Qureshpor SaaHib has prepared a handy synopsis of the opinions expressed here in this thread.
There remain some points which still deserve an answer and I agree with Qureshpor SaaHib’s approach to stipulate them and I hope my attempt is going to shed some more light on them. In order to get my point through I’m going to have to continue on some details in the convention of proposed summary.
Further on, lcfatima said she thought mujhe
was preferred to maiN ne
“by Hindustani origin native Urdu speakers, for example by the muhaajir origin Karachi vallay
At first glance, I couldn’t understand the meaning of “Hindustani origin native Urdu speakers
” correctly for I’d thought Urdu speakers of the Republic of India were being referred to and this too would have an interesting component for discussion. However upon seeing further example of residents of Karachi I realized that Pakistani Urdu native speakers were the reference group. Subsequently in post #6 it was revealed that Indian origin Urdu speakers, who were not Punjabis, were consulted as well and they classified this usage as ‘paindu
’ (a Punjabi word!).
The purpose behind making this summation is to gather different contributions and to address the points being made. I do not intend to be judgmental since the belief that Punjabi influence is the cause for the prevalence of this construction is nothing new and this false notion is so dominant that jokes and anecdotes have come into existence! It would be nice to sum up all the references to various groups of people who might be using it or who consider it not proper Urdu, in order to ascertain the concept of ‘regionalism’ as per the title thread. One cannot be ungrateful to lcfatima SaaHibah for initiating this important topic a couple of years ago since her input could be the catalyst for reaching important conclusions. This is the beauty of this forum!
Further along into the discussions, panjabigator SaaHib made a very important remark saying that in India, only people with knowledge of Punjabi were heard using this construction, while in Lahore, maiN ne
prevails. What is even more important is the reference to Essential Urdu Grammar, the opinion of whose author I appreciate very much because she wisely didn’t even mention any Punjabi influence.
Panjabigator SaaHib states that “this construction is so widespread that it is ubiquitous even among non-Panjabi Urdu wallas”
. BP SaaHib expressed his view about the grammatical incorrectness of this form.
In post #10 panjabigator SaaHib has posted a crucial question, from my point of view:
Is this a new function of <ne> in Urdu, and if not, how long has it been around?
The contribution of Faylasoof SaaHib has been recalled by QP SaaHib above.
Let me reiterate also that Illuminatus SaaHib has shared the opinion regarding Punjabi influence, stating it sounded a bit silly to his ears, and adding further that it was never spoken in Rajasthan /Maharashtra/UP/MP etc. I’ll return to this point soon. Koozagar SaaHib rightly pointed out that Punjabi was not the cause of this construction.
As our time-machine gains acceleration, Qureshpor SaaHib makes a substantial contribution in post #20, where he poses four questions, which he himself subsequently addresses. I shall copy a passage because it contains a good reference, but not without a reason – I am compelled to question that reference on one point, which is the core business of this thread; this being the alleged ‘regionalism’.
3) What are the literary trends of this usage?
Modern Urdu grammar books (e.g. Ruth Laila Schmidt and C.M.Naim mentioned above) are beginning to include the "ne" form. Whilst Schmidt, a European scholar states that.." This usage is not correct in the standard Urdu of Delhi", Naim from Barabanki says, "Both usages are now equally correct in Urdu".
In his answer 3) he goes on to cite some instances of the “main ne jaanaa hai” form
by a couple of Urdu speakers and states graciously where they were born (Kanpur, Lucknow, India). Proceeding further onto the opinion of linguists, he quotes a Elena Bashir, who says in her paper:
This change has been long noted and much discussed in the literature and has by now become emblematic of Pakistani Urdu as a separate variety".
With respect to the sentence which I once posted to discuss it and I’ll be dealing with later, QP SaaHib said that that sentence would be deemed faulty grammar (by the purists).
As it is very difficult for me to join the club of the Punjabi theory, I’d say I'm equally reluctant to subscribe to the idea that this usage is a new phenomenon and it supposedly occurred after the Partition of the Subcontinent. This view has been expressed in the books of C.M. Naim, R.L. Schmidt and in E. Bashir ‘s paper. Both grammarians agree on its correctness however they try to make us believe that it is not an ‘Urdu-e mu3allaa’ phenomenon (incorrect in Delhi), suggesting that this is a Pakistani phenomenon.
E. Bashir says that this makes Urdu in Pakistan a separate variety.
I have a strong feeling that their opinions must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. E. Bashir says this change has been long noted (in the context of Pakistan) but I am going to prove that this is far from reality and it can be interpreted as an attempt at imposing the author’s wishful thinking!
First of all, there have been many voices that this construction is also used by the native speakers of Urdu including those in India or more specifically, Delhi. I have heard Urdu speakers from Delhi using it and also Qureshpor SaaHib shared a reference which indicates it was present there.
According to Illuminatus, this is never heard in Rajasthan, but I’ll have to disagree with this. Far from reality! In Marwari dialect for example, mujhe
, in Haryanvi – manne
, Brajbhasha speakers say: ‘tum ne jarur ra:no chaye
‘you must remain here’.
If this hint weren’t sufficient we can take a look at a linguistic paper of Myriam Butt who mentions that
• The ergative can appear with inﬁnitive+auxiliary constructions in Lahori and Delhi dialects
of Urdu/Hindi (Butt and King 1991, Bashir 1999). Surprisingly E. Bashir who is the reference here is the author of the thesis of separate Pakistani variety but we see that even she seemingly had acknowledged the occurrence of this verbal construction in the Urdu of Delhi.
Regarding the question whether it occurs in the speech of Hindi speakers, let me quote several examples from the net: बाबा हम ने खरीदना
तो नही था baabaa ham ne khariidnaa to nahii thaa
उसने कहा - मैंने नहीं खाना us ne kahaa – mainne nahiiN khaanaa
अब निर्णय आपने लेना है
कि आप किसका साथ देते हैं ab nirNRay aapne lenaa hai ki aap kiskaa saath dete haiN
ऐसा उसने नहीं करना
था aisaa usne nahiiN karnaa thaa
अगर किसी ने चाय पीनी
हो तो स्टेशन के बाहर जाना पड़ता है agar kisii ne chaay piinii ho to sTeshan ke baahar jaanaa paRtaa hai
Qureshpor SaaHib, the meaning of ‘ko’ and ‘ne’ construction catches something different and this has been aptly described in that short sketch of M.Butt as follows:
• The ergative/dative alternation on subjects coincides with a diﬀerence in modality
• Bashir (1999) speculates that the ergative is encroaching on the domain of the dative.
– In this inﬁnitive construction, the ergative is marked and entails a subject who has control over the action.
– The dative is unmarked (Elsewhere Case): the subject may or may not have control over the action, the precise interpretation depends on the context.
A couple of posts ago I posted a sentence which I’m offering as a proof of ‘maiN ne jaanaa hai
’ not only being on the tongues of Delhi’s ahl-e zabaan
but also having been commited in print in 1917. In the preface to a lexicon of idioms of Urdu as heard from the noble ladies of Delhi court, it reads:
go aaj se taqriib-an do saal peshtar jo ham ne is luGhaat kii qiimat kaa taxmiinah lagaayaa thaa wuh saaRhe tiin ruupayah fii jild thaa. aur ab jo kaaGhaz kii giraanii ne aaNkheN dikhaa diiN to hamaarii siTTii gum ho ga'ii. magar ham ne is kii qiimat baRhaanii thii nah baRhaa'ii.
The author of the sentence is Maulavii Sayyid Ahmad Dihlavii – the compiler of the major Urdu lexicon – Farhang-e Asafiyyah. I consider it a sufficient sanad
for at least the Western variety of Urdu, which encompasses Delhi, of course.