Urdu: bas ho chukii namaaz, musallaa uThaa'iye!

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This thread of mine is linked to the "kiijiyo" thread. Here is a couplet from Aatish*, a renowned Urdu poet.

    fasl-i-bahaar aa'ii piyo suufiyo sharaab
    bas ho chukii namaaz, musallaa uThaa'iye

    In another Urdu poetry thread, a while back, there was heated debate on the grammatical constructions of this shi'r. There was a "complaint" that one should not have a mixture of imperative pronouns, i.e tum and aap in this case, within the same couplet. My point of view was that "uThaa'iye" here is not in the (polite) imperative mood as "aap uThaa'iye" but in fact it is the "jussive" mood and the command is not to the second person but to the first person (plural).

    The spring is upon us, O sufis drink wine!
    The prayer is over, let us clear away the prayer mat.

    Your views please.

    * I know it should be Aatash, but in Urdu Aatish seems to be the favoured pronunciation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  2. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Is this the same thing as what's going on in this qawali:

    حقیقت اگر افسانہ بن جائے تو کیا کیجئے۔
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    A very good question, Panjabigator SaaHib! I was planning to introduce this query if no one else mentioned it. I believe there is a connection even though in my example from Aatish, we are using "uThaa'ie" in the "Let us.." sense (I think) where as this "kiijiye" means "kareN". Here is an example from Faiz.

    lauT jaatii hai udhar ko bhii nazar, kyaa kiije
    ab bhii dil-kash hai teraa Husn magar kyaa kiije

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2013
  4. BP. Senior Member

    This conjugation is used in talking to oneself. Often used in speech for rhetorical questions.
  5. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi

    I think I would agree with this!
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    At the instigation of Dib SaaHib in another thread, I am quoting the following shi3r from diivaan-i-Ghalib. Both verses go with "ham".

    3umr-bhar dekhaa kiye marne kii raah
    mar ga'e par dekhiye dikhlaa'eN kyaa
  7. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Thank you very much, sir! Thanks for increasing my Urdu knowledge.
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    You are most welcome, Dib SaaHib. I most definitely do not qualify to be addressed as "sir" but I do respect your endeavor towards etiquette and decorum.

    No doubt you will have heard of Mir Taqi Mir: 1723-1810. He was born in Agra. He is normally called xudaa-i-suxan (Master of Verse) in literary circles and by all accounts he is considered to be the greatest Urdu poet. Here is a gem from him.

    chalte ho to chaman ko chaliye kahte haiN kih bahaaraaN hai
    paat hare haiN phuul khile haiN kam kam baad-o-baaraaN hai

    Here is my take on this.

    agar tum kahiiN chalnaa hii chaahte ho to kyoN nah ham chaman ko chaliye kyoNkih sunaa hai kih bahaar kaa mausam aa gayaa hai. paudoN aur daraxtoN par hare hare patte phuuT nikle haiN, phuul khill ga'e haiN aur saath hii, maano nah maano, haule haule havaa chal rahii hai aur madham madham meNh baras rahaa hai.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  9. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Yes, it makes perfect sense! Thank you again. Before, I was not acquainted with this usage outside Punjabi. Please forgive my lack of formal acquaintance with Hindi/Urdu written tradition.

    One question: Is this form still productive? If yes, in what sort of conditions is it more common (e.g. poetry, formal prose, folk literature, regional everyday language, etc...)? (Bengali, e.g., has some archaic/dialectal conjugations still somewhat used in poetry)
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I can not confirm or deny whether this is part of the Hindi written tradition for the simple reason that I have read very little of it. Hopefully Hindi speakers who are acquainted with Hindi literature will be able to give their views on the occurrence of this form in the writings of their topmost authors.

    It might be an idea if the likes of Faylasoof, BP, UM and marrish SaaHibaan were to answer this part of your query. I think they are much better placed than me, for obvious reasons. I shall come back if there is n't any expression of views from them.
  11. littlepond Senior Member

    Going back to the opening post of this beautiful thread enriched by several gems thanks to Qureshpor jii, I disagree with the majority view here: rather, I see the aap form used since it's being used with musallaa (duty), in opposition to the more direct, friendly tu form when used with invitation to drink wine (pleasure). I do not see uthaaiye as command to first person plural, but still to second person plural (to the would-be wine drinkers). However, I see this juxtaposition as the most excellent point of this verse, rather than finding anything to criticize in it.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Firstly, it's good to disagree. This means there is an alternative view.

    The examples that I have quoted are from a genre of Urdu poetry known as the Ghazal. Within a Ghazal, ambiguity plays an important role. This is simply because it then lends to a multitude if interpretations. For example take this well known Ghalib shi3r. I am providing a link where this was discussed elsewhere.


    un ke dekhe se jo aa jaatii hai muNh par raunaq
    vuh samajhte haiN kih biimaar kaa Haal achchhaa hai

    From the first misra3 (hemistich), can we categorically say who is doing the "dekh-ing"? The lover (poet) or "vuh", the beloved? Now returning to the couplet in question..

    fasl-i-bahaar aa'ii, piyo suufiyo sharaab!
    bas ho chukii namaaz, musallaa uThaa'ie

    (You've written "duty" after musallaa (prayer mat) which I did n't quite follow).

    The poet is addressing the "sufis" with the pronoun "tum" (not tuu as you seem to have surmised) because the verb is "piyo" and not "pii". In the second line we have "musallaa uThaa'iye". One normally associates "uThaa'ie" with the pronoun "aap"...(aap) tashriif rakhiye, (aap) abhii nah jaa'iye, yahiiN rahiye...etc. But it is also used with "ham". In his classic nazm "mujh se pahlii sii muHabbat mere maHbuub nah maaNg", Faiz describes his love for his beloved and then goes onto describe the cruelty and injustices that he sees in society and then says to his beloved..

    laut jaatii hai udhar ko bhii nazar, kyaa kiijiye
    ab bhii dil-kash hai teraa Husn, magar kyaa kiihe

    You will agree that here the poet is using "ham" for himself..

    laut jaatii hai udhar ko bhii nazar, (ham) kyaa kareN?
    ab bhii dil-kash hai teraa Husn, magar (ham) kyaa kareN?

    But in the above, we have a question and not a statement.

    In "musalaa uThaa'iye" shi'3r, the poet starts off with a "tum" pronoun in the first line. For him to turn from "tum" to "aap" in the same breath (so to speak), is considered a "naqs" (fault) in Urdu poetry. So much so that it is known as "shutur-gurbah" (camel-cat), i.e a mismatch. Aatish was one of the masters of Urdu poetry and though no one is infallible, one would not expect this kind of "slip" from him.

    This is where the "jussive" use of the "-iye" verbal form comes in. Here one is not ordering a second person (tuu/tum/aap) but the first person (maiN/ham). This order in the first person is usually translated as "Let me"/"Let us" in English.

    Here is an example from Faiz..

    aa'iye, haath uThaa'iye ham bhii
    ham jinheN rasm-i-du3aa yaad nahiiN
    ham jinheN soz-i-muHabbat ke sivaa
    ko'ii but, ko'ii xudaa yaad nahiiN

    Would you agree that here "ham" goes with "aa'iye"?

    In the manner that Faiz says "aa'iye", Miir says "chaliye", again with "ham".

    chalte ho to chaman ko chaliye kahte haiN kih bahaaraaN hai
    paat hare haiN phuul khile haiN kam kam baad-o-baaraaN hai

    Continuing with this thought pattern, I am suggesting that Aatish is saying to all the sufis.."The prayer is over, let's clear the prayer mat"...and get on with the business of some serious wine drinking. For the spring season is upon us!

    It would be nice if you or mundiya jii (or any other Hindi speakers) could produce something from Hindi literature to illustrate this grammatical construction (Same goes for the "Use of past tense for the future" thread)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  13. littlepond Senior Member

    Thank you for the earlier examples and the additional ones; it is indeed a pleasure to read some more lovely verses. I also think you are either contradicting yourself here or going outside the scope of this particular thread, one of the two. If Aatish means "ham" by "uthaaiye", which is what you claim, then I don't see where the ambiguity is there in the couplet in OP, so I don't see why you are bringing here the ambiguity point: if you want to discuss ambiguity in other couplets, then you are welcome to do so by all means, but please do so in a new thread. The couplet in question shouldn't carry any ambiguity according to you: or am I wrong in understanding what you said?

    I mean by duty, an obligation, a ritual (prayers, etc.), mores of an order, etc., as opposed to wine-drinking, which is for one's own pleasure here and not as per the dictates of a religion or society or societal conditioning. Of course, I don't know the full context within which this couplet arises.

    Yes, I meant to say "tum"; thanks for pointing out my little mistake. As the verse is addressed to more than one person, "tu" would be impossible here.

    I never disagreed with the use in your other examples; the same is used in Hindi as well and in many other languages of the world. I simply disagree with respect to the couplet in OP, that's all.
    I also think that if such a rule as what you say exists, then it's a flimsy rule at best, for even if now the poet has changed from "tum" to "ham", that is also as much a switch as "tum" to "aap", since the Sufis are here included in both "tum" and "ham" - so they are being addressed by two different pronouns in the same couplet anyway.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2013
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Frankly, I thought this form was possibly a thing of the past. But, I was wrong. Here is an every day example which you will have used many a time.

    alif: kuchh kapRaa xariidnaa hai. jaaRaa shuruu3 hone vaalaa hai. maiN ne sochaa kuchh garm kapRe banvaa lene chaahiyeN.

    be: chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patluun banvaanii thii. abhii to kapRaa sastaa ho gaa?

    alif: jii haaN, varnah sardii shuruu3 ho ga'ii to phir daam baRh jaa'eN ge.

    chaliye! Let's go!
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  15. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ Really? I think your example has "chaliye" for the "aap" form: this is easily provable, since in the same dialogue, "be" can also say "chalo" and "chal". In fact, for those of us who rarely use the aap form (janaab aapki khidmat mein haazir hai), we use a lot of "chalo" aur "chal" in the dialogues like above. To rephrase:

    alif: kuchh kapRaa xariidnaa hain. jaaRe shuruu3 hone vaale haiN. maiN ne sochaa kuchh garm kapRe le lene chaahiyeN.

    be: chal! mujhe bhii vaise ek garm patluun to banvaanii thii. is waqt kapRaa sastaa hogaa kyaa?

    alif: are bilkul, varnaa sardii shuruu3 ho ga'ii to phir daam aasmaaN ko chhuu'eN ge.
  16. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I agree with littlepond's analysis here.
  17. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Gentlemen, would you both agree that purely from grammar perspective the speaker is is not included in the order?

    tuu (one person) chal..[maiN aataa huuN]

    tum (one or more persons).. chalo [maiN aataa huuN]

    aap (one or more persons) chaliye...[maiN aataa huuN]

    The above "aap" is address to the second person.

    In terms of giving orders to the first person..in the right context..

    (maiN) chaluuN (dekhuuN, baazaar meN aaTe ko jo aag lagii hai!)

    (ham) chaliye (dekhte haiN aaj aaTaa mile gaa bhii yaa nahiiN!)

    @littlepond SaaHib. I shall attend to your post #13 soon.
  18. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Yes, I do. Here is the reason:

    For pretty much all verbs except "chal-" (and probably "aa-"), it would be unambiguously second person, including for a semantically very similar "jaa-". It's an idiomatic use of chal- and aa- (aaiye/aao/aa, khaana khaa lete hai~), where the 2nd person forms may be used in an inclusive 1st person plural sense. It is possible to analyze these forms as a special inclusive 1st person plural, I suppose, which is:
    1. Formally same as the 2nd person - agreeing in number and respect of the interlocutor like 2nd person. (You cannot say: "chal, chale~" to two persons, for example)
    2. Exists in only a few verbs (correct me if you have more examples here)
    3. Exists only in inclusive 1st plural. Standard Hindi-Urdu otherwise lacks the distinction of inclusive-exclusive 1st plural.

    I would say, viewing the whole thing as an idiomatic use of 2nd person imperative is indeed the clean option.

    I cannot see the difference of this from what I explained above. I'd take the chaliye here as an idiomatic use of 2nd person. In my opinion, it would be much clearer if we can get answers to the following:
    1. Can verbs other than chal- and aa- be used this way?
    2. Can you say this sentence to someone who you are in "tuu" terms with?

    I do feel that the -iye 1st plural might have indeed existed in Urdu at some point, like you have shown in some quotations from poetry. But these chaliye/aaiye examples from the living language are probably not the same.
  19. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Reply to # post 13 (littlepond Jii)

    This thread is not about a particular couplet but rather about a specific grammatical construction. I got the impression that when you disagreed with Aatish’s “uThaa’iye”, you were disagreeing with the whole proposal that this is a jussive mood construction for the 1st person plural.

    With regard to the issue of “ambiguity”, yes, you are wrong in assuming that the couplet’s meaning was crystal clear in my mind. The ambiguity is there because in the absence of a clear “ham”, “uThaa’iye” could be linked to “aap” as you have done. I am not claiming anything. You will see in # post 3 that I have expressed my doubt about my thought process by adding “I think”. However I am absolutely certain now of my original view that this construction is indeed 1st person plural. Of course no one need agree with me. Other couplets were introduced to discuss the same grammatical construction containing the same ambiguity, i.e. no “ham”. Therefore, there is no requirement to start new threads because, as already stated, it is not the couplets per se under discussion but the grammar within them.

    [...] I was recently searching for the concept of the jussive and the line quoted below was given as an example of its usage. I quoted it in one of the Punjabi threads.

    "He which hath no stomach to fight, let him depart!" (Henry V- William Shakespeare)

    As you can see from # posts 6 and 9, it was Dib SaaHib, who acted as a catalyst for further poetry examples.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2013
  20. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    My view is that the dialogue example as given above indeed refers to the grammar formation as being discussed in this thread. A justification of this view is the precedent sentence of 'Alif' - as it happens I am incidentally familiar with this dialogue:

    alif: zaraa baRe baazaar tak chalte haiN. kuchh chiizeN xariidnaa haiN. aaj to der tak dukaaneN khulii raheN gii.

    Here 'chalte haiN' clearly refers to the 'ham' pronoun. 'chaliye' in this context goes with the 1pers. pl. as well.

    Apart from it, if it weren't clear to me and I'd try to rephrase the sentence using 'tuu', the sentence would make little sense, as far as idiomatic language is concerned. If it were to be 'chal' at the beginning it would not serve the sense of a command/request but be used idiomatically instead, and this too, would have been 'chal Thiik hai...'.

    In the variant with only chal, this 'chal!' would express a different idiom, as in [abe] chal! kyaa baat kar rahaa hae! mujhe bhii vaise ek garm patluun to banvaanii thii magar jaaRaa to guzar gayaa hae!

    I've already aired my views/thoughts on this subject but in a different thread recently :) - here is the post:

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  21. littlepond Senior Member

    I however recognise it as subjunctive! For the rest, let's agree to disagree.

    So why don't you try it with the tum form, 'chalo'? :) Since "abe chalo" doesn't exist, maybe that would enable you to see in a clear light which 'variant' of the idiom is being used? Or then, maybe, you would say that it is only the variant "are chalo!" Maybe, but then "are chaliye!" also exists: which is what Dib has already pointed out. Rather than being any jussive-Tussive (to borrow from an Urdu poetry discussion group about the jussive), all chal/chalo/chaliye are just idiomatic, and in the form of address to the second person.

    Dib's two questions (esp. the second one) are crucial to be answered here (1. Can verbs other than chal- and aa- be used this way? 2. Can you say this sentence to someone who you are in "tuu" terms with?): as long as they are not/cannot be answered, I don't see how any convenient conclusions can be reached at.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2013
  22. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    1. Yes, they can - cf. the title of this thread - musallaa uThaa'iye. 2. Yes, you can, for the very reason that 1+1=2.

    Yes, they are idiomatic but have separate functions - at least as it seems to me - in different idioms. I don't know why ''jussive-tussive'' was used in a discussion - if you can give me a link because I'm interested in this discussion, I'll be glad.

    I don't think it would be good for the discussion to elaborate further on abe chal/abe chalo in this thread as you would concur with me that it is a slightly different topic. I just used ''tuu'' because you used it. With all respect due, what I would do or leave shall, I'm afraid, remain a speculation within the framework of this thread.

    Edit: how can this sentence be interpreted in terms of grammar which is a title of a book by Ibn-e-Insha?

    chalte ho to chiin ko chaliye.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  23. littlepond Senior Member

    I am sorry, but what was meant was to use other verbs in the example sentence by Qureshpor jii.

    You mean to say that the following will be correct:

    A: Mujhe garm kapde kharidne hain, tu kyaa sochta hai?
    B: Par kyon?
    A: Are phir agar sardi ke din aa gae, to phir keemat barh jaayegi, pata nahin tujhe?
    B: Chaliye, mujhe bhi ek sweater kii zaroorat to hai vaise!

    I find the above suspect! Can Qureshpor jii confirm that he finds the above fine?

    There are a couple of discussions with the playful "jussive-Tussive" (the Punjabi habit...) on Google groups; here is one.

    As jussive. This is different from the example sentence with 'chaliye", where the usage is not jussive according to me.
  24. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    You mean this sentence: alif:

    kuchh kapRaa xariidnaa hai. jaaRaa shuruu3 hone vaalaa hai. maiN ne sochaa kuchh garm kapRe banvaa lene chaahiyeN.

    be: chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patluun banvaanii thii. abhii to kapRaa sastaa ho gaa?

    I don't believe any other verb can be used here! Otherwise the sentence will have no meaning since it is a part of a dialogue and I explained earlier that it is connected with zaraa baRe baazaar tak chalte haiN. Instead I have answered Dib's question which you repeated in your post whether other verbs can adopt this form and the answer is yes.

    2. In my humble opinion your dialogue would not be so correct but since you requested QP SaaHib's opinion, I'll leave it for the moment at this point.

    Thanks for the link! But I don't think it is a Punjabi habit - it is listed in Merriam-Webster Rhyming dictionary (English)

    I'm glad we are in agreement about 'chalte ho to chaliye' and that we concur on its function (jussive or anything. I haven't yet made my mind on the nomenclature!). You don't agree with me that 'chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patluun banvaanii thii' is also a similar case while I have tried to give you an example with ''tum'' as per your request - ''chalte ho to chaliye'' is such an example. If this were not enough, the preceding sentence of the dialogue was given. Let's agree to disagree for the moment! I understand you very well, with me it also doesn't go so easy to convince me!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  25. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Firstly, before I forget, allow me to quote a jussive "maiN" example.

    zindagii meN to vuh maHfil se uThaa dete the
    dekhuuN ab mar ga'e par kauN uThaataa hai mujhe

    Here "dekhuuN" implies "Let me see...".

    Secondly, it might be worth mentioning a word or two about C.M.Naim, currently professor emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the founder of "The annual of Urdu studies" and co-founder of "mahfil". He has authored a number of literary works including translations. He has written a book on Urdu grammar (Introductory Urdu- 1999) in two volumes and he is a renowned (Urdu) literary critic. And now the most important part for you; he is from Barabanki and therefore a mother-tongue Urdu speaker. Why am I telling you all this? Because the dialogue I quoted is from the second volume of his book. He translates the relevant sentence as..

    "Let's go. I too need to get a pair of pants made. Cloth should still be inexpensive, [don't you think?]"

    Now turning to your two questions.

    1) Yes....and I shall not bother with the translations. All I will say is that the examples I am quoting all imply "Let us.." or "We should..".

    2) Yes...because quite simply tuu + maiN = ham (in the same way that tum + maiN = ham, aap + maiN = ham..)

    is jiine se bih-tar hai ab maut pih dil dhariye
    kahiiN jaa kar yaa Duub kahiiN mariye
    kis taur kaThin raateN, kis tarH se din bhariye
    kuchch ban nahiiN aatii hai, Hairaan huuN kyaa kariye

    I hope this has answered your questions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2013
  26. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Yet another example, for the overflow, from the message Alfaaz jii gave for something different in another thread:

    My transliteration, in case someone still needs it:

    ma3rakah hae aaj Husn-o-3ishq meN
    dekhiye vuh kyaa kareN ham kyaa kareN

    dekhiye - ham aur aap log.
    And it is Dagh Dehlavi!
  27. littlepond Senior Member


    Unfortunately, if you don't think it correct, then I don't think you are thinking it as the same "jussive" - nomenclature not originated from me - as Qureshpor jii's, who seems to be fine with the dialogue (in the post following yours).

    The "tussive" listed there is related to coughing :D I doubt very much if anyone is concerned about coughs here. Rather, it is the well-known Punjabi habit, also widespread in Hindi and Urdu speakers but not to that extent, of introducing rhyming words: "aanan-faanan", "baatein-shaatein" (as in a recent post), etc., often made on the fly.
  28. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I have a feeling, we have started to go in a round here. I'll try to break that in a bid to make any possible progress. Let me summarize what, I think, we have achieved/agreed on so far, plus some underlying assumptions.

    Assumption: Grammar of a language may show difference between its registers (e.g. literary vs. informal vs. street-lingo) and historical ages (e.g. 16th century vs. beginning of 19th century).

    Agreement 1: -iye 1st plural (call it jussive, subjunctive, or anything else) exists/existed in literary Urdu. We have seen some very good evidence from the quoted literary works.

    Agreement 2: (Probably not agreed on explicitly, but I think we'll all agree easily). Colloquial Urdu has 1st jussive - "maiN kahuuN" and "ham kaheN" ("chalte ho, to (ham) chiin chaleN" sounds perfect to me in the colloquial register). The disagreement is only about whether "ham kahiye" could be an alternative to "ham kaheN" in the colloquial language.


    Unsettled: Does -iye 1st plural exist in colloquial (informal) Urdu?

    Qureshpor says: Yes, and proposes the example dialogue with:
    "chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patlun banvaanii thii."

    We all agree that this is perfect colloquial Urdu, however, we disagree on the grammatical analysis of "chaliye". Littlepond and I think it is an idiomatic use of 2nd honorific imperative "chaliye". I proposed that there does exist an idiomatic use of 2nd imperative (irrespective of honour level and number) in the sense of 1st inclusive plural (maiN + tuu/tum/aap + ...) for "chal- and aa-" only (and maybe just a few more that I failed to notice for the moment). To test this proposal against the proposal of analyzing it as a regular 1st plural form, I proposed the following experiment. I'll rephrase it, as I suspect I failed to convey my intention properly:
    1) Can you form a good colloquial Urdu dialogue where an apparent 1st plural -iye form is used other than chaliye and aa'iye? That should be possible if it is a general grammatical pattern, and not just an idiom limited to two verbs.
    2) Littlepond and I think, Qureshpor's dialogue is good Urdu only if alef and be are in aap-terms with each other, showing that "chaliye" takes honour-agreement, which exists in 2nd person, but not in 1st person (aai'ye, ham dillii chaleN vs aa, ham dillii chaleN - both "chaleN"). So, the question was: Does it remain good colloquial Urdu if they were in tuu-terms with each other? Littlepond made some slight changes to the dialogue to make it more explicit:
    A: Are phir agar sardi ke din aa gae, to phir keemat barh jaayegi, pata nahin tujhe?
    B: Chaliye, mujhe bhi ek sweater kii zaroorat to hai vaise!

    Littlepond didn't make it obvious here, but if we assume that B also adresses A as "tuu", then Littlepond and I, and probably Marrish, think this use is faulty, which I believe shows that "chaliye" expects "honour"-agreement like 2nd person verbs and unlike 1st person.
  29. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Anyways, please, suggest corrections to what I have noted as assumptions and agreements, if you think necessary before we go further with the experiment I proposed, because that builds on them.
  30. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Your assumption is correct but we must not forget that the type of construction being discussed continues to exist in the 20th and beyond to the 21st Century.

    I will go along with your “Agreement 1” with the added stipulation that this form is found not only in literary works but also in normal speech albeit it is seemingly rare. I say seemingly because there are only two active mother tongue Urdu speakers on the forum namely marrish SaaHib and Faylasoof SaaHib. The latter’s views on this topic would be most welcome and that would indeed take the discussion forward.

    With regard to “Agreement 2”, one thing should be noted. There are very many Urdu speakers whose colloquial, everyday speech is not much different from the literary, if at all. And even those who you would describe as speaking “street lingo” would also be employing 1st person plural using such forms as “chaliye”, “dekhiye” etc.
    Yes, we can. Here is a piece of conversation from a certain Syed Zafar SaaHib*, in an Urdu Language Poetry Newsgroup written in 2004. This gentleman, with the grace of God, is still alive and kicking. I can provide a link to this piece if you so wish. You will notice I have copy/pasted and have not changed the transliteration to suit my style.

    “.....door kyoN jaa'iye, apne Sarwar sahib* hee kaa she'er le leeji'ye....”
    Well, both you and littlepond have every right to disagree with the grammatical analysis of “chaliye” in the dialogue provided. The author, whose qualifications I have already cited, himself translates “chaliye” as “Let us”. If, as you say, “chaliye” is an idiomatic use of 2nd honorific imperative, then is “ham chaleN” also an idiomatic use of the 2nd honorific subjunctive “aap chaleN”? You feel “chaliye” is aap dependent and it would n’t work if “aap” were replaced with “tuu”. I shall use C.M.Naim’s dialogue but will change it to the “tuu” pronoun and will remove other markers of polite speech.

    alif: kyoN Shakiil, tujhe furst hai?

    be: zaruur. kyaa (teraa) kahiiN jaane kaa iraadah hai?

    alif: zaraa baRe bazaar tak chalte haiN. (mujhe) kuchh chiizeN xariidnaa hai. aaj to der tak dukaaneN khulii raheN gii.

    be: achchhaa (tujhe) bahut sii chiizeN xariidnii haiN?

    alif: (nahiiN mujhe sirf) kuchh kapRaa xariidnaa hai. jaaRaa shuruu3 hone vaalaa hai. maiN ne sochaa kuchh garm kapRe banvaa lene chaahiyeN.

    be: chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patluun banvaanii thii. abhii to kapRaa sastaa ho gaa?

    alif: haaN, varnah sardii shuruu3 ho ga'ii to phir daam baRh jaa'eN ge.

    You will not have failed to notice “chalte haiN”. This you will no doubt agree is “ham chalte haiN” and NOT “aap chalte haiN”! When “alif” mentions the onset of winter and thinks he should buy some cloth, "be" agrees to accompany “alif” by saying “Let’s go. I too was thinking of having a trousers made. The cloth would still be cheap, won’t it?” All, alif wanted was a bit of company.

    * I don’t know about the ethnicity of Syed Zafar but the gentleman (Sarwar SaaHib) under discussion is from Jabalpur, India, a mother tongue Urdu speaker and a living Urdu poet. Here is a relevant quote from him.

    Sarwar jo uTh ke seHn.e.Haram se nikal gayaa
    kyaa jaan'iye k uss kaa iraada kidhar kaa hai!

    Would you agree “kyaa jaaniye” means “ham kyaa jaaneN”? Let me finish with a gem by SaaGhar Nizami (1905-1983 Aligarh)

    yeh havaa, SaaGhar, yeh halkii chaaNdnii
    jii meiN aataa hai, yaheeN mar jaa'iye!!!

    Urdu speakers would be interested in finding out if Hindi can add anything to this discussion. In theory there should n't be any difference between Urdu and Hindi usage of this "mood". I am sure our moderators would not have an issue with changing the title to incorporate Hindi as well.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  31. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Sure. I never challenged that.

    About the added stipulation: Probably they do. I am just looking for some evidence, that's all. Please, forgive me for asking for usage examples, rather than your analysis, only because of what I have explained below about (near-)native speakers' impediments. Please do not take it as questioning your integrity or ability, I am just trying to be careful. This applies to me as well, when I am talking about my native language... to the extent that I am often more confident in answering linguistic/grammatical questions on Sanskrit, etc. than Bengali.

    Most certainly. But, I'd like to add a caveat regarding native speakers (of any language). Native speakers are extremely good at judging linguistic acceptability/formality, etc. of a given expression/text, and also at producing them for a given register. However, they are not good by default at explaining general properties of their own language usage in words. They can get extremely good at it - probably, the best possible - but only if they have taught themselves to be such. Unfortunately, this sort of training is typically beyond the scope of our normal education, which concentrates on teaching prescriptive grammar, rather than principles of linguistic observation. Thus, normally there exists a wide range of competence among native speakers at formulating principles of their own language usage, though they are invariably excellent in the linguistic judgement and production. That's why I proposed the experiment and invited the native speakers to produce text (in part 1) and judge a text (in part 2), rather than asking them to formulate the underlying principles explicitly. We can all (natives and non-natives) take part in that deduction through explicit logical steps, once we have the evidence provided by the native speakers. Or, even better - we could look at linguists' opinions and evidence in this regard, if we could find some. They are supposed to be trained in making this sort of observations. In any case, feel free to propose additions/modifications to the proposed experiment.

    Quite possible. I am just looking for some evidence, as I explained before. The best evidence would be a piece of dialogue that you produce keeping the particular register under discussion in mind... You have actually done that in this post by rewriting C.M.Naim's dialogue. Thanks a lot for that. I personally find linguistic variations fascinating. Please forgive me if I seem unreasonably prying. But, I assure you I have no other agenda.

    Could you kindly quote some more in front and after this if possible, so as to be able to judge the register and to check if the first "jaai'ye" can be alternatively analyzed as 2nd person (like leeji'ye). You do not have to quote, if that's not possible, you can compose that yourself too - just make it sound, what you find, colloquial.

    I don't know why you are asking this. I never implied that. Historically, I believe, they both derive from a 3rd plural form, though. But, that's a completely different issue.

    If you find your proposed dialogue natural, then I sure take it as a valid answer to the part 2 of my experiment. It only shows that you and I speak slightly different versions of the language. We'll try to analyze this evidence after we collect more data from other native speakers.

    In my "Agreement 1", we have settled on this issue.

    That's actually a good proposal.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  32. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I can share your feeling. Your constructive attempt is appreciated.
    It's a fact. On both counts with one reservation: since this thread is basically about Urdu, the influence of the literary standard is found in all registers due to some specific reasons which need not be discussed here. I must share that I am often pleasantly surprised at the command of language of illiterate people, and by this I mean pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar and idiom, that is, all that makes a language. I can still remember older people telling stories and poetry in the back streets after dusk when all neighbours would meet and drink spiced tea according to the season.
    Thanks. It is obvious now for anyone.
    I haven't yet made my mind on the grammar form and its name. chaleN is surely the Modern Standard Urdu, no doubt. At least I haven't found another form in grammar books/manuals/school lessons but I can attest that ''ham kahiye'' (without ham! I don't know if it just doesn't work like this or is it some other phenomenon because all I heard was ''ham log chaliye'' 'ab ham sab chaliye us mariiz ke ghar ko'. Still I repeat that I mentioned it here or elsewhere that this way of speaking is scarcely found because nowadays the native speakers have found themselves mixed up with other communities or perhaps this form is receding but I'd not be able to say for what reasons. One reason might be historical, another that chaleN prevails as far as the inclusive form is concerned and last but not least, given that the interaction of Urdu with Punjabi is greater than it used to be, some speakers make a distinction in order to avoid a purported overlap in this case.
    I have already responded to this question above. It exists, more so in colloquial than in written Urdu nowadays.
    a: tujhe pataa nahiiN yahaaN poliis aane waalii hae! b: chaliye [pron. perhaps more often as chalye] yahaaN se kuuch ho jaa'iye! (it would be said as 'hojiye')

    I believe it is faulty but for other reasons which I've hinted at before.

    It is a stalemate situation because two of us agree on Prof. Naim's colloquial dialogue and two of us don't. Considering he (the prof) is not influenced by Punjabi (Barabanki near to Lucknow, India) and he translates his own or a dialogue heard by him as "let's go!" I cannot think of a solution to this situation as for now.
  33. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Thank you, very much, sir. :)

    Certainly! I have noticed it myself too.

    :) Goosebumps.

    I am afraid you missed to complete the first sentence. I think it's crucial in the present matter - so, if you could kindly do that.
    The next part is also a piece of crucial evidence: "ham log chaliye", etc. are unquestionably 1st person plural -iye.

    Whatever be the reason, it is an important observation that it was once common, and not so much now. Only a person steeped in the language could make that observation. Thank you! :)

    Thanks. I am assuming you assumed b also addresses a as "tuu". If so, it also presents evidence for existence of 1st plural -iye in colloquial language.

    Well, I failed to catch the hint. But maybe my experiment was not well-designed. I am not a professional linguist. I can well make mistakes there. But, I think you have provided some colloquial examples of 1st person plu. -iye above, as a native speaker. So, this dialogue is probably not so important any more.

    Well, as far as I am concerned, it is not a competition, so there's no stalemate for me. For me, there is just some variation. And, I am glad, I have come to know about its existence. :)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  34. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Dib SaaHib, there was bit of a hiccup that caused a delay in responding to you. Please accept my apologies.

    When I began this thread all that I was interested in was to find out how Urdu speakers viewed this verbal construction. The only direct answer came in # post 5 from Faylasoof SaaHib and that was sufficient confirmation for me.

    Please rest assured. I appreciate your endeavours at getting to the bottom of this construction, whatever grammatical name we chose to give it. Some people might label this as “baal kii khaal udheRnaa” and it seems you are a “muu-shigaaf” like me or should I say “baal-khaal~udheRak”? I like to have an open mind about everything and do not, most certainly, consider my opinion or analysis as the last word on the subject. I am not a native speaker in its true sense and the question of “(near)-native speaker” does not arise in my mind. Either one is or one is n’t. And I am not and therefore full of faults. mujhe apne baare meN ko’ii xush-fahmii nahiiN aur nah hii mujhe aap se kisii qism kaa gilah hai.

    I quoted SaaGhir Nizami (1905-1983) and Sarwar Alam Sarwar (1935-) so that people do not get the impression that only the Classical Urdu poets have employed this usage centuries ago and it is completed dead in the modern age or in other words..

    bayaaN xvaab kii tarH jo kar rahaa hai
    yih qissah hai jab kaa kih Aatish javaaN thaa

    (Khwaja Haidar Ali Aatish - 1778-1848) [Please note this is the same poet as the one in the opening post couplet]

    As you can well appreciate, it is not easy to search for the spoken or the written word. What I and others have presented might be just a very small portion of its usage out there. I agree in general about your analysis of the notion of a native speaker. Not everyone in this forum is lucky enough to have had language/linguistics/etymology training. Most of us are lay-persons and make the best of our basic knowledge. A native speaker is more likely to have come across this form in the spoken language and if that native speaker has dipped into his/her literature, s/he is likely to be in a better position to answer your questions than someone who does not speak the language as his/her first language. This is the reason why I mentioned Faylasoof SaaHib and also my experience and knowledge of him since I’ve been involved in this forum. So, because I was “in the know” about him, I put his name forward. Besides, I thought you or someone else had specifically mentioned native Urdu speakers. Perhaps I am mistaken. You have at least mentioned it here..

    “That's why I proposed the experiment and invited the native speakers to produce text (in part 1) and judge a text (in part 2), rather than asking them to formulate the underlying principles explicitly.”

    As for “linguists’ opinions”, I have already quoted C.M.Naim, whose analysis of “chalte haiN” and “chaliye” leaves no doubt whatsoever in the reader’s mind that the pronoun in question is the first person plural “ham” after “chaliye” and not the second person “aap”. For "chalte haiN", he explains it as "Let you and I go instantly" which more idiomatically might be, "Yes, let us both go to the main market, if you don't mind", if we take the original sentence "jii haaN, zaraa baRe baazaar tak chalte haiN" into account.

    Moving over to the sentence quoted from Syed Zafar SaaHib,

    “.....door kyoN jaa'iye, apne Sarwar sahib* hee kaa she'er le leeji'ye....”. I shall send you a link to this conversation via PM.

    This is C.M.Naim’s dialoge changed to the “tuu pronoun.

    1) alif: kyoN Shakiil, tujhe furst hai?
    2) be: zaruur. kyaa (teraa) kahiiN jaane kaa iraadah hai?
    3) alif: zaraa baRe bazaar tak chalte haiN. (mujhe) kuchh chiizeN xariidnaa hai. aaj to der tak dukaaneN khulii raheN gii.
    4) be: achchhaa (tujhe) bahut sii chiizeN xariidnii haiN?
    5) alif: (nahiiN mujhe sirf) kuchh kapRaa xariidnaa hai. jaaRaa shuruu3 hone vaalaa hai. maiN ne sochaa kuchh garm kapRe banvaa lene chaahiyeN.
    6) be: chaliye! mujhe bhii ek garm patluun banvaanii thii. abhii to kapRaa sastaa ho gaa?
    7) alif: haaN, varnah sardii shuruu3 ho ga'ii to phir daam baRh jaa'eN ge.

    In line:-

    1) I have removed “bha’ii”, “SaaHab” and “aap ko” and have added “tujhe”.
    2) Added “teraa”
    3) Removed “jii haaN” and added “mujhe”
    4) Added “tujhe”
    5) Added “nahiiN” “mujhe” and "sirf"
    6) Left it as it was.
    7) Removed “jii”

    I am not in the know about the variety of Urdu that you speak but I perceive the dialogue to be perfectly normal.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  35. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Qureshpor saaHib, aapke jawaab ke liye bahut bahut shukriyaa. aapke aur Marrish-jii ke jawaaboN se yeh saaf ho gayaa hai ki yeh 1st person plural -iye na bas shaa'irii meN, balki bol-chaal meN bhii isti'maal hota hai. mujhe is baat par pehle thoRaa shak thaa, kyoNki merii aur littlepond jii kii aam bol-chaal kii Hindii-Urduu meN yeh nahiiN miltaa. par jaise maiN ne Marrish-jii se kahaa: "For me, there is just some variation. And, I am glad, I have come to know about its existence." jaisa ki ham Bangaali meN kehte haiN - "jabot baNchi, tabot shikhi" (jab tak ham jiite, tab tak ham siikhte), yaa jaise Jarman meN kehte haiN - "man lernt nie aus" (siikhnaa kabhii puuraa nahiiN hotaa) :)
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  36. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Dib SaaHib, aap ba-jaa farmaate haiN kih jab tak saaNs hai tab tak insaan siikhtaa hai. is xush-gavaar maaHaul ko bar-qaraar rakhte hu'e aur is baab (chapter) ko xatm karne se pahle...

    rahiye ab aisii jagah chal kar jahaaN ko'ii nah ho
    ham-suxan ko'ii nah ho, ham-zabaaN ko'ii nah ho


    aaj ham apnii pareshaanii-i-xaatir un se
    kahne jaate to haiN par dekhiye kyaa kahte haiN
  37. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I'd like to share something from Urdu prose (Mirza Ghalib's letter to Mir Mahdi):

    دیکھیے کیا جواب آتا ہے۔ بہ ہر حال جو کچھ ہو گا تم کو لکھا جائے گا
    dekhiye kyaa jawaab aataa hae. ba-har Haal jo kuchh ho gaa tum ko likhaa jaa'e gaa.

    Noteworthy is that Mir Mahdi is addressed by Ghalib by ''tum'' so the form ''dekhiye'' can mean nothing else than ''let us see''.

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