Hindi-Urdu: "kuchh chiizeN xariidnaa haiN"

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Dib, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    This sentence popped up in another thread recently. Thus led me to the following observation:

    1) I always say: "kuchh chiizeN xariidnii haiN", when speaking "standard" Hindi. <Btw. I also speak a (wannabe) Bihari Hindi, where I'd say "kuchh chiij khariidnaa hai". But, I don't want to discuss it here.>

    Grammatically, here xariidnii behaves as an adjective, and haiN is the only finite verb in the sentence - both of them agreeing with chiizeN. This is the usual grammatical pattern I heard in Delhi.

    2) The other use: "kuchh chiizeN xariidnaa haiN" looks peculiar to me ... I do not understand the grammatical behaviour of xariidnaa. It could be taken as a verbal noun, like it is certainly in

    3) "chiizeN xariidnaa itnaa aasaan nahiiN hai" (It is not easy to buy things) and
    4) in Delhi colloquial Hindi also: "kuchh chiizeN xariidne itnii aasaan nahiiN hotiiN" (Some things are not so easy to buy).

    The dilemma in (2) for me is that if xariidnaa is not in agreement with chiizeN, I tend to analyze it as a verbal noun, and then expect the finite verb to agree with it - i.e. 3rd sing. But that is in plural, agreeing with chiizeN which is a non-head member of a noun phrase (chiizeN xariidnaa). The language analyzers in my brain have a tough time parsing it. :D

    Anyways, what are the scopes of acceptability of the 4 uses I have listed, according to your opinion? Which region, which register, etc...

    I am relying here on my personal observation of the spoken language. I might have, for example, misheard or misconstrued some things. I'll be thankful if you suggest corrections in my observations, if need be.
  2. littlepond Senior Member

    I have never heard 4; I have heard 2 but I don't remember where. I myself use only 1 and I think that's the usual Hindi construction. 3 is of coure perfectly fine.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
  4. Alfaaz Senior Member

  5. Chhaatr Senior Member

    For (4) I would say kuchh chiizoN ko khariidnaa aasaan nahiiN in Hindi.

    From interaction with Urdu speakers in the forum I understand (2) is correct in Urdu.
  6. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I am losing my confidence in 4 now. :D
    Is there any native Delhi-wala to rule on it?
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Sorry, can't change my place of birth :))) but could sentence 4) in reality be...?

    kuchch chiizeN xariidne meN itnii aasaanii nahiiN hotii.

    or better still

    kuchch chiizeN xariidnii itnii aasaan nahiiN hotiiN
  8. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Dib SaaHib, thanks for your reaction to the sentence I quoted; it is something typical about the Urdu of Lakhnau and is very literary as well as widely embraced in the colloquial language. As you might well be aware of this fact, this lakhnavii construction is not restricted to Lakhnau of nowadays, it is widespread due to the literary influence of the lakhnavii dabistaan - ages ago and due to migrations. As far as Urdu is concerned the ending with -ii is also very correct so as you can see there is a healthy dose of plurality in our language.

    I don't really know how to interpret in in strict terms of grammar but I think that grammar is not mathematics and there are idiomatic or usual ways which perhaps would fail a logical test.

    For your point #4, I concur with others. It is possible it is said so there but has not yet become a standard and for it, I would also not be able to invent a grammar rule :)
  9. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    It's possible, it's the second one. I do have a problem distinguishing word-final -ii and -e sometimes.
  10. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Yes, I have understood it now. Thanks to all of you Urdu-daan's. :) I also understood, I am beating a dead horse here. It has been discussed on this forum so many times before.

    Well, grammar - in the sense linguists use the term, i.e. a mental template of linguistic structures - is actually very consistent and logical, if the logic is applied properly. "chiizeN xariidnaa/xariidnii haiN" is nothing illogical, I think. It would simply imply that predicative gerundives are optionally declinable. It's not a big deal. It's a small difference between standard Urdu and Hindi as it is spoken today.

    I could figure out (not "invent") the grammar rule that would explain it, but that is meaningless unless it is actually used in the language, of which I have become less confident after the response I received on this thread. :(

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