In this unit you will learn how to ask questions. Next we will start looking at negative sentences, which are a bit complex in K’iche’.
Le al We’l kusolij le a Xwan pa le ro’ch jela’ Nawalja’.
Manuela visits Juan at his house in Nahualá.
We’l: Saqarik a Xwan!
Xwan: Saqarik al We’l!
We’l: Chakuyu’ numak. La k’o le anan? K’o jun nutaqkil ruk’.
Xwan: K’olik. Kapetik ri’.
Xwan: La k’o k’u le axb’al kamik?
We’l: Maj, na petnaq ta.
We’l: Good morning, Juan!
Xwan: Good morning, Manuela!
We’l: Sorry to bother you. Is your mom home? I have an errand with her.
Xwan: She is. Here she comes.
Xwan: And your brother, is he home today?
We’l: He’s not. he hasn’t come home yet.
Yes/no questions in K’iche’
In K’iche’ yes/no questions simply require placing the particle La at the beginning as well as adding a raising intonation at the end. Listen carefully to the examples below.
-La k’o le atat?
|-Is your dad (home)?
-Yes, he is.
The particle je’ is utilized as yes. As we have seen, the particle k’o becomes k’olik when it is in the phrase final position.
-La xukul le a Xwan?
– Je’, xukulik.
|-Is Xwan kneeling?
-Yes, he is kneeling.
You can also answer by stating the phrase again:
– Je’, xukul le a Xwan.
|-Yes, Xwan is kneeling.|
Please listen to the following examples. Practice answering the questions.
– La oj oj nab’e?
– Je’, oj oj nab’e.
|-Are we first?
-Yes, we are first
– La k’o awe?
– Je’, k’o we.
|-Do you have a girlfriend/boyfriend?
-I do.-Yes, I have a girlfriend/boyfriend.
– La nim le atinamit?
– Je’ nim.
– Je’, nim le nutimamit.
| -Is your town big?
-Yes, (it) is.-Yes, my town is big.
– La at k’o ruk’ le atz’i’?
– In k’olik.
– Je’, in k’o ruk’ le nutz’i’.
|-Are you with your dog?
-I am.-Yes, I am with my dog.
– La rax le juyub’?
– Je’, rax.
– Je’, rax le juyub’.
| -Is the mountain green?
-Yes, green.-Yes, the mountain is green.
– La k’o le ajastaq?
– Je’, k’olik.
– Je’, k’o le nujastaq.
|-Do you have your things?
-Yes, I do.-Yes, I have my things.
– La awachalal le al We’l?
– Je, wachalal.
– Je’, wachalal le al We’l.
|-Is Manuela your relative?
-Yes, (she is)my relative.-Yes, Manuela is my relative.
– La ix k’o pa le tijob’al?
– Je’ oj k’olik.
– Je’, oj k’o pa le tijob’al.
| -Are ya’ll at the school?
-Yes, we are.-Yes, we are at the school.
Negation in non-verbal sentences
In Nahuala K’iche’, the negative answer to yes/no questions is maj. The Spanish loanword no’ with a glottal stop is often heard as well. An answer with maj alone may be interpreted as somewhat curt but sometimes it is enough. Negation in K’iche’ is periphrastic: It requires two negation markers as French, for example. The first is the optional particle na preceding the predicate; the second is obligatory ta or taj in sentence final position. Negative existential sentences in Nahuala start with maj and do not carry the existential k’o/k’olik. Let’s look at some examples:
Negation big Negation its-leg this pine tree
This pine tree is not tall.
(Remember the construction nim raqan means tall)
NEG green NEG its-face the mountain
The mountain is not green.
NEG his/her-money art. drunk (person)
The drunk (person) has no money.
NEG good NEG art. her-sewing art. marker Mariy
Mariy’s sewing is not good.
NEG yellow NEG its-face art. our-banana
Our banana is not yellow.
NEG rain right now
There is no rain right now.
NEG sun rays yesterday
There were no sunrays yesterday. (It wasn’t sunny yesterday).
|chaq’||younger sibling of the same sex|
From the following word pairs, form questions indicating possession and answer them in the affirmative and as in the negative.
Example : at/ixoqil : La k’o awixoqil ? –Je’, k’olik. /Maj.
- Al Nela/chak/pa tijob’al
- At/ xajab’
- Nan Xe’p/po’t
- A Si’s, al Xe’p/xajab’
- Ajtij/ Chakub’al/
Now, practice asking and answering the following questions in k’iche:
- Are you in the United States?
- Do you (ya’ll) have a dog?
- Xwan, is your younger brother home?
- Is your dad a lumberjack?
- Are you drunk?
- Is the mayor in his office?
- Are we smart in class?
- Is the k’iche’ class difficult?
- What’s your name (addressing an elder)?
- Is Mariy’s huipil green?