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  1. don't, mustn't (+ verb clause; used as a command, injunction or instruction in negative imperative clauses)
    Aminya piye! Apapa atai onuka minya pitsu!
    Don't go [there]! Beasts will get you!
    Aminya ya pamapitsaitsapai, uma ipitsi... Maka minya pamapitsaitse, aitsa wa ha... Katepe pamapitsaitsa, aminya wa han. Aitsa pawojo pamapitsaitsapai. Kalahan, akain ta-ka-pai yeetsopou, akain taka yeetsopou, punupa pikityeko-je-eu.
    "You shall not be an omen of ill," [she] said to him... "Never shall you be a harbinger of death. That shall not be. Don't even think of being an omen of evil. That you may not do. [In days to come,] when the piqui fruit starts to fall, [in the season when] when it falls, you see — then will your voice be heard.
    Iyene painyakuwi. Yamukunaun elelepei. Aminya yelele, aminya yelele omawiu yamukunaun ipitsi.
    [She] entered [her] house. The children were crying. "Don't cry, don't cry," she said to the children.
    Kamani pakakapai ogatakojai inyalun? Aminya pakaka.
    Why do you believe gossip [lit., worthless talk] ? Don't pay attention [to it].
    Aminya paga outsa. Kohakala minya ipitsi.
    Don't ask [him] about that. It might offend him.
    Yulatoju ahataintsain, nejo awojo nipitsi. Aminya potamana nu weke.
    The tiny little beads, that's what I like. Don't bring me the big ones.
    Aka! Aminya!
    Aagh! Don't [do that]! (Watch out!)
    Aminya pakulukata. Akama yajo wiu. Aitsa minya kutowa.
    Don't worry. It's really dead [lit., it really died]. It won't wake up..
    [Said of a piranha just caught and clubbed, lying at our feet in the canoe.]
    Aminya pakityekojata natu. Nunuka pitsu.
    Don't start talking with me. [I'm in no mood to chat with you.] I'm mad at you.
    Aminya pakulukata natu, atsi!
    Don't worry [about] me, grandma!
    Aminya pitsua ojonain han aputankan, umawi. Oukaka, aitsu ojo han waujiu whu.
    "Don't come here to our village," is what [our ancestors] were saying. Therefore, [today] we Wauja are here in this place.
    [Long ago, another Indian group had attempted to move into Wauja territory and settle there, but the Wauja had not allowed it. The Wauja say that's why they are still on their land today.]
    Aminya pagatapai pinyatukojo okupona. Aminya! Pamonapaatatai. Itsapai aitsu.
    Don't ever say the name of your father-in-law. Don't! You must show respect. That's our custom.
    Mapona ja opona?
    Aminya ya! Aupona pakai katawa!
    [Audience member questioning a storyteller:] So the Caiman Spirit had no dwelling place?
    [Storyteller:] No, not that! [Don't think that!] His dwelling was immense!
    [Another elder, supporting Storyteller's comment:] [He dwelled] in the river!
    Aminya yikiyantawi!
    Now don't you all get erections!
    [As the Storyteller recounts an erotic passage in a sacred story, another elder interjects a comic aside, provoking general laughter].
    Iye topoho onaku wi, au ha wi. Ojo nai hata pitsu wi, uma ipitsi, papisulu ipitsi, aminya papwitene natu, umawi. Hoona! Hejoka openuutsa atiu. Tapo! Ja itsa openua katiwhun, mujupa! Openuutsa heje, pako!
    [She] stepped into the [open] grave. It was done. "You have to just stay in here [for now]," [he] said to her, to his beloved. "Don't bury me," said. Well, now. He plunged [a long piece of] wood [into the bottom of the grave, with the top end extending] above her [head]. Thud! On the top of the stick — like this — [he placed] a woven palm mat! Above that, a ceramic griddle, [with a] thud!
  2. so that something doesn't, won't, wouldn't, or shouldn't happen (used to negate a clause describing a outcome that is unwanted)
    Maata patowo katami han, iyakuata patowo yiu, ja insitya kuapi ahapiyapwitain itsenu hyan, au ha wi. Aminya otowo putukeneu. Ojoka inaatsa hatiwi yiu, [coughing by Itsautaku's daughter], itsa katami, kooju mabo yiu, itsa jouhan.
    She arranged her hair just so, tying it with a slender string of cotton. That was done. So that her hair should not stick out [and give away her disguise]. [Then she covered her hair with] an oropendola feather headdress, [atop a] crown [adorned with] toucan feathers.
    Oonu elelewi onaya, ehejepei yiu, aminya uutakona.
    The mother went behind the seclusion screen, and there she wept [pretending to be in mourning]. She was hiding [the truth], so that people would not know [that her daughter had escaped].
    "Eyukapai, jehetsei, aakapai, jehetsei. Kuh ha yi! (laughs) Aintywakapai, pa pirukawi, aminya hokotene ipuku hun!
    When a woman urinates, she leaves [her] belt on; when she defecates, she leaves [it] on. Well… how should I know, anyway? (laughs) [But ] when she has sex, then she slips it off, so that [the slender cord between her legs] doesn't cut the tip [of the penis]!

Usage notes[edit]

  • Note that aminya and aitsa are both negators (often roughly equivalent to "don't"), and that they are never inflected. However, aminya always has an imperative or conditional aspect.
Aitsa punupapai. ("You don't see.")
Aminya punupapai! ("Don't you look!")
Kamani aitsa pinyankapai? ("Why don't you tell?")
Aminya pinyankapai! ("Don't you tell!")
Aitsa minya hoona puma. ("You won't give consent.")
Aminya hoona puma! ("Don't you consent!")
Aitsa pitsua ojonain han aputankan. ("You don't come here to our village.")
Aminya pitsua ojonain han aputankan. ("Don't you come here to our village.")
Aitsa iyapai. ("He isn't going.")
Aminya iyapai. ("He must not go.")
Aitsa otowo putukeneu. ("Her hair did not show.")
Aminya otowo putukeneu. ("Her hair must not show" or "so that her hair would not show.")
Aitsa uutakona. ("People do not know.")
Aminya uutakona. ("People must not know" or "so that people would not know.")


  • minya (will, could, should, would)

See also[edit]


  • "Aminya ya" (transcript p. 31), "Iyene painyakuwi" (p. 32), "Iye topoho" (p. 9), "Maata patowo" (p. 7), and "Oonu elelewi" (p. 18) uttered by Itsautaku, shaman and elder, recounting traditional Wauja tale, "The Man who Drowned in Honey" (Paistyawalu). "Eyukapai, jehetsei" (transcript p.85) uttered by Mayanu as he explained the story, upon listening to a recording of Itsautaku's performance. Itsautaku recorded in Piyulaga village in the presence of his adult daughter, adolescent son, and others, December 1989. In this story, a young women commits a grave sacrilege by disguising herself as a man and, under cover of darkness, playing the Sacred Flutes, which are forbidden even to the sight of women. Her cruel husband publicly exposes her transgression, and she is buried alive as punishment, only to be secretly rescued by her lover. Upon escaping, she causes her husband to be drowned in honey and transformed into a frog. This species of frog (Leptodactylus latrans), is described by the Wauja as particularly large and ugly. It can be heard croaking in the season when the piqui fruit falls from the trees. The Wauja explain that sounds and signs by birds and other animals can forewarn of future events.
  • "Aminya pitsua ojonain" uttered by Aruta, storyteller and elder, recounting Wauja history in the presence of his son and nephew. Recorded in Piyulaga village by E. Ireland, 4/25/96.
  • "Aminya pagatapai" written by Tukupe Waura, Facebook IM with E. Ireland, 10/09/2014.
  • "Mapona ja" (transcript, p. 15), and "Aminya yikiyantawi!" (p. 31) uttered by Aruta, storyteller and elder, and members of his audience, as he recounted the traditional tale, "The Caiman Spirit" (Yakaojokuma). Recorded in Piyulaga village in the presence of assembled elders and others, November 1989.
  • Other examples from E. Ireland field notes. Need to be checked by native speaker.