History of Hindi 'to'

Royce Wiles Royce.Wiles at ANU.EDU.AU
Sun May 7 03:19:15 UTC 2000

According to MacGregor (The Oxford Hindi-English dictionary, sv.) the
origin from Sanskrit tatas is doubtful, and Hindi "to" may have an ancestor
in Sanskrit tAvat.

However, the entry in Turner's Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan
languages  for tatas (paragraph 5639) seems more supportive than that for
tAvat (parag. 5804) (you may be able to hunt up more discussion from the
articles Turner cites).

The Apabhramsa-Hindi dictionary of Naresh Kumar (1987) lists under "to" the
Hindi meanings: usa ke bAd and taba, bhI and provides citations from two
Apabhramsa works (KIrtilatA (1,2,8) and the Paumacariu (1, 3, 9)). He
thinks "to" is from Sanskrit tatas + api, which seems a bit off the mark.
An interesting Jain Sauraseni usage is "jahA .... to ... " in conditional
sentences (eg. KArtikayAnuprek.SA, 29).

You will need to explore the linguistic literature on "Old Hindi" (ie. Old
Western Rajasthani etc. or whatever you want to call those languages),
rather than attempt to jump straight back to Sanskrit from modern Hindi
without intervening stages. There can certainly be other influences in
Hindi than Sanskrit.

>I am researching the conjunction/discourse marker 'to' in modern Hindi and
>would like to have a feel for the historical background.I have been unable
>to find much help so far. Does anyone out there have any suggestions? Does
>'to' descend from Sanskrit 'tatas' or 'tavas' or rather 'tu'? Does it have
>more than one root? Is the saying true that 'tu' was often used to satisfy
>metrical requirements in verse? Any ideas?
>                        Terry Varma

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