LINGUIST List 5.1331

Sun 20 Nov 1994

Sum: Hindi-Urdu tense-aspect

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  1. Vincent DeCaen, Summary: Hindi-Urdu tense-aspect

Message 1: Summary: Hindi-Urdu tense-aspect

Date: Sat, 19 Nov 1994 19:33:22 Summary: Hindi-Urdu tense-aspect
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Summary: Hindi-Urdu tense-aspect

The original question stemmed from a comment in Bailey's Urdu grammar
(1956) on the following construction:

mayng khaataa hung
I eat.participle be.1s

Bailey insists that this construction, despite looking like a typical
progressive construction, must be translated "I eat" and not "I'm
eating" (Bailey 1956: 139). Rather, the following constructions
contrast according to the translations:

mayng bactaa hung
I escape.part be.1s
"I escape"

mayng bac rahaa hung
I escape stay.en be.1s
"I am escaping" (Bailey 1956: 42)

Respondents were able to confirm that the first excludes the
progressive reading, and that the construction with "stay" must be
used for the progressive. This appears to hold for the Urdu-Hindi
dialects. Subsequent research suggests that the same phenomenon
operates in neighbouring Punjabi.
Thanx again to those who responded.
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