Urdu, Hindi: Indic Z words

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Jul 7, 2012.

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  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In the Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words thread it has been suggested that the vast majority of Hindi speakers use an f in place of ph, e.g. phuul (flower) is pronounced as fuul. In Urdu, there is the English word "fool" as in "April fool banaayaa aur unko Ghussah aayaa..". Some Urdu speaking people might even use the Arabic "fuul" to mean beans (phalii, not falii) but phuul remains phuul.

    I wonder if there is a similar situation for j as in jalebii >> zalebii (?). Does this phenomenon exist? If it does, can forum members provide any examples please. If it does n't, then there does not seem to be any rhyme or reason behind ph's transformation to f (a non-Indic sound) while j >>z (another non-Indic sound) is not going through the same conversion process. Any thoughts?
  2. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    I don't agree that the ph>f is done widely and consistently by the vast majority of Hindi speakers. There are some particular words where I noticed ph/f is consistently /f/, though. But /ph/ is still articulated in other words. I was waiting for our other Hindi speakers to address that when it came up in the other thread once that was put forth.

    By the way, since you mentioned Arabic fuul, there is some jasmine type flower in Arabic called "fullah" and I always wondered if it was related to Hindustani -phool since there is no /p/ in Arabic.

    I would say the same with j>z, for me it would make me think the speaker was a non-native Hindi speaker of some other Indic language background.

    People of certain language backgrounds like Bangla and Nepali switch j>z quite a lot in Hindi, I noticed. I am not sure, but I think Kashmiris may do this, too. (raajma=raazma).

    This thread is related, thought I would post the link here, though I know you have seen it QP since you contributed in it: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1209988&page=3&highlight=over+correction
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  3. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Yes have observed this also: jubaan, zaraabeN, jindagi, zaani, etc. Our Bengali friends often seem to have j --> zh as in : hum zhaata hai, instead of hum jaate hai. Again, this is just a generalization based on experience and not meant to be rude, offensive, or sound stereotypical.
    Could it be the reason I suggested in the Indic F-words thread, that the foreign sound is seen as better/a sign of greater education by some (at least)...?
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I don't know. In the Hindi and Urdu pronunciation differences thread, gb was hinting that j sound comes naturally to people compared with the z sound.

    "But the instinctiveness of "rajjo" points out probably that "j" is very natural to Indic people and "z" is acquired." (Post 33)

    "The point is why rajjo comes out naturally and not razzo, even though the full name is Raziyah? Maybe an innate propensity to recognize j as native, z as foreign? (Post39)"

    By this logic, ph words should not be changing to f words because the former are "very natural to Indic people" to pronounce.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    If I follow the logic, they shouldn't be hard to pronounce?
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Obviously, something (cut/paste) happened there and I've messed up the sentence!:) I can't remember the exact wording that I had in mind but this is what I meant to say.

    "By this logic, ph words should not be changing to f words because the former are "very natural to Indic people" to pronounce".
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    It has happened to me a couple of times as well!

    There is a point of view from which I can follow this logic. But as we can read here and hear anywhere, there are masses who follow some parallel logic.
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you for the link Icfatima. I have tried to take out some useful information from this thread.

    A couple of quotes from PG and souminwe respectively.

    "How long must a phoneme be a part of a language before it becomes local? Z's are found in other Indic languages (Marathi is the only one that comes to mind). I think with Hindi, the issue is with the nuqta letters. I always laugh when I hear a proper retroflex "sh" from a speaker who only says "j." (Post 12)

    "At this point, saying "f" and "z" are not Hindi sounds because they are not (classical) Sanskrit sounds is akin to saying the retroflexes are Dravidian, and thus do not have a place in Indo-Aryan", (Post 43).

    Some words that various people mentioned in that thread which replace the original j with a z.

    ijaazat >> izaazat
    zanjiir >> janziir (the other way also zanjiir >> janjiir)

    Possible explanation for this type is that the speakers possibly know they are Urdu words and as there is an existing z sound, they think the other sound must also be a z.

    rivaaj/ravaaj >> rivaaz
    harj >> harz
    darj >> darz

    Once again, speakers possibly are aware that they are Urdu words and therefore assume the j must be a z.

    bhejnaa > bheznaa

    I have no explanation to offer for this.
  9. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I don't think so, simply because "ph" carries the effort of extra aspiration, and any near equivalent (in terms of the other person understanding what you mean: that is, if one says "gende kaa fool", one is not likely to think of April fools) which does not involve the aspiration would be much easier for the speaker, and thus gets carried over into the mainstream language.
  10. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    I don't mind people pronouncing it like this, but I have seen it actually spelled darz with the nuqta. In my opinion this is just wrong and misleading.

    I think F is aspirated as well since F is created by the friction of the air passing through the teeth. I suspect pronouncing a non-aspirated F would be difficult (if at all possible).
  11. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    How about the word "saphaltā?" I don't think I've ever hear this word with a "ph."
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I have heard "saphal" and "saphaltaa". As a matter of fact I have n't heard the "f" versions.
  13. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I've heard both! With ''f'' from speakers of Hindi as a second language, if my memory serves me right.
  14. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    There is one such word that exists in Urdu I beleive. jaat ---> zaat.

    A ذات ẕāt (fem. of ẕū, q.v.), s.f. Possessor, owner, mistress (in these senses used as a prefixed noun; and often better rendered 'having, possessed of, endowed with'); essence, substance, nature, radical constituent; soul; body, person, self (i.e. a man's self, or a thing's self); generation, breed, tribe, caste; genus, species; sort, kind (in these senses, prob. connected, through the Persian, with the S. जाति; H. jāt; which the Hindūstānīs commonly corrupt into ẕāt);
  15. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Always hear/say the "f" version myself, and we say the "ph" in my house!
  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This is a very good example,Tony SaaHib.
  17. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Zaat/jaat were discussed in this thread: the first part (with the Arabic sense/meaning) was said not to be a corruption..., but the second part (as Platts mentions) could probably be viewed as a j --> z change.
  18. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    Sorry, I have been missing for a while and may be missing context from other related threads.

    In looking at this more and empirically observing it more, I have now begun to suspect the opposite. Let me put it provocatively: the pʰ sound might actually be artificial/educated at this point in Indic, i.e. not naturally used. From what I can tell, there appear to be two natural deteriorations for this in Indic: pʰ > p (from people whose native languages discourage aspiration) and pʰ > f. Some illiterate Hindi speakers will do an h transposition and do something even stranger: pattʰar > (pʰattar) > fattar. pattʰar pʰenko becomes fattar fenko in rapid speech. Now that I have begun to notice it, it is so pervasive that it cannot be mere leakage from something external influence (my opinion). Some people seem unable to say "pʰal" altogether. Non-Hindi speakers like Marathis, Gujaratis and even Bengalis appear to be doing this too. Punjabis and some Western Hindi speakers sometimes seem to do the reverse: f > pʰ but they seem to put some sort of strange stress or tone into it also. Superfast > superpʰast, but that "pʰa" part is said kind of "semi-explosively". Greatbear actually said something which was revealing (that he couldn't tell what everyone was talking about in f vs pʰ - what is the difference? isnt it all just f?). A *lot* of people seem to be like this. They cannot tell the difference between "phansi ka phanda" and "fansi ka fanda", and they default systematically to the latter. The overall impression I get is that many of these speakers seem to "work harder" when they say 'ph' than when they say 'f'. Oh one more thing: anyone else notice this weird 'pf' like sound that some people seem to make? 'What for' > 'Waat pfaar?' Upper teeth on the lower lip like an 'f' but then the upper lip also comes down almost closing the mouth off like they're about to do a 'p' sound. But then it doesn't completely close and they say something like 'pf'.

    On j > z, people from Himachal and Kashmir systematically do this (in diff ways). Pinjra (cage) > pinzra. HaaN Ji > HaaN zi. Puja > Puza. Hindi speakers dont do this too much, but you do see stuff like this sometimes: lehjaa > lehzaa, but that might be interference rather than tendency (in this case maybe from lihaaz/lehaaz). Among Himachalis, j > z seems to come coupled with ch > ts. chaar baje > tsaar baze. That 'ts' is impure though and retains some element of 'ch' in it. When they become conscious or need to create a contrast with 'z', they struggle to pronounce 'j' and often the best they can produce is something like 'dz'. Jahaaz > Dzahaaz.

    And, since we are kind-of talking about fricatives, there is the Punjabi tendency to do chh > sh. Chhatri > Shatri, chhappar > shappar, chhalaang > shalaang.

    I might be going seriously off topic, so will stop.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  19. tarkshya Senior Member

    There is a correct pronunciation, and there is a common street pronunciation. I agree that most Hindi speakers don't pronounce /z/, /f/, /q/, /x/ and /Gh/ correctly, and mispronounce them as /j/, /ph/, /k/, /kh/ and /g/. However, that does not make it correct.

    It is not as if they can't pronounce these consonants correctly. They simply don't know the right pronunciation. Sloppiness in printed works means that the dots of ज़ , फ़ , क़ , ग़, ख़ get omitted and turn them into ज , फ , क , ग, ख respectively. Even native speakers don't learn all the words of their native language by hearing it first. A vast majority of words are learnt by reading them first. So misspellings in writing usually translate into mispronunciation in speech.

    Personally, I can, and usually am careful enough to pronounce all these non Indic consonants correctly, except may be /q/, (qaaf, ق ). qaaf is indeed a very difficult sound. I can distinguish is clearly from /k/ when somebody else speaks it, but for the life of me, just can't get it right myself. :)

    Interesting tidbit, listen to the song "Hey maine qasam lii" in youtube. Lata gets the pronunciation of qasam perfectly right, but Kishore Kumar can't. It is not an easy sound after all.
  20. HZKhan

    HZKhan Senior Member

    Karachi, Pakistan
    Persian (Cultural Language)
    Many hindi speakers are able to and do pronounce z and f, but most of them do not pronounce q, x and gh, and they are not the part of the official standard language either. Therefore, there is no need to include them in the Hindi alphabet and it is wrong on our part to ask any native speakers of Hindi to pronounce those Urdu phonemes accurately in their language. For me, k, kh, and g are the standard Hindi phonemes, not q, x and gh. But since z and f are fairly nativized by the Hindi speakers, they can be made a part of the standard language.
    Hindi is not Urdu, so the rules and the standard of Urdu should not be applied to it, and it should be seen as what it really is: an independent language with its own sets of standard rules and regulations.

    I read somewhere that Lata hired a Maulavi to teach her correct Urdu diction.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  21. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Dear all,

    Please do not revive an old thread to post a reply to a previous thread that was closed. It is off-topic here, and serves no purpose but to waste your effort and time typing posts that get deleted, and waste the moderators time as well.

    Thank you for your understanding.

    This thread is now closed.
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