Urdu, Hindi: Feminine plural ending for "masculine" nouns

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, May 4, 2013.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    We have recently been discussing shaxs, dost and vyakti. I think it would be fair to say that there is no disagreement in that these words themselves are masculine but can be used to represent the female gender as well.

    ek shaxs/vyakti kahiiN jaa rahaa thaa..patah chalaa kih vuh ek achchhaa shaxs/vyakti thaa

    ek shaxs/vyakti kahiiN jaa rahii thii...patah chalaa kih vuh ek achchhii shaxs/vyakti thii

    meraa dost kahiiN jaa rahaa thaa

    merii dost kahiiN jaa rahii thii

    But what happens when we have the plural in mind.

    do shaxs/vyakti kahiiN jaa rahe the..patah chalaa kih vuh donoN achchhe shaxs/vyakti the

    do shaxs/vyakti kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN...patah chalaa kih vuh donoN achchhii shaxs/vyakti thiiN

    mere dost kahiiN jaa rahe the

    merii dost kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN

    Question. Are shaxs/vyakti/dost in these sentences required to change to shaxeN, vyaktiyaaN/dosteN or should they be left in their singular form because the verb gives number clarity anyway?
     
  2. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Qureshpor SaaHib, I have to admit that it is a challenging question which requires some deliberation and different opinions of other friends.
    I hope you don't mind me not answering it right away but offering some auxilliary ideas instead. I'd like to leave vyakti aside for the timebeing and focus on dost and shaxs.

    You have furnished us with two scenarios for consideration:

    1) shaxs/dost (related to a female) used with a plural feminine verb, the noun shaxs/dost left unchanged.
    2) -||-----------------------------------------------------------||-, the noun shaxs/dost bearing the suffix of pl. f.

    The last sentence, merii dost kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN, if dost left unaltered, is certainly correct but turns out to be confusing because it implies that dost (f.) is being referred to by honorific plural and is a single person. The only way to convey the message of a few female friends so that there is no doubt regarding this meaning would be marking the plural of the said noun.

    Let us leave the possible ways to do it for further thought and exchange.

    do shaxs/vyakti kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN...patah chalaa kih vuh donoN achchhii shaxs/vyakti thiiN leaves no room for confusion. It is clear that there were two females.

    In the case of shaxs the issue of the plural formation can be neatly sorted out by using ashxaas:

    do ashxaas kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN. vuh donoN achchhii ashxaas thiiN. How does it sound like?

    Another tentative way of marking the plural would be using log... but merii dost log kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN? I wouldn't be so sure of this sentence.


    I'm just sharing some loose thoughts to help the process advance.
     
  3. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    I would only say "do vyakti", "10 vyakti", etc., similarly for dost - "mere paaNch dost yahaaN aa rahe haiN". vyaktiyaaN, dosteN is not Hindi! vyakti and dost are both the singular and plural as far as my usage goes.
     
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you for your thoughts, marrish SaaHib.

    Regarding the honorific plural, you make a valid point. But, one would normally not find this as a stand alone sentence. There is bound to be context to it. Having said this, supposing the title of a story was "do dost". This could imply two male friends, two female friends and a male and a female friend. "do dosteN" (especially if they are not "do saheliyaaN") would certainly be make it clear that we have two female friends in mind.

    My "problem" with "dosteN" (and shaxseN and vyaktiyaaN) is that one is assuming the base word to be feminine when by all accounts dost, shaxs and vyakti are considered masculine per se. If this is the case, we should not be adding feminine endings to them. I hope this makes sense.

    I dont think we need to change shaxs to ashxaas after a plural marker such as number, i.e do shaxs need not be changed to do ashxaas. I quite like the addition of "log" to indicate plural and this of course will avoid the use of "dosteN".
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I could be wrong but as far as I know "dosteN" is not standard Urdu either. This seems to be a relatively new development. When I first came across "dosteN" on the net, I found it quite amusing. My logic was this. Why go for "dosteN" when we already have perfectly good "saheliyaaN"? I have never seen "shaxseN" in print. "shaxseN" and "vyaktiyaaN" have been taken from recent posts.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  6. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Recents posts from whom? No native speaker would use it. If someone used vyaktiyaaN, it's just incorrect Hindi (be it formal, informal, or colloquial), or a result of confusion: since vyaktiyoN is perfectly fine. 'Mainay das vyaktiyoN ko / vyaktiyoN se ...."
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I see you have amended your post. So, are you saying "vyaktiyoN" is fine but "vyaktiyaaN" is n't. This seems to imply that "laRkiyoN" is correct but "laRkiyaaN" is wrong! Or, am I misunderstanding you?
     
  8. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Obviously, both laDkiyaaN and laDkiyoN exist - they are different things (I assume you know this - the first is nominative case, the second is used in other cases; see below).

    laDkiyaaN vahaaN jaa rahi haiN
    un laDkiyoN ko bulaao.
    laDkiyoN ka ghar vahaaN hai.
    un laDkiyoN se pustak lo.
    etc..

    But there is no such thing as vyaktiyaaN. vyaktiyoN functions the same way as laDkiyoN in the last 3 sentences, and you can't replace that with laDkiyaaN or vyakti.
     
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I follow your grammar explanation. Thank you. But I still can't understand why "vyaktiyaaN" would not be acceptable yet "vyaktiyoN" is kosher. Can you offer a logical explanation.
     
  10. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    I have no explanation for that! vyaktiyaaN just doesn't exist in my head; I've never used it and I can't use it - even by mistake. Note that all my comments above are from what I *feel* as a native speaker - I haven't deduced them from any rules or other logic; I typically don't try to since it often ends up being a more elaborate exercise. So I'm afraid you'll have to wait for someone else to provide you the formal rules.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  11. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    There is certainly nothing wrong with sahelii/saheliyaaN but the problem is that its meaning is quite not universal, unlike that of dost. A sentence *QP SaaHib kii do saheliyaaN Bhaarat ghuumne ga'iiN* does not seem correct.
     
  12. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    marrish saaHib ne agar is vaakya meiN QP ke baad "saaHib" nahiiN lagaayaa hotaa toh maiN yeh samajhtaa kii kisii QP naamak mahilaa ya laRkii kii saheliyoN kii baat ho rahii hai.

    For a man's friend I'll always use "dost" irrespective of the friend's gender.

    "QP saaHib kii do dost bhaarat ghuumne gaiiN".
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I shall respond to marrish SaaHib and your posts but in the meantime could you please offer your views on posts 6-10 please, if you are able to.
     
  14. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    ^ I have no idea about grammar rules so I can only comment on the basis of what "sounds" or "feels" right to me on the basis of how I and others around me communicate.

    VyaktiyoN - OK
    vyaktiyaaN - never heard and never used
    laRkiyaaN and laRkiyoN - both perfectly OK
     
  15. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Very strange indeed! "vyaktiyoN" can not exist without the presence of "vyaktiyaaN". The only conclusion one can draw from this is that "vyakti" is being assigned a strictly masculine gender. If this is the case, how does one express a good female person going somewhere?
     
  16. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    'mahila' - why not? That's what I'd use.
     
  17. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Does "mahila" mean a "female person"? I thought it meant a woman. What if the person was a girl? The point is we are talking about the use of "vyakti" as applied to a female person, not mahila or 3aurat.
     
  18. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    mahilaa is often used and translated as 'a lady'.
     
  19. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    QP saaHib in such a scenario you would hear people say "ek achhii/nek mahilaa jaa rahi haiN". If I have to use person only, I would say "woh Jo mahilaa jaa rahii haiN, woh ek achhii insaan haiN".
     
  20. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Yes, of course. Mahila or stree (or even narii but I prefer the first two). If you think it doesn't fit, give me the context and I can tell you what to use there.
     
  21. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    So what? That doesn't mean it can't be used for a 'female person'.
     
  22. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    wouldn't mahilaa mean mohtarmaa in Urdu?
     
  23. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    The context is given in my opening post. You seem to be missing the point. No doubt one can use a number of words for a woman, a lady, a girl etc. But the thread is about the female ending (eN/aaN) added to feminine nouns.

    do vyakti kahiiN jaa rahii haiN

    or

    do vyaktiyaaN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN?

    do dost kahiiN jaa rahii haiN

    or

    do dosteN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN?

    And if "dosteN" is correct...then

    do shaxs kahiiN jaa rahii haiN

    or

    do shaxseN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN?

    This is basically what this thread is about.
     
  24. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    vyaktiyoN - perfectly fine; used as well
    vyaktiyaaN - simply wrong; never heard
     
  25. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Then I believe I've already answered you question. May be one last time; pls see below.

    do vyakti kahiiN jaa rahii haiN :cross: (doesn't parse well - vyakti has a masculine touch as explained by many natives earlier)
    do vyaktiyaaN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN :cross: (hurts my head; there is no such thing vyaktiyaaN)
    do dost kahiiN jaa rahii haiN (ok - perfectly fine spoken Hindi)
    do dosteN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN? :cross: (it hurts my head even more)

    Now, the right ones:
    do mahilaaeN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN :tick:
    (meri) do dost/saheliyaaN kahiiN jaa rahii haiN :tick: (ok - people don't use saheliyaaN that much in standard spoken, or else that would be better for formal)

    Take it easy and let's not hurt our head here!
     
  26. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    – ... कि नागार्जुन के बाद वे दूसरे ऐसी व्यक्ति हैं, जिनकी व्याप्ति ... Naagarjun ke baad ve duusre aisii vyakti haiN
    Interesting - mix of f. and m.
     
  27. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    Marrish saaHib in spoken Hindi I haven't come across Vyaktii being used like this. Also, I feel it should be "duusrii".
     
  28. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you. Three does not equate to "many" and if you go over to the "vyakti" thread, you will see that one of the three is saying that "vyakti" is used in both genders. Your examples indicate that that vyakti is used only in the masculine gender (example 1)

    Examples of use of "vyaktiyaaN".

    यह प्रणाली विदेश की धन अंतरण प्रख्यात कंपनियाँ (विदेशी नियंत्रक कार्यालय) तथा प्राधिकृत व्यक्तियाँ (भारतीय एजेंट), जो चालू विनिमय दरों पर लाभार्थियों को निधि वितरित करती हैं, के बीच की एक ताल-मेल व्यवस्था संबंधी विचार करती है । यह प्रणाली कोई बाह्य प्रेषण अनुमत नहीं करती है ।

    http://www.rbi.org.in/hindi/Scripts/apdir.aspx?id=2404 (Reserve Bank of India)--central bank

    वी.आईबी.एस्.ई.टी.आई. को संकाय सहायता अनुभवी व्यक्तियाँ

    http://vijayabank.com/Hindi/Media-Centre/News/8

    दूध दोहन विधियो तथा दुग्ध स्रवण संबंधी व्यक्तियाँ

    http://www.printsasia.com/book/%E0%A...A5%8D%E0%A4%B0



     
  29. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    duusre is also fine here since the first one was masculine. pehle vyakti, duusre vyakti - sort of sacrificing local semantics to maintain some uniformity at the global level. Also, even for feminine (standalone), duusre aisii vyakti sounds fine to my ears, but duusri is the right one as you say.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  30. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    ^ It's my mistake I didn't pay attention to "naagarjun". Duusre is ok.
     
  31. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Can mitr be used for a female?
     
  32. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    ^ jii, bilkul.
     
  33. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Sure, just as you would use dost - but it's a touch more formal and not very common in everyday spoken Hindi.
     
  34. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    These examples are bad. One should ignore them if one wants to speak good Hindi. Replace vyaktiyaaN with vyakti everywhere and it will be perfectly fine.
     
  35. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    ek vyakti
    do vyakti
    anek vyakti

    The only "vyaktiyaaN" I can think of is "abhivyaktiyaaN" (expressions, manifestations etc)
     
  36. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    Of course, Chhatr, since that "vyaktii" is feminine; see post 11 here.
     
  37. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Are the examples bad because they don't support the common usage or are they wrong because of their usage of plural vyakti?
    I thought these sources can be considered as reliable. Disclaimer: as can be seen from the ''vyakti'' thread i don't have any qualms with the state of things but this discussion has another topic which is worth speculating. Therefore any possible remarks from any party to the discussion or even from those who are not taking part in it that the overwhelming usage is different will be redundant and missing the point of the subject at hand.
     
  38. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    It is perhaps a good point, and ad rem too. Is vyaktii with 'ii' a typo or is it intended? In Hindi I have always read short i, unlike in Punjabi where it is long.

    I'm sorry I missed this one. mahilaa doesn't literally mean muHtaramah (spelling!) still its usage can be quite similar. I believe the exact equivalent to Hindi mahilaa would be xaatuun but I leave it to the evaluation by other friends.
    I would recommend opening a new thread for discussing the nuances.

    Repetition is the key to success! In order to lead the thread onto the right track, I have a question in mind which can be essential to the discussion. Are there nouns in Urdu or in Hindi the gender of which is feminine but they don't take any plural marker when used in plural, especially those that don't end in a long -ii in the singular? Just to clarify: as we have chhat or bahan which are feminine nouns and they don't have the grammatical marker of the feminine gender (well there are masculine nouns ending in -ii, the prime example being bhaa'ii) but in plural they take the suffix -eN. As far as I am concerned it is impossible to say 'aap kii tiin bahan kahaaN haiN?" It has to be ''aap kii tiin bahaneN kahaaN haiN''. Is there any instance of a noun which functions as a feminine one that is not distinguished by the plural marker when used in plural, especially for the animated nouns because we are discussing ''a person'' in this thread?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2013
  39. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    A typo.
     
  40. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Male Speaker for male friends: mere dost kahiiN jaa rahe the.

    Male speaker for female friends: merii dost kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN*

    Female speaker for male friends: mere dost kahiiN jaa rahe the

    Female speaker for female friends: merii saheliyaaN kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN

    or: merii dost kahiiN jaa rahii thiiN

    * marrish SaaHib. The problem with taking this as a plural of respect for a singular is not unique to female friends. This also applies to male friends "mere dost kahiiN jaa rahe the". So, why change dost to dosteN in the first instance when the "dost" in the second example can not be declined? For this reason I believe "dosteN" and by extension "shaxseN" is unnecessary and incorrect because one assumes that "dost" is intrinsically feminine when it is n't. Faiz's famous line...

    mujh se pahlii sii muHabbat mirii maHbuub nah maaNg...shows that the speaker is a male and his "maHbuub" (beloved) is a female. Of course he could have used "mere" but by using "mirii" he is being precise.

    Now coming to "vyakti". It has become quite clear from Hindi speakers' responses that they consider "vyakti" as a masculine noun. This is the very reason it can not change to "vyaktiyaaN" in the plural. Also, when used for females, unlike the Urdu "shaxs" and "aadaamii", it can not be used in situations illustrated below.

    vuh ek bahut achchhii shaxs/aadaamii hai

    vuh ek bahut achchhii vyakti hai :cross:

    One can possibly compare this with "dhobii" and "xazaanchii"

    vuh ek bahut achchhaa dhobii hai

    vuh ek bahut achchhii dhobii hai:cross:

    vuh ek bahut achchhaa xazaanchii hai

    vuh ek bahut achchhii xazaanchii hai:tick:

    I hope I have summarized this topic correctly.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
  41. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    marrish SaaHib, I can not think of any feminine nouns which do not take the plural "-eN" or "-aaN" suffix. 3aurateN, jourueN, davaa'eN, havaa'N. sthithi (position) in the plural would be "sthitiyaaN", I believe.
     
  42. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    While watching an Urdu drama today I came across dosteN. I haven't heard this in Hindi so far.
     
  43. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    A clear sign that Urdu is not static as has been suggested in this forum, once or twice. (But personally don't like this!:))
     
  44. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Yeesh! I consider myself a descriptivist, but even I find that pluralization jarring. Curious, can you provide some demographic info about the characters who used such words?
     
  45. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Chhaatr SaaHib, to answer your question, it depends in what context this plural was mentioned. I mean we say:

    meraa (ek) dost (masc. sing.)
    mere (das) dost (masc. plural) [not dosteN! See below !:D]

    But,

    merii (ek) dost (fem. sing.)
    merii (das) dosteN (fem. plural)

    These forms we are completely correct and used all the time.
     
  46. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    As a matter of interest Faylasoof SaaHib, is the occurrence of "dosteN" from times of old or a recent development? Have you come across this word in the speech or writings of any well known personality of Urdu background?
     
  47. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    QP SaaHib, the short answer to your query is yes! Not only us but our friend, Mr. Iftikhar Arif, uses it and I've also heard it from those he regards as his buzurg when it comes to Urdu prose, poetry and lexicography, regardless of the fact that some of these persons happen to be much less well-known given that they were goshah-nashiin! I can PM you about whom I'm referring to if you really wish to know but these people are not merely one but two generations older than 3aarif SaaHib.

    BTW, there is a thread where sahelii (fem.) vs dost (masc. and fem.) was discussed, here, and I just noticed your objection to dosteN but please let me assure you that this plural form for female friends is fully accepted by urduu-daanaan, not just some urduu-goyaan.

    .... and needless to say this pluralization relies on established Prakrit rules for female nouns (even if the feminine gender is only implied in the context, as is the case here) that don't end in -ii (letter ye in Urdu) or -ah in non-Indic feminine noun borrowings.

    So I absolutely agree with your earlier remark that Urdu is not static!
     
  48. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Faylasoof SaaHib, I am most grateful to you for clearing a misunderstanding in my mind. I was under the impression that this "dosteN" was a recent development. No, I don't need any names since you have provided ample isnaad already. A matter of great surprise is that if Urdu has had dosteN for such a long time, why is this not reflected amongst Hindi speakers? Chhaatr SaaHib, from Lucknow, has n't come across it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  49. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    QP SaaHib, it is hard to say when exactly dosteN was accepted by urduudaanaan but as far as present day lakhnawii street language goes, I can say that it is mostly not the Urdu I know. In fact, much of what I hear now I'd call "media Hindi-Urdu-English" mix! The older speech can be heard in some areas still, otherwise in families who are maintaining it and using it in daily speech and written communications across the country and internationally.

    .... and we should also remember that Awadhi is also used there!
     
  50. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Hindi
    PG SaaHib the lady character was from a well do to business family from Karachi and was referring to her female friends. merii to ko'ii dosteN bhii nahiiN haiN.

    Faylasoof SaaHib, it is indeed a surprising discovery for me that this word is correct and commonly used in Urdu. I'll be on the look out for this usage in Hindi.
     

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