Urdu/Persian: Representation of izaafat after long vowel

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Below is a couplet by Ghalib from one of his Persian works. I have typed it out in the manner that Persian is written in the Subcontinent, showing both the nuun-i-Ghunnah (the nasal nuun) and the majhuul vowel -e as in zabaaN-daane (a person who knows the language). The second and third versions are essentially the same, in the second a baRii ye (a big ye) is used whilst in the third one a chhoTii ye (a small ye) is employed to represent the izaafat following a long vowel, -aa in this case.

    As for the first version, in my view this is ambiguous and represents two separate constructions. (Both pronounced the same)

    a) suxan-haa-i-guftanii (words worth saying)

    b) suxan-haa-e guftanii (some words worth saying)

    بیاورید گر ایں جا بود زباں دانے
    غریب شہر سخن ہائے گفتنی دارد

    بیاورید گر ایں جا بود زباں دانے

    غریب شہر سخن ہاے گفتنی دارد

    بیاورید گر ایں جا بود زباں دانے
    غریب شہر سخن ہای گفتنی دارد

    Bring, if there is someone here who knows the language
    The stranger in the city has (some) words worth saying

    Three Questions

    1) Have you come across this ambiguity in the way Persian is written in the Subcontinent?

    2) Would you say using the second version for the izaafat would remove this ambiguity?

    3) Do you feel the first version and the second version (suxan-haa-e guftanii and suxan-haa-yi-guftanii) are pronounced the same or are they differentiated in pronunciation, in the Subcontinent?

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. Aryamp

    Aryamp Persimod

    I can't comment on the Urdu script and matters of transliteration of Persian words to Urdu. But in Persian definitely the two different pronunciations can imply different meanings.
    I prefer "soxanha-ye goftani" (words worth saying) because to me it seems to fit in better with the rhythm and metre of the poem.

    Moreover the meaning seems a little unsatisfactory with 'soxanha-yi goftani darad' as if the poet is not sure that he has much to say or if it's worthy enough.

    So I think I'd choose whatever urdu version that complies with the meaning of "soxanha-ye".
  3. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    My perception is that QP meant to say that -yi was izaafat whereas -e was a particle (I don't know how to call it, like in mard-e aamad).
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think I might have not been clear in what I am after. I shall try to explain my point in the manner in which Persian depicts an izaafat after a long -aa.

    سخنهایی گفتنی (some words worth saying). In the way Persian is represented in the Subcontinent, this is usually written as سخن ہائے گفتنی and this could be taken as, some words worth saying as in the Persian example as well as (the) words worth saying, which is of course a translatiuon of the izaafat construction. I believe سخن ہاے گفتنی would serve better for the izaafat, to avoid any ambiguity.

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