y:Üen:v:es:ýXi Aaôf ev:ej:ýen:y:a

khð kÙC krð kÙC :   Dramatic contrast in Hindi-Urdu

      To speak dramatically is to call attention to ones words. This can be done because the speaker wishes to indicate that a particular sentence or phrase is more important than others, that it contradicts others, or that it is being used ironically. The speaker of English can "mark" his or her words by suddenly varying amplitude (shouting or whispering), by slowing his or her normal rate of speech, by overarticulating, or by using abnormal intonations or voice registers (for instance, in sarcastic imitation of a target's way of speaking). While all these essentially phonetic means are also available to speakers of Hindi-Urdu, the language has some additional ways of "marking" words, ways not found in English. One of these is the use of deviant word order:

 1.  km:al: hò,  j:a t:Ü rhi hò Aaòr t:ØJ:ð p:t:a n:hiø  ( ek kb: j:a rhi hò ) !
      'You're the one who is going and you don't know when!?'

      (in a story by  Aenv:t:a Abb:i,  from her collection  m:ØXÏYi-B:r p:hc:an:,  1969, page 92.)
These deviations (themselves conventional) often involve reversals or inversions. For instance in (2) the modifier )j:at:ø*: ki comes to the right of the noun it modifies ( b:at:ðø ) and the predicate noun  t:an:aS:ah comes to the right of part of its verb  haðt:ð hòø :

 2.  us:ð ev:Sv:as: hað g:y:a T:a ek us:kñ Ap:n:ð Aaòr zy:adat:r m:aú-b:ap: b:at:ðø )j:at:ø*: ki krt:ð hòø p:r haðt:ð t:an:aS:ah hòø.
      'She had become convinced that not only her own but parents in general talk about democracy but in fact are autocrats.'

        (from   ec:e_y:a Aaòr c:il:  by  s:Ø\:m: b:ðdi.  See context.)
More than one inversion can occur, especially in the first conjunct:

 3.  edy:a Aam:ø#N: t:Ün:ð Aaòr p:òs:ð edy:ð m:òøn:ð !
      'You made the invitation and I paid our way!'

      It seems reasonable to suppose that the inversions and deviations in these examples of dramatic contrast have the effect of getting the contrasted elements into places where the intonational peak of the sentence will fall onto them.  Compare the passable (4a) with the sharper and more focussed (4b):

 4a.  n:am: Q:Øda ka l:ðg:a p:r kam: S:òt:an: ka krðg:a.
 4b.  l:ðg:a n:am: Q:Øda ka Aaòr krðg:a kam: S:òt:an: ka !
        'He'll take God's name and do Satan's bidding!'

    (to be continued)

To index of grammatical notes.

To index of  m:lhar.
Drafted (with some assistance from Aan:nd e¾v:ðdi ) and keyed in 26 Feb 2003.  Augmented 15 Mar 2003.