In this lesson, we will learn about plural forms to reference to multiple objects or people. There are several ways to pluralize words and sentences.
On Thursdays and Sundays, the center of Nahualá is dominated by the market. Listen to Juan Manuel’s description of what you can find in Nahualá during market days:
Pa wa’ we jun wachb’al ri’ kojkowinik kaqilo le k’ayb’al chi’ pa Nawalja’. E k’i le ajk’ayib’: E k’o le ajk’ay taq pix, e k’o le ajk’ay taq ichaj, e k’o le ajk’ay taq kaqa q’oq’, e k’o le ajk’ay taq atz’yaq, e k’o le ajk’ay taq xajab’. Kaqilo chuqe’ cher e k’o ixoqib’, e k’o achijab’, e k’o ak’alab’, e k’o k’ajolab’ cher are la’ e loq’omanelab’. Pa le k’ay’b’al e k’i le ajchakib’ ma k’i taq uwach le k’ayij. Aretaq katani’ le k’ayb’al, le ajchakib’ kakik’ol le kik’ay pa taq le nimaq taq ja wokotal chunaqaj le uk’u’x tinamit. K’a te k’u ri’, le e tz’i’ kakimajij wa’katem pa le k’ayb’al che utzukuxik kiwa pa taq le k’olb’al mes. K’a te keb’ek aretaq kajosq’itaj le k’ayb’al.
In this photograph we see the Nahualá market. There are many salespeople: There are tomato vendors; there are watermelon vendors; there are clothes vendors; there are shoe sellers. We can also see that among salespeople there are women, men, children and young people. At the market there are many workers because there are many kinds of goods being sold. When the market closes down, workers put away their merchandise in big houses built near the center of town. Afterwards, dogs start walking around the market, looking for food in the trash. They don’t leave until the whole market is clean.
Plural nouns are marked with the suffix –Vb’, where V = Vowel. If the last vowel of the noun is –i or –e, the plural suffix is –ab’:
Note that a’re “they” is the plural of are “he/she”. When appearing as predicates of third person subjects, plural nouns require an agreement proclitic e as in e tijoxelab’ “students” in Ex. 2.
If the last vowel of the noun is –a, -o, -u, the plural suffix is –ib’:
The third person plural agreement proclitic beginning in a vowel is a glottal stop inserted after the first vowel as in a’jchakib’ as in Ex. 4.
There are some exceptions to the vowel rule above. In almost of all of them, however, the meanings of the plural form are somewhat different from the singular:
Adjectives do not have plural forms except the following (the plural suffix is -aq)
When the adjective is acting as sentence predicate, number agreement is required: A glottal stop is inserted after the a in –aq.
PLURAL PROCLITIC ‘TAQ’
Plural nouns are marked with the proclitic taq.
b) In existential and stative sentences: When the predicate is a plural noun phrase taq replaces the article. The reader should be aware that in K’iche’ predicates precede subjects unlike Spanish or English, for example, where sentential subjects generally precede predicates.
In Ex. 22 the predicate saq “white” precedes the subject taq le ja “The houses”.
When referencing animate nouns the agreement marker e before the predicate is preferred as in Ex. 25.
In Ex. 26 the proclitic e is the sole plural marker as the proclitic taq does not appear preceding the subject le tz’i’ “the dogs”.
In Ex. 27 the glotal stop agreement proclitic following the first vowel on the predicate utz is the sole plural marker as well.
In Ex. 28 both the predicate nima’q and the subject altomab’ bear plural markers.
The agreement proclitic e precedes wal “my kids”. Note the plural marking on the pronoun a’re “they”.
Note the agreement proclitics (e and glottal stop) on both plural nouns in the predicate etijoxelab’ and in the subject le a’chijab’.
In contrast to Ex. 31, the subject achijab’ does not show an agreement proclitic in Ex. 32.
In existential sentences the agreement proclitic e optionally precedes the existential k’o as in Ex. 34. The cardinal number kajib’ “four” marks the subject as plural. Possessed nouns such as as uk’ajol “his children” are not pluralized.
Finally, there is an additional plural proclitic with a diminutive, affective connotation: staq, as in Ex. 36 below. Do not confuse with taq, which is a distributive/diminutive as well (Ex. 37).
|q’an (inkine’y, prut)||banana|
Transform the following sentences into plural. Then translate them into English:
- K’o jun ajk’ay prut pa le k’ayb’al.
- K’o jun tz’i’ pa le b’e.
- La k’o le awuj? Je’, k’o nuwuj.
- Ajk’ay pix le wachi’il.
- K’o jun achi pa le k’ayb’al.