Hindi, Urdu: causative verb with full agents

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

If a causative, transitive verb has its full set of "agents" (i.e. the people doing things), is it still possible to have a direct object.
For example, can I use the object "milk" this way in the following sentence?

maaN ne naukarnii se bachche ko duudh pilvaati thiiN. (What I am trying to say is "Mum had the servant make the boy drink milk")

Also, if the above is possible, what happens when this object is personal and determined, and therefore we must use a "ko"?
Do we end up with sentece with 2 "ko"s?

For example, if I want to say: "The officer has the sargeant make the soldiers feed the prisoners."
My attempt:
adhikaarii havaladaar se sipaahiyon ko baNdiyon ko khilvaataa hai.

Is the above sentence with 2 "ko's" possible? Or speakers try to express the same in a different way, find circumlocutions?

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
  • Happu

    Senior Member
    German
    I think the second sentence, with its complicated chain of command (officer-sergeant-soldiers), sounds a bit convoluted in any language. I would re-write it in this manner: 'On the order of the officer, the sergeant has his soldiers feed the prisoners.'

    अधिकारी के हुक्म पर हवलदार अपने सिपाहियों के द्वारा बंदियों को खाना खिलवाता है = adhikaarii ke huqm par havaldaar (sp.!) apne sipaahiyoñ ke dvaaraa bañdiyoñ ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai.

    But let the native speakers chime in ...
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    maaN ne naukarnii se bachche ko duudh pilvaati thiiN. (What I am trying to say is "Mum had the servant make the boy drink milk")

    It's fine, except for the grammar and spelling mistakes.
    maaN ne naukraanii se bachche/laRke ko duudh pilvaayaa.

    You could also use "ke dwaaraa" instead of "se" in the above.

    My attempt:
    adhikaarii havaladaar se sipaahiyon ko baNdiyon ko khilvaataa hai.

    A good attempt, though it could be like this, rather:
    adhikaarii havaldaar se sipaahiyoN ke dwaaraa bandiyoN/kaidiyoN ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai

    Note: Spelling mistakes corrected are in bold.
     

    Happu

    Senior Member
    German
    A good attempt, though it could be like this, rather:
    adhikaarii havaldaar se sipaahiyoN ke dwaaraa bandiyoN/kaidiyoN ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai

    Note: Spelling mistakes corrected are in bold.

    It's fine, except for the grammar and spelling mistakes.
    maaN ne naukraanii se bachche/laRke ko duudh pilvaayaa.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------



    His version नौकरनी (naukarnii) does exist (OUP dic p. 582), though I've never heard it used. I guess it's antiquated.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    From the answers given I gather that the "double ko" is to be avoided.

    In these large chains of actions, is it always expected to use the "se" first, and only then the alternatives (ke dvaaraa, ke haath, ke zariie)?
    Or I could have mixed that order and said sonething like:

    adhikaarii havaldaar ke dvaaraa sipaahiyoN se bandiyoN/kaidiyoN ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai ?
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    adhikaarii havaldaar ke dvaaraa sipaahiyoN se bandiyoN/kaidiyoN ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai ?

    You can say like this also: it will be understood. Though the previous option is better.

    The double "ko" is not possible not because it is to be avoided, but simply because it is not what you are saying. Given that soldiers are not eating the food, how can it be "ko" with "sipaahii"?
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    The double "ko" is not possible not because it is to be avoided, but simply because it is not what you are saying. Given that soldiers are not eating the food, how can it be "ko" with "sipaahii"?
    :thumbsup:

    Note that the direct object of a transitive verb and the corresponding "causative" are usually the same:

    maiN ne xat likhaa = I wrote a letter.
    maiN ne munshii jii se xat likhvaayaa = I had the scribe write a letter.

    usne saaraa kaam kiyaa = She did all the work.
    usne mujhse saaraa kaam karvaayaa = She had me do all of the work.

    khilaanaa is not quite transitive (it has valency 3), but the same logic applies. Its direct object is typically the food item (or whatever) -- not the person who is fed [^1]. In other words, one would typically say maiNne bachche ko khaanaa khilaayaa [^2]. When one increases the valency to get to khilvaanaa, it's still the food item that's the direct object of the verb.

    [^1]: The English verb "feed" has two usages: the transitive usage with an indirect object (eg, "I fed food to the baby") and the ditransitive usage (eg, "I fed the baby food"). khilaanaa is closer to the former usage of "feed" than the latter.
    [^2]: Saying maiNne bachchaa khilaayaa would probably be understood (in a non-cannibalistic way), but is not the most common usage of khilaanaa.

    what happens when this object is personal and determined, and therefore we must use a "ko"
    If I understand your question correctly, this question is not really specific to causatives. A conflict like this could theoretically arise even with a verb like denaa, which requires an indirect object marked with ko, as well as a direct object. One might attempt to mark this direct object with the "ko of specificity," but I can't think of any situation where that results in a grammatical sentence. I can't think of any natural situation where you'd use a pronoun referring to a person as the direct object of denaa. Outside of person-referring pronominal direct objects, you always have the option of just letting context determine specificity instead of using ko to mark specificity --- and if the verb is denaa, I think you're just required to take that option.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    is not really specific to causatives. A conflict like this could theoretically arise even with a verb like denaa, which requires an indirect object marked with ko, as well as a direct object.

    Actually, it is not the same, I think.
    Situations with "double ko" in a sentence with direct object and indirect object might arise because of the idiomatic ways HU marks determined-ness (lacking a definite article).

    But in the case of a transitive, double-causative verb, what you end up having (at least in the Spanish or English translation, I don't know how natives grammatically perceive this), is a set of nested direct objects.

    adhikaarii havaldaar se sipaahiyoN ke dwaaraa bandiyoN ko khaanaa khilvaataa hai

    El oficial hace [que el sargento haga [que los prisioneros coman [comida]]].
    The officer makes [the sargeant have [the prisoners eat [food]]].


    Each thing inside the square brackets is a direct object of what is outside. According to the answers, probably what HU speakers are trying to do, is to avoid not just the "double ko", but the very nesting of direct objects altogether.

    Thus, they transform the outer agent(s) in some sort of "circumstantial complement of means" (adverbial) indicating how the action is achieved (by means of ... by hand of ..., etc.).
    That circumstantial complement is syntactically/structurally at the same level as the innermost object, it is not nested.

    So it is the translation I am doing in my head what makes things unnecessarily complicated :)
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    Actually, it is not the same, I think.
    I think from the perspective of UH grammar, it is the same thing. The verb khilvaanaa is syntactically simpler than English causative circumlocutions. The verb simply takes 4 arguments:

    (1) a causer (direct case or ergative, depending on aspect),
    (2) a "causee" (marked by the postposition se),
    (3) an indirect object (marked by postposition ko), and,
    (4) a direct object (direct case).

    One can optionally add postpositional complements to this (and in the OP, you're wanting to add some kind of an agentive postpositional complement, for which an appropriate postposition might be ke haathoN, ke dwaaraa, etc), but that's besides the point. The basic reason that the direct object cannot be marked by the "ko of specificity" is that the verb's argument structure calls for a different argument to be marked by ko --- which is also the case for other verbs like khilaanaa and denaa.

    That circumstantial complement is syntactically/structurally at the same level as the innermost object, it is not nested.
    :thumbsup:

    The officer makes [the sargeant have [the prisoners eat [food]]].
    The Spanish version might be fine, but I don't think most English speakers would find the above type of sentence acceptable/comprehensible. "The officer makes the sergeant feed the prisoners" is fine, but the recursive "The officer makes the sargeant make the prisoners eat" just doesn't parse for me.

    So it is the translation I am doing in my head what makes things unnecessarily complicated :)
    :thumbsup:
     

    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    If I understand your question correctly, this question is not really specific to causatives. A conflict like this could theoretically arise even with a verb like denaa, which requires an indirect object marked with ko, as well as a direct object. One might attempt to mark this direct object with the "ko of specificity," but I can't think of any situation where that results in a grammatical sentence. I can't think of any natural situation where you'd use a pronoun referring to a person as the direct object of denaa. Outside of person-referring pronominal direct objects, you always have the option of just letting context determine specificity instead of using ko to mark specificity --- and if the verb is denaa, I think you're just required to take that option.

    Is there a way to force such a construction?

    Imagine 3 people (Ram, Shyam, and Farhaan) are playing a game that involves trading people (let's say, Fantasy Football, where you trade players between teams, or Pokemon where you trade pets). Or they are the heads of a cricket team and are trading players' contracts. And they want to trade a player named "Rakesh"

    Ram wants to say "I made Shyam give (the player) Rakesh to Farhaan". A bit convoluted, but it's possible to imagine.

    maiNne shyaam se raakesh ko farhaan ko dilaa diyaa (?)

    Or even reducing the sentence to "Shyam gave Rakesh to Farhaan"

    shyaam ne raakesh ko farhaan ko de diyaa (?)
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    Again: If the argument structure of the verb designates an indirect object to be marked with ko, it is just extremely unlikely that the direct object will be marked with the "ko of specificity." If you find yourself in situation where you're using such a verb and the "ko of specificity" would be obligatory on the direct object (eg, because the direct object is a specific person [^1]), find a different way to express the same thought.

    Example: If I'm a slave and I'm telling someone about how my old master Raju transferred me to my new master Farhan, it might be okay to say ???raajuu ne mujhe farhaan ko diyaa [^2], but I rather doubt any native speaker would ever use a sentence like that: it would be strictly better and clearer to just say something like raajuu ne mujhe farhaan ke hawaale kiyaa.

    ---
    [^1]: In the fantasy sports setting that @Pokeflute describes in #12: My feeling is that the reason that @littlepond jii's sentence in #13 works without the ko is because the name isn't really referring to a person, but to a virtual entity in the game.

    [^2]: I dislike this sentence a lot. I dislike *raajuu ne farhaan ko maiN diyaa even more.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Example: If I'm a slave and I'm telling someone about how my old master Raju transferred me to my new master Farhan, it might be okay to say ???raajuu ne mujhe farhaan ko diyaa [^2], but I rather doubt any native speaker would ever use a sentence like that: it would be strictly better and clearer to just say something like raajuu ne mujhe farhaan ke hawaale kiyaa.

    Agree. "denaa" to be used for a person is weird. One says "havaale karnaa": if Rakesh were a person rather than card, then "raajuu ne raakesh (ko) farhaan ke havaale kiyaa" (with the "ko" being optional), rather than "raajuu ne raakesh ko farhaan ko diyaa."
    (Meanwhile, if it's Raju and Farhan, maybe instead of Rakesh, we better put Chatur in the example?)
     

    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Meanwhile, if it's Raju and Farhan, maybe instead of Rakesh, we better put Chatur in the example?
    :)

    If you find yourself in situation where you're using such a verb and the "ko of specificity" would be obligatory on the direct object (eg, because the direct object is a specific person [^1]), find a different way to express the same thought.

    This makes sense - I ask as I've encountered "double ko" in other constructions in Hindi (e.g. mujhe tumheN bataanaa chaahiye thaa) but never in this context (so it's not that "double ko" is forbidden but rather, as you noted, it's unnatural for "ko" to be used for both the direct AND indirect objects).

    Though outside of these contrived examples with "denaa" (which "ke havaale karnaa" works as a substitute), I can't think of any other such example (i.e. with direct and indirect objects both taking "ko")
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    This makes sense - I ask as I've encountered "double ko" in other constructions in Hindi (e.g. mujhe tumheN bataanaa chaahiye thaa) but never in this context (so it's not that "double ko" is forbidden but rather, as you noted, it's unnatural for "ko" to be used for both the direct AND indirect objects).
    :thumbsup:

    Note that the verb denaa licenses two complements (the indirect object marked with ko, and the direct object), and the problem arises when both of these complements (which "live at the same level") are marked with ko. In contrast, the verb chaahiye licenses two arguments (in this case, a "subject" marked with ko and an infinite verb phrase), but there's no danger of both arguments of chaahiye being marked with ko. In the sentence mujhe tumheN bataanaa chaahiye thaa, the phrase tumheN bataanaa is functioning as the infinite verb phrase argument for chaahiye. The dative tumheN is internal to that infinitive verb phrase and doesn't "live at the same level" as mujhe, so there's no problem.

    If the argument structure of the verb designates an indirect object to be marked with ko, it is just extremely unlikely that the direct object will be marked with the "ko of specificity."
    Incidentally, @MonsieurGonzalito jii, doesn't Spanish have a similar (but not identical!) syntactic phenomenon involving certain kinds of direct objects being obligatorily marked with the preposition "a"? If I'm a slave and my old master Roberto has just transferred me to my new master Fernando, could I translate "Roberto gave me to Fernando" as "Roberto le [me?] dio a mi a Fernando" or something like that? Or does this kind of double "a" pose problems...?
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Incidentally, @MonsieurGonzalito jii, doesn't Spanish have a similar (but not identical!) syntactic phenomenon involving certain kinds of direct objects being obligatorily marked with the preposition "a"? If I'm a slave and my old master Roberto has just transferred me to my new master Fernando, could I translate "Roberto gave me to Fernando" as "Roberto le [me?] dio a mi a Fernando" or something like that? Or does this kind of double "a" pose problems...?
    Yes, in Spanish those repeated "a's" would sound strained too.
    For the most part, speakers would perceive that clarity trumps the rule of "persons need an 'a' in front" and would use an 'a' in the indirect part only. I get your point.

    El amo golpea al esclavo. = "The master hits the slave."
    El amo le vende [x] el esclavo al mercader = "The master sells the slave to the trader."

    El amo vende al esclavo al mercader would perhaps be possible, but it would sound more as if the second part of the sentence were an afterthought or something.
     

    Happu

    Senior Member
    German
    From the answers given I gather that the "double ko" is to be avoided.
    "Double ko" can, in certain cases, be very confusing, as mentioned above by pokeflute.

    When I say mujhko (mujhe) tumko kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, it can mean that I (still) have to give the other person some money, or it can be the other way round.

    To avoid the dilemma, one can say mere tum par kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, meaning 'You (still) have to give me some money'; or in the opposite case, tumhaare mujh par kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, meaning 'I (still) have to give you some money.'
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    To avoid the dilemma, one can say mere tum par kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, meaning 'You (still) have to give me some money'; or in the opposite case, tumhaare mujh par kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, meaning 'I (still) have to give you some money.'
    The above two sentences in bold are grammatically wrong sentences. They can only become correct if there's no "dene."

    If it's a matter of owing some money, the most natural translation is "mujh pe tumhaare kuchh paise bante haiN" (I owe you some money) or "tum pe mere kuchh paise bante haiN" (you owe me money).

    Otherwise, a simple "mujhe tum ko kuchh paise dene haiN" or "tumhe mujh ko kuchh paise dene haiN" also work: one could substitute "tum ko" and "mujh ko" with "tumhe" and "mujhe" as well, as the two people know who has to give whom the money.
     

    Happu

    Senior Member
    German
    The above two sentences in bold are grammatically wrong sentences. They can only become correct if there's no "dene."
    Yes, you are right. It was very late last night and my brain not in best working order. I apologize. Note to self: Don't post after midnight or immediately after getting up.

    mere tum par kuchh paise baaqii haiñ
    tumhaare mujh par kuchh paise baaqii haiñ


    should be right.

    But I think in your example above it should be "bañTe"?
     
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    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Note that the verb denaa licenses two complements (the indirect object marked with ko, and the direct object), and the problem arises when both of these complements (which "live at the same level") are marked with ko. In contrast, the verb chaahiye licenses two arguments (in this case, a "subject" marked with ko and an infinite verb phrase), but there's no danger of both arguments of chaahiye being marked with ko. In the sentence mujhe tumheN bataanaa chaahiye thaa, the phrase tumheN bataanaa is functioning as the infinite verb phrase argument for chaahiye. The dative tumheN is internal to that infinitive verb phrase and doesn't "live at the same level" as mujhe, so there's no problem.

    This explanation makes a lot of sense. And also answers another question I'd been wondering (which is why does word order matter here when Hindi word order is usually quite flexible). The answer given is because word order in Hindi is flexible among "arguments" (for lack of a better word), but here [tumheN bataanaa] is itself is the argument and cannot be split up.
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    And also answers another question I'd been wondering (which is why does word order matter here when Hindi word order is usually quite flexible). The answer given is because word order in Hindi is flexible among "arguments" (for lack of a better word), but here [tumheN bataanaa] is itself is the argument and cannot be split up.
    Hmm... I think mujhe tumheN bataanaa chaahiye thaa is definitely the natural word order. While I'm having trouble thinking of a situation where I'd naturally be tempted to scramble this particular sentence, I think it's not ungrammatical to do so, both here as well as in other situations with this same type of infinitive verb phrase argument [^1]. For example, consider the similar sentence mujhe(/maiNne) tumheN bataanaa thaa (roughly, "I wanted to tell you"). I might very well scramble this and say something like: are, tumheN ye kisne bataayaa? tumheN to mujhe(/maiNne) bataanaa thaa! (with a spoken emphasis on the mujhe(/maiNne), meaning roughly, "Who told you that?! I wanted to be the one who told you!"). Also, @Happu jii and @littlepond jii mentioned other examples of this type of scrambling above:
    When I say mujhko (mujhe) tumko kuchh paise dene (baaqii) hai, it can mean that I (still) have to give the other person some money, or it can be the other way round.
    Otherwise, a simple "mujhe tum ko kuchh paise dene haiN" or "tumhe mujh ko kuchh paise dene haiN" also work: one could substitute "tum ko" and "mujh ko" with "tumhe" and "mujhe" as well, as the two people know who has to give whom the money.
    Anyway, UH scrambling rules are probably quite difficult to formulate. It certainly is the case that arguments (and adjuncts) of a verb are allowed to be scrambled quite freely. It's also true that not every possible scramble is permissible. The true set of permissible scrambles lies somewhere strictly in between {scrambles that just move around arguments and adjuncts of the verb} and {all possible scrambles}. I personally have no idea how to describe that set formally and precisely, but syntacticians working on HU have written numerous papers and books about this (that I admittedly have not read :)) [^2].

    --------
    [^1]: I think "argument" is not just "for lack of a better word;" I think it's the correct piece of syntactic jargon :)
    [^2]: Keine's "Interpretting long scrambling in Hindi-Urdu," Kidwai's "XP-Adjunction in Universal Grammar," Dayal's "Binding facts in Hindi and the scrambling phenomenon," Gurtu's "Anaphoric relations in Hindi and English," Mahajan's "The A/A-bar distinction and movement theory," ...
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    "khaanaa" the verb has to have an object!

    Is this always true?

    If you've gone to someone's house as a guest and they offer you some snacks, food etc., it doesn't sound so odd (to me, for what it's worth) if you reply: No, thank you, maiN khaake aayaa huN. No? Or is that just interference from English?
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Is this always true?
    No, not always: sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant, in contexts like OP's. When one needn't specify what one has eaten, one can use "khaanaa" alone, as in your below example, which is a good one. I have given another example below, when an object is not needed.

    If you've gone to someone's house as a guest and they offer you some snacks, food etc., it doesn't sound so odd (to me, for what it's worth) if you reply: No, thank you, maiN khaake aayaa huN. No? Or is that just interference from English?

    Another example:

    Let's say A has dropped by B's home (they had planned to meet outside B's home), but B has not come outside, as planned. A honks his motorcycle's horn. B's wife comes out and could say either of the two:

    voh khaanaa khaa rahe haiN
    voh khaa rahe haiN

    Both are normal. In one, she specifies what her husband is eating (lunch or dinner). In the other, she simply says her husband is engaged in the activity of eating. (It is implied by B's wife in both the cases that that is why B has not yet appeared.)
     
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    Dinraat

    Member
    Urdu
    If it's a matter of owing some money, the most natural translation is "mujh pe tumhaare kuchh paise bante haiN" (I owe you some money) or "tum pe mere kuchh paise bante haiN" (you owe me money).
    If someone said that to me (without the English translation, of course) I'd be confused as to who actually has to return money.
    Otherwise, a simple "mujhe tum ko kuchh paise dene haiN" or "tumhe mujh ko kuchh paise dene haiN" also work
    This is much more like it, although in everyday conversation, we, on the other side of the border, would normally say "mein ne tumhare kuchh paise dene hain" or "tum ne mere paise dene hain".
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    If someone said that to me (without the English translation, of course) I'd be confused as to who actually has to return money.
    That's surprising, for there wouldn't be any confusion for a Hindi-Urdu speaker in India. So, in Pakistani Urdu, these expressions aren't used?
    This is much more like it, although in everyday conversation, we, on the other side of the border, would normally say "mein ne tumhare kuchh paise dene hain" or "tum ne mere paise dene hain".
    Of course, one could say that (though in Hindi, it would be "mujhe" or "tumhe" instead of (the Punjabi-influenced?) "maiN ne" or "tum ne"). But that would be said in a different situation.
     

    Dinraat

    Member
    Urdu
    That's surprising, for there wouldn't be any confusion for a Hindi-Urdu speaker in India. So, in Pakistani Urdu, these expressions aren't used?
    Nope. Apart from Karachiites/Hyderabadis, I fancy most others getting confused by that statement. I could be wrong though.
    Of course, one could say that (though in Hindi, it would be "mujhe" or "tumhe" instead of (the Punjabi-influenced?) "maiN ne" or "tum ne"). But that would be said in a different situation.
    Yeah I've heard that before. Although we've grown up speaking like that (mein ne), people from Karachi say mujhe instead of mein ne too.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    khilaanaa is not quite transitive (it has valency 3), but the same logic applies. Its direct object is typically the food item (or whatever) -- not the person who is fed [^1]. In other words, one would typically say maiNne bachche ko khaanaa khilaayaa [^2].
    I don't understand this.
    It is accepting khaanaa as a direct object.
    Why do you say that it is not "quite" transitive?

    I thought that, when speaking about a verb and its family of causative forms, everything except the base verb (if intransitive) was, forcibly, transitive ... o_O
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    ^ All I meant is that "transitive" sometimes refers to verbs with valency 2 (especially in discussions of HU "valency triples" such as ubalnaa, ubaalnaa, ubalvaanaa), but khilaanaa already has valency 3 (the feeder, the person who's being fed, and the food item they're being fed). If you're happy calling a verb of any valency n > 1 "transitive," then so am I :)
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    maiN ne xat likhaa = I wrote a letter.
    maiN ne
    munshii jii se xat likhvaayaa = I had the scribe write a letter.
    (1) a causer (direct case or ergative, depending on aspect),
    (2) a "causee" (marked by the postposition se),
    (3) an indirect object (marked by postposition ko), and,

    (4) a direct object (direct case).
    I am sorry if this question sounds stupid, but:
    In English at least, there seems to be little syntactical difference between "to have a scribe write a letter" and "to have a child drink water"

    Then why one says?:

    maataa bachche ko paanii pilaatii hai

    and not something like

    maataa bachche se paanii pilaatii hai

    Is it a matter of semantic focus (child vs. water)?
    Is it because the information about who wrote the letter sounds a tad more incidental/instrumental?

    In other words, how is the line drawn between "indirect object" and "mediator agent" in a 3-valent causative verb?

     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    In English at least, there seems to be little syntactical difference between "to have a scribe write a letter" and "to have a child drink water"

    maataa bachche ko paanii pilaatii hai

    and not something like

    maataa bachche se paanii pilaatii hai

    But your English sentence and your Hindi sentence are not equivalent.

    To have a child drink water = bachche se paanii pilvaanaa. For example, pitaa ne naukar se bachche ko paanii pilvaayaa.

    Then you'd be comparing apples to apples.

    In my experience, pitaa ne bachche ko paanii pilaayaa is equivalent to, in normal parlance, the father gave the child water to drink. There are other verbs like this-- those you would think have a causative meaning given the causative verb, but in normal speech don't. pakaRaanaa comes to mine. MaiN ne us ko kitaab pakaRaaii -- is essentially 'I gave him the book to hold.'

    I would posit, without having given it too much thought, that this would be because pilaanaa and pakaRaanaa generally aren't used with a 'se' phrase that shows who is being made to perform the action.

    That said, please wait for the actual natives / proper linguists on this forum to say whether the above is correct. Sometimes my heritage ear betrays me.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I am sorry if this question sounds stupid, but:
    In English at least, there seems to be little syntactical difference between "to have a scribe write a letter" and "to have a child drink water"

    I think you're getting fooled by the looseness built in the English language. The two are completely different situations, as pointed out also by @amiramir jii. I am getting a letter written for me by the scribe; I am not getting the water drunk by the child for me! If there were a situation that the child drinks water and consequently the water enters inside me, you could indeed have said "maiN ne bachche se paanii pilvaayaa."

    pakaRaanaa
    pakRaanaa (there is no such verb as "pakaRaanaa")

    MaiN ne us ko kitaab pakaRaaii -- is essentially 'I gave him the book to hold.'
    Such a translation only because the English doesn't have a verb for "pakRaanaa."

    Meanwhile, the causative form is "pakaRvaanaa." (Thus, the 3 forms are as follows: pakaRnaa - pakRaanaa - pakaRvaanaa.)

    "mere haath-pair chal nahiiN rahe the tab, to maiN ne naukar ke haathoN use sandook dilvaayaa/pakaRvaayaa."
    "us ne afsar ko ghuus lete (hue) range haath pakaRvaa diyaa."
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I got it.
    One has to pay attention to whom, conceptually, is the final recepient of the action.
    In maiN munshii se xat likhvaataa huuN, the fruit of the action is reverting back to me, I am the object (could I have used a mujhko here?). The munshii is a mere conduit.

    Instead, in maataa bachche ko paanii pilaatii hai, the recepient is the child, the action is exhausted in him (and the water).
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    MaiN ne us ko kitaab pakaRaaii -- is essentially 'I gave him the book to hold.'
    Such a translation only because the English doesn't have a verb for "pakRaanaa."
    Ditransitive "to hand" gets pretty close to doing the job imho (as in, "I handed him the book").

    ---

    One thing to maybe note is that, loosely speaking, English causatives happen at the "syntactic level" (where words combine together into sentences) whereas UH causatives happen at a lexical level (where morphemes combine together into words). I think there's more room for "quirks" to creep into languages at the lexical level than at the syntactic level. I don't know if there's a way to really formalize and quantify my previous sentence, but it's probably a reasonable heuristic nonetheless.

    In particular, HU "valency triples" exhibit lots of irregularities. The "valency increasing operations" sometimes don't actually increase valency. Sometimes semantics change in idiosyncratic ways between one element of the valency triple and another. Sometimes the changes in postpositions / argument structure don't follow the standard paradigms. Probably there are also other types of irregularities that I'm missing.

    For example, consider the triple denaa-dilaanaa-dilvaanaa. Here denaa is already 3-valent --- but dilaanaa is also 3-valent. There is no increase in valency and dilaanaa does not mean "to have someone give X to Y" as one might naively expect from a general knowledge of UH causatives. Rather, it just means "to get X for Y" (ie, Y ko X dilaanaa, with Y ko acting as an indirect object). And dilvaanaa is often 4-valent ("to have X get Y for Z").

    In another thread, we discussed the triple likhnaa-likhaanaa-likhvaanaa and saw that likhaanaa and likhvaanaa are basically synonymous (but some might prefer one form over the other generally, or maybe in certain collocations). In contrast, as we saw above, the -aanaa and -vaanaa forms aren't synonymous in the triple denaa-dilaanaa-dilvaanaa. They're also not synonymous in pakaRnaa-pakRaanaa-pakaRvaanaa (pakRaanaa "to hand X to Y" and pakaRvaanaa = "to have X hand Y to Z").

    Also, the "new" arguments don't get added in with the same postpositions. With likhnaa-likhaanaa-likhvaanaa, when one goes from likhnaa to likhaanaa/likhvaanaa, the "new" argument is marked with a se (the writer/scribe). With pakaRnaa-pakRaanaa-pakaRvaanaa, when one goes from pakaRnaa to pakRaanaa, the "new" argument is an indirect object marked with a ko (the person to whom whatever is being handed). It's at the next step, when passing to pakaRvaanaa, that the "new" argument is marked with se. The triples khaanaa-khilaanaa-khilvaanaa and piinaa-pilaanaa-pilvaanaa seem to behave mostly like pakaRnaa-pakRaanaa-pakaRvaanaa (in terms of valencies and postpositions required by the argument structures).

    Anyway, I'm sure there are lots of other "irregularities" of these sorts. It may be possible to come up with a system in which all of these "irregularities" become regularities, but it's probably not easy or short --- and probably also unnecessary from a practical standpoint. If you're reading/listening, context plus the usual heuristic understanding of valency triples will probably be enough to make sense of whatever you've encountered. If you're wanting to use a particular causative correctly yourself and you haven't heard it used that way before, just look up or request a few example sentences and usage will probably become clear.
     

    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    I think you're getting fooled by the looseness built in the English language. The two are completely different situations, as pointed out also by @amiramir jii. I am getting a letter written for me by the scribe; I am not getting the water drunk by the child for me! If there were a situation that the child drinks water and consequently the water enters inside me, you could indeed have said "maiN ne bachche se paanii pilvaayaa."

    Sorry I'm afraid I don't fully grasp how these are different scenarios. (Maybe this is me being an English speaker, and not realizing there was a distinction).

    How are "to have a scribe write a letter" and "to have a child drink water" different? Is it just that the first benefits me and the second doesn't?

    If I understand correctly, then, would the following two scenarios be translated as so:

    - I have a letter I want to send, but I can't write. So I have the scribe write the letter.

    maiN ne lekhak se chiTTii likhvaaii

    - I have no personal attachment to this letter. I have the scribe write the letter (feel free to invent some scenario where someone would have the scribe write a letter not for them - perhaps they are a janitor and need the scribe to finish work so they can clean the office and go home).

    maiN ne lekhak ko chiTTii likhvaaii

    ________

    This reminds me of a similar sentence I'd learnt:

    pappa ne bacchoN [ko/se] homework karaayaa

    I was taught that "ko" here implies the father helped the kids with the homework, and "se" implies the father made the kids do the homework.

    I wonder if this is the same phenomenon.
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    How are "to have a scribe write a letter" and "to have a child drink water" different?

    They are not different if you think of them both in the context of getting s.o. to do something with both an agent and at least 1 object:
    - munshi se chhiTThi likhvaanaa
    - naukar se bachche ko paanii pilvaanaa

    Whereas what is different is: to have a scribe write a letter (as above), and to give the child a drink of water (no separate agent necessary, just bachche ko paanii pilaanaa)
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Sorry I'm afraid I don't fully grasp how these are different scenarios.

    In one, I am getting someone to do a job (it doesn't matter for whose benefit the letter is). In the other scenario, I am giving water to someone (so that that someone can drink it). How are they the same? If you were making the child drink so that you could get the water (maybe you don't have a throat, so you can't drink it, in this fictional scenario), then of course you could "bachche se paanii pilvaanaa."

    - I have a letter I want to send, but I can't write. So I have the scribe write the letter.

    maiN ne lekhak se chiTTii likhvaaii

    - I have no personal attachment to this letter. I have the scribe write the letter (feel free to invent some scenario where someone would have the scribe write a letter not for them - perhaps they are a janitor and need the scribe to finish work so they can clean the office and go home).
    In both situations, maiN ne munshii (or khat likhnevaale) se ...

    maiN ne lekhak ko chiTTii likhvaaii

    "ko" is not possible. And it's "chiTThii."

    I was taught that "ko" here implies the father helped the kids with the homework, and "se" implies the father made the kids do the homework.

    You were taught correctly. This is more of an idiomatic instance.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Pokeflute said:
    maiN ne lekhak se chiTTii likhvaaii
    maiN ne lekhak ko chiTTii likhvaaii
    I had the scribe write a letter. / I had a letter written "se" the scribe.
    I had a letter written (addressed) to the scribe.
    or I dictated a letter "ko" the scribe.

    maiN ne kaatib se pataa likhvaayaa - I had the scribe write an address.
    maiN ne kaatib ko pataa likhvaayaa - This could indicate that you told/read out an address for the scribe so that he could write/jot it down.
     
    Last edited:

    Pokeflute

    Senior Member
    English - American
    They are not different if you think of them both in the context of getting s.o. to do something with both an agent and at least 1 object:
    - munshi se chhiTThi likhvaanaa
    - naukar se bachche ko paanii pilvaanaa

    Whereas what is different is: to have a scribe write a letter (as above), and to give the child a drink of water (no separate agent necessary, just bachche ko paanii pilaanaa)

    Ah ok I see now. As Littlepond pointed out, "to have drink" can mean multiple things (and maps to multiple Hindi-Urdu verbs), which was confusing me.

    There is a difference here in the number of arguments.

    Verb (Hindi)Verb (English)Subject (unmarked)Direct Object (unmarked*)Indirect Object (ko)Agent (se)
    piinaTo DrinkThe drinkerThe liquid
    pilaanaaTo Feed WaterThe feederThe liquidThe drinker
    pilvaanaaTo Have Water FedThe arrangerThe liquidThe drinkerThe feeder

    (I realize this is restating a lot of what aevynn said above, but it's just now clicking in my head)

    Thanks all
    __________________
    * This raises the question of "what if we want to mark the liquid as well (e.g. maine bacce ko usi energy drink ko (?) pilaayaa), but the answer is probably the same as our "denaa" conversation above
     
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