This is an outline of the language of the Mûtsinamtsys. Also included is a brief history and overview of their culture's work on philosophy, which has influenced many other civilisations throughout the islands.
Inflections for Case and Aspect
Thematic Infixing Stems
Dramatic Terms from Máotatşàlì
A history of Mûtsinamtsys Philosophy
The North Wind and the Sun
The Wolf and the Goat
Class I Nouns
Class II Nouns
Class III Nouns
Class IV Nouns
Class V Nouns
Class VI Nouns
Class VII Nouns
Regular Verb Stems
Thematic Verb Stems
Thematic /a/ Stems
Thematic /i/ Stems
Thematic /u/ Stems
Infixing Verb Stems
Thematic Infixing Verb Stems
Mûtsipsa' is spoken by the Mûtsinamtsys, who live on two islands near a large continent. They have good relations with a nearby tribe, the Katuña, and also frequent contact with the other island civilisations.
The Mûtsipsa' words in the following histories ignore any linguistic changes that may have happened - that is, all words are in Modern Mûtsipsa'.
Mûtsinamtsys arrived on Ke'idû'ûs'as, a large island, and established themselves there.
Exploration revealed the presence of 3 nearby islands, and one distant one. Settlers were sent to the nearest one (dubbed Dûkejdih) and, in accordance with the sacred principle of 'itesah ("good comparison", or "balance"), settlers were also sent to the farthest one (dubbed Duutkejdih).
The settlement on Dûkejdih found themselves having to share the island's resources with a group of natives calling themselves the Takuña. While the leaders of both groups were cordial and relatively friendly, the individual tribes are far from friendly. There was intense competition between all tribes (no matter what race), that often turned into violence.
Meanwhile, explorers from Ke'idû'ûs'as began to investigate the other two islands, called Nin Dûke'i and Ttûke'i. Nin Dûke, a small, fertile, round island, was a thriving Takuña colony. The Takuña welcomed the explorers and show them great hospitality. Explorers to the significantly larger island Ttûke'i (it's actually a continent) discover yet more Takuña, likewise just as welcoming. This was the beginning of an excellent relationship between the Takuña and the Mûtsinamtsys - except, of course, on Dûkejdih, where they are competing.
The conflict on Dûkejdih reaches a climax when, after many natural resources and populations being significantly depleted, an earthquake strikes and sinks over half of the island. There were a mere 2 Takuña villages left, and only a handful of Mûtsinamtsys survivors.
In response to this, Takuña leaders from Ttûke'i, Nin Dûke'i, and the remains of Dûkejdih meet with Mûtsinamtsys leaders in Ke'idû'ûs'as. The general consensus was that the earthquake was a punishment from the gods, for their violent behaviour to each other. They reached an agreement to respect each other's territory.
A regular trade between the Mûtsinamtsys began, but more important than the trade of materials came the trade of ideas - both cultures had much to offer the others in the ways of philosophy and sciences.
Thus begins the golden age, so to speak.
(The name Ttûke'i is generally superseded by the more popular name Siixtaguna. The Takuña name for Nin Dûke'i is Awsákuti, but the Mûtsipsa' name remains the same.)
Mûtsipsa' is a beautiful, melodic language, with some fun consonant clusters occasionally to keep things interesting. It has a pitch accent.
/i, y, ɯ, u, e, o, a/
/iː, yː, ɯː, uː/
/ɯ/ is represented by <û>, long vowels are represented by a doubling, e.g. <ii>, <ûû>. (For those unsure, [ɯ] is an unrounded [u].)
|Stop||p||t d||k g||'|
It should be noted that /m/ is a labio-velar nasal, a [m] and [ŋ] articulated at the same time. I transcribe it as
Also, note that /w/ is in fact a purely velar approximant [ɰ], much like in Mohawk.
Double consonants are read twice, e.g. amma is am.ma. Final ones are included in the first syllable of the following word.
Mûtsipsa' words have a basic syllable structure of:
However, when the vowel is long, there can only be one consonant in the syllable onset (i.e. CVC).
These rules are not confirmed 100%, but they're reasonably accurate. There are some more complex rules governing what an initial consonant cluster can consist of, but they're long, complex, and flexible.
In initial /tt/ and /tts/, the first /t/ is pronounced only as part of the preceding syllable, when present. Otherwise, it is silent.
/x/ is velar [x], with the rare allophone of uvular [χ] occurring unpredictably.
The voiceless plosives are aspirated syllable-initially. /ts/ is likewise aspirated.
/p, t, k, ts, f, s, x, h/ are all voiced when following a voiced consonant.
/m/ is [m] word-initially and after consonants, [w] when preceding /j/ or /w/, and [m_ŋ] (that is, a coarticulated labio-velar nasal) elsewhere.
The alveolar consonants /t, n/ will assimilate to dental articulation before a dental consonant.
/i, y, û, u, e, o, a, iy/ are realised as [i, y, ɯ, u, e, o, ɐ, iy] when stressed, and [ɪ, ʏ, ʊ˒, ʊ, ɜ, ɔ, ə, ɪʏ] when unstressed. [ʊ˒] is a less rounded [ʊ] - essentially a lax [ɯ]. It could also be transcribed as [ɯ̞_A]. /iː, yː, ûː, uː/ are always [iː, yː, ɯː, uː].
/a/ is realised as [a] when the vowel of the following syllable is front and unrounded, and as [ɑ] when the vowel of the following syllable is back and unrounded. It is [ɶ] or [ɑ] when the vowel of the following syllable is rounded front or back, respectively. This rule only applies within words - i.e. a final unstressed /a/ is always [ə], no matter what the first vowel in the next word is, and a final stressed /a/ is always [ɐ].
Mûtsipsa' is written with an adapted version of the Katuña script. This is not relevant to our purposes here, but suffice to say it is an abugida, much like Devanagari.
Words are composed of syllables, either "heavy" or "light" (or "long" and "short"). Heavy syllables are 2 morae of length, light ones are 1 mora of length. Hence a 2-syllable word where both syllables are heavy would take twice as long to say if the syllables were both light.
Light syllables are those of a CV (or VC) structure, where V is a short vowel. It must be borne in mind that /ts/ acts as a single phoneme, hence /tsi/ would be a light syllable. Also, any vowel (of any length) on its own (for example /a/ or /uu/ or /iy/) is a light syllable.
A heavy syllable is anything else: CV with a long vowel or diphthong, or CCV, or CVC - anything else.
iyjotsystsa ("dogs", in case you're interested)
short short long short
Note: syllables like ttsi are considered light syllables, as the first /t/ is usually silent, and when it is pronounced, it is part of the preceding syllable.
Primary stress goes on the first heavy syllable, and secondary on the third heavy syllable. If there is no third heavy syllable, the secondary stress goes to the second heavy syllable. If there is only one heavy syllable, then there is no secondary stress. If there are no heavy syllables at all, the stress goes on the penultimate syllable.
Mûtsipsa' has a pitch accent to all of its words. It is easily predictable, but governed by reasonably complex rules.
I will be using notation where 5 is a high pitch, 3 mid, and 1 low.
There is a basic 52 structure across words.
In one mora words, due to the length, there is a 42 tone:
If 2 morae, 52:
If 3 morae, 532:
If 4 morae, 5321:
At the fifth mora, the tone levels out to 3 and stays at 3 for any following morae:
That's simple enough - but there is tonal sandhi between words and across phrases. It's easy to express this in a table, with the tones of the first word being on the side and the tones of the second word on top. A plus after a series of tones indicates "and any following 3s". These unmarked 3s, if present, will always be 3s.
|52 (and 42)||532||5321||53213||532133+|
How to use the table:
Let's take the phrase he'i pwu'ûs nims, "I am a fish".
It consists of 2 morae, 4 morae, and then 2 again. So this gives us:
he5.'i2 pwu53.'ûs21 nims52
So now we take the tones of the first word, 52, and the tones of the second word, 5321. We go along the top to find the first set of tones, and look down to find the second set. The table gives us 52.4321. Apply, and:
he5.'i2 pwu43.'ûs21 nims52
Now we shall take pwu'ûs and nims; 4321 and 52, which from the table gives us 4322.42. Apply, and:
he5.'i2 pwu43.'ûs2 nims42
Hey presto, tonal sandhi is done.
I'm dealing with the morphology and syntax in the same section as they often overlap. It's basically easier this way.
Mûtsipsa' has five cases: Nominative, Instrumental, Accusative, Dative, and Benefactive.
Nominative is used to mark the subject of a clause, or the of a passive sentence.
Instrumental is used to mark the means or instrument of an action. It also marks the subject of a passive sentence (but only when placed after the verb).
Accusative is used to mark the direct of a clause.
Dative is used to mark the indirect of a clause.
Benefactive is used to mark the beneficiary of an action. As such, it can stand for the subject, direct , indirect object, or even as an adjunct. It can also be the subject of a passive sentence when it follows directly after the verb.
Mûtsipsa' has two numbers: singluar and plural. Plural is only used to explicitly mark number: when plurality is implied or stated outright through other means (such as context, numbers, semantics, etc), there is no need to mark for plural. Plural is also used, however, as a hyperbolic emphasiser on a singular noun.
There are 7 noun classes, with various declensions.
|Class V*||See belew|
* Class V Nouns decline just as Class I, but there is a vowel shift in the final vowel of the root for the Instrumental, Dative, and Benefactive cases. If the final vowel is /a/, it shifts to /o/. If the final vowel is /e/ or /i/, it shifts to /y/. So kemma, "man", in the benefactive is kemmotsa; and tse, "forest", in the instrumental is tsyw. No other final vowels occur in these nouns.
** Class VI Nouns also experience a vowel shift in the last vowel of the root for the Instrumental, Dative, and Benefactive cases. Long and short /u/ shifts to long and short /û/. /a, e/ will shift to /e, ej/ respectively.
To pluralise, suffix with -tsys, and then inflect like a Class I noun.
There is one irregular noun in Mûtsipsa': i, "oil". Its forms are:
Some nouns also have irregular forms, for example pah, "sand", which is a regular Class I Noun, except its accusative form is phûs (and not *pahûs as one would expect). Such irregularities are noted in the lexicon.
Adjectives must agree in case and number with their referant noun. They will take the same inflection that their noun takes. If this creates vowels in hiatus, they are separated with a glottal stop. If the referant noun is an irregular inflection, just use the standard inflection for that noun class. Adjectives usually precede the referant noun, but due to their inflection they can often be placed anywhere in a clause.
a beautiful flower
Adjectives can be emphasised with ky, placed before it.
ky pa'aw hjonaw
very beautiful.NOM flower.NOM
a really beautiful flower
Another use of ky is comparatives. The noun you are comparing with will be in the dative, so it will look like this:
ky adj.NOM noun1.NOM noun2.DAT
Which means, "noun1 is more adj than noun2". The adjective and noun don't need to be in the nominative case.
When there is no other noun to be compared to (for example, when stating that something is just generally stronger), or it is inferred, simply use the dative form of "it", niin.
Adverbs are formed from the same roots as adjectives. Basically, an adverb is an adjective without a case ending, and placed right before the verb. But due to its lack of case ending, it is known to be an adverb, and so can technically go anywhere in the clause. However, beware, as adjectives agreeing with nominative Class I Nouns will also not have any case ending.
There is no separate class of pronouns. There are, however, some nouns which can be used as pronouns.
|he||I (class VI)|
|tuu||you (class IV)|
|sii||this (class III)|
|se||that (class III)|
|suu||who (class VI)|
These next ones can be used on their own to mean "all the people", "someone" etc, or agreeing with another noun to express "all the children" or "few dogs" etc. Once they have been used with another noun, they can act like a 3rd person referant for that noun.
|sesowo||all, everyone (class IV)|
|pwun||many (people) (class I)|
|piiwu||few (people) (class IV)|
|gimsuh||some (person) (class I)|
|sesa||other (person) (class III)|
gimsuh muuhuhûs si'
some.NOM mushroom.ACC eat.PAST
someone ate a mushroom
Sesa'i txaw siisysi'. Tse jii'i sesawûs û.
some.NOM child.NOM IMPF.play.PAST. Then it.NOM some.ACC kick.PAST
Some child was playing. Then he (someone else) kicked him (the child)
A note on sesowo, pwun, and piiwu: since these cannot be used in a singular sense, they always agree with plural nouns. However, they are never inflected for plural, as the plurality is implied within their form.
There is also the highly irregular pronoun jii'i, "it". It declines thus, in both singular and plural:
Mûtsipsa' verbal morphology has been described as "rich", but it is probably better described as "confusing".
Mûtsipsa' has three tenses, three aspects, and several states that could be described as "moods". There is a simple past tense, a simple present tense, and a simple future tense. The aspects are perfective (meaning an action is completed), imperfective (meaning an action is underway), and atelic (meaning an action has failed to achieve its intended purpose).
Verbs in Mûtsipsa' fall into four rather complex conjugation categories. This is arbritary, like the noun classes, and cannot be determined by analysis of the root. These categories are Regular, Thematic, Infixing, and the relatively rare Thematic Infixing.
When applying a prefix or suffix, note should be taken of internal sandhi which can alter the affix or the edges of the root. There are two rules here - intervocalic /m, p, t, k, '/ become /w, f, t, k, h/, and vowels in hiatus are separated by a glottal stop.
prefixing tutsuh with tuu, we get tuusutsuh
prefixing ys with wii, we get wii'ys
Remember, these rules only apply to verbal affixes and their immediate environment.
The regular conjugation forms the basis of the conjugation pattern for all the conjugations. It inflects like so:
the root so'uus, "harvest"
past tense so'uus, present tense so'uuns, future tense so'uuspoh
the root kanta, "follow, obey"
past tense kanta, present tense kantams, future tense kantafoh
the root mûsa', "disagree, argue"
past tense mûsa', present tense mûsams, future tense mûsapoh
Now for the aspects, which are even more fun.
A verb by default has perfective aspect.
For atelic aspect, the first vowel in the word undergoes a vowel shift.
the root so'uus, "harvest"
past tense perfective so'uus, past tense atelic sy'uus, future tense atelic sy'uuspoh
the root iinda, "lead, herd"
past tense perfective iinda, past tense atelic jiinda, future tense atelic jiindafoh
the root osu', "prod, stab"
past tense perfective osu', past tense atelic wesu', future tense atelic wesupoh
the root jotsu', "cover, drape, surround"
past tense perfective jotsu', past tense atelic iytsu', future tense atelic iytsupoh
For imperfective aspect, provided that the word does not begin with /ma, pa, ta, ka, 'a/, has the following change: the first consonant and vowel are reduplicated, with the vowel undergoing a similar shift to that of the atelic above. There are some slight differences to the vowel shift, however:
the root so'uus, "harvest"
past tense imperfective seso'uus, present tense imperfective seso'uuns
the root kanta, "follow, obey"
past tense imperfective kxanta, future tense imperfective kxantafoh
the root nysa', "give"
past tense atelic nyysa', past tense imperfective niinysa'
the root jotsu', "cover, drape, surround"
present tense atelic iytsuns, past tense imperfective jejotsu'
A fully conjugated verb:
A note for ni, "do". This verb is slightly irregular, but only in its pronunciation. Technically the past tense perfective and atelic forms are ni and nii, but whenever there is a nearby syllable that could adopt an /n/ as part of the consonant cluster, the past tense perfective becomes simply n. In these same environments does the atelic become ni. This rule only applies when ni is being used to mean "do" (or one of its many auxiliary meanings), and not when it is being used to mean "grow, develop", its homonym.
These are just the same as regular verbs, with the exception that instead of removing the final consonant when inflecting, a thematic vowel is inserted between the stem and the inflection. There are 3 types of Thematic vowel Stems; /a, i, u/.
the root hat, "walk, travel", thematic vowel /a/
past tense perfective hat, present tense perfective hatams, future tense imperfective hehatafoh
the root sof, "lift", thematic vowel /u/
past tense perfective sof, present tense perfective sofuns, future tense imperfective sesofufoh
A fully conjugated verb:
nit, "desire, want", thematic vowel /i/
For tense, these verbs inflect like the regular stems.
These verbs can not have atelic aspect (with the exception of tja, an irregular verb that will be dealt with later). If you wish to express a failure to achieve the intended result, then the auxiliary verb ni, is placed before the verb, in the atelic aspect. It must agree with the main verb in tense (so possible forms are ni, niims, niifoh).
For imperfective aspect, it's a whole lot more complicated. Every infixing verb has some sort of initial consonant cluster (or /ts/). Imperfective aspect is formed by placing an infix, usually of the form VCV, between the consonants (or in the case of /ts/, breaking up the affricate into a separate plosive and fricative and infixing between them).
What particular infix to use depends on the verb, and is indicated in the lexicon. If the consonant of the infix is a plosive, then the first consonant of the root should become voiced.
the root kfa', "swallow", imperfective infix /-xa-/
perfective past kfa', imperfective past kxafa'
the root tsafi', "swim", imperfective infix /-eta-/
perfective past tsafi', imperfective past detasafi' (note the voicing of the initial consonant, due to a plosive being present in the infix)
A note on tej. This verb, meaning "drop", is an irregular infixing verb, in that it does inflect for the atelic. It does so in a way that no other verb does: it takes the infix /-ej-/ between the first two consonants (hence past tense atelic tejja). Otherwise it is the same as any other infixing verb, with /-ejta-/ as the imperfective infix.
A fully conjugated verb:
kfa', "swallow", infix /-xa-/
As the name suggests, these verbs both take a thematic vowel when inflecting for present or future tense, and take an infix when inflecting for imperfective. There is no atelic aspect.
A fully conjugated verb:
khes, "trip, fall, slip", infix /-xa-/, thematic vowel /i/
The moods are, by and large, formed by using ni, "do", as an auxiliary verb.
For subjunctive mood, use the auxiliary verb ni in the future tense. Subjunctive mood means something that is hypothetical or not confirmed to be true. It must agree with the main verb in terms of aspect: so nifoh for perfective, niifoh for atelic, and niinifoh for imperfective.
For indirective mood, use the special form niiniifoh (it looks like the future tense imperfect form of ni, but it's slightly different). It is placed before a verb to indicate that the verb is being performed half-heartedly, without any real direction or ambition.
A habitual mood can be formed with the particle hejha, which is normally placed before the verb, but technically can appear anywhere in a sentence.
While not technically a mood, the particle kuu' can be placed before the verb (and any mood particles) to emphasise a scepticism on the part of the speaker. This is different from the uncertainty clitic (see next section), in that with scepticism, the speaker is politely challenging what someone else said, or expressing the views of another the truth value of which the speaker is not wholly satisfied with.
There are four clitics that optionally affix to a verb, adding extra meaning to the intention of the statement. While they act morphologically and syntactically as clitics (ie they come right after the verb, nothing can come between them and the verb), they are phonologically separate words (ie they have stress and prosody features separate to the verb).
|sûû'||contradiction, strong assertion|
The use of these can be illustrated by means of the following sample sentence:
jii'i wuuwûs datawûs nata
it.NOM it.ACC father.ACC betray.PAST
he betrayed his father
|jii'i wuuwûs datawûs nata sûû'||"No, he betrayed his father!"|
|jii'i wuuwûs datawûs nata 'ih||"Okay, fine, he betrayed his father..."|
|jii'i wuuwûs datawûs nata myh||"He kinda, like, betrayed his father."|
|jii'i wuuwûs datawûs nata tuusa'||"I think he betrayed his father..."|
The verb is negated by simply putting phu' after it (and any clitics). This particle can also be used to negate moods:
jii'i hejha muhyms
it.NOM habitual loiter.PRES
he frequently wastes time
jii'i hejha muhyms phu'
it.NOM habitual loiter.PRES not
he frequently doesn't waste time (i.e., his not-time-wasting is indeed habitual)
jii'i hejha phu' muhyms
it.NOM habitual not loiter.PRES
he doesn't frequently waste time (i.e., he does waste time, but not on a regular basis)
jii'i muhyms phu'
it.NOM habitual not
he doesn't waste time (this would be the normal way of expressing the opposite of the first example)
jii'i hejha phu' muhyms phu'
it.NOM habitual not loiter.PRES not
he does not waste time frequently (this is the explicit negative, only really used when the habitual aspect is the subject of dispute or something)
A general SOV structure is followed, but due to the cases the word order is freed up somewhat. The verb must come last, with one exception; the passive sentence, which is explained below.
The copula that connects noun and adjective, or noun and noun, is ni, "do".
he'i pwu'ûs nims, "I am a fish".
There are two words we use to form questions in Mûtsipsa': siifi' and suu.
Suu is a conventional interogative pronoun. It inflects like a class VI noun (.'i, .w, .'ûs, .n, .tsa declension), and any clause it is used in becomes a question. To emphasise the questioning nature of a sentence it can be put at the start of a clause.
Siifi' acts more like an particle, and precedes the word is it questioning. For example, before a verb it could mean "how does he VERB", and before a noun it would mean "what NOUN". When it is placed at the beginning of a clause, however, it is indicating that a simple yes/no answer is requested.
"And" is used to combine nouns, or clauses. When combining clauses it sits neatly betwixt the two clauses, and is in the nominative case. It must agree in case with the nouns it is combining, and usually comes after them ("cart horse and" instead of "cart and horse"). Other syntactic variations are available, due to it agreeing in case with both of its nouns.
Other conjunctions used to combine clauses:
|u||but (strong, emphatic, contradictory)|
Since, technically, only "and" can be used to combine nouns (the other conjunctions combine clauses), there are interesting workarounds to this problem. To express something like "the dog or the wolf ate the meat", it would first be rendered as "[the dog ate the meat] or [the wolf ate the meat]". But then, due to the pro-drop nature of Mûtsipsa', it would be changed to "the dog ate the meat or the wolf". Then "or" would go after "wolf", in analogy with "and", giving us the final product (remembering the SOV word order) of "the dog the meat ate the wolf or":
iyja juuhûs si' uuhuun tsa
The other conjunctions can be used in a similar manner.
To indicate possession, simply put the possessor in the same case as the possessee, and place it before it.
he'i hu'ytsimûs hy'uunûs siisis
I.NOM fox.ACC neck.ACC IMPF.clean.PAST
I was cleaning the fox's neck
For passive sentences, an interesting construction is used. The subject is put into instrumental case, and the into nominative. The instrumental has to be placed after the verb (otherwise it returns to its simple instrumental meaning).
When the subject of the sentence would normally be in benefactive case, this can also be put after the verb to indicate a passive sentence.
ttsih nynohtsysûs yii'iindans
man.NOM cattle.PL.ACC IMPF.lead.PRES
the man is leading the cattle
nynohtsys yii'iindans ttsim
cattle.PL.NOM IMPF.lead.PRES man.INS
the cattle are being lead by the man
jusitsisn he'ûs tsanûs to'iimtsysûs kejpunspoh
raven.BEN I.ACC sister.ACC chickpea.PL.ACC steal.FUTR
A raven will steal my sister's chickpeas
he'i tsan to'iimtsys kejpunspoh jusitsisn
I.NOM sister.NOM chickpea.PL.NOM steal.FUTR raven.BEN
my sister's chickpeas will be stolen by a raven
One topic can take many comments. For example:
he'i enamm tsfuhpoh, tsuhkinpoh, sipoh
I.NOM fruit.ACC pick.FUTR, cut.FUTR, eat.FUTR
I will pick a fruit, cut it, and eat it
Since these other clauses share the same topic, no conjunctions are required.
Postpositions are placed after nouns to create locative phrases, that deal with both time and space (dependant on the nature of the noun). The noun is normally in accusative case. However, instrumental can be used to indicate action from a location, and dative to indicate action to a location. The nominative can be used to express action through said location. The benefactive is only used in locative phrases to emphasise that the noun is benefitting; usually the state of motion is implied or already mentioned.
behind the rock
dûûw 'û tiihen pitih tû'iihn
sea.INS in sky.NOM under belly.DAT 'û
from the sea via under the sky to the belly
|he'||in front of|
|se||to the right of|
|sii||to the left of|
Mûtsinamtsys scholars have become very interested in Máotatşàlì drama and literary analysis, and use many of their terms when discussing literature. In particularly frequent use are the character archetypes, described below. While most of these words are used only in a scholarly context, their use in everyday language is becoming more and more frequent, either meaning the character the word expresses, or often just simply the noun.
There is a blurry distinction between religion and philosophy in Mûtsinamtsys culture. The basic distinction is religion is that which you do while philosophy is that which you believe. Often one is influenced by the other - due to someone believing something, they may choose to act differently. Likewise, observations of their own (and others') actions may cause them to change their beliefs.
The word ntû'a is used to describe religion - that which causes action. Mûtsitû'a describes philosopy - that which causes belief. There was also the word ttsatû'a, that which causes knowledge, but the philosopher Sútupaj proved that we cannot truly know anything, and so ttsatû'a does not technically exist.
Most, if not all of these philosophies and theories come from the Mûtsinamtsys and Takuña traditional beliefs, which many thinkers have tried to unite. A brief overview will follow, mainly for the sake of understanding the background to these ideas.
Ancient Mûtsinamtsys traditions have a basic belief in several gods, with varying names, jurisdictions, and power. These gods are part of the natural world, and are not human. As such, they complement nature, and get along with each other and with nature. The actions of the gods directly influence the happenings in the natural world - natural disasters and the like are seen to be indications of the gods' anger or upset. There is no formalised worship of these gods, but many families will have a shrine to their "favourite" god and make offerings to it. There is also a belief that every being, every entity, has a "spirit" of sorts - but the exact nature of this spirit, and if it varies between species and forms, remains unknown. This spirit remains in existence after we die, but where it goes or what it does is uncertain.
Some terms we have from the Mûtsinamtsys involving these beliefs include several words for different types of god. We have 'iix, a friendly, benevolent god; tax, a powerful, large god; wenûx, an evil, destructive god; ninak, a god with a strong connection to nature; and nuufik, an ancient god. These words can often be applied several times to the gods, for example one god could both be a nuufik and a tax. Other terms from this time include khuuh, a priest or shaman; kfasa, a temple or altar; and 'itesah, a principle of balance and equality.
The traditional beliefs of the Takuña involve a "spirit world", an existence that is parallel to this one. Some say the spirit world is good, some say it is evil - but the general agreement is that it is just the same as this world - with both good and evil. As such, evil spirits sometimes cross over from the spirit world and cause misdeeds in this world - and good spirits will sometimes cross over and help people. Nature is almost seen as a single entity, that the Takuña must seek to peacefully coexist with. And so, natural disasters and the like are seen as the Takuña's failure to fully coexist with nature - or the actions of a malevolent spirit (or both).
Ttsahû was the first major thinker in terms of ntû'a. He classified our actions into four main categories, the names of which are derived from examples of each category:
That which we must do - sihtû'a (that which causes us to eat)
That which we should do - ktsantû'a (that which causes us to love)
That which we should not do - hûsamhtû'a (that which causes us to kill)
That which we cannot do - gmatû'a (that which causes us to fly)
He then moved on to suggest that acts that constitute sihtû'a are acts that are necessary for our siim hexa (personal survival) - and by extension, the sesowo' mûtsinamtsys hexa, the survival of all people.
Acts that constitute ktsantû'a are acts that add to the hexu'i (comfort) of both siim, ourselves, and sesowo', all.
Likewise, hûsamhtû'a acts detract from the hexu'i, or even the hexa, or either (or both) or yourself and all.
Gmatû'a are acts that are quite frankly impossible, such as flying, eating your head, and causing earthquakes. Ttsahû suggests that only the gods are able to perform acts of gmatû'a. These acts can either add to or detract from the survival and comfort of people. Hence there is a further distinction between 'i (good) gmatû'a and wen (evil) gmatû'a.
Ttsahû now creates a hierarchy, where he suggests that above all things, siim hexa is the top priority - personal survival. After that, he places sesowo' hexa, the survival of others. Then siim hexu'i, then sesowo' hexu'i. Thus, you are obliged to act to save the life of another, even if it means your own discomfort. But not if it means the loss of your own life.
Later philosophers have expanded upon Ttsahû's work in several areas: for example, some have claimed that sesowo' should take precedence over siim. Other, post-Sútapaj thinkers have put siim, in all forms, over any form of sesowo' - as all you can be sure of is your own ntû'a and mûtsitû'a (see below for full explanation of Sútapaj thoughts), the existence of others is questionable. In a similar vein, some have hypothesised that gmatû'a is not entirely proven - just because no-one has yet flown does not mean that we never will. Some thinkers have tried to justify acts of hûsamhtû'a by claiming that in the long run, they will turn out to be ktsantû'a or even sihtû'a. More nature-oriented thinkers have introduced the idea of sesowoku'i hexa - the survival of the universe. Where it fits into the hierarchy generally varies from person to person.
The next major philosopher was the Takuña Sútupaj. He proved we cannot truly know anything - hence ttsatû'a does not exist. Only what we do (ntû'a) and what we believe (mûtsitû'a) can define who we are, as knowledge is inherently untrustworthy. He introduced the concept of epiphany, which he called nuduuhasihi. He claimed that once someone comes to an epiphany or enlightenment about all knowledge being false, then he can free himself from the realms of this existence and find himself in ifiisana, the spirit world (as per Takuña traditional beliefs).
Mûsaso, from Duutkejdih, very quickly followed Sútupaj. He likewise had many observations about the world and how we perceive it. Using a vaguely scientific method, he created the study of sesowoku'i - the universe and its contents, from the highest gods to the lowest dust, all were up for analysis and understanding. He then divided this study into three disciplines: tsan, the study of living things; tsa'uuho', the study of the earth and materials; tsa'yjnih, the study of the stars and the cosmos. Where the gods fit into this is unknown, there are various theories on it. Mûsaso, in his experiments into tsa'uuho', concluded that everything is made up of one of three elements: uuho'oh, rock; mimkih, water; hefatsah, fire. This is known as the Mûsaso 3 Element System.
Rutawká, another Takuña, was a student of Mûsaso, and seeked to create a system similar to the 3 Element system, but for tsan, the study of living beings. He come to the conclusion that there are four main elements, two for plants and two for animals: pannaw, bark, and pudusa'a, leafy flesh; ghi, bone, and pudumasi, bloody flesh. However, they could intermingle - for example, hair is composed of pannaw, and our saliva contains pudusa'a. Likewise, some fruits have pudumasi, and so on. Rutawká named this his 4 Element Biological System.
Ná'ápíru was a sesowoku'i scholar, who thought the Mûsaso 3 element system was inadequate, especially in light of Rutawká's 4 Element Biological System. How does the biological system fit into Mûsaso's system? Is pudumasi made of uuho'oh, or of mimkih? Or neither? To sort out these errors, he added a new element - sa'usi - probably best translated as "wood" or "biological matter". Ná'ápíru claimed that the 4 biological elements were just forms of sa'usi. He had another observation - that of the clouds, and of wind. How do these phenomena fit into Mûsaso's system? Again, Ná'ápíru conjectured another element - pinetu - "wind", or "air". He dubbed this system "the improved Mûsaso System" or "the Mûsaso System +2", but common discussion led to it being named the Ná'ápíru 5 Element System.
Kuusunmam was a young Mûtsinamtsys scholar of ntû'a. He rejected Ttsahû's principles of action only for hexa or hexu'i (survival or comfort). Combining his ancestor's beliefs and principles with Sútapaj's concepts of nuduuhasihi and ifiisana, he devised a new, more moral way of looking at the world. He called it pa'en. It involved pleasing and showing reverence to the gods, and also to your own kuu (spirit), which Kuusunmam viewed as a separate entity to yourself - but still an integral part of your personality. To this end, one is to make offerings at the altars, and meditate, awaiting enlightenment. Kuusunmam re-interpreted Sútapaj's understanding of nuduuhasihi as less of an understanding of the true nature of reality, and more of a transcendence into the spirit world, where one would become as a god. Thus is the inherent paradox to Kuusunmam's ideas - that the gods created man, but likewise, man creates gods (through the process of nuduuhasihi). This cyclical theory Kuusunmam saw mirrored in the natural world, where things begin small, grow large, and then decay, becoming small again. This process has lasted, and will last, for 'iinsesowohef (eternity). Kuusunmam claimed that the gods are immortal, due to the nature of the spirit world, but mortal men can die. His views on the afterlife are unknown.
Ahuñipá was the first major astronomer - he studied tsa'yjnih. He indentified the distinction between huude (stars) and a'usode (planets). He established the movements of the constellations, the planets, and devised a basic paniimuki (calendar).
Kyywisepu', a student of Ahuñipá, was fascinated with the moon. He inserted months into Ahuñipá's calendar, and made a detailed analysis of the masikyywi' (phases of the moon) and their relation to the mimkikyywi' (tides). He also proved Ahuñipá wrong on one occasion: Ahuñipá claimed the moon to be larger (hence closer to earth) when it is near the horizon. Kyywisepu' proved that this was merely an optical illusion. Kyywisepu' also began the documentation of hefatsammi'i (eclipses), but due to their rarity and lack of reliable historical evidence never came to any conclusions about their nature. Most Mûtsinamtsys believe them to be an act of the gods, like earthquakes and volcanoes.
Glossary / Summary of terms
|ntû'a||religion, that which you do|
|mûtsitû'a||philosophy, that which you believe|
|ttsatû'a||that which you know - proven not to exist by Sútapaj|
|'iix||any friendly, benevolent god|
|tax||any powerful, large god|
|wenûx||any evil, destructive god|
|ninak||any god with a strong connection to nature|
|nuufix||any ancient god|
|khuuh||a priest or shaman|
|kfasa||a temple or altar|
|'itesah||Ancient Principle of balance - combination of youngest and oldest, nearest and farthest, biggest and smallest|
|sihtû'a||that which we must do - (eg that which causes us to eat)|
|ktsantû'a||that which we must do - (eg that which causes us to love)|
|hûsamhtû'a||that which we must do - (eg that which causes us to kill)|
|gmatû'a||that which we must do - (eg that which causes us to fly)|
|siim hexa||personal survival|
|sesowo' hexa||survival of all|
|sesowoku'i hexa||survival of the universe|
|ifiisana||the spirit world|
|sesowoku'i||the study of the universe|
|tsan||the study of living things|
|tsa'uuho'||the study of the constituent materials of the universe|
|tsa'yjnih||the study of the stars and cosmos|
|uuho'oh||rock, one of the 3 elements|
|mimkih||water, one of the 3 elements|
|hefatsah||fire, one of the 3 elements|
|pannaw||bark, one of the 4 biological elements|
|pudusa'a||leafy flesh, one of the 4 biological elements|
|ghi||bone, one of the 4 biological elements|
|pudumasi||bloody flesh, one of the 4 biological elements|
|sa'usi||wood, or biological matter; one of the 2 additional elements|
|pinetu||wind, or air; one of the 2 additional elements|
|pa'en||the overarching name of his belief system|
|masikyywi'||phases of the moon|
Siixihuu'i hefa'i hû'i muuwûsims:
north_wind.NOM sun.NOM and IMPF.argue.PRES
The North Wind and the Sun are disputing,
suutsys ky daxawûs niin nims?
who.PL.NOM very strong.ACC it.DAT do.PRES
which one is stronger (than which)?
Naw hehatams hû'i mûfaw munn tse
person.NOM IMPF.travel.PRES and clothes.INS wrap.PAST then
When a traveller, wrapped in a cloak,
pitih niin mutsysn tsun.
under it.DAT eye.PL.DAT come.PAST
came (lit. came under their eyes)
They say that
sii nifoh te' naw mûfawûs tjofoh,
this.NOM do.FTR so_that man.NOM clothe.ACC drop
the one who makes the man take off the robe,
tse sii ky daxawûs niin nims sûû'.
then this.NOM very strong.ACC it.DAT do.PRES assertion_particle
then of course it's the one that's stronger.
Siixihuu'i ky em ni hn.
north_wind.NOM very forceful do.PAST.ATEL blow.PAST
Then the north wind blew as hard as he could, (but in vain)
Ni'uuh naw mûfaw ky em munn,
wee man.NOM clothe.INS very forceful wrap.PAST
as the poor wee man wrapped himself up in his cloak just as hard.
te' siixihuu'i tûk,
so_that north_wind.NOM cease.PAST
So the north wind had to stop
hû'i hefan psa', te' jii'i simtims hefa'i nims.
and sun.DAT call.PAST, so_that it.NOM see.PRES sun.NOM do.PRES
and called upon the sun to see what he would do.
Hefa'i pahsanh hû'i ky hefatsi' hehaf,
sun.NOM rise.PAST and very hot shine.PAST.IMPF
Then the sun came up and shone strongly,
te' nuw mûfawûs tja.
So_that man.NOM clothe.ACC drop.PAST
and the man took his cloak off,
Jii'i dûûxun 'û tos, siisis!
it.NOM stream.DAT in go.PAST, wash.PAST.IMPF
and goes into a stream and bathes!
So the north wind says,
hefa'i ky daxawûs niin nims 'ih.
sun.NOM very strong.ACC it.DAT do.PRES submission_particle
oh well, the sun really is the stronger.
Ky daxa'i ktsantû'a'i hûsamhtû'an nims.
very strong.NOM ktsantû'a.NOM hûsamhtû'a.DAT do.PRES
Gentle persuasion is stronger than force. (Lit., that acts that increase people's comfort are more powerful than acts that detract from it)
Senem mwinamm tam hemnam 'un siisims
goat.NOM grass.ACC big.ACC cliff.ACC on eat.PRES.IMPF
A goat is grazing on a steep cliff,
tse jii'i simtims wiatsûw, py'o' niifoh tsxypoh.
when it.NOM see.PRES wolf.INS, but subjunctive_particle.ATEL hunt.ATEL.FUTR
when he is seen by a wolf, who would not be able to reach him.
Te' wiatsu'i senemm piifysa';
so_that wolf.NOM goat.ACC shout.PAST.IMPF
So the wolf calls to him,
tuuh hejm 'as niifoh tsuns te' niifoh khesims phu',
you.NOM I.ACC at subjunctive_particle come.PRES so_that subjunctive_particle fall.PRES not
you should come here [lit. at me] so that you would not fall,
hû'i, hahsantsys hejm 'as nims,
and, meadow.PL.NOM I.ACC at do.PRES
and, there are meadows here [lit. at me]
mwinaw ky hu'wûs nims.
grass.NOM very soft.ACC do.PRES
the grass is very tender.
senem psa', tuuh hejtsa piifysams sûû' phu',
goat.NOM shout.PAST, you.NOM I.BEN call.IMPF.PRES contradiction_particle not
The goat calls, you are not calling for my benefit,
u piifysams te' sipoh!
but(strong) shout.IMPF.PRES so_that eat.FUTR
but you are calling so that you can eat!
This lexicon is just a list of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. All the particles and stuff are in the above grammar... Also, the philosophy terms have been left out, as they're dealt with above. If you feel like picking them out and putting them into the lexicon, feel free.
|amakis||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Temptress|
|asajaw||seal, sea lion|
|aw||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Beast|
|datonetjuh||group of soldiers|
|gupis||backstage, out of the reader's knowledge|
|hahsan||field, plain, meadow|
|jawsanaw||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Coward|
|Ke'idû'ûs'as||the main island where the majority of the Mûtsinamtsys populace reside|
|koh||lips (accusative: khûs)|
|ksah||hand OR year|
|kujukaw||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Tyrant|
|kxam||nut, seed, egg (something that will grow into another living thing, not intended to be eaten)|
|kxan||male relative, brother|
|kyy'uun||orb, gem, jewel|
|munaw||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Fool|
|mywyh||face, visage (to possess a "good face", as well as meaning physical attractiveness, can also mean that someone is honourable and well-respected. Conversely, a bad face, or even no face entirely, is someone lacking or devoid of any honour at all.)|
|nynoh||cattle, bull, cow|
|pah||sand (accusative: phûs)|
|puhmun||heart, breast, chest|
|seh||snake, eel, newt|
|tannu'on||nut, egg, seed (intended to be eaten)|
|tsfan||grease, fat, oil, dripping|
|tsiinpam||shoulder (this word is often used metaphorically - the shoulders are what supports the head and face, which represent honour and dignity. If someone is said to be without shoulders, it means that they have an undignified or dishonourable background.)|
|tsys||spruce (does not inflect for plural)|
|tuufasah||contract, treaty, agreement|
|txûnaw||the Thokyunam people|
|uhodwiisûh||mathematics, the study of numbers|
|uwitsis||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Trickster|
|wejnih||light in the sky, star, planet, comet|
|xasax||open desert, scrubland|
|ena||fruit, fleshy egg (like frogspawn), juicy meat|
|hjona||flower (also used to describe a beautiful woman, "she's a flower")|
|kentsa||digestive system, liver|
|sii||heart, mind (used metaphorically, does not mean a physical heart)|
|smana||outcropping or jagged rock|
|tsihpa||wing, fin, arm|
|tsna||tree (any sort - this is the hyperonym of pii, ûûh, 'y etc)|
|tssi||beast of burden|
|tû'e||seed, nut, egg (either eaten or grown - this word is the hyperonym of tannu'on and kxam)|
|'ha||hailstones, sleet, frost, ice|
|'y||chestnut (the tree)|
|diinti||arable land, potentially farmable|
|ge||tooth (accusative: gwûs, benefactive: gtsa)|
|gu||bone (nominative: ghi, accusative: ghûs, benefactive: gtsa)|
|hefa||sun OR day OR east|
|huuhu||young (of any animal)|
|igitsa||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Lover|
|jusiji||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Martyr|
|jysa||actor, performer, singer|
|ky||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Free|
|ma||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Mother|
|nin dûke||Mûtsinamtsys name for a Tukaña island (Awsákuti in Takuña)|
|ninawnu||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Sage|
|paja||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Maid|
|se||that (accusative: swûs)|
|sii||this (nominative: sii)|
|siixtaguna||the mainland where the Takuña live|
|sijipu||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Hero|
|tatsi||Máotatşàlì dramatic term: The Innocent|
|te||son, nephew, younger male relative (accusative: twûs, benefactive: ttsa)|
|tii||daughter, neice, younger female relative|
|tsatun||ash (the tree)|
|tsimho||toad, frog, newt|
|tssi||well, mine, excavation|
|tsuuwa||stone, rock, boulder|
|ttûke||the old name for the mainland where the Takuña live|
|wiintin||communal patch of land where a tribe will grow things to contribute to hexu'i (comfort), such as herbs, flowers, and teas (as opposed to a personal piece of land where you grow things for hexa, survival)|
|Dûkejdih||the island where the Mûtsinamtsys met the Takuña violently, land was ravaged, and earthquake destroyed most of island|
|Duutkejdih||the small, distant island that holds a small group of Mûtsinamtsys farmers, who speak a strange dialect|
|hemna||steep wall, cliff|
|hempu||the front of the body|
|iisikija||liger / tigon|
|iitidadu||attack, onslaught, military advance|
|ku||horn, flute (accusative: khûs, benefactive: ktsa)|
|kuunii||herd, group (of domesticated animals)|
|kyywi||month OR moon|
|mu||eye (if someone is said to have good eyes, it means they have good judgement and foresight)|
|muuhu||fungus, mushroom, toadstool (almost all varieties are delicacies)|
|pa||hair (accusative: phûs, benefactive: ptsa)|
|piitsi||nose (if someone is said to have a big nose, it means they are famous and well known. Conversely, people with no noses are unknown.)|
|se||right (not left)|
|sii||left (not right)|
|sysimma||haar, fog, mist (someone is called a sysimma if they have a tendancy to confuse matters; but if someone has a sysimma, it means they have a strong, and often pungent, stench)|
|te||three (accusative: thûs, benefactive: ttsa)|
|tsaty||ashes, smoke, dust|
|tsfi||branch, twig, stick|
|tsiitsifi||bird of prey, eagle|
|tsiixafa||nail (of fingers and toes)|
|ttsi||young man, bachelor|
|twetjuhihafa||trade, commerce, exchange|
|me||fur (accusative: mwûs)|
|sa||animal, beast (accusative: swûs)|
|tse||forest, jungle, woodland (accusative: tswûs)|
|ûwa||a bird's tail, peacock|
|kuu||spirit (benefactive: ktsa)|
|pepa||any small fruit|
|psa||house, hut, dwelling place|
|tsu||dandruff, skin flakes, dust|
|tu||leg (benefactive: ttsa)|
The vowels in brackets on some of the single-consonant adjectives are to be used when there is no vowel in the inflection they take (if any). So, for example, m(i) would take the inflection -ûs as mûs, but it would take the inflection -n as min.
|hefatsi'||hot, uncomfortably humid|
|hex||happy, good, pleasurable|
|hexafa'||cosy, warm, knus|
|ho'||squishy, ripe, soft|
|kiiximti'||lightweight, small, easy to carry|
|m(i)||small, mouse-like, delicate|
|masi'||large, big, wide, too large to hold|
|mwasi'||long, thin, lanky|
|ni'uuh||cute, wee, sweet|
|nuufih||used, second-hand, not new|
|pa'a||beautiful (also used as interjection)|
|sisaw||slippy (smooth) smooth|
|t(a)||big, tall, imposing|
|ta||distant, far, hard-to-get, daydreaming|
|tii'||correct, sensible, intelligent|
|tuusi'ems||slim, stick-like, narrow|
|tywa'||fast, quick, motivated|
|dad||kill by punching, often used metaphorically to express great pain|
|hafatsa'||burn (a person is said to be burning if they are really angry)|
|hwun||die (when used intransatively), indirectly cause death (when used transatively)|
|jotsu'||cover, drape, surround|
|muhys||loiter, waste time, do very little in particular|
|ni||do, act (Irregular verb: see note in Regular Stems morphology section) OR grow, develop|
|nu'y'||secure, make safe (a contract is not signed, it is "secured")|
|nusa'||lean on, balance|
|pahsan||get up, arise|
|tatsuh||vomit (to "vomit your nose" is to sneeze)|
|uunsa||flow (when used with a verbal , this verb essentially acts adverbially and means that the verb is being performed "smootly" or "flowingly")|
|we'e'||masturbate (when used reflexively or intransitively), massage, rub (when used on another person / animal), grasp (when used on an inanimate ) (Irregular verb: glottal stop drops when inflecting for atelic aspect, final /e/ does not shift to /a/)|
|wûwi'||freeze (of liquids), stop (of everything else)|
|munn||wrap, clothe, tuck in|
|sis||clean, wash, scrub|
|tsah||squeeze (Irregular verb: the first /a/ is lost when inflecting for present and future perfective and atelic)|
|nûs||knit, sew, embroider|
|tûk||cease, stop, desist|
|sufuf||sleep (when intransitive), dream (when transitive)|
|yyw||float, sail (Irregular verb: does not inflect for atelic aspect)|
|gwuh||infix /-yko-/||lie down, rest|
|kfa'||infix /-xa-/||swallow (to "swallow with the lips" is to suck)|
|ktsan||infix /-iiki-/||love, admire|
|mwun||infix /-ewo-/||sit, ponder|
|psa'||infix /-fa-/||say, speak, believe|
|ptsun||infix /-uufu-/||sow, plant|
|tja||infix /-ejta-/||drop (Irregular verb: forms atelic by taking infix /-ej-/ (see note in morphology section))|
|tsfuh||infix /-iitsi-/||pick, gather|
|tsha'||infix /-ejtse-/||be fond of, like|
|tssams||infix /-etso-/||throw, toss|
|tsuh||infix /-eta-/||push, move, knock|
|tswi'||infix /-etsa-/||rub, stroke, wipe|
|tsxuh||infix /-ejtse-/||choose, select|
|ttsa'||infix /-eta-/||know, truly comprehend|
|ttsawa'||infix /-sa-/||hum, sing|
|gw||imperfective infix /-eko-/, thematic vowel /a/||fly|
|hn||imperfective infix /-uuhu-/, thematic vowel /u/||blow, exhale|
|khes||imperfective infix /-xa-/, thematic vowel /i/||trip, fall, slip|