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Lesson 1

Virtual Hindi

NOUNS

Two cases: direct and oblique. The direct case usually appears with sentences subjects or direct objects; the oblique occurs most commonly with postpositions.

Number: singular and plural vs.
Gender: masculine and feminine vs.

1. Inflectional pattern of masculine nouns.

Type 1 Sg. Dir., Sg. Obl., Pl. Dir. - दिन
Pl. Obl. - दिनों
Type 2 Sg. Dir. - कमरा
Sg. Obl., Pl. Dir. - कमरे
Pl. Obl. – कमरों

(a.) A few masculines end in – आँ these are inflected like कमरा but with endings nasalized, e.g. कुआँ ‘well'

(b.) Some masculines with a final – आ follow the pattern of दिन , these are chiefly terms of relationship, loanwords fr om Sanskrit, or place names, e.g. –

चाचा paternal uncle देवता deity
दादा paternal grandfather दाता giver
पिता father आगरा Agra
राजा rajah कलकत्ता Calcutta

(c.) A spelling convention: आदमी आदमियों, हिन्दू हिन्दुओं

(d.) Vocative:

लड़के! Boy! लड़को! Boys!

2. Inflectional pattern of feminine nouns

- ई finals Singular लड़की girl
Pl. Dir. लड़कियाँ
Pl. Obl. लड़कियों
- इया finals Singular चिड़िया bird
Pl. Dir. चिड़ियाँ
Pl. Obl. चिड़ियों
- आ finals Singular समस्या problem
Pl. Dir. समस्याएं
Pl. Obl. समस्याओं
Others Singular मेज़ table
Pl. Dir. मेज़ें
Pl. Obl. मेंज़ों

(a.) Note the spelling convention regarding final – ई

(b.) Feminine nouns in final – इ (loanwords from Sanskrit, and almost all abstract nouns) follow the pattern of the – ई finals. e.g.

स्थिति ‘position' स्थितियाँ ‘positions'

(c.) Feminines in – इया are frequently diminutives, e.g. डिबिया ‘small box' Compare डिब्बा m. box '

(d.) Among ‘other feminines' are loanwords in final – आ from Sanskrit, e.g. माता ‘mother'. A few common Arabic and Persi an loanwords may also be noted, e.g. हवा ‘air, wind'; दुनिया ‘world'; दफ़ा ‘time, occasion'.

(e.) Feminine vocatives are formed in the same way as the masculine.

3. Further comments relating to nouns

There are no definite or indefinite articles in Hindi. A noun acting as subject or direct object in its sentence is definite rather than indefinite; but depending on its context the word मकान ‘house' may have as its translation equivalent ‘a house' or ‘the house' or ‘houses' or ‘the houses'. The word एक ‘one' can be used before nouns with the force of an indefinite article where explicitness is required.

In the case of nouns denoting animate beings, grammatical gender almost always agrees with natural gender. Thus आदमी ‘man', दर्ज़ी ‘tailor', डाकिया ‘postman' are masculines following दिन and कमरा in inflection, not लड़की and चिड़िया .

The gender of other nouns is hard to predict from their form. The student is advised to note the gender of each new noun that he/she learns.

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POSTPOSITIONS

Postpositions function much like prepositions or prepositional phrases in English. Postpositions are characteristically immediately preceded by a noun or pronoun in oblique case. Thus मेज़ पर ‘on the table'; मेज़ों पर ‘on the tables'.

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SIMPLE SENTANCES

ORDER OF WORDS

1. Neutral style and emphasis: subject first, verb last (in close association with any negative); objects and adverbial expressions occupy an intervening position, in less fixed word order. Expressions of time tend to precede those of place: e.g.

लड़का आज यहाँ नहीं है | The boy isn't here today.

2. This general pattern is varied for emphasis. For instance, an adverb advanced to initial position usually gains in emphasis, e.g.

आज लड़का यहाँ नहीं है | Today the boy isn't here.

Note in this connection that the sense of introduction ‘there is, are, were', etc., is expressed in Hindi by an inversion of the neutral (non-affective, colorless) order of subject and following adverbial (emphasis on the subject being thereby diminished).

पुस्तक मेज़ पर है | The book is on the table.
मेज़ पर पुस्तक है | There is a book on the table.

3. Questions: Interrogative pronouns and adverbs. e.g. क्या ‘what', कहाँ ‘where', do not usually introduce questions in sentenc es of neutral style and emphasis, but follow the subject in second position, or later.

लड़की कहाँ है ? Where is the girl?
यह क्या है ? What is this?

In initial position in a sentence, क्या is usually a question marker, serving to introduce questions not containing an interrogative. In conversation the inflection of the voice often makes it's presence unnecessary.

(क्या) लड़कियाँ यहाँ हैं ? Are the girls here?

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VOCABULARY

मेज़ table f. यह this
पुस्तक book f. वह that
कलम pen m.f. एक one
कमरा room m. दो two
कुरसी chair f. तीन three
घड़ा pot, jar m. आज today
पानी water m. यहाँ here
कुआँ well m. वहाँ there
लड़का boy m. कहाँ where ?
लड़की girl f. क्या what?; and as a - question marker
आगरा Agra m. कलकत्ता Calcutta m.
आदमी man m. लेकिन but
औरत woman f. में in
पत्र letter m. पर on
चिड़िया bird f. नहीं no, not
पिंजरा cage m. है is
मकान house m. हैं are
अखबार newspaper m. और and

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