh us nē mujʰ-ē itn-ī jaldī


I ERG him.OBL from ask-PP.M.SG that he ERG me-ACC so-F.SG early
kyōṁ jag-ā-yā
why wake-CAUS-PP.M.SG
‘I asked him why he woke me up so early.’

(7.46) ‫ہ‬C @ ‫اس‬ ‫؟" ب‬ ‫ی ں‬ ‫ا‬ "

mæṁ nē us sē pūcʰ-ā keh tum nē mujʰ-ē itn-ī jaldī


I ERG him.OBL from ask-PP.M.SG that you ERG me-ACC so-F.SG early
kyōṁ jagā-yā
why wake.up-PP.M.SG
‘I asked him, “Why did you wake me up so early?”’

Following a verb of perception or apprehension, ‫ہ‬C /keh/ introduces a coordinate clause detailing
what has been perceived or thought:

7.2.2.3.2.2 In Other Clauses

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may introduce result clauses:

(7.47) ‫ہوہرو‬C 6‫اسبہا‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē us peh itn-ā cillā-yā keh voh ro-n-ē


I ERG him.OBL on like.this-M.SG yell-PP.M.SG that he cry-INF-OBL
lag-ā
apply-PP.M.SG
‘I yelled at him such that he began to cry.’

‫ہ‬C /keh/ may also introduce clauses elaborating on the type or kind of situation laid out in the
main clause:

137
Miscellaneous

(7.48) ‫ص‬ ‫ب دوس‬ ‫ہ‬C ‫بہ ں دو‬

yeh kahāṁ k-ī dōstī hæ keh ban-ē hæṁ


this where POSS-F.SG friendship be.PRS.3.SG that make-PP.M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
dōst nāsih
friend moralizer
‘What kind of friendship is this, that friends become moralizers (Schmidt (1999), quoting
Ghalib).’

(7.49) ‫ب‬ ‫دوس‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ہ‬C ‫وہ‬

voh samajʰ-t-ā hæ keh ham abʰī bʰī dōst hæṁ


he think-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG that we still INC friend be.PRS.3.PL
‘He thinks that we are still friends.’

(7.50) ‫ب ؟‬ ‫ہ ھب ا‬C ‫ب‬ ‫وہ@ ن‬

voh kōn hō-t-ē hæṁ keh mujʰ par æs-ē cillā-ēṁ


they who be-IP-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL that me.OBL on like.that-OBL yell-SBJV.3.PL
‘Who are they to yell at me like that?’

‫ہ‬C /keh/ also introduces subordinate clauses describing the results of action or circumstances in
the main clause. The main clauses of such sentences will often contain a modifier of extent, e.g.,
one of the 6‫ ا‬/itnā/ series.

7.2.2.3.3 ‫ہ‬C /keh/ Clauses in the Subjunctive

Many phrases in the subjunctive mood begin in ‫ہ‬C /keh/; these typically express possibility, ne-
cessity, or hope.

(7.51) ‫ ب‬:‫ م د‬5 6‫ا‬ ‫ہس‬C ‫وری‬a‫آجک ص‬

āj kal zarūrī hæ keh sab apn-ā kām xud


today tomorrow necessary be.PRS.3.SG that all own-M.SG work self
kar-ēṁ
do-SBJV.3.PL
‘These days it’s necessary that everyone do his own work.’

138
Miscellaneous

(7.52) ‫ۓ‬ ‫ہ‬C ‫بہ‬

yeh mumkin hæ keh kʰān-ā xatam hō jā-ē


it.DIR possible be.PRS.3.SG that food-M.SG.DIR complete be go-SBJV.3.SG
‘It’s possible that the food will finish.’

7.2.2.4 Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are a specific kind of coordinating conjunction; they link two clauses of
equal importance and equivalent function. They may be inclusive (as with both...and) or exclusive
(as with either...or).

7.2.2.4.1 Inclusive

The inclusive correlative conjunction, ... /bʰi...bʰi/ both...and, links two words, phrases, or
clauses. If it is linking phrases or clauses with the same verb, the verb may often be omitted from
the second part.

(7.53) 6 ‫اور‬ ‫ہ‬

fātimah lamb-ī bʰī hæ ɔr patl-ī bʰī


Fatima tall-F.SG INC be.PRS.3.SG and thin-F.SG INC
‘Fatima is both tall and thin.’

7.2.2.4.2 Exclusive

/yā/, or (see Section 7.2.1.2), may be used in both halves of a correlative clause; in this usage,
it means either...or.

(7.54) ‫ب‬a ‫د‬ ‫رب‬ @

yūnus yā gʰar mēṁ hæ yā daftar mēṁ


Younus or house in be.PRS.3.SG or office in
‘Younus is either at home or in the office.’

‫ بہ۔۔۔بہ‬/nah...nah/, used the same way, is the negative equivalent of this construction: neither...nor.

(7.55) ‫ ب‬a ‫بہد‬ ‫بہ ر ب‬ @

yūnus nah gʰar mēṁ hæ nah daftar mēṁ


Younus NEG house in be.PRS.3.SG NEG office in
‘Younus is neither at home nor in the office.’

139
Miscellaneous

As with ... /bʰi...bʰi/, the second verb may be omitted.

8... 8 /kyā...kyā/ whether...or, is a contrastive conjunction. It links two adjectives or nouns within
a subordinate clause, which describe or expand on the subject or object of the main clause.

(7.56) ‫ں‬ :‫ ر‬6 ‫ب آپ‬ 6‫ر‬: 8a ‫ ا‬8

kyā amīr kyā ɣarīb mæṁ āp sē piyār kar-t-ī hūṁ


what rich what poor I.DIR you from love do-IP-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘Whether rich or poor, I love you.’

7.2.2.5 Causal Conjunctions

‫ہ‬ /kyūṁ keh/ because, introduces a reason clause: the answer to a direct question.

(7.57) ‫ر‬ ‫وک ب‬ ‫ہ‬

kyūṁ keh mujʰ-ē bilkul bʰūk nahīṁ lag rah-ī tʰī


Because me-ACC completely hunger NEG feel PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘Because I wasn’t hungry at all. (In answer to “Why didn’t you eat?”)’

Reason clauses in ‫ہ‬ /kyūṁ keh/ come at the end of the sentence, following their result clauses.
Reason clauses may also be introduced by ‫ ہ‬/cūṁ keh/ since, which is usually paired with ‫اس‬
/is liē/ in the result clause. Reason clauses in /cūṁ keh/ come at the beginning of the sentence .

(7.58) ‫وہ ب آۓ‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ہ رش ر‬

cuṁ keh bāriš hō rah-ī tʰī is liē voh nahīṁ ā-ē


since rain be PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG that for they NEG come-PP.M.PL
‘Since it was raining, they didn’t come.’

(7.59) 6 ‫ھ ب‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ہا و ک ت‬

cūṁ keh afsōsnāk bāt hæ is līē mahfil mēṁ mæṁ nē is-ē


since sad talk be.PRS.3.SG it for meeting in I ERG him-ACC
kucʰ nahīṁ batā-yā
some NEG tell-PP.M.SG
‘Since it is a sad tale, I didn’t tell him anything in the gathering.’

‫ہ‬9 /cunāṁ ceh/ so, therefore, introduces a result clause:

140
Miscellaneous

(7.60) ‫ب آ‬ ‫ ہ‬9 ، ‫@ ٹگ‬

pul t ̣ūt ̣ ga-yā cunāṁ ceh bas nahīṁ ā sak-t-ī


bridge break go-PP.M.SG therefore bus NEG come be.able-IP-F.SG
‘The bridge broke, therefore the bus can’t come.’

7.2.2.6 Concessive Conjunctions

Concessive clauses introduced by ‫ اگ ہ‬/agarceh/ although, tend to be followed by ‫ر‬ /pʰir bʰī/
nevertheless, introducing the conclusion.

(7.61) ‫ب‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ر‬ ‫وک ب‬ ‫اگ ہا‬

agarceh us-ē bilkul bʰūk nahīṁ lag rah-ī tʰī pʰir


although he-ACC completely hunger NEG feel PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG then
bʰī us nē xūb kʰān-ā kʰā-yā
INC he ERG well food-M.SG.DIR eat-PP.M.SG
‘Although he didn’t feel hungry at all, he ate well.’

Concessive clauses introduced by ‫ ﻻ ہ‬/hālāṁ keh/ even though, may precede or follow their main
clauses:

(7.62) ‫ر‬ ‫وک ب‬ ‫ﻻ ہا‬ ‫ب‬ ‫اس‬

us nē xūb kʰān-ā kʰā-yā hālāṁ keh us-ē bilkul bʰūk


he ERG well food-M.SG.DIR eat-PP.M.SG even.though he-ACC completely hunger
nahīṁ lag rah-ī tʰī
NEG feel PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘He ate well even though he didn’t feel hungry at all.’

(7.63) ‫ب‬ ‫اس‬ ‫ر‬ ‫وک ب‬ ‫ﻻ ہا‬

hālāṁ keh us-ē bilkul bʰūk nahīṁ lag rah-ī tʰī us


even.though he-ACC completely hunger NEG feel PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG he
nē xūb kʰān-ā kʰā-yā
ERG well food-M.SG.DIR eat-PP.M.SG
‘Even though he didn’t feel hungry at all, he ate well.’

141
Miscellaneous

7.2.3 Sentential Particles

Sentential particles do not modify a sentence grammatically; rather, they express the speaker’s
intent or attitude. They may introduce or conclude a statement. Many are secondary usages of
other words, generally adverbs and question words.

7.2.3.1 Introductory Particles

‫ ں‬/kyōṁ / (lit. why). As a particle, it solicits the hearer’s reaction to the sentence; it may be
translated as well. It is very informal, and used only when addressing a person.

(7.64) ‫ ا ل ب ؟‬8 8‫آج‬،‫ں ا‬

kyōṁ candā āj kyā ki-yā iskūl mēṁ


why moon.DIM today what do-PP.M.SG school in
‘Well dear (lit. little moon), what did you do in school today?’

‫ ںبہ‬/kyōṁ nah/ (lit. why not), offers a suggestion; it may be translated as how about.

(7.65) ‫ۓ ب ؟‬ ‫ںبہ‬

kyōṁ nah ham cāē pī-ēm


why NEG we tea drink-SBJV.1.PL
‘Why don’t we drink some tea?’

ّ ‫ ا‬/accʰā/ means good; used as an introductory particle, it expresses surprise and sometimes
disapproval. It may be translated by a variety of English interjections.

(7.66) ! a ‫ ڈا‬، ّ ‫ا‬

accʰā tum ḍākt ̣ar hō


good you doctor be.PRS.2.PL
‘So, you’re a doctor!’

7.2.3.2 Tags

/sahī/ very well, all right. This is a concessive tag; it grants the position taken in the preceding
statement.

142
Miscellaneous

(7.67) ‫و‬

jæs-ā tum cāh-ō væs-ā sahī


just.as-M.SG you want-SBJV.2.PL as-M.SG very.well
‘Very well, as you wish.’

It may also optionally follow the particles @ /tō/, /nah/, and /hī/.
ُ
(7.68) @ ‫رے‬ ‫@ا‬ @‫ رے س‬8‫ہ‬C @ @

tō pūcʰ-ā keh kyā tumhār-ē pās kōī ilm hæ tō


CONJ ask-PP.M.SG that Q your-OBL side any knowledge be.PRS.3.SG CONJ
us-ē hamār-ē sāmn-ē nikāl-ō tō sahī
it-ACC us-OBL in.front-OBL take.out-IMP.2.PL EMPH very.well
‘So they asked, “Do you have any knowledge? If so, then, produce it for us!”’

(Note that this usage of the locative ‫س‬ /ke pās/ for intangible possession is unusual (see
Section 5.1.1.1.2 for more on the types of possession). This is probably due to English influence.)
/nā/, as a tag, turns a statement into a yes/no question, expecting an affirmative answer; it may
be translated as isn’t it?, right?, or simply eh?

(7.69) ‫؟‬ ‫ ب‬8‫ری‬ ‫بہ‬

yeh tumhār-ī kitāb hæ nā


this.DIR your-F.SG.DIR book.DIR be.PRS.3.SG TAG
‘This is your book, isn’t it?’

When appended to a courteous request ending in the future form ‫ گ‬/gā/, /nā/ transforms the
sentence into a courteous question. Appended to other requests, usually at the /tum/ politeness
level, it acts as an emphatic.

(7.70) ‫؟‬ ‫آؤ‬

tum ā-ō gē nā
you come-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL TAG
‘You will come, wont you?’

143
Miscellaneous

7.2.3.3 8 /kyā/ for Yes-or-No Questions

As a sentential particle, the interrogative 8 /kyā/ signals a yes-or-no question. In this usage,
8/kyā/ can occur either at the the beginning of the sentence or as a tag, although it is most
commonly used at the beginning. When used as a tag at the end of a sentence, it may express
doubt or challenge.

(7.71) ‫؟‬ @ ‫رے س‬ 8

kyā tumhār-ē pās kōī ilm hæ


Q your-OBL side any knowledge be.PRS.3.SG
‘Do you have any knowledge?’

(Among older speakers, and in more formal speech, this locative construction in 8__‫ س‬/kyā__pās/
would not be used of intangible objects such as knowledge, time, etc. Instead, the expected form
would be ‫ب‬ 8 /kyā tumhēṁ ilm hæ/.)

(7.72) ‫ ؟‬8، ‫آر‬

tum ā rah-ē hō kyā


you come PROG-M.PL be.PRS.2.SG Q
‘Are you coming, or what?’

(7.73) 8 ‫ب‬ ‫وہ ں‬

voh yahāṁ kʰān-ā kʰā-ēṁ gē kyā


they here food-M.SG eat-SBJV.3.PL FUT.M.PL Q
‘Will they be eating here or not?’

7.2.4 Negative Particles

There are three negative particles in Urdu: ‫ بہ‬/nah/, ‫ ب‬/nahiṁ /, and /mat/. The first two can
be used in any context (although there are complicated and evolving rules on which is preferred
in any given situation), but /mat/ is restricted to commands and subjunctives. When used in
commands, the three follow a scale of politeness, with ‫ بہ‬/nah/ being perceived as neutral, ‫ب‬
/nahiṁ / as more insistent, and /mat/ as even emphatic, possibly with a harsh connotation. ‫بہ‬
/nah/ therefore is used with polite imperative forms; /mat/ with @ /tū/ and /tum/ forms.
‫ ب‬/nahiṁ / in commands is a colloquial form, and more common among younger speakers. All
three negative particles can be used with the subjunctive when it is used as a command form.

144
Miscellaneous

(7.74) ! 9‫ اببہد‬5‫اس ت‬

is bāt k-ā javāb nah di-jīyē


this talk POSS-M.SG answer NEG give-IMP.2.PL
‘Don’t reply to such talk (lit. this utterance)!’

(7.75) !‫@ ﻻتبہ رو‬

kutt-ē kō lāt nah mār-ō


dog-M.SG.OBL ACC kick NEG hit-IMP.2.PL
‘Don’t kick (lit. hit with a kick) the dog!’

(7.76) !‫ و‬: ‫ز دہ صہ ب‬

zyādah ɣussah nahīṁ kar-ō


a.lot anger NEG do-IMP.2.PL
‘Don’t get too angry!’

(7.77) ! : ‫ر‬ ‫۔‬ ‫یز‬a ‫بہ‬

yeh mēr-ī zindagī hæ mismār mat kar


this my-F.SG life be.PRS.3.SG destroyed NEG do.IMP.2.SG
‘This is my life, don’t destroy it!’

7.2.5 Other Particles

7.2.5.1 Adjectival Particle /sā/

The particle /sā/ forms adjectival phrases from adjectives, nouns, and pronouns; see Sec-
tion 6.6.1.

7.2.5.2 Interjections

7.2.5.2.1 Vocative expressions

The vocative case endings ‫ و‬/ō/ and ‫ ے‬/ē/ attach to nouns, while the vocative interjection ‫ارے‬
/arē/ precedes names and noun phrases in direct address. ‫ و‬/ō/ and ‫ ے‬/ē/ may be translated
with O, and ‫ ارے‬/arē/ 2 with hey.
2
Although grammatical descriptions list a feminine version, ‫ اری‬/arī/; in practice, it is not used much, and the
masculine form is used for feminine vocatives as well.

145
Miscellaneous

! ‫ ڑ‬/laṛki-ō/ O girls!
! ‫ ارے ڑ‬/arē laṛk-ē/ Hey boy!
! ‫ ارے ڑ‬/arē laṛki-ō/ Hey girls!

7.2.5.2.2 Free Interjections

These particles may introduce a sentence, or may stand alone. The more common free interjections
include ‫ واہ‬/vāh/ and ‫ ش‬/šābāš/, both meaning bravo!; ‫ او‬/ō hō/ oh no!; ‫ اؤی‬/ūī/ ouch! and ‫ۓ‬
/hāē/ alas, both mostly restricted to women’s speech; ‫ ﷲ‬/bismillāh/ in God’s name; and ‫ان ء‬
‫ ﷲ‬/inšāallāh/ God willing.

7.3 Repetition and Reduplication in Urdu

Like many other South Asian languages, Urdu makes prolific use of repetition of words or parts
of words to express such notions as plurality, generality, repetition, and so on. In this grammar,
we refer to the simple repeating or doubling of whole words as repetition and to the repeating of
parts of words as reduplication.

7.3.1 Repetition and Reduplication of Nouns

7.3.1.1 Repetition of Nouns

Urdu nouns can be doubled to express plurality or variety:

(7.78) ‫گآۓ ب‬ ‫ں ڑ ڑ‬

yahāṁ šahar šahar sē lōg ā-ē hæṁ


here city city from people come-PP.M.PL be.PRS.3.SG
‘People from many different cities have come here.’

7.3.1.2 Reduplication of Nouns (Echo Words)

As is seen across the South Asian linguistic area, Urdu has a construction in which a word can be
echoed by a nonsense word to give the first word a general sense. The second word is formed by
changing the initial consonant, usually to a /v/ or a /š/; or, in the case of vowel-initial words, by
adding the /v/ or /š/ to the beginning of the word.3 Reduplication occurs most often in colloquial
speech; it is considered highly informal and is rarely encountered in written Urdu. It is extremely
productive and can be used with loanwords as well as native Urdu words. It is not used with
personal names.
3
Note that use of /š/ in echo words comes from Panjabi, and such forms are regarded as Panjabi, but they are not
uncommon in Urdu due to frequent Urdu-Panjabi code-switching and other contact phenomena.

146
Miscellaneous

‫ ۓواۓ‬/cāē vāē/ tea and the stuff that goes with it (< ‫ ۓ‬/cāē/ tea)
‫ ۓ ۓ‬/cāē šāē/ tea and the stuff that goes with it

‫ موام‬5 /kām vām/ work and associated things

‫وا‬ /kʰānā vānā/ food and such

‫وا‬ /šāping-vāping/ shopping and such

7.3.2 Repetition of Pronouns

As with nouns, repetition of pronouns expresses plurality or variety.

• 8 8 /kyā kyā/ what (various) things?

(7.79) ‫ ر‬8 8‫و ں‬


vahāṁ kyā kyā rakʰ-ā tʰā
there what what place-PP.M.SG be.PST.M.SG
‘What (things) were there?’

• ‫ @ ن @ ن‬/kɔn kɔn/ which (various) people? (See “Notes” in Section 4.6 for more discussion of this
construction.)

(7.80) ‫ک @ ن@ نآ‬
kal kɔn kɔn ā-yā tʰā
yesterday who who come-PP.M.SG be.PST.M.SG
‘Which (various) people came yesterday?’

• @ @ /kōi kōi/ a few

(7.81) ‫ے ب‬a ‫ا‬ ‫گ‬ @ @ ‫ ب‬6‫د‬


dunyā mēṁ kōī kōī lōg bahot amīr hæṁ
world in some some people.DIR very wealthy be.PRS.3.PL
‘Only a few people in the world are very wealthy.’

• @‫بہ‬ @ /kōi nah kōi/ someone (or other)

(7.82) ‫ ےگ‬:‫ی د‬a @ @‫@ بہ‬


kōī nah kōī tō mēr-ī madad kar-ē gā
some NEG some EMPH my-F.SG aid do-SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘Someone or other will help me out.’

147
Miscellaneous

• ‫ ھ ھ‬/kucʰ kucʰ/ somewhat/a bit

(7.83) ‫ر‬ ‫آجوہ ھ ھ ش‬


āj voh kucʰ kucʰ xāmōš lag rah-ā tʰā
today he.DIR some some quiet apply PROG-M.SG be.PST.M.SG
‘Today he seemed somewhat quiet.’

• ‫ ھبہ ھ‬/kucʰ nah kucʰ/ something (or other)

(7.84) ‫ھبہ ھ@ گ‬
kʰā-n-ē kē.liyē kucʰ nah kucʰ tō hō gā
eat-INF-OBL for some NEG some TOP be FUT.M.SG
‘There must be something (or other) to eat.’

(7.85) ‫ھبہ ھ@ گ‬ ‫ا ری ب‬
almārī mēṁ pehn-n-ē kē.liyē kucʰ nah kucʰ tō hō gā
closet in wear-INF-OBL for some NEG some TOP be FUT.M.SG
‘There must be something or other to wear in the closet.’

7.3.3 Repetition and Reduplication of Adjectives

Like nouns and pronouns (see Section 7.3.1 and Section 7.3.2), adjectives may be repeated or
reduplicated (repeated in part or with alterations).

7.3.3.1 Repetition of Adjectives

Repetition of an adjective, along with any inflectional endings that would normally appear on it,
gives it a meaning of plurality or multiplicity:
ّ9 ‫و‬ ‫ و‬/cʰot ̣ē cʰot ̣ē baccē/ many small children; small children all over the place (lit. small
small children)
Adjective repetition may also carry affective meanings--specifically, a sense of goodness or appro-
priateness.
‫ا‬ ‫ا‬ /t ̣hand̩ā t ̩hand̩ā pānī/ nice cold water (lit. cold cold water)
The phrase assumes that cold is a positive attribute of water-- that we are speaking of drinking
and not, say, of bathing-- and the reduplication intensifies the positive association. These shades
of meaning are not entirely predictable, and will often need to be learned phrase by phrase.

7.3.3.2 Reduplication of Adjectives

Adjective reduplication involves an alteration of the vowel, as in ‫ک‬ / t ̩hīk t ̩hāk/ all right,
from / t ̩hīk/ right. This echo element generalizes the meaning of the reduplicated word.

148
Miscellaneous

7.3.4 Repetition of Adverbs

Repeating an adverb conveys distributive, iterative, or intensive meaning:


Examples include the following:
/jæsē jæsē/ as, while

/kabʰī kabʰī/ now and then ( /kabʰī/ ever, once)

‫ب‬ ‫ ب‬/kahīṁ kahīṁ / here and there ( ‫ ب‬/kahīṁ / somewhere, anywhere)


‫ ں ں‬/jūṁ jūm/̇ as long as, as far as (‫ ں‬/jūṁ / as)

‫یآؤ‬ ‫ی‬ /jaldi ̄ jaldi ̄ āō/ come very quickly


Some idioms of this type are formed from two members of the same y-v-k-j set. These resemble
reduplication, except that the second element is a real word, not a nonsense word:
‫ںو ں‬ /yahāṁ vahāṁ / here and there
‫ اد راد ر‬/idʰar udʰar/ here and there (lit. hither and thither)
‫ ں@ ں‬/jūṁ tūṁ / somehow or other (lit. as thus)

7.3.5 Repetition of Verbal Forms

Participles can be repeated in Urdu to show continuing or repeated action, with nuances of mean-
ing expressed by the particular sort of participle that is being repeated.

7.3.5.1 Repetition of Conjunctive Participles

Repeating a conjunctive participle expresses repeated or continuous action.

(7.86) ‫ب د‬ ‫سو‬ ‫رورو‬ 9

baccē nē rō rō kē mujʰ-ē sō-n-ē nahīṁ dī-yā


child ERG cry cry do me-ACC sleep-INF-OBL NEG give-PP.M.SG
‘The child kept crying and did not let me sleep.’

7.3.5.2 Repetition of Imperfective Participles

Repeating an imperfective participle conveys two things about the action of the participle: first,
that it is continuous or repeated, and second, that its inception precedes the action of the main
verb. Often the action of the main verb either is the result of the previous action or else somehow
caused that action to end or prevented it from being completely accomplished. Generally a re-
peated imperfect participle does not have to agree with its subject; instead, the masculine oblique

149
Miscellaneous

singular form of the participle is used, regardless of the subject’s gender.4 However, if the partici-
ple and main verb share the same subject, and the subject is in the direct case, the participle may
optionally agree with its subject.

(7.87) ‫ے سآ‬a :‫م‬ ‫گ‬ ‫گ‬ ‫و‬

wasīm bʰāg-t-ā bʰāg-t-ā mujʰ-ē salām kar-n-ē mēr-ē pās


Waseem run-IP-M.SG run-IP-M.SG me-ACC greeting do-INF-OBL my-OBL side
ā-yā
come-PP.M.SG
‘Waseem came running toward me to greet me.’

(7.88) :‫ در ر‬a a ‫وہ‬

voh tær-t-ī tær-t-ī daryā pār kar ga-ī


she swim-IP.F.SG swim-IP-F.SG river cross do go-PP.F.SG
‘She swam across the river.’

(7.89) ‫بآ‬ ‫ڈ‬ ‫ڈا@ ؤں@ ڈ‬ ‫آد‬ ‫را‬

rājā k-ē ādmī ḍākū-ōṁ kō ḍʰūṁ ḍ-t-ē ḍʰūṁ ḍ-t-ē kʰēt


king POSS-M.PL men bandit-M.PL.OBL ACC search-IP-M.PL search-IP-M.PL field
par ā nikal-ē
on come emerge-PP.M.PL
‘Searching for the bandits, the king’s men arrived in the field.’

Two semantically related imperfective participles may be used one after the other in a similar
way:

(7.90) ‫ر‬ 9 ‫ب ۔س‬ ‫رو‬ @‫ہ‬C 5‫ﷲ‬

allāh k-ā šukr hæ keh kōī rō-yā nahīṁ sab


God POSS-M.SG thanks be.PRS.3.SG that anyone cry-PP.M.SG NEG all
bacc-ē haṁ s-t-ē kʰēl-t-ē hī gʰar cal-ē ga-ē
child-M.PL laugh-IP-M.PL play-IP-M.PL EXC house walk-PP.M.PL go-PP.M.PL
‘Thank God no-one cried. All the kids went home laughing and playing.’

4
This especially true of Delhi Urdu.

150
Miscellaneous

7.3.5.3 Repetition of Perfective Participles

Perfective participles can also be repeated to convey an action that is repeated, but not continued
(since perfective participles signify completed action). As with repeated imperfective participles,
the most common form, regardless of the subject, is masculine oblique singular, unless the main
verb is in a perfective tense and the subject in the direct case. In these instances, the participle
generally agrees with the subject.

(7.91) ‫ےسوگ‬h ‫ے‬h ‫وہ‬

voh kʰar-ē kʰar-ē sō ga-yā


he standing-PP.M.PL standing-PP.M.PL sleep go-PP.M.SG
‘He fell asleep standing up.’

151
Verbs

Chapter 8

Verbs

8.1 The Four Basic Verb Forms

8.1.1 Overview

The various inflected verb forms and verb constructions of Urdu are created by adding certain
elements to one of the following four basic forms:

• the stem

• the perfective participle

• the imperfective participle

• the infinitive

These basic forms combine with various suffixes and auxiliary verbs1 to produce a wide range of
tense and aspect forms of the Urdu verbal system.2
In Urdu, tense is indicated through auxiliary verbs (or, in the case of the future, through a suffix).
Among the tenses, each of the three aspects is associated with one basic verbal form, upon which
a full verbal construction, with tense and aspect, is based:

• stem (along with obligatory perfective participle of ‫ ر‬/rahnā/ to remain) → durative aspect (the
progressive tenses)

• imperfective participle →imperfective aspect (the imperfect tenses)

• perfective participle → perfective aspect (the perfect tenses)


1
An auxiliary verb is a verb that forms part of a group of two or more verbs and conveys grammatical (but not
semantic) information, such as tense, aspect, person, number, etc. For example, in the English sentence the ice has
melted, the verb phrase is has melted, and the auxiliary is has, which signals that the verb phrase is in the present perfect
and the third person singular. On the other hand, the main verb, melted, is what gives us the semantic information.
2
Tense refers to the time frame in which the action takes place--past, present, future. Aspect refers to the action’s
state of completion or its temporal structure--for example, progressive (or durative), habitual, completed (or perfective,
and so on.)

152
Verbs

Verbs are inflected to agree in number and person with their associated nouns (usually the subject,
but in the case of perfect tenses of transitive verbs, the object). As discussed in Section 4.2.1,
subjects in the third person that have a singular referent can take a plural verb, to indicate a
higher degree of respect.

(8.1) ‫ ر‬:‫م‬5

salīm kām kar rah-ā hæ


Saleem work do PROG-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Saleem is working.’

versus

(8.2) ‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫ م‬5

salīm kām kar rah-ē hæṁ


Saleem work do PROG-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘Saleem is working. [more respectful]’

The formal grammar’s definition of the morphosyntactic features of verbs follows:

<!--Verb features
In addition to the features below, verbs may be inflected for the
gender and number of their subjects (or sometimes objects); those
features are defined for nouns. Also, infinitives can be inflected for
case, since they are in essence nouns.
-->
<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Causative' id='fdefnCausative'>
<!--This is an ad hoc feature, but it's unclear what the
morphosyntactic structure of a causative should be.-->
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='single' id='fvSingle'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='double' id='fvDouble'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Finite' id='fdefnFinite'>


<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='finite' id='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='participle' id='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='infinitive' id='fvInfinitive'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Mood' id='fdefnMood'>


<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='indicative' id='fvIndicative'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='imperative' id='fvImperative'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='subjunctive' id='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

153
Verbs

<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Tense' id='fdefnTense'>


<!--Only on hona -->
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='present' id='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='past' id='fvPast'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>
<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Aspect' id='fdefnAspect'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='perfective' id='fvPerfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='imperfective' id='fvImperfective'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Person' id='fdefnPerson'>


<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='1' id='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='2' id='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='3' id='fv3'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

<Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn name='Formal' id='fdefnFormal'>


<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='formal' id='fvFormal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='mid' id='fvMid'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValueDefn symbol='informal' id='fvInformal'/>
</Fs:ClosedFeatureDefn>

As described below, verbs can also be inflected to agree in gender and number with nouns; the
formal grammar uses the noun features described in Chapter 3 for agreement on verbs.

8.1.2 The Stem

The stem is the base, or bare form, of the verb to which suffixes are added. Generally speaking,
the stem of a given verb can be inferred from the infinitive: taking away the infinitival suffix
/-nā/ leaves the stem. Urdu stems have three basic forms.
Formation:

• plain stem:3
plain stem + ∅ (i.e., no suffix)

• causative stem:4
plain stem + ‫ ا‬/-ā/ or ‫ ﻻ‬/-lā/

• double causative stem:


plain stem + ‫ وا‬/-vā/ or ‫ ا‬/-lvā/

Table 8.1 shows the types of verb stem.


3
Also known as a root.
4
Alternative terms are double transitive, derived transitive or single causative.

154
Verbs

Table 8.1: Types of Verb Stem

: ‫ھ‬
Plain stem /kar/ /sun/ /bæt ̣ʰ/
to do [something] to hear to sit

‫ا‬:
/karā/
Causative stem to cause [something] /sunā/
to tell (lit. to cause /bit ̣ʰā/
to be done, to have to make [someone] sit
someone to hear)
[something] done

‫ وا‬: ‫وا‬
Double causative /karvā/ /sunvā/ /bit ̣ʰvā/
stem to cause [someone] to to cause [someone] to to get someone to
do [something] tell make someone sit

8.1.3 The Imperfective Participle

Formation:
stem + ‫~ ~ ب‬ ~ /-tā~ -tē ~ -tī ~ -tīṁ /
The suffix has variants because imperfective participles are adjectival in form and are therefore
inflected to agree in gender and number with their noun or pronoun complements. Usually, just
as with adjectives (see Table 6.1 for adjectival endings), there is no distinction between the sin-
gular and plural in the feminine: the feminine suffix /-tī/ is used for both singular and plural
imperfective participles. But where an auxiliary is not present (which happens with irrealis con-
ditionals with the imperfective participle and negative sentences of the present imperfect), the
plural marking that would have appeared on an auxiliary is shifted to the feminine participle, and
therefore the suffix /-tīṁ / is used instead for feminine plural imperfective participles.
Table 8.2 shows suffixes of the imperfective participle.

Table 8.2: Suffixes of the Imperfective Participle

Masculine
/-tā/ /-tē/

‫ب‬
Feminine
/-tī/ /-tīṁ /

155
Verbs

The imperfective is used for actions which are incomplete, either because they have not yet been
finished, or because they are habitual or recurring.
Examples:

→ ‫ ب‬:~ :~ :~ : /kartā~ kartē ~ kartī ~


: /karnā/ to do
kartīṁ / doing

→ ‫ ا ب‬:~ ‫ ا‬:~ ‫ ا‬:~ ‫ ا‬: /karātā ~ karātē ~


‫ ا‬: /karānā/ to cause [something] to be done karātī ~ karātīṁ / causing [something] to be
done

→ ‫ وا ب‬:~ ‫ وا‬:~ ‫ وا‬:~ ‫ وا‬: /karvātā ~ karvātē


‫ وا‬: /karvānā/ to cause [someone] to do
~ karvātī ~ karvātīṁ / causing [someone] to
[something]
do

8.1.4 The Perfective Participle

Formation:
stem + ‫ ا~ے ~ی~ب‬/-ā ~ -ē ~ -ī ~ -īṁ /
Like the imperfective participle, it is inflected adjectivally, to agree in gender and number with
its noun or pronoun complements.
Vowel-final stems combine with the ‫ ا‬/-ā/ and ‫ ی‬/-ī/ suffixes in the following ways:

• ā + ā → āyā ‫ ا‬: /kʰā/ → /kʰāyā/ he ate

• a + ā → ayā :

• ō + ā → ōyā ‫ و‬: ‫ سو‬/sō/ → ‫ سو‬/sōyā/ he slept

• ī + ā → iyā : /pī/ → 6 /piyā/ he drank

• ī+ī→ī‫ی‬: /pī/ → /pī/ she drank

• ī + īṁ → īṁ ‫ب‬: /pī/ → ‫ ب‬/pīṁ / they (fem.) drank

• i+ī→ī‫ی‬:

Some verbs have irregular perfective stems:


/hōnā/ to be, perfective stem /hu-/; perfective participle ‫ ا‬/huvā/ ( ‫ب‬،‫ی‬،‫ ے‬/-ē, -ī, -īṁ /)

/jānā/ to go, perfective stem ‫ گ‬/ga-/; perfective participle ‫ گ‬/gayā/ ( ‫ب‬،‫ی‬،‫ ے‬/-ē, -ī, -īṁ /)

: /karnā/ to do, perfective stem ‫ ک‬/ki-/; perfective participle 8 /kiyā/ ( ‫ب‬،‫ی‬،‫ ے‬/-ē, -ī, -īṁ /)5
5
There is a dialectal form of the perfective participle, ‫ ا‬: /karā/, that is heard instead of 8 /kiyā/.

156
Verbs

6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give, perfective stem ‫ د‬/di-/; perfective participle ‫ د‬/diyā/ ( ‫ب‬،‫ی‬،‫ ے‬/-ē, -ī, -īṁ /)
/lēnā/ to take, perfective stem ‫ ل‬/li-/; perfective participle /liyā/ ( ‫ب‬،‫ی‬،‫ ے‬/-ē, -ī, -īṁ /)
The perfective participle is used for the perfective aspect--completed or finished actions, and ac-
tions that occur only once. See Section 8.5 below for uses of the perfective.

8.1.5 The Infinitive

Formation:
stem + /-nā/6
The infinitive is the citation form of the verb, which means that it is the form used when speaking
about that verb, as for example when answering the question, “How do you say eat in Urdu?”
Formally it is a verbal noun, occurring in the direct case as the subject of a verb or in the oblique
case with postpositions. When used this way, it is inflected as a singular masculine marked noun:
/-nā/ for the direct case and /-nē/ or the oblique. See Section 8.6 for uses of the infinitive.
Table 8.3 shows examples of infinitives.

Table 8.3: Examples of Infinitives

:
From plain stem /karnā/ /sunnā/ /bæt ̣ʰnā/
to do [something] to hear to sit

‫ا‬:
From a causative /karānā/
to cause [something] /sunānā/ /bit ̣ʰānā/
stem to tell (lit. to cause to make [someone] to
to be done, to have
someone to hear) sit
[something] done

‫ وا‬: ‫با‬ ‫وا‬


From a double /karvānā/ /sunvānā/ /bit ̣ʰvānā/
causative stem to cause [someone] to to cause [someone] to to get [someone] to
do [something] tell make someone sit

8.2 The Auxiliary Verb /hōnā̄/ to be

The verb /hōnā/ to be, to become is used as both a main verb and an auxiliary verb. As an
auxiliary verb, it is the basis of all the complex verbal constructions of Urdu. Its tense determines
the tense of verbal constructions in which it appears.
Since /hōnā/ is irregular and is used in so many verbal constructions, the relevant paradigms
are given here; the formal grammar fragment for this verb is given at the end of this section.
6
“Stem” here means any of the three types of stem.

157
Verbs

8.2.1 Present Tense

The present tense of /hōnā/ is used in present tense constructions. These forms agree with
their subject in person and number. Negatives are formed with the word ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /, as they
are in all the indicative forms.
Table 8.4 shows the conjugation of the present tense form of the verb /hōnā/ to be.

Table 8.4: Present Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

1st person singular ‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ hūm/̇ I am

2nd person
@ /tū hæ/ you are
singular

3rd person singular ‫وہ‬ /voh hæ/ he/she/it is

1st person plural ‫ب‬ /ham hæṁ / we are

2nd person plural


/tum hō/ you are
(informal)

2nd person plural


‫آپ ب‬ /āp hæṁ / you are
(formal)

3rd person plural ‫وہ ب‬ /voh hæṁ / they are

8.2.2 Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense of /hōnā/ is used in past tense constructions. These forms are participial
in origin; as such, they agree with their subject in number and gender, but not person. The variants
within each entry represent masculine and feminine forms respectively.
The negative of the past tense of /hōnā/ is generally formed with ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /.
Table 8.5 shows the conjugation of the past tense form of the verb /hōnā/ to be.

8.2.3 Subjunctive Mood

The subjunctive mood of /hōnā/ is used to refer to unrealized actions, for example in conditional
constructions, . These forms agree with their subject in person and number.
Table 8.6 shows the conjugation of the subjunctive mood form of the verb /hōnā/ to be.
In the subjunctive, the negative is formed with the particle ‫ بہ‬/nah/.

158
Verbs

Table 8.5: Past Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

1st person singular ‫ب‬ /mæṁ tʰā/ I was


‫ب‬ /mæṁ tʰī/

2nd person @ /tū tʰā/ you were


singular @ /tū tʰī/

3rd person singular ‫وہ‬ /voh tʰā/ he/it was


‫وہ‬ /voh tʰī/ she/it was

1st person plural /ham tʰē/ we were


/ham tʰīṁ /
‫ب‬

2nd person plural /tum tʰē/ you were


(informal) /tum tʰīṁ /
‫ب‬

2nd person plural ‫آپ‬ /āp tʰē/ you were


(formal) /āp tʰīṁ /
‫آپ ب‬

3rd person plural ‫وہ‬ /voh tʰē/ they were


‫وہ ب‬ /voh tʰīṁ /

8.2.4 Future Tense

Formation:
subjunctive + ~ ~ ‫ گ‬/gā ~ gē ~ gī/
In addition to indicating future time, the future tense of /hōnā/ is used in presumptive construc-
tions, to describe actions predicted to occur or assumed to have occurred. It is formed by adding
، ، 5 /gā ~ gē ~ gī/ to the subjunctive. These suffixes are usually written separately, but can
also be written attached to the preceding subjunctive form, and the alternate joined forms occur
often enough that we have included them in the table below.7 As with the past tense, these forms
agree with their subject in gender and number, and the variants in the table represent masculine
and feminine forms respectively. The negative is formed with /nahīṁ /.
Table 8.7 shows the conjugation of the future tense form of the verb /hōnā/ to be.
7
Note that when the endings are attached to the verb in writing, the nūn γunnah becomes a medial consonant and
consequently is represented as a full consonantal nūn, although this difference in spelling does not reflect a difference
in pronunciation: regardless of spelling, one still hears only a nasalized vowel + /g/, not a vowel + full consonantal
nasal + /g/.

159
Verbs

Table 8.6: Subjunctive Mood Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

1st person singular ‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ hūṁ / I may be/should be

2nd person
@ /tū hō/ you may be/should be
singular

he/she/it may be/


3rd person singular ‫وہ‬ /voh hō/
should be

1st person plural ‫ں‬ /ham hōṁ / we may be/should be

2nd person plural


/tum hō/ you may be/should be
(informal)

2nd person plural


‫آپ ں‬ /āp hōṁ / you may be/should be
(formal)

3rd person plural ‫وہ ں‬ /voh hōṁ / they may be/should be

8.2.5 Formal Grammar of /hōnā̄/ to be

The formal grammar for the verb /hōnā/ to be is given below.

<Irr:LexicalEntry lemma=' ' PartOfSpeech='posVerb'>


<!--Present tense forms-->
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-1SgPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ں‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2SgPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>

160
Verbs

Table 8.7: Future Tense Paradigm of /hōnā/ to be

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

1st person singular ~ ‫ںگ‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ hūṁ gā ~ I will be


~ ‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ hūṁ gā/
/mæṁ hūṁ gī ~
hūṁ gī/

2nd person ‫گ~ گ‬ @ /tū hō gā ~ hōgā/ you will be


singular ~ @ /tū hō gī ~ hōgī/

3rd person singular ‫وہ گ ~ گ‬ /voh hō gā ~ hōgā/ he/it will be


~ ‫وہ‬ /voh hō gī ~ hōgī/ she/it will be

1st person plural ~ ‫ں‬ /ham hōṁ gē ~ we will be


hōṁ ge/
~ ‫ں‬ /ham hōṁ gī ~
hōṁ gī/

2nd person plural ~ ‫ں‬ /tum hōṁ gē ~ you will be


(informal) hōṁ ge/
~ ‫ں‬ /tum hōṁ gī ~
hōṁ gī/

2nd person plural ~ ‫آپ ں‬ /āp hōṁ gē ~ you will be


(formal) hōṁ ge/
~ ‫آپ ں‬ /āp hōṁ gī ~
hōṁ gī/

3rd person plural ~ ‫وہ ں‬ /voh hōṁ gē ~ they will be


~ ‫وہ ں‬ hōṁ ge/
/voh hōṁ gī ~
hōṁ gī/

161
Verbs

<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-3SgPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-1PlPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' ‫' ب‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2PlInfPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInformal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2PlFormPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' ‫' ب‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFormal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-3PlPres'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' ‫' ب‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPresent'/>

162
Verbs

<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>

<!--Past tense forms-->


<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-SgMascPast'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPast'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-SgFemPast'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPast'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-PlMascPast'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPast'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-PlFemPast'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' ‫' ب‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPast'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvIndicative'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>

<!--Subjunctive mood forms-->


<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-1SgSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ں‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>

163
Verbs

<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2SgSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-3SgSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-1PlSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ں‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2PlInfSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling=' '/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInformal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-2PlFormSubjunc'>
<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ں‬/>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFormal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
<Irr:WordForm inflectionalGloss='-3PlSubjunc'>

164
Verbs

<Ph:Form spelling='‫' ں‬/>


<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Irr:WordForm>
</Irr:LexicalEntry>

8.3 Verb Constructions Using the Stem

8.3.1 Imperatives

There are three levels of imperative, or request, forms in Urdu, not counting the impersonal request
with the infinitive (see Section 8.6.2). These three correspond to the three levels of familiarity
among the pronouns @ /tū/, /tum/, and ‫ آپ‬/āp/.

See Section 7.2.4 for how to negate imperatives; i.e., how to express prohibitions.

8.3.1.1 Intimate

Formation:
stem + ∅
The least formal of the three levels of request form corresponds to the intimate second-person
pronoun @ /tū/. It consists of the bare verb stem alone. Imperatives corresponding to @ /tū/ are
used only when addressing very small children, pets, and God. Note that when that when used in
contexts inappropriate for intimate forms, these imperatives are considered extremely rude and
demeaning and, in those instances, are meant to belittle or chastise.
! ( @) /(tū) sun/ Listen!

! :( @) /(tū) kar/ Do it!

!‫ وا‬:( @) /(tū) karvā/ Get someone to do it!

8.3.1.2 Familiar

Formation:
stem + ‫ و‬/-ō/8
This mid-level imperative corresponds to the pronoun /tum/. In keeping with the use of
/tum/ for both singular and plural subjects, this form can be used in singular and plural contexts.
! ‫ ) ( ب‬/(tum) sunō/ Listen!

8
Equivalent to the second person plural subjunctive; see Section 8.3.2.1 below.

165
Verbs

!‫ ) ( ؤ‬/(tum) sunāō/ Cause (me) to listen! (e.g., play some music for me so that I can hear)

!‫و‬ ( )/(tum) bæt ̣ʰō/ Sit!

8.3.1.3 Formal/Polite

8.3.1.3.1 Regular Forms

Formation:9
stem + /-iyē/

The polite imperative corresponds to the pronoun ‫ آپ‬/āp/.

(‫ )آپ‬/(āp) jāiyē/ Please go!

(‫ )آپ‬/(āp) kʰāiyē/ Please eat!

This ending is spelled ‫ ۓ‬/-iē/ ~ /-īē/ ~ /iyē/ when added to stems ending in consonants.

~ ~ (‫)آپ‬/(āp) suniē ~ sunīē ~ suniyē/ Please listen!

~ ~ (‫ )آپ‬/(āp) bæt ̣ʰiē ~ bæt ̣ʰīē ~ bætʰiyē/ Please sit!

8.3.1.3.2 Irregular Forms

Four verbs have irregular formal imperatives:

Verb Polite Imperative

:
/karnā/ →
/kījie/
to do

6‫د‬ 9‫د‬
/dēnā/ →
/dījie/
to give

/lēnā/ →
/lījie/
to eat

/pīnā/ →
/pījie/
to drink
9
The subjunctive can also be used to express a formal imperative with a slightly less formal connotation than ‫ۓ‬
/-iye/, as in let’s go; why don’t you have a seat, etc. (See below, Section 8.3.2.2.1.)

166
Verbs

8.3.2 Subjunctive

8.3.2.1 Forming the Subjunctive

Formation:
stem + personal endings (see Table 8.8 below)
Both regular and irregular subjunctive verbs agree with their subjects in person and number.

Table 8.8 shows regular subjunctive conjugation in the verb : /karnā/ to do.

8.3.2.1.1 Regular Subjunctive Conjugation

Table 8.8: Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

1st person singular ‫ وں‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ karūṁ / I may do

2nd person
‫ے‬: @ /tū karē/ you may do
singular

3rd person singular ‫ ے‬:‫وہ‬ /voh karē/ he/she/it may do

1st person plural ‫ب‬: /ham karēṁ / we may do

2nd person plural ‫و‬: /tum karō/ you may do


(informal)

2nd person plural


‫ ب‬:‫آپ‬ /āp karēṁ / you may do
(formal)

3rd person plural ‫ ب‬:‫وہ‬ /voh karēṁ / they may do

8.3.2.1.2 Irregular Subjunctives

The verb /hōnā/ to be is irregular in the subjunctive; see Section 8.2.3 above. The verbs 6‫د‬
/dēnā/ to give and /lēnā/ to take also follow an irregular conjugation:
Table 8.9 shows irregular subjunctive conjugation in the verb 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give; Table 8.10 shows
irregular subjunctive conjugation in the verb /lēnā/ to take.

8.3.2.2 Uses of the Subjunctive

The subjunctive mood is used for unrealized actions or events. It is required by certain phrases
and adverbs, particularly those expressing doubt or contingency, and by some types of dependent

167
Verbs

Table 8.9: Subjunctive Paradigm of 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give

1st person singular ‫ب دوں‬ /mæṁ dūṁ / I may give

2nd person
‫@ دے‬ /tū dē/ you may give
singular

3rd person singular ‫وہدے‬ /voh dē/ he/she/it may give

1st person plural ‫دب‬ /ham dēṁ / we may give

2nd person plural ‫دو‬ /tum dō/ you may give


(informal)

2nd person plural


‫آپدب‬ /āp dēṁ / you may give
(formal)

3rd person plural ‫وہدب‬ /voh dēṁ / they may give

Table 8.10: Subjunctive Paradigm of /lēnā/ to take

1st person singular ‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ lūṁ / I may take

2nd person
@ /tū lē/ you may take
singular

3rd person singular ‫وہ‬ /voh lē/ he/she/it may take

1st person plural ‫ب‬ /ham lēṁ / we may take

2nd person plural


/tum lō/ you may take
(informal)

2nd person plural


‫آپ ب‬ /āp lēṁ / you may take
(formal)

3rd person plural ‫وہ ب‬ /voh lēṁ / they may take

168
Verbs

clauses.10 Subjunctive verbs are often translated with may, might, or should. They aways take ‫بہ‬
/nah/ in the negative.
Some words or phrases that require or frequently take the subjunctive are listed in the following
table. Examples of each in a sentence can be found in the next two sections.

Table 8.11: Phrases Requiring the Subjunctive

/šāyad/ maybe

(‫ہ‬C)‫ ش‬511 /kāš (keh)/ if only

‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ so that

‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a /bašart-e-keh/ on condition that

introduces subordinate
Verb + ‫ہ‬C Verb + /keh/
clause

8.3.2.2.1 Subjunctive in Main Clauses

The subjunctive on its own may be used in main clauses to:

• ask permission:

(8.3) ‫ ں‬:‫ م‬5‫ ب بہ‬8


kyā mæṁ yeh kām kar l-ūṁ
Q I.DIR this.DIR work.DIR do take-SBJV.1.SG
‘May I do this work?’

• make a wish or express a preference:

(8.4) ‫ہ ر ن ۓ‬C‫ں‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ cāh-t-ī hūṁ keh umar landan jā-ē
I.DIR want-IP-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG that Umar London go-SBJV.3.SG
‘I want Umar to go to London.’

10
A dependent, or subordinate, clause is a part of a sentence that has a subject and a verb, but is dependent on
(subordinate to) the sentence’s main clause; that is, they could not stand alone. An example in English would be the
sentence if you practice every day, you will learn to play piano well, where if you practice every day is the subordinate
clause and you will learn to play piano well is the main clause. The subject of the main clause and the subject of the
dependent clause may be the same, as in the example above, or they may be different, as in when he went outside, the
sky was cloudy, where when he went outside is the dependent clause and the sky was cloudy the main clause.
11
Subjunctive not always required; in irrealis contexts, the simple imperfective participle is used.

169
Verbs

• make an informal request or indirect command (See Section 8.3.1.2):

(8.5) ‫ب‬ ‫ ب ک آپو ں‬: ‫ا‬


æs-ā kar-ēṁ kal āp vahāṁ cal-ē jā-ēṁ
like.this-M.SG do-SBJV.2.PL tomorrow you there walk-PP.M.PL go-SBJV.2.PL
‘Why don’t you do this: go there tomorrow...’

(8.6) ‫ب‬ ‫ت ب اورک روابہ‬ ‫آپا‬


āp æhmad k-ī bāt mān-ēṁ ɔr kal ravānah hō
you Ahmed POSS-F.SG talk accept-SBJV.2.PL and tomorrow departed be
jā-ēṁ
go-SBJV.2.PL
‘You should listen to Ahmed and depart tomorrow.’

• make a formal request or indirect command (See Section 8.3.1.3.1 above):

(8.7) ! ‫ ب‬:‫آپ‬
āp kar-ēṁ
you do-SBJV.2.PL
‘You should do it!’

• express a possibility, using /šāyad/ maybe:

(8.8) ‫< آج ںآۓ‬


šayad sād āj yahāṁ ā-ē
maybe Saad.DIR today here come-SBJV.3.SG
‘Maybe Saad will come here today.’

• make a wish, using (‫ہ‬C)‫ ش‬5 /kāš (keh)/ if only:12

(8.9) ‫ہآجوہدو@ ں رآ ب‬C ‫ ش‬5


kāš keh āj voh dō-nōṁ gʰar ā jā-ēṁ
if.only that today they two-M.OBL.PL house come go-SBJV.3.PL
‘If only both of them could come home today.’

• to express a negative possibility (translatable as lest):


12
‫ ش‬5 /kāš/ is usually used with the imperfective participle to express an impossible or failed event: if only she had
not missed her train.

170
Verbs

(8.10) ‫ۓ‬ ‫وربہ‬h ‫ؤوہ‬ @ ّ9


bacc-ē kō kʰi-lā-ō voh kamzōr nah hō jā-ē
child-OBL.M.SG ACC eat-CAUS-IMP.2.PL he weak NEG become go-SBJV.3.SG
‘Feed the child lest he starve. (lit. become weak)’

8.3.2.2.2 Subjunctive in Subordinate Clauses

While not all subordinate clauses in Urdu require the subjunctive, many do. The subjunctive is
used when a subordinate clause expresses a contingent situation introduced by a subordinating
conjunction,13 including /keh/ that:

• ‫ اگ‬/agar/ if 14

(8.11) 6‫ا د‬ @ ‫ںآ ب‬ ‫اگ‬


agar cācā yahāṁ ā-ēṁ tō mujʰ-ē ut ̣ʰā dē-nā
if uncle.DIR here come-SBJV.3.PL CONJ me-ACC awaken give-INF
‘If uncle comes here, then wake me up.’

• /jab tak/ + NEGATIVE unless, until (introduces a relative clause which may contain a
subjunctive or an indicative)

(8.12) ‫ب ھ ب دوں‬ ‫ا د ںبہآۓ ب‬


jab tak abbā xud yahāṁ nah ā-ē mæṁ tumh-ēṁ kucʰ
when until dad self here NEG come-PP.3.PL I you-OBL something
nahīṁ d-ūṁ gī
NEG give-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG
‘Until Dad isn’t around, I’m not giving you anything.’

• ‫ہ‬C /tā keh/ so that

(8.13) ‫ ے‬: ‫ م‬5‫ہوہ‬C ‫د@ ؤ‬


mahmūd kō bulā-ō tā keh voh kām xatam kar-ē
Mahmood ACC call-IMP.2.PL so that he.DIR work complete do-SBJV.3.SG
‘Call Mahmood so that he may finish the work.’

• ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a /bašart-e-keh/ on condition that


13
A conjunction is a part of speech (like nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.) that joins words, phrases, or clauses. Some
English conjunctions are and, or, but, if, because, and although. Words like and, or, and but are called coordinating
conjunctions because they join grammatically equal elements; words like if, because, that, and although are called
subordinating conjunctions because they join a main clause with a subordinate clause.
14
‫ اگ‬/agar/ does not always take the subjunctive. See below for more on subjunctive sentences.

171
Verbs

(8.14) ‫ل ب‬ ‫وزب ا‬ ‫ہ‬C‫ط‬a ‫آ ؤں‬ ‫وا‬ ‫ا‬: ‫ب‬


mæṁ karācī vāpas ā jā-ūṁ gī bašart-e-keh mulk
I.DIR Karachi back come go-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG on.condition.that country
k-ē vazīr-e-āzim badal jā-ēṁ
POSS-M.PL Prime.Minister change go-SBJV.3.PL
‘I will return to Karachi on condition that the country’s Prime Minister change.’

• Verb or Verb Phrase + ‫ہ‬C /keh/ that

– ‫ہ‬C :‫ رض‬/farz karnā keh/ to suppose (that)

(8.15) ‫دوں‬ ‫ںآد‬ ‫ہ ب‬C ‫ و‬:‫رض‬


farz kar-ō keh mæṁ yahāṁ ādmī bæt ̣ʰ-ā d-ūṁ
supposition do-IMP.2.PL that I.DIR here man sit-CAUS give-SBJV.1.SG
‘Suppose that I seat a man here.’

– ‫ہ‬C ‫ر‬ /majbūr hōnā keh/ to be compelled to

(8.16) ‫ ے‬:‫ م‬5 ‫ہ‬C‫ و‬:‫ربہ‬ ‫ا‬


us-ē majbūr nah kar-ō keh ɣalat kām kar-ē
him-ACC obliged NEG do-IMP.2.PL that wrong work do-SBJV.3.SG
‘Don’t force him to do bad things.’

– ‫ہ‬C /cāhnā keh/ to want to

(8.17) ‫دے‬ @ ‫ہبہ‬C 8


kyā tum cāh-t-ē hō keh yeh hukūmat mulk kō bæc
Q you.DIR want-IP-M.PL be that this.DIR government.DIR country ACC sell
d-ē
give-SBJV.3.SG
‘Do you want this government to sell off the country?’

– ‫ہ‬C ‫ دل‬/dil cāhnā keh/ to feel like

(8.18) ‫ی@ روا‬ ‫ہوہا‬C ‫ دل‬5 ‫ب ا‬


kahānī mēṁ æhmed k-ā dil cah-t-ā tʰā keh
story in Ahmed POSS-M.SG.DIR heart.DIR want-IP-M.SG be.PST.M.SG that
voh apn-ī bīvī kō mar-vā l-ē
he own-F.SG wife ACC die-CAUS take-SBJV.3.SG
‘In the story Ahmed wanted to have his wife killed.’

– ‫ہ‬C : @ /kōšiš karnā keh/ to try to

172
Verbs

(8.19) ‫نب ۓ ا بہبہ ا‬ ‫ہ وہ ج ب‬C‫ ی‬: @ ‫دا‬


dāniš nē košiš kar-ī keh voh fɔj mēṁ kaptān ban
Danish ERG try do-PP.F.SG that he army in captain be.made
jā-ē magar æsā yeh nah hū-ā
go-SBJV.3.SG but like.this this.DIR NEG be-PP.M.SG
‘Danish tried to become a captain in the army, but it didn’t happen.’

– ‫ہ‬C /mumkin hæ keh/ it is possible that 15

(8.20) ‫ۓ‬ ‫ہ‬C ‫بہ‬


yeh mumkin hæ keh kʰān-ā xatam hō jā-ē
it.DIR possible be.PRS.3.SG that food-M.SG.DIR finished be go-SBJV.3.SG
‘It’s possible that the food might finish.’

– ‫ہ‬C /cāhie keh/ it is needed that15

(8.21) ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ا‬a ‫ا‬ ‫ہ‬C


cāhīē keh ham andʰērā hō-n-ē sē pehlē gʰar pahuṁ c-ēṁ
it.is.necessary that we dark be-INF-OBL from before house reach-SBJV.1.PL
‘We should reach home before dark.’

– ‫ہ‬C ‫وری‬a‫ ص‬/zarūrī hæ keh/ it is necessary that15

(8.22) ‫ ب‬:‫ م د‬5 6‫ا‬ ‫ہس‬C ‫وری‬a‫آجک ص‬


āj kal zarūrī hæ keh sab apn-ā kām xud
today tomorrow necessary be.PRS.3.SG that all own-M.SG work self
kar-ēṁ
do-SBJV.3.PL
‘These days it’s necessary that everyone do his own work.’

– ‫ہ‬C ‫س‬ /munāsib hæ keh/ it is appropriate that15

(8.23) ‫م ب‬ @‫ں‬ ‫ہ م گا‬C ‫س‬


munāsib hæ keh tamām lōg apn-ē qahqah-ōṁ kō
appropriate be.PRS.3.SG that all people own-M.PL laugh-OBL.M.PL ACC
tūhām l-ēṁ
suppress take-SBJV.3.PL
‘It’s appropriate that everyone hold back their own laughs.’

– ‫ہ‬C‫ ے‬:‫ ا‬/xudā kare keh/ God grant that15


15
Impersonal construction.

173
Verbs

(8.24) ‫ دے‬:‫ہآ بہ ہادا‬C‫ ے‬:‫ا‬


xudā kar-ē keh āminah pæsah adā kar d-ē
God do-SBJV.3.SG that Aminah money payment do give-SBJV.3.SG
‘God grant that Aminah pay the money.’

– ‫ہ‬C ‫ ا بہ‬/æsā nah hō keh/ lest15


(8.25) ‫ہ ب ول ؤں‬C ‫ا بہ‬
æsā nah hō keh mæṁ bʰūl jā-ūṁ
such NEG be.SBJV.3.SG that I forget go-SBJV.1.SG
‘Lest I forget.’

8.3.2.2.2.1 A Note on Conditional Sentences

Conditional sentences are if...then statements; in Urdu, they generally consist of a conditional
clause, introduced by ‫ اگ‬/agar/ if and a result clause, introduced by @ /tō/ then. ‫ اگ‬/agar/ is often
deleted, and may be replaced by /jab/ or /jō/. @ /tō/ is rarely deleted or replaced.
The mood and tense of the verb in the if clause determine the status of the condition--whether it
is fulfilled, and, if not, whether it may yet be. The tense of the verb in the result clause determines
the tense of the sentence as a whole.
The subjunctive can be used in the ‘if’ clauses of fulfillable conditions, to express actions whose
outcome is unknown--either because the action has not yet taken place, or because its occurrence
or non-occurrence is not known to the speaker:

(8.26) @ ‫ ن ر‬5‫اگ د‬

agar dukān jā rah-ē hō tō sēb lē ā-nā


if store go PROG-M.PL be.PRS.2.PL CONJ apple.DIR take come-INF
‘If you are going to the store, buy some apples.’

(8.27) ‫ؤں‬ ‫ ب ب‬a ‫@ ڈا‬ ‫و‬: ‫ب‬ ‫اگ بڑ‬

agar paṛhāī nahīṁ kar-ō gē tō ḍākt ̣ar nahīṁ ban


if study NEG do-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL CONJ doctor.DIR NEG become
jā-ō gē
go-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘If you don’t study, you won’t become a doctor.’

8.3.3 Future

8.3.3.1 Forming the Future

Formation:

174
Verbs

subjunctive + ~ ~ ‫ گ‬/gā ~ gē ~ gī/

As is clear from the above, the Urdu future tense is formed by adding the particle ~ ~ ‫ گ‬/gā ~
gē ~ gī/ to the subjunctive. Although they function as suffixes, these endings are usually written
separately from the first part of the verb. However, it is not uncommon to see them written
attached to the preceding subjunctive form. These alternate joined forms occur often enough
that we have included them in the table below.16 The future endings are participial and agree
with the subject in gender and number; the subjunctive inflection, already present on the verb,
shows agreement in person and number. Forms shown in the table are masculine and feminine
respectively.
Negatives in the future tense are formed with ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /.

Table 8.12 shows the conjugation of the future tense form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

8.3.3.2 Uses of the Future

8.3.3.2.1 In Main Clauses

The future in Urdu works much like English future tense verbs with will--it expresses actions yet
to take place.

(8.28) ‫؟‬ ‫ؤ‬

tum kʰān-ā kʰā-ō gē


you.DIR food-M.SG eat-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘Will you eat?’

8.3.3.2.2 In Conditional Sentences

Like the subjunctive, the future is used in condition clauses to describe actions of unknown out-
come:

(8.29) ‫ؤں‬ ‫ ب ب‬a ‫@ ڈا‬ ‫و‬: ‫ب‬ ‫اگ بڑ‬

agar paṛhāī nahīṁ kar-ō gē tō ḍākt ̣ar nahīṁ ban


if study NEG do-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL CONJ doctor.DIR NEG become
jā-ō gē
go-SBJV.2.PL FUT.M.PL
‘If you don’t study, you will not become a doctor.’

(See Section 8.3.2.2.2 above for discussion of conditional sentences.)


16
Note that when the endings are attached to the verb in writing, the nūn γunnah becomes a medial consonant and
consequently is represented as a full consonantal nūn.

175
Verbs

Table 8.12: Future Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

/mæṁ karūṁ gā ~
‫ و‬:~ ‫ وںگ‬: ‫ب‬ karūṁ gā/
1st person singular I will do
‫ و‬:~ ‫ وں‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ karūṁ gī ~
karūṁ gī/

/tū karē gā ~
2nd person :~ ‫ ےگ‬: @
karēgā/ you will do
singular :~ ‫ ے‬: @ /tū karē gī ~ karēgī/

/voh karē gā ~
:~ ‫ ےگ‬:‫وہ‬ karēgā/ he/it will do
3rd person singular
:~ ‫ ے‬:‫وہ‬ /voh karē gī ~ she/it will do
karēgī/

6 :~ ‫ب‬: /ham karēṁ gē ~


karēṁ ge/
1st person plural we will do
6 :~ ‫ب‬: /ham karēṁ gī ~
karēṁ gī/

/tum karō gē ~
‫ و‬:~ ‫و‬:
2nd person plural karōge/
you will do
(informal) ‫ و‬:~ ‫ و‬: /tum karō gī ~
karōgī/

/āp karēṁ gē ~
6 :~
2nd person plural ‫ ب‬:‫آپ‬ karēṁ ge/
you will do
(formal) 6 :~ ‫ ب‬:‫آپ‬ /āp karēṁ gī ~
karēṁ gī/

/voh karēṁ gē ~
6 :~ ‫ ب‬:‫وہ‬ karēṁ gē/
3rd person plural they will do
6 :~ ‫ ب‬:‫وہ‬ /voh karēṁ gī ~
karēṁ gī/

176
Verbs

8.3.4 Conjunctive Participles

Formation:17
stem + : /kar/ [unconjugated] (for all verbs but : /karnā/)

stem + /kē/ (for : /karnā/)


The conjunctive participle is a common way of expressing two sequential actions or events. Rather
than using two separate clauses, the speaker conjoins the two verbs, with the first verb in the above
conjunctive form, and the second in regular conjugated form. The subject of both verbs must be
the same, and the verb that is reduced to a conjunctive participle acquires the tense of the main
verb. Note also that the transitivity of the main (second) verb determines the transitivity of the
sentence, and hence, whether /nē/ is used in a perfective tense.18
Conjunctive participle:

(8.30) :‫ ہ ل‬6 5

xat k-ā patah badal kar bʰēj-n-ā


letter POSS-M.SG address change CP mail-INF-DIR
‘Change the address on that letter before you mail it!’

versus:

(8.31) ‫اور‬ ‫ ہ‬65

xat k-ā patah badal-ō ɔr bʰēj-ō


letter POSS-M.SG address change-IMP.2.PL and mail-IMP.2.PL
‘Change the address on that letter and mail it!’

8.3.5 Progressive Tenses

Formation:
stem + ‫~ر ب‬ ‫~ر‬ ‫ ر ~ر‬/rahā ~ rahī ~ rahē ~rahīṁ / + inflected auxiliary verb ( /hōnā/)
The progressive tenses describe actions or states which are in progress. (That is to say, they have
durative aspect.)
The word ‫ ر‬/rahā/ inflects like an adjective and agrees with the subject in gender and num-
ber.19 The auxiliary /hōnā/ agrees with the subject in number and person in all forms except
the progressive past and progressive irrealis, where, like ‫ ر‬/rahā/, it agrees in gender and number.
Its tense determines the tense of the entire construction.
17
In older writings, the stem by itself may occur as a conjunctive; however, this usage is considered incorrect in
modern standard Urdu.
18
Because in perfective tenses, the subject of a transitive verb takes the ergative postposition /nē/, and the verb
agrees with the direct object. (See Section 5.1.3 and below, Section 8.5, for more on ergative marking.)
19
Originally the perfective participle of the verb ‫ ر‬/rahnā/ to remain. The verb ‫ ر‬/rahnā/ is not usually used as the
main verb of a sentence in the progressive tenses: instead, speakers will use the present imperfect. When ‫ ر‬/rahnā/

177
Verbs

8.3.5.1 Progressive Present

The progressive present is formed with the auxiliary /hōnā/ in the present tense. It describes
actions or states which are in progress at the time of speaking and may also be used for future
actions which can be considered to have already begun, or be imminent, as in English, I am going
to India tomorrow. Forms in the table are masculine and feminine respectively.
Negatives, although rare in this tense, are formed with ‫ب‬ /nahīṁ / and if they are used,
/hōnā/ is optional.

Table 8.13 shows the conjugation of the progressive present tense form of verb : /karnā/ to do.

Table 8.13: Progressive Present Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahā hūṁ /


1st person singular I am doing
‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahī hūṁ /

‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahā hæ/


2nd person singular you are doing
‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahī hæ/

‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahā hæ/ he/it is doing


3rd person singular
‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hæ/ she/it is doing

‫ب‬ ‫ر‬:
/ham kar rahē hæṁ /
1st person plural we are doing
‫ب‬ ‫ر‬: /ham kar rahī hæṁ /

‫ر‬:
2nd person plural /tum kar rahē hō/
you are doing
(informal) ‫ر‬: /tum kar rahī hō/

2nd person plural ‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahē hæṁ /


you are doing
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬: ‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahī hæṁ /

‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahē hæṁ /


3rd person plural they are doing
‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hæṁ /

(8.32) ‫ ببڑھر‬8‫ ق‬7‫ا‬

ishāq kitāb paṛh rah-ā hæ


Ishaq.DIR book read PROG-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Ishaq is reading a book.’

does occur in a progressive tense, it is to stress the temporary or limited duration of the action; for example, ‫اند@ ں ب‬
‫سرہر ں‬ ‫دوس‬ ‫ ب ا‬/in dinōṁ mēṁ mæṁ ek dōst kē pās rah rahā hūṁ / These days I am staying (temporarily) with
a friend.

178
Verbs

(8.33) ‫ر‬ ‫رت ب‬ ‫اور رک‬ ‫ا ع‬

ismāīl aur tæmūr kal bʰārat nahīṁ jā rah-ē


Ismail.DIR and Taimur.DIR tomorrow India NEG go PROG-M.PL
‘Ismail and Taimur are not going to India tomorrow.’

8.3.5.2 Progressive Past

The progressive past is formed with the auxiliary /hōnā/ in the past tense. It describes actions
or states which were in progress at a point in the past (and which may or may not still be in
progress now.) Note that /hōnā/ as well as ‫ ر‬/rahā/ agrees in gender and number with the
subject; as before, forms in the table are masculine and feminine respectively.

Table 8.14 shows the conjugation of the progressive past tense form of verb : /karnā/ to do.

Table 8.14: Progressive Past Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahā tʰā/


1st person singular I was doing
‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahī tʰī/

‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahā tʰā/


2nd person singular you were doing
‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahī tʰī/

‫ ر‬: ‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahā tʰā/ he/it was doing;


3rd person singular
‫ ر‬: ‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī tʰī/ she/it was doing

‫ر‬:
/ham kar rahē tʰē/
1st person plural we were doing
‫ب‬ ‫ر‬: /ham kar rahī tʰīṁ /

‫ر‬:
2nd person plural /tum kar rahē tʰē/
you were doing
(informal) ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬: /tum kar rahī tʰīṁ /

2nd person plural ‫ ر‬: ‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahē tʰē/


you were doing
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahī tʰīṁ /

‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahē tʰē/


3rd person plural they were doing
‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī tʰīṁ /

179
Verbs

(8.34) ‫مآ‬ ‫ ر‬:‫ م‬5 @‫ا‬

abbū kām kar rah-ē tʰē jab pæɣām ā-yā


dad.DIR work do PROG-M.PL be.PST.M.PL when message.DIR come-PP.M.SG
‘Dad was working when the message arrived.’

(Note also that the above sentence is an example of the third person plural being used to refer to
a singular person as a sign of respect.)

(8.35) ‫ا وید ھر‬

nidā t ̣īvī dēkʰ rah-ī tʰī


Neda.DIR T.V. watch PROG-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘Neda was watching T.V.’

8.3.5.3 Progressive Subjunctive

The progressive subjunctive is formed with the auxiliary /hōnā/ in the subjunctive or indicative,
and is introduced by one of the verbs, indirect constructions, or subordinating conjunctions in
Section 8.3.2.2.2. It describes progressive actions or states whose status at the time of speaking is
unknown or uncertain. As always with subjunctive verbs, the negative is formed with ‫ بہ‬/na/. As
before, forms in the table are masculine and feminine respectively.

Table 8.15 shows the conjugation of the progressive subjunctive form of verb : /karnā/ to do.

(8.36) ‫ا@ ش‬ ‫را@ اور‬ @ ‫@ ٹر‬ ‫اگ وا‬

agar vāqaī mulk t ̣ōt ̣ rah-ā hæ tō hukmarān-ō ɔr


if truly country break PROG-M.SG be.3.SG CONJ leader-VOC and
syāsatdān-ō hōš k-ē nāxun l-ō
politicial-VOC understanding POSS-M.PL.DIR claw tank-IMP.2.SG
‘If the country is truly breaking apart, then, oh leaders and politicians, think about it with
care (lit. take the claws of understanding)!’

(8.37) ‫ں@ چ‬ ‫گ گر‬ ‫اگ‬

agar ham gān-ā gā rah-ē hōṁ tō nāc lē-nā


if we.DIR song-M.SG sing PROG-M.PL be.SBJV.1.PL CONJ dance take-INF
‘If we are singing, you should dance.’

180
Verbs

Table 8.15: Progressive Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahā hūm/ I may be doing; if I


1st person singular
‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahī hūṁ / am doing

‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahā hō/ you may be doing; if


2nd person singular
‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahī hō/ you are doing

he/it may be doing;


‫ ر‬: ‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahā hō/ if he/it is doing
3rd person singular
‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hō/ she/it may be doing;
if she/it is doing

‫ں‬ ‫ر‬:
/ham kar rahē hōṁ / we may be doing, if
1st person plural
‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: /ham kar rahī hōṁ / we are doing

‫ر‬:
2nd person plural /tum kar rahē hō/ you may be doing, if
(informal) ‫ر‬: /tum kar rahī hō/ you are doing

2nd person plural ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahē hōṁ / you may be doing, if
(formal) ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahī hōṁ / you are doing

‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahē hōṁ / they may be doing, if


3rd person plural
‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬: ‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hōṁ / they are doing

(8.38) ‫ں‬ ‫ب @ ب‬ ‫ ر‬6‫آپ ۓ‬

āp cāē banā rah-ē hæṁ tō mæṁ bʰī pī-ūṁ


you.DIR tea make PROG-M.PL be.PRS.2.PL CONJ I.DIR INC drink-SBJV.1.SG

FUT.F.SG
‘If you are making tea, then I too will drink some.’

181
Verbs

8.3.5.4 Progressive Presumptive

The progressive presumptive is formed with the auxiliary /hōnā/ in the future. It describes
actions or states which the speaker presumes to be occurring. Forms in the table are masculine
and feminine respectively.

Table 8.16 shows the conjugation of the progressive presumptive form of the verb : /karnā/ to
do.

Table 8.16: Progressive Presumptive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ںگ‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahā hūṁ gā/


1st person singular I must be doing
‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahī hūṁ gī/

‫گ‬ ‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahā hō gā/


2nd person singular you must be doing
‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahī hō gī/

‫گ‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahā hō gā/ he/it must be doing


3rd person singular
‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hō gī/ she/it must be doing

‫ں‬ ‫ر‬:
/ham kar rahē hōṁ gē/
1st person plural we must be doing
‫ں‬ ‫ر‬: /ham kar rahī hōṁ gī/

‫ر‬:
2nd person plural /tum kar rahē hō gē/
you must be doing
(informal) ‫ر‬: /tum kar rahī hō gī/

2nd person plural ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahē hōṁ gē/
you must be doing
(formal) ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahī hōṁ gī/

‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahē hōṁ gē/


3rd person plural they must be doing
‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hōṁ gī/

(8.39) ‫گ‬ ‫وہسور‬

voh sō rah-ā hō gā
he sleep PROG-M.SG be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘He must be sleeping. (in another context, “He will be sleeping”)’

182
Verbs

8.3.5.5 Progressive Irrealis

The progressive irrealis is formed with the imperfective participle of the auxiliary /hōnā/ (See
Section 8.1.3). It is used to describe contrary-to-fact actions or states, which would be in progress
at the time of speaking, if only they were true.

Table 8.17 shows the conjugation of the progressive irrealis form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

Table 8.17: Progressive Irrealis Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahā hōtā/


1st person singular (if) I were doing
‫ر‬: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kar rahī hōtī/

‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahā hōtā/


2nd person singular (if) you were doing
‫ر‬:@ /tū kar rahī hōtī/

‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahā hōtā/ (if) he/it were doing


3rd person singular
‫ ر‬: ‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hōtī/ she/it were doing

‫ر‬:
/ham kar rahē hōtē/
1st person plural (if) we were doing
‫ب‬ ‫ر‬: /ham kar rahī hōtīṁ /

‫ر‬:
2nd person plural /tum kar rahē hōtē/
(if) you were doing
(informal) ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬: /tum kar rahī hōtīṁ /

2nd person plural ‫ ر‬: ‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahē hōtē/


(if) you were doing
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫آپ‬ /āp kar rahī hōtīm/

‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahē hotē/


3rd person plural (if) they were doing
‫ب‬ ‫ ر‬:‫وہ‬ /voh kar rahī hotīṁ̇ /

(8.40) 6‫ د‬: 6 @ ‫@ ر‬ ‫ ببڑھر‬8 ‫ب‬

mæṁ kitāb paṛh rah-ā hō-t-ā tō rēḍiyō band kar dē-t-ā


I.DIR book read PROG-M.SG be-IP-M.SG CONJ radio close do give-IP-M.SG
‘If I were reading a book, I would have turned off the radio.’

(8.41) ‫ د‬:‫@ ن‬ ‫وہآر‬

voh ā rah-ī hō-t-ī tō fōn kar dē-t-ī


she come PROG-F.SG be-IP-F.SG CONJ phone do give-IP-F.SG
‘If she were coming, she would have called.’

183
Verbs

8.4 Verb Constructions Using the Imperfective Participle

As described in Section 8.1.3 above, the imperfective participle consists of the verb stem plus
the suffix ‫~ ~ ب‬ ~ /-tā ~ -tē ~ tī ~ tīṁ /, which inflects like an ordinary marked adjective,
agreeing with the subject in gender and number.
Verb structures based on the imperfective participle describe actions or states which occur gen-
erally or regularly, are ongoing, or are in some way incomplete.20 This is known as imperfective
aspect. These verb constructions are formed from the imperfective participle followed by an in-
flected form of the auxiliary verb /hōnā/. The tense of the auxiliary verb determines the tense
of the construction as a whole.

8.4.1 Bare Participle Forms

8.4.1.1 Irrealis

The imperfective participle may be used on its own, with no auxiliary, in the two clauses of a
conditional sentence, to describe an unfulfilled or unfulfillable condition.

(8.42) ‫@ ب‬ :‫ن‬

tum fōn kar-t-ī tō mæṁ kʰān-ā pakā-t-ī


tum phone do-IP-F.SG CONJ I food-M.SG cook-IP-F.SG
‘If you had called ahead, I would have cooked some food.’

(8.43) ‫@ ب آ‬ ‫آپ آوازد‬

āp āvāz dē-t-ē tō mæṁ ā-t-ī


you voice give-IP-M.PL CONJ I come-IP-F.SG
‘If you had called out, I would have come.’

The imperfective participle may also occur by itself to express impossible conditions.

(8.44) a ‫ا‬ @ ‫ب را‬

mæṁ rājā hō-t-ā tō kitnā amīr hō-t-ā


I king be-IP-M.SG CONJ how.much rich be-IP-M.SG
‘If I were king, how rich I would be!’

20
Including when the bare participle is used for an irrealis situation, which is incomplete in the sense that it did not
or will not happen; see Section 8.4.1.1 just below.

184
Verbs

8.4.1.2 Ellipsis in the Narrative Imperfective

Narrative passages using the past imperfect will typically use the full verb + auxiliary construction
for the first occurrence, then omit the auxiliary for the following verbs, using the imperfective
participle by itself. Grammarians call such dropping of an expected form ellipsis.

(8.45) ‫ شبہ‬5‫ہ‬C ‫اورسو‬ ‫روزب وں@ د‬a ‫۔‬ ‫ر‬ a ‫۔و ںا‬ ‫ب ےر‬ ‫غب‬ ‫ب ا‬ ‫ز‬
‫ے ں ب آ ب ۔‬a ‫ب ے‬

kisī zamān-ē mēṁ ek bāɣ mēṁ bahot sē parind-ē


some time-OBL in one garden in many like-M.PL.DIR bird-M.PL
rah-t-ē tʰē vahāṁ ek šēr bʰi ̄ rah-t-ā tʰā
PROG-IP-M.PL be.PST.M.PL there one lion INC PROG-IP-M.SG be.PST.M.SG
šēr rōz parind-ōṁ kō dekʰ-t-ā ɔr soc-t-ā keh kāš yeh
lion day bird-OBL.M.PL ACC watch-IP-M.SG and think-IP-M.SG that wish these
parind-ē mēr-ē panj-ōṁ mēṁ ā jā-ēṁ
bird-M.PL my-OBL claw-OBL.M.PL in come go-SBJV.3.PL
‘Once upon a time in a certain garden there lived many birds. In the garden there also
lived a lion. The lion would watch the birds every day and think, “I wish those birds
would come into my grasp (lit. claws).”’

8.4.2 Imperfect Tenses

8.4.2.1 Present Imperfect

Formation:
imperfective participle + /hōnā/ (present tense)
The present imperfect describes actions or states which occur generally or regularly, at or around
the time of speaking. It can also be used to describe events in the near or imminent future as in
English, where we might say He flies to Minneapolis tomorrow.
The negative uses ‫ب‬ /nahīṁ / and may omit the auxiliary verb. If the auxiliary is dropped, the
feminine plural suffix ‫ ب‬/-tīṁ / is substituted for /-tī/.

Table 8.18 shows the conjugation of the imperfect present tense form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

(8.46) ‫ں‬ ‫ب روز‬

mæṁ rōz nahā-t-ā hūṁ


I daily bathe-IP-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I bathe daily.’

185
Verbs

Table 8.18: Present Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ں‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartā hūṁ /


1st person singular I do
‫ں‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartī hūm/

:@ /tū kartā hæ/


2nd person singular you do
:@ /tū kartī hæ/

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartā hæ/ he/it does


3rd person singular
:‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hæ/ she/it does

‫ب‬ :
/ham kartē hæṁ /
1st person plural we do
‫ب‬ : /ham kartī hæṁ /

:
2nd person plural /tum kartē hō/
you do
(informal) : /tum kartī hō/

2nd person plural ‫ب‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartē hæṁ /


you do
(formal) ‫ب‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartī hæṁ /

‫ب‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartē hæṁ /


3rd person plural they do
‫ب‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hæṁ /

(8.47) ‫آ‬: ‫۔وہ‬ ‫آپ‬

āp bæt ̣ʰ-īē voh samōs-ē lē kar ā-t-ī hæ


you sit-IMP.2.PL she samosa-M.PL take CP come-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Please sit down! She’ll bring the (some) samosas.’

8.4.2.2 Past Imperfect

Formation:
imperfective participle + /hōnā/ (past tense)
The past imperfect describes actions or states which occurred generally or regularly in the past.
Depending on context, it may be translated in English with used to, X-ed, or was/were X-ing.

186
Verbs

The negative uses ‫ب‬ /nahīṁ /. Note that the auxiliary agrees with the subject in gender and
number.
Table 8.19 shows the conjugation of the imperfect past tense form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

Table 8.19: Past Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartā tʰā/


1st person singular I used to do
: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartī tʰī/

:@ /tū kartā tʰā/


2nd person singular you used to do
:@ /tū kartī tʰī/

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartā tʰā/ he/it used to do


3rd person singular
:‫وہ‬ /voh kartī tʰī/ she/it used to do

:
/ham kartē tʰē/
1st person plural we used to do
‫ب‬ : /ham kartī tʰīṁ /

:
2nd person plural /tum kartē tʰē/
you used to do
(informal) ‫ب‬ : /tum kartī tʰīṁ /

2nd person plural :‫آپ‬ /āp kartē tʰē/


you used to do
(formal) ‫ب‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartī tʰīṁ /

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartē tʰē/


3rd person plural they used to do
‫ب‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartī tʰīṁ /

(8.48) ‫ب‬ a ‫ے‬a

hinā mēr-ē har latīf-ē par haṁ s-t-ī tʰī


Hena my-M.SG.OBL every joke-M.SG.OBL at laugh-IP-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘Hena used to laugh at all my jokes.’

8.4.2.2.1 Narrative Imperfective

See Section 8.4.1.2 above.

8.4.2.3 Subjunctive Imperfect

Formation:

187
Verbs

imperfective participle + /hōnā/ (subjunctive)


The imperfect subjunctive is introduced by one of the verbs, indirect constructions, or subordi-
nating conjunctions in Section 8.3.2.2.2. It describes actions or states which might possibly occur
generally or regularly at the time of speaking. As always with subjunctive verbs, the negative is
formed with ‫ بہ‬/na/.
Table 8.20 shows the conjugation of the imperfect subjunctive form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

Table 8.20: Imperfect Subjunctive Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ں‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartā hūṁ /


1st person singular I may do
‫ں‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartī hūṁ /

:@ /tū kartā hō/


2nd person singular you may do
:@ /tū kartī hō/

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartā hō/ he/it may do


3rd person singular
:‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hō/ she/it may do

‫ں‬ :
/ham kartē hōṁ /
1st person plural we may do
‫ں‬ : /ham kartī hōṁ /

:
2nd person plural /tum kartē hō/
you may do
(informal) : /tum kartī hō/

2nd person plural ‫ں‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartē hōṁ /


you may do
(formal) ‫ں‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartī hōṁ /

‫ں‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartē hōṁ /


3rd person plural they may do
‫ں‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hōṁ /

(8.49) ‫ں‬ ‫ریبڑ‬: ‫ب‬

kabʰī kabʰī mæṁ šāirī paṛh-t-ā hūṁ


sometimes sometimes I poetry read-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Once in a while I may read poetry.’

188
Verbs

(8.50) ‫؟‬ : 8 ‫اسو‬

is vaqt tum kyā kar-t-ē hō


this time you what do-IP-M.PL be.2.PL
‘What do you (normally) do at this time?’

8.4.2.4 Presumptive Imperfect

Formation:
imperfective participle + /hōnā/ (future)
The presumptive imperfect describes actions or states which are presumed to occur regularly in
the present.

Table 8.21 shows the conjugation of the presumptive imperfect form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

(8.51) ‫گ‬ ‫ا‬ 9 ‫ھ‬ ‫وہ‬

voh subah cʰe bajē sē pehlē ut ̣ʰ-t-ā hō gā


he morning six strike from before awaken-IP-M.SG be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘He must get up before six o’clock in the morning.’

(8.52) ‫ۓ‬ 5‫ب ۔وہ‬ 6 ‫ا‬ 6‫دا‬ ‫اس‬

us k-ē dāṁ t itn-ē pīl-ē hæṁ voh kāl-ī cāē


her POSS-M.PL teeth so.much-M.PL yellow-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL she black-F.SG tea
pī-t-ī hō gī
drink-IP-F.SG be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.F.SG
‘Her teeth are so yellow. She must drink black tea.’

8.4.2.5 Irrealis Imperfect

Formation:
imperfective participle + /hōnā/ (imperfective participle)
The irrealis imperfect describes contrary-to-fact habitual actions or states-- actions which would
occur regularly, but are unrealized or impossible.

Table 8.22 shows the conjugation of the irrealis imperfect form of the verb : /karnā/ to do.

189
Verbs

Table 8.21: Presumptive Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

I must do/must be
‫ںگ‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartā hūṁ gā/
1st person singular doing/will do/will be
‫ں‬ : ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartī hūṁ gī/
doing

you must do/must be


‫گ‬ :@ /tū kartā hō gā/
2nd person singular doing/will do/will be
:@ /tū kartī hō gī/
doing

he/it must do/must


be doing/will do/will
‫گ‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartā hō gā/ be doing
3rd person singular
:‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hō gī/ she/it must do/must
be doing/will do/will
be doing

‫ں‬ : we must do/must be


/ham kartē hōṁ gē/
1st person plural doing/will do/will be
‫ں‬ : /ham kartī hōṁ gī/
doing

: you must do/must be


2nd person plural /tum kartē hō gē/
doing/will do/will be
(informal) : /tum kartī hō gī/
doing

you must do/must be


2nd person plural ‫ں‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartē hōṁ gē/
doing/will do/will be
(formal) ‫ں‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartī hōṁ gī/
doing

they must do/must


‫ں‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartē hōṁ gē/
3rd person plural be doing/will do/will
‫ں‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hōṁ gī/
be doing

190
Verbs

Table 8.22: Irrealis Imperfect Paradigm of : /karnā/ to do

: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartā hōtā/


1st person singular (if) I did
: ‫ب‬ /mæṁ kartī hōtī/

:@ /tū kartā hōtā/


2nd person singular (if) you did
:@ /tū kartī hōtī/

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartā hōtā/ if he/it did


3rd person singular
:‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hōtī/ if she/it did

:
/ham kartē hotē/
1st person plural (if) we did
‫ب‬ : /ham kartī hōtīṁ /

:
2nd person plural /tum kartē hotē/
(if) you did
(informal) ‫ب‬ : /tum kartī hōtīṁ /

2nd person plural :‫آپ‬ /āp kartē hōtē/


(if) you did
(formal) ‫ب‬ :‫آپ‬ /āp kartī hōtīṁ /

:‫وہ‬ /voh kartē hōtē/


3rd person plural (if) they did
‫ب‬ :‫وہ‬ /voh kartī hōtīṁ /

(8.53) ‫وڑی‬ @ :‫ م‬5‫رق‬

tāriq kām kar-t-ā hō-t-ā tō ham sē pæs-ē tʰōṛī


Tariq.DIR work do-IP-M.SG be-IP-M.SG CONJ us from money-M.PL.DIR not
māṁ g-t-ā
ask.for-IP-M.SG
‘If Tariq worked, he wouldn’t ask us for money.’

(8.54) ‫ ﻻبہ‬5 6‫@ ا‬ ‫رو لروزد‬ ‫بہ‬

yeh safed rūmāl rōz dʰō-t-ā hō-t-ā tō


this.DIR white.DIR handkerchief.DIR daily wash-IP-M.SG be-IP-M.SG CONJ
itn-ā kāl-ā nah hō-t-ā
so.much-M.SG.DIR black-M.SG.DIR NEG be-IP.M.SG
‘If he washed his white handkerchief everyday, it wouldn’t be so black.’

191
Verbs

8.4.2.6 As Adjectives

Imperfective participles may also be inflected and used as adjectives, as in English flowing river,
rising damp. Frequently it is followed by the perfective participle of /hōnā/ in this usage. It
agrees with the noun it modifies.

(8.55) ‫@ ﻻت روںگ‬ ‫ۓ‬ ‫و‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ bʰōṁ k-t-ē hū-ē kutt-ē ko lāt mār-ūṁ


I.DIR bark-IP-M.SG.OBL be-PP.M.SG.OBL dog-M.SG.OBL ACC kick hit-SBJV.1.SG

FUT.M.SG
‘I’ll kick any barking dog.’

(8.56) ‫@ رترو‬ 5

kāṁ p-t-ī hū-ī ɔrat rō-n-ē lag-ī


shiver-IP-F.SG be-PP.F.SG woman cry-INF-OBL begin-PP.F.SG
‘The shivering woman began to cry.’

8.5 Verb Constructions Using the Perfective Participle

As described in Section 8.1.4 above, the perfective participle consists of the stem plus the suffix ‫ا‬
/-ā/, which inflects like an adjective.

8.5.1 Miscellaneous Functions of the Perfective Participle

8.5.1.1 Simple Perfective

Formation:
perfective participle + ∅
The simple perfective is formed with the perfective participle alone, inflected appropriately for
agreement. It can refer to events in the past or the immediate future, or, very often, to unrealized
events (i.e., realis conditionals).

• Past
(8.57) ‫فد‬ ‫ب‬
mæṁ nē ɣilāf dʰō-yā
I ERG cover.DIR wash-PP.M.SG
‘I washed the (pillow) cover.’

192
Verbs

• Immediate future
(8.58) ‫ب ا آ‬
mæṁ abʰī ā-yā
I.DIR now come-PP.M.SG
‘I am coming right now/right away.’

• Realis conditional
(8.59) ‫گ‬ ‫ھ‬ ‫آ @ وہآپ‬ ‫اگ‬
agar salīm ā-yā tō voh āp k-ē sāth cal-ē
if Saleem come-PP.M.SG EMPH he you POSS.OBL side walk-SBJV.3.SG

FUT.M.SG
‘If Saleem comes, he’ll go with you.’

In the condition clause of a realis conditional sentence, the perfective participle indicates that the
speaker perceives a high degree of probability that the event will occur.

8.5.1.2 Perfective Participle + /jānā/

Formation:
perfective participle + inflected form of /jānā/
In a construction with /jānā/, the perfective participle expresses either the passive or incapacity.

8.5.1.2.1 Passive

With transitive verbs, this construction can give a passive sense. With the following exception,
both participle and /jānā/ agree with the subject, which, as in English, is the direct object in
the corresponding active, transitive sentence. However, if the “subject” of the passive sentence is
marked with @ /kō/, both parts of the verb revert to the default masculine singular marking.
If an agent or instrument of the action is expressed, it is followed by the postpositional phrases
‫ذر> ہ‬ /kē zariē/, ‫ھ‬ /kē hath/ (preferred for human agents), or /sē/.

(8.60) ‫ھ‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē xat salīm k-ē hātʰ bʰæj-ā


I ERG letter.DIR Saleem POSS-M.SG.OBL hand.M.SG.OBL send-PP.M.SG
tʰā
be.PST.M.SG
‘I sent the letter with Saleem.’

193
Verbs

(8.61) ‫گ‬ ‫ھ‬

xat salīm k-ē hātʰ bʰēj-ā ga-yā


letter.DIR Saleem POSS-M.SG.OBL hand.M.SG.OBL send-PP.M.SG go-PP.M.SG
tʰā
be.PST.M.SG
‘The letter was sent with Saleem.’

(8.62) ‫ذر > گ ں‬ ‫م وی‬ 6‫ا‬ ‫اس‬

us nē apn-ā pæɣām t ̣īvī k-ē zarīē lōg-oṁ tak


he ERG own-M.SG message TV POSS-OBL means people-OBL.M.PL to
pahuṁ cā-yā
spread-PP.M.SG
‘He spread his message to the people by (means of) TV.’

(8.63) ‫گ‬ ‫ذر> ہ گ ں‬ ‫م وی‬ 5‫اس‬

us k-ā pæɣām t ̣īvī k-ē zarīē lōg-ōṁ tak


he.OBL POSS-M.SG.DIR message.DIR TV POSS-OBL means people-M.PL.OBL to
pahuṁ cā-yā ga-yā
spread-PP.M.SG go-PP.M.SG
‘His message was spread to the people by means of TV.’

Note that the correspondence between active and passive counterparts is not automatic. In any
given case, one or the other is more appropriate, and they are not interchangeable.

8.5.1.2.2 Incapacity

The same construction can be used in the negative to express incapacity. This usage occurs with
both transitive and intransitive verbs. The logical subject of the (non-)action is marked with
/sē/ (there is no grammatical subject if the verb is intransitive), and the verb inflection agrees
with the grammatical subject. If the verb involved is intransitive, there is no grammatical subject,
and the verb reverts to the default masculine singular.

(8.64) ‫ت ب‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ہ‬

āiša sē æs-ī bāt nahīṁ kah-ī jā-t-ī


Aisha from such-F.SG talk NEG say-PP.F.SG go-IP-F.SG
‘Aisha can’t say such a thing.’

194
Verbs

(8.65) 8 ‫م ب‬5 ‫ا‬ ‫ھ‬

mujʰ sē æs-ā kām nahīṁ ki-yā jā-t-ā


I.OBL from such-M.SG work NEG do-PP.M.SG go-IP-M.SG
‘I can’t do such a thing/such work.’

(8.66) ‫ وا‬: ‫ م ب‬5 ‫ا‬ ‫@ ر@ ں‬

ɔrt-ōṁ sē æs-ā kām nahīṁ kar-vā-yā jā-t-ā


women-F.PL.OBL from such-M.SG work NEG do-CAUS-PP.M.SG go-IP-M.SG
‘Such work should not be gotten done by women.’

(8.67) ‫ب‬ ‫دور‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ ہ‬9

najmah sē itn-ī dūr cal-ā nahīṁ jā-t-ā


Najma from so.much-F.SG far walk-PP.M.SG NEG go-IP-M.SG
‘Najma can’t walk so/that far.’

8.5.1.3 Perfective Participle + : /karnā/

Together with an inflected form of the verb : /karnā/ to do, the perfective participle expresses
an action that is done iteratively; that is, on more than one occasion. The participle is in the
masculine singular,direct case.

(8.68) ‫ب‬ ‫ہب ںآ‬C : @ ‫و‬

jab ham cʰōt ̣-ē tʰē tō sun-ā kar-t-ē


when we small-M.PL be.PST.M.PL CONJ hear-PP.M.SG do-IP-M.PL
tʰē keh pari-yāṁ ā-t-ī hæṁ
be.PST.M.PL that fairy-F.PL come-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.PL
‘When we were young we heard that fairies would come.’

8.5.2 Perfect Tenses

The perfect tenses are formed from the perfective participle, followed by an inflected form of
the auxiliary /hōnā/, whose form determines the tense of the construction as a whole. The
perfective participle is inflected to agree with either the subject or the object, depending on the
verb. Intransitive verbs agree with the subject, transitive verbs with the direct object, unless it

195
Verbs

is marked with @ /kō/; while the subject of a transitive verb takes the “ergative” postposition
/nē/ and is therefore in the oblique case.
Perfect verb constructions describe events which occurred at one point of time in the past: that
is, they have perfective aspect.

8.5.2.1 Present Perfect

Formation:
perfective participle + /hōnā/ (present)
The present perfect describes a state or action which is completed, but whose effects persist into
the present-- an action which created a lasting or lingering state. It therefore frequently refers to
a recently completed event. It can also be somewhat misleadingly called the immediate past, but
its functions are broader than that name implies.
Negatives are formed with ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /.
Table 8.23 shows the conjugation of the perfect present tense form of /jānā/ to go.

Table 8.23: Present Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ں‬ ‫ب گ‬ /mæṁ gayā hūṁ /


1st person singular I have gone
‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ gaī hūṁ /

‫@گ‬ /tū gayā hæ/


2nd person singular you have gone
@ /tū gaī hæ/

‫وہگ‬ /voh gayā hæ/ he/it has gone


3rd person singular
‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hæ/ she/it has gone

‫ب‬
/ham gaē hæṁ /
1st person plural we have gone
‫ب‬ /ham gaī hæṁ /

2nd person plural /tum gaē hō/


you have gone
(informal) /tum gaī hō/

2nd person plural ‫ب‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaē hæṁ /


you have gone
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaī hæṁ /

‫ب‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaē hæṁ /


3rd person plural they have gone
‫ب‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hæṁ /

196
Verbs

(8.69) ‫ نگ‬5‫آ د‬

āsim dukān ga-yā hæ


Asim.DIR store.OBL go-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Asim has gone to the store.’

(8.70) ‫ب‬ ‫ں‬ ‫وا‬ ‫دوڑ‬

dɔṛ-n-ē-vāl-ē yahāṁ tak bʰāg-ē hæṁ


run-INF-OBL-ADJ-M.PL here until run-PP.M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘The runners have run up to here.’

8.5.2.2 Past Perfect

Formation:
perfective participle + /hōnā/ (past)
The past perfect, also called the remote past by some grammars, describes a state or action which
was completed in the past and whose effects no longer persist-- an action which created a state
that has now ended. It may also be used of actions completed in the remote past, prior to another
past action, or within a specific past timeframe.
Negatives are formed with ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /.
Table 8.24 shows the conjugation of the perfect past tense form of the verb /jānā/ to go.

(8.71) ‫بہا‬ ‫ ّ اس‬9

bacc-ē is palang peh ucʰl-ē tʰē


child-M.PL.DIR this bed on jump-PP.M.PL be.PST.3.PL
‘The kids had jumped on this bed.’

8.5.2.3 Perfect Subjunctive

Formation:
perfective participle + /hōnā/ (subjunctive)
The perfect subjunctive, or past subjunctive, is introduced by one of the verbs, indirect construc-
tions, or subordinating conjunctions in Section 8.3.2.2.2. It describes actions or states which may
have occurred--and been completed--in the past.
As with all subjunctive tenses, the negative is formed with ‫ بہ‬/na/.
Table 8.25 shows the conjugation of the perfect subjunctive form of the verb /jānā/ to go.

197
Verbs

Table 8.24: Past Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ب گ‬ /mæṁ gayā tʰā/


1st person singular I had gone
‫ب‬ /mæṁ gaī tʰī/

‫@گ‬ /tū gayā tʰā/


2nd person singular you had gone
@ /tū gaī tʰī/

‫وہگ‬ /voh gayā tʰā/ he/it had gone


3rd person singular
‫وہ‬ /voh gaī tʰī/ she/it had gone

/ham gaē tʰē/


1st person plural we had gone
‫ب‬ /ham gaī tʰīm/

2nd person plural /tum gaē tʰē/


you had gone
(informal) ‫ب‬ /tum gaī tʰīṁ /

2nd person plural ‫آپ‬ /āp gaē tʰē/


you had gone
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaī tʰīṁ /

‫وہ‬ /voh gaē tʰē/


3rd person plural they had gone
‫ب‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaī tʰīṁ /

(8.72) ‫ڑآ‬ ‫د ب‬

mujʰ-ē yād nahīṁ šāyad meher ā-ī hō


me-ACC remember NEG maybe Meher come-PP.F.SG be.SBJV.3.SG
‘I don’t remember, Meher may have come.’

8.5.2.4 Presumptive Perfect

Formation:
perfective participle + /hōnā/ (future)
The presumptive perfect describes events which are presumed to have occurred--and been completed-
-in the past.
Table 8.26 shows the conjugation of the presumptive perfect form of the verb /jānā/ to go.

198
Verbs

Table 8.25: Perfect Subjunctive Paradigm of /jānā/ to go

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ں‬ ‫ب گ‬ /mæṁ gayā hūm/


1st person singular I may have gone
‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ gaī hūṁ /

‫@گ‬ /tū gayā hō/


2nd person singular you may have gone
@ /tū gaī hō/

‫وہگ‬ /voh gayā hō/ he/it may have gone


3rd person singular
‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hō/ she/it may have gone

‫ں‬
/ham gaē hōṁ /
1st person plural we may have gone
‫ں‬ /ham gaī hōṁ /

2nd person plural /tum gaē hō/


you may have gone
(informal) /tum gaī hō/

2nd person plural ‫ں‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaē hōṁ /


you may have gone
(formal) ‫ں‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaī hōṁ /

‫ں‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaē hōṁ /


3rd person plural they may have gone
‫ں‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hōṁ /

(8.73) ‫وہ ر‬

voh gʰar ga-ī hō gī


she house go-PP.F.SG be.SBJV.3.SG FUT.F.SG
‘She must have gone home.’

(8.74) ‫ں‬ ‫ہ‬A‫ ّ ر‬9

bacc-ē madrasah ga-ē hōṁ gē


child-M.PL school go-PP.M.PL be.SBJV.3.PL FUT.M.PL
‘The children must have gone to school.’

199
Verbs

Table 8.26: Presumptive Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go

Form Urdu script Transcription Meaning

‫ںگ‬ ‫ب گ‬ /mæṁ gayā hūṁ gā/ I must/will have


1st person singular
‫ں‬ ‫ب‬ /mæṁ gaī hūṁ gī/ gone

‫گ‬ ‫@گ‬ /tū gayā hō gā/ you must/will have


2nd person singular
@ /tū gaī hō gī/ gone

he/it must/will have


‫گ‬ ‫وہگ‬ /voh gayā hō gā/ gone
3rd person singular
‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hō gī/ she/it must/will have
gone

‫ں‬
/ham gaē hōṁ gē/ we must/will have
1st person plural
‫ں‬ /ham gaī hoṁ gī/ gone

2nd person plural /tum gaē hō gē/ you must/will have


(informal) /tum gaī hō gī/ gone

2nd person plural ‫ں‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaē hōṁ gē/ you must/will have
(formal) ‫ں‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaī hōṁ gī/ gone

‫ں‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaē hōṁ gē/ they must/will have


3rd person plural
‫ں‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hōṁ gī/ gone

8.5.2.5 Irrealis Perfect

Formation:
perfective participle + /hōnā/ (imperfective participle)
The past irrealis or perfective irrealis describes contrary-to-fact events which, had they occurred,
would have been completed in the past.
Table 8.27 shows the conjugation of the perfective irrealis form of the verb /jānā/ to go.

200
Verbs

Table 8.27: Irrealis Perfect Paradigm of /jānā/ to go

‫ب گ‬ /mæṁ gayā hōtā/


1st person singular (if) I had gone
‫ب‬ /mæṁ gaī hōtī/

‫@گ‬ /tū gayā hōtā/


2nd person singular (if) you had gone
@ /tū gaī hōtī/

‫وہگ‬ /voh gayā hōtā/ (if) he/it had gone


3rd person singular
‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hōtī/ (if) she/it had gone

/ham gaē hōtē/


1st person plural (if) we had gone
‫ب‬ /ham gaī hōtīṁ /

2nd person plural /tum gaē hōtē/


(if) you had gone
(informal) ‫ب‬ /tum gaī hōtīṁ /

2nd person plural ‫آپ‬ /āp gaē hōtē/


(if) you had gone
(formal) ‫ب‬ ‫آپ‬ /āp gaī hōtīṁ̇ /

‫وہ‬ /voh gaē hōtē/


3rd person plural (if) they had gone
‫ب‬ ‫وہ‬ /voh gaī hōtīṁ̇ /

(8.75) ‫م‬ ‫@ اسو‬ ‫ر‬

tum gʰar ga-ē hō-t-ē tō us vaqt mālūm hō jā-t-ā


you house go-PP.M.PL be-IP-M.PL CONJ that time known be go-IP-M.SG
‘If you had gone home, then you would have found out then.’

(8.76) ‫@ ھ‬ ‫@ اس‬ ‫ں‬ ‫اگ ر‬

agar maryam yahāṁ bæt ̣ʰ-ī hō-t-ī tō us sē bʰī pūcʰ


if Maryam here sit-PP.F.SG be-IP-F.SG CONJ her from INC ask
lē-t-ī
take-IP-F.SG
‘If Maryam had been sitting here, I’d have asked her as well.’

201
Verbs

8.6 Verb Constructions Using the Infinitive

As a marked, masculine noun, the infinitive may be inflected and used in any position in the
sentence, in the direct or oblique case, and may take postpositions and compound postpositions,
just like any other noun. In the direct case, it can be the subject of a sentence or occur in indirect
constructions, and in the oblique case, in constructions with either postpositions or main verbs.

8.6.1 As a Verbal Complement

The infinitive is used in the direct case with the following verbs. Optionally, these nominative
infinitives may be inflected as adjectives, to agree with the nouns they govern.

• /cāhnā/ to want
(8.77) ‫ں‬ ‫ب بڑ‬
mæṁ paṛh-n-ā cah-t-ī hūṁ
I.DIR read-INF-M.SG.DIR want-IP-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I want to study.’

• /sīkʰnā/ to learn

(8.78) ‫ھر‬ 8 : ‫دا‬


dāniš krikit ̣ kʰēl-n-ā sīkʰ rah-ā hæ
Danish.DIR cricket play-INF-M.SG.DIR learn PROG-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Danish is learning how to play cricket.’

• 6 /jānnā/ to know (how)


(8.79) ‫ب‬ ‫ا‬
ammī sī-n-ā jān-t-ī hæṁ
mom sew-INF-M.SG.DIR know-IP-F be.PRS.3.PL
‘Mom knows how to sew.’

8.6.2 Neutral Imperative

Uninflected infinitives may be used for requests and instructions where the connotation is one
of neutrality on the formality scale. This usage is most common in impersonal contexts, such as
directions and recipes. One term for this is the distanced imperative. That is, it is used to give
instructions, directions, orders which are to be carried out at a distance, either of time or space.

202
Verbs

(8.80) ‫د‬ ‫گ‬

bʰāg kē dikʰ-ā-n-ā
run CP see-CAUS-INF-DIR
‘Show me how you run!’

(8.81) ‫ور‬a‫ص‬ : ‫†ن‬

pākistān jā kar xat zarūr likʰ-n-ā


Pakistan go CP letter must write-INF-DIR
‘When you go to Pakistan be sure to write!’

(8.82) h ‫ھب‬ ‫> ا‬ ‫ ن‬5‫د‬

dukān k-ē bād ult ̣-ē hātʰ par muṛ jā-n-ā


store POSS.OBL after left-M.SG.OBL hand on turn go-INF-DIR
‘Turn left after the store!’

(See Section 8.3.1 for other imperative forms in Urdu.)

8.6.3 Infinitives in the Direct Case

8.6.3.1 As Subject

The infinitive occurs in the direct case as the subject of a sentence.

(8.83) 5‫ ّ ں‬9 @ ‫دال‬

dāl pakā-n-ā tō bacc-ōṁ k-ā kʰēl hæ


lentils cook-INF-M.SG.DIR EMPH child-OBL.M.PL POSS-M.SG game be.PRS.3.SG
‘Cooking lentils is child’s play (i.e. cooking lentils is very easy).’

8.6.3.2 Indirect Constructions

Some common indirect constructions are built around infinitives in the direct case.
The indirect construction is a sentence type in which the verb agrees, not with the doer or expe-
riencer of the action--the logical subject of the sentence--but with the logical direct object. The
noun referring to the doer/experiencer of the action--if it appears in the sentence at all--is marked
with a postposition, usually @ /kō/, or with the alternate form of the personal pronoun--/mujʰe,

203
Verbs

tujʰe/ and so on. (See Table 4.2 for more on those alternate forms and Section 5.1.2.3 for more
on indirect constructions.)
Infinitives used in the constructions below may take objects of their own. When they do, these
infinitives generally take adjectival inflection and agree with their objects, though the prevalence
of such agreement varies both with the length of the sentence (the longer the sentence, the more
optional the agreement) and with the dialect (in some dialects the infinitive remains masculine
singular). The main verb, however, must agree with the object of the infinitive, unless the object
is followed by a postposition.
Negative indirect constructions are formed with the particle ‫ ب‬/nahīṁ /, unless they are in the
subjunctive or occur in an irrealis sentence; these two latter cases use the negative particle ‫بہ‬/nah/.

8.6.3.2.1 Infinitive + /hæ/

An infinitive followed by a conjugated form of /hōnā/ to be indicates necessity; the construction


can usually be translated by the English phrases to have to or to be supposed to. /hōnā/ may be
in the present, past, or future tense.

(8.84) ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ ب‬8 ‫ک‬

kal mujʰ-ē kitāb-ēṁ xarīd-n-ī tʰīṁ magar nahīṁ


yesterday me-ACC book-F.PL buy-INF-F.SG.DIR be.PST.F.PL but NEG
xarīd-n-ē pā-yā
buy-INF-OBL obtain-PP.M.SG
‘Yesterday I was supposed to buy books, but I couldn’t manage to buy them.’

@ /kō/ can be omitted for inanimate subjects:

(8.85) ‫آ‬ ‫ دب‬5 ‫ آ‬9 ‫گ ڑیدس‬

gāṛī das bajē ā-n-ī tʰī magar kāfī dēr sē


train ten strike come-INF-F.SG.DIR be.PST.F.SG but quite late from
ā-yī
come-PP.F.SG
‘The train was supposed to come at ten o’clock, but it came quite late.’

In Pakistani Urdu, either @ /kō/ or /nē/ may follow the logical subject of the sentence; usually,
@ /kō/ explicitly signifies lack of control of the circumstances or event on the subject’s part, due
to external obligation or compulsion, while /nē/ covers all other cases, either where there is
subject volition or where the circumstances are neutral.

204
Verbs

(8.86) ‫؟‬

tum nē jā-nā
you ERG go-INF
‘Are you going to go? (+ conscious choice)’

versus

(8.87) @ ،‫ں‬

hāṁ mujʰ-ē jā-nā tō hæ


yes me-OBL go-INF EMPH be.PRS.3.SG
‘Yes, I have to go. (- conscious choice)’

8.6.3.2.2 Infinitive + /cāhiē/ or ‫ب‬ /cāhiēṁ/

An infinitive followed by /cāhiē/ or ‫ ب‬/cāhiēṁ /21 indicates advisability; the construction


may be translated with should or ought to. In Pakistan, many speakers use the singular form
invariantly for both singular and plural subjects, but some use the plural form for plural subjects.

(8.88) ‫ب‬ @‫ب اور‬ ‫ ب‬8

mujʰ-ē yahī kitāb-ēṁ xarīd-n-ī cāhi-ēṁ ɔr kōī nahīṁ


me-ACC these book-F.PL.DIR buy-INF-F.SG.DIR want-PL other any NEG
‘I should buy only these books, no others.’

In the past tense, /cāhiē/ may be followed by a past tense inflected form of /hōnā/, which
then becomes the main verb and agrees in number and gender with the grammatical subject.

(8.89) ‫ب‬ ‫اب ر‬ ‫ل ر‬ 9@

hum kō picʰlē sāl gʰar xarīd-n-ā cāhiē tʰā ab


we ACC previous year house buy-INF-DIR needed.SG be.PST.M.SG now
gʰar bahot mehng-ē hō ga-ē hæṁ
house.PL very expensive-M.PL be go-PP.M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘We should have bought a house last year, now houses have gotten very expensive.’

8.6.3.2.3 Infinitive + ‫ آن‬/ānā/

This construction means to know (how); it is used for learned skills or behaviors.
21
In origin, a frozen passive form meaning is wished, is necessary.

205
Verbs

(8.90) ‫ب‬ a

mujʰ-ē tær-n-ā nahīṁ ā-t-ā


me-ACC swim-INF-DIR NEG come-IP-M.SG
‘I don’t know how to swim.’

(8.91) ‫؟‬ ‫آ‬ ‫@ گ ڑی‬ ‫ آپ‬8

kyā āp k-ī bēt ̣-ī kō gāṛī cal-ā-n-ī


Q you POSS-F.SG daughter-F.SG.DIR ACC car move-CAUS-INF-F.SG.DIR
ā-t-ī hæ
come-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘Does your daughter know how to drive a car?’

8.6.3.2.4 Infinitive + ‫ بڑ‬/paṛ nā/

An infinitive followed by a conjugated form of ‫ بڑ‬/paṛnā/ indicates obligation or lack of choice;


the construction may be translated with must or to be obliged to

(8.92) ‫بڑےگ‬ ‫ر‬

cār mīl cal-n-ā paṛ-ē gā


four miles walk-INF-DIR fall-SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
‘We will have to walk four miles.’

8.6.4 Oblique Infinitive Constructions

The oblique infinitive can occur:

• with the adjectival formant ‫ وﻻ‬/vālā/

• with postpositions

• with verbs

• to show purpose (with or without a postposition)

8.6.4.1 Infinitive + ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/22

An oblique infinitive may be followed by ‫ واﻻ‬/vālā/ to designate the doer of an action.


22
See Section 6.6.2 for more on /vālā/.

206
Verbs

(8.93) ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬ @‫ےا‬a ‫وا گ ڑی‬ a ‫ںس‬

yahāṁ sab sē tēz cal-n-ē vāl-ī gāṛī mēr-ē abbū calā


here all from fast move-INF-OBL ADJ-F.SG car my-M.PL dad drive
rah-ē hæṁ
PROG-M.PL be.PRS.3.PL
‘My dad is driving the fastest car here.’

When the action of the verb has not yet occurred, this construction denotes imminence, and may
be translated with the phrase about to; this usage is comparable in meaning to the construction
below, with @ /kō/.

(8.94) ‫واﻻ ں‬ ‫†ن‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ pākistān jā-n-ē vāl-ā hūṁ


I Pakistan go-INF-OBL ADJ-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I am about to go to Pakistan.’

(8.95) ‫وا‬ ‫ڈو‬

kištī ḍūb-n-ē vāl-ī hæ


boat sink-INF-OBL ADJ-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘The boat is about to sink.’

(8.96) ‫واﻻ‬ ‫نآ‬ ‫را‬ ‫ان‬

un k-ē gʰar ek mihmān ā-n-ē vāl-ā tʰā


their POSS-M.SG.OBL house one guest come-INF-OBL ADJ-M.SG be.PST.M.SG
‘A guest was about to come to their house.’

8.6.4.2 With Postpositions

• Infinitive[OBL] + @ /kō/, denoting an impending action23

(8.97) @ ‫ا ن‬
imtihān hō-n-ē kō hæ
exam be-INF-OBL ACC be.PRS.3.SG
‘The exam is starting soon.’

23
See Section 5.1.2.

207
Verbs

This construction may also be used to show purpose. (See below, Section 8.6.4.4).

• Infinitive[OBL] + ‫ ب‬/mēṁ /, meaning at Verb-ing, to Verb24

(8.98) a ‫ب‬ ‫ز ن ر‬
zīšān mār kʰā-n-ē mēṁ māhir hæ
Zishan beat eat-INF-OBL in skilled.person be.PRS.3.SG
‘Zishan is skilled at getting beaten up.’

• Infinitive[OBL] + /sē/, meaning from Verb-ing or to Verb25

(8.99) ‫گ‬ a ‫ب‬


mæṁ tær-n-ē sē tʰak ga-yā
I swim-INF-OBL from tired go-PP.M.SG
‘I got tired from swimming.’

8.6.4.3 With Verbs

• Infinitive[OBL] + /lagnā/ to be applied


This construction denotes an action which is just beginning.

(8.100) ‫ڈو‬
kištī ḍūb-n-ē lag-ī
boat sink-INF-OBL attach-PP.F.SG
‘The boat began to sink.’

(8.101) ‫رش‬
šāyad bāriš hō-n-ē lag-ē
maybe rain be-INF-OBL attach-SBJV.3.SG
‘It may begin to rain.’

It may be used with stative verbs to describe conditions that began in the past but continue in
the present; this usage is most common with perfective tenses.

(8.102) ‫رش‬
bāriš hō-n-ē lag-ī hæ
rain be-INF-OBL attach-PP.F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘It has begun to rain.’

24
See Section 5.2.3.
25
See Section 5.2.1.

208
Verbs

• Infinitive[OBL] + 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give


This construction expresses permission for, or anticipation of, the action of the infinitive and is
usually translatable as to let or allow. Because 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ is transitive, the postposition /nē/ is
used in all instances of the perfective tenses, even if the infinitive is intransitive, and 6‫ د‬/dēnā/
agrees with the direct object of the verb referring to the action allowed.

(8.103) ‫دی‬ ‫ ب ب‬8‫اس@ وہ‬ ‫وا‬ @


yūsef k-ē vālid sāhib nē us kō voh kitāb nahīṁ xarīd-n-e
Yousef POSS-M.PL father master ERG him ACC that book NEG buy-INF-OBL
d-ī
give-PP.F.SG
‘Yousef’s father did not let him buy that book.’

8.6.4.4 Purposive Infinitive

• Infinitive[OBL] + @ /kō/

(8.104) @ @ ‫ھ‬
bahot kucʰ kʰā-n-ē kō jī cāh-t-ā hæ pī-n-ē
very some eat-INF-OBL ACC heart want-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG drink-INF-OBL
kō jī cah-t-ā hæ
ACC heart want-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘I feel like eating a lot of things and drinking a lot of things.’

• Infinitive[OBL] + /kē liyē/

(8.105) ‫ں‬ ‫بہ ھر‬ :‫ب گ ں@ گ ہ‬


mæṁ lōg-ōṁ kō āgāh kar-n-ē k-ē liyē yeh xat
I.DIR people-M.PL.OBL ACC informed do-INF-OBL POSS-OBL for this letter
likʰ rah-ī hūṁ
write PROG-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I am writing this letter in order to inform the people.’

• Infinitive[OBL] + verb of motion


Followed by a verb of motion, inflected in any form, an infinitive can express purpose; these
compounds are analogous to English constructions with the words come and go.

(8.106) ‫ں‬ ‫آ‬ :‫وری ت‬a‫ص‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب آپ‬


mæṁ āp sē ēk zarūrī bāt kar-n-ē ā-yā hūṁ
I.DIR you from one necessary talk do-INF-OBL come-PP.M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I have come to discuss something important with you.’

209
Verbs

(8.107) ‫ب‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ےد‬a ‫@رب‬


ɔrt-ēṁ kapṛ-ē dʰō-n-ē jā rah-ī hæṁ
woman-F.PL.DIR cloth-M.PL.DIR wash-INF-OBL go PROG-F.SG be.PRS.3.PL
‘The women are going to wash (the) clothes.’

8.6.4.5 Negative Assertion

Strong negative assertion may be expressed with ‫ب‬ /nahīm/, an oblique infinitive, and the
particle ، ، 5 /kā, kē, kī/ acting as the main verb of the sentence, and agreeing with the subject.

(8.108) 5 @ ‫وٹ ب‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ jʰūt ̣ nahīṁ bōl-n-ē k-ā


I lie NEG say-INF-OBL POSS-M.SG
‘I won’t tell a lie!’

8.7 Other Auxiliary Verb Constructions

In addition to /hōnā/, Urdu has six other auxiliary verbs that can be combined with a verb stem
or participle to express a category of mood or aspect. The mood of a verb has to do with either (1)
the speaker’s view of the reality of the action or event to which the verb refers (for example, that
it could happen, should happen, is contingent on something, etc); or (2) the intent of the speaker
(as with a command, where the speaker intends that the addressee perform the expressed action;
this is often referred to as the imperative mood).26 Aspect refers to the structure of the action or
event with respect to time--not when it happens (its tense), but its temporal character: whether it
is completed, ongoing, repeated, and so on. The modal or aspectual meaning that each auxiliary
adds is predictable and well-defined; this predictability is a chief difference between auxiliary
verb constructions and vector verb constructions, which are discussed in the next chapter.
In the first six of the auxiliary constructions below, the auxiliary verb, which is intransitive, deter-
mines the transitivity of the entire verbal form; therefore the ergative marker /nē/ is not used
with any of them, even when the other verb, which carries the meaning, is transitive. The seventh
construction, which uses : /karnā/, is not used in perfective tenses, so the issue of transitivity
does not arise with it.

8.7.1 /saknā/: Ability/Possibility

This construction expresses the ability of a subject to perform an action or the possibility that a
given event will occur. /saknā/ occurs only as an auxiliary verb, never by itself.
26
The reason for the term mood is that both (1) and (2) have to do with the speaker’s attitude toward the action.

210
Verbs

Formation:
verb stem + /saknā/ to be able

(8.109) ‫ہوہ رآ ۓ‬C

hō sak-t-ā hæ keh voh gʰar ā jā-ē


be be.able-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG that he house come go.SBJV-3.SG
‘It may happen that he comes home.’

(8.110) : ‫م ب‬5 ‫ب‬

mæṁ kām nahīṁ xatam kar sak-ī


I work NEG complete do be.able-PP.F.SG
‘I was not able to/couldn’t complete (the) work.’

8.7.2 /pānā/: Contingent Action

/pānā/ occurs most frequently in negative sentences, expressing contingent action or contingent
ability. Note that when it occurs as an independent verb, it is transitive.
Formation:
verb stem + /pānā/ to find, to obtain, to receive

(8.111) ‫؟‬ 8 ‫ا‬ : ‫و‬

bē-vifāī kar kē æmed ne kyā pā-yā


without-loyalty do CP Ahmed ERG what receive-PP.M.SG
‘What did Ahmed get for his disloyalty?’

(8.112) ‫ب سو‬ ‫ہ ب‬C ‫ سور‬6‫ک راتا‬

kal rāt itnā šɔr tʰā keh mæṁ bilkul nahīṁ sō


yesterday night so.much noise be.PST.M.SG that I at.all NEG sleep
pā-ī
obtain-PP.F.SG
‘It was so noisy last night that I could not sleep at all.’

211
Verbs

8.7.3 /cuknā/: Completed Action

This construction indicates that an event or action has taken place--and been completed--before
another event or action. It is most often used in perfective tenses.
Formation:
verb stem + /cuknā/ to be finished

(8.113) ‫د@ تآ‬ ‫ر‬ ‫ا@ ر‬

ham kʰānā kʰā cuk-ē tʰē jab anvar sāhib kē ghar


we food eat finish-PP.M.PL be.PST.PL when Anwar mister POSS.OBL house
sē davat ā-ī
from invitation come-PP.F.SG
‘By the time the invitation from Anwar Sahib’s house came, we had already eaten.’

(8.114) ‫رےآ و‬ ‫وہا‬ ‫ت‬ ‫۔‬ ‫ا وس ک‬ ‫ہ‬

fātimah k-ī kahānī bahot afsosnāk hæ bēt ̣-ē k-ī mɔt


Fatima POSS-F.SG story very tragic be.PRS.3.SG son-OBL POSS-F.SG death
sē pehlē hī voh apnē sārē ānsū bah-ā cuk-ī tʰī
from before EXC she own all tears flow-CAUS finish-PP.F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘Fatima’s story is very sad. Even before the death of her son she had spent all her tears.’

8.7.4 ‫ ر‬/rahnā/: Continuation

This construction occurs with stative verbs; that is, verbs that denote a state rather than an action,
such as the English verbs to be, to believe, to seem, as opposed to verbs like to hit, to bounce, to climb.
Hence it expresses the continuation of a state or an activity that can be progressive or ongoing,
rather than one that can be stopped and started over and over. (Compare the meaning of the
following /rahnā/ construction in Section 8.7.5, which involves non-stative verbs, representing
activities that can be repeated, or iterative, rather than progressive, or continuous.)
Formation:
perfective participle + ‫ ر‬/rahnā/ to remain, to stay

212
Verbs

(8.115) ‫ر‬ ‫ں‬ 8 ‫ب‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē kucʰ nahīṁ ki-yā bas yahāṁ bæt ̣ʰ-ā


I ERG something NEG do-PP.M.SG only here sit-PP.M.SG
rah-ā
remain-PP.M.SG
‘I did nothing. I just sat here.’

8.7.5 ‫ ر‬/rahnā/: Emphatic Continuation

In contrast with the previous construction, this one occurs with dynamic, or non-stative, verbs
and emphasizes the continuity or repeated nature of an activity. It is not used in the negative nor
in progressive tenses.
Formation:
imperfective participle + ‫ ر‬/rahnā/ to remain, to stay

(8.116) ‫ر‬ ‫رش‬ ‫و‬a ‫نب‬

sun-ā hæ landan mēṁ har vaqt bāriš hō-t-ī


hear-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG London in all time rain be-IP-F.SG
reh-t-ī hæ
remain-IP-F.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘I heard that it always rains in London.’

(8.117) ‫مگ گ ر‬ ‫ر‬

murɣā subh šām gānā gā-t-ā reh-t-ā hæ


rooster morning night song sing-IP-M.SG remain-IP-M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘The rooster keeps crowing day and night.’

(8.118) ‫ر‬ ‫ے شد‬h ‫ے‬h ‫آ بہ‬

āmina kʰaṛē kʰaṛē tamāšā dēkʰ-t-ī rah-ī


Amina erect erect show watch-IP-F.SG remain-PP.F.SG
‘Amina just stood there watching the show (events unfold).’

8.7.6 /jānā/: Progression

This construction can express an ongoing activity that is deliberate or that will result in change.

213
Verbs

Formation:
imperfective participle + /jānā/ to go
Deliberate:

(8.119) ‫ؤ‬ ‫بڑ‬ ‫آ‬

āgē baṛʰ-t-ē jā-ō


forward advance-IP-M.PL go-IMP.2.PL
‘Keep moving forward!’

Resulting in change:

(8.120) ‫ۓ‬ ‫ریب ف‬ 6‫ۓگ @ د‬ ‫گم‬ ‫ا‬ ‫اگ‬

agar mɔsim æs-e hī garam hō-t-ā jā-ē gā


if weather like.this-M.SG.OBL EXC hot be-IP-M.SG go-SBJV.3.SG FUT.M.SG
to dunyā k-ī sār-ī barf xatam hō jā-ē gī
CONJ world POSS-F.SG all-F.SG ice finished be go-SBJV.3.SG FUT.F.SG
‘If the climate keeps getting warmer and warmer, then all the world’s ice will melt.’

(8.121) ‫ؤ‬ @

mōt ̣-ā hō-n-ā hæ tō kʰānā kʰā-t-ē jā-ō


fat-M.SG be-INF-DIR be.PRS.3.SG CONJ food eat-IP-M.PL go-IMP.2.PL
‘If you want to get fat, keep eating!’

8.7.7 : /karnā/: Iteration

This construction, which consists of the masculine singular perfective participle of : /karnā/ +
a non-perfective tense expresses an action that is repeated at intervals which are not regular or
predictable. As noted in the introduction above, it does not occur in the perfective tenses. The
distinction between the past imperfect (see Section 8.4.2.2) and this construction with : /karnā/
in the imperfect is being lost for some speakers.
Formation:
perfective participle + : /karnā/ to do

214
Verbs

(8.122) ‫ و‬: 8‫روز ن‬ !

bēt ̣ā mujʰē rōz fōn ki-yā kar-ō


son me-ACC day phone do-PP.M.SG do-IMP.2.PL
‘Son, call me every day!’

This is one of only two constructions (the other is the passive) in which a regularly formed per-
fective participle of /jānā/ ( /jāyā/) is used, rather than the more common ‫ گ‬/gayā/. See
the following example.

(8.123) : ‫ زار‬a ‫ب ا‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ا‬:

karācī mēṁ mæṁ aksar bāzār jā-yā kar-t-ī tʰī


Karachi in I often market go-PP.M.SG do-IP-F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘In Karachi I’d go to the market often.’

8.8 Formal Grammar

The formal grammar’s listing of verbal affixes follows.

<!--Inflectional suffixes for verbs (but we include the causative suffixes,


which are arguably derivational rather than inflectional).
-->

<!--============= Causative suffixes ======================-->


<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-CAUS" id="afCausative">
<!--Single causative-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ا‬/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envNotAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -lā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ل‬/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingle'/>
<!--That's an ad hoc feature, but it's unclear what the
morphosyntactic structure of a causative should be.-->
</Fs:FeatureStructure>

215
Verbs

</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-DBL.CAUS" id="afDoubleCausative">


<!--Double Causative-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -vā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="‫"وا‬/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envNotAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -lvā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫" ا‬/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDouble'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--================ Participle suffixes ==================-->

<!--Imperfective participles: -->


<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-IMP.PTCPL.Ms.Sg" id="afImpPtcplMsSg">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -tā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-IMP.PTCPL.Ms.Pl" id="afImpPtcplMsPl">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -tē -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>

216
Verbs

</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-IMP.PTCPL.Fm.Sg" id="afImpPtcplFmSg">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -tī -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-IMP.PTCPL.Fm.Pl" id="afImpPtcplFmPl">


<!--Two forms, apparently in free variation (hence no environments)-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -tī -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -tīm
̇ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫" ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--Perfective participles: -->


<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-PFCTV.PTCPL.Ms.Sg" id="afPfctvPtcplMsSg">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ا‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPerfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

217
Verbs

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-PFCTV.PTCPL.Ms.Pl" id="afPfctvPtcplMsPl">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ے‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPerfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-PFCTV.PTCPL.Fm.Sg" id="afPfctvPtcplFmSg">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>
<!--Null allomorph after a stem-final ī (this could also be
analyzed as deletion of the stem-final ī)-->
<Ph:Environment>
<Ph:leftContext>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref="phLongI"/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
</Ph:leftContext>
</Ph:Environment>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ī (elsewhere environment) -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ی‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPerfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-PFCTV.PTCPL.Fm.Pl" id="afPfctvPtcplFmPl">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ں‬/>
<!-- -m
̇ after a stem-final ī (this could also be
analyzed as deletion of the stem-final ī)-->
<Ph:Environment>
<Ph:leftContext>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>

218
Verbs

<Ph:refPhoneme idref="phLongI"/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
</Ph:leftContext>
</Ph:Environment>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -īm
̇ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvParticiple'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPerfective'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--================ Infinitive ==================-->

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Inf.Direct" id="afInfDirect">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -nā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInfinitive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Inf.Oblique" id="afInfOblique">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -nē -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInfinitive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvOblique'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--================ Imperative ==================-->


<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Informal.Imperative" id="afInfImperative">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>

219
Verbs

<!-- Null allomorph -->


</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperative'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInformal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Mid.Imperative" id="afMidImperative">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ō (homophonous with 2nd person plural subjunctive)-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"و‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperative'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMid'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Formal.Imperative" id="afForImperative">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -iyē -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ie
̄ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
<Ph:refEnvironment idref="envNotAfterLongV"/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvImperative'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFormal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<!--================ Subjunctive ==================-->

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.1Sg" id="afSubjunctive1Sg">

220
Verbs

<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ūm
̇ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"وں‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.2Sg" id="afSubjunctive2Sg">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ے‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.3Sg" id="afSubjunctive3Sg">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē (homophonous with 2sg)-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ے‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.1Pl" id="afSubjunctive1Pl">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ēm -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv1'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>

221
Verbs

</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.2InfPl" id="afSubjunctive2InfPl">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ō (homophonous with mid-level imperative)-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"و‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvInformal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.2FormPl" id="afSubjunctive2FormPl">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ēm (homophonous with 1 plural) -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv2'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFormal'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Subjunctive.3Pl" id="afSubjunctive3Pl">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ēm (homophonous with 1 plural) -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFinite'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSubjunctive'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fv3'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

The allomorphy constraints above use the following environment definitions:

<!--The environments used for verb suffix allomorphs.-->

<Ph:Environment id="envAfterLongV">
<Ph:leftContext>
<Ph:AlternativesContext>

222
Verbs

<!--We could use a SimpleContextNC to define the long vowels,


but since we're not re-using that definition, we don't
bother.-->
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phLongA'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phLongI'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phLongU'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
</Ph:AlternativesContext>
</Ph:leftContext>
</Ph:Environment>

<Ph:Environment id="envNotAfterLongV">
<Ph:leftContext>
<Ph:AlternativesContext>
<!--The negation of a natural class (better thought of as
the elsewhere case); but since the system does not allow
for negated classes, we define it as the conjunction of
everything that is not a long vowel. Note that some of
these phonemes (like the short vowels) are possible, but
unlikely, in the Arabic script.-->
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShortA'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShortI'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShortU'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShortE'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShortO'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phEpsilon'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phOpenO'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>

223
Verbs

<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZabar'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZer'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phPesh'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phNunGunna'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phHamza'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phSukun'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phTashdid'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phAlif'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phBe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phBhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phPe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phPhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phTe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phThe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phTDotE'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phThDotE'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>

224
Verbs

<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phSe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phJim'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phJhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phCe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phChe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phBarihe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phXe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phDal'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phDHe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phDDotal'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phDDotHe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZal'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phRe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phRDotE'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phRhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZe'/>

225
Verbs

</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phSin'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phShin'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phSvad'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZvad'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phToe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phZoe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phAyin'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phGain'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phFe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phQaf'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phKaf'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phKhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phGaf'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phGhe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>

226
Verbs

<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phLam'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phMim'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phNun'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phVau'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phChotiHe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phYeh'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
<Ph:refPhoneme idref='phDoCashmiHe'/>
</Ph:SimpleContextTerminal>
</Ph:AlternativesContext>
</Ph:leftContext>
</Ph:Environment>

The formal grammar template for verbal morphology is given below; note that because the formal
grammar is limited to morphology, it does not include the various synthetic forms (i.e. the forms
using auxiliary verbs).

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="verb" abbreviation="V" id="posVerb">


<!-- Affix Slots -->
<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="Causative" obligatory="false"
id="slotCausative">
<!--The causative slot is optional, meaning that we can have
non-causativized verbs.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afCausative"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afDoubleCausative"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="Nonfinite" id="slotNonfinite">


<!--Participles-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplMsSg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplMsPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplFmSg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afImpPtcplFmPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afPfctvPtcplMsSg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afPfctvPtcplMsPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afPfctvPtcplFmSg"/>

227
Verbs

<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afPfctvPtcplFmPl"/>
<!--Infinitives-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afInfDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afInfOblique"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="Subjunctive" id="slotSubjunctive">


<!--For subjunctives, imperatives, and the future tense.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive1Sg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive2Sg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive3Sg"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive1Pl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive2InfPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive2FormPl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afSubjunctive3Pl"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afInfImperative"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMidImperative"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afForImperative"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Templates -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate name="Nonfinite">
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotCausative"/>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotNonfinite"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:InflAffixTemplate name="Finite">
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotCausative"/>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotSubjunctive"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>

</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

228
Complex Predicates

Chapter 9

Complex Predicates

9.1 Introduction

In Urdu, complex verbal forms can be created by combining an inflected verb with another word--
either a noun or adjective, or a non-finite (non-inflected) verb--in the pattern X + Inflected Verb.
These two kinds of complex predicates are categorized according to the identity of X:

• Denominative verb constructions1 (noun/adjective + verb)


• Vector verb constructions2 (verb + verb)

The first of these constructions makes a verbal form out of a noun or adjective. The second
construction creates a new verb by adding a second, “vector” verb to the main verb, which adds
to the main verb’s meaning in a way that is somewhat generalizable but can differ with context.
Combining the two verbs sometimes even creates a new lexical item with a meaning connected
to, but not predictable from, its components. Both types of construction are also known as light
verb constructions, because the second element, the inflected verb, loses its literal meaning (and
hence becomes “light”) when combining with X.
The difference between vector verb and auxiliary verb constructions (Section 8.7) is that auxiliary
verbs add a predictable nuance--either aspectual or modal--to the first verb, whose core meaning
does not change, whereas in vector verb constructions, the combination of the two verbs is less
predictable.

9.2 Denominative Verb Constructions (noun/adjective +


verb)

As we said above, denominative constructions are a way of turning an adjective or noun into a
verb;3 for example, ‫ م‬5 /kām/ work (n.) + : /karnā/ to do → to work; 5 ‫ د‬/dʰākā/ push (n.) +

1
Also called conjunct verbs by some linguists.
2
These are called compound verbs by many South Asianist linguists.
3
The term denominative is from Latin and loosely means from a noun.

229
Complex Predicates

6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give → to push (someone). Denominatives also occur frequently with loanwords as
a means of borrowing verbs without violating the pan-South Asian intolerance of directly bor-
rowing verbs as verbs. Verbal loanwords (from Arabic, participles or verbal nouns, and from
Persian, present or past stems) are paired with an inflected Urdu verb to produce a new verb
form. Borrowed nouns and adjectives can also be used, and English verbs are borrowed in this
way as well:
Denominatives from English loanwords:

(9.1) :‫واہ! ر@ ا ن س‬

vāh omar tō imtihān pās kar nikl-ā


wow Omar EMPH exam pass do emerge-PP.M.SG
‘Wow! Omar passed the exam!’

(9.2) ‫ و‬: 8‫روز ن‬ !

bēt ̣ā mujʰē rōz fōn ki-yā kar-ō


son me-ACC daily phone do-PP.M.SG do-IMP.2.PL
‘Son, call me every day!’

(9.3) ‫ووٹ ںڈاﻻ؟‬ ‫@ ں‬a

kašmīrī-ōṁ nē vōt ̣ kiyōṁ ḍāl-ā


Kashiri-OBL.PL ERG vote why put-PP.M.SG
‘Why did the Kashmiris vote?’

Denominative from Arabic loanword:

(9.4) ‫ں‬ ‫ ر‬:‫ر‬ ‫ ا‬5a ‫ب ا‬

mæṁ akbar k-ā intizār kar rah-ā hūṁ


I Akbar POSS-M.SG wait do PROG-M.SG be.PRS.1.SG
‘I am waiting for Akbar.’

‫ر‬ ‫ ا‬/intizaar/ < ‫ ا ر‬/intaDHara/ to wait


Denominative from Persian loanword:

230
Complex Predicates

(9.5) ‫گ‬ ‫ آ ن ب‬6‫د‬ @ ‫ا‬

inglnḍ kō šikast dē-n-ā āsān nahīṁ hō g-ā


England ACC defeat give-INF-DIR easy NEG be.SBJV.3.SG FUT-M.SG
‘Defeating (the) England (cricket team) will not be easy.’

/šikast/< ‫ب‬ /šikastan/ to break

9.2.1 Verbs Used to Form Denominatives

: /karnā/ and /hōnā/ are the most common verbs in denominative constructions and play
a special role in that capacity, forming parallel transitive-intransitive pairs. The same noun or
adjective can be paired with : /karnā/ to make a transitive form and with /honā/ to make
an intransitive; for example, : ‫ دا‬/dāxil karnā/ to enroll and ‫ دا‬/dāxil hōnā/ to enter, to be
enrolled.
Other verbs that can be used in denominative constructions include 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give, /lagnā/
to be applied, be put, be joined (to), /lēnā/ to take, /bāṁ dʰnā/ to tie, /nikālnā/ to take
out, /lagānā/ to apply, ‫ ا‬/ut ̣ʰānā/ to raise, and ‫ ر‬/rakʰnā/ to put. Note that all of these verbs
are transitive, as are the denominative constructions they form.

9.2.2 Examples

(9.6) 6‫ د‬: 6 @ ‫@ ر‬ ‫ ببڑھر‬8 ‫ب‬

mæṁ kitāb paṛh rah-ā hō-t-ā tō rēḍiyō band kar dē-t-ā


I.DIR book read PROG-M.SG be-IP-M.SG CONJ radio closed do give-IP-M.SG
‘If I were reading a book, I would have turned off the radio.’

6 /band/ fastened; closed; stopped + /karnā/ → to close; turn off

(9.7) ‫ۓ‬ ‫وربہ‬h ‫ؤوہ‬ @ ّ9

bacc-ē kō kʰi-lā-ō voh kamzōr nah hō jā-ē


child-M.SG.OBL ACC eat-CAUS-IMP.2.PL he weak NEG be go-SBJV.3.SG
‘Feed the child lest he starve. (lit. become weak)’

‫ور‬h /kamzōr/ weak + /hōnā/ → to weaken/decline

231
Complex Predicates

(9.8) ‫م‬ ‫@ اسو‬ ‫ر‬

tum gʰar ga-ē hō-t-ē tō us vaqt mālūm hō jā-t-ā


you house go-PP.M.PL be-IP-M.PL CONJ that time known be go-IP-M.SG
‘If you had gone home, you would have found out then.’

‫م‬ /mālūm/ known + /hōnā/ → to become known/be discovered

(9.9) ‫@ ب آ‬ ‫آپآوازد‬

āp āvāz dē-t-ē tō mæṁ ā-t-ī


you voice give-IP-M.PL CONJ I come-IP-F.SG
‘If you had called, I would have come.’

‫ آواز‬/āvāz/ sound/voice + 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ → to call

9.3 Vector Verb Constructions (verb + verb)

Each of the vector verbs below can be combined with a variety of verbs to add extra details or
nuance to the core meaning of that verb, or to form an entirely new, compound lexical item. This
latter case is called relexicalization:through the combination of the two verbs, a new word is cre-
ated, whose meaning is related to, but not predictable from, the meanings of its components. The
examples below will illustrate the different ways vector verbs can add to or change the meaning
of the main verb.
Some vector verbs are intransitive and some transitive. See below for more on transitivity.
Formation:
verb stem + inflected vector verb4

9.3.1 Intransitive Vector Verbs

9.3.1.1 /jānā/ to go

Used with verbs of motion and stative verbs, but only ones that represent completable actions,
/jānā/ expresses a change of state through the action of the main verb.
4
See following sections for lists of possible vector verbs.

232
Complex Predicates

(9.10) @‫وہآ ۓ‬

voh ā jā-ē tō mujʰ-ē bulā lē-n-ā


he come go-SBJV.3.SG CONJ me-ACC call take-INF-DIR
‘If he comes, call me!’

9.3.1.2 ‫ بڑ‬/paṛ nā/ to fall, to befall

As a vector verb, ‫ بڑ‬/paṛnā/ is used only with non-stative verbs and expresses sudden, unexpected,
involuntary, or unpreventable action.

(9.11) ‫بہ@ ﻻ@ وہروبڑی‬ ‫ب‬

mæṁ nē nah bōl-ā tō voh ro paṛ-ī


I ERG NEG say-PP.M.SG CONJ she cry fall-PP.F.SG
‘When I said “No,” she started crying.’

(9.12) ‫گ بڑی‬ : ‫ب‬

mæṁ kursī sē gir paṛ-ī


I chair from fall fall-PP.F.SG
‘I fell off the chair.’

9.3.1.3 /nikalnā/ to emerge

The vector verb /nikalnā/ expresses sudden or unexpected action, as well as motion out or
away.

(9.13) :‫واہ! ر@ ا ن س‬

vāh omar to imtihān pās kar nikal-ā


wow Omar EMPH exam pass do emerge-PP.M.SG
‘Wow! Omar passed the exam!’

(9.14) ‫دور گ‬ ‫ج‬

bāɣī fɔj k-ī pahuṁ c sē dūr bʰāg nikal-ē


rebels army POSS-F.SG reach from far flee emerge-PP.M.PL
‘The rebels escaped from the reach of the army.’

233
Complex Predicates

9.3.1.4 ‫ ا‬/uṭ ʰnā/ to rise, to get up

‫ ا‬/ut ̣ʰnā/ works as an intensifier of the main verb and also expresses sudden action. Even when
this construction contains a transitive main verb, that verb cannot take an object. (See the third
bullet in Section 9.3.3.)

(9.15) ‫ اب ار ا‬: a ‫ت‬ a‫ا‬

akbar k-ī mɔt k-ī xabar sun kar abrār cīx ut ̣ʰ-ā
Akbar POSS-F.SG death POSS-F.SG news hear CP Abrar yell rise-PP.M.SG
‘Having heard the news of Akbar’s death, Abrar began screaming.’

(9.16) ‫ وہ گا‬: ‫یآواز‬a

mer-ī āvāz sun kar voh jāg ut ̣ʰ-ā


my-F.SG voice hear CP he wake rise-PP.M.SG
‘He woke up when he heard my voice.’

9.3.1.5 /bæṭ ʰnā/ to sit

/bæt ̣ʰnā/ can suggest a sense of impulsiveness or involuntary quality to the action, or express
that the action is an unrectifiable mistake. This vector verb may also overlap with the category of
mood in that it sometimes implies speaker disapproval of the action. Unlike the previous vector
verbs, it is used most often with transitive verbs, which may still take objects. The construction
as a whole, however, behaves like an intransitive verb in the perfective tenses.

(9.17) ‫؟‬ : 8 ‫یب‬ !‫ۓ‬

hāē jaldī mēṁ ham kyā kar bæt ̣ʰ-ē


oh.no haste in we what do sit-PP.M.PL
‘Oh no! What have we done in our haste?’

(9.18) ‫وہ‬ : ‫ڑا‬ a ‫سو‬

šōhar sē laṛāī kar kē voh mēk-ē jā bæt ̣ʰ-ī


husband from fight do CP she wife’s.family-M.SG.OBL go sit-PP.F.SG
‘She fought with husband and then went to her parents’ house.’

234
Complex Predicates

9.3.2 Transitive Vector Verbs

9.3.2.1 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ to give

In keeping with its semantics, 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ expresses an action that is done on behalf of someone
else, or is directed away from oneself, or in some other way has an external effect. It can also
signify completion of the action, and in requests, adds a slight sense of politeness.

(9.19) ‫دﻻدوں‬ @‫ہاس‬C ‫ں‬ ‫۔ ب سوچر‬ ‫ہ‬ ‫آج ران‬

āj imrān k-ī sālgirah hæ mæṁ soc rah-ī hūṁ


today Imran POSS-F.SG birthday be.PRS.3.SG I think PROG-F.SG be.PRS.1.SG
keh us kō khilɔn-ē di-lā d-ūṁ
that him ACC toy-M.PL give-CAUS give-SBJV.1.SG
‘Today is Imran’s birthday. I think I’ll get him toys.’

(9.20) ‫ب ڈالدی‬ ‫ری‬ ‫ب‬ ‫۔ک‬ ‫ز ب‬6 ‫رب‬

gʰar mēṁ piyāz nahīṁ hæ kal mæṁ nē sār-ī sālan mēṁ


house in onion NEG be.PRS.3.SG yesterday I ERG all-F.SG broth in
ḍāl d-ī tʰī
put give-PP.F.SG be.PST.F.SG
‘There are no onions in the house. I put them all in the curry yesterday.’

(9.21) 6‫ا د‬ @ ‫ںآ ب‬ ‫اگ‬

agar cācā yahāṁ ā-ēṁ tō mujʰ-ē ut ̣ʰā dē-nā


if uncle.DIR here come-SBJV.3.PL CONJ me-ACC awaken give-INF
‘If uncle comes here, then wake me up.’

9.3.2.2 /lēnā/ to take

In parallel with the outward semantics of 6‫ د‬/dēnā/, /lēnā/ expresses an action that one per-
forms for or towards oneself or that has an external origin but affects the self. Like 6‫ د‬/dēnā/, it
can also signify completion of the action.

(9.22) ‫آ‬a @ 6 ‫ۓا‬

cāē apn-ē liyē banā l-ō tō bāhir ā jā-n-ā


tea self-M.SG.OBL for make take-IMP.2.PL CONJ outside come go-INF-DIR
‘After you make tea for yourself, come outside!’

235
Complex Predicates

(9.23) ‫ڑ‬ ‫اس ر ب‬

is bār mæṁ nē gænd pakaṛ l-ī


this time I ERG ball catch take-PP.F.SG
‘This time I caught the ball!’

(9.24) ‫@ چ‬ ‫اگ ا زت‬

agar ijāzat mil-ē tō nāc lē-nā


if permission be.obtained-SBJV.3.SG CONJ dance take-INF
‘If you get permission, you should dance.’

(9.25) ‫ب‬ ‫دوا‬ ‫ہا‬C ‫ہبہر و۔ا بہ‬ ‫دوا‬

davāī jagah pe rakʰ-ō æsā nah hō keh abbā ɣalat


medicine place on put-IMP.2.PL such.that NEG be.SBJV.3.SG that dad wrong
davā kʰā l-ēṁ
medicine eat take-SBJV.3.PL
‘Put the medicine in its (right) place! We don’t want Dad to take the wrong medicine!’

9.3.2.3 ‫ ڈا‬/ḍ ālnā/ to put; to pour

‫ ڈا‬/ḍālnā/ can intensify the main verb, adding a sense of urgency or violence, as well as express
completeness.

(9.26) ‫@ رڈا‬ ‫ہا‬C ‫ @ ر ب‬a ‫سو‬

āp-kā šōhar jānvar nahīṃ keh apn-ī bæt ̣ī kō mār


your-M.SG husband animal NEG that own-F.SG daughter ACC kill
ḍal-t-ē
put-IP-M.PL
‘Your husband is not such a monster that he’d kill his own daughter!’

9.3.2.4 ‫ ر‬/rakʰnā/ to put or place

‫ ر‬/rakʰnā/ occurs with a limited number of verbs, chiefly 6‫ د‬/dēnā/ and /lēnā/ and refers to
the continuity of a particular state.

236
Complex Predicates

(9.27) ‫ر‬ ‫ب‬ ‫ @ ا‬6‫د‬ ‫ ران‬9

ālamī māliyātī buhrān nē dunyā kō apn-ī lapēt ̣ mēṁ lē


world financial crisis ERG world ACC self-F.SG enveloping in take
rakʰ-ā hæ
put-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG
‘The world economic crisis has enveloped the whole world.’

(9.28) ‫دے‬ 5 : ‫ رروا‬5‫ف‬ ‫گ دوں‬ ‫د‬ ‫ا ر ھ‬ @‫ا ر ہ‬ ‫ج‬ ‫ہ † ن‬C 8‫د@ ی‬ ‫ا ر‬


‫ر‬

axbār nē dāvā ki-yā hæ keh pākistān k-ī fɔj


newspaper ERG claim do-PP.M.SG be.PRS.3.SG that Pakistan POSS-F.SG army
nē amrīkah kō mulk k-ē andar ceh mīl tak dehšat.gard-ōṁ
ERG America ACC country POSS-OBL inside six miles until terrorist-M.PL
k-ē xilāf kārravāī kar-n-ē k-ā haq dē rakʰ-ā
POSS-OBL against proceeding do-INF-OBL POSS-M.SG right give put-PP.M.SG

be.PRS.3.SG
‘The newspaper has claimed that Pakistan’s military has given America the right to carry
out operations against terrorists up to six miles within the country.’

9.3.3 Transitivity of Sentences with Vector Verbs

Intransitive vectors are generally used with intransitive main verbs, and transitive vectors with
transitive main verbs, although there can be exceptions to this generalization in either direction
(intransitive main verb with transitive vector verb or transitive main verb with intransitive vector
verb). The transitivity of the sentence is determined according to the list below. In an intransitive
sentence, the vector verb agrees with the subject even in perfect tenses and the subject does not
take /nē/; whereas in a transitive sentence, the vector verb agrees with the object in the perfect
tenses while the subject takes /nē/:

• intransitive main verb + intransitive vector = intransitive sentence

(9.29) ‫گ ؤں‬ : ‫ب‬


mæṁ kursī sē gir jā-ōṁ gī
I chair from fall go-SBJV.1.SG FUT.F.SG
‘I will fall from the chair.’

• transitive main verb + transitive vector = transitive sentence

237
Complex Predicates

(9.30) ‫@ دےد‬ ‫ا‬ ‫ب‬


mæṁ nē pēsē ammī kō dē dī-yē
I ERG money mom ACC give give-PP.3.PL
‘I gave the money to Mom.’

• transitive main verb + intransitive vector = intransitive sentence


(9.31) !‫دے ؤ‬ ‫گ ڑی‬
gāṛī mujʰ-ē dē jā-ō
car me-OBL give go-IMP.2.PL
‘Leave the car with me!’

• intransitive main verb + transitive vector = intransitive sentence5

(9.32) ‫وہ ر رف د‬
voh gʰar k-ī taraf cal dī-yē
They house POSS-F.SG side walk give-PP.M.PL
‘They went off towards home.’

9.3.4 Restrictions on Vector Verb Constructions

There are some types of verb constructions that either cannot occur with vector verbs or else do
so only rarely:

• the progressive tenses (see Section 8.3.5)

• auxiliary constructions with /cuknā/ (see Section 8.7.3)

• auxiliary constructions with /saknā/, except (rarely) with relexicalized compounds (see Sec-
tion 8.7.1)

• oblique infinitive + /lagnā/ (see Section 8.6.4.3)

• participial constructions, except (rarely) with relexicalized compounds

• negative sentences, except those with:6

– relexicalized compounds (rarely)


– ‫ ب‬/kahīṁ /, used to express apprehension, as in:
5
This combination is rare.
6
Very occasionally a negative sentence may contain a vector verb construction in cases other than the two described
here.

238
Complex Predicates

(9.33) ‫بہ‬ ‫ب‬ ‫بہ‬


mācis sē nah kʰēl-ō kahīṁ āg nah lag jā-ē
matches from NEG play-IMP.2.PL somewhere fire NEG catch go-SBJV.3.SG
‘Don’t play with matches lest a fire start.’

– /jab tak/ + negative, in the sense of until, unless, as in:


ّ
(9.34) ‫ع ﷲ ربہ آ‬ ‫دروازہ ر و‬
darvāzah kʰul-ā rakʰ-ō jab tak abdullāh gʰar nah ā
door close-PP.M.SG leave-IMP.2.PL when until Abdullah house NEG come
jā-ē
go-SBJV.3.SG
‘Leave the door open until Abdullah comes home.’

239
The Formal Grammar

Appendix A

The Formal Grammar

This section contains the skeleton of the formal grammar, with the various grammar fragments
defined elsewhere linked in by the use of XML tags. These tags appear as labels in this display, but
consist of 'src:fragref' tags in the underlying XML code. The id 'top' on the top-most 'src:fragment'
tag indicates to the XSLT style sheet responsible for extracting the formal grammar that this is the
top-most piece of the complete formal grammar, i.e. the one under which all the other fragments
are to be embedded when the formal grammar is extracted.

<Ln:LanguageData xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"


xmlns:Ln = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Language.rng"
xmlns:Mo = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Morphology.rng"
xmlns:Gr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Grammar.rng"
xmlns:Ph = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Phonology.rng"
xmlns:Fs = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng"
xmlns:Irr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/IrregularForms.rng"
>

<Fs:FeatureSystem description="Morphosyntactic feature system">


<!-- Define the morphosyntactic feature set. We do not define any Feature
Structure Types, but we do give some Feature Definitions, specifically
Closed Features.
-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragNounFeatures">
<src:fragref linkend="fragVerbFeatures">
</Fs:FeatureSystem>
<!--==============POSs===================-->
<!-- Nouns, ch 3: -->
<src:fragref linkend="fragNounPOS">
<!-- Verbs, ch 8: -->
<src:fragref linkend="fragVerbPOS">
<!-- Adjectives, ch 6-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragAdjectivePOS">

<!--=================Morphological Data=====================-->

240
The Formal Grammar

<Mo:morphologicalData>
<!--==============Strata=================-->
<!--We do not define any Strata-->

<!--============Derivational Affixes==========-->
<!--We do not define any derivational affixes====-->

<!--============Inflectional Affixes==========-->
<!--===========Noun suffixes:============-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragNounSuffixes">

<!--===========Verb suffixes:============-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragVerbSuffixes">

<!--===========Adjective suffixes:============-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragAdjectiveSuffixes">
</Mo:morphologicalData>

<!--=================Phonological Data=====================-->
<Ph:phonologicalData>
<!--Phoneme Sets-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragUnicodePhonemes">

<!--Environments-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragVerbEnvironments">

<!--Phonological Rules-->
<src:fragref linkend="fragSpellingRules">
</Ph:phonologicalData>

<!--================Irregular Words=====================-->
<Irr:lexicalData>
<!--Verb honaa -->
<src:fragref linkend="fragIrregularHona">
</Irr:lexicalData>

</Ln:LanguageData>

241
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

Appendix B

The Grammar for Dictionary Impor-


tation

This section contains the skeleton of a separate grammar whose sole purpose is to convert the
citation forms of words into their stems. For nouns, this task includes inferring the declension class
from the phonological shape of the noun (particularly its ending) and grammatical information
(specifically, its gender).

<Ln:LanguageData xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"


xmlns:Ln = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Language.rng"
xmlns:Mo = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Morphology.rng"
xmlns:Gr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Grammar.rng"
xmlns:Ph = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Phonology.rng"
xmlns:Fs = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng"
xmlns:Irr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/IrregularForms.rng"
>
<!--============Adjective Citation Form Conversion==========-->
<!--Importation of adjective lexemes from typical Urdu dictionary entries.
This grammar converts a citation form of an adjective (with a citation
form suffix) into a stem marked with the inflection class, taking into
account the adjective's gender. Compiling this grammar into a finite
state transducer, for example, would result in a lexical side containing
the adjective's citation form, and a "surface" side containing the
adjective stem plus inflection class marker. (The gender features would
remain on the lexical side.)
-->

<Fs:FeatureSystem description="Morphosyntactic feature system">


<!--Re-use the noun features: -->
<xi:include href="fragNounFeatures.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer="xmlns(src=http://casl.umd.edu/LiterateProgramming)

242
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

xmlns(Fs=http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng)
xpointer(//src:fragment/node())"
/>
</Fs:FeatureSystem>

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="adjective" abbreviation="A">

<!-- Declension classes (repeated here from fragAdjectivePOS.xml;


most of the information is the same, but some affixes are omitted
which are not found on citation forms.-->
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls1" id="classAdjPlain"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls2" id="classAdjNasal"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls3" id="classAdjUnmarked"/>

<!-- Affix Slot -->


<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="AdjGenderCaseNumber" id="slotAdjGenCaseNum">
<!--Only direct case suffixes are shown here.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjMascSgDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afAdjFem"/>
<!-- Needed? Only if some adjectives are only found in
the feminine.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afUnmarkedAdjSuffix"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Template -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotAdjGenCaseNum"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

<Mo:morphologicalData>
<!--We import all the suffixes, but only the ones referenced by the
template (above) are actually used.-->
<xi:include href="fragAdjectiveSuffixes.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer='xpointer(id("fragAdjectiveSuffixes")/node())'/>
</Mo:morphologicalData>

<Ph:phonologicalData>
<!--Import phonological information that is used by two or more of
the *.import.xml files: -->
<xi:include href="import.phonology.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer="xmlns(src=http://casl.umd.edu/LiterateProgramming)
xmlns(Ph=http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Phonology.rng)

243
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

xpointer(//src:fragment/node())"
/>
</Ph:phonologicalData>

</Ln:LanguageData>

<Ln:LanguageData xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"


xmlns:Ln = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Language.rng"
xmlns:Mo = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Morphology.rng"
xmlns:Gr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Grammar.rng"
xmlns:Ph = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Phonology.rng"
xmlns:Fs = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng"
xmlns:Irr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/IrregularForms.rng"
>
<!--============Verb Citation Form Conversion==========-->
<!--Here we define the conversion between a verbal citation form as found
in the dictionary, and the stem that is to be used in the grammar.
We want to retain the citation form on the lexical side, so we can look
up the verb in the dictionary. On the underlying form side, on the
other hand, we need to have the bare stem.

This is straightforward for Urdu, because there are no inflection classes;


we have a single suffix to strip.
-->
<Fs:FeatureSystem description="Morphosyntactic feature system">
<!--Verbal features: -->
<xi:include href="fragVerbFeatures.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer="xmlns(src=http://casl.umd.edu/LiterateProgramming)
xmlns(Fs=http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng)
xpointer(//src:fragment/node())"
/>
<!--Re-use the noun features for gender and number (and case
marking on some forms): -->
<xi:include href="fragNounFeatures.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer="xmlns(src=http://casl.umd.edu/LiterateProgramming)
xmlns(Fs=http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng)
xpointer(//src:fragment/node())"
/>
</Fs:FeatureSystem>

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="verb" abbreviation="V">


<!-- Affix Slot -->
<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="" id="slotNonfinite">

244
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

<!--While many suffixes are listed for this slot in the main grammar,
only one concerns us for purposes of dictionary import: -->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afInfDirect"/>
</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Template -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotNonfinite"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

<Mo:morphologicalData>
<!--This contains the single verbal suffix in the main grammar that is
used to mark the citation form of verbs in Urdu dictionaries.-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-Inf.Direct" id="afInfDirect">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!--No need to worry about features-->
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>
</Mo:morphologicalData>

<Ph:phonologicalData>
<!--Import phonological information that is used by two or more of
the *.import.xml files: -->
<xi:include href="import.phonology.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer='xpointer(id("import.phonology.xml")/node())'
/>
</Ph:phonologicalData>

</Ln:LanguageData>

<Ln:LanguageData xmlns:xsi = "http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"


xmlns:Ln = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Language.rng"
xmlns:Mo = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Morphology.rng"
xmlns:Gr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Grammar.rng"
xmlns:Ph = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/Phonology.rng"
xmlns:Fs = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng"
xmlns:Irr = "http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/IrregularForms.rng"
>
<!--============Noun Citation Form Conversion==========-->
<!--Here we define the conversion between a noun citation form as found

245
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

in the dictionary, and the stem that is to be used in the grammar.


We want to retain the citation form on the lexical side, so we can look
up the noun in the dictionary; the lexical side also bears grammatical
features of gender (and for some nouns, number). On the underlying form
side, on the other hand, we need to have the bare stem plus a code
representing the declension class. So we remove the citation form suffix
on the underlying form side, and replace it with the appropriate
declension class marker.
-->

<Fs:FeatureSystem description="Morphosyntactic feature system">


<!--The inflectional features used on nouns: -->
<xi:include href="fragNounFeatures.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer='xmlns(Fs=http://casl.umd.edu/LinguisticSchemas/FeatureSystem.rng)
xpointer(id("fragNounFeatures")/node())' />
</Fs:FeatureSystem>

<Gr:PartOfSpeech name="noun" abbreviation="N">


<!-- Bearable features, i.e. the features for which nouns are marked in
the lexicon: -->
<Gr:bearableFeatures>
<Fs:refFeatureDefn idref='fdefnGender'/>
<Fs:refFeatureDefn idref='fdefnNumber'/>
</Gr:bearableFeatures>

<!--Declension class markers (repeated here from fragNounPOS.xml)-->


<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls1" id="classNounMarkedV"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls2" id="classNounMarkedAh"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls3" id="classNounMarkedAm"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls4" id="classNounMarkedY"/>
<Mo:InflectionClass name="cls5" id="classNounUnmarked"/>

<!-- Affix Slot -->


<Mo:InflAffixSlot name="NounGenderCaseNumber" id="slotNounGenCaseNum">
<!--Only direct case suffixes are shown here; order is from most
specified in terms of inflectional features (for which masculine
plural and feminine plural tie) to least specified (tie between
masculine singular and feminine singular).-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascPlDirect"/>
<!--Needed for pluralia tantum words, or other nouns
found only in the plural.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemPlDirect"/>
<!-- Needed only if some nouns are only found in
the feminine plural.-->
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afMascSgDirect"/>
<Mo:refInflectionalAffix idref="afFemSg"/>

246
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

</Mo:InflAffixSlot>

<!-- Affix Template -->


<Mo:InflAffixTemplate>
<Mo:SuffixSlots>
<Mo:refSlot idref="slotNounGenCaseNum"/>
</Mo:SuffixSlots>
</Mo:InflAffixTemplate>

</Gr:PartOfSpeech>

<Mo:morphologicalData>
<!--This contains the subset of the noun affixes in the main grammar's
list which may appear in citation forms, namely:
the masculine plural direct suffix (for pluralia tantum words)
the feminine plural direct suffix
the masculine singular direct suffix
the feminine singular suffix
The affixes are listed in the above order, with the plurals before
the singulars, so that the plurals (which are marked at import time
by both the relevant gender fature and the plural value of the number
feature) take precedence over the singulars (which are marked for
gender at import, but not for the default singular value). (The order
of masculine vs. feminine is not important, since both genders are
marked at import.)

Within each affix, each allomorph + its phonological environment is


treated separately; the allomorphs with more specific environments
precede those with less marked environments, so that the more generic
environments do not bleed the more marked environments (and if there is
an allomorph with a null environment - the elsewhere case - it is last.)

In a few cases, the main grammar says that a plural direct suffix
allomorph can appear with > 1 inflection class. For example, in the
feminine, the plural suffix -īyām
̇ can appear with either feminine
marked nouns ending in the singular with either /-ī/ or /-īyā/.
These are different declension classes, and in theory if the citation
form ends in -īyām, we couldn't tell which of these two declension
classes the word was. But in fact, these two declension classes
are identical in all cases of the plural; and since the only reason
for giving a plural citation form is that the noun only occurs in
the plural, we don't need to distinguish these two declension classes
(and we arbitrarily choose one for such pluralia tantum words).
-->
<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-MascPlDirect" id="afMascPlDirect">
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ae for class Y (class Y also allows -ē, but that suffix

247
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

will presumably not appear in citation forms, so it is not


listed here)
NB: This suffix may not appear in dictionaries.
-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ۓ‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedY"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ēṁ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedAm"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ē
We arbitrarily assign any masculine pluralia tantum nouns
ending in this suffix to declension class /-a/, rather than
to class /-ah/, because these two declension classes are
identical in the plural. (See discussion above.)
-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ے‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedV"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!--Null allomorph.-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounUnmarked"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-FemPlDirect" id="afFemPlDirect">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -īyām
̇
We arbitrarily assign any feminine pluralia tantum words
ending in this suffix to the classNounMarkedV declension

248
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

class, rather than to the classNounMarkedY class, because


these two declension classes don't differ in the plural.
(See discussion above.)
-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫" ں‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedV"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ēṁ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ ‫"ب‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounUnmarked"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvPlural'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-MascSgDirect" id="afMascSgDirect">


<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ah -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ہ‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedAh"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -āṁ -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"اں‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedAm"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ayah -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"بہ‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedY"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ā -->

249
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ا‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedV"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!--Null allomorph-->
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounUnmarked"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvMasculine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvDirect'/>
</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

<Mo:InflectionalAffix gloss="-FemSg" id="afFemSg">


<!--We don't need phonological environments here, because each of the
allomorphs is unambiguous as to the inflection class.-->
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -ī -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+‫"ی‬/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedV"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- -iyā -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+ "/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounMarkedY"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<!-- Null allomorph -->
<Ph:Form spelling="+"/>
<Mo:inflectionClasses>
<Mo:refInflClass idref="classNounUnmarked"/>
</Mo:inflectionClasses>
</Mo:AffixAllomorph>
<Fs:FeatureStructure description='Inflectional Features'>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvFeminine'/>
<Fs:SymbolicFeatureValue defn='fvSingular'/>
<!--Since this is used for all three cases, we don't mention

250
The Grammar for Dictionary Importation

the case here. -->


</Fs:FeatureStructure>
</Mo:InflectionalAffix>

</Mo:morphologicalData>

<Ph:phonologicalData>
<!--Import phonological information that is used by two or more of
the *.import.xml files: -->
<xi:include href="import.phonology.xml"
xmlns:xi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XInclude"
xpointer='xpointer(id("import.phonology.xml")/node())'
/>
</Ph:phonologicalData>
</Ln:LanguageData>

251
References Cited or Consulted

References Cited or Consulted

Barker, Muhammad Abd-Al-Rahman, Hasan Jahangir Hamdani, Khwaja Muhammad Shafi Dihlavi
& Shafiqur Rahman. 1967. Spoken Urdu: A course in Urdu, vol. I-III. Montreal: Institute of
Islamic Studies, McGill University.

Barz, Richard & Yogendra Yadav. 2000. An introduction to Hindi and Urdu. Munshiram Manoharlal
Publishers Pvt. Ltd.

Bashir, Elena. 1999. The Urdu postposition ne: its changing role in the grammar. In Rajendra
Singh (ed.), The Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics 1999. New Delhi, SAGE
Publications Pvt. Ltd.

Unicode Consortium, The. 2007. The Unicode standard, version 5.0. Addison-Wesley Professional,
5th edn.

Davis, Mark & Martin Dürst. 2008. Unicode normalization forms. Unicode standard annex #15.
URL http://unicode.org/reports/tr15/.

Knuth, Donald E. 1992. Literate programming, CSLI Lecture Notes. Stanford: Center for the Study
of Language and Information.

Masica, C. P. 1991. The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Matthews, David & Mohamed Kasim Dalvi. 2003. Teach yourself Urdu. McGraw-Hill Companies
Inc.

Maxwell, Michael. 2006. Final technical report M.1: Current morphological methods. Tech. rep.,
CASL, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Maxwell, Michael. 2007. Final technical report M.5: Standards for lexical and morphological
interchange.

Naim, C.M. 2000. Introductory Urdu, vol. I. New Delhi, National Council for Promotion of Urdu
Language.

Pray, Bruce R. 1970. Topics in Hindi-Urdu grammar. Berkeley, Center for South and Southeast Asia
Studies.

Qureshi, Bashir Ahmad. 2003. Standard Twenty-First century dictionary: Urdu into English. Revised
and enlarged by Abdul Haq. Delhi, Educational Publishing House.

Schmidt, Ruth Laila. 1999. Urdu: An essential grammar. Routledge.

252
References Cited or Consulted

Walsh, Norman. 2002. Literate programming in XML. In XML 2002. Baltimore, MD. URL http:
//nwalsh.com/docs/articles/xml2002/paper.pdf.

Walsh, Norman & Leonard Muellner. 1999. DocBook: the definitive guide. Sebastopol, California:
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. URL http://www.docbook.org/.

253
Index

Index

/al/, see Affixes, /al/, Arabic definite article repetition of, 148
superlative
Abbreviations, 35 in /sab sē/, 118
Ablative, see Case, ablative in /tarīn/, 118
Adjectives unmarked, 110
/-ṁ / inflection loanwords, 113
inflection of, 109 y-v-k-j class
with ordinal numbers, 115 as adverbs, 123
agreement, 105, 109 inflection of, 116
attributive, 113 y-v-k-j pronouns as, 75, 78
comparative, 117 Adverbs
as intensifiers, 117 /kahīṁ /
in /sē/, 97, 118 in vector verb constructions, 238
in /tar, tarīn/, 117 agreement, 121
in /zyāda/, 118 complex
demonstrative, 116 of time, 121
in subordinate constructions, 138 compound, see Adverbs, phrasal
derivation of in /is/, /us/, /kis/, /jis/, 121, 123
from nouns, 111, 113 demonstrative, 121
from verbs, 113 pronouns as, 121
in loanwords, 111 derivation of
with /ham/, 62 from oblique nouns and adjectives, 116
imperfective participles as, 192 emphatic particles as, 128
in complex verbs, 229 interrogative, 121
infinitives as, 202, 204 vs relatives, 123
interrogative, 116 loanwords, 124
marked, 105 of manner, 123, 124
masculine and feminine marked of place, 123, 124
inflection of, 105 of time, 123
negative, 113 phrasal, see Adverbs, compound, 124
oblique with /sē/, 124
as adverbs, 121 relative, 121
with /kā/, 88 replaced by /keh/, 136
phrasal, 118 suffixed with /bʰī/, 131
with /kā/, 83 vs interrogatives, 123
with /sā/, 118 with /hī/, 127
possessive, see Pronouns, possessive repetition of, 149
predicative, 113 with /kā/, 89
relative, 116

254
Index

y-v-k-j adjectives as, 116, 123 /-hā/


y-v-k-j class Persian plural noun, 58
repetition of, 149 /-i/
Affixes derived feminine noun, 40
/-(i)stān/ /-iyat/
Persian derived noun, 60 Arabic abstract feminine noun, 63
Persian masculine noun, 41 Arabic feminine noun, 40
/-ak/ /-iyā
Persian feminine diminutive noun, 60 marked feminine noun, 39
/-an/ /-iyāt/
Arabic adverb, 124 Arabic abstract noun, 65
/-at/ /-iyē/
Arabic feminine noun, 40 intimate imperative, 166
/-aya/ /-kār/, /-gār/, /-gar/
marked masculine noun, 51 Persian agentive noun, 59
/-ayā/ /-mand/
marked masculine noun, 39 unmarked Persian denominal adjective,
unmarked feminine noun, 39 112
/-āh/ /-n/
Arabic attributive adjective, 114 derived feminine noun, 57
/-ca/ /-nā/
Persian feminine diminutive noun, 60 infinitive, 154, 157
/-cī/ /-nāk/
Persian agentive noun, 59 unmarked Persian denominal adjective,
/-dān/ 112
Persian agentive noun, 61 /-nē/
/-dān/, /dānī/ oblique infinitive, 157
Persian masculine and feminine derived /-o--/
noun, 61 Perso-Arabic conjunctive particle, 67
/-dār/ /-pan/
unmarked Persian denominal adjective, abstract masculine noun, 57
112 derived masculine noun, 41
/-e-/ /-pā/
enclitic, 61 derived masculine noun, 41
/-gā/ /-sā, sē, sī/, see Particles
future, 143 /-tar, -tarīn/
/-gā/, /-gē/, /-gī/ Persian comparative and superlative ad-
future tense, 175 jective, 117
/-gāh/ /-tā/, /-tē/, /-tī/, /-tīṁ /
Persian feminine noun, 41, 60 imperfective participle, 155
/-gī/ /-tā~ -tē ~ -tī ~ -tīṁ /
Persian feminine noun, 41 feminine imperfective participle, 155
/-gīn/ feminine plural imperfective participle,
unmarked Persian denominal adjective, 155
112 /-tī/, /-tīṁ
/-hat ̣/ with omission of auxiliary in imperfec-
abstract feminine noun, 57 tive tenses, 185

255
Index

/-var/, /-vār/, /-avār/ /-ānah/


Persian noun or unmarked denominal unmarked Persian denominal adjective,
adjective, 59, 112 112
/-vat ̣/ /-āt/
abstract masculine or feminine noun, Arabic regular (sound) plural noun, 65
55 /-āvat ̣/
/-vā-/, /-lvā-/ abstract feminine noun, 40
double causative verb stem, 154 /-āya/
/-vālā/, see Particles marked masculine noun, 42
/-vāṁ / /-āē/
ordinal numbers, 115 Persian feminine noun, 41
/-vān /-ē/
Persian agentive noun, 59 masculine oblique and plural adjective,
/-yat/ 105
abstract feminine noun, 40 /-ē/, /-ēm/, /-hēm/
/-yā/ special dative possessive pronouns, 72
marked feminine noun, 43 /-ēṁ /
/-yār/ masculine oblique and plural adjective,
unmarked Persian denominal adjective, 109
112 /-ī ~ -iya/
/-zār/ diminutive feminine noun, 40
Persian masculine noun, 60 /-ī/
/-æn/ abstract feminine noun, 56
Arabic dual noun, 64 derived masculine or feminine noun, 56
/-ā-/, /-lā-/ feminine adjective, 105
causative verb stem, 154 in loanwords, 52
/-ā/ marked feminine noun, 39, 43, 52
Arabic feminine noun, 40 Persian feminine noun, 41
in loanwords, 52 unmarked Arabic adjective, 111
marked masculine noun, 39, 41, 50 unmarked masculine noun, 39
masculine singular direct adjective, 105 unmarked Persian denominal adjective,
orthography of, 39 111
unmarked Arabic adjective, 111 /-ī/, /-gī/
unmarked feminine noun, 39 Persian feminine noun, 59
unmarked masculine noun, 39 /-īca/
/-ā/, /-ē/, /-ī/, /-īṁ / Persian feminine diminutive noun, 60
perfective participle, 156 /-īṁ /
/-ābād/ feminine adjective, 109
Persian derived noun, 60 /-īn/
/-āhat ̣/ Arabic regular (sound) plural noun, 64
abstract feminine noun, 40 /-ō/
/-āṁ / abstract masculine noun, 55
marked masculine noun, 39, 51 feminine personal name, 40, 55
masculine singular direct adjective, 109 intimate imperative, 165
unmarked feminine noun, 39 masculine noun, 41
/-ān/, /-gān/, /-yān/ /-ū/
Persian plural noun, 58 masculine noun, 41

256
Index

/-∅/ simple past tense, 158


intimate imperative, 165 subjunctive mood, 158
/al/ with participial adjectives, 192
Arabic definite article, 63 /jānā/
/gā/, /gē/, /gī/ with imperfective participle, 213
future tense, 159 with perfective participle, 193
/lā-/ /karnā/
Arabic negative prefix, 67 in denominative constructions, 231
/nā-/ with perfective participle, 195, 214–215
negative unmarked adjective, 113 /paṛnā/
/ā, ē, ī / with infinitive, 206
marked adjective, 115 /pānā/, 211
/ē/ /rahnā/
vocative noun, 145 in progressive tenses, 177
/ō/ with imperfective participle, 212
vocative noun, 145 with perfective participle, 213
/ɣær-/ /saknā/, 210
Arabic negative prefix, 67 restricted from vector verb constructions,
silent cʰot ̣ī hē 238
unmarked Persian adjective, 110 /vālā/
Agentive, see Case, agentive with infinitive, 206
Agents /ānā/
in passive constructions, 193 with infinitive, 205
Agents, intermediate, see Intermediate agent Constructions with verb stems or partici-
Animacy ples, 210–215
in direct objects, 92 in denominative constructions, 231
Aspect intransitivity of, 210
durative, 152 omission of, 155, 185
imperfective, 152, 184 in narrative imperfect, 185
in auxiliary constructions, 210 versus complex verbs, 229
marking, 152
perfective, 152, 157, 196 Case, 53
Auxiliaries ablative
/cuknā/, 212 marked by /sē/, 96
restricted from vector verb constructions, agentive
238 marked by /sē/, 96
/cāhiē(ṁ )/ dative
with infinitive, 205 subjects, see indirect constructions
/hōnā/, 157 direct, 53
conjugated, with infinitive, 204 direct objects in, 95
future tense, 159, 198 in subjects of imperfective participles,
imperfective participle, 200 150
in denominative constructions, 231 in subjects of perfective participles, 151
in imperfective constructions, 184 of infinitives, 202, 203
in perfect tenses, 195 ergative
in progressive tenses, 177 in conjunctive participles, 177
present tense, 158 in vector verb constructions, 237
marked by /nē/, 95

257
Index

locative with /tō/, 125


with /mēṁ /, 99 Conjunct verbs, see Verbs, complex
with /par/, 101 Conjunctions
nominative, see Case, direct causal, 140
oblique, 54 /cunāṁ ceh/, 140
in adverbs, 116 /cūṁ keh/, 140
of adjectives, 121 /kyūṁ keh/, 135, 140
of infinitives, 120, 202, 206 compound
of nouns, 124 /nahīṁ tō/, 125
of pronouns, 121, 123 with /bʰī/, 131
on subjects of perfective sentences, 95 concessive, 141
of pronouns, 68 /agarceh/, 141
special dative, 71 /hālāṁ keh/, 141
vocative, 53, 145 coordinating, 132
Cases /balkeh/, 134
oblique /jab keh/, 134
in perfect tenses, 196 /jæsē hī/, 127, 132
Clauses /lēkin/, 133
condition, see Condition clauses /magar/, 133
correlative, see Correlative clauses /par bʰī/, 131
dependent, see Subordinate clauses /phir bʰī/, 132
parallel, see Parallel clauses /pʰir bʰī/, 131
result, see Result clauses /tō bʰī/, 131, 132
subjunctive, see Subjunctive /yā/, 133, 136
subordinate, see Subordinate clauses /ɔr/, 132
Commands, see Imperative correlative, 139
Compound verbs, see Verbs, complex /bʰi...bʰi/, 139
Compounds /kyā...kyā/, 140
with /ham/, 62 /nah...nah/, 139
with enclitic /-e-/ (ezafe), 61 /yā...yā/, 139
Concessive subordinating, 134
particle /agar/, 134
/sahī/, 142 /bašartekeh/, 135
Concessive clauses, 141 /jab tak/, 135
Concessives /keh/ as, 135
with /bʰī/, 131 /tā keh/, 135
Condition clauses with the condtional imperfect, 188
future tense in, 175 with the perfect subjunctive, 197
marked by /agar/, 135, 174 with the progressive condtional, 180
marked by /tō/, 174 Correlative clauses
with /nahīṁ tō/, 125, see Particles, /var- exclusive, 139
nah/ inclusive, 139
Conditional marked by /tō/, 126
sentences, 174 subordinate, 140
realis, 193 Correlatives, see t class
verb tense in, 174
with /agar/, 135 Dative subjects, see indirect constructions
Demonstrative

258
Index

adjectives, 116 of /vālā/ adjectives, 120


in subordinate constructions, 138 grammatical versus natural, 38
adverbs, 121 masculine, 39
pronouns, 75 of cardinal numbers, 115
Direct discourse, see Discourse of infinitives, 202
Discourse of pronouns, 68
direct
introduced by /keh/, 137 Imperative, 165
indirect distanced, see Imperative, neutral
introduced by /keh/, 137 familiar, 165, 170
markers, see Particles, sentential familiarity in
Dual levels, 165
in Arabic loanwords, 64 negative, 144
formal, 166
Echo reduplication, see Reduplication expressed by subjunctive, 166, 170
Emphatic irregular forms, 166
particles, 125 in condition clauses, 125
/hī/, 123, 126, 128 indirect, 170
/tō/, 125 intimate, 165
Ergative, see Case, ergative negative, 144
Experiencer subjects, see Subjects, logical neutral
ezafe, izāfat, see Affixes, /-e-/, enclitic with infinitive, 202
Impersonal constructions, see indirect construc-
Familiarity tions
in imperatives in /keh/ + subjunctive, 173
negative commands, 144 Indicative
of pronouns negation of, 158
second person, 68 Indirect constructions
third person, 71 with /kō/, 93
of requests with infinitives, 202, 203
with /nā/, 143 agreement in, 203
Famililarity with the imperfect subjunctive, 188
in imperatives with the perfect subjunctive, 197
levels, 165 with the progressive subjunctive, 180
Feminine Indirect discourse, see Discourse
singular complements of /tum/ and /āp/, Instrumental, see Case, agentive
70 Interjections, see Particles, interjections
Formal, see familiarity Intermediate agent
Fractions, see Numbers, fractions of causatives
with /sē/, 97
Gender, 38
Interrogative
agreement, 109
adjectives, 116
with feminine nouns, 38
adverbs, 121, 123
determining, 38
particles
for unmarked nouns, 40
/kyā/, 144
in loanwords, 16, 52
/nā/, 143
feminine, 39
pronouns, 77
as diminuitive, 38
as adjectives, 117

259
Index

Intimate, see Familiarity of the present imperfect, 155


Irrealis of the progressive present, 178
imperfect, 189 restrictions on vector verb constructions,
perfect, 200 238
progressive, 182 with indefinite pronouns, 79, 80
with bare imperfective participle, 184 Nominative, see Case, direct
Iteration, see Numbers, iteration Nouns
izāfat, ezafe, see Affixes, /-e-/, enclitic derivation of, 54
Arabic, 62
Key, see Abbreviations Persian, 59
with /ham/, 62
LIght verbs, see Verbs, complex
feminine
Locative, see Case, locative
inflection of, 41, 52
Mood, see Indicative, Subjunctive in complex verbs, 229
in auxiliary constructions, 210 inflection
of loanwords, 58
Negative of loanwords (Arabic), 63
adjectives loanwords
derivation of, 113 Arabic, 62
assertions, 210 Persian, 58
clauses marked, 38
followed by /balkeh/, 134 feminine, 39
imperative, 144 infinitives as, 202
nouns, 67 masculine, 39
derivation of, 67 masculine
of future tense, 159 inflection of, 41, 50
of incapacity, see Negative, of passive con- mass, 52
structions with demonstratives, 117
of indicative verbs with indefinite pronouns, 80
present tense, 158 oblique
simple past tense, 158 as adverbs, 124
of indirect constructions, 204 with /kā/, 87
of passive constructions, 194 with /kā/ + postposition, 85
of subjunctive verbs, 169, 197 plural, see Plural
/hōnā/, 158 reduplication in, 146
progressive, 180 repetition of, 146
particles, 144 unmarked, 38
/mat/, 144 feminine, 40
/nah/, 144 loanwords, 58
/nahiṁ /, 144 masculine, 39
in commands, 144 y-v-k-j adjectives as, 116
in subjunctives, 144 Number
with /jab tak/, 135 plural, see Plural
sentences Numbers, 114
in imperfective tenses, 185, 187 cardinal, 115
in perfect tenses, 196 fractions, 116
in the imperfect subjunctive, 188 iteration, 116

260
Index

ordinal, 115 with /jāna/, 193


with /karnā/, 195
Objects with /rahnā/, 212
direct Persian past participles
animate, with /kō/, 92 as unmarked adjectives, 110
in direct case, 95 restrictions on vector verb constructions,
in perfective sentences, 95 238
logical, 203 with auxiliaries, 210
with /sē/, 98 Particles
indirect/, 92 /accʰā/
marked by /kā/, 92 introductory particle, 142
/agar/
Parallel clauses
in condition clauses/, 174
in /hī nahīṁ ...bʰī/ /, 130
in subjunctive clauses/, 171
Participles
subordinating conjunction, 134
Arabic
/agarceh/
as adjectives, 114
concessive conjunction, 141
conjunctive, 177
/arē/
repetition of, 149
vocative interjection, 145
stem as, 177
/balkeh/
with experiencer subjects., 93
coordinating conjunction, 134
imperfect
/bašartekeh/
with /hī/, 127
in subjunctive clauses/, 171
imperfective, 155
subordinating conjunction, 135
agreement of, 150
/bismillāh/
as adjectives, 192
free interjection, 146
as aspect marker, 152
/bʰi...bʰi/
constructions using, 184–192
inclusive correlative conjunction, 139
feminine plural, 155
/bʰī/
inflection of, 155
as adverb, 128
of /hōnā/, 200
in compounds, 131
repetition of, 149
inclusive emphatic, 128
use of, 156
/cunāṁ ceh/
with /jānā/, 213
causal conjunction, 140
with /karnā/, 214
/cūṁ keh/
with /rahnā/, 213
causal conjunction, 140
perfective, 156
/hālāṁ keh/
agreement of, 151
concessive conjunction, 141
as aspect marker, 152, 157
/hāē/
constructions using, 192–201
free interjection, 146
in constructions of incapacity, 194
/hī/
in passives, 193
bound emphatic, 123, 128
in perfect tenses, 195
exclusive emphatic, 126–128
in realis conditionals, 193
with /sahī/, 143
inflection of, 156
with personal pronouns, 128
irregular stems, 156
/inšāallāh/
repetition of, 151
free interjection, 146
simple perfective, 192

261
Index

/jab keh/ /nahīṁ tō/


coordinating conjunction, 134 compound conjunction, 125
/jab tak/ /nahīṁ /
in subjunctive clauses/, 171 in imperfective tenses, 185, 187
subordinating conjunction, 135 in indirect constructions, 204
/jab tak/ + negative in perfect tenses, 196
in vector verb constructions, 239 in progressive present, 178
/keh/ with future tense, 159
as subordinating conjunction, 135 with indicative verbs, 158
in discourse, 137 /nā/
in result clauses, 137 tag, 143
in subjunctive clauses, 138 /nē/
in subjunctive clauses/, 172 ergative, 68
replacing other conjunctions, 135 in vector verb constructions, 237
/kyā...kyā/ /pʰir/
exclusive correlative conjunction, 140 in compounds, 131
/kyā/ /sahī/
tag, 144 tag, 142
/kyōṁ nah/ /sā, sē, sī/
introductory particle, 142 adjective formant, 118, 145
/kyōṁ / /sā/, /sē/, /sī/
introductory particle, 142 adjective formant, 78
/kyūṁ keh/ /to/
causal conjunction, 135, 140 in result clauses/, 174
/kā/, / kē/, /kī/ /tā keh/
in negative assertion, 210 in subjunctive clauses/, 171
/lēkin/ subordinating conjunction, 135
coordinating conjunction, 133 /tō/
/magar/ contrastive emphatic, 125
coordinating conjunction, 133 in compounds, 131
/mat/ with /sahī/, 143
negative, 144 /vāh/
/na/ free interjection, 146
in the progressive subjunctive, 180 /vālā, vāle, vālī/
with subjunctive verbs, 158, 197 adjective and noun formant, 120
with the condtional imperfect, 188 /yā...yā/
/nah...nah/ exclusive correlative conjunction, 139
exclusive correlative conjunction, 139 /yā/
/nah/ coordinating conjunction, 133, 136
in indirect constructions, 204 /ō hō/
negative, 144 free interjection, 146
with /sahī/, 143 /šābāš/
with subjunctive verbs, 169 free interjection, 146
/nahiṁ / /ūī/
negative, 144 free interjection, 146
/nahīm/ /ɔr bʰī/
in negative assertion, 210 qualifier, 131

262
Index

/ɔr/ intangible, 85
as a qualifier, 131, 132 with /kē pās/, 85
coordinating conjunction, 132 with /kō/
in compounds, 131 intangible, 94
conjunctions, see Conjunctions Postpositions, 82
interjections, 145 /kā/, /kē/, /kī/, 82
negative, see Negative particles as object marker, 92
in commands, 144 in compounds, 85–91, 193
in subjunctives, 144 in possessive constructions, 83
sentential, 142 inflection of, 82
Perception versus enclitic /-e-/ (ezafe), 62
verbs of with adverb, 89
with /keh/, 137 with oblique adjective, 88
Plural with oblique noun, 87
agreement with oblique noun + postposition, 85
with /yeh/, 71 with Perso-Arabic preposition + oblique
auxiliary marking noun, 90
shifted to participle, 155 /kē liyē/
disambiguated by /lōg/, 71 with oblique infinitives, 209
in interrogatives, 78 /kō/
expressed through repetition as logical subject marker, 93
of nouns, 146 as object marker, 92
of pronouns, 147 in indirect constructions, 93, 203
oblique in passive sentences, 193
of cardinal numbers, 115 in perfect tenses, 196
of loanwords in possessive constructions, 94
Arabic, 64, 65 omission of, 204
Arabic and Persian, 58 versus /nē/ in infinitive constructions,
English, 58 95
Persian, 58 with oblique infinitives, 207, 209
of singular referents, 153 with pronouns, 71
with /ham/, 71 /mēm/̇
with /tum/ and /āp/, 70 as locative marker, 99
of Urdu nouns, see Nouns, masculine Or /mēṁ /
feminine, inflection of as locative marker, 99
verbs with /tum/ and /āp/, 70 of change of state, 100
with indefinite pronouns, 80 of cost, 100
“broken” plurals, 65 with infinitives, 101
Possession /mēṁ /̇
alienable, 85 with oblique infinitives, 208
in compounds /nē/, see Particles, 95
with enclitic /-e-/ (ezafe), 61 as volitional marker, 95
inalienable, 84 in infinitive constructions, 95
intangible, 85 in perfect tenses, 196
with /kō/, 94 in perfective tenses, 209
with /kā/, 83 versus /kō/ in infinitive constructions,
inalienable, 84 95

263
Index

with infinitive and conjugated form of indefinite, 79


/hōnā/, 204 as adjectives, 79, 80
with intransitive verbs, 95 with /bʰī/, 130
/par/, see /pe/ interrogative, 77
as locative marker, 101 oblique
as object marker, 102 as adverbs, 121
in compounds, 131 personal, 68
of motion towards, 102 emphatic with //hī/, 128
with infinitives, 102 inflection of, 68
/sē/, 96 possessive, 72
as ablative marker, 96 agreement, 72
as direct object marker, 98 in indirect constructions, 204
as instrumental/agentive marker, 96 inflection of, 68
as intermediate agent marker, 97 inflection of alternate forms, 72
as logical subject marker, 97 reflexive, 73
in adverbial phrases, 98 with postpositions, 72
in adverbial phrases/, 124 proximal, 68, 71
in comparatives, 97, 118 in relative constructions, 76
in constructions of incapacity, 194 reflexive, 72
in passive constructions, 193 possessive, 73
in postpositional sequences, 98 reciprocal, 75
with oblique infinitives, 208 relative, 76
with passive verbs, 97 replaced by /keh/, 136
/tak/, 98 suffixed with /bʰī/, 131
as emphatic particle, 99 repetition of, 147
/nē/
in conjunctive participles, 177 Reduplication, see Repetition
agreement of, 82 in adjectives, 148
compound in nouns, 146
/kē hāth/, 193 Register, 16
/kē pās/, 85 Relative
/kē zariē/, 193 adjectives, 116
in possessive pronouns, 72 adverbs, 121, 123
in verbal collocations, 102 replaced by /keh/, 136
ordering of, 126 pronouns, 76
postpositional sequences, 98 replaced by /keh/, 136
with oblique infinitives, 207 subordinate clauses
Prepositions, 103 introduced by /jab tak/ + negative, 135,
Arabic, 104 171
Persian, 103 Relatives
with /kā/, 90 suffixed with /bʰī/, 131
Pronouns, 68 Relexicalization
agreement, 68 of complex verbs, 232
demonstrative, 75 Repetition, see Reduplication
as adverbs, 121 of adjectives, 148
distal, 68, 71 of adverbs, 123, 149
in relative constructions, 76 of nouns, 146
of pronouns, 147

264
Index

of verbs, 149 in perfect subjunctive tense, 197


conjunctive participles, 149 phrases requiring, 169
imperfective participles, 149 tenses
perfective participles, 151 imperfect, 187
Requests perfect subjunctive, 197
emphatic progressive, 180
as courteous questions with /nā/, 143 use, 167
in /-gā/ Subordinate clauses, 169
as courteous questions with /nā/, 143 conjunctions introducing, 134
Respect, see Familiarity in correlative constructions, 140
Result clauses of action or circumstance
with /cunāṁ ceh/, 140 introduced by /keh/, 138
with /keh/, 137 relative
with /tō/, 125 introduced by /jab tak/ +negative, 135
subjunctive, 171
Special Dative, see Case with /keh/, 135, 138
Speech tags, see Particles, sentential
Subjects t class, 116, 121
experiencer, see Subjects, logical Tense
infinitives as, 202, 203 future, 174
logical, 93 in condition clauses, 175
in constructions of incapacity, 194 in main clauses, 175
in passive sentences, 193 in presumptive constructions, 159
in transitive constructions, 95 inflection of, 175
marked by /nē/, 95 of /hōnā/, 159, 198
with /kō/, 93 use, 175
with agentive /sē/, 97 immediate past, see Tense, perfective, present
of perfective sentences, 95 imperfective, 152, 185
Subjects, dative, see indirect constructions irrealis, 189
Subjunctive, 167 narrative imperfect, 185
as familiar imperative, 165, 170 of participles, see Participles, imperfec-
as formal imperative, 166, 170 tive
clauses past, 186
conjunctions introducing, 171 present, 185
impersonal constructions, 173 presumptive, 189
with /agar/, 171 subjunctive, 187
with /jab tak/ + negative, 171 in conditional sentences, 174
with /keh/, 138, 172 marking, 152
with /tā keh/ and /bašartekeh/, 135, of conjunctive participles, 177
171 past perfect, see Tense, perfective, past
in main clauses, 169 perfect subjunctive, see Tense, perfective,
in subordinate clauses, 171 subjunctive
inflection of, 167 perfective, 152, 195
irregular, 167 irrealis, 200
negation of, 169 of /dēnā/, 209
of /hōnā/, 158 of participles, see Participles, perfective
in conditional constructions, 158 of transitive verbs, 94
in forming future tense, 159 past, 197

265
Index

present, 196 conjunct, see Verbs, complex


presumptive, 198 denominative constructions, 229
subjunctive, 197 from loanwords, 230
with perfective participles, 151 transitivity in, 231
present verbs used in, 231
of /hōnā/, 158 derived transitive, see causative
present perfect, see Tense, perfective, present double causative
progressive, 152, 177–183 stem form, 154
conditional, 182 double transitive, see causative
irrealis, 182 forms of, 152
past, 179 imperative, see Imperative
present, 178 infinitive, 157
restricted from vector verb constructions, /kō/ versus /nē/, 95
238 as adjectives, 202, 204
subjunctive, 180 as neutral imperatives, 202
remote past, see Tense, perfective, past as subject, 203
simple past as verbal complements, 202, 208
of /hōnā/, 158 constructions using, 202–210
subjunctive tenses in indirect constructions, 202, 203
past, 180 in negative assertion, 210
versus aspect, 152 inflection of, 157
Transcription, 17 of purpose, 209
of consonants, 21 verbs of motion, 209
issues in, 22 with /cāhiē(ṁ )/, 205
table, 23–25 with /kē liyē/, 209
of vowels, 18 with /kō/, 207, 209
issues in, 22 with /mēṁ /, 101, 208
table, 23 with /par/, 102
Transitivity, see Verbs, transitive OR Verbs, with /paṛnā/, 206
intransitive, see Verbs, transitive with /sē/, 208
with /vālā/, 120, 206
Variation, 16 with /ānā/, 205
Verbs with conjugated form of /hōnā/, 204
/infinitive with postpositions, 207
with /lagnā/, 238 intransitive
agreement, 153 in auxiliary constructions, 210
in vector verb constructions, 237 in denominative constructions, 231
with direct objects, 95 in vector verb constructions, 232, 237
auxiliary, see Auxiliaries with agentive /sē/, 97
causative light, see Verbs, complex
double, see double causative of motion, 209
stem form, 154 of perception, see Perception
with /sē/, 97 of speech, see Discourse
complex, 229 participles, see Participles
relexicalization of, 232 particles as, 210
compound, see Verbs, complex passive
conditional in constructions of incapacity, 194
irrealis, 155

266
Index

with /sē/, 97 inflection of, 75–77


with perfective participle, 193
repetition of, 149
conjunctive participles, 149
imperfective participles, 149
perfective participles, 151
root, see verb stem
single causative, see causative
stative, 212
subjunctive
imperfect, 187
transitive
in conjunctive participles, 177
in denominative constructions, 231
in vector verb constructions, 235, 237
with /nē/, 95
vector verb constructions, 232–239
agreement in, 237
negation in, 238
transitivity in, 237
verbs used in, 232, 235
with /kahīṁ /, 238
verb stem, 154
as aspect marker, 152
as conjunctive participle, 177
causative, 154
constructions using, 165–183
double causative, 154
forms of, 154
types of, 154
verb stems
with /cuknā/, 212
with /pānā/, 211
with /saknā/, 210
with auxiliaries, 210
with oblique infinitives, 208
Volition
marked by /nē/, 95

y-v-k-j class
adjectives, 116
as adverbs, 116
as nouns, 116
inflection of, 116
adverbs, 121
inflection of, 121
repetition of, 149
pronouns, 75–79

267