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Spoken in: Republic of Minhay
Total speakers: 58,750,000
Genealogical classification: Kilmay-Ri
Northeastern Kilmarian
Basic word order: SOV
Morphological type: polysynthetic
Morphosyntactic alignment: ergative-absolutive
Created by:
Anyar 2005


Minhast (Minhast min kirim lit. "Minhast-speak), the national language of Minhai, is spoken by nearly 59 million people. Approximately 1 million speakers live in expatriate communities throughout the globe, with the largest concentrations residing in the U.S., Xayda, Mexico, the Middle East, Kallaxwān and Canada. Significant numbers also exist in Southeast Asia and Norhern Europe.

Minhast is divided into two major dialects. Upper Minhast, which is centered in the highlands of Kilmay Rī, Ešked (Ekšed), and Attum Attar; the northeastern coastal prefectures of Iskamharat and Perim-Sin; and the National Capital Region, consisting of Āš-min-Gāl, Ankussūr, Huruk, Nammadīn, and Kered. Lower Minhast is spoken mainly in the southeastern coastal prefectures of Neskud, Yaxparim, Senzil, and Rēgum. The two dialects differ chiefly in phonetics and the lexicon, with Lower Minhast containing loanwords from neighboring languages (e.g. Golahat). Otherwise, the two dialects are mutually intelligible. Nevertheless, it is Upper Minhast that is the standardized form of the language, used in government, commerce, and the media.

Additionally, the two dialects are divided into several smaller dialects. The major subdialects of Upper Minhast include the Salmon Speakers of the "Gaššarat" (Northeastern Coast), the Dog Speakers of the "Hisašarum" (Northeaster Plains), the Horse Speakers of the "Gannasia" (Middle Plains), and the Knife Speakers (Plateau Prefecture). Lower Minhast consists of the Gull Speakers (Senzil and Rēgum Prefectures), the Osprey Speakers (Kings' Bay), and the Stone Speakers of the southernmost prefectures (Neskud and Yaxparim).

Word order is SOV. In simple sentence, this word order is free, although the verb rarely deviates from its clause-final position. Deviation from the unmarked SOV word order is used for discourse purposes; an argument that is to be focused is fronted to the head of the clause. For compound and complex sentences, the verb is obligatorily fixed in clause-final position, but the other arguments of the clause, core, oblique, and sentential complements, still display free word order.

The following grammatical sketch is a description primarily of the National Capital Region variant of Upper Minhast, the standard dialect used for government, commerce, and media; examples from other Minhast dialects, or from Old or Classical Minhast will be noted as appropriate.


Phonemic Inventory

The following chart contains the consonants in the Minhast phonology. The Minhast Latinized alphabet is derived from the Americanist system and is used throughout this article. Where Americanist and IPA symbols diverge, the IPA version is indicated by the IPA syllable surrounded by two forward slashes. Allophones which are not represented in the standard orthography are indicated by the appropriate IPA symbol surrounded by the forward slashes, which are in turn surrounded by parentheses, e.g. "(/tʃ/)".

Bilabial Labiod. Dental Alveolar Post-alv. Palatal Velar Glottal Laryngeal Pharyngeal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive | p b t d k g
Fricative f s z ʃ x ʔ h ħ
Approximants w j
Trill r
Lateral Approximant l

The palatized allophones /ƹ/, /dƹ/, and /tʃ/ occur before the phoneme /j/, as in the word "sadia" /sadƹa/, meaning "dirt".

Voiced Unvoiced
Labials b,m p,f
Dentals d t
Velars g k,x
Liquids l,r ----
Sibilants z, (/ƹ/) s, š /ʃ/
Palatals (/tʃ/), (/dƹ/) ----
Laryngeals ---- h
Pharyngeals ---- /ħ/
Glottal (/ʔ/) ----
Glides w, y /j/ ----

Short Long Devoiced
a ā (ạ)
e ē (ẹ)
i ī (ị)
u ū (ụ)

Syllabic Structure and Phonemic Interactions

Minhast words are subject to complex morphophonemic changes resulting from interactions with other morphemes occurring in the word. The 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 conjugation or other inflectional processes. These phonemic changes can be broken down according to the following classifications:

  • Assimilation
  • Metathesis
  • Syncope
  • Epenthesis
  • Voicing/Devoicing

These complex morphophonemic interactions operate according to the general phonological principals outlined below:

  1. No syllable can have a consonant cluster of more than two consonants. Syncope 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 VCC sequence).
  2. No Minhast word can have an initial consonant cluster. After any initial consonant cluster results from one or more of the possible morphophonemic alternations described below, an epenthetic is automatically appended to the head of the word to form the permissible iCC- pattern.
  3. An epenthetic vowel is always inserted between two syllables if combining the syllables results in a triconsonantal cluster. The default epenthetic vowel is , but the other 3 vowels may also be used, depending on multiple factors (e.g. vowel harmony, an underlying quiescent initial vowel as part of the attached morpheme, etc.)
  4. Minhast has a strong tendency to form intermedial clusters, either or , providing that Rules #1-#3 are observed. If necessary, an epenthetic vowel may be added before or after the syllable to create these syllabic patterns, e.g. e.g. kanut-maris-kar- >> -kant-(u)-maris-kar
  5. The tendency to form intermedial consonant clusters creates complex assimilation interactions that nevertheless are predictable and almost always regular. These interactions are illustrated in Table X below:
    Final Consonant
    Initial Consonant f p b k x g t d s š z l r m n h w y
    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 ħp ps pl pr pm pn ħp pw py
    b pp pp bb pk xp mg pt mb ps ħp ps bl br mb mb ħp bw by
    k kf kp kp kk kk kk kt kt ks ħk ks kl kr km kn ħk kw ky
    x xf xp xp kk xx gg xt xt ss šš ss xl xr xm xn xx xw xy
    g kf kp gb kk kk gg kt gd ks ħk zg lg gr gm gn ħk gw gy
    t ft pt pt kt xt kt tt tt st št st tt rt mt nt ħt wt šš
    d ft pt bb kt xt gd tt dd st ħt zd ld rd mb nd ħt dw dy
    s sp sp sp sk xs sk st st ss šš ss sl ss sm sn ħs sw šš
    š šf šp šp šk šš šk št št ss šš ss šl šš šm šn ħš šw šš
    z sp sp zb sk ss zg st zd ss šš zz zl zz zm zn ħs zw zy
    l lf pp lb kk xl lg tt ld sl šl zl ll rr lm,mm nn ħl lw yy
    r rf rp rb rk rx rg rt rd, dd rs, ss rš, šš zz ll rn, nn rm, mm nn rħ, ħr rw ry
    m mf mp mb nk xn mg mt md ns šm nz ml mr mm nn mh ww my
    n mf mp mb nk xn mg, ng nt nd ss šš nz ll rr mm nn nh nw ny,yy
    h ff ħp ħp ħk xx ħk ħt ħt ħs ħš ħs ħl ħr ħm ħn ħħ ħw ħy
  6. Vowels are classified according to a "weak-strong" gradient, where the "strong" vowels are more resistant to syncope than neighboring "weak(er)" vowels. All long vowels are by definition "strong", so the weak-strong gradient really applies to short vowels: Table X: Vowel Gradients In Order of Increasing Strength

  7. The shape of a -CVCVC- syllable may contract either to a -CCVC- or -CVCC- pattern, depending on the strength gradients of the vowels with respect to one another. The -CaCaC- syllable pattern is the only one that does not contract. Syllables consisting of the same vowels may appear in either -CCVC- or -CVCC- patterns; the pattern they resolve to is influenced by interactions from surrounding syllables. These contractions are summarized in Table X:
    Initial Pattern Final Contraction
    -CaCaC- (no change)
    -CaCuC-, -CaCeC-, -CaCiC- -CaCC-
    -CuCaC-, -CeCaC-, -CiCaC-, -CCaC-
    -CuCuC-, -CuCeC-, -CuCiC- -CuCC-
    -CuCuC-, CeCuC-, -CiCuC- -CCuC-
    -CeCeC-, -CeCiC- -CeCC-
    -CeCeC-, -CiCeC- -CCeC-
    -CiCiC- -CCiC-, -CiCC-
  8. A verb root or an incorporated noun tends to lose one or more vowels to form at least one biconsonant cluster. The vowel that is lost depends on its strength gradient in relation to the noun of the neighboring syllable.
  9. With the exception of pattern -CaCa-, when two adjoining syllables have vowels within the same gradient, vocalic syncope resolves to CVCC.
  10. The pattern (C)VVCC always resolves to (C)VCC
  11. Compared 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. For example,-šp-irak- he informed (him) (lit. "he caused him to know") does not resolve to -šip-rak-, even though this would prevent the impermissible CCV pattern from occurring. Instead, an epenthetic vowel is added before the causative affix to prevent this impermissible consonant cluster from occurring.
  12. Although inflectional morphemes do not experience syncope, they still may experience phonological changes in the form of metathesis and devoicing.
  13. Vowel devoicing occurs in CVħC, CVxC, CVsC, or CVC syllables, where C is any of the unvoiced consonants listed in Table X.
  14. Two consecutive syllables with the pattern CVħCVħ resolves to CVCCVħ, due to the difficulty of pronouncing the allophone in two consecutive closed syllables. Additionally, the vowel in the previous syllable may be devoiced if its adjacent consonants are voiceless, as in Example A, where the verb root vowel -a- which occurs the voiceless consonants -k- and -h- devoices to -ạ-. Note also the epenthetic vowel -i- appearing between the verb root and the 1st person incl. pl. affix ,-ħk- e.g.: nattiħkemkaraban >> *naħtiħkemaraban >> *naħt-hkem-ar-ab-an "We were (being) annoying" (lit.: annoying-we.and.you-[past]-[ imperf.]-[intrans]) nekạħtikemaraban >> *nekạħtịħkemaraban >> *nekạħt-ħkem-ar-ab-an "I was avoiding..."
  15. Dissimilation occurs in CVC-patterns involving š-Vš, resolving to s-Vš. A prime example is the number "twenty", e.g.*šan-šentāz >> *san-šentāz > > saššentāz
  16. Dissimilation occurs in CVC-patterns involving mVm, resolving to nVm.



Form Basic Past Tense Immediate Future Immediate Future
Positive matti min, mattim mattarim mattanem massatum
Negative hambin hambarin hambanem hambatine


Affix Meaning Additional Comments
suttu/sut, =s + [NP]=suttu and [additional comments]
kan but [additional comments]
xan, xandaš or [additional comments]


Type Basic Form Preposed "wa=" Form
Proximal sappu wassappu
Medio-Proximal naš wannaši
Distal wašia wassaše
Invisible hūrit wahūrit


Neutral Dubitative Comments
Independent Verbal Clitic Independent Verbal Clitic
Hearsay (wak)kaš =(n)niš (wat)tassumš =(š)šix it is said
Scriptive (was)suriš =ssumš (wat)tupiš '=supnimaš it is written
Conjectural (wan)nay =sippaš (wayy)utaš =taš perhaps
Exclamatory ayye ayye "You don't say! Really!"


Interrogative Pronouns

English Minhast
Who šikk, darad
What bak
Which ādan min; * ādam
When sippan, sippamey
Why širekka, bakran
Where at nakkī
Where to, whither nakran
Where from, whence nakyar
At which location nakkīdān
From which location nakkīdanyār
To which location nakkīdarran
how many/how much bitakku


Quantifier Substantive Attributive
All rea rem, suppī min, sumpī min
Most šie šim
Some rem azarim, ikyem, wakkī min
Many san sam
Both šani šanim
Each uššumī uššumīm
Few kattua kattum
Another/Other xani, nexāni xanim, nexāni min

Noun Stems

Nouns are classified in traditional Minhast grammars based on whether the final syllable of the Absolutive form ends in one of the following glides: -ia, -ea, or -ua. These glides affect the form of the noun when attached to a clitic, as the following chart indicates:

Nominal Declension for Strong and Weak Noun Stems
Case Strong Noun Weak Noun
Absolutive gal marua yarea simmia
Ergative gal=de marū=de yarē=de simmī=de
Oblique gal= marū= yarē= simmī=
Stative gal= marū= yarē= simmī=
Meaning horse the "star" Venus young girl moonless night


Minhast is classified as an ergative language, where in a clause that has two core NP arguments (this is the prerequisite for determining transitivity in Minhast), the core argument that has the most Agent-like properties (i.e. instigator of an action or event) receives what is called Ergative case marking This marking is indicated by the enclitic -de or one of its allomorphs (e.g. nassa-de "brother"). The other core argument of the transitive clause, often but not necessarily the Patient of the transitive clause, is the Absolutive argument, which is not marked by any affixes or clitics (e.g. nassa=Ø). Intransitive clauses, on the other hand, contain only one core argument, which is the Absolutive. Thus, Minhast groups the Subject of an intransitive clause and the Patient-like argument of a transitive clause under the Absolutive case, and the Agent argument of a transitive clause is grouped under a different case, that of the Ergative case. This is in contrast to an accusative language like Latin, which groups Agents and Subjects together under a single case (e.g. the Subject ending -us in mund-us "world"), and Patients under a different case (e.g. Accusative -o in mundo).

The Ergative enclitic and its allomorphs are listed in the table below:

Ergative Clitic -de- and Allophones
Preceding Phoneme Erg. Enclitic Form
(V)V, g, z, l, r, n =de
f, p, k, x, s, š, h =te
m, b =be
d, t =e

In addition to core NP arguments, another type of argument, which is an optional element, is called the Oblique argument of a clause. Oblique NP arguments are marked by postpositional clitics, analagous to the oblique cases of Latin (e.g. Ablative, Dative, etc). There are seven major postpositional clitics in Minhast; others are rare and falling into disuse, such as the Inessive =kīr/=kir. Most postpositional clitics have two forms, one containing a long vowel, and the other containing a short vowel. The forms with the long vowels tend to occur in phrase-final position. They also occur, almost exclusively, when speakers use the formal register. Their forms are listed below:

Common Postpositional Affixes
Case Postposition
Dative =(a)ran
Benefactive =nī, =ni
Ablative =yār, =yar
Locative =kī, =ki
Instrumental =pār, =par
Commitative =kān,=kan
Malefactive =daħ

Pronominal Forms

Independant Forms Bound Forms
Person - Number - Gender Ergative Absolutive Oblique Stative
1st Sg. yakte yak yak- -ek
2nd Sg. tahte taħ tah-,taħ- -taħ
3rd Masculine - Common Sg. kūde kua kū- -na
3rd Feminine Sg. lēde- lea lē-, ley- -lea
3rd Neuter Animate Sg. šemet šea šē-, šey- -šea
3rd Neuter Inanimate Sg. mēde mea mē-,mey- -mea
1st Plural Inclusive hakemt(e) hak hak- -hakkem
1st Pl Exclusive nemt(e) nem nem- -nem
2nd Pl. taħtemt(e) taħtem -taħtem -taħtem-
3rd Masc./Common Pl kemt(e) kem kem- -kem
3rd Fem. Pl. wext(e) wexī, weššī wex- (n/a)
3rd Neut. Anim. Pl. sešt(e) seš sešš(i)- -sseš
3rd Neut. Inanim Pl. maħt(e) maħ mah-, maħ- -maħ


Pronominal Demonstrative Forms Independent Attributive Clitic Comments
Absolutive Ergative Absolutive Ergative
Proximal sap sapte sapim, sap min =sap =sapte this one, near the speaker
Medio-proximal nax naxt(e) naxtim =nax =naxt(e) this/that one near the listener
Distal waššī wašt(e) waššim =waš =wašt(e) far from both speaker and listener
Invisible kiryit kirte kiryit min =kirit =kiryit


Cardinal and ordinal numbers are one of the [two/XX] groups of true adjectives in the Minhast language. Minhast employs a vegisimal, i.e. base-20, counting system. Numeric expressions involve binding the number and modified noun in a specific construct involving the ligature: Both cardinal and ordinal numbers can take possessive pronominal suffixes (see Part III "Syntax - Possession" for discussion of possessive constructs), which then convey "X number of..." in the case of cardinal numbers, and "the Xth one of/among..." for ordinals, e.g.:

Meneħnemš nasxēreħ iŋkunnuħnemaran "Four of us went out there into the forest."
Menhakkem nasxēreħ iŋkunnuħkēmaran "The fourth one among them went into the forest."

The numbers 1-10 even have intransitive verbal forms, meaning "There were X number of us/you/them." The cardinal, ordinal, and verbal forms are summarized below:

Number Cardinal Ordinal Verbal
one šūmi sanannūx, manx -šūmi-an
two šānī šānāx -šān-an-
three duxt duxtāx -duxut-an, -duxt-an
four meneħ menhāx -mene-an, -menh-an
five kaħtam kaħtamāx -katam-an
six silix silxāx -silix-an, -silx-an
seven gelix gilxāx -gelix-an, -gelx-an
eight mun munāx -mun-an
nine karun karnāx -karun-an, -karn-an
ten tazem tazmāx -tazem-an, -tazm-an
eleven šiktāz šiktezāx ----
twelve sen senāx ----
thirteen halk halkāx ----
fourteen duggalk duggalxāx ----
fifteen āš āšāx ----
sixteen neš nešāx ----
seventeen manšat manšatāx ----
eighteen zenat zenatāx ----
nineteen zelkark zelkarkāx ----
twenty šentāz šentezāx ----
twenty-one šentāz-u-šum šentāz-u-manāx ----
twenty-two šentāz-u-šan šentāz-u-šanāx ----
twenty-three šentāz-u-duxt šentāz-u-duxtāx ----
thirty šentāz-u-tazem šentāz-u-tazmāx ----
forty saššentāz saššentezāx ----
fifty saššentāz-u-tazem saššentāz-u-tazmāx ----
sixty duššentāz duššentezāx ----
seventy duššentāz-u-tazem duššentezāx-u-tazmāx ----
eighty meneštazem meneštazmāx ----
ninety meneštazem-u-tazem meneštazmāx-u-tazmāx ----
one hundred gādi gādyāx ----
one thousand gaggādi gaggadyāx ----


The Ligature "Min" and Allophones

Minhast Ligature min and Allophones
Preceding Phoneme Final Form Notes
f,g,h,k,m,p,r,s,š,(w),y,z min
(V)V =m Long vowels are retracted to short vowels
b,d =mbin Preceding -b is metethasized, -d is elided
l,n =mmin Preceding -l, -n are elided


Minhast possesses a complex grammar, demonstrated in particular by the elaborate polysynthetic morphology of its verbal system. The Minhast verb inflects not only for tense and aspect, but can inflect to indicate mood, modality, causation, potentiality, intensity, and other functions. The verb also possesses a well-developed set of pronominal affixes used to cross-reference the core arguments of a clause. These affixes indicate both gender and number of the nouns they cross-reference, an essential function as Minhast nouns themselves do not have any markings to indicate these two classifications.

Additionally, the verb can carry out three other operations, that of noun incorporation, antipassivation, and applicative formation, used by speakers for discourse purposes such as backgrounding previously established information and for changing the argument structure of the phrase for the purposes of focusing on a particular argument, ensuring that priviledged noun phrases retain their core status, or to employ rhetorical devices. This polysynthetic characteristic can lead to very long verbs that can express an entire sentence. To demonstrate, the English phrase, "You did not even try to get them to reconsider the matter with this evidence" requires only three words in Minhast: "Keman yattah, tašnišpipsaryentinasummatittaharu", meaning literally "To them the evidence, not-try-cause-return-look.at-yet-matter-with-it.you-did." The verb "tašnišpipsaryentinasummatittaharu", which is an individual sentence in its own right, can be parsed to its individual morphemes, yielding "ta-šn-šp-b-sar-yenti-nasum-mat-tittah-ar-u" (neg.-conative-causative-resumptive-look.at-yet- matter-instr.applicative-3rd.inanim.sg.patient/2nd.sg.agent-past-transitive).

Transitivity is determined by the number of core arguments, that is Agent or Patient/Goal. Minhast verbs do not necessarily map to traditional (i.e. Indo-European) notions of transitivity. As an example, the English sentence, "He jumped on the table" is grammatically intransitive. Available to the Minhast verb are both intransitive and transitive mappings: "Zekyaškī nirriekaran" , which is grammatically intransitive, with zekyaš=kī an oblique argument. The same meaning can be expressed transitively when the verb's valence is altered when the locative applicative affix (i)-n(i)- is applied: Zekyaš in-nirrieku.


1) Adjectival 2) State 3) Impersonal 4) Phenomonological 5) Event

Verb Template

1) Negators, Precatives 2) Theme 1 Affixes 3) Applicatives 4) Theme 2 Affixes 5) Verb Stem: Verb-like Derivational Affixes, Root, Noun-like Derivational Affixes, Incorporated Noun 6) Social-Distributional Affixes 7) Pronominal Cross-Reference Affixes 8) Tense-Aspect Markers 9) Post-TA Markers (includes transitivizer, detransitivizer, and nominalizer affixes) 10) Terminals (clause operator affixes, irrealis markers)

Theme 1 Affixes

Theme Affix Meaning Additional Notes
Expective -naš- supposed to, expected to
Desiderative -šak- to desire, wish Other affixes that may occur in this slot are "-xp-" (to enjoy), "-nisp-" (to hate), -"ruxt-" (to like), etc.
Conative -šn- try
Abilitative -mar- can, to be able to
Approximative -ntar- almost Denotes an action that was or is nearly to be carried out.
Potentive -nitt(a)- might, possibly
Causative -šp- to cause, bring about When used with the Privative, become the Negative Causative
Resumptive -b- again
Intensive -nt(a)- very, extremely
Privative -mašn- to undo Reverses a state or action. When used with the Causative, it means "to cause to not be/do something"
Necessitive -(y)yat- to be necessary
Continuative -xt- to continue
Cessative -kš- to cease Indicates the cessation of an action or state
Iterative -xr- to do several times
Reactive -knak- to do the same action back to another (e.g. she hit him back) This affix occurs only with semantically transitive verb roots
Excessive -(ha)pm(a)- very, extremely, too much

Applicative Affixes

The Applicative Affixes are used to change the argument structure of a clause by increasing its valency, or by changing an oblique NP to core status as an Absolutive argument. The process of using an Applicative affix is often called "Applicative Formation", although other linguists prefer to use the term "Applicative Voice". This article will use the term "Applicative Formation" to emphasize that the argument structure of the clause is being changed by use of the Applicative affix.

Applicative Affix
Dative -dut-, -utt-
Benefactive -rak-
Instrumental -mat-
Locative -n-, -naħk-
Commitative -ngar-
Ablative -raħk-
Malefactive -nusk-
Durative -yukk-

Note: The Durative is an uncommon temporal applicative, meaning "throughout". It is used with time expressions such as "Sam min nukarpi ixrikaħyuksaršarrattarikmaran" (>> San min nukarpli xr-kaħ-yuk-sar-šarrat-tar-km-ar-an) "Throughout/during many days they searched the land)

Theme 2 Affixes

Mode Affix
Habitual -asm-
Inchoative -saxt-
Inceptive -nd-
Inverse Volitional -kah-
Partial Control -šk(e)-

The Verb Stem

Verb Root

Incorporated Noun

Restrictions on incorporated nouns: they can only be noun stems; case and other markers are not allowed. Morphophenemic operations may occur as a result of the incorporation process. These operations may be seen in Phonemic Inventory.

Prepronominal Affixes

Class Affix Additional Notes
Reflexive -šar-
Reflexive-Benefactive -sakšar-
Reciprocal -šattar-,-šatt- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Reciprocal-Benefactive -sakšatt- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Assistive -fk- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Assistive-Benefactive -fkast- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Associative -mmak- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Associative-Benefactive -mmakast- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Adversarial -dus(s)art/dust- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Pretensive-Assitive -fkuš- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Pretensive-Associative -tušt-, -tuštim- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Pretensive-Benefactive -(a)mtuš- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Pretensive-Benefactive -(a)mtuš- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Dative-Reflexive -sab-
Dative-Reciprocal -saššab-,-sašp- This affix requires plural actor affixes
Distributive -tar- The Distributive refers to an action or state across each Patient, and is usually translated as "each". The Distributive may also in some verbs indicate that the verbal event is spread out spatially across a surface, or temporally across different segments of time (e.g. "each day"). The Distributive does not refer to the Ergative argument of transitive clauses or the Subject of intransitive clauses; for these cases, the appropriate Quantifier adjective/noun is used.
Partitive -nesr-,-ness- Conveys that only a portion of the argument(s) is involved in the verbal event or state, sometimes translated as "some". The Partitive does not refer to the Ergative argument of transitive clauses; for that, the appropriate Quantifier adjective/noun is used.

Pronominal Affixes

Portmanteau Pronominal for the Transitive Verb

The pronominal affixes present one of the greatest challenges to the students of the Minhast language due to their inherent complexity in structure and morphosyntax. These affixes serve important functions to the core arguments they coreference, such as indicating syntactic roles, gender, animacy, and number. These affixes, along with the role affixes, also serve to identify the verb as transitive or intransitive. For the transitive verb, the pronominal affixes present greater complexities than those of the intransitive verb - the transitive affixes, representing both the ergative and absolutive arguments of the clause, are portmanteau affixes; although some patterns can be discerned from this fusion of the segments representing the ergative and absolutive components, the transitive pronominal affixes are mostly irregular and have to be memorized individually. As expected, the affixes may change shape due to the sound changes created by adjacent morphemes. However, many of these sound changes deviate from the normal assimilation patterns described earlier in Chapter X "Phonology". The pronominal affixes distinguish three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter. The neuters are further differentiated into animate and inanimate; the masculine and feminine genders are inherently animate and thus require no special marking. These affixes also indicate singular and plural numbers. Both the masculine and the feminine 3rd person plurals have merged into one common gender, while the gender for animate and inanimate neuter nouns are still distinguished.

Due to the complexity of the transitive pronominal affixes, their full forms are summarized in Table X below:

Patient (Singular)
Agent 1st sg. 2nd sg. 3rd masc. sg. 3rd fem. sg. 3rd neut. anim sg. 3rd neut. inanim. sg.
1st Sg. ---- -tak- -(e)k- -kk- -k- -tirk-
2nd Sg -ktah- ---- -tah- -lettah- -tah- -tittah-
3rd Masc. Sg -knen- -nten- -nn-, -Ø- -lenn- -enn- -tirenn-
3rd Fem. Sg -kl- -tal- -l- -ll- -l- -till-
3rd Neut. Anim. Sg -k- -t- -Ø- -Ø- -s- -t-
3rd Neut. Inanim. Sg -km- -tam- -m- -mm- -m- -timm-
1st Pl. Incl. ---- ---- -hak- -hlak- -k- -tirhak-
1st Pl. Excl. ---- -ntem- -nn- -lennem- -ennem- -tinnem-
2nd Pl. -aktahm- ---- -mt- -lettem- -ettem- -tittem-
3rd Pl. Common -ekken- -takken- -nk- -lekken- -seššen- -tikken-
3rd Pl. Neut. Anim. -aksen- -tasn- -sn- -less- -sess- -tiss-
3rd Pl. Neut. Inanim. -akmah- -tammah- -mah- -(a)mmah- -mah- -timmah-

Patient (Plural)
Agent 1st plural incl. 1st plural excl. 2nd plural common 3rd plural common 3rd plural neut. anim 3rd plural neut. inanim.
1st Sg. ---- ---- -mtek- -kenk- -sek- -mak-
2nd Sg -hektah- -nimtah- ---- -kemtah- -sat- -mattah-
3rd Masc. Sg -hakn- -nenn- -tenn- -kenn- -sen- -mann-
3rd Fem. Sg -hall- -nell- -tall- -kell- -sel- -mall-
3rd Neut. Anim. Sg -hak- -nem -tahm- -kem- -sm- -ma-
3rd Neut. Inanim. Sg -hakm- -nemm- -tamm- -kemm- -semm- -namm-
1st Pl. Incl. ---- ---- ---- -kemhak- -sak- -makkak-
1st Pl. Excl. ---- ---- -tamme- -kemmi- -sn- -manne-
2nd Pl. Common ---- -nittam- ---- -kettamm- -suttam- -mattam-
3rd Pl. Common -hakkem- -nikkem- -takkem- -ikkem- -skem-,-skum- -makkem-
3rd Pl. Neut. Anim. -haks- -niss- -tass- -kess -suss- -mass-
3rd Pl. Neut. Inanim. -hakmah- -nemmah- -tammah- -kemmah- -smah- -nammah-

In comparison to the transitive pronominal affixes, the affixes for the intransitive verb are much simpler. There forms are listed below in Table X:

Absolutive Pronominal Affixes for the Intransitive Verb

Person Absolutive
1st Sg. -k-
2nd Sg. -ta-
3rd Masculine - Common Sg. -Ø-
3rd Feminine Sg. -l-
3rd Neuter Animate Sg. -Ø-, -š-
3rd Neuter Inanimate Sg. -m-
1st Plural Inclusive -hak
1st Pl Exclusive -mm-
2nd Pl. -tam-
3rd Common Pl. -km-
3rd Neut. Anim. Pl. -i-
3rd Neut. Inanim Pl. -mah-, -ma-

Tense-Aspect (TA) Affixes

Tense Affix Additional Notes
Remote Past -šar- The Remote Past usually encompasses periods of decades or longer
Past -ar-
Present -Ø- Also encompasses the immediate past.
Immediate Future -ne-, -nes-
Future -(a)satt-

Aspect Affix
Imperfect -(a)b-
Perfect -Ø-
Partial Completion -knakt-

Post-TA Affixes

The Post-TA affixes serve to mark the verb's transitivity. The Detransitivizer combines with other affixes, such as the Reflexive, Reciprocal, and the Antipassive. It occurs oftentimes when NI has taken place, provided that the totality of the verb's valence operations did not promote a former Absolutive argument to Ergative case, which may happen if the Applicative affixes and/or the Causative surface, as in Redadde kaslub dutittaħšitipraru ("The man gave the dog some meat", lit: The man the dog he.meat.gave.towards).

Class Affix Notes
Detransitivizer -an-, -ēn-, -en + C- The latter two forms are non-pausal forms for when the preceding vowel is e or . Otherwise, the combination -ean occurs if the verb is sentence-final and no other affix follows.
Transitivizer -u-
Antipassive -pi-

Terminative Affixes

These occupy the final position of the verb complex. The most frequently encountered affix is the General Subordinative affix -mā.

Function Affix Notes
General Subordinative -mā

English translation: "then; that". This suffix is used primarily to link Sequential clauses. It also interacts with other verbal affixes in clause combining operations to form conditionals, complements, and other clause types.

Purposive -nimmā in order to
Direct Quotative -namā English: "Thus (x) says/said". Marks the following clause as direct speech.
Indirect Quotative -tamā English: "(s/he) said that". Marks the following clause as indirect speech.
Consequential Affix -dur-, -dūr- Indicates the clause is a direct result of the preceding clause
Unexpected -kil- Indicates the verb is a sudden, unexpected event or state.
Unexpected Negative Exclamatory Affix -kilmakš- Indicates the verb is a sudden, unexpected event or state, with strong negative connotations or disapproval.
Unexpected Positive Exclamatory Affix -kilwāš- Indicates the verb is a sudden, unexpected event or state, with strong positive connotations or surprised delight
Irrealis Affix -š- This affix marks the VP as an unrealized and/or hypothetical state or event. In addition to its usage in interrogative sentences, this affix, combined with the Consequential affix and certain sentential particles to form hypothetical and conterfactual clauses. This affix tends to elide any consonant before it. The Irrealis co-occurs with certain affixes, such as the Desiderative and allied forms, the Conative, the Inclinative, and the Future tenses.
Nominalizer -naft-

Derivational Affixes

There is a small set of suffixes that can be attached to a verb root to derive a noun, nevertheless Minhast prefers to nominalize clauses or use NI. The most frequently encountered ones are listed in the following table.

Derivational Affixes
Affix Gloss/Meaning
-hupnia instrumental affix
-šnia,-šn consisting of
-pniš propensity towards
-pna abstract affix, "-tude,-ity","-ness"
-sset temporal affix, "time of"
-kian locative affix
-(n)niwak,-nwak occupational affix, "one who engages in an activity"
-tak intransitive/transitive manner affix, "the manner of engaging in an activity; the manner of being"
-(a)rat the result of an action or event
-mbat, -umbat, -numbat similarity of the action/event/state of the verb; also serves as an abstraction affix like "-pna"


Main article in Minhast Morphosyntax

Conjunctions and Connectives

Minhast has two classes of morphemes for joining two or more NPs into a larger phrase, one set being conjunctions, and another set called either ligatures or connectives which bind either mutually interdependent NPs (e.g. possessive phrases), or adjuncts to the nuclear clause. Most of the Minhast linguistic literature uses the latter term connectives, as in this article. The purpose of both conjunctions and connectives is to link two or more phrases together to form a cohesive unit. However, there are major differences between the two. Conjunctions simply link a series of NPs with no implication that the individual NP units are interdependent. The connectives, on the other hand, are required for interdependent NPs or other adjuncts (e.g. evidential particles), otherwise the phrase would be ungrammatical when the connective is omitted. An example would be a possessive construction; omission of the connective min render the sentence ungrammatical because two NPs, namely the possessor and possessum, are “stranded”, and a possessive relationship cannot be inferred from the stranded NPs.

Unlike many other languages, including English, Minhast has only a few conjunctions, and these join only NPs; they never join clauses, simply because the highly polysynthetic verb possesses a flexible, robust array of tools for joining clauses (e.g. pseudo-adverbial affixes, valence operators, the S/O pivot, verb serialization, nominalization, etc) to perform the operations that prototypical conjunctions do. Since the Minhast NP is barely developed compared to the VP, it is not surprising that there are few function particles available to the NP.

Meaning Affix Additional Comments
and suttu/sut, =s + [NP]=suttu [additional comments]
or xan, xandaš [additional comments]


Main article in Minhast Vocabulary


Main article in Minhast Texts

External Websites

The Minhast Language Page: http://www.freewebs.com/nickcamporillo/ Minhast - Geopoeia: http://www.geopoeia.net/wiki/Minhast