Hindi, Urdu: Transitive vs. Intransitive Perfective Participles

Pokeflute

Member
English - American
I recently learned that "Fried food" is "talaa huaa khaanaa". This seemed weird to be because "talnaa" (to fry) is transitive. Generally, I thought perfective participles only made sense with intransitive words (e.g. "Boiled water" is "Ublaa huaa paani", not "ubaalaa huaa paani").

Can you use the perfective participles of transitive verbs as adjectives?

For example, does "toRaa huaa khilaunaa" make sense (vs. "TooTaa huaa khilaunaa") ?

What about "Dubaanaa huaa admi" vs. "Doobaa huaa aadmi"?
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "thappaR maarnaa" --> "maaraa huaa thappaR", so I don't think it's odd to find such a construction with transitive verbs.

    By the way, "boiled water" is both "ubaalaa huaa paanii" or "ublaa [huaa] paanii". With "ublaa" here, the usage of "huaa" becomes optional. Both "toRaa huaa khilaunaa" and "TooTaa (huaa) khilaunaa" make sense, and both carry different nuances: the first carries an implicit accusation against someone (unknown).

    It can only be "Doobaa huaa aadmii" (or "Dubvaayaa huaa aadmii").
     

    Frau Moore

    Member
    Deutsch
    Pokeflute, it´s not weird at all. You only got to understand that generally participles of transitive verbs have not an active but a passive-like meaning.

    Let´s take the transitive "likhnaa" for example. likhaa doesn´t mean "wrote" in an active sense but "written" in a passive-like sense - something got written.

    Therefore I won´t say "maiN khat likhii" (surely you´ve learned the ergative construction which is also based on perfective participles) for "I wrote a letter" but "maiN ne khat likhaa".
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I don't mean to widen this thread too much, but some concepts in this thread seem to contradict what little I know of Hindustani grammar. Let me enumerate what I think I know:

    * ublaa and ubaalaa are a "non-causative / causative" verb pair, rather than a "transitive/intransitive" pair. Non-causative/causative and transitive/intransitive are overlapping, but not the same concepts. One would say they are "orthogonal" concepts.

    * my understanding is that the "passive voice", per se, doesn't exist in Hindustani. A general idea of "passiveness" or experiencing a change of state is conveyed by adding "jaanaa" to other verbs, but essentially whether or not a verb can be read in a passive sense or not, is given by its dictionary definition. Again, "non-causative/causative" and "active/passive" are also orthogonal concepts. However, It could be argued that causative and even double-causative verbs are similar to what in other languages (such as classic Greek) was the "middle voice", some realm between active and passive voice that generally translated as "make ... do".

    * I find the usage and translation of Hindustani participles, (when used as such, rather as parts of a verbal phrase) higly idiomatic. A few general rules can be induced, but not a lot.

    * I am not 100% sure that Hindustani speakers automatically perceive a past participle as "passive", the same way that western-Indoeuropean language speakers do. In Spanish and English and French, for example, the only surviving participle is perfective and passive, but in Hindustani the perfect participle is sometimes better translated as a gerund (descendant of the Latin "present-active" participle).

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindi
    This seemed weird to be because "talnaa" (to fry) is transitive.
    I think talnaa is one of the rare-ish Hindustani verbs that can be both transitive and intransitive. To me at least, it sounds fine to say things like pakauRe tal chuke haiN, or pakauRe jab tal jaaeN... Also, the intransitive listing does show up in Platts.

    (In any case, this is sort of besides the point: as has already been pointed out by others, it's fine and not at all weird to use the perfect participle of transitive verbs attributively in front of nouns.)

    * ublaa and ubaalaa are a "non-causative / causative" verb pair, rather than a "transitive/intransitive" pair. Non-causative/causative and transitive/intransitive are overlapping, but not the same concepts. One would say they are "orthogonal" concepts.
    I'm not really sure how you're using "causative" here...? In particular, if transitivity and causativity were really orthogonal concepts, there would be a thing that is a "intransitive causative," and I don't know what that would mean.

    That said, a convenient (and probably the typical) way of thinking about Hindustani verbs is that they tend to come in groups of three-ish, each of the three having a different valency (ie, number of nominal arguments the verb needs to form a complete thought). The typical situation is a group of three that consists of a verb of valency 1 (ie, an intransitive), another of valency 2 (ie, a transitive), and then a third of valency 3 (and this one is typically what's called the "causative," in my experience?). The group ubalnaa/ubaalnaa/ubalvaanaa fits this typical paradigm well:

    panii ubalaa = the water boiled
    A ne paanii ubaalaa = A boiled water
    A ne B se paanii ubalvaayaa = A had B boil water

    But this typical paradigm has lots of exceptions. For instance, one could probably regard khaanaa/khilaanaa/khilvaanaa as a group, but here the valencies are 2, 3, and 4, respectively. (This 4-valent "double causative" usage of khilvaanaa is somewhat rare, so it could be that acceptability judgements vary...?)

    A ne kuchh khaayaa = A ate something
    A ne B ko kuchh khilaayaa = A fed B something
    A ne B se C ko kuchh khilvaayaa = A had B feed C something

    Another kind of exception is exhibited by the group likhnaa/likhaanaa/likhvaanaa, where to me it sounds like the latter two both have valency 3 and are more or less synonymous:

    A ne kuchh likhaa = A wrote something
    A ne B se kuchh likhaayaa/likhvaayaa = A had B write something

    * my understanding is that the "passive voice", per se, doesn't exist in Hindustani. A general idea of "passiveness" or experiencing a change of state is conveyed by adding "jaanaa" to other verbs, but essentially whether or not a verb can be read in a passive sense or not, is given by its dictionary definition.
    I'm not sure it's fair to say that the passive voice doesn't exist in Hindustani. It's probably worth making sure that we're drawing a distinction between verb stem + jaanaa (which is a compound verb construction, and which is not what seems to be under discussion here), and then the perfective participle of transitive verb + jaanaa construction. It is this latter construction that sounds decidedly passive to me. The fact that most transitive Hindustani verbs already have intransitive counterparts means that there's often little reason to use the passive construction (ie, perfective participle + jaanaa), since it usually sounds far more natural to just use the intransitive counterpart. But in situations where there is no intransitive counterpart, one can and would use the passive construction: kaam kiyaa gayaa (for "the work was done," since karnaa has no intransitive counterpart), khat likhaa gayaa (for "the letter was written," since likhnaa has no intransitive counterpart), etc.

    * I am not 100% sure that Hindustani speakers automatically perceive a past participle as "passive", the same way that western-Indoeuropean language speakers do.
    I guess this is the kind of thing that could vary from person to person, but I would tend agree with this assertion. The typical way of forming the past tense uses the perfective participle means, so I don't really have a strong association between the perfective participle and the passive. To reiterate my previous point though, I do perceive the perfective participle of transitive verb + jaanaa construction as passive.
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you, @aevynn, that was clarifying.
    And I didn't know the concept of "valency", it is useful.

    So, to be totally clear, when you say that karnaa and likhnaa "have no intransitive counterparts", do you mean they don't have causative forms? I am confused, because karaana (to cause sb to do sth) seems to exist ...
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindi
    So, to be totally clear, when you say that karnaa and likhnaa "have no intransitive counterparts", do you mean they don't have causative forms? I am confused, because karaana (to cause sb to do sth) seems to exist ...
    karnaa and likhnaa are both 2-valent (transitive). You're right that they have 3-valent (causative) forms, but I think they have no 1-valent (ie, intransitive) forms. In other words, there's no variant of karnaa that means "to be done," and no variant of likhnaa that means "to be written." Instead, you'd have to use the passive construction (kiyaa jaanaa or likhaa jaanaa) to express these ideas.

    [It may also help clarify to point out that the likhaa in likhaa jaanaa is the perfect participle of likhnaa, rather than the stem of likhaanaa. In other words, this is a perfective participle of transitive verb + jaanaa construction, rather than a verb stem + jaanaa construction. Similarly, since karnaa has two perfective participles kiyaa and karaa, one might say karaa jaanaa instead of kiyaa jaanaa, but still, this karaa is to be interpreted as a perfective participle of karnaa rather than the stem of karaanaa.]
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    [It may also help clarify to point out that the likhaa in likhaa jaanaa is the perfect participle of likhnaa, rather than the stem of likhaanaa. In other words, this is a perfective participle of transitive verb + jaanaa construction, rather than a verb stem + jaanaa construction. Similarly, since karnaa has two perfective participles kiyaa and karaa, one might say karaa jaanaa instead of kiyaa jaanaa, but still, this karaa is to be interpreted as a perfective participle of karnaa rather than the stem of karaanaa.]
    Here my head just exploded. o_O
    Seriously, I need to educate myself more on this subject.
     
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