Here are some of my observations on Aap, Tum and Tu in Hindi/Urdu:
1. Aap and Tum are both singular and plural, but Tu is always singular and its plural form is Tum.
2. In most rural and lower-class settings where Hindi/Urdu is the core native language*, Aap is spoken infrequently and is sometimes considered too urbane; Tum (associated with Sanskrit "Tvam") is the respectful and semi-respectful form and Tu the non-respectful (only sometimes disrespectful) form. Aap probably originated as an elite Urdu term and was used exclusively by the educated classes in medieval Urdu/Hindi. Also, Aap often does not come naturally to Hindi/Urdu speakers in the southern half of India (Maharashtra, Telangana-Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka), where the Dakani (Deccani, Dakhni, Dakhani, Dakhini or Hyderabadi) dialects of Hindi-Urdu are used. [For example, in spoken Dakani, Aap becomes Tum and Aapko becomes Tumareku; Tum becomes Tum or Tu and Tumko/Tumhey or Tujhko/Tujhey becomes Tumareku or Tereku]. *Urdu is not spoken as the core native language in any rural part of Pakistan (Punjab, Sind, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa or the Hindu Kush-Himalayan regions).
3. Geography/Sociology of Aap-Tum-Tu usage preferences
Example: Forms of "(You) come."
A. Aap aaiye.
Perfectly acceptable in literary contexts, preferred to B in poetry
In India: more personal/warm than B and preferred to B in spoken Hindi/Urdu
B. Aap aayeN.
Acceptable in literary contexts
More commonly spoken in Pakistan than in India
In India: more common in written than in spoken Hindi/Urdu, especially when formal directions or instructions are to be given
C. Aap aao.
Semi-formal and more personal than A or B
Strictly speaking, a grammatically incorrect form
Generally Unacceptable in literary contexts
Very rarely used in written Hindi/Urdu
Most probably developed by native Punjabi speakers under the influence of "Tussi aao."
More common in Pakistan and northwestern India (particularly Indian Punjab, Haryana and Delhi) than in the rest of the region
May even be looked down upon in the Hindi/Urdu heartland of Awadh (Uttar Pradesh), around Lucknow, in India
D. Tum aao.
Informal and more personal than A or B
More polite than E
Perfectly acceptable in literary contexts
Used extensively across India and Pakistan, especially when addressing a person who is not older, is very close, or belongs to a subordinate class (e.g. domestic workers)
In northwestern India [particularly in Punjabi-influenced Indian Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, where many people either say "Aap aao" (formal) or "Tu aa" (informal)], this form is less commonly used than E, especially by male speakers
Often equivalent to Aap in rural settings (across the native Hindi/Urdu speaking region in India) and in Dakani speech (including Marathi-influenced Mumbai Hindi/Urdu)
E. Tu aa.
Least formal/respectful/polite and often the most personal, may be used while addressing oneself (e.g. while thinking aloud in a play/film)
Perfectly acceptable in literary contexts, especially poetry
Often considered unsophisticated, particularly in urban Urdu, and therefore not very common in Pakistan, where Urdu is a largely urban language
Generally avoided by traditionally upper-class speakers
Used extensively across India, especially when addressing a person who is not older (particularly a friend), is very close, or belongs to a subordinate class (e.g. domestic workers)
Used extensively as the key informal/non-respectful form throughout rural and lower-class settings where Hindi/Urdu is the core native language (India)
P.S. Between husband and wife, any of the five forms may be used, depending on their relationship (e.g. closeness, formality, power relations), social status (e.g. urban/rural, upper class/lower class), and region. Different forms of address may be used in public and in private (e.g. Aap in public and Tum in private conversations). Also, the husband-to-wife form of address may differ from the wife-to-husband form of address.
Last edited by Zarathustra
on 2014-04-24, 17:15, edited 3 times in total.