Mirad ( aka Unilingua ) is an artificially-constructed auxiliary language (conlang) developed and published by Paris-based author Noubar Agopoff as a serious medium for easy and logical international communication. Mirad is categorized by constructed language experts as 'philosophical' because its vocabulary is mapped letter-by-letter to a semantic ontology or thesaurus. Also, the word stock of Mirad is considered a priori, that is, there is no deliberate association with words or roots in existing natural languages. The vocabulary is "from scratch", yet based on internal lexical and semantic rules that help the learner to construct and deconstruct derivations logically, mnemonically, and consistently.
The author claims in his book Unilingua -- Langue universelle auxiliaire that this language is well-suited for universal, logical communication because it is based on principles already exploited globally by sciences like mathematics and chemistry where symbolic formulas are constructed in accordance with strict rules and a limited sequence of symbols understood by all practitioners.
Mirad is constructed on the following principles:
Every vowel has numeric, vectorial, scalar, or semantic value.
Every consonant is meaningful either lexically or grammatically.
Word derivation is systematic, consistent, analogical, and mnemonic.
Words are as ontologically unambiguous as possible.
Words are as short and as easy to pronounce as possible.
Inflection and derivation of words is regular and predictable.
This book contains Version 2 of the language with additions and modifications to the original. The principal changes are:
The letter w was added, mainly to indicate the passive voice of verbs.
The letter s was changed to sound like the s in English sun
The letter x was changed to sound like the sh in English show
The letter c was changed to sound like the ch in English chair
Grammatical cases were eliminated and replaced by prepositions.
The deictic proforms like "this, that, such, which" were modified and systematized.
Some prepositions and conjunctions were changed or added.
A definite article was introduced.
Much new vocabulary was added and some words were altered.
The writing system now consists only of letters, with no diacritics.
Mirad uses the Roman alphabet as English does, except that the letters H, Q, and C are only used in foreign borrowings or attempts to spell foreign words or names. There is an upper case (majuscules or capital letters) and a lower case (miniscules or small letters). The upper case letters are used much as in English (see Orthography). Mirad, at least natively, uses no diacritic marks such as breve, accent aigu, or diairesis. The order of the alphabet is the same as in English.
Vowels in Mirad can be "post-iotated" with the consonant y to produce five vowel diphthongs. These diphthongs are pronounced as such only at the end of a word or before a syllable beginning with a consonant. For example, igay and eyna contain post-iotated vowel diphthongs, but maraya (ma-ra-ya) does not.
The consonants in Mirad are pronounced not altogether differently from their English counterparts, except for x, which is sounds like English sh in ship and j which resembles the zh sound in Zhivago or mirage. However, the so-called stops p, t, and k sound more closely like their European equivalents in that they are not aspirated, i.e. their is no puff of breath following them as in English.
The consonants h, and q, and c are not native to Mirad and are used only to represent foreign names and expressions. In that case, c is used for the English ch sound in China.
The consonant w was not used before Version 2 of Mirad. It is now used to form the passive voice of verbs and is pronounced as in English or the ou in French oui.
Here is a table showing the pronunciation of Mirad consonants:
English good (always hard, even before e and i)
English house (or other similar sounds like German Bach
French je or English mirage
English kite (without aspiration) or French comment
English love or French bel
English pan (without aspiration) or Frenchpas
(Only used in foreign words, where it has various pronunciations)
a dental flap as in Spanish mira or Italian Roma
Always hard as in English safe (never a z sound as in Rose)
Stress in Mirad is not marked and not phonemic, i.e. not semantically distinctive. However, in all words of more than one syllable, the stress is applied to the last vowel followed by a consonant, or, in the case of words ending in more than one vowel, to the penultimate (next-to-last) vowel. The letter y is always treated as a consonant. Another, simpler rule is that the stress falls on the last, non-final vowel. The following chart gives some examples:
In Mirad, all native nouns (i.e. substantives encompassing nouns, pronouns, and words nominalized from other parts of speech like gerunds and participial forms) end in a consonant. Only nouns per se are discussed here, while other words having substantive properties such as pronouns, proforms, gerunds, nominalizations of other parts of speech, etc. will be discussed in later sections.
In Mirad, there is only a definite article, ad* the. No indefinite article like a / an is expressed. A noun is considered indefinite or general unless modified by the definite article ad (which in reality is a DEFINITE DEICTIC ADJECTIVE, discussed with other deictic proforms in the later section on Deictic Adjectives). This definite article never changes form and is used exactly as in English. It is positioned before the noun and before any other adjectives or modifiers.
indefinite, no article
general, no article
the life (...I lead)
general, no article
person's name, no article
Speakers of French and other European languages should take note that general concepts like love, life, freedom do not employ the definite article unless they refer to a specific instance, such as in the phrases the love that dare not speak its name or the life well-lived or the freedoms we possess. The names of languages and countries are also considered general, and so as in English, they do not take a definite article as they might in some European languages. Names of persons do not take the definite article as they do in modern Greek, unless in a phrase like "the Ivan I once knew."
Proper nouns, such as names of people, places, languages, etc., are capitalized as in English. The formation of country names and languages will be discussed in a later section. It can be said here, though, that country names for the most part end in -am; the inhabitants of those places end in -at or pl. -ati; and the languages they speak end in -ad.
* The definite article is technically an adjective and should end in the adjectival suffix -a. However, this ending is optional for the definite article and other adjectival deictic proforms in the interest of brevity. So, both ad and ada are acceptable.
Nouns are pluralized by adding the suffix i. Any noun modifiers, such as the definite article ad, are left unchanged, because there is no agreement in gender and number as there commonly is in many European languages like French, German, and Italian.
Nouns can be modified by various qualitative, quantitative, and deictic adjectives, which all precede the noun. These modifiers come in the same order as in English. There is no gender or number agreement between the modifiers and the noun. A complete discussion of prepositions can be found in the section Prepositions.
Nouns can be linked by connective morphemes like ayand, eyor, oybut not, as well as with prepositions like avfor, baywith, buto, and bifrom. Connectives and prepositions come before the noun and before all other noun modifiers. More informatiion on these connective words can be found in the sections on Prepositions and Conjunctions.
Nouns can be linked in a genitive association with the preposition biof, from or nouns can simply be compounded or stacked, in which case the base noun is last. Examples:
tej bi nasuka life of poverty
ad tam bi MariaMary's house (= the house of Mary)
job bi aga ivana time of great joy
dom ditpara city bus
toj fana death wish
dropek jaxeniwar preparations
The X bi Y construction must always be used for possession by a named person. The two methods of genitive association follow the English pattern in all other cases. Pronominal possession such as his car is discussed in the section on personal pronouns.
Qualitative/associative adjectives are modifiers that describe or lend attributes to nouns. In Mirad, all such adjectives end in the suffix a. Many are pure, descriptive adjectives like igafast, while others (associative adjectives) are formed from nouns, such as sanaformal from sanform, shape. In fact, the adjectival suffix a can often be affixed to a noun to derive an associative adjective of that noun. Here are some examples:
The word order of adverbs is fairly free, as in English. But, to avoid ambiguity, the adverb should be placed immediately before or after the sentence element it modifies, eg.:
It deuze viay.He sings beautifully.
Et yefe xer ad gya ig.You must do it as quickly as possible.
Et yodjob ako firxa ivan.You will never gain perfect happiness.
Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs by Degree
As in English, qualitative adjectives and adverbs can be modified by degree. To do this, a quantitative specifier of degree (ga, ge, etc.) is placed before the qualitative adjective or adverb, producing positive / negative comparative, equalitative, superlative, and other degree expressions as in the following table. The quantitative adverbs used in these comparative expressions are discussed in detail in a later section on quantitative specifiers.
ge fiaas good
go fiayless well
gla fiavery good
gle fiarather/quite good
glo fianot very/slightly good
gra fiatoo good
gre fiaywell enough
gro fiainsufficiently good
gye fiagood on average
gyo fiayleast well, the worst
The relative morpheme ev is used to translate English as in an equalitative comparison; than in a non-equal comparison; or of / in in a superlative expression. Examples:
Ata tam se ga aga ev etas.My house is bigger than yours.
Id tam voy se ge aga ev atas.This house is not as big as mine.
Id se ad gya aga tam bi yata yubem.This is the biggest house in our neighborhood.
Unlike in English, where comparative forms can be irregular (smaller, more intense, better), there are no exceptions in the comparison of Mirad adjectives and adverbs.
Quantitative adjectives qualify singular nouns for relative amount and plural nouns for relative number, and as adverbs, modify adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs answering the question to what degree?. Derived from these are pronouns for persons and things. The pronouns are formed by adding s for things and t for persons, plus the plural ending i, if the referent is plural. The following table presents most of these word forms:
How... (+ adj./adv.)?
How much... (+ s. noun) / How many... (+ pl. noun)?
Quantitative numerical adjectives are numbers that modify a noun as to quantity. In a sequence of adjectives, the numerical adjective goes first. Numerical adjectives are the same in form as cardinal numbers, but a special counter morpheme wa is added simply to aid in the comprehension and disambiguation of the words. If the numerical adjective is one syllable, the wa is suffixed; otherwise it stands alone. If the numerical adjective is 2 or more, then the noun is pluralized.
owa tam ← singular!
no houses, zero houses
awa tam ← singular!
one house, a house
ewa tami ← plural!
alo wa tami ← alo is not monosyllabic!
ase wa tami
a hundred two houses
ero iwa tami
two thousand three houses
iro alo wa tami
three thousand ten houses
Ordinal Numerical Adjectives and Their Derived Adverbs and Pronouns
Ordinal numerical adjectives like first, second, etc. are formed from the cardinal numbers by adding the adjectival ending a to the cardinal number.
Ordinal Numerical Adjective
The word naporder can be inserted in these words to make them more comprehensible in speech:
anapafirst, first in order
alapaeleventh, elevnth in order
Ordinal numerical adverbs can be derived by adding the suffix y to the adjective counterparts:
Ordinal numerical adjectives can be converted to animate pronouns (persons) with the suffix t and inanimate pronouns (things) with the suffix s:
ad aasthe first thing
ad aatthe first person
ad aatithe first people
ad easthe second thing
eatanother / a second person
ad anapa jubithe first days
ad aati so ujnathe first shall be last
Again, in the sequencing of stacked adjectival elements, the order is as in English, that is: <deictic or pronominal adjective> | <ordinal numerical adjective> | <quantitative numerical adjective> | <qualitative adjective>
ud uwa aga tamithose four big houses
ad aa alo wa oga tamithe first ten little houses
ata aa ewa oga tobobimy first two little children
Fractions like half and multiples like "triple are discussed later under Word Formation.
Deictic Adjectives are modifiers which point out or specify other words. They include demonstratives like this, that, those, specifiers like any, some, all, the, etc. Derived from these are animate and inanimate pronouns like this one, those things, something, everyone, etc. Also derived from these are adverbs of time like when, now; adverbs of place like there, here, somewhere; adverbs of manner like how, thus, somehow; adverbs of kind, age, direction, reason, and so forth.
Table of Deictic Adjectives and Derived Pronouns
There are ten deictic base morphemes used to generate many specifiers, including adjectives, pronouns, and adverbs. Here is a table showing adjectives and pronouns built off of these ten deictic base morphemes. The base morphemes can be used a prefixes or adjectives or "thing" pronouns. As adjectives, the suffix -a is optional.
Adjective of Kind
odyena?what kind of?
adyena?the kind of
edyenasome kind of
idyenathis kind of, such (a)
udyenathat kind of, such (a)
yodyenano kind of, no such
yadyenaevery kind of
yedyenaany kind of, whatever kind of
yidyenathe same kind of
yidthe same thing
yidithe same things
yidutthe same person
yidutithe same people
yudyenasome other kind of
Note: The definite deictic morpheme ad or ada is used as what is more commonly referred to as the definite article the. As mentioned before, if the definite article or any other deictic morpheme is omitted before a noun, than it has the effect of the English indefinite article a / an with a singular noun or some with a plural noun. For example:
Yat tilia ad tilyeb bi vafil.We drank the glass of wine., vs.
Yat tilia tilyeb bi vafil.We drank a glass of wine.
Yat tilia ad tilyebi bi vafil.We drank the glasses of wine., vs.
Yat tilia tilyebi bi vafil.We drank (some) glasses of wine.
Yat tilia awa tilyeb bi vafil.We drank one glass of wine., vs.
Yat tilia ad awa tilyeb bi vafil.We drank the one glass of wine.
Yat tilia ewa tilyebi bi vafil.We drank two glasses of wine., vs.
Yat tilia ad ewa tilyebi bi vafil.We drank the two glasses of wine., vs.
Yat tilia yadewa tilyebi bi vafil.We drank both glasses of wine.
Yat tilia owa tilyeb bi vafil.We drank no/zero glasses (=not a single glass) of wine.
Yat tilia ea tilyeb bi vafil.We drank another/a second glass of wine., vs.
Yat tilia ad ea tilyeb bi vafil.We drank the second glass of wine., vs.
Yat tilia ea tilyebi bi vafil.We drank second glasses of wine., vs.
Yat tilia ad ea tilyebi bi vafil.We drank the second glasses of wine.
This tables shows a correlated set of adverbial expressions built on the basic deictic morphemes. This is not all-inclusive, because their are other expressions relating to age, frequency, and so forth.
odyen?how?, in what way?
odnog?how?, to what degree?
adnogas, to the degree
edyensomehow, in some way
edavfor some reason
idyenthis way, so
idnogso, this, to this extent
idavfor this reason, therefore
udyenthat way, thus
udnogso, that, to that extent
udavfor that reason, therefore
yodnognot at all
yodavfor no reason
yadyentotally, in every way
yadavfor every reason
yednoghowever, to any degree
yedavfor whatever reason
yidemthe same place
yidjobat the same time
yidnogas, to the same extent
yidevfor the same reason
yudjobsome other time
yudavfor some other reason
It should be noted that all of these deictic forms, unless used as nouns, such as in the sentence Iyt iyfe idem.She likes this place (or) She likes it here., are really abbreviations of longer expressions with mostly the preposition beat. For example, At tameya udem., meaning I used to live there. is ignoring the preposition be from the longer, more explicit version At tameya be udem., lit. I used to live at that-place. The proper preposition must be explicitly present if something other than beat. For example, from where? is expressed as bi odem? Similarly, until then would be expressed as ji udjob.
Note: idyen is an abbreviated form that can be used adjectivally to mean like this, such a (idyena), adverbally to mean in this way, so (idyenay), and as a pronoun to mean this way, this manner, such.
Xu idyen.Do (it) this way/so
Su idyen.Amen.(=Let it be this way/thus.)
Here are some examples of how adverbial deictics are used:
Odem et tame?Where do you live? (Equivalent to Be odem et tame?(At) what place...?)
At tame udem.I live there.
Et tame adem ad mep uje.You live where the road ends.
Udem yet peye?Where are you guys going?*
Et yafe per yedem et fu.You can go anywhere you'd like.
Idem se adem at tamaye glaju.This place is where I've lived for a long time.
Bi odem et se?Where are you form?
Odjob et taja?When were you born?
At taja adjob Kennedy sa ad doebeb.I was born when Kennedy was the president.
Et teato ud pansin yodjob.You will never see that movie.
Odyena tej et fe?What kind of life do you want?
Udyena tej voy se av at.Such a life is not for me.
Yat voy xe udyenasi.We don't do such things.
Odav et tadsa udnog jwa?Why did you marry so late?
Anay adav at yefa bikier ata ted.Only because I had to take care of my dad.
Ad tob pia yodav.The man left for no reason.
Odyen it xa ud?How did he do that? (Equivalent to Be odyem...?In what way...?)
Et texe yidyen at.You think the same way (as) I do.
Id son se yudyenas.This issue is a different sort of thing.
Odyena et se?How are you?
Odnog iyfla et se!How nice you are! (=Odgla..., Odyen(ay)...)
* Bu odem (to where, whither) is not required here, since the verb pergo (to) has the to idea built in.
Quantitative Expressions Built on Deictic Morphemes
The deictic morphemes can be combined with gla to form quite a few quantitative expressions:
odgla?how?/how much?/how many?
odglati?how many (people)?
adglahow?/as much/as many
adglatias many (people)
idglathis/this much/this many
idglatithis many (people)
udglathat/that much/that many
udglatithat many (people)
yodglanot at all/no/no
yodglasnone of it
yodglasinone of them
yadglasall of it
yadglasiall of them
yedglasany of it
yedglasiany of them
yedglatiany number of them
yidglaas/as much/as many
yidglasthe same amount
yidglasithe same number
yidglatias many (people)
yudglanot as much/not as much/not as many
yudglasa different amount
yudglasia different number of things
yudglatia different number of people
Here are some examples showing how these quantitative deictics are used:
Odgla pati et teata idjub?How many birds did you see today?
At teata vyavay udgla tami.I saw exactly that many houses.
Iyt fe yidglas ev et.She wants the same amount as you.
Odglati yantexe yet?How many (people) agree with you?
Adjectives can be negated by the prefixation of the vowel o (or ol before adjectives that begin with a vowel). This has the effect of English un- in words like unlike, unhappy, and undetermined or the Greek private prefix a(n)- in words like asymmetric or anomalous.
Prefixing the syllable yo has an even stronger semantic effect. It denotes the polar opposite of the adjective.
Basic animate personal pronouns in Mirad have three person-levels (first, second, third), two numbers (singular, plural), and two genders (ungendered, feminine), and three specificities (specific, generic, and reflexive). Pronouns do not have case forms like English he / him or she / her but they can be adjectivized to form what are known as possessive adjectives in English like his or my or possessive pronouns like hers or mine. Here is two charts showing the basic personal, split into ungendered and feminine.
yetyou, you all
ithe, him, she, her
aytI, me (female)
yaytwe, us (females)
yeytyou, you all (females)
yiytthey, them (females)
The third person generic pronouns ot and oti are of common gender and are used as English one and they (means unspecifed persons), as in the following examples:
Ot yefe xer ad yakwas.One must do what is expected.
Yot de lav et vyode yodjob.They say you don't lie.
The person specific ungendered pronouns refer by default to males, but can serve as gender-neutral pronouns referring back to either males or females. If the vowel stem is iotated with a y, the pronoun then refers specifically to a female.
The first person plural pronoun wa(y)t can be either inclusive or exclusive, i.e. it can mean "you and I" or "you and the others."
There is no distinction of case in Mirad, so at can mean I or me. For example:
Xu at fibun. Do me a favor.
At so eta dat. I will be your friend.
Lov tojbu it. Don't kill him/her..
At ta lav iyt upo. I knew she would come.
Fadilu av yayt. Pray for us (women).
Note: The English pronoun it is inanimate (refers to a thing or abstaction) and is not included in the above set of animate personal pronouns. This inanimate pronoun is explained later.
The pronoun it is a special case in Mirad. When it refers back to a previously-specified inanimate object or non-human subject such as book or dog, the definite deictic pronoun ad is used. The possessive form of ad is adaits. For example:
At eke bay ad epet adav at iyfe ad.I play with the dog because I like it.
At ifye ad epet ay at ife ada dyun.I like the dog and I love it's name.
If it introduces a non-previously-mentioned abstraction, then the it is left unexpressed in Mirad. For example:
Mamilo.It will rain. ( = Will rain.)
Se fia lav et upa.It is good that you came. ( = Is good that you came.)
Sa via jub bay et.It was a beautiful day with you. ( = Was a beautiful day...)
Voy se gyua yarper ida meb.It is not easy to climb this mountain. ( = Is not easy...)
Referring to Third Persons with Proximal and Distal Deictic (Demonstrative) Pronouns
The definite, proximal, distal deictic (demonstrative) pronouns can be used for third person pronouns. These forms can be animate or inanimate, masculine or feminine, singular or plural, definite, proximal (near to the speaker) or distal (remote from the speaker). The general forms of these specifiers are given in a previous section, but they are elaborated here for their use as third person pronouns:
adit, the thing
adithey, them, the things
aduthe, she, him, her, the person
adutithey, them, the persons
idithey, them, these things
iduthe, she, him, her, this person
idutithey, them, these people
udithey, them, those things
uduthe, she, him, her, that person
udutithey, them, those people
By iotating the first vowel, the above pronouns can be made feminine. For example, iydutshe, her. These pronouns can also be converted to possessive adjectives by suffixing the adjective ending a, for example, udutatheir, those people's. Furthermore, the possessive adjectives can be nominalized by suffixing s, for example, idutastheirs, these people's or idutasitheirs, these people's (things).
Here are some examples using the above pronouns:
Uydut voy se tadsa.She (that woman) is not married.
At yodjub teataye iduti.I have never seen them (these people).
Udutasi se ga aga ev atasi.Theirs are bigger than mine.
Odem et oka ad?Where did you hid it (the thing)?
Odyen et ijtya adut?How did you meet him (the person)?
The above pronouns answer the questions od?' what?,odi? what things?,odut? who(m)?, oroduti? what things?, but there is another set of deictic selective pronouns that answer the questions odat?which one?, odati?which one?, odas?which thing?, and odasi?which things?:
Here are some examples using these selective deictic pronouns:
Lev et fu idas ey udas?Would you like this one or that one?
Udut se adat et gyafe.He (that person) is the one you love most.
At iyfe idasi ga ev udasi.I like these more than those.
Verbs in Mirad are listed in the dictionary under the present infinitive (see Infinitives), such as bayserto have. The infinitive minus the er ending is the stem. The stem is used as the base for all other verbal instantiations. All Mirad verbs are conjugated in the same way and there are no exceptions.
Verbs are listed in the dictionary under the present active infinitive form, which always ends in er and means to X, or sometimes the present passive infinitive form, which ends in wer and means to be Xed. The part of the verb form minus this er or wer ending is the VERB STEM.
xwerto happen, be done
The infinitive in Mirad is used just as its counterpart in English. The infinitive can be marked for two tenses (present, past) and two voices (active, passive), as shown in the chart below, where the respective endings are underlined:
The gerund is a verbal noun like English mating in mating rituals. It is formed by suffixing en to the verb stem for the active voice and wen for the passive voice (The consonant w is used in Mirad for indicating the passive voice).
(no passive voice)
saxerto create, make
Ad saxen bi ud mar efxa amroni bi jabi.The formation of this star took millions of years.
Iyta deuzen sa gla via.Her singing was very beautiful.
Popen se yex.Traveling is work.
Teetwen fiay se glatedea av vyamekuti.' Being heard is very important for actors.
Participles are verbal adjectives and can modify nouns. Since they act as adjectives, they have the adjectival ending -a. Participles can be present, past, future, or hypothetical. They can also be active or passive. Here is a table of partiples:
In Mirad, finite verb forms are those that can take a person subject, serve as a predicate, and be conjugated. Finite verb forms are conjugated by using suffixes indicating, through their presence or absence, the following categories:
two MOODS (indicative and hypothetical)
three TENSES (present, past, future)
five ASPECTS (simple, progressive, perfect, imminent, conditional)
two VOICES (active, passive)
Person and number are not marked on the verb form itself. For example, am, is, are, which change according to the person suject in English, are all expressed with the same verb form in Mirad: se. Thus, at seI am, et seyou are, it sehe is, etc.
The simple indicative present tense instantiation is marked with the vowel suffix e and has a non-progressive (habitual) aspect as in English I work or I live. Progressive aspect forms like I am studying are explained later.
A verb form ending in u like pu has no time value and is used to express unreal actions or states, such as the imperative, hortative, jussive, conditional, or subjunctive.
Generally, if a verb form ending in u begins a sentence, then it is probably an IMPERATIVE. For example, Ipu!, Go away!. If the verb form has a subject not preceded by the subordinating particles lav, lev, or lov, than it is probably a CONDITIONAL clause like At fu per.I would like to go.. If the subject of the verb is preceded by levif, then it is a SUBJUNCTIVE clause as in Lev at su nasikat...If I were a rich man.. If the subject is preceded by lavthat/let/may or lovdon't, then it is a HORTATIVE wish like Lav et yagteju.May you live long. or a JUSSIVE suggestion like Lav yat fadilu.Let us pray..
A verb form is converted from active to passive by inserting a w just before the last vowel of the verb form. The past passive particle ending awa can be reduced to wa (done is xawa or xwa).
The following chart shows the distinction between active and passive voice of various verbs:
xwerto be done
Ese yod xwer.There is nothing to be done.
Id se sexewa.This is under construction.
Idyeni yodjob xwe.Such things are never done.
Yad se xwa.Everything is done.
Odjob it tojbwa?When was he killed?
Lav it bakxwu.May he be healed.
Sometimes, the passive voice is used to represent a medio-passive or reflexive. For example, ujwerto open is used medio-passively in the expression Ad mes ujwa.The door opened., because there is no overt subject, as if the door opened itself. Many intransitive verbs cannot be made passive. For example, tajerto be born is intransitive (takes no object) and has no passive voice form.
The following chart presents Mirad verbs in the Simple aspect. In the active voice, the tense vowels a, e, o, and u are affixed to the stem. In the passive voice, the passive marker consonant w is inserted between the stem and the final tense vowels. The simple present tense refers to actions or states that are habitual (I regularly go to school.), regular (The earth revolves around the sun.), or permanent (Blue is a color.). The simple past refers to actions or states that occurred at a fixed point in time (I did my homework last night.). The simple future refers to actions or states that will occur at some particular point in the future (The sun will rise tomorrow at dawn.). The simple conditional refers to an imagined action or state that has not be realized (You would make a good president.).
The following chart presents Mirad verbs in the Progressive aspect. The present tense vowel e followed by a buffer consonant, are inserted between the stem and the final tense vowel. The buffer consonant is y in the active voice, or w in the passive voice.
The following chart presents Mirad verbs in the Perfect aspect. The past tense vowel a following by a buffer consonant are inserted between the stem and the final tense vowel. The buffer consonant is y in the active voice, or w in the passive voice.
The following chart presents Mirad verbs in the Imminent aspect. The future tense vowel o following by a buffer consonant are inserted between the stem and the final tense vowel. The buffer consonant is y in the active voice, or w in the passive voice.
The following chart presents Mirad verbs in the Potential aspect. The hypothetical vowel u followed by a buffer consonant are inserted between the stem and the final tense vowel. The buffer consonant is y in the active voice, or w in the passive voice.
at xuyeI am to do
Ad xuweit is to be done, it is doable
at xuyaI was to do
Ad xuwait was to be done, it was doable
Putting It All Together: The Mirad Verb Conjugation System
The following chart presents the totality of the Mirad verb conjugation system using the verb xerto do and its passive xwerto be done, happen:
xweis done, happens
xwawas done, happened
xwowill be done, will happen
xuwould do, do!
xwuwould be done, would happen, be done!
xeweis being done, is happening
xewawas doing, was happening
xeyowill be doing
xewowill be happening
xeyuwould be doing
xewuwould be happening
xawehas been done, has happened
xawahad been done, had happened
xayowill have done
xawowill have been done, will have happened
xayuwould have done
xawuwould have been done, would have happened
xoyeis about to do
'xoweis about to be done, is about to happen
xoyawas to be done
xowawas to be done, was to happen
xuyeis supposed to do
xuweis supposed to be done, is supposed to happen
xuyawas supposed to do
xuwawas supposed to be done, was supposed to happen
Predicate types, i.e. illocutions, refer to whether the verb, predicate, clause, or sentence is expressed as a question (INTERROGATIVE), a declaration (DECLARATIVE), a negation (NEGATIVE), affirmation (AFFIRMATIVE), or combinations of these.
To make a declarative predicate or sentence into a question, simply begin it with the Yes/No Question Introducer dulevTell me whether...? or any other interrogative pronoun or adverb such as od?what?, odut?who?, or odem?where?.
Et se tadsa?You are married.
Dulev et se tadsa?Are you married? (Lit: Say whether you are...)
Ad mari se maya.The stars are bright.
Dulev ad mari se maya?Are the stars bright?
Odut aka?Who won?
It pa edem.He went somewhere.
Odem it pa?Where did he go?
Note that the question words introduce the sentence and do not alter the word order as seen in the declarative. Also, a declarative sentence can be made interrogative simply by adding a question mark at the end in writing or raising the voice inflection at the end in speaking, eg:
A conditional clause is introduced with the conditional particle levif, whether. The if-clause can be a real tense or a hypothetical. If the if-clause is hypothetical, the then-clause is also hypothetical. Here are the possible variations:
Lev et pio [SIMPLE FUTURE], at so [SIMPLE FUTURE] uva.If you leave, I will be sad.
At voy ta [SIMPLE PAST] lev it upo. [SIMPLE FUTURE].I didn't know whether he would come.
Lev ot yexe [SIMPLE PRESENT] gla, ot akxe [SIMPLE PRESENT].If one works hard, one succeeds.
Lev at su [SIMPLE HYPOTHETICAL] nasika, at nusbiu [SIMPLE HYPOTHETICAL] aga tam.If I were rich, I'd buy a new house.
Lev at tayu [PERFECT HYPOTHETICAL]. at dudayu [PERFECT HYPOTHETICAL] yudyen.If I had known, I would have responded differently.
As in English, Mirad has both indirect discourse and direct discourse. Indirect discourse is when you know or say that something happened, whereas direct discourse is when you directly quote what someone has said.
The positive subordinating conjunction lavthat is used to introduce a subordinate that clause. The tense in the subordinate clause is a true tense, not a relative tense. Unlike in English, the lav conjunction cannot be omitted.
At ta lav et upo.I knew (that)you would (Lit: will) come.
Ata ted da lav it yexe yad ita tej gel fufut.My father said (that) he had worked (Lit: he worked) all his life as a plumber.
Se vyaa lav at gra tele.It is true that I eat too much.
Transitive verbs can take a direct object and oppose themselves to intransitive verbs, which do not take a direct object. Some verbs are marked overtly for transitivity.
Verbs that end in xer (to do, -ify, -ize) are by nature transitive, and often have intransitive counterparts in ser (to be, become, -ify, -ize). Likewise, verbs ending in ber (to put, take) are transitive and have intransitive counterparts in per (to go). Here are some examples:
amxerheat, make hot
amserbecome hot, heat up
poser(come to a) stop
At agxe vobi.I grow [TRANSITIVE] plants.
Ad vobi agseye ig.The plants are growing [INTRANSITIVE] fast.
Reflexive verbs, where the object refers back to the subject, work just as in English, where the object is a reflexive pronoun, eg.:
At tujboye atut.I am going to kill myself.
Tu etut!Know thyself!
It gorba itut bay gorbar.He cut himself with a knife.
Ot yefe yuxer otut.One must help oneself.
Sometimes, verbs incorporate the reflexivity in the actual verb form using ut as the prefix:
Sometimes, verbs are used reflexively in Mirad even though they are used simply intransitively in English, eg.:
Et efe vyimiler etut.You need to wash up [= wash yourself].
Omission of Prepositions After Certain Verbs
Some verbs inherently incorporate a preposition and so it is not necessary to use that assumed preposition before what would normally be an indirect object.
Pu tam! (Not: Pu bu tam!) Go home., It pa Paris.He went to Paris.
dersay (to), tell
Du at eta dyun.Tell me your name., Du at ad.Tell it to me.
Pesu at.Wait for me.
Buu at ud dyen.Give me that book.
As in English, in omitting the inherent preposition in a sentence with both a direct object and an indirect object, place the indirect object before the direct object. If the direct object comes first, then the preposition must be overtly specified before the indirect object, eg. Buu ad bu at.Give it to me.
Adjectives can be converted into causative and inchoative verbs. A causative verb has the sense to make something have some quality, while an inchoative verb means to become or take on the quality of something. Causative verbs are always transitive, while inchoative verbs are intransitive. English causative / inchoative verbs often end in -ify like magnify, or -ate, liberate, or ize, like sensitize.
To derive a causative verb from an adjective, add the suffix xerto do to either the stem or the whole adjective (with the a ending). Whether you do the former or the latter depends on several factors, but the end result is slightly different in nuance. A verb with stem + xer is slightly more idiomatic or less literal than the adjective + xer, such as justify, condensate, etc..
agabig → agaxerto magnify, make bigger, agxerto grow
vos' flower, bloom →vosser to bloom, flourish [INCHOATIVE]
Verbal causatives like have/get my car washed, make/force him go, get one's hair cut are formed by suffixing the causative verb stem ux (active) or uxw (passive) to the stem of the verb signifying the action to be arranged or caused, eg.:
At gorbuxer ata tayeb zamaj.I will get my hair cut tomorrow.
Et voy yafe puxer at.You cannot make me go.
It uxa tojbuxa yit.He had them killed.
At efe milabuxer at par.I need to have my car washed.
Et upuxwa idem edav.You were made to come here for some reason.
At bakambuxo et.I will have you hospitalized.
Et voy yafe deuzuxer at.You cannot make me sing.
At ivteuduxwa.I was made to laugh.
Eta deuz ivteuduxa yat.Your song tickled us. (= Made us laugh.)
Lav edut ivasuxu et.May someone get you to be happy.
The directionality of some verbs can be distinguished by the ending ier for an action or motion toward the speaker and uer for an action or motion away from the speaker toward some object, eg.:
tiluerto water, give to drink
teubuerto spit out
teatierto observe, watch
alierto breathe in
aluerto breathe out, expire
iluerto leak, soak
tamierto take up residence
tujierto fall asleep
tujuerto put to sleep
tojierto fall dead
mempierto take off
simbierto take a seat, sit
Prepositions and Directional Adverbs as Verbal Prefixes
Prepositions and directional adverbs can be prefixed to verbs in order to change their semantics. A preposition ending in b will assimilate to p before the verb perto go and a preposition ending in b will lose the b before a verb beginning with b. Here are some examples:
aperget on, mount
operget of, dismount
The prefix eg-again is used like the English prefix re-, eg.:
emberto position → egemberto reposition, replace
derto say → egderto repeat
sanxerto shape, form → egsanxerto reshape, reform
The prefix lo- reverses the semantics of a verb and is like English dis-, de-, or un-, eg.:
saxerto build, construct → losaxer to destroy, deconstruct
yonxerto unite → loyonxer to disunite
xerto do → loxerto undo
The prefix vyo- is used as the counterpart to the English mis-, meaning wrongfully, eg.:
nadxerto align → vyonadxerto misalign
derto say → vyoderto misstate, lie
utbierto appropriate → vyoutbierto misappropriate
The prefix yan-together is used as the English co-, eg.:
exerto operate → yanexerto cooperate
tamerto dwell → yantamerto cohabit
napberto put in order → yannapberto coordinate
The prefix zay- is used as the English re-, meaning back, eg.:
Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs that are usually followed by the main verb in the infinitive or a subjunctive dependent clause and have to do with wanting, permitting, prohibiting, being able, being unable, needing, being obliged to do something, etc.
Prepositions are words that connect and show a relationship between a noun or noun phrase and the rest of the sentence. In Mirad, prepositions are simple monosyllables or phrases. Prepositions, as in English, are positioned before the noun or noun phrase they connect.
The following chart shows other prepositional phrases that are considered idiomatic, because they are somewhat abbreviated by the omission of the definite article ad in front of the noun in these phrases:
In order for every word to express the maximum information and so that it is easily codified and decodified (that is, so that word formation is simple, easily decipherable and apprehensible, certain meanings have been attached to consonants and certain values to vowels.
The vocabulary of Mirad is composed of core words and derived words.
The meaning of the 2nd Group core words comes from a combination of the classifier consonant and the stem vowel. Here is a chart showing the principal core words of this group.
zain front of
zeat the middle of
Each core word of the 2nd Group is composed of one letter or two letters not counting the grammatical suffixes a for an adjective, ay for an adverb, er for a verb, and the enhancer consonant y. These two letters are: either a consonant and a vowel, or a vowel and a consonant. The simplification that results from this is evident.
Note that that in 2nd Group core words there is a three-way contrast with the root vowels a, e, o and a two-way contrast with the root vowels i and u, as in the chart below, where the root vowels are underlined:
Meaning of the Classifier Consonant in 2nd Group Core Words
Most human qualities are presented in the 2nd Group core words that contain the consonants f or v.
Core words relating to time all have the letter j.
The letters g and k relate mostly to physical qualities, measurements, and actions.
Ordinal number codification applies only to core words of the 1st group. Ordinal numeration operates on the vowel of the core word stem. This classification, called primary numeration has as its criterion the decreasing importance of items relative to the object and the greatness with respect to the object.
The order, the elements or details composing new words thus formed can have a secondary ordinal number classification. This second ordinal numeration, called secondary numeration, operates through the addition of a vowel immediately after the ordinal vowel of the word stem.
When forming a compound word, the generic consonant (the last one) of the determinant (first word) is the same as the classifier consonant (first) of the determined (2nd word), the generic consonant is suppressed so as to avoid two of the same consonants in a row. This is also called portmanteau compounding.
domcity + mepway → domepboulevard
patbird + teubmouth → pateubbeak
patbird + tubarm → patubwing
tebhead + bokillness → tebokheadache
When forming a compound word, the principal word has one or two prefixed vowels, this vowel or these vowels come at the beginning of the compound word.
The names of chemical elements are formed from a number representing the element's atomic number (number of electrons), followed by a letter combination indicating whether it is a metal or metalloid, and followed, if pertinent, by a combination of letters indicating whether it is a gas or liquid. The table that follows shows how this composition works:
METAL GENERIC = m
47 = ulye
13 = ali
46 = elya
79 = yelyum
29 = elyu
50 = yolo
METALLOID GENERIC = mc
15 = alyo
6 = ya
GAS = al LIQUID = il
1 = a
7 = ye
8 = yi
80 = yilo
The words amsal, yemsal, and yimsal each carry three pieces of information.
The first letter indicates their classification by number of electrons.
The two following letters: mc indicates metalloids; The two last letters: al indicates that they are a gas.
The word yilomil also carries three pieces of information:
The three first letters: 'yi-l-o show classification by number of electrons.
The fourth letter, m, indicates that it's a metal.
The two last letters, il, indicates that it's a liquid.
Geophysical vowel coding, as it's name indicates, occurs on vowels by giving them a particular geophysical meaning.
a = air, gas, skyward
e = soil, ground
i = water, liquid, juice, etc.
u = concrete thing, material, mineral, underground
o = abstract thing, initial item, outer space
This codification occurs on the ordinal vowel of 1st Group core words only.
Vowel coding also allows for arriving at other combined-concept word categories by placing a vowel having the value ascribed to it by Rule # 9 just a before the generic consonant of the initial word. (See Rule #5)
patbird + liquid / sea
pitfish + skyward / air
dipnavy + skyward / air
mel' soil + liquid / sea
Rule #10: Directional and Positional Codification