• Overview of Punjabi Grammar

Some Terms Used

Various linguistic terms have been used in describing the Punjabi grammar, including the following:
Word classes
It is also known as syntactic categories or more traditionally as parts of speech. We prefer to use the term 'word classes' on this website.
Grammatical categories
These are syntactic properties or grammatical features of the words. For example, words of the noun word class have gender, number, and case as grammatical features or categories. Therefore, the words of noun word class show inflection or mark grammatical contrast in sentences for these grammatical categories.
Inflection is usually a suffix, which expresses grammatical relationships such as number, person, tense etc. Punjabi words may be inflected or uninflected. For example, Punjabi noun ਮੁੰਡਾ muṇḍā ‘boy’ shows inflection for number and case, various forms of this word are ਮੁੰਡਾ muṇḍā, ਮੁੰਡੇ muṇḍē, ਮੁੰਡਿਆਂ muṇḍiāṃ, ਮੁੰਡਿਆ muṇḍiā, and ਮੁੰਡਿਓ muṇḍiō.
Case refers to the grammatical role of a noun or pronoun in phrases or clauses, such as the role of subject, object, possessor etc. For example, various case forms of the English pronoun ‘I’ are I (acts as subject in clauses), me (acts as object in clauses), and my/mine (possessive case). In Punjabi, if a nominal class word (noun, pronoun, adjective etc.) is followed by a postposition, then that word should be in oblique case. Oblique case forms combined with certain postpositions are used to realize those case forms for which words do not take specific forms. For example, ablative case form can be realized by combining ਤੋਂ tōṃ ‘from’ with the oblique case forms.
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