Ring A: 18/18: Minza

Herman Miller
[ Relay 13 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Minza | Smooth English | From Θywǵø | Grammar | Vocabulary ]

<< Θywǵø


Vyø jenzelu kaikat, seła køvu nintel vonyli rukumen røġisit. Iłuġu pyri va min animu šolvi fołat ja darvu arajaġas rukule, ai ižiġu tela kažňa, ja ġøru van. Ikota neži łed pølut køvule nintele, ai iłyma šolvi arňat.

Tegyli budut, ivymla arňa køvule nintele, ai iłuġu talgi syøt, ła ilorna leňi zovat syøt. Imoru ilaki kumut arňan nužylin vale. Idzumu ja ałymi či rukumu, ła amaġa kumu xyvi arňale xeňu! Naši žønži, tekevi køvumu łed, šim imaġa mimi talgi arňat. Łeden pølut, igeža nami lažu za arňat.

Inimu za silát no rukut tači fołat køvule nintele. Kela žagu nyn ja idarvu, anyvymla køvuri xyvi ai xažlari xyvi ġøryke arňat.

Smooth Translation

Before the sun came out, a messenger woman was walking along bringing messages in a cart. She paused briefly as the cart arrived near the path which led to the market place, but then she disturbed an animal, which growled at her. The messenger woman held up a branch of a tree, and approached near the cougar.

[Wanting] to avoid danger, the messenger woman was anxious about the cougar, so she stopped far from him, but tried to obtain his trust. She gave a portion of food to the playful cougar. She thought he would approach the cart, but the shameful cougar wanted more food! It began to rain, the woman holding the branch, so she wanted to stay far away from the cougar.

With the branch of a tree, she protected herself quite well from the cougar. From there the messenger woman reached the end of the path with her cart. After that day when she set out, the growl of the cougar has made more women and more men nervous.

Translation from Θywǵø

Before the sun came out, a messenger woman went along carrying messages in a cart. She stopped briefly as the cart came near the path which led to the market place, but then she disturbed an animal which howled at her. The messenger woman held up a branch of a tree, and went near the cougar.

[Keeping] away from harm, the messenger woman was uneasy about [the cougar], stopped far from the cougar, but tried to gain its trust. She gave a bit of food to the playful cougar. She predicted he would come toward the cart, but the darn cougar wanted more food! It began to rain, the woman with the [branch of] tree, because of which she wanted to stay far from the cougar.

With the branch of a tree it protects the best away from the cougar. The messenger woman arrived with her cart at the end [of the path] from there. Since the day she set out, the howl of the cougar has caused discomfort to more women and men.


Word order
Basic word order in Minza is VOS, although introductory phrases may 
precede the main verb. Modifiers (including prepositional phrases and 
relative clauses) follow the word they modify.

Minza is an ergative language; the dictionary form of a noun is the case 
used for the subject of an intransitive verb, or the object of a 
transitive verb (the absolutive case). The subject of a transitive verb 
is expressed using a different case, the ergative case, with the ending 
-(l)e. (The abbreviation -(l)e indicates that the suffix has two forms: 
-le after vowels and -e after consonants.) Plural nouns take the suffix 
-(r)i, which is followed by the case ending if any.

Cases of nouns found in this text:
(no ending): absolutive (dictionary form)
-(a)t: genitive (of, from, having to do with)
-(l)e: ergative (subject of transitive verbs)
-(m)en: instrumental (with, in, using)
-(m)u: locative (in, at, to; of location or time)
-(o)n: dative (to, at, for)

Minza has two classes of nouns: zero-argument nouns (listed as "n0" in 
the vocabulary) and one-argument nouns (listed as "n1"). A one-argument 
noun is typically followed by a noun in the genitive case (røġis možat 
"a message from a friend"), although this argument may be left out in 
cases where it is obvious or unimportant (moža "friend" is also a 
one-argument noun).

Like nouns, there are zero-argument adjectives ("a0") and one-argument 
adjectives ("a1"). Plural suffixes are not used with adjectives.
Adjectives in the absolutive case can be used as adverbs, following a
verb. (Minza also has indeclinable adverbs.) Adjectives have the 
following case endings as used in this text:

-i: absolutive
-u: ergative
-in: dative

Verbs in Minza have both prefixes and suffixes. Verbs may have zero, 
one, or two arguments (zero-argument verbs are rare, but one of them, 
"to rain", happens to appear in this text). The dictionary form of the 
verb, with the ending -i, is used as an infinitive and a subjunctive 
form. Other forms of the verb replace the -i ending with another suffix:

-a: imperfective
-u: perfective

The subject and object of a verb are represented with prefixes:
i-: 3rd person ergative
a-: 4th person ergative (an extra 3rd person, distinct from i-)

The only other prefix you'll need to worry about in this text is the 
causative, which appears in the form "ny-" in this text (vymli "to be 
nervous", nyvymli "to make nervous").

With a few exceptions (ai, arajaġas, arňa, ilaki), most words in this 
text that begin with a- or i- have one of these verb prefixes.

Minza has both an "active" participle (-yli) and a "passive" participle 
(-evi), but the "passive" participle is used with all intransitive verbs 
(e.g., sełevi "walking"). For this reason, it's really more accurate to 
call them "ergative" (-yli) and "absolutive" (-evi) participles. The 
participles are declined like adjectives: sełevi, sełevin, sełevu.

Summary of affixes:
Noun cases
-(a)t   genitive
-(l)e   ergative
-(m)en  instrumental
-(m)u   locative
-(o)n   dative
-(r)i   plural

Adjective cases
-i  absolutive
-u  ergative
-in dative

Verb prefixes and suffixes
a-  4th person singular ergative subject
i-  3rd person singular ergative subject
n+V-    causative (V duplicates the first stem vowel)
-a  imperfective aspect
-ev absolutive participle
-u  perfective aspect
-yl ergative participle

Vocabulary abbreviations
a0  an adjective with no arguments
a1  an adjective with one argument (optionally following, in the genitive 
adv adverb
conj    conjunction
GEN genitive case
LOC locative case
n0  a noun with no arguments
n1  a noun with a single argument (optionally following, in the genitive 
prep    preposition
v0  a verb with no arguments
v1  an intransitive verb
v2  a transitive verb


ai      conj and, but.
arajaġas   n1 market (place); place of business.
arňa n0 cougar, puma, mountain lion (Puma concolor).
budu    n1 risk, danger.
či   prep +LOC to, toward.
darvi   v2 to set off, depart (for); lead (to).
dzumi   v2 to think.
foł  n0 path, trail.
geži v1 to protect, defend.
ġøri   v1 to growl.
ġøryk  n1 growl (event of growling).
ilaki   n1 part, portion.
ja  conj that, which.
jenzel  n1 appearance (becoming visible).
kaika   n0 sun.
kažňa n0 non-human animal, beast.
kela    prep +loc. after, since.
koti    v2 to hold, grasp, carry.
køvu    n0 woman (adult female human).
kumu    n0 food.
lažu adv quite, rather.
leňi v2 to get, acquire, obtain.
lorni   v2 to aim for; try, attempt.
ła   conj but (in contrast), on the other hand.
łed  n1 branch (of a tree).
łuġi    v2 to stop, to pause.
łymi v2 to approach, move near (to).
maġi   v2 to hope, wish for, desire, want.
mimi    v1 to remain, endure, persist.
min conj while, as.
mori    v2 to give, provide.
nami    a1 good (for).
naši v2 to begin, to start.
neži adv up (direction); a0 upward.
nimi    v2 to reach (a destination), arrive at, go to, come to.
nintel  n0 messenger.
no  prep +GEN with (together with).
nuži v2 to play (a game).
nyn adj that (the one over there).
pølu    n0 tree (woody plant).
pyri    a0 short (in duration), brief.
røġis  n1 message, letter (from someone).
ruku    n0 cart, wagon (vehicle with wheels).
sełi v1 to walk.
silá    n0 there, that place.
syø pron he, him, she, her, it (4th person).
šim  adv thus.
šolvi    a1 near, close (to).
tači n1 end, endpoint, stop, destination.
talgi   a1 far, distant (from).
tegi    v2 to avoid.
teki    v1 to sit, be (located).
tela    adv then.
va  pron he, him, she, her, it (3rd person).
voni    v2 to take (to a destination), to bring, to convey.
vymli   v2 to be nervous, anxious (about).
vyø prep + loc. before (in time); ago.
xažla    n0 man (adult male human).
xeňi a0 shameful, disgraceful.
xyvi    a0 more, further.
za  prep +GEN from (motion; away from, out from).
zovat   n1 trust, confidence.
žag  n0 date, day.
žiġi    v2 to upset, disturb, alarm.
žønži v0 to rain, to be raining.

<< Θywǵø



March 20th, 2006
Comments? Suggestions? Corrections? You can drop me a line.