• Overview of Punjabi Grammar

Clause Structure

Now, we will present some clause structures that will mostly apply to the independent clauses, and thus will help in constructing simple sentences or kernel sentences. Other sentences will be considered as transformations of these sentences, for which we will provide a sketchy view later. These structures can be indicated by the following condensed forms:
  • VP
    A clause can be formed of just one verb phrase (VP), which will be the main verb phrase, e.g.

    1. ਖਾ ।
    2. ਸੁਣਾਂ ।
    3. ਬੋਲੋ ।
  • NP (NP|AP)* VP
    A clause can have a noun phrase(NP) (excluding postpositional phrases (PP)) followed by zero or more number of noun phrases (including postpositional phrases) or adjective phrases (AP). The symbol ‘|’ is used for ‘either or’, i.e. in a sentence either the element on the left side of ‘|’ will be present or the one on the right side. ‘*’ is used to indicate that the enclosed elements can occur zero or more number of times. Some example sentences based on this structure are provided below. In the examples, the parentheses mark the phrase boundaries.

    1. (ਮੁੰਡਾ) (ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ) ।
      (muṇḍā) (jā rihā hai).
      NP VP
      The boy is going.
    2. (ਮੁੰਡੇ ਨੇ) (ਪਾਣੀ) (ਪੀਤਾ) ।
      (muṇḍē nē) (pāṇī) (pītā).
      NP NP VP
      The boy drank water.
    3. (ਮੁੰਡਾ) (ਚੰਗਾ) (ਹੈ) ।
      (muṇḍā) (caṅgā) (hai).
      NP AP VP
      The boy is nice.
    4. (ਮੁੰਡੇ ਨੇ) (ਕਿਤਾਬ ਨੂੰ) (ਵੇਖਿਆ )।
      (muṇḍē nē) (kitāb nūṃ) (vēkhiā).
      NP NP VP
      The boy saw the book.
    5. (ਮੁੰਡੇ ਨੇ) (ਬੱਚੇ ਨੂੰ) (ਸੇਬ) (ਦਿੱਤਾ) ।
      (muṇḍē nē) (baccē nūṃ) (sēb) (dittā).
      NP NP NP VP
      The boy gave an apple to the child.
    6. (ਮੁੰਡੇ ਨੇ) (ਬੱਚੇ ਨੂੰ) (ਦੁਕਾਨ ਤੋਂ) (ਸੇਬ) (ਦਿਵਾਇਆ) ।
      (muṇḍē nē) (baccē nūṃ) (dukān tōṃ) (sēb) (divāiā).
      NP NP NP NP VP
      The boy bought an apple for the child from the shop.
    7. (ਮੁੰਡੇ ਨੇ) (ਬੱਚੇ ਨੂੰ) (ਦੁਕਾਨ ਤੋਂ) (ਦੁਕਾਨਦਾਰ ਰਾਹੀਂ) (ਇੱਕ ਸੇਬ) (ਭਿਜਵਾਇਆ) ।
      (muṇḍē nē) (baccē nūṃ) (dukān tōṃ) (dukāndār rāhīṃ) (ikk sēb) (bhijvāiā).
      The boy got an apple sent to the child from the shop through the shop owner.

    A small number of sentences may have even more number of NPs than those presented in the last sentence 10 above, but such sentences will look more or less peculiar. Sentences with up to four NPs are thus quite acceptable.
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