Urdu: usage of the Persian plural ها

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Abjadiwala, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Abjadiwala New Member

    I was wondering about the ways in which the Urdu izafa constructions could be given plural forms.

    I’m familiar with numerous words from Arabic that easily form their plurals in the izafa construct such as

    اصطلاحاتِ ادبand innumerous other examples of izafa constructs in Urdu that using Arabic plural forms.
    But, I came across the Urdu izafa construct: ریاستہائے متحدہ امریکہ and was taken aback.

    Here, despite the use of the Arabic-originated word ریاست this izafa construct used the Persian plural ها albeit with a more Urdu spelling.

    Is this هاfeature seen in other examples in Urdu?

    Is this method of giving the plurals of izafa constructs intelligible to the common Urdu-using public?
    Isn’t the Persian plural form of ها a much more user friendly way of giving izafa constructs in Urdu a much more grammatically correct basis?
    Most Urdu users only know a handful of difficult Arabic plural forms and are very likely to commit gross errors in izafa plurals such as دارالحکومتوں instead of the proper دِيَار الحکومت.
    Wouldn’t it be grammatically correct AND simple to just use دارہائےحکومت?

    Do tell where and how the Persian plural هاcan be used in Urdu.
  2. Alfaaz Senior Member

    This seems to be a very popular example, where نسخہ nusxah is from Arabic and is made plural with the Farsi ہا haa! People familiar with Urdu poetry or even who watch television would more likely be familiar with the Persian plural form (to some degree), as it is used in other examples (not necessarily izaafats though) such as بارہا , سالہا سال , بدرجہا , etc. The same could probably be said for Arabic plurals as they are used quite frequently in news, language and literature-based shows, and even religious programs.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Abjadiwala SaaHib.

    The izaafat is almost exclusively formed from Persian and Arabic words but in the past it was not unknown for poets and prose writers to employ Indic words in this construction. Please see this thread.


    Regarding "daaru_lHukuumat" going to daaru_lHukuumateN >> daaru_lHukuumatoN...I personally have no problem with this though purists may raise a few eyebrows. By the way دارالحکومت is a compound to mean the "capital" of a country. Capitals would be "دارالحکومت ہا" and دارہاالحکومت could mean "Houses of government/government houses".

    riyaasat-haa-i-muttaHidah, is a fairly old construct and educated people who listen to the news or read Urdu newspapers would be familiar with this. There is no doubt that the izaafat with the plural -haa is relatively scant in the modern language but one only needs to open the pages of diivaan-i-Ghalib to find an abundance of these examples.

    سخت جانیہائے تنہائی

    تالیف نسخہ ہائے وفا

    بیدادِ کاوش ہائے مژگاں

    تبسم ہائے پنہاں

    I've only got to page 9!

    As for whether this method (I presume you mean with the -haa) is intelligible to the common Urdu speaking people, depends on their education and of course their own interest in language matters. Not everyone has an interest in matters of language.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  4. BP. Senior Member

    I too believe riyaasat haa is incorrect. But for a slightly different reason. Even though there's a debate whether State translates into Arabic, but even if we took the banal translation used, it should be daulat haa. riyaasat simple means sardaarii.
  5. Abjadiwala New Member

    It appears that this plural form is mostly used in poetry and it unfortunately appears in only two terms of prose (already mentioned above).

    Maybe if there were more examples of its use in Urdu prose or izafaat constructs, it would be helpful in de-alienizing this once very common aspect of Urdu to the average Urdu speakers.

    So are there any more examples of non-poetic use of ها in Urdu?
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Indeed there are. Why not try reading some good quality prose yourself. I am sure you'll come across sufficient number of examples. Read Ghalib's letters, "ba-jang aamad", Maulana Maududi's Qur'an translation and commentary or any of the works of Shibli and Azad.
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree there are many examples, one of them coming readily to my mind is (are) سنگہائےمیل sang-haa-ye-miil. The reading suggestions also deserve an applause.
  8. iskander e azam Senior Member

    I have come across سرکھا as the plural of سرک (road) in an online Urdu dictionary.
  9. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^ I would suggest not using it for two reasons: road being سڑک and its plural being easily formed: سڑکیں.

    A couple of legal terms:
    قانونِ جماعت ہائے سیاسی qaanuun-e-jamaa3at-haa-ye-siyaasii (Political Parties Act)
    قانون رازہائے سرکاری qaanuun-e-raaz-haa-ye-sarkaarii (Official Secrets Act)
    قانون صوبائی عدالتہائے خفیفہ qaanuun-e-suubaa'ii 3adaalat-haa-ye-xafiifah (Provincial Small Cause Courts Act)
    قانونِ انجمن ہائے مزدوران qaanuun-e-anjuman-haa-ye-mazduuraan (Trade Unions Act)
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Excellent examples, marrish SaaHib. In Urdu prose (short story, novel, biography, essays and other fields one would no doubt a greater variety of "-haa plural" usage.

    Just to go on a little on this topic. As everyone is aware, Urdu speakers on occasions (or should I say some quite frequently?) employ the English s to make plurals. For example, this sentence, which I am making up..

    Pakistan ke railway stations par ab vuh pahle vaalii gahmaa-gahmii aur raunaq kahaaN?

    As we use Indic, Persian and Arabic ways of making plurals in Urdu, I don't really see a big problem with this. But I do wish we employed the "-haa" more often. It is certainly somewhat neglected.
  11. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    As should be amply clear by now the use of the Persian pluralization suffix ہا -haa in Urdu is not at all uncommon! Far from it, we use it on a daily basis both in speech and prose, as marrish SaaHib as already provided some examples above, and not just in poetry,.

    The usage of ہا -haa pluralization is so common in our speech that to give examples would mean we could be here long! But just to provide another couple or so examples with an izaafat construction, of course:
    کتابہاے شاعر \ شعرا \ شعر و شاعری = books (works) of the poet / of poets / of poetry.

    Some might think this is literary usage but in fact we use it in our speech.

    Similalry, شبہاے رمضان etc. = ramaDhaan nights, etc. Very common in our speech ... and also very significant!

    Now,to take further the example QP SaaHib provided above, i.e. the current use of sTeshanz (= stations) in some parts of South Asian, esp. in journalese Urdu, which seems like a more recent "advance" of Urdu towards English usage. I grew up using Prakrit pluralization for English borrowings, so for us the plural here is still either sTeshan (nominative singular and plural) or sTeshanoN if a postposition follows. We would of course never pluralize to sTeshan-haa, or sTeshan-aan for that matter, and I'm certainly not implying that anyone here is suggesting that we do. Just clarifying.

    We however do add -haa, as described above to many words of Arabic & Persian origin for pluralization and some of these are, for us at least, commonly used.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "Haqqii SaaHib kii ibtidaa'ii ta3liim dihlii meN hu'ii. a3laa ta3liim muslim university 3alii-gaRh meN hu'ii. unhoN ne muxtalif asnaaf-i-adab meN kaar-haa-i-numaayaaN anjaam diye.."
  13. iskander e azam Senior Member

    I came across رازھا (secrets) which is the plural of راز (secret).
  14. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Did you find it in this spelling (ھا) not (ہا)?
  15. iskander e azam Senior Member

    m SaaHIb, well spotted. My print dictionary has رازہا.
  16. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Good to know and apart from the dictionary you can have a look at the second example in post #9 here.

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