Urdu: Change of "tanviin" to "-aa"

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In 1799, Robert Southey wrote a moralistic poem entitled "Father William". This was translated into Urdu by Isma'il Merathi (1844-1917) who is remembered especially for his poems for children and his school primers. In the translated poem is the following couplet.

    zaahiraa kis qadar musin ho tum
    magar is par bhii mutma'in ho tum

    Urdu speakers will know that in the Qur'an, the "an" tanviin at the end of a verse is read as a long alif (-aa). I have seen examples of this in poetry too but not in a way it has been done in this shi3r. Is this usage just restricted to poetry or do we find instances of this in Urdu speech too?
  2. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Not in our speech! We would always end with a tanwiin, hence Zaahiran in Urdu. But in accordance with Quranic tajwiid rules we pronounce the end-of-the-verse tanwiin as a long alif.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Well, neither in our speech Faylasoof SaaHib! I wonder if "zaahiraa" could be a case where the "do zabar" has been missed out at the printing press. I don't suppose writing "zaahir-an" in this couplet would make it "vazn se xaarij", would it?
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Just to get in line of the thread, neither in our speech. As an analogy, please take the instance of Persian writing and printing convention: the tanviin in such cases is most of the time omitted, as far as my experience goes, so we get جدا، اصلا، کاملا for jidd-an, asl-an, kaamil-an. This might be the case in this edition of the book, possibly because of the time it was translated, when Persian was still alive in the area. I can't say anything regarding the vazn issue.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I believe I might have found the answer to my question but I shall wait a little in case there are contributions from BP, Alfaaz and UM SaaHibaan.
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Upon checking Farhang-i-Asifiyyah and Nur-ul-LuGhaat, both zaahir-an and zahiraa are given side by side as equivalent words. I thought I would go and check perhaps the most frequently used tanviin word, faur-an but did not find fauraa. The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that this phenomenon only applies to zaahir. So, in addition to Maulavii Isma'il Merathi, here is Nasikh Lakhnavii.

    zaahiraa gardish-i-garduuN hai hanDole kii taraH
    past do chaar zamaane meN haiN do chaar buland
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Very interesting discovery, QP SaaHib. Thank you for it. I still think it might have some connection with what I wrote before about Persian.
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I take your point but in Farsi they continue to pronounce the tanviin, whereas there is no tanviin pronounced in zaahiraa. This word seems to be a one of case but I can't think why it should have been given this "eminence". I had come across Urdu and Persian ash3aar where the -an of the final word has been changed to -aa (as is allowed in Arabic at the end of the sentence) for the convenience of rhyme, but not when it is in the non-final position.

    musallam hai jab sab ko "illaa qaliilaa"
    to har 3ilm hai zihn-i-insaaN meN Dhiilaa

  9. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Point about the tanviin being pronounced taken.

Share This Page