Hindi: Use of Vocative Particle "he"

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In Urdu, words of Persian origin can take an "-aa" suffix to provide the vocative meaning, e.g. xudaayaa = O God, but it seems no where near as productive as the "-aa" suffix in Punjabi (munDiyaa = O boy, rabbaa = O Lord, Haafizaa = O Haafiz etc. There is also the particle "yaa" from Arabic, as in "yaa Allaah" (O God). This again is only used with very few words. The most frequent particle is "ai" (originially from Persian) as "ai dil mujhe aisii jagah le chal jahaaN ko'ii nah ho", ai laRke, ai laRkii.

    For Hindi I have heard "he bhagvaan" (O God). How often is this particle used? Is it fairly productive? Can anyone think of any film songs where "he" is used? What other vocative suffixes/particles do Hindi speakers use?
  2. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    He Raam.

    Other vocatives: O, Like: Aare o sundari! O Ganjuu! The O is used in both Hindi and Urdu, not sure if that was what you meant.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Yes, thank you. This is exactly what I meant. After pressing the "post" button, I realised that I had not mentioned "O", as per your example and "O dunyaa ke rakhvaale, sun dard bhare mere naale".

    With regard to "he", I wanted to know how prevalent it was in Hindi speech and writing. Leaving aside "he Raam", "he bhagvaan" etc, do people say "he laRke" in Hindi on a regurlar basis or do they just say "laRke!" or "O laRke!"? Is "he" used in any film songs that you can think of?
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I must say your 'he kaaminii' in another thread (the naag raho lipTaa'e one) where you have presented a mind boggling analysis of the dohaa didn't pass unnoticed, Qureshpor SaaHib.

    My Hindi lexicon says the following about ''he'':

    he [saN.]: saNbodhan, aahvaan ke li'e prayukt shabd; avagyaa, ghr.NRaa-suuchak shabd. [padya meN] kri. the

    Another one which comes to mind, besides those mentioned by you both, is 'abe'.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Thank you marrish SaaHib. I suppose one could say that my main focus is on ascertaining the most widely used "vocative particle" in spoken and written Hindi. In short, in Urdu "ai" is perhaps the most commonly used particle for this purpose. Does "he" occupy the same position for Hindi? There are various film songs where "ai" is employed. Can you or anyone else come up with any Hindi song lines where "he" is used?
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I can't do justice to your question and I am awaiting a response of someone knowledgeable in this respect and in filmii songs. Only that the quotation from my lexicon which I submitted points out to Sanskrit origins of 'he' so possibly it is expected to be represented more in appropriate contexts.
  7. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "he" is not by far the most used vocative element used in Hindi, whether spoken or written. It is usually reserved to the kinds of construction such as "he Ram" (associated famously with Gandhi) or "he bhagwaan, he ishvar, he allaah, he khudaa," and so on (all words you can think of in Hindi-Urdu-Punjabi for God). "he" is of course very widely used though in all these contexts. (Note that your question, QP, differs in posts 1 and 5, probably a slip: most often used has a very different sense from most widely used.)

    Your query seems to be limited to the use of "he" rather than knowing what all vocatives are used in Hindi: so maybe you should also have titled the thread differently. Just a suggestion for better clarity from those who take the zehamat to respond to you.
  8. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    One hears "oy" a lot these days, but I don't think we can consider that Hindi. "he" for some reason tends to be linked with God these days although I don't think it is technically limited to that construction.
  9. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Oye is used not just by Hindi speakers, but speakers of many other languages in India: it's a universal Indian word of addressing. However, QP's question seems to be limited to "hey" (the Hindi/Sanskrit one, not the English one) and not "oye".
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have requested the thread title to be changed to reflect accurately what I had in mind.

    A friend of mine has informed me that in a Pakistani film called "Naag Muni", a character utters the following line.

    "he ban-vaasii, he ban-vaasii, he ban-vaasii...mohe apne hii rang meN rang de."
  11. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    That is quite a natural construction given the style of the sentence above; similar "he"s can be heard in the Gujarati film Bhavni Bhavai (though I know that we are talking of Hindi, what I meant is that the style of language adopted in a bhavai makes it suitable to use "he"). "He" is still used a lot in mythological films and programmes, as well as in stories situated in ancient India. However, in modern-day language styles, it would be odd to use "he", unless deliberately to create an effect.

    One wouldn't say "hey jangal meiN rahnevaale ... mujhe apne hii raNg meiN raNg de" - that would come across as strange.
  12. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    How about are and re (and arii and rii for fem.)?
  13. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    Do people really make that distinction still? I seem to hear non-variant "are".
  14. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Greatbear's post covered this, but for completion's sake: he mere mālik, he prabhu.

    And what about Malkit Singh's "he jamālo?"
  15. ihaveacomputer Junior Member

    Canadian English
    In Anurag Kashyap's recent film, "Gangs of Wasseypur", there's a scene in which one of the gangsters informs his mistress, Durga, of his desire to move back in with his wife. As she leaves the room in anger to speak with their son, he calls out, "Durga? He Durga!" The film uses a lot of Bhojpuri-influenced Hindi, so perhaps the word is more commonly used out East.

    As for "re", the same character uses "bap re bap" at one point, which I'd only ever heard as a joke and seen in language primers!
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  16. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I have not seen the film, but could it have been influenced by the fact that Durga is a Hindu goddess?

    As for "baap re baap", it is certainly used a lot, not just in language primers or jokes!
  17. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you ihaveacomputer. Yes, Durga is name of the character in the film. It seems that "he" is not just used in typically religious background (with names of gods) or embedded within particular vocabulary (e.g, ban-vaasii) but has a somewhat wider usage. On the other hand "Durga" is also the name of a goddess but I am not sure if this is significant in this particular case.
  18. ihaveacomputer Junior Member

    Canadian English
    I was wondering the same thing, but it doesn't seem to fit the scene. The gangster himself is Muslim and I don't think religion to be relevant to the situation. It seems as if he's simply trying to get her attention as she storms away in anger!

    Glad to hear baap re baap is in use! My ignorance is further proof that I need to spend more time in India!
  19. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    If that is the case, then that is very strange: usage of "he" in speech outside of invoking God is extremely uncommon and even bizarre (today; we are not talking of ancient India). If you come across a short video clip online in which the same scene is there, then do please post or send me a private message, as I would be interested to watch this.

    Meanwhile, are you sure, it's not "Ai Durga"? ("Ai" is often pronounced as "E".) Since the speaker is a Muslim, that seems even more probable to me, unless you heard a distinct "h" sound.
  20. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    I wasn't sure if abe, aare, and Oy were vocative or were some kind of exclamation. Abe, chup kar... oy, baaz aa jaa. I think there was a title song from a film Oy Lucky Lucky Oy a few years ago, I am guessing about a character called Lucky? May I use these with someone's name or to address a group as a vocative in the same way as he and O?
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I have similar thoughts as you. I am not sure we can use are/arii/re/rii/abe in the same way as we use ai.

    From a children's book..

    ai zamiin aasmaan ke maalik
    saarii dunyaa jahaan ke maalik

    We can't substitute any of those here. They do not afford the same dignity.

    ai MaliiHaabaad ke rangiiN gulsitaaN alvidaa3
    alvidaa3 ai sarzamiin-i-subH-i-xandaaN alvidaa3

    ai Gham-i-dil kyaa karuuN
    ai vaHsaht-i-dil kyaa karuuN

    ai jazbah-i-dil gar maiN chaahuuN, har chiiz muqaabil aa jaa'e
    manzil ke liye do gaam chaluuN aur saamne manzil aa jaa'e

    The above particles can't be used because they are reserved for persons and not things.
  22. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Somehow I am not convinced abou the Persian origins of ai. I think it's Indic, I can be wrong of course but it is hard to believe that Indic languages have inherited the Persian vocative particle.
  23. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I can't believe you've said this, marrish SaaHib!

    ای بخارا شاد باش و دیر زی
    میر زتو شادمان آید ہمے

  24. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Oye can either be used with someone's name or be used standalone. In the title of the film "Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye", it is being used with the character called Lucky (played by Abhay Deol). The rest are mostly used standalone, and they are sometimes used for addressing (though without coupling them with the name), but mostly otherwise just as interjections.
  25. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In addition to the Rudaki shi3r I have quoted, where does the alif of "xudaayaa" come from? That is a vocative suffix. Also we have the Arabic "yaa", albeit used in specific cases..yaa Allaah, yaa MuHammad, yaa Ali, yaa Hussain etc
  26. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Qureshpor SaaHib, now the thread title is fixed it is no longer a topic. I never denied the Persian [ai] or [ay but I think a similar sound is Indic. I am well aware of the Persian usage but I thought the Persian usage was parallel to the Indic one.
  27. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole

    he Plaats....ilm barsaae!

    S P اي ऐ ai, and H. अए aʼe, intj. O! ho! holla! (used in calling or addressing); ah!:—ai-ki, O that!:—ai kāsh-ki, O! would that!, would to God that! ai wāʼe, Ah! alas! woe is me!:—ai wāh, intj.=ai wāʼe, q.v.;—Really! very likely! you don't say so! did you ever! never!:—aʼe haʼe, intj. Ah! alas! dear me!

    It would also seem Platts sees ai and aye as the same, with one coming by way of the Prakrit sugar cane juice machine.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  28. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In ihaveacomputer's example, the character's wife's name is Radha. If we assume that his calling out to her "he Radha" is wrong, just one off or even that it is associated with the name of Krishna's consort, what then is the all purpose vocative particle for the Urdu "ai" in modern day Hindi? Clearly "he" has a specialised usage.
  29. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I thought he said "Durga". And I am assuming that in the film it must be "e Durga", not "he Durga". I am still waiting from ihaveacomputer to hear more about this.

    It's "e". Pronounced like "ei" in "eight". You won't find in a lot of literature? Well, maybe. Your question is anyway about modern-day Hindi. "O", "ai", "oye" and some English terms are also used a lot.
  30. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    he shriimaan tonyspeed! aap kaa bahut bahut dhanyavaad! I never thought of checking this up!
  31. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    I think marrish may be right. Ai/e is a parallel development across Indo-Iranian, as maybe is -o. Indeed, something akin may even be present in Lithuanian (which seems to mirror Sanskrit very closely as it has preserved a lot of ancient Indo-European features). The Eastern Hindi 'e maai' (O mother) comes to mind. Note that the -e and -o vocatives also seem to apply as suffixes. Interesting section comparing Sanskrit, Avestan and Lithuanian in this 1862 book. The Sanskrit form apparently was 'e' (Beekes book on Comparative Indo-European linguistics), but even that appears to be an evolution of the original 'ai' diphthongal form. I also found examples of Sanskrit usage of aye and ayi forms in this book on Sanskrit Pragmatics.

    Update: the more I read about this, the more I realize my knowledge of IE vocatives has gaps. I am leaving it here for the book links I provided but really had the impulse to delete this post because it has many gaps in it.
  32. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    I'm straying out of my element here but I wonder if this is related further back. I'm reminded of the vocative (seen in singluar second declension nouns) in Latin. E.g. from Brutus, "et tu, Brute?"
  33. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I think that only means, "And you, Brute?", langnerd - I don't see any vocative used here explicitly, unless I am not getting your point. (That might be very much possible, since I can understand little Latin.)
  34. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Idiomatically it means ''You too, Brutus?'' Please note that the nominative form of this name is as written in the English sentence [-us], but in the Latin one it is in vocative case, which in this instance ends in [-e].
  35. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Would this be equivalent to "raadh-e" (Raadhe) from "Raadhaa"? (Punjabi: kuRii-e, O girl!)
  36. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Yes, it would. Only that in Latin it is masculine, not feminine.
  37. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    Yes, thank you marrish for explaining. Certain nouns in Latin make this change, and the vocative is understood from the declension (ending), though the vocative particle "O" is often used (and in nouns that are not of the same type, the vocative particle may be necessary if the vocative is not understood from the context).

    So the declension of "Brutus" might go: Nom. "Brutus," Gen. :Bruti," ... Voc "Brute" or "O Brute".

    I'll stop since we'll get really off topic, my point was just that this might come from the same place as Radhaa --> Radhe and so on.

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