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Tïjonïk 12 La katwarik? (Are you sleeping?)


In this unit you will learn about negative clauses and will soon be able to negate sentences in K’iche’. By the time you finish, if your ajtij saw you dozing off and asked you La katwarik? “Are you sleeping?” you would be able to answer Ja’i, na kinwar taj! “I am not sleeping!”


Listen to the following conversation:

TE’K: At a Wel. La utz awach?
WEL:  Na utz taj, a Te’k.
TE’K:  Jas che?
WEL:  Xa rumal na xinwar ta chaq’ab’.
TE’K:  Wene xa xatb’e pa q’ab’arik? Xa cha’ la’ na xatwar taj.
WEL:  Na xa ta xinb’e pa q’ab’arik.
TE’K:  Wene xa xatb’e pa chak?
WEL:  Na xa ta xinb’e pa chak.
TE’K:  Wene xa xatb’e pa etz’anem?
WEL:  Na xa ta xinb’e pa etz’anem.
TE’K:  Mmm ri’ na xatwar taj, ma xo’pan le a’wachi’il che asolixik pa le awo’ch.
WEL:  Na xinwar taj, amak at: ma xatopan  kuk’ le ewachi’il pa wo’ch. Na xaya ta b’e chwech xinwarik.

Negation of verbs

Verb negation

Negative clauses in K’iche’ require two negation particles: na preceding the predicate head -which can be a verb, adjective, noun or pronoun- and ta(j) following it. Na is often deleted in colloquial speech. There are two variants of the second particle: taj in phrase-final position and ta elsewhere.

To answer “no” in K’iche’, the whole verb phrase is repeated and negated.

La kixwarik?
La k-ix-warik?
INT INC-2pl-sleep-pfm
Are you all sleeping?

Na kujwar taj.
Na     k-uj-war         taj
Neg1 INC-1pl-sleep Neg2
We aren’t sleeping.

Na kujwar ta waral.
Na     k-uj-war         ta       waral
Neg1 INC-we-sleep Neg2 here
We don’t sleep here.

Na kawar ta la.
Na ka-0-war ta la
Neg1 INC-a-sleep Neg2 2sF
You aren’t sleeping. (Second Sing. Formal)

Here are a couple more – non-sleeping- examples:

La katb’in pa le uxlanb’al?
La k-at-b’in pa le uxlanb’al?
INT INC-2sing-walk LOC ART park
Are you walking to the park?

Na kimb’in taj.
Na k-im-b’in taj
Neg1 INC-1sing-walk Neg2
I am not walking.

La kixpe pa tijob’al?
La k-ix-pe pa tijob’al?
INT INC-2pl-come LOC school
Are y’all coming to school?

Na kojpe taj.
Na k-oj-pe taj
Neg1 INC-1pl-come Neg2
We are not coming.


K’AK’A TAQ TZIJVocabulary

These are some more common intransitive verb roots:

b’in(ik) to walk, to travel
b’e(k) to go
pe(t) to come
kape le jab’ it starts to rain
kos(ik) to be/become tired
qaj(ik) to descend, to go down
kinqaj chuwach le juyub’. I descend the mountain.
wa'(ik) to eat
ch’aw(ik) to talk
ka’y(ik) to see, to look
chakun(ik) to work
kam(ik) to die
war(ik) to sleep
bixan(ik) to sing
ko’t(ik) to be happy
bison(ik) to be unhappy, sad
t’uyi'(k) to sit
tak’i(k) to stand