Punjabi: Present tense

panjabigator

Senior Member
Am. English
Greetings all,

I've wanted to start this conversation for so long now, but I'm afraid that I may have already and am unable to locate it. I'll ask for your pardon in case I've committed the unspeakable.

Punjabi has two ways of forming a present tense. One way takes the stem and tacks on "da" and other variants. The other uses the infinitive so that you get forms like "maiN karnā/ī aaN." I wanted to know how you all distinguish between the two. I can kind of intuit when to use each form, but these seem to vary from region to region (and I think increase the further west you travel) and our school teachers never taught us these. As a side note: the Punjabi I learned in schools might be the most useless tool ever in that no one speaks this way!

Looking forward to the conversation.
PG
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Greetings all,

    I've wanted to start this conversation for so long now, but I'm afraid that I may have already and am unable to locate it. I'll ask for your pardon in case I've committed the unspeakable.

    Punjabi has two ways of forming a present tense. One way takes the stem and tacks on "da" and other variants. The other uses the infinitive so that you get forms like "maiN karnā/ī aaN." I wanted to know how you all distinguish between the two. I can kind of intuit when to use each form, but these seem to vary from region to region (and I think increase the further west you travel) and our school teachers never taught us these. As a side note: the Punjabi I learned in schools might be the most useless tool ever in that no one speaks this way!

    Looking forward to the conversation.
    PG

    A very good question, PG Jii. I can't remember if we have discussed this before and I have to admit that I have n't given this topic much thought before.

    If you were to look in a (fairly elementary) Punjabi Grammar book, this is how the present tense would be noted. Take the verb "karnaa" as an example, the speaker being a male.

    maiN kardaa haaN
    asiiN karde haaN

    tuuN kardaa haiN
    tusiiN karde ho

    oh kardaa hai
    oh karde han

    Now, I have n't met anyone who speaks like this! This is how this tense is represented in my speech.

    maiN karnaa vaaN
    asiiN karne aaN

    tuuN karnaa eN
    tusiiN karde o

    o kardaa e
    o karde ne (N)

    maiN karnaa vaaN* = I do
    maiN na'iiN kardaa = I don't do.
    maiN na'iiN karnaa = I am not going to do/I won't do

    Over and out!

    *PS maiN karnaa (N) (with a tone) would imply emphasis "I do do"!
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Intresting thread PG SaaHib!
    Qureshpor said:
    Now, I have n't met anyone who speaks like this!
    Either I haven't understood properly or have been hearing "different" people speak this language! (I agree that the haaN 's and other "h"'s are not used a lot- probably more by Indian Punjabi speakers, but think that the da forms are used equally....)

    Could one of you perhaps provide some example sentences? Thanks!

    :eek: Attempt:

    Urdu: maiN kaam kar raha hooN
    Punjabi: maiN kam kar reyaa w/aaN; maiN kam karda peyaa w/aaN;
    some seem to say maiN kam karna peyaa w/aaN

    Urdu: maiN kaam karta hooN
    Punjabi: maiN kam karda/karna waaN.....?

    Urdu: mujhe kaam karnaa hai
    Punjabi: maiN kam karna waa....... (I'm guessing the N makes the difference between the two :confused:)
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    Thank you for your replies. I am always curious as to why modern Punjabi choses to use write with the "kardā" form as the ONLY written form when no one actually speaks like that. Non-native Punjabi students leave the classroom speaking the most stilted language ever. My unsubstantiated theory is that Modern Standard Punjabi (which is mainly used in India; I find that written Shahmukhi in Pakistan resembles "actual" speech) models Hindi very closely. Maybe the development of Punjabi as a standard language followed Hindi in some ways, where formal speech not only borrowed words but also structures? Perhaps this warrant a separate thread, if anyone wants to take this up.

    I get the sense that in some cases, "kardā" might sound a bit more emphatic than "karnā," but I can't think of a context off the top of my head to prove this.

    QP Sahib, to add on to what you've written:
    I often hear the auxiliary verb in the main verb, so that "karda ai" becomes more like "kardai." And people from the Doaba side of Punjab tend to pronounce the auxiliary verb more like an "aa" than the diphthong "ai."

    Alfaaz Sahib:
    Urdu: maiN kaam karta hooN
    Punjabi: maiN kam karda/karna waaN.....?
    I thought a bit about this sentence and realized that the Punjabi present tense is different han the Urdu. If someone where to ask me, "woh abhī kyā kar rahā hai," I would answer "woh panjābī kitāb parh rahā hai" in Urdu and "oh panjabbī kitāb parhdā ai" in Punjabi. Maybe the "piā" is implied in the second? I guess the present tense also has a gerundive function as well. Note, I didn't misspell "panjabbī": that's how we say it.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Intresting thread PG SaaHib!

    Urdu: maiN kaam karta hooN
    Punjabi: maiN kam karda/karna waaN.....?

    Urdu: mujhe kaam karnaa hai
    Punjabi: maiN kam karna waa....... (I'm guessing the N makes the difference between the two :confused:)

    I would say "maiN kamm karnaa vaaN" or when saying quickly, "maiN kamm karnaa'N". For the second one "maiN kamm karnaa e".
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you for your replies. I am always curious as to why modern Punjabi choses to use write with the "kardā" form as the ONLY written form when no one actually speaks like that. Non-native Punjabi students leave the classroom speaking the most stilted language ever. My unsubstantiated theory is that Modern Standard Punjabi (which is mainly used in India; I find that written Shahmukhi in Pakistan resembles "actual" speech) models Hindi very closely. Maybe the development of Punjabi as a standard language followed Hindi in some ways, where formal speech not only borrowed words but also structures? Perhaps this warrant a separate thread, if anyone wants to take this up.

    Alfaaz Sahib:

    I thought a bit about this sentence and realized that the Punjabi present tense is different han the Urdu. If someone where to ask me, "woh abhī kyā kar rahā hai," I would answer "woh panjābī kitāb parh rahā hai" in Urdu and "oh panjabbī kitāb parhdā ai" in Punjabi. Maybe the "piā" is implied in the second? I guess the present tense also has a gerundive function as well. Note, I didn't misspell "panjabbī": that's how we say it.
    Possibly because (pure guesswork) this kind of speech is registered in Granth SaaHib and hence the continual use of "kardaa" where one has "karnaa" in speech.

    Perhaps you could start a thread on this, hopefully with some substantiation of your ideas.

    I would say that only means "He reads a Punjabi book"!
     

    hindiurdu

    Senior Member
    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri

    Urdu: maiN kaam karta hooN
    Punjabi: maiN kam karda/karna waaN.....?


    To which:

    I would say "maiN kamm karnaa vaaN" or when saying quickly, "maiN kamm karnaa'N". For the second one "maiN kamm karnaa e".

    Interestingly, at least for me, this is also true:

    Urdu: maiN abhi (fauran) kaam kar detaa hooN.
    Punjabi: maiN hunne(h) kam karnaa'N.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    To which:



    Interestingly, at least for me, this is also true:

    Urdu: maiN abhi (fauran) kaam kar detaa hooN.
    Punjabi: maiN hunne(h) kam karnaa'N.

    The thing is, hindiurdu jii, "mujhe kaam karnaa hai" and "maiN abhii kaam kar detaa huuN" are not the same and I am sure you don't mean that they are either.

    For 1 ) maiN kamm karnaa e

    For 2) maiN huNRe kaamm karnaa vaaN/karnaa'N.
     

    panjabigator

    Senior Member
    Am. English
    A very good question, PG Jii. I can't remember if we have discussed this before and I have to admit that I have n't given this topic much thought before.

    If you were to look in a (fairly elementary) Punjabi Grammar book, this is how the present tense would be noted. Take the verb "karnaa" as an example, the speaker being a male.

    maiN kardaa haaN
    asiiN karde haaN

    tuuN kardaa haiN
    tusiiN karde ho

    oh kardaa hai
    oh karde han

    Now, I have n't met anyone who speaks like this! This is how this tense is represented in my speech.

    maiN karnaa vaaN
    asiiN karne aaN

    tuuN karnaa eN
    tusiiN karde o

    o kardaa e
    o karde ne (N)

    maiN karnaa vaaN* = I do
    maiN na'iiN kardaa = I don't do.
    maiN na'iiN karnaa = I am not going to do/I won't do

    Over and out!

    *PS maiN karnaa (N) (with a tone) would imply emphasis "I do do"!

    Reviving an old thread here. QP Sahib, this response was useful and I agree with what you have written here. Could we conjugate a verb that has ends with a retroflex noon? Maybe ਮੰਨਣਾ or ਬੰਨਣਾ? I'm curious to see how the retroflex changes.

    QP Sahib, with regards to the following:
    My unsubstantiated theory is that Modern Standard Punjabi (which is mainly used in India; I find that written Shahmukhi in Pakistan resembles "actual" speech) models Hindi very closely. Maybe the development of Punjabi as a standard language followed Hindi in some ways, where formal speech not only borrowed words but also structures? Perhaps this warrant a separate thread, if anyone wants to take this up.

    I'm not quite sure how one would go about researching this. The only input I have is very subjective. I spent some time reading Panjabi literature by Najm Hussain Syed and found that, while the language was challenging, there was something that felt very "natural" about it. Now, natural perhaps isn't all that useful of a adjective, but I qualify it vis-à-vis Punjabi academic works written in Gurumukhi (or perhaps penned by authors who promote the Majhi literary dialect). With the latter, the language resembled Hindi in both diction and syntax. The Shahmukhi texts I studied resembled aural/oral Punjabi stylistically.

    I am not an expert in the Punjabi literary canon, but with literary Punjabi in Shahmukhi we just have qissas/dastaans and poetry to reference. It would be helpful if Punjabi adopted the novel centuries earlier so that we could study literary style over time. Sigh.
     
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