Ring B: 6/22: Minza

Herman Miller
[ Relay 14 | Ring A | Ring B | Ring C | Conlangs | Participants ]
[ Minza | Smooth English | Grammar | Vocabulary | Abbrevs. ]

<< Taruven Larash Yawakh >>


Mihni myvyka

Caru řizi

I vezngyluhł, ymagha vonich dylmölys iech kara. Kyzo vö dylu chažlat iecha. I chažla, ymagha kyzich vö dylu kövut iecha.

Isionu nauki zy chažlale:

Ři loga kama Iechan.
Ři loga bat Maran.
Kinmyvu sö ziaku iechu.
Kimözu šei.
Yveska Maran keh.
Ziu yveska ba keh.

Isionu nauki zy kövule:

Ři loga kama Maran.
Ři loga bat Iechan.
Kinmyvu sö ziaku iechu.
Kimözu šei.
Yveska Iechan keh.
Ziu yveska ba keh.

Caru chuči

Kasařu myvich sa miavi ja magha.
Ymagha rižazich.
I vezngyl dyltaži, limagha sonich bieni.
I vezngyl kaikkat, liřelni lienat nama.
I vezngyl lahsa, teki guořyk fohřła ja kiseva.
I vezngyl šumyka, liřelni čeviliłat.
I vezngyl sieššat, řelni sö laimu lienat nama.
I vezngyl vindrat, kymaghu dieh gienich.
I vezngyl łava, řelni lienat zomyla ihdłat.
I vezngyl pöřut, liřelni buřit.
I vezngyl nami, kimagha kohtich šengiła.
I vezngyl luhvi, kimagha kohtich mölysi dylile łut.

Kimagha dařvich razgiuhł.
Kinasu šöy mözich myvevi.
Ivesku kövu chažlale.
Ivesku chažla kövule.
Kimagha kohtich šengiła.
Sö ziaku iechu, sö ziakimu dzuše, ca.

Smooth Translation

Words of joining

First part

Great leader, I wish to take this golden necklace. Set it on this man's neck. Man, I wish to set it on this woman's neck.

Next the man said:

My name is Iechan.
Her name is Maran.
Today they join themselves.
They are together.
They have become one.
I do love Maran.
I will love her.

Next the woman said:

My name is Maran.
His name is Iechan.
Today they join themselves.
They are together.
They have become one.
I do love Iechan.
I will love him.

Last part

I am ready to join the old one who is wishing for it.
I wish to put ourselves together.
Leader with the great neck, they wish to go together forever.
Leader of the sun, may you provide good weather for them.
Leader of fire, keep from destruction the path on which they pass.
Leader of the harvest, may you provide them fertility.
Leader of the moon, may you provide good weather at night.
Leader of the water, we do not wish you to do anything.
Leader of the wind, may you provide suitable weather for the boat.
Leader of the trees, may you provide them shade.
Good leader, they wish to carry luck.
Beautiful leader, their necks wish to carry rings.

They wish to set off on a great journey.
Now they begin to be joined.
The man loves the woman.
The woman loves the man.
They wish to carry luck.
On this day, on days to come, yes.


Word order

Basic word order in Minza is Verb - Object - Subject, with modifiers following the word they modify, although phrases may be placed before the main verb for emphasis. When addressing someone, the person being addressed is named first (marked by the vocative preposition "i"), followed by the main verb.


Nouns have six basic cases: absolutive, genitive, ergative, dative, locative, and instrumental. The absolutive case is used for the subject of intransitive verbs and the direct object of transitive verbs; the subject of a transitive verb is expressed with the ergative case. The genitive case may be used to modify another noun (as in "the color of the sky"), as an additional object for certain verbs, and various other situations. The plural suffix, if any, is added before the case suffix.

Some nouns in Minza have an implicit argument which, if expressed, takes the genitive case and follows the noun. An example of this sort of word is "part": a part is always a part *of* something, even if the thing it's a part of is not explicitly stated. These nouns are indicated in the vocabulary list as "n1".

Proper names (Iechan, Maran) are capitalized.


Adjectives follow nouns and agree with the case of the noun. Adjectives can also follow a verb and act as adverbs. As with nouns, some adjectives in Minza also take an implicit argument, which takes the genitive case if explicitly stated (although the distinction is not imporant in this text). Adjectives can also be used as stative verbs (e.g., "to be round", "to be green").


The main verb of a clause is identified by having a prefix agreeing with either the subject or object of the verb (the absence of a prefix represents third person singular absolutive), and a suffix which indicates the aspect of the verb (perfective or imperfective). The subject and objects of a verb typically follow the verb, with the subject at the end of the clause. Verbs following a relative pronoun (ja) lack a subject/object prefix, but keep the aspect suffix. Following an auxiliary verb, the infinitive ending -ich may be used (replaced in less formal usage by the subjunctive -i).

Word derivation

Minza has various derivational suffixes which may be attached to a root or another derived stem to produce a new word stem, which may be a different part of speech from the original root. For example:

čev- "to produce offspring" (verb)
čev-il- "able to produce offspring"; "fertile" (adjective)
čev-ili-ła "quality of being fertile"; "fertility" (noun)

Minza also has numerous compounds. Adjectives are often combined with a noun in a compound word to specify more precisely the scope of what the adjective applies to. For example:

nřuchci "red"
tiziu "wing"
tiziunřuchci "red in relation to a wing or wings", "having red on the wings"
chiklis tiziunřuchci "red-winged blackbird"

Noun suffixes

(no suffix) absolutive
-a, -t genitive
-i plural
-(l)e ergative
-(m)u locative
-uhł augmentative

Adjective suffixes

-a genitive
-e locative
-i absolutive
-in dative
-ła (adj > n) quality of being x, -ness.
-ys (adj > n) something which has the quality of x.

Verb prefixes

Ø- (no prefix) 3rd person singular absolutive
i- 3rd person singular ergative
ka- 1st person singular absolutive
ki- 3rd person plural ergative
ky- 1st person plural ergative
li- 3rd person plural absolutive
n- reflexive prefix (absolutive object is same as ergative subject)
ri- 1st person plural absolutive
y- 1st person singular ergative

Verb suffixes

-a imperfective aspect
-evi (v > adj) absolutive participle; -ing, -ed.
-ich infinitive (old-style, formal)
-il(i) (v > adj) possible, able to do x or be x-ed.
-o imperative
-u perfective aspect
-yk (v > n) event of x-ing, -tion.
-yl (v > n) ergative verbal noun; one who does, -er.
-yli (v > adj) ergative participle; -ing.


One of the interesting challenges in translating this text from Taruven was the frequent use of "travel" as a metaphor. Minza has a handful of possible equivalents for "travel", but not a single one that fits all the different contexts in which the word occurs. Another difficulty is the fact that "he" and "she" are translated by the same word, "ba"; in cases where the difference is significant, I had to use "man" and "woman".


Verbs are listed in their dictionary form, which has the subjunctive suffix -i attached; this suffix should be removed before attaching other verb suffixes. Nouns and adjectives are listed in the absolutive singular.

ba pron he, him, she, her, it (3rd person).
bieni a0 always, forever, at all times.
buři n1 shadow, shade.
ca int yes.
caru n1 part, component.
čevi v1 to produce offspring; breed, procreate.
chažla n1 man (adult male human).
chuči a0 last, final.
dařvi v2 to set off, depart (for).
dieh adv not.
dyl n1 neck (anat.)
dzuši a0 future, yet to come.
fohřł n0 path, trail.
gieni v1 to do, perform (a task, etc.).
guoři v1 to destroy, disassemble, take apart.
i prep (vocative)
iech pron this (the one over here).
ihdła n0 boat, ship.
ja conj that, which (relative pronoun).
kaikka n0 sun.
kam pron I, me (absolutive case).
kar n0 (a quantity of) gold (Au, element 79).
keh pron I (ergative case).
kohti v2 to hold, grasp, carry.
kövu n1 woman (adult female human).
kyzi v2 to set (put into place).
lahs n0 fire, combustion.
lai n0 night.
liena n0 weather.
loga n1 name, label.
luhvi a0 beautiful, elegant, graceful.
łav n0 wind.
łu pron they, them.
maghi v2 to hope, wish for, desire, want.
miavi a0 old (not young).
mihn n0 word.
möli a0 round, circular.
mözi v2 to become; get, grow (in the sense "become"), turn (into).
myvi v2 to join, connect (two things to each other).
nami a1 good (for).
nasi v2 to begin, to start (doing something)
nauki a0 following, next.
pöřu n0 tree (woody plant).
razgi n1 trip, journey.
reli a0 together.
řelni vt to provide (for) (ABS = recipient; thing provided takes GEN).
ři v to be (copula).
řizi a0 first.
sa pron the ... one, a ... one (e.g., the blue one, a slow one).
saři v-aux to be ready (to).
sevi v2 to pass, to traverse, go through (or past), come through (or past).
siešša n0 moon.
sioni v2 to speak, say, talk.
prep + LOC on, at (time).
soni v2 to go with, come with, accompany.
šei a0 one.
šengi a0 lucky, fortunate.
šöy adv now.
šumi v2 to harvest, reap.
taži a0 big, great, large.
teki v2 to avoid.
veski v2 to love.
vezngi v2 to be in charge of; have authority over.
vindra n0 (a quantity of) water.
prep + LOC. at, in (place).
voni v2 to take (to a destination), to bring, to convey.
ziak n0 date, day, period of planetary rotation.
ziu v-aux will (future action).
zomi v2 to fit, be suitable (in size/shape).
zy pron the following:
žazi v2 to put together; build, construct, make.


ABS absolutive case
adj adjective
a0 an ordinary adjective
a1 an adjective with an implicit argument
conj conjunction
GEN genitive case
LOC locative case
n0 an ordinary noun
n1 a noun with an implicit argument
prep preposition
pron pronoun
v1 a verb with one argument (intransitive verb)
v2 a verb with two arguments (transitive verb)
v-aux an auxiliary verb (followed by another verb)

<< Taruven Larash Yawakh >>


February 19th, 2007
Comments? Suggestions? Corrections? You can drop me a line.