Miskito/Lesson 5

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Miskitu Aisas!

Miskito Language Course

Lesson 4 Bandera regne Miskito.png 5 Naha wina Bilwi ra
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Contents From here to Bilwi

To and from[edit]

Study
What do they mean?
  • Where is your child going (to)?
  • She/He is going to school.
  • Where are we going (to)?
  • We are going to the village.
  • Where is your father (at)?
  • He is coming from the village.
  • Where are the children coming from?
  • Are they coming from school?
  • No, they are coming from the shop.
  • Tuktikam anira auya?
  • Witin skul ra auya.
  • Yawan anira auya?
  • Yawan tawan ra auya.
  • Aisikam anira sa?
  • Witin tawan wina aula.
  • Tuktan nani ba ani wina aula?
  • Witin nani skul wina aula ki?
  • Apia, sap wina aula.
Practice Answer the questions using the word provided.
  1. Witin anira auya? (skul)
  2. Mairin ba ani wina aula? (utla)
  3. Tuktan na ani wina anira auya? (dur, windar)?
Answers
  1. Witin skul ra auya.
  2. Mairin ba utla wina aula.
  3. Tuktan na dur wina windar ra auya.

We have already seen that ra is a postposition (a relation word that comes after a noun) and that it may mean "in", "on" or "at". Here we see that ra, which is the most common postposition in Miskito, can also have the meaning of "to", as in skul ra to school, tawan ra to the village, etc.

  • Remembering that ra is sometime joined to the preceding word in writing, you should not be surprised when you read things like skulra, tawanra etc. We will follow this custom here only with very common combinations such as anira.

Wina is another postposition: it means "from", as in skul wina from school, sap wina from the shop and so on. Here we also see two important irregular verbs: auya goes, is going, go, are going and aula comes, is coming etc.



Here and there[edit]

Study
What do they mean?
  • Where does your father sit?.
  • My father sits here.
  • My mother doesn't sit here, she sits there.
  • Are the children going to school?
  • No, they are not going there, they are coming from there.
  • The car is not coming here, it is going from here to Bilwi.
  • Aisikam anira iwisa?
  • Aisiki nahara iwisa.
  • Yaptiki nahara iwras, witin bahara iwisa.
  • Tuktan nani ba skul ra auya ki?
  • Apia, witin nani bahara waras, baha wina aula.
  • Truk ba nahara balras, naha wina Bilwi ra auya.
Practice What do these mean?
  1. Yaptikam anira sa? — Yaptiki nahara sa.
  2. Aisikam aula ki? — Apia, witin nahara balras.
  3. Yawan bahara auya.
  4. Mairin ba bahara dia muni iwisa?
  5. Nanara witin iwras, witin baha wina nahara aula.
  6. Miriki nani ba Bilwi ra dia muni waras ki?
Answers
  1. Where is your mother? — My mother is here.
  2. Is your father coming? — No, he is not coming here.
  3. We are going there.
  4. Why is the woman sitting there?
  5. She isn't sitting now, she is coming from there to here.
  6. Why aren't the Americans going to Bilwi?

You have learnt that naha and baha can mean "this" and "that", but here we see that when followed by ra or wina they mean "here" and "there".

  • As with anira, we will spell nahara and bahara as single words.
  • Do not be surprised to encounter nahara and bahara contracted to nâra and bâra. (Bâra should ring a bell: you have already seen it in the expression bara sa!)

Auya and aula are irregular: the main stems of these verbs are wa- and bal-, as in the negative forms:

auya

is going, are going

waras

isn't going, aren't going

aula

is coming, are coming

balras

isn't coming, aren't coming



Direct objects[edit]

Study
What do they mean?
  • Mary sees a house.
  • Karla sees a man.
  • Does she see John?
  • Yes, Karla sees him.
  • What does Mary see?
  • Does she see the car?
  • No, she doesn't see the car, she sees the house.
  • Whom does Karla see?
  • She sees the man.
  • Mary utla kum kaikisa.
  • Karla waitna kum ra kaikisa.
  • John ra kaikisa ki?
  • Au, Karla witin ra kaikisa.
  • Mary dia kaikisa?
  • Witin truk ba kaikisa ki?
  • Apia, witin truk ba kaikras, utla ba kaikisa.
  • Karla yaura kaikisa?
  • Witin waitna ba ra kaikisa.
Practice Answer the questions using the words given (add ra if necessary).
  1. Jose dia plikisa? (buk kum)
  2. Witin yaura plikisa? (aisiki)
  3. Yawan dia daukisa? (plun)
  4. Yawan dia kaikisa? (mangu kum kum)
  5. Yawan yaura kaikisa? (tuktan kum kum)
  6. Witin nani yaura kaikisa? (yawan)
Answers
  1. Witin buk kum plikisa.
  2. Witin aisiki ra plikisa.
  3. Yawan plun daukisa.
  4. Yawan mangu kum kum kaikisa.
  5. Yawan tuktan kum kum ra kaikisa.
  6. Witin nani yawan ra kaikisa.

Yet another use of ra is with some direct objects. It is hard to give an exact rule about which direct objects take ra and which do not, but simplifying we can give the rule of thumb: use ra with animate objects (i.e. people and animals). Therefore, Witin utla ba kaikisa He/She sees the house but Witin waitna ba ra kaikisa He/She sees the man.

  • Notice that ra can come after nouns (aisiki ra), pronouns (witin ra) or determiners (waitna ba ra). The combination ba ra is often spelt bara.
  • A special case is "whom" ("who" as direct object): ya + ra changes to yaura.


A note on infinitives[edit]

From here onwards we shall follow the traditional custom of citing verbs in the infinitive. Miskito infinitives have the ending -aia. The infinitives of the verbs you know so far are:

aisaia

to speak

aisisa

aisaras

balaia

to come

aula

balras

daukaia

to make, to do

daukisa

daukras

inaia

to cry

inisa

inras

iwaia

to sit

iwisa

iwras

kaia

to be

sa

(apia sa)

kaikaia

to see

kaikisa

kaikras

piakaia

to cook

piakisa

piakras

plikaia

to look for

plikisa

plikras

pulaia

to play

pulisa

pulras

waia

to go

auya

waras

In most cases we can obtain the verbs stem just by removing -aia, and to the resulting stem the regular endings (-isa, -ras etc.) are then added. Any exceptions will be noted as they arise. Notice in particular that the infinitive of the irregular verb "to be" (present: sa) is kaia!


Vocabulary and review[edit]

where from
negative of balaia
negative of waia
from there
adv
there
irreg v
come
v
to sit
v
to see
from here
adv
here
n
school
n
car, truck, motor vehicle
irreg v
go
post
from
whom


Fill in the blanks with one of these:
ANIRA — AULA — AUYA — BAHARA — BALRAS — NAHARA — RA — WARAS — WINA
Review
Nanara yawan tawan __________ __________.

ra, auya

Tuktikam skul __________ auya ki?

ra

Plun ba __________ sa? — Yaptikam nanara sap __________ aula.

anira, wina

Yabal na Bilwi ra __________ ki?

auya

Apia, yabal na bahara __________.

waras

Tuktikam nani ba dia muni __________ balras?

nahara

Truk ba __________ auya?

anira

Naha __________ yawan mairin nani sut __________ kaikisa.

wina, ra


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Contents