1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kashmiri

KASHMIRI (properly Kāśmīrī), the name of the vernacular language spoken in the valley of Kashmir (properly Kaśmīr) and in the hills adjoining. In the Indian census of 1901 the number of speakers was returned at 1,007,957. By origin it is the most southern member of the Dard group of the Piśāca languages (see Indo-Aryan Languages). The other members of the group are Shīnā, spoken to its north in the country round Gilgit, and Kōhistānī, spoken in the hill country on both sides of the river Indus before it debouches on to the plains of India. The Piśāca languages also include Khōwār, the vernacular of Chitral, and the Kāfir group of speeches, of which the most important is the Bashgali of Kafiristan. Of all these forms of speech Kashmiri is the only one which possesses a literature, or indeed an alphabet. It is also the only one which has been dealt with in the census of India, and it is therefore impossible to give even approximate figures for the numbers of speakers of the others. The whole family occupies the three-sided tract of country between the Hindu-Kush and the north-western frontier of British India.

As explained in Indo-Aryan Languages, the Piśāca languages are Aryan, but are neither Iranian nor Indo-Aryan. They represent the speech of an independent Aryan migration over the Hindu-Kush directly into their present inhospitable seats, where they have developed a phonetic system of their own, while they have retained unchanged forms of extreme antiquity which have long passed out of current use both in Persia and in India. Their speakers appear to have left the main Aryan body after the great fission which resulted in the Indo-Aryan migration, but before all the typical peculiarities of Iranian speech had fully developed. They are thus representatives of a stage of linguistic progress later than that of Sanskrit, and earlier than that which we find recorded in the Iranian Avesta.

The immigrants into Kashmir must have been Shīns, speaking a language closely allied to the ancestor of the modern Shīnā. They appear to have dispossessed and absorbed an older non-Aryan people, whom local tradition now classes as Nāgas, or Snake-gods, and, at an early period, to have come themselves under the influence of Indo-Aryan immigrants from the south, who entered the valley along the course of the river Jhelam. The language has therefore lost most of its original Piśāca character, and is now a mixed one. Sanskrit has been actively studied for many centuries, and the Kashmiri vocabulary, and even its grammar, are now largely Indian. So much is this the case that, for convenience’ sake, it is now frequently classed (see Indo-Aryan Languages) as belonging to the north-western group of languages, instead of as belonging to the Piśāca family as its origin demands. It cannot be said that either classification is wrong.

Kashmiri has few dialects. In the valley there are slight changes of idiom from place to place, but the only important variety is Kishtwārī, spoken in the hills south-west of Kashmir. Smaller dialects, such as Pogul and Rāmbanī of the hills south of the Banihāl pass, may also be mentioned. The language itself is an old one. Pure Kashmiri words are preserved in the Sanskrit Rājataṛaṅgiṇī written by Kalhaṇa in the 12th century a.d., and, judging from these specimens, the language does not appear to have changed materially since his time.

General Character of the Language.—Kashmiri is a language of great philological interest. The two principal features which at once strike the student are the numerous epenthetic changes of vowels and consonants and the employment of pronominal suffixes. In both cases the phenomena are perfectly plain, cause and effect being alike presented to the eye in the somewhat complicated systems of declension and conjugation. The Indo-Aryan languages proper have long ago passed through this stage, and many of the phenomena now presented by them are due to its influence, although all record of it has disappeared. In this way a study of Kashmiri explains a number of difficulties found by the student of Indo-Aryan vernaculars.[1]

In the following account the reader is presumed to be in possession of the facts recorded in the articles Indo-Aryan Languages and Prakrit, and the following contractions will be employed: Ksh. = Kashmiri; Skr. = Sanskrit; P. = Piśāca; Sh. = Shīnā.

A. Vocabulary. The vocabulary of Kashmiri is, as has been explained, mixed. At its basis it has a large number of words which are also found in the neighbouring Shīnā, and these are such as connote the most familiar ideas and such as are in most frequent use. Thus, the personal pronouns, the earlier numerals, the words for “father,” “mother,” “fire,” “the sun,” are all closely connected with corresponding Shīnā words. There is also a large Indian element, consisting partly of words derived from Sanskrit vocables introduced in ancient times, and partly of words borrowed in later days from the vernaculars of the Punjab. Finally, there is a considerable Persian (including Arabic) element due to the long Mussulman domination of the Happy Valley. Many of these have been considerably altered in accordance with Kashmiri phonetic rules, so that they sometimes appear in strange forms. Thus the Persian lagām, a bridle, has become lākam, and the Arabic bābat, concerning, appears as bāpat. The population speaking Kashmiri is mainly Mussulman, there being, roughly speaking, nine Mahommedan Kashmiris to less than one Hindu. This difference of religion has strongly influenced the vocabulary. The Mussulmans use Persian and Arabic words with great freedom, while the Hindus, or “Pandits” as they are called, confine their borrowings almost entirely to words derived from Sanskrit. As the literary class is mostly Hindu, it follows that Kashmiri literature, taken as a whole, while affording most interesting and profitable study, hardly represents the actual language spoken by the mass of the people. There are, however, a few good Kashmiri works written by Mussulmans in their own dialect.

B. Written Characters. Mussulmans and Christian missionaries employ an adaptation of the Persian character for their writings. This alphabet is quite unsuited for representing the very complex Kashmiri vowel system. Hindus employ the Sāradā alphabet, of Indian origin and akin to the well-known Nāgarī. Kashmiri vowel sounds can be recorded very successfully in this character, but there is, unfortunately, no fixed system of spelling. The Nagari alphabet is also coming into use in printed books, no Śāradā types being yet in existence.

C. Phonetics. Comparing the Kashmiri with the Sanskrit alphabet (see Sanskrit), we must first note a considerable extension of the vowel system. Not only does Ksh. possess the vowels a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, r, ē, ai, ō, au, and the anunāsika or nasal symbol ~, but it has also a flat ă (like the a in “hat”) a flat ĕ (like the e in “met”), a short ŏ (like the o in “hot”) and a broad å (like the a in “all”). It also has a series of what natives call “mātrā-vowels,” which are represented in the Roman character by small letters above the line, viz. , , ū, . Of these, is simply a very short indeterminate sound something like that of the Hebrew shᵃwā mobile, except that it may sometimes be the only vowel in a word, as in tsᵃh, thou. The is a hardly audible i, while ū and are quite inaudible at the end of a syllable. When or is followed by a consonant in the same syllable generally and always becomes a full i or u respectively and is so pronounced. On the other hand, in similar circumstances, ū remains unchanged in writing, but is pronounced like a short German ü. It should be observed that this ū always represents an older ī, and is still considered to be a palatal, not, like , a labial vowel. Although these mātrā–vowels are so slightly heard, they exercise a great influence on the sound of a preceding syllable. We may compare the sound of a in the English word “mar.” If we add e to the end of this word we get “mare,” in which the sound of the a is altogether changed, although the e is not itself pronounced in its proper place. The back-action of these mātrā–vowels is technically known as umlaut or “epenthesis,” and is the most striking feature of the Kashmiri language, the structure of which is unintelligible without a thorough knowledge of the system. In the following pages when a vowel is epenthetically affected by a mātrā–vowel the fact will be denoted by a dot placed under it, thus kạrᵘ. This is not the native system, according to which the change is indicated sometimes by a diacritical mark and sometimes by writing a different letter. The changes of pronunciation effected by each mātrā–vowel are shown in the following table. If natives employ a different letter to indicate the change the fact is mentioned. In other cases they content themselves with diacritical marks. When no entry is made, it should be understood that the sound of the vowel remains unaltered:—

Preceding
Vowel.
Pronunciation when followed by
a-mātrā i-mātrā ū–mātrā u-mātrā
 (ạdᵃr, be moist) (some thing like a short German ö) aⁱ  (kạrⁱ, pr. kaⁱrⁱ, made, plural masc.) ü  (as in German: kạrū, pr. kür, made, fem. sing.) o  (like first o in “promote”; kạrᵘ, pr. kor, made, masc. sing.)
ạ̄ ö  (kạ̄ñᵃr, pr. köñᵃr, make one-eyed) (like a long German ö) öⁱ  (German ö; mạ̄rⁱ, pr. möⁱrⁱ, killed, masc. plur.) ö  (mạ̄rū, pr. mör, killed, fem. sing.) å  (mạ̄rᵘ, pr. mår, written, mōrᵘ, killed, masc. sing.)
 (lịvū, pr. lyüv, plastered, fem. sing.) yu  (lịvᵘ, pr. lyuv, written lyuvᵘ, plastered, masc. sing.)
ị̄  (nīlᵘ, pr. nyūl, written nyūlᵘ, blue, masc. sing.)
uⁱ  (gụrⁱ, pr. guⁱrⁱ, horses)
ụ̄ ūⁱ  (gụ̄rⁱ, pr. gūⁱrⁱ, cowherds)
ẹ̆ i  (lẹ̆dᵃr, pr. lidᵃr, be yellow)  (tsẹ̆lū, pr. tsyül, squeezed, fem. sing.) yu  (tsẹ̆lᵘ, pr. tsyul, written tsyulᵘ, squeezed, masc. sing.)
ẹ̄ ī  (phẹ̄rⁱ, pr. and written phīrⁱ, turned, masc. plur.) ī  (phẹ̄rū, pr. phīr, written, phīrū, turned, fem. sing.)  (phẹ̄rᵘ, pr. phyūr, written phyūrᵘ, turned, masc. sing.)
ọ̆ u  (họ̆khᵃr, pr. hukhᵃr, make dry) ŏⁱ  (wọ̆thⁱ, pr. wŏⁱthⁱ, arisen, masc. plur.) ü  (wọ̆thū, pr. wüth, arisen, fem. sing.) o  (wọ̆thᵘ, pr. woth, arisen, masc. sing.)
ọ̄ ūⁱ  (būⁱzⁱ, pr. būⁱzⁱ, written būzⁱ, heard. masc. plur.) ū  (bọ̄zū, pr. būz, written, būzū, heard, fem. sing.) ū  (bōzᵘ, pr. būz, written būzᵘ, heard, masc. sing.)

The letters u and i, even when not u-mātrā or i-mātrā, often change a preceding long ā to å, which is usually written ō, and ạ̄ respectively. Thus rāwukh, they have lost, is pronounced råwukh, and, in the native character, is written rōwukh. Similarly mālis becomes mạ̄lis (mölis). The diphthong ai is pronounced ö when it commences a word; thus, aiṭh, eight, is pronounced öṭh. When i and u commence a word they are pronounced yi and wu respectively. With one important exception, common to all Piśāca languages, Kashmiri employs every consonant found in the Sanskrit alphabet. The exception is the series of aspirated consonants, gh, jh, ḍh, dh and bh, which are wanting in Ksh., the corresponding unaspirated consonants being substituted for them. Thus, Skr. ghōṭakas, but Ksh. gurᵘ, a horse; Skr. bhavati, Ksh. bŏvi, he will be. There is a tendency to use dental letters where Hindī employs cerebrals, as in Hindi uṭh, Ksh. wŏth, arise. Cerebral letters are, however, owing to Sanskrit influence, on the whole better preserved in Ksh. than in the other Piśāca languages. The cerebral has almost disappeared, ś being employed instead. The only common word in which it is found is the numeral ṣah, six, which is merely a learned spelling for śah, due to the influence of the Skr. ṣaṭ. From the palatals c, ch, j, a new series of consonants has been formed, viz. ts, tsh (aspirate of tsi.e. ts + h, not t + sh), and z (as in English, not dz). Thus, Skr. cōras, Ksh. tsūr, a thief; Skr. chalayati, Ksh. tshali, he will deceive; Skr. jalam, Ksh. zal, water. The sibilant ś, and occasionally s, are frequently represented by h. Thus, Skr. daśa, Ksh. dah, ten; Skr. śiras, Ksh. hīr, a head. We may compare with this the Persian word Hind, India (compare the Greek Ἰνδός, an Indian), derived from the Skr. Sindhus, the river Indus. When such an h is followed by a palatal letter the ś returns; thus, from the base hiś–, like this, we have the nominative masculine hịhᵘ, but the feminine hiśū, and the abstract noun hiśyar, because ū and y are palatal letters.

The palatal letters i, e, ū–mātrā and y often change a preceding consonant. The modifications will be seen from the following examples: rāt–, night; nom. plur. rạ̄tsū; wŏth, arise; wọ̆tshū, she arose: lad, build; lạzū, she was built: ran, cook; rạñū, she was cooked; pạṭū, a tablet; Ag. sing. paci: kāth-, a stalk; nom. plur. kāchĕ: baḍ–, great; nom. plur. fem. bajĕ: batukᵘ, a duck; fem. batcū: họ̆khᵘ, dry; fem. họ̆chū; srọ̆gᵘ, cheap; srŏjyar, cheapness: wạ̄lᵘ, a ring; fem. wạ̄jū, a small ring; lōs, be weary; lọ̄sū or lọ̄tsū, she was weary. These changes are each subject to certain rules. Cerebral letters (ṭ, ṭh, ḍ) change only before i, ĕ or y, and not before ū–mātrā. The others, on the contrary, do not change i, but do change before ĕ, y or ū–mātrā.

No word can end in an unaspirated surd consonant. If such a consonant falls at the end of a word it is aspirated. Thus, ak, one, becomes akh (but acc. akis); kaṭ, a ram, becomes kaṭh; and hat, a hundred, hath.

D. Declension. If the above phonetic rules are borne in mind, declension in Kashmiri is a fairly simple process. If attention is not paid to them, the whole system at once becomes a field of inextricable confusion. In the following pages it will be assumed that the reader is familiar with them.

Nouns substantive and adjective have two genders, a masculine and a feminine. Words referring to males are masculine, and to females are feminine. Inanimate things are sometimes masculine and sometimes feminine. Pronouns have three genders, arranged on a different principle. One gender refers to male living beings, another to female living beings, and a third (or neuter) to all inanimate things whether they are grammatically masculine or feminine. Nouns ending in are masculine, and most, but not all, of those ending in , , ĕ or ñ are feminine. Of nouns ending in consonants, some are masculine, and some are feminine. No rule can be formulated regarding these, except that all abstract nouns ending in ar (a very numerous class) are masculine. There are four declensions. The first consists of masculine nouns ending in a consonant, in a, ĕ or ū (very few of these last two). The second consists of the important class of masculine nouns in ; the third of feminine nouns in , ū, or ñ (being the feminines corresponding to the masculine nouns of the second declension); and the fourth of feminine nouns ending in , ĕ or a consonant.

The noun possesses two numbers, a singular and a plural, and in each number there are, besides the nominative, three organic cases, the accusative, the case of the agent (see below, under “verbs”), and the ablative. The accusative, when not definite, may also be the same in form as the nominative. The following are the forms which a noun takes in each declension, the words chosen as examples being: First declension, tsūr, a thief; second declension, mạ̄lᵘ, a father; third declension, mạj^ū, a mother; fourth declension, (a) māl, a garland, (b) rāt–, night.

  First
Declension.
Second
Declension.
Third
Declension.
Fourth Declension.
a. b.
Sing.:          
 Nom. tsūr mạlᵘ (pr. mål) mạ̄jū (möj) māl rāth
 Acc. tsūras mạ̄lis (mölis) mājĕ māli rạ̄tsū (röts)
 Ag. tsūran mạ̄lⁱ (möⁱlⁱ) māji māli rạ̄tsū (röts)
 Abl. tsūra māli māji māli rạ̄tsū (röts)
Plur.:          
 Nom tsūr mạlⁱ (möⁱlⁱ) mājĕ māla rạ̄tsū (röts)
 Acc. tsūran mālĕn mājĕn mālan rạ̄tsūn (rötsün)
 Ag. and Abl. tsūrau mālyau mājyau mālau rạ̄tsūv (rötsüv)

The declension 4b is confined to certain nouns in t, th, d, n, h and l, in which the final consonant is liable to change owing to a following ū–mātrā.

Other cases are formed (as in true Indo-Aryan languages) by the addition of postpositions, some of which are added to the accusative, while others are added to the ablative case. To the former are added manz, in; kịtᵘ, to or for; sụ̄tin, with, and others. To the ablative are added sụ̄tin, when it signifies “by means of”; putshy, for; pĕṭhᵃ, from, and others. For the genitive, masculine nouns in the singular, signifying animate beings, take sạndᵘ, and if they signify things without life, take kᵘ. All masculine plural nouns and all feminine nouns whether singular or plural take hạndᵘ. Sạndᵘ and hạndᵘ are added to the accusative, which drops a final s, while kᵘ is added to the ablative. Thus, tsūra sạndᵘ, of the thief; mạ̄lⁱ sạndᵘ, of the father; sŏnạkᵘ (usually written sŏnukᵘ), of gold (sŏn, abl. sing. sŏna); tsūran nạndᵘ, of thieves; karĕn hạndᵘ, of bracelets (second declension); mājĕ hạndᵘ, of the mother; mājĕn hạndᵘ, of the mothers. Masculine proper names, however, take nᵘ in the singular, as in Rādhākrṣṇạnᵘ of Rādhākrishna. These genitive terminations, and also the dative termination kịtᵘ, are adjectives, and agree with the governing noun in gender, number and case. Thus, tsūra sạndᵘ nĕcịvᵘ, the son of the thief; tsūra sạndⁱ nĕcivⁱ, by the son of the thief; tsūra sạnzū kōrᵘ, the daughter of the thief; kulịkᵘ lang, a bough of the tree; kulicū lạṇdū, a twig of the tree. Sạndᵘ, has fem. sing. sạnzᵘ, masc. plur. sạndⁱ, fem. plur. sanza. Similarly hạndᵘ. Kᵘ has fem. sing. cū, masc. plur. kⁱ, fem. plur. ; nᵘ, fem. sing. ñ, masc. plur. nⁱ, fem. plur. ñĕ. Similarly for the dative we have the following forms: mạ̄lis kịtᵘ pạ̄ñᵘ, water (masc.) for the father; mạ̄lis kitsū gāv, a cow for the father; mạ̄lis kitⁱ rav, blankets (masc. plur.) for the father; mạ̄lis kitsa pōthĕ, books (fem. plur.) for the father. All these postpositions of the genitive and kịtᵘ of the dative are declined regularly as substantives, the masculine ones belonging to the second declension and the feminine ones to the third. Note that the feminine plural of sạndᵘ is sanza, not sanzĕ, as we might expect; so also feminine nouns in tsᵘ, tshᵘ, zū and sū.

Adjectives ending in (second declension) form the feminine in ū, with the usual changes of the preceding consonant. Thus tạtᵘ, hot, fem. tạtsū (pronounced tüts). Other adjectives do not change for gender. All adjectives agree with the qualified noun in gender, number and case, the postposition, if any, being added to the latter word of the two. Take, for example, chạtᵘ, white, and gurᵘ, a horse. From these we have chạtᵘ gurᵘ, a white horse; acc. sing. chatis guris; nom. plur. chạtⁱ gụrⁱ; and chatyau guryau sụ̄tin, by means of white horses.

The first two personal pronouns are bŏh, I; , me, by me; ạsⁱ, we; asĕ, us, by us; and tsᵃh, thou; tsĕ, thee, by thee; tọ̆hⁱ, ye; tŏhĕ you, by you. Possessive pronouns are employed instead of the genitive. Thus, myạ̄nᵘ, my; sạ̄nᵘ, our; cyạ̄nᵘ, thy; tuhạndᵘ, your. For the third person, we have sing. masc. suh, fem. sŏh, neut. tih; acc. sing. (masc. or fem.) tamis or tas, neut. tath; agent sing. masc. neut. tạmⁱ, fem. tami. The plural is of common gender throughout. Nom. tim; acc. timan; ag. timau. The possessive pronoun is tasạndᵘ, of him, of her; tamyukn, of it; tihạndᵘ, of them. The neuter gender is used for all things without life.

Other pronouns are:—This: yih (com. gen.); acc. masc. fem. yimis, or nŏmis, neut, yith, nŏth; ag. masc. neut., yimⁱ, nọ̆mⁱ, fem. yimi, nŏmi; nom. plur. yim, fem. yima, and so on.

That (within sight): masc. neut. huh, fem. hŏh; acc. masc. fem. humis or amis, neut. huth, and so on; nom. plur. masc hum.

Who, masc. yus, fem. yŏssa, neut. yih; acc. masc. fem. yĕmis, yĕs, neut. yĕth; ag. masc. neut. yĕmⁱ, fem. yĕmi; nom. plur. masc. yim, and so on.

Who? masc. kus, fem. kŏssa, neut. kyāh; acc. masc. fem. kamis, kas, neut. kath; ag. masc. neut. kamⁱ, fem. kami; nom. plur. masc. kam.

Self, pāna. Anyone, someone, kā̃h, kū̃h, or kā̃tshāh, neut. kē̃tshāh.

Kashmiri makes very free use of pronominal suffixes, which are added to verbs to supply the place of personal terminations. These represent almost any case, and are as follows:—

  First Person. Second Person. Third Person.
Sing.—      
 Nom. s kh, h none
 Acc. m th, y s
 Dat. m y s
 Ag. m th, y n
Plur.—      
 Nom. none wa none
Other cases none wa kh, h

Before these the verbal terminations are often slightly changed for the sake of euphony, and, when necessary for the pronunciation, the vowel a is inserted as a junction vowel.

In this connexion we may mention another set of suffixes also commonly added to verbs, with an adverbial force. Of these na negatives the verb, as in chuh, he is; chuna, he is not; ā asks a question, as in chwā, is he? ti adds emphasis, as in chuti, he is indeed; and tyā asks a question with emphasis, as in chutyā, is he indeed?

Two or three suffixes may be employed together, as in kạru, was made, kạru–m, was made by me, kạru-m-akh, thou wast made by me; kạru-m-akh-ā, wast thou made by me? The two kh suffixes become h when they are followed by a pronominal suffix commencing with a vowel, as in kạru-h-as (for kạru-kh-as), I was made by them.

E. Conjugation. As in the case of the modern Indo-Aryan vernaculars, the conjugation of the verb is mainly participial. Three only of the old tenses, the present, the future and the imperative have survived, the first having become a future, and the second a past conditional. These three we may call radical tenses. The rest, viz. the Kashmiri present, imperfect, past, aorist, perfect and other past tenses are all participial.

The verb substantive, which is also used as an auxiliary verb, has two tenses, a present and a past. The former is made by adding the pronominal suffixes of the nominative to a base chu(h), and the latter by adding the same to a base ạ̄su. Thus:—

  Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
1 chu-s, I am chĕ–s, I am chih, we are chĕh, we are
2 chu-kh, thou art chĕ–kh, thou art chi-wa, you are chĕ–wa, you are
3 chuh, he is chĕh, she is chih, they are chĕh, they are
1 ạ̄su-s, I was ạ̄su-s, I was ạ̄si, we were āsa, we were
2 ạ̄su-kh, thou wast ạ̄su-kh, thou wast ạ̄si-wa, you were āsa–wa, you were
3 ạ̄su, he was ạ̄su, she was ạ̄si, they were āsa, they were

As for the finite verb, the modern future (old present), and the past conditional (old future) do not change for gender, and do not employ suffixes, but retain relics of the old personal terminations of the tenses from which they are derived. They are thus conjugated, taking the verbal root kar, as the typical verb.

  Future, I shall make, &c. Past Conditional, (if) I had made, &c.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
1 kara karav karahå karahåv
2 karakh kariv karahåkh kạrihīv
3 kari karan karihē karahån

For the imperative we have 2nd person singular, kar, plur. kariv; third person singular and plural karin.

Many of the above forms will be intelligible from a consideration of the closely allied Sanskrit, although they are not derived from that language; but some (e.g. those of the second person singular) can only be explained by the analogy of the Iranian and of the Piśāca languages.

The present participle is formed by adding ān to the root; thus, karān, making. It does not change for gender. From this we get a present and an imperfect, formed by adding respectively the present and past tenses of the auxiliary verb. Thus, kāran chus, I (masculine) am making, I make; karān chĕs, I (feminine) am making, I make; karān ạ̄sus, I (masculine) was making; and so on.

There are several past participles, all of which are liable to change for gender, and are utilized in conjugation. We have:—

  Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Masculine Feminine
Weak past participle kạru kạru kạri karĕ
Strong past participle karyōv karyēya karyēy karyēya
Pluperfect participle karyāv karyēya karēyēy karyēya
Compound past participle kạrumạtu kạrumạtsu kạrimạ̄ti karĕmatsa

In the strong past participle and the pluperfect participle, the final v and y (like the final h of chuh quoted above) are not parts of the original words, but are only added for the sake of euphony. The true words are karyō, karyē, karyā and karyēyē. There are three conjugations. The first includes all transitive verbs. These have both the weak and the strong past participles. The second conjugation consists of sixty-six common intransitive verbs, which also have both of these participles. The third conjugation consists of the remaining intransitive verbs. These have only the strong past participle. The weak past participle in the first two conjugations refers to something which has lately happened, and is used to form an immediate past tense. The strong past participle is more indefinite, and is employed to form a tense corresponding to the Greek aorist. The pluperfect participle refers to something which happened a long time ago, and is used to form the past tense of narration. As the third conjugation has no weak past participle, the strong past participle is employed to make the immediate past, and the pluperfect participle is employed to make the aorist past, while the new pluperfect participle is formed to make the tense of narration. Thus, from the root wuph, fly (third conjugation) we have wuphyōv, he flew just now, while karyōv (first conjugation) means “he was made at some indefinite time”; wuphyāv, he flew at some indefinite time, but karyāv, he was made a long time ago; finally, the new participle of the third conjugation, wuphiyāv, he flew a long time ago.

The corresponding tenses are formed by adding pronominal suffixes to the weak, the strong, or the pluperfect participle. In the last two the final v and y, being no longer required by euphony, are dropped. In the case of transitive verbs the participles are passive by derivation and in signification, and hence the suffix indicating the subject must be in the agent case. Thus kạru means “made.” For “I made” we must say “made by me,” kạru–m; for “thou madest,” kạru–th, made by thee, and so on. If the thing made is feminine the participle must be feminine, and similarly if it is plural it must be plural. Thus, kạru–m, I made him; kạru-m, I made her; kạri–m, I made them (masculine); and karĕ–m, I made them (feminine). Similarly from the other two participles we have karyō–m, I made him; karyēya–m, I made her; karyā–m, I made him (a long time ago). The past participles of intransitive verbs are not passive, and hence the suffix indicating the subject must be in the nominative form. Thus tsạlu, escaped (second conjugation); tsạlu–s, escaped-I, I (masculine) escaped; tsạjü-s, I (feminine) escaped, and so on. Similarly for the third conjugation, wuphyōv, flew; wuphyō–s, I (masculine) flew; wuphyēya–s, I (feminine) flew, &c.

As explained above, these suffixes may be piled one on another. As a further example we may give kạru, made; kạru–n, made by him, he made; kạru–n-as, made by him I, he made me, or (as -s also means “for him”) he made for him; kạru–n-as-ā, did he make me? or, did he make for him? and so on.

Tenses corresponding to the English perfect and pluperfect are formed by conjugating the auxiliary verb, adding the appropriate suffixes, with the compound past participle. Thus kạrumạtu chu-n-as, made am-by-him-I, he has made me; tsạlumạtu chu-kh, escaped art thou, thou hast escaped; wuphyōmạtu chu-s, flown am-I, I have flown. Similarly for the pluperfect, kạrumạtu ạ̄su-n-as, made was-by-him-I, he had made me, and so on.

Many verbs have irregular past participles. Thus mar, die, has mūdu; di, give, has dịtu; khi, eat, has khyauv for its weak, and khĕyōv for its strong participle, while ni, take, has nyūv and niyōv, respectively. Others must be learnt from the regular grammars.

The infinitive is formed by adding -un to the root; thus kar-un, to make. It is declined like a somewhat irregular noun of the first declension, its accusative being karanas. There are three forms of the noun of agency, of which typical examples are kar-awunu, kar-an-wạ̄lu, and kar-an-grākh, a maker.

The passive is formed by conjugating the verb yi, come, with the ablative of the infinitive. Thus, karana yiwān chuh, it is coming by making, or into making, i.e. it is being made. A root is made active or causal by adding -anaw, -āw, or -arāw. Thus, kar-anāw, cause to make; kumal, be tender, kumal-āw, make tender; kal, be dumb, kạl–arāw, make dumb. Some verbs take one form and some another, and there are numerous irregularities, especially in the case of the last.

F. Indeclinables. Indeclinables (adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections) must be learnt from the dictionary. The number of interjections is very large, and they are distinguished by minute rules depending on the gender of the person addressed and the exact amount of respect due to him.

Literature.—Kashmiri possesses a somewhat extensive literature, which has been very little studied. The missionary William Carey published in 1821 a version of the New Testament (in the Śāradā character), which was the first book published in the language. In 1885 the Rev. J. Hinton Knowles published at Bombay a collection of Kashmiri proverbs and sayings, and K. F. Burkhard in 1895 published an edition of Maḥmūd Gāmī’s poem on Yūsuf and Zulaikhā. This, with the exception of later translations of the Scriptures in the Persian character and a few minor works, is all the literature that has been printed or about which anything has been written. Maḥmūd Gāmī’s poem is valuable as an example of the Kashmiri used by Mussulmans. For Hindu literature, we may quote a history of Krishna by Dīnanātha. The very popular Lallā–vākya, a poem on Śaiva philosophy by a woman named Lālladēvī, is said to be the oldest work in the language which has survived. Another esteemed work is the Śiva Pariṇaya of Kṛṣṇa Rājānaka, a living author. These and other books which have been studied by the present writer have little independent value, being imitations of Sanskrit literature.

Nothing is known about the dates of most of the authors.

Authorities.—The scientific study of Kashmiri is of very recent date. The only printed lexicographical work is a short vocabulary by W. J. Elmslie (London, 1872). K. F. Burkhard brought out a grammar of the Mussulman dialect in the Proceedings of the Royal Bavarian Academy of Science for 1887–1889, of which a translation by G. A. Grierson appeared in the Indian Antiquary of 1895 and the following years (reprinted as a separate publication, Bombay, 1897). T. R. Wade’s Grammar (London, 1888) is the merest sketch, and the only attempt at a complete work of the kind in English is G. A. Grierson’s Essays on Kāçmīrī Grammar (London and Calcutta, 1899). A valuable native grammar in Sanskrit, the Kaśmīraśabdāmrta of Īśvara Kaula, has been edited by the same writer (Calcutta, 1888). For an examination of the origin of Kashmiri grammatical forms and the Piśāca question generally, see G. A. Grierson’s “On Certain Suffixes in the Modern Indo-Aryan Vernaculars” in the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung auf dem Gebiete der Indogermanischen Sprachen for 1903 and The Piśāca Languages of North-Western India (London, 1906).

The only important text which has been published is Burkhard’s edition, with a partial translation, of Mahmūd Gāmī’s “Yūsuf and Zulaikhā” in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft for 1895 and 1899. The text of the Siva Pariṇaya, edited by G. A. Grierson, is in course of publication by the Asiatic Society of Bengal.  (G. A. Gr.) 


  1. See G. A. Grierson, “On Pronominal Suffixes in the Kāçmīrī Languages,” and “On the Radical and Participial Tenses of the Modern Indo-Aryan Languages,” in Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. lxiv. (1895), pt. i. pp. 336 and 352.