Languages of the Mizarian Mice

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Jirit

Mizarian mice speak many languages, but the most common is Jirit. Click here for an audio sample of the language (Real Audio 3.0):


Jiritte hiksenti catsikl ikKenuikki, tisichtitta likwsith.
The Kenuki, wood-mice people, speak Jirit.

Jirit "Jirit"
-te "name"
hiksen "language" (i.e., "a language called 'Jirit'")
-ti "topic of sentence"
catsik "speak"
-l "present tense" (in a general sense, not necessarily at this moment)
ik- "definite plural"
Kenuki' "Kenuki" (note the elision of k and the assimilation of the glottal stop)
-ki "ergative" (subject of the transitive verb "catsik")
ti- "indefinite plural"
sichti' "person"
-ta "descriptive noun" (qualifying ikKenuikki)
likwsi' "wood-mouse"
-th "adjective"

Pronunciation

Jirit uses the standard Mizarian alphabet, as shown above (top line), omitting the letters z, p, and o. In addition, the modified letter ù stands for "w", and the voiced "j" sound is written with a small letter r on top of a c. The Mizarian letter usually transcribed r also stands for l. The distinction between these sounds is not phonemic in Jirit; r occurs only between vowels, and l everywhere else. Most letters are pronounced similar to their IPA values, except: j stands for the dotless barred j, a voiced palatal stop, y is the regular [j] (like English y), r is a voiced alveolar tap (the symbol called a "fish-hook r"), l is always a voiceless lateral fricative, and u is unrounded. As in most Mizarian languages, m can be (and often is) pronounced like English "ng" in "sing". In the combinations kw and hw, w is voiceless. An [h] sound between two different stops is usually pronounced, but not written. Stress is always on the first syllable of words having less than four syllables, and the third syllable from the end in longer words.

Useful phrases

Do you speak Jirit? Catsiklint Jirit (or Jiritte hikse)?
Yes. Catsikl, or No. Catsiklech.
Is this food suitable for humans? Aklakwti yal Utsukimi?
Do you have a human-sized room? Yakwint Utsukimi leskw?
No humans allowed. Utsuitti teklech.
Only Kenuki are permitted to enter. Stakuti tekl Kenuki satekh.
Please show me the way to the ritual stage. Ltessitti lnakkuci tel.

Grammatical notes

Typical noun prefixes and suffixes:

ti-	plural
te-	name
ak-	definite singular
ik-	definite plural
ta-	indefinite singular
ti-	indefinite plural
-ti	topic of sentence
-ta	descriptive noun
-th	adjective
-kh	adverb
-mi	for
Typical verb prefixes and suffixes:

ti-	plural
ni-	all
ci-	some
l-	I, me
k-	you, we, us
s-	he, him, she, her, it, they, them
-l	general present
-lan	present, currently happening
-lik	past, continuing into present
-ki	past, completed action
-ci	polite command
-t	future
-ech	negative
-int	question
-l	I (ergative)
-k	you, we (ergative)
-s	he, she, it, they (ergative)
Examples: from tikwsa "to like": khtikwsal "I like you", stikwsarech "I don't like him", cirikwsent "do you like some of them?" From chak "to give": kechakki "I gave it to you", tischaklikek "we have been giving it to them", lchak "give it to me", cichakhtint "will you give to some of them?" From kasleh "to learn, to teach": kekaslelan "you are learning", lkasleh "teach me", tikkaslekis "she taught us".

Vocabulary

catsik	to speak
chak	to give
hiksen	language
Hwaki'	elf
Jirit	Jirit
kasleh	to learn, to teach
Kenuki'	Kenuki (Mizarian wood-mice people, Apodemus kenuki)
lakw	food
leskw	room
likwsi'	wood-mouse
ltessi'	ritual stage
nakku	to show
sat	only
sichti'	person
staku	to enter
tek	to allow, permit, let
tel	way
tikwsa	to like
Utsuki'	human
ya	to be
yakw	to have
Yaruki'	Eki (Mizarian long-eared mice people, Malacothrix eki)

Other languages of the Mizarians

Zaik, the Mizarian rat-people, speak Cispa. Ziri zaiik, ritsa citrik Striizarait, cista Cispa.

Ziptick, the kangaroo-rat-people, speak Tcharitti. Xu cakint'a ziqtik'e' nxiric'i s'iwq'e' hic'arit'i'a.

Zanaka, the dormouse-people, speak Kakizi. Zanaka yu zoritan no ni Kakizi le tagarisu.

Izumu, the jumping-mouse-people, speak Kélásse. Izumu nuluké'úa sille Kélásse.