Hock, Hans Henrich hhhock at illinois.edu
Thu Jun 4 15:04:37 EDT 2015

The etymology tāvat is on the mark; but the question is whether to is used like tāvat (as it is found frequently in northern spoken Sanskrit, as well as in dramatic dialogue), or whether its used more like Hindi to. To check on the latter possibility it would be good to see whether to is used not just after subjects (or other, fronted elements), as a kind of topic marker, but in other positions as well, such as vah laṛkī sundar to hai (lekin cālāk bhī hai) or the kind of question one might ask a taxi driver who’s putting one’s luggage on the roof-carrier: giregā to nahīṁ? (The following site offers a fairly broad discussion of the uses of Hindi to: http://hindilanguage.info/hindi-grammar/particles/emphatic-particles/.)

At any rate, the use of to noticed by Patrick McCartney looks like a transfer from Hindi. Whether one would want to consider this code mixing or simply borrowing (by transfer) is more a philosophical than linguistic question. lekin inṭaresṭiṅ to hai.


Hans Henrich Hock

On 4 Jun 2015, at 13:42, Elliot M. Stern <emstern at verizon.net<mailto:emstern at verizon.net>> wrote:


Sent from my iPhone:


On Jun 4, 2015, at 13:35, patrick mccartney <psdmccartney at gmail.com<mailto:psdmccartney at gmail.com>> wrote:

Dear Friends,

I'm currently collecting some data on spoken Sanskrit.

One dominant feature I have noticed in several different language nests across geographically diverse parts of North India is the use of /to/. During countless conversations over the last two months I have heard this particle used many times, albeit always in the same syntactic position and for the same semantic reason.

My question regards whether this /to/ particle is in any way to be considered a Sanskrit particle or not?

This /to/ particle, as far as my understanding allows, is the intensifier particle from Hindi and other MILs. It is located consistently following the agent like in a Hindi sentence. This demonstrates, perhaps that the grammatical scaffolding of spoken Sanskrit relies implicitly on the syntactical structure of MILs like Hindi as a potential first language (L1) of a speaker. Contextualising some more, I have heard this particle used by my language consultants whose L1s are Malvi, Hindi, Assamese and Nepali.

Below are some brief examples to clarify my query.

1) Hindi            maiñ      to       ghar    (ko)    jātā   hūñ

2) Sanskrit       ahaṁ     to       gṛhe             gacchāmi

As a Hindi speaker myself, I find I am also using this /to/ particle in the same way to create emphasis.

3)                     ahaṁ    to      bubhukṣā       asmi

I understand that the particle /tu/ in Sanskrit serves a similar semantic function and I'm guessing it is the historical precedent of /to/. However, my consultants are not using /tu/ they are using /to/!

For an audible example, in the latter stages (1 min 57-58 sec) of this clip<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.youtube.com_watch-3Fv-3DlHLIy-2DWHDew&d=AwMFaQ&c=8hUWFZcy2Z-Za5rBPlktOQ&r=yKOAMu7Fm_W5kv9CXfjbmb6aWTY6BVQCYZ5TKkB486Q&m=mYU-23lVrPj-O1eUbbUraTI3ezBa3OQsrjGXQQ5wlcc&s=dQQ4bUSRv5iz67JeQOMZaQVFJtK7x04n-9aF_nu_7z8&e=>  you can here the phrase

4)                   ahaṁ   to       saṁskṛtaṁ     jānāmi'

The speaker in this clip is an L1 speaker of Malvi. More specifically Umawadi Malvi, which is the dialect of Rajgarh Jhila, MP.

Reiterating my query more precisely, can I consider this to be a case of code-mixing?

Thanks in advance for helping to clarify this point of interest for me.

All the best,

Patrick McCartney

PhD Candidate
School of Culture, History & Language
College of the Asia-Pacific
The Australian National University
Canberra, Australia, 0200

Skype - psdmccartney

Australia:  +61 487 398   354
Germany: +49 157 5469 4045
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