Punjabi: representation of "tones"

Alfaaz

Senior Member
English
Background: the inspiration for creating this thread was Urdu, Hindi: Is there "tone"?:
Qureshpor said:
Punjabi is a tone language. When correctly employed, a Punjabi speaker distinguishes between something "bitter", a "whip" and a "horse", just to give one example of tone usage!
Qureshpor said:
... kaalaa (black) > ka_hlaa (impatient)
...moraa (large hole), mo_hraa (poison) ...
Alfaaz said:
The only example that comes to mind for Urdu that might fit your description of Punjabi would be (Arabic/Persian origin) words with an ع
جالی jaali vs. جعلی jaعli ...
Qureshpor said:
^ Good thinking, Alfaaz SaaHib and I have mentioned this (i.e baad/ba3d distinction in terms of a kind of tone) in other threads.
Questions: Could members provide the Punjabi words mentioned above in Shahmukhi script? How would سانس لینا be written in Punjabi?
 
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    It appears nobody was interested in answering. Anyhow, it seemed interesting that ساع لینا was used here, which (in addition to the quotes above) had raised the question of whether an ع is (or could be) used in other words to represent tones/stresses in Punjabi.
     
    Last edited:

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Perhaps I am not the best person to answer but as a consolation take it from me that this way of writing is definitely interesting albeit wrong. It ought to be as in the attached picture: standard above and the one reflecting my way of saying it below.

    View attachment 12365
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Alfaaz SaaHib, "tone" has been traditionally expressed by the "h" (ہ) consonant in Shahmukhi and much later by ਹ, also an "h" in Gurmukhi script.

    Let us take a look at three words in Shahmukhi and gurmukhi

    Low tone (horse): گھوڑا /ਘੋੜਾ

    Level or Neutral Tone (whip): کوڑا / ਕੋੜਾ

    High Tone: (leper): کوہڑا / ਕੋਹੜਾ

    Now the problem is that in the horse example, a person familiar with Urdu/Hindi and literate in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi scripts is likely to read this is "ghoRaa", which is not how it is pronounced in Punjabi. I depict this as k_hoRaa. But the "ghoRaa" type "gh" is retained in a word such as "singh" (سنگھ). So, it is clear that in low tone, the h does not just represent the tone but it also provides "aspiration".

    In the high tone, how does one distinguish between "kohRaa" where the "h" is pronounced as an "h" and the word for "leper" where the "h" provides the high tone? Once again, "h" is bivalent.

    ع can not represent "tone" because it has its own function, at least to depict the origin of the word. If we saw a word written as عام in Punjabi, we could n't assign any "tone" to it, could we?





     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks for the detailed answers. How do you write kaalaa and ka_hlaa? It seemed that these could be written (to represent the difference between the two as you have noted above) as کالا and کعلا.

    A few more questions arise:

    • Why is Urdu spelling retained for words even when they don't seem to be pronounced that way?
      • Or is this a misconception...kohRaa is supposed to be actually pronounced as ghoRaa?
    Here is another example with bohti, which is probably again wrong, but seems like a convenient way to recognize and practice Punjabi pronunciation...at least for an Urdu speaker...don't you think so?
    اسلامی لوک راج پاکستان (اردو:اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان) (انگریزی: ...) دکھنی ایشیاء دا اک دیس اے۔ اس دے چڑدے وچ ھندستان، اتر چڑدے وچ چین، لیندے وچ ایران تے افغانستان،تے دکھن وچ بحیرہ عرب ہیگا اے ۔ پاکستان 1947 وچ اوناں تھانواں تے بنیا جتھے مسلماناں دی لوک گنتی بعوتی سی
     

    Poghos

    Member
    English - American
    Qureshpor Sahib, shouldn’t the apirated “gh” be represented with the initial form of “dochashmi he” so the reader doesn’t try to pronounce the “h” as a seperate consonant?

    For example, when I write the word horse, I write it as ﮔھوڑا so that it is recognized as an aspirated “gh”.

    I don’t know if you can see the difference. I will write them side by side ﮔھوڑا گھوڑا

    When I initially learned to read and write in Shahmukhi, a khalsa at the Gurdwara told me I should write it this way. However, when I reviewed examples online, I didn't see others following this, so I remained undecided. I may or may not be correct about this. I am just sharing this information with you to get your feedback.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    ^ I can't see the difference, perhaps a typographic but it is not relevant.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    QP jii, have you had the chance to have a glance of the attached sample in my above post? How do you say (write) - doesn't matter, the verb for ''to breathe''? It is perhaps not closely related to the issue of tones (I don't understand why you people put it in scary quotes) but originates from the original post. (N or no N?)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    ... But the "ghoRaa" type "gh" is retained in a word such as "singh" (سنگھ). So, it is clear that in low tone, the h does not just represent the tone but it also provides "aspiration".
    Perhaps you are not right at this point unless you are discussing dialects like (uhh uhh Siraiki type, I added type because I genuinely believe Siraiki is a language on its own. There are dialects of Punjabi with aspiration in such case which I can't enumerate nor call by name now. Sorry for this digression).

    What I really mean by this post aimed at others than you is to say that there is a high tone on and no aspiration. I don't know how we can settle this matter but I crave for an agreement. Recordings we are not allowed.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    QP jii, have you had the chance to have a glance of the attached sample in my above post? How do you say (write) - doesn't matter, the verb for ''to breathe''? It is perhaps not closely related to the issue of tones (I don't understand why you people put it in scary quotes) but originates from the original post. (N or no N?)
    Yes I did see it and this is the normal way for depicting tone in Shahmukhi. Scary quotes? I am not sure what you mean but in any case, don't be scared. Just be brave!:)
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Qureshpor Sahib, shouldn’t the apirated “gh” be represented with the initial form of “dochashmi he” so the reader doesn’t try to pronounce the “h” as a seperate consonant?

    For example, when I write the word horse, I write it as ﮔھوڑا so that it is recognized as an aspirated “gh”.

    I don’t know if you can see the difference. I will write them side by side ﮔھوڑا گھوڑا

    When I initially learned to read and write in Shahmukhi, a khalsa at the Gurdwara told me I should write it this way. However, when I reviewed examples online, I didn't see others following this, so I remained undecided. I may or may not be correct about this. I am just sharing this information with you to get your feedback.
    I do see the difference in your two forms but I would read both of them as "ghoRaa" if it was an Urdu piece and "k_hoRaa" if it was Punjabi.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Perhaps you are not right at this point unless you are discussing dialects like (uhh uhh Siraiki type, I added type because I genuinely believe Siraiki is a language on its own. There are dialects of Punjabi with aspiration in such case which I can't enumerate nor call by name now. Sorry for this digression).

    What I really mean by this post aimed at others than you is to say that there is a high tone on and no aspiration. I don't know how we can settle this matter but I crave for an agreement. Recordings we are not allowed.

    I think what you are trying to say is that there are variations of Punjabi where the "gh" is as in the Urdu "ghoRaa", "gharaa", "ghaas" etc. That may be the case marrish SaaHib but in my humble opinion, the vast majority of Punjabi speakers, both in the East and West Punjab..i.e both India and Pakistan do not pronounce the "gh" is Urdu/Hindi manner. As a matter of interest, not too long ago, I was in company with two Siraiki speakers both of whom introduced themselves as Siraiki speakers. I can honestly say that I did not notice anything extraordinarily different and we were all able to communicate without any difficulty.
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Yes I did see it and this is the normal way for depicting tone in Shahmukhi. Scary quotes? I am not sure what you mean but in any case, don't be scared. Just be brave!:)
    Scary quotes aside, if you saw it you must have seen that there are two different ways. I'm glad that we agree on the point of representing tones but my question was about N - nasalization. How do you say it?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thanks for the detailed answers. How do you write kaalaa and ka_hlaa? It seemed that these could be written (to represent the difference between the two as you have noted above) as کالا and کعلا.

    A few more questions arise:

    • Why is Urdu spelling retained for words even when they don't seem to be pronounced that way?
      • Or is this a misconception...kohRaa is supposed to be actually pronounced as ghoRaa?
    Here is another example with bohti, which is probably again wrong, but seems like a convenient way to recognize and practice Punjabi pronunciation...at least for an Urdu speaker...don't you think so?
    کالا = black, کاہلا = impatient

    For similar reasons to your mother tongue, namely English. Urdu has silent vaa'o, English has silent letters (e.g l in calm). Urdu has letters that are written differently but pronounced the same, e.g zaal, ze etc...English has Ph/f, k/c etc.

    کوہڑا leper and گھوڑا horse are not pronounced the same by Punjabi speakers. i would personally prefer to write he later as کہوڑا .

    I don't think the letter ع is a suitable alternative for representing tone. We need to come up with something more innovative. In your specimen, you would agree بعوتی is hardly correct because the O sound comes before the tone and not after it!
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Thanks to everyone for the informative posts!
    I share your satisfaction with the way the subject has been covered, especially by QP SaaHib, but I'm not yet done! I would like to request QP SaaHib to tell me how he pronounces the word ''breath'' in Punjabi. Does he produce a nasal sound or says it without one?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Without a nasal, marrish SaaHib. There is no nasal in the usual pronunciation.
     
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