by Ingroj Shrestha on July 30, 2017


Figure 1: Word Formation in Nepali


The process of word formations(शब्दनिर्माण / शब्दरचना) in Nepali can be categorized into: inflection(रुपायन) and derivation(व्युत्पादन). Types of word formation process in Nepali are given in Figure 1.


In this blog post, we'll discuss nominal(noun, pronoun and adjective) inflections in Nepali.


Inflections in Nepali


Inflections change the root word to represent different grammatical categories such as gender, number, tense, person and level of honorifics.


Nepali is a highly inflectional language. In Nepali, inflection occurs due to suffixation. Inflectional suffix is regular and transparent in its function. It does not usually change the lexical category and meaning of the root/stem. Hence, inflectional variants of a root usually have the same lexical category and meaning as the root.


Some examples of inflections are given below.

Stem + Suffix(Inflectional) = Inflectional Variant

घर(noun) + मा(inflectional suffix) = घरमा(noun)
गर्(verb) + छु(inflection suffix) = गर्छु(verb) 

There are no inflectional prefix, infix and circumfix in Nepali. There are only inflectional suffixes. Some of the inflectional suffixes are listed below.

एको (eko)

लाई (lai:)

हरु (haru)

को (ko)

Inflections in Nepali Nouns


Nepali nouns inflect for seven different cases and two dimensions of number. Noun inflections are marked by postpositions. Table 1 shows noun inflections in Nepali.


Table 1: Inflections in Nepali nouns

Case(कारक)

Number(वचन)

Singular(एकवचन)

Plural(बहुवचन)

Nominative(कर्ता)

ले(le) Example: विद्यालयले

हरुले(haru-le) Example: विद्यालयहरुले

Accusative(कर्म)

लाई(lai:) Example: विद्यालयलाई

हरुलाई(haru-lai:) Example: विद्यालयहरुलाई

Instrumental(करण)

ले(le) Example: विद्यालयले

हरुले(haru-le) Example: विद्यालयहरुले

Dative(सम्प्रदान)

लाई(lai:) Example: विद्यालयलाई

हरुलाई(haru-lai:) Example: विद्यालयहरुलाई

Ablative(अपादान)

देखि(dekhi), बाट(bat) Example: विद्यालयदेखि, विद्यालयबाट

हरुदेखि(haru-dekhi), हरुबाट(haru-bat) Example: विद्यालयहरुदेखि, विद्यालयहरुबाट

Genitive(सम्बन्ध)

को(ko), का(ka), कि(ki) Example: विद्यालयको, विद्यालयका

हरुको(haru-ko), हरुका(haru-ka) Example: विद्यालयहरुको, विद्यालयहरुका

Locative(अधिकरण)

मा(ma) Example: विद्यालयमा

हरुमा(haru-ma) Example: विद्यालयहरुमा


Inflections in Nepali Adjectives


Adjectives in Nepali inflect for number: singular and plural and gender: masculine and feminine.


Inflection changes singular adjective with "o" ending to plural adjective with "a" ending and masculine adjective with "o" ending to feminine adjective with "i" ending. Inflection in Nepali adjectives is given in Table 2.


Table 2: Inflections in Nepali adjectives

Gender(लिङ्ग)

Number(वचन)

Singular(एकवचन)

Plural(बहुवचन)

Masculine(पुलिङ्ग)

राम्रो(ramro), बाठो(batho), गोरो(goro)

राम्री(ramri), बाठी(bathi), गोरी(gori)

Feminine(स्त्रिलिङ्ग)

राम्रा(ramra), बाठा(batha), गोरा(gora)

राम्रा(ramra), बाठा(batha), गोरा(gora)


Inflections in Nepali Pronouns


Like nouns, Nepali pronouns inflect for seven cases and number: singular and plural.


Table 3: Inflections in Nepali pronouns

Case(कारक)

Number(वचन)

Singular(एकवचन)

Plural(बहुवचन)

Nominative(कर्ता)

ले(le) Example: उसले

हरुले(haru-le) Example: उनीहरुले

Accusative(कर्म)

लाई(lai:) Example: उसलाई

हरुलाई(haru-lai:) Example: उनीहरुलाई

Instrumental(करण)

ले(le) Example: उसले

हरुले(haru-le) Example: उनीहरुले

Dative(सम्प्रदान)

लाई(lai:) Example: उसलाई

हरुलाई(haru-lai:) Example: उनीहरुलाई

Ablative(अपादान)

देखि(dekhi), बाट(bat) Example: ऊदेखि, ऊबाट

हरुदेखि(haru-dekhi), हरुबाट(haru-bat) Example: उनीहरुदेखि, उनीहरुबाट

Genitive(सम्बन्ध)

को(ko), का(ka), कि(ki) Example: उसको, उसकी

हरुको(haru-ko), हरुका(haru-ka) Example: उनीहरुको

Locative(अधिकरण)

मा(ma) Example: उसमा

हरुमा(haru-ma) Example: उनीहरुमा


Read more on Nepali pronouns at: Nepalgo - Pronouns


References


A Computational Analysis of Nepali Morphology: A Model for Natural Language Processing


Structure of Nepali Grammar


Tags: Nepali Grammar