deontic will

Annie Montaut Annie.Montaut at EHESS.FR
Thu Aug 9 22:36:50 UTC 2001

the use of a want verb for expressing obligation is found in a variety
known as bazari Hindi,
a pidgninized variety of Hindi spoken by migrants in big city and
particularly Bombay.
Mangnâ; a verb which means 'to ask', express a wish in Standard Hindi is
regularly used in
the bazar variety in the meaning of want (Standard H chahnâ)
BH âpanku chay mangtâ hay (I-dat tea mangta prest)
SH main chau châhtâ hûn    (I-nom tea want prest)
But it is also used in the meaning of must, should
BH idar ekshan mângtâ, khâlî bakbak nây (here action mangtâ prest, empty
talk no)
SH yahân kâm chahie, bâten nahîn (here work oblig, words no)
we need action, not talk
Châhie is historically a passive form of châhnâ, used as one of the 3
obligative auxiliairies in
SH (the other 2 a 'fall' verb and a 'be' verb)
Given the fact that the Bombay bazari Hindi is spoken especially in the
Dharavi slum by
more than a million speakers where the Tamil speaking community is the
second more
numerous, we may --but this is only a hypothesis and may be a fiction--
think of a possible
Dravidian inflence? (see Jim Gair's answer on srilankan tamil and other
Dr languages)
the modal will also reminded me of colloquial French use of demander (to
ça demande à être lavé à froid (it should be cold washed, lit it asks to
be cold washed), la
pièce demande à être repeinte, the room needs repainting
demanderait un coup de peinture (requires some painting)

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