Manuel J. Andrade
No. 41



The present volume was substantially completed by Manuel J. Andrade before his untimely death in l94l. During the war years S.L. Bradshaw pulled the materials together and completed the typing of the manuscript before illness forced him, too, to return the material to the Mayan Linguistic Research Project.
It was hoped that it would be possible to prepare a complete index of the contents of the volume before publication. This, too, was frustrated, because of the press of other duties on the undersigned who inherited the responsibility.
At long last, the manuscript is being made available to the general public essentially in the form in which it was received from Bradshaw. We have left a few marginal notes pencilled in during our first reading of the manuscript on the chance that they may be useful. We still hope to be able to prepare the index and to publish the materials in book-form at a future date. We hope that this interim availability in microfilm will serve its purpose.

Norman A. McQuown


Manuel J. Andrade


Part 1: Phonology
Part 2: Brief Grammatical Description
Part 3: Morphology
Part 4: Usage


The program of investigation which the Division of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution has been carrying out in Mexico and Central America includes a study of the Maya family of languages. It is expected that a comparative study of these languages will provide information utilizable in the main enterprise of which the linguistic project forms a part. An indispensable prerequisite in an inquiry of this sort is obviously that there should be adequate knowledge of each of the languages dealt with. The acquisition of such knowledge is for the present the chief concern in this project.
The descriptive information available on the languages of the Maya family is for the most part inadequate to the demands of a historical study. On some of the languages there is hardly any information of the kind required, and that which is available for the rest is insufficient in one respect or another. Due to the circumstances which preceded the formulation of a plan of research, the work of this linguistic project began where there was the least need of collecting descriptive data; namely, in Yucatan. But even there, despite the abundant literature available, there was a lack of unequivocal information on the sounds of Yucatec, and a need of describing the language as a whole in a manner that would facilitate comparison with adequate descriptions of the other members of the family. In this publication an attempt is made to meet these requirements insofar as the Yucatec spoken at present is concerned. The Yucatec known to us through the literature of previous centuries will be the subject of a future study.
The work of collecting data on Modern Yucatec was financed in 1930 by the University of Chicago, and in two subsequent years, 1931 and 1933, jointly by the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the University of Chicago. Thanks are due to the persons through whom the aid of these institutions was obtained, particularly to Professor Fay-Cooper Cole, head of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Chicago, and Dr. Alfred V. Kidder, chairman of the Division of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Much time and expert advice were generously given by Messrs. Salomon N. Treviño and Ivar Kalberg, both of the University of Chicago, while designing and constructing the sound-recording equipment used in this research. The names of other persons to whom credit is due wil1 be mentioned later in connection with that which they contributed. For numerous personal favors the writer is indebted besides to many residents of Yucatan and 33 to whom his gratitude has already been expressed orally.

Manuel J. Andrade
University of Chicago
October, 1940


1.    The name Yucatec

The language dealt with in these pages is commonly called Maya, and equally common is the use of this name to denote the whole family of which this language is a member. Further ambiguity is involved in the use of the phrase 'a Maya dialect', since by this expression sundry writers have referred to any member of the family, or to any but the Huastec dialects, or exclusively to any of the four dialects which, according to them, constitute the Maya division of the Tzeltal-Maya sub-group. Ordinarily, the scope of the ambiguity is not so wide, but still to assert that this or that is true of Maya is equivocal whenever the context does not suffice to preclude ambiguity.
Maps and various influential agencies have established quite firmly the habit of terming 'Maya' the whole linguistic family. An attempt to restore the old use of the word to designate exclusively the aboriginal language of Yucatan is likely to be futile. It has seemed advisable, therefore, to call this language Yucatec. In so doing we conform to an old precedent, as shown in Note 1, but the fact that this appellation precludes ambiguity may sufficiently justify its adoption.

2.    Old Yucatec and Modern Yucatec

Chiefly to facilitate reference, two periods of the history of Yucatec will be distinguished by the designations Old Yucatec and Modern Yucatec. By the former we shall refer to the language known through the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (Note 2). Beltrán's grammar, written during the first half of the eighteenth century, may conveniently be said to describe the language in the beginning of the transition to Modern Yucatec. The period of Modern Yucatec may be assumed to begin during the first half of the nineteenth century or thereabout. In the dictionary compiled by Pio Perez about this time, one finds usages of the sort which constitutes the main grammatical differences between Old Yucatec and the language spoken at present. It is true that some of the phrases chosen by Pio Perez to illustrate various special uses are now obsolete or obsolescent, but the majority are not.
Modern Yucatec differs from Old Yucatec at least with respect to vocabulary, morphology, and syntax. The syntactic and morphologic differences cannot be specified properly in these introductory remarks. Concerning vocabulary, one observes that approximately one-fifth of the words listed in the Motul dictionary are now obsolete. With respect to the uses of those which constitute the main body of the present vocabulary, one notices that as a rule they retain most of the senses in which they were formerly employed. The main lexical innovations consist in the adoption and adaptation of Spanish words.
As one would expect, there is more admixture of Spanish in and near the larger towns than in the more isolated districts, although there are some exceptions to this rule. But the extent of this admixture has been much exaggerated by those who deplore its occurrence. In a few samplings of discourse amounting roughly to 8,500 running words, the total number of different Spanish words, excluding proper names, was found to be 9. The samplings were chosen at random from phonographic records of extemporaneous discourse. In some localities much of the Spanish admixture seems to have taken place within one or two generations. By way of experiment, we would occasionally point out to an informant the fact that he had used a Spanish word. The reaction varied roughly with the age of the individual and the locality. In Chemax, state of Yucatan, two of the oldest men would in most instances replace the Spanish word by a native term, and it would be done as readily as when one corrects a mere slip of the tongue. On the other hand, some of the expressions that were so readily recalled in this locality, and which conformed to Old Yucatec usage, were nearly as strange as alien words to our informants in other localities, regardless of the age of the individuals.
Concerning phonetic differences between the old and the modern language, it may be obvious that all that can be done is to infer with various degrees of uncertainty what is more likely than unlikely the case. It is commonly assumed, at least by implication, that Yucatec pronunciation has not changed much during a period of more than three centuries. Making allowance for differences of opinion as to what is much or little in this respect, we venture to say that there are more reasons for entertaining this assumption than for holding the contrary. This question is discussed at length in Note 3.

3.   Population and geographic delimitation

Yucatec is spoken at present throughout the peninsula of Yucatan; in some villages of the districts of Corozal and El Cayo, British Honduras; and, according to some reports, in some localities in El Peten, Guatemala. From the census of Mexico of 1930 we extract the following data on the number of individuals 5 years of age and older who speak only Yucatec, or Yucatec and Spanish, in the three political divisions of the peninsula of Yucatan:

Yucatec only Yucatec and Spanish Totals
Yucatan 113,121 129,100 242,221
Campeche 16,213 15,091 31,304
Quintana Roo 1,362 1,325 3,687

131,196 146,016 277,212

It is officially stated that no census was taken in some of the localities in the interior of Quintana Roo, where, according to all accounts, there are villages in which no one understands Spanish. In 1921 the Yucatec-speaking population of British Honduras was "about 6,000", according to the Handbook of British Honduras, London, 1925. With regard to Guatemala, we find that the census of 1931 classes a portion of the population as "Indians", but it does not indicate what languages they speak. The "Indian" population of the whole province (departamento) of El Peten is there said to be 2,471. This may include peoples who native tongues are Mopan, Lacandon, and Yucatec. For the reasons stated in Note 4, we leave out of consideration the so-called Peten or Itza dialect which Dr. Berendt is supposed to have discovered in that region. Since El Peten and the portion of Quintana Roo not covered by the census are sparsely populated, it seems that roughly 283,000 individuals speak Modern Yucatec.

4.    Speech differences

As one would expect, there are local and regional differences of speech within the area roughly delimited above. It would be idle, of course, to say that the differences are negligible, or that they are noteworthy, without attempting to specify the criterion with respect to which one chooses to evaluate them. If we choose to evaluate them with respect to mutual intelligibility, it seems justifiable to hold that the local and regional differences in the use of Modern Yucatec are of negligible consequence. The natives of any two distant localities can understand one another adequately to their needs in nearly all instances. There are occasional difficulties in understanding a word or a phrase of some local vernacular, but the interlocutors can generally dispose of such momentary obstacles by resorting to paraphrase or explanation.
It need scarcely be said that what is negligible with respect to the above criterion can be worthy of note with respect to the task of describing a given language or dialect. Consider, for example, what would be the case in dealing with American English. An American from Alabama may understand another from Ohio satisfactorily, although one may pronounce a special kind of /r/ where the other pronounces none. To say the least, it would hardly conform to professional standards to make no mention of this and many other differences in a description of American English as it is actually spoken throughout the United States. Similar conditions prevail in the Yucatec speech-area.
Many of the speech differences we must take into account in describing Modern Yucatec are apparently due to the circumstance that various linguistic devices and usages which became obsolete in some communities are still prevalent in others, or are preserved only in the speech of their oldest members. But we do not know whether all the differences observed are of that sort. When the differences are lexical, the Motul dictionary provides in nearly all instances the information required to decide which of two or more given variants conforms to Old Yucatec usage. But when differences of some other sort are involved the matter is not so simple. The grammars of the Old Yucatec period, San Buenaventura's and Coronel's, are too concise and otherwise inadequate. Additional grammatical information can be deduced from the legal documents, and other texts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as well as from the numerous sentences which illustrate lexical uses, particularly in the Motul dictionary. But the work required to deduce such information in a reliable manner remains to be done. The texts themselves cannot be assumed to be equally reliable. On general principles one must obviously discriminate between translations of the Catholic Catechism and texts which are not translations. The former may be reliable, but their reliability will have to be tested. Moreover, translations are not the only texts which require critical examination. We all know that some of the Chilan Balam manuscripts are probably copies made by individuals who can justifiable be suspected of not knowing Yucatec. Thus, a careful scrutiny of most of the material available must be made before undertaking to deduce grammatical information from it.
Assuming that in the fututre we shall possess more extensive and reliable knowledge of Old Yucatec usage, it does not follow that we may be able then to decide in every case which of two given usages observed at present is a later development. Suppose neither of two given variants is found in the old literature. We cannot conclude that what is not found there did not occur, and it is possible, besides, that both variants be later developments. Also, in the Motul dictionary one finds references to the "speech of the coast", and to "the speech of Campeche", which indicate unequivocally what one would suspect on general principles, namely, that there were regional differences within the Old Yucatec speech-area. Some of the present variants may well be remnants of those differences, or later developments from them.
The procedures employed here in dealing with variants are expected to yield results which are non-committal with regard to the preservation of old usages or the development of new ones. We have tried, however, to treat variants in as orderly a manner as our information permits. We regard as insufficiently informative a description which states simply that such and such variants occur in a given speech-area, without indicating which of them concur in the speech of a single individual, and which concur in the speech of one or more specifiable localities or regions. The division into speech-types employed in our description rests on observations of such occurrences.
Throughout the description presented in these pages, variants are distinguished by the terms A-variant, B-variant, and X-variant. As explained less loosely in Note 5, A-variants concur and are common in speech of Type A; B-variants are likewise ascribable to speech of Type B, while X-variants are those which, so far as our information goes, do not distinguish either of those two speech-types from the other. Conforming to the procedures outlined in Note 5, this description of Modern Yucatec is based on Type A. It deals explicitly with Type B, and with X-variants only when their deviations from Type A are discussed. As may be gathered from what is said in Note 5, the labels 'A' and 'B' do not imply any puristic evaluation. The fact that the speech we labeled 'Type A' seems to conform to older Yucatec usage in more instances than that labeled 'Type B' is purely accidental so far as our procedures are concerned; for, as stated in Note 5, the choice of the speech-type which can serve conveniently as the basis of the description is determined solely by the exigencies of the task.
The following statements on the distribution of the two speech-types are based both on the texts recorded and on information procured in the manner specified in Note 6. Guided by the data available on the distribution of the Yucatec-speaking population and by our information on the speech-types, we conjecture that the individuals whose speech is prevalently of Type A constitute perhaps no more than one-fourth of the Yucatec-speaking population. The Yucatec of the Corozal district of British Honduras, that of our Quintana Roo informants, and that of Lunkini, state of Campeche, is prevalently of Type A. In the state of Campeche, Type A seems to be common also in Bolonchen and other villages of that district, but our information on that portion of the peninsula is of unknown reliability. In the state of Yucatan, Type B is decidedly prevalent. In some districts, however, according to various reports the speech of the older folk is Type A, or has some of the characteristics of this speech-type, while the speech-type of the young generation is prevalently Type B. So far as our own observations go, that is the case in the villages of Chemax and Chaczinkin. The same condition was observed in Calkini, state of Campeche, although this town is only a few kilometers from the village of Lunkini where Type A prevails. According to some of the oldest natives of Calkini, the differences between their speech and that of the people of Lunkini were greater fifty or sixty years ago. Some of the characteristics of Tye A, particularly the suffix -il which is equivalent to the B-variant -i, occur under special circumstances in the speech of individuals whose discourse is ordinarily of Type B. When translating Spanish words or expressions, or when demonstrating how a given Yucatec expression is pronounced, some of our informants would use some A-variants which did not occur in the texts they dictated. It should be noted, however, that this does not hold for all the A-variants.

5.    Samplings

The samplings of connected discourse on which our description of Modern Yucatec is based consist of folk-tales, autobiography, narratives more or less of a historical sort, descriptions of ceremonies, of agricultural and hunting techniques, and of several other pursuits. Some of these pieces of narrative and description, as well as a few dialogues, were recorded on 112 double-faced ten-inch aluminum discs, and the rest were taken down at dictation. To each narrative, description, or dialogue, recorded in either of these two ways, we shall refer as a text. The total number of texts is 214, and the length of each varies, approximately, from 200 to 12,000 words. There are 13 texts of 5,000 words or more, and 98 containing from 1,000 to 4,000 words. Three-fourths of the folk-tales spoken before the microphone are at least twice as long as the longest tales recorded at dictation. Also, the longest and most complex sentences occur in the texts recorded phonographically.
The texts are samplings of the speech of 32 informants whose ages vary from 20 to 93. All but 2 of the informants were male. Two of the texts were dictated by individuals whose command of Spanish was about equal to that of their native tongue. All but 6 of the 32 informants were illiterate, and 14 spoke only Yucatec.
The localities where these texts were recorded are as follows: Merida, Chichen Itza, Chankom, Chemax, Valladolid, and Peto, State of Yucatan; Calkini and Lunkini in the State of Campeche; Pachacaan, Xaybe, and Paraiso, in the Corozal district of British Honduras. Some natives of other localities were brought to the above places, or happened to come there on a visit, or some errand, or had resided there no longer than five years. These were from Piste, Xocenpich, Sotuta, Chacsinkin, and Xbox, State of Yucatan; and from Chunpon, Bacalar, and Icayche, Quintana Roo. The above total does not include some informants who were utilized for phonetic observations and tests of other sorts. These informants were from the states of Yucatan and Campeche.



1.1.    Consonants

Bilabial Labiodental Alveolar Palato-alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p p' b
t t' d

k k' g ʔ
Nasal m



f s ʃ


ʦ ʦ' ʧ ʧ'



Frictionless continuants w



  1. IPA symbols have been used throughout this work for Modern Yucatec sounds.
  2. The sounds f,d, ɲ , and g are found only in words borrowed from Spanish.
  3. ' indicates glottalization, or ejective articulation.
  4. b is weakly articulated in medial position; in final position it is unexplosive, being released nasally with glottal closure.
  5. Final l is weakly articulated (and is frequently omitted in speech of Type B).
  6. does not occur initially.

1.2.    Vowels

i   e   a   o   u


  1. The vowels i, e, a, o, and u in Yucatec are close to cardinal vowels 1, 2, 4, 7, and 8, respectively, but somewhat lower, at approximately positions 2, 6, 14, 24, and 27 in the IPA vowel chart.
  2. The diphtongs ey, ay, oy, and au occur.
  3. All the vowels occur long (ii, ee etc.) and doubled (iy, ee, etc.). The first element of a double vowel is normally (but not invariably) of greater intensity and higher pitch than the second element.

Sound Change

Study of the phonologic characteristics of Modern Yucatec shows a variety of sound changes, ranging from a few instances of phonetic change, through a number of phonologic changes of varying degrees of consistency, to a rather large number of variations, particularly in connection with vowels, regarding which no definite statements can be made. All the types of changes occurring in the illustrative material used in Part 4 are listed below, together with some indication of the consistency and frequency of their occurrence.

1.3.    Consonants

  1. Invariable change of ms to ns and of mt to nt occurs.
kuyensik, 'he brought it down'; y-em-s-ik; em-s, 'bring down'; em, 'go down'.
tu kinsahi, 'he killed it'; kim-s-ah-i; kim-s, 'kill'; kim, 'die'.
sansamal, 'every day'; sam-sam-al; sam-sam, duplicated stem (4.39).
kichpantako'b, 'they are beautiful'; kich-pam-t-ak-pib; kich-pam, 'beautiful'.
u hentahma, 'it was hanging'; hem-t-ah-ma; hem-t, 'place across'.
  1. k' as the final consonant of a few monosyllabic verb stems in speech of Type A occurs as in the same stems in speech of Type B. In other stems is a variant of k' but the relationship to speech type is unknown.
tan u pak'taal, 'he was awaited'; speech of Type A.
tan u pa’taal, speech of Type B.
hoop' u nok'saal, 'they began to be brought out'; variant: hoop u no’saal.
  1. A very few examples are observed of long consonants which in the instances noted may be attributed to compensatory lengthening; e. g., sunːahi, 'he came back' (su(t)-n-ah-i); k tsentikːba, '(in order that) we feed ourselves' (tsen-t-ik-(k)-ba).
  1. Loss of consonants
The following losses are invariable in isolated stems, the occurrence of which in the texts is frequent:
l before s in ta(l)s, 'bring': taasik, tasah, tasaak, taase.
n before s in bi(n)s, 'take': bisik, bisahech, bisbil, bise.
l before ts in o(l)tsil, 'poor': ki’otsil, nak'otsil, otsilil.
These losses occur consistently in individual stems which are found infrequently:
before n in si(’)n, 'fetch firewood': siinako'b.
t before n in su(t)n, 'return': sunake’.
t before s in e(t)s, 'show'; wees.
b before s in lu(b)s, 'cause to fall': lusen.
ch before s in ku(ch)s, 'cause (something) to arrive': k'uusike'.
The following losses are consistent in 95% of the examples of a number of different words:
before -a’, -e’, -o’: haa’; ha’-a’. cheo’;che’-o’.
b before t: waakatuba;wa(l)-ka(b)-t-u-ba. yak'aatal; y-ak'-a(b)-t-al.
These losses are observed frequently but inconsistently:
l before t: watal; wa(l)-t-al; chital; chi(l)-t-al.
l before k: kukintaal; ku(l)-kin-t-aal; chikuntaal; chi(l)-kun-t-aal.
Loss of medial h after k is observed in such stems as nokhats', 'hit with a club', and okhan, 'baptize':
nokats'taabi; okanak.
Final h and l are often dropped, particularly in speech of Type B. Examples:
tu hanta, 'he ate it'; han-t-a(h).
tan in chee, 'I am laughing'; chee(h).
hoop' u pibtaa, 'it is beginning to cook in pib; pib-t-aa(l).
tin yoko, 'I am coming in'; y-ok-o(l).

1.4.   Vowels

Many instances are observed of occurrence of the vowel of stems (3.1) and of certain suffixes, otherwise in quantity or quality than would be expected on the basis of their occurrences elsewhere. In some cases fairly definite statements may be made governing the conditions under which these "abnormal" forms occur; in others, however, only a general phonologic tendency may be described. Some types of vowel change seem to be morphologically determined.

  1. A common phenomenon is the apparent lengthening of short vowels under certain conditions which can be specified for about one-half of the samples studied; a cross-check was made for each condition in order to determine the frequency with which lengthening occurred for that condition. Lengthening of vowels occurred in approximately 95% of the following classes of morphemes: (a) monosyllabic nouns ending in any consonant except , when followed by -a’, -e’, -o’ (3.5); (b) pronouns of Class C, 1st. and 2nd. pers. sing., when followed by -a’, -e’, -o’, or -i(’) (2.6, 3.5 ff).
beelo’, 'way'; bel-o’.
kaaha’, 'village'; kah-a’.
yiiche’, 'eye'; y-ich-e’.
teeche’, 'to you'; tech-e’.
teena’, 'to me'; ten-a’.
About 80% of the vowels of the following lengthen: (a) yan, 'have' (3.58), when followed by a pronoun of Class B (2.5); (b) -en, 1st. pers. sing. pron. Class B, when followed by -a’, -e’, -o’, -i(’);
(b) the suffix -ab (3.9), when followed by another suffix. If, however, -ab is either preceded by or followed by a syllable containing a long vowel, the vowel of -ab usually does not lengthen.
ti’ yaano'n, 'we were there'; yan-o'n; -o'n (2.5).
ka k'ucheene’, 'when I arrived'; k'uch-en-e’; -en (2.5).
ilaabi, 'it was seen'; il-ab-i; -ab (3.9); but aalabi, 'it was said'; kinsabo'b, 'they were killed'.
In many instances, too numerous to list, short and long stem vowels of the same quality seem to be interchangeable, no determinants being apparent for the variations. The scattered and contradictory data at hand do not justify classification of these instances.
samale’, saamale’, 'tomorrow'; sam-al-e’.
watane’, waatano’, 'wife'; w-at-an-e’.
yumil, yuumil, 'owner'; yum-il.
nuxi, nuuxi, 'old, big'; nux-i.
yalan, yaalan, 'under'.
in wohel, in woohel, 'I know it'; w-oh-el.
ka tasik, ka taasik, 'you bring it'; ta(l)-s-ik.
tan u hanal, tan u haanal, 'he is eating'; han-al.
ku hok'ol, ku hook'ol, 'he came out'; hok'-ol.
ts'ook u t'aniken; ts'ook u t'aaniken, 'she had called me'; t'an-ik-en.
  1. Many examples are observed of variation between double and short vowels, between double and long vowels, and between double, long, and short vowels. In some instances, an obvious change in significance accompanies the use of short or double vowel.
kuk, 'elbow'; kuuk, 'squirrel'.
kan, 'snake'; kaan, 'sky'.
bul, 'lung'; buul, 'bean'.
In emphatic speech, kuuk occurs as ku’uk, kaan as ka’an, etc.
For the doubling of the stem vowel in passive forms see 3.48 and 3.49. For the variants of suffixes -aak and -aan see 3.13 and 3.47, respectively.
The pronouns -e'x and -o'b (2.5) occur as -eex and -oob when they are accented and in medial position.
ti ka chunkeexi, 'there is where you must start'; chun-(i)k-e'x-i.
a chunkeexo’, '(when) you begin it'; chun-(i)k-e'x-o’.
ku k'uchloobe’, 'by the time they arrived'; k'uch-(u)l-o'b-e’.
k'ucho'b, 'they arrived'; k'uch-o'b.
A phenomenon comparable to that observed for interchangeability of long and short vowels is observed for long, short, and double vowels.
tseel, tsel, 'side'.
maalob, maalob, 'all right, good'.
sukuun, sukun, 'brother'.
ku hoop'ol, ku hoop'ol, 'it begins'.
ku ts'ookol, ku ts'ookol, 'it ends'.
ma u ts'aabal, ma u ts'aabal, ma u ts'abal, 'it was not given'.
u ch'aabak, u ch'aabak, u ch'abak, '(in order that) it will be fetched'.
cheehnahechi, 'you laughed'; chehnen, 'Laugh!' tan u cheehe’, 'she was laughing' (3.53).
toone’, toone’, 'to me'.
heela’, heela’, heela’, 'here it is'.
No consistent behavior is found relating to the shifting of accent and the occurrence of a long vowel when suffix -a’, -e’, or -o’ is added to a stem which contains a double vowel; cf. buul, le buulo’, 'the beans', and heela’, etc., above.
  1. A tendency is observed, particularly in speech of Type B toward elision of the vowel of an unaccented medial suffix. This phenomenon is most nearly invariable when a reflexive pronoun (2.7) follows the unaccented suffix; its occurrence is considerably less predictable when other suffixes follow. Elision of the vowel of an unaccented medial syllable in noun forms is apparently confined to those instances in which the vowels of the stem and of the medial syllable are of the same quality.
tu pulhuba, 'he threw himself'; pul-(a)h-u-ba; -u-ba (2.7).
ku helskuba, 'he rests himself'; hel-s-(i)k-u-ba.
yan u hantko'b, 'they will surely eat it up'; han-t-(i)k-o'b; -o'b (2.4).
wa ka k'uchke'x, 'if you come'; k'uch-(a)k-e'x; -e'x (2.5).
ma in wohli, 'I don't know'; w-oh-el-i; -i (3.4).
wakxil, 'cow-like'; wakax-il.
le tsimno'b, 'the horses'; tsimin-o'b.

1.5.   Contraction

Primarily in speech of Type B, frequent and in some cases extreme contraction is observed. Some typical examples are listed:

min (ma in); ma (ma a); mu (ma u).
kin (ka in); ka (ka a); ku (ka u).
tin (ti in, tan in); ta (ti a, tan a); tu (ti u, tan u); t (ti k); te (ti le).
ha (he a); hu (he u).
ts'in (ts'ook in); ts'u (ts'ook u).
kan (ka bin); kun (ku bin).
taaken (tal-ak-en); waakbal (wal-ak-bal); wiike’ (w-il-ik-e’).
tiknal (tu yiknal); tyaalhe (tu yaalahe’); tyo’lal (tu yo’lal).
kin (ka bin in); nu ku (bin u kah u).
ma chin waaik (ma tech in waalik).
ts'in waaitech (ts'ook in waalik tech).
ma tik (maa tan a wilik).

1.6.   Accent

Relative stress within a word has been indicated in this work by primary and secondary accents (ˈ and ˌ) preceding the stressed syllable. The relationship between pitch and accent in Modern Yucatec has not been studied sufficiently to permit generalization; it may be said, however, that frequent examples occur in which greater stress accompanies lower pitch and lesser stress accompanies higher pitch (e.g., le nuukuloobo’, 'the utensils', with high pitch on -loo-, lower pitch on -bo’).
Accent in Modern Yucatec appears to be determined lexically; with few exceptions, a sharp division can be made between those verbs in which the stem is accented, regardless of whether one, two, or more suffixes are added, and those whose stem is invariably unaccented. Regarding nouns, somewhat more complex behavior is noted.
The accent patterns which occur most frequently in the texts are summarized below. For convenience, stems and suffixes containing double vowels are treated as monosyllabic.

  1. Words with one double vowel; the accent is always on the first element. Examples:
hool, 'head'
huun, 'paper, letter'
luum, 'ground'
taan, 'ashes'
xuux, 'basket'
buul, 'bean'
  1. Disyllables
(a) The most frequent pattern for disyllabic noun and verb forms is that in which the ultima bears the accent. Listed below are the noun forms, and the verb stems whose disyllabic forms (i.e., with one monosyllabic suffix) accent the ultima.
A sampling of the noun forms follows: the last two examples represent the normal pattern for monosyllabic noun plus suffix:
chamal, 'cigarette'
taak'in, 'money'
xanab, 'shoe'
sinik, 'ant'
taman, 'cotton'
wakax, 'cow'
k'ano'b, 'hammocks'; kan-o'b
maake’, 'man'; mak-e’
Two groups of verb stems follow; the first comprises stems which occur in the texts with great frequency and whose adherence to the pattern is therefore relatively certain; the second group includes stems which occur less frequently.
Group 1
beet, 'make' (e.g., beetah)
bin, 'go'
bis, 'carry'
boot, 'pay'
hant, 'eat something'
il, 'see'
yan, 'be, have'
kaxt, 'find'
kul, 'sit'
man, 'buy'
mach , 'hold'
tal, 'come'
tas, 'bring'
uk', 'drink'
wen, 'be sleepy'
ts'on, 'shoot something'
chil, 'lie down'
ch'in, 'throw'
k'al, 'lock'
k'uch , 'arrive'
Group 2
han, 'eat' (e.g., hanal)
hats', 'strike'
luk', 'leave'
ment, 'make'
ok, 'enter'
pak', 'plant'
pul, 'throw'
sah, 'fear'
tah, 'boil, bake'
tih, 'dry'
xul, 'end'
ch'akt, 'cut by striking'
k'am, 'accept'
k'ax, 'tie'
k'ub, 'deliver'
k'uxt, 'hide'
(b) The accent falls on the penult in a small number of nouns and verbs; and in all words which contain a double vowel in the penult.
A list of nouns which fall in this pattern follows:
makan, 'grove'
ulum, 'turkey'
k'ek'en, 'pig'
maskab, 'machete'
icham, 'husband'
uk'ul, 'drink'
As in the pattern in which the ultima is accented, two groups of verbs, of greater and less frequency, respectively, are given.
Group 1
al, 'say' (e.g., aalah)
hoop', 'begin'
hok', 'come out'
kim, 'die'
lub, 'fall'
olt, 'be willing'
paht, 'be possible'
tuxt, 'send'
uch , 'happen'
ts'a, 'give'
cha, 'turn loose'
ch'a, 'fetch'
k'at, 'ask, wish'
Group 2
kach , 'break'
lik's, 'lift'
man, 'pass'
nats', 'approach'
pa’t, 'await'
sas, 'dawn'
tub, 'forget'
ch'ukt, 'waylay'
k'ax, 'pour'
Words with double vowel in penult include:
maalob, 'bad'
siypil, 'sin'
naak, 'climb' (e.g., naakal, naakak)
saat, 'get lost' (saatal, etc.)
k'uum, 'soften by boiling' (k'uumul, etc.)
(c) Primary and secondary accents are observed on penult and ultima, respectively, of compound nouns and of nouns which are followed by -a’, -e’, -o’, or -ben (3.5, 3.41).
bek'ik', 'vein'; be ,'road'; k'ik', 'blood'.
polche’, 'carpenter'; pol, 'head'; che’, 'wood'.
k'anhool, 'pillow'; k'an, designates an object used for comfort; hool, 'head'.
hao’, 'water'; ha’-o’ (1.3)
chea’, 'wood'; che’-a’
nae’, 'house'; na-e’
k'oben, 'kitchen'; k'o-ben
uchben, 'ancient'; uch-ben
(d) The following verb forms represent accentual irregularities observed in the texts; most of the verb stems involved have already been listed in accordance with the preponderance of evidence pointing to their inclusion in one of the two patterns for disyllables.
ku ts'aabal; ku ts'aabal, 'they will be given it'.
in hante; in hante, '(in order that) I eat it'.
yan u kinsik, 'she has to kill it'; tan u kinsik, 'she is killing it'.
kimen, 'he is dead'; irregular V-aan form (3.47), (but kimi; kimil, etc.).
hok'en, 'Come out!'; (but hok'i, hok'ol, etc.).
hanen, 'Eat!'; (but hanal, etc.).
lubaan, 'it is fallen'; (but lubul, etc.).
ch'aben, 'I was fetched'; ch'a-(a)b-en; (but ch'ayk, etc.).
ma chuukul, 'it isn't caught'; (but chukik).
  1. Trisyllables
Trisyllabic forms fall with some exceptions into one of two accent patterns: (a) with an accent on the ultima (and on no other syllable), and (b) with a primary accent on the antepenult and a secondary accent on the ultima. Almost all verbs which in dysillabic forms are accented on the ultima, but only a few of the nouns so accented (about 15%), adhere to the first pattern. All of the verbs and about one-half of the nouns which in disyllabic form are accented on the penult adhere to the second pattern. Examples of forms representing both patterns follow:
binlaho'b, 'they all went' (disyllabic forms include bino'b, binen, bini).
ma beetiko'b, 'don't make them' (disyllabic forms include beetik, beetan).
kaxilo'b, 'chickens' (disyllable, kaxil).
kimene’, 'I died' (disyllabic form, kimil).
samale’, 'at once' (disyllabic form, samal).
k'eyeme’, 'pozol' (disyllable, k'eyem).
Examples of trisyllables which fall in neither pattern are:
k'alaanen, 'I am locked up'.
k'axlantaal ,'they are tied'.
sukune’, 'brother'.
binechi, 'you went'.
okk'iine’, 'evening'.
koleltsil, 'highly respected lady'.
  1. In the relatively few words in the texts which contain more than three syllables, the ultima is invariably accented; in most instances either the first or second syllable is also accented. Some examples follow:
k'ek'enoobo’, 'pigs'.
a woheltikeeche’, '(in order that) it be known to you'.
tiykilankil, reference to excited activity of ants.
mahanoobo’, 'helpers'.
polche’eechi’, 'you are a carpenter'.
bukintmao’, '(you) were putting on (clothes)'.
tsikbanako'n, 'we may talk'.
  1. In general Spanish words follow Yucatec patterns.
libro, 'book'.
peero, 'but'.
moodoil, 'manner'.
bandae’, 'side'.
kampana, 'bell'.
tu huntartah, 'they gathered together'.
sabadoak, 'last Saturday'.
u enkantartal, 'they are enchanted'.



This part is intended, as its title indicates, to serve as a brief presentation of the most important Modern Yucatec forms and their uses, and to serve incidentally as an introduction to the detailed treatmant of Parts 3 and 4. An attempt is made to relate the relatively familiar and inexact classifications of Part 2 to the classifications based on usage which are employed in Part 4.

Morphologic Elements

2.1.   Stems

We shall define a stem (3.1) as the lexical element remaining when in the process of analysis identifiable suffixes are removed from a form. Most Yucatec stems are monosyllabic: hanene'x, 'Eat!',-e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. ending; -en, imperative verb suffix; han, intransitive verb stem 'to eat'. hanlil, 'cooked food'; -il, non-particular noun suffix (4.60); -(a)l, noun suffix (4.52); han, stem.

2.2.    Prefixes

When the verb stem begins with a vowel, prefix w- is required after pronouns in or a, and prefix y- is required after pronoun u (3.2). in wile, 'I see it'; u yile, 'he sees it'; il, 'see'.

2.3.   Suffixes

For convenience, suffixes are classified in this Part according to their position in the form. Terminal suffixes are preceded by pronominal suffixes, verbal suffixes, stem formatives, and stem suffixes.
tan u nohochtaloobe’, 'They are getting large'.; noh-och-t-al-o'b-e’;-e’, terminal suffix; -o'b, pronoun 'they'; -al, verbal suffix; -t, stem formative; -och, stem suffix; noh, 'large', stem.

2.4.    Pronouns of Class A

Three sets of personal pronouns are identified; they will be called pronouns of Class A, B, and C. Pronouns of Class A are used as subjects of certain verbal constructions and as possesives:

Singular Plural
1st. person in k, k ... -e'x
2nd. person a a ... -e'x
3rd. person u u ... -o'b

The notation ' ... ' in the plural pronouns represents the verb or noun stem and the suffixes which intervene between k, a, or u and -e'x or o'b.
k, 'we', the exclusive form of the 1st. pers. plur. is employed (1) when the listener is excluded: 'he and I (but not you)'; k aalik tech, 'we (he and I) say to you'; (2) when k includes only one listener: 'you (sing.) and I'; tan k tal, 'we (you and I) were coming'. k ... -e'x, 'we', the inclusive form, includes more than one listener; 'you (plur.) and I'; (tu yo’lal) k ts'onike'x, '(in order that) we (both you two and I or we) may shoot'. The context of the communication must determine the persons included or excluded in 'we'.
The terminal component -o'b of u ... o'b is omitted in about half the examples of its use as a pronoun of Class A. When -o'b is omitted there is usually some sign of plurality in the context. ts'ook u lah tal in mahano'b, tat. 'All my helpers have come, sir.' lah, 'all'; in mahano'b, 'my helpers'; expected verb form,&nsp;ts'ook u tal-o'b (4.15).
Where a verbal suffix and a direct object pronoun (2.5) are required, the order for the plural pronouns is: k, a, or u : verb stem + verb suffix + direct object pronoun + -e'x or -o'b. yan a tsentikoone'x, 'you have to feed us'; tsen, 'to feed'; -t, formative; -ik, verbal suffix; -o'n, 'us', object pronoun; -e'x, terminal component of pronoun of Class A a ... -e'x, 'you'. For yan see 4.18.
Pronouns of Class A are used as possesives: in na, 'my house'; a na, 'your house'; a nae'x, 'your (plur.) house'; etc. When there is both a thing possessed and a possessor, the order is: pronoun of Class A + possessed item + possessor. u p'ok in sukun, 'my elder brother's hat'; u p'ok le paalo’, 'that boy's hat'. Similar to these but without a possessor in the strict sense are: u hahal le che’, 'the chips of the tree'; u hol k'o ben, 'the kitchen door'; u chi’ k'iwik, 'the mouth of the plaza'.

2.5.    Pronouns of Class B

These are used as subjects of certain verbal constructions and as direct object pronouns:

Singular Plural
1st.person -en -o'n, -o'ne'x
2nd. person -ech -e'x
3rd. person

The 1st. pers. plur. pron. Class B has both an exclusive and an inclusive form. -o'n, 'we', 'us', excludes the listener or includes only one listener; lubo'n, 'he and I fell' or 'you and I fell', depending on the context. -o'ne'x, 'we', includes more than one listener; luboone'x, 'you (plur.) and I fell'.
The 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class B is a null sign. luk'ak, 'he had left'; luk', 'to leave'; -ak, a verbal suffix; null sign for 'he'. The 3rd. pers. plur. -o'b is omitted in a third of the examples, many of wich have another plural sign in the context; e.g., hel u pa’to'b, 'they stopped (hel) to wait'; expected form: hel-o'b.
A pronoun of Class B used as subject or object follows the verb stem and its suffixes. alkabnaho'b, 'they were running'; alkab, 'to run'; -n-ah, intransitive suffixes; o'b, 'they'. As indicated above, pronouns of Class B are followed by the terminal components of plural pronouns of Class A and by the terminal suffixes: u hats'enoobe’, 'they hit me'; hats', 'to hit'; -en, 'me', pronoun of Class B; -o'b, terminal component of u ... o'b, 'they', pronoun of Class A; -e’, terminal suffix.
When pronouns of Class B are used as direct objects, only the exclusive form -o'n is found for 'us'. There is frequent omission of the 3rd. pers. plur. pron. -o'b, 'them'. ch'ae, 'Take him' or 'Take them'; ch'a, 'to take'; -e, verbal suffix for imperative; null sign for 'him' or 'them'.

2.6.    Pronouns of Class C

Except for the 3rd. person, pronouns of Class C are the pronouns of Class B with the prefix t-:

Singular Plural
1st. person ten to'n, toone'x
2nd. person tech te'x
3rd. person leeti’ leetio'b

Pronouns of Class C have two primary functions. They are used as devices for emphasis, signifying 'you yourself', 'it is he who', 'as for me', etc. techk'askuntik, 'It is you who are spoiling it!'; leeti’ in konike’, 'That's what I sell!' Pronouns of Class C often supplant the pronoun ordinarily required by the verbal construction; e.g., leeti’ yoohel, 'he himself knew' (expected construction, leeti’ u yoohel). Although usually preceding the verb in this use, Pronouns Class C follow the verb in imperative sentences: ts'a teechi’, 'Take it yourself!'
The second function of pronouns of Class C is as indirect object; in this use they follow the verb: p'atak tech, 'let it be yours (let it remain to you)'. The 3rd. pers. pronouns are preceded by ti, 'to', when used as indirect objects; e.g., ma ta taasahe'x teeni’ ti leeti’, 'You (plur.) did not give it to me but to him.'; ten-i’, 'to me', pronoun of Class C and terminal suffix -i’ti (4.59); ti, 'to'; leeti’, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. A few examples have been noted of other pronouns of Class C preceded by ti; e.g., ma tin ts'ah ti teechi’, 'I did not give it you'.
More frequently 'to him' and 'to them' are expressed by ti’ and tio'b, respectively, rather than by pronouns of Class C. The former is probably ti (variant ti’), 'to', followed by 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class B null sign; tio'b is ti or ti’ followed by pron. Class B -o'b; aalab ti’, 'it was told to him'; ts'abak tio'b, 'let it be given to them'.

2.7.    The reflexive pronouns

These consist of the reflexive sign -ba preceded by pronouns of Class A in, a, u, or k:

-in-ba in xot-in-ba I cut myself
-a-ba a xot-a-ba you cut yourself
-u-ba u xot-u-ba he cut himself
-k-ba k xot-k-ba we cut ourselves
-a-ba a xot-a-ba-e'x you (plur.) cut yourselves
-u-ba u xot-u-ba-o'b they cut themselves

Reflexive forms are also used as reciprocals; e.g., tan u luxikubao'b, 'they were fighting with each other'.

2.8.    Impersonal pronouns

mak, 'one', 'man', 'people', 'person', is sometimes used as an impersonal pronoun analogous to French on. mak u naakal tu k'ab, 'one gets on the branch'; u taata mak, 'one's father'; le makoobo’ yaanoobo’, 'the persons that may be present'; mix mak tu beetah, 'no one made it'.
u lak' and u hel, 'another', 'the other', 'its other' are comparable in most of their uses to impersonal pronouns: hant u hel, 'Eat another.'; naakak u lak', 'Let another climb!'.

Main Verb Constructions

2.9.    Past holistic

The most prevalent use of the following constructions is to express completed action occuring in the past:
t-PA V-ah (4.9), the transitive form, consists of t-, an unidentified auxiliary prefixed to PA, a pronoun of Class A; V, the verb stem; -ah, a verbal suffix (3.10).

Verb stem beet, 'make, do'

tin beetah I did it t-in beet-ah
ta beetah you did it t-a beet-ah
tu beetah he did it t-u beet-ah
t beetah we did it (excl.) t-(k) beet-ah
t beetahe'x we did it (incl.) t-(k) beet-ah-e'x
ta beetahe'x you (plur.) did it t-a beet-ah-e'x
tu beetaho'b they did it t-u beet-ah-o'b

The PA for 1st. pers. plur. is t or t ... -e'x, since k, 'we', is always omitted after t- (2.4).

V-PB, the intransitive form, consists of V, verb stem, and PB, pronoun of Class B.

Verb stem lub, 'fall'

luben I fell lub-en
lubech you fell lub-ech
lub he fell lub-null sign
lubo'n we fell (exl.) lub-o'n
luboone'x we fell (incl.) lub-o'n-e'x
lube'x you (plur.) fell lub-e'x
lubo'b they fell lub-o'b

The passive form, V-ab, consists of V, verb stem, and -ab, verbal suffix (3.9).

Verb stem il, 'see'

ilaben I am seen il-ab-en
ilabech you are seen il-ab-ech
ilab he is seen il-ab-null sign
ilabo'n we are seen il-ab-o'n
ilabe'x you (plur.) are seen il-ab-e'x
ilabo'b they are seen il-ab-o'b

For the use of the pronouns and for the lack of an inclusive form of the 1st. pers. plur., see 4.10.

2.10.    Durative

The following constructions are often used in statements that involve a continuing action which is either past, present or future:
The transitive form is tan PA V-ik (4.14); tan has no independent meaning in this use and is not conjugated; PA indicates a pronoun of Class A; V, verb stem; -ik, verbal suffix (3.20).

Verb stem beet, 'make, do'

tan in beetik I was (am, will be) doing it
tan a beetik you were (are, will be) doing it
tan u beetik he was (is, will be) doing it
tan k beetik we were (are, will be) doing it
tan k beetike'x we were (are, will be) doing it
tan a beetike'x you were (are, will be) doing it
tan u beetiko'b they were (are, will be) doing it

The intransitive form commonly used for durative expressions is tan PA V-(a)l, with tan, PA and V as defined above and -(a)l the verbal suffix (3.48). The vowel of the verbal suffix agrees vocalically with that of the verb stem.

Verb stem lub, 'fall'

tan in lubul I was (am, will be) falling
tan a lubul you were (are, will be) falling
tan u lubul he was (is, will be) falling


Although the form usually used as a durative passive has several variants (3.49), it will be denoted by the formula tan PA V-(aa)l:

Verb stem hant, 'eat (something)'

tan in hantaal I was (am, will be) being eaten
tan a hantaal you were (are, will be) being eaten
tan u hantaal he was (is, will be) being eaten


2.11.    Past inceptive

The constructions most frequently used to express the beginning of an act which occured in the past are: hoop' PA V-ik, transitive; hoop' PA V-(a)l, intransitive; hoop' PA V-(aa)l, passive (4.17). hoop', 'to begin to occur' is an impersonal verb which is also found in the conjugational forms: (k)u hoop'ol and hoop'ok. In our samplings the constructions corresponding to the above formulas occurred only in the 3rd. person (for constructions used to express the past inceptive in the 1st. and 2nd. persons, see 4.22).


hoop' u beetik he began to do it
hoop' u beetiko'b they began to do it


hoop' u lubul he begann to fall
hoop' u lubulo'b they begann to fall


hoop' u hantaal it began to be eaten
hoop' u hantaalo'b they began to be eaten

2.12.    Perfective

Forms used when reference is made to the perfective are: ts'ook PA V-ik, ts'ook PA V-(a)l, and ts'ook PA V-(aa)l, for transitive, intransitive and passive, respectively. ts'ook, the intransitive verb 'to end', 'to be over' is unconjugated in these forms (4.15).


ts'ook in beetik I had (have, shall have) done it
ts'ook a beetik you had (have, will have) done it
ts'ook u beetik he had (has, will have) done it


ts'ook in lubul I had (have, shall have) fallen
ts'ook a lubul you had (have, will have) fallen
ts'ook u lubul he had (has, will have) fallen



ts'ook in hantaal I had (have, shall have) been eaten
ts'ook a hantaal you had (have, will have) been eaten
ts'ook u hantaal he had (has, will have) been eaten

2.13.    Habitual

The following symbolize the constructions used to express actions repeated often but not in immediate succession (4.27); i.e., descriptions of habits, customs, rituals, or common practices of any kind: k-PA V-ik, transitive; k-PA V-(a)l, intransitive; k-PA V-(aa)l, passive. They may refer to past, present or future occurrences. The first component, k-, combines with the pronouns to form kin, ka, ku; the 1st. pers. plur. has k instead of k-k. k beetike'x, 'we (you plur. and I) do it time after time; k-(k) beet-ik-e'x.

2.14.    Predictions with certainty

he PA V-ik-e’, he PA V-(a)l-e’ and he PA V-(aa)l-e’ are the forms which are commonly used when the speaker is sure of his prediction, or is determined to carry it out. he is otherwise used as a demonstrative (4.16); -e’ is a terminal suffix (3.6). he in tasike’, 'I will bring it (I certainly will and don't worry about it); he u kimile’, 'he certainly will die'.

2.15.    Immediate predictions

Certain forms are frequently used to express a prediction which involves some certainty that an event will occur in the immediate future. The transitive and intransitive forms are bin PA kah PA V-(e) and bin PA kah V-(a)l; for passive forms see 4.56. bin, the irregular verb 'to go' is unconjugated in these forms; kah is a remnant of an Old Yucatec durative construction. -(e) is the symbol used to indicate use of either -e or a null sign. bin in kah in beete, 'I am going to do it'; bin PA kah V-e. bin in kah in k'ub tech, 'I am going to deliver it to you'; bin PA kah V-null; k'ub , 'to deliver'; tech, 'to you'. bin in kah lubul, 'I am going to fall'; bin PA kah V-(a)l.

2.16.    Remote predictions

bin PA V-(e), transitive, bin V-(a)k-PB, intransitive and bin V-(aa)k-PB, passive, (4.42) are commonly used to predict remote events which have low certainty or relation to fact; e.g., bin kimikech,'you will die (a curse)'. For -(a)k and -(aa)k see 3.11 and 3.49.

2.17.    Formulas regrouped

To conform to the terminology used in Part 4, holistic formulas t-PA V-ah, V-PB, and V-ab will be called AHAB constructions, from the transitive and passive suffixes -ah and -ab. One prediction formula (above) and the durative, inceptive, and perfective formulas have in common PA V-ik, PA V-(a)l, PA V-(aa)l, which will be called IKAL constructions, from the transitive and intransitive suffixes -ik and -al. The habitual forms k-PA V-ik, k-PA V-(a)l, k-PA V-(aa)l will be called k-IKAL constructions. Forms PA V-(e), V-(a)k-PB, V-(aa)k-PB, with certain variants, are used for remote predictions and for many other functions (4.37); these will be called NULLAK constructions, from the transitive and intransitive suffixes 'null' and -ak.

2.18.    Imperatives

The transitive forms V-(null) and V-e are used as imperative references which occur, respectively, as the initial component and as the sole component of a clause or sentence (4.38): ts'a ti’, 'Give it to him!'; hante, 'Eat it!'. V-en is the only form found for intransitive imperative references addressed to the 2nd. pers. sing. (4.57): emen, 'Come down!'. Forms used when the imperative reference is addressed to the 2nd. pers. plur. are V-e'x, transitive, and V-en-e'x, intransitive: chae'x, 'You (plur.) turn it loose!'; emene'x, 'You (plur.) come down!'. For constructions addressed to 1st. pers. plur. and other persons see 4.21, 4.38.
NULLAK constructions preceded by ka (4.38), and k-IKAL forms (4.36) are usual for transitive and intransitive imperative references which are preceded by some other component of the sentence. The former constructions are more common for orders, the latter for petitions: mas ka k'ub, 'You had better deliver it!'; mas, Spanish 'better'; ka (a) k'ub, NULLAK transitive (4.37). le kan t'aanake’, ka nukik ti’, 'When she speaks, answer her!'; le kan t'an-ak-e’, 'when she speaks'; k-a nuk-ik, k-IKAL transitive (4.27).
The usual construction for a negative imperative reference is the negative term ma (2.24) plus an IKAL construction (4.24): ma hantik, 'Don't eat it!'; ma (a) han-t-ik, IKAL transitive; for elision of pronoun a see (1.5). The use of negative bik and B variant mik is common for negative imperative references wich recommend caution, give warning or ridicule (4.43): bik lubke'x, 'Don't you (plur.) fall!', lub-(u)k-e'x, NULLAK intransitive.

2.19.    Interrogatives

Two devices which serve to express the kind of interrogation answered by 'Yes' or 'No' are:

  1. The use of wa, 'if', after the first assertive word of the sentence; hach wa hah a t'an?, 'Are you really telling the truth?'; hach, 'really'; hah, 'truth'; t'an, 'to tell'. hah wa a t'an?, 'Are you telling the truth?'.
  2. A change of sentence intonation; ta hats'ah?, 'You struck him?'; t-a hats'-ah, transitive AHAB.

The following devices are used as initial or sole components of questions to be answered by information (4.31): baax, 'what'; max, 'who'; bix, 'how'; tuux, 'where'; bahux, 'how much'; bik'ix, 'when'; and expressions beginning with these terms, such as baax ten, 'why'; baax tu men, 'for what reason'. baax is derived from baal (Old Yuc. bal and balx), a universal word of reference signifying 'thing', 'things'; max, 'who', is derived from mak, 'one' (Old Yuc. mac and macx). These devices, used also as relative pronouns, end in x, etymologically identical with the x (Old Yuc. ix) in xma, 'without' (2.24). The constructions which may follow these interrogative devices are those found otherwise in declarative sentences; the AHAB and k-IKAL forms are found most frequently; e.g., baax ka wuuyik?, 'What do you hear?'; k-a w-uy-ik, k-IKAL transitive. tuux yan le #679;an paalo’?, 'Where was the child?'; yan, 'to be', AHAB intransitive; le chan paalo’, 'the child'.

2.20.    Conditional clauses

wa, 'if', wa tu men, 'if perchance', esak tu men, 'in case that', haali, 'provided that' (4.44) commonly occur as the initial component of a unit comparable in use to a conditional clause. The differentiation between wa and wa tu men is not consistent; but the latter sometimes indicates that the protasis is a mere assumption, or a contingent condition ('if it happens that ...').
The k-IKAL constructions are those usually used after one of the above terms (4.35); e.g., wa tu men ku pahtal, 'if it is possible'; k-u pah-t-al, k-IKAL intransitive. A NULLAK construction, however, is preferred when the conditional clause expresses a provisory promise, a supposition about the future or a statemant contrary to fact (4.44): haali ka ts'a ten, 'provided you give it to me'; ka ts'a, NULLAK transitive. wa ka tak, 'if he had come (and he had not)'; ka ta(l)-(a)k, NULLAK intransitive (Cf. 1.5). For the circumstances in which AHAB constructions are used in conditional clauses see 4.11.

2.21.    Purpose clauses

Construction with uses corresponding to purpose clauses consist of an IKAL or NULLAK form introduced by u ti’al, 'in order to', 'so that', or tu yo’lal, 'on account of', 'on his account' (4.23, 4.41): u ti’al a bisikene’ ..., 'so that you may take me ...'; a bis-ik-en-e’, IKAL transitive with terminal suffix -e’. Where a NULLAK construction is required and the purpose clause and the main clause have the same subject, u ti’al and tu yo’lal are seldom used: (ka hok'ok) u yuk'o'b, '(They come out) in order to drink'; u y-uk'-o'b, NULLAK transitive.

2.22.    Relative and other delimiting clauses

Most of the common verbal constructions have uses which correspond to those of English relative clauses: ... ts'ab tie’, '(the clothes) which where given to him'; ts'a-(a)b, AHAB passive; ti(’)-e’, 'to him', pron. of Class C and terminal suffix -e’ (4.58); no formal device for 'which'. Often the devices baax,'what', max, 'who', etc. (2.19) serve as relative pronouns and as initial components of relative clauses:... baax hantik, '(He could not catch) what he eats'; (u) han-t-ik, IKAL transitive; for omission of pronoun u see 4.34.
Constructions introduced by he baax, 'whatever', he max,'whoever', wa baax, 'whatever' are used as relative clauses with non-specific antecedents (4.45).... he ˈbaaʃ ka waːl tiˈeʔ, '(See to it that he obeys) whatever you tell him'; ka (a) w-al, NULLAK transitive; ti(’)-e’, 'to him', pronoun of Class C and terminal suffix -e’ (4.58). Units introduced by tuux, 'where', he tuux, 'wherever', he bix, 'as', 'like', and similar terms, are equivalent to various delimiting clauses.... tuux kin bisaal, '(He couldn't see) where I was being taken'; k-in bis-aal, k-IKAL passive. ... he bix tin waalah tioobe’, '(They did) as he told them'; t-in w-al-ah, AHAB transitive; ti-o'b-e’, pronoun of Class C and terminal suffix -e’.

2.23.    Temporal clauses

A device whose function is comparable to that of a temporal clause in English is usually the initial component of a sentence. When a k-IKAL construction is used as a temporal clause (4.33), it denotes an event which occured, is occuring, or will occur before something else happens: ku tahale’ ..., 'After it was cooked, (he ate)'; k-u tah-al-e’, k-IKAL intransitive; tah, 'to cook'; -e’ (4.58). NULLAK constructions are preceded by ken, kan, le ken, le kan, in references to an unspecified future time (4.46); e.g., ken taakene’, 'when I come'; ta(l)-(a)k-en-e’, NULLAK intransitive.
Various verbal constructions, most frequently IKAL or k-IKAL, are used in temporal clauses when preceded by one of a large group of time expressions (Cf. 2.25 and 4.20). Examples: ichil u weenele’, 'while he was asleep'; ichil, 'while'; u wen-el, IKAL intransitive; -e’ (4.58). chen p'elak u bisaal, 'as soon as he was sent'; chen p'elak, 'as soon as'; u bis-aal, IKAL passive. When a verbal construction is preceded by le, the unit may denote 'as soon as (x occured)'. When the verbal construction is an AHAB form, a very short time interval is indicated (4.62): le ka tu beetahe’, 'the very moment he did it'. -e’ is the final morpheme of nearly all temporal clauses.

Other Parts of Speech

2.24.    Negatives

ma or maa, variant ma’ before a vowel, is used as the sign of simple negation and immediatly precedes the verbal construction: ma’ ilaabi, 'he was not seen'; il-ab-i, AHAB passive with terminal suffix -i (4.59). baax ten maa ta beetik?, 'Why don't you do it?'; maa tan a beetik, IKAL transitive (4.14); for contraction of tan a see 1.5. ma is apparently not found before constructions k-IKAL (4.34), ka NULLAK (4.62), bin + NULLAK (4.42) and bin PA kah (4.56); the negative statement corresponding to the affirmative assertion using one of these forms consists of a ma(+ tan)+ IKAL construction.
ma tech is used for emphatic negation before an IKAL construction (4.59): ma tech u kimil, 'He is not dead'. mix mak, 'no one', 'nobody' and mixbaal, 'nothing' are used before k-IKAL constructions (4.33): mix mak kin bisik, 'I did not take anyone away'; k-in bis-ik, k-IKAL transitive. mix bik'in, 'never' and bik (B-variant mik) are found before certain NULLAK constructions (4.42; 4.43): mix bik'in bin k xule'x, 'never are we to cease'; bin k xul-e'x, bin + NULLAK transitive. minaan signifies 'not to have', 'not to exist' (4.61): minaan u kaaho'b,'there are no towns'; kah-o'b, 'towns'.

2.25.    Adverbs

With uses comparable to those of adverbs of time and place in English are many forms such as ti’, la’, tun, 'then', 'there'; kaachi, 'previously'; leyli, ichil, 'while'; napulak, 'right away'; sam, 'a while after'; tak, 'until'; nach, 'far'; nats', 'near'. Except for kaachi, 'previously', these forms usually preceed the verbal construction: seb taakene’, 'I will come soon'; seb, 'soon'; ta(l)-(a)k-en-e’, NULLAK intransitive; for contraction of tal-ak see 1.5; -e’ (4.58).
As in various European languages, particularly in colloquial speech, many words in Yucatec are used without morphologic differentiation for both adjectival and adverbial functions; e.g., a chan anteene’, 'you help me a little'; chan, 'little'; a ant-en-e’, NULLAK transitive. le chan paalo’, 'the little boy'; le paalo’, 'the boy'.
The construction designated as "adjunct verbal stem" (4.50) has the adverbial use of intensifying or varying the significance of the verb stem which it immediately precedes. Common adjunct verbal stems are: han, 'right away', 'in a hurry'; sen, 'extremly', 'much'. a han ch'ak a sie'x, 'You will cut your wood in a hurry'; a ch'ak, 'you will cut'; si’, 'wood' (1.3).
For the uses of duplication and reduplication to perform functions corresponding to those of adverbs see 4.69.

2.26.    Adjectives

The uses of the following forms correspond closely to those of English adjectives: (1) simple stems such as sak, 'white'; uts, 'good'; (2) stems with suffixes -(o)ch, -tsil, or -ben, as in nohoch, 'large', oltsil, 'poor', ch'aben, 'acceptable' (3.40, 4.71, 4.57); (3) verb stems with suffixes -(a)k, -(a)l, -aan, or -bil, similar to participles in European languages, as in le he’kachale’, 'the broken egg'; kach-al, constr.V-(a)l; le chakbil kaaxo’, 'the cooked chicken'; chak-bil, constr.V-bil. Forms in the first two groups usually precede the noun: le nohoch kaaha’, 'this large town'. Those in the third group either precede or follow the noun.
hach, 'very', preceding the adjective, is used for the comparative and superlative: le hach oltsil, 'the poorer one', when two objects are compared; 'the poorest one' when more then two objects are compared. For Yucatec numerals and "numerical classifieres" see 4.68; for demonstrative adjectives see 4.51.

2.27.    Articles

There are no forms that correspond specifically to the English articles 'the', 'a', and 'an'. In many instances the pronoun u (2.4) is used to signify 'the', no possessive sense being indicated; e.g., u nuukul, 'the tool'; u before parts of the body; e.g., u hool, 'the head'; u kal, 'the neck'; u yok, 'the foot'. In some instances the suffix -il is required by the noun preceded by u signifying 'the': u kaxilo'b, 'the chickens' (4.60). Expressions corresponding to 'the other', 'the one', 'another' consist of u followed by lak' or hel (Cf. 2.8).
hun p'el, hun tul and other terms for 'one' (4.88) are frequently equivalent to 'a' or 'an': hun p'el kah, 'a village'; hun tul chan paale’, 'a little boy'.
le ... -o’, 'that', is often equivalent to 'the' (4.51): le hach k'aaso’, 'the worst one'.

2.28.    Nouns

The following forms have uses which correspond to those of English nouns: (1) simple stems such as kah, 'village', k'in, 'day'; (2) compound stems (3.1) such as okk'in, 'evening', k'anhool, 'pillow'; (3) stems with a suffix such as -ben (3.41), -ab (3.9), -(a)m (3.39) and very frequently -(a)l (4.52) and -il (4.60) affixed to a number of verb stems; e.g., kimil, 'death' (kim, 'to die'); siypil, 'sin' (sip, 'to err'); hanal, 'cooked food' (han, 'to eat'); ch'akil, 'action of chopping' (ch'ak, 'to chop'). Stems used as nouns become nouns with changed denotation when suffixed by -il; e.g. k'inil, 'time', 'season' (k'in, 'day', 'sun').
Forms used as nouns, particularly proper nouns, follow the verb when they are equivalent to the English "subject": tu yilah pedro, 'Peter saw him'; when both "subject" and "object" are nouns, the former follows the latter: tu yilah hwan pedro, 'Peter saw John'. If the speaker wishes to emphasize the subject, the statement is:pedro hwan tu yilah, 'Peter saw John'.
Plurals are indicated by the suffix -o'b (Cf. 2.5): le naoobo’, 'those houses'; le makoobo’, 'the men'; le ... -o’ (4.51). The plural suffix is omitted in about one-fourth of the specimens studied.

2.29.    Prepositions

ti or ti’ corresponds to a general preposition signifying 'to', 'of', 'at', 'on', 'in', 'for', 'by': ti’ u taata, 'to the father'; ti hun p'el k'anche’ , 'on a stool'; ti le k'aano’, 'in the hammocks'; te beo’, 'by the road' (for contraction of ti le to form te Cf. 1.5).
tu men is often equivalent to the English preposition 'by': ka t'an tu men le baxal taak'ino’, 'she was called by the gambler'; ka t'an, irregular AHAB passive.
tin wiknal, ta wiknal, tu yiknal correspond to the prepositional phrases 'near me', 'in your presence', 'under his care', 'to where you are', or to the French chez: ka ch'ayk ta wiknal, 'Take him with you (to your house)'; ma k'uchuk tu yiknal, 'He could not reach him (come next to him, get at him)'.
Certain verb stems with suffix -(a)l have prepositional uses (4.52): ichil, 'in', 'within';yanal, 'under'; yok'ol, 'on'; yetel, 'with': ichil le k'aak'o’, 'into the fire'; yok'ol le pilao’, 'over the basin'; ka bin yetel pedro, 'and they went with Pedro'.

2.30.     Conjunctions

ka is commonly used for 'and' although yetel, 'with', often signifies 'and' when it occurs between two nouns: a kumpale yetel a kumale, 'your compadre and your comadre'. xan, 'also', leyli, 'still', and the sequence of one sentence after another are each equivalent to 'and' in a number of examples (4.62).
tu men, 'by' also signifies 'because', 'so that', 'since', 'on account of': tu men aalab teene’, 'because I have been told'. wa is equivalent to 'if', 'whether', 'or' (4.70): wa a iho wa a watan, 'whether your son or your wife'; wa ka wolte, '(I'll go) if you wish'.



The purpose of Part 3 is to enumerate the formal devices in Yucatec. In the analysis of forms, conclusions have been based, in so far as is possible, on the contemporary language. In a few instances, however, it has been found necessary to resort to etymologic analysis, this practice having been considered preferable to presenting certain phenomena without explanation. The monosyllabic lexical elements which comprise a large proportion of the morphemes occurring in the texts are treated only incidentally in this part; they are, of course, more properly the subject matter of a dictionary than of that part of a grammar which deals with forms. Verb forms, because of their complexity and variety, receive major attention.
Application of the terms 'transitive', 'intransitive', and 'passive' to Yucatec verb forms is determined ultimately by morphologic considerations, although in almost every instance the criterion in English and other Indo-European languages ('takes an object,' 'does not take an object,' etc.) is also satisfied. Thus, in the expression: tu cheehtah nasario, 'Nasario laughed', we have called the verb transitive; in u ts'ookol u bel, 'to finish one's affair', the verb is classed as intransitive; and a few other exceptional instances were observed in our specimens in which the classification of the verb was not determined by its taking or its ability to take an object, but by its form, the decision being counter to that which would be made on the basis of English habits. For the unusual behavior of certain passive forms, see 4.10.
We deal below with stems, prefixes, terminal suffixes, pronominal suffixes, and, finally, with a large number of suffixes, difficult to characterize either by position in the form or by function, which have been arranged rather arbitrarily in five groups. In the concluding paragraphs (3.50 ff.), irregular verb forms are registered.


3.1.   Simple and Composite Stems

With regard to stem formation, it is convenient to postulate two classes of stems: (1) simple stems, and (2) composite stems. The first class is morphologically simple, consisting almost exclusively of monosyllabic lexical elements; the second class is more diffuse in character. So far as concerns the elements comprising composite stems, the following broad statements may be made:

  1. The stem may consist of a simple stem plus a formative of Group 2 (3.22 ff.): hant, 'eat (something)'; han-t; -t (3.26). k'opn, 'knock'; k'op-n; -n (3.24). koln in kolnal, 'milpa tiller'; kol-n-al; -n (3.24); -al (3.14).
  2. The stem may consist of a simple stem plus two or more formatives, one of which is a suffix of Group 2: mahant, 'help'; mah-an-t; -an (3.47); -t (3.26). alkabn, 'run'; al-kab-n; -kab (3.33); -n (3.24).
  3. The stem may consist of two lexical elements and a formative of Group 2: tsibolt, 'imagine'; tsib-ol-t; tsib, 'paint'; ol, 'mind, thought';-t (3.26).

Simple and composite stems differ with respect to the suffixes which follow them in certain intransitive and passive forms (3.49., 4.32), namely: -(a)l, -(a)h, -al, -aal, -ak, -aak. Suffixes -(a)l and -(a)k follow simple stems; the suffix vowel and stem vowel agree vocalically. Suffixes -al, -aal, -ak and -aak follow composite stems, the vowel quality being invariable (Cf. examples below).
Exceptional examples are found of apparently simple stems which are followed by suffixes required by composite stems. Some examples can be explained by etymological evidence; e.g., beet, 'make'; boot, 'pay' (Old Yuc. belt and bolt); u beetaal, 'it is made'; u be(l)-t-aal; -t (3.26); -aal (3.15). A few others occur for which no explanation is offered; e.g., il, 'see' (ilaal, ilaak); tub, 'spit at' (tubaal). For the irregular intransitive forms with suffix -ak, where -(a)k might be expected, see 3.51.
In the analysis of verb forms, transitive composite stems are generally given with the suffix of Group 2 included, but intransitive composite stems are given without the suffix: kins, 'kill'; but alkab, 'run' (occurs frequently as al-kab-n). This convention derives from the fact that in transitive stems the suffix of Group 2 is invariable, while in intransitive stems certain variations of suffix occur (Cf. 3.51 ff.).
Examples of simple and composite stems:

tan in kimil, 'I am dying'; kim-il; V-(a)l; kim, 'die', simple intransitive stem; -(a)l (3.48).
ku yokok, 'he entered'; y-ok-ok; V-(a)k; ok, 'enter', simple intransitive stem; -(a)k (3.11); y- (3.2).
bin uk'ulnak, 'he is going to drink'; uk'-ul-n-ak; V-ak; uk'ul, 'drink', composite intransitive stem; -ak (3.12); -n (3.24).
ku bestirtal, 'he is being dressed'; bestir-t-al; bestir, 'dress', composite transitive stem; -al (3.14); -t (3.28).
ku kinsaal ,'he is killed'; kin-s-aal; V-aal; kins, 'kill', composite transitive stem; -aal (3.15); -s (3.25).
wa ka u beetaak, 'if it is done'; beet-aak; V-aak; beet, 'do', composite transitive stem; -aak (3.13); -t (3.26).
mek'el, 'armful'; mek'-el; mek', 'hug', simple intransitive stem used in noun with suffix -(a)l; cf. 3.48.


3.2.    y-, w-

Required after pronouns in, a, u (2.4) before stems with an initial vowel. Prefix y- is found after u and w- after in or a. Neither prefix is found before Spanish words which begin with a vowel. The occurrence of y- without a preceding pronoun is observed in irregular forms such as yetel, 'with', and yok'ol, 'on' (4.52), and in other irregular constructions (3.50).

in watan, 'my wife'; a watan, 'your wife'; u yatan, 'his wife'; atan, 'wife'.
tan in wohel, 'I know it'; tan a wohel, 'you know it'; tan u yohel, 'he knows it'; ohel, 'know' (3.56).
a iho, 'your son'; ku enkantartik, 'he enchants him'; Spanish words without prefix.
hoop' yuubik, 'he began to feel it'; y-ub-ik; (expected construction hoop' u yuubik); for omission of u see 3.50.

3.3.    x-

As in Old Yucatec, x- is used to indicate the female, often in disparaging terms. It also occurs without apparent reference to the female in certain names of insects, snakes, and trees; and in the term xla’, 'old'.

xch'up, 'woman'; xch'upal, 'girl'.
xkax, 'hen'; kax, 'chicken'.
xnuk, 'old woman' (disrespectful term).
xkuuklin, 'beetle'.
xk'uuk'ikan, 'rattlesnake'.
xkitin, name of a tree.
xla’ na, 'old house'.

3.4.    h-

From Old Yucatec prefix ah, of wide occurrence, h- is now found preceding only the stems men and kuch in speech of Type A. In speech of both types, occurrence of these stems without h- is common.

le hmeeno’, 'the shaman'; h-men-o’; le ... -o’(3.5).
le hkuucho’, 'the bearer'; h-kuch-o’.

Terminal Suffixes

3.5.    -a’, -o’

Found as the final suffix of demonstrative device bey, he(l), le(l), te(l), or way; or as the final suffix of any morpheme ending a phrase, clause, or sentence which begins with bey, he(l), etc. (4.51). The demonstrative device is omitted occasionally before nouns which are preceded by a possessive pronoun. The demonstrative device is used but the terminal suffix frequently omitted: (1) when -o’ is required after a word ending in o; (2) when -a’ is required after a verb form ending in a; (3) when the form ends in -o'b; (4) when -o’ is required after a rather long, complex unit introduced by le; (5) when two terminal suffixes are required in close succession, in which case the first is omitted; and (6) when -o’ and -e’ are both required as final morphemes of a word, in which case -o’ is more frequently omitted.

le koolo’ ,'that milpa'; le ... -o’, 'the, that'; kol, 'milpa'.
le nohoch kaaha’, 'this large town'; le ... -a’, 'this'; nohoch, 'big'; kah, 'town'.
bis le huun tia’, 'Take this letter to her'; bis, 'take'; le ... -a’, 'this'; huun, 'letter'; ti’, pronoun of Class C (2.6); for loss of see 1.3.
cha in wooko’, 'Let go (that) my foot'; expected cha le in wooko’; cha, 'let go'; ok, 'foot'; for w- see 3.2.
le libro, 'the book'; libro, 'book'; le ...(-o’), 'the'; -o’ omitted when word ends in o.
he in ch'ama, 'Here I have fetched it'; ch'a-ma, V-ma form (3.21); he ...(-a’), 'here'; -a’ omitted when verb form ends in a.
le baako'b, 'the bones'; le ..(-o’), 'the'; -o’ omitted when -o'b is required.
le be tuux bin kich kelem yum, 'the way the Lord went'; -o’ omitted after long and complex unit.
le taatatsil yetel le maamatsilo’, 'the father and the mother'; -o’ omitted after taatatsil with -o’ of maamatsilo’ in close proximity.
ka ok ichil le nae’, 'when he went into the house'; -o’ of le ... -o’, 'the', omitted when -e’ is required (4.58).

3.6.    -e’

Observed mainly in two kinds of instances: (1) preceded by demonstrative devices he(l), le(l), or way (4.13., 4.51); and (2) as the final suffix of a word which is the last or only word in a clause (4.38). It is also observed occasionally at the end of a sentence; in a random sampling of 800 sentences, about 10% ended in -e’ .

le mehen pixanoobe’, 'the little souls'; le ... -e’, rather than le... -o’, when the object is unseen (4.31).
... he a chukik kaye’, '(if you do what I tell you), you will catch fish'; he ... -e’.
tas ten waaye’, 'Bring him to me here'; way-e’, 'here'.
wa ku wokole’ ..., 'If he comes in ..'; w-ok-ol-e’.
ti waakbal tu hol nae’, 'There he was standing at the door of his house'.

3.7.    -i, -i’

Found almost invariably as the final morpheme of a sentence, -i (variant -i’) occurs frequently and with high predictability after constructions which require a pronoun of Class B. -i or -i’ is never observed, however, when -a’ or -o’ is required, and it is omitted occasionally when -e’ is required. See 4.59 for descriptions and examples of many uses of -i, -i’.

kimoobi, 'they died'; kim-o'b-i; V-PB-i.
ma k'ohaaneni’, 'I am not sick'; k'oh-aan-en-i’; V-aan-PB-i’.
ka ok'otnahi, 'and she danced'; ok'ot-n-ah-i; V-n-ah-PB-i; PB null for 3rd. pers. sing. (2.5).
he ken ma ichkinake’, 'those who have not bathed'; ich-ki-n-ak-e’; V-ak-PB-e’, PB null; -i’ omitted after -e’ required in construction he ... -e’.

Pronoun Suffixes

3.8.   Class A, Class B, and Reflexive Pronoun Suffixes

It was considered advisable to give in Part 2 (2.4 ff.) a relatively complete presentation of the Yucatec pronoun system. Listed below are the suffixes which are pronouns or terminal components of pronouns:

Pronouns of Class B Reflexive Pronouns Pronouns of Class A

Sing. Plur. Sing. Plur. Plur.
1st. person -en -o'n -in-ba -k-ba -e'x
2nd. person -ech -e'x -a-ba -a-ba -e'x
3rd. person --- -o'b -u-ba -u-ba -o'b

Suffixes of Group 1

Included in this group are suffixes of the sort which might be termed "main verbal devices", with reference to their most common occurrences. They serve as complete or partial indices of such phases of verbal action as voice, mood, tense, or transitivity-intransitivity (Cf. above). With few exceptions, they occur either in final position or followed only by a pronoun suffix or a terminal suffix.

3.9.    -ab

Suffix found in passive form V-ab (4.10). -ab usually occurs as -aab before another suffix (1.4). In archaic forms and after stems ending in a vowel -ab precedes passive suffixes -al and -ak (3.49) when these suffixes are required.

bisab ti’, 'it was taken to him'; bis-ab; ti’ (2.6).
k'aholtaabi, 'he was recognized'; k'ah-ol-t-ab-i; kah-ol (3.56); -t (3.26); -i (3.7).
ka ts'aabal, 'it is given'; ts'a-(a)b-al; -al (3.48).
ka hantabak, 'it will be eaten'; archaic form; han-t-ab-ak; -t (3.26); -ak (3.13).

3.10.    -ah

Suffix in transitive form t-PA V-ah (4.9). If a pronominal suffix is required, -ah is frequently omitted when the verb stem is composite or reduplicated; when the stem is simple, the vowel a of -ah is often elided, particularly in speech of Type B (Cf. 1.4).
As an intransitive formative, -ah is found frequently in formulas V-ah-PB, V-l-ah-PB, and V-n-ah-PB, constructions in certain irregular intransitive conjugations (3.51.ff.). In V-ah-PB forms, the a of -ah is often elided.
For the restricted use of suffix -ah in formulas PA V-ah-ma and V-ah-aan-PB see 3.21 and 3.47, respectively.

tu beetah, 'he did it'; bee-t-ah; -t (3.26).
tu beeto'b, 'they did it'; bee-t-(ah)-o'b; -o'b (2.4).
tu lomho'b, 'he stabbed them'; lom-(a)h-o'b; -o'b (2.5).
ta pulahe’, 'you threw it'; pul-ah-e’; -e’ (3.6).
walahi, walhi, 'he stood up'; wal-ah-i, wal-h-i; V-(a)h-PB; -i (3.7).
heklaheni, 'I rode'; hek-l-ah-en-i; V-l-ah-PB; -en (2.5); -i (3.7).
k'aynahi, 'he sang'; k'ay-n-ah-i; V-n-ah-PB; -i (3.7).

3.11.    -(a)k

Found in the intransitive and passive form V-(a)k-PB, where V is a simple stem. The vowel of -(a)k agrees vocalically with the stem vowel. In the passive forms the stem vowel is often doubled if the accent is on the stem and no other suffix follows -(a)k (4.37). In certain intransitive uses, -(a)k may be preceded or followed by a number of formatives, as described in 4.49.

3.12.    -ak

Suffix in intransitive and passive forms V-ak-PB (4.37). V is a composite stem; in passive forms, V is most frequently polysyllabic.

ka tsikbanako'n, 'we will talk'; tsik-ba (3.30); -n (3.24); -o'n (2.5).
ken chilako'b, 'when they will lie down'; chil-ak-o'b; chil (3.51); -o'b (2.5).
ka kontestartak, 'she will be answered'; kontestar-t-ak; kontestar, Spanish stem; -t (3.26).

3.13.    -aak

Found in passive form V-aak-PB (4.37). The suffix -aak is almost invariably in final position; i.e., PB is a null sign for 3rd. pers. sing., and there is no terminal suffix (2.5, 3.5 ff.). In non-final position, -aak is found as -aak or -ak, in most instances.

ka kinsaak, 'he will be killed'; kin-s-aak; -s (3.25).
binak beetaak, 'maybe it will be done'; bee-t-aak; -t (3.26).
wa ka bisaaken, 'if I had been taken'; bi(n)-s-aak-en; -s (3.25).

3.14.    -al

Suffix in intransitive and passive form PA V-al (4.13). V is a composite stem, and in passive forms is frequently polysyllabic. Suffix -al is found after composite stems in a few nouns (4.52).

chen p'elak u chanachtale’, 'as soon as he retires'; chan-ach-t-al-e’; -ach (3.40); -t (3.26); -e’ (3.6).
tanili u kultal, 'first he sits down'; kul-t-al; kul (3.51); -t (3.26).
xaknal, 'quadruped'; xak-n-al; -n (3.24).

3.15.    -aal

Suffix in passive form PA V-aal (4.13). In most instances, V is a monosyllabic composite stem, and -aal is the final suffix in the form.

u ti’al u mentaal, 'in order that it be made'; men-t-aal; -t (3.26).
ku yensaal, 'it is being brought down'; y-em-s-aal; for change of m to n before s see 1.3; -s (3.25).

3.16.    -ankil

Found in the intransitive form tan PA V-ankil; the verb stem is frequently reduplicated (4.54).

tan u sisit'ankil, 'he is jumping'; si-sit'-ankil.
tan u k'ak'atankil, 'he is crossing (the street)'; k'a-k'at-ankil.

3.17.    -bil

Suffix found in passive form V-bil-PB (4.55). With kaxt, 'find', in speech of Type A, instead of the common form kaxtbil, 'it should be looked for', we find kaxanbil (kax-an-bil). For -bil followed by -ak see 4.49.

k'atbiloobe’, 'they should be asked'; k'at-bil-o'b-e’; -o'b (2.5); -e’ (3.6).
bin u kah hantbil, 'it is going to be eaten'; han-t-bil; -t (3.26); bin u kah (4.56).
chen aalbilak tie’, 'as he was saying this to him'; al-bil-ak.

3.18.    -e

Suffix in transitive forms PA V-e and V-e, the latter found in imperative uses (4.37). Suffix -e, always in final position, occurs in a form which is the last or only component of the clause or sentence.

bin a hante, 'you will eat it'; han-t-e; -t (3.26).
wa u k'aate, 'if he wants it'; k'at-e.
kaxte !, 'Find it!'; kax-t-e; -t (3.26).

3.19.    -en

Found in intransitive imperative forms V-en and V-en-e'x for 2nd. pers. sing. and plur., respectively (4.57).

manen, 'Walk ahead!'; man-en.
kulene'x, 'You (plur.) sit down!'; kul-en-e'x.
ch'uylen, 'Hang!'; ch'uy-l-en; -l (3.34).
paxnen, 'Play!'; pax-n-en; -n (3.24).

3.20.     -ik

Suffix in transitive form PA V-ik (4.13 ff.).

ku taasik, 'he takes it'; ta(l)-s-ik; for loss of l before s see 1.3; -s (3.25).
tan u yaalkoobe’, 'they were saying it';y-al-(i)k-o'b-e’; for elision of i see 1.4; -o'b (2.4); -e’ (3.6).
koox beetik, 'let us do it'; bee-t-ik; koox (4.21).

3.21.    -ma

Suffix found in transitive form PA V-ma, variant PA V-ah-ma (4.66). The occurrence of -ah-ma is unpredictable. -ma is usually followed by -h when a terminal suffix is required.

in k'ubma, 'I have delivered it'; k'ub-ma.
k beetma, 'we have made it'; bee-t-ma.
in wilahma, 'I have seen it'; w-il-ah-ma.
le suuk u kuchmaho’, 'the hay he has carried'; kuch-ma-h-o’; -o’ (3.5).

Suffixes of Group 2

The suffixes of this group serve primarily or exclusively (1) to convert intransitive or non-verbal stems into transitive stems, or (2) to convert non-verbal stems into intransitive verb stems. They occur frequently as components of composite stems (3.1), and are almost invariably found in medial position.

3.22.    -in

Suffix which converts certain non-verbal stems into transitive stems. Formative -in is always followed by -s or -t (3.25, 3.26).

ka ichinsab, 'and they bathed him'; ich-in-s-ab; for ich, cf. ichil, 'within'; -ab (3.9).
u ti’al u bukint, 'so that he puts on clothes'; buk-in-t; buk, 'clothes'.
koox hanintik, 'Let's make him our son-in-law'; han-in-t-ik; han, 'son-in-law'; koox (4.21); -ik (3.20).

3.23.    -kin, -kun

Suffixes which convert stems otherwise found in irregular intransitive conjugations into transitive stems. Always followed by -s or -t, -kin-s or -kin-t is used when the stem vowel is o or u; -kun-s or -kun-t is used when the stem vowel is a, e, or i. No determinants are observed for the use of -s or -t after -kin and -kun.

ka walkunsaabi, 'he stood him up'; wal-kun-s-ab-i; wal, 'stand', irregular verb of V-ah conjugation (3.51); -ab (3.9); -i (3.7).
ku ts'ookol u kuxkintike’, 'after he revived him'; kux-kin-t-ik-e’; kux, 'live', V-l-ah conjugation (3.52); -ik (3.20); -e’ (3.6).
tanili u chilkun'taal, 'Immediately he was caused to lie down'; chil-kun-t-aal; chil (3.51); -aal (3.15).
kulkintaaba, kulkinsaba !, 'Sit down!'; kul-kin-t-a-ba or kul-kin-s-a-ba; kul (3.51); -a-ba (2.7).

3.24.    -n

Converts Spanish words into irregular intransitive verbs of the V-n-ah conjugation (3.53). This suffix is required by monosyllabic composite stems and by nearly all polysyllabic stems used intransitively. For the conjugation of such stems, see the V-n-ah forms (3.53). Suffix -n is observed in a few noun forms.

binak pribarnaki, 'maybe she will faint'; pribar-n-ak-i; -ak (3.12); -i (3.7).
aawatnahi, 'it cried out'; aw-at-n-ah-i; aw-at (3.28); -ah (3.10); -i (3.7).
k'opnahen, 'I knocked'; k'op-n-ah-en; -ah (3.10); -en (2.5).
ak'aknak, 'it is slimy'; ak'-ak-n-ak (4.49).
metnal, 'Hell'; met-n-al; -al (4.52).

3.25.    -s

Serves to convert many monosyllabic intransitive stems into transitive stems. The morpheme -es, archaic form of -s, is found when the stem has no other suffix and is not accented. Formatives -in-s, -kin-s, and -kun-s are registered above; for -b-es see 3.29.

hok'saabi, 'they were brought out'; hok'-s-ab-i; hok', 'come out'; -ab (3.9); -i (3.7).
u ti’al k bise, 'in order that we may take it'; bi(n)-s-e; bin, 'go'; for loss of n before s see 1.3; -e (3.18).
tan in ts'ooksik, 'I am finishing it'; ts'ook-s-ik; ts'ook, 'end'; -ik (3.20).
han ts'ookes, 'Hurry up and finish it'; ts'ook-es.

3.26.    -t

Converts most polysyllabic stems and a number of monosyllabic stems, otherwise found in intransitive verbal units or in nouns, into transitive verb stems.Spanish verbs and, so far as our limited data indicate, Spanish nouns, are converted into Yucatec transitive verb stems by means of formative -t.
This suffix is required in such transitive stems as ant, 'help', and beet, 'do', which are never found without -t. It is observed in certain transitive stems only when these are preceded by an adjunct verbal stem (4.50).
Formative -t is required in these intransitive forms: PA V-t-al, a verbal unit found in most of the irregular intransitive conjugations (3.51 ff.); and S-aan-t-ak (4.49), a form restricted to plural references in certain uses. Suffix -t is found in a few nouns: e.g., kuxtal, 'life'; kux-t-al.

tu chinpoltah, 'he bowed his head'; chin-pol-t-ah; chin, 'incline'; pol, 'head'; -ah (3.10).
chek'taabi, 'he was stepped on'; chek'-t-ab-i; chek', 'footprint'; -ab (3.9); -i (3.7).
wa ka in hante; 'if I eat it'; han-t-e; han, 'eat (intran.)'; -e (3.18).
tin nombrartah, 'I appointed him'; nombrar-t-ah; nombrar, 'name'; -ah (3.10).
ka maldisyontabo'b, 'and a curse was uttered against them'; maldición, 'a curse'; -ab (3.9); -oːb (2.5).
ku yantaal, 'he is being helped'; y-an-t-aal; y- (3.2); -aal (3.15).
ka het ch'intik, 'you throw it with all your might'; ch'in-t-ik; het, adjunct verbal stem; ch'in, 'throw (trans.)'.
tan u sastal, 'it is becoming dawn'; sas-t-al; PA V-t-al.
tak'aantak, 'they are stuck'; tak'-aan-t-ak; S-aan-t-ak.

3.27.    -cha

Followed by -h (3.31); -cha-h converts a number of non-verbal stems into irregular intransitive stems, for the conjugation of which see 3.54. Many verbal units with -cha-h signify entrance into a state or condition. The suffixes -cha-l are observed only in the intransitive forms S-cha-l-ak (4.49).

k'ohaanchahen, 'I got sick'; k'oh-aan-cha-h-en; k'ohaan, 'sick' (3.47); -en (2.5).
nohochchahi, 'he grew large'; noh-och-cha-h-i; nohoch, 'big' (3.40); -i (3.7).
binak saschahaki, 'perhaps it will dawn'; sas-cha-h-ak-i; sasil, 'light'; -ak (3.12); -i (3.7).
otchalak, '(overripe fruit) is dropping (from tree)'; S-cha-l-ak.

Suffixes of Group 3

In this group we include a rather heterogeneous set of suffixes. Some of them may be analogous to those of Group 2; but their occurrences are either too infrequent ot too equivocal for inclusion in that group. Others are apparently used to modify the significance of the stem more radically than do the suffixes of Group 2.

3.28.    -(a)t

Component of several irregular intransitive stems and a few nouns; the vowel of the suffix usually agrees vocalically with that of the stem. In most instances, the stem without -(a)t has different significance or is not found.

ok'otnahi, 'he danced'; ok'-ot-n-ah-i; V-n-ah form (3.53); -i (3.7). le ok'oto’, 'the dance'; ok'-ot-o’; le ... -o’ (3.5); cf. ok'ol, 'cry' (3.48).
awatnaki, 'he will yell'; aw-at-n-ak-i; irregular V-n-ah form (3.53). le awato’, 'the cry'; aw-at-o’.
k'abet, 'it is necessary'; invariable form (3.55).
ts'onot, 'very deep pool' (Motul: ɔonót, 'deep pool'); ts'on, 'shoot'.

3.29.    -b

Usually followed by -es (3.25). Formatives -b-es convert certain stems into transitive verbs. The occurrence of -b without -es is probable in two or three composite stems of doubtful analysis.

ma sahbesken, 'Don't frighten me'; sah-b-es-(i)k-en; sah, 'fear'; for elision of -i see 1.4; -en (2.5).
u ti’al a kinbes, 'so that you may hurt him'; kin-b-es.
ku chibal, 'it is barking'; chi-b-al, or perhaps chi’-b-al.
tan u tubaal, 'it was being spat out'; tu-b-aal.

3.30.    -ba

Found in a few intransitive stems: e.g., lemba, 'shine'; kilba, 'thunder'. Required in the intransitive constructions S-(a)k-ba-l and S-ba-n-ak (4.49), and in a few stems which are used transitively, intransitively, and as nouns. For reflexive -ba see 2.7.

kulukbal, 'he is seated'; kul-uk-ba-l; S-(a)k-ba-l.
albanak, '(candle) is soft (due to heat)'; S-ba-n-ak.
tsikbatab, 'he was notified'; tsik-ba-t-ab; tsik-ba-t, 'to relate, explain, notify'; -t (3.26); -ab (3.9).
tsikbanako'n, 'so that we can converse'; tsik-ba-n-ak-o'n; tsik-ba-n, 'to talk'; -n (3.24); -ak (3.12); -o'n (2.5).
tsikbal, 'conversation'; tsik-ba-l; cf. tsikben, 'worthy of respect'; tsik-ben (3.41).

3.31.    -h

Found after suffix -pa, -cha, or -k'a (Cf. 3.37, 3.28).

3.32.    -y(a)

Indicates repeated action, as in Old Yucatec, but is found in our sampling with only two stems.

ts'ayatsil, 'generous gift, charity, mercy, grace'; ts'a-ya-tsil; ts'a, 'give'; -ya, 'frequent, abundant' etc; -tsil (3.45).
meyah, 'to work'; me(n)-y(a)-ah; me(n), Old Yuc. men, 'work'; meyahnen!, 'Work!'; me(n)-y(a)-ah-n-en; -ah, unidentified; -n (3.24); -en (3.19); for conjugation of meyah see 3.53.

3.33.    -kab

Indicates rapid action or action which takes place on the ground; found in a few transitive and intransitive verbs. This morpheme is also found in compounds (cf. luumkab, 'Earthman'; kolkab, 'milpa-tiller').

ku walkatkuuba, 'Right away he stopped'; wal-ka(b)-t-(i)k-u-ba; wal, 'stand, stop' (3.51); for loss of -b and -i see 1.3, 1.4; -t (3.26); -ik (3.20); -u-ba (2.7).
ku kulkatkuuba, 'At once she sat down'; kul-ka(b)-t-(i)k-u-ba; kul, 'sit' (3.51).
alkabnahi, 'he ran'; al-kab-n-ah-i; V-n-ah form (3.53); al- not found with this meaning without -kab.

3.34.    -l

Suffix required by certain stems which are found in verbal units of the V-l-ah conjugation (3.52); it is also found in the intransitive form S-(a)k-ba-l (4.49) and after composite stems ending in a vowel in the irregular intransitive form PA V. For -l after -cha, -pa and -k'a see 3.37, 3.28.

heklahi, 'he rode'; hek-l-ah-i; V-l-ah form; -i (3.7).
kuxlaki, 'he will live'; kux-l-ak-i; cf. 3.23 for transitive form.
kahakbal, 'he resides in a village'; kah-ak-ba-l; S-(a)k-ba-l form; kah, 'village'.
tan u ximbal, 'he is walking'; xim-ba-l; PA V (3.53); xim-ba, 'walk' (3.30).

3.35.    -lah

Signifying 'all', -lah is found affixed to stems of passive and intransitive verbal constructions (4.64).

p'uklaho'b, 'they all bent over'; p'uk-lah-o'b; p'uk, 'bend over'; -o'b (2.5).
ka maanlahak, 'that all be bought'; man-lah-ak; man, 'buy'; -ak (3.12).

3.36.    -lan

Suffix found in certain transitive and passive verbal constructions specified in 4.65; it is always followed by -t (3.26).

tu k'exlantah, 'they exchanged (clothes) with one another'; k'ex-lan-t-ah; k'ex, 'exchange'; -ah (3.10).
ku kinslantaal, 'they are killed'; kin-s-lan-t-aal; kins, 'kill'; -s (3.25).

3.37.    -pa, -k'a

Suffixes required in certain composite stems which are conjugated as regular intransitive verbs. -pa and -k'a are followed by -h (3.31) except in the forms S-pa-l-ak and S-k'a-l-ak (4.49). With a few stems, -k'a is interchangeable with -pa or -cha (3.27).

tan k kinpahal, 'we are getting hurt'; kin-pa-h-al; cf. kinbes (3.29); -al (3.14).
t'okpalak, 'it is fragile'; t'ok-pa-l-ak.
t'ochk'ahen, t'ochpahen, 'I tripped'; t'och-k'a-h-en; t'och-pa-h-en.
kukk'alak, kukchalak, '(restless person) turns over repeatedly in bed'; kuk-k'a-l-ak; kuk-cha-l-ak.

Suffixes of Group 4

The following suffixes are found primarily as components of nouns or other non-verbal forms, and secondarily as components of verb forms derived from non-verbal forms.

3.38.    -(a)b

Found in a number of names for tools and utensils, and in various unclassified nouns. The stems of some of these nouns occur without -(a)b as simple verb stems, or with -(a)b and a suffix of Group 2 as composite verb stems.

hats'abo'b, 'swords'; hats'-ab-o'b; hats', 'strike'; -o'b (2.28).
ch'uyub, 'hanging-net'; ch'uy-ub; ch'uy, 'hang' (3.52).
xluutsub, 'fish-hook'; xluts-ub.
ilib, 'daughter-in-law'; il-ib.
ak'ab, 'night'; tan u yak'abtal, 'it is becoming night'; y-ak'-ab-t-al; PA V-t-al (3.54); y- (3.2).

3.39.    -(a)m

A suffix found in some nouns, the majority of which are names of animals.

ts'eelem, 'hornet'; ts'el-em.
ulum, 'turkey'; ul-um.
kitam, 'wild boar'.
kelem, 'Lord'.

3.40.    -(a)ch

Suffix found in certain nouns and in many forms which are comparable in function to English adjectives. A number of instances were observed of verbal use of forms with -(a)ch.

otoch, 'home'; ot-och.
tuunich, 'stone'; tun-ich.
beek'ech, 'thin'; bek'-ech.
kilich, 'saintly'; kil-ich.
nohoch, nukuch, 'large, great, aged, important'; nukuch is preferred for plural references: e.g.,
le nukuch cheoobo’, 'the big trees'; le nohoch winiko’, 'the big man'.
tan in nohochtal, 'I am getting big'; noh-och-t-al; PA V-t-al (3.54).

3.41.    -ben or -b-en

Component of nouns and other non-verbal forms. In some specimens -ben is comparable to English suffixes -ible and -able; in others it signifies 'worthy of' (4.57).

k'oben, 'kitchen'; k'o-ben.
ch'aben, 'acceptable'; ch'a-ben, ch'a, 'fetch, take'.
tsikben, 'worthy of respect'; tsik-ben

3.42.    -el

A suffix found in many collective nouns referring to parts of the body. These are preceded by pronouns of Class A (2.4). Miscellaneous instances of -el include such words as paasel, 'milpa-hut', kolel, 'lady', ohel, 'to know' (3.56).

u bakel, 'his bones'; bak-el.
in tsootsel, 'my hair'; tsots-el.
u bak'el kax, 'the meat of the chicken'; bak'-el.
u ch'oochel le taman, 'the intestines of a lamb'; ch'och-el.

3.43.    -il

Suffix found in nouns, the stems of which are otherwise used in verbal units or as nouns with different significance. -il also serves to convert both verbal and non-verbal constructions into nouns. For the conditions governing the use of pronoun u before forms with suffix -il see 4.60.

kuuchil, 'burden'; kuch-il, kuch, 'carry a burden'.
u cheilo'b, 'the poles'; che’-il-o'b; che’, 'tree'.
kanbanahaanilo’, 'the learned one'; kan-ba-n-ah-aan-il-o’; kanbanahani, 'he is learned'; V-aan-PB (3.47).
u nohchil, 'a big one'; noh-(o)ch-il; noh-och, 'big' (3.40); for omission of o see 1.4.
a tsikbeenil, 'your grace' (respectful address); tsik-ben-il; tsik-ben, 'worthy of respect' (3.41).

3.44.    -ul

Found after verb stems in the following non-verbal specimens:

nakulo'b, 'helpers'; nak-ul-o'b; nak, 'lean against, take along extra food, money, etc. against a contingency when traveling'; -o'b (2.28).
chikul, variant of chikil, 'sign, indication'; chik, 'be visible'.
meyhul, 'task, labors'; cf. me(n)-y(a)-ah, 'work'.
naapulak, 'at once'; nap-ul-ak; nap, 'snap at'; -ak unidentified.

3.45.    -tsil

Required by kinship terms which are not preceded by a possessive pronoun. Found in various noun forms and in certain intransitive verbal units. For uses see 4.71.

le kiktsiloobo’, 'the sisters'; kik-tsil-o'b-o’; le ... -o’ (3.5); -o'b (2.28).
le atantsilo’, 'the wife'; at-an-tsil-o’; at-an (3.47); le ... -o’ (3.5); cf. 3.2.
yumtsil, 'respected gentleman'; yum-tsil; yum, 'sir'.
otsil, 'poor, worthy of sympathy'; o(l)-tsil; ol, 'mind, will, other psychological significances', for omission of l see 1.3.
k'antsilen, 'I was yellow'; k'an-tsil-en; k'an, 'yellow'; -en (2.5).

Suffixes of Group 5

The three suffixes included in this group involve characteristics of two or more of the preceding groups; their functions and their position in the form are unusually diverse.

3.46.    -ki

Suffix in intransitive form V-ki (4.63), found only in 3rd. pers. sing. The few stems with suffix -ki are reduplicated. Formatives -ki-n are found after the non-verbal stem ich, and serve to convert it into an intransitive verb stem.

papatki, 'he was smeared all over'; pa-pat-ki.
ichkinaki, 'he will bathe'; ich-ki-n-ak-i; cf. ichil, 'within'; -n (3.24); -ak (3.12).

3.47.    -aan

Affixed to a transitive or intransitive stem in form V-aan-PB, which is roughly comparable in function to the English past participle (4.53). Variants of -aan are: -an (or infrequently -aan), which usually occurs when this suffix is unaccented, and -en (after kim, 'die'). With the stem bin, 'go', -aan is preceded by -ah; with a few polysyllabic stems -aan is preceded by -n-ah; and in certain uses -aan is followed by -ak or -t-ak (4.49).
In a number of specimens -aan or -an is a component of non-verbal forms and in many cases is apparently equivalent to a noun suffix; by addition of a suffix of Group 2 (3.22 ff.), certain of these forms are converted into verbal stems.
When -an is followed by formative -s (3.25), -an-s serves to convert the intransitive stem alkab, 'run', into a transitive stem.

kalaanech, 'you are drunk'; kal-aan-ech; -ech (2.5); V-aan-PB.
wa k'atane’, 'if he is asked'; k'at-an-e’; V-aan-PB.
kimen, 'he is dead'; kim-en; V-aan-PB.
binahaan, 'he has gone'; bin-ah-aan; V-aan-PB.
huntarnahano'b, '(those) who had gathered together'; huntar-n-ah-an-o'b, -n (3.24); -o'b (2.5).
hulaantako'b, 'they are joined together'; hul-aan-t-ak-o'b (4.49).
t'uchaanak, '(the squirrel) perching ..'; t'uch-aan-ak (4.49).
kanan, 'guard'; kanant, 'to guard'; kan-an-t; -t (3.26).
chichan, 'small'; chichan(cha-h), 'to get small'; -cha-h (3.27, 3.54).
alkabansaabi, 'he was scared (caused to run)'; al-kab-an-s-ab-i; -ab (3.9); -i (3.7).

3.48.    -(a)l

Suffix in intransitive or passive form PA V-(a)l. The verb stem is always simple. Omission of -(a)l or substitution of -el is observed in intransitive specimens after certain stems (3.53, 3.57). In passive forms, the stem vowel is usually doubled and the accent is on the stem.
Suffix -(a)l is also found in intransitive forms S-(a)l-ak-PB and V-(a)l-PB, which are comparable in function to V-aan-PB (4.49, 4.52).
A number of stems, many of which are intransitive verbs, are converted into nouns and other non-verbal forms by means of -(a)l (4.52). Certain nouns with suffix -(a)l occur as stems of intransitive verbs of the V-n-ah conjugation (3.53) or, without other formatives, as transitive stems.

tan in lubul, 'I am falling'; PA V-(a)l, intransitive.
tan in tal, 'I am coming'; PA V-(a)l, intransitive, with -(a)l omitted after tal, 'come'.
ku puuk'ul, 'it is stirred up'; PA V-(a)l, passive.
p'uchalak, 'it is shredded'; p'uch-al-ak; S-(a)l-ak.
luubul, '(leaf) which is fallen'; luub-ul, V-(a)l-PB; stem vowel doubles under certain conditions (4.52).
kimil, 'death'; kim-il; kim, 'die'.
lochol, 'twisted'; loch-ol; loch, 'twist'.
yetel, 'with'; y-et-el; -et, 'accompany'.
ok'ol, '(the) cry'; ok'ol(n), 'to cry'; see 3.53.
uk'ul, '(the) drink'; uk'ul(n), 'to drink'; see 3.53.
tukul, '(the) thought'; tukul, 'to think'; kin tuklik, 'I am thinking (of it)'; tuk-(u)l-ik.

Main Verbal Formulas

3.49.   Verbal Formulas and Variants

The most common verbal formulas are:

Usage Class (Cf. 2.17)
t-PA V-ah
PA V-ik
PA V-(a)l
PA V-(aa)l
k-PA V-ik
k-PA V-(a)l
k-PA V-(aa)l
PA V-(e)
PA V-(aa)k
Examples with al, 'say'; han, 'eat'; k'ub, 'deliver' (3rd. pers. sing.)
tu yaalah
u yaalik u hanal
u k'uubul
ku yaalik ku hanal
ku k'uubul
u yaale hanak

Variants represented by these formulas are:

PA V-(e):
PA V-null or PA V-e
PA V-(a)l:
PA V-(a)l when V is a simple stem.
PA V-al when V is a composite stem.
V-(a)k-PB when V is a simple stem.
V-ak-PB when V is a composite stem.
PA V-(aa)l:
PA V(doubled stem vowel)-(a)l for simple stems.
PA V-aal for monosyllabic composite stems.
PA V-al for polysyllabic composite stems.
V(doubled stem vowel)-(a)k-PB for simple stems.
V-aak-PB for monosyllabic composite stems.
V-ak-PB for polysyllabic composite stems.

The k-IKAL forms differ from the IKAL forms only with respect to the preceding k (4.27). In certain uses the NULLAK forms are preceded by ka (4.37). IKAL forms are usually preceded by a cooperant such as tan (4.14), ts'ook (4.15), or yan (4.18).

3.50.    Omission of Pronoun of Class A (PA)

The PA of an intransitive IKAL form is omitted when the form follows another verbal construction with a pronoun (PA or PB) of the same person. PA is more frequently omitted than employed in IKAL forms which follow (1) ma, negative sign (4.24); (2) koox or kone'x (4.21); (3) a pronoun of Class C (4.25). IKAL and k-IKAL forms used in relative clauses are found without PA after max, 'who' and baax, 'what' (4.34). The pronoun u is often omitted in IKAL and transitive NULLAK forms when the verb stem begins with a vowel and the form is preceded by u ti’al (4.23, 4.41). Occasional omission of PA is observed in IKAL forms preceded by tan (4.41), ts'ook (4.15), and hoop' (4.17); about half of these specimens are omissions of u before verb stems which begin with a vowel.

in k'at p'atal waaye’, 'I wish to stay here' (in k'at in p'at-al).
naaken weenel, 'I climbed up to sleep' (naaken in wen-el).
ma kaxtik, 'he can't find it' (ma u kax-t-ik).
ten hantaal, 'it is I who am being eaten' (ten in han-t-aal).
koox tuxtik, 'let us send for him' (koox k tux-t-ik).
baax lubul, 'that which fell' (baax u lub-ul).
u ti’al yaale, 'in order that he may say it' (u ti’al u y-al-e).
u ti’al yilik, 'in order that he saw it' (u ti’al u y-il-ik).
tan yuchul, 'it is happening' (tan u y-uch-ul).
hoop' yuubik, 'he began to feel it' (hoop' u y-ub-ik).
ts'ook beetaal, 'it was done' (ts'ook u bee-t-aal).

Irregular Conjugations and Irregular Verbs

With the exception of composite intransitive stems with -pa-h or -k'a-h (3.37), each of the composite intransitive stems is conjugated in accordance with one of the following conjugations which are irregular with respect to the verbal formulas just described. Whereas transitive composite stems retain the same suffix of Group 2 in all conjugations and in nearly all instances are conjugated regularly, the primary characteristic of all the intransitive composites except the V-n-ah conjugation is the alternation of formative -t in the IKAL forms with other formatives.

3.51.    V-ah forms

Typical examples (3rd. pers. sing.):


PA V-t-al
u kul-t-al
u chil-t-al
u wal-t-al
kul, 'sit down'
chil, 'lie down'
wal, 'stand up'

Classed in this group but occurring predominantly or exclusively in the V-ah-PB form: yab, 'be many'; maalob, 'get well'; pen, 'get busy'; suk, 'get in the habit of'; wiy, 'be hungry'; uk', 'be thirsty'; xan, 'be delayed', xol, 'kneel'. For the V-ah-PB form for yan, 'be', and paht, 'be possible', see 3.58 and 3.55 respectively.
With some stems, both V-ah-PB and V-h-PB forms are found; with others, only the elided form occurs; uk'ahen, uk'hen, 'I was thirsty'; wiyhen, 'I was hungry'.

3.52.    V-l-ah forms

In our sampling, only three verbs fall in this classification; examples (3rd. pers. sing.):


PA V-t-al
hek, 'ride'
kux, 'live'
ch'uy, 'hang'

3.53.    V-n-ah forms

Typical examples (3rd. pers. sing.):


u al-kab
u sut
u segir
alkab, 'run'
sut, 'return'
segir, 'continue'

Other stems with V-n-ah forms include: awat, 'cry out'; hayab, 'yawn'; heetsim, 'sneeze'; hum, 'make noise'; keb, 'belch'; meˈjah, 'work'; ok'ol, 'cry'; ok'ot, 'dance'; sit', 'jump'; tul, 'sprout'; uk'ul, 'drink'; wix, 'urinate'; ximba, 'stroll, visit'; chak, 'shake off'; cheeh, 'laugh'; ch'eneb, 'pry'; k'ai, 'sing'; k'ilkab, 'sweat'; k'op, 'knock'. Most polysyllabic stems and all Spanish words used as intransitive verbs are conjugated by means of the V-n-ah forms. In the PA V form, verb stems ending in a vowel are followed by -l: u tsikbal, 'he conversed'; tsik-ba-l; -ba (3.30); -l (3.34). A few k-PA V forms were found: kin yalkab, 'I will run'; k-in y-al-kab.

3.54.    V-cha-h forms

Typical examples (3rd. pers. sing.):


PA V-t-al
V-cha-h-ak-PB Stem
u y-ak'-ab-t-al
u kal-t-al
u sas-t-al
ak'ab, 'get dark'
kal, 'get drunk'
sas, 'become dawn'

Other stems in this group, most of which occur with or without formatives as adjectives or nouns, include: ayik'al, 'get rich'; al, 'get heavy'; nach, 'go far'; nohoch, 'become large'; chichan, 'get small'; k'ohaan, 'get sick'. These verbs as well as certain stems in the V-ah forms, indicate entrance into a state or condition. Some stems have interchangeable V-ah and V-cha-h forms: yabhi, yabchahi, 'there came to be many'; yanhi, yanchahi, 'it came to pass' (3.58); xanhi, xanchahi, 'there was delay'.

3.55.    Impersonal verbs

Verbs conjugated exclusively in the 3rd. pers. sing. include: k'abet, 'be necessary'; hoop', 'begin'; uch, 'happen'; paht, 'succeed'. Forms for these verbs are:

k'abet, invariable in form.
hoop', conjugated regularly.
uch, conjugated regularly except for these forms: NULLAK variants uchik, uchak, unchak.
paht, conjugated regularly; also two V-(a)h forms (pathi, pahti) and a V-cha-h form (pachahi) are used interchangeably.

3.56.    Defective verbs

The following transitive verb stems are found without verbal suffix: k'at, 'want'; ohel, 'know (something)'; k'ahol, 'know (a person)'. Typical paradigm:

in k'at, 'I want (wanted, will want) it'
a k'at
u k'at
k k'at, k k'ate'x
a k'ate'x
u k'ato'b

Exceptional V-aan examples were observed for k'ahol and o'hel; e.g., ma ohelaan, 'it is not known'. Regular transitive verbs with these stems are: k'at, 'ask'; ohelt, 'find out'; k'aholt, 'recognize (a person)'.

3.57.    Irregular in IKAL and k-IKAL forms

The stems tal, 'come', and man, 'pass' are typical of stems which are conjugated regularly except in forms PA V-(a)l and k-PA V-(a)l, where -(a)l is omitted or, in archaic speech, is replaced by -el.

ku man, 'he passed'.
tan in talel, 'I am coming' (archaic speech).

3.58.    Individual Irregularities

  1. uy, ub, 'feel, hear'. Conjugated as a regular transitive verb, uy, ub occurs with the stem ub in the third person, and with the stem uy in the other persons: tu yuubah, 'he felt it'; tin wuuyah, 'I felt it'; ta wuuyah, 'you felt it'.
  2. bin, 'go'. Regular in V-PB form, bin lacks -(a)l in IKAL and k-IKAL forms (Cf. above). It is impersonal in the V-(a)k-PB form, in which it signifies 'perhaps' or 'maybe', and the suffix is -ak instead of -ik as expected: binak, X-variant binaki (4.47). bin occurs uninflected before NULLAK forms (4.42), before PA kah (4.56), and in certain other instances specified in 4.56.
  3. yan, 'be, have'. Regular in V-PB and V-(a)k-PB forms, yan has been found in impersonal V-(a)h, V-cha-h, and V-t-al forms: yanhi (A-variant anhi) and yanchahi, 'it came to pass' (4.61), or 'it had to ...' (4.18); u yantal, 'there is'. A V-il-PB form is found in all persons and signifies 'to be in a specified state or condition': yanilen; 'I was ..'; yanil (A-variant anil), 'he was ...'. For uninflected yan in various uses see 4.18, 4.61.



The plan of this part is to some extent like that of a dictionary. The chief aim here, as in a dictionary, is to indicate in each entry what is referred to by a certain symbol in the various kinds of contexts in which it occurs. The symbols in the present case are mainly the constructions described in Part 3. Regardless of how diverse the uses of one of these constructions may be with respect to grammatical or semantic categories, they will be treated as subdivisions of a single topic; the topic being simply how the construction is used. Since a label has been provided for each of the constructions dealt with, it would have been possible to arrange the entries alphabetically; but it has seemed preferable to adopt a plan that seems to make increasingly easy the task of analyzing the examples of each usage. Relying, let us say, on the pedagogical effect of repetition and prior explanation, the comment on the analysis of the examples will be increasingly brief.
In order to guard at least to some extent against vagueness and ambiguity, some neologisms are made use of in various instances in which the current technical or ordinary expressions seem to the author to be particularly inadequate. We proceed to indicate what will be referred to by the neologisms which will be needed most frequently. Others will be explained where they occur for the first time.

4.1.   Occurrent

We need to refer by a single term to whatever is signified at least by the verbs of the languages which are now said to have verbs. Such a term will relieve us of the task of deciding in some cases whether one should say, for example, the action signified by this verb, or the state (or condition, or relation) signified by this verb. We mention this difficulty only by way of illustration. It is by no means the only one involved in the uses of such expressions as action, state, relation, state of being ..., etc. To evade in these pages some of these difficulties, the term 'occurrent' will be used. By this term we will refer to whatever can truthfully or otherwise be said to be the case. Thus, we would say that at least one occurrent is referred to by each of the following sentences: You are sick, He is taller than you, Oxygen is a gas, It may rain tomorrow, He believed it, The Earth is flat, Caesar murdered Brutus. The question of distinguishing what is said to be a single occurrent from what is said to be more than one will be dealt with below (4.5).

4.2.   Datable Interval

Because of the difficulties pointed out in Note 7, it has seemed advisable not to employ the usual terms tense and aspect in this discussion of Yucatec usage. We propose to rely on the terms introduced below. To facilitate their introduction, let us first agree upon the conventions we proceed to explain. The expression datable interval will be used (as is frequently done at present) to refer to a period of time specifiable, or assumed to be specifiable, with respect to a local time by an expression of this form: 'From t1; to t2', or, as we shall write hereafter, 't 1-t2'. The numerical order indicated by the subscripts affixed to t will stand for chronologic order. Thus, if we say that t1 - t2 is datable interval of event E1, and t3 - t4 is the datable interval of event E2, then it can be inferred that E1 occurred before E2. Also, given events E1, E2, whose respective datable intervals are t1 - t4, t2 - t3, the subscripts indicate that E1; began to occur before E2, and came to an end after the end of the occurrence of E2. Similarly, the datable intervals of overlapping occurrences can be specified thus: t1 - t3, t2 - t5, t4 - t7, t6 - t8. It may not be superfluous to remark that t1 - t2, for example, can stand for an ordinary time specification such as At five o'clock, as well as for a time specified as From 5:00 to 5:30 (Note 8). Of course, in either case it is understood that the specification refers to one or two dates; viz., At 5 o'clock a.m. on July 4, 1940, A.D.; From 5 o'clock p.m. on July 4, 1918 to 5:30 a.m. on March 3, 1930.
To avoid prolixity, and to guard against certain ambiguities in the use of the word during, it will be convenient sometimes to say that an occurrent "occupies" a datable interval, taking advantage of the common practice of using the same terms for time and space in various expressions. Thus, speaking of a given occurrent, O1; occupied t1; - t2, which will be equivalent to saying O1; began to occur at t1; and its occurrence ended at t2. The time from which a datable interval is reckoned will be said to be its 'initial limit'; and the time up to which it is reckoned will be said to be its 'terminal limit'. E.g.: the initial limit of t4 - t5 is t4 and its terminal limit is t5.

4.3.   Time-Index

Let 't1 - t4' stand for any given datable interval. Any datable interval included in t1 - t4 will be said to be a segment of t1 - t4. For example, t1 - t2, t2 - t3, t3 - t4 are three segments of t1 - t4. Two datable intervals will be said to be 'contemporary' if they have at least one segment in common. Thus, t1 - t3 is contemporary with t2 - t4 and t1 - t4 is contemporary with t2 - t3. If two datable intervals are not contemporary they will be said to be 'mutually exclusive'. The terms 'prior' and 'subsequent' will be used to specify the chronologic position of two mutually exclusive intervals with respect to each other. Accordingly, given t1 - t2 and t3 - t4, we will say either that t1 - t2 is prior to t3 - t4 or that t3 - t4 is subsequent to t1 - t2. A given datable interval with respect to which the chronologic position of another is specified in a given instance will be said to be the 'time-index' in that particular specification. Thus, given t1 - t2, t3 - t4; if we choose to say that t1 - t2 is prior to t3 - t4, then t3 - t4 is the time-index of that specification; and if we say that t3 - t4 is subsequent to t1 - t2, then t1 - t2 is the chosen time-index. The terms prior, subsequent, and contemporary, employed in the senses above specified, will be useful in our discussions of Yucatec usage. For it so happens that some Yucatec constructions definitely indicate that the reference is to an occurrent whose datable interval is prior, or contemporary, or subsequent (as the case may be) with respect to a particular time-index; but they do not indicate whether that time-index is a present time, or a past, or a future time. Hence, the terms past, present, future are not adequate to specify the distinctions which govern the uses of those constructions.
We all know that a given time can be asserted to be past, or present, or future, only with respect to the very moment in which the assertion is made. That moment is the time-index with respect to which the speaker or writer specifies the chronologic position of the interval he refers to as being present, or past, or future, as the case may be. Such a time-interval will be called 'cardinal time'. From the foregoing, it may readily be inferred that with respect to a given cardinal time, 'CT', a past time is an interval which is prior to 'CT'; a future time is an interval subsequent to 'CT'; and a present time, at least so far as ordinary communication is concerned, is an interval contemporary with 'CT'. Of course, the terms prior, subsequent, and contemporary are equivalent to past, future, and present, respectively, only when the time-index is a cardinal time.

4.4.   Chronologic Specifications

In some chronologic specifications, two time-indices are made use of: a cardinal time and another time-index which will be said to be 'supplementary'. In the following diagram, the lines representing the intervals are labeled thus: 'C', cardinal time; 'S', supplementary time-index; 'GI', the given interval whose chronologic position is specified either with respect to 'C' only, or with respect to both 'C' and 'S'. Under the heading Designations we list the terms which will be used when the chronologic position of 'GI' is specified as indicated in the diagram.

       GI                  C
t1 -------- t2   t3 -------- t4
t1 ------------ t4
    t2 ------- t3
       C                    GI
t1 -------- t2   t3 -------- t4  
       GI                   S                   C
t1 -------- t2   t3 -------- t4   t5 -------- t6
          GI                      C
t1 ------------ t4   t5 -------- t6
    t2 ------- t3
      S                    GI                   C
t1 -------- t2   t3 -------- t4   t5 -------- t6
       C                    GI                   S
t1 -------- t2   t3 -------- t4   t5 -------- t6
       C                     GI                  
t1 -------- t2   t3 ------------ t6
                           t4------- t5

In cases 2, 5, and 8, the diagram represents only one of the possibilities to which the term contemporary applies, as previously defined (4.3). This omission has been made only for the sake of simplicity, and not to signify that the terms contemporary-past, present and contemporary-future do not apply in any other instance in which 'GI' is contemporary with 'C', or with 'S'. The following are examples of chronologic specifications illustrating the eight cases represented in the diagram: 1, He did it; 2, He is doing it; 3, He will do it; 4, He had done it; 5, He was doing it; 6, (He said) he would do it the next day; 7, He will have done it; 8, He will be doing it. It may not be superfluous to remark that each of the sentences 4, 5, 7, and 8 depends on its context for the specification of its supplementary time-index. For example, referring to an occurrent occupying t1 - t2, we may say at a cardinal time t5 - t6 either He did it or He had done it. If we say He had done it, we expect that in the discoursive or circumstantial context of that sentence an interval t3 - t4 (or an occurrent occupying t3 - t4) has been spoken of. Suppose N meets M on the street, and the first thing he says to M is; "Your uncle had arrived." If we assume that N conforms to English habits of speech, we expect that M and N had previously discussed the question of whether or not M's uncle had arrived before something else (x) occurred. Hence, the time of the occurrence of 'x' is the supplementary time-index in "Your uncle had arrived." Needless to say, the foregoing (4.4) does not provide for all the possibilities concerning chronologic specifications; nor even for some which are distinguished in various languages. The aim has been simply to provide for those which have to be dealt with in the present discussion of Yucatec usage.
It will occasionally be convenient to use the terms 'past' and 'future' unqualified, and in their ordinary senses. In such cases past will apply to any time prior to the cardinal time; and future to Cases 7 and 8, and any other time subsequent to the cardinal time.
Since the difference between the chronologic position of an occurrent and the chronologic position of the datable interval it occupies is purely verbal, it will not be ambiguous, and it will often be convenient, to specify the chronologic position of an occurrent by means of the designation that is applicable to the datable interval it occupies. Thus, the expression a contemporary-past occurrent will be equivalent to an occurrent which is said to occupy a datable interval whose chronologic position is specified as being contemporary-past (Cases 5 in the above diagram). The same will hold for the rest of the eight chronologic specifications for which special terms were provided above.

4.5.   Single and Multiple Occurrents

To delimit the uses of some Yucatec constructions, a distinction must be made between a reference to a single occurrent and a reference to what will be called a 'multiple occurrent'. Let us compare these two statements: He is smoking a cigar (at this very moment), He smokes cigars. We readily see that the second statement refers to more than one occurrent of the sort referred to by the first; and that in the first only one occurrent of that sort is referred to. Of course, what is one occurrent, or more than one, is to be determined in each case on the basis of particular words, expressions, or other symbols of particular languages. With regard to this distinction, the consideration that there may be no event which is not divisible into two or more is irrelevant. The instances that concern us are those in which the linguistic habits of a given people are such that they indicate when they refer to a single occurrent of the sort which they designate by a given symbol, and when they refer to more than one occurrent of the same sort. In the latter case, we will say that they refer to a 'multiple occurrent'. It may be mentioned here that the terms introduced above (4.4) are adequate to specify the chronologic positions of multiple occurrents. Take, for example, the statement He used to get up early. Here, the multiple occurrent consists of an undetermined number of occurrents each one of which is an instance in which a certain individual got up at a certain time evaluated by someone as being early. Let t1 - t2 be the datable interval of the first of those instances; and let tm - tn be that of the last one. Accordingly, the datable interval of the multiple occurrent is t1 - tn. We can deal with the interval t1 - tn exactly as we have dealt above with others, without regard to whether they delimited one or more than one event.

4.6.   Monochronic and Polychronic References

To discuss the uses of some Yucatec constructions, several kinds of references to multiple occurrents have to be distinguished. At this point we shall take account of the two kinds which have to be dealt with most frequently. They are: (Kind A) references to occurrents which are said to take place on a single occasion; and (Kind B) references to occurrents which are said to take place on more than one occasion. Any reference of Kind A, and any reference to a single occurrent will be said to be 'monochronic'. References of Kind B will be said to be 'polychronic'. It may be obvious that the question of what is one occasion, and not more than one, is mainly a discoursive matter. The distinction cannot rest exclusively on a description of the occurrents themselves; for that which may be one occasion with respect to the theme of a given discourse, can be more than one with respect to the theme of another. One must, therefore, depend on the context of each reference to decide whether the reference is monochronic or polychronic. As one would naturally expect, contexts are not always unambiguous with regard to this distinction. In the samplings of Yucatec discourse at our disposal, the context has been ambiguous in approximately 18% of the cases in which it was necessary to decide whether or not the use of a given construction depended on the distinction in question. Clear cases of polychronic references occurred in descriptions (a) of customs, (b) of habits of a single individual, (c) of procedures in hunting, cooking, agricultural techniques, and the like; and (d) in generalizations concerning diseases, the weather, properties of bodies, and various occurrents other than human or animal behavior. Common instances of monochronic references to multiple occurrents are: (a) those in which two or more individuals collaborate in the performance of a task, or two or more agencies, other than individuals, are factors in the production of a given result; e.g. They fetched firewood to cook the turkey, The pigs have ruined my garden; (b) those in which two or more occurrents of the same designational class (i.e., referred to by the same word) take place contemporaneously, or during an interval spoken of; e.g., When I passed by the house, they were drinking chocolate, The day the Quintana Roo Indians attacked the town of Chemax, they burned many houses, and took away all the horses and pigs they found. Frequent instances of monochronic references are also those which are distinguished in Yucatec by the use of reduplication and duplication (4.69). These two devices are generally employed to refer to a more or less rapid repetition of an action by a single individual, or by each of a number of individuals, aiming in either case to accomplish a single result. For example, aiming to scare away an animal that has entered a cornfield, a single individual, or each of two or more individuals in collaboration, repeatedly throws stones at it till the animal is beyond reach or out of sight. In such a case, the monochronic reference in Yucatec can be simply ch'inch'inaabi, which is approximately equivalent to 'It was stoned'.

4.7.   Declarative Modality

One of the most pervasive items of discourse in oral and written communication is that which we propose to call 'declarative modality'. One expects to find means of indicating declarative modality in the language of any people who may not be entirely unconcerned with whether what they are told is true or not; and in the language of any people who may not be thoroughly conditioned to speak only when they are sure that what they say is true. The 'declarative modality' of a statement, or of a part of a statement, is the 'declarative value' which the one who makes the statement ascribes to it. An individual ascribes a 'declarative value' to his statement if explicitly or otherwise he communicates (a) that what he says is true, or (b) that he is sure, or that he is not sure, that what he says is true, or (c) that he does not know whether it is true or not, or (d) that he does not commit himself as to whether he knows or not that it is true, or that it may be true.
It may be noted here that the term 'declarative value' is not synonymous with the term 'truth-value' employed in contemporary logic. The latter, as the author understands it, refers to the validity of a statement as determined by corroboration or by rules of valid inference. Truth-value, thus understood, is entirely irrelevant to our application of the term 'declarative value'. Whether or not an individual vouches for the truth of his statement, and whether or not his statement is true are obviously entirely different questions. It may also be obvious that the term 'declarative modality' is not synonymous with the term 'mode', or, as some grammarians prefer to say, 'mood'. When either of these grammatical terms is used to refer to that which a given linguistic device signifies, it can happen in some instances that what the device signifies is the declarative modality of a statement. But when the term 'mode' or 'mood' is used to refer to a class of devices, then mood and declarative modality are at least as different as a knife and a cut made with a knife. The kind of device has nothing to do with whether that which it signifies in a given instance is to be classed as a declarative modality. To illustrate the difference between mode and declarative modality let us compare these four statements: He is sick, I think he is sick, Perhaps he is sick, They say he is sick. If we are not mistaken, most grammarians agree that no other than the indicative mode or mood is used in each of those sentences. We agree with them, if it is understood that in this instance the term 'indicative mood' is the name of a class of English devices. Now, attending not to the devices but to what is communicated by them in those four instances, we would say the following: Assuming a certain context and a certain intonation for each of those four sentences, it can be inferred that four different declarative values are therein ascribed to the expression he is sick by the individual or individuals who made those statements. Of course, it is rarely, if ever, justifiable to speak with confidence about what is signified by a given written sentence without context. Even the grammarian who claims to understand the term 'mode' as being the name of a form of the verb has to depend occasionally on the context of a sentence to determine in what mode its verb is there used. For example, that would have to be done before one can decide whether in the sentence You may go the verb go is in the imperative mode or in some other mode. We do not propose to enumerate the many Yucatec words and other devices which serve to indicate differences of declarative modality. But such differences will have to be taken into account when dealing with frequent uses of some devices. To take account of those differences it will not be necessary to provide a scale of declarative values. It will be adequate to our aim to specify that a higher declarative value is ascribed to the statement by using a certain device than by using another. It may be clear that higher and lower refer respectively to degrees of certainty and uncertainty. The declarative values which fall under specifications c and d in the above definition can be said to be 'undetermined'.

4.8.   Topical Distinction

In Yucatec, as in other languages, two constructions which seem to be equivalent may differ with respect to the contexts in which they occur. Both may serve to communicate the same items of information, but one occurs chiefly or exclusively when one of the items of information happens to be of special concern at a certain point in the course of the narrative or dialogue, or circumstances to which the utterance is relevant. In such cases the construction may conveniently be said to distinguish the topic in question from others touched upon in the same sentence. This will be called 'topical distinction'. The devices thus employed will be said to distinguish the 'dominant' topic from the 'incidental' topics or items of information. Topical distinction is commonly effected in English by pronouncing some components of the utterance with more emphasis than others. Emphasis thus understood seems frequently to go together with whatever other device indicates topical distinction. But, as is well-known, in some languages emphasis alone, without the use of special wording or construction is not employed as freely as in English. In fact, if differences in emphasis were estimated in terms of acoustic intensity, it is possible that in some languages the word or words referring to the dominant topic are in some instances uttered with less emphasis than some other component of the sentence. I can adduce no experimental data in support of this conjecture, but the ear may be trusted sufficiently to conclude from a study of our phonographic records of Yucatec discourse that it should not be taken for granted that acoustic emphasis and topical distinction are inseparable.
To illustrate what is referred to by saying that wording or construction or both can indicate topical distinction, let us compare these two sentences: I saw him yesterday, I am the one who saw him yesterday. Assuming that both statements were made by the same person, and that both are about a single instance in which that person saw a certain individual on the day there referred to as yesterday, those two statements are equipollent (Note 9). All the information communicated by the first statement about the incident of seeing the person in question is communicated also by the second statement, and the converse is true. But it does not conform to prevalent habits of English-speaking people to use the second sentence in all the contexts in which the first can occur. One expects at least that when the second sentence occurs, the topic of seeing the individual referred to has been previously spoken of. A similar topical distinction could be made by uttering the first sentence with an emphatic I. What is known about topical distinction hardly goes beyond the unreliable rationalizations of the native speaker. All that seems justifiable to say with respect to the above sentences is that the second has a narrower range of application than the first, and that topical distinction accounts at least in part for its narrower range. That is as far as we propose to deal with the subject of topical distinction in Yucatec, and only when topical distinction accounts for the apparently exceptional uses of some constructions.


As already stated (3.49), the constructions referred to by the label AHAB are t-PA V-ah, transitive; V-PB, intransitive; and V-ab, passive. The uses of these constructions will be divided into three classes hereafter referred to as 'Usage A', 'Usage B', and 'Usage C'. The most frequent usage of each of these three constructions is Usage A. Usage B is observed in certain kinds of conditional sentences. Usage C can justifiably be said to be exceptional; for only one verb (al, 'say, tell') has been found so used. The fact that Usage A and Usage B are served by the three constructions is the basic for grouping them under one heading. The choice of one or another of the three is determined by what the terms transitive, intransitive, and passive indicate with reference to Yucatec (Cf. introduction to Part 2). Since the passive V-ab differs in at least two respects from the passive voice devices of other languages, special attention will be given to it below (4.10).

Usage A

4.9.   Usage A, Monochronic and Discrete Past

Usage A is identifiable by these two specifications: (a) the reference is monochronic (4.6), and (b) the chronologic position of the occurrent is discrete-past (4.4, Case 1). Those two specifications hold for each of 86% of the instances in which the AHAB-constructions were used in the specimens of discourse recorded. In an additional 2% of the cases, specification (b) applies definitely, but it is not clear that only one occasion is referred to. Nevertheless, it is certain that what is spoken of in those doubtful cases is not a custom, or the habitual behavior of an individual. The only exceptions to the rule that the AHAB-constructions are not used in reference to customary action are those dealt with below (4.11). From the foregoing remarks it may readily be gathered that these constructions are frequently used where other languages ordinarily employ one of the tenses or other devices called in different grammars simple past, or past definite, preterit, aorist, or past tense- momentaneous aspect.

Examples of Usage A, construction t-PA V-ah with simple V-unit

  1. tin ts'onah hun tul keh. 'I shot a deer'. t-in ts'on-ah, 'I shot'; t- and -ah, distinctive components of the construction t-PA V-ah; in, '1st. pers. pron. Class A; ts'on, 'shoot', also 'gun' in other contexts. hun, 'one'; tul, numerical classifier for animate referents (4.68); keh, 'deer'.
  2. he le kax ta manaho’. 'There is the chicken you bought'. t-a man-ah, 'you bought'; a, 'you', singular. In this sentence, -o’ is the terminal component of two constructions: he ... -o’, approximately equivalent to 'Look, there it is', more like French voilá (4.51); and le ... -o’, 'the, that' (4.51). kax, 'chicken'.
  3. le ka tu yilahe’, tu machah u ts'on, ka tu ts'onts'onah. 'As soon as he saw him, he got his gun and fired at him repeatedly'. le ka ... -e’, distinctive components of one of the temporal clauses employed in references to rapid sequences of events (4.62). In this sentence there are three examples of the construction t-PA V-ah with the pronoun u; namely, t-u y-il-ah, 'he saw'; t-u mach-ah, 'he got, he grabbed'; and t-u ts'on-ts'on-ah, 'he shot at (him) repeatedly'. y-, prefix required after pronoun u before initial vowel (3.2). ts'onts'on, duplication signifying rapid succession of several repetitions (4.69). The equivalent of 'him' in the first and third clauses is a null sign (2.5). For the use of ka in the third clause see 4.62.
  4. ka t ilah hun tul xnuk chumuk le beo’[sic!]. 'And we saw an old woman in the middle of the road'. t il-ah, 'we saw'. For the use of t with reference to the speaker and another or others, see 2.9. hun tul, as in Ex. 1. x-nuk, 'old woman'; x- used in some expressions referring to female (3.3). chum-uk, 'be in the middle or center' (4.49). le ... -o’, as in Ex. 2. be, 'road'.
  5. in wohel ta ch'ahe'x le in nook'o’. 'I know you took my clothes'. in w-oh-el, 'I know' (3.56). t-a ch'a-(a)h-e'x, 'you took'; in this context, ch'a signifies 'to take and carry away'; in other contexts it can be rendered by 'fetch'. a ... -e'x, 'you', plural (2.4). le .. -o’, as in Exx. 2 and 4; nok', 'clothes'; le in nok'-o’, approximately equivalent to 'those clothes of mine' (4.51).
  6. ka tu ts'uts'aho'b. 'And they kissed him'. ts'uts', 'kiss'. u ... -o'b, 'they' (2.4). As in Ex. 3, 'him' is signified by a null sign.

Examples of Usage A, construction V-PB with simple V-unit

  1. ku sastale’, oken ichil le koolo’. 'At daylight, I went into the cornfield'. k-u sas-t-al-e’, 'at daylight'; for temporal clauses of this type, see 4.33. ok-en, 'I went into, I entered' (illustrating constr. V-PB); -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. ich-il, 'into, within' (4.52). le ... -o’, 'the' (as in Exx. 2, 4, 5). kol, 'cornfield, milpa'.
  2. ku ts'ookole’, talech yetel a bat. 'Then you came with your ax'. k-u ts'ook-ol-e’, 'then (after the incident previously mentioned)'; for the construction of such temporal clauses, see 4.33. tal-ech, constr. V-PB, 'you came'; tal, 'come'; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. Class B. y-et-el, 'with, and, be together with', or 'in the company of' (4.52). a, 2nd. pers. sing. Class A, equivalent to 'your' in substantival constructions (2.4). bat, 'ax'.
  3. le ka emeene’, luk'i. 'As soon as I came down, he left'. le ka ... -e’, as in Ex. 3. em-en, constr. V-PB, 'I came down', or 'went down'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. luk'-i, 'he left, departed, went away'; constr. V-PB with null sign for 3rd. pers. (2.5); -i, required when V-PB with null for 3rd. pers. is the last word of the sentence (4.59).
  4. beeyo’ hok'o'n. 'That is the way we got out'. bey-o’, 'that way, thus' (referring to a procedure previously spoken of); see 4.51. hok'-o'n, 'we went out', or 'came out'; -o'n, 'we', excluding the listener in this particular instance (2.5).
  5. baax ten bine'x teelo’? 'Why did you go there?'. baax ten, 'why?' (2.19). bin-e'x, 'you (plural) went'; bin, 'go'; -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class B; in constructions requiring pronouns of Class A, the suffix -e'x is the terminal component of the form a ... -e'x, as in Ex. 5.
  6. ka k'ucho'b ti hun p'el nohoch kah. 'And they arrived at a large town'. k'uch-o'b, 'they arrived'; -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. suffix, with uses corresponding to those of -e'x for 2nd. plur. (2.5), as explained in Ex. 11. ti, 'at'; in other contexts 'to', 'from' etc. (2.29). hun, one; p'el, general numerical classifier for inanimate referents (4.68). noh-och, 'large'; 'elderly, important' (with reference to persons); -och, formative (3.40), a component of many words whose uses are in some cases like those of English adjectives. kah, 'village, town'.

Examples of Usage A, constructions t-PA V-ah and V-PB, with miscellaneous V-units. Some of the examples illustrate the use of pronouns of Class B as grammatical objects (2.5) in construction t-PA V-ah

  1. ka tu kulkintah ti hun p'el k'anche’. 'And she sat him on a stool'. t-u kul-kin-t-ah, 'she sat him' (constr. t-PA V-ah); kul, 'sit down' (when used in an intransitive construction); -kin, formative when kul and various other words are used in transitive constructions (3.23); -t, one of the two formatives which follow -kin or -kun in transitive constructions (3.26). ti, 'on' (see Ex. 12). hun p'el, numeral 'one', and numerical classifier. k'an-che’, 'stool'; k'an, first element of some compounds designating objects used for comfort, as k'anhool, 'pillow'; k'anit, 'cushion' (to sit upon); k'anpach, special cushion placed under the load to protect the back; k'an is also the word for 'hammock'. che’, 'wood, wooden, tree, stick', etc.
  2. mix mak tu yilahen. 'Nobody saw me'. mix mak, 'nobody'; mak, 'person'; mix, negative (4.32). t-u y-il-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; y-, as in Ex. 3, il, 'see'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B.
  3. ta pulhen ts'o'note’ tu men tu p'athech a watan. 'You threw me into the cenote because your wife left you'. t-a pul-(a)h-en, 'you threw me', constr. t-PA V-ah; for the elision of the vowel of a of -ah, see 1.4. -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. pul, 'throw away', or 'let something drop'. ts'on-ot, 'cenote', a kind of natural well common in Yucatan; for the composition of this word see 3.28. -e’, discoursive device used between clauses (4.58). t-u men, 'because' (4.52) t-u p'at-(a)h-ech, '(she) left you' (constr. t-PA V-ah), with the elision of the a of -ah, as in the preceding case; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B. a, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A. w-at-an, 'wife'; w-, prefix required by initial vowel after pronouns in and a (3.2); at-an, analysis justifiable only on etymologic possibilities (3.0): at, a variant of et; obsolescent etan, 'wife, married woman'; obsolete etail, 'friend, companion'; et, 'be together with, in the company of'; -an, often performs an office similar to that of the past participle in some languages (4.53).
  4. ma tu lechtahi. 'He did not trap him'. ma, negative (2.24). t-u lech-t-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; lech, 'trap, ensnare with a special device made of strings or cords'; -t, formative required by the use of lech in a transitive AHAB-construction (3.26). -i, required by the AHAB-constructions in negative sentences under certain conditions (4.59).
  5. ka tu yoheltah chan konkai. 'And the little fish-vender found it out'. t-u y-oh-el-t-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; oh-el without formative -t signifies 'to know' (3.56); with -t, to find out what has happened or is the case, most commonly, or perhaps exclusively, by being told about it. chan, 'little, small'; various other senses (4.38). kon-ka'i; kon, 'sell'; ka'i, 'fish'.
  6. ka tu machlantah u k'abo'b. 'And they grasped each others hands'. t-u mach-lan-t-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; mach, 'grasp, take hold of'; -lan, 'each other' (in this context); in most cases it refers to a distribution of some sort (4.65); -t, formative, as in Exx. 13, 16, 17. u k'ab-o'b, 'their hands'; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; k'ab, 'hand'.
  7. ka tu k'ublantah. 'And he delivered them'. Contextual implication: in conformity with a certain plan, he delivered the objects in question, handing to each person concerned one or more of them. t-u k'ub-lan-t-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah with k'ub-lan-t for V-component;k'ub, 'deliver'; -lan, designation of distribution (4.65); -t, formative, as in Ex. 18.
  8. in sukunoobe’ tu k'aak'axeno'b. 'My elder brothers tied me up'. in sukun-o'b-e’, 'my elder brothers'; in, 1st. pers. pron. Class A; sukun, 'elder brother' (also, though obsolescent, 'paternal grandfather'); -o'b, plur. (2.28); -e’ and the syntactic position of the unit in sukunoobe’ constitute a discoursive device which indicates that the dominant topic is the circumstance that the ones who perpetrated the cruel act in question were his own brothers; hence, approximately equivalent to 'My own brothers' pronounced with the proper emphasis. For the uses of -e’, see 4.58. t-u k'a-k'ax-(ah)-en-o'b, constr. t-PA V-ah with reduplication of k'ax, 'to tie'; reduplicated k'ax denotes multiple, firm tying. For elision of -ah see 3.10. -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A.
  9. sit'nahen. 'I jumped'. sit'-n-ah-en, constr. V-PB; sit', 'jump'; -n, special intransitive formative (3.24); -ah, required after formative -n in AHAB-constructions (3.53); -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B.
  10. teeche’ ma cheehnahechi. 'You (emphatic) did not laugh'. t-ech-e’, 'you'; composite pron., 2nd. pers. sing. Class C (2.6), with a special intonation, teeche’ is in various contexts equivalent to 'As for you, ...', 'You yourself, however, ...', etc. (2.6); cf. Ex. 20. ma, negative, with -i at the end of the sentence, as in Ex. 16. cheeh-n-ah-ech, constr. V-PB, cheeh, 'laugh'; -n and -ah as in Ex. 21; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B.

4.10.    Usage A, construction V-ab

The discoursive uses of this construction and those of the past tenses of what is called 'passive voice' in the grammars of various languages have much in common. Nevertheless, due to the lack of adequate statement as to what is expected to distinguish that which is to be called 'passive voice' from that which is to be named otherwise, there seems to be at present no way of determining whether the term is properly applied to the Yucatec construction in question. If one of the requirements in the application of this term is that the grammatical subject of what is termed 'passive voice' be the so-called 'logical object' in a corresponding active voice construction, then the term is not applicable in this case. Take, for example, the sentences tu yilahen in watan, 'my wife saw me'; and ilaaben tu men in watan, which is equivalent to 'I was seen by my wife'. One notices that the person who was seen is referred to in both sentences by the pronoun -en. The same holds for the indirect object. Thus, the person to whom something was told is referred to by tie’ in these two sentences: ka tu yaalah tie’ bin u kah u beete ('and he said to him that he was going to do it'), and ka aalab tie’ bin u kah u beete. To translate the latter sentence in conformity with English usage, one must render tie’ by a subject pronoun: 'And he was told that he was going to do it'. Rendering tie’ by an indirect object, one would have to say 'And it was said to him that he was going to do it'. However, such a Yucatec sentence very frequently occurs in contexts in which the English passive voice would not be used. The above example, and numerous others with the same construction, occur in reports of dialogues of this form: 'He told his brother that it was necessary to do it, and he (his brother) said to him that he was going to do it.' The italicized portion of this sentence is the translation of the above V-ab construction which in other contexts could adequately be rendered by the English passive. Thus, the V-ab construction and the passive voice of other languages differ both with regard to the conversion of grammatical object into grammatical subject, and with regard to usage. What they have in common may be loosely indicated on the basis of the following statements concerning the passive voice in the most commonly known European languages. (a) Given a non-passive sentence, S1, whose main verb is used transitively therein, it is possible to construct a passive sentence, S2, such that S1 and S2 be equipollent (see Note 9). Example: He saw her, She was seen by him. (b) Given a non-passive sentence, S1, which satisfies the conditions already stated, it is possible to construct a passive sentence, S3, such that all the information communicated by S1 is communicated by S3, save the specification of the subject of S1. Example: My uncle gave me this watch yesterday, This watch was given to me yesterday. Of those two sorts are the correspondences observed between the Yucatec constructions t-PA V-ah and V-ab, with this qualification: V-ab cannot be converted into t-PA V-ah when the agent is not known. Thus, whereas in English the passive My hat was stolen can at least in some contexts be replaced by Someone stole my hat, in Modern Yucatec there seems to be no t-PA V-ah construction which can replace V-ab in the sentence oklab in p'ok ('my hat was stolen'), when the speaker claims not to know who committed the theft. Those instances offer no difficulty, but for all others the data at our disposal are insufficient to infer with certainty under what circumstances construction V-ab, and not t-PA V-ah, occurs in Modern Yucatec discourse. As is probably the case also with regard to the uses of the passive voice in other languages, some individuals employ one of these two kinds of constructions much more frequently than others. This statement rests on the results of a special study of contexts whose differences can hardly be the determinants of the use of either of the two constructions in question, and the contexts, therefore, were in this study assumed to be comparable. It is, of course, from the context that one would expect to derive the information necessary to disclose what determines the occurrence of construction V-ab. In the specimens of discourse available to us, such information could be inferred with certainty in only 53% of the total number of instances in which construction V-ab occurred. In 79% of the cases in which the contextual circumstances were thus favorable, the following was observed: (a) the identity of the agent of the action referred to by the V-ab construction is unknown to the speaker; or (b) the dominant topic is the action which was performed, or whether it was performed or not, rather than who performed it; or (c) the speaker serves some personal interest by not disclosing the identity of the one who performed the action. Under a we class chiefly the instances in which the Yucatec sentence can be rendered by the English active voice by using such expressions as someone, somebody to refer to the agent of the action. Typical examples of the instances classed under b are answers to questions such as Did you (plural) give him the money?, in which cases the V-ab construction frequently occurs: ts'aabi, literally, 'It was given', or, as one would more likely say in English, 'We did', or simply, 'Yes'. In such a cases, the one who thus replies may, or may not, be the particular member of the group addressed who performed the act of handing the money. As a matter of fact, in some contexts it is justifiable to interpret the question as being equivalent to Has the money been given to him?, since no information is requested as to which of the individuals addressed was the one who delivered the money. As may be readily seen, specifications a and c cannot apply in instances in which the agent of the action is explicitly referred to in the sentence in which construction V-ab occurs. Such explicit references are always introduced by the expression tu men, which in this case performs the same discoursive office as the English word by when the latter introduces the agent of the passive voice. In other cases (4.52), tu men is equivalent to because, or due to, on account of, on behalf of, etc. Specification b applies clearly in many instances in which explicit reference to the agent is made by means of the expression tu men, but in many others it would be arbitrary to infer that the specification of the agent is a less dominant topic than the occurrence of the action. Moreover, the agent is clearly an incidental topic (4.8) in many cases in which t-PA V-ah occurs. Apparently, it is at least as difficult to specify what determines the use of construction V-ab as it is to specify what determines the uses of the passive voice in all the instances in which it occurs in English and in other languages. For obvious reasons, it has seemed desirable to include in the notes to the following examples some information concerning the context in which each sentence occurs.

Examples of Usage A, construction V-ab

  1. ka ilaabe’ ti leeti’ yan. 'And it was seen that he was the one who had it'. Context: The owner and the foreman of a plantation were searching some of the workers suspected of having stolen the money. Upon searching one who had been suspected on previous occasions, the money was found. The context shows that the owner and the foreman were not the only ones who witnessed this disclosure. To all those who witnessed it, or to the one or ones who searched the guilty party, reference is made by il-ab-e’, constr. V-ab. The disclosure, rather than who disclosed it, seems to be the dominant topic. For the use of -e’ before a subordinate clause, see 4.58. ti leeti’ yan, 'he had it' (emphasizing he); leeti’, 'he', pron. Class C (2.6); y-an, 'exist, be present, have', etc. (4.61). When the dominant topic is: What is possessed?, rather than: Who possesses it?, yan is ordinarily the first component of the construction; e. g.: yan ten, 'I have'; yan ti’, 'he has'.
  2. ka aalab ti’ tu men le maake’ ka u maane. 'And the man told him to buy it'. Context: A asked B (the man) to give his opinion as to whether he (A) should buy a certain house, and B told A to buy it. al, 'tell, say'; -ab, distinctive component of constr. V-ab. ti’, 'to him'. le maake’, 'the man', the person already spoken of, and not present; for le ... -e’ see 4.51. t-u men would be equivalent to by if one chooses to translate the above sentence thus: 'And he was told by the man to buy it', or, more literally, 'And it was said to him by the man to buy it'. For the construction of ka u man-e’, see 4.37. man, 'buy'.
  3. sen ch'inch'inaaben. 'I was stoned furiously'. Context: It was rumored that a sprite of the sort called alux took care of a certain cornfield. A previously skeptical hunter, who on a bet dared to trespass, reports how he was driven out, but without referring explicitly to the sprite throughout his account. sen, 'extremely, with utmost violence', and many other senses: it serves to evaluate quantity or degree enthusiastically or deploringly. ch'in-ch'in-ab-en, constr. V-ab with duplication of ch'in, 'to throw stones or other small objects at'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B, which performs here the same office as in tu ch'inahen, 'he stoned me' (constr. t-PA V-ah).
  4. tuuxtabech a kinsen. 'You were sent to kill me'. Context: The speaker suspects that the person addressed had not come merely to visit him, as he said; but rather that he had been ordered by some enemy of his to murder him. tux-t-ab-ech, 'you were sent'; tux-t, 'to send someone on an errand, order someone to go somewhere to perform a task'; -t, formative, as in Exx. 16, 17; -ab, distinctive component of constr. V-ab; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B. a kim-s-en, a NULLAK-construction (4.41); a, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; kim-s, 'kill'; kim, 'die'; m changes to n before -s (1.3). -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B.
  5. ka chaachab tu nee’, ka hats'aabi. 'And he grabbed him by the tail and beat him'. Context: Pig got too bold in an interview with the Lord of the Sweet-potatoes, and the latter punished him as specified in the sentence. This illustrates one of the uses of constr. V-ab in cases in which the identity of the agent is specified in the context. chaach, 'to grap violently'. t-u, contraction of ti and u; ti, 'by, at, from', etc. (2.29). u ne-e’, 'his tail'; u, 3rd. pers. pron. Class A; ne, 'tail'; -e’, discoursive device at the end of a clause or sentence which is a component of a composite sentence (4.58). hats'-ab-i, constr. V-ab, with -i at end of sentence, as in constr. V-PB (4.59); see Ex. 9; hats', 'strike, hit'.

Examples of Usage A, with V-components of Spanish origin in the three AHAB-constructions. The formatives -t and -n (3.24, 3.26) are affixed to the infinitive of the Spanish verb, or to a Spanish noun used verbally in Yucatec. In conformity with the general use of these formatives in the AHAB-constructions, -n followed by -ah (3.53) occurs in the intransitive construction V-PB and -t is used in the two transitive constructions t-PA V-ah and V-ab.

  1. ka bautisartaabi. 'And they baptized him'. bautisar-t-ab-i, constr. V-ab, with -i at the end of the sentence, as in Ex. 27; Spanish infinitive bautizar, 'baptize'; -t, formative.
  2. ka tu maldisyonta. 'And she uttered a curse against him'. t-u maldisyon-t-a, constr. t-PA V-ah, with -a for -ah (Speech type B); Spanish noun maldición,'curse'; -t, formative.
  3. ka maldisyontaabo'b tu men u taata. 'And a curse was uttered against them by their father'. maldisyon-t-ab-o'b, constr. V-ab; maldisyon-t, as in Ex. 29; -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class B (in this case). t-u men u taata, 'by their father'; taata, or tat, Mod. Yuc. word for 'father' (4.32).
  4. ka segirnah u bin. 'And he kept on going'. segir-n-ah, constr. V-PB; Spanish infinitive seguir, 'continue' (in this context); -n, formative; -ah, required by -n (3.53). u bin, irregular IKAL-construction (3.58); bin, 'go'.

Usage B

4.11.   Usage B, Protasis of Conditional Sentences

The three AHAB-constructions occur in protases of conditional sentences of these three kinds: (a) Reference to a contingency concerning a paticular occurrence; e.g., If you find it, bring it to me. (b) Inference from an assumption concerning a particular past occurrent; e.g., If (it is true that) it happened, then ... (c) Generalizations in descriptions of customs, rituals, or technological procedures. The sentences under c can be said to be conditional only in consideration of the circumstance that their construction, and the components of their construction, do not differ from those of true conditional sentences (4.35, 4.44). Their referential usage, however, is obviously quite different. The assertion in such sentences is of this form: Whenever x is the case, one does so-and-so; but the wording is comparable to that of the English sentence If x happens to be the case, one does so-and-so (habitually). Thus, Usage B differs from Usage A (4.9) in at least these two respects: in Usage B, (a) an AHAB-construction refers in some cases to a future occurrent; and (b) the reference in other cases is not exclusively to a particular occurrent, or to a single occasion; whereas in Usage A a particular past occurrent, or a past occasion, is referred to. Common to the two usages is the circumstance that the reference is monochronic (4.6).

Examples of Usage B, constructions t-PA V-ah, V-ab, and V-PB

  1. wa tin kaxtah hun p'ele’, kin tasik ti tech. 'If I find one, I will bring it to you'. wa, 'if'. t-in kax-t-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; kax-t, 'find' (in IKAL-constructions, 'look for'); -t, formative, as in Exx. 16, 17, 26. hun p'el-e’, numeral 'one' and numerical classifier for inanimate referents; -e’, marking the end of the protasis, as in the previous examples. k-in ta(l)-s-ik, 'I bring', a k-IKAL-construction (4.35). ti, 'to' (2.29). t-ech, composite pron., 2nd. pers. sing. Class C.
  2. wa ma tu taasahe’, yan a kinsik. 'If he does not bring it, you have to kill him'. wa, 'if'. ma, negative. t-u ta(l)-s-ah-e’, constr. t-PA V-ah with composite V-unit, as in Ex. 32. y-an a kim-s-ik, 'you have to kill' (4.18).
  3. wa kimene’, ka ch'ayk ta wiknal. 'If I die, take him to your home'. kim-en-e’, constr. V-PB; kim, 'die'. k-a ch'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL, imperative in a composite sentence (4.36); ch'a, 'take, fetch'. t-a w-ik-n-al, 'near you, in your presence, under your care', and several other senses with no precise English equivalent (2.29); in this case what is requested is that a godfather take care of his godchild in case that the father dies.
  4. wa tu men preesotaboone’, maalob; wa tu men xan mae’, layli maalobe’. 'If we are arrested, it will be all right; (and) if we are not, it will be all right too' (equivalent to It is indifferent to us whether they arrest us or not). wa t-u men, 'if, if it should happen' (2.20). preso-t-ab-o'n-e’, constr. V-ab; Spanish preso, 'one who has been arrested', or past participle, 'arrested'; -t, formative (see Exx. 28-31); -o'n, 'we, us', pron. Class B; -e’, as in preceding examples. ma-lob, (etymological analysis) 'no evil, no harm'; in Mod. Yuc. 'good, well, it is right', common expression of approval. xan, 'also, even so'. ma-e’, negative, with -e’ at the end of the clause (4.58). la-il-i, an A-variant of le-il-i, 'always, still, even so'. For the final -e’ of ma-lob-e’, see 3.6.
  5. wa tu men tu yilah suuke’, ku heelel u ch'ukte. 'If he sees that it has the habit, he lies in ambush waiting for it to come'. Context: If a hunter observes signs indicating that deer are in the habit of drinking at a certain place, he takes advantage of the observation as specified in the sentence. wa t-u men, as in Ex. 35. t-u y-il-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah. il, 'see'. suk-e’, 'to have a habit, to be a custom'; -e’, as in preceding examples. k-u heel-el, an intransitive k-IKAL-construction (4.28), 'he rests', or 'he stays'. u ch'uk-t-e, 'in order to watch for, waylay, spy'; for the construction of this clause, see 4.41.
  6. wa tu men t ilah lak'in ik' ku beetike’, ... 'If we see that the breeze is coming from the east, ...' . Context: Description of hunting techniques. t il-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah with null sign for 'we' (2.9), speaker and others excluding the listener. la-k'in, 'east'. ik', 'wind, breeze'. k-u beet-ik-e’, a k-IKAL-construction (4.28); beet, 'make, do, cause'; Mod. Yuc. idiom 'make wind', like Spanish idiom hacer viento, for the wind to blow.

Usage C

4.12.   Usage C, Special Uses

Usage C has been observed in only 18 instances, 5 of which were found in speech of Type A. The specifications of this usage are as follows: (a) construction t-PA V-ah is used in expression tu yaalah to refer to a future occurrent; (b) the occurrent is referred to in a temporal clause conforming to the formula le ka ... -e’ (4.62); and (c) the reference made by the temporal clause is of either of these two forms: By the time x occurs, (such-and-such will be the case) or Soon after x may begin to take place, (do so-and-so). Temporal clauses with the same construction and the same use of the expression tu yaalah can refer also to past sequences of this sort: By the time x occurred, y had already taken place. Of course, such references to the past do not concern us here, since they are common instances of Usage A (4.9). Reference to a future occurrent by means of an AHAB-construction is observed both in Usage B and Usage C; but, so far as our observations go, it is only in Usage C that an AHAB-construction does not occur exclusively in monochronic references (4.6). The peculiar use of the expression tu yaalah in the temporal clauses under consideration may perhaps be difficult to understand for one who is not acquainted with a very similar idiom frequently employed in the colloquial Spanish of Yucatan and in that of other Spanish-speaking countries. We refer to the use of decir, 'to say or tell', in such sentences as, Cuando dijo a llover, ya estábamos llegando. This is popularly understood as a personification of this sort: When it said "Rain!", we were almost there. The personified subject is variously supposed to be 'nature' or 'the rain' itself. On the basis of this interpretation, the personified subject either orders the rain to come down resolutely, or the rain says to itself "Let's go!" and it pours down. Freely rendered, the Spanish sentence is approximately equivalent to: By the time it began to rain hard, we were almost there. Similarly, one hears in Modern Yucatec le ka tu yaalah u k'axal hae’, ts'ook in k'uchul, a literal translation of which can be: 'When it said that water was pouring, I had already arrived', or, in reference to the future, 'By the time it will say that water is pouring, I shall have arrived'. The analysis of tu yaalah is as follows: t-u y-al-ah, constr. t-PA V-ah; al, 'say, tell'; y- required by pronoun u ('he, she, it') before initial vowel.

Examples of usage C

  1. le ka tu yaalah a k'uchul tu chi’ k'iwike’, ts'ook in taasik. 'By the time you reach the entrance to the square, I shall have brought it'. (In a different context, the translation could be: 'I had already brought it by the time you reached the entrance to the square'.) a k'uch-ul, intransitive IKAL-construction (4.26); k'uch, 'arrive'. t-u, contraction of ti ('at, to') and u. The literal translation of u chi’ k'iw-ik is 'the mouth of the square'; chi’, 'mouth'; -e’ marks the end of the temporal clause (4.58). ts'ook in ta(l)-s-ik, transitive form of constr. ts'ook + IKAL (4.15), 'I shall have brought' (in other contexts, 'I have (had) brought').
  2. le ka tyaala yoko k'iine’, ka tal a wilen waaye’. 'As soon as the sun begins to set, come to see me here'. t-y-al-a, B-variant of tu yaalah. y-ok-o, B-variant of y-ok-ol; ok, 'enter'. k'in, 'sun'. k-a tal, 'come'; imperative in composite sentences (4.36). a w-il-en, 'to see me' (4.41); -en, 'me'. way-e’, 'here' (4.51).
  3. le ka tu yaalah u ts'oosik le baax ku beetike’, ts'ook in kimil. 'By the time he finishes what he is doing, I shall be dead'. u ts'ook-s-ik, 'he finishes (4.26). le baax, 'the thing'. k-u beet-ik, 'he is doing', k-IKAL constr. (4.34). -e’, as in preceding examples. ts'ook in kim-il, 'I shall have died'; intransitive form of constr. ts'ook + IKAL (4.15)(see Ex. 39); kim, 'die'.


4.13.   Dependent and Independent IKAL - Constructions

As previously indicated (3.49), the constructions referred to by the label IKAL conform to one or another of these three formulas: PA V-ik, transitive; PA V-(a)l, intransitive; and PA V-(aa)l, passive. These constructions have two kinds of discoursive offices which will be treated separately. We say that in a given sentence an IKAL-construction is a 'dependent' IKAL-construction when these two statements are true: (1) the IKAL-construction itself provides no information concerning the chronologic position (4.3) of the occurrent for which it stands; and (2) another component of the sentence provides some information concerning the chronologic position of the occurrent for which the IKAL-construction stands. If neither of those two statements is true, the IKAL-construction is said to be an 'independent' IKAL-construction. To facilitate further comment on the dependent IKAL-constructions let us consider how the following English sentences are translated into Modern Yucatec:

'I have climbed'
ts'ook in naakal
'I had to climb'
yanhi in naakal
'I certainly did not climb'
ma tech in naakal
'I am climbing (just now)'
tan in naakal
'I have to climb'
yan in naakal
'I need to climb'
k'abet in naakal
'I can not climb'
maa tan u pahtal in naakal
'I will certainly climb'
he in naakale’

Before proceeding, it should be remarked that, although those Yucatec sentences can be adequate translations of the English sentences, it does not follow that the English and the Yucatec sentences are equivalent in all contexts. For example, in different contexts the translation of the first Yucatec sentence can be 'I had climbed', or 'I shall have climbed', as well as 'I have climbed'. Out of context, all that can be inferred from this Yucatec sentence with respect to time is that the chronologic position of the occurrent referred to by in naakal is asserted to be prior to a time-index (4.3). To determine whether the time-index is a past, a present, or a future time, the context has to be known. The unit in naakal exemplifies the intransitive IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l. Its components are: in, 1st. pers. pron. Class A; naak, 'climb'; -al, untranslatable component. We observe that the occurrent referred to by the dependent unit in naakal is a past occurrent in the first three sentences, a present occurrent in the fourth, and a future occurrent at least in the eighth. This dependent unit by itself conveys no chronologic information; not even chronologic information of the sort frequently indicated by various Yucatec devices; namely, the information that the occurrent referred to is prior, or contemporary, or subsequent (4.3) to the time-index indicated by the context. This dependent unit is equally non-committal with respect to the declarative modality (4.7) of the sentence. In all these respects it is like the English infinitive in sentences 2, 5, and 6, above. But a better comparison would be with what some grammarians call an 'infinitive clause'; that is, a construction such as me to go in He wished me to go. Such infinitive clauses, like the dependent IKAL-constructions, can designate not only the act, but the doer; and in both languages these dependent units can be expanded to include any other descriptive particulars pertaining to the act, or other kind of occurrent spoken of; as in (I suppose) them to be utterly ignorant of their own condition, and in several of the Yucatec examples given below.
In most cases in which the term 'auxiliary' has been used in the description of a language, it has been applied to one of the components of a construction that is said to be a tense, or a mode, or a voice. In the words of Tucker and Wallace (English Grammar, Cambridge, England, 1917, p. 80), an auxiliary is a "verb divested of independent meaning, and helping another verb to express tense, mood, or voice". It may be profitable to consider whether this definition applies to the devices on which the dependent IKAL-constructions depend, although the notorious lack of precision in grammatical parlance will prevent us from reaching any conclusion. To facilitate reference, let us call co-operants the devices in question; that is, tsook, tan, yan, k'abet, he ... -e’, etc. in the above examples, and others similarly used with dependent IKAL-constructions. One of the difficulties in determining what co-operants are auxiliaries according to the definition just quoted, is that of deciding whether some of them can be called verbs in the sense or senses in which the word 'verb' is generally understood. Some of the co-operants can not be conjugated; viz.: tan (sentences 4, 7); k'abet, 'it is necessary, there was a need of', etc. (sentence 6); he ... -e’ (8); naapulak, 'immediately after, at once'; and others. A few can be conjugated only in the third person singular; viz.: hoop', 'begin'; paht, 'be possible' (sentence 7); uch, 'happen'. At least two others can be conjugated only in the third person when they require a dependent IKAL-construction, but they have a different sense and can be conjugated in any person in other instances; viz.: ts'ook (sentence 1), and yan (sentences 2, 5). Still others are conjugated in all persons without alteration of their general senses; viz.: kah(-s-ik) and chun(-s-ik), both signifying 'begin', 'commence'; ch'en(-el), 'cease'; cha, 'to let or permit someone do something, to let something happen'; il, 'to see'; ub or uy, 'to hear'; and ohel, 'to know'. The definition quoted above specifies that an auxiliary is "divested of independent meaning". It is difficult to see how this applies to all the English words which those authors class as auxiliaries. For there is no doubt that the verb to have has a "meaning" independently of the instances in which it is said to be an auxiliary (whether or not it is the same "meaning"), and the same holds for to be, classed by the authors as a voice-auxiliary. If what is asserted is that in such a construction as I have seen it the verb have is "divested of independent meaning", then I must confess that I do not know what it is that those Authors and others refer to by the word "meaning". The qualifier 'independent' of the phrase 'independent meaning' is more confusing than clarifying; for it can well be the case that in most instances, if not in all, no component of a sentence can without the aid of the other components signify precisely what it signifies in the particular sentence and context in which it occurs.
The foregoing may have served to indicate that generalizations on the uses of the IKAL-constructions themselves, apart from the constructional units in which they have a dependent office, would not be of much help in understanding Modern Yucatec discourse. It has seemed advisable, therefore, to deal separately with each of several units of the form Co-operant + IKAL. These units occur with great frequency in all kinds of discourse, but the co-operants are comparatively few.
The following observations concerning passive IKAL-construction PA V-(aa)l (3.49) may be useful. We questioned above (4.10) whether it was justifiable to class construction V-ab as a passive voice. The chief objection was the circumstance that in V-ab there is no conversion of the so-called 'logical subject' into 'grammatical subject'. No such objection can be raised in this case. Let us compare these four sentences: 1. tu bisahech teelo’, 'He took you there'. 2. bisaabech teelo’, 'You were taken there'. 3. tan a bisaal teelo’, 'You are (were) being taken there'. 4. tan a bisik teelo’, 'You are (were) taking it there'. We notice that in sentences 1 and 2 the person that is said to have been taken is referred to by the pronoun -ech of Class B; showing that the V-ab construction of sentence 2, which we rendered by the English passive voice, requires the same pronoun as the transitive construction t-PA V-ah of sentence 1. In contrast with this, we find that in sentence 3 the person that is, or was, being taken is referred to by the pronoun a of Class A. The same pronoun of Class A serves in sentence 4 to refer, not to a person who is taken, but to one who takes. That is to say, in sentence 3 we observe a transformation of the sort that characterizes the passive voice in other languages.


4.14.    tan + IKAL

We divide the uses of this structural unit into two classes labeled Usage A and Usage B. In Usage A, the construction serves to refer to an occurrent contemporary (4.3) with the time-index indicated by the context. In Usage B, the construction serves to refer to an occurrent subsequent (4.3) to the time-index indicated by the context. In both usages the reference is generally monochronic (4.6). In some cases the reference is polychronic, but it is not a reference to a habitual occurrence. In Usage B, the references made by this construction and those in which he + IKAL + -e’ occur (4.16) are quite similar. Both constructions serve to make predictions and to refer to predictions made at a time prior to that in which they are referred to, and both constructions serve to express assurance with regard to the fulfilment of the prediction. It is observed, however, that in 82% of the cases in which such predictions were made by means of tan + IKAL the sentence was negative; while he + IKAL + -e’ was used in negative sentences in less than 1% of the instances in which he + IKAL + -e’ occurred. We suspect that in affirmative sentences the latter expresses a higher degree of assurance than the former; but, of course, it is hardly feasible to find reliable evidence in support of a conjecture of this sort. The negative construction maa tan + IKAL was used in 66% of the cases to express a refusal. Thus, maa tan in beetik signified more frequently 'I refuse to do it' than 'I am not doing it', or 'I was not doing it'. On the other hand, tan in beetik was most frequently equivalent to 'I am doing it' or 'I was doing it'; and occasionally, 'I shall be doing it' or 'I plan to do it'. The word tan serves frequently to answer affirmatively a question made by means of construction tan + IKAL. For example, an answer to the question tan a pak'al? ('Are you planting?') can be simply tan, signifying 'I am' or 'Yes'. There is no word in Modern Yucatec signifying 'Yes' which can be used in reply to any disjunctive interrogative sentence (Yes-No type). How to say Yes depends on the construction of the interrogative and on what is asked. In all instances other than in the construction tan + IKAL and the affirmative and negative answers tan and maa tan, the word tan is used in references which have little in common with what tan might be said to signify in construction tan + IKAL. The closest analogy is found in expressions in which tan signifies 'in the midst of', 'about the middle of', as in tan chumuk. Usage A and Usage B of construction tan + IKAL are on the whole special developments of Modern Yucatec which have replaced almost entirely the uses of some Old Yucatec constructions (Note 10). Save for the phonologic fusion of tan with the pronoun of the IKAL-construction (1.5), tan remains unaltered in all the uses and conjugational variations of construction tan + IKAL. In this respect this construction differs from others dealt with below.

Examples of Usage A

  1. baax tun ka beetik? chen tan in xokik le chan libro a ts'ama teena’. 'What are you doing? I am just reading the little book you gave me'. For the construction of the interrogative sentence see 4.31. chen, 'just, only'; frequently used to signify that what is spoken of is of no special consequence. tan in xok-ik, constr. tan + IKAL. le ... -a’, 'this' (4.51). chan, 'little, small'. libro, Spanish libro, 'book'; pronounced in Yucatec with accent on the ultima. a ts'a-ma, 'you have given'; constr. PA V-ma (4.66). ten-a’, 1st. pers. pron. Class C with terminal component -a’ of constr. le ... -a’.
  2. leela’ mix tan u weenel. 'This one is certainly not asleep'. le-la’, 'this one' (4.51). mix, Mod. Yuc. fusion of ma ix (4.32), emphatic negative. tan u wen-el, constr. tan + IKAL, intransitive formula PA V-(a)l; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A.
  3. tan u sastal. 'It is dawning'. u sas-t-al, intransitive IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; sas with formative -t (3.26), 'to dawn' (sas-il, 'light, clear vision').
  4. ka k'uche’, tan u pa’tal. 'When he arrived they were waiting for him. ka ... -e’, construction of temporal clause (4.62); k'uch, 'arrive'; intransitive AHAB-construction (4.9). tan u pa’-t-al, literally: 'he was being awaited' (one or more persons were waiting for him); pa’-t, 'await' (always transitive); pak' with formative -t; for phonetic change see 1.3.
  5. chen ka tin wilahe’, tan u t'aat'ak'axtiko'b le otsil mank'ek'enoobo’. 'At the very moment I saw them, they were binding all over (with ropes) the poor pig traders'. chen, 'just when, precisely at that time' (when used in a temporal clause). ka ... -e’, temporal clause construction (4.62). t-in w-il-ah, 'I saw'; transitive AHAB-construction (4.9). tan u t'aa-t'a(a)-k'ax-t-ik-o'b, cosntr. tan + IKAL; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; t'aa-t'a(a), duplicated t'aa, 'to do in a thorough manner, or profusely, all over a place or body'; k'ax, 'to tie'; the composite verbal unit requires formative -t (3.26). le ... -o’, 'those' (4.51). o(l)-tsil, 'poor' (4.71). man-k'ek'en-o'b, 'traders in pigs'; man, 'buy'; k'ek'en, 'pig'; -o'b, plural.
  6. ka k'uche’, tan in hats'aal tu men u yumil le koolo’. 'When he arrived, I was being beaten by the owner of the cornfield'. ka k'uch-e’, 'when he arrived' (See Ex. 4). tan in hats'-aal, 'I was being beaten'; passive IKAL. t-u men, 'by' (4.10). u yum-il, 'the owner of' (4.60). le ... -o’, 'that' (4.51). kol, 'cornfield, milpa'.
  7. le hao’ ma tech u saap'al hun puli, kex sansamal tan k ch'ayk. 'That water does not diminish at all, although we are using it constantly'. Context: The sentence refers to the water in a magic container which produced as much of it as could be used. le ... -o’, 'that' (4.51). ha’, 'water'; for phonetic change see 1.3. ma tech u sap'-al, emphatic negative with passive IKAL (4.20); sap', 'to use up the liquid contents of'. hun pul-i, 'altogether, at once, without further ado'. kex, 'although'. san-sam-al, 'constantly'; dupilcation of sam (4.69) changing m to n before s (1.3). tan k ch'a-ik, constr. tan + IKAL; ch'a, 'fetch, get'.

Examples of Usage B

  1. maa tan in ts'ayk tech. 'I will not give it to you'. maa, negative ma or ma’; always with long vowel before constr. tan + IKAL. ts'a, 'give'. tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C.
  2. maa tan a wiliken mix bik'in. 'You will never see me (again)'. a w-il-ik-en, constr. IKAL with 1st. pers. pron. -en of Class B as grammatical object of il, 'to see'. mix bi-k'in, 'never'; cf. mix in Ex. 2; k'in, 'day, sun'. We have no information concerning bi- other than the observation that it occurs also in bi-k'i(n)-x, interrogative 'When?'.
  3. maa tan u tak'al u yichi. 'His eye is not going to stick to it'. Context: Said facetiously to signify: He can do you no harm by looking at it. Let him see it! u tak'-al, intransitive IKAL; tak', 'to adhere by sticking, as with glue'. u y-ich, 'his eye or face'; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A. In speech of Type B, the suffix -i can be the terminal component of constr. ma ... -i’ (4.59), or the B-variant of -il (1.3).

4.15.    ts'ook + IKAL

The component ts'ook of this structural unit differs from the component tan of the unit tan + IKAL in various respects which are worthy of note. The latter, as shown above, remains unaltered so far as conjugation is concerned, but ts'ook conforms to the rules governing intransitive conjugation. Thus, besides ts'ook + IKAL, we find ts'ookok + IKAL in temporal clauses introduced by ken (4.46); and we find ku ts'ookol + IKAL in the uses dealt with below (4.33). In other constructions, ts'ook signifies 'to end, to be over'. For example, the expression ts'ooki is in some contexts equivalent to that's the end, that's all, it is done. In construction ts'ook + IKAL, the word ts'ook signifies in different instances that the occurrent specified by the dependent IKAL-component was, is, or will be, prior (4.3) to the time-index indicated by the context. Thus, ts'ook in beetik can signify in different contexts 'I had done it', 'I have done it', or 'I shall have done it'. With the simple word ts'ook, the construction has been observed only in monochronic references (4.6). With ku ts'ookol or ts'ookok, the reference is monochronic or polychronic depending on circumstances elsewhere specified. We see that three chronologic positions can be specified jointly by ts'ook + IKAL and its context. Employing the designations explained in 4.4, those three chronologic positions are: discrete-past (Case 1), prior-past (Case 4), and prior-future (Case 8). It should now be noted that references to occurrents whose chronologic positions are specified as being discrete past are served also by Usage A of the AHAB-constructions (4.9). This question should, therefore, be asked: Under what conditions does a speaker use ts'ook + IKAL, and not an AHAB-construction, to specify the chronologic position of the occurrent as being discrete-past? The data at our disposal are not sufficient to answer this question satisfactorily. We have observed that upon reportring as a piece of news an incident which took place a few seconds or a few minutes before it was reported construction ts'ook + IKAL is used. We have not observed a single instance in which an AHAB-construction was used to report in that manner as recent an occurrence. It should be noted, however, that after using ts'ook + IKAL to report an incident, the same construction is not used in subsequent sentences describing the incident. For example, it is required in the first sentence Gonzalo fell off his horse, but not in the next sentence He fell on a rock. In references to occurrents which took place at a less recent time, the rules which govern the uses of this construction are probably as complicated as those which govern the uses of the present perfect and simple past tenses in English. Moreover, we suspect that if we could specify under what circumstances one must, for example, say in English, I have done it and not I did it, the specifications would hold by and large for Yucatec, excepting, of course, the reports of recent events above mentioned. But, as we point out in Note 11, what the grammarian says about present perfect tenses stands no rational test; and what contemporary linguists say about perfective aspects is of no help. We suspect that a careful inquiry into an adequate number of samplings of discourse, with adquate information concerning the circumstances in which each sampling of discourse occurred, would disclose not one rule but a set of rules. One of the rules, for example, might be: when a speaker argues that he will succeed in doing something, and in supporting his argument, refers to a previous instance (or collectively to previous instances) in which he succeeded, he can use construction ts'ook + IKAL in Yucatec and the present perfect tense in English in an assertion such as I have done it many times. Another rule may be: when an individual says that something should be done or orders someone to do it, without knowing that the matter was attended to before he spoke of it, his interlocutor will use construction ts'ook + IKAL to inform him that the matter has already been attended to; provided, however, that the sentence used by the latter does not contain some expression which requires the use of another construction. Such are the rules that may have to be formulated before it is justifiable to generalize upon the uses of the linguistic devices in question. The following examples illustrate some of the most frequent uses.

  1. ts'ook in kinpahal. 'I hurt myself'. Context: Exclaimed by one who was still on the ground after falling from a tree. in kin-pa-h-al, intransitive IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l; kin with formatives -pa-h (3.37) 'to get hurt'; kin-b-es, 'to hurt someone'.
  2. heelo’. ts'ook a tal. Approximate translation: 'Well! Here you are!'. Context: Said to an expected visitor as he is about to enter the house. A visitor, however, customarily announces his presence by means of an AHAB-construction: talen, 'I came'. he-l-o’, equivalent to French voilà. ts'ook a tal, literally: 'you have come' or 'You came'; a tal, irregular IKAl-construction; formerly, and occassionally in the speech of the old folk in some localities, a tal-el.
  3. ts'ook u hoop'ol u k'axal ha’. 'It has begun to rain'. Context: Said upon noticing the first drops. Here we have an IKAL-construction, u k'axal, dependent on another IKAL-construction, u hoop'-ol; both conform to the intransitive formula PA V-(a)l. hoop', 'begin'; one of the co-operants (4.13) requiring an IKAL-construction (4.17). k'ax with ha’ ('water') 'to rain'; with bat ('hailstone') 'to hail'; in other contexts: 'to tie', 'woods', and various other divergent senses.
  4. he bix ts'ook u lubul u tukul tu yiknal a tsikbeenile’, yan in k'amik. 'Since it is your grace's suggestion, I must accept'. Literally: 'It being the case that the thought of it (of asking me to serve as Bearer) has fallen in your grace (your reverence, your lordship), ...'. Context: Ritual answer to the master of ceremonies at the time the New Bearer (tunben kuch) assumes his duties. he bix ... -e’, 'it being the case that'. u lub-ul, IKAL-construction dependent on ts'ook, intransitive formula PA V-(a)l. u tuk-ul, 'the thought of it'; in other contexts, 'his thought' (2.4). t-u y-ik-n-al, an A-variant of tiknal, 'in the home of, at the disposal of'; similar in some uses to French chez; see 4.11, Ex. 34; 3rd. pers. pron. u instead of 2nd. pers. a, due to substitution of reverential expression a tsik-ben-il for pronoun; tsik, 'respect, veneration'; -ben (4.57); -il (4.60). y-an in k'am-ik, constr. yan + IKAL, transitive, 'I must accept (it)' (accept the kuch, 'duty, charge, load, burden', previously mentioned) (4.18).
  5. ts'ook u tasik le sio’. 'He has already brought the firewood'. Context: Said in reply to Is he helping you? The firewood for roasting the pig had been brought the previous day. u ta(l)-s-ik, IKAL-construction; tal, 'come'; with formative -s, 'bring'. le ... -o’, 'the, that' (4.51); si’, 'firewood'; for phonetic change see 1.3.
  6. ts'ook in man tuux mas yaab baabal yan. 'I have gone through places where there were many more devils'. Context: The speaker is warned not to go to a certain place because three beings of the sort called baabal had been seen there. He boasts he is not afraid. in man, irregular IKAL-construction; formerly, and occassionally at present, man-el, 'to pass, go through or by'. tuux, 'where'. mas, very probably Spanish más, 'more'. yaab, 'to be many, to abound'. y-an, 'there is, was, or will be'; 'have', and other senses (4.18 and 4.61).
  7. ku k'uchloobe’, ts'ook u kimil le chan paalo’. 'By the time they arrived, the child had died'. k-u k'uch-(u)l-o'b-e’, 'by the time they arrived' (1.4); k-IKAL-construction in temporal clause (4.33); u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; k'uch, 'arrive'; -e’, terminal component of temporal clause. u kim-il, IKAL-construction; kim, 'die'. le ... -o’, 'the, that' (4.51). chan, 'little, small'. pal, 'boy'.
  8. ken sasak domingoe’, ts'ook u tahal le sao’. 'Next Sunday at daybreak the atol will be ready'. ken sas-ak ... -e’, temporal clause (4.46); sas-(t-al), 'to dawn'; Spanish domingo, 'Sunday'. u tah-al, intransitive IKAL-construction; tah, 'to be done' (in the sense of having boiled sufficiently). le ... -o’ (4.51); saʔ, 'atol, a corn-meal gruel'.
  9. samal okaan k'iine’, ts'ook u beetik le tusbeo’ le paalo’. 'Tomorrow evening the boy will have done the errand'. sam-al, 'tomorrow' (4.52). ok-aan, 'having entered' (4.53). k'in, 'sun'. -e’, terminal component of temporal clause or time expression (4.58) . u bee-t-ik, IKAL-construction, bee-t or men-t, with formative -t (3.26) 'do' or 'make'. le ... -o’ (4.51); tus-be, 'errand' (someone else's affair); tus, 'falsehood, make believe'; be, 'occupation, affair, way, road', etc.
  10. Additional examples under other headings: 4.12, Exx. 38, 40; 4.23, Ex. 9; 4.30, Ex. 15; 4.41, Ex. 52; 4.64, Ex. 3; 4.70.

4.16.    he + IKAL + -e’

This construction serves to refer to an occurrent whose chronologic position is specified as being subsequent to a time-index (4.3). This generalization applies in three kinds of instances: (1) when the construction serves to communicate a prediction, a promise, a threat, or a resolution; e.g., he in tasik teeche’, 'I will bring it to you'; (2) when the construction serves to refer to a prediction, a promise, a threat, or a resolution, which was made at a time prior to the cardinal time; e.g., tin waalah tech he in tasik teeche’, 'I told you I would bring it to you'; (3) when the construction serves to communicate an expected permission or order to do something previously spoken of; e.g., he u pahtal a bin ta nayle’, 'You may go home (now)'. These specifications, however, are not sufficient to delimit the uses of this construction; for it happens to be the case that other constructions (4.14, 4.42, 4.56) serve to refer to subsequent occurrents in the first two kinds of instances just mentioned. In the first of those two kinds of instances, the choice of he + IKAL + -e’ seems frequently to depend on whether or not the speaker chooses to signify (a) that his promise can be depended upon, or that he is sure of what he predicts, or that he is determined to carry out his threat or resolution; or (b) that the predicted or promised occurrent will take place sooner than expected, or without delay. In the second kind of instances the reference seems to be generally to predictions, resolutions, promises, or threats which are reported to have been made with assurance or determination. The most reliable evidence we have that such is the basis for the choice of this construction is derived from the translation given by informants who had a good command of Spanish. No single Spanish idiom is equivalent to construction he + IKAL + -e’ in all its uses, but some informants managed to obtain translations which proved to be satisfactory in various degrees to others who had a good command of both languages. In most cases the future tense of the Spanish verb without the aid of some other expressions was not considered a precise equivalent. What the Spanish future tense lacks was sometimes provided by the use of the word ya, as in Ya verás, 'You'll see'; said to express confidence with regard to some prediction. That seems to be the precise sense of he a wilike’;or a wiike’, as it is most frequently said. In other instances, the special use of the Spanish present tense to promise immediate action, or to give assurance that something will be done was said to correspond satisfactorily to the use of the Yucatec construction. Thus, he in tasik tech samale’ was rendered by Mañana te lo traigo, an approximate equivalent of which is, at least in some contexts, 'I will surely bring it to you tomorrow'. All this, however, fails to account for the use of he + IKAL + -e’ in all the specimens of discourse recorded. This is especially the case when the construction in question occurs in the protasis of a conditional sentence. In some instances one may more or less plausibly infer from the context that the speaker implies by the choice of this construction that he is sure that what he states conditionally will occur (high declarative value). Take, for example, a context of this sort: A traveler comes to a cornfield and says to the owner that he is very thirsty. The owner says: "If you look under that bush, you will find water in my gourd." The use of construction he + IKAL + -e’ in the clause signifying 'If you look under that bush' may imply what we now insert in parenthesis: If you look under that bush ( and you surely will look if you are so thirsty); but that is just one of the possible implications in such a context. Another possibility is that the sentence is equivalent to Just look under ... .
It should be noted that the terminal component of construction he + IKAL + -e’is always -e’, and not also -a’ or -o’, as might be expected from the observation that this is one of the constructions conforming to formula he ... -e(a,o)’. The uses of other constructions conforming to this formula are dealt with separately (4.51). Conforming to the rule stated in 4.58, -e’ is always the last component, and it is affixed to whatever component may precede it. hel is an X-variant of he. This X-variant, however, is always employed instead of he when the construction consists entirely of its initial and terminal components; e.g., heela’, heelo’, heele’ or heele’. Each of the two variants heele’ and heele’ is equivalent to the whole construction he + IKAL + -e’ when the context supplies the information that would be communicated by the omitted IKAL-component. Thus, an affirmative answer to such a question as Will you do it? can be simply heele’, instead of he in beetike’, or hel in beetike’. This is, in fact, the shortest expression that can be used in such contexts, since there is no word like the English yes which can be used to communicate an affirmative answer in all contexts. (Cf. the independent use of tan mentioned in 4.14). heele’ is said frequentely also in response to a request or an order, and signifies willingness or readiness to do what is requested or commanded.

Examples in which construction he + IKAL + -e’ refers to a future occurrent.

  1. he in bootik teeche’. 'I promise to pay you'; or: 'I will certainly pay you'. Constr. he .. -e’ with IKAL-component in boo-t-ik (formula PA V-ik, transitive); in, 1st. pers. pron. Class A; boo with formative -t (3.26), 'pay, reward'. tech-e’, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C with terminal component -e’ of constr. he ... -e’.
  2. he in nats'al in wile’. 'I will go near it to see it'. Context: defiance of danger. in nats'-al, IKAL-construction formula PA V-(a)l, intransitive; nats', 'approach, get close to'. in w-il-e’, indicating aim (4.41), and terminal component -e’ of constr. he ... -e’; il, 'to see'.
  3. he a wilik wa ma he u k'ubik tech a watane’. 'You will see whether or not he will return your wife to you'. Context: An ogre has stolen a woman. A deer assures her husband that he can force the ogre to give her back to him. Here we have constr. he + IKAL + -e’ with a component which is also constr. he + IKAL + -e’; and the -e’ at the end of the sentence serves as the terminal component of both. he a w-il-ik ... -e’, 'You will see'; a w-il-ik, IKAL-constr. PA V-ik; a, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; w- (3.2); il, 'to see'. wa, 'if'. ma, 'not'. he u k'ub-ik ... -e’, 'he will surrender'; u k'ub-ik, IKAL-construction PA V-ik; k'ub, 'surrender, deliver, hand over'. tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. a w-at-an, 'your wife'; a, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; w- (3.2); at-an, 'wife' (4.9).
  4. he u beetaal samale’. 'It will be done tomorrow'. u bee-t-aal, passive IKAL-construction PA V-(aa)l; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; bee-t, 'do, make' (3.1). samal, 'tomorrow'. -e’, terminal component of constr. he + IKAL + -e’.

Examples in which construction he + IKAL + -e’ refers to a promise or prediction previously made.

  1. ka tu yaalah he u naakale’. 'And he said that he would go up'. t-u y-al-ah, 'he said', AHAB-construction (4.9). he u naak-al-e’, 'he would go up'; u naak-al, IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l; naak, 'ascend, climb, get on top of'.
  2. tuux yan le taak'in ta waalah he a tasike’? 'Where is the money you promised to bring?'; tuux, 'where' (2.19); y-an, 'to be at a place, to have', etc. (4.61); taak'in, 'money' (the etymology is possibly ta’, 'waste, excrement'; k'in, 'sun'; 'excrement of the sun'; formerly signifying gold; similarly, ta’-u, 'excrement of the moon', for silver). t-a w-al-ah, 'you said' (AHAB-construction). he a ta(l)-s-ik-e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’; ta(l)-s, 'bring'; tal, 'come', with formative -s (3.25).
  3. ka t aalah tech he k hok'ol samale’. 'And we told you we would go out tomorrow'. t al-ah, 'we told'; AHAB-construction t-PA V-ah, with omission of pronoun k, 'we', after t- (2.9). tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. k hok'-ol, IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l; k, 'we'; pron. Class A; hok', 'go out, come out'. samal, 'tomorrow'.

Examples of he + IKAL + -e’ in conditional sentences.

  1. ts'a ten le in nook'o’. wa mae’, he u yuchul tech hun p'el nohoch loobe’. 'Give me my clothes. If you do not, a great evil will befall you'. ts'a, 'give' (4.38); ten, 1st. pers. pron. Class C. le in nok'-o’, 'those clothes of mine' (4.51). wa, 'if'. ma-e’, negative with -e’ (4.58). he u y-uch-ul ... -e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; uch, 'to happen'. tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C; hun p'el, numeral 'one' with general numerical classifier for inanimate referents. noh-och, 'big, great' (3.40). lob, 'harm, evil, misfortune'.
  2. wa tu men he a beetik tu lakal baax ka waalik teene’, maalob. 'If you do all that you tell me, it will be all right'. wa tu men, 'if'; for the use of wa tu men in conditional sentences see 4.44. he a bee-t-ik ... -e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’; bee-t, 'do, make' (3.1). ten, 1st. pers. pron. Class C. ma-lob, 'all right, good' (see 4.11, Ex. 35).
  3. wa ka wolte’, he a tal a chan anteene’. Literally: 'If you were willing, you would come and help me a little'. This is said by way of reproach to one who sees a friend struggling with a load and does not come to his aid. The same wording and construction has occurred in another context as the equivalent of 'If you wish, you may come tonight to my house and ...'. wa k-a w-ol-t-e’, 'if you are (were) willing' (4.44); ol, 'will, mind', and numerous other senses of a psychological sort; with formative -t, 'to be willing, consent, concede, take a notion to do something'. he a tal ... -e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’; tal, 'come'; irregular (3.56) and most frequent variant of tal-el in IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l. a chan an-t-en; the unit a an-t is a NULLAK-construction specifying aim (4.41); an-t, 'help'; with formative -t (3.26); chan, 'little'; frequently used to express modesty, politeness, etc. (4.38). -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B.

4.17.    hoop' + IKAL

So far as our observations go, the verb hoop' is not used otherwise than with a dependent IKAL-construction. It is an impersonal verb signifying 'to begin to occur'. The IKAL-construction specifies what begins to occur. The construction hoop' + IKAL has occurred about as frequently as any in which IKAL is a dependent component, and in every instance the pronoun of the dependent IKAL-component was that of the third person singular or of the third person plural. Other verbs signifying 'to begin' (4.22) were used when other pronouns were required. The converse, however, is not true. Thus, we find hoop' u kaltal and chunpahi u kaltal signifying 'He began to get drunk', and referring in each case to a single occasion in which an individual was drinking. The number of such instances observed by us are too few to draw any conclusion as to whether any distinction is made by using one of those verbs rather than another. The preceding generalizations hold for the two conjugational forms uhoop'ol and hoop'ok, as well as for the simple form hoop'. The examples given below illustrate the use of the simple form hoop'. With this simple form of the hoop'-component, the unit hoop' + IKAL serves to refer to an occurrent whose chronologic position is specified as being discrete-past (4.4, Case 1), and the reference is monochronic (4.6) so far as hoop' is concerned, but not necessarily so with regard to what the dependent IKAL-construction specifies. For example, in such a communication as He began to climb the tree one beginning and one instance of climbing would be referred to. In He began to ask every person he met, hoop' would still be used to refer to a single beginning, but in that case it is the beginning of a set of occurrents each of which is an instance of asking. In polychronic references to more than one beginning, the construction is ku hoop'ol (or ku hoop'ol) + IKAL (4.28). hoop'ok conforms to the rules stated in 4.37.

  1. ka hoop' u haanal. 'And he began to eat'. Context: Reference to a single occassion; he decided to wait no longer for a guest. u han-al, intransitive IKAL-construction. han, 'to eat', requires formative -t in a transitive construction; e.g., hoop' u hantik, 'he began to eat it'.
  2. ka hoop' u ts'o'nol. 'And he began to shoot'. Context: reference to a single occasion. ts'on, 'to shoot'; in other contexts, 'gun'.
  3. hoop' u tsikbal yetel. 'He began to chat with her'. tsik-ba-l, intransitive IKAL-construction PA V-(a)l; tsik with formative -ba, 'to chat, to discuss'; different senses without -ba. y-et-el, 'with her' (4.52); in other contexts, 'with him', 'with them', or simply 'with', or 'and'; et, 'to be with, accompany', and similar senses.
  4. ka hoop u k'atiko'b ti he max ku yilikoobe’. ' And they began to ask anyone they saw'. u k'at-ik-o'b, transitive IKAL-construction; k'at, 'ask'; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. ti, 'of, to, from', etc. (2.29). he max ... -e’, 'whoever, anyone'. k-u y-il-ik-o'b, k-IKAL-construction (4.34); il, 'to see'.
  5. ka hoop' u kaxtik u lak' xch'upal uts tu yich. 'And he began to look for some other young lady he would like'. kax-t, 'look for'. u lak', 'another' (2.8). x-ch'up-(p)al, 'girl, young unmarried woman'; x-ch'up, 'woman'; x- (3.3); pal, 'youngster'. uts t-u y-ich, literally: 'good to his eye'; t-u, fusion of ti, 'to', and u, 3rd. pers. pron. Class A; ich, 'eye, face'.

4.18.    yan + IKAL

The first component of this unit is the verb an with the third person prefix y- (4.61). What is signified by the whole unit depends on whether the cooperant (4.13) is yan, or yanhi, or ka yanak. With yan the construction serves to assert (a) that there is, or there was, or there will be a need, or duty, or other compulsion to do that which the IKAL-component specifies; or (b) that what the IKAL-component specifies is, was, or will be an expected consequence of prior or contemporary (4.3) circumstances. For example, yan in kaxtik can be equivalent to 'I have to look for it', or 'I shall have to look for it', or the sentence may refer to a past need, or duty, which may or may not have been attended to. With the component yanhi, the construction serves in some contexts to assert that what the IKAL-component specifies was done to meet a need, or was done under some other compulsion. For example, yanhi in kaxtik is equivalent to 'I had to look for it (and I did so)'. The distinction is like that which can be made by the use of the imperfect and the preterite tenses of the Spanish verb. Tuve que buscarlo, like yanhi in kaxtik, implies that I was under compulsion to look for it, and did look for it; whereas Tenía que buscarlo asserts that there was a compulsion of some sort, but is non-committal as to whether I actually looked for it. The latter is the sense of yan in kaxtik with reference to a past situation. We have found ka yanak + IKAL only in the expression ka yanak a woheltik, or ka yanak a woheltike'x, which is approximately equivalent to 'Let it be known to you' (sing. and plur., respectively), or, less literally, 'I want you to know', said by way of warning, or upon revealing something which is expected to surprise the person or persons addressed. With yanhi, and, of course, with ka yanak, this construction has occurred only in monochronic references (4.6). But with the simpler component yan, this is one of the constructions which can be used without alteration both in monochronic and polychronic references. In narration, yanhi and its X-variant anhi serve frequently to indicate a transition from episode to another, or to attract attention to an incident. They are then approximately equivalent to 'It came to pass that ...', 'It so happened that ...', 'What happened then was that ...'. The same usage is frequently served by uchi and uchik, where uch signifies 'to happen', 'to be the case that ...'. Various uses of yan without a dependent IKAL-construction are dealt with elsewhere (4.61). To avoid unnecessary repetition, yan, yanhi, and ka yanak will be left unanalyzed in the remarks of the following examples. The construction of yanhi (y-an-h-i) is explained in 3.51; and that of ka yanak (ka y-an-ak), in 4.37.

  1. sansamal yan u kinsik hun tul xkax. 'Every day she has to kill a chicken'. Context: To provide the proper food for her sick husband. san-sam-al, duplication of sam with change of m to n before s, 'every day', 'all the time'. yan u kin-s-ik, constr. yan + IKAL; kim, 'die'; with formative -s, 'kill'; m changes to n as above. hun tul, numeral 'one' with numerical classifier tul for animate referents. x-kax, 'chicken'; in some localities, kax, 'chicken' in general; xkax, 'hen'.
  2. hach yan u beetik toon baal k'as. 'He will surely give us a lot of trouble'. Context: What he is doing now will inevitably have bad consequences for us. hach, 'much, very' (referring to k'as, 'bad'). u bee-t-ik, IKAL-construction; bee with formative -t, 'do, make, cause'. toon, 1st. pers. inclusive and exclusive pron. Class C. baal, 'thing, things'. k'as, 'bad'.
  3. ka yanhi u wach'lo'b. 'They had to be untied'. Context: They were finally compelled to untie the bundles so they could be inspected. u wach'-(aa)l-o'b, passive IKAL-construction PA V-(aa)l, speech Type B (1.4).
  4. yan u hantkoono'b. 'They will surely eat us up'. Context: The monsters are about to overtake us. u han-t-(i)k-o'n-o'b, IKAL-construction; u .. -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur.; han-t, 'eat' (cf. 4.17, Ex. 1); -(i)k, terminal component of PA V-ik; for the elision of the vowel of -ik see 1.4; -o'n, 1st. pers. inclusive and exclusive pron. Class B.
  5. ka yanak a woheltikeexe’ le chan pal ka waalike'x saatalo’, ten. 'Let it be known to you that the little boy you say disappeared is myself'. Context: A boy was abandoned in the woods, and was reared by a hunter. As a young man, he appears now before the guilty ones. a w-oh-el-t-ik-e'x-e’, transitive IKAL-construction PA V-ik with -e’ marking the end of the clause (4.58). a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; oh-el, 'to know' (3.56); with formative -t (3.26), 'to be told, to find out'; le ... -o’, 'the, that' (4.51). chan, 'little'. pal, 'boy'. k-a w-al-ik-e'x, 'you say'; k-IKAL-construction in delimiting clause (4.34); a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. sat-al, 'get lost, disappear'; -al (4.52). ten, 1st. pers. pron. Class C; the assertion of identity, 'I am the one', is signified in part by a pause and intonation (4.67).
  6. ka tu yilah ti’ pekaan hun xot' k'aanil, ka yanhi u ch'ayk. 'He saw a piece of twine lying there, and he happened to pick it up.' Context: The trivial incident of picking up a piece of twine on the road is contrasted with the unfortunate consequences the speaker is about to narrate. ka t-u y-il-ah, 'he saw'; AHAB-construction t-PA V-ah preceded by ka; in narratives some speakers use ka before every AHAB-construction which refers to a new incident or episode in the story. ti’, 'there' (and many other senses). pek-aan, B-variant of pek-ek-ba-l, for an object to be lying on the ground or on a flat surface; -aan (4.53). hun, 'one, a'; no numerical classifier follows, because the unit counted in this case is a fraction (4.68). xot', 'piece, portion'. k'an, 'twine, cord'; -il, general reference and other uses (4.60). yanhi, see above remarks (4.18) for its use in narration. u ch'a-ik, transitive IKAL-construction; ch'a, 'take, get, fetch', etc.

4.19.    paht + IKAL

In the constructions here referred to by the label paht + IKAL, the verb paht signifies 'to be possible or feasible', 'to be permitted', or 'to succeed'. The dependent IKAL-component specifies what particular occurrent is said to be possible, or feasible, or what permission or success is referred to. The paht-component of the construction can be (1) pahti or pathi, AHAB form (3.51); (2) u pahtal, conforming to the IKAL-formula PA V-(a)l; (3) ku pahtal, constr. k-IKAL (4.27); or (4) ka pahtak, constr. NULLAK (4.37). Construction u pahtal + IKAL is always a dependent IKAL-construction (4.18). Take, for example, the sentence maa tan u pahtal in beetik, which in a reference to present circumstances is equivalent to 'I am not able to do it'. Disregarding the negative maa, that sentence exemplifies construction tan + IKAL, dealt with above (4.14). Only, instead of having a single IKAL-component, as is most frequently the case, we have tan + IKAL + IKAL. Similarly, in he u pahtal a beetike’, 'You will be able to do it', or 'You can do it', or 'You are permitted to do it', we have he + IKAL + IKAL + -e’ (4.16). In short, the rules governing the uses of the dependent IKAL-constructions apply to the unit u pahtal + IKAL. It is observed, however, that tan u pahtal + IKAL has seldom occurred in affirmative sentences. To assert that someone is able to do something he u 'pahtal + IKAL + -e’ (4.16) is the construction commonly employed. pahti + IKAL serves to assert that someone succeeded in doing what the IKAL-component specifies. Thus, pahti in beetik is equivalent to 'I succeeded in doing it'. An X-variant of pahti is pathi. Construction ka pahtak + IKAL occurs in the dependent clauses dealt with in 4.41. In those clauses, paht signifies 'to be able' or 'to be possible'.

Examples with u pahtal, ku pahtal, and pahti

  1. maa tan u pahtal k beetik mix baal. 'There is nothing we can do'. (We are unable to help you). maa, negative, + tan (4.14) + IKAL (u paht-al) + IKAL(k bee-t-ik). m(a)-ixbaal , 'nothing'; fusion of ma, negative, and ix (4.32); baal, 'thing'.
  2. maa tan u pahtal u lubul. 'It cannot fall'. u lub-ul, intransitive IKAL-constr. PA V-(a)l.
  3. maa tan u pahtal u hantaal. 'It cannot be eaten'. u han-t-aal, passive IKAL-constr. PA V-(aa)l; han-t, 'eat'; transitive with formative -t; see 4.17, Ex. 1.
  4. ku pahtal u hok'lo'b ximbal he tuux u k'atoobe’. 'They could go out for a walk wherever they wished'. Context: They were given that privilege. k-u paht-al, constr. k-IKAL (4.28). u hok'-(o)l-o'b, intrans. IKAL; u ... -o'b, 3rd. plur.; hok', 'go out, come out'. xim-ba-l (3.53), 'stroll, visit'. he tuux ... -e’, (4.45), 'wherever, anywhere'; tuux, 'where'. u k'at-o'b, 'they wished'; u ... -o'b, 3rd. plur.; k'at, with this construction, 'wish'; see 3.56.
  5. ma pathi u lik'ski. 'He could not lift it'. Context: He tried and failed. ma ... -i, negative with AHAB-constructions (4.59); pa(h)-t-(a)hi, X-variant of pah-t-i; see 3.55 and above remarks (4.19). u lik'-s-(i)k, trans. IKAL, 'lift'; lik', 'rise, get up'.
  6. ma pahti u winikːunsik he bix u k'ate’. 'He was not able to make a man of him as he wished'. Context: He failed in his attempt to train an unruly boy. u winik-(k)un-s-ik, trans. IKAL; winik, 'man'; a verbal unit with formatives -kun-s (3.23). he bix ... -e’, 'as, like', etc. (2.22). k'at, 'wish'; see Ex. 4.

4.20.    Other dependent IKAL-constructions in structural units similar to the preceding (4.14 - 4.19)

In the instances so far dealt with, the co-operants (4.13) of the dependent IKAL-constructions are of two sorts: those which are not conjugated; and those which are conjugated only in the third person when used with a dependent IKAL-construction. So far as our data show, there are comparatively few words or expressions which serve as co-operants of those two sorts. The following have occurred in the texts at least 10 times: (1) k'abet, 'to be necessary'; tak, 'to have an urgent physiologic need'; yaab, 'to abound, to be much or many'. These three were used in references to contemporary-past and present occurrents. With dependent IKAL-constructions, they have occurred only in the forms shown above. (2) uch, 'to happen', has the form uch or uchik in references to discrete-past occurrents; also in narration with a usage similar to that of yanhi (4.18); the form u yuchul, itself an IKAL-construction subject to the rules governing the uses of these constructions; and uchak or unchak, signifying 'perhaps it will happen', 'perhaps it will be the case', 'may it happen (optative sense)'. (3) xanhi, 'to be delayed or retarded'; used in references to past occurrents, and only in the 3rd. sing. i.e., what the person does, and not the person himself is what is said to be retarded or delayed. (4) Various expressions concerning time: tanili, 'first, presently, at once'; hun pulak, naapulak, 'at once, immediately, without further ado'; all three in references to past occurrents when a dependent IKAL-construction follows. mix bik'in, 'never'; reference to past; in reference to future, it requires a different construction. samal or hatskab, 'tomorrow'. ma tech, emphatic denial in references to discrete-past. ka likil, 'in the meantime, while'; reference to future. ichil, 'while'; contemporary-past or present. taytak, 'to be about to happen'; with dependent IKAL, subsequent-past or immediate future; requires other than a dependent IKAL when it signifies 'it came close to occurring'. seb, signifying 'soon' in references to subsequent-past, immediate future, and subsequent-future.

Miscellaneous examples

  1. k'abet a wensaal. 'It is necessary to put you to sleep'. The etymologic analysis of k'abet is probably k'ab-et, but k'ab without formative -et (3.28) has not occurred in the sense of 'to be necessary'. a wen-s-aal, passive IKAL; a, 2nd. pers. sing.; wen, 'to sleep'; with formative -s, 'to lull someone to sleep, to induce sleep'.
  2. tak in weenel, xun. 'I am sleepy, dear'. in wen-el, intransitive IKAL; wen, 'to sleep'. xun, affectionate vocative, from husband to wife.
  3. ma yaab a hanali’. 'You do not eat much'. ma ... -i’, negative (4.59). a han-al, intransitive IKAL; han, 'eat'.
  4. xanhi in ts'ooksik, ka ch'aaben tu men ak'ab. 'I was slow in finishing it, and night overtook me'. xan-h-i, 'there was delay, it was retarded'; for the conjugation of xan see 3.51. in ts'ook-s-ik, transitive IKAL; ts'ook, 'to end' (cf. 4.15), with formative -s, 'to finish'. ch'a-(a)b-en, 'I was caught'; passive AHAB (4.10); ch'a, 'get, catch, fetch'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B; for t-u men, 'by', see 4.52. ak'-ab, 'night'; etymologic analysis (3.38).
  5. uchak u ayik'altal. 'May he get rich!' uch-ak, 'may it happen'; for -ak see 4.47. u ayik'al-t-al, intransitive IKAL; ayik'al, 'rich' (data insufficient for the analysis of this word); for formative -t see 3.26.
  6. samal in tasik. 'I will bring it tomorrow'. samal (probable etymologic analysis: sam-al; sam, 'time ago', or 'time hence'), 'tomorrow'. in ta(l)-s-ik, transitive IKAL (see 4.16, Ex. 6).
  7. naapulak u machik. 'At once he grabbed it'. naapulak, 'at once, straight away'; uncertain analysis: nap-ul-ak; nap, 'to snap at (with teeth)'; -ul (3.44); -ak (4.48). u mach-ik, transitive IKAL; mach, 'grab, take hold of'.
  8. taytak u t'aaniken in maama. 'My mother is about to call me' (i.e., I expect her to call me presently). taytak, 'presently, in a few minutes'; X-variant: tikitak, both of obscure formation except for tak, 'to be on the point of happening'; perhaps cognate with tak, 'to have an urgent physiologic need' (cf. Ex. 2). u t'an-ik-en, transitive IKAL; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. maama, Spanish mama; has replaced native na’, 'mother', except in reference to animals and in insults.
  9. tanili u p'otol le hao’. 'Immediately the water bubbled up'. Context: Magic production of spring. tan-il-i, 'at once'; tan, 'before, first', and various divergent senses; for -il-i see 4.60 and 4.59. u p'ot-ol, intransitive IKAL. le ... -o’, 'the' (4.51). ha’, 'water'.
  10. le k'ai kutso’ hach seb u yilik mak. 'The song-turkey sees a person quickly'. Context: The hunter must approach a turkey of this species very stealthily. le ... -o’, 'the' (4.51); k'ai, 'song, sing'; kuts, 'wild turkey'. hach, 'very'. seb, 'soon, quickly'. u y-il-ik, transitive IKAL; il, 'see'. mak, 'person, man'; frequently used, as here, without denoting particularity; like English one, French on.

4.21.    IKAL-construction dependent on koox, kone'x, and pa’t(-ik)

In some contexts, koox and kone'x signify 'let us go'. In others, they are just signs of imperative utterance equivalent to the English Let us ... . koox is used when addressing only one person; and kone'x, when two or more persons are addressed. An X-variant of kone'x is koone'x. From this X-variant it may be inferred that -o'n-e'x, 'you' plural and 'I' (2.5) is affixed to ko-. But since ko- signifying 'go' occurs only in the above words, this analysis must be classed as uncertain. The same is true of koten, kotene'x, 'come thou, come ye'; where the imperative affixes -en, -en-e'x (4.57) may be annexed to ko-t, or to a root kot- which occurs only in these two words, so far as the Yucatec dictionaries and our texts show. If the root in koox is ko-, the suffix -ox is unidentifiable in Modern Yucatec, since it occurs only in that word with any sense that may be attributed to it there.
When koox and kone'x or koone'x are used with a dependent IKAL-construction, it is observed that in the majority of instances the pronoun k of the dependent IKAL-construction is omitted. The omission occurs both in Speech-Type A and in Type B. One informant from Pachacaan, British Honduras, omitted k only occasionally. For 'let us (two) do it' we find koox beetik in 14 instances, and koox k beetik in 2 texts, one of which was dictated by the informant above mentioned; the other is from Chemax, Yucatan. Much more prevalent than the absence of k is that of -e'x in the IKAL-construction dependent on kone'x or koone'x. In other than in these imperative sentences, a transitive IKAL-construction referring to the speaker and two or more persons has the form k V-ik-e'x. But in these imperative sentences we find k V-ik, or simply V-ik; e.g., kone'x beetik, 'let us (your plur. and I) do it'. For other constructions dependent on koox and kone'x see 4.38.
The word pa’t, or pa’tik, now seldom pronounced with k' instead of , occurs in sentences equivalent to Let me ..., uttered while the speaker is in the process of doing what he speaks of; e.g., Let me see what is in here; not signifying that he asks permission to do so. In some cases, however, pa’t, and its X-variant pa’tik, have their usual sense of 'wait'; and the sentence is equivalent to Wait! Let me ... .

Miscellaneous examples:

  1. koox kaxtik nakulo'b. 'Let us look for helpers'. koox kax-t-ik, 'let us (you sing. and I) look for'; IKAL with omission of k. nak-ul-o'b, 'persons taken along in case their help is needed'; nak, 'lean against', 'take along extra food, money, etc. against a contingency when traveling'; -ul, noun suffix (3.44); -o'b, plural.
  2. haalibe’, koox k uk'ik le k'eyemo’. 'Well, let us drink the pozol'. haalib-e’, 'well, so'; said in narrative when passing to a new incident, after a pause; or in ordinary communication to indicate that the time to do what was expected has come; analysis uncertain, except for -e’ at the end of a clause or its equivalent (4.58). k uk'-ik, IKAL-constr.; uk', 'drink'. le k'eyem-o’, 'the pozol' (corn-meal dough dissolved in cool water); analysis of k'eyem uncertain; perhaps, k'ey-em; for -em see 3.39.
  3. kone'x holbesik tu noh u k'ab k yum hahal dyos. 'Let us perform the ceremony of the first offering, in the name of our Lord, the true God'. hol-be-s-ik, IKAL-constr. with omission of k and -e'x; hol, 'hole, opening'; be, 'way, road'; for formative -s see 3.25; in this context hol-be-s is a special verb for the performance of the ceremony; in other contexts it refers to giving something extra in barter when the other party is dissatisfied with the transaction. t-u noh u k'ab, 'in the name of'; old religious expression found in translation of Catholic prayers; its construction does not conform to Modern Yucatec; noh, 'great, right (hand)'; k'ab, 'hand, arm'. k yum, 'our master'; Old Yucatec, ca yum, 'our father'. hah-al, 'true, real'. dyos, Spanish Dios, 'God'.
  4. kone'x k bisik muuke’. 'Let us take him and bury him'. k bi(n)-s-ik, IKAL-constr.; bin, 'go'; with formative -s, 'take, carry' (3.25). muk-e’, 'bury'; NULLAK-constr. (4.41); -e’, end of a portion of the sentence from which this passage was abstracted; the next part is a projective reference (4.23) with tu yo’lal, 'in order that ...'
  5. pa’tik in wokol in ts'a u yooxol in chi’. 'Let me go in and give (him) the breath of my mouth'. Context: Said by the cow as she was going in the stable to warm the child Jesus. in w-ok-ol, intrans. IKAL; ok, 'enter'. in ts'a, 'in order to give'; NULLAK-constr. (4.41). u y-ox-ol, 'the warm vapor of'; strictly, an IKAL-construction; ox-on, used as a Yucatec noun has occurred once in reference to the vapor from a boiling pot. chi’, 'mouth'.
  6. pa’t in wilik wa tah le piibo’. 'Let me see if the pib is done'. Context: Said as the speaker proceeds to examine the food that is being baken in the earth-oven (pib). in w-il-ik, trans. IKAL. wa, 'if'. tah, 'boil, bake'. le pib-o’, 'that which is being baked in the earth-oven'; also, 'the earth-oven'.

4.22.    IKAL-constructions dependent on verbs that are conjugated in all persons

This use of the dependent IKAL-constructions is subject to two sorts of limitations: (1) only certain verbs can be co-operants (4.13) of those dependent IKAL-constructions; and (2) not all the IKAL-constructions are commonly used after such co-operants. Some of the verbs in question take only the passive PA V-(aa)l; others take this and the intransitive PA V-(a)l; and still others allow the use of the three IKAL-constructions. When the transitive PA V-ik is not permissible, the transitive NULLAK-construction (4.37) is employed.
Those which have been found with the three IKAL-constructions are: ch'en(-el), 'to cease'; ch'en-s, 'to cause to cease'; kah-s and chun-s, 'to begin' (transitive); and the adopted Spanish verb seguir, 'to continue'. It is observed, however, that kah-s requires a transitive NULLAK-construction (4.37) instead of PA-V-ik in a discourse in which it is said that what was begun was not finished. The verbs which have been found with intransitive and passive IKAL-constructions (and not with transitive IKAL) are: beet or meet or ment, signifying 'to compel someone to do something' or 'to have someone do something'; and cha, signifying 'to let someone do something', 'to let something happen (not to prevent its happening)'. The unit dependent on the verbs il, 'to see', ub or uy, 'to hear, to feel', and ohel, 'to know', can be tan + IKAL (4.14), hoop' + IKAL (4.17), ts'ook + IKAL (4.15), or some of the others formed with a dependent IKAL-construction; but only the passive IKAL-construction, PA V-(aa)l, can occur immediately after those verbs; that is, without a preceding tan, ts'ook, hoop', etc.

Examples of these various uses are:

  1. ku ts'ookole’, ku ch'enel u repikartik le kampanao’. 'Then they stop pealing the bell'. Context: description of a ceremony. k-u ts'ook-ol-e’, 'afterward, then, after that is done' (4.33); ts'ook, 'to end'; see 4.15. k-u ch'en-el, one of the k-IKAL-constructions (4.28). u repikar-t-ik, transitive IKAL; Spanish repicar, 'peal', with formative -t (3.26); cf. 4.10. le ... -o’, 'the' (4.51). kampana, Yucatec adaption of Spanish campana, 'church bell' (in this context).
  2. ku ts'ookole’, tan in kahsik in meetik in pak'il otoch tu tseel. 'After that, I plan to begin to build my masonry house next to it'. k-u ts'ook-ol-e’, see Ex. 1. tan in kah-s-ik, construction tan + IKAL referring to a project or resolution (4.14). kah-s, 'begin'; another form, kah-kun-s, occurred three times in speech of Type A; -s, formative (3.25); -kun-s (3.23). in mee-t-ik, transitive IKAL; for 'to do', 'make', 'cause', 'build', variants bee-t, mee-t, and men-t have occurred; the last two prevalently, but not exclusively, in speech of Type A. in pak'-il otoch, 'my masonry house'; in, 1st. pers. pron. Class A; pak', 'stone wall'; for -il see 4.60. otoch, 'house'; etymologic analysis: ot-och (3.40). t-u tseel, 'by the side of, next to'; t-u, fusion of ti (2.29) and pron. u referring to a house previously mentioned in the context of the above sentence.
  3. ka segirnah u beetiko'b. 'And they kept on doing it'. Spanish seguir, 'continue', with formative -n (3.24) and -ah (3.10). u bee-t-ik-o'b, IKAL-construction; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; beet, 'do'.
  4. ka hoop' u pa’tiko'b u tihil maalob. 'And they began to wait for it to dry well'. hoop' u pa’-t-ik-o'b, constr. hoop' + IKAL (4.17); pa-t, B-variant of pak'-t, 'await' (transitive). u tih-il, intransitive IKAL; tih, 'dry'. maa-lob, 'good, well' (4.11, Ex. 35).
  5. ka tu mentah u tokaal. 'He had it burned' (i.e., It was burned by someone else at his request). t-u men-t-ah, 'he made, he caused'; transitive AHAB-construction (4.9); see Ex. 2. u tok-aal, passive IKAL; tok, 'burn' (transitive).
  6. maa tan in chayk a kinsaal. 'I will not let them kill you'. Literally: 'I will not let you be killed'. maa, negative, + tan (4.14) + IKAL (in cha-ik) + passive IKAL (a kin-s-aal). cha, 'let happen' (4.22). kin-s, see 4.18, Ex. 1.
  7. ka tu yuubah u heebel u hol k'oben. 'And he heard someone open the kitchen door'. t-u y-ub-ah, 'he heard'; transitive AHAB-construction (4.9); ub, irregular form of uy or uy, 'to hear, to feel' (3.58). u heeb-el, passive IKAL; heb, 'to open' (transitive); here the passive is used to refer to an unknown subject; hence, the translation with 'someone'. u hol k'oben, 'the door of the kitchen'; for this use of the pronoun u see 2.4; hol, 'door, hole'; k'oben (doubtful etymologic analysis: k'o-ben; see 4.57); 'kitchen', or the three stones composing the native hearth.
  8. ka tu yilah u yoksaal ti hun p'el pak'. 'And he saw that it was put in a stone wall' (i.e., in an opening which had been made in the wall). t-u y-il-ah, AHAB-construction (4.9); il, 'see'. u y-ok-s-aal, passive IKAL; ok, 'enter'; ok-s, 'cause to enter' (3.25). ti, 'in, to', etc. (2.29). hun p'el, numeral 'one' and inanimate classifier (4.68). pak', 'masonry wall'.
  9. in woohel bey u beetaal. 'I know that is the way it was made'. in w-oh-el; 'I know' (3.56). u bee-t-aal, passive IKAL construction.

4.23.    tu yo’lal and u ti’al with dependent IKAL constructions

The unit tu yo’lal is a variant of tu yok’lal, which in turn is an abridgment of tu yok'olal, the analysis of which is as follows: t-u y-ok'-ol-al; u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class A; y-, prefix after pronoun u before initial vowel (3.2); ok'-ol, 'upon, over'; the construction u y-ok'-ol conforms to intransitive IKAL-formula PA V-(a)l; for formative -al see 4.52; the first component t-u is perhaps a fusion of ti’ or ti, 'to, for', etc. (2.29) and the pronoun u, but it is safer to regard it as unidentified, as in the case of the AHAB-construction t-PA V-ah. The following inflexional variations have occurred: tin wo’lal, 'on my account, for my sake'; ta wo’lal, on your (sing.) account; ta wo’lale'x, 'for your (pl.) sake'; tu yo’lal in sukun, 'for the sake of my elder brother'. The analysis of u ti’al is: u ti’-al; where u is the 3rd. pers. sing. pron. of Class A; -al is the formative above spoken of; and ti’ probably etymologically identical with ti’ or ti, 'to, for', etc. (2.29). in ti’al, a ti’al, u ti’al, a ti’ale'x, have occurred as equivalents of 'for me', 'for you', 'for him'; also 'it is mine', 'it is yours', 'it is his', etc. Without a pronoun of Class A, ti’al occurred three times in the question baax ti’ali, 'For what purpose?', 'Of what use?'. The answers to those questions begin with u ti’al, 'in order to, so that'. It is with the senses 'in order to', 'so that' that both u ti’al and tu yo’lal (B-variant: tyo’lal) occur in constructions of these four forms: (1) u ti’al + IKAL, (2) tu yo’lal + IKAL, (3) u ti’al + NULLAK, (4) tu yo’lal + NULLAK (4.41). The references made by means of these four constructions, and another mentioned below, will be called 'projective references'; and a device which in a given instance indicates that a reference is a projective reference will be said to be in that instance the 'sign' of a projective reference. In Modern Yucatec, as well as in English, the sign of a projective reference is frequently the circumstance that a construction of a certain kind and wording follows another construction of a special kind, and both are components of the same sentence. An English example of such constructional signs is seen in the sentence I went there to see him. Neither of the units I went there and to see him indicates by itself that to see him specifies the aim of going there. Replace I went there by It is impossible and it would be nonsensical to say that to see him specifies the aim of an impossibility. This example may indicate what sort of Yucatec device we refer to as being a constructional sign of projective reference. This third sign of projective reference results when a NULLAK-construction (4.41) follows certain other constructions. Thus, considering as a single unit the sign together with the IKAL or NULLAK dependent constructions, five sorts of units are used in projective references. The rules governing the uses of those five units are rather complicated. We infer this from a detailed study of the 1192 instances of projective reference in the specimens of discourse collected. It would require, perhaps, five times as many instances to obtain an adequate number of each of the kinds of contexts which presumably determine when each of the five devices is employed. To illustrate the difficulty which results from the lack of a favorable distribution of the specimens required, we refer to what we may call conveniently 'negative' projective references; that is, those which specify that the aim is to prevent or avoid; as, I did x so that I would not have to do y, x was done in order that y might not occur. Only 52 of the 1192 projective references were negative. In 48 of those negative references, tu yo’lal was used; the other 4 had u ti’al. In view of the complicated rules governing the uses of the devices in question, it would hardly be justifiable to infer from only 48 observations that the rule is that a negative projective reference requires tu yo’lal; particularly since we are unable to account for the 4 exceptions. Similarly, after dividing and subdividing the instances of affirmative projective references (i.e., those which are not negative) we have in some cases as few as 23 instances to test a suspected rule. Another difficulty is due to the kinds of distinctions which seem to be made by the use of one or another of the five devices in question. One of the distinctions seems to fall under the heading of what is here called topical distinction (4.8). Thus, in 82 of the instances in which the dominant topic of the sentence is rather clearly the question of why was this or that done, tu yo’lal was used. But tu yo’lal occurs in 56 other instances of affirmative projective references concerning which it would be arbitrary to assert that the aim is the dominant topic, although it may very well be. Since what is here called topical distinction is a phase of discourse which has received comparatively little attention in descriptions of languages, and even in corrective grammars, it may not be superfluous to offer an English example of the kind of distinctions which we suspect to be made in Yucatec in some cases by using one or another of the devices under consideration.
Compare these two sentences: I went there to see what he had done, My purpose in going there was to see what he had done. We know that the latter is not likely to occur in a context in which the speaker's going there was not previously mentioned. The dominant topic of that statement is the reason for going there. Or, as we prefer to put it, the projective reference is the dominant topic. (This wording spares us the trouble of distinguishing between reason for doing something, purpose, aim, end, etc.) It seems rather clear that the second of the above sentences requires a context that satisfies at least one condition. What condition or conditions must the context of the first sentence satisfy? It is not easy to answer this question; but it is true that at least the sentence I went there to see what he had done does not occur exclusively when the projective reference is not the dominant topic. Notice, for example, that the above sentence can very well be uttered in answer to the question Why did you go there? Similarly, although we find some evidence in support of the conjecture that in some cases tu yo’lal is preferred to u ti’al when the projective reference is the dominant topic, we observe that in 16 instances u ti’al is the first component of an answer to a question with one of the Yucatec equivalents of 'Why?' or 'For what purpose?'. But, again, 16 observations do not justify the conclusion that in answer to such questions tu yo’lal is not used.
So far as our observations go, it seems that it may be more feasible to find rules for the uses of the five units above mentioned than for the uses of each of the three signs, treated separately from the dependent IKAL and NULLAK-constructions. But, as already said, this would require a considerable number of instances of each of the divisions and subdivisions of the topic. The distribution of the five units in the 1140 instances of 'affirmative' projective reference is as follows:

tu yo’lal 97
u ti’al 226


In the 52 instances of negative projective reference not included in the above tabulation, both tu yo’lal and u ti’al had as dependent constructions either ma + IKAL or maa tan + IKAL; ma or maa being the negative, and tan + IKAL the construction dealt with above (4.14). Further comment on the 817 instances with NULLAK will be made at the proper place (4.14).
So far as concerns the IKAL-constructions themselves, it is seen that in projective references, as well as in the cases previously dealt with, they serve exclusively to describe occurrents whose chronologic position is specified by other components of the sentence. In projective references, the chronologic position is obviously subsequent (4.3) to whatever time-index the preceding context indicates.

Miscellaneous examples with tu yo’lal. Exx. 1, 2 illustrate two of its uses without dependent IKAL-constructions.

  1. teene’ tin beetah le utsa’ tu yo’lal a kumpale’. 'I did (you) this favor for your compadre's sake.' Context: Individual A had just brought some food to B, with whom he was on bad terms. He did so just to please his compadre (A's child's godfather, or the father of A's godchild). ten-e’, 'as for me, so far as I am concerned'; ten, 1st. pers. pron. Class C; -e’, at the end of a clause or its equivalent (4.58). t-in bee-t-ah, 'I did'; AHAB-constr. t-PA V-ah (4.9). le ... -a’, 'this' (4.51). uʦ, 'good, favor'. a kumpal(e)-e’, Spanish compadre; -e’ (3.6); a, 'your'; 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A.
  2. chen tu yo’lal leelo’ ka talo'n. 'That is our only object in coming'. Literally: 'Only on account of that we came'. chen, 'just, only'. le-l-o’, 'that' (4.51). For the conjunctive office of ka see 4.62. tal-o'n, 'we came'; intrans. AHAB-constr. V-PB, exclusive 'we'.
  3. ka bino'b ti hun p'el kah naach, tu yo’lal ma u chuukulo'b. 'And they went to a village far away, so that they would not be caught'. bin-o'b, 'they went'; intrans. AHAB-constr.V-PB; bin, 'go'; -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. ti, 'to'. hun p'el, numeral 'one' and classifier for inanimate referents. kah, 'village, town'. naach, 'far'. ma, negative. u chuk-ul-o'b, passive IKAL; for the double vowel see 3.48; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur.; chuk, 'catch, overtake'.
  4. koone'x k beetik beeyo’, tu yo’lal k ts'onike'x le keeho’ te ichil le koolo’. 'Let us do it that way, so that we may shoot the deer there in the cornfield.' ko-o'n-e'x k bee-t-ik, 'let us (you plural and I) do it'; for this construction see 4.21. bey-o’, 'thus'; with demonstrative suffix -o’ (4.51). k ts'on-ik-e'x, trans. IKAL; k ... -e'x, 'you plural and I'; ts'on, 'shoot'. le keh-o’, 'the deer'. te, 'there'; in reference to place previously or subsequently mentioned and not in sight; cf. teelo’ (4.51). ich-il, 'inside'. le kol-o’, 'the cornfield, milpa'.
  5. talen tu yo’lal a k'ubik u yatan le otsil maaka’. 'I came in order that you release this poor man's wife'. Context: The speaker came to force the ogre to give back to her husband the woman he had abducted. tal-en, 'I came'; see Ex. 2. a k'ub-ik, trans. IKAL; k'ub, 'deliver, surrender'. u y-at-an, 'the wife of'; see 4.9; Ex. 15. le ... -a’, 'this' (4.51). o(l)-tsil, 'poor' (sympathetically or monetarily); for -tsil see 4.71. mak, 'person, man'.
  6. ka tu huntartah tu lakal le chakoobo’, tu yo’lal u pahtal u chuukul luumkab. 'And he got together all the Chacs in order that it might be possible to catch the Earth-man'. Context: A human (the Earth-man) was dwelling in the abode of one of the gods of rain (Chac). During the Chac's absence he went for a ride on the Chac's horse, and it was difficult to catch him. t-u huntar-t-ah, AHAB-constr.; huntar, Spanish juntar, 'gather, bring together'; for -t see 4.10, Exx. 28-31. t-u lak-al, 'all'; possibly etymologically identical with lah, 'all'; if so, the analysis may be la(h)-ak-al; for -ak see 4.49; for -al see 4.52. le chak-o'b-o’, 'the Chacs'. u pah-t-al, IKAL-constr.; pah-t, 'be possible'; see 4.19. u chuk-ul, passive IKAL; see Ex. 3. luum-kab, 'the one from below on the ground'; luum, 'ground'; for -kab see 3.33.

Examples with u ti’al. Exx. 7-11 illustrate specifications of the service which an object or something else is expected to render, or the use which is to be made of it. tu yo’lal has not occurred in specifications which are definitely of that sort.

  1. ma yanhi ts'ak u ti’al utskintik le otsil xiipalo’. 'There was no remedy to cure the poor young man'. Context: All the remedies known to the ones concerned had proved inefficient. ma, negative. y-an-h-i, 'there was' (3.58). ts'ak, 'medicine'. uts-kin-t-ik, irregular IKAL-constr. (3.50); expected construction: u y-uts-kin-t-ik; uts, 'good, well, favor'; for formatives -kin-t see 3.23. le o(l)-tsil xi(b)-pal-o’, 'the poor young man'; see Ex. 5; xib, 'male'; pal, 'child, youngster, young adult'.
  2. he hun p'el nabahaa’ u ti’al a ts'ilik le wakxo’. 'Here is a razor for you to skin the cow'. he ... -a’, 'here is'; like French voici. hun p'el, numeral and classifier; see Ex. 3. nabaha, Spanish navaja, 'razor' (also 'knife', but not as adopted in Yucatec). a ts'il-ik, trans. IKAL; ts'il, 'strip bark or skin from'. le wak(a)x-o’, 'the cow'; wakax, 'cow, cattle'; very probably from Spanish vacas, 'cows'.
  3. ts'ook a ts'ayk toon u ti’al k tsentikːba. 'You have already given us (some) for us to eat'. ts'ook a ts'a-ik, 'you have given'; ts'ook + IKAL (4.15); ts'a, 'give'. k tsen-t-ik-(k)-ba, 'feed ourselves'; trans. IKAL; -k-ba, 'ourselves' (2.7).
  4. mi k'abet xan si’, u ti’al k t'abik k'ak'. 'It seems that we need firewood also, that we may make a fire'. mi, 'it seems'. k'ab-et, 'be necessary' (4.20). xan, 'also'. si’, 'firewood'. k t'ab-ik, trans. IKAL; t'ab, 'to light (candle, cigarettes, etc.)'. k'ak', 'fire'.
  5. yaane’ ku ts'ayk taak'in u ti’al u maanal wa baax ts'aabal ti le k'ohaano’. 'Some give money to buy whatever is given to the sick person (i.e., special food or medicine)'. Context: Description of custom. Friends call on seriously sick person and bring presents. y-an-e’; 'there are some (there are those who ...)'; see 4.61; -e’, end of clause or its equivalent. k-u ts'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL (4.28); ts'a, 'give'. ta-k'in, 'money'; see 4.16, Ex. 6. u man-al, passive IKAL; man, 'buy'. wa baax, 'whatever'. ts'a-(a)b-al, irregular passive IKAL; see 3.9. ts'a, 'give'. ti, 'to'. le k'oh-aan-o’, 'the sick one'; k'oh-aan, 'sick' (4.53).
  6. le kaa tul xch'upalaloobo’ naako'b yok'ol le nae’, u ti’al u ch'uktiko'b u tubul u weenel le xiipale’. 'The two women got on top of the house to watch for the young man to be overcome by sleep'. le .. -o’, 'the' (4.51). kaa, numeral 'two'. tul, classifier for animate referents. x-ch'up-(p)al-al-o'b, 'women' (unmarried); x-ch'up, 'woman, female'; cf. xib-pal in Ex. 7; for -al see 4.56; -o'b, plural. naak-o'b, 'climb, go up'; intrans. AHAB. j-ok'-ol, 'on'; see explanation in 4.23. le na-e’, 'the house'; le ... -e’ or le .. -o’ (4.51). u ch'uk-t-ik-o'b, trans. IKAL; ch'uk-t, 'spy on, lie in wait for'; -t (3.26). u tub-ul, intrans. IKAL; tub, 'to become forgotten' (x becomes forgotten with respect to the one who forgets x. Similar to Spanish olvidársele a uno); u wen-el, intrans. IKAL; because of the circumstance that there is an English noun sleep this IKAL-construction can be rendered by 'his sleep', but it would be arbitrary to hold that weenel is a Yucatec noun in this sentence. le xi(b)-pal-e’, 'the young man'.
  7. talen u ti’al in chan manik baal in hante’. 'I came just to buy something to eat'. tal-en, 'I came'; see Exx. 2, 5. in man-ik, trans. IKAL; man, 'buy'. chan, 'just, no more than that'; frequent expression of modesty. baal, 'thing, something' (2.19). in han-t-e’, NULLAK-constr. (4.37); han, 'eat'; transitive with formative -t (3.26).
  8. ka chilah tu booy le cheo’ u ti’al u helskuba. 'And he lay down in the shade of the tree in order to rest'. chil-ah, irregular AHAB (3.51) referring to the act of laying oneself on the ground. t-u booy, 'in the shade of'. le che(’)-o’, 'the tree'; che’, 'tree'. u hel-s-(i)k-u-ba, trans. IKAL; u-ba, 'himself' (2.7).
  9. ka mahantab kan tul winik u ti’al u k'alantik le beoobo’. 'And they engaged four men to block the roads'. mah-an-t-ab, passive AHAB (4.10); mah-an-t, 'to borrow, to avail oneself of the services of others who will help without pay'; mahan-o'b, 'those who are so engaged'; analysis of mah-an uncertain. kan, 'four'. u k'al-(l)an-t-ik, trans. IKAL; k'al, 'close up'; -lan, distributively: 'each one, or each two, blocks one road' (4.65). le be-o'b-o’, 'the roads'.


4.24.    ma + IKAL

This construction serves two usages here referred to as Usage A and Usage B. In Usage A, the sentence may be said to be negative imperative, for lack of a better appellation. The speaker commands, instructs, requests, begs, or otherwise tries to persuade the person or persons addressed not to do what the IKAL-component of the sentence specifies. As indicated elsewhere (4.43), this is not the only construction employed in negative imperative sentences, but it has a broader range of application than any other used in such sentences. Here, as in the constructions dealt with above (4.21), the pronoun of the IKAL-construction is more frequently omitted than employed. In this case, however, two rules are observed: (1) The 3rd. pers. pron. u of verbs which are conjugated only in the third person when they are used intransitively was not omitted in any instance; e.g., ma u tubul tech, 'Don't forget it' (literally: 'let it not become forgotten to you', as in Spanish: No se te olvide). Here, ma u frequently becomes mu. (2) The 2nd. pers. sing. pron. a, and the a of the 2nd. pers. plur. a ... -e'x, are not omitted in approximately 77% of the instances in which the initial consonant of the verb is w, or the prefix w- is required before a verb with initial vowel (3.2); e.g., ma a wook'ol, 'Don't cry'. In other cases, one finds: (a) that there is no indication of the pronoun a, or of the a of a ... -e'x (-e'x is not omitted in negative imperative sentences); or (b) that the vowel of the negative ma is long, indicating a fusion of ma and a; or (c) in 15,8% of the cases not covered by Rule 2, ma’ a or ma a occurs. In six instances, construction maa tan + IKAL (4.14) was used in utterances which were both threats and negative imperative communications, comparable with You won't do anything of the sort! In polite requests or supplications, chen (in other contexts: 'just', 'only') follows the negative ma or ma’.
In Usage B, construction ma + IKAL is the main verbal unit of a negative declarative sentence. In such cases, the occurrent negated is either future, or contemporary (4.3); and the reference can be monochronic or polychronic (4.6). Aside from Usage A, this construction serves mainly to negate the references made in the independent uses of construction PA V-ik dealt with in 4.25, and all those references in which construction k-IKAL occurs (4.27). The latter is used only in certain negations (4.32). Here, as well as in Usage A, ma + IKAL has a broader range of application than any other construction serving to negate.

Examples of ma + IKAL in Usage A.

  1. ma ch'ayk sahki. 'Don't get frightened'. ch'a, 'get, catch'. sah-(a)k-i(l), Speech-type B, 'fear', 'fright'; for -ak see 4.49; for -il see 4.60.
  2. ma chen ts'onken, he in sutke’. 'Please, don't shoot me! I'll return it.' ts'on-(i)k-en, Speech-type B; ts'on, 'shoot', 'gun'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. he in sut-(i)k-e’, construction he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16); sut, 'return, give back'; (intransitive: su(t)-n-ah; e.g., sunːahi, 'he came back').
  3. in yuumil, mu hak'al a wol. 'Don't get excited, my master'. Context: said by a dog to his master. in yum-il, 'my master, my owner'; for -il see 4.60. mu, fusion of negative ma and pron. u of the IKAL-construction u hak'-al; hak', conjugated in the 3rd. pers., 'become astonished', 'filled with fear, awe, admiration', always with ol, 'mind, feeling', etc., or 'pith' (of a plant). a w-ol, 'your mind, will', etc.
  4. ma u tubul tech a t'anken. 'Do not forget to call me'. tub, 'to become forgotten'. tech, 2nd. pers. pron. Class C. a t'an-(i)k-en, trans. IKAL; a, 2nd. pers. pron. Class A; t'an, 'address a person, speak to one, call (not give a name to)'; also, 'word', 'language'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B.
  5. ma’ a waatal. xen. 'Don't stand (there)! Go on!'; a wa(l)-t-al, intrans. IKAL; wal, 'be on one's feet, stand up, get up'; -t, formative (3.26). x-en, or, more probably, x(i)-en, 'go, go on, go away'; cf. ka xi-ik, 'let him go, that he may go'; -en, intransitive imperative (4.57).
  6. ma k beetik beeyo’. 'Let us not do it that way'. k bee-t-ik, IKAL-constr.; bee-t, 'do, make'. bey-o’, 'thus'; with demonstrative suffix -o’ (4.51).
  7. ma k k'itpahle'x, bik saat. 'Let us not go each his own way, lest (some of us) get lost'. k k'it-pa-h-(a)l-e'x, intransitive IKAL, k ... -e'x, 'you (plur.) and I'; k'it (with the above and other formatives), 'scatter' (transitive or intransitive depending on formatives affixed); for -pa-h, see 3.37. bik, 'lest'; special negative sign of contingent imperative (4.43); saat, NULLAK-construction with bik (4.37), 'become lost'.
  8. maa tan k p'atal t kaahale’. 'Let us not remain in our village'. Illustration of occasional use of construction tan + IKAL in negative suggestion; similar to its frequent usage signifying refusal (4.14). p'at, 'remain, stay'. t, fusion of ti, 'at, to from', etc., and k, 'at our'; but in other instances t as well as k can signify 'we' or 'our' (2.9, 1.5). kah, 'village, town'; kah-al, 'small village, hamlet, inhabited locality'. -e’, demonstrative suffix referring to village not present; however, way t kaahale’ is common for 'here in this town of ours'.

Examples of Usage B.

  1. ma u toholtik ti’ mix hun p'el sentabo. 'It does not cost him a cent'. Context: Polychronic reference; i.e., whenever he wishes to eat meat, he can get it without spending a cent. u toh-ol-t-ik, IKAL-constr.; toh-ol, 'price'; with formative -t, 'to cost'. ti’, 'to him' (2.6). mix, from earlier Yucatec ma ix, 'not even, without', and various other senses. hun p'el, numeral and classifier. sentabo, Spanish centavo.
  2. wa minaan taak'in teeche’, ma u k'ubik. 'If you have no money, he does not deliver it'. wa, 'if'. minaan, 'not to be'; followed by a pronoun of Class C (tech in this instance), 'not to have'. -e’ at the end of the clause (4.58). u k'ub-ik, IKAL-constr.; k'ub, 'deliver, surrender'.
  3. ma in ts'iboltik bin ti nukuch kaaho'b. 'I have no desire to go to big towns'. in ts'ib-ol-t-ik, IKAL-constr., ts'ib-ol-t, 'imagine, fancy, have fanciful wish'; ts'ib, 'paint, write'; ol, 'mind, thought, will', and the like; formative -t required by compound verbal unit (3.26). bin, 'go'. ti, 'to'. nuk-uch, 'big' (3.40). kah, 'village, town'; -o'b, plural.

4.25.    Special uses of the transitive construction PA V-ik

Without the aid of any other device, this construction serves in some cases to refer to contemporary occurrents (4.3). This is a remnant of what the writers in Old Yucatec, and those who followed their precedent, classed as the 'present tense' of transitive verbs. We observed in our texts three main kinds of instances which exemplify the uses in question: (Kind A) when a topical distinction (4.8) is effected in the manner indicated below; (Kind B) when certain verbs refer to contemporary occurrents; those which occurred in the texts are verbs designating occurrents which take place within the individual; viz., those signifying to think, imagine, believe, be willing, love, etc.; (Kind C) the exceptional instances referred to below (4.26), and the verb al, 'say, tell', when it is used in statements in which the speaker is actually saying what he refers to; as, I am telling you that ... . In other cases, al requires construction tan + IKAL (4.14), the construction which has replaced in nearly all cases the Old Yucatec 'present tense' and the one classed by most writers as an 'imperfect tense'. Thus, on the basis of what is prevalent in Modern Yucatec, it should be said that the cases under consideration are exceptional instances in which the simple IKAL-construction is used instead of tan + IKAL, or instead of the k-IKAL-construction (4.29).
So far as our texts show, the use of the simple IKAL-construction in instances of Kind B is confined to references to the present. Inquiries as to whether it is used also in references to contemporary-past occurrents (4.4, Case 5) yielded unsatisfactory results, as such inquiries generally do. Some informants asserted that for I was thinking they would say tan in tuklik; others, simple in tuklik. Some said that it did not make any difference, while others expressed themselves vaguely as to the difference. Such questions, of course, should be settled, not on the basis of what the native says he would say, but on the basis of what the investigator finds that the native has said in actual communication. In Old Yucatec the same form of the transitive verb served for present and for contemporary-past (4.4, Case 5), which is the way in which tan + IKAL and other constructions are used in Modern Yucatec. Under the heading of 'préterito imperfecto' (imperfect tense) writers on Yucatec have always repeated the 'present tense' paradigm with the addition of the word cuchi or cachi; e.g.,: (Coronel, 1620) Present: cambeçah in cah, 'I teach'; Imperfect: cambeçah in cah cuchi, 'I used to teach, I was teaching'. (Beltrán, 1746) ten cambezic, 'I teach (him)'; ten cambezic cuchi, 'I used to teach (him), I was teaching (him)'. (Lopez Otero, 1914) ten cin hantic, 'I eat (it)', ten cin hantic cachi, 'I used to eat (it)'. (Pacheco Cruz, 1920) in yacuntic, 'I love'; in yacuntic caachi, 'I loved' (Yo amaba). The Motul dictionary lists both cuchi and cachi as signs of the 'pretérito imperfecto', and specifies that the latter is used in reference to what happened today, i.e., a recent past. Coronel (1620) makes the same distinction between cuchi and cachi. In our texts, kaachi was used to distinguish contemporary-past from present only for clarity or contrast when the speaker said, for example, I used to do that, but now I do something else. Instances of this sort constitute less than 1% of the cases in which no device was used to distinguish contemporary-past from present. Our informants always rendered the word kaachi by the Spanish entonces, 'then', or antes, 'formerly'; and that is the translation which Pio Perez (Dictionary, 1866) gives for caachi, before adding that it is the sign of 'pretérito imperfecto'. It is doubtless justifiable to say that a word which signifies 'formerly' is a device that serves to refer to the past; which, incidentally, is what the 'past tenses' are frequently used for. But that holds also for the words and expressions which signify 'yetsreday', 'the day before yesterday', 'last year', 'a long time ago', etc. With regard to the English sentences I put it there yesterday and I put it there every day, one could say that yesterday and every day are components of two "tenses" of the verb put with as much justification as there is to say that in Yucatec the word kaachi is the sign of a past tense. But whether one chooses to class such words as signs of "tenses" or not, account must be taken of the fact that when the context indicates what time is referred to, I put can be used for past as well as for present without the aid of any distinguishing device in the sentence of which I put is a component. A similar assertion holds for the various constructions which serve in Modern Yucatec to refer to contemporary occurrents, using the term 'contemporary' as specified in 4.3.
In instances of Kind A, topical distinction is effected in two ways: (a) by an alteration of the most common order of the words in the Yucatec sentence: the word or expression which refers to the dominant topic (4.8) comes before the IKAL-construction; (b) by using a pronoun of Class C (2.6) instead of, or before, the pronoun of Class A of the IKAL-construction. Thus used, the pronouns of Class C were always translated as signifying 'It is I who ...', or 'I am the one who ...', 'It is he who ...', etc.

Examples of Kinds A, B, and C, conforming to the divisions specified above, are:

  1. chen leeti’ in konik. 'That is all I sell'. Context: Said in answer to What else do you sell?. chen, 'only'. leeti’, 'that, he, she ,it'; 3rd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. in kon-ik, IKAL-constr.; kon, 'sell'.
  2. ti’ u ts'ook a paktik saasilil yok'ol kab. 'For the last time you are seeing the light in this world'. Context: Said as the speaker was about to kill the hearer. ti’ u ts'ook, 'for the last time, the last time'. a pak-t-ik, IKAL-constr.; pak with formative -t, 'to look, see, be able to see'. sas-il-il, 'any light'; sas, 'clear'; sas-il, 'light, clarity'; for the use of -il, as well as -il-il, see 4.60. y-ok'-ol, 'on, over' (cf. 4.23). kab, 'earth, below', etc. (4.52); yok'ol kab, usual way of referring to the world.
  3. ten kanantik le koola’. 'I am the one who is taking care of this cornfield'. ten kan-an-t-ik, IKAL-construction with pron. ten of Class C substituted for in. kan-an (etymologic analysis), 'guard, caretaker'; kan-an-t, as transitive verb, 'take care of'. le kol-a’, 'this milpa'.
  4. tech hantik bakan u le’ le in pak'al buulo’. 'So, it is you who is eating the leaves of my bean plants'. tech han-t-ik, IKAL-constr. with pron. tech of Class C instead of a. han-t, 'eat'. bakan, 'so, evidently'. u le’, 'the leaf or leaves of'; le’, 'leaf of plant'. le in ... -o’, 'that ... of mine'. pak'-al, 'planted' (4.52). buul, 'bean'.
  5. tu men u yakunsiko'n. 'Because he loves us'. Context: "He" refers to the patron saint of the village. t-u men, 'because' (4.52). u ya-kun-s-ik, IKAL-constr. ya-kun-s or ya-kun-t, 'to love'; for formatives -kun-s, see 3.23. -o'n, 'us'; in this context the listeners are excluded.
  6. esak tu men tan u yaalik in kumpale’, k k'amik le hun p'el ts'ayatsil ku tibil oltik ti toona’. 'Since my compadre says (so), we accept this gift he bestows upon us'. Context: Ritualistic style at a wedding ceremony. es-ak t-u men, 'since, it being the case that ...'; the general sense of each of the components of this expression is irrelevant to the sense of the ; es, 'show'; from Old Yuc. et-(e)z, 'show, demonstrate'; -ak (4.37); t-u men, 'because'. tan u y-al-ik, constr. tan + IKAL (4.14); al, 'say'. in kumpal(e)-e’, 'my compadre' (see 4.23, Ex. 1); -e’, end of clause (4.58). k k'am-ik, illustrates an instance of Kind B (4.25); k'am, 'accept, receive'. le .. -a’ (-a’ at the end of the whole phrase), 'this', referring to the gift the speaker holds in his hand. hun p'el, numeral 'one' and inanimate classifier. ts'a-ya-tsil, 'generous gift'; in other contexts, 'charity', 'blessing (pine gift)'; obsolescent or obsolete except in solemn style in some communities; among old folks in Chemax, Yucatan, u ts'ayatsil hahal dyos ('the gift from the true God') is a reverent reference to corn; ts'a, 'give'; -ya, 'frequent, abundant' (3.32); -tsil (4.71). k-u tib-il ol-t-ik, construction k-IKAL (4.34); tib-il ol-t, 'to give as a token of affection'; tib-il, 'kindness, propriety, refinement', etc.; ol-t, 'be willing'. ti, 'to, for', etc. to'n or toon, 'we, us'; pron. Class C.
  7. k aalik tun ti’ a tsikbenile’ kinse dias ken ka taako'n. 'We, therefore, say to your grace that we may come in a fortnight'. k al-ik, independent IKAL illustrating an instance of Kind C (4.25); al, 'say'. tun, 'therefore, then'; other uses similar to French donc, or Spanish pues, or German doch. ti’, 'to'. a tsik-ben-il-e’, 'your grace'; see 4.15, Ex. 4; -e’, end of clause. kinse dias, Spanish quince días, 'fifteen days', 'a fortnight', conforming to Spanish usage of quincena. ken ka ta(l)-(a)k-o'n, construction NULLAK (4.46); the sense with this construction is approximately 'If it is possible for us to come, we will come in a fortnight'; tal, 'come'; -o'n, 'we'; pron. Class B.

4.26.    References to other uses of the IKAL-constructions

It has seemed desirable to treat some uses of the IKAL-constructions under other headings. Particularly worthy of note is the use of the intransitive construction PA V-(a)l and the passive PA V-(aa)l after bin PA kah (4.56). In that construction, the transitive PA V-ik occurs only occasionally and inconsistently in the discourse of some individuals whose speech is predominantly of Type B. The other uses dealt with elsewhere have to do in each case with a special word or a small group of words constituting exceptions to general rules. Those exceptional uses are pointed out and illustrated in the following places: 4.12, Exx. 38, 39, 40; 4.33, Ex. 29; 4.34; 4.36, Exx. 48, 49; 4.40, Exx. 17, 18, 19; 4.48, Ex. 91; 4.52, 4.55.


4.27.   IKAL and k - IKAL - Constructions

It has been shown (3.49) that so far as structure is concerned, the k-IKAL and the IKAL constructions differ only in that the former have as their first components kin, ka, ku, instead of in, a, u. From a purely descriptive point of view, there are either no k-IKAL-constructions or no IKAL-constructions for the so-called first person plural. A hypothetic combination of the k- of the k-IKAL-constructions with pronouns k and k ... -e'x would give kk and kk ... -e'x. What is actually found is that the forms k V-ik, k V-(a)l, k V-(aa)l, and the inclusive plural k V-ik-e'x, k V-(a)l-e'x, k V-(aa)l-e'x are used in conformity with the rules which govern the uses of the IKAL-constructions and with those which govern the uses of the k-IKAL-constructions. The two sets of rules are on the whole quite different. In the few instances in which they are similar, the use of one rather than the other of the constructions depends often on whether or not certain words or expressions precede, or on the paticular sense in which a word is used. For example, tanili can signify 'at once'or 'first', depending on whether IKAL or k-IKAL follows. In the same context, we find tanili u machik, 'at once he grasps it' (cf. 4.20), and tanili ku machik, 'first he grasps it (then he does something else)'. And it should be noted that this distinction is made consistently in all the uses of tanili with those two constructions.
From the eighteenth century to the present, writers on Yucatec who expected to find in the language one and only one "tense" corresponding to each of the "tenses" for which conventional grammar provides names must have found considerable difficulty in deciding what to do with the construction here labeled k-IKAL. Beltrán (1743) says in his grammar (2nd. ed., p. 40) that the "particle" ci, a sign of the present tense ('signo de presente') drops the i before the pronouns, giving cin, ca, cu. One of his examples is ten cin haɔic, which he renders by the Spanish Yo lo azoto, 'I whip him'. According to our observations, ten kin hats'ik can signify at present in different contexts 'I myself was whipping him', or 'I am the one who whipped him', or 'I myself whip him', or 'I myself will whip him'. It is now a special construction for topical distinction (4.8), the dominant topic in the above sentence being the circumstance that the whipping is, was, or will be, done by the person referred to by the pronoun ten. If this pronoun is omitted, a different translation is required: in some contexts the translation would be 'I whip him (habitually)', or in a conditional sentence '(If x takes place), I'll whip him'; but those are not the only possibilities. One notices that although Beltrán classes ci as a 'signo de presente', no construction formed with this sign appears in any of his many paradigms of Yucatec conjugation. Contrariwise, that is precisely the construction which Lopez Otero (Gramática, 1914) chooses for the model paradigm of the "present tense" of transitive verbs. Pio Perez (Dictionary, 1866) speaks of "tenses", not of one "tense" when he defines cin (IPA notations, kin) as the first person pronoun in some tenses: "pronombre de la primera persona para conjugar algunos tiempos del verbo". He may have said "tenses" instead of "tense" in view of the variety of uses of the k-IKAL-constructions, but it may also be due to the circumstance that kin can result as well from a combination of the word ka, required in some cases before a NULLAK-construction (4.37), and the pronoun in; as in u k'at kin beet samale’ for u k'at ka in beet samale’, 'He wants me to do it tomorrow'. If Beltrán is right, as he very probably is, that at the time he wrote, cin was a fusion of ci and in, then an etymologic difference corresponds to a present rule of usage; namely, that in the k-IKAL-constructions the k- of the component kin, ka, ku is not separated from the pronouns in, a, u; whereas with the NULLAK-constructions we find ka in, ka u more frequently than kin, ku. The latter do not occur consistently, and the very informant who uses kin or ku with a NULLAK-construction frequently replaces them by ka in, ka u when he is asked to repeat the sentence. With regard to the second person, the situation is different: we find ka or kaa more frequently than ka a (stressing the second a) with a NULLAK-construction. But in no instance in which we submitted a native to the test were the words kin, ka, ku of the k-IKAL-construction resolved into two components.
It seems natural that Spanish writers should equate the k-IKAL-constructions with the Spanish present tense. For the Spanish device that is called "present tense", besides being used to refer to the present time, as the name may suggest, can refer also to the past, as the "present tenses" of various other languages do in "vivid discourse", i.e., the "historical present"; it can refer to the future, as in Mañana te lo traigo, 'I'll bring it to you tomorrow'; and it can be an imperative, as in the second clause of this sentence: Vete a su casa, y le dices que ..., 'Go to his house, and tell him ...'. In these four kinds of references, besides a few others, we find the k-IKAL-constructions. Spanish writers could have argued thus: This Yucatec device is used more like the present tense of our indicative mode than like any other Spanish device. Hence, the appellation "present tense of the indicative mode" fits it better than any other which grammar books provide. In so naming it, those writers conformed to a precedent that was quite respectable at that time. Whether or not it is equally respectable now, it is the precedent to which contemporary linguists generally conform -- even those of us who emphatically assert that the categories of the Latin and Greek grammars are not universal. If they are not universal, it does not seem desirable to apply their names to any additional categories that may be found. Still, we find in descriptions of American Indian languages such terms as 'subjunctive', 'aorist', 'middle voice' applied to devices whose uses bear only some resemblance to those of the Greek and Latin devices for which those names were chosen. In many instances, there is less justification for this abuse of nomenclature than the Spanish writers had for calling "present tense" the Yucatec devices in question. It is by no means claimed that such a practice is consistently avoided in these pages. In the present instance, however, it would be highly arbitrary, not only to call the k-IKAL-constructions by a familiar name, but to assert that their uses constitute a single semantic category. This, of course, does not imply that this Yucatec device is unusual in this respect. Diversity of usage of a single device is common in the languages for which we have more than a superficial description. Perhaps no one regards as abnormal the variety of usage of the Latin devices referred to singly and collectively by the term 'ablative'. Nor does it seem strange that the English construction If I had it refers to a past time in the sentence If I had it, I must have lost it, but it refers to a present time in If I had it, I would give it to you. It will be seen that in a similar way the Yucatec constructions in question can refer to a past, a present, or a future time, depending on other components of the sentence, and on the context of the sentence.
The uses of the k-IKAL-constructions will be divided and subdivided as follows:

    A.   In polychronic (4.6) references

    B.   In monochronic references
          (B-1)   For topical distinction (4.8)
          (B-2)   In construction he ... -a’ (or -o’)
          (B-3)   In interrogative sentences
          (B-4)   In negative sentences with mix mak, mix baal
          (B-5)   In temporal clauses
          (B-6)   In relative clauses
          (B-7)   In conditional sentences
          (B-8)   In imperative sentences

4.28.    Usage A, polychronic references

This usage is observed in descriptions of hunting and agricultural techniques, ceremonies which the people are in the habit of performing, and other practices and customs. In such kinds of discourse, we find some construction other than k-IKAL only occasionally, when the narrator describes some step in a procedure as though he referred to a particular occasion. He may do so in one or two sentences, and then he goes on using the k-IKAL-constructions. Polychronic references of course, are not confined to descriptions of customs of a people or of the habits of a single individual. Thus, the k-IKAL-constructions serve also to refer to something which is said not to have happened on any occasion on which it was expected to happen or might have happened; or to that which took place several times during a certain period, or in such generalizations as It is bad to get drunk (i.e., it is bad whenever it happens), or These birds can fly very fast. If the reference is polychronic, a k-IKAL-construction can serve to refer to the past, or to the present, or to the future; and it can be the main verbal unit, or it can occur in a relative clause, or in some other subordinate clause, except when a particular word or expression, or an assertion of high declarative value (4.7) requires some other construction.

Examples of Usage A.

  1. u ti’al u kinsaal le kaxoobo’, le yum hmeeno’ ku machik le kaaxo’, ku hoop'ol u t'ohik baalche’ tu chi’. 'In order to kill the chickens, the venerable shaman takes (each) chicken and begins to pour balche in its mouth'. Context: Description of rain ceremony (ch'a chaak). u ti’-al u kim-s-aal, 'in order to be killed'; kim, 'die'; with formative -s, changing m to n, 'kill'; for this whole construction see 4.23. le kax-o'b-o’, 'the chickens'. le yum h-men-o’, 'the venerable shaman'; for yum, 'honorable, venerable'. h-men, from obsolete ah men, 'the one who performs, or causes'; 'shaman' or 'medicine man' of a desirable sort. k-u mach-ik, k-IKAL-constructr.; mach, 'take, grasp'. le kax-o’, 'the chicken'. k-u hoop'-ol u t'oh-ik, 'begins to pour'; constr. hoop' + IKAL (4.17) with hoop' in its k-IKAL-form, a second instance of Usage A; t'oh, 'to pour liquid from a container with small opening'. baalche’, the name of an alcoholic drink made from the bark of a tree; che’, 'tree or wood'; baal-, perhaps etymologically identical with baal, 'thing'; but this analysis is of uncertain validity. t-u chi’, 'into its mouth'; t-u, fusion of ti or ti’, 'to, into, at', etc., and pron. u; chi’, 'mouth'.
  2. ku laabal u nook'e’, ku k'atik ti u ts'uulil. 'When their clothes got old, they asked their masters (for new ones)'. Context: Description of how the plantation owners treated the Indians in former times. k-u lab-al, intrans. k-IKAL;lab, 'be old, worn off, deteriorated'. u nok', 'his (their) clothes'; temporal clause requiring -e’ (4.33). k-u k'at-ik, constr. k-IKAL; k'at, 'ask for'; with other constructions, 'wish' (4.40). ti, 'to'. ts'ul, 'master' (as the word was used in that context), 'non-Yucatecan White' in other contexts. -il, for general reference (4.60).
  3. kan p'el k'ab ku xotik yetel le choko kuchiyo. 'She cuts off (the width of) four fingers (from it) with the warm knife'. Context: Description of how the midwife cuts the child's navel. kan p'el, numeral 'four' and classifier for inanimate referents. k'ab, 'fingers' (in this context); generally, 'hand' or 'arm'. k-u xot-ik, constr. k-IKAL; xot; 'cut off or through by striking with the cutting tool'. y-et-el, 'with, and', etc. (4.52). choko, 'warm, hot'. kuchiyo, Spanish cuchillo, 'knife'.
  4. hun tich' ichil k'ax kin wenel, ichil k'ax kin wahal. 'Night after night without exception I slept in the woods and woke up in the woods'. hun tich', 'without exception, all the time, without ceasing'; a single thread (in weaving). ich-il, 'within, inside' (4.52). k'ax, 'woods'. k-in wen-el, constr. k-IKAL; wen, 'sleep'. k-in w-ah-al, constr. k-IKAL; ah, 'wake up'.
  5. behlae’ chen tsikbal kin wuyik. 'Now I hear only rumors'. Context: Concerning the whereabouts of a certain person who left the village after committing a crime. be-h(e)l-a(’)-e’, 'now'; bey, 'thus'; he-l-a’, 'here it is, look!' (French voici); for -e’ see 4.33. chen, 'only'. tsik-ba-l, 'conversation' (3.30). k-in w-uy-ik, constr. k-IKAL; uy, ub, irregular stems of verb for 'to hear'.
  6. ti le kaaɲao’ ku tasik baal uts, ku tasik baal k'as; tu men le baal k'aaso’ leeti’ leaaniso’. 'From sugar-cane one gets good things, and one gets bad things; because one of the bad things is brandy'. ti, 'from, to, at', etc. le kaɲa-o’, 'the sugar-cane'; from Spanish caña. k-u ta(l)-s-ik, constr. k-IKAL, 'bring'. baal, 'thing'. uts, 'good'. k'as, 'bad'. t-u men, 'because' (4.52). le baal k'as-o’, 'the bad thing'. leeti, 'that'; pron. Class C; the intonation of the preceding part of the sentences and the brief pause preceding leeti’, together with the special way of uttering this word, constitute a sign of assertion of identity equivalent to our verb 'is'. aanis, probably from Spanish anís, is the name of a special kind of rum or brandy.

4.29. Usage B-1, topical distinction

In this class of instances, the occurrent referred to by a k-IKAL-construction can be past, present, or future. The chronologic specification is provided either by the preceding sentence, or in the very sentence containing the k-IKAL-construction. In many cases, the occurrent for which the k-IKAL-construction stands was spoken of in the previous sentence or sentences, and what is in question is some constituent of the occurrent , or its time, or place. Thus, the rule in instances of Usage B-1 is that the occurrent referred to by the k-IKAL-construction is not the dominant topic of the sentence. Dialogues provide frequent exemplifications of this rule, particularly in utterances which specify what an interlocutor has been asked. Take, for example, this question: When are you going to bring it? In other languages, and occasionally in Yucatec, the answer can be simply Sunday. So far as the texts show, and so far as my observations on ordinary conversation can be trusted, it seems that the prevalent habit in Yucatec is not to answer by saying simply the equivalent of Sunday, but rather I'll bring it Sunday, using a k-IKAL-construction: domingo kin tasik.
This use of the k-IKAL-constructions is difficult to differentiate from that of the IKAL-constructions mentioned in 4.25, Kind A. So far as we have been able to ascertain, certain words, among them the pronouns of Class C, are followed much more frequently by IKAL than by k-IKAL. In comparable instances some informants use only one of those two constructions, while others use one more frequently than the other. We suspect, nevertheless, that it is not altogether a matter of individual preference. But the data at our disposal are insufficient to reach a conclusion.

Examples of Usage B-1

  1. le uts ta beetah tin waale’ leetie’ kin sutik tech u heela’. 'I am doing this favor to you in return for the favor you did to my daughter'. Literally: The favor you did to my daughter, that is the one I am returning to you in exchange. le uts t-a bee-t-ah t-in w-al-e’, 'the favor you did to my daughter'; le .. -e’, 'the' (4.51); t-a bee-t-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9); t-in, 'to my'; fusion of ti, 'to', and the pronoun; al, 'daughter' (said by a woman). leeti-e’, pronoun of Class C, 'that', with -e’ (4.28) see Ex. 6; equivalent to 'that is the one'. k-in sut-ik, constr. k-IKAL. tech, 'to you'; pron. Class C. u heel-a’, 'in exchange'; literally: 'its substitute'; -a’, referring to the present she is handing to the interlocutor as she spreaks (3.5).
  2. bey tun, tak a waalak' mis ka hantik. 'So, you eat even your pet cat'. bey, 'thus'. tun, 'therefore, then', etc. (4.25, Ex. 7). tak, 'even, as far as, till'. a w-al-ak' mis, 'your pet cat'; al-ak' is applicable to domesticated animals owned by an individual; 'pet' is not a good rendering; in a text from British Honduras, aalak' was used in reference to the wild animals within the domain of a certain supernatural being. k-a han-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL; han, 'eat'.
  3. tu yo’lal, ku hook'ol u kaxt u kimil. 'Of his own accord he came out to meet his death'. t-u y-ok'-(o)l-al, 'on his account' (4.23). k-u hok'-ol, constr. k-IKAL; hok', 'come out'. u kax-t, constr. NULLAK; 'to seek'. u kim-il, 'his death, for him to die' (4.52).
  4. nach ku pektal u hahatal le che’ yetelo’. 'Far landed the chips from the tree (as he cut) with it'. Context: The child Jesus played pranks on Saint Joseph. After dulling his ax by cutting stone with it, Joseph tried it and it cut better than before. nach, 'far'. k-u pek-t-al, k-IKAL-constr.; pek-t, 'to lie flat on the ground'. u ha-hat-al, 'the chips of'; hat, 'to split, chip off'; ha-hat, reduplication (4.69); for -al see 4.52. che’, 'tree'. y-et-el, 'with', using as an instrument. le ... -o’, 'the'; for the inclusion of yetel in the form le ... -o’ see 4.34.
  5. in maama kin tuklik, tu men ma’ in woohli wa toh yol. 'My mother is the one I was thinking about, because I do not know whether she fares well'. in maama, 'my mother'; Spanish mama, used now instead of na’. k-in tuk(u)l-ik, constr. k-IKAL; tuk-ul, 'thought'; for -ul see 3.44; tukl-, stem of verb 'to think'. t-u men, 'because'. ma’ in w-oh-(e)l-i, 'I do not know'; oh-el, 'to know' (3.56); for -i in negative sentences see 4.59. wa, 'if'. toh y-ol, 'to be in good health and without worry'; toh, 'straight, right'; ol, 'mind'.
  6. eya, nuxi kisin, behla’ ku k'uchul tu k'in a bootik le baax ta beetah tin waatano’. 'Hey, old devil, now is the time you are going to pay for what you did to my wife!'; eya, 'hey!' nuxi kisin, common insulting epithet; nuxi for noh-xib, 'old man'; components of kisin unidentified, 'demon'. behla’, 'now'; see Ex. 5. k-u k'uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL; k'uch, 'arrive'. t-u k'in, 'to its day', or 'time'. a boo-t-ik, constr. IKAL, special use (4.20); boo-t, 'pay'. le ... -o’, 'the'; baax, 'what'; t-a bee-t-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9); bee-t, 'do'. t-in w-at-an, 'to my wife'; see 4.9, Ex. 15.
  7. kalikil u tahal in k'um kin hok'ol in beete’. 'While my nixtamal is cooking I'll come out to do it'. kal-ik-il, 'while'; etymologic analysis; no other use of components kal-ik at present; for -il see 4.60. u tah-al, constr. IKAL (4.20); tah, 'boil, bake'. k'um, 'corn boiled with lime, nixtamal'. k-in hok'-ol, constr. k-IKAL; hok', 'come out'. in bee-t-e’, NULLAK-constr. (4.41).
  8. ka maanen toolo’, ti’ ku wak'al u pooli. 'At the very moment I passed by, his head burst'. Literally: 'When I passed there, then his head burst'. Context: The narrator had already said that the villain's head burst with the potion they gave him to drink. It is a stylistic device to end a story by saying in jest that the narrator passed by the place where the last incident of the story took place just at the moment it occurred. ka man-en, 'when I passed'; AHAB-constr. in temporal clause (4.62). toolo’, 'there'; X-variant of teelo’ (4.51). ti’, 'then, just then' (2.25). k-u wak'-al, constr. k-IKAL; wak', 'burst'. u pol-i, 'his head'; for -i see 4.59.

4.30.    Usage B-2

Constructions he + k-IKAL + -a’ and he + k-IKAL + -o’ are used in references to present occurrents taking place at the very moment they are referred to, and the reference serves to call attention to their occurrence. The sentence is generally uttered in an exclamatory manner: he ku talo’, 'Here he comes!' he kin bisik le chan paala’, 'Here I come with the baby!' (Literally: 'Here I bring the baby'). The final suffix is -a’ when the speaker refers to what he himself does. When the reference is not to the speaker's own action, the use of -a’ or -o’ depends on the general rules governing the uses of these suffixes (4.51). The difference between these constructions and he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16) should be noted: the latter requires IKAL with final -e’, and refers to a subsequent (4.3) occurrent; the former takes k-IKAL and always -a’ or -o’. For other uses of he ... -a’ (or -o’, or -e’) see 4.51.

Examples of Usage B-2.

  1. he ku chibal peek'o’. ts'ook k k'uchul ti kah. 'There are the dogs barking! We have reached the town'. he ... -o’; k-u chib-al, constr. k-IKAL; chib, 'bark, bite'; etymologically, -b is a formative, but the only indication of it in Modern Yucatec is that chib takes the suffix -al instead of -il or -el (3.1); Old Yuc. (Motul dict.) chibal, chiiah, chiib. pek', 'dog'. ts'ook k k'uch-ul, 'we have arrived' (4.15). ti, 'to'. kah, 'town, village'.
  2. he kin k'ubik tech lenuukula’. 'Here I deliver to you this utensil'. he ... -a’; k-in k'ub-ik; k-IKAL-constr. tech, 'to you'; pron. Class C. nuuk-ul, 'utensil' (4.52).
  3. he ku yook'ol a waalo’. 'There is your child crying!' he ... -o’; k-u y-ok'-ol; constr. k-IKAL. a w-al, 'your child' (speaking to a woman); cf. Ex. 7.

4.31.    Usage B-3, in interrogative sentences

There are in many languages, if not in all, at least two kinds of interrogative sentences which are called here disjunctive interrogative and definitive interrogative sentences. In a disjunctive interrogative sentence, what is asked is whether the statement proposed therein is true or false; e.g., Are you sick? Assuming that this question is not rhetorical or facetious, the statement You are sick is there proposed without ascribing any declarative value (4.7) to it. What is asked is what declarative value does the person addressed ascribe to it. Like all interrogative sentences which are not of a rhetorical sort, this can be rendered by an imperative sentence with a verb of 'telling', e.g., Tell me whether or not you are sick. A simple test is that it makes sense to answer 'Yes' or 'No' in reply to a disjunctive interrogative. That is why, for lack of a special term, they are often called "Yes-no-questions". It does not make sense so to answer a definitive interrogative. What is asked in a definitive interrogative is that the person addressed specify what is indicated in the sentence by means of what the grammarian calls "nterrogative pronouns" and "interrogative adverbs"; e.g., what, which, who, when, where, how, why, etc. Such words or expressions stand for the items whose specification is requested or demanded in the definitive interrogative sentence. The word or expression which in a given sentence performs that office will be said to be an interrogative substitute in the given sentence. The definitive interrogative sentence defines or delimits that which its interrogative substitute stands for, much as a relative clause does with respect to its antecedent. The k-IKAL-constructions perform this definite office both in interrogative sentences and in relative clauses; and, as is also the case in other languages, most of the interrogative substitutes serve also as relative pronouns. In interrogative sentences the use of the k-IKAL-constructions is subject to the following limitations: (a) the sentence is definitive interrogative; (b) the occurrent referred to is contemporary-past (4.4, Case 5) or present; (c) the sentence is not a negative interrogative. Since the k-IKAL-constructions are used in negations only in the instances labeled B-4, a negative interrogative sentence requires ma + IKAL (4.24) if the reference is polychronic (4.6), and maa tan + IKAL (4.14) if the reference is monochronic. On the other hand, the affirmative tan + IKAL (4.14) has not occurred in any definitive interrogative. Where one would expect that construction because the reference is monochronic, k-IKAL was found.

Examples of Usage B-3.

  1. baax ka beetik waaye’? 'What are you doing here?'baax, 'what'; from baal, 'thing' with suffix -x from Old Yuc. ix; see 4.32. k-a bee-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL. way-e’, 'here' (4.51).
  2. baax kuyuchul tech? 'What is happening to you?' k-u y-uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL. tech, 'to you'; pron. Class C.
  3. baax ten ka kutal? 'Why do you sit down?'baax ten, 'why'; ten is of very doubtful identification in this expression; in other expressions, ten signifies 'time'; as, 'three times'; 'occasion'; as,chen hun p'el teene’, 'on a certain occasion'. It could also have resulted from a slur of tu men, 'because'; in speech of Type A we have found baax tu men, 'for what reason' as well as baax ten, 'why'. The slur conjecture is not too far fetched considering that ts'ook in is slurred into ts'in, and ku bin u becomes kunu. k-a;ku(l)-t-al, constr. k-IKAL; cf. kul-en, 'sit down' (imperative).
  4. baan ten ka ch'ayk le hach k'aaso’? 'Why do you take the worst ones?' baan ten, 'why'; baan is used instead of baax (cf. Ex. 20) in this expression with an implication of absurdity or perplexity. k-a ch'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL. le ... -o’, 'the'. hach, 'very'; in a context in which two or more things are compared its sense is that of the so-called "comparative degree" of European adjectives and the absurdly named "superlative" of English adjectives; e.g., taller when two are compared; tallest when three or more are compared. k'as, 'bad'.
  5. tuux kach'ayk le baala’? 'Where do you get this?' tuux, 'where'. k-a ch'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL. le ... -a’, 'this'. baal, 'thing'.
  6. baahux kin bootik tech? 'How much do I pay you?' baahux, X-variant bahux, probably from Old Yuc. bay-hun-x, 'how much'; in seventeenth century already slurred: bahunx. k-in boo(l)-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL. tech, 'you, to you'; pron. Class C.
  7. max tun ku kansaal teelo’? 'By whom is he taught there?' max, 'who'; from Old. Yuc. macx; Old Yuc. and Mod. Yuc. mak, 'person' (cf. note on -x in 4.32). tun, 'then, so, therefore', etc. (cf. 4.25, Ex. 7). k-u kan-s-aal, passive k-IKAL. te-l-o’, 'there'; te-l-a’, 'here' (4.51).

4.32.    Usage B-4, Negative sentence with mix mak or mix baal

Concerning the instances classed under this heading, all that remains to be said is that no exception has been found to the rule that in references to contemporary (4.4) occurrents, no other than the k-IKAL-constructions have been found with mix mak, 'nobody, no one', or with mix baal, 'nothing'. In these negative expressions, mix comes from the obsolete phrase ma ix, Old Yucatec orthography, ma ix. The two other components, mak and baal, signify 'person' and 'thing', respectively. What ix formerly signified in these expressions cannot be inferred from Modern Yucatec usage. Etymologically, ix is the x- of xma, 'without'; and the -x of baax, 'what'; bix, 'how'; max, 'who'; tuux, 'where'; baahux, 'how much'.

Examples of Usage B-4.

  1. teene’, ku t'an, mix baal kin woklik. ' "As for me", said he, "I have not stolen anything".' ten-e’, 1st. pers. pron. Class C with -e’ at the end of a clause or equivalent (4.58). k-u t'an, 'said he'; irregular k-IKAL; idiomatic expression employed at the end of quoted discourse, or in the midst of it, as in the above instance; t'an, 'speak, word, language'. k-in w-ok-(o)l-ik, constr. k-IKAL;ok-ol, always with suffix -ol, 'steal'; stem ok unidentified with any other sense than 'enter'.
  2. esak ma’ u xantale’, taata, mix baal ka ts'ayk. 'In case there is no delay, sir, you do not give anything'. Context: Answer to the question "How much interest am I to pay you on this loan?" The text from which this sentence was taken is artificial to this extent: Lorenzo Kinil (93 years old) of Chemax, Yucatan spoke as the old folks of the town used to speak when he was young. He had the reputation of being able to do this to the satisfaction of others about as old as he. The only word that is obsolescent in the above sentence is taata instead of tat, 'father, sir' (talking to one who is not the speaker's father). es-ak, 'since, it being the case that, in case that' (4.37). ma’ u xan-t-al, constr. ma + IKAL (4.24); xan-t, 'delay'; cf. 4.20; -e’ at end of clause (4.58). k-a ts'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL.
  3. yetel k'iine’ mix mak ku yilik. 'During the day he did not see anyone'. y-et-el, 'with' (4.52). k'in, 'day, sun'; for -e’ see 4.33. k-u y-il-ik, constr. k-IKAL.
  4. mix baal ku yuchul toone’ yetel chu kaan t u k'ul k'a til. 'Nothing happened to us with the other drinks we ordered'. k-u y-uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL; uch, 'happen'. to'n, 'we, us'; pron. Class C; -e’ (4.58). y-et-el, 'with'. chuk-aan, 'other, companion'. t, 'our' (1.5); uk'-ul (4.52); uk', 'drink'. k'at, 'ask, ask for'; for -il see 4.60.

4.33.    Usage B-5, temporal clauses

In temporal clauses, the k-IKAL-constructions can refer to past, or present, or future occurrents. Their usage is comparable with that of the English participles, as in Entering the room, (we saw a strange sight) or Having climbed the hill, (I stopped to rest). What they have in common is that the construction, without the aid of such words as when or after, indicates that the occurrent mentioned in the temporal clause took place before the occurrence of the one mentioned in the next clause. For example, ku k'uchul can signify in various contexts 'He arrives (habitually)', or 'He arrived (on several occasions)'; but ku k'uchule’, as the first component of a sentence, signifies 'after he arrived (on that occasion)', 'after he arrives (habitually)', or 'after he arrives (at a certain future time)', depending on the rest of the sentence and its context. The temporal clause is in nearly all cases the first component of the sentence. This rule holds also when any construction other than k-IKAL is used in a temporal clause. In only 8 instances out of 1236 was a temporal clause found after another component of the sentence. The first position in the sentence is frequently occupied also by other words and expressions that specify chronologic position, such as those which signify 'yesterday', 'tomorrow', 'at five o' clock', 'last Saturday', etc. The instances were not counted, but as a rough guess we would say that in at least 75% of the cases expressions of this sort are the first components of the sentence. The temporal clause and many of the other expressions just mentioned end with the suffix -e’, except when -a’ or -o’ are required by a preceding le, the first component of the demonstrative forms le... -a’ (or -o’, or -e’). It seems pertinent to note that the expression ku ts'o: kole’, signifying 'afterward', 'later', 'then', 'nevertheless', is but the verb ts'o:k (4.15) in its intransitive k-IKAL-form k-PA V-(a)l with the suffix -e’ required in temporal clauses. Temporal clauses, as well as other time expressions requiring this suffix, have a characteristic intonation, ending with a high pitch (but not necessarily high stress) on the suffix -e’, followed by a brief pause.
Temporal clauses signifying 'As soon as (x occurred)' begin with the demonstrative le. Their construction may be thus indicated: le + k-IKAL + -e’. Likewise, with other than the k-IKAL-constructions, a temporal clause of the form le + (Verbal unit) + -e’ asserts that very brief interval is concerned in the sequence of the two or more occurrents spoken of.

Examples of Usage B-5

  1. ku nohochtal u iiho maake’, ku k'atik ti’ wa uts tu t'an u ts 'ookol u bel. 'After a man's son had grown up, (the father) asked him whether he liked to get married'. Context: Description of old customs. k-u noh-och-t-al, constr. k-IKAL; noh-och, 'of age, aged, important'. u iiho mak, 'the son of a person'; Spanish hijo, 'son'. k-u k'at-ik, constr. k-IKAL; k'at, 'ask'. ti’, 'to (him)'. wa, 'if'. uts t-u t'an, 'to like (otherwise than with respect to what is seen, heard, or tasted); uts t-in chi’, 'I like (what I eat); literally: 'good to my mouth'; uts t-a w-ich, 'you like (what you see)'; 'good to your eye'; t'an, 'word, speech, speak', etc. u ts'ook-ol u bel, idiomatic expression for 'to marry'; literally: 'to close up one's affair or transaction'; for ts'ook see 4.15.
  2. ku ts'ookole’, ku hoop'ol u han ch'aktik yaanal le nukuch k'axoobo’. 'After that, they begin to cut (the brush) under the tall woods.' Context: Description of agricultural practice. k-u ts'ook-ol, 'afterward' (see explanation above). ku hoop'-ol u han ch'ak-t-ik, construction hoop' + IKAL (4.17) with hoop' in its k-IKAL-form; han can be rendered in this context by 'right and left', 'all over', 'throughout'; for the use of such words see 4.50; ch'ak-t, 'to cut branches off trees', 'trim bushes', 'cut undergrowth'; ch'ak, without formative -t, 'to cut by hitting with heavy cutting tool'. yan-al, 'under'. le .. -o’, 'the'. nuk-uch, 'big'. k'ax-o'b, 'woods'; -o'b, plural.
  3. ku k'uchul tiknal u sukunoobe’, ka ki ichkinahi. 'After he arrived at his brothers', he bathed'. ku k'uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL; 'arrive'. tik'nal, slurred form of t-u y-ik-n-al, 'at the home of', 'near', etc. (2.29). u su'kun, 'elder brother'; -o'b, plural. ka (4.62). ki, 'nicely', 'taking his time about it', 'comfortably', 'indulging in', etc.; perhaps etymologically identical with ki’, 'nice to one's taste' (as food). ich-ki-n-a-hi, form of certain intransitive verbs corresponding to AHAB-construction (3.53); for formatives -ki-n- see 3.46; for -i see 4.59; ich, 'within', 'inside'; with formatives, 'bathe'.
  4. hu yak'aatale’, ka naak wee'nel tu k'ab che’. 'When night came, he got on the branches of a tree to sleep'. Context: reference to a single occasion. ku y-ak'a(b)-t-'al, constr. k-IKAL; 'for night to come'; ak'ab, 'night'; probable etymologic analysis: ak'-ab, 'darkness', 'blackness', if ak' is cognate with ek', as it seems probable; for -ab with nouns see 3.38. ka, untranslatable in this context (4.62). naak, 'went up', 'climbed'; intrans. AHAB-construction. (4.9). wen-el, 'sleep' (3.50). t-u k'ab, 'to the branch of'; fusion of ti and pron. u. che’, 'tree'.
  5. ku pati ke’, ka tu tak'ankuntah. 'After he shaped it he baked it'. Context: reference to a single occasion on which a shaman made an alux (a kind of sprite) out of clay. k-u pat-ik, constr. k-IKAL; 'shape clay with hands (as when making pottery)'. ka (4.62). t-u tak'-an-kun-t-ah, trans. AHAB-constr.; tak', 'stick (as with glue)'; tak'-an, 'stuck' (4.53); tak'-an-kun-s (or -t); 'bake', 'ripen'. For formatives -kun-t, see 3.23.
  6. kin k'uchule’, ka tin nombrar'tah kaa tul kanabombao'b. 'After I arrived, I appointed two rocket-guards (i.e., two men whose duty is to warn the workers of the approach of an enemy by firing a sky-rocket.). k-in k'uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL. ka (4.62). t-in nombrar-t-ah, AHAB-constr. with Spanish verb nombrar; see 4.10, Exx. 28-31. ka:, 'two'. tul, classifier for animate. kan-a(n)-bomba-o'b; kan, 'take care of'; kan-an, 'guard'; Spanish bomba, 'bomb', local Spanish for 'sky-rocket' instead of cohete; -o'b, plural.
  7. le ku k'uchule’ ka t'an tu hol na. 'As soon as you arrive, knock at the door'. le ... -e’, in temporal clause; see above explanations; k-u k'uch-ul, constr. k-IKAL; 'arrive'. ka (4.62). t'an, 'speak', 'call'; now used like the Spanish llamar a la puerta 'knock at door'. t-u for ti u; u hol na, 'the door of the house'; hol, 'hole', 'opening'.
  8. le kuts'ookol u ts'uuts'ik le chamalo’, ku ts'aabal le sa’ uuk'o’. 'As soon as they may have smoked the cigarettes, they will be given the atol to drink'. le ... -o’, in temporal clause for 'as soon as'; see above explanations. k-u ts'ook-ol u ts'uuts'-ik, constr. ts'ook + IKAL (4.15) with ts'ook in the k-IKAL-form. cham-al, 'cigarette'. k-u ts'a-(a)b-al, passive constr. k-IKAL; irregular passive of ts'a, 'give'. le ... -o’, 'the'. sa’, 'atol', 'corn gruel'. uk', 'drink'; NULLAK-constr. for service or aim (4.41).

4.34. Usage B-6, relative clauses

So far as our texts show, the construction of the Yucatec relative clause differs from that of any main clause or sentence only in three respects: (a) after the antecedents max, 'who', and baax, 'what', 'that which', the pronouns of Class A of the IKAL and of other constructions are omitted (cf. 4.31); (b) the first component of the relative clause is always its verbal unit; (c) construction tan + IKAL (4.14) is not used as the verbal unit of the relative clause, except in its negative form: maa tan + IKAL. The monochronic references that would be made by tan + IKAL, if it were used in relative clauses, are taken care of by the k-IKAL-constructions, in addition to their usual service in polychronic references (Usage A, 4.28). On the other hand, since k-IKAL is used in negations only after mix mak and mix baal (4.32), negative relative clauses make use of ma + IKAL (4.24) and maa tan + IKAL (4.14) for polychronic and monochronic references, respectively.
It should be noted that the IKAL, and not the k-IKAL-constructions, are used in relative clauses with the verbs that do not take construction tan + IKAL. Some of these are mentioned in 4.25, instances of Kind B. Others are verbs signifying 'to belong', as ti’al (4.23); 'to have' or 'to be at a place', as yan; 'to be in a certain position', as kulukbal, 'be seated'chilaan, 'lie'; 'to cease', as ch'enel; 'to rest', as heelel. These are the most common, but not the only ones.

Examples of Usage B-6.

  1. le tsimin ku yaalal tio’ hach taytak u kimil. 'The horse of which they spoke to him was about to die'. le ... -o’, 'the'; the noun and the relative clause that delimits it are placed between the two components of this demonstrative form in all cases. tsimin or tsiimin, 'horse', old word for 'tapir'. k-u y-al-al, constr. k-IKAL; al, 'say', 'tell', 'speak of'. ti, 'to (him)'. hach, 'very'. taytak (of undetermined composition), 'nearly', 'almost'. u kim-il, IKAL (4.20); kim, 'die'.
  2. ti’ yan kaa p'el tuunich ku hets'kuba, ku weehel u k'ak'il. 'There are there two stones that bump against each other and emit fire'. ti’ y-an, 'there is', 'there are', (at the place mentioned); for yan see 4.61. kaa p'el, numeral two and classifier. tun-ich, 'stone'; for ich see 3.40. k-u hets'-(i)k-u-ba, constr. k-IKAL; u-ba, 'himself', 'themselves', 'one another' (2.8). k-u weh-el, passive k-IKAL; weh, 'spread'; i.e., the fire is spread by the bumping. u k'ak'-il, 'the fire of, from the stones'; for -il see 4.60.
  3. hach hah le baal kin waalik teecho’. 'What I am telling you is quite true'. hach, 'very'. hah, 'true', 'be true'. le ... -o’, see note on Ex. 37. baal, 'thing'. k-in w-al-ik, constr. k-IKAL. tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C.
  4. kichpam le x'ch'up kin wiliko’. 'The woman I am looking at is beautiful'. kich-pam, 'beautiful', 'be beautiful'; said of female; kich-kelem, 'handsome' (male); both expressions of undetermined composition. le ... -o’, as in Exx. 37, 39. x-ch'up, 'woman'. k-in w-il-ik, constr. k-IKAL; 'see'.

4.35. Usage B-7, conditional sentences

The k-IKAL-constructions occur in some protases and in some apodoses of conditional sentences. When a k-IKAL-construction occurs in the protasis, the following has been found to be true concerning the reference made therein: (a) An undetermined declarative value (4.7) is ascribed to the protasis. (b) The reference is polychronic or monochronic. (c) The occurrent can be past, present, or future. (d) If it is past, it is past-contemporary. For other than past-contemporary (4.4, Case 5), other constructions are required (4.44). (e) The protasis is not negative. As in other cases, an affirmative k-IKAL corresponds to a negative ma + IKAL (4.24) or maatan + IKAL (4.14). Protases satisfying those five conditions are roughly as follows:
If x was true at that time (then y was, is, or will be, true)
If x is true now (then y is, or will be, true)
If x occurs in the future (then y will occur after x occurs)

In the apodosis of a conditional sentence whose protasis is as above specified, a k-IKAL-construction is used for any declarative modality other than improbability. This point and others pertaining to the structure of conditional sentences are dealt with more specifically in 4.44. In conformity with the preceding specifications, some conditional sentences have a k-IKAL-construction both in the protasis and the apodosis.

Examples of Usage B-7.

  1. wa ku pak'ale’, maatan u bin ti kah. 'If he was planting, he will not go to town'. wa, 'if'. ku pak'al, constr. k-IKAL; -e’ at end of the clause (4.58). maatan u bin, irregular tan + IKAL (4.14) with bin, 'go' (4.56). ti, 'to'. kah, 'town', 'village'.
  2. wa ka beetik tu kaateene’, kin p'atkech hun puli. 'If you do it again, I will leave you forever'. ka bee-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL. t-u kaa ten, 'for the second time'; kaa, 'two'. k-in p'at-(i)-k-ech, constr. k-IKAL with 2nd. pers. sing. pron. -ech of Class B. hun pul-i, 'completely', 'forever'; literally: 'one throw'.
  3. wa kin bin saki’ saamale’, kin tasik tech chamal. 'If I go to Valladolid tomorrow, I'll bring you cigarettes'. k-in bin, irregular k-IKAL; bin, 'go' saki’, native name of the city of Valladolid, Yucatan. samal, 'tomorrow'. k-in ta(l)-s-ik, constr. k-IKAL. tech, 'to you.'

4.36. Usage B-8, imperative sentences

The k-IKAL-constructions occur in affirmative imperative sentences in at least four kinds of instances: (a) In compound imperative sentences, after the first of the clauses of which the sentence is composed; for example, as in the equivalent of this English sentence: (Go to his house), and tell him (I am waiting for him). (b) After previous imperative sentences, as, for example, when giving instructions for the performance of a task. (c) For topical distinction of some constituent of the imperative sentence; in which case, the reference to the dominant topic precedes the k-IKAL-construction. These are frequently polite requests or recommendations. (d) When offering help; e.g., If you need me, call me. In these four kinds of instances, and particularly in the third, one finds now and then a simple IKAL instead of a k-IKAL-construction. I have not discovered what distinction is made, if any, by the choice of either construction in these cases.

Examples of Usage B-8.

  1. kaxte’, ka tasik ten. 'Look for it and bring it to me'. kax-t-e’, 'look for it'; NULLAK-constr., transitive imperative (4.37). k-a ta(l)-s-ik, constr. k-IKAL. ten, 'to me', 'I'; pron. Class C.
  2. ka ts'ayk ha’ u yichinte’. '(And) give him water that he may bathe'. Context: The preceding sentence ordered Take this soap to him. k-a ts'a-ik, constr. k-IKAL. ha’, 'water'. u y-ich-in-t-e’, NULLAK-constr. (4.41); 'bathe', see Ex. 31.
  3. ti’ ka chunkeexi. 'There is where you must start' or 'There is where I am telling you to start'. ti’, 'there (at the place mentioned)'. k-a chun-(i)k-e'x, constr. k-IKAL; chun, 'begin', 'origin'; a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. For -i see 4.59.
  4. ka kaanle’ ka t'aniken. 'When you get tired, call me'. k-a kan-(a)l-e’, 'when you get tired'; k-IKAL in temporal clause (4.33). k-a t'an-ik-en, constr. k-IKAL with 1st. pers. pron. -en, 'me', of Class B.
  5. yax ti le nohoch taata a chunkeexo’. 'You must attend first to the venerable gentleman'. yax, 'first'. ti, 'to'. le ... -o’, 'the'. noh-och, 'aged', 'important'. taata, 'Sir', (see note on Ex. 26). a chun-(i)k-e'x, IKAL-constr. instead of k-IKAL; see explanations above; chun, 'begin' (begin first with the venerable gentleman; serving the drinks in a ceremony in old times).
  6. in ts'ulil, te a k'optal. 'My master, just snuggle up in there'. in ts'ul-il, 'my master'; 4.28, Ex. 2; in this case a cat talks to his master. te, 'there'. a k'op-t-al, IKAL-constr. instead of k-IKAL:


4.37. Structural characteristics

Before entering upon the discussion of the uses of these constructions, it may be helpful to summarize their structural characteristics. The constructions referred to by the label 'NULLAK'are as follows:

ka-Forms (No ka)-Forms (No ka PA)-Forms
Null-Variants ka PA V-(null) PA V-(null) V-(null)
e-Variants ka PA V-e PA V-e V-e

ka V-(a)k-PB V-(a)k-PB

ka V-(aa)k-PB V-(aa)k-PB

The e-Variants are used whenever both of these statements are true: (a) No suffix other than -e is affixed to the verb stem; (b) the transitive NULLAK-construction is the last or only word of a clause or a sentence. In all other cases, the transitive NULLAK-construction has no distinctive affix. When the subject of the (No ka PA)-Form is a 2nd. pers. plur., the suffix -e'x of the pronominal form a ... -e'x is required, but the a of the pronominal form is omitted. Thus, the (No ka PA)-Forms of the verb ts'a, 'to give', are: ts'a, ts'ae, ts'ae'x. The distinctive suffix of the intransitive is -ak, -ek, -ik, -ok, -uk, or, with elided vowel, -k. The vowel of the suffix is frequently elided when another suffix follows, particularly in speech of Type B. When the verb stem is simple (3.1), the vowel of the distinctive suffix is the same as that of the stem; e.g., naak-ak, 'ascend'; em-ek, 'descend'; x(i)-ik, 'go', 'move on'; hok'-ok, 'go out', lub-uk, 'fall'. Composite stems (3.1) and some irregular verbs require -ak; e.g. ich-ki-n-ak, 'bathe'; tsik-ba-n-ak, 'converse', 'chat'; uk'-u(l)-n-ak, 'drink' (in intransitive usage); xol-ak, 'kneel', chil-ak, 'lie down'. These rules hold also for the passive, except that in the passive construction, -aak is commonly used instead of -ak when the composite stem consists of only one syllable; e.g., ta(l)-s-aak, 'bring'; bi(n)-s-aak, 'take from one place to another'; hok'-s-aak or ho’-s-aak, 'take out', 'bring out'. A second difference between the passive and the intransitive forms is that in the former the vowel of a simple stem is generally doubled if the main stress is on it, and the verbal unit consists only of the stem and the distinctive suffix of the NULLAK-construction; e.g., the NULLAK passive of man, 'buy', is maan-ak; that of yets', 'press liquid out by twisting', is yeets'-ek; t'oh, 'pour out', t'ooh-ok; k'ub, 'deliver', k'uub-uk. There are, however, many exceptional formations of the passive construction. In some sentences, the only indication of the passive use of a verb is the circumstance that the verb is used transitively whenever other than a NULLAK-construction is required. For example, t'ab, 'to light (a candle)', 'to set on fire', was t'abak in 6 instances in which there was conclusive evidence that the construction was passive. In these and in 43 other cases, the form for the passive usage was exactly like that of an intransitive verb. The verbs found in these 49 instances occurred in all other cases with transitive construction. This lack of constructional differentiation between intransitive and passive NULLAK-forms seems to be due to changes which have taken place chiefly within the Modern Yucatec period. Formerly, the passive of some verbs required two suffixes: -ab (4.10) followed by -ak; e.g., the passive of han-t, 'to eat (that which is referred to)' was han-t-ab-ak. This form of han-t occurred twice in texts from British Honduras, and once in a text dictated by Lorenzo Kinil of Chemax, Yucatan, born in 1837. That way of forming the passive is still prevalent with stems ending in a. Thus, the passive of ts'a, 'give', 'put', is commonly ts'aabak; and that of ch'a, 'fetch', 'get', ch'aabak. But instead of the obsolete or obsolescent hantabak, we find now han'taak. The fusion of ka with the pronouns of the transitive forms was commented upon in 4.27. It should be noted that, since there is no pronoun of Class B, for the 3rd. pers. sing., the intransitive and the passive 3rd. sing. NULLAK-form is simply the verb stem with one of the distinctive suffixes -ak, -ek, etc. Exceptional uses of -ak instead of -ek, -ik, etc. are dealt with in 4.47 and 4.48.
The uses of the NULLAK-constructions are not as diverse as those of the IKAL and k-IKAL constructions already dealt with; nevertheless, it is not feasible to formulate verifiable generalizations without dividing their uses into several classes. Conforming to precedent, one could say, for example, that we are dealing here with the subjunctive mode of the Yucatec verb. If that is all that would be said about it, the vagueness of the statement would be roughly proportional to each reader's acquaintance with the variety of uses of the devices that have been classed as subjunctive modes on the grammars of the classical languages, and in those of the modern languages of literate and illiterate peoples. To reduce the vagueness of the statement, one would have to specify the rules that govern the use of the Yucatec subjunctive; which would obviously necessitate a division of the uses of the devices in question into classes, just as we have had to do in these pages The number of divisions would naturally vary according to the preference of the investigator and the extent to which the description would be superficial or would deal with details; but it does not follow that calling the device by a familiar name, or not, would necessarily have something to do with the extent of this variation. By not using a familiar name, at least one advantage can be derived; namely, if a reader decides that this is obviously a subjunctive mode, he can simply substitute the expression 'subjunctive mode' for our expression 'NULLAK-constructions'. Another reader can make whatever other substitution he prefers, if he decides that this is not a subjunctive. This entails the inconvenience of translating our expression in all the instances in which it occurs, but to a linguist that should be a matter of negligible concern. This inconvenience may be compensated by the freedom allowed to each expert in the use of current grammatical terminology to apply grammatical terms as he deems proper.
In the majority of instances in which the NULLAK-constructions occurred in the texts, they served to refer to subsequent occurrents (4.3), especially to discrete-future and subsequent-past occurrents (4.4, Cases 3 and 6). This is true if we consider that all imperative sentences refer to future occurrents; for whenever an individual tells another to do something, he obviously commands or requests that he do so at a time subsequent to that occupied by his imperative communication, however immediate that time may be. The same holds for the use of the NULLAK-construction in the references we have termed 'projective' (4.23); for the occurrent aimed at must inevitably be subsequent to at least the beginning of that which is done in order to accomplish the aim. In the majority of the instances in which the NULLAK-constructions do not refer to subsequent occurrents, what is referred to is a non-particular referent. Thus, in temporal clauses, they occur in references to any one of the occasions on which something is said to take place; and in relative clauses the antecedent is whoever or whatever may be involved in the reference, and not this or that particular person or non-person. These generalizations are, of course, insufficient to delimit the uses of these constructions; especially since it is the case that references to subsequent occurrents are made also by means of other constructions, some of which have already been dealt with (4.12, 4.14, 4.16, 4.18, 4.19, 4.21, 4.23, 4.24, 4.35, 4.36). In order to give less inadequate specifications, the uses of the NULLAK-constructions will be divided into classes and subclasses of instances treated under the following headings:

  1. Affirmative imperative sentences.
  2. Reported imperative utterances.
  3. After verbs of wishing or needing.
  4. Projective references.
  5. Construction bin + NULLAK.
  6. Negative imperative with bik or mik.
  7. Conditional sentences.
  8. References to non-particular referents.
  9. Temporal clauses.
  10. After certain verbs.
  11. Intransitive V-(a)k in references to prior occurrents.
  12. Suffix -(a)k in references to contemporary occurrents.

4.38.    Usage A, affirmative imperative sentences.

All the forms of the NULLAK-constructions are used in affirmative imperative sentences. The use of each of the forms depends on the circumstances indicated in the following tabulation:


First or only component Preceded component
Transitive 1. V-(null) (-e) (-e'x) 1a. ka PA V-(null) (-e)
Intransitive 2. (None) 2a. ka V-(a)k-PB


First or only component Preceded component
Transitive 3. ka u V-(null) (-e) 3a. Same as 3.
Intransitive 4. V-(a)k 4a. ka V-(a)k
Passive 5. ka V-(aa)k 5a. Same as 5.

The above headings are to be understood as follows: Under Second Person we class the instances in which the speaker tells the person or persons addressed to do what his imperative utterance specifies. Third Person: the speaker commands or requests that one or more of the persons other than the one or ones addressed do what his utterance specifies. Non-particular Second Person: the speaker commands or requests that one or more of the persons addressed do what he indicates, but he does not specify who among those addressed is to carry out his orders or comply with his request; e.g., 'One of you go and fetch some wood'. First or only component: the NULLAK-construction is not preceded by any component of the sentence, excepting the two specified below. Preceded component: some component other than the two specified below precedes the NULLAK-construction. The preceding component can be another imperative utterance in a compound imperative sentence; as in '(Go to his house) and tell him I am waiting for him'. The two exceptional components referred to above are the word chan and a vocative (e.g., 'Boys, come here.'). The word chan, which in other contexts signifies 'little', 'small', is used before the verbal unit in invitations, kind requests, and the like, with some vague sense perhaps similar to that of the word 'just' in English in such sentences as 'Just make yourself at home'. Position 2 in the above tabulation cannot be occupied by any NULLAK-construction. The intransitive imperative in that case requires construction V-en (4.57). The uses of the Null-Forms and the e-Forms of the transitive are governed by the rules stated above (4.37). In Position 2a, suffix -PB is either -ech (singular) or -e'x (plural), since in this case -PB is always a 2nd. pers. pronoun. In 4, 4a, and 5, -PB is a null sign. For the sake of simplicity, this null-sign was not indicated by writing '-PB'. If elucidation on this point is needed, see 2.5. By using a NULLAK-construction in Positions 1a and 2a instead of a k-IKAL-construction as specified in 4.36, a distinction seems to be made: in most of the cases, the imperative communications employing the NULLAK-constructions were not imperious orders, and were frequently petitions soliciting favors; whereas authoritative or imperious orders occurred frequently with the k-IKAL-constructions. This does not hold, or we have no evidence that it holds, in approximately 16% of the instances in which the NULLAK-constructions were preceded components, and in 27% of the instances in which the k-IKAL-constructions were so used.
There were exceptions to the rule that for the 3rd. pers. intransitive imperative (Position 4) the (No ka)-Forms are used. Instances with ka occurred mainly in speech of Type A. In this speech-type, the exceptions constitute 13% of the total number of instances pertaining to Position 4 in the above tabulation. Incidentally, the exceptions conform to the examples of third person imperative found in various grammars written in previous centuries, and also in Lopez Otero's grammar (1914).
In the explanations of the following examples, the classification of the construction and its usage will be indicated thus: 'Usage A(1)', 'Usage A(2a)', etc.; 'A' being the label for the use of the NULLAK-construction in affirmative imperative sentences, and the figures and small letters in parentheses refer to the positions in the above tabulation.

  1. uk' hun p'it ha’. 'Drink a little water'. uk', 'drink'; Usage A(1). hun, 'one'; not followed by a numerical classifier when a word designating quantity follows (perhaps such words should be placed in the class of numerical classifiers). p'it, 'a small quantity of'. ha’, 'water'.
  2. ts'ae'x le haanalo’ yetel waahil. 'Give (him) the cooked food and some tortillas'. ts'ae'x; Usage A(1), plural; ts'a, 'give'. le ... -o’, 'the, that'. han-al, 'cooked food'; han, 'eat'; for -al see 4.52. wah, 'tortilla', the native corn bread; for -il in non-particular reference see 4.60. y-et-el, 'with, and' (4.52).
  3. ch'a hun kuch si’, ka a bis tu yo toch. 'Fetch a load of firewood, and take it to her home'. ch'a, 'fetch'; Usage A(1). hun kuch, 'one load'; cf. Ex. 1. si’, 'firewood'. ka a bi(n)-s, Usage A(1a); bin, 'go'; bis, 'take to or away from a place'. t-u, fusion of ti, 'to', and pron. u. u y-ot-och, 'her home'; ot-och, 'the house one lives in and owns'; for formative -och see 3.40.
  4. ka u bukint u nok'o'b. '(I order that) they put on their clothes'. ka u buk-in-t; Usage A(3); buk, formerly 'clothing' (Old Yuc. buc); now always with formatives -in-t (3.22 and 3.26), 'put on (clothes)'. u nok'-o'b, 'their clothes'; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A.
  5. ka u tas kan ts'it kib. '(I recommend that) he bring four candles'. ka u tas, Usage A(3); ta(l)-s, 'bring'; tal, 'come'. kan, 'four'. ts'it, numerical classifier for candles, rods, poles, rifles, and similar objects. kib, 'candle'.
  6. hok'ok hun tule'x, ka xiyk taanil. 'One of you come out and walk ahead'. hok'ok, Usage A(4); hok', 'come out, go out'. tul-e'x, numerical classifier for animate referent, with 2nd. pers. plur. suffix -e'x (4.68). ka x(i)-ik, Usage A(4a); x or xi, irregular verb for 'go', 'walk', 'move on'. taan-il, 'ahead'; taan, 'in front'.
  7. ka t'abak u kibil. 'let the candles be lit'. ka t'ab-ak, passive, Usage A(5); t'ab, 'light candles, cigarettes, torches, etc.'. u kib-il, 'the candles of (those who have brought one or more apiece)'; for -il see 4.60.
  8. kex ha’ ka a wuk'e. 'Drink at least (some) water'. kex , 'at least'. ka a w-uk'-e, Usage A(1a); uk', 'drink'.
  9. ku man a sukune’, ka xiykech tu pach. 'When your brother will go by, follow him'. k-u man, irregular k-IKAL-construction; man, 'pass, go by a place'. a sukun, 'your elder brother'; -e’, end of temporal clause (4.33). ka x(i)-ik-ech, Usage A(2a); if this were not a preceded component, xen would be used instead of ka xiykech; e.g., xen tu pach, 'go behind him, follow him'. t-u pach, 'to his back, behind him'.

4.39.     Usage B, ka-Forms, reported imperative utterances

It may be obvious that the statement 'He told me to do it' is a report of a communication which was made by means of an imperative sentence or its equivalent. Every imperative communication can be reported by means of a declarative sentence with a verb of telling, ordering, requesting, begging etc.; the choice of each of these verbs depends on the degree of imperiousness, urge, or solicitude, indicated by the wording of the reported imperative sentence or expression, and the way it was uttered; provided, of course, that the report takes adequate account of this phase of the imperative utterance. The verbs al, 'say', 'tell', and t'an, 'speak', 'address' (and various other senses), were the only ones used in the texts to signify that an imperative utterance is reported. The ka-Forms of the NULLAK-constructions are required in the reported utterance. Examples:

  1. ka tu yaalah toone’ ka k uk' le hao’. 'And he told us to drink the water'. t-u y-al-ah, AHAB-constr. (4.9), 'he told'. to'n, 'us'; pron. Class C. -e’ at end of the clause (4.58). ka k uk', NULLAK-constr.; uk', 'drink'. le ha(’)-o’, 'the water'.
  2. ka aalab ti’ ka okok u heelsuba. 'And he was told to go in and rest'. al-ab, passive AHAB (4.10); ti’, 'to him' (literally: 'it was told to him'; see explanation in 4.10). ka ok-ok, NULLAK-constr.; ok, 'enter'. u heel-s-u-ba, transitive (reflexive) NULLAK, Usage D, 4.41; heel-el, intransitive, and heel-s with reflexive suffixes, are both used for 'to rest'; for formative -s see 3.25; u-ba, 'himself' (2.7).
  3. yetel tu lakal in puksiyk'al kin t'ankech ka nats'aba tin wiknal. 'I am telling you in earnest to approach me'. Literally: 'With all my heart I speak (telling you to ...)'. y-et-el, 'with' (4.52). t-u lak-al (4.52), 'all'. in puksiyk'al (or puksik'al), 'my heart'; analysis of puk'siyk'al uncertain. k-in t'an-(i)k-ech, construction k-IKAL, Usage B-1, 4.29; with direct object -ech, 2nd. pers. pron. Class B. ka(a) nats'-a-ba, constr. NULLAK; nats', 'near', 'approach'; -a-ba, 'yourself'; see Ex. 11: for fusion of ka and a see 4.27.
  4. ka aalab tioobe’ ka siinako'b. 'And they were told to fetch firewood'. al-ab, passive AHAB (4.10); al, 'tell'. ti-o'b, 'to them' (2.6); -e’ at end of clause (4.58). ka si(’)-n-ak-o'b, constr. NULLAK; si’, 'firewood'; with formative -n (3.24) 'to fetch firewood'; -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class B.
  5. ku k'uusike’, ku yaalik ka beetaak u hanlil. 'When he arrives with (what he brings), he orders that his meal be prepared'. k-u k'u(ch)-s-ik-e’, constr. k-IKAL in temporal clause (4.33); k'uch, 'arrive', with formative -s 'to arrive with that which is brought' (literally: 'to cause the thing to get to the place'; like tal, 'come', ta(l)-s, 'to bring'; bin,'go', bi(n)-s, 'take from one place to another'). k-u y-al-ik, constr. k-IKAL, Usage A, 4.28. ka bee-t-aak, passive NULLAK; bee-t, 'make, do'; from Old Yuc. bel-t-ik, which accounts for the suffix having a instead of e like the stem, as explained in 4.37. u han-(a)l-il, 'his meal, cooked food'; han, 'eat'; for -al-il see 4.52.

4.40.     Usage C, after verbs of wishing and needing

Usage C was observed in clauses subordinate to the following verbs: k'at and olt, both signifying 'to desire'; ts'ibolt, 'wish, would or should like to'; k'abet and tsa’, 'to be necessary, to be required'. With the sense of 'to desire', k'at is a defective verb (3.56). For the constructions that are not permissible with k'at, and for the sense of 'to be willing', olt is used. Its components are: ol, 'mind, will', and various vague senses of that sort; -t, formative (3.26). The components of ts'ibolt are ts'ib, 'to draw pictures, write'; ol and -t as above. k'abet has already been mentioned (4.20) in connection with the IKAL-constructions. It is used with the NULLAK-constructions mainly for needs whose satisfaction is problematic, or unexpected. In clauses subordinate to these verbs, one observes the use of all the ka-Forms, the transitive (No ka)-Forms, and the intransitive V-(a)l construction (4.52). The use of one or another of these constructions depends on whether the verb is transitive or not, and upon whether the subject of the main verb is the same as that of the subordinate clause. Thus:

1. Transitive 2. Intransitive 3. Trans., intrans., pass.
(No ka)-Forms V-(a)l ka-Forms

Examples with han, 'eat' (intrans.) and han-t, 'eat' (trans.)

  1. in k'at inhante, 'I want to eat it'.
  2. in k'at hanal, 'I want to eat'.
  3. in k'at ka u hante, 'I want him to eat it'.
    in k'at ka hanak, 'I want him to eat'.
    in k'at ka hantaak, 'I want it to be eaten'.

Since both k'abet and tsa’ are used impersonally, the subjects of their subordinate clauses are never the same as those of the main verb; for what these verbs signify is that the occurrent to which the subordinate clause refers is necessary; as in the English 'It is necessary that ..'. No instance of a passive with the same subject as that of the main clause has occurred in the texts. In notes out of context several instances were recorded, but their reliability is unknown, since they are translations of Spanish sentences.
There were two kinds of exceptions to the rule that the (No ka)-Forms of the NULLAK-constructions are used for transitive with the same subject: (a) in 6% of the instances, a ka-Form was used; and (b) in 9%, a k-IKAL-construction (4.27) was used. These exceptions have approximately the same distribution in speech of Type A and Type B. The instances are too few to draw any conclusion as to whether or not any communicational distinction is made by the use of these less frequent constructions.
Although construction V-(a)l is not a NULLAK-construction, it seems desirable that its special use after verbs of wishing be illustrated together with those of the NULLAK-constructions. Pertinent examples with both kinds of constructions follow:

  1. in k'at ka u tas waaye’. 'I want him to bring it here'. ka u ta(l)-s, constr. NULLAK; ta(l)-s, 'bring'. way-e’, 'here' (4.51).
  2. ma’ u k'at ka in beet beeyo’. 'He does not want me to do it that way'. ka in bee-t, constr. NULLAK; bee-t, 'do' or 'make'. bey-o’, 'thus'; with demonstrative suffix -o’ (4.51).
  3. hach kin ts'iboltik hok'ol. 'I am very anxious to get out'. hach, 'very, very much'. k-in ts'ib-ol-t-ik, construction k-IKAL; Usage B-1 (4.29). hok'-ol, construction V-(a)l; hok', 'go out, come out'.
  4. ma’ in k'at naakali. 'I do not want to go up'. naak-al-i, construction V-(a)l; naak, 'go up, come up'; for the use of -i in negative sentences see 4.59.
  5. ma tu yoltah okoli. 'He did not wish to come in'. t-u y-ol-t-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9); ol-t, see analysis above (4.40). ok-ol, constr. V-(a)l; ok, 'enter'. -i, as in Ex. 18.
  6. bey kin ts'iboltik in kan teeno’. 'That is the way I wish I would learn'. bey ... -o’, 'that way'; for -o’ as a component of this form and its separation from bey as in the forms le ... -a’, le ... -o’, le ... -e’, see 4.51. k-in ts'ib-ol-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL, Usage B-1, 4.29. in kan, transitive NULLAK; ten, 1st. pers. pron. Class C.
  7. leetioobe’, u k'at u beet te'x lo'b. 'They want to do you harm'. le-ti-o'b-e’, 'they'; with -e’ followed by a pause, 'as for them'; makes the reference to the persons a special topic in question. u k'at, 'he wants'; since a preceding word indicates plurality, 'they want' in this context; for the conjugation of k'at with this sense see 3.56. u beet, transitive NULLAK; bee-t, 'do, make'. te'x, 2nd. pers. plur. Class C. lo'b, 'harm, evil'.
  8. ma tsa’ ka hok'oken behlae’. 'It is not necessary that I go out now'. ka hok'-ok-en, intransitive NULLAK; hok', 'go out'; -en, 1st. pers. pron. Class B. behla’, 'now, today'; possible etymologic analysis: bey-he-la’; bey, 'thus'; he (4.51); la’, Old Yuc. demonstrative, 'now'; heela’, 'here it is'; more like French voici; for -e’ in this case see 3.6.
  9. a k'at ka in ts'a tech? 'Do you want me to give it to you?' ka in ts'a, trans. NULLAK; ts'a, 'give'. tech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C.
  10. ma’ in k'at ka k'o haanchahkeechi’. 'I do not want you to get sick'. ka k'o haan-cha-h-(a)k-ech-i’, intransitive NULLAK; the analysis of k'o haan, 'sick, be sick', may be k'oh-aan or k'o-h-aan; there is evidence that -aan is the suffix dealt with in 4.53, but there is no ground for the delimitation of the other component or components; for cha-h, signifying 'to become' see 3.27; -ech, 2nd. pers. pron. Class B; for -i or -i’ at the end of a negative sentence see 4.59.
  11. u k'at ka yaanaken teelo’. 'He wants me to be there'. ka y-an-ak-en, intransitive NULLAK; y-an, 'to be at a place, to exist, etc.'; irregular use of prefix y- with this verb (4.61). teelo’, 'there'; etymologic analysis: te’...lo’ where te’ refers to a location and Old Yuc. demonstrative lo’ specifies that the location is not near the speaker.
  12. u k'at ka tasaak waye’;. 'He wants that it be brought here'. ka ta(l)-s-aak, passive NULLAK; ta(l)-s, 'bring'. way-e’, 'here' (4.51).
  13. toone’, ma k k'at ka kinsaakechi’. 'We did not want you to be killed'. to'n-e’, 'we, as for ourselves, so far as we are concerned'; see Ex. 21. ka kim-s-aak-ech-i’, passive NULLAK; kim, 'die'; kim-s, with change of m to n before formative -s (1.3), 'kill'; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B; for -i’ at the end of a negative sentence see 4.59.

4.41.     Usage D, projective references

The statements made in 4.23 concerning projective references are here supplemented by a few observations on the 817 instances in which the NULLAK-constructions were used in such references. It was said there that the NULLAK-constructions were used in projective references in three ways: (a) with tu yo’lal, (b) with u ti’al, and (c) without either of those signs. When neither of those two signs is used, it was agreed to say that the sign of the projective reference is a constructional sign.
With respect to the forms of the NULLAK-constructions used in those references, it was observed that in the transitive both the ka-Forms and the (No ka)-Forms were used, but for the intransitive and the passive the ka-Forms were the only ones employed. As shown in 4.40, that was also the order found in the uses of those forms after verbs of wishing.
When we dealt with the uses of the IKAL-constructions in projective references (4.23), we mentioned the difficulties met with the attempt to discover what rules govern the use of tu yo’lal and u ti’al as signs of projective reference. We contend here with the same difficulties, and in addition we are confronted with the question of what determines the use of the constructional sign. The distribution of the 817 instances with respect to the use of those three signs of projective reference, and with respect to whether the form of the NULLAK-construction is transitive, intransitive, or passive, is as follows:

Trans. Intr. Pass. Totals
tu yo’lal 15 14 12 41
u ti’al 241 23 32 296
Constr. sign 420 60 0 480

676 97 44 817

It is seen that there was no instance of the passive with constructional sign. But, in view of the complexity of the whole question, it seems unwarranted to formulate a rule on the basis of only 44 instances. For reasons of the same sort, every generalization that could be made concerning the transitive and the intransitive would be of unknown validity, particularly since there were exceptions to every rule we attempted to formulate.
An inquiry into the 676 instances of transitive construction led to the observation that after verbs signifying locomotion or transference of tangible objects the projective reference was made most frequently by means of the constructional sign with the (No ka)-Forms when the subjects of the two clauses referred to the same person or persons. The communication in this special group of instances is of this sort: 'I went to his house to notify him', 'They brought it here to show it to you'. Other constructions occurred when the subjects of the two clauses did not refer to the same persons or agencies, as in 'They brought it here so that you could take care for it'. In order to obtain a fairly precise delimitation of this group of instances, we dealt only with 13 verbs, and only with the instances in which these verbs signified motion from one place to another, or transference of tangible objects from one place to another. The 13 verbs are: bin, 'go'; tal, 'come'; ok, 'enter'; hok', 'pass from the inside to the outside of'; man, 'pass by a place, or walk about in unspecified direction'; naak, 'climb, get on top of'; em, 'move downward'; and the transitive verbs formed by affixing the formative -s to some of the preceding with the required phonologic modification, as bis, 'take, carry away' (transfer by going); tas, 'bring' (transfer by coming); oks, transfer inward; hok's, transfer outward; naaks, transfer upward; ens, transfer downward. The total number of instances in which those 13 verbs preceded a projective reference made by means of a transitive NULLAK-construction was 501. Of these there were 371 in which the two clauses had the same subject, using this phrase in the sense above specified. There were 130 instances in which they had different subjects. The following tabulation gives the distribution of those instances with respect to the use of the ka-Forms and the (No ka)-Forms, and with respect to the three kinds of signs of projective reference:

Label Projective reference Same Subj. Diff. Subj. Total
A-1 tu yo’lal ka PA V-(e) 0 6 6
A-2 tu yo’lal PA V-(e) 1 1 2
B-1 u ti’al ka PA V-(e) 6 10 16
B-2 u ti’al PA V-(e) 13 105 118
C-1 ka PA V-(e) 0 8 8
C-2 PA V-(e) 351 0 351

371 130 501

Rules for the use of the constructions C-2 and B-2 could be inferred from the above tabulation were it not for 20 exceptional instances in one case and 25 in the other. It may facilitate further discussion if we let x and y stand, respectively, for whatever is true of those 20 and 25 instances. Two rules may now be conveniently worded thus:
Rule 1. Except when x is the case, construction C-2 is used in projective reference whenever the three following statements are true:
(a) The verb of the clause preceding that of the projective reference is one of the 13 above specified.
(b) The verb in the clause of the projective reference is transitive.
(c) The two clauses have the same subject.
Rule 2. Except when y is the case, construction B-2 is used in projective references whenever statements a and b under Rule 1 are true, and statement c under the same rule is not true.
Since three different constructions, A-2, B-1, and B-2, were used in the 20 instances of which x is true, it cannot be taken for granted that x stands for a single requirement. Further inquiry into those 20 instances can hardly be expected to yield reliable results. For whatever one would find would be of unknown validity, since the largest number of instances with one of those constructions is only 13. For y the circumstances are even more unfavorable both with respect to the number of instances and the number of constructions. Still, the following may be worth noting: in 203 of 351 instances in which construction C-2 was used, the projective reference followed immediately after the verb of the preceding clause; i.e., without any intervening words. With respect to the number of intervening words, the following was found upon comparing the 13 instances of B-2 with those having C-2:

No. of words Constr. C-2 Constr. B-2
7 0 1
6 0 3
5 0 2
4 0 2
3 2 1
2 25 0
1 121 0
0 203 4

351 13

We see that none of the 351 instances with construction C-2 had more than 3 intervening words, whereas 9 of the 13 instances with B-2 had 3 or more. It seems improbable that the number of intervening words is irrelevant to the use of construction C-2. On the other hand, the 4 instances at the bottom of the second column indicate that the number of intervening words is not the only determinant in the use of construction B-2. It so happens that those 4 instances occurred after the verb bin, 'go', and they constitute the only exceptions to what was observed concerning projective references after this verb. Constructions with bin deserve special attention, as we proceed to show.
Other uses of bin are discussed in 4.42 and 4.56. At this point we are concerned only with the constructions whereby the aim of going to or from a place is specified. The constructions required in such cases are identical with those which most frequently serve to communicate predictions or resolutions, such as are communicated in English by to be going + infinitive; e.g., It is going to rain, I am going to tell you right now what I think about it. In many cases it could not be inferred from the context whether the Yucatec sentence signified that someone is going somewhere in order to do something, or simply that someone will do something. For this reason we do not know how many were this instances of projective reference after bin. We classed as such only those in which the place of destination was specified in the same or in the previous sentence. The number of instances of this sort was 158. The rest of them together with the instances in which the same constructions served to communicate predictions or resolutions would probably amount to more than two thousand; for these constructions with bin are among the ones which occurred most frequently throughout the texts. In all but the 4 instances noted above, the NULLAK-construction found after bin is the transitive (No ka)-Form; that is, PA V-(e). For those 4 instances we can offer no explanation. No intransitive or passive NULLAK-constructions were used in projective references after bin, but they were used after tal, 'come'; and after hok', 'go out, come out'. This lends support to the hypothesis that the verb preceding the projective reference is one of the determinants in the occurrence of some constructions in such references. For the intransitive and passive constructions used in projective references after bin see 4.23 and 4.55.
Examples with transitive constructions:

  1. yan hi u luk'sik tu lakal u nok' u ts'a ti’. 'He had to take off all his clothes to give them to him'. y-an-h-i u luk'-s-ik, constr. yan + IKAL (4.18); luk', 'leave, depart'; with formative -s, 'take away or off'. t-u lak-al, 'all' (4.52); u nok', 'his clothes'. u ts'a, NULLAK-construction; ts'a, 'give'. ti’, 'to him' (2.6).
  2. ka ts'aab hun tul ulum u han te. 'And he was given a turkey to eat'. ts'a-ab, passive AHAB-construction (4.10); ts'a, 'give'. hun, 'one'. tul, classifier for animate. ulum, 'turkey'. u han-t-e, NULLAK-constr., e-Variant at the end end of a sentence.
  3. chen ta t'ana ho'n a ha ts'o'n. 'You called us just to beat us'. chen, 'just, only'. t-a t'an-ah-o'n, AHAB-construction (4.9); t'an, 'call, speak'; -o'n, 'us'; pron. Class B. a hats'-o'n, NULLAk-construction with pron. -o'n.
  4. ka bin teelo’ u kax te. 'And he went there to look for it'. bin, intransitive AHAB (4.9). u kax-t-e, NULLAK; kax-t, 'to look for'.
  5. ka binen in ch'ak le xaano’. 'And I went to cut the thatch'. bin-en, 'I went'. in ch'ak, NULLAK-construction. le xaan-o’, 'the thatch'.
  6. ka bin u ch'ukte u ti’al ka yi le wa ku pahtal u ts'o nik. 'And he went to lie in ambush to see whether it was possible to shoot it'. u ch'uk-t-e, NULLAK, e-Variant at end of clause; ch'uk, 'lie in ambush, waylay'. u ti’al ka y-il-e, 'in order to see'; a second projective reference with NULLAK, ka-Form, e-Variant; uti’al, sign of projective reference (4.23); for y-il instead of u y-il see 3.50; il, 'to see'. wa, 'whether, if'. k-u pah-t-al, construction k-IKAL, Usage B-7 (4.35); pah-t, 'be possible, be able'. u ts'onik, constr. IKAL after paht (4.19); ts'on, 'shoot'.
  7. tu men bina haan tu yik nal in kik u ti’al u bis ha nal ti’. 'Because she has gone to my sister's to take food to her'. t-u men, 'because' (4.52). bin-ah-aan, constr. V-aan (4.53), 'has gone', 'is gone'. t-u y-ik-n-al, 'to the home of, near, etc.' (4.11, Ex. 34). in kik, 'my sister'. u ti’al u bis, 'in order to take'; construction of projective reference as in Ex. 33, except that the (No ka)-Form is used here. han-al, cooked food other than tortillas, atol, and other corn preparations; han, 'eat'. ti’, 'to her'.
  8. ka bi no'b ti hunp'el kah u ti’al u man lant u nuukul. 'And they went to a town to buy what was needed'. bin-o'b, 'they went'; AHAB (4.9). ti hun p'el kah, 'to a town'. u man-lan-t, constr. NULLAK; man, 'buy'; -lan, distributively: each was to buy what he contributed to the celebration (4.65); -t, formative required by composite verbal unit (3.26); the construction of the whole projective reference is as in Ex. 34 so far as NULLAK is concerned. u nuuk-ul, 'the necessary things'; in other contexts, 'utensils', 'tools'; for the use of u see 2.27. nuuk, 'to do in the ordinary way'.
  9. tin ta sah tech hun puk' k'e yem u ti’al a wuuk'e. 'I brought you a portion of pozol for you to drink'. t-in ta(l)-s-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9), 'I brought'. tech, 'to you'; 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. puk', the usual amount of corn dough dissolved to make pozol; puk', 'to dissolve', used instead of numerical classifier; see comment in 4.38, Ex. 1. k'ey-em, 'pozol', corn dough dissolved in water. u ti’al a w-uk'-e, 'that you may drink'; construction of projective reference as preceding example; e-Variant at end of sentence; uk', 'drink'.
  10. tan u hahan kin sik u k'eek'eno'b u ti’al u han to'b. 'They were killing their pigs in a hurry in order to eat them'. tan u kim-s-ik, 'they were killing'; constr. tan + IKAL (4.14). ha-han, reduplication of han, 'do with violence, in a rush, disorderly'; used here as a component of a verbal phrase (4.50). k'eek'en, 'pig'; no data available on the composition of this word; u ... -o'b, 'their'. The use of the NULLAK-construction u han-t-o'b as in preceding examples; han-t, 'eat' (transitive).
  11. ka hoop a ch'uktiken u ti’al a ts'onen. 'And you began to waylay me in order to shoot me'. hoop a ch'uk-t-ik-en, 'you began to waylay me'; constr. hoop + IKAL (4.17); -en, 1st. pers. sing. pron. Class B. a ts'onen, NULLAK-constr.; -en, 'me'; as in preceding verb.
  12. ment ten hun wuts' wah u ti’al in bi se. 'Make me a measure of tortillas to take (with me). men-t, 'to make', 'to elaborate'; transitive (No ka PA)-Form in imperative (4.38). ten, 'to me, for me'; 1st. pers. sing. pron. Class C. wuts', a measure of volume. wah, 'tortilla', maize cake. in bi(n)-s-e, 'that I may take'; NULLAK-construction, e-Variant at end of sentence.
  13. k t'a nik le hmeeno’ u ti’al u ts'ah ts'ak ti to'n. 'We call the shaman so that he may give us medicine'. Context: Whenever we get sick ... k-k t'an-ik, constr. k-IKAL, Usage A (4.28); t'an, 'call'; intrans., 'speak'. le h-men-o’, 'the shaman'; for h- see 3.4. u ts'a, NULLAK, (No ka)-Form; ts'a, 'give'. ts'ak, 'medicine, remedy'. ti, 'to, for, etc.'; to'n, 'us, to us'; pron. Class C.
  14. kaxt le hun p'el chan baaso teelo’ ka k chan uk' hun p'it le traago tu tuxtah kumpalea’. 'Look for a little glass over there that we may drink a little of this liquor that (my) compadre sent'. kax-t, NULLAK, (No ka PA)-Form, Usage A (4.38); kax-t, 'look for'. le hun p'el ... te-l-o’, 'the one over there'; -o’ is the terminal component of two demonstrative forms: le ... -o’ and te-l-o’; te or te’, 'there' for place previously mentioned; with -l-o’, 'there' for place pointed to or for place not mentioned in the previous sentence; with -l-a’, 'here' pointing to the place. chan baaso, 'little glass'; Spanish vaso. ka k uk', 'that we may drink'; NULLAK, ka-Form; uk', 'drink'; the chan before uk' in contexts of this sort is of difficult translation; approximately like saying let us treat ourselves to a drink instead of let us drink. hun p'it, 'a small quantity of'. le ... -a’, 'this'. traago, from Spanish trago, as in Vamos a tomar un trago, 'let us have a drink; adopted in Yucatec to refer to a specific quantity of liquor set aside from consumption on a given occasion, and in various other contexts. t-u tux-t-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9); tux-t, 'send', comission someone to do something. kumpale, from Spanish compadre; see 4.23, Ex. 1.
  15. he bix ma tin sut hok'ol k'aaxo’, tas ten in ts'on ka in chol u buut'ul. 'Since I am not going to the woods any more, bring me my gun that I may unload it'. he bix ... -o’ (or -a’ or -e’), 'since, it being the case that ...'; for he ... -o’ see 4.51; bix, in other contexts 'how', 'in what manner', 'in the manner previously specified'. ma t-in hok'-ol, speech of Type B for maa tan in hok'-ol, 'I am not going out'; constr. tan + IKAL (4.14) with negative maa; sut, in other contexts 'return'; 'again', 'no more', when used as a component of a verbal phrase (4.50). k'ax, 'woods'. ta(l)-s, 'bring'; NULLAK, (No ka PA)-Form, Usage A (4.38). ten, 'to me'; pron. Class C. in ts'on, 'my gun'. ka in chol, 'that I may release'; NULLAK, ka-Form. u but'-ul, 'its plug'; but', 'to plug'; for this constr. see 4.52.
  16. haalibe’, puk' le k'eyem ka in wuuk'e. 'All right; dissolve the pozol that I may drink it'. hal-ib-e’ (etymological analysis), Old. Yuc. haili, or halili, 'that is all, no more than that'; in Mod. Yuc. serves to indicate a transition to another topic in discourse, or a change in the circumstances, or to attract attention to what the speaker is about to say; of frequent occurrence in narrative. puk', 'dissolve'. ka in w-uk'-e, 'that I may drink'; NULLAK, ka-Form, e-Variant at end of sentence.
  17. wa talech a ch'aeene’, leelo’ he in man taanile’. 'If you came to fetch me, then I will walk ahead'. wa, 'if'. tal-ech, 'you came'; intrans. AHAB (4.11). a ch'a-en-e’, NULLAK, (No ka)-Form; -en, 'me'; -e’ at end of clause, and particularly in conditional sentences. le-l-o’, 'that (on account of that), so'. he in man ... -e’, irregular he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16); man, 'pass, walk'; formerly man-el in IKAL-construction. tan-il, 'before' (space); for -il see 4.60.
  18. talen in wuy ti’ a tsikbeenil wa uchak a ts'ayk ha’ tu pol le chan paala’. 'I came to hear from your grace whether you will kindly baptize this child'. Context: Description of old customs; asking the priest to baptize a child. tal-en, 'I came'; intrans. AHAB (4.9). in wu-i, NULLAK, (No ka)-Form; uy, 'hear'. ti’, 'from, to, etc.'; a tsik-ben-il, 'your grace'; see 4.15, Ex. 4. wa, 'if, whether'. uch-ak, 'it may happen, perhaps'; used in polite request (4.47). a ts'a-ik, IKAL-construction, after impersonal verbs (4.20); ts'a, 'put, give'. ha’, 'water'. t-u pol, 'to the head of'. le ... -a’, 'this'. chan, 'small'. pal, 'boy'.
  19. ku ch'ayk le uulumo’, ku bi sik u k'ub ti’ u kumpale. 'He takes the turkey and carries it to deliver it to his compadre'. Context: Description of custom. k-u ch'a-ik and k-u bi(n)-s-ik, Usage A of construction k-IKAL (4.28); ch'a, 'take hold of, get, fetch'; bi(n)-s, 'carry away or to'. le ul-um-o’, 'the turkey'. u k'ub, NULLAK, (No ka)-Form; k'ub, 'deliver'. ti’ u kumpale, 'to his compadre'.
  20. wa tu men ta wi lah ma seb taakene’, ka han pay tik le chan kampana yan ta tse lo’ tu yo’lal ka in wu ye ka taaken. 'If you see that I have not come soon, give a jerk to the little bell at your side, that I may hear it and come'. wa -tu men t-a w-il-ah, 'if you see'; AHAB-construction, Usage B (4.11). ma, 'not'. seb, 'soon'. ta(l)-ak-en-e’, 'I have come'; special use of NULLAK-construction with some intransitive verbs (4.48); -en, 1st. pers. sing. pron. Class B; -e’, end of clause (4.58). k-a pay-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL, Usage B-8 (4.36). han, 'with violence, etc.' (see Ex. 37). le ... -o’, 'the, that'. chan, 'little'. kampana, Spanish campana, 'bell'. y-an, 'there is' (4.61). t-a tsel, 'to your side'; a, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class A. tu yo’lal (4.23) ka in w-uy-e, 'so that I may hear it'; e-Variant of ka-Form at the end of a clause. ka ta(l)-ak-en, second projective reference with intransitive ka-Form; tal, 'come'.
  21. yan k t'a nik tu yo’lal ka u k'a holto'b k kumpale. 'We have to call them, so that they may become acquainted with our compadre'. y-an k t'an-ik, 'we have to call (them)'; constr. yan + IKAL (4.18). ka u k'ah-ol-t-o'b, 'that they may become acquainted with'; k'ah, 'remember'; ol, 'mind'; k'ah-ol, 'to recognize'; with formative -t, 'become acquainted or recognize'.
Examples with intransitive and passive constructions:
  1. waalen teelo’, ka tsikbana ko'n. 'Stop there so that we may talk'. waal-en, 'stop'; constr. V-en, intransitive imperative (4.57). te-l-o’, 'there'. ka tsik-ba-n-ak-o'n, intrans. NULLAK, form ka V-(a)k-PB; tsik-ba with formative -n (3.24), 'converse', 'talk'; with formative -t, 'explain', 'relate'; -o'n, 'you and I'; pron. Class B.
  2. sin le k'aano’ ka chila kech. 'Hang that hammock, that you may lie (in it)'. sin, 'stretch, extend'; (No ka PA)-Form, Usage A (4.38). le k'an-o’, 'that hammock'. ka chil-ak-ech, 'that you may lie'; intrans. form as in Ex. 49.
  3. ku lon lantik u bek'ik' u hool le max ku k'iinam u poolo’ u ti’al ka hok'ok u k'iik'el. 'He punctures the veins of the head of the one whose head aches so that the blood may come out'. k-u lon-lan-t-ik, construction k-IKAL, Usage A (4.28); lon, 'pierce, stab, puncture'; -lan, distributively: a puncture for each vein (4.65). u be-k'ik', 'the veins of'; be, 'road, way'; k'ik', 'blood'. u hool, 'the head of'. le ... -o’, 'the'. max, indefinite person; in other contexts, 'who'. k-u k'iinam, irregular k-IKAL in relative clause (4.34); composition of irregular verb k'iinam undetermined. u pol, 'his head'; difference in usage, if any, between the two words for 'head' (pol and hool) undetermined. ka hok'-ok, intransitive NULLAK; hok', 'go out, come out'. u k'ik'-el, 'his blood'; for -el instead of -il see 3.42.
  4. tu hok'sa ho'n u ti’al ka xiyko'n he tuux k k'ate’. 'He brought us out so that we might go anywhere we wished'. t-u hok'-s-ah-o'n, 'He brought us out'; AHAB-construction (4.9); -o'n, 'us'. ka xi-ik-o'n, intransitive NULLAK, 'that we might go'. he tuux ... -e’, 'wherever': tuux, 'where'; for this use of he ... -e’ see 4.45. k k'at, 'we wish, we wished' (3.56).
  5. ts'ook u ki naakal tu k'ab hun kul ch'e’ tu yok'ol hun p'el hal tun tu yo’lal ka ya nak u yo chel i chil le hao’. 'He had climbed conveniently on a branch of a tree over a pool so that his shadow would be in the water'. ts'ook u naak-al, construction ts'ook + IKAL (4.15), 'he had climbed'; ki or ki’, 'nicely, conveniently'. t-u k'ab, 'to the branch of'. hun kul ch'e’, 'a tree'; kul, special numerical classifier for trees. t-u y-ok'-ol, 'over, above, on'; cf. tu yo’lal (4.23). hun p'el hal-tun, 'a pool'; strictly, a deposit of rain water in a depression in the limestone of Yucatan, sarteneja in the local Spanish. ka y-an-ak, intransitive NULLAK; y-an, 'to exist, be at a place, etc.' (4.61). u y-och-el, 'his shadow' ( no distinction between shadow and image reflected in water); for the ending -ol see 3.42. ich-il, 'within, inside'. le ha(’)-o’, 'the water'; ha’, 'water'.
  6. ka hoop' u k'a lantik le beoobo’ tu yo’lal ka pahtak u chuukul. 'And they began to block the roads so that it might be possible to catch them'. hoop u k'al-(l)an-t-ik, constr. hoop + IKAL (4.17); k'al, 'close, lock, block'; -lan, distributively: each group of men were to block one road. le be-o'b-o’, 'the roads'; -o'b, plural. ka pah-t-ak, 'that it may or might be possible'; intransitive NULLAK. u chuk-ul, passive IKAL after paht (4.19); for double vowel of the passive form see 3.48.
  7. ka hoop' u ho’saal huhun tuli u ti’al ka k'ataak ti’ bix uchaanil le baalo’. 'And they began to be brought out one by one to be asked how it had occurred'. hoop' u no(k')-s-aal, passive IKAL after hoop' (4.17). hu-hun tul-i, 'one by one'; reduplication of hun, 'one'; tul, numerical classifier for animate; for -i see 1.3. ka k'at-aak, passive NULLAK; k'at, with regular conjugation, 'to ask'; with irregular conjugation, 'to wish' (3.56). ti’, 'to him or them'. bix, 'how'. uch-aan-il, 'had happened'; construction V-aan (4.53); uch, 'happen'; for -il see 4.60. le baal-o’, 'the thing, the affair'.
  8. ka tuxtab kan tul wi nik tu ka hal le no hoch maako’ tu yo’lal ka taasaak. 'And four men were sent to the village of the old gentleman, so that he would be brought'. tux-t-ab, passive AHAB (4.10); tux-t, 'send'. kan tul win-ik, 'four men'; kan, 'four'; analysis of win-ik is etymologic; Quiche win-aq, 'man, people'. t-u kah-al, 'to the village of'. le noh-och mak-o’, 'the old gentleman'; noh-och, 'large, great'; respectfully, 'old'; mak, 'person'. ka ta(l)-s-aak, passive NULLAK; ta(l)-s, 'bring'.
  9. ka tu tuxtah tu yiknal le nukuch hweesoobe’ u ti’al ka ts'aabaak kastigo tu yok'olo'b, u ti’al ka i laak wa ku p'atiko'b le ookolo’. 'And he sent them to the high judges that they be penalized, to see whether they would stop stealing'. t-u tux-t-ah, 'he sent'; AHAB (4.9). t-u y-ik-n-al, 'to the domain of'; in other contexts, 'to the home of'; cf. French chez. le nuk-uch hwes-o'b-e’, 'the high judges'; le ... -e’ instead of le ... -o’ because the judges are not present, nor were they mentioned previously; nuk-uch, 'big, great'; used instead of noh-och in various contexts; cf. x-nuk, 'old woman' (disrespectfully); hwes, Spanish juez, 'judge'. ka ts'a-ab-aak, passive NULLAK; for the passive form in -ab-ak, or -ab-aak with stems ending in a see 4.37 and 3.9; ts'a, 'give, put'. kastigo, Spanish castigo, 'punishment'. t-u y-ok'-ol-o'b, 'on them'. ka il-aak, 'that it be seen, in order that all those concerned see'; passive NULLAK. wa, 'whether, if'. k-u p'at-ik-o'b, construction k-IKAL (4.28); p'at, with transitive conjugation, 'to leave behind', 'abandon'; with intransitive, 'remain'. le ok-ol-o’, 'the stealing'.

4.42.     Usage E, construction bin + NULLAK

The constructions discussed under this heading are:
    Transitive: bin PA V-(e)
    Intransitive: bin V-(a)k-PB
    Passive: bin V-(aa)k-PB
In these constructions, no suffix is added to bin, nor is this word preceded by a pronoun, as it is in various contexts in which bin signifies 'to go'. Here, bin is simply the distinctive sign of a construction. In this respect, and also with regard to the fact that the sign is invariable, bin is like tan in construction tan + IKAL (4.14). Writers on Old Yucatec, as well as later authors, have used the transitive and the intransitive forms of bin + NULLAK to exemplify "the future tense" of the Yucatec verb. In all but 9 instances the above constructions were used in our texts to refer to discrete-future occurrents (4.4, Case 3). Those 9 instances indicate that these constructions do not constitute an exception to the rule in Modern Yucatec that the forms which serve to refer to the present or to the future, can serve also to refer to the past. Throughout the preceding portion of Part IV it has been shown that with regard to chronologic specifications, the distinctions which determine by and large the uses of Yucatec constructions are those denoted in these pages by the terms 'prior', 'contemporary', and 'subsequent', in the senses specified in 4.3. In the 9 instances referred to, we find bin + NULLAK in references to subsequent-past occurrents (4.4, Case 6); as in '(He said that he would do it regardless of) what might happen to him' (he baax bin uchuk tie’). Construction bin + NULLAK occurred approximately 5 times more frequently in references to events whose occurrence at a distant and unspecified time is predicted, and in generalizations concerning the future, than with reference to particular events expected to occur within a few days. No instance was observed in which the reference is to the same day in which the prediction is made. In many cases we were unable to account satisfactorily for the use of other bin-constructions (4.56) instead of the ones under consideration. It is possible that in speech of Type B and to a lesser extent in speech of Type A, bin + NULLAK is seldom used in references to practical everyday affairs. This applies particularly to the intransitive and the passive forms.
For negative predictions, construction bin + NULLAK has occurred only in generalizations with mix bi k'in, 'never': viz.: 'So-and-so will never happen'. In all other instances, even in the various versions of a certain traditional account of how the world will end, a different construction was employed (4.14) after the common negative ma or ma’.
The uses of the transitive NULLAK-forms in other bin-constructions which serve to refer to the future are dealt with in 4.56.

Miscellaneous examples:

  1. ken hach nats'ak tu k'in u xuulul yok'okaabe’, tu lakal baax ma tech u yi laale’ bin i laak. 'When the time for the world to end may draw near, all sorts of things which have never been seen will be seen'. ken nats'-ak, 'when it may approach'; intransitive NULLAK in temporal clause with reference to future time (4.46); hach, 'very, very much'; i.e., when the event will be very near. t-u k'in, 'to the day or time of'; k'in, 'day, sun', and other senses. u xul-ul, 'the ending of'; xul, 'end', or 'to end'. y-ok'-o(l)-kab, 'the world, the earth'; ok', 'on, over'; kab, in compounds: 'earth', 'ground', 'downward', etc. t-u lak-al baax, 'all sorts of things'; t-u lak-al baal, 'everything'; t-u lak-al, 'all' (4.52). ma tech, 'not at all', emphatic negative requiring construction IKAL (4.20). u y-il-aal, passive IKAL (4.13); il, 'to see'; -e’ at the end of a clause, as in the clause ending with yok'okaabe’. bin il-aak, 'will be seen'; passive form of bin + NULLAK.
  2. he ken bix tu chu nah k nukilo'b uchiake’, mix bik'in bin xuluk. 'It being the case that our ancestors started it long ago, it will never end'. Context: Preamble in the preparations for the kuch-ceremony. he ken bix ... -e’, 'since (such-and-such is the case)'; the senses in which the words ken, 'when', and bix, 'how', are used in other contexts are irrelevant to the sense of this construction; for other uses of he ... -e’ see 4.16, 4.30, 4.45, 4.51. t-u chun-ah, construction AHAB (4.9); chun, 'start, begin' (transitive). k nuk-il-o'b, 'our ancestors'; nuk-il, 'ancestor'; nuk, 'old, big, great'. uch-i-ak, 'long time ago, ancient times'; for less remote time uch-ben is used; also: uch, 'to happen'; uchi, 'it happened'; -ak affixed to certain words to distinguish prior from subsequent time; thus, the adapted Spanish word sábado, 'Saturday', is used without suffix for 'next Saturday', but for 'last Saturday' we have sabadoak; for similar uses of -ak see 4.48. mix bik'in, 'never' (4.20). bin xul-uk, 'will end'; intransitive bin + NULLAK.
  3. ken hach nats'ak tu k'iine’ bin a wi le'x k'ewelel taak'in. 'When the time will draw near, you will see leather money'. Context: Prophecy concerning the end of the world; one of the signs that the end is near will be the introduction of leather money. ken ... -e’, as in Ex. 58. bin a w-il-e'x, 'you will see'; transitive form of bin + NULLAK; a .. -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class A. k'eu-el, 'leather, skin'; k'-eu-el-el, 'of leather' (3.42). taak'in, 'money'; see comment on composition of this word in 4.16, Ex. 6.
  4. wa kin bin in wi le’, ka bin u beet ten he bix tu beetah ten u sukuune’. 'If I go to see him, he will do to me as his elder brother did to me'. wa, 'if'. k-in bin, irregular k-IKAL-construction, Usage B-7 (4.35); formerly, and still occasionally in speech of Type A, the k-IKAL-construction with bin would be kin binel. in w-il, transitive NULLAK in projective reference (4.41); il, 'to see'. bin u bee-t, 'he will do'; transitive bin + NULLAK; for the use of ka in the apodosis see 4.62. ten, 'to me'; pron. Class C. he bix ... -e’, 'as, like'. t-u bee-t-ah, construction AHAB (4.9), '(he) did'. u sukuun (or sukun), 'his elder brother'.
  5. bin a wile. 'You will see'. Common expression used to express assurance as to what is predicted. bin a w-il-e, transitive bin + NULLAK; e-Variant at the end of a sentence or clause.
  6. teeche’, tsuutsuy, mix bik'in bin kimikech tu men uk'ah. 'As for you, tsuutsuy, you will never die with thirst'. teech-e’, you'; 2nd. pers. pron. Class C; with -e’ at the end of a clause or its equivalent. tsuutsuy, the name of a species of wild doves whose cooing resembles the name; tsuts-ul, 'blocked, obstructed'; the similarity of the cooing with the latter word seems to have given rise to the prevalent legend that the dove said tsuutsul be, 'the road is blocked' to protect Jesus against his pursuers. The rest of the sentence is the blessing pronounced on the dove. mix bi k'in, 'never'; as in previous examples. bin kim-ik-ech, intrans. form of bin + NULLAK; kim, 'die'. t-u men, 'because of'; for other senses see 4.10. uk'-ah, 'thirst'; uk', 'drink'.
  7. he baax k'in bin tihik le k'ewelo’, leeti’ ken xiyko'n. 'Any day that the hide will be dry will be the one when we will go'. he baax ...(-e’), 'whatever, whichever'; the -e’ is expected to occur at the end of the clause, but in this instance the last word of the clause requires -o’, because of the form le ... -o’ (4.51). k'in, 'day, sun'. bin tih-ik, intransitive form of bin + NULLAK; tih, 'get dry, be dry'. k'eu-el, 'hide, skin, leather'. leeti’, 'that one, that is the one', etc. (2.6). ken, 'when' (4.46). xi-ik-o'n, '(when) we will go'; NULLAK in relative or temporal clauses (4.46).; x(i)-, defective verb supplementing the defective verb bin, 'go'.

4.43.    Usage F, negative imperative with bik or mik

The negative imperative sentences in question serve to recommend caution, to give warning, or to ridicule by telling someone not to do what he cannot help doing, or is in need of doing. The negative sign is most frequently bik, a B-variant of which is mik. The verbal unit following either of these negative signs is a (No ka)-Form of the NULLAK-constructions.


  1. eya, hwan, bik a t'ab le in kuch suuko’. 'Hey, John, be careful not to set fire to my load of zacate'. eya, interjection to attract attention. hwan, Spanish Juan, 'John'. a t'ab, NULLAK-construction; t'ab, 'set fire to, light torch, cigarettes, etc.'; le ... -o’, 'that, the'; in, 'my'; kuch, 'load, to carry'; suuk, 'zacate', a kind of grass used for fodder.
  2. ka waal ti a chuukano'b bik kinsaako'n way ichil le koolo’. 'And tell your companions to be careful lest he kill us here inside the cornfield'. ka(a) w-aal, NULLAK, ka-Form with omission of pron. a; Usage A (4.38); al, 'say' or 'tell'. ti a chuk-an-o'b, 'to your companions'; chuk-an or chuk-aan, 'companion, that which completes'; 'complete'. kin-s-aak-o'n, passive NULLAK; kim, 'die'; kin-s, 'kill'; m changes to n (1.3); -o'n, 'we'; pron. Class B. way, 'here'. ich-il, 'within'. le kol-o’, 'the cornfield, milpa'.
  3. bik luubkech. 'Don't fall!' lub-(u)k-ech, intransitive NULLAK. In both speech-types, but particularly in Type B, the vowel of the suffix -(a)k is elided when a suffix follows.
  4. bik saatak a woole'x ka waale'x wa te'x ta beethe'x. 'Do not get confused and say that you did it'. sat-ak, intransitive NULLAK; sat, 'to get lost'; literally: 'let not your minds get lost'. a w-ol-e'x, 'your minds'; a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class A. ka (a) w-aal-e'x, 'and say'; NULLAK with omission of a after ka; al, 'say, tell'. wa, 'whether, if'. te'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class C. t-a beet-(a)h-e'x, 'you did it'; AHAB-construction (4.9).
  5. bik alkabnake'x, u mehene'x kisin, he ku tal a yumeexo’. 'Don't run, you seed of the devil; here come your masters!' Context: What the people of Chemax yelled at the Quintana Roo Indians as they ran away at the Mexican soldiers who came to rescue the town. al-kab-n-ak-e'x, intransitive NULLAK; al-kab, 'to run'; always with formative -kab (3.33); formative -n, required by intransitive composite stems (3.24); -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class B. u mehen-e'x, 'you (plur.) seed of'; mehen, formerly, 'children' of a man; now with reference to human male, 'semen'. kisin, 'devil'. he ku tal ... -o’, 'here comes'; k-u tal, irregular k-IKAL; formerly, tal-el, regular except for -el instead of -al after stem with a; for the whole construction he ... -o’ see 4.30. a yum-e'x, 'your master, or masters'; a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class A.

4.44.     Usage G, conditional sentences

Both the ka-Forms and the (No ka)-Forms of the NULLAK-constructions occurred in the sentences in which Usage G was observed. The order found in the occurrence of each of these two kinds of forms can be indicated conveniently by dealing with constructional units thus composed: Conditional sign + NULLAK. The words and phrases classed as conditional signs are: wa, 'if'; wa tu men, 'if, if perchance'; esak tu men, 'in case that ...'; haali, or chen baale’, or chen baale’ haali, 'provided', 'on condition that', 'only if'. In other contexts, both chen and haali can be rendered by 'only', and baale’ by 'but', 'however'. esak is the V-ak form (4.37) of es, 'to show', from Old. Yuc. et-ç-(ah), variant of et-eç, 'to show'. In other contexts, the phrase tu men signifies 'because'; or 'by', as sign of the agent of the passive voice (4.10). The units consisting of conditional sign + NULLAK are as follows:

I. Affirmative with ka-Forms
1. wa ka-Forms
2. (a) haali ka-Form
(b) chen baale’ ka-Form
(c) chen baale’ haali ka-Form

II. Affirmative with (No ka)-Forms
3. wa tu men (No ka)-Form
4. esak tu men (No ka)-Form

III. Negative with (No ka)-Form
5. wa ma, or wa tu men ma, or esak tu men ma, or haali ma, etc. followed by a (No ka)-Form

The kinds of sentences in which the above constructional units (1, 2a, ..., 5) occurred, and the particular unit or units employed in each kind of sentence, are as follows:
Usage G-1. Conditional sentences contrary to fact; viz., 'If he had come, I would have seen him'. Unit 1 is used in the protasis.
Usage G-2. Suppositions concerning the future. It seems that by using Unit 1, or 3, or 4 in the protasis different declarative values (4.7) are ascribed to the suppositions, but the evidence on this point is not conclusive. In about 46% of the instances in which wa tu men was the sign of the conditional sentence there was an implication of improbability of this sort: 'It is not likely to happen, but if it happens, ... 'esak tu men is the usual sign of condition in the expression esak tu men toh k oole’, 'if we happen to be in good health', which the old folk of some localities are in the habit of uttering when they make an appointment, or propose some plan or enterprise. In that expression an undetermined declarative value is probably ascribed to the condition; that is, the implication is 'we may be in good health and we may not, and we do not know which alternative will be true'. But with a NULLAK-construction, the implication seems to be rather of this sort: 'If x happens, as it probably will, ..'
Usage G-3. Provisory promises; viz.: 'I will do x provided you do y'. The proviso requires Unit 2a, or 2b, or 2c. If any communicational distinction is made by using one rather than another of these three units, we failed to discover it.
Examples of these various uses are:

  1. wa ka kinsaake’, maa tan yuchul le baax ku yuchul toona’. 'If he had been killed, what is happening to us would not have happened'. wa ka kin-s-aak-e’, 'if he had been killed'; Unit 1, Usage G1; passive NULLAK with suffix -e’ required at the end of the protasis (4.58); kim, 'die'; with change of m to n before formative -s; kin-s, 'kill'. maa tan y-uch-ul, negative tan + IKAL (4.14); omission of u in the expected IKAL-form u yuchul, as is often the case with intransitive verbs requiring prefix y- (3.50). le baax ... -a’, 'this thing, what' (4.51); k-u y-uch-ul, 'is happening'; construction k-IKAL, Usage B-6 (4.34); uch, 'happen'. to'n, 'to us'; 'we'; pron. Class C.
  2. wa ka a beet ten le uts kin waalik teecho’, hach mix bik'in ku tuubul ten. 'If you do me the favor I speak of, I will never forget it'. wa ka a beet, 'if you do'; Unit 1, Usage G-2. ten, 'to me', 'me', 'I'; pron. Class C. le .. -o’, 'the, that'; uts, 'favor, good'; k-in waal-ik, 'that I say'; k-IKAL, Usage B-6 (4.34); al, 'say, tell'; tech, 'to you, you'; pron. Class C. hach, 'very, very much'; in this context, it is a device for topical distinction (4.8), or for high declarative value (4.7), or both; the equivalent device in English would be to utter the word 'never' emphatically in such a construction as 'Never will I forget it'. mix bik'in, 'never'. k-u tub-ul, passive k-IKAL, Usage B-1 (4.29); vowel of stem duplicated in passive (4.37); literally: 'become forgotten to me', the person that forgets is not the subject of tub. ten, 'to me, me, I'; pron. Class C.
  3. wa ka k'uchke'x te kaaho’, he u hach utstal ta wicheexe’. 'If you come to town you will like it (the town) very much'. wa ka k'uch-(u)k-e'x, Unit 1, Usage G-2; omission of the vowel of -(a)k when a suffix follows (4.37); k'uch, 'arrive, come to'; -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class B, required by intransitive NULLAK. te, fusion of ti and le, 'to the'; le ... -o’, 'the, that'. kah, 'town, village'. he u uts-t-al ... -e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16); literally: 'it would be good (to your eyes)'; idiom for 'to like' when the pleasure is produced by sight (see comment under 4.33, Ex. 29). t-a w-ich-e'x, 'to your eyes'; a ... -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; ich, 'eye, face'.
  4. he in ts'ayk teeche’, haali ka a wolte ka ts'ookok in bel ta weetele’. 'I will give it to you, provided you be willing to marry me'. he in ts'ayk ... -e’, constr. he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16); ts'a, 'give'. tech, 'to you'; 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C. haali ka a w-ol-t-e, Unit 2a, Usage G-3; ol-t, 'wish, be willing' (4.40). ka ts'ook-ok, intransitive NULLAK, ka-Form; ts'ook, 'to come to an end'; the expression for 'to marry' may be translated literally thus: 'for one's affair (bel) to come to an end'; the affair is understood by the natives to be the various transactions and requirements which precede the consummation of the marriage; the expression, however, is used even before any such affair has begun, as is the case in the instance under consideration. in bel, 'my affair'. t-a w-et-el, 'with you'; et, 'with, together, in the company of'; cf. y-et-el, signifying 'and', or 'with'; we find tin wetel, 'with me'; ta wetel, 'with you' (sing.); yetel, 'with him'; k etel, 'with us'; k etele'x, 'with you' (pl.); yetelo'b, 'with them'; the 3rd. sing. is the one which serves for references equivalent to our conjunction 'and'; see also comment on atan, 'wife', 4.9, Ex. 15. For -e’ at the end of this sentence see 4.58.
  5. wa tu men lubkeeche’, ka kinsikaba. 'If you fall, you kill yourself'. wa tu men lub-(u)k-ech, Unit 3, Usage G-2; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B, required by intransitive NULLAK; omission of the vowel of -(a)k before stressed suffix. -e’, required at the end of the protasis unless -o’ or -a’ be necessary because of the use of le ... -o’, etc. (4.51), as above in Exx. 71, 72; lub, 'fall'. k-a kin-s-ik-a-ba, constr. k-IKAL, Usage B-7 (4.35); kin-s (kim-s), 'kill'; see explanation under Ex. 70; a-ba, 'yourself (2.7).

4.45.     Usage H, references to non-particular referents

These references can be of two kinds: (a) unrestricted; e.g., 'any object'; (b) restricted; e.g., 'any object which weighs at least two pounds'. The instances that concern us here are of the restricted kind. In such instances, the clause referring to a non-particular referent requires a ka-Form of the NULLAK-constructions. With the words max ('who'), baax ('what'), and tuux ('where'), the construction of the clause is as follows:

he max ( ) -e’, 'whoever ...', 'anyone who ...'
he baax ( ) -e’, 'whatever ...', 'anything that ...'
he tuux ( ) -e’, 'wherever ...', 'anywhere ...'

The parentheses indicate the position of the verbal unit containing the NULLAK-construction. The clause ends with the suffix -e’, as in other uses of construction he ... -e’ (4.16, 4.30). Examples:

  1. he max ka u yile’, bin kimik. 'Whoever sees it will die'. ka u y-il, transitive NULLAK, ka-Form; il, 'see'. bin kim-ik, construction bin + NULLAK (4.42); kim, 'die'.
  2. kuts'ookole’, kin wantikech he baax ka uchuk teeche’. 'After that, I will aid you in anything that may happen to you'. k-uts'ook-ol-e’, temporal clause with construction k-IKAL (4.33); literally: 'when it ends', 'when that may be over', for 'afterward'. k-in w-an-t-ik, constr. k-IKAL, Usage A (4.28); an-t, 'aid, help'; always with formative -t; -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class B. he baax ... -e’, 'whatever'; see explanation above (4.45); ka uch-uk, constr. NULLAK, ka-Form; uch, 'happen'. tech, 'to you'; 2nd. pers. sing. pron. Class C.
  3. xene'x he tuux ka a wolteexe’. 'Go wherever you wish'. x(i)-en-e'x, construction V-en (4.57), intransitive imperative; -e'x, 2nd. pers. plur. he tuux ... -e’, 'wherever'; ka a w-ol-t-e'x, transitive NULLAK, ka-Form; 2nd. pers. plur.; ol-t, 'wish' (4.40).
  4. tas ten he baax tsimin ka a kaxte’. 'Bring me any horse you may find'. ta(l)-s, 'bring'; (No ka PA)-Form of NULLAK intransitive imperative (4.38). ten, 'to me'. he baax ... -e’, 'any'. tsimin, 'horse'; formerly, 'tapir'. ka a kax-t, NULLAK; kax-t, 'find, look for'.

4.46.    Usage I, temporal clauses

The temporal clauses requiring the NULLAK-constructions serve two kinds of references: (a) generalization; e.g., 'Whenever x is the case, y occurs'; (b) reference to particular or non-particular future time; e.g., 'When he comes, tell him to wait for me'. For both kinds of references the (No ka)-Forms of the NULLAK-constructions are used, and the clause begins with one of these words or phrases: ken, kan, le ken, le kan, which may conveniently be said to signify 'when' or 'whenever', depending on the context. The clause ends with the suffix -e’, whether or not it begins with le, as in the temporal clauses previously dealt with (4.33). No distinction was observed between the use of ken and le ken, or kan and le kan. One finds kan and le kan more frequently than ken and le ken in speech of Type A. In Old Yucatec we have observed only kan.

  1. ken k'uchuk tu hol in nayle’, ku t'anik in sukun. 'When he arrives at the door of my house, he calls my brother'. k'uch, 'arrive'. t-u hol, 'to the door of'. in na-il, 'my house'; na or na-il, 'house'. k-u t'an-ik, constr. k-IKAL in polychronic reference (4.28). in sukun, 'my elder brother'.
  2. le kan a wuy ku yaalik a watan ka saasak u siypile’, ka waalik ti’ heele’. 'When you will hear your wife saying that her sin be forgiven, tell her you are willing (to forgive)'. a wu-i, transitive NULLAK; uy, 'hear'. k-u y-aal-ik, construction k-IKAL; aal, 'say'. a w-at-an, 'your wife' (4.9, Ex. 15). ka sas-ak, intransitive NULLAK, reported imperative (4.39); sas, 'to become clear or transparent'. u siypil, 'her sin, offense'; the term was used in this sentence with reference to confession in church; sip, 'to err'. k-a waal-ik, constr. k-IKAL in imperative sentences (4.36). ti’, 'to her' (2.6). heele’, 'I am willing', 'yes', 'it will be done', and similar expressions of assent; see 4.16.
  3. le ken listoak u nuukule’, kin abisartikech. 'When the necessary things may be ready, I will let you know'. listo-ak, the Spanish adjective listo, 'ready', used as an intransitive verb with the usual suffix -ak of the NULLAK-constructions. nuuk-ul, 'utensil, wherewithal'. k-in abisar-t-ik-ech, construction k-IKAL (4.29); with pron. -ech, 2nd. pers. sing. Class B for the object of the verb (2.5); Spanish avisar, 'notify'; for the use of formative -t with adopted Spanish words see 4.10.

4.47.    Usage J, after certain words

The NULLAK-constructions were found after the following words: binak, X-variant binaki, signifying 'maybe', 'possibly'; olak, 'to have been just about to (happen)', 'barely to miss doing something'; kakah, X-variant kak, 'to begin resolutely or energetically to do something', 'get busy doing something'; olt, 'to attempt to'; in other contexts 'desire' (4.40). In the first of these words we have a use of the verb bin comparable to that explained in 4.42; for binak(-i) has occurred only in references to future events. The difference between the two kinds of future reference is one of declarative value (4.7); for binak(-i) is used for conjectures, whereas bin + NULLAK (4.42) has occurred even in such references as 'I shall die some day'. The use of bin to ascribe a low declarative value to a reference is observed also in the instances dealt with in 4.56. If binak is classed as a NULLAK-construction, the vowel of the suffix -(a)k is exceptional. One would expect -ik, as in the NULLAK-form kimik of the verb kim, 'to die'. A similar exceptional use of -ak is seen in the word uchak, 'perhaps', an X-variant of which is unchak. Assuming that in uchak we have the verb uch, 'to happen', one has to conclude that there are two NULLAK-forms of uch; namely, uchuk, as in ma in k'ati ka uchuk, 'I don't want it to happen' (4.40) and uchak signifying a low declarative value approximately like that indicated by the English word 'perhaps' in some contexts. The latter form, however, is not used exclusively with the sense of 'perhaps'. In 4 instances uchak occurred with the sense of 'to happen', 'to take place' in imperative sentences addressed to a third or unspecified person (4.38); e.g., uchak le ok'oto’, 'let the dancing take place!' With the above word, olak, the circumstances are different. The stem ol signifying 'mind', 'will', 'imagination', 'desire', etc., requires the formative -t in a verbal unit. That is the case also when olt signifies 'to attempt', as above indicated. With the formative -t we have a composite stem, and therefore (4.37) the suffix of its NULLAK-form is expected to be -ak. Thus, what is irregular in the word olak is both that the formative -t is omitted, and that the suffix -ak, instead of an expected -ok, is nevertheless used. If all these are classed as NULLAK-constructions, we have here a special usage of those constructions which, so far as our texts show, is exemplified only in the references made by these special words.
The clause following all these words, excepting uchak, requires the (No ka)-Forms of the NULLAK-constructions. The clause after uchak, 'perhaps', requires an IKAL-construction, (see 4.20), although there is apparently only a slight difference of declarative value between a conjecture with uchak and one with binak(-i). The latter seems to be a more hypothetic conjecture.

  1. binaki ts'ookok in bel yetel. 'Maybe I will marry him'. ts'ook-ok, NULLAK-construction; ts'ook, 'to end'. in bel, 'my affair'. y-et-el, 'with (him)'; see explanation under Ex. 73.
  2. binak ayik'alchahken. 'Maybe I'll get rich'. The Spanish translation given for this sentence was: 'Quién quita que me ponga rico', which we may paraphrase thus: 'It is not out of the range of possibility that I should get rich'. ayik'al-cha-h-(a)k-en, 1st. pers. (-en) of the intransitive NULLAK; ayik'al, unanalyzable on the basis of our data, 'rich', 'wealthy'; for formatives -cha-h see 3.27.
  3. uchak u ayik'altal. 'Perhaps he will get rich'. This example is given for comparison with Ex. 83. The implication in the context of Ex. 84 is of this sort: 'If he continues to make as much money as he is making now, he may get rich'; whereas the statement in Ex. 83 is made by one who is considering whether it would be advantageous for him to leave his native village in search of opportunities. The contrast is that of a possibility in 83 with a degree of probability in 84. u ayik'al-t-al, construction IKAL subordinate to an impersonal verb (4.20); ayik'al, as in Ex. 83; notice the use of the formative -t in this case, but -cha-h in Ex. 83; see comment in the introductory paragraph preceding 3.51.
  4. olak a kach in ch'alaatel. 'You came near breaking my ribs'. a kach, trans. NULLAK; kach, 'to break something comparatively thin and long'. ch'alaat, 'rib'; word of uncertain analysis; collective reference with suffix -el (3.42).
  5. olak u kimes. 'He nearly killed him'. kim, 'die'; with formative -s, 'kill'; the older form of this suffix, -es, still occurs when no other follows and the stress is not on the verb-stem.
  6. ku yoltik u ch'ae’, tu kakah u kookochak'te. 'When she tried to catch him, he began to kick her furiously'. Example of the use of the NULLAK-constructions after olt, 'attempt', and kakah, 'start vigorously'. k-u y-ol-t-ik ... -e’, construction k-IKAL in temporal clause (4.33); u ch'a, constr. NULLAK; ch'a, 'catch, get'. t-u kak-ah, constr. AHAB (4.9). u ko-ko-chak'-te, transitive NULLAK, e-Variant; ko-ko-chak', 'kick repeatedly'; ko-chak', 'kick'; ko was found only in this compound stem, chak' or chek', to step on', is a component of a number of words denoting action with the foot.

4.48.    Usage K, construction V-(a)k in references to prior occurrents

In Usage K, construction V-(a)k serves to assert that something has happened, or that it had happened prior to some past time referred to in the context. Since for those two chronologic specifications construction ts'ook + IKAL has been used also (4.15), further delimitation is necessary. The following was observed: (1) V-(a)k is used only with intransitive verbs, but ts'ook + IKAL serves the same usage with transitive, intransitive and passive. (2) ts'ook + IKAL can refer to a prior-past, a discrete-past, or a prior-future occurrent (4.4, Cases 1, 4, 7); whereas V-(a)k with Usage K has occurred only in references to prior-past and discrete-past. (3) Usage K of V-(a)k occurred in negative as well as in affirmative sentences; but ts'ook + IKAL has been used only in affirmative assertions. Since in affirmative assertions with intransitive verbs both constructions are used to refer to discrete-past and prior-past occurrents, we have to ask further what determines the choice of either construction in such cases. Perhaps we could answer this question satisfactorily if we were able to state in fairly precise terms what it is that the Spanish word ya signifies in affirmative sentences; for that was the word used by our bilingual informants in their translations to distinguish the sense of ts'ook + IKAL from that of V-(a)k. Since in some contexts 'already' is the equivalent of ya, we may vaguely indicate what is approximately the distinction in question by asking what is the difference between saying 'I have already done it' and 'I have done it', or 'I did it'. That the distinction has nothing to do with chronologic specifications is clearly shown by such sentences as this: 'I have already done it, and I did it just to please you'. It seems that the difference in question must be sought in the discoursive or circumstantial context, rather than in the temporal, or descriptive specifications of the occurrent referred to. But this conjecture has not been tested to an adequate extend. We have touched upon this question simply to indicate roughly what remains to be done to distinguish the uses of the two Yucatec constructions under consideration.
Irregularities in the vowel of the suffix -(a)k of the intransitive NULLAK-construction V-(a)k are found more frequently in Usage K than in the uses of this construction already dealt with. For example, in texts from different localities, we found luk'uk and luk'ak, both signifying 'he has left', 'he has departed'; and uchuk, uchak, uchik, signifying 'it has happened', or 'it had happened'. The irregular forms uchak and binak were mentioned in 4.47. Various other irregularities with respect to the agreement of the vowel of -(a)k with that of a simple stem are pointed out in 4.49.
There is much in common between Usage K of construction V-(a)k and the use of the suffix -ak with the names of the days of the week. The days of the week are always referred to in Modern Yucatec by their Spanish names pronounced more or less in conformity with Yucatec speech-habits; e.g., domingo, 'Sunday'; bieernes, 'Friday'; sabado, 'Saturday'. When a day of a preceding week is referred to, the suffix -ak is affixed to the name of the day; e.g., sabadoak, 'last Saturday' (discrete-past), 'the previous Saturday' (prior-past). Here, the occurrent is the passing of a day; or, worded in terms of our knowledge, a rotation of the earth. The so-called "names of the days of the week" are more like the words 'first', 'second', 'third', etc. than like 'John' or 'tree', or 'water'; for all that need be true of a day to be properly called Monday is expressible only in terms of chronologic order with respect to a calendar. To happen before, and to happen after, are occurrents in the sense in which the term 'occurrent' is used here (4.1). Thus, comparing, for example, sabadoak, 'last Saturday', with talak, 'he has come', we find that both expressions serve to refer to prior occurrents, and both consist of a stem and the suffix -ak. Yucatec structure offers no ground in this case for classing the stem of sabadoak otherwise than as a verbal stem. But this difference is to be noted: sabadoak and all other expressions referring to previous days of the week have occurred only in temporal clauses; and in temporal clauses the intransitive NULLAK-construction V-(a)k formed with other stems does not refer to prior occurrents (4.46).
Examples of Usage K with construction V-(a)k.

  1. ma’ taalak u yuumiloobi’. 'The owners have not come'. tal-ak; intransitive NULLAK-construction; tal, 'come'. u yum-il-o'b, 'the owners of (the horses previously referred to)'; u ... -o'b, 3rd. pers. plur. pron. Class A; yum-il, 'owner'; yum, 'lord, master'; in Old Yuc. 'father' and various other senses similar to those found in Mod. Yuc.; for -il see 4.60. ma’ ... -i’, components of some constructions in negative sentences (4.59).
  2. sistak le chokwilo’. 'The fever has subsided'. Literally: 'the fever has cooled off'. sis-t-ak, intransitive NULLAK; sis, 'cool'; with formative -t, 'to become cool'. le ... -o’, 'the'. choko, 'hot, warm'; chokwil, 'heat, fever'; for -il see 4.60.
  3. pit maanak ti le chan heo’, peero ma’ xiixchahi’. 'It had gone right through the little egg without smashing it'. Literally: 'It had passed neatly through the little egg, but it (the egg) did not become smashed'. Context: To prove his ability, the hero shoots at a bird's egg. Upon examining it, it is found that the egg is perforated, but not deformed. pit, 'clean or smooth after removing dirt or roughness, skin a snake, scale a fish'; for this use of simple stems see 4.50. man-ak, intrans. NULLAK; man, 'pass'. ti, 'through, by, at, from, to', etc. le chan he(’)-o’, 'the little egg'; le ... -o’, 'the'; chan, 'little'; he’, 'egg'. peero, Spanish pero, 'but'. ma’ ... -i’, negative, as in Ex. 88. xix-cha-h, for this use of -cha-h see 3.54; xix, 'corrugated, deformed, crumpled'.
  4. tak behlae’ ma uchik u pahtal u kaxtaal. 'To this day it has not been possible to find her'. tak, 'till'. be-h(e)l-a(’)-e’, 'now, today'; see 4.28, Ex. 5. ma uch-ik u pah-t-al, literally: 'the accomplishment (of finding her) has not occurred'; ma, negative; uch-ik, 'has happened'; irregular NULLAK; suffix expected: -uk; for u pah-t-al, 'be able', see 4.19; for the use of the IKAL-form of this verb in this context see 4.20. u kax-t-aal, passive IKAL; literally: 'that she be found'; kax-t, 'to find'; with tan + IKAL, 'to look for'.
  5. hach hah ma sunake’. le beetike’, mix mak chen tsikbanak yook'ol. 'It is quite true that she has not returned. That is why nobody has even spoken of her'. hach, 'very', hah, 'true'. su(t)-n-ak, intrans. NULLAK; sut, 'return' (transitive); also 'a turn'; for formative -n with intransitive verbs see 3.24; for -e’ at the end of the sentence see 3.6. le be(l)-t-ik-e’, irregular construction with verb be(l)-t ('to do, to make') signifying 'on that account', 'that is the reason'; le ... -e’, 'that' (referring to preceding context); the irregularity consists in the absence of a pronoun of Class A before the V-ik component of the IKAL-construction. mix mak, 'nobody' (4.32). chen, 'just, simply, only'. tsik-ba-n-ak, intrans. NULLAK; tsik-ba-t, transitive, 'to explain', 'give information upon a specified topic'; tsik-ba-n, intransitive, approximately: 'to raise a question', 'to express opinion'. y-ok'-ol, 'upon'; cf. 4.23.

4.49.    Usage L, suffix -(a)k in references to contemporary occurrents

The suffix -(a)k of the intransitive NULLAK-construction is found in a number of verbal units, many of which can be translated into English by means of the verb 'to be' followed by an adjective or a participle. They serve to assert (a) that something or someone is or was in a certain position or posture; or (b) that something or someone has or had a certain shape, or (c) certain properties, or manner of behaving; or (d) that something or someone is or was in a certain condition; e.g., wet, frightened, swollen. In some cases the condition or posture is a consequence of an event of the sort that is referred to by the stem of the verb. For example, heehetek, 'it is cracked in several places', asserts a condition or circumstance which is a consequence of events of the sort designated by hat, 'to crack', 'to split'. Similarly, kul, 'to sit down', gives kul-uk-ba-l, 'he is (or was) seated'; chil-ik-ba-l, 'he is (was) lying', refers to a circumstance which is a consequence of the act signified by chil, 'to lie down'. Some of the constructions are identical with regular intransitive NULLAK-constructions, while others differ from them in one or more of the following respects: (1) the vowel of the suffix -(a)k is not the same as that of the simple stem. (2) Reduplication of the stem is required. (3) The suffix -(a)k is preceded by another operative (3.). (4) The suffix -(a)k is followed by an operative other than a pronoun of Class B. We proceed to illustrate the various types of constructions observed. For convenience, only the 3rd. pers. sing. is given and each example is translated as though it referred to a present occurrent. But it should be understood that for the other persons the pronouns of Class B are used as with any other intransitive NULLAK-construction, and that the chronologic specification can be contemporary-past (4.4, Case 5) as well as present. Thus, corresponding to the 3rd. pers. sing., sublak, 'he (she) is (was) bashful', we have sublaken for 1st. pers.; sublakech for 2nd. sing.; sublake'x for 2nd. plur.; etc. The range of application of some of the words used below to illustrate the various forms may be wider than indicated by the translations. They are all translated in conformity with the particular context in which we have found them. The letter S stands for a simple or a composite stem. For a reduplicated stem we shall write SS.

FORM 1. S-(a)k with or without vocalic agreement between S and -(a)k.
sah-ak 'he is afraid' (sah-ben, 'it is frightful, terrible')
pet-ek 'it is flat and round'
xil-ik 'it is wrinkled'
wiyh-ak 'he is hungry continually for lack of food'; Spanish hambriento
p'ool-ak 'it is full of blisters'; '(tortillas) are puffed up'
k'ux-uk 'it burns' (describing pain)
chum-uk 'it is in the middle'

FORM 2. SS-(a)k and SS-n-ak. For intransitive formative -n see 3.24.
hehet-ek 'it is cracked in several places'
wowol-ok 'it is spherical'
susut-ak 'it revolves, or moves around something else'
lelem-n-ak it is brilliant, it glitters'
mimis-n-ak 'it is dragging on the ground'
mumul-n-ak 'they are disorderly piled up'

FORM 3. S-(a)l-(a)k.
xak-al-ak 'he crawls on hands and knees' (ʃak-aan, 'a quadruped')
p'uch-al-ak 'it is shredded, it is ripped'
koot-ol-ak '(grains of corn) are withering'
p'och-l-ak '(trees) are loaded (with fruit)' (p'och, 'a bunch')
hop-l-ak 'it burns' (said of chile in mouth or eyes)
po(’)-l-ok 'he is obese' (po’, 'big abdomen')
kux-l-ik 'he is alive' (kux-t-al, 'life')

FORM 4. S-cha(or -k'a, or pa)-l-ak. For formatives -cha, -k'a, pa see 3.27, 3.37.
ot-cha-l-ak '(overripe fruit) is dropping (from tree)'
nol-cha-l-ak '(loose legs of table or bench) squeak'
lub-cha-l-ak '(drunkard) tumbles and gets up repeatedly'
t'ok-pa-l-ak 'it is fragile'
kuk-cha-l-ak or kuk-k'a-l-ak '(restless person in hammock) turns over and changes posture repeatedly'
man-k'a-l-ak '(shower, rain) is of the sort that is over in a brief time'

FORM 5. S-ba-n-ak. In other constructions, -ba is a reflexive sign (2.7). Intransitive formative -n as in Form 3.
siy-ba-n-ak 'it is getting dry'
al-ba-n-ak '(candle) is soft (due to heat)'
muts-ba-n-ak 'it is withering'
huts-ba-n-ak '(tree that is being felled) is about to fall'

FORM 6. S-(a)k-n-ak.
xab-ak-n-ak '(objects fallen from container) are scattered (on ground)'
chal-ak-n-ak '(muddy water) is getting clear, or is now clear'
p'al-ak-n-ak '(rope) is frayed due to wear'
ak'-ak-n-ak 'it is slimy'
tap-ak-n-ak '(odor) is pungent'
k'an-ak-n-ak 'it is neither green nor ripe'
wek-ak-n-ak '(liquid) is spilt on ground'
mis-ak-n-ak variant of mimis-n-ak (see under Form 2)

FORM 7. S-(a)k-ba-l. Suffix -ba as in Form 5.
kul-uk-ba-l 'he is seated'
chil-ik-ba-l 'he is lying (on ground or hammock)'
waal-ak-ba-l 'he is standing'
kah-ak-ba-l 'he resides. he is a resident (of a village)'
p'ok-ok-ba-l 'she is seated with her legs folded under' (Indian fashion)
xak-ak-ba-l 'he is on his hands and knees' (see xakalak under Form 3)
ch'eb-ek-ba-l 'it slants' (it is not vertical)
kop-ok-ba-l '(snake) is coiled'

FORM 8. S-aan-ak and S-aan-t-ak. For -aan see 4.53. Formative -t (3.26).
tak'-aan-ak 'it is stuck (adhesively)'
tos-luum-aan-ak '(face) is filthy from dust'
chik-aan-ak 'it is marked' (a sign has been put on it)
k'al-aan-t-ak-o'b 'they are locked up'
sin-aan-t-ak '(hammocks) are tied' (i.e., are hanging ready for use)
chuk-aan-t-ak-o'b 'they are trapped'

So far as our texts and supplementary inquiries show, each of the 8 forms illustrated above is used with certain stems and not with others. This idiosynchratic restriction is not a recent development. In a considerable number of instances, the Motul dictionary enters as special words many which are constructed as we have just indicated. All the words of the first 6 groups of examples are so entered, and they are defined as being equivalent to Spanish adjectives. Forms 7 and 8 may be later developments, or the words with those forms may have been excluded from the dictionary on the ground that they appeared to be inflexional forms of the Yucatec verb, more properly dealt with in a grammar than in a dictionary. Words with Forms 7 and 8 are found in Pio Perez' dictionary. They are there translated by means of Spanish adjectives or past participles; but only those with construction V-aan (4.53) are said to be past participles (participios pasivos) of the Yucatec verb. Thus, with the stem chil, 'to lie down', we find chilaan (chilaan) as past participle of chital, variant chiltal; and also chilicbal (chilikbal). The Spanish equivalent given for chilaan is simply acostado; but for chilicbal the author resorts to an old way of defining adjectives in dictionaries: cosa acostada, tendida. This translation may or may not imply that the word is applicable to inanimate objects, and not to persons. If that is the implication, it contradicts our observations. In our texts, chilikbal was used only for persons and animals that were lying as a consequence of having laid down to sleep or rest. chilaan was used for persons who lay dead, or unable to get up. For objects, pek-ek-ba-l or pek-aan was used for singular reference, and pek-aan-t-ak or pek-aan-t-ak-o'b, for plural. When two or more forms are permissible with a given stem, it is probable that they are not interchangeable in every context, but our texts do not provide sufficient data to determine the range of application of the various combinations of -(a)k with the other operatives shown in the above 8 forms.
The affixation of -t-ak to construction V-aan (4.53) as illustrated under Form 8 occurred only in references to more than one person or non-person. Previous writers on Yucatec class tac (-tak) as a sign of plurality used exclusively with past participles ending in -aan or -an. López Otero (Gramática, 1914, p.64) notes that the common sign of plurality ob (-o'b) may be affixed to tac. For the plural of chilaan he lists these three forms: chilantac, chilanob, chilantacob, which he gives apparently as equivalent variants. We did not discover any rule for the addition of -o'b to -t-ak, but an adequate study of this whole topic requires a great deal more information than is now available to us.
The following sentences illustrate common uses of some of the 8 forms listed above:

  1. way kahakbalen. 'I live here'. Note: way, 'here', referes to the village; and the implication is that the speaker is a permanent resident, a regular member of the community. kah-ak-ba-l, Form 7; kah, 'village, town', 'to inhabit'. -en, 1st. pers. sing. pron. Class B, required by intransitive verbs.
  2. ka k'ucheene’, chilikbalech ti le k'aana’. 'When I arrived you were lying in this hammock'. ka k'uch-en-e’, 'when I arrived'; ka ... -e’, temporal clause when using an AHAB-construction; cf. 4.33; k'uch-en, intransitive AHAB-construction, 1st. pers. sing. (4.9). chil-ik-ba-l-ech, 'you were lying'; Form 7, 2nd. pers. sing. ti, 'at, in', etc. le k'an-a’, 'this hammock'.
  3. ma’ sahaaken tii’. 'I am not afraid of him'. For ma’ ... -i’ in negative sentences see 4.59. sah-ak-en, Form 1, 1st. pers. sing. ti, 'to, of, to him', etc. (2.29).
  4. ti’ t'uchaanak le chan kuuko’ tu k'ab che’. 'There was the little squirrel sitting up on the branch of the tree'. ti’, 'there, at that place' (2.25). t'uch-aan-ak, Form 8; t'uch, 'squat, roost, perch'. le ... -o’, 'the'; chan, 'little'; kuuk, 'squirrel'. t-u, fusion of ti, 'to, at', etc. and Class A pron. u. u k'ab che’, 'branch of tree'; k'ab, 'branch, arm, hand'.
  5. p'uchaalak u p'ok otsil konkai. 'The hat of the poor fish peddler was crushed and ripped'. p'uch-al-ak, Form 3; p'uch, 'to shell corn by mauling, shred by pounding, rip clothes in a scuffle', etc. u p'ok, 'the hat of'. o(l)-tsil, 'poor, worthy of sympathy'; ol, 'mind', psychologic activity of various sorts; for -tsil see 4.71. kon, 'sell'; kai, 'fish'.
  6. lelemnak u hats'abo'b. 'Their swords glittered'. lelem-n-ak, Form 2; lem, component of various words signifying 'to shine', 'be bright', 'lightning' (lem-ba). hats'-ab, obsolescent word occurring in stories from two localities (Calkini, Campeche; and Xaybe, British Honduras) understood now as signifying 'sword'; hats', 'to hit'; -ab, phonologically identical with suffix of passive voice (3.38), found as component of names of some tools and utensils; also in xan-ab, 'sandal'.


4.50.   Adjunct Verbal Stems

These are simple stems employed jointly with the stems of the various verbal constructions to describe actions of various sorts. Take, for example, xot', which signifies 'a piece that has been cut off', or 'to cut off'; and ch'ak, used with the formative -t (ch'ak-t), signifying 'to cut by striking' (with an ax, a machete, or some other tool similarly used). Each of those two stems can be the V-component of the transitive AHAB-construction t-PA V-ah; e.g., tu xot'ah, 'He cut it off'; tu ch'aktah, 'He cut it by striking'. Or the two stems can be used jointly in a single AHAB-construction which we may formulate thus: t-PA V V-ah; e.g., tu xot' ch'aktah, approximately: 'He chopped it off with a single stroke', or 'He chopped them up'. We say that in this case xot' is used as an 'adjunct verbal stem'.
We distinguish between adjunct verbal stems and composite verbal stems on these two grounds: (1) The phonologic rules governing the accent of verbal units apply both to simple and to composite stems, but not to combinations of adjunct verbal stems with other stems. (2) The combinations of the constituents of composite stems are lexicographically predetermined; but the combinations resulting from the use of adjunct verbal stems are circumstantially determined. That is to say, whether two given items are or are not to be combined, depends in the case of the adjunct verbal stems on what one wishes to communicate; just as it depends on what one wishes to communicate whether one should say 'It is a horse', or 'It is a black horse'. In the case of the composite stems, the combination is as predetermined as that of 'under' and 'stand' in our word 'understand'.
Adjunct verbal stems have occurred in all the verbal constructions, and their position is always immediately before the V-component of the construction. Some stems have been found in no other constructions than those in which they were adjunct verbal stems. The most common of these is han, 'to do in a hurry', 'to proceed without further ado', 'to act without regard for the consequences', 'not to make much of what is done'. Examples contrasting verbal units with and without han: 1. ka xolako'b. 'And they knelt down'; ka han xolako'b, approximately: 'And right away they knelt down'. 2. ka tu k'alah le huuno’. 'And he sealed the letter'; ka tu han k'alah le huuno’, ka lik' yalkabe’.'He hurriedly sealed the letter, and darted away'. 3. kachek'taabi. 'He was stepped on' (someone or ones stepped on his body); ka chechek'taabi (reduplicated stem), 'He was stepped on repeatedly (on a single occasion)'; ka han chek'taabi. 'He was mercilessly trampled upon'. 4. tan u kinsik u k'eek'eno'b. 'They were killing their pigs'; tan u hahan kinsik u k'eek'eno'b (reduplicated han), 'They were killing their pigs as fast as they could' (Context: To prevent the raiders from taking them away). 5. hahan ch'ak kan p'el mehen xay ch'e’ u ti’al t'inik u k'ano'b. 'Cut as fast as you can four small Y-shaped sticks to stretch their hammocks'.
The words that are used as adjunct verbal stems are quite numerous. In fact, it is probable that any stem that designates action can be so used. This device enables the speaker to describe action in a brief and specific manner, a circumstance which bilingual individuals often point out when commenting on the inadequacy of Spanish words to report a happening as much in detail as in customary when speaking Yucatec. Take, for example, the action of throwing something with force, for which the stem ch'in is used. By combining with it the stem ch'ik, 'to drive a pointed object into the ground (or some other substance into which driving by pressure is feasible)', the act of driving a pointed object by throwing it like a javelin is described: tu ch'ik ch'intah luum. 'He threw it and drove it into the ground'. Replace ch'ik by hup, 'to insert into something that offers little resistence', and we get tu hup ch'intah, which describes an act such as that of throwing a stick into the water tip first. If we replace hup by xak, 'to rest on four props or legs (like a table or an animal)', we get tu xak ch'intah, said of an instance in which a man was thrown out of the house, and landed on his hands and knees. Similarly, tu k'ah ch'intah is said of the act of splitting something by dashing it against a stone, a tree, a wall, etc. (k'ah, 'to split by concussion'). xik, 'to crumble, disintegrate'; tu xik ch'intah, 'He dashed it against (a hard object) and shattered it to pieces'. tu pik ch'intah, 'He threw it in disgust (or with wrath, or just to get rid of it)'. tu lem ch'intah, said of an act of throwing something into the foliage of a bush as to hide it (lem, 'to insert into piled objects, or as a stick into a load of firewood')
Occupying the same position as the adjunct verbal stems, we find the numeral kaa, 'two', signifying 'once more', 'again'; et, 'together with', 'in the company of', 'bringing along (some object)'; mul, 'in a group', 'all together'; e.g., kone'x mul ichintik, 'Let us bathe together'. le ken taake’, yet tal hun chach sipche’, 'When he comes, he brings along (comes with) a bunch of herbs'. tu kaa xikpatah tu pol, 'Once more he smashed it on his head'.
All adjunct verbal stems whose initial sound is a vowel require the prefixes w- (for 1st. and 2nd. pers.), and y- (for 3rd. pers.). Examples with op', 'to indent by pressure', 'to crack shells or nuts by pressing': kin wop' k'uxtikech, 'I will bite you (driving teeth in the flesh)'; ka tu yop' k'uxtah, 'And he bit him' (as in the preceding example).
Some stems which are generally used without the formative -t (3.26) are found with this suffix when certain adjunct verbal stems precede them. The above examples with ch'in, 'to throw', are of this sort. We were unable to find any rule for this use of -t. This was observed only in transitive constructions, and in no instance did this particular use of -t occur when the adjunct verbal stem was han, 'to do in a hurry', etc.

4.51.   AEO - Constructions

The description of these constructions will be based on these two formulas:

Form 1. IC-TC
Form 2. IC IU-TC

The notation 'IC' stands for the initial component of an AEO-Unit. IC can be one of the following stems: bey, 'thus', 'just like', etc. he(l), (untranslatable apart from TC and IU-TC). le(l), a component of some demonstrative devices. te(l), 'here' or 'there'. way, 'here', 'hereabout'. The notation 'TC' stands for the terminal component of an AEO-Unit. TC is always one of the following suffixes: -a’, -e’, -o’. In Form 2, 'IU' stands for an included unit. IU can be (a) a simple or a composite stem used as a Yucatec noun, or (b) two or more words which are components of a phrase, or (c) a verbal unit consisting of two or more words, or (d) a unit which in other instances can be a sentence. TC is always suffixed to the last component of IU, regardless of what sort of component it may be. The whole AEO-Unit can be a phrase, or a clause, or a sentence, depending on its IC and IU components, and on its position in the sentence when the AEO-Unit is a component of a sentence.
Excepting some of the uses of he(l) with -e’ as a terminal component, the AEO-constructions are devices of a sort that could be called 'contextual definitives' (See Note 12). At least two kinds of references are made by means of contextual definitives: ostensive, and retrospective. In an 'ostensive reference', the speaker indicates what item he refers to by pointing or looking at it, or by taking advantage of some other contextual circumstance, such as the circumstance that he refers to the very time during which he speaks, as in some of the uses of the word 'now', or that he refers to the place where he is at the time he speaks, as in some uses of the word 'here'. An ostensive reference could be said to be prospective when the item referred to is demonstrated or exemplified after the reference; as when one says, 'Do it this way', and proceeds to specify what he proposes to say. In a 'retrospective reference', the speaker refers to that which occurred prior to his reference, or to what was previously mentioned or spoken of by him or by the one or ones to whom he speaks; e.g., 'That's what I told him'.
Although in order to specify adequately what an AEO-construction signifies one must deal with its initial and terminal components concurrently, as constituting in each case a single device, some generalizations can be made concerning the referential uses of the terminal components. The terminal component -a’ is used exclusively in ostensive references to items nearer to the speaker than to the listener, or to a time contemporary with that in which the reference is made; or in reference to what the speaker proceeds to demonstrate, exemplify, or speak of. -o’ is used both in ostensive and in retrospective references. In ostensive references, the item is nearer to the listener than to the speaker, or roughly at about the same distance from both. For retrospective references, either -o’ or -e’ are used, depending mainly on topical distinction (4.8). -e’ is used for ostensive references only with way, 'hereabout'. It should be noted that -e’ is used otherwise than as a component of AEO-constructions, as shown in 4.58. Specifications more definite than the preceding can be made by dealing with each initial component together with the terminal components that concur with it, as we proceed to do.
bei. Form 1 (bey-TC): beya’, 'in this manner', 'like this'; beyo’, 'in that manner', 'like that', 'by so doing', 'that being the case'. In no instance was bey found in Form 1 with -e’ for TC. Form 2 (bey IU-TC): bey IU-a’, ostensive reference to what is being demonstrated; e.g., bey ku beetaala’, 'This is the way it is done'. bey IU-o’, retrospective reference to what has just been demonstrated, or described; e.g., bey kan a beeto’, 'That is the way you are going to do it'; (kan, fusion of ka and bin). bey IU-e’, retrospective reference to a procedure being discussed, but not demonstrated; e.g., bey tuune’ (maa tan u pahtal in baatel), 'That being the case, (I cannot fight)'; tun, 'so', 'therfore'.
he(l). Form 1 (hel-TC). Ostensive references: heela’ or heela’, 'Here it (he, she) is!', 'Here they are!'; heelo’ or heelo’, 'There it (he, she) is!', 'There they are!'. Both expressions serve to attract attention to the presence of the referent, rather than to specify its location. Their uses are very similar to those of French voici and voilà. heele’ or heele’, 'I will do so', 'It will certainly be done' (See 4.16). Form 2 (he(l) IU-TC): when TC is -a’ or -o’ the reference is ostensive, and differs from Form 1 only in that IU specifies what is referred to; e.g., he le p'ok tin manaha’, 'Here is the hat I bought' (he ... -a’). The pronouns of Class B are affixed to hel, as they are to any intransitive verb; for example: 2nd. sing., -ech in heelecho’, 'There you are!' (said upon noticing the presence of the person referred to). The uses of he in ostensive references with the k-IKAL-constructions were discussed in 4.30, Usage B-2. Two special uses of he IU-e’ were dealt with in 4.16 and 4.45.
The stem hel as an X-variant of he seems to be mainly a Modern Yucatec development. Historically, the words heela’, heelo’ are compounds of he and la’, lo’. Corresponding to Modern Yucate le (initial component of AEO-Units) and -a’, -o’, -e’, we find in Old Yucatec lay la, lo, e. lay, like Mod. Yuc. le, was the first component of the construction that required it, la occurred both as an initial component and as a terminal component. Corresponding to Mod. Yuc. le ... -a’, we find in Old Yuc. la ... la; as in this example under la in the Motul dictionary: la bin a cha la, 'This is what you will take'. Old Yuc. lo, like Mod. Yuc. -o’, occurred as a terminal component, and also affixed to lay; thus, lailo corresponds to leelo’, 'that', 'that one'. Adhering to purely descriptive procedures, as we endeavor to do in these pages, there is some ground for analyzing heelo’ into a variable stem he(l) and a suffix -o’, and none for saying that a variable -(l)o’ is affixed to he. For in the speech of some localities, hel without any affix has occurred, though inconsistently. On the other hand, there is no more reason for analyzing leelo’ and teelo’ into the variable stems le(l), te(l), and a suffix -o’ (as we have done) than for assuming a variable suffix -(l)o’. Historically, of course, the l is a component of -lo’. With regard to he(l), Old Yucatec presents the same sort of difficulty. For although e was the form of the terminal component at the end of a phrase or a sentence, when affixed to he we find hele; as in laac hele laac çamal laac, 'Be it today, or tomorrow, or some other day' (Motul dictionary, Art. laac).
le(l). Form 1 (lel-TC): leela’, 'this', 'this one'; leelo’, 'that', 'that one'. For the intervening consonant -l- see the preceding paragraph. leela’ is used only in ostensive references. leelo’ is used both in ostensive and retrospective references. Form 1 with -e’ has not been found. Form 2 (le IU-TC): the only difference between a reference with Form 2 and one with Form 1 is that in the former IU specifies explicitly what is referred to, e.g., le peek'a’, 'this dog'; le peek'o’, 'that dog' or 'the dog'; le pek' a machmao’, 'That dog you are holding'. The form le IU-e’ is used in retrospective references and in vague references to what may be present or occur in a non-immediate future time. In retrospective references, le IU-e’ is not used when the identity of the item specified by IU is the dominant topic. Aside from such instances, it is difficult to disclose what governs the choice of le UI-e’ or le UI-o’ in retrospective references. For the special use of le IU-e’ in temporal clauses, see 4.33. Sentences which illustrate the most common uses of le IU-TC are found in 4.14, Exx. 1, 5, 6, 7; 4.15, Exx. 5, 7, 8, 9; 4.18, Ex. 5; 4.20, Exx. 9, 10; 4.34, Exx. 37, 39, 40.
te(l). Form 1 (tel-TC): teela’, 'here', ostensive reference to a particular locus generally indicated by a gesture. teelo’, 'there', ostensive or retrospective reference. Form 1 with -e’ for TC has not occurred. The uses of Form 2 (te IU-TC) differ from those of Form 1 only in that IU specifies the place referred to. Form te IU-TC is not used when IU contains one of the constructions that require ti’ IU-i(’), as shown in 4.59. In 4.59 we compare the most common uses of -i(’) with those of the terminal components of the AEO-constructions. It should be noted that te, as a fusion of ti’ and le, and te, signifying 'there', as in form te IU-TC, are homophonic devices governed by different rules. It is observed that ti’ and le fuse into te more frequently when a phrase of the form ti(’) le IU-TC specifies a location; e.g., te kaaho’ (ti le kaaho’), 'in the village'; kah, 'village, town'.
wai. Form 1 (way-TC). waye’, 'here', ostensive reference to the locality or region in which the speaker is when he refers to it; or ostensive reference to the immediate surroundings; or to motion toward the speaker, as in koten waye’, 'Come here'. waya’, 'this way', 'in this direction', ostensive reference generally supplemented by a gesture. This reference differs from one with teela’ in that the latter is generally applicable to location, and not to direction of motion. waye’ differs from teela’ in that when the former is used the circumstance that the speaker is within or near the place referred to is sufficient to delimit the scope of the reference; whereas teela’ depends on some other contextual circumstance for such delimitation. The gesture accompanying waye’ in references to space near the speaker is similar to a gesture indicating direction of motion; and waye’ signifies in such cases 'hereabout' rather than 'right here'. For 'right here' with a pointing gesture, teːˈlaʔ is the expression commonly used. The foregoing applies as well to Form 2 (way IU-TC). This form has occurred most frequently with the name of a locality for IU; e.g., way chemaxe’, 'here in Chemax'; way yukatane’, 'here in Yucatan'; or with way followed by construction ti le ... -a’, or te ... -a’; e.g., way ti le kaaha’, 'here, in this town'. In answer to the question tuuxech, 'Where are you?', we have observed way used as an intransitive verb with the 1st. pers. pron. -en; thus: wayena’, 'Here I am'.
ˌbeheˈlaʔ, or behla’, signifying 'now', is etymologically analyzable into these three components: bey-he-la’; where bey and he are the initial components above spoken of, and la’ corresponds to Old Yuc. la, from which the terminal component -a’ seems to have developed. The first component, be (from Old. Yuc. bay), is found also in the hybrid words beoora and beooritae’, signifying 'presently', 'right away'. The Spanish components are evidently ahora, 'now', and the colloquial diminutive ahorita, 'right now', common in the speech of some peoples of Spanish America. In the localities in which these hybrid words are prevalent, they are not equivalent to the non-hybrid behela’, behla’. The difference is that the hybrid words are used in reference to an immediate future time; whereas the non-hybrid expression refers exclusively to contemporary time. Example of Speech-type B, from Piste, Yucatan: beooritae’, bin intsikbate’ bix u moodoil u beetaa kol way bandae’, 'Now, I am going to describe the way in which milpas are made in this region'; adopted Spanish words: ahorita (mentioned above), modo, 'way', 'manner'; banda, colloquial for 'region', 'side'; beetaa, B-variant of beetaal, passive IKAL 4.13; 'the way of doing', 'the way it is done'.
The terminal component -a’ is frequently omitted when the word to which it would be affixed in conformity with the general rules ends in a. Example: hel in machma, 'Look, I am holding it'; construction he(l) IU-a’; -a’ omitted after mach-ma (costruction V-ma, 4.66). Still, with ha’, 'water', le haa’, 'this water', occurred twice. Omissions of -o’ in Form 2 (IC IU-o’) were observed in instances in which IU was a rather long and complex unit.

4.52.   -(a)l

By the notation '-(a)l' we refer to the following five suffixes: -al, affixed to a simple stem whose vowel is a, or to a composite stem, whatever its vocalic components may be; and -el, -il, -ol, or -ul, affixed to a simple stem whose vowel is like that of the suffix. Thus, the discussion of the uses of -(a)l excludes the special uses of the suffix -il (4.60) affixed to simple or composite stems regardless of their vocalic constituents.
The uses of -(a)l as a distinctive component of the intransitive IKAL and k-IKAL constructions were discussed in 4.13 and 4.27. In those constructions, the uses of two other suffixes , -ik, for transitive, and -(aa)l, for passive, correspond to those of -(a)l. That is to say, in 4.13 and 4.27, it was feasible to fomulate generalizations which hold for various uses of -ik and -(aa)l as well as for -(a)l. We will now take up some uses of -(a)l which do not correspond in the same manner to any uses of -ik or -(aa)l. For convenience of reference, those uses will be said to be the X-uses of -(a)l. Any word of which -(a)l is a component and serves an X-use will be represented by the notation 'X-(a)l'.
In different instances, X-(a)l can be equivalent to an English infinitive, or to a noun, or an adjective, an adverb, a preposition, or a conjunction. Thus, from the standpoint of the grammatical taxonomy we have all been taught, the X-uses of -(a)l appear to be quite diverse. In 4.13, it was suggested that construction PA V-(a)l, as well as each of the other two IKAL-constructions, is comparable to an English infinitive clause specifying an action and the agent, as 'me to go' in 'He wants me to go'. Now, in such a sentence as 'I want to go' it is asserted that the speaker wants x. It is obvious that x is an act of going, but not any act of going whatever: it is an act of going performed by the speaker himself. Thus, both in 'He wants me to go' and in 'I want to go' the agent of the action of going is specified, though by different devices. One may say more or less figuratively that English avoids the repetition of the specification of the agent when the same individual or non-individual is the agent of the two actions specified in sentences constructed as the second of the above examples. The same sort of economy of device is observed in Yucatec with intransitive, but not with transitive verbs. Thus, we find the pronoun in repeated in in k'at in beete, 'I wish to do it' (4.40); but not in in k'at hok'ol, 'I wish to go out'.
In view of such uses of X-(a)l, writers on Yucatec had no difficulty in finding what was the "infinitive" of many intransitive verbs. What is the "infinitive" of transitive verbs was apparently a question they could not so easily answer. Particularly in view of the fact that the transitive forms whose uses resemble those of the Spanish infinitive require the specification of the agent by means of the pronouns of Class A, as the above example, in k'at in beete, illustrates. In dictionaries the difficulty was variously disposed of by entering the stem of the transitive verb without affixes, or with formative affixes, or with the suffix -ah (see form PA V-ah of the AHAB-constructions). So far as I know, Lopez Otero (Gramatica, 1914) is the only writer who classes the form V-ik as the "infinitive" of regular transitive verbs; that is, the transitive form whose uses correspond to those of the intransitive V-(a)l in the IKAl-constructions (4.13). The suffix -(a)l is purely a constructional device with no more referential value than that of 'to' in 'I wish to go'; that is, with no referential value at all. Hence, when no pronoun or other device specifies the agent, a word of the form X-(a)l renders no other referential service than that of designating a kind of action, just as many names of actions do in English; viz., 'attraction', 'repulsion', 'impulse', 'vibration', and numerous others. With such referential value we find many words of the form X-(a)l used as Yucatec nouns. In most cases the stems we represent by 'X' in 'X-(a)l' are found in other constructions serving as stems of intransitive verbal units; e.g., hanal, 'cooked food' (excluding such as consists entirely or principally of maize); and tan in hanal, 'I am eating' (in verbal constructions, han is now applicable without restriction to the action of eating any food whatever). In other cases, X occurs at present only as the stem of a special noun; e.g., chamal, 'cigarette'. This does not imply, however, that the V-(a)l form of any intransitive verb can be used as a Yucatec noun. Etymology and particular habits of speech seem to be the only determinants in the choice of the intransitive verbs whose V-(a)l forms can be used as nouns, and those which require the suffix -il (4.60) when used in nominal constructions. Similarly erratic is the formation of nouns by affixing both -(a)l and -il, with the frequent elision of the vowel of -(a)l. A few stems occur both in construction X-(a)l and X-(a)l-il; the former being used in reference to a particular item, and the latter in vague references to any item whatever, or to an unspecified number of them. E.g., hanal is used in reference to the particular non-maize food delimited by the context; whereas hanlil or hanalil is used in such a non-particular reference as ku ts'ookole’, ku beetaal u hanlil, 'After that, the non-maize food is prepared' (literally: 'is made'), said in reference to what is done habitually on certain occasions. To indicate what sort of Yucatec nouns are composed of a simple or composite stem and the suffix -(a)l, we list below those which occurred in the texts, or which appear in our lists of names of various plants, insects, and other items, recorded merely as lexicographic data.

abal plum
kuxtal life, living
hanal non-maize food
okol thief
kahal hamlet
sak pakal kind of wild dove
kimil death
pak'al orange
kinil wound, sore
pok'ol species of plant bugs
kipil slippery place
siypil sin, guilt
kits'il filth
tohol price
kolnal milpa tiller
p'ookol knot (in wood)
kochol species of cricket
t'uyul species of termite
kulul species of cactus
tsahal sliver, splinter
leet'el furrow, partition
ts'apal pile of small objects
mank'inal holiday
xaknal quadruped
metnal Hell
xich'il tendon, cord
mek'el armful
xukul purslane
naahal wages
chamal cigaret
nap'al leech
chikil or chikul sign, indication
niyxil or nix slope
chulul name of a tree
nohol or nohil south
k'oxol mosquito

Some Yucatec words that conform to the above specifications of form X-(a)l are equivalent to English prepositions and conjunctions. Definitely of this sort are the following: kabal, 'down, below'; kaanal, 'up, above'; ichil or ich, 'within, in, among'; yanal, 'under'; yetel, 'with, and'; yok'ol or yok', 'on'. From the standpoint of Yucatec construction, these are irregular verbs. The irregularity consists in the omission of the pronouns of Class A, which are distinctive components of the IKAL-constructions (4.13). They are verbs also from the standpoint of Yucatec usage; for Yucatec verbs serve to assert what they specify. Take for example, yetel, which is equivalent to 'with' in some cases, and to 'and' in others. It serves to assert that something is together with something else, or that something is added to something else, or that two or more items are similarly involved in what is asserted. Its stem is et, and it has occurred in the following combinations: tin wetel, 'with me'; ta wetel, 'with you' (sing.); yetel, 'with him, her, it'; k etel, 'with us'; k etele'x, 'with you (plur.) and me'; ta wetele'x, 'with you' (plur.); yetelo'b, 'with them'. Without the suffix -el, we find it in et ts'onol, 'hunting partner', 'one of the members of a hunting party; i.e., one who is hunting together with someone else'; inwet xibil, 'my companion'; hun tul et ch'upil, 'a female friend (of another woman)'. Examples with the stem ok' of yok'ol, 'on', are: tin wok'ol, 'on me'; ta wok'ole'x, 'on you' (plur.). In yok'ol and yetel there is a remnant of Old Yucatec construction. For the prefix y- (written y-) was the 3rd. pers. pronoun prefixed to verbs or nouns with initial vowel. Thus instead of Mod.Yuc. u yohel, 'he knows', we find simply yohel; and instead of u yatan, 'his wife', we find yatan. Similarly, for tin wetel, 'with me', Old Yucatec had uetel, and for in watan, 'my wife', one finds uatan. The stem of kaanal, 'above', is identical with the word kaan, 'sky'; and that of the word for 'down', 'below', is found in composite stems signifying motion downward, as well as in references to soil, earth, as in sas kab, 'white earth'; and in the phrase yok'ol kab, 'the earth', 'this world', 'in this world'. It is possible that yanal, 'under' is a Modern Yucatec development. In some localities we found yalan, instead of yanal. The Motul dictionary gives alan with these two inflexions: ualan, 'under me'; a ualan, 'under you (sing.)'. The stem of ichil, 'within', 'among', is phonologically identical with that of the verb for 'to bathe', as in the imperative ich-n-en (4.57); transitive, ich-in-s(-e) (4.38). In the texts we found ichilo'n, 'among us'; ichile'x, 'among you'; ichilo'b, 'among them'. Different from the above, but containing the suffix -(a)l, and used more definitely as verbal units, are the following: tu yo’lal (less frequently: tu yok'lal or yok'olal), 'on account of', 'in order to', 'so that'; tu menel (most frequently: tu men), 'because', 'due to', 'by' (agent of passive); tu lakal, 'all', 'every'; u ti’al, 'for', 'in order to', 'it belongs to him'; 'it is for him'. The uses and inflexions of the first expressions were discussed in 4.23. tu men with the suffix -el has been used mainly to assert or deny that someone was to be blamed, or to be given credit, for a certain happening; e.g., tu menel kimi, 'He is to be blamed for her death'; literally: 'on account of him she died'. With the 1st. pers. pron. in instead of the 3rd. pers. u, we found ma tin menel lubi, 'it is not my fault that it fell'. The stem men occurs at present frequently with the sense of 'to make', 'to fashion'; etymologically, men is the stem of meyah (me(n)-y(a)-ah), 'to work'. For the identification of the suffix -(a)l in tu lakal, we find only etymological evidence. The Motul dictionary defines lah, lacach, and tulacal as signifying 'all'. Incidentally, the example given to illustrate the use of lacach is lacach binob tulacal, 'they all went'. This use of two expressions signifying 'all', one before the verb and the other after, is common in Modern Yucatec; but the first of the two, so far as our texts show, is now lah; e.g., lah bino'b tu lakal, 'they all went'. The uses of lah are discussed in 4.64. The identification of the pronoun u in tu lakal rests on the occurrence of t laklo'n, 'every one of us'; and ta lakle'x, 'every one of you'. Previous writers may have been influenced by their own languages in writing the phrase tu lakal as a single word (tulacal). Those who wrote, for example, tu yotoch (tu yotoch), 'to his house', as two words, are doubtless inconsistent in writing tulacal as a single word. It is possible that it did not occur to them that the equivalent of their word for 'all' could be in another language a phrase containing a pronoun, or even a verb in some "tense" and "mood".
It is pointed out in 4.53 that construction V-aan-PB serves in many cases to refer to a circumstance which is a consequence of an event of the sort denoted by the V-component of the construction; e.g., lik', 'to get up', lik'aan, 'He is up'. As stated in 4.53, at least three constructions are employed in such references. One of them is V-(a)l-PB. This is used with certain simple stems (3.1). Some of them can be used indifferently with construction V-(a)l-PB or V-aan-PB; others are at present more frequently used with the former than with the latter. We were unable to disclose any rules governing the choice of either construction. In the 3rd. pers. sing. and plur. of construction V-(a)l-PB, which is simply the stem with the suffix -(a)l (2.5), the vowel of the stem is doubled or not, depending of whether the verbal unit is emphatically uttered, or is the only or last word of the sentence; e.g., luubul, 'It is fallen'; also, though less prevalently used, lubaan, 'It is fallen'. aahal, 'He is awake'; ah, 'to wake up'. kaachal, 'It is broken'; kach, 'to break' (intransitive), applicable to sticks and other brittle objects classed as comparatively long and thin. In subordinate assertions equivalent to English adjectives or relative clauses, construction V-(a)l sometimes precedes and sometimes follows the noun that specifies what or who is in the condition or circumstance referred to by V-(a)l; e.g., hun p'el luubul le’, 'a fallen leaf'; hun p'el u le’ che’ luubule’, 'a leaf that had fallen from a tree'; literally: 'a leaf of a tree fallen'; le’, 'leaf'.

4.53.   -aan, -an

In 4.49 we dealt with the use of the suffix -aan in construction S-aan-ak and S-aan-t-ak (Form 8). We are to consider now the most common uses of -aan and its variant -an. The difference between -an and -aan is purely phonologic. The single a is found in most cases when the main stress of the word or the phrase, or sentence, is on some component other than this suffix. Ordinarily, and particularly when the verbal unit which contains the suffix in question is the main verb of the sentence, the main stress falls upon this suffix. In the instances which will be said to be regular because of their frequency, the constructions conform to this formula: V-aan-PB. It may not be superfluous to note that, since the pronoun of Class B for the 3rd. pers. sing. is a null sign, the actual form for the 3rd. sing. is V-aan.
Construction V-aan-PB specifies a contemporary (4.3) circumstance which is a consequence of a prior event of the sort referred to by the V-component of this construction. For example, let the V-component be k'al, signifying 'to lock up'; and let PB be -en, 'I', 'me'. We obtain this sentence: k'alaanen, 'I am locked up', or, in reference to a contemporary-past occurrent (4.4, Case 5), 'I was locked up'; i.e., the individual had been locked up and was still locked up at that time. Here, the prior event is an act of locking up, and its consequence is the contemporary (4.3) circumstance of being in confinement. Should the distinction between a prior event and its consequence seem arbitrary in reference to the past, account should be taken of the fact that the English translation 'I was locked up' is ambiguous out of context. The Spanish translation of k'alaanen, estaba encerrado, would unambiguously indicate that what is asserted is that the individual was in confinement. Many specifications of conditions or circumstances that are made in English by the verb 'to be', and in Spanish by estar (not ser), are made in Yucatec by means of construction V-aan-PB. For example: lik'aanen, 'I am up' (on my feet); lik', 'to get up'. kalaan, 'He is drunk'; kal-cha-h-i, 'He got drunk'. k'ohaanen, 'I am sick'. ma kaananechi’, 'You are not tired'; kaan-an-ech-i’, -ech, 2nd. pers. sing.; for -i’ see 4.59.
Three other constructions are used like the one under consideration. They are: V-(a)k (4.48), V-(a)k-ba-l (4.49, Form 7), and V-(a)l (4.52). These three have been found only with verbs that are generally used intransitively; whereas V-aan-PB has occurred with stems that are generally used transitively, as well as with a few which are always used intransitively. So far as our texts and supplementary inquiry show, some intransitive verbs are used only with one of those three constructions, or only with V-aan-PB, while others admit of the use of two of them. Thus, the verb tal, 'to come', has been found only with construction V-(a)k for 'he has come'; e.g., talak; or, as some of the older folk say, talik; or with the B-variant tak instead of talak. But construction V-(a)k with bin, 'to go', signifies 'perhaps' (4.47). For 'he has gone', the irregular construction binahaan was the only one found. According to various informants, it is permissible to say lubaan, for 'it is fallen', but luubul (4.52) is at present preferred, and that is, in fact, the one which occurred in the texts.
The plural forms V-aan-o'b, V-aan-t-ak, and V-aan-t-ak-o'b have already been discussed (4.49).The differences and similarities between the uses of V-aan-PB and PA V-ma are pointed out in 4.66.
With the verb kim, 'to die', the suffix is -en instead of -aan. Several writers on Old Yucatec point out this irregularity. In our texts kimen has occurred signifying 'He is dead' and 'He was dead'.
Construction V-aan-PB, like any other Yucatec verbal construction, is used without alteration in Yucatec relative clauses. This is pointed out simply to mention one of the devices which render the same service as those which are said to be, or to serve as, adjectives in English and in other languages. There are no devices in Yucatec that can be classified as relative pronouns. The construction is like the English paratactical relative clause in 'the man I saw'; e.g., tin wilan, 'I saw'; le .. -o’, 'the' (4.51), mak ,'man', 'person'; hence: le mak tin wilaho’, 'the man I saw'. Similarly, k'ohaan, 'He is sick'; k'ohaan le maako’, 'the man is sick' or 'that man is sick'; le mak k'ohaano’, 'the man who is sick' or 'the sick man'. Rationally, of course, there is no difference between a sick man and a man who is sick. Lack of distinction between an adjective and a verb may seem odd only to those who are victims of the irrational grammatical taxonomy we have all been taught.
Construction V-aan-PB is exemplified in the very useful and common word minaan, 'there isn't any', 'there is no more', 'he (she, it) is not (at a specified place)', 'not to have', 'not to exist'. It serves to negate all that can be asserted by yan (4.31). The common negative ma(’) is not permissible with yan, 'there is', 'to have', etc. Thus, yanen teelo’, 'I was there'; minaanenteelo’, 'I was not there'. yan taak'in ten, 'I have money'; minaan taak'in ten, 'I have no money'. The stem of minaan seems to have resulted from a phonetic change in Old Yucatec manaan, which was used as Mod. Yuc. minaan.

4.54.   -ankil

This suffix or combination of suffixes has occurred in our texts predominantly in verbal units of this form: tan PA V-ankil. The V-component was reduplicated in some cases, and not in others; e.g., tan u pekankil, 'He was wriggling', 'He was squirming about'; tan u kikilankil, 'He was trembling'. It is seen that this construction is similar in form to the common intransitive construction tan PA V-(a)l discussed in 4.14, and that both are used to refer to contemporary occurrents (4.3). Classing it as a tan + IKAL-construction (4.14), one would expect its final component to be -al; for that is the suffix required by composite stems in that construction. In analyzing -ankil one can assume either of these alternatives: (1) The final component is -il used irregularly instead of -al. (2) The final component is -l affixed to -anki, the vowel of the suffix -(a)l being elided. If the second alternative is assumed, one could assume further either that -anki is an unanalyzable suffix (the only one thus far observed with two syllables), or that we have here a combination of the suffix -an of construction V-aan (4.53), and -ki, the suffix used in intransitive verbal units with reduplicated stems (4.63). But as a matter of fact, we are not sure that -ki is not itself a combination of two suffixes: -k-i, as implied by our remarks in 4.63. What -an and -ki may be said to signify in other constructions is of no aid in the analysis of -ankil. Since we are trying to describe Modern Yucatec, and not to write its history, we take no account of what was the case in Old Yucatec. But even in Old Yucatec, the analysis of the two variants -ancil, -ancal is not easy. In the dictionaries, both combinations, -anc-al and -anc-il, are listed, and it is indicated in some instances that either combination can be used with some stems. Thus, the Motul dictionary gives tzayancal and tzayancil for 'to quarrel' (hablar con desgracia a otro, o reñirle alborotando); also: mutancal and mutancil, for 'to be defamed'; tixancal and tixancil, 'to be full to the brim'; and several other pairs of equivalent words with -ancal and -ancil. According to our informants, -ankal is not used at present.
The kinds of action referred to by the verbs that are used at present with -ankil are too diverse to permit any generalization as to what this ending signifies; and the same was true of the apparently more extensive use of -ancal and -ancil in Old Yucatec. In some instances what is referred to is some sort of oscillatory or vibratory motion; as in lolokankil, 'bubbling'; kikilankil, 'trembling'; ˌxoyankil, 'undulating'; tiykilankil, said of excited activity of ants in an ant hill. In others there is only a remote analogy to such kinds of motion; as in t'ibankil, said of water that spills over the border of a container as one carries it; humankil, 'making rumbling sound'; omankil, 'foaming'. The following are of a quite different sort: heelankil, 'laying eggs'; koko’ankil, 'acting like a maniac'; k'u’ankil, '(birds) are making nest'; k'elukankil, 'perspiring'; alankil, 'giving birth'.
In all cases the verbs with -ankil were intransitive.

4.55.   -bil

Corresponding to Modern Yucatec -bil, we find as late as the nineteenth century this combination of suffixes: -ab-il. Pio Perez (Dictionary, about 1850) gives as equivalent words hoohochabil and hoohochbil, defined as signifying 'it has been, or should be, scraped frequently, or repeatedly'; aalabil and aalbil, 'it has been said, or should be said'. The variant -abil did not occur in our texts, nor was it known to any of our informants. Due to its special uses, it seems desirable to deal with -bil separately, whether we class it as a suffix or as a combination of suffixes. The reason is that what -bil signifies at present cannot be inferred from the separate uses of -ab (4.10) and -il (4.60).
In our texts, -bil occurred in these four constructions: (1) V-bil-PB, (2) V-bil, (3) V-bil-ak, (4) V-an-bil-PB. The fourth construction was found only with the stem kax, 'to look for' or 'to find', in Speech-type A. kax is generally used with the formative -t (3.26); tan in kaxtik, 'I am looking for it'; tin kaxtah, 'I found it'. In the fourth construction, the formative -t after kax was replaced by -an (4.53) in some cases; e.g., kaxanbil, 'It should be looked for'. But kaxbil, and even kaxtbil were more commonly found in both Speech-types. So far as usage is concerned, this fourth construction is a variant of V-bil-PB, the first of the constructions listed above. They are all classed here as passive constructions, having the following in common with the passive AHAB-construction (4.10): (a) their V-components are stems prevalently used in transitive constructions; (b) the agent of the action signified by the stem is not specified, or its specification is preceded by the expression tu men, the sign of the agent (4.10); (c) the pronouns of Class B stand for persons or non-persons involved in the action in the same manner as the objects of transitive verbs; that is, there is no inversion of subject and object.
Usage A. Construction V-bil-PB, used as the only or main verbal unit of a sentence, serves to communicate that something should be done. Thus nats'bil, 'He should be flogged', was said in answer to a question as to what should be done with a thief who had just been caught; and pulbil, 'It should be thrown away', was said in reply to Of what use is this to us?.
Usage B
. As a component of a bin-construction (4.56), V-bil-PB specifies what has been planned or what had been planned. Depending on the rules governing the uses of the bin-constructions, the form of the component containing -bil is V-bil for all persons, or form V-bil-PB is employed as usual with different PB-components for the different persons. When the bin-construction contains a pronoun of Class A, V-bil is used; and when it does not, V-bil-PB is used. For the use of pronouns of Class A in bin-constructions see 4.56. The bin constructions in which V-bil or V-bil-PB occured are:

  1. bin PA kah V-bil
  2. Pa bin V-bil
  3. k-Pa bin V-bil
  4. bin V-bil-PB

Construction 1 conforms to the rules of usage of bin PA kah (4.56). Constructions 2 and 3 occur in subordinate clauses, and conform to the rules governing the uses of the IKAL (4.13) and k-IKAL (4.27) constructions, respectively. The use of construction 4 is in conformity with that of construction bin+NULLAK (4.42). Thus, these bin-constructions differ from other bin-constructions only with respect to the fact that these contain a passive verbal unit (V-bil or V-bil-PB), whereas the others contain either transitive or intransitive verbal units occupying the same position as V-bil or V-bil-PB. For example, instead of bin u kah u beete, 'He is going todo it', we have bin u kah u beetbil, 'It is going to be done'.
Usage C. V-bil-PB is the passive construction employed in projective references (4.23) under these conditions: (a) The reference is monochronic (4.6); that is to say, a particular aim is to be accomplished on a subsequent occasion (4.3). (b) The one who is to accomplish the aim is not specified. (c) The main verb preceding the projective reference designates motion, or implies motion, as, for example, tux-t, 'to send'. (d) The sign of projective reference is constructional (4.23); that is, neither tu yo’lal nor u ti’al is employed to signify 'in order to', 'so that', etc. Examples: tin tuxtah ch'abilech, 'I sent for you'; ch'a, 'fetch'. xiyk aalbil tie’ ka u lik'suba, 'Let someone go and tell him to get ready'; lik'-s-u-ba, literally: 'to lift himself'. Here, as in many other cases, a Yucatec passive construction cannot be rendered idiomatically by the English passive voice. To use the passive voice in the translation of the first of the preceding examples one would have to say 'I sent (someone) in order that you would be fetched (by him)'; and for the second example, 'Go (someone) in order that it be told to him (by the one who may go) that he get ready'. In both instances, and in many others, the Yucatec passive is a special device employed when the subject of a transitive verb is not specified.
Usage D. The construction serving this usage is V-bil N; where 'N' stands for a Yucatec noun. For example, if V is the stem ts'am, 'to soak', and N is balche’ (the name of a tree, its bark, and an alcoholic drink made from the bark), we get ts'ambil balche’, 'soaked balche'; that is, balche bark that is soaked by whosoever may make the drink called balche. In the name ts'ambil balche’ the passive with -bil is still a device for referring to an action without specifying who performs it. In construction V-bil N, used as a nominal unit, V-bil serves to differentiate some items of the class denoted by N from others denoted also by N. This device is obviously comparable with that of using an English past pasticiple adjectivally. In a few instances, -ak (4.49) was affixed to V-bil, and the construction was then either V-bil-ak N, or N V-bil-ak. In one text, k'uumbil, 'softened by boiling' was used in a general reference to maize softened by boiling; and k'uumbilak was used in the same text in reference to a particular quantity of maize which had been softened by boiling. It may well be the case that -ak serves to distinguish references to particulars from references to non-particulars, but the number of instances with -ak were too few to justify generalization. Furthermore, the uses of -ak to signify that something has occurred or has been done are subject to so many restrictions, as indicated in 4.49, that nothing can be confidently inferred in this case from the way -ak is employed in others.

Miscellaneous examples.

  1. ka aalabe’ tan yilaal; ku bin kaxanbil tuux ilaabi. 'And it was said that he was being seen (here and there); that he would be looked for (at the places) where he had been seen'. aal-ab, 'it was said'; passive AHAB (4.10). tan y-il-aal, 'was being seen'; passive tan + IKAL (4.14). k-u bin kax-an-bil, 'was going to be looked for'; see construction 3 above under Usage B. tuux, 'where'. il-ab, 'was seen'; passive AHAB (4.10). For final -i see 4.59.
  2. xiyk bisbil ti’ a kumpale tu nail. 'Have someone go to your compadre's house and take it to him'. (Literally: 'let someone go in order to take it to your compadre to his house'). x(i)-ik, 'let someone go'; intransitive NULLAK, Usage A (4.38). bi(n)-s-bil, 'in order that it be taken'; see Usage C above. kumpale, Spanish compadre; see 4.23, Ex. 1. t-u na-il, 'to his house'; for -il affixed to na, 'house', see 4.60.
  3. ka tu yaalah tie’, kinsbilo'b. 'And he said to him, "They should be killed".'; t-u y-al-ah, 'he said'; transitive AHAB (4.9). ti(’), 'to him' (2.6); for -e’ see 4.58. kim-s-bil-o'b, 'they should be killed'; kim, 'die'; kin-s, 'kill'; m changes to n before non-labial; see Usage A of construction V-bil-PB above.
  4. ka tu tuxtah t'anbil le ox tul xch'upalaloobo’. 'And he sent (someone) to call the three girls'. tu tux-t-ah, 'he sent'; transitive AHAB (4.9). t'an-bil, 'in order to call'; see Usage C above. x-ch'up-(p)al-al-o'b, 'girls'; x-, see 3.3; ch'up, 'female'; pal, 'youngster, youth'; -al, old generic plural retained with the noun pal; at present, the regular plural -o'b is added to -al.
  5. ka tu ts'ah hun p'el mentbil ch'ich' yok'ol u k'ab che’. 'And he put an artificial bird on the branch of the tree'. t-u ts'a-(a)h, 'he put'. hun p'el, 'one' (inanimate); see 4.68. men-t-bil, 'artificial'; 'that had been made'; men-t, 'to fashion, to make'; see Usage D above. ch'ich', 'bird'. y-ok'-ol, 'on'; see 4.52. u k'ab che’, 'the branch of the tree'; che’, 'tree'.

4.56.   bin-constructions

The following prevalent uses of the verb bin were observed: (A) signifying 'to go away' or 'to go to a specified place'; e.g., binen tin wotoch, 'I went home'. (B) Prediction of imminent happening, or of favorable happening close at hand, and resolution or project; e.g., bin in kah in beete’, 'I am going to do it' (without implying that the speaker is going to any place). (C) As a component of construction bin + NULLAK in predictions of the sort dealt with in 4.42. (D) In its NULLAK-form, binak, signifying 'perhaps', 'maybe' (4.47). (E) As a sign of undetermined declarative value (4.7) ascribed by the speaker to what he quotes or infers. Before discussing these referential uses of bin, it seems desirable to take account of some constructional data.
In Old Yucatec, bin, 'go', tal, 'come', and man, 'pass by a place', 'wander', required the suffix -el in constructions corresponding to the form V-(a)l (4.52) of Modern Yucatec. By the first half of the eighteenth century, as Beltrán's grammar shows, the simple stems bin, tal, man were used in various constructions in which binel, talel, manel were previously required. On page 85 (2nd. edition), Beltrán gives as equivalent constructions binel in cah and bin in cah, 'I am going'. In Modern Yucatec, -el is affixed to bin, tal, man only in certain obsolescent expressions, as he tun binele’, approximately: 'if that happens to be the case'; and sporadically in the speech of the old folk of some localities. The result is that in IKAL and k-IKAL constructions (4.13, 4.27) the prevalent form for bin, tal, and man is now PA V and k-PA V, instead of PA V-(a)l and k-PA V-(a)l. Save for the lack of a suffix of the type -(a)l, the verb bin has retained an Old Yucatec construction which seldom occurs at present with any other verb. This Old Yucatec construction may be formulated thus: V-(vowel)l PA cah; where 'V-(vowel)l' stands for a verb stem used intransitively with a suffix consisting of a vowel and the consonant l. For some verbs the vowel of the suffix was the same as that of the stem; for others, the vowel was e. 'PA' stands for a pronoun corresponding etymologically to the Mod. Yuc. pronouns of Class A. cah, corresponding to Mod. Yuc. kah in Speech-type A, and to kaa and kaa in Type B, was a defective verb signifying approximately 'to be engaged in doing something', 'for something to be happening' (Motul dictionary: "pospuesto al cuerpo de todos verbos en presente de indicativo significa estar actualmente haziendo lo que los tales verbos significan".Beltrán, Grammar, 2nd. ed. p. 90: "hacer, esto es, entender en algo que se está haciendo"). In Coronel's grammar (1620), the conjugation of intransitive verbs in the "present indicative" is exemplified by means of this paradigm with the stem nac, 'go up' or 'come up' (Spanish subir):

Singular Plural
nacal in cah nacal ca cah
nacal a cah nacal a cahex
nacal u cah nacal u cahob

This construction with any intransitive verb other than bin was understood by some of our oldest informants, but not as referring to a single occurrence of going up. Three informants, each in a different locality, said that the equivalent of the antiquated naakal u kah, for example, is now chen naakal ku beetik, 'He does nothing but go up', 'He is all the time going up', implying an unusual or excessive recurrence. None understood it as the equivalent of tan u naakal, 'He is going up' or 'He was going up', said now in monochronic reference (4.6) to a contemporary occurrent (4.3), using construction tan + IKAL (4.14). On the other hand, with bin, 'go', the old construction is understood in an entirely different way, as shown below. To refer to this construction as it actually occurs with bin, we shall write bin PA kah. The complete paradigm of bin PA kah, signifying 'to be going', 'to propose to do something', is as follows:

Singular Plural
bin in kah bin k kah, bin k kahe'x (inc. and exclusive)
bin a kah bin a kahe'x
bin u kah bin u kaho'b

We revert now to the uses of bin labeled above 'A, ..., E'. Usage A requires no special comment. It must be taken into account simply because in some of the other uses no action of going from one place to another is referred to by the stem bin. Usage C was discussed in 4.42, and Usage D was discussed in 4.47. Usages B and E remain to be considered.
Usage B. The constructions whose uses are grouped under this heading are: (1) bin PA kah, the modified Old Yucatec construction mentioned above. (2) PA bin and k-PA bin, each followed by one of the verbal units specified below. The last two are irregular IKAL and k-IKAL constructions so far as bin is concerned, but they occur in conformity with the rules governing the uses of those constructions (4.13, 4.27). The irregularity consists in that the suffix -(a)l is not affixed to bin (cf. above remarks on disuse of -el). The usage labeled 'Usage B' is distinguished from others on the ground that here the bin-construction does not stand exclusively, or does not stand at all, for the action of going away from or to a place. For example, in the sentence samal in bin teelo’, which may be adequately rendered by 'I am going there tomorrow', an action of going to a place is referred to, but in addition to this a plan or resolution is communicated; that is, the sentence is equivalent to 'I plan to go there tomorrow', or 'I have decided to go there tomorrow'. For I am going, signifying that one is on his way to a place, construction tan + IKAL (4.14) is required; viz., tan in bin. Plan or resolution, or immediate action other than going to a place, can be communicated by sentences such as bin in kah in waal tech, 'I am going to tell you'. When the PA component of the construction is a 2nd. pers., as in bin a kah a beete (bin PA kah PA V-(e)), 'you are going to do it', the communication is occasionally imperative with a high degree of imperiousness (4.39). The same sentence, uttered with an interrogative intonation, is often equivalent to 'Do you intend to do it?' Any of these senses, including even the imperative, is possible when PA is a 3rd. person. When PA referes to an inanimate referent, the bin-construction can be simply a sign of immediate future occurrence; e.g., bin u kah lubul, 'It is going to fall', 'It is about to fall'. For the sake of simplicity, all the preceding examples have been translated as referring to future occurrents, but it should be understood that the same construction can refer to subsequent-past (4.4, Case 6). When a resolution is communicated, the resolution itself is contemporary (4.3), but even then the execution of the resolution or plan is subsequent: it is said that something will be done, or it was said that something would be done.
As is frequently the case in Modern Yucatec, the construction that is used in affirmation is not permissible in negation. maa tan + IKAL (4.14) is the construction for the negation of what is asserted by bin PA kah; e.g., maa tan in bin teelo’, 'I am not going there', 'I do not intend to go there', 'I refuse to go there'.
When the subsequent occurrent referred to is other than the action of going, the construction of the transitive or intransitive verbal unit specifying the subsequent occurrent is the same as that required after verbs of wishing or needing (4.40); namely, PA V-(e) for the transitive, and V-(a)l for the intransitive. For the passive, construction V-bil (4.55) is required in monochronic references (4.6), and V-(aa)l (4.13) in polychronic references. Examples: bin in kah in hante, 'I am (was) going to eat it'. bin u kah lubul, 'It is (was) going to fall'. bin u kah u taase, 'He is (was) going to bring it'. bin a kah kimil, 'You are (were) going to die'. Comparing the above constructions with bin + NULLAK (4.42), it is seen that for the transitive, the difference is only that the latter lacks the components PA kah; while for the intransitive, the only characteristic component common to the two constructions is bin. The difference in usage is mainly that the above constructions with bin PA kah are not used for a remote future, and are preferred in references to ordinary affairs. They also serve to communicate resolution or project; whereas bin + NULLAK, so far as our observations go, indicate simply that a subsequent occurrent is referred to. On the whole, the determinants in the choice of one or the other of these two sets of constructions seem to be similar to those which govern the use of comparable English constructions referring to future occurrents with and without go; e.g., It will happen, It is going to happen.
Usage E. For this usage the stem bin, without any affix, occurs after words or constructions which serve to assert. The office of bin when so used is to modify the usual assertive sense of the construction of which it forms a part. It is then a sign of undetermined declarative value (4.7). For example, tu manah hun tul tsimin would serve to communicate this assertion: 'He bought a horse'. But if the speaker says: tu manah bin hun tul tsimin, he does not hold himself responsible for the truth of the statement. Depending on the context, that sentence can be equivalent to 'It is said that he bought a horse', or 'He claims to have bought a horse', or 'He may have bought a horse'. In the Motul dictionary we find bin rendered by the Spanish phrase diz que, which was used to introduce hearsay; while duplicated bin, that is, bin bin, is translated as signifying uncertainty. In our texts, bin without duplication was used for both senses. When the declarative value signified by bin is ascribed to the whole statement, bin occurs immediately after the main verbal unit, or immediately after such components of the verbal unit as tan (4.14),ts'ook (4.15), he (4.16), hoop' (4.17), yan (4.18), if the verbal unit contains one of these components. If the bin declarative value is ascribed only to a part of the statement, bin occurs immediately after the word denoting the assertion whose validity is in question. Take, for example, the statement tu yuk'ah hun p'it bin le aaniso’. If we disregard the declarative value ascribed by the speaker to the included assertion hun p'it, 'a little', this sentence would be equivalent to 'He drank a little rum'. By the position of the word bin, the speaker indicates that he vouches for the truth of this portion of the statement: 'He drank rum'; but not for the assertion that the quantity of rum was small. Had he said tu yuk'ah bin hun p'it le aaniso’, placing bin after the main verbal unit, tu yuk'ah, 'he drank', he would have indicated that he does not vouch for the truth of any item communicated by that sentence. When reciting a story, we observe that in most cases bin occurs in the first sentence, and is omitted thereafter, except sporadically when using direct quotation. With direct quotation, bin comes most frequently after the phrase ku t'an, 'says he'; e.g., "maa tan in k'ubik", ku t'an bin, '"I refuse to deliver it", he said (but I am not reporting as an actual fact that he said it)'. Some informants used bin, not only in the first, but in the second and third sentences of the story.
In addition to the foregoing, there are few uses of bin which may conveniently be classed as idioms. Among these is the use of bin in the expression hun p'it u bin, signifying approximately 'it is almost done', 'it lacks just a little to be completed'; literally: 'a little to go'; also in an apparently superfluous usage comparable with the colloquial American expression went to work where no going and no work is spoken of, as, He went to work and told all his neighbors what he had seen. Similarly, ka bin tu yilah le ts'uulo’ tan u cheehe’, ka tu kolah tu tsel. Leaving bin out of consideration, this sentence signifies 'And the ʦ'ul (an urban white gentleman) saw that she was giggling, and he pulled her close to him'.

Examples of Usage B.

  1. way bin a kah p'atal, u ti’al ka in wees tech meeyahe’. 'You are going to stay here, that I may show you how to work'. way ... -e’, 'here'; AEO-construction (4.51). bin a kah p'at-al, 'you are going to stay'; bin-construction, Usage B. u ti’-al ka in w-e(t)-s, 'in order that I show' (4.41). tech, 'you', sing. pron. Class C. mee-y-ah, 'work, to work'; for -y see 3.32.
  2. bin k kahe'x mul uuk'ul. 'We (you plur. and I) are going to drink together'. mul, 'together'. uk'-ul, 'drink'.
  3. bin in kah in waal baax in wilma. 'I am going to tell what I have seen'. bin in kah in w-aal, 'I am going to tell'. in w-il-ma, 'I have seen'; construction PA V-ma (4.66).
  4. be oorita k bin hok'la’. 'We are going to get out right now'. be oorita ... -a’, 'right now'; adopted colloquial Spanish ahorita; AEO-construction (4.51). k bin, 'we are going'; irregular IKAL-construction mentioned above. hok'-ol, 'go out, come out'.
  5. ti’ kin bin weenel, te beo’. 'There is where I am going to sleep, by the road'. ti’, 'there'; (4.51). k-in bin, 'I am going'; k-IKAL, mentioned above. wen-el, 'sleep'. te, fusion of ti(’) and le; see 4.51; ti(’), 'by, at, to', etc. (2.29). be, 'road'.

Examples of Usage E.

  1. le ka hok' bin le baabalo’, u ki’ t'uyma bin hun tul le paloobo’. 'When the demon came out (so they say), one of the young fellows was dangling from his mouth (so they say)'. Comment: This passage was taken from an account of how demons of the sort called baabal attacked two young men and were about to devour one of them. In this text there is an unusual number of sentences containing bin in Usage E. In some of them, it occurs in every clause, as in the passage under consideration. An attempt to disclose why bin had been used so profusely in this instance is described in Note 13. le ka ... -o’, temporal clause; the construction usually found is le ka ... -e’ (4.62; cf. 4.33); when an AEO-construction (4.51) requires -o’ at the end of the clause, as in this instance, -o’ is retained in some instances; much more frequently, -e’ replaces -o’. le baabal-o’; le ... -o’, 'the' (4.51). hok', 'come out'; intransitive AHAB (4.9). ki’, 'nicely, at ease, done without effort'. u t'uy-ma, construction PA V-ma (4.66); t'uy refers to the action of seizing something as a bird does with its bill, or a person with his forefinger and thumb, the thing seized being like a filthy rag, an earthworm, or something flexible that dangles as it is carried thus seized. hun tul le pal-o'b-o’, 'one of the young men'; hun tul, 'one' (animate); see 4.68.
  2. tu lakal bin u yoch wah tu hantah. 'It is said that he ate his whole ration of tortillas'. The bin declarative value is here ascribed to the assertion specified by tu lakal, 'all' (4.64). u y-och, 'his ration, the portion of food given to a person, or the amount he carries with him on a journey'. t-u han-t-ah, 'he ate'; transitive use of han, 'eat'; AHAB-construction (4.9).
  3. bukaa bin wiyhil. 'How hungry he must be!' Exclaimed by a woman upon hearing that a neighbor who got lost in the woods had not eaten in four days. bukaa wiyhil, literally: 'What hunger!' is an inference from what she has been told. She does not know whether the neighbor is hungry or not; nor has anyone said that he is hungry. By the insertion of bin she ascribes a declarative value to bukaa, 'very much', which is either a degree of probability, or simply undetermined (4.7). Her behavior after the exclamation seems to indicate that she does not doubt the veracity of the report that the person had not eaten in four days; for she hurries to the neighbor's house with a gourd full of food.

4.57.   -en

The most common use of this suffix is seen in the intransitive imperative form V-en for 2nd. pers. sing., and V-en-e'x for 2nd. plur.; e.g., with the stem hok', 'to go (come) out', we find hok'en, 'come out', addressing one person; hok'ene'x, addressing two or more. As usual, -n is the formative employed in these intransitive constructions when the stem is composite (3.24).

Examples with simple stems:

oken, okene'x, 'enter' (sing. and plur.), 'come in' or 'go in'
lik'en, lik'ene'x, 'stand up'
kulen, kulene'x, 'sit down'
emen, emene'x, 'come down, go down'
chilen, chilene'x, 'lie down'
ahen, ahene'x, 'wake up'
manen, manene'x, 'pass, walk ahead'
hanen, hanene'x, 'eat'
penen, penene'x, 'hurry up'

Examples with composite stems:

cheeh-n-en, 'laugh'
sit'-n-en, 'jump'
k'ai-n-en, 'sign'
pax-n-en, 'play (on an instrument)'
uk'-ul-n-en-e'x, 'keep on drinking (plur.)'
bax-al-n-en-e'x, 'keep on gambling (plur.)'
tsik-ba-n-en-e'x, 'chat with one another'

The verbs tal, 'to come', and bin, 'to go', do not occur in the imperative. For the imperative 'come', koten, singular, and kotene'x, plural, are used. For 'go' we find xen, singular; xene'x, plural. The sufix -en of koten conforms to the rule governing the intransitive imperative, but neither ko- nor kot- is found with any sense approximating 'to go' in any other construction. The stem of xen may be x- or xi. In NULLAK-constructions we find xiyk, 'let him go' (4.38), 'that he may go'.
The irregular use of -en with the verb kim, 'to die', for other than imperative utterances was noted in 4.53.
On the basis of the data available to us, it cannot be decided whether or not we have two suffixes, -b and -en, in -ben as a component of such words as uchben, 'ancient, of old'; tunben, 'new, modern'; k'oben, 'the stones of the native hearth', or 'kitchen'; and a number of others in which -ben may be said to signify 'worthy of', or implies possibility much as our endings -able, -ible (e.g., detachable, visible) do. E.g., tsikben, 'worthy of respect'; a tsikbeenil, a tsikbeenile'x, 'your grace', 'your graces' (respectful form of address); ch'aben, 'acceptable' (ch'a, 'take, fetch'); ch'ahben, 'that can leak, that can drip'; bahben, 'that can be nailed'. It is possible that at least in some words -ben is etymologically composed of -b and -en; the former may be cognate with -ab, the sign of the passive in AHAB-constructions (4.10); cf. -bil, 4.55.

4.58.   -e’

The uses of this suffix as a terminal component in the AEO-constructions were discussed in 4.51. It was feasible there to specify what devices concur with -e’. To make a similar specification for the instances we are now to speak of, one would have to take account of hundreds of possibilities. The task would be comparable to that of enumerating the kinds of words and constructions which can precede a comma in written English. For in many cases, -e’ is used or not at the end of a given phrase, a clause, or a single word, depending on what may be termed the elocution of the utterance; i.e., manner of delivery. Quite frequently an informant objected to the use of -e’ when a text he dictated was read to him. The reason in most cases was that the discourse was not read with the intonation and pauses of his original delivery. In other instances, the unaccustomed procedure of dictating a part of a sentence and waiting till that much was written before proceding with the rest of it had let him to use -e’ at the end of the dictated portion, contrary to his habits in uninterrupted discourse. It seemed advisable, therefore, to base our observation exclusively on the texts which were recorded phonographically. Unfortunately, it is too costly at present to deal with intonation, pauses, and peaks of intensity with the aid of reliable instruments, such as the oscillograph. Our aural observations are to the effect that the intonation of the units of discourse which end with the suffix -e’ are pisible into a number of classes. In nearly all instances, it seems that -e’ has the highest pitch, or the second highest pitch, of the unit that ends with this suffix. A pause, very brief in some instances, and longer in others, follows -e’.
There are at least 4 classes of instances in which the use of -e’ is predictable with a high degree of probability: (1) At the end of a temporal clause or its equivalent, when such a unit is the first component of the sentence, as is generally the case. For the construction of such units see 4.33 and 4.62. (2) At the end of the first clause of a conditional sentence (4.35). (3) At the end of the first component of an NP-construction (4.67). (4) Affixed to a pronoun of Class C which is the first component of a sentence; e.g., teene’, 'as for me', 'so far as I am concerned', etc. There are at least two kinds of exceptions to the use of -e’ at the end of a temporal clause: (1) -e’ is not used when a single word that is the equivalent of a temporal clause is one of those which require the suffix -i(’) (4.59). The exclusion of -e’ when a unit ends with the suffix -i(’) applies in all instances; just as -i(’) is excluded in all instances in which the suffixes -a’, -e’, -o’ are required by the AEO-constructions (4.51). (2) When the temporal clause contains an AEO-construction requiring -o’ at the end of the clause, either -o’ replaces -e’, or the latter replaces the former. The replacement of -o’ is much more frequent. For example, the regular construction le ka .. -e’ of a temporal clause containing an AHAB-construction is seen in le ka k'uche’, 'When he arrived'. To say 'When the child arrived', the -e’ of the temporal clause is generally retained, and the -o’ of le chan paalo’, 'the child', is omitted; viz., le ka k'uch le chan paale’. But some individuals omit -e’, saying le ka k'uch le chan paalo’.
Examples of the various uses of -e’ spoken of above will be found in the sections mentioned and in many illustrations under other headings.

4.59.   -i(’)

By the notation '-i(’)' we refer to the suffix -i and its X-variant -i’. From a study of our phonographic records we conclude that the difference between -i and -i’ is to a considerable extent of an elocutionary sort. At the end of a clause followed by a pause indicative of hesitation, we hear -i without glottal stop and partially devoiced at the end of its articulation; whereas in emphatic utterance, particularly in negative sentences, -i’ occurs with an unusually short vowel and glottal stop. In utterances which are of neither of those two sorts, we observed only regional and individual habits of employing one more frequently than the other in comparable constructions. Disregarding these various circumstances, and considering only frequency of occurrence both in phonographic and in dictated texts, we find that -i’ occurs more frequently than -i in negative utterances; while the latter occurs about twice as frequnetly as the former in non-negative utterances.
It may be useful to compare the uses of the suffix -i(’) with those of the suffixes -a’, -e’, -o’ of the AEO-constructions (4.51). In the AEO-constructions we have two special sets of items: (1) bey, he(l), le(l), way, etc.; and (2) the suffixes -a’, -e’, -o’. To facilitate generalization, let us refer by the letter 'A' to an item of the first set; and by 'B', to one of the second set. From what was said in 4.51, it can be inferred that these four statements are true: (1) Whenever A occurs, B occurs. (2) B is affixed to A or to some other word that occurs after A. (3) B is not affixed to A when any other component of the constructional unit to which A belongs occurs after A. (4) B is always the last component of such a constructional unit. The extent to which the uses of the suffix -i(’) are like those of -a’, -e’, -o’ may now be roughly indicated as follows: If in the above statements we substitute '-i(’)' for 'B', and 'X' for 'A', the four statements will hold for certain values of 'X'. For certain other values of 'X', Statements 2, 3, 4 hold, and Statement 1 does not. For a third group of values of 'X', all that we have observed is that when X occurs in sentences which are of a certain sort, -i(’) is affixed to X, but in other sentences X occurs and -i(’) does not.
Further discussion of the uses of -i(’) may be facilitated by these two formulas:

Form 1. (...) X-i(’)
Form 2. (...) X IU-i(’)

We let '(...)' stand for the circumstance that in some cases one or more words may precede X and be components of the discoursive unit containing X and -i(’); while in other cases, X is the first component. In Form 2, 'IU' stands for an intervening unit; that is, a word, a phrase, or a clause that occurs after X. In Form 1, -i(’) is affixed to X. In Form 2, -i(’) is affixed to the last component, or to the only component, of the intervening unit. In all cases, -i(’) is the last component of a discoursive unit to which one of those two formulas apply. In the preceding statements, the phrase discoursive unit is to be understood as referring to a Yucatec sentence, or to a clause constructed as a Yucatec sentence. It is to be noted that we class as a Yucatec sentence any word which in a given discourse satisfies these two conditions: (a) it is not a component of a Yucatec sentence; and (b) it serves to assert that something occurred, or is occurring, or will or may occur. For example, kimi, 'He died'; k'ohaanen, 'I am sick'; hats'bilech, 'You are to be flogged'.
It will now be our task to specify what values can be assigned to 'X' and 'IU' in Forms 1 and 2. It will be seen that in most cases one or the other of those two formulas is applicable if we let 'X' stand for one of the verbal constructions whose conjugation requires the suffixation of the pronouns of Class B. Those verbal constructions are:

V-PB and V-ab-PB, the intransitive and passive AHAB (4.9)
V-ak-PB and V-aak-PB, the intrans. and passive NULLAK (4.37)
V-an-PB, intrans. or passive (4.53)
NP-PB, intransitive (4.67)

That much is true by and large, but the uses of -i(’) cannot be adequately delimited by broad generalizations. The various cases in which the above formulas are applicable must be dealt with separately.
Case 1. Formula: (...) X-i(’). Specifications: (1) X-i(’) is a sentence, or the last word of a sentence. (2) 'X' stands for the 3rd. pers. sing. or plur. of the intransitive or passive AHAB-constructions. Thus, if we replace 'X' by the formulas for the 3rd. pers. sing. and plur. of those constructions the possibilities in Case 1 can be formulated as follows:

Intransitive Passive
Sing. (...) V-i(’) (...) V-ab-i(’)
Plur. (...) V-o'b-i(’) (...) V-ab-o'b-i(’)

Examples ka luk'i, 'And he left', (... V-i). luk'oobi, 'They left', (V-o'b-i). ka kinsaabi, 'and she was killed', (... V-ab-i). No exception has been found to the rule that when one of the above AHAB-constructions is a sentence, or occurs at the end of a sentence, -i(’) is affixed to it. The assertion ka bini, 'And he went (away, or to a previously specified place)', occurred in conformity with the above specifications more than 100 times; and in about as many times we found bin without -i(’) used in the same sense, and otherwise than at the end of a sentence; as in ka bin tu yotoch, 'and he went to his home'. The conclusions under Case 1 are supported by more than 1,000 instances.
Case 2. Formulas: X-i(’) and X IU-i(’). Specifications: (1) Each of these two formulas stands for a sentence, of which -i(’) is the last component. (2) 'X' stands for the negative sign ma(’) followed either by (a) one of the intransitive or passive constructions listed above as requiring the affixation of the pronouns of Class B; or (b) a transitive AHAB-construction to which a pronoun of Class B has been affixed; that is, t-PA V-ah-PB (2.5). (3) 'IU' stands for a component which does not contain an AEO-construction (4.51).
Examples: 1. ma binechi’, 'You did not go'; bin-ech-i’ (V-PB-i’). 2. ma’ ilaabeni, 'I was not seen'; il-ab-en-i (V-ab-PB-i). 3. ma kalaaneeni’, 'I am not drunk'; kal-aan-en-i’; V-aan-PB-i. 4. ma ta hats'aheeni, 'You did not hit me'; t-PA V-ah-PB-i. 5. ma polche’eechi’, 'You are not a carpenter'; pol-che’('carpenter')-ech-i’; NP-PB-i’. 6. ma yaabooni, 'We are not many'; yaab-o'n-i; V-PB-i. 7. ma ts'aab teeni’, 'It was not given to me'; ts'a-(a)b ten-i’; V-ab IU-i’; ten, 'to me'; pron. Class C. 8. ma bin tu yotochi’, 'He did not go to his home'; bin-(null sign) t-u y-ot-och-i’; V-(PB) IU-i’; t-u (ti-u), 'to his'; otoch, 'home'. 9. ma tin tasah mix baali’, 'I did not bring anything'; t-in ta(l)-s-ah, 'I brought'; mix baal-i’, 'nothing' (4.32); t-PA V-ah IU-i’.
To generalize upon the uses of -i(’) in Case 2, one would have to say that -i(’) is required in negative sentences whose main verbs have certain constructions, and such that either no component other than -i(’) follows the main verb, or the component which follows the main verb does not contain an AEO-construction (4.51). The restriction concerning the AEO-construction applies in all the uses of -i(’). Thus, regardless of what construction precedes, for example, the AEO-construction le ... -o’, 'that', 'the', and regardless of whether a noun or a clause comes between le and -o’, if le ... -o’ follows the verb, -i’ is not used. For instance, -i(’) is required above in Example 9, but not in ma tin tasah le tsimino’, 'I did not bring the horse'; nor in ma tin tasah le tsimin tin manaho’, 'I did not bring the horse I bought'; although in the unit le ... tin manah-o’ we have a verb with the same AHAB-construction as that of the main verb tin tasah. Case 2 shows more clearly than Case 1 that a description of the instances in which -i(’) occurs has to be a description of the constructions of certain kinds of sentences, and not exclusively of certain kinds of words. It cannot be said that -i(’) occurs when this or that item occurs; but rather that it occurs when certain items concur. Strictly, it should be said that those items and -i(’) concur in certain discoursive units which serve to communicate negation and specify what is denied.
In the preceding description of the instances which fall under Case 2, it was not necessary to say that -i(’) is not used when the negative sign is not simply ma(’) but ma tech, the sign of emphatic denial. The reason is that when ma tech is used, the following verb takes the IKAL-construction, as shown in 4.20; and that is not one of the constructions which concur with ma(’) and other items in the sentences in which -i(’) occurs. Thus, we find -i(’) in ma tu ts'aah teeni’, 'He did not give it to me'; but not in ma tech u ts'ayk ten, 'He certainly did not give it to me' (emphasis on 'give').
It may be obvious that the foregoing is not sufficient to delimit the use of -i(’) under consideration. The information given by means of formulas X-i(’) and X IU-i(’) is that for the specified values of 'X' and 'X IU' there are instances such that when -i(’) occurs, either X or X IU occurs. We need to know now whether it can be asserted that whenever X of X IU occurs -i(’) occurs. So far as our observations go, whenever X occurs formula 'X-i(’)' applies. That is to say, we found no exception to the rule that negative sentences with ma(’) followed by a verb with one of the constructions above specified require the affixation of -i(’), as indicated by formula 'X-i(’)', when the verb is the last word of the sentence. But the rule that X IU requires -i(’) has exceptions. Evidently the restriction that IU must not contain an AEO-construction is not sufficient. We shall not attempt to specify what other restriction or restrictions should be taken into account, because the exceptional instances are too few (27), and too different from one another to justify generalization.
Case 3. Formulas: (...) X-i(’) and (...) X IU-i(’). Specifications: (1) '(...)' indicates that X may or may not be preceded by one or more words which are components of the sentence to which one or the other of the two formulas apply. (2) 'X' stands for a unit consisting of the negative sign ma(’) followed by a form of one of these three verbs: k'at, 'to wish', 'to want'; ohel, 'to know' (French savoir, not conaître; or Spanish saber, not conocer); k'abet, 'to need', 'be necessary'. (3) 'IU' stands for a component which does not contain an AEO-construction (as in Case 2), nor a clause introduced by wa signifying 'whether'. This last restriction applies to clauses subordinate to ohel; as in ma’ u yoohle’ wa yan ti kah, 'He does not know whether she is in town'. It should be noted that in Case 3 the verbs to which -i(’) is affixed are not, as in Case 1 and 2, of the sort that require the use of the pronouns of Class B in their conjugation. As already shown (3.56), k'at and ohel require pronouns of Class A; and k'abet requires none (4.40). Thus, 'X' may be said to stand in the above formulas for one of these three constructions: ma(’) PA k'at, ma(’) PA (prefix)-ohel, ma(’) k'abet.
Examples to which formula (...) X-i(’) applies: 1. ma’ in k'ati, 'I don't want it' or 'I don't want to'. 2. ma’ in wohli, 'I don't know' (as in answer to a question); the e of -el is omitted in conformity to the prevalent phonologic tendency (1.4). 3. ma k'abeti, 'It is not necessary', 'There is no need of it'. Examples to which formula (...) X IU-i(’) applies: 4. ma’ in k'at hok'oli, 'I don't want to go out'; hok'-ol, 'go out'; V-(a)l; for clauses subordinate to k'at and k'abet see 4.40. 5. ma’ u k'at ka xiykeni, 'He does not want me to go'; x(i)-ik-en; intransitive NULLAK-construction V-(a)k-PB, ka-Form (4.37). 6. ma’ u yoohel tuux yaneni’, 'He did not know where I was'; tuux, 'where', yan-en (V-PB), 'I was'; see 4.61. 7. ma’ in k'at in woks tin wooli’, 'I can't believe it'; literally: 'I don't want to introduce it (ok-s) into my mind (t-in w-ol)'. 8. ma k'abet ka xiyke'x tu yotochi’, 'It is not necessary that you (plur.) go to his home'; otoch, 'one's dwelling'.
If in view of the foregoing we formulate the rule that, for the specified values of 'X' and 'IU', whenever (...) X IU occurs, -i(’) occurs as indicated by the formula (...) X IU-i(’), it would be found that the rule holds for 91% of the instances in our texts. Evidently there are more restrictions for IU than those above specified. All that we found that is common to nearly all the exceptional instances is that IU is more complex than in the 91% of the non-exceptional instances. Those which cannot be said to be more complex, for they consist of a single clause, end with proper names. The instances with proper names, however, are too few to justify generalization. The instances to which the other formula, (...) X-i(’), is concerned involve no exception; that is, the negation of what k'at, ohel, and k'abet signify requires -i(’) whenever one of these verbs is the last word of the sentence.
Case 4. Formula: (...) X IU-i(’). Specifications: (1) '(...)'as in any of the previous cases. (2) 'X' stands for the word ti’ signifying 'there', or 'right there'. 'IU' is a sentence construction which does not contain an AEO-construction. In the instances of Case 4, the specification of the location referred to by ti’ is the dominant topic (4.8). The location has been mentioned in the part of the sentence preceding ti’, or in the preceding sentence, and ti’ introduces the assertion 'there is where x occurred (or was, or is, or will be, or will occur)'.
Examples: 1. ti’ ku heeli’, 'There is where he was resting'. 2. ma hah wa ti’ tu ts'onahi?, 'Is it not true that there is where he shot him?' 3. te k'ewelo’, ti’ ku bin u haxi’, 'On the leather, there is where he is going to twist it'. 4. ti’ ku enkantartal maki’, 'There is where people are enchanted'; Spanish encantar, with formative -t; passive k-IKAL, Usage A (4.28).
No exception was found to the rule that under the specified conditions, whenever ti’ is used, -i(’) occurs as indicated above.
Case 5. The use of -i(’) at the end of an affirmative sentence. In Case 5, Usage A of the NULLAK-constructions is involved. It is convenient, therefore, to base our explanations on the tabulation used in 4.38. We take up first the transitive constructions employed when a 2nd. person is ordered or asked to do something. We notice that when the verbal unit is the first or only verbal component of the imperative sentence, the constructions are:

2nd. sing.
2nd. plur.
(1) V-e (3) V-e'x
(2) V-(null)

Construction 1 is used when the whole imperative sentence, or the first imperative component of a compound imperative sentence, consists entirely of the verbal unit; e.g., chae, 'Turn it loose', 'Let it go'. If the suffix -e occurred in no other constructions, it could be said that it is a 3rd. pers. object pronoun that is used only with the NULLAK-constructions. In fact, there is no valid objection to saying that, whatever else it may be in other instances, it is such a pronoun in imperative sentences. The fact that it is omitted whenever the verb is followed by another component of the imperative unit, regardless of whether the additional component be an object of the verb or not, could be dismissed as a pecularity of this language. We find now that when a pronoun of Class B referring to the object is necessary the suffix -i(’) is required, and the above form (1) becomes V-PB-i(’). Thus, with the stem cha, 'to turn loose', we have (addressing 2nd. sing.):

chae, 'Turn it loose' (V-e)
cha le peek'o’, 'Turn that dog loose' (V-(null))
chaooni’, 'Turn us loose' (V-o'n-i’)
chaeeni’, Turn me loose' (V-en-i’)
Similarly, form 3 becomes V-PB-e'x-i(’). Thus, addressing 2nd. pers. plur. we have:
chae'x, 'Turn it loose'
chae'x le peek'o’, 'Turn that dog loose'
chao'neexi’, 'Turn us loose'
chaeneexi’, 'Turn me loose'

We see that a single formula for 2nd. sing. and 2nd. plur. for instances requiring -i(’) as just indicated could be V-PB(-e'x)-i(’). But it should be specified that in the instances to which that formula applies, the imperative unit consists entirely of a single word, except when the word chan, the sign of a sort of persuasive imperative, or a vocative precedes the verbal unit, as indicated in 4.38.
Let us consider now the affirmative imperative sentences in which one or more words follow V-(null) or V-e'x. In some of those instances the formula for the construction is V(-e'x) IU-i(’). Here, 'V(-e'x)' stands for the 2nd. pers. sing. form V-(null) and for the 2nd. plur. V-e'x. 'IU' stands for an intervening unit the last component of which is one of these items: (1) a pronoun of Class C; (2) the word tun, 'therefore', 'so', etc.; (3) a phrase referring to the object of the verb, and such that it does not contain any of the AEO-constructions. When IU is a pronoun of Class C, the pronoun may perform the same office as that of an indirect object pronoun in various languages, or the pronoun may refer to the person or persons addressed; e.g., English 'you' in the imperative sentence 'You take it'.
Examples in which IU is, or contains, a pronoun of Class C, or the word tun: 1. ts'a teeni, 'Give it to me' (V PC-i). 2. ts'ae'x tooni’, 'You (plur.) give it to us' (V-e'x PC-i’). 3. ts'a tun teeni’, 'So, give it to me' (V tun PC-i’). 4. uk' tuuni, 'So, drink it'. 5. uk' teechi’, 'Drink (some) yourself' (V PC-i’).
Examples in which IU is other than tun or PC: 6. ts'a ti a sukuuni, 'Give (some) to your elder brother'; sukuun, 'elder brother'. 7. ts'a u lak' k'ak'i’, 'Give it some more fire'; u lak', 'another', 'its other', 'some more'; k'ak', 'fire'.
In the imperative sentences ordering or requesting that a 3rd. pers., or a non-particular 2nd. pers. (4.38) act, the rules for the use of -i(’) are similar to those just dealt with. Specifically, when the sentence consistes of a single word containing a pronoun of Class B, the construction is V-(a)k-PB-i(’). For sentences consisting of the verbal unit followed by one or more words (IU), the form is V-(a)k IU-i(’), and the specifications for IU are the same as those given above for the 2nd. pers. imperative.
Examples: 1. hok'ok hun tuli, 'Let one (of you or of them) come out' (V-ok IU-i); hun, 'one'; tul, classifier for animate (4.68). 2. hok'ok hun tul waatal yaalan maakani, 'Let some one come out and stand under the shed'; makan, 'shed', a sort of canopy made of poles, vines, and leaves (Spanish enramada). 3. ts'aabak tu k'ab yum batabi, 'Let it be placed on the hand of the honorable batab (in this context, in a ritual)'.
Case 6. The suffix -i(’) is affixed to any interrogative substitute (4.31) when the word thus formed is the sole component of an interrogative sentence.
Examples: 1. baaxi?, 'What?' 2. maxi?, 'Who?' 3. bixi?, 'How?' When the interrogative sentence consists of the interrogative substitute and the word tun, 'so', 'therefore', 'then', -i(’) is affixed to the last component of the sentence, which in such cases is always tun.
Examples: 4. baax tuuni?, 'What, then?' 5. max tuuni?, 'Who, then?'.
Case 7. Certain expressions are found with and without the suffix -i(’) depending on the sense in which they are used, or on the manner of uttering the sentence that contains them.
The following are the most common: 1. xiykeni, 'I am going'; and xiykooni, 'We are going', when either is uttered upon leaving a house, or in similar circumstances. Sometimes the expression to announce that one is leaving is xiyken tuuni, 'Well, I am going'; xiyko'n tuuni, 'Well, we are going'. 2. The Spanish word adios, 'goodby', is used with the pronoun -ech when addressed to a single person, and with -e'x when addressing more than one. In circumstances which we are unable to specify, the suffix -i(’) is affixed to those constructions. Thus, for 'goodby' the expression is sometimes adyosechi’ and adyose'xi’, and sometimes simply adyosech, adyose'x, or with tun, 'so', 'well', adyosech tuuni, adyose'x tuuni. 3. The expression for 'Thank you' is dyos bootik tech ('God reward you'). If the interlocutor replies 'Thank you', the pronoun tech, 'to you' is uttered in a certain manner, and the expression is dyos bootik teechi’. 4. -i(’) is found constantly in the expression hun puli and hun pulaki, both signifying 'at once', 'altogether', 'definitely'; and in tanili’ (tan-il-i’), 'first', as the first component of a sentence; e.g., tanili’, xen a ch'ae, 'First, go and get it'.
The verbal constructions for which 'X' stands in Cases 1, 2, and 3, and also the imperative constructions of Case 5, occur in various instances in which -i(’) is not the last component of the sentence. It is probable that such exceptional instances are due to the manner of uttering the sentence when the verbal unit or some other component to which -i(’) is affixed refers to an item which is the dominant topic of the sentence. This inference rests on our observations on the texts that were recorded phonographically. We find in the exceptional instances in question that the sentence is uttered with a ceratin intonation, and there is a pause between -i(’) and the rest of the sentence (cf. 4.58). In the sentence ka kinsaabi le ookolo’, 'And the thief was (finally) killed', we find -i(’) affixed otherwise than at the end of the sentence. In other sentences with the same construction -i(’) is not used at all; for the last portion of the sentence contains one of the AEO-constructions, le ... -o’. As we hear this sentence in the phonographic record, the portion of the sentence ending with -i is uttered almost as if it were the end of the whole sentence, and the last phrase, le ookolo’, is uttered in a Yucatec manner characteristic of instances in which a reference is made by way of elucidation, or as it is said, as an afterthought. Even in those cases, -i(’) could be said to signify something, only in the special sense in which one could say that a certain facial expression signifies displeasure. The suffix -i(’) is doubtless one of the linguistic devices which, like the augment in some tenses of the Greek verb, are untranslatable.
Certain words which contain the suffix -il (4.60) in polychronic references (4.6), and in references to contemporary occurrents (4.3), require the affixation of -i(’) when they occur in monochronic references to past or future occurrents.
Of that sort are the following: tanili, 'at once'; ts'ookili, 'beforehand'; ma’ili, 'before'; leyli, 'even so', 'once again', 'as before'; hun pakili, 'without further delay', 'without hesitation', 'without regard for the consequences'. The following contained -i in all the instances in which they occurred in our texts: haali, 'only', 'except that ...', 'however'; sukili, 'it is customary'; hun pulili, 'finally', 'absolutely', 'resolutely'. Both suffixes -il and -i(’) are affixed to the component he(l) of construction he + IKAL + -e’ (4.16) in emphatic promises; e.g., helili k tal okk'iine’, 'We will surely come this evening'.

4.60.    -il

If the phrase 'the suffix -il' is understood as referring to any Modern Yucatec suffix phonologically describable by the phonetic notation [il], we have to say that some of the uses of the suffix -il have already been dealt with. For, thus understood, the suffix -il is one of the members of the class of suffixes we have conveniently referred to by the notation '-(a)l' (4.52). The -(a)l-class of suffixes may be said to be a 'constructional class' in attention to the fact that it is definable in terms of certain rules of construction: to put it briefly, we have found that a set of rules can be formulated which applies to various uses of suffixes phonologically describable by five combinations of phonetic notations: [al], [el], [il], [ol], [ul]. If each of these phonologic units had been dealt with separately, the same set of rules would have been given five times. It has been considered preferable to say that there is a class of suffixes whose uses conform to the given set of rules; that those suffixes consist of a vowel followed by the consonant l; and that the vowel is in each instance a, e, i, o, or u, depending on certain specifiable circumstances (4.52). The members of this constructional class (the -(a)l-class) are not homophonic, since their vocalic constituents differ. We are now to deal with another constructional class: the -il-class. The members of the -il-class are homophonic, for each one of them is phonologically describable by this combination of phonetic notations: [il]. Consequently, in the present description, the phonologic unit /il/ can in a given instance be a member of the constructional -(a)l-class; and in another instance, a member of the constructional -il-class. This is a convenient way of saying that in one instance the occurence of the phonologic unit /il/ conforms to one set of rules, while in the other instance its occurrence conforms to another set of rules. Let us agree now to understand the phrase 'the suffix -il' as referring to a member of the constructional -il-class.
The suffix -il occurs in nominal constructions of various sorts. In some cases, it may be said to be a constant component of certain Yucatec nouns; in others, it should be said that it is required by the nominal construction of which the noun is a component. It does not seem feasible to formulate a single set of rules that can apply to all its uses. As in other cases, one must resort to grouping analogous instances.
1. The suffix -il serves to convert verbal constructions into nominal constructions, and to form Yucatec nouns with stems which are also used otherwise than in nominal constructions. Thus, corresponding to the verbal construction k'ohaan, which in some contexts can signify 'he is sick', we find k'ohaanil, 'sickness'. Similarly, sahak, 'He is afraid', and sahkil (elision of unstressed vowel) 'fear'; ch'ak, 'to chop', 'to cut by hitting with cutting tool', and ch'akil, 'action of chopping', ch'uy, 'to hang' (transitive); and ch'uyil, 'the action, manner, or effect of hanging something'. hat', 'make groove or scratch with pointed tool', and hat'il, a noun designating collectively scratches or grooves. The number of nouns thus formed is considerable.
2. Let 'N' stand for a given simple or composite stem used as a Yucatec noun; and let 'N-il' stand for the same stem with the suffix -il. There are numerous pairs of nouns in Yucatec which correspond structurally as N and N-il; and such that for each pair, what N designates differs from that which is designated by N-il. The difference, however, is not the same sort for all pairs; as shown in the following examples: k'in, 'day', 'sun'; k'inil, 'time', 'occasion'. yum, 'sir', 'honorable' (before a person's name or word referring to office), Old. Yuc., 'father'; yumil, 'owner'. na, 'house' (without specifying who lives in it); nail, 'one's dwelling', 'home'. luum, 'ground'; luumil, 'region', 'country', 'soil', 'removed earth'. xib, 'male', 'man'; xiybil, 'manhood' wakax, 'cow', 'cattle', wakxil, 'cow-like', having the properties or appearance of a cow. kuuk, 'squirrel'; kuukil, name of a game in which the participants imitate squirrels.
It is convenient, though by no means elucidating, to say that in each case, the stem N is used in a derived sense when -il is affixed to it. But no useful generalization can be made as to what sort of sense is the derived sense in all instances. One sort of derived sense which is subject to rule is as follows: By affixing -il to the name of a village, town, or region, a noun referring to its inhabitants can be formed; e.g., yok'-ts'onotilo'b, 'inhabitants of Yok Dzonot'; le san-antonyoyloobo’, 'those from San Antonio'; hun tul le nohiloobo’, 'one of the Southerners' (people of Quintana Roo).
The word k'inil, signifying 'time' or 'occasion', is always preceded by the 3rd. pers. pron., u, even in such expressions as chen hun p'el u k'inile’, 'once upon a time', 'on a certain occasion'. On the other hand, the adopted Spanish words hora, 'time', 'hour', and mes, 'month', are used without u or -il when preceded by a numeral, but -il is affixed to them when the reference requires the use of u; as in u yoorail in weenel, 'my sleeping time (the time of my sleeping); tu meesil abrile’, 'in the month of April'. The distinction between na, 'house', 'a building' and nail, 'one's dwelling', is made in some localities by means of the words na, 'house' and otoch, 'one's dwelling'. Thus, for such a statement as I see a house, na seems to be used throughout the Yucatec speech-area, but for I went to his house, binen tu nail or binen tu yotoch would be used, depending on the locality. In some localities, tu nail, 'to his dwelling', is sometimes replaced by tu tana. The expression tana seems to contain the word na, 'house', but we are unable to identify the component ta in any other combination. Furthermore, various tests indicated that tana may be used only in reference to a 3rd. person's dwelling, and only in the expression tu tana, 'to his dwelling', 'to his home'.
3. Construction u N-il. The components of this construction are u, 3rd. pers. sing. pron. of Class A; N, a simple or composite stem commonly used as a noun. The objects, persons, or other items referred to by construction u N-il are of the same sort as those referred to by N. Take, for example, the stem kax, signifying 'chicken'. In many contexts, the two phrases u kaxi lo'b and le kaxoobo’, signifying 'the chickens', are interchangeable. Evidence of their equivalence comes not only from the reactions of the native speaker to our tests, but from the many instances in which the same items are referred to by both constructions in the same discourse. It is observed, however, that a given item is referred to by construction u N-il only after it has been mentioned in a previous reference, and only if the particularity of the item is not the dominant topic (4.8). Thus, in a description of a ceremony, it is first stated that chickens have to be procured. In describing further what is done with the chickens, construction u N-il is frequently employed, but not exclusively. In contrast with this, we observe that when an item is the dominant topic of the discourse, construction u N -il is not employed. In the cases just spoken of, if we try to understand the pronoun u as signifying that the item spoken of belongs to someone, we frequently fail to find a possessor, in the grammatical or in the strict sense of the term 'possessor'; and the native speaker is perplexed if he is asked whose item he refers to. In those cases the pronoun u cannot be said in any useful sense to operate as a possessive pronoun. In other instances its use is like that of the genitive case in various European languages. That is the case in reference to a part of a whole, or origin, or material of which something is made, or an accessory of a contrivance, or the various articles or other items habitually utilized or in some way involved in the performance of a common activity, i.e., items pertaining to that activity.
Examples: u yitil ex, 'the seat of the pants'. u suumil le kampanao’, 'the cord of the church bell'. u pachil u kal, 'the back of the neck'. u tanil u hool, 'the forehead (the front of the head)'.