April 20, 2012

Passive Participles

Participles, like verbs, can exist in the passive voice in Hindi.

There are two kinds of passive participles in Hindi:

type-1: [perfect participle of main verb] [perfect participle of जाना], e.g. दिए गए

type-2: [perfect participle] [masculine singular oblique form of जाना (जाने) + form of वाला], e.g. बोली जानेवाली

There is a significant difference between these two kinds of passive participles.

Type-1 passive participles indicate a finite action that is complete. Such participles can often be substituted for perfect participles:

दिए हुए – निचे दिए हुए वाक्य – “The sentences given below”

दिए गए  – निचे दिए गए वाक्य – “The sentences given below”

The difference is that a type-1 passive participle may imply agency (this is similar to the difference between intransitive verbs and passive verbs such as पकना  / पकाया जाना).

Both the participle of the main verb and the participle of जाना inflect according to their usage. For instance, in the previous example, दिए गए was inflected as masculine plural since it is functioning as an attributive adjective modifying वाक्य.

Consider an example of type-1 passive participles:

क्या तुमने मेरे द्वारा दी गयी किताब पढ़ी – “Did you read the book that I gave you?” (literally, “Did you read the book given by me?”.

However, type-2 passive participles indicate a general or habitual action:

हिंदी भारत की सबसे अधिक बोली जानेवाली भाषा है – “Hindi is India’s most widely spoken language”

Note the difference between the following two sentences:

ट्रेन में दिया हुआ खाना अच्छा था – “The food given on the train was good”
ट्रेन में दिया जानेवाला खाना अच्छा है – “The food given on the train is good”

The first sentence refers to a particular past event – “the food given on the train (at some time) was good”. However, the second sentence makes a general statement: “the food given on the train (generally) is good”. It would not be appropriate to substitute either kind of participle for the other.

In type-2 participles, the suffix वाला may be adjoined or separated from the masculine singular oblique form of जाना (जाने):

लिखी जाने वाली भाषा

The type-2 perfect participle agrees in gender, number, and case with the modified word, as does the suffix वाला.

In the previous example, the type-2 passive participle बोली जानेवाली was used as an attributive adjective modifying भाषा (“language”), which is a feminine noun.

Type-2 passive participles differ from perfect participles in that type-2 passive participles express a general or habitual action performed upon the word they modify, whereas perfect participles express a state.

लिखी हुई – “(in the state of being) written”

लिखी जानेवाली – “(something which is) written”

For instance:

हिंदी दरवाजे पे लिखी हुई है – “Hindi is written on the door”

हिंदी उत्तर प्रदेश में बोली जानेवाली भाषा है – “Hindi is the language spoken in Uttar Pradesh”