Fact corner

  • Language: Mískito
  • Alternate names: Marquito, Mískitu, Mísquito, Mosquito
  • SIL-code: Ethnologue:miq
  • Language family: Misumalpan
  • Number of speakers: 183,400
  • Script: -


Miskíto is spoken by the Miskito people in northeastern Nicaragua, especially in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region, and in eastern Honduras.

In addition to many elements borrowed from other Misumalpan languages, Miskíto has a large number of loanwords from English via Creole. Even though Spanish is the official language of Nicaragua and Honduras, its influence on Miskito is much more recent and hence more superficial.

The verb

  • Present absolute expresses that an action is happening or about to happen at the time of speaking.
  • Present indefinite is a general present, indistinctly progressive or habitual.
  • Past absolute is a perfect.
  • As the nucleus of a main clause Past indefinite is a simple aorist past. Connected to a following verb in a past or present tense within a switch reference chain, it functions as the different-subject participle.
  • Future absolute expresses that an event is imminent.
  • Future indefinite is a general future. It is also used as an irrealis in subordinate clauses.

Sample verb: pulaia

Present absolute

sg.1  yang puluna 
sg.2  man puluma 
sg.3  witin puluya 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani puluna 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan puluni 
pl.2  man nani puluma 
pl.3  witin nani puluya 

Present indefinite

sg.1  yang pulisna 
sg.2  man pulisma 
sg.3  witin pulisa 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulisna 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulisni 
pl.2  man nani pulisma 
pl.3  witin nani pulisa 

Past absolute

sg.1  yang pulatna 
sg.2  man pulatma 
sg.3  witin pulata 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulatna 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulatni 
pl.2  man nani pulatma 
pl.3  witin nani pulata 

Past indefinite

sg.1  yang pulri 
sg.2  man pulram 
sg.3  witin pulan 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulri 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulri 
pl.2  man nani pulram 
pl.3  witin nani pulan 

Future absolute

sg.1  yang pulaisna 
sg.2  man pulaisma 
sg.3  witin pulaisa 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulaisna 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulaisni 
pl.2  man nani pulaisma 
pl.3  witin nani pulaisa 

Future indefinite

sg.1  yang pulamna 
sg.2  man pulma 
sg.3  witin pulbia 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulamna 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulamni 
pl.2  man nani pulma 
pl.3  witin nani pulbia 

Conexive imperative

sg.1  yang pulrika 
sg.2  man pulrika 
sg.3  witin pulka 
pl.1 (exclusive)  yang nani pulpi 
pl.1 (inclusive)  yawan pulpi 
pl.2  man nani puls 

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