y:Üen:v:es:ýXi Aaôf em:eS:g:n:

m:ØJ:ð x:m:a krað : Noun incorporation in Hindi-Urdu

        At first sight the structures in (1) and (2) look identical.  Each has an imperative form of the verb  kr immediately preceded by a feminine noun:

    1.  b:cc:ð kað hv:a krað !         'Fan the child!'
    2.  b:cc:ð kað x:m:a krað !         'Forgive the child!'
When put in the simple past tense, however, a striking divergence emerges between them:  In (1') the simple past form  ki of the verb shows agreement in gender and number with the feminine singular noun  hv:a.  In (2'), the form  eky:a shows no agreement with the noun  x:m:a.
    1'.  hm:n:ð b:cc:ð kað hv:a ki.             'We fanned the child.'
    2'.  hm:n:ð b:cc:ð kað x:m:a eky:a.         'We forgave the child.'
In (1') the noun  hv:a 'air' behaves as any normal direct object in Hindi-Urdu does in its control of agreement in the simple past.  In (2') the noun  x:m:a 'forgiveness' has been stripped of its identity as a direct object noun and "incorporated" into the verb as an integral part of it.  As part of the verb it cannot be a direct object and cannot affect the verb's form.  The form  eky:a in (2') is the masculine singular default that occurs when there is no eligible noun for the verb to agree with.  In (3) the verb has the masculine singular form  kr edy:a in agreement with the noun  Ap:raD: 'crime':
    3.  eb:radri n:ð Ap:raD: x:m:a kr edy:a.
         'The caste brotherhood forgave the offence.'

         (from Chapter Eleven of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
The incorporated noun is as if transparent.  Agreement, if it occurs at all, is determined by some other noun.  For instance, the noun  B:øg: 'break', when not incorporated, is masculine singular as can be seen in phrases like  v:c:n: ka B:øg: 'breaking of a promise'.  In (4), however, the verb form  kr di shows agreement not with  B:øg:  but with the feminine singular noun  s:B:a  'meeting; assembly':

    4.  m:al:t:i n:ð m:ðht:a kað D:ny:v:ad dðkr s:B:a B:øg: kr di.
         'Thanking Mehtâ, Mâlatî adjourned the meeting.'

         (from Chapter Fifteen of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
This transparency or invisibility of the incorporated noun to normal rules of grammar is not limited to agreement.  In (5) the masculine singular noun  sv:ikar, incorporated into the verbal expression  sv:ikar kr 'accept', is passed over in the passive.  Instead the feminine singular noun  s:hay:t:a surfaces as the clause's subject:
    5.  y:a kÙC v:ae\:ük s:hay:t:a sv:ikar ki j:ay:.
         '... or let some annual assistance be accepted.'

         (from Chapter Six of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
Similarly in (6) the feminine singular noun  ev:da, incorporated into the verbal expression X  kað ev:da kr 'see X off, take leave of X', is passed over in the passive.  Instead the dative plural pronoun  unhðø surfaces as the subject and the verb assumes the masculine singular default form  eky:a g:y:a :
    6.  unhðø Ok-Ok n:arøg:i dðkr ev:da eky:a g:y:a.
         'They were seen off with the gift of one tangerine each.'

         (from Chapter Thirteen of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
Further evidence of the "invisibility" of the incorporated nouns  Q:c:ü of  Q:c:ü kr 'spend' in (7) and  b:rdaSt: of  b:rdaSt: kr 'stand, tolerate' in (8) can be seen in the admissibility of the negative particle  n:hiø on their left. (Normally, the negative particle comes just before the verb.)

    7.  m:òø Ok p:òs:a B:i fal:t:Ü n:hiø Q:c:ü krt:a.
        'I do not waste a single penny.'

         (from Chapter Thirty-three of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
    8.  -p:a y:h n:hiø b:rdaSt: kr s:kt:i.
          'Rûpâ could not tolerate this...'

         (from Chapter Four of   g:aðdan:. See context.)
        The number of Hindi-Urdu verbs with nouns incorporated into them is not very large but includes some very frequent expressions, such as Y  kað  X  n:z:r Aa 'X be visible to Y' (9) and  S:Ø- kr /  hað 'begin' (10), (11) and (12), and its  S:Ù¹ ehndi equivalent  AarmB: kr /  hað (13):
    9.  s:hs:a us:ð Ok l:øb:a p:aIp: G:as: m:ðø eCp:a n:z:r Aay:a,  ej:s:m:ðø s:ð p:an:i b:h rha T:a.
         'Suddenly he spied a long pipe hidden in the grass out of which water was flowing.'

         (from Chapter Eighteen of   g:aðdan:. See context.)

   10.  B:a\:N: s:m:apt: krt:ð hi em:z:aüj:i n:ð hr Ok ki j:ðb: ki t:l:aS:i S:Ø- kr di.
         'As soon as he finished the speech Mirzâjî began searching everybody's pockets.'

         (from Chapter Six of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)

   11.  s:b: l:_eky:aðø n:ð t:ael:y:aú Aaòr s:ieXy:aú b:j:an:i S:Ø- kiø.
         'All the girls began to whistle and clap.'

         (from Chapter Fifteen of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)

   12.  g:aúv:aðø m:ðø b:aðAaI S:Ø- hað g:y:i.
         'In the villages, sowing began.'

         (from Chapter Seventeen of  g:aðdan:.  See context.)

   13.  hm: p:aY AarmB: krðøg:ð.
        'We will begin the lesson.'     ( from  b:ahri )

        Other noun-incorporating expressions include:

   14. B:ðøX kr 'present X' :  ekt:n:aðø hi n:ð Ap:n:a s:v:üsv: Es:i em:l: kað B:ðøX kr edy:a hò  ( from  g:aðdan: )
   15. D:arN: kr 'assume; take on' :  p:an:i ki B:aúet: hrðk p:a*: ka -p: D:arN: kr l:ðt:i T:i  ( g:aðdan: )
   16. s:hn: kr 'tolerate' :  m:al:t:i n:ð kós:ð us:ð s:hn: kr el:y:a,  y:h s:m:J:n:a Aaòr B:i keYn: hò.  ( g:aðdan: )
   17. b:rdaSt: hað 'be controlled' :  j:y:es:øh s:ð ^:Øss:a b:rdaSt: n: hað s:ka  ( c:ndÓkant:a 1.08.051)
   18. t:bdil: kr 'change' :  Vy:a Aap: Ap:n:a fós:l:a t:bdil: n:hiø kr s:kt:ð ?  ( g:aðdan: )
   19. ev:da hað 'leave, depart' :  m:ðht:a n:ð kp:_ð p:hn:ð Aaòr ev:da hað g:y:ð  ( g:aðdan: )
   20. ev:da kr 'send away' :  t:aúg:ð kað y:hiø s:ð ev:da kr dðt:a hÝû  ( g:aðdan: )
   21. Az:ü kr '(respectfully) say, submit' :  m:òø Enkaôp:aðürðS:n: ki Aaòr Ok-dað em:s:al:ðø Az:ü krt:a hÝû.
   22. Q:c:ü hað 'be spent' :  ,p:O Q:c:ü hað j:aOúg:ð,  n:am: hm:ðS:a kñ el:O rh j:ay:g:a.  ( g:aðdan: )
   23. ^:aòr kr 'notice' :  m:aú S:ay:d us:ki y:h hrkt: ^:aòr kr rhi T:iø  ( rb:rb:òNR ,  Ag:Òv:al: 1969. )
   24. v:s:Ül: kr 'collect; exact' :  m:ØJ:s:ð us: dav:t: kñ s:arð ,p:O v:s:Ül: kr el:y:ð . . .    ( g:aðdan: )
   25. p:ar kr 'cross' :  us:n:ð j:ldi-j:ldi n:di p:ar ki . . .    ( g:aðdan: )
   26. )dan: kr 'bestow' :  us: p:r Cp:i hØI g:Øl:ab:i s:a_i us:ð Aaòr B:i S:aðB:a )dan: kr rhi T:i.   ( g:aðdan: )
   27. X  kað Dy:an: Aa 'occur to X' :  m:m:i kað kÙC Dy:an: hað Aay:a.   ( ec:e_y:a Aaòr c:il:  by  s:Ø\:m: b:ðdi )
   28. X  kað n:s:ib: hað  'for X to get Y' :  y:h s:ØK: unhðø n:s:ib: n:hiø hØAa.   ( S:an:að  by N. K. Sinha)
      The nouns in some of these expressions are so well incorporated that there is no direct evidence left that they are nouns!  The  D:arN: of  D:arN: kr 'assume; take up' (15), for instance, does not exist in the modern language except as part of  D:arN: kr.  Its identity as a noun can only be established indirectly. It is not an adjective, verb, adverb, or postposition and it is parallel in formation to other  t:ts:m: nouns such as  karN: 'reason', or  en:v:arN: 'prevention', or  t:arN: 'salvation', etc.  There are other kinds of incorporation, of adjectives ( m:al:Üm: kr,  m:j:b:Ür hað, etc.) and of verbs ( fil: kr,  ev:S: kr 'greet', etc.), which suggest that incorporation occurs mostly as a way of borrowing words from other languages (including from Sanskrit).

       Where do noun incorporating expressions come from?

       With a few exceptions ( S:Ø- kr,  n:z:r Aa,  p:ar kr ) the noun-incorporating expressions of Hindi-Urdu appear to be recent innovations belonging to a more formal register.  One might think that they were introduced to make up for a shortage of  D:at:Ø 's or verb roots in Hindi-Urdu.  But in fact older or more rural varieties of the language have numerous verbs which lack simple counterparts in the modern standard urban language.  Verbs like  up:j: 'arise; be created' and  n:ip:n: 'create', no longer in common use, have been replaced by  t:ts:m: incorporating formations like  utp:À hað and  en:\p:À kr.  Perhaps these replacements reflect the influence on Hindi-Urdu of Farsi in which noun and adjective incorporating expressions abound.

To exercise on noun-incorporation.

To index of grammatical notes.

To index of  m:lhar.
Drafted with input from  kÙs:Øm: j:òn:  26-28 May 2001. Posted 27-28 May 2001. Augmented 31 May - 2 June 2001. Again on 11 June 2001, 17-18 Mar 2003, and 1 July 2004.