In addition to the ordinary habitual in - t:a hò, - t:a T:a, - t:a hað , etc., Hindi possesses a series of specially marked habitual forms in - y:a kr-. Compare (1a) and (1b) :
1a. hm: t:in:
b:j:ð K:an:a K:at:ð hòø .
'We eat at three.'
1b. hm: t:in:
b:j:ð K:an:a K:ay:a krt:ð hòø.
'We eat at three.'
The addition of
- y:a to a verb's stem yields what is
essentially the past participle. However, - y:a in the marked habitual does not show
agreement with the subject. It always remains - y:a :
2. m:ðri B:t:ij:i raðz: v:haú p:òdl: c:l:i j:ay:a krt:i T:i .
'My niece would go there every day on foot.'
- t:a hò stand in somewhat the
same relation to forms in - y:a kr-,
as stative hò does to the
habitual stative haðt:a
3. y:h em:c:ü t:ðz: hò.
'This is chili is hot.'
4. y:h em:c:ü
t:ðz: haðt:i hò .
'This (type of) chili is (generally) hot (even if this particular one is not).'
5. b:ùg:l:a ka
Vl:as: s:Øb:h haðt:a hò .
'Bengali class meets in the morning.'
6. b:øg:l:a ka
Vl:as: s:Øb:h hØAa krt:a hò .
'Bengali class (generally) meets in the morning (even if not this particular morning).'
Thus, by stressing habituality, forms in - y:a kr - paradoxically also stress the non-universality of an action or event, a property which can be exploited to ironic effect:
7a. dað Aaòr
dað c:ar haðt:ð hòø .
'Two and two are four.'
7b. dað Aaòr
dað c:ar hØAa krt:ð hòø .
'(Usually) two and two are four (but maybe not when you're the one who's doing the adding).'
m:ØJ:s:ð py:ar krt:i hò .
'She loves me. '
m:ØJ:s:ð py:ar eky:a krt:i hò .
'She loves me (when there's no one else around).'
Another difference between the ordinary and the marked habitual is that the latter is exclusively habitual. It cannot be used in the progressive or future sense of the ordinary habitual that is seen in (9) and (10):
9. Oðs)að en:g:l:kr s*:i ^:m: ki l:mb:i
s:aús: B:rt:i hò .
'Swallowing an Aspro the woman breathes a long sigh of sorrow.' (stage direction; progressive sense)
Aap:kað Ab: Ok z:b:rdst: b:at: s:Øn:at:a hÜú
'I'm going to tell you something special.'
On the other hand, the marked habitual allows habituality to be expressed in moods and tenses that are beyond the scope of theordinary habitual: It supplies a future habitual, an imperative habitual, a habitual of the subjunctive of desire:
s:ð raðz: Dy:an: l:g:ay:a k-úg:i .
'From now on I'll (make it a practice to) meditate daily.'
12. raðz: n:m:az:
p:`a krað t:aek All:ah ki t:arif hØAa krð .
'Make it a habit to read Namaz so that Allah may be praised .'
The compound verb and the passive occur freely with -y:a kr- (although the kr- of -y:a kr- is never itself compound ):
13. hm: hr
g:N:ðS:c:t:ØT:iü kað p:Øj:ari kað Ok
n:aery:l: edl:a edy:a krðøg:ð .
'We'll make it a point to have the priest given a coconut on every Ganesh Chaturthi.'
14. haðl:i g:rm:i
kñ S:Ø- m:ðø m:n:aI j:ay:a krt:i hò
'Holi is celebrated at the beginning of the hot season.'
kr- is not found in the progressive or perfect tenses. Nor
does one find -y:a krn:a,
-y:a krt:ð hØO,
-y:a krkñ, or other non-finite
forms of -y:a kr- .
It very rarely comes with c:ahn:a, s:kn:a , or other verbs which express a state of affairs rather than actions or events. With verbs of starting, stopping or continuing, it must come to the right. Thus, in:
15. v:h edn: B:r
b:az:ar m:ðø m:ari m:ari ePrt:i rha krt:i T:i .
'She used to keep wandering aimlessly about in the market all day long.'
one cannot say . . . ePra krt:i rht:i
(to be continued)
For another use of the invariant (=masculine singular) form of the past tense see notes on V-y:a c:ah and the expression of the imminent future.
To index of grammatical notes.
To index of m:lhar.
Keyed in by ev:v:ðk Ag:rv:al: 12 Mar 2001. Posted 17 Apr 2001.