Vowels and consonants are outlined in the tables below. The vowels table shows the character used in the article (ex. ī) followed by its IPA value in backslashes (ex. /iː/). See Punjabi language#Phonology for further clarification.
Punjabi distinguishes two genders, two numbers, and five cases of direct, oblique, vocative, ablative, and locative/instrumental. The latter two cases are essentially now vestigial: the ablative occurs only in the singular, in free variation with oblique case plus ablative postposition, and the locative/instrumental is confined to set adverbial expressions. Nouns may be further divided into extended and unextendeddeclensional subtypes, with the former characteristically consisting of masculines ending in unaccented -ā and feminines in -ī.
The below tables displays the suffix paradigms, as outlined in Shackle (2003:600–601). Regarding the masculine, "the [extended] case-morphemes, very similar to those of the unextended declension, are added to the obl. base -e-, which is shortened to -i- (phonetically [e̯]) before back vowels and is lost before front vowels." The division between feminine unextendeds and extendeds ending in -ī looks to be now merely an etymological consideration, as there is neither a distinct oblique base nor any morphophonemic considerations.
Adjectives may be divided into declinable and indeclinable categories. Declinables are marked, through termination, for the gender, number, case of the nouns they qualify. The set of declinable adjective terminations is similar but greatly simplified in comparison to that of noun terminations —
Indeclinable adjectives are completely invariable, and can end in either consonants or vowels (including ā and ī ). Dir. masc. sg. (-ā) is the citation form. As a rule, adjectives ending in consonants are always indeclinable.
Declinable adjective caṅgā "good" in attributive use
Indeclinable adjective xarāb "bad" in attributive use
The aforementioned inflectionalcase system only goes so far on its own, and rather serves as that upon which is built a system of particles known as postpositions, which parallel English's prepositions. It is their use with a noun or verb that is what necessitates the noun or verb taking the oblique case, and it is with them that the locus of grammatical function or "case-marking" then lies. Such core postpositions include:
dā – genitive marker; variably declinable in the manner of an adjective. X dā/dī/etc. Y has the sense "X's Y", with dā/dī/etc. agreeing with Y.
Other postpositions are adverbs, following their obliqued targets either directly or with the inflected genitive linker de; e.g. kàr (de) vic "in the house", kṑṛe (de) nāḷ "with the stallion". Many such adverbs (the ones locative in nature) also possess corresponding ablative forms by forming a contraction with the ablative postposition tȭ; for example:
vic "in" → viccȭ "from in, among," for instance, jantē (de) viccȭ, "from among the people" and
nāḷ "with"→ nāḷȭ "compared to," for instance, kṑṛē (de) nāḷȭ, "compared to the stallion."
koṇ and jō are colloquially replaced by kḗṛā "which?" jḗṛā "which". Indefinites include kōī (obl. kisē) "some(one)" and kúj "some(thing)". The reflexive pronoun is āp, with a genitive of āpṇā. The pronominal obl. -nā̃ also occurs in ik, iknā̃ "some", hor, hornā̃ "others", sab, sabnā̃ "all".
Based on table in Shackle (2003:604). Indefinites are extended forms of the interrogative set; e.g. kitē "somewhere", kadē "sometimes". The multiple versions under "place" and "manner" are dialectal variations; the second row of "place" forms are the ablative forms of the first.
The Punjabi verbal system is largely structured around a combination of aspect and tense/mood. Like the nominal system, the Punjabi verb takes a single inflectional suffix, and is often followed by successive layers of elements like auxiliary verbs and postpositions to the right of the lexical base.
Punjabi has two aspects in the perfective and the habitual, and possibly a third in the continuous, with each having overt morphological correlates. These are participle forms, inflecting for gender and number by way of vowel termination, like adjectives. The perfective, displaying a number of irregularities and morphophonemic adjustments, is formally the verb stem, followed by -i-, capped off by the agreement vowel. The habitual forms from the imperfective participle; verb stem, plus -d-, then vowel. The continuous forms periphrastically through compounding with the perfective of ráíṇā "to stay".
Derived from hoṇā "to be" are five copula forms: present, past, subjunctive, presumptive, contrafactual (also known as "past conditional"). Used both in basic predicative/existential sentences and as verbal auxiliaries to aspectual forms, these constitute the basis of tense and mood.
Non-aspectual forms include the infinitive, the imperative, and the conjunctive. Mentioned morphological conditions such as the subjunctive, "presumptive", etc. are applicable to both copula roots for auxiliary usage with aspectual forms and to non-copula roots directly for often unspecified (non-aspectual) finite forms.
Tabled below on the left are the paradigms for the major Gender and Number termination (GN), along the line of that introduced in the adjectives section. To the right are the paradigms for the Person and Number termination (PN), used by the subjunctive (which has 1st pl. -īe) and future (which has 1st pl. -ā̃).