Miskito and English/Lexical selection

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Miq → Eng

Case 1

mani - summer, year

Miskito Sentence English Translation
Mani an brisma. How old are you? (lit. How many years do you have?)
Miskitu nani ba mani piuara insla irbisa. The Miskitu prepare crops in the summer. (lit. The Miskitu tear apart farm with machete in summer.)

Generalization for determining which translation is correct:

* If mani is followed by the adjective raya (new) or by the verb briaia (to have), then year is selected.
* We set summer as the default select for mani, but if it's followed by the noun piu (time/season), it must be summer.

Case 2

ra - in, on, at

Example sentences:

Miskito Sentence English Translation
John rum ra sa. John is in the room.
Buk ba tibil ra sa. The book is on the table.
Mairin ba dur ra sa. The woman is at the door.

Generalization for determining which translation is correct.

* We can assume ra translates to in except for other edge cases.
* If the sentence has table, translate to on.
* If the sentence has door, translate to at.

Case 3

sangni- green, clear

Miskito Sentence English Translation
Yang naikra yula sangni sa. My pupils are green.
Tuktan nani ba lî sangni disa. The children drink clear water.

Generalization for determining which translation is correct:

* The default translation is green.
* If sangni is preceded by the noun  (water), then it should be translated as clear.

Case 4

taya - skin; family

Miskito Sentence English Translation
Man taya pihini brisma. You have white skin.
Yang taiya tara kum brisna. I have a big family.

Generalization for determining which translation is correct:

* The default translation skin.
* If the noun is followed by size adjectives like tara (big), then it will be translated as family.