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A Comprehensive Linguistically Study of Compound Words in India

A case study of Urdu language

Research Paper (undergraduate) 2012 11 Pages

English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics

Excerpt

A Comprehensive Linguistically Oriented Study of Compound Words in India: A Case Study of Urdu Language

Md. Motiur Rahman, Ph.D. (Applied Linguistics)

Abstract

This paper deals with the compounding words in Urdu language. Formation of Compound word is an important aspect of morphological operation to produce new words in languages with a linear morphological structure. It is extensively used as one of the ways to generate new words and word forms in Urdu language. Urdu language has borrowed a large number of compounds from a variety of sources from other Indian languages, Perso-Arabic and English. The present paper attempts to discuss Indic sources and Perso-Arabic compounds, English compounds, some ‘hybrid’ compounds, etc. These compounds are frequently used in Urdu language. The present paper explores and describes the various compounding phenomena in Urdu and their implication.

Key Words: Compound Word, Morphological operation, Various Sources, Hindustani, Persian, Arabic and English Languages

Introduction

Compound is a morphologically complex word containing at least two elements, which can otherwise occur as free form, i.e., as independent word (Toman 1992). For example in Urdu, [kuɾsi-ʈebəl] ‘chair and table’, [qələm-dowat] ‘pen and inkpot’, [haɵ-pɛɾ], [ɾat-dɪn] ‘day and night’, [subəh-ʃam] ‘morning and evening’, [zəmɪn-asman] ‘earth and sky’, [kɪtab-kapi] ‘book and copy’ [ʧãd-surəʤ] ‘ moon and sun’, etc. Thus, compounding is a grammatical device by which complex words can be formed from smaller elements, which under normal circumstances, have word status.

The first known ancient Indian grammarians Panini (5th Century BC) and Patanjali (2nd Century BC) are the first linguists to deal with compounding. They studied Sanskrit compounds and their study was based on Semantic criteria (Mahaveer, 1978). Some of the terminologies used by them are still in use, for example, Dvandva compounds for coordinative compounds, Bahuvrihi compounds for exocentric compounds.

In the European tradition, J.G. Schottelius (1612-76) noted that distinction between the modifying and the modified elements in German compounds.

In 20th Century, a rich descriptive traditions as well as different theoretical approaches were developed. The example of the descriptive approach is that of Marchand (1969). Compounds have also been studied from specialized point of view, i.e., their use in contexts (Downing 1977).

Toman (1992) has listed various properties of compounds. Some of these are discussed below:

1) Word properties i.e., parts of compounds cannot be re-arranged without change in meaning. For example, [dɪlʧəsp] ‘Interesting’

2) Relation between parts, i.e., ‘determination’ and ‘coordination’.

In the first case there is a modifier (determinant) and a modified element (determinatum). The characteristics of determinative compound discussed above can be understood through the examples like /pən-ʧəkki/ ‘Watermill’.

In the second case, it is represented by coordinative (copulative) compounds such as:

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The above classification is based on semantic intention that the modified part of determinative compound names a set of denotata, while the modifier restricts it to a sub set. Thus the /ʧəkki/ in /pən-ʧəkki/ names a set of denotata called /ʧəkki/, /pən/ restricts it to a subset namely /ʧəkki/ derived by /pani/ ‘water’.

A coordinative compound in contrast, typically names a conjunction of sets of denotata named by the subparts of the compound. Thus in, /aftab-mahtab/, the hyphenated part is a coordinative compound denoting a conjunction of sets of denotata.

3) Internal structure:

Compounds may have a complex internal structure. This is so because each constituent of the compound can be in itself internally complex. Particularly nominal compounds in languages like German can develop a complex internal structure, For example

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In this sense compounding rules have certain recursive property.

4) Categories involved in compounding

Depending on the syntactic category of morphemes involved, a variety of compounds can be obtained, including noun + noun, compounds [rat-dɪn], ‘day and night’ [subəh-ʃam] ‘morning and evening’ verb + verb compounds [hə̃səna-khelna], ‘laughing and playing’ [pəʀhna-lɪkhna] ‘read and write’ adjectives + adjective [bhukhi-pyasi], ‘hungry and thirsty’ [qudəɾəti-məsnu’i], ‘natural and artificial’ etc.

Formation of Compounds in Words in Urdu

In Urdu, compounding is one of the various devices used to form or coin new words. It is a very productive device through which different words are constructed.

Urdu compounds may be tatsam or tadbhava. Tatsam compounds are those which contain pure Sanskrit forms. These are very rare in Urdu. For example, /akaʃ-vani/, /bharət-rətn/, /viɾ-ʧəkɾ/, etc.

Tadbhava compounds are extensively used in Urdu language. It may be termed as pure Urdu compounds. Formation of these compounds both the components uses tadbhava. It means this compound words are derived from Sanskrit roots.

In Urdu language, except the above discussed varieties, a large number of compounds are borrowed from Perso-Arabic sources, mainly from Persian and Arabic.

Another kind of compound word is also found in Urdu language. It is technologically called ‘hybrid compound words’. These compounds are formed by adding a tadbhava component with Perso-Arabic and English words.

Beg (1988) has classified Urdu compounds very systematically.

1. Pure Urdu compounds can be classified into three types.

A) Copulative compounds

Copulative compounds are those compounds in which both the components are syntactically coordinate members. But the important thing is that the copula (i.e., ‘ɔr’ ‘and’) is absent.

These compounds are formed in different ways:

I) When two words having different meaning separately are compounded. They may be noun + noun, verb + verb, adjectives + adjectives. For example.

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[...]

Details

Pages
11
Year
2012
ISBN (eBook)
9783656118114
ISBN (Book)
9783656131557
File size
413 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v187841
Institution / College
Qassim University – Science and Arts, Community College, Unaizah
Grade
none
Tags
comprehensive linguistically study compound words india urdu

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Title: A Comprehensive Linguistically Study of Compound Words in India