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A Brief Description of Modern Standard Minhast

Christian C. Borillo
August 2, 2014
Introduction
Minhast is the spoken language of the Republic of Minhay, with a robust speech community of nearly 26 million people, approximately one
million of them living in expatriate communities. It is divided into two maor dialects, !pper Minhast and "ower Minhast, each of which is
divided into several smaller subdialects, such as the #almon #peaker variant of the !pper Minhast dialect, and the $sprey #peaker variant of
the "ower Minhast dialect.
"ocated ust %,2&2 km from northeast 'apan, this (ortheast )sian language has no known relatives and bears few if any similarities with
'apanese and its two other nearest neighbors, the *ingdom of *ogureo +*orea, and the )inu -emocratic .ederation. /wo other languages
in the island nation, 0eshpeg and 1olahat, both of which are moribund, are also unrelated2 any similarities existing between the two
languages and Minhast are due to areal features, with Minhast as the dominant influence. "inguists have investigated possible relationships
with the )ltaic, 0aleosiberian, and (ative (orth )merican languages, but so far have failed to find any conclusive evidence. /herefore,
Minhast remains classified as a language isolate.
/ypologically, Minhast is an ergative, polysynthetic language. 3erbal morphology is highly aggluginative and performs noun incorporation
and other complex valence operations. !nmarked word order is #$3. 4rgativity surfaces both at the morphologic and syntactic levels.
5oth its ergative and polysynthetic characteristics have generated much academic research in comparative and theoretical linguistics.
/his document contains a summary of the phonology, grammar, and syntax of the (ational 6apital Region variant of !pper Minhast, also
known as Modern #tandard Minhast
%
+M#M,. /he final section contains a sample text, followed by translation.
% /he standard dialect is a compromise between the 7orse #peaker variant of the !pper Minhast dialect, and the "ower Minhast dialects of the #tone #peakers. /he
phonology and grammar are predominantly 7orse #peaker, whereas many areas of vocabulary, particularly in administration, commerce, law, and science come from
#tone #peaker sources. /he !pper Minhast dialects of the -og #peakers and *nife #peakers, and the "ower Minhast dialects of the $sprey and 1ull #peakers also
form a maor constituent of M#M.
Graatical S!etch
"honolog# and $rthograph# %
) modified version of the )mericanist notation known as 8)mmerkastim nappua9 or 8)mmerkast9, is used to transcribe the Minhast
phonemic inventory. /he two tables below, representing both the consonantal and vowel inventories respectively, list the I0) e:uivalents in
the top row, above the )mmerkast notation. In writing, the grapheme ;<= for the glottal stop >?> is usually written only if two vowels occur
adacently. /he pharyngeal @AB is oftentimes represented by the grapheme ;h=, with little risk of ambiguity since it occurs under very
specific conditions, namely when it is preceded by >r> or occurs in coda position.
/he Minhast consonantal inventory, with both I0) and )mmerkast notations, are listed in the following tableC
Minhast Consonantal In&entor#
'ranscription Consonants
I"A b p f d t g k x D s E m n l r ? h @AB w
Aer!ast b p f d t g k x D s F m n l r +<, h +A, w y
3owel length is distinctive. /he following table summariDes the Minhast vowel inventoryC
Minhast (o)el In&entor#
(o)el '#pe
'ranscription Basic Dipthongs
I"A a e I i u a e i uw
Aer!ast a e i i u ay ey G H
De&oicing
-evoicing is a fre:uent yet highly predictable process triggered by certain syllabic patterns. /ypically short vowels devoice after two
unvoiced consonants. -evoiced consonants tend to occur immediately following an unvoiced consonant, or especially for sonorants,
following an unvoiced consonant in wordIfinal position.
"
h
o
n
e

e
(ocalic De&oicing Consonantal De&oicing
C
V
targ
et
C
C
V
targe
t

C
C
C
V
targe
t
C
C
C
V
targe
t

C
(C)
C
V
targ
et
C
C
C
V
C
targ
et
C
V
C
targ
et
C
C
V
C
C
targ
et
C
V
C
C
targ
et
a a a a J J K K K K
e e e
e
LM LM K K K K
i i i i NM NM K K K K
u u u u OM OM K K K K
b K K K K K b p p p
d K K K K K d t t t
g K K K K K g k k k
D K K K K K D s s s
m K K K K K m m PM PM
n K K K K K n n QM QM
l K K K K K l l RM RM
r K K K K K r r SM SM
S#lla*ic Structure and "honeic Interactions
Minhast words are subect to complex morphophonemic changes resulting from interactions with other morphemes occurring within a word.
/he verb is particularly complex in the various sound changes that may occur as a result of noun incorporation as well as the aggluginative
processes involved in conugation or other inflectional processes. /hese phonemic changes can be broken down according to the following
classificationsC
)ssimilation
Metathesis
#yncope
4penthesis
3oicing>-evoicing
/hese complex morphophonemic interactions operate according to the general phonological principals outlined belowC
%, (o syllable can have a consonant cluster of more than two consonants. #yncope can be applied only if a biconsonantal cluster
is formed, and the vowel is not a part of a heavy syllable +i.e. the vowel is long, or it occurs in a 6366 se:uence,.
2, (o Minhast word can begin with an initial consonant cluster. If any initial consonant cluster results from one or more of the
possible morphophonemic alternations described below, an epenthetic i- is automatically appended to the head of the word to
form the permissible i66I pattern.
&, )n epenthetic vowel is always inserted between two syllables if combining the syllables results in a triconsonantal cluster.
/he default epenthetic vowel is i, but the other three short vowels may also be used, conditioned on multiple factors +e.g.
vowel harmony, an underlying :uiescent initial vowel as part of the attached morpheme, etc.,
T, Minhast has a strong tendency to form intermedial clusters, either +6,3CC or CC3+6,, providing that Rules U%IU& are
observed. If necessary, an epenthetic vowel may be added before or after the syllable to create these syllabic patterns, e.g.
kantumariskar >> *kanut-maris-kar. /he tendency to form intermedial consonant clusters creates complex assimilation
interactions that nevertheless are predictable and almost always regular. 0ermissable CC clusters are illustrated in the
following tableC
"honeic Interaction Chart
+inal Consonant
Initial Consonant f p * ! , g t d s - . l r n h ) #
f ff pp pp fk fx fk ft ft fs fF fs fl fr fm fn ff fw fy
p pp pp pp pk xp pk pt pt ps pF ps pl pr pm pn Ap pw py
* pp pp bb pk xp mg pt mb ps pF ps bl br mb mb Ap bw by
! kf kp kp kk kk kk kt kt ks kF ks kl kr km kn Ak kw ky
, xf xp xp kk xx gg xt xt ss FF ss xl xr xm xn xx xw xy
g kf kp gb kk kk gg kt gd ks kF Dg lg gr gm gn Ak gw gy
t ft pt pt kt xt kt tt tt st Ft st tt rt mt nt At wt FF
d ft pt bb kt xt gd tt dd st Ft Dd ld rd mb nd At dw dy
s sp sp sp sk xs sk st st ss FF ss sl
sr
ss
sm sn As sw FF
- Ff Fp Fp Fk FF Fk Ft Ft ss FF ss Fl FF Fm Fn AF ww FF
. sp sp Db sk ss Dg st Dd ss FF DD Dl DD Dm Dn As Dw Dy
l lf pp lb kk xl lg tt ld sl Fl Dl ll rr lm,mm nn Al lw yy
r rf rp rb rk rx rg rt
rd
dd
rs
ss
rF
FF
DD ll
rn
nn
rm
mm
nn rA rw ry
mf mp mb nk xn ng,ng mt md ns Fm nD ml mr mm nn mh ww my
n mf mp mb nk xn ng nt nd ss FF nD ll rr mm nn nh nw ny,yy
h ff Ap Ap Ak xx Ak At At As AF As Al Ar Am An AA Aw Ay
V, 3owels are classified according to a WweakIstrongW gradient, where the WstrongW vowels are more resistant to syncope than
neighboring Wweak+er,W vowels. )ll long vowels are by definition WstrongW, so the weakIstrong gradient really applies to short
vowels.
6, /he shape of a 63636 syllable may contract either to a 6636 or 6366 pattern, depending on the strength gradients of the
vowels with respect to one another. /he 6a6a6 syllable pattern is the only one that does not contract. #yllables consisting of
the same vowels may appear in either 6636 or 6366 patterns2 the pattern they resolve to is influenced by interactions from
surrounding syllablesC
Initial "attern +inal Contraction
CaCaC +no change,
CaCuC, CaCeC, CaCiC 6a66
CuCaC, CeCaC, CiCaC 66a6
CuCuC, CuCeC, CuCiC 6u66
CuCuC, CeCuC, CiCuC 66u6
CeCeC, CeCiC 6e66
CeCeC, CiCeC 66e6
CiCiC 66i6, 6i66
X, ) verb root or an incorporated noun may lose one or more vowels to form at least one biconsonant cluster. /he vowel that is
lost depends on its strength gradient in relation to the noun of the neighboring syllable.
Y, Zith the exception of pattern 6a6a6, when two adoining syllables have vowels within the same gradient, vocalic syncope
resolves to 6366, e.g. ipikirmu == * p-kirim-u.
[, /he pattern +6,3366 always resolves to +6,366, e.g. dr 8story9 vs. darki 8in the story9.
%\, 6ompared to nominal and verbal roots, inflectional morphemes +e.g. theme, aspect, tense, person, etc, are resistant to
syncope because this may lead to the inflectional morpheme to be changed beyond recognition. .or example, ipirakaran >> p-
irak-an he informed +him,9, lit. Whe caused +him, to knowW, does not resolve to -ip-rak-an, even though this would prevent the
impermissible 663 pattern from occurring. Instead, an epenthetic vowel is added before the causative affix to prevent this
impermissible consonant cluster from occurring.
%2, )lthough inflectional morphemes do not experience syncope, they still may experience phonological changes in the form of
metathesis and devoicing of adacent morphemes, dutipkirmaru == dut-p-kirm-ar-u 8he made +him, speak to him9, where the t
in -dutI metathesisiDes to the p in Ip-, yielding Idu- and It-, so the expected form ]dutipikirmaru is not wellIformed.
%&, 3owel devoicing occurs in 6<3A6<, 6<3x6<, 6<3s6<, or finalI6<36< syllabic patterns, where 6< is any unvoiced consonant.
%T, /he voiced consonants >b, d, g, D> devoice to >p, t, k, s> when followed by a voiceless consonant. #imilarly, the nasals >m,n>
devoice to @PM ^QM `aQbcdLRNeONbfgR^SgbLhiNjLcikRM ^SM `NlcdLmijjOSNQjibanifNcNiQaQbaSLNPPLbNacLRmpreceded by a voiceless
consonant.
%V, /wo consecutive syllables with the pattern 6<3A6<3A+6<, resolves to 6366<3A+6<,, due to the difficulty of pronouncing the
>A> allophone in two consecutive closed syllables.
%6, -issimilation occurs in 636Ipatterns involving FI3F, resolving to sI3F. ) prime example is the number WtwentyW, sentz
>> *san-entz >> *an-entz
%X, -issimilation occurs in 636Ipatterns involving mI3m, resolving to nI3m.
%Y, /he se:uence wa + u resolves via metathesis to uwa- to avoid inserting a glottal stop in the wa + u se:uence, e.g. Neyun
uwanaru, not ]Neyun wa'unaru.
/ouns0/oun "hrase C
%, 1enderC
)ll nouns have an intrinsic gender2 interestingly, some nouns may have multiple genders, each gender conveying different meanings2
these should be considered separate lexical entities. 7owever, nouns are not inflected or marked by gender clitics. Instead, crossI
reference affixes in the verb identify the gender of the nouns that serve as core arguments of a clause2 in contrast, the gender of
obli:ue arguments are not marked by verbal affixes. /hus, gender of each noun must be memoriDed in order to choose the correct
verbal affix, or to identify the gender of a noun serving as an obli:ue argument.
2, (umberC
(ouns do not inflect for number. 3erbal crossIreference affixes +see section below on verbal 0ronominal )ffixes, can mark number
on 4rgative and )bsolutive noun phrases +(0,, but do not provide any information about number for nonIcore (0s. #peakers must
rely on context or use numbers in a min construction using the formula @number o min o (0B, e.g. 8FpnG min redad9 +i.e. 8two man9,
to mark plurality2 otherwise the default number is singular.
&, 6aseC
)lthough nouns are not overtly marked for gender or number by inflection or clitics, they do take case marking clitics that attach to
the end of the noun or noun phrase. /here are two core nominal argumentsC the )bsolutive which receives null marking, and the
4rgative clitic =de. /he 1enitive derives from the same =de clitic as the 4rgative, and in most declension tables are thus listed as the
4rgativeI1enitive case. 7owever, there are several allomorphs of the 4rgative>1enitive, which are explained in the section
8)llomorphs of the 4rgativeI1enitive9.
)dditionally, there are seven basic $bli:ue +$5", case clitics to nonIcore (0 arguments. Most of the $bli:ue clitics have two
forms, one form with a short medial vowel, and the other with a long medial vowel. !se of both forms are acceptable, but native
speakers tend to use the clitics with short vowels when the clitic is preceded by a syllable containing a long vowel, while the converse
is true for clitics preceded by syllables containing long vowels. -ialectal variation may also come to determine whether the short
form or long form is used. )dditionally, speakers emulating 6lassical Minhast use the "ong form. /here are other $5" case clitics,
but these are either rare, dialectI specific, or are forms from 6lassical and older forms of Minhast that have now fallen into disuse.
/he following table summariDes the main case clitics that may attach to a Minhast noun>noun phrase. (ote that the -ative clitic
contains the :uiescent vowel Ia-C
Case Clitics
Clitic
Case Short +or 1ong +or
A*soluti&e qr (>)
2rgati&e3Geniti&e +#ee #ection T, (>)
Dati&e q+a,ran (>)
Instruental qpar qppr
1ocati&e qki qkG
A*lati&e qyar qypr
Benefacti&e qni qnG
Malefacti&e qdaA, qdaF qdpF
T, )llomorphs of the 4rgativeI1enitiveC
)s mentioned earlier, the 4rgative and 1enitive forms originate from the same =de clitic, but several allomorphs have arisen through
the passage of time, based in part from phonemic interactions with the preceding phoneme. )s a result, instances have arisen where
the 4rgative and 1enitive differ in form. )dditionally sometimes the head noun, to which the clitics attach, may be simultaneously
both possessor and )gent. 7owever, only one clitic may attach. /his form is indicated in the column 81enitive o 4rgative92 a form
like ]]8maDer min haduDmaAtede9 ==]mazer min haduz-mah=de=de, +i.e. 8the slave<s ragged clothing9, where the first =de
indicates the 1enitive clitic, and the second =de is meant to indicate the 4rgative clitic, is ungrammatical.
/he forms of the 4rgative, 1enitive, and the 4rgativeI1enitive are listed in the following tableC
2rgati&e3Geniti&e Alloorphs
4esultant +or
"receding "honee 2rgati&e Geniti&e Geniti&e 5
2rgati&e
6(7(, g, . qde qde qde
l, r, n qde qt qte
f, p, !, ,, s, -, h qte qt qte
qbe qt qte
* qmbe
2
qpt qpte
d qe qte
&
, qtide qte, qtide
t qte, qtide qte qte, qtide
C1C2 qe, qide qe qe
n!, ng qide qide qide
CC qe, qide qe, qide qe, qide
2 (otice the appearance of an intrusive m, which causes the d to mutate to .
& /he preceding d mutates to t for the 1enitive and 1enitiveo4rgative forms.
V, (oun 6lassesC
(ouns are divided into three classes based on the syllabic pattern of the final syllable of the noun. /he 6lass I nouns +also known as
8#trong #tem9 nouns are those whose )bsolutive forms end in a single consonant, or a short vowel. )dditions of a shortIvowel clitic
do not change the noun stem<s final vowel. /he rules of vowel apocopation, however, still apply.
6lass II nouns are divided into three subtypes, with )bsolutive forms ending with the glides Iea, -ia, or -ua. 6lass II nouns undergo a
morphophonemic process whereby the final -a of the noun stem is dropped and the preceding vowel is automatically lengthened
when either a short or a longIvowel case clitic is attached to the noun stem. )dditionally, during noun incorporation the entire glide
is elided. 4xamples are as follows for marua, yarea, and simmia, meaning 8the star 3enus9, 8young girl9, and 8moonless night9,
respectively.
6lass III nouns +e.g. asr 8nose9, all terminate with either a consonant cluster or gemminate consonnants. If the following clitic that
attaches to it has a :uiescent vowel, such as the -ative clitic =!a"ran, the :uiescent vowel resurfaces to prevent an impermissible
666 pattern, or the epenthetic vowels -i- or -e- is inserted. )n additional feature is that these nouns will select the longIvowel forms
of case clitics if they do exist.
/hese nouns are contrasted against the 6lass I noun #a$ +8horse9,.
/oun Classes
Class A*soluti&e
"re3clitic
+or
Incorporated
+or
2,aples
Class I galqr galq IgalI galde, galypr
Class II
marua marHI ImarI marHde, marHpar
yarea yarsI IyarI yarsde, yarsran
simmia simmGI IsimmI simmGde, simmGkan
Class III
asr asrI, asreI IasrI asride, asrenG
niss nissI,nisseI InissI nisside, nissekG
6, 0ossessive (oun 0hrasesC
Modern Minhast expresses possession using the following formulaC
@possessorB o min o @possessumB o @/ransitive 0ronominal )ffixB q 14(
)n example of this construction would be tazer min erakmast == tazer min erak-mass=de, +literally Wthe birds I their
feathersW,. 6ase clitics are attached after the pronominal affixes.

0ossession may additionally be marked for distributed ownership, in which case the verbal -istributive affix -tar- is added to
the (0, e.g. kamaktarskemt == kamak-tar-skem-de Wtheir swords, one sword per personW, versus shared ownership, where the
verbal Reciprocal affix -att- is added, e.g. a$amattirhakt == a$am-att-tirhak=de Wour @inclusiveB land +that you, I, and
others share,.
In cases where a possessum occurs between two &rd person (0s with the same gender, number, and animacy, the reflexive
affix -ar- can be used to disambiguate which (0 is the possessor. 7ence, the sentence WtaniF and uuttam dropped their
pencils. taniF reached down and retrieve his own pencilW would be rendered as W%ani sut &uttam irriyetaran rassiaru.
%ani irriyettartirennaran !>> irriyet-ar-tirenn=aran"', as opposed to W%ani irriyettirennaran +== irriyet-(-tirennqaran"W
would imply that taniF reached for uuttam<s pencil.
)s expected, possessive (0s can mark tense and aspect, e.g. WkassartisussasattaptW == kar-sart-suss-asatt-a=de Wthe car
which they will be owning togetherW.
In the case of nouns derived from nominaliDed 30s, the situation becomes even more complex. In particular, nominaliDed
transitive verbs, which are able to encode agentIpatient relationships, can secondarily express possessive relationships. )n
example would be the nominaliDation astekkenaruna)t >> ast-ekken-ar-un-a)t, literally Wthey that begat meW, a formal term for
Wmy fatherW. 7ere, the /ransitive pronominal affix -ekken- denotes the 4rgative &rd person common plural and the )bsolutive
%st person singular, paraphrases the possessive relationship using verbal syntax in the form of a nominaliDation to describe
possession indirectly via an agentIpatient relations construction.
(er*s%
Minhast verbs are extremely polysynthetic, with a plethora of affixes that indicate mood, manner, person, number, gender, transitivity, tense,
aspect, reciprocity, among many other functions. 3erbs also alter the argument structure of a clause through valence operations involving
(oun Incorporation +(I,, )ntipassivation +)(/I,, and )pplicative .ormation
T
+).,2 these processes may occur singly or in combination to
promote (0s to core status or to demote them for discourse purposes.
/he verb affixes are organiDed according to a strict templateC affixes are assigned a position, aka 8slot9, relative to their position to the verb
root. -eviation from that position would render the verb ungrammatical and possibly incomprehensible to native speakers. /he template
contains the following slotsC (egator, /heme
V
I, )pplicatives, /heme II, 3erb Root, Incorporated (oun, 0repronominal )ffixes, 0ronominal
)ffixes, /ense, )spect, /ransitivity, and 0ostverbal 6litics. (ot all affixes are used at the same time, in fact some affixes are mutually
incompatible with others +e.g. Reflexive o Reciprocal,.
.or the purposes of this article, only the most common forms of each slot are listed in the next table. /he position of the slot for the
portmanteau 0ronominal )ffixes slot is indicated in the table, but because of the complications arising from morphophonemic interactions,
particularly with the /ransitive 0ortmanteau )ffixes, their individual forms have been listed in separate tables in the 80ronominal )ffixes9
section.
'ust as slots in the verbal template occur in a hierarchy, affixes occurring within a slot also follow a strict order. /his order among the
affixes within the same slot are indicated with the first slot affix occuring in the top cell of the column, followed in descending order within
the given slot.
T )lso called 8)pplicativiDation9 or 8)pplicative 3oice9. /he term 8)pplicative .ormation9 is used here, following Masayoshi #hibatani.
V 8/heme9 is the conventional term used in Minhast linguistic terminology, overlapping mood, modality, and certain voices +e.g. 6ausative,.
/he following table illustrates the most common affixes of the Minhast verb templateC
Minhast (er* 'eplate
Slot
Initials 'hee I Applicati&es 'hee II
(er*
4oot
Incorporated
/oun
"repronoinal
Affi,es
8ortati&e haq Desiderati&e IFakI Dati&e IdutI 8a*itual IasmI
*er
+,,t
-n.,rp,rated
N,un
4efle,i&e IFarI
/egators taq
Causati&e IFpI Benefacti&e IrakI Inchoati&e IsaxtI 4eciprocal
IFattarI
IFattI
4esupti&e IbI Instruental ImatI Incepti&e IndI Distri*uti&e ItarI
Intensi&e Int+a,I 1ocati&e
InI,
InaAkI
In&erse
(olitional
IkahI "artiti&e
InesrI
InessI
"ri&ati&e ImaFnI Coitati&e IngarI
/ecessiti&e I+y,yatI A*lati&e IraAkI
Cessati&e IkFI
Malefacti&e InuskI
Iterati&e IxrI
4eacti&e IknakI
2,cessi&e Ihapm+a,I
Minhast (er* 'eplate 6cont.7
Slot
"ronoinal
Affi,es
'ense Aspect 'ransiti&it# "ost&er*al Clitics
!/ee se.ti,n
0r,n,mina$
1))i2es e$,w"
4eote
"ast
IFarI Iperfect I+a,bI Intransiti&e
Ian
Isn
Ien
General
Su*ordinati&e
qmpq
"ast IarI "erfect IvI 'ransiti&i.e Iu "urposi&e qnimmpq
"resent IvI
"artial
Copletion
IknaktI Antipassi&e Ipi
Direct
9uotati&e
qnamp
Iediate
+uture
IneI
Indirect
9uotati&e
qtamp
+uture I+a,sattI
4esultati&e
qdurq
qdHrq
:ne,pected qkilq
Irrealis qFq
/oinali.er q+n,aft
/here are two classes of verbal pronominal affixesC the /ransitive class, used to crossIreference both the 0atient and the )gent of a
grammatically transitive clause2 and the Intransitive class, which is used for the single core argument grammatically intransitive clauses. It
must be emphasiDed that the phrase 8grammatically transitive clause9 refers to clauses with two core arguments, the )bsolutive and the
4rgative. In contrast, the phrase 8grammatically intransitive clause9 refers to clauses with only one core argument, the )bsolutive.
/his is an important distinction because the verb can employ valence operations to change the transitivity of a clause, through processes such
as )(/I, (I, and )., as mentioned earlier in this paper. .or example, the 4nglish transitive sentence 87e wounded me with his words9
could be rendered in Minhast transitively in the sentence 8Irriysrumqppr +kuaqde, +yak, ikwaskIknenIarIu9 @wordqI(#/R
+&#.M)#6q4R1, +%#.)5#, hurtI%#.0/o&#.)1/I0)#/I/R)(#B. 5y using (I o )(/I, the same 4nglish sentence can be rendered
intransitively also, as in 8+yakqaran, +kua, ikwaskIirrsrumIvIarIanqpi9 @+%#q-)/, +&#.)5#, hurtIwordI&#.)5#I0)#/I
I(/R)(#q)(/IB9, literally meaning 87e wordIhurt +to me,2 for an alternative /ransitive structure, (I, )(/I and ). can be combined, as
in 8+kHqde, +yak, dutIikwaskIirrsrumIiknenIarIu92 this variation changes the argument structure of the sentence I it puts focus on the -ative
(0 by promoting it from an $5" -ative role to a derived )bsolutive +ust as the accusative language 4nglish derives subects from direct
obects via 0assivation,. /he tables for the portmanteau 0ronominal )ffixes are as followsC
'ransiti&e "ronoinal Affi,es
;
< Singular Agent 5 Singular "atient
Agent "atient
1st Sg. 2nd Sg. =rd Masc. Sg. =rd +e. Sg. =rd /eut. Ani Sg. =rd /eut. Inani. Sg.
1st Sg. +na, ItakI I+e,kI I+e,kkI I+e,kI ItirkI
2nd Sg. IktahI +na, ItahI IlettahI ItahI ItittahI
=rd Masc. Sg. IknenI IntenI IvI, InnI IlennI InennI ItirennI
=rd +e. Sg. IklI ItalI IlI IllI IlI ItillI
=rd /eut. Ani. Sg. IkI ItI IvI IvI IsI ItI
=rd /eut. Inani. Sg. IkmI ItamI ImI ImmI ImI ItimmI
6 )s noted earlier, one of the interesting features of the /ransitive pronominal affixes is that they are used in noun phrases in possessive phrase constructions, capable
of marking the number, gender, and animacy of both possessum and possessor. 0lease refer to the section 80ossessive (oun 0hrases9 for a full description.
'ransiti&e "ronoinal Affi,es 3 "lural Agent 5 Singular "atient
Agent "atient
1st Sg. 2nd Sg.
=rd Masc.
Sg.
=rd +e. Sg. =rd /eut. Ani Sg. =rd /eut. Inani. Sg.
1st "l. Incl. +na, +na, IhakI IhlakI IkI ItirhakI
1st "l. 2,cl. +na, IntemI InnI IlennemI IennemI ItinnemI
2nd "l. I+e,ktaAmI +na, ImtI IlettemI IettemI ItittemI
=rd "l. Coon I+e,kkenI ItakkenI InkI IlekkenI IseFFenI ItikkenI
=rd "l. /eut. Ani. I+e,ksenI ItasnI I+a,snI IlessI IsessI ItissI
=rd "l. /eut. Inani. I+e,kmahI ItammahI ImahI I+a,mmahI ImahI ItimmahI
'ransiti&e "ronoinal Affi,es 3 Singular Agent 5 "lural "atient
Agent "atient
1st "l. Incl. 1st "l. 2,cl.
2nd "l.
Coon
=rd "l.
Coon
=rd "l. /eut.
Ani
=rd "l. /eut.
Inani.
1st Sg. +na, +na, ImtekI IkenkI IakI ImakI
2nd Sg. IhaktahI InimtahI +na, IkemtahI IyatI ImattahI
=rd Masc. Sg. IhaknI InennI ItennI IkennI IsnI ImannI
=rd +e. Sg. IhallI InellI ItallI IkellI IslI ImallI
=rd /eut.
Ani. Sg
IhakI ImmI ItaAmI IkmI Is+e,I ImaI
=rd /eut.
Inani. Sg.
IhakmI InemmI ItammI IkemmI IsmI InammI
'ransiti&e "ronoinal Affi,es 3 "lural Agent 5 "lural "atient
Agent "atient
1st "l. Incl. 1st "l. 2,cl.
2nd "l.
Coon
=rd "l.
Coon
=rd "l. /eut.
Ani
=rd "l. /eut.
Inani.
1st "l. Incl. +na, +na, +na, IkemhakI IsakI ImakkakI
1st "l. 2,cl. +na, +na, ItammeI IkemmiI IsniI ImanneI
2nd "l.
Coon
+na, InittammI +na, IkettammI IstammI Imattam+m,I
=rd "l.
Coon
IhakkemI InikkemI ItakkemI IikkemI IskemI,IskumI ImakkemI
=rd "l. /eut.
Ani.
IhaksI InissI ItassI IkessI IsussI ImassI
=rd "l. /eut.
Inani.
IhakmahI InemmahI ItammahI IkemmahI IsmahI InammahI
In contrast to the /ransitive pronominal affixes, the Intransitive pronominal affixes are considerably simpler, as demonstrated by the
following tableC
"ronoinal Affi,es < Intransiti&e
"erson3/u*er3Gender3Aniac# A*soluti&e
1st Sg. IkI
2nd Sg. ItaI
=rd Masc.0Coon Sg. IvI
=rd +e. Sg. IlI
=rd /euter Ani. Sg. IvI
=rd /euter Inani. Sg. ImI
1st "lural Incl. Ihak
1st "l. 2,cl. ImmI
2nd "l. ItamI
=rd "l. Coon IkmI
=rd /eut. Ani. "l. IiI
=rd /eut. Inani "l. ImahI, ImaI
Con>unctions and Connecti&es %
Minhast has two classes of morphemes for oining two or more (0s into a larger phrase, one set being conunctions, and another set called
either 8ligatures9 or 8connectives9 which bind either mutually interdependent (0s +e.g. possessive phrases,, or aduncts to the nuclear
clause. Most of the Minhast linguistic literature uses the latter term 8connectives9, as in this article. /he purpose of both conunctions and
connectives is to link two or more phrases together to form a cohesive unit. 7owever, there are maor differences between the two.
6onunctions simply link a series of (0s with no implication that the individual (0 units are interdependent. /he connectives, on the other
hand, are re:uired for interdependent (0s or other aduncts +e.g. evidential particles,, otherwise the phrase would be ungrammatical when
the connective is omitted. )n example would be a possessive construction2 omission of the connective min render the sentence
ungrammatical because two (0s, namely the possessor and possessum, are 8stranded9, and a possessive relationship cannot be inferred from
the stranded (0s.
%, 6onunctions C !nlike many other languages, including 4nglish, Minhast has only a few conunctions, and these oin only (0s2 they
never oin clauses, simply because the highly polysynthetic verb possesses a flexible, robust array of tools for oining clauses +e.g.
pseudoIadverbial affixes, valence operators, the #>$ pivot, verb serialiDation, nominaliDation, etc, to perform the operations that
prototypical conunctions do. #ince the Minhast (0 is barely developed compared to the 30, it is not surprising that there are few
function particles available to the (0, including conunctions, as demonstrated by the following tableC
Con>unction +or 'ranslation
Seriali.ing suttu, sut, qs
X
and
Alternati&e xandaF, xan or
X /he =s clitic allomorph of suttu is used when a list of more than two (0s are oined. /he list of (0s are simply added as a series without any intervening linkers, and
the =s allomorph appears at the end of the (0 series. If a case clitic appears, it attaches to the =s clitic, e.g. 8'oe, 4ric, -ave, )nyarqsqpar9
2, 6onnectives C /here are two maor connectives. $ne binds only (0s together, while the other binds a (0 or adunct +e.g. evidentials,
and a clause together. /he first type of connective, called the minIconnective, is used most notably for creating possessive
phrases. /he min-connective also performs other functions. /he other is called the waIconnective and is used to bind aduncts to
clauses.
a. /he 3in-6onnectiveC In addition to creating possessive noun phrases, the other functions of min are demonstrated in the
following tableC
"hrase '#pe +orat 2,aple and 'ranslation
"ossessi&e /"s (0@possessorB o min o (0@possessumB o 14(
8taDer min erakmast9 >> tazer min erak-mass=de
+the birds< feathers,
Gentilic /"s (0q14(/ o min o (0
86anadastim rakne9 >> kanada=ast min rakne
+6anadian tourists,
Cardinal /ueric /"s @6ardinal (umberB o min o (0
8karum 6anadast9 == karun min kanad=ast +nine
6anadians,
$rdinal /ueric /"s @6ardinal (umberB o min o (0
8karnpxim 6anadast9 == karn2 min kanadast +the
ninth 6anadian,
9uantifier /"s @wuantifierB o min o (0 8wakkG min redad9 +some men,
Constituent /"s ( (0@constituentB o min o (0
8wakuk min hattewak9 q a ring made of>consisting
of gold +wakuk q 8gold9, hattewak q 8ring9,
Deonstrati&e /"s @-eicticB o min o (0
8sapim redad9 == sap=im redad >> sap min redad
+this man,
Interrogati&e "artiti&e /"s @Interrogative 0artitiveB o min o (0 8adam redad9 >> adan min redad +which man,
"ositi&e 2,istential /"s @4xistentialB o min o (0
8mattim redad9 == matti min redad +there is a
man>there are men,
"roper /aes @#urnameB o min o @1iven (ameB 8!heyr min Iskarrit9 +#carlett $<7are,
Attri*uti&es (0% o min o (02 85irGA min 7Hr9 +"ion Mountain,
3in has several allomorphs, indicated by the next table. (ote that some combinations allow for more than one allomorph +e.g. -*w
combinations allow both the min form and the =im form,. /he form selected by a native speaker often is a result of dialectal
differences.
"receding "honee 4esultant +or 2,aples
3(, 3(p, 3(f, 3(g, 3(!,
3(,, 3(r,3(s, 3(-3(?, 3(@,
3(), 3(#
min 85irGA min 7Hr9 +"ion Mountain,
3in num
8)ndumin num )xumbpt9 >> *1ndumin min 12umt +a
middleIclass suburb of xF min 1pl,
3(a (Class II Nouns) q3m 8maru9 == ]marua min +3enus,
3(( q3m karbawa9 == ]karaw min +water buffalo,
3n
qm
qim
8pda>pdani9 >> *adan min !whi.h"4 8kayyuni9 ==
]kayyun min +tree,
3C1C2, 3CC, (t qim 8asri9 == ]asr min +nose,2 aFFqim == ]a min +nose,
3(), 3(# qim 8kappuyi9 == ]kappuy min +whale,
3iC1C2, qum suhispu >> *suhispim >> * suhisp min +pot,
3iCC qum 8nimmu9 == nirim min +name,
3(* qin 8karabin9 == ] kara min +grasshopper,
b. /he 5a- 6onnective C /his clitic appears either at the head of a clause, or at the end of a final clause, usually doubling any
consonant that follows. /he waIconnective is therefore divided into two classes of constructions, based on the location of the
particle in the sentential complex. /he first classification is known as the 80reposed 5a-6onstruction9 in which the wa= clitic
appears at the head of a clause, and the second classification is called the 80ostposed 5aI6onstruction, because it appears in the
final position of the last clause of a sentential complex. /heir structures are therefore different, as illustrated in the following
tableC
"osition +orat
"reposed @)dunct>(0B o wa=@6lauseB
"ostposed @6lauseB o wa=@)dunct>(0B
/he 0reposed 5a-6onstruction performs the following functionsC
%. /o introduce a topic, e.g. 8(ammakt wassikkur
Y
asmurGyaku9 == Nammakt wa=sikkur asm-r6yak-7-u, i.e. 8)s for (amakt,
he hates #ikkur.
2. /o bind evidential and modal particles to a clause, e.g. 8*aF wassuyyeknappr harran9 == 8a wa=suyyekna=pr ha-ar-an,
i.e. 8It is said, dubiously, that he came with good intentions9 +8came with good intentions9 qq 8came using a @goodB heart9,.
&. /o bind existential particles to clauses for creating transitive clauses with an unknown agent, e.g. 8Matti waAAurkintesnattuF
[
9
== ]3atti wa=9urk-nten-satt-u=, i.e. 8/here is someone who will hurt you9 +litC /here is a who>something which will hurt
you,.
%\
T. /o bind deixis adverbs to their head clause, e.g. 8#appu wamminhast kirmennemu9 == /appu wa=3inhast kirim-ennem-u
8Ze speak Minhast here9.
V. /o form the 8absolute negation9 structure with the negation particle hat' and the verb of the bound clause in the negative
+essentially creating a double negative,, e.g. 87atp< watteFkGkaF9 == :at' wa=ta-eki-ek-an=, i.e. 8I will a*solutel# not
follow.9
Y 5a= gemminates any consonant that follows it, otherwise it is followed by the glottal stop >?>
[ 5aq will both gemminate and pharyngealiDe the >h> phoneme.
%\ /his construction is often translated as a 0assive 3oice in languages that have passives, e.g. 4nglish.
6. /o bind stranded nominals that arise due to verbal valence operations, especially when these operations would create double
-ative +i.e. double indirect obects,, which are ungrammatical in Minhast, e.g. 8(ismien wappiypnaran )nyar yakte
raAkittekaru == Nismien wa=piyn=aran 1nyar yak=de rak-hitt-ek-ar-u9 y 0(.)5# 6$((qpianoq-)/ 0(.)5# %#q4R1
54(.)00"IgiveI&#.)5#o%#.4R1I0)#/I/R)(#, i.e. 8I gave on behalf of )nyar a piano to (ismien9. 7ere, piyan is a
direct obect, but it is marked with the -ative clitic qaran because it is indefinite
%%
, and )nyar is a derived )bsolutive via ).
using the 5enefactive )pplicative affix -rak-. /he sentence ]Nismien=aran piyn=aran 1nyar yak=de rak-hitt-ek-ar-u is
ungrammatical
X. /o create idiomatic expressions, e.g. 87ambim bak uwaFnaru
%2
9 == hamin ak wa=un-ar-u, i.e. 8It is no business of
yours...that he hit him9 +lit. 8/here is no what @thatB he hit him9,, 87ambin wattahittahaF9 == hamin wa=ta-hitt-tah-an=,
i.e 8It doesn<t belong to you, it<s not yours for the taking9 +lit. 8/here is no and not you shall take9,.
/he 0ostposed 5a-6onstruction performs the following functionsC
%. /o mark the conclusive (0 of a ditransitive clause, e.g. 8IFpiAyinnaru wakkarkarabawp9 == p-i9y-nn-ar-u
wa=karkaraaw, i.e. 8Ze selected him as war captain9 +lit. 8we raised him high, a great water buffalo9,
2. /o bind the preceding clause to the Reason particle m6n, e.g. 8!Fnekaru naAtaraban wammGn9 == un-ek-ar-u na9t-ar-a-an
wa=m6n, i.e. 8I hit him I he was annoying, that<s why9
&. /o allow inversion of an Interrogative pronoun>particle to final position, e.g. 8*alluttaharaF wabbpkz9 == ka$$ut-tah-ar-an=
wa=k; i.e 8uou ate what;9
T. /o provide an alternative to 0reposed 5a- constructions in binding evidential and modal particles to their head clause, e.g.
8#uyyeknappr harran wattuFmat9 == /uyyekna=pr ha-ar-an wattumat, i.e. 87e +supposedly, came with good intentions,
it is said9 +8came with good intentions9 qq 8came using a @goodB heart9,.
V. "ike 0reposedI5a structures, to bind deixis adverbs to their head clause, e.g. 8Minhast kirmennemu wassappu9 == 3inhast
kirim-ennem-u wa=sappu, i.e. 8Ze speak Minhast here9.
)lthough both the 0reposed and 0ostposedI5a structures bind aduncts to clauses, an important determiner for the speaker in
selecting which structure to use is the issue of scope. /he 0reposedI5a structure has narrow scope, and governs only its adunct and
the clause immediately following it, whereas the 0ostposedIZa structure has wide scope, governing not ust its adunct and the clause
immediately preceding it2 its scope governs all the clauses of a sentence. /his difference is why the maority of evidential and modal
%% /he -ative is typically used when 0atients are demoted to $bli:ue roles, particularly during )ntipassivation.
%2 (ot expected 8wa<uFnaru9. Metathesis takes places when the wa o u combine.
particles are sentenceIfinal2 evidentials and modals are in the maority of cases used to cover the speaker<s beliefs and attitudes and
trustworthiness of the source, which applies to whole statements, but rarely for ust individual segments of a given statement.
)nother important difference is that the 0reposedI5a structure can be preceded by a verb marked with =m or other subordinating
clitic. /his means that the number of 0reposedIZa structures can occur for each and every clause in a sentence. #uch is not the case
with 0ostposedIZa structures2 only one 0ostposedI5a structure can occur for a given sentence.
S#nta,%
Aord $rder%
Minhast as a whole tends to package the obligatory elements of clauses and sentences into a cohesive unit. #pecifically, core (0s and the
verbs they serve as arguments tend to be adacent to each other. $5" arguments tend to be placed before the core (0s, so that unmarked
word order is t#$3 +where t stands for the $5" argument,. /his observation can be verified statistically by reviewing of the corpus of
texts and spoken speech, and this observation holds for almost 6\{, close to one standard deviation of all text and recorded speech sampled.
t$#3 order is the second most common arrangement found, accounting for close to &\{ of all observations. #ince the 4rgative argument
in transient clauses are highly salient, the t$#3 order defocusses the 4rgative +)gent, argument and emphasiDes the )bsolutive +0atient,
argument. #$t3 and #t$3 orders are regarded as unusual, and $#t3 and $t#3 orders tend to make native speakers cringe, although
they will concede that those arrangements are grammatical. /hese arrangements account for the remaining %\{ of observations.
Zhat is almost inviolable is the position of the verb, which prominently occurs in clauseIfinal position. /he main reason for this restriction
is most likely because the verb, being extremely suffixIladen, includes clauseIlinking and coordinating affixes which occur in the 0ostverbal
6litics slot of the Minhast verb template. /hus, the verb serves as to mark clause boundaries and coordinate compound and complex
sentences, hence the predominance of the verb<s clauseIfinal position. (evertheless, verbs do occur in nonIfinal position under the following
circumstancesC
%, In simple sentencesC the sentence 8Rassibararu )nyarde suharak9 +)nyar reached for the book, == rassiar-ar-u anyar=de suharak
+reach.forI0)#/I/R)(# @proper.nounBq4R1 book, is wellIformed, even though the verb occurs in sentenceIinitial position. 7ere,
the reaching for the book +rassiar, is being raised to a high saliency level.
2, Zhen the sentence +always either an independent sentence, or the final clause in a clause chain, is oined to a sentenceIfinal adunct
by a 0ostposedI5a 6onstruction. /he following sentence, containing a se:uential clause followed by the final clause of the sentence
is wellIformedC 8#ayyumperan iknitaharammp, kalluttaharaF wabbpkz9 +uou went to #ayyumpe@<s houseB and ate whatzzz, ==
sayyumpe=aran ikn-tah-ar-an=m, ka$$ut-tah-ar-an= wa=k +@proper.nounq-)/ goI2#.)5#I0)#/II(/R)(#q#!5 eatI2#I
0)#/II(/R)(#qIRR4)" 6$((qwhat,. 0lease refer to the related section on 0ostposedI5a constructions above.
&, Zhen followed by antitopics, often derogatory in nature, or interections, e.g. 8!ssar tHmantirektaran hpran, kuhakna|9 +!ssar came
to my house, the fool|, == ussar t<man-tirek=de=aran h-ra-an +@proper.nounB houseI&#.(4!/.)5#o%#.4R1q4R1q-)/ comeI
0)#/I/R)(#, idiot,. )gain, this can occur only if the clause is an independent sentence or the final clause in a clause chain.
(alenc#%
3alency involves the manipulation of the argument structure of a clause. /his results in altering the number of core arguments in a clause
via different verbal morphosyntactic operations for pragmatic and discourse functions and thus changes the transitivity of the clause the verb
is embedded in. #uch processes serve background previously mentioned (0s, ensure that a core argument retains its central status, to change
the thetaIrole of an argument, or to promote $5" arguments to core status.
) maor factor that motivates valence operations is to bring and keep the principal protagonists of a narrative to the forefront. )s an example,
consider the following 4nglish passage, 8/he convict threatened to kill his hostage but the policeman shot him and the paramedic brought
him to the hospital where he soon died.9 .our participants have been introduced into the narrative all at once, each one associated with his
own verb, but who the principal characters +i.e. core arguments, are remains unclear2 the convict, the hostage, the policeman, or the
paramedic could each be the main topic of interest and thus be assigned as a core argument. ) glaring ambiguity in the passage is that who
the pronouns 8he9 and 8him9 refer to cannot be conclusively determined without any additional context. 4ither the convict or the hostage
was shot2 any one of the participants could theoretically be brought to the hospital I perhaps the policeman was gravely wounded before he
shot the convict +or the hostage,. )lthough farIfetched, it<s even conceivable that the paramedic himself was brought to the hospital K
perhaps he suffered a heart attack during the faceoff between the convict and the policeman.
.ortunately, 4nglish does have a mechanism to disambiguate this sentence, using a valency operation called 0assiviDation that promotes the
logical $bect to a derived #ubect. /he logical #ubect is then either demoted to an $5" role, or is omitted from the sentence altogether.
/his allows the sentence to be restatedC 8/he convict threatened to kill his hostage but got shot +by the policeman, instead and was
immediately brought +by the paramedic, to the hospital where he soon died.9 0assiviDation promoted the convict to #ubect status and
demoted the rest of the )gents to $5" +and therefore optional, arguments. )s a result correference across successive clauses could be
reestablished, even when 0R$Idrop occurred, because in 4nglish and many (ominativeI)ccusative languages, the core argument that has
)gent status, including arguments that were promoted to )gent status through 0assiviDation, fill the empty slot for the )gent argument
where 0R$Idrop occurred. /his valency reduction operation thus eliminated the various sources of ambiguity found in the original passage.
Minhast has at its disposal three mechanisms to alter the valency of a clause to maintain proper correference between the pronominal affixes
and the core (0s. /hese mechanisms
%&
are )ntipassiviDation +)(/I,, (oun Incorporation +(I,, and )pplicative .ormation +).,.
%& !nlike 4nglish, Minhast lacks the 0assive 3oice
Saple 'e,t% BAnan,Cr in Ir!a# InnC#unD 6'he Desecration of Brother Deer7
Minhast:
uak kaAsartarekaran, Farrat inyuDlara,
uutukna tastayentiran, rHgan miDnemtaharannafti gayyakayyummaharan.
-Hy naFambahakyaraF, dHy ta?ambahakyara,
#endiD naFyukudnamaharaF, sendiD tayukudnamaharan.
(emmut astitartinnemarun, hambin wattampuDmahara,
uutukna hpraban, intasmHDimmaraF, wassukkun.
!yyurkide iFpiyuharFarekkenarummp, duAtafrekkenarunnamp,
uiptia istinesammp, marraAtaknesandHF|
/ibbaktemmide duktaAsarkemtahuF, wahsk pnim waFFimHDikma,
-uAtafrekkenarunnampC 5akppr tibbaktemmide iFpikalluktemminesuFz
Zahsk, kerkHtirkidekG Farrekekarammp, apparapiraran siyyekkitekarampi,
/ariAppr attarapmakekarun, tariAte tarrHy asmikahattarapmahunnaft, tarrHy asmunnaFtannaft.
/arrHy asminiFwakFannaft, tarrHy asminattiFannafta,
/arrHy iFpasmihphuskapFannaft, yakaran iFpisariFnesampi, warrem.
Zahsk, kimalaFkG nesit sarekaru,
(esit asmiDDayyaFannaft, nesit asminattaFannaft.
-uturussuFFHkaru, raAkinessadannHkaru,
(esit murreFarankilwpF| Zahsk, kunnekaran.
Zahsk garragunnHekaran, kuddumsuyyeknaFarampi,
}Gan wakkaAmattarruyFarekarampi, FGan wantakaAmaAtuskapFararamp<.
Intanestannuekammp, kunneku,
-annua aktameku, rehuntG yuknitirennaban.
*an wannaFFskanafti taFullumeku,
*attakiddimFattaran, tamarFullumekudHr2
/ahakkaran, talasibba,
*aAsarekaban immattaban, yakaran intakaAsarekabampi, waFFian kunnedannuekaban.
Zahsk, ururtaAte kuddumeku, garragumururtahekan, kibbuktayksneku,
!rurtaAte kuddumsuyyeknaku, wahsk napinnakekan.
IFpiFnipuAtatarekan, intaFnipuAtaka,
*an awwastanede intaraAkinurritartiekabun, kurg iknitartiskan.
Zahsk, waAtuFFHFattarekampi, waAtuFFHFattarekampinimmp, sattaberradaran kaAsarekampi,
#ap min sespirennideki hunnearan ittaAFabampi, xan min sespirennideki kimanaran ittaAFabamp~.
uakaran neFaban sumataban, kaAsarabampi, wahsk napinnakeka,
*iman kahittaAFennun, garragumillumekun, tabbukillumamp.
Zahsk, marratekan, turAa iknitartia,
(ippareyrGkaban, siAyekabannimmp kaAsarekaban2
/artiekte ikFarbuhannaft sareku, hatp? betaxysku,
Zastane nurritarampi, wastane iFpikurgitartian.
#arekabu, huttuyektaran intarabbampi, uFFukkide waAtulennu.
Zahsk, innuykimanekukil, uFFukkide tabbukukil|
*aAyantaykimanan, uFFukkidearan iFpiAyiwaAtuFFukkampi,
Intaweggitaban, matti sawwat wassuyyeknadekG tHmanabannaft, Fullumekabun.
Zahsk, sayyupekan, Fuxtaran sayyupFuxteka,
/urAatHmanaran sayyupekan, /urAatHmanaran hafrekanC
7ambin waFFulumekuFz 7ambin wahafrekannaft FulumekuFaz
RukkuwakammpdHr, sap min redadde innHyekarun|
Zahsk, haFlua sareku, haFlua xummannaft, haFlua min siyyumkennide asmihuFurkenna,
*an wassuhapmakenkide, nemaran asmitamaFkinkamp~.
*an wassap min haFlua hurpakabu, duktaAsiyyumsarekummp,
7aFlua hatp? asmihannuan, wahsk haFlua suyyeknakG ittahiFniswakan.
IklaAwannampC uak wattaAFiniriDekan wa?insilak, asmihuFurinkannaft, wassiyyumkenkide,
-uktirimekummp, kHaran Fullumekampimp, iFpihaxmutekun2
Irakekabu, yakaran istannimmp, kaAFullumampinimmp, ukuriktearan duktaAFullunnesandHFFa,
Irakekabummp, kaAFulluman, irakekabummp gaxlenasan.
7aldixtaharan, innHyun pulunkirde, innuyyintenarummp iFpikeArintenaru.
/eDub hatp? mariDmikun, teDub intammantayyiskun,
)nxea min Irkaypya, kaAFullumtakaran, kaAFullumlamaxtirkara.
IFpimaFnirakinnuyyintennesuF, rakittaAFukaFmintemnesuF, waDDpd|
Zahsk, sanum iFpisareku, matti min ruppumak wammaFFakan adduakmannafta,
Ruppumak min asnupiskemte adduakmannaft, sanumaran urrudikmamp~.
7ittekampi, iFpitemmeyarakan hittekampi,
*ahittahiFtirkun, pummarktirkekG ittahiFtirkun.
*irimannampC #anumkidearan ittaFtahampiFa,
IttaFtahampimpF uFniFarrattittampiF.
Zahsk, asmipuAtakmabannaft ruAyakminesammpF hafrekminesaFa,
}arrataran intuFniFarrattittahampiF, iFpiturtankikemtaAnesaF.
Zahsk, Farrataran biyekan, keArekianektaran biyeka,
#anum iFpiAyekun, sanum intaFpiAyekun2
}arrat uFnekkun, Farrat intuFniFarrateku,
}arrat intakringargumlan, Farrat indikeArelaban.
Zahsk, Farrat min uyyurkilekkende uyyiFatta?aran, intahafrikmabannaft kaAFullumkenku,
!arAimakkembe ayyiDmahammp sarimakkemun, intahafrikmabannaft kaAsarkenkun2
-Hy hatp? istayannaft kumgatikkemabun, intahafrikmabannaft kaAFullumkenku,
RuAyakmannaft kaAsarkenku, iFpintahafrikenkun wammGn.
Zahsk, narid sareku, uyyurkide rakuyyiFattarinku,
-uAtafrekinkun, intadutuxradankun.
Intadutuxradankun, siyyumikkembekG dpwampakkembe sarampi2
Zahsk, yanaxtutan iFpiwasaman, sarrekkerkuan.
Isangaran, kaAsareku,
Isangarbiddisan, allaypp sahsyallayaptaran.
/arA min allaypp, tariAte huttuy ittaAFu,
IndinaDda?an, naDda?an indiwahiknan, indigHlan.
4FFG waggHl Fullunsekun, eFFG awwahikn Fullummaku,
IFpidustarFattarekun, hambin uFFHsakte, baxFa waFpidustarFattarekun.
*irimekannampC InnattHsaparan hittekampi, turtankekan, wahsk, ukaFmitirkide,
Redad, FHmimbe DuDDuliknennaru, wahsk, sap min innattua hittimtekudHr|
(arid raAyan, narid kattakrupmakFattaran, yakaran saran wammGna2
*irimannampC )nanxHr min Irkayayp| )nanxHr min Irkaypya, bGaF wayyiDmitammeaF|
Redad taAtpF DuDDulinarannaft tamaFkinninesuF, redad taAtpF intatabbuktarannaft sarimimtinesuFFa,
)nanxHr min Irkaypya| #arimimtinesuF, watturAaba| /urAaba wannayyiDinninesuF|
*irmekannampCuuxriampiF, warrassukte|
uuxriampiF, tartG dutyuxriampiF, wakkawwpt|
}arrat innatulannaft, iFpixtinnatukkinesuF, watturAaba|
7atp? sariminnenuF, hatp? rassukte yuxrimtuF, nayyiDmteknesundHF, rea keAretamandHF|
Redad iFpintimtuF, DuDDuliknennarannaft iFpintimtuFa|
uDDuliknennarannaft duAtittikeAremtuF, ruppamakaran waFpikeAremtuF|
!rurtaA iFpimakteAreknenarunnaft iFpimatikeAremtuFa,
RassHde tabbukettemuF, ruppamakaran wa?undapettemuF|
(aridypr nakputekammp, mammattarrHyeka,
}arratypr iFpiAyiku, /urAatHmanaran iFpiAyikummp, bGyekan.
/arrHy iknaFaran, nuxmia hattuFara,
)llaypp ruyyambitirkaru, nahubbitirkarun.
!yyurkiaran saArekaran, hurpapparan innakekara,
Irkay suttu turAankide iFpiraAkinusillekarun, irriysrum iFpinusilliirkayekarun.
IFpraAknusillekarunnampC -aAlaxmakkahaknabummp, dahittaAFukaFmihaknaru,
Redad min rasmalennide rukuwwalennarun, redad innHyarannaft rukuwwarun|
-GlH uyyiFattarikmaran, rakneFarrattarikmaraba,
#ahan min nukarpi ixrikaAsarFarrattitarikmaraban.
#ahan min nukarpi hatp? ittawatastarimmaraba, sahan min happHr hatp<ittawatastarimmaraba,
*irimimmarannampC #ikkan wabbiakmisattaFz
Zahsk, yaduk intakrimarammp, sayyuplaklakarammp, matti dGlH wassarkemmiaru2
tpn min redad iFpistakmu, iFpintakahmadikmarunaft iFpidutistankarun.
*irimikmarannampC Matti redad, wappulunkGr kua,
#ap min redad, wappulunkGr, redad innHyaran
Zahsk, nukarpikG sattabemmiarun, ururtahinnideppr sattabemmiarun, rassuennide hagduennemaru
!ypkaFumbatteypr )nanxHr min Irkay iFpiduptiammaru, hittirussukemmiarun.
Matti pulunkGr, )nanxHr min Irkay rakukaFmitammsru|
)nanxHr min Irkay yiDmutammsF, )nanxHr min Irkay Farraltennembe iFpibarbuAlettemuF|
Zahsk, dHy biyaran, unnakaran tasum iFpibittaAFiara,
)nanxHr min Irkay, wayyiDmuhakkemarummp, rasma bilaran.
2nglish%
I stared around me, the land was parched,
It was not even winter, yet brown leaves had fallen all over the ground.
It was time for the salmon to return, but the salmon did not come,
It was time to harvest the berries, but the berries did not come.
Ze planted fields of s:uash, but none ever bore for the harvest,
/he winter was approaching, and we would starve soon.
/he people surrounded me, they cried out to me,
Ze will all die when the snows come, they said.
"ook at our children, they are already hungry,
Zhat shall we do to feed our childrenz they cried out to me.
)nd then I went into my tent, and I built a great fire
I made it with wood that makes the thick smoke2
/he smoke that is white, the smoke that is pure and flawless,
/he smoke that brings visions, it would reveal all to me.
)nd before me I spied a brook in a forest,
) brook that was cold, a brook that was pure.
I bent down my head, and I drank its water.
Zhat a delicious stream it was| /hus I slaked my thirst.
)nd then I felt a pain in my side, I felt it pierce my heart,
Zhile I twisted the smoke about me, twisting the vision around myself tightly.
I drink its water heartily, and it slakes my thirst,
/hus I enoy this water, it flows from the mountain glacier up high.
5ut I do not hear the hunter, the one who hides behind me,
7e hides in the bushes silently, so I cannot hear him2
7e makes no move, and he makes no sound
7e watches me and waits, watching me drink to slake my thirst.
/hen the arrow pierces me, I feel it plunge into my chest,
/he arrow pierces my heart, thus I fall to the ground.
I try to rise up to my feet, I fight to stand up straight,
5ut the blood gushes mightily, I feel my strength leave me.
/hen I raise my head, I raise it to stare at my killer,
7e wields his bow in one hand, he wields a blade in the other.
7e runs up to me, he watches me falter,
7e then takes the blade, and I feel its slash across my throat.
)nd so I die, and my spirit departs my body.
I stand over the hunter, I look over his shoulder,
)nd I see what was once my body, I cannot recogniDe it,
.or blood has covered all of it, blood that once nourished my body.
)nd then I watch him grab my antlers, I watch him pull up my head,
)nd with his blade he defiles me, now he has cut off my head|
7e drops his blade, and lifts my head high,
7e laughs so hard, and I hear the evil that lives in his heart.
)nd so I return to where I originally came,
/o the #pirit Zorld I return and cry outC
Zill no one hear my protest, will no one hear my cryz
I demand ustice, for that man has defiled me|
)nd then I see a magnificent wolf, a wolf with blue eyes,
5ut wolves are my enemies, they always hunt my kind.
5ut this one I trust, for when I look into his eyes,
I see he is no ordinary wolf, but a wolf with fierce ustice in his heart.
I am Insilak, the $ne with the 5lue 4yes, he says2
)nd when I hear his voice I am filled with oy.
I know he has come to hear me, he has come to hear my story2
I know he will listen, I know he will render his ustice.
uou are the victim of innHy, he says to me,
/he crime that is unforgivable, the crime that must always be punished.
I have heard you, 5rother -eer, I have heard your indignation2
Ze will see that for the crime of innHy, your murder will be avenged.
)nd then he shows me a branch, a branch carved with beautiful faces,
.aces of creatures of all kinds, they wind around it in graceful curves.
7e gives it to me with his outstretched paws,
I accept it with my outstretched hooves.
/ake my staff with you, he says,
/ake it and smite the ground.
/hen the ones who stand on two legs will starve and suffer2
#mite the earth hard, and they shall be duly repaid.
)nd so I return to the earth, I return to where I died,
I raise the staff above me, I raise the staff high.
/hen I strike the earth, I strike it with all my might,
/he land shrieks, and then the land starts to die.
#o then the people of the land gather, and then I hear them wail,
/hey watch their crops wilt, and I watch them wail.
I watch them wait for the salmon that do not come, and I hear them wail,
I watch them starve, because of me I have caused them to wail.
/hen I see an old man, and the people gather around him,
/hey cry out to him, they beg loudly to him2
/hey entreat him as he sees the tears in their eyes,
7e raises his hands and calms them, then he enters his tent.
/hen I watch him as he makes a fire,
I watch him light the wood, and he puts on a mask2
) mask of wood, a mask with great antlers,
/hen he begins to dance, he dances as he begins his prayer chant.
)nd after hearing his chants, and after hearing his prayers,
I reveal myself to him, although without my head I still present myself to him.
/hen I sayC I have brought you this misery, I have meted out my ustice,
.or one of you has defiled me, and therefore I have brought this calamity upon you|
/he old man cries out, he hides his face when he see me,
5rother -eer, he cries out, 5rother -eer, forgive us all|
/he man who has defiled you we will hunt down, the man who has disfigured you we will find,
5rother -eer, I promise you we shall find him, I promise you we shall punish him|
1ive me back my head, I say to the old man,
Return it to me, reunite it with my body.
4lse the land that I make suffer, I will continue to make it suffer,
I will punish all of you, do not find him and do not return my head and you will all die|
5ring that man to me, bring the one who defiled me,
0ut him to death that defiled me, kill him in front of me.
*ill him with the arrow, the one he used to kill me,
/hen cut off his head, and place it before me|
)nd then I turn away from the old man, and I step on a wisp of smoke
It carries me away from the earth, it raises me back to the #pirit Zorld.
/he smoke departed, and the embers died down,
I took off the mask, and I placed it back in its niche.
I called out to the people, and I summoned the elders,
I told them of the deer spirit, I told them what he said to me.
7e is angry, I said, 7e has meted out his vengeance,
7e demands the life of a man, the one who committed against him innHy|
)nd so the young men assembled, and they spread out across the land,
.or many days they searched, through many lands they traveled.
Ze did not hear from them for many days, for many nights we all worried,
Zhen will our men return to usz Zhen will we see themz we asked.
/hen one day with a cry, a young boy pointed into the distance and we saw our young men,
/hey brought back another, they brought him to us bound tightly.
/hey announced to usC 7ere is the man that did this,
/he man who is guilty, the one who committed innHy.
)nd so we killed him that day with his arrow, then we cut off his head,
Ze returned to 5rother -eer that which was stolen from him, and we presented him the man<s head.
5ehold the perpetrator, we have avenged you 5rother -eer,
.orgive us, 5rother -eer, please bring back life to our land|
/hen the salmon returned, then the fields brought back their bounty
/hus 5rother -eer forgave us, and life returned to the land.
Appendi,
A*out BAnan,Cr in Ir!a# InnC#unD
Cultural /otes%
-nn<y is a difficult concept for nonIMinhast speakers to graspC most foreign
dictionaries list it as 8desecration9. 7owever, inn<y has a complex, multilayered meaning2
superficially it describes a specific crime, namely, a disrespectful way of killing an animal and handling
its remains. Zhat is not mentioned in dictionaries is that inn<y assumes that the rationale for taking an
animal<s life was for frivolous purposes only. /his includes killing an animal merely for sport or
pleasure, or taking the life of an animal and leaving its remains as waste once certain trophy items from
the body were taken. -nn<y also implies that cruel methods were used in killing the animal. )ll of
these have serious ramifications in the interaction between the Minhast and the natural world which
they inhabit, one that is religious in nature. It is the religious aspect that translations of inn<y often fail
to describe.
/raditionally, the Minhast tribes engaged in hunting to supplement their livelihoods, for food, clothing,
tools, and religious and ceremonial obects for their shamanistic and animist religion. /he taking of the
life of an animal was a serious matter2 the Minhast tribes believed that the animal spirits and humans
were ultimately part of the same family. .rom birth to death a Minhast was guarded by a personal
totem, in effect, under the protection of an elder sibling, hence why the Minhast address an animal
spirit as 1nan2<r +elder brother, or /uryamik +elder sister,. #o to take the life of an animal was the
e:uivalent of killing a family member.
6ertain ceremonies and rituals had to be undertaken before the hunt so that the animal<s spirit would
not seek revenge. 5efore a hunting party would set out, the aayk +killing edge of a weapon, would
be ritually cleansed with water blessed by the hatu2te +shaman,. /hen the hunters would send prayers
to the =ur9at<man +#pirit Zorld, asking for forgiveness from the animal spirit who would ultimately
fall before the hunters. Zhen a :uarry was spotted and eventually killed, the hunters would gather
around the fallen animal and once again ask the animal<s spirit for forgiveness, and conclude with
prayers of thanksgiving to acknowledge the great sacrifice the animal took so that the hunters and their
families may live. $nce taken back to the village, every part of the animal would be put to use2 nothing
was ever wasted. )nd at the winter solstice, the 1yamauk ceremony would be held to once again
give thanks to the animal spirits that sacrificed their lives so that man may live.
-nn<y, then, is not only a symbol of disrespect to the animal<s spirit2 by extension, it is the greatest form
of disrespect to the #pirit Zorld. !ltimately, it is also an assault against mankind, because the animal
may be someone<s 4lder 5rother or 4lder #ister, and thus a family member of humanity. )n animal
falling victim to inn<y would return to earth to exact its vengeance in the form of floods, earth:uakes,
tsunamis, famine, and a whole of host of natural disasters. It is no surprise then that the punishment for
inn<y is severe, as the reader will discover in 1nan2<r min -rkay -nn<yun.
A*out the poe%
1nan2<r min -rkay -nn<yun is a subtype of the genre called sekimt>, called
seksaramt, meaning 81reat #ekimbpt9. )ll sekimt are narrated in the first person, following a
specific formulaC they begin and end with a twoIline stanDa, with the main body of the poem consisting
of four to six :uatrains. /he lines of each stanDa of the sekimt follow an )5 pattern in terms of the
terminating word +usually a verb,, whereby the final word ends with a vowel in the initial line,
followed by another line whose terminating word ends in a consonant. 0oetic license is often taken to
maintain this effect. )n example is dropping a consonant, as in the word raknearrattarikmaraa,
instead of the expected raknearrattarikmaraan for the Intransitive suffix. )nother example, where a
vowel as opposed to a consonant is lost, is found in dropping the final -i of the )ntipassive suffix -mpi
in the word wantaka9ma9tuskapararamp' +expected formC wantaka9ma9tuskapararampi,. /he
/ransitive suffix -u also often appears in the archaic form Iun, as in ipira9kinusi$$ekarun.
Zhat differentiates the seksaramt from the typical sekimt is that it consists of three sekimts2 the
uua +prologue,, the tart6 +main body of the narrative, and the ? +epilogue,. /he tart6 deviates from
the typical sekimt in that the number of :uatrains exceeds the sixI:uatrain limit. Instead, the number
of :uatrains is unconstrained other than by what is necessary to develop the storyline, reach the climax,
and then begin the denouement to complete the main body of the narrative before reaching the
concluding stanDas of the ?. )nother distinguishing feature of the seksaramt is the alternation
between pause versus full stop terminating each line of the stanDas, as in the following exampleC
@<y naamahakyara, d<y taAamahakyara,
/endiz nayukudnamahara, sendiz tayukudnamaharan.
Nemmut astitartinnemarun, hamin wattampuzmahara,
&utukna hraan, intasm<zimmara, wassukkun.
) notable characteristic of 1nan2<r min -rkay -nn<yun is that two narrators are presentC the shaman,
who begins the seksaramt with the uua and ends with the ?. /he main protagonist and narrator,
though, is 5rother -eer, whose narrative encompasses the tart6. /his is another defining characteristic
of the seksaramtC unlike the typical sekimt, which consists of only one narrator, the seksaramt
has multiple narrators, at least two, but some epic seksaramt have as many as twelve
%T
narrators.
(ote too that the shaman<s narrative in both the uua and the ? is entirely in the past tense, whereas
5rother -eer<s narrative in the tart6 is in the present tense. )s the main storyline occurs in the tart6, the
use of the present tense as the 8narrative tense9 fre:uently found in the Minhast oral tradition, conveys
the immediacy of the perceptions and events of the main character, around whom the entire story
revolves.
I am greatly indebted to )har min (ammun, Minhay<s 0oet "aureate of 2\%&, who recited to me this
traditional #almon #peaker seksaramt. /his and other traditional poems, along with his original
works, may be found in 8I 7ear the $rca #piritC Zords from the 7eart of Minhay9.
%T /he number twelve is an auspicious number in Minhast numerology.
S#*ols and A**re&iations
q 6litic
I )ffix boundary
o .used affix decomposed into its contituent parts
IvI (ull marker
== -erives from
qq Is e:uivalent or synonymous
] !ngrammatical
6 #ingle 6onsonant
6%62 6onsonant 6luster, (onIgeminate
66 1eminate 6onsonant
3 #ingle 3owel
33 "ong>1eminate 3owel
+3, wuiescent 3owel
0( 0roper (oun
(0 (oun 0hrase
30 3erb 0hrase
$5" $bli:ue argument
14(/ 1entilic
)1/ )gent
0/ 0atient
4R1 4rgative
)5# )bsolutive
-)/ -ative
I(#/R Instrumental
6$(( 6onnective
(41 (egator
6)!# 6ausative
-I#/R -istributive
0)R/ 0artitive
R4."t Reflexive
R46I0 Reciprocal
(I (oun Incorporation
(0 (oun 0hrase
30 3erb 0hrase
)00" )pplicative +generic,
). )pplicative .ormation
-)/.)00" -ative )pplicative
54(.)00" 5enefactive )pplicative
I(#/R.)00" Instrumental )pplicative
# #ingular
0 0lural
M)#6 Masculine
.4M .eminine
)(IM.(4!/ )nimate (euter
I()(IM.(4!/ Inanimate (euter
%0.I(6" .irst 0erson Inclusive
%0.4t6" .irst 0erson 4xclusive
R4M.0)#/ Remote 0ast /ense
0)#/ 0ast /ense
0R4# 0resent /ense
IMM..!/ Immediate .uture /ense
.!/ .uture /ense
IM0. Imperfect )spect
04R. 0erfect )spect
/R)(# /ransitive marker
I(/R)(# Intransitive marker
)(/I )ntipassive
#!5 1eneral #ubordinator
0!R0 0urposive
IRR4)" Irrealis
($M" (ominaliDer