Urdu-Persian: aayaa آیا

Qureshpor

Senior Member
Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
Is the word آیا (whether) connected to the Persian verb "aamadan", just as "goyaa" گویا is linked to "guftan"?
 
  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Here is an example from Persian (Firdausi).

    فروماند و از کارش آمد شگفت
    بسی با دل اندیشه اندرگرفت
    که آیا بهشت است یا بزمگاه
    سپهر برینست یا چرخ ماه ؟

    Here is an example from Urdu:

    مگر اس حوالے سے ایک اہم سوال یہ ہے کہ آیا یہ طریقہ درست ہے؟
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I raised this question recently on EHL, I searched but your threads didn’t show as it is in a different forum. I haven’t had an answer there & your thread is much older, let‘s use it.

    I firmly believe آیا/âyâ is derived from آمدن/âmadan with آ/â being its present stem.

    To me it makes perfect sense when you look at آمدن “to arrive, come also become & happen”, and as you say, with with the same structure as گویا, روا, رسا with the meaning: is it becoming/happening/possible?

    EDIT: Corrected the link to the other thread.
     
    Last edited:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I raised this question recently on EHL, I searched but your threads didn’t show as it is in a different forum. I haven’t had an answer there & your thread is much older, let‘s use it.

    I firmly believe آیا/âyâ is derived from آمدن/âmadan with آ/â being its present stem.

    To me it makes perfect sense when you look at آمدن “to arrive, come also become & happen”, and as you say, with with the same structure as گویا, روا, رسا with the meaning: is it becoming/happening/possible?
    Thank you @PersoLatin for moving this thread from the state of برزخ where a number of threads started by me are still dwelling! Let's hope we reach some sort of conclusion. I agree that "aamadan" also had the meaning of "to become" in former days but I am still trying to get my head round how it became to mean the conditional "whether".
     
    Last edited:

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I agree that "aamadan" also had the meaning of "to become" in former days but I am still trying to get my head round how it becme to mean the conditional "whether".
    ایا/âyâ" is not used the same way “whether” is used mostly in English, it’s not conditional but often accompanies conditional sentences.

    A question:
    آیا می‌روی/آمده؟ - will you go?/ has she arrived?

    A statement:
    از او بپرس آیا شام خورده - ask her if/whether she's had dinner,

    Accompanying a conditional sub-sentence
    از او بپرس آیا شام خورده، اگر نخورده برا یش نگه داشته ام - ask her if/whether she's had dinner, if not I have kept some for her.

    "whether" here makes the sentence conditional but doesn't translate to آیا/âyâ in Persian:
    Whether you come or not, I am not going - اگر بیا یید یا نیا یید من نمی‌روم
     
    Last edited:

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    There's also another possibility, a combination of آ + یا , i.e. "become/be possible" + "or", it can make sense too but I doubt if it is correct.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Just to be difficult, آیا could also be conceived of as meaning ‘becoming’ or ‘going well together with something’, though I am pretty sure real-life examples of such usage, if at all existent, will prove hard to come by.
    Yes “becoming” as well as “forthcoming” fit quite well.

    This might sound strange and “out there” but I think repeating the word آیا will help form those examples in the mind, as long as one can stay awake.
     
    Last edited:

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    آیا is often used as a marker to signal start of a question when it comes at end of long sentence, its only function is to stop the question being seen as a statement.

    I don’t know when question mark, as a punctuation, was introduced into Persian, I can’t see it being that long ago, so maybe آیا was fulfilling this function, primarily.
     
    Last edited:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    آیا is often used as a marker to signal start of a question when it comes at end of long sentence, its only function is to stop the question being seen as a statement.

    I don’t know when question mark, as a punctuation, was introduced into Persian, I can’t see it being that long ago, so maybe آیا was fulfilling this function, primarily.
    From a Persian grammar book, I can quote the following, emphasis being mine.

    "For if (=whether) in indirect questions use the word آیا, the universal word that can introduce all questions (less common though, when a question word is present).

    The word که (“that”) can still be used in indirect questions after the reporting verb, as in indirect statements, with or without آیا, or can be dropped. Therefore, you might have که or آیا or (less commonly) both or neither of them.

    مینا به پرویز : (آیا) کجا می روی؟

    مینا از پرویز می پرسد/ میپرسید (که) ( آیا) او کجا می رود۔

    مینا به دارا : (آیا) به آنجا رفتی؟

    مینا از دارا می پرسد/می پرسید (که) (آیا) رفته (است)۔"

    Searching for آیا in Dehkhoda results in a number of usages, especially in the history of Persian literature, but the above is its main use.

    PersoLatin, I can only speak from the perspective of languages I am familiar with but you will agree that languages have their own mechanisms for representing question markers in writing. In speech, intonation is sufficient but in writing other methods need to be deployed. Punctuation is a relatively new phenomenon even in western languages.

    Urdu distinguishes actual question words, e.g "Where?" from the "relative" where.

    Where are you? کہاں kahaaN (N is the nasal "nuun- nuun-i-Ghunnah)

    Where there is smoke, there is fire. جہاں jahaaN. So question marker is irrelevant when the word کہاں is clearly the question "where" as opposed to the relative "where".

    A simple statement, in English... You are a man.... is converted into a question by change of word order... Are you a man. A question mark is not really required here because the format of the wording implies a question.

    A simple statement, in English... You are a man.... is converted into a question by change of word order...Are you a man. A question mark is not really required because the format of the wording implies a question.

    For Arabic ھل or أ would be used to ask this question. In Urdu the all purpose word کیا kyaa would serve this purpose. In Persian I suspect the equivalent word would have been آیا albeit overtime it began to be used for other purposes (as per Dehkhoda) including indirect questions when the meaning became "whether".

    It seems we are no further forward as far as آیا 's etymology is concerned. I wonder if anyone has an etymology dictionary of Persian words.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Spanish marks an interrogating sentence between two question marks, with the first being upside down.

    I was saying that آیا may have originally been used, or was even developed, for the same purpose, sometimes a long sentence finally leads to a question, so it is necessary to mark that the start of the interrogating section with آیا so the reader or the listener is clear about it.
     
    Last edited:
    Top