International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Encoding of the Hindi-Urdu Possessive Construction and Hindi-Urdu Idioms: Pedagogical Approaches
Sungok Hong

Hindi-Urdu uses different encoding for possessors. There is no Hindi-Urdu equivalent of the English verb ‘to have’, even though there are ways to express this meaning using different sentential structures. Mohanan (1994) talks about ‘possession’ in the realm of Genitive Logical Subject, and suggests that kaa/ke/kiiis used when the relationship of the possessed entity to the possessor involves kinship or friendship, whereas kepaasis employed when the relation is that of ownership. Pandharipande (1981b) talks about the difference by arguing that kepaasis used when the relationship is purely of material ownership, and kaais used to express emotional attachment, intimacy or inalienable possession. I would like to look at the issue from a different perspective. I would like to look at possession in Hindi-Urdu through the lens of animacy, and discuss this issue by comparing Hindi-Urdu with English, and giving illustrations of my experience. This is one of the most common mistakes of Hindi/Urdu students, and it would be best if students new to the language could avoid the same misstep through early intervention. This paper will also look at this feature in other East Asian languages, such as Japanese, Korean, and Chinese and compare them with Hindi-Urdu. Japanese in particular shows similarities to Hindi-Urdu in this linguistic feature. Animacy effects are not limited to affecting grammatical functions, and also come into play in the correct use of Hindi-Urdu idioms. Some idioms only apply to entities located highest on the animacy hierarchy, which are humans.

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