Minza


Introduction

Minza, created in December, 2004, is a language intended for multiple purposes. One of the main goals of the Minza project is to build an organized vocabulary that can be used in the definitions of words for other languages. The name of the language is from the Tirelat word minża, meaning "bridge". The Minza vocabulary will include words borrowed from many other languages, representing concepts from both the real world and the fictional Azirian world. Much of the original vocabulary and grammar for Minza was borrowed from Lindiga, but later words will be borrowed from other languages, and some of these may eventually replace the original Lindiga words. Another goal is to keep the language relatively simple, without some of the unnecessary complications of other languages. As one example, the plurals of the Lindiga nouns larn (head), muong (nose), and vien (eye) are larni, muonga, and veun; these must be individually learned. In Minza, all nouns ending in a consonant add -i: the plural of lan is lani, of muëġ is muëġi, and of fiën is fiëni.

Consonants

bilabial labiodental dental alveolar postalveolar palatal velar
stops p, b t, d č [tʃ], dž [dʒ] k, g [ɡ]
nasals m n ġ [ŋ]
trill/tap r [r], [ɾ]
fricatives f, v s, z š [ʃ], ž [ʒ] x
approximants w j
laterals ł [ɬ], l

Vowels

front central back
high i y [ʉ] u
mid e [ɛ] ë [ə] o [ɔ]
low a

Stress is normally on the first syllable of the main root of the word unless marked with an acute accent, as in the word ukáli (clue). This can result in a single letter having both a dieresis and an acute accent (ë́), but that is rare. Stressed vowels are typically long in open syllables and short in closed syllables; unexpectedly short stressed vowels (mainly in borrowed names) are marked with a grave accent (taMìšigën "Michigan"), and unexpectedly long vowels are marked with a circumflex accent (falân "banana"). Diphthongs are always stressed and long; unstressed vowels are always short.

In situations where non-ASCII symbols are unavailable, the letters č, dž, ł, š, and ž may be written as ch, dzh, lh, sh, zh; the dot on the letter ġ and the accent marks on vowels are typically omitted.

Nouns

Minza has two declensions of nouns: consonant stems and vowel stems. In Minza these are referred to as the "mouse-nouns" (consonant stems) and the "fox-nouns" (vowel stems). All plurals end in -i and take the vowel-stem inflections.

consonant stems (plural) vowel stems (plural)
Absolutive miëz (mouse) miëz-i lîska (fox) lîska-ri
Genitive miëz-at miëz-i-t lîska-t lîska-ri-t
Ergative miëz-ë miëz-i-lë lîska-lë lîska-ri-lë
Dative miëz-on miëz-i-n lîska-n lîska-ri-n
Locative miëz-u miëz-i-mu lîska-mu lîska-ri-mu
Instrumental miëz-ën miëz-i-mën lîska-mën lîska-ri-mën