Miskito and English/Contrastive Grammar

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Grammatical Differences

Miq-Eng tests

Object Order

  • (miq) Yang wal wîna kalila piras. → (eng) I do not eat meat and chicken
    (miq) yang<prn><p1> wîna<n> kalila<n> piras<v><p1><neg> → (eng) I<prn><p1> eat<vblex><p1><pres> meat<n> and<cnjcoo> chicken<n>

Miskito is an SOV language, so the object phrase always follows the noun phrase and generally precedes the verb phrase (there are some exceptions). In contrast, English is an SVO language.

Adjective Order

  • (miq) aras ba sirpi sa → (eng) The horse is small
    (miq) aras<n> ba<det><def><dst> sirpi<adj> kaia<v><pres><p3> → (eng) The<det> horse <n> be<vbser><pres><p3><sg> small<adj>

Subject Deletion

  • (miq) wapri → (eng) I walked
    (miq) wapri<v><past><p1> → (eng) I<prn><p1> walked<vblex><past>

Unlike English, first person verbs can stand alone to make a grammatically correct sentence.


In Miskito, plurality is created by adding the word nani after the noun. In contrast, English creates plurals by adding s to the end of nouns.

  • (miq) Aras nani ba → (eng) The horses
    (miq) Aras<n> nani<det><pl><def> ba<det><def><dst> → (eng) The<det><def> horses<n><pl>


  • (miq) man araskam → (eng) Your horse
    (miq) man<prn><p2> araskam<n><px2sg> → (eng) your<det><px2sg> horse<n>