Persian: vocative ending ا

zj73

Senior Member
Punjabi - West Punjab
Hi

Was the vocative ending ا originally يا, as in Arabic?

Like كريما which occurs in a famous poem by Saadi.
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi

    Was the vocative ending ا originally يا, as in Arabic?

    Like كريما which occurs in a famous poem by Saadi.
    No, the vocative is not یا but ا.

    In کریما it is also ا.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Persian vocative article 'ا' comes at the end of, where the Arabic vocative 'يا' comes before, the noun.
    Like كريما which occurs in a famous poem by Saadi.
    As can be seen in these examples یارا, حافظا, خدایا and كريما, please note خدایا is خدا+ی+ا where ی always acts as a liaison before a long vowel, here the 'ا' article.

    There's of course another Persian vocative 'ای/ey' which comes before the noun, as in: ای خدا ,ای حافظ, ای یار

    See here.
     
    Last edited:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    The Persian vocative particle ا could be a borrowing from Aramaic, cf מַלְכָּא malkā 'O king!'.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    The Persian vocative particle ا could be a borrowing from Aramaic, cf מַלְכָּא malkā 'O king!'.
    That’s interesting & very likely as it is used only formally, in less formal situations ای/ey is used which, to me , is more authentic Persian.

    Has it survived in any of the other Semitic languages?
     
    Last edited:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    That’s interesting & very likely as it is used only formally, in less formal situations ای/ey is used which, to me , is more authentic Persian.
    I don't know how one can say one is "more authentic Persian" than the other. For me, both are equally authentic Persian, whatever the origin of the vocative suffix.

    Has it survived in any of the other Semitic languages?
    A very good question.

    A question from me.

    Is this suffix also used with plural nouns? Can we have, for example, مردانا O men?
     
    Last edited:

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I don't know how one can say one is "more authentic Persian"
    The fact it is only used in formal & poetic Persian points to its non-Persian origin, I believe that’s a fair comment to make on a linguistic forum, my observation may not be accurate or correct but I’m hoping someone will enlighten us all.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    The fact it is only used in formal & poetic Persian points to its non-Persian origin, I believe that’s a fair comment to make on a linguistic forum, my observation may not be accurate or correct but I’m hoping someone will enlighten us all.
    What about خدایا? Isn't this used in ordinary everyday speech?
     

    Aryamp

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Everyday spoken speech is way way older than formal speech, formal speech is standardised spoken speech after all.
    Spoken language is dynamic and ever-changing. We cannot draw any conclusion about the origin of words or expressions based on their current usage status in colloquial speech. It is just wrong to say some word or affix is of foreign origin if its current usage is limited to formal or poetic language, especially when we're dealing with a time scale of more than a thousand years! By that logic thousands of Persian words would have to be considered non-Persian, and vice versa.

    I think you’re referring to prescribed language, like sometimes the Academy of Persian language invents a new word but it fails to find currency among speakers so it remains a prescribed word in official documents.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    The suffix -ā is common in poetry, not only after nouns but also after verbs and other words, e.g. in guftā “he said”. It is not (exclusively) vocative, at best mildly emphatic. It has no parallel in Semitic.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    The suffix -ā is common in poetry, not only after nouns but also after verbs and other words, e.g. in guftā “he said”. It is not (exclusively) vocative, at best mildly emphatic. It has no parallel in Semitic
    Thank you for clarifying this fdb.

    Could the Aramaic ending mentioned in post #4 (מַלְכָּא malkā) be of Persian origin instead?
     
    Last edited:
    Top