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.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    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.
    This is VERY interesting. May I ask what region they're from?

    In my house, tūN and tusiiN are the two second person singulars encountered. I have seen aap used in two contexts:

    1) in the sense of اپنے آپ.

    2) In written or formal (Indian) Punjabi, I've seen it as a higher form than tusiiN. It was always felt peculiar to me, but when you enter Mohali, I remember seeing a sign that said something like "blah blah blah" ਆਪ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਦਾ ਸਵਾਗਤ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ." And you'll see it and even hear it in many a Gurdwara too, though I've never heard anyone use it casually. It always felt like a Hindi intrusion.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    May I ask what region they're from?
    I don't have much contact with live speakers, I just listen to songs. Recently, I have been listening to: Lamberghini (by "The Doorbeen", Indians of Punjabi origin based in South Dehli), Naa Jaa (by Pav Dharia, who is an Australian from Sydney, apparently very private about his family background).

    Both these songs, to my untrained ears, seem to consistently drop the nasalization of tūN
     

    Pardesi

    New Member
    Punjabi ਪੰਜਾਬੀ/پنجابی
    I've seen it as a higher form than tusiiN. It was always felt peculiar to me, but when you enter Mohali, I remember seeing a sign that said something like "blah blah blah" ਆਪ ਜੀ ਦਾ ਦਾ ਸਵਾਗਤ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ."
    I can confirm this. I've seen a sign from Punjab Police reading ਪੰਜਾਬ ਪੁਲਿਸ ਹਮੇਸ਼ਾ ਆਪ ਜੀ ਦੀ ਸੇਵਾ ਲਈ ਤੱਤਪਰ ਹੈਂ, PaNjaab pulis hameshaa aap jii dii sewaa laii tattpar haiN, meaning Punjab police is always prepared to serve you.
    I have only come across it being used on road signage in Indian Punjab—when entering a city or in this case a signboard by the police—with it always being accompanied by the ਜੀ jii honorific. I find it unusual too and agree when you say it feels like a Hindi intrusion. I personally would opt for ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ tuhaNnū or ਤੁਹਾਡਾ tuhaaDaa where applicable be used instead.

    tusiiN (sometimes without the final nasalization) is seldom used
    tusiiN, with nasalisation, is certainly alive and kicking in my Punjabi household.

     
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