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Tïjonïk 38 Kulkunataja le yawab’ (The sick one was healed here)
Incorporated Movement in Passive and Antipassive Constructions


In this Unit, we will take a look at incorporated movement in Passive and Antipassive constructions.


Ojer tzij

Ojer tzij: are taq kine’kanaja kan Sampra’s, aq’ab’il kinulk’ama rumal ri nutat arech kojb’ek; kaqeqaj b’i ri ka’ arech ke’qak’ayij kanoq: k’o ri kub’ana’ xa pa oxib’ q’ij k’ayital chi ri ka’ qumal chuq k’o ri kub’ana’ naj kaqab’an chuk’ayixik. Le nutat sib’alaj eta’matal chi uwach kumal le aj sampra’s xa rumal cher ojer tzij ya’tal b’e che ri are’ kak’ayin chi la’ rumal le q’atb’al tzij, le e winaq chi la’ sib’alaj e utz, na tojtal ta le warab’al chuq na tz’apital ta kan le uchi taq ja chkiwach le aj kayib’ le maj kiwarab’al, xa rumal cher ri’ ri ojer tzij maj jun kelaq’ chwach taq ri ja.

Show/Hide English translation

Back then

Back then when I would go to stay in San Francisco, my father came to get me early so we would go. We would carry the grinding stones and we would go sell them. Sometimes we were done selling them in three days. Sometimes it took a long time to sell them.  My father was well known by the people of San Francisco because since a long time the municipality gave him permission to sell there, and the people there are very good. The rooms were not paid (no charge) and the doors were not locked to vendors that did not have a place to sleep, because back then now one broke into the houses.


Incorporated movement in passive and antipassive constructions

The “incorporated movement” always refers to the Agent of a phrase, never to the Patient. Agent and patient here refer to semantic roles, not grammatical ones.  Agents are entities that DO THINGS, patients are entities to which THINGS ARE DONE.

In K’iche the movement will always refer to an AGENT, even when the Agent is not expressed overtly in the verb, like in passive construction. In passive, we conventionally call the marked person in the verb the “subject”, semantically however, this “subject” is a PATIENT, because THINGS ARE DONE to it.

The bench was taken by the woman
Grammatical subject passive verb  oblique object
Semantical  PATIENT passive verb  AGENT


In a passive constructions in K’iche; an “incorporated movement” may be expressed, but it will refer to the AGENT not to the subject.

In Antipassive constructions, the grammatical subject refers to the AGENT; in those cases, the incorporated movement refers to the subject.


Xulk’ama le tem.


Xu’lach’aya le taq tz’i’.

Xu’lelaq’ax k’u le e yo’xab’ chuwach ri kinan.

Xu’lch’aya le taq tz’i’ rumal le elaq’om.

Kulkunataja le yawab’.

Xojulloq’omana waral.

Kinekamisaxa rumal le elaq’om.

Xe’k’ama ri tem.


Kine’t’uyula pa le tem.

Are le ixoq ke’ilowoq.


Kine’kanaja kan pa Xela

K’AK’A TAQ TZIJVocabulary
k’a metate, grinding stone
q’atb’al tzij government
warab’al bedroom, room
ojer tzij “back then”, “in the past”, “back in the day”
elaq’aj (vtr) to steal
tzapij (vtr) to close
toj(o) (vtr) to pay

For all of the following phrases, use passives or antipassives with incorporated movement:

  1. Someone came to pick up my book
  2. Don Pedro came and cured me.
  3. Mary came and invited me
  4. They went to take me to Guatemala
  5. I am the one who is going to do the shopping.
  6. Diego came and picked me up.
  7. She is going to invite our friends to the party
  8. We came to make the food.
  9. You all go and look for the cat
  10. Someone came and took me to dinner
  11. I am going to Guatemala City to be cured
  12. Someone came and treated my daughter.