Sanskrit/Hindi: Adjective Agreement

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by El Chilango, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. El Chilango New Member

    Kansas City, MO
    English - American & Español - Mexicano
    I have a question. I don't know if it works the same way in Hindi (I have no experience in Hindi), but adjectives agree in number, case, and gender with the noun they refer to in Sanskrit. This is simple with one noun, but how does it work with multiple nouns? Obviously, the two nouns cannot be in a different case, and number would not be a problem, but which gender does one assign with multiple nouns of different genders? For example, which form of the adjective सुन्दर sundara (beautiful) would one use for फलानि वृक्षाश्च phalAni vRkSAzca (fruits and trees)? phala is neuter but vRkSa is masculine. Would one use सुन्दरानि sundarAni (neuter plural) or सुन्दराः sundarAH (masculine plural)?
    Thank you in advance,
    El Chilango
    एल् चिलांगो
  2. asanga Member

    In Sanskrit, the general rule is that when an adjective describes masculine and feminine nouns, the adj. is masculine: sundarau narash cha strii cha

    When the adjective describes masculine/feminine and neuter nouns, the adj. is neuter: sundare vRkSash cha phalaM cha

    But often the adjective will agree with whatever noun is in closest proximity: yasya viiryeNa kRtiNo vayaM cha bhuvanaani cha, "by whose valor we and the Three Worlds are satisfied."(Uttararaamacharitram Act 1)

    kaamash cha jRMbhitaguNo navayauvanaM cha "Love and youthfulness are in full bloom" (Maalatiimaadhavam Act 1)

    Hindi also follows this pattern: ye achchhii saaRiyaaN aur juute liijiye "please take these nice saris and shoes'"

    ye saaRiyaaN aur juute achchhe haiN "these saris and shoes are nice"

    Except when the adj. describes men and women, in which case it will always be masculine: ye laRke aur laRkiyaaN achchhe haiN "these boys and girls are good"
  3. El Chilango New Member

    Kansas City, MO
    English - American & Español - Mexicano
    Thank you, asanga!
  4. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    In Hindi, it is not exactly the same. Agreement only makes a difference if and only if the adjective in its normal form ends in aa (there are a few exceptions to this rule). The adjective sundar would never change forms in Hindi because it does not end in aa.
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^ Good point about Hindi, tonyspeed and excellent remarks about Sanskrit and Hindi in relation to mixed entities, asanga.

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