Saturday, 21 December 2013

ਇੱਕ ਕਿਰਿਆ ਨੇ ਕੀ-ਕੀ ਕਰਿਆ اک کریا نے کی-کی کریا The Curious Case of Punjabi Verbs

Curious, eh? Indeed! Punjabi verbs act very peculiarly depending upon the subject and one or more objects in a sentence. It might give headaches to a first-time learner but most native speakers don't even notice this behaviour of verbs. They acquire the skills naturally. The good news though is that this verb play reduces the number of verbs to be memorized by about one-third. How, you say? Let's see...

For most of the verbs, there are three forms based on a single root depending upon who's the subject and who is the object.

1. The subject and the object are the same i.e. the subject does the action on itself. This form is the closest to the root and also the shortest in length.
2. The subject itself acts upon the object (which is different from subject!). This form is intermediate in length and either has an extra ਉ sound or in some verbs, a kanna (ਾ) is added to the first letter.
3. The subject acts upon the object using services of still another object. This form is the longest one and almost always have an extra ਵਾ sound.

Let's take the case of three verbs with root ਬਣ (to make): ਬਣਨਾ, ਬਣਾਉਣਾ, ਬਣਵਾਉਣਾ.

ਬਣਨਾ/بننا: to make of oneself i.e. to become
ਬਣਾਉਣਾ/بناؤنا: to make (something)
ਬਣਵਾਉਣਾ/بنواؤنا: to get something made

I want to become a doctor.                                                      ਮੈਂ ਡਾਕਟਰ ਬਣਨਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
                                                                                                         میں ڈاکٹر بننا چاہندا ہاں۔
I want to make a house.                                                             ਮੈਂ ਘਰ ਬਣਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
                                                                                                         میں گھر بناؤنا چاہندا ہاں۔
I want a house made by a mason.                      ਮੈਂ ਇੱਕ ਮਿਸਤਰੀ ਤੋਂ ਘਰ ਬਣਵਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦਾ ਹਾਂ।
                                                                                   میں اک مستری توں گھر بنواؤنا چاہندا ہاں۔

Take another example of ਮਰ (to cease existing): ਮਰਨਾ, ਮਾਰਨਾ, ਮਰਵਾਉਣਾ.

ਮਰਨਾ/مرنا: to cease existence of own i.e. to die
ਮਾਰਨਾ/مارنا: to kill
ਮਰਵਾਉਣਾ/مرواؤنا: to have somebody killed/ to get someone assassinated

He died.                                                                                                            ਉਹ ਮਰ ਗਿਆ।
                                                                                                                                اوہ مر گیا۔
He killed a parrot.                                                                              ਉਹਨੇ ਇੱਕ ਤੋਤਾ ਮਾਰ ਦਿੱਤਾ।
                                                                                                                 اوہنے اک طوطا مار دتا۔
He got the President assassinated by a hit-man.    ਉਹਨੇ ਇੱਕ ਹੱਤਿਆਰੇ ਤੋਂ ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ ਮਰਵਾ ਦਿੱਤਾ।
                                                                                              اوہنے اک ہتیارے توں راشٹرپتی مروا دتا۔

Pretty interesting, right? The fun part is that if you know any one form of the verb, you can easily guess the meaning of other two even if you come across them for the first time.

Here are some more examples to elucidate the concept:
  • ਸਿੱਖ: ਸਿੱਖਣਾ/سکھنا (to learn), ਸਿਖਾਉਣਾ/سکھاؤنا (to teach), ਸਿਖਵਾਉਣਾ/سکھواؤنا (to get somebody taught by some other person)
  • ਬੋਲ: ਬੋਲਣਾ/بولنا (to speak), ਬੁਲਾਉਣਾ/بلاؤنا (to call upon), ਬੁਲਵਾਉਣਾ/بلواؤنا (to ask somebody to call upon the other person)
  • ਪੜ੍ਹ: ਪੜ੍ਹਨਾ/پڑھنا (to study/read), ਪੜ੍ਹਾਉਣਾ/پڑھاؤنا (to teach), ਪੜ੍ਹਵਾਉਣਾ/پڑھواؤنا (to get somebody taught by another person)

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