Punjabi grammar

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Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language native to the region of Punjab of Pakistan and India and spoken by the Punjabi people. This page discusses the grammar of Modern Standard Punjabi as defined by the relevant sources below (see #Further reading).

Word order[edit]

Punjabi has a canonical word order of subject–object–verb.[1] It has postpositions rather than prepositions.[2]

Transliteration[edit]

In matters of script, Punjabi uses Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. On this grammar page Punjabi is written in "standard orientalist" transcription as outlined in Masica (1991:xv). Being "primarily a system of transliteration from the Indian scripts, [and] based in turn upon Sanskrit" (cf. IAST), these are its salient features: subscript dots for retroflex consonants; macrons for etymologically, contrastively long vowels; h denoting aspirated plosives. Tildes denote nasalized vowels, while grave and acute accents denote low and high tones respectively.

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 forward slashes (ex. /iː/). See Punjabi phonology for further clarification.

Vowels
Front Near-front Central Near-back Back
IPA script IPA script IPA script IPA script IPA script
Close اِی اُو
Near-close ɪ اِ ʊ اُ
Close-mid اے او
Mid ə اَ
Open-mid ɛː اَے ɔː اَو
Open آ
Consonants
Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Retroflex Post-alv./
Palatal
Velar Glottal
IPA script IPA script IPA script IPA script IPA script IPA script
Nasal m م n ن ɳ ݨ ɲ ن ŋ ن٘
Stop/
Affricate
tenuis p پ t ت ʈ ٹ t͡ʃ چ k ک
aspirated پھ تھ ʈʰ ٹھ t͡ʃʰ چھ کھ
voiced b ب d د ɖ ڈ d͡ʒ ج ɡ گ
Fricative voiceless (f) (ਫ਼ ف) s س ʃ ਸ਼ ش (x) (ਖ਼ خ)
voiced (z) (ਜ਼ ز) (ɣ) (ਗ਼ غ) ɦ ہ
Rhotic ɾ~r ر ɽ ڑ
Approximant ʋ و l ل ɭ[3] ਲ਼ j ی

Morphology[edit]

Nouns[edit]

Punjabi distinguishes two genders, two numbers typically with an additional dual form for a small set of nouns, and six cases of direct, oblique, vocative, ablative, locative, and instrumental. The latter three cases are essentially now vestigial: the ablative occurs only in the singular, in free variation with oblique case plus ablative postposition, and the locative and instrumental are confined to a small set of common nouns. Numeral adjectives do also have locative plural forms, and toponymic proper nouns often have a locative singular form.[4] Nouns may be further divided into extended and unextended declensional subtypes, with the former characteristically consisting of masculines ending in unaccented and feminines in .

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."[5] The division between feminine unextendeds and extendeds ending in looks to be now merely an etymological consideration, as there is neither a distinct oblique base nor any morphophonemic considerations.

Masculine
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
unEx. Sing. +ā

+

+ȭ

+ਓਂ

+ؤں

+ē

+ਏ

+ئے

Pl. +ā̃

+ਆਂ

+آں

+ō

+ਓ

+ī̃

+ਈਂ

+ئِیں

Ex. Sing. -ā

-ਆ

-ē

-ਏ

-ئے

-

-ਇਆ

-یا

-

-ਇਓਂ

-یوں

-ē

-ਏ

-ئے

Pl. -ē

-ਏ

-ئے

-iā̃

-ਇਆਂ

-یاں

-

-ਇਓ

-یو

-ī̃

-ਈਂ

-ئِیں

Feminine
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Sing. -/+ē

-/+ਏ

-/+ئے

+ȭ

+ਓਂ

+ؤں

+ē

+ਏ

+ئے

Pl. +ā̃

+ਆਂ

+آں

+ō

+ਓ

+ī̃

+ਈਂ

+ئِیں

The next table of noun declensions shows the above suffix paradigms in action. Words, from Shackle (2003:600–601): ghṑṛā "stallion", sakhī "girlfriend", ghàr "house", gall "thing, matter (being talked about)".

Extended
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. ghṑṛā

ਘੋੜਾ

گھوڑا

ghṑṛe

ਘੋੜੇ

گھوڑے

ghṑṛiā

ਘੋੜਿਆ

گھوڑیا

ghṑṛiȭ

ਘੋੜਿਓਂ

گھوڑیوں

(ghṑṛe)

(ਘੋੜੇ)

(گھوڑے)

Pl. ghṑṛe

ਘੋੜੇ

گھوڑے

ghṑṛiā̃

ਘੋੜਿਆਂ

گھوڑیاں

ghṑṛiō

ਘੋੜਿਓ

گھوڑیو

Fem. Sing. sakhī

ਸਖੀ

سَکھی

sakhīē

ਸਖੀਏ

سَکِھیے

Pl. sakhīā̃

ਸਖੀਆਂ

سَکِھیاں

sakhīō

ਸਖੀਓ

سَکِھیو

Unextended
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. ghàr

ਘਰ

گَھر

ghàrā

ਘਰਾ

گَھرا

ghàrȭ

ਘਰੋਂ

گَھروں

ghàrē

ਘਰੇ

گَھرے

Pl. ghàr

ਘਰ

گَھر

ghàrā̃

ਘਰਾਂ

گَھراں

ghàrō

ਘਰੋ

گَھرو

ghàrī̃

ਘਰੀਂ

گَھرِیں

Fem. Sing. gall

ਗੱਲ

گَلّ

(gallē)

(ਗੱਲੇ)

(گَلّے)

gallȭ

ਗੱਲੋਂ

گَلّوں

gallē

ਗੱਲੇ

گَلّے

Pl. gallā̃

ਗੱਲਾਂ

گَلّاں

gallō

ਗੱਲੋ

گَلّو

gallī̃

ਗੱਲੀਂ

گَلِّیں

Adjectives[edit]

Adjectives may be divided into declinable and indeclinable categories. Declinable adjectives have endings that change by the gender, number, case of the noun that they qualify. Declinable adjective have endings that are similar but much simpler than nouns' endings:[6]

Sing. Pl.
Declin. Masc. Dir. -ā

-ਆ

-ē

-ਏ

-ئے

Obl. -ē

-ਏ

-ئے

-ē, -iā̃

-ਏ, -ਇਆਂ

-ئے، -یاں

Fem. -ī

-ਈ

-ئی

-īā̃

-ਈਆਂ

-ئِیاں

Indeclin.

Indeclinable adjectives are invariable and can end in either consonants or vowels (including ā and ī ). The direct masculine singular () is the citation form. Most adjectives ending in consonants are indeclinable.

Declinable adjective caṅgā "good" in attributive use
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. caṅgā ghṑṛā

ਚੰਗਾ ਘੋੜਾ

چَنگا گھوڑا

caṅgē ghṑṛē

ਚੰਗੇ ਘੋੜੇ

چَنگے گھوڑے

caṅgē ghṑṛiā

ਚੰਗੇ ਘੋੜਿਆ

چَنگے گھوڑیا

caṅgē ghṑṛiȭ

ਚੰਗੇ ਘੋੜਿਓਂ

چَنگے گھوڑیوں

(caṅge ghṑṛē)

(ਚੰਗੇ ਘੋੜੇ)

(چَنگے گھوڑے)

Pl. caṅgē ghṑṛē

ਚੰਗੇ ਘੋੜੇ

چَنگے گھوڑے

caṅgiā̃ ghṑṛiā̃

ਚੰਗਿਆਂ ਘੋੜਿਆਂ

چَنگیاں گھوڑیاں

caṅgiā̃ ghṑṛiō

ਚੰਗਿਆਂ ਘੋੜਿਓ

چَنگیاں گھوڑیو

Fem. Sing. caṅgī sakhī

ਚੰਗੀ ਸਖੀ

چَنگی سَکھی

caṅgī sakhīē

ਚੰਗੀ ਸਖੀਏ

چَنگی سَکِھیے

Pl. caṅgīā̃ sakhīā̃

ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਸਖੀਆਂ

چَنگِیاں سَکِھیاں

caṅgīā̃ sakhīō

ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਸਖੀਓ

چَنگِیاں سَکِھیو

Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. caṅgā ghàr

ਚੰਗਾ ਘਰ

چَنگا گَھر

caṅgē ghàr

ਚੰਗੇ ਘਰ

چَنگے گَھر

caṅgē ghàrā

ਚੰਗੇ ਘਰਾ

چَنگے گَھرا

caṅgē ghàrȭ

ਚੰਗੇ ਘਰੋਂ

چَنگے گَھروں

caṅgē ghàrē

ਚੰਗੇ ਘਰੇ

چَنگے گَھرے

Pl. caṅge ghàr

ਚੰਗੇ ਘਰ

چَنگے گَھر

caṅgiā̃ ghàrā̃

ਚੰਗਿਆਂ ਘਰਾਂ

چَنگیاں گَھراں

caṅgiā̃ ghàrō

ਚੰਗਿਆਂ ਘਰੋ

چَنگیاں گَھرو

caṅgiā̃ ghàrī̃

ਚੰਗਿਆਂ ਘਰੀਂ

چَنگیاں گَھرِیں

Fem. Sing. caṅgī gall

ਚੰਗੀ ਗੱਲ

چَنگی گَلّ

(caṅgī gallē)

(ਚੰਗੀ ਗੱਲੇ)

(چَنگی گَلّے)

caṅgī gallȭ

ਚੰਗੀ ਗੱਲੋਂ

چَنگی گَلّوں

caṅgī gallē

ਚੰਗੀ ਗੱਲੇ

چَنگی گَلّے

Pl. caṅgīā̃ gallā̃

ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਗੱਲਾਂ

چَنگِیاں گَلّاں

caṅgīā̃ gallō

ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਗੱਲੋ

چَنگِیاں گَلّو

caṅgīā̃ gallī̃

ਚੰਗੀਆਂ ਗੱਲੀਂ

چَنگِیاں گَلِّیں

Indeclinable adjective xarāb "bad" in attributive use
Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. xarāb ghṑṛā

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜਾ

خَراب گھوڑا

xarāb ghṑṛē

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜੇ

خَراب گھوڑے

xarāb ghṑṛiā

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜਿਆ

خَراب گھوڑیا

xarāb ghṑṛiȭ

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜਿਓਂ

خَراب گھوڑیوں

(xarāb ghṑṛē)

(ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜੇ)

(خَراب گھوڑے)

Pl. xarāb ghṑṛē

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜੇ

خَراب گھوڑے

xarāb ghṑṛiā̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜਿਆਂ

خَراب گھوڑیاں

xarāb ghṑṛiō

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘੋੜਿਓ

خَراب گھوڑیو

Fem. Sing. xarāb sakhī

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਸਖੀ

خَراب سَکھی

xarāb sakhīē

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਸਖੀਏ

خَراب سَکِھیے

Pl. xarāb sakhīā̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਸਖੀਆਂ

خَراب سَکِھیاں

xarāb sakhīō

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਸਖੀਓ

خَراب سَکِھیو

Dir. Obl. Voc. Abl. Loc./
Instr.
Masc. Sing. xarāb ghàr

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰ

خَراب گَھر

xarāb ghàr

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰ

خَراب گَھر

xarāb ghàrā

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰਾ

خَراب گَھرا

xarāb ghàrȭ

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰੋਂ

خَراب گَھروں

xarāb ghàrē

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰੇ

خَراب گَھرے

Pl. xarāb ghàr

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰ

خَراب گَھر

xarāb ghàrā̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰਾਂ

خَراب گَھراں

xarāb ghàrō

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰੋ

خَراب گَھرو

xarāb ghàrī̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਘਰੀਂ

خَراب گَھرِیں

Fem. Sing. xarāb gall

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲ

خَراب گَلّ

(xarāb gallē)

(ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲੇ)

(خَراب گَلّے)

xarāb gallȭ

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲੋਂ

خَراب گَلّوں

xarāb gallē

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲੇ

خَراب گَلّے

Pl. xarāb gallā̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲਾਂ

خَراب گَلّاں

xarāb gallō

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲੋ

خَراب گَلّو

xarāb gallī̃

ਖ਼ਰਾਬ ਗੱਲੀਂ

خَراب گَلِّیں

All adjectives can be used attributively, predicatively, or substantively. Those used substantively are declined as nouns rather than adjectives. Finally, additional inflections are often marked in colloquial speech: feminine singular vocative nī sóṇīē kuṛīē! "hey pretty girl!".[6]

Postpositions[edit]

The aforementioned inflectional case system goes only so far on its own but 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 requires the noun or verb to take the oblique case, and they are the locus of grammatical function or "case-marking" then lies:

Gurmukhi Shahmukhi Notes
ਦਾ دا genitive marker; declines like an adjective. Example: "X dā/dī/etc. Y" means "X's Y", with dā/dī/etc. agreeing with Y.
nū̃ ਨੂੰ نُوں marks the indirect object (dative marker), or, if definite, the direct object (accusative marker).
ਨੇ نے ergative case marker; applicable to subjects of transitive perfective verbs.
tō̃ ਤੋਂ توں ablative marker, "from"
vicc ਵਿੱਚ وِچّ inessive marker, "in." Often contracted to 'c
nāḷ ਨਾਲ਼ نالؕ comitative marker, "with"
uttē ਉੱਤੇ اُتّے superessive marker, "on" or "at." Often contracted to '
vall ਵੱਲ وَلّ orientative marker; "towards"
kōḷ ਕੋਲ਼ کولؕ possessive marker; "with" (as in possession) ex. kuṛī (dē) kōḷ, "in the girl's possession."
vikhē ਵਿਖੇ وِکھے locative marker, "at (a specific location)", e.g. Hōshiārpur vikhē, "at Hoshiarpur" (a city). Often colloquially replaced with '.
takk ਤੱਕ تَکّ terminative marker, "until, up to"
bārē ਬਾਰੇ بارے "about"
laī ਲਈ لَئی benefactive marker; "for"
vargā ਵਰਗਾ وَرگا comparative marker; "like"
duāḷē ਦੁਆਲ਼ੇ دوالؕے "around, surrounding" ex. manjē (de) duāḷē, "around the bed."
binnā̃ ਬਿੰਨਾਂ بِنّاں abessive marker; "without"
nēṛē ਨੇੜੇ نیڑے "near"
lāgē ਲਾਗੇ لاگے apudessive marker; "adjacent/next to"
vickār, gabbē ਵਿਚਕਾਰ, ਗੱਬੇ وِچکار، گَبّے intrative marker, "between, middle of"
mājh (mā́j) ਮਾਝ ماجھ "in the midst of"
andar ਅੰਦਰ اندر "inside"
bāhar (bā́ir) ਬਾਹਰ باہر "outside"

Other postpositions are adverbs, following their obliqued targets either directly or with the inflected genitive linker ; e.g. kàr (dē) vicc "in the house", kṑṛe (dē) nāḷ "with the stallion". Many such adverbs (the ones locative in nature) also possess corresponding ablative forms[7] by forming a contraction with the ablative postposition ; for example:

  • vicc "in" → viccȭ "from in, among", for instance, jantē (dē) viccȭ or jantē 'cȭ, "from among the people" and
  • nāḷ "with"→ nāḷȭ "compared to", for instance, kṑṛē (dē) nāḷȭ, "compared to the stallion."

Pronouns[edit]

Personal[edit]

Punjabi has personal pronouns for the first and second persons, while for the third person demonstratives are used, which can be categorized deictically as near and remote. Pronouns do not distinguish gender.

The language has a T-V distinction in tū̃ and tusī̃. This latter "polite" form is also grammatically plural.

[8] 1st pn. 2nd pn.
Sing. Pl. Sing. Pl.
Direct mẽ

ਮੈਂ مَیں

asī̃

ਅਸੀਂ اَسِیں

tū̃

ਤੂੰ تُوں

tusī̃

ਤੁਸੀਂ تُسِیں

Ergative (Oblique) asā̃

ਅਸਾਂ اَساں

tẽ

ਤੈਂ تَیں

tusā̃

ਤੁਸਾਂ تُساں

Dative mennū̃

ਮੈਨੂੰ مَینُوں

sānnū̃

ਸਾਨੂੰ سانُوں

tennū̃

ਤੈਨੂੰ تَینُوں

tuā̀nnū̃

ਤੁਹਾਨੂੰ تُہانُوں

Ablative metthȭ

ਮੈਥੋਂ مَیتھوں

sātthȭ

ਸਾਥੋਂ ساتھوں

tetthȭ

ਤੈਥੋਂ تَیتھوں

tuā̀tthȭ

ਤੁਹਾਥੋਂ تُہاتھوں

Genitive mērā, mērē, mērī, mērīā̃

ਮੇਰਾ, ਮੇਰੇ, ਮੇਰੀ, ਮੇਰੀਆਂ میرا، میرے، میری، میرِیاں

sāḍḍā, sāḍḍē, sāḍḍī, sāḍḍīā̃

ਸਾਡਾ, ਸਾਡੇ, ਸਾਡੀ, ਸਾਡੀਆਂ ساڈا، ساڈے، ساڈی، ساڈِیاں

tērā, tērē, tērī, tērīā̃

ਤੇਰਾ, ਤੇਰੇ, ਤੇਰੀ, ਤੇਰੀਆਂ تیرا، تیرے، تیری، تیرِیاں

tuā̀ḍḍā, tuā̀ḍḍē, tuā̀ḍḍī, tuā̀ḍḍīā̃

ਤੁਹਾਡਾ, ਤੁਹਾਡੇ, ਤੁਹਾਡੀ, ਤੁਹਾਡੀਆਂ تُہاڈا، تُہاڈے، تُہاڈی، تُہاڈِیاں

Demonstrative Relative Interrogative
Near Remote
Sing. Pl. Sing. Pl. Sing. Pl. Sing. Pl.
Direct
ਇਹ
ایہ

ਉਹ
اوہ
jō, jin
ਜੋ, ਜਿਨ
جو، جن
koṇ, kin
ਕੌਣ, ਕਿਨ
کوݨ، کن
Oblique is, es
ਇਸ, ਏਸ
ایس
énnā̃
ਇਹਨਾਂ
ایہناں
us, os
ਉਸ, ਓਸ
اوس
ónnā̃
ਉਹਨਾਂ
اوہناں
jī, jis
ਜੀ, ਜਿਸ
جی، جس
jinnā̃
ਜਿੰਨਾਂ
جناں
kī, kis
ਕੀ, ਕਿਸ
کی، کس
kinnā̃
ਕਿੰਨਾਂ
کناں

The dative & ablative personal pronouns are analyzed as the oblique forms merging with suffixes, e.g. tusā̃ + nū̃ > tuhānū̃.[citation needed]

Unlike other pronouns, genitive pronouns essentially function in a manner similar to regular adjectives, declining in agreement with their direct objects. Moreover, koṇ and are colloquially replaced by kḗṛā "which?" jḗṛā "which". Indefinites include kōī (obl. kisē) "some(one)" and kújj "some(thing)". The reflexive pronoun is āp, with a genitive of āpṇā. The pronominal obl. -nā̃ also occurs in ik, iknā̃ "some", hōr, hōrnā̃ "others", sáb, sábnā̃ "all".[9]

Derivates[edit]

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 "Manner" are dialectal variations.

Interrogative Relative Demonstrative
Near Remote
Date kiddaṇ jiddaṇ huṇ oddaṇ
Time Regular kad jad tad
Emphatic kadē jadē huṇē tadē
Ablative[a] kadō̃ jadō̃ oddō̃
tadō̃
Place Regular kitthē jitthē etthē otthē
Ablative kitthō̃ jitthō̃ etthō̃ otthō̃
Direction Regular kíddar jíddar éddar óddar
Ablative kíddᵃrō̃ jíddᵃrō̃ éddᵃrō̃ óddᵃrō̃
Manner[b] kiddā̃ jiddā̃ eddā̃ oddā̃
kiñj jiñj eñj oñj
kiwē̃ jiwē̃ ewē̃ owē̃
Reason kiũ jiũ
Quality kío jíā (jío) jíā éo jíā óo jíā
Quantity[c] kinnā jinnā ennā onnā
Size kiḍḍā jiḍḍā eḍḍā oḍḍā

The second row in Manner are often still spelt in their archaic forms (kiññ, jiññ, eññ, and oññ) in Gurmukhi.

The demonstrative prefixes e and o vary from [ɪ~e~ɛ] and [ʊ~o~ɔ] respectively (resulting in varied spellings) depending on dialect.[citation needed]

Pronominal suffixes[edit]

Some varieties of the Majhi dialect of Punjabi (documented thus far in Lahore,[10] and the Gujrat district) have pronominal suffixes that are appended to verbs, and which replace dropped pronominal arguments.

Person Singular Plural
2 -jē
3 -s(ū) -ne

Verbs[edit]

Overview[edit]

The Punjabi verbal system is can be described largely in terms of aspect and mood. Most Punjabi verbs do not inflect for tense—the only verb which does is the copular verb ਹੈ / ہے. Some linguists have described aspectual forms of Punjabi verbs as being inflections for tense; however, this assessment is flawed as these verb forms can be used the same way in sentences which refer to any time with respect to the situation of the speaker or writer.[11]

The copular verb has two tense forms which can be described as "remote" and "non-remote," as they indicate a metaphorical distance or closeness to the situation. "Past" and "present" can be understood as default assumptions for the times which the remote and non-remote tenses refer to respectively, however, these temporal references are not required of these tenses. Rather, time can largely be understood to exist extralinguistically in Punjabi. The remote forms of the copula, ਸੀ / سی, do not resemble the non-remote forms ਹੈ / ہے phonetically.[12] The copula does not behave like a full lexical verb in Punjabi and does not form part of serial verb constructions; rather than taking on the meaning of the existential verb 'to be' or 'to become' ਹੋਣਾ / ہوݨا, it means 'being' without any aspectual component. The copula is also not obligatory in a Punjabi clause. A full lexical verb in Punjabi on the other hand, does exhibit grammatical aspect. Due the close meaning of ਹੋਣਾ / ہوݨا and the copula, they are sometimes described as forms of the same lexeme; however, because they are directly derived from two distinct Sanskrit words and do not function alike grammatically, they are better described as two different but complementary words.[13]

Finite verbal agreement is with the nominative subject, except in the transitive perfective, where it can be with the direct object, with the erstwhile subject taking the ergative construction -ne (see postpositions above). The perfective aspect thus displays split ergativity.

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).

(GN) Sing. Pl.
Masc. -ā -ē
Fem. -ī -īā̃
(PN) 1st. 2nd. 3rd.
Sing. -ā̃ -ē~ -ē
Pl. -ā̃/īē -ō -aṇ

Copula[edit]

The Punjabi copula functions as a class of its own and does not share the properties of full lexical verbs in the language, nor does it take on the role of an auxiliary verb. Unlike these other word classes, the copula does not form a part of verb phrases, and where it is present alongside a full verb construction it generally makes a semantic distinction related to the notion of existence, rather than predicating for the act of being. For this reason, it can be said that the Punjabi copula is not wholly verbal in function.[13]

Number Singular Plural
Person 1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Pronoun mẽ tū̃ ḗ/ṓ asī̃ tusī̃ ḗ/ṓ
Present-tense copula hā̃ hẽ he hā̃ han
Past-tense copula sā̃ sẽ sā̃ san
Subjunctive copula hōvā̃ hōvẽ hōvē hōvā̃ hōvō hōṇ
  • Two infrequent inflected forms of the present-tense copula he are haō (plural second person),[14] distinguishing the standard for T-V distinction usage, and heṇ (plural third person). In addition, two past tense copulas, hesī and hesaṇ are used respectively with singular and plural forms of third persons.[14] These forms, like the uninflected forms he and , can be used with both the genders.[14]
  • In the spoken language, the past tense copula can remain completely uninflected, and remain applicable for all three persons and both numbers.[14] Some less frequently used forms of are saō, sāō, and sau, used as 2nd-person plural copulas,[14] distinguishing the standard for T-V distinction usage.

Some non-standard major dialects decline the past-tense and present-tense copulas more along number and gender[14] than for number and person:

Gender Masculine Feminine
Number Singular Plural Singular Plural
Present-tense copula hegā hegē hegī hegīā̃
Past-tense copula sīgā sīgē sīgī sīgīā̃
Conjugations[edit]
Personal Forms of "hoṇā (to be)"
mood tense singular plural
1P – mẽ 2P – tū̃ 3P – é, ó 1P – asī̃ 2P – tusī̃ 3P – é, ó
m. f. m. f. m. f. m. f. m. f. m. f.
indicative present hā̃ hẽ he hā̃ han
imperfect sā̃ sẽ sā̃ san
perfect hōiā hōī hōiā hōī hōiā hōī hōē hōīā̃ hōē hōī hōē hōīā̃
future hōvā̃gā hōvā̃gī hōvē̃gā hōvē̃gī hōvēgā hōvēgī hōvā̃gē hōvā̃gīā̃ hōvōgē hōvōgī hōṇgē hōṇgīā̃
presumptive all hā̃gā hā̃gī hōgā hōgī hā̃gē hā̃gīā̃ hōvō̃ge hōvō̃gī hōgē hōgīā̃
subjunctive present hā̃ hẽ hā̃ hōvō̃
future hōvā̃ hovē̃ hōvē hōvā̃ hōvō hōṇ
contrafactual past hundā hundī hundā hundī hundā hundī hundē hundīā̃ hundē hundī hundē hundīā̃
imperative present hōō
future hōī̃ hōiō

Forms[edit]

The sample verb is intransitive naccṇā "to dance", and the sample inflection is 3rd. masc. sing. (PN = e, GN = ā) where applicable.

Non-aspectual Aspectual
Non-finite
Root * nacc
Dir. Infinitive/
Gerund/
Obligatory
*-ṇ-ā naccṇā
Obl. Infinitive *-(a)ṇ naccaṇ
Abl. Infinitive *-ṇ-ȭ naccṇȭ
Conjunctive *-kē nacckē
Agentive/
Prospective
*-(a)ṇ-vāḷ-GN naccaṇvāḷā, naccaṇⁱāḷā
Adjectivals.
Perfective *-GN hō-GN nacciā hōiā
Imperfective *-d-GN hō-GN naccdā hōiā
Adverbial. Obl. of adjectival.
Imperfective *-d-ē, -d-iā̃ naccdē, naccdiā̃
Finite
Contingent Future *-PN naccē
Definite Future *-PN-g-GN naccēgā
Imperatives.[15]
Sing. Pl.
Present nacc naccō
Aorist naccī̃ nacciō
Aspectuals plotted against copulas.
Perfective Habitual Continuous
*-(i)-GN *-d-GN * ráí-GN
Present h-? nacciā he naccdā he nacc ríā he / naccdā piā he
Past s-? nacciā sī naccdā sī nacc ríā sī / naccdā piā sī
Subjunctive ho-v-PN nacciā hōvē naccdā hōvē
Presumptive ho-v-PN-g-GN nacciā hōvēgā naccdā hōvēgā
Contrafactual hun-d-GN nacciā hundā naccdā hundā
Unspecified nacciā naccdā

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In some dialects, these ablative forms for time replace the regular ones.
  2. ^ The third row of Manner may have been derived from the emphatic forms of Reason.
  3. ^ Only Quantity is declinable.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gill, Harjeet Singh and Gleason Jr, Henry A. (1969). A Reference Grammar of Panjabi. Patiala: Department of Linguistics, Punjabi University
  2. ^ Wals.info
  3. ^ ArLaam (similar to ArNoon) has been added to Unicode since Unicode 13.0.0, which can be found in Unicode Arabic Extended-A 08C7, PDF Pg 73 under "Arabic Letter for Punjabi” 08C7 : ࣇ ARABIC LETTER LAM WITH SMALL ARABIC LETTER TAH ABOVE
  4. ^ Shackle (2003:599)
  5. ^ Shackle (2003:600)
  6. ^ a b Shackle (2003:601)
  7. ^ Shackle (2003:602)
  8. ^ Shackle (2003:603)
  9. ^ Shackle (2003:604)
  10. ^ Butt, Miriam (2007). "The role of pronominal suffixes in Punjabi" (PDF). Architecture, rules, and preferences: 341–368.
  11. ^ Mangat Rai Bhardwaj (2016). "10". Panjabi: A Comprehensive Grammar. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-138-79385-9. LCCN 2015042069. OCLC 948602857. OL 35828315M. Wikidata Q112671425.
  12. ^ Mangat Rai Bhardwaj (2016). "10". Panjabi: A Comprehensive Grammar. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-138-79385-9. LCCN 2015042069. OCLC 948602857. OL 35828315M. Wikidata Q112671425.
  13. ^ a b Mangat Rai Bhardwaj (2016). "2". Panjabi: A Comprehensive Grammar. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-138-79385-9. LCCN 2015042069. OCLC 948602857. OL 35828315M. Wikidata Q112671425.
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Let's Learn Punjabi: Research Centre for Punjabi Language Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala". learnpunjabi.org. Punjabi University, Patiala. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  15. ^ Shackle (2003:607–608)
  • Bhatia, Tej K. (1993). Punjabi: A Cognitive-Descriptive Grammar. London: Routledge.

Works cited[edit]

Further reading[edit]