Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu: "you" levels

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Spanish
According to my little Punjabi grammar book, the degrees for the "you" pronoun in Punjabi are:
ਤੂੰ ......... tūN ........... توں ........... informal
ਤੁਸੀਂ ......tusiiN......... تُسیں ......... formal

In principle, there are only these 2 degrees of respect/familiarity.
ਆਪ / aap / آپ (which in Punjabi is a reflexive / intensifier) appears also in the dictionary as a respectul "you", but it is not listed in the grammars as such.

Then in Hindustani we have the normal 3:

तू .............. tū ............ تو .............. intimate
तुम ........... tum ......... توں ............. familiar
आप ......... aap .......... آپ .............. respecful

However, I notice in a lot of Punjabi songs, and in people's writing as well, the use of "tū" to denote intimacy
Asked about this, some people tell me that they would use "tū" intimately, that tūN can be used to denote a higher level of respect, and that tusiiN (sometimes without the final nasalization) is seldom used.

It is as the Punjabi system had been altered and shifted by the Hindustani system, especially for bilingual people.
Is my impression correct? Does this match the experience of the forum member speakers?
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Punjabi speakers can answer you better, but "tusii", with or without nasalisation, is well alive at least in Delhi area: one gets to hear it a lot.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Punjabi speakers can answer you better, but "tusii", with or without nasalisation, is well alive at least in Delhi area: one gets to hear it a lot.
    OK, if "tusii" without nasalization is widely used, then I guess the answer to my question is much simpler:

    Those speakers that use "tū" are not switching to the Hindustani pattern, they are just dropping the nasalization on the standard Punjabi tūN.
    Thanks, @littlepond
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Tusii(N) is used all the time, at least in my parents' coterie of Delhi (via Lahore) punjabis. In our family, at least, it's always tusiiN with the nasalization.

    I asked my father about tu/tuN, and he's not aware of any tu/tuN distinction in formality (and I've never ever come across it), not that he contemplates these issues often. But for him, in punjabi it's tuN. Always.
     
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