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Seri Auto Part Names
(ISO code sei)

The Seri language has shown its flexibility and creativity by the way in which it has expanded (naturally, without the help of committees and organizations!) to handle items which are new to the culture. Some of these make use of metaphor (the auto as compared to a body). Others make use of the morphological operations of the language (making nouns from verbs). All of the following expressions are now completely conventionalized within the Seri language community.

motor ziix iitax thing with which it goes
battery ziix iitax iyas motor’s liver
belt ziix iitax itj iixquim motor’s belt (what the motor puts around its waist)
headlights itoj its eyes
brakes iteen ihizlca its reins (its mouth bands)
hose yahjij its trachea
fan iqueelexolca its paddles
radiator hax an iisi where it drinks water
muffler ihiisaxim quih an hant yaait what its breathing falls into
windshield enm an iquiijim ziix cöimahnaxz glass (metal in which one has sight) that has not been painted (i.e., isn't a mirror)
spark plugs xiica cooxp white things
tire hant imaasij what it rolls on the ground with
rim hant imaasij an ihiij what the tire sits in

--Stephen A. Marlett

The material on this page was adapted from the exhibit on the languages of Mexico developed by the International Museum of Cultures in Dallas, Texas. The drawing is by Cathy Marlett.