This unit is a continuation of unit 28. We will deal with several more constructions that have to do with adjectives.
Adjectives as nouns
K’iche’ adjectives may act as nouns. When referencing humans, they take the regular plural suffix (-Vb’):
Abstract nouns from adjectives
When adjectival roots add the suffix –Vl, they reference the quality expressed by the adjective or a relationship of inherent possession (the vowel of the suffix is not predictable and has to be learned).
There are two ways of intensifying modifiers: Adverbial sib’alaj, or suffixal -alaj:
Sib’alaj is an adverb, modifying the predicate or verb of a phrase:
The suffix –alaj intensifies adjectives and appears in attributive position only. There is no attributive –a linking attribute and noun
Adjectival quality gradations
Adjectives in K’iche’ can be graded according to degree of its property. The suffix -C1-oj indicates a somewhat lesser degree of the quality expressed in the adjective.
*Utz and k’ok’ do not take this derivation.
Comparative phrases require the pronoun are in phrase-initial position at the beginning and the relational noun ch(i)–E-wach. Examples below use the third person sg. (ch-u-wach) because objects or people other than speaker and addressee are being compared.
Are nim le atz’i’ chuwach le nutz’i’.
Your dog the big in comparision with my dog
Your dog is bigger than mine.
Are sib’alaj kaq le apo’t chuwach le nupo’t
Your huipil is red in comparision with my huipil
Your huipil is redder/has more red in it than mine
Sib’alaj aninaq kach’aw le are’ chinuwach in
He speaks very fast in comparision withme
He speaks a lot faster than I.
For negation: “he is not Xer than….” the adjective or verb is negated with the usual na-…ta(j)” negation frame.
To express the outstanding quality of an object, comparative phrases or the adverb sib’alaj with raised pitch and elongated pronunciation are used.
An intransitive verb is derived from adjectives/nouns meaning to turn/become X or to acquire the quality of X . This derived verb is called a versive. The suffix –Vrik adds also to the adjectival stem, the exact form of the vowel of the suffix has to be memorized. The suffix –ik is a phrase final marker, which is dropped when the verb is not in phrase-final-position. Be aware that not every noun/adjective has a versive derivation. Versives derived from positional stems take the suffix –Vb’ik.
Versive from adjectival roots (-a/ir(ik))
Versives from positional roots (-ob’ik)
“Joron” is an irregular versive:
|Alaj||little (young, used for animals, children)|
|Ch’aqal(ik)||wet (this is a positional adjective that loses suffixal -ik when not in phrase final position)|
|Joron||cold (food, drink, water; not climate)|
|Rikil||food (in the sense of dish or particular kind of food)|
|Sak’aj||industrious, ambitious, smart|
|Sak’aj E-jolom||to be smart, intelligent|
Translate the following sentences into English:
- Tz’iltz’oj le upowi’ le numam.
- Nim le ukami’x le ak’al.
- Kab’in le q’eqa kej pa le b’e.
- K’a’n le uch’utinan le walib’.
- Sib’alaj je’l le k’aslemal we kaloq’oj awib’.
- Ketyo’n le nimaq taq tz’i’.
- Ch’uti’n le kutin chwe.
- Xukoj le nuk’ak’a po’t le al Talin.
- Sib’alaj k’ok’ le uwa’l ik.
- Ch’am le q’or.
Translate the following sentences into K’iche’:
- The good teacher died.
- The poor (ones) have no food.
- The book is thick.
- The little chicks are in the milpa.
- Wel ate a delicious peach.
- Tomás has a black cat.
- Marías clothes are dry.
- Diego’s car is very small.