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Jan. 4, 1884.] 




IVanslated from a MS. in the Library of the American Philosophical 
Society^ with an Introduction and additions, 

By Daniel G. Brinton, A.M., M.D., 

One of the Secretaries of the Society. 




§ I. The Cakchiquel Nation 347 

§ II. History of the Present Work 349 

§ III. Literature of the Cakchiquel Language 350 

§ IV. Phonology of the Cakchiquel 357 


Chapter I. Of the Noun 361 

Declension of Nouns 361 

On the Use of Adjective Nouns 363 

Chapter II. Of the Pronouns 365 

Primitive Pronouns 365 

Possessive Pronouns 366 

Demonstrative Pronouns 369 

Quis or Qui. 370 

Distributive Words 371 

Chapter III. Of the Verbs 372 

Sum, es, fui 372 

On the Conjugation of the Verbs 381 

Active Verbs beginning with a Consonant. . 381 

Active Verbs beginning witli a Vowel 385 

Neuter, Absolute and Passive Verbs 389 

Formation of Absolute and Passive Verbs 389 

The Imperative 390 

The Optative, Subjunctive and Infinitive 391 

The Gerund and Supine 393 



Chapter IV. 

Chapter V. 

Chapter YI. 

<^4:b f Jan. 4, 


On the Formation of Participles and Verbal Nouns. 395 

Verbal Nouns from Active and Absolute Verbs 395 

Verbals with the prefix a?i 395 

Verbals ending in y 395 

Verbals ending in yom 396 

Verbals ending in el 396 

Verbals ending in ynak 396 

Verbals ending in ic 396 

Verbals ending in em 396 

Verbals ending in bal 397 

Verbals ending in ol or ul 397 

Verbals ending in oh or uh 397 

Verbal Nouns from Passive Verbs 397 

Verbals in el 397 

Verbals in inak 398 

Verbals in ^c 398 

Verbals in om 398 

Verbal Nouns from Neuter Verbs 398 

Of Certain Pronouns 399 

Accusatives and Reciprocals 399 

Of the Composition and Derivation of Verbs 401 

Derivation of Active and Neuter Verbs.. 401 

Neuter Verbs ending in e of more than one Syllable, 402 

Frequentative Verbs 403 

Of some Particles and Adverbs 403 

Of m; ach ; quereqa. The four verbs, el, apon, 

kah, pe. Of can ; na ; bala ; etc 403 


Comparison of Adjectives ^^'^ 

Interjections ^^* 

Adverbs f^ 

Numerals ^^^ 

Numeral Particles ^^^ 

General Particles • • ^^^ 

1884.1 *^'^* [Brinton. 


§ I. The GakcMquel Nation. 

The Cakchiquel language was, and continues to be, spoken by the na- 
tives in the vicinity of the city of Guatemala. It is a dialect of the Maya 
group of languages, and is very closely related to the Kiche and Tzutuhil 
dialects, and more remotely to the Chorti, Mam, Pokomam, Ixil, Pokon- 
chi and Kekchi, all yet extant in that part of Central America. 

At the time of the Conquest, the Cakchiquels were divided into two 
States under the senior and junior branches of the same reigning house. 
The capital of the elder branch was called Bitinamlty The City, par ex- 
cellence^ or Iximche.^ the name of a tree, a species of Brosimium, fam. Arto- 
carpeacem, but it received from the Aztec invaders the name Tecpan 
Guatemala, The Royal House of Guatemala, by which it is usually en- 
tered on modern maps. The junior branch had its seat at Zolola, sit- 
uate on a lofty summit north of Lake Atitlan, a site called by 
the Aztecs, Tecpan Atitlan, the Royal House of Atitlan,* The whole of 
this district is elevated, and the climate temperate ; but there were also a 
few Cakchiquel colonies in the hot lands near the Pacific Coast, as at Patu- 
lul, Cozumelguapam (celebrated for the inscribed slabs lately discovered 
there) and other places. Here they were in immediate contact with the 
Pipiles, of Aztec descent, and speaking a slightly corrupted Nahuatl 

As the city of Guatemala was founded in the midst of a Cakchiquel- 
speaking population, this language early attracted the attention of the 
missionaries. The first bishop, Francisco Marroquin, appointed to the See 
in 1534, was himself an earnest student of the tongue, and secured the 
publication of a doctrinal work in it. When in 1678 the University of 
Guatemala was formally founded, a chair of the Cakchiquel language was 
created, the first occupant of which was Pr. Jos6 Senoyo, a Dominican. 
In 1743 Guatemala was raised to the dignity of an Archbishopric, and 
thereafter it was customary to call the Cakchiquel "the metropolitan 
tongue," la lengaa metropolitana, or la lengua Guatemalteca. It was regu- 
larly taught in the University until the dissolution of the political depend- 
ence of Guatemala on the Spanish Crown (1822), since which event, I be- 

♦For the full explanation of these and other NahuatI names found in Guate- 
mala, see Buschmann, Ueber die. Aztekischen Orisnamenj § VIII. 

Brinton.] d4o [jan. 4, 

lieve, no Professor of Cakchiquel has been appointed, and no systematic 
instruction given in the tongue. 

The meaning of the name GakcTiiquel is obscure. A passage in Herrera 
gives it the translation, "eagle," with the explanation that it was the 
name of the site on which the city of Guatemala was founded, and was 
derived from the custom of the war chief of that nation carrying an eagle 
as a banner.* The dictionaries, however, do not support this derivation. 
Evidently Herrera's informant took the name from caJdx, the ara or gua- 
camaya, Trogon splendens, a bird of beautiful plumage, held sacred by 
most of the Central American tribes. But the derivation is too violent. 

The root cak means "red," or more correctly, something red; cM, is 
mouth, literally and metaphorically, hence speech, language, dialect ; and 
in such proper names as Pokonchi, Kakchi, etc., it apparently has this lat- 
ter signification, as the dictionaries translate GakcliiquelcM by "the Cak- 
chiquel language." The last syllable quel, has been translated "stone," 
though I do not find this form in the dictionaries, but only the allied ones, 
qual, a term applied to all precious and supposed medicinal or sacred 
stones, such as were used for amulets, and qeley, brick, a connection 
strengthened by the adoption by some writers of the form CakcMqel.\ 
Dr. Berendt suggested that the three syllables could thus be fairly trans- 
lated, "The Red Mouth of the Rock," or mountain ; the reference being 
to the active volcanoes whose fiery outbursts have so often desolated that 
region, and which we know were regarded and worshiped with supersti- 
tious veneration. 

The natives, however, derived their name from a mythical tree, the caka 
checy or red tree, which they brought with them from Tullan, their an- 
cient home beyond the sea. This is expressed in the following sentence 
from the Annals of Xahila : 

"Xa ka hun chi caka chee ka qhamey ok xoh pe xi qo ka qama pe chu 
chi Tullan, quereqa ka binaam vi Cakchiquel vinak." 

The Gakachee is now the name of one of the dye woods which grow in 

I have said the language was called Gakchiqv^lcM, and they spoke ot 

♦ " La ciudad de Santiago de Guatemala, cuio sitio llamd Cachequil, quesig^- 
nifica Aguila, porque el General de esta Nacion, quando sal la h la Guerra, Ueva- 
ba un Aguila poi* Penacho, etc." Herrera, Descripoion de las IndUas Occidentales , 
Cap. XII. 

t The anonymous dictionary of the Cakchiquel, lately in the possession of Mr. 
E. G. Squier, usually gives this form. 

1884.] ^49 [Brinton. 

themselves as ahcakehiquele, but generally by the simpler term Gakchi- 

II. History of the Present Work. 

The present Grammar of the Cakchiquel is the translation of a portion 
of a Spanish manuscript presented to the Library of the American Philo- 
sophical Society in 1836, by Senor Mariano Galvez, then Governor of 
Guatemala, and obtained, it would appear, from the library of one of the 
religious houses. I have described this MS. in a previous publication, and 
will transcribe what I have there written : 

"The next work is a small quarto of 109 leaves. Unfortunately, the first 
leaf with the general title is missing. The top of the second leaf com- 
mences in the midst of a sentence in a Doctrina Christiana in Cakchiquel. 
This covers ten leaves, and is followed by two leaves of * Preguntas de la 
Doctrina,* all in Cakchiquel. Next comes a * Confessionario breve en 
lengua Cakchiquel.* The Spanish translation of each question and answer 
is also given. 

"After the Confessionario are three leaves, unnumbered and blank, ex- 
cept that on the recto of the second is a Latin Prayer to the Virgin, diffi- 
cult to decipher. 

"On the recto of the next leaf is the following : 

" 'Arte \\de la lengua cak \\ chiqueV 

"It is written in a clear small hand, covers fifty-four pages, with an 
average of thirty lines to the page, sometimes with one column, some- 
times with two, and closes with the colophon : 

"'Martes a 24 de Junio de 1692 anos dia del Nacimiento de S. Juan 
Baptista se acavo el traslado de oragiones y Arte en Kakchiquel.* 

"From the close of this to the 96th leaf there is another series of doc- 
trinal questions in Cakchiquel. 

"Then follows another 'Confessionario breve en lengua castellana y 
cakchiquel/ 12 pages in length, differing considerably from the previous 
one. The rest of the volume is taken up with 'Platicas,* short discourses 
on religious subjects. * * The characters of Parra are employed in all 
the divisions of the book, and the writing is generally quite legible. 

"There is no hint throughout where the original was written nor by 
whom. * * * The linguistic value of the ^r^e is considerable."* 
As no part of the collection presented to the Society by President 

*A Notice 0/ Some Manuscripts in Central American Languages^ by Daniel G. 
Brinton, Ame7ncan Journal of Science and Arts, March, 1869. 

Brinton.] ob\) ^jan. 4^ 

Galvez, has ever been published, it was resolved at a meeting toward the 
close of 1883 to have this short grammar translated and printed, and the 
task was referred to me. 

A close examination of the MS. showed that the copyist had not been 
always accurate, sometimes failing in a consistent orthography, and once 
or twice having manifestly neglected the observance of the proper order of 
the original. Where there was no doubt about such negligence, it has 
been corrected in the translation ; but elsewhere the original has been 
adhered to, even when another disposition of the subject seemed prefer- 
able to the translator. 

Fortunately, the exhibition of the language could be rendered more sat • 
isfactory by the aid of two manuscript grammars in my own library. One 
of these is that of Fray Benito de Yillacafias, a Dominican who died at 
the Convent of Guatemala in 1610, at the age of 73 years, and who for 
more than thirty years had been a missionary among the Cakchiquels. Hia 
knowledge of the language, therefore, dated back to the first century of 
the Conquest, and his works represent it in its primitive form . The second 
Grammar is by Fray Estevan Torresano, and was written shortly after the 
publication in 1753 of the Cakchiquel Grammar of P. Ildefonso Joseph 
Flores, and with the especial object of improving and correcting that un- 
necessarily complicated and ill-arranged book. Torresano*s is, I believe,, 
the latest grammar of the Cakchiquel which has been composed, as that 
of Villacanas is the earliest now in existence, and they therefore offered 
particularly useful aids in this undertaking. 

All these grammars take as their plan that of the Latin or Spanish lan- 
guages, and apply it to this American dialect. To scientific linguists it ia 
needless to say that this method is quite erroneous, and that it forces 
American tongues into a form wholly uncongenial to their spirit. But it 
would have been impossible to have adopted any better system, and at the 
same time to have maintained the semblance of a translation. Therefore, 
I have confined myself to an obedience of the plan chosen by the authors 
I had to follow, trusting that the material furnished for the study of the 
language will be sufllcient to allow the linguist to complete a scheme of 
its organization and to arrange its elements in accordance with the de- 
mands of modern science. 

III. Literature of the Cakchiquel Language. 
The Maya group of languages, of which, as I have said, the Cakchiquel 
is a member, has several points of peculiar interest. It was the linguistic 

1884.] ^51 [Brinton. 

expression of one of the most cultivated indigenous races on the continent ; 
it was, and still is, maintained with a singular tenacity ; it is largely 
composed of monosyllabic or dissyllabic roots ; and its grammatical con- 
struction presents a marked contrast to that of its near neighbor, the Na- 
huatl (Aztec), and still greater to the native tongues of the United States 
with which we are most familiar, the Algonkin, Iroquois, Dakota, Musko- 
ki, Cherokee, etc., by its very much more pronounced analytic tendency. 
The latter trait prevails through all its dialects, though more obviously in 
some than in others. Especially for the latter reason its examination is 
important to students of languages, as indicating the feeble development 
of polysynthesis in an American tongue. 

Moreover, the Cakchiquel has been, as I have above intimated, one of 
the most thoroughly studied of native languages. There is a large body 
of theological literature extant in it, and several semi-historical works by 
native writers. Very little of this has been printed. So far as I know the 
following memoranda show all that has been put to press. 

1556. According to Remesal, Historia de Ghiapa y Guatemala (Lib. 
Ill, Cap. VII), there was printed at Mexico in this year a Doctrina Ghris- 
tiana, in **the Utlateca language commonly called the Quiche," by order 
of the first Bishop of Guatemala, Fray Francisco Marroquin. Remesal 
adds, ** although the title of the book sets forth that the work was accom- 
plished with the aid of the friars Juan de Torres, and Pedro de Santos 
(read, Betanzos), of the Franciscan and Dominican orders respectively, 
yet this was owing to the humility of the Bishop, who could readily 
write in the native tongue without their aid, but who was anxious to have 
the terms used in the translation satisfactory to both orders.'* 

Although no copy of this edition is known to exist, I have no doubt 
that Remesal was in error when he said that the above work was in the 
Utlateca or Kiche dialect. Elsewhere he himself says it was in **the lan- 
guage of the countrj'-'' {la lengua de la tierra), which, with reference to 
Guatemala, would undoubtedly mean Cakchiquel. But the most conclu- 
sive evidence is the following title from a work, evidently another edition 
of the above : 

1724. Doctrina Christiana en lengua Guatemalteca : Ordenada por el 
Reverendissimo Senor Don Francisco Marroquin primer Obispo de Guate- 
mala, y del Consejo de su Magistad, y con parecer de los interpretes de 

Brinton.] 352 [Jan. 4, 

las Religiones del Senor Santo Domingo y S. Francisco : Frai Juan de 
Torres y Frai Pedro de Betanzos. 

Fronting the above : 

Christianoil tzih pa Cakchiquel, qhabal, relecjan ahau Obispo Francisco 
Marroquin ; nabei Obispo Cakchiquel, ru poponel Emperador. Qui liu- 
nam vach erah cakchiquel chi Santo Domingo Santo Francisco, Padre 
Frai Juan de Torres, Frai Pedro de Betancjos. 

Colophon : 

En Guatemala con licencia de los Superiores, por el B. Antonio Velasco, 

The volume is small 4to, 32 unnumbered leaves, the first 30 in two col- 
umns, Spanish in the first, Cakchiquel in the second. The 1st and 2d leaves 
contain a "Prologo'' in two columns, Spanish and Latin ; leaves 31 and 
32 contain a Declaration of Faith, Act of Contrition, and a Prayer, all in 
one column and in Cakchiquel only. 

The only copy known of this work is in a private collection in Guate- 
mala, and the description given above is from Dr. C. H. Berendt's notes, 
taken from the book itself. It is not mentioned by any of the bibli- 
ographers. I think the title leaves no doubt but that it is a reprint of the 
Dodrina referred to by Remesal, and that he was in error in speaking of 
it as in the Kiche. 

1753. Arte de la Lengua Metropolitana del Reyno Cakchiquel 6 Guate- 
malico, con un Paralelo de las Lenguas Metropolitanas de los Reynos 
Kich6, Cakchiquel, y Zutuhil, que hoy integran el Reyno de Guatemala. 
Compuesto por el P. F. Ildefonso Joseph Flares, hijo de la Santa Provin- 
cia del Dulcissimo Nombre de Jesus de Guatemala, de la Regular Obser- 
vancia de N. Seraphico P. S. Francisco, Ex-lector de Phylosophia, Predi- 
cador, y Cura Doctrinero por el real Patronato del Pueblo de Santa Maria 
de Jesus. En Guatemala, por Sebastian de Arebalo, ano de 1753. Small 
4to, pp. 387. 

I take the above title from Squier's Monograph of Authors who have writ- 
ten on the Languages of Central America (New York, 1861). The work 
has now become very scarce, although about half a dozen copies are known 
to be extant in private hands. 

1840. M. Ternaux-Compans in his Vocabulaires des Pricipales Langues 
du Mexique, published in the Nouvelles Annales des Voyages, Tome IV, 
printed about 500 words of the Cakchiquel, taken from an anonymous 

1884.] ^^^ [Brinton. 

MS. dictionary in the National Library, Paris, and accommodated to the 
French orthography. 

1857. Extracts in the original with a French translation from the 
** Manuscript Cakchiquel ou Memorial de Tecpan- Atitlan *' in Brasseur 
de Bourbourg, Histoire des Nations Civilisees du Mexique et de VAmerique- 
Centrale (Paris, 8vo). Two pages, in two columns, French and Cakchiquel. 
The Abbe frequently referred to this document and considered it, with 
reason, one of the most important extant on the pre-Columbian history of 
America as well as for its great linguistic value. It was the work of a 
native Cakchiquel noble, Francisco Ernantez Xahila, who wrote most of 
it about 1570, and after his death it was continued by a relative, Francisco 
Oebuta Queh. 

1862. Cartilla Breve traducida en Lengua Quiche y Cakchiquel al pi6 
de la Letra para el uso de los Cristianos Indigenas. 2 pp. Pp. VII and 
YIII of the Grammaire de la Langue Quicliee, by the Abb4 Brasseur de 
Bourbourg (Paris, 8vo, 1862). The orthography is brought into con- 
formity to French types. The Abbe does not give the origin of this piece. 
The same volume contains a comparison of the three dialects, Kiche, Cak- 
chiquel and Tzutuhil, and a Vocabulary of Roots common to the three, 
both derived from the works of Father Francisco Ximenez. 

With the exception of a few unimportant vocabularies, by Galindo, 
Scherzer, and others, and the discussion of the Cakchiquel in general 
works on language, such as those of Hervas, Pimentel, Lucien Adam, 
etc., the above includes all the printed material relating to the tongue 
known to me.* 

I should not omit, however, to mention the interesting studies in com- 
parative grammar, which have been made with reference to it and its 
allied dialects by M. Hyacinthe de Charencey. His observations are based 
on a critical and conscientious analysis of the hitherto accessible materials, 
and are aided by an extensive acquaintance with the idioms of the Old 
World. The articles he has published, and which I name in a note, throw 
more light on the structure and relations of the whole group of languages 

* Since the above was in type, I have received Dr. OttoStoU's excellent mono- 
graph, Zur Ethnographie der Republik Guatemala {Zurich, 1884), in which, pp. 129- 
158, he gives a grammatical sketch of the modern Cakchiquel as spoken in the 
vicinity of San Juan Sacatapequez. He also adds many words and phrases In 
the tongue. 


Brinton.] ^54 [jan. 4, 

to which the Cakchiquel belongs, than the production of any other philol- 
ogist whose writings I have met. Those who would use the present gram- 
mar to the best advantage should acquaint themselves with these essays of 
M. de Charencey.* 

The following alphabetic list contains a brief reference to all the writers 
and works which have been produced in Guatemala in or upon this tongue : 
Alarcon, Baltasar de. Flourished 1600. 

Franciscan. Collected a volume of sermons written in- Cakchiquel by 
various members of his order. In the Brasseur collection. 
Alonzo, Juan. Flourished about 1550. 

Native of Guatemala (?). Dominican. Composed a Galepino or Dic- 
tionary of the Cakchiquel, yet extant. 
Angel, Fr. About 1700. 

Franciscan. A Grammar and Dictionary attributed to him were in the 
Brasseur collection. 

Betanzos, Pedro de. f 1570. 

Native of Spain. Franciscan. Composed a Grammar and Vocabulary 
of the Cakchiquel, and prepared, assisted by Juan de Torres, the Doctrina 
printed at Mexico 1556, and Guatemala, 1724, described above. 

Corral, Felipe Ruiz, f 1^36. 

Native of Guatemala. Prepared a Grammar and Vocabulary of the 
Cakchiquel for the use of the priests. 
CoTO, ToMAs. Franciscan, 17th century. 

Native of Guatemala. He is the author of Vocahulario de la Lengua 
Cakchiquel vel Guatemalteca * * En que se contienen todos los modos y 
f rases elegantes con que los Naturales la hablan, folio, 476 leaves, 2 cols. 
MSS. in the library of the American Philosophical Society. It is complete 
down to the word vendible^ but the last few leaves are missing. 

* 8ur les lots phonitiques dans les idiomea de lafamille Mapa-Quichi. 

Sur le pronom personnel dans les idiomes de lafamille Maya-Quichi, 

Sur le sysUme de numeration chez lezpeuples de lafamille Maya-QuichS. 

Hecherches sur les noms de nomhres cardinavx dans lafamille Maya-Quichi. 

Sur la langue dite Mame ou Zaklo-pakap. 

These are included Id MUanges de Philologieei de Paleographie Amiricaines par 
le Comte de Charencey, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1883, except th'e last two, which are 
later and separate publications. I am glad to add that we may expect shortly 
from the same competent hand a thorough analysis of the verb in this lin- 
guistic group. 

1884.3 355 [Brinton, 

Delgrado, Damian. 

Order of Preachers. Prepared a Grammar and Dictionary of the Cak- 

Flores, Ildefonso Joseph, f 1772. 

Native of Guatemala. Franciscan. Professor of Cakchiquel in the 
University of Guatemala. Wrote the only published Grammar of the 
tongue, which has already been described. 

Guzman, Pantaleon de. Flourished 1700. 

Order of Preachers. Cura of Santa Maria de Jesus Pache. Wrote a 
Thesaurus Verborum and a Doctrina. A copy of these is in my possession. 

HiLLON, Joan de. 

Dominican. ** Maestro gravissimo y mui gran lengua." Goto. His 
works are not known. 

Irondo, Juan Francisco. 

Native of Guatemala. Franciscan. Wrote in Cakchiquel an Exposicion 
del Simbolo de San Atanasio. 

Maldonado, Francisco. Flourished 1640. 

This minorite friar wrote a Bamillete, manual para los Indios sobre la 
Doctrina Christiana, and an Explicacion de la Doctrina Christiana, copies 
of both of which, made in 1748, are in the library of the American Philo- 
sophical Society, in folio. He is frequently quoted by Goto for the purity 
of his style. 

Marroquin, Francisco. tl563. 

Native of Spain. Franciscan. Bishop of Guatemala, 1533 to 1563» 
Was the first to reduce to writing the Kiche language. Wrote a Cakchi- 
quel Grammar, and ordered the preparation of a Doctrina in that tongue 
by the Brothers Betanzos and Torres. See above. 

Mendoza, Juan, fl^l^- 

Native of Mexico. Franciscan. Wrote a Doctrina^ Lives of the Saints, 
and Doctrinal Sermons in Cakchiquel. 
Ordo5Jez, Diego. 1490-1607 (?). 

Born in Spain. Franciscan. Said to have been the first to reduce the 
Cakchiquel to writing. Composed in it a Doctrina and a number of ser- 
Parra, Francisco de. \ 1560. 

Native of Spain. Franciscan. Devised the five peculiar characters 

Brinton.] ^56 [Jan. 4, 

of the Cakchiquel alphabet, and composed a trilingual vocabulary of 
Kiche, Cakchiquel and Tzutuhil. 

Paz, Alonzo. f 1610. 

Native of Guatemala. Franciscan. Taught Cakchiquel and wrote in it 
a work entitled 8cala GoM, frequently quoted by Coto as an authority. 

QuEH, Francisco Gebuta. 1580. 
A native Cakchiquel. Wrote a continuation of the Annals of Xahila, q. v. 

Rodriguez, Juan. 

Native of Spain, Franciscan. Composed a Grammar and Vocabulary 
of the Cakchiquel. 

Salcedo, Francisco, 

Native of Chiapas. Franciscan. Professor of native languages in the 
University of Guatemala. Wrote a Grammar and Dictionary of the Cak- 

Saz, Antonio. 

Native of Chiapas. Franciscan. Wrote Sermons in Cakchiquel and an 
improved Grammar called Manual en la Lengua. Also Manual para lo» 
Oasados. His works are often quoted by Coto as models of style. 

SoTOMAYOR, Pedro, f 1^31. 

Native of Guatemala. Franciscan. Wrote a Grammar, Vocabulary 
and Sermons in Cakchiquel. 

Torres, Juan de. Flourished about 1550. 

Native of Spain. Dominican. Assisted by Pedron de Betanzos, he pre- 
pared, by order of Bishop Marroquin, the Doctrina in Cakchiquel, subse- 
quently printed. 

Torresano, Estevan. Flourished 1750. 

Native of Guatemala. Wrote an improved Grammar of the Cakchiquel, 
described above. A copy is in the national library of France, and another 
in my collection. 

Varea, Francisco. Flourished 1600. 

Native of Spain. Franciscan. Wrote a Oalepino or Dictionary of Cak- 
chiquel, a copy of which, made in 1699, by Fray Francisco (Jeron, is in the 
library of the American Philosophical Society. Squier in his Monograph 
erroneously gives his name as Varela, The volume is small 4to, 239 

1884.] ^^* [BriDton. 

leaves in all, closely written, and gives the translation of about 4000 Cak- 
chiquel words. 

Vico, Domingo, f 1555. 

Native of Spain. Order of Preachers. Composed a Grammar and 
Vocabulary of the Cakchiquel, and in it some sacred poems, and the cele- 
brated Theologia Indorum. A copy of the latter is in the library of the 
American Philosophical Society. 

VillacaStas, Benito de. \ 1610. 

Native of Spain. Dominican. Wrote a Grammar and Dictionary, both 
preserved, and copies of both are in my collection. 

ViLLEGAs, Antonio Prieto de. 17th century. 

Commissary of the Holy OflSce. For thirty years beneflciado of Matza- 
tenango. Thoroughly versed in Kiche. Wrote Tratado aobre el Baile 
Lotztun. Goto. 

Xahila, Francisco Ernantez Arana. fl^C^)- 

A native writer. Composed the Annals of his nation, the so-called Me- 
morial de Tecpan-AUtlan, Copy in the Brasseur collection and another in 

XiMENES, Francisco. Flourished 1710. 

Native of Spain. Dominican. Wrote a Catechism and Confessionario 
in Cakchiquel, and a Comparative Grammar of the three dialects, printed 
by Brasseur de Bourbourg. See above. 

To the above should be added various anonymous productions and 
those whose authors are unknown. Among the last mentioned is the 
work now printed, to the authorship of which I have obtained no clue. 

In the National Library at Paris there is a fine 4to MS., of 202 pp., in 
Cakchiquel, dated 1553, said to be a translation of the Pentateuch (?). 
That library also possesses an anonymous Vocdbulario en lengua. Castel- 
lana y Guatemalteca, a recent copy of a much older work. 

I have in my library a Calendario de los Indios de Guatemala, 1685, in 
Cakchiquel, a copy of an original in the city ot Guatemala, and I have 
heard of other written calendars in various parts of that country. 

§ IV. Phonology of the Gakchiquel, 
The Spanish missionaries complained of the idioms of Guatemala as ex- 
cessively rough and guttural, con asperisima pronunciacion gutural, as the 

Brinton.] ^^O f jan. 4, 

historian Juarros says.* Nor do they seem to impress recent travelers of 
other nations more agreeably. One of the latest of these, an Englishman, 
writes : **When au Indian speaks, it is always in a high, unmusical tone ; 
the language is hideous, and sounds like a person speaking without any 
roof to his mouth, "f 

In the present work, as in most that have been written in or upon the Oak- 
chiquel, the phonetic basis is the Spanish alphabet. Of that alphabet the 
following letters are used with their Spanish values, a, b, c, q, e, i, 1, m, n, 
o, p, q, r, t, y, z. 

The following are not employed : 

d, f, g, j, s, tt, n. 

The following are introduced, but with sounds differing from the 
Spanish : 

h. This is always a decided rough breathing or forcible expiration, like 
the Spanish j, or the strong English h ; except when it follows c or q when 
it is pronounced as in the Spanish cha, che, &c. 

h This has never the sound of c, but is a rough palatal, the mouth being 
opened, and the tongue placed midway, between the upper and lower 
walls of the oral cavity, while the sound is forcibly expelled. 

V. This letter whether as a consonant (v) or a vowel (u) is pronounced 
separately, except when it is doubled as in vuh {uuh), book or paper, when 
the double vowel is very closely akin to the English w. The Spanish 
writers are by no means consistent in their orthography of the Cakchiquel, 
in distinguishing the vowel v and the consonant v. 

X. In Cakchiquel and its associated dialects, this letter represents the 
sound of sh in the English words she, shoiDe, etc. It is of very frequent 
occurrence in all of them. 

Besides the above, there are five sounds occurring in the Cakchiquel, 
Kiche and Tzutuhil, for which five special characters were invented or 
rather adopted by the early missionary Francisco de la Parra, who died 
in Guatemala in 1560. They are the following : 

^- ^ ^ s % 

* He adds, ** y que con solo pronunciar con mas 6 menos fuerza las palabras mu- 
dan de significado." Compendio de la Historia de la Oiudad de Guatemala. Per 
el Pr. Don Domingo Juarros, Tomo II, p. 36 (2d ed. Guatemala, 1857). 

f Across Central America. By J. W. Boddam-Whetham, p. 264 (London, 18T7). 
The particular dialect he refers to is the Kekchi of Coban In Vera Paz. 

1884.] ^59 [BrintOD. 

The origin and phonetic value of these are as follows : 

This is called the tresillo, from its shape, it being an old form ot 
^ the figure three, reversed, thus, g. It is the only true guttural in 
^ the language being pronounced forcibly from the throat, with a 
trilling sound (castaneteando). 

From its shape this is called the cuatrillo, Parra having adopted for 
A it an old form of the figure 4. It is a trilled palatal between a hard 
^ c and Jc. 

The name applied to this is the cuatrillo con coma, or the 4 with a 
.4t comma. It is pronounced somewhat like the c with the cedilla, q, 
only more quickly and with greater force — ds ordz. 

This resembles the "4 with a comma," but is descibed as softer, 
X^ the tongue being brought into contact with the teeth. 

A compound sound produced by combining the quatrillo with 
a forcible aspirate is represented by this sign. 


Naturally, no description in words can convey any correct notion oi 
these sounds. To learn them, one must hear them spoken by those to the 
manner born. 

Unfortunately, there is no uniformity about the use of Parra's signs 
among the writers in Cakchiquel. Of the considerable number ot 
Cakchiquel MSS. I have examined, I find scarcely two alike in this 
respect. Most of them use the tresillo and the cuatrillo ; some discard all 
of them ; and but few fully carry out the scheme he suggested. The 
writers difiered in nicety of ear, and the same word occurs written in more 
than one way. 

In the printed works no special type has been obtained to imitate these 
characters. I have some recent publications from Guatemala in the Kiche 
dialect where the figure three reversed, g, and the figure 4, are employed 
in the type to represent the tresillo and cuatrillo.* Brasseur used a g, and 
introduced hyphens and apostrophes in his editions of Kiche writings, but 
these were all foreign to his original manuscripts, and cannot therefore be 
approved by exact scholarship. 

I think there are sound objections to using Arabic numerals to express 

* I refer to some songs, etc., in Kiche, published in El Federal Indiana, Quin- 
cenario de antiguedades histdricas, costumlyres indigenas i jeneralidades, published 
at Totonicapam, 1883, by the eminent Guatemalan linguist and antiquary, 
Seflor Don Manuel G. Elgueta. 

Br in ton.] ^t>U [Jan. 4, 

phonetic elements (though I am aware it has obtained in books printed in 
Iroquois), and I agree with those who advocate employing rather the 
European alphabets with diacritical marks. In the present work, there- 
fore, I have concluded to adopt for the tresillo the somewhat similar Greek 
Sigma Z; and for the cuatrillo the full-faced q, this having, indeed, the 
authority of Varea in his Galepino and also of the native writers, Xahila 
and Queh, who use a modification of this letter for the cuatrillo of Parra. 
The cuatrillo con coma is then readily represented by a full-faced q, with 
a comma, and thus the necessary phonetic distinctions are observed 
without going beyond the resources of an ordinary printing oflBlce, and 
without presenting to the reader figures or signs which he cannot possibly 
connect with any sounds whatever.* 

* On the general subject of the phonology of the dialects under consideration^ 
the student will find the best information in Dr. C. H. Berendt's essay, Ai% 
Analytical Alphabet for the Mexican and Central American Language^ (New York, 
1869, published by the American Ethnological Society) ; and in Dr. Otto Stoir& 
work, Zu7' Ethnographic der Republik Oautemala, pp. 40-44. The description 
given in the text of the peculiar sounds is taken from that in Torresano's. 

1884.] *^61 IBrinton. 


Chapter I. Of the Noun. 

Declension of Nouns, 

The first matter whicli it is necessary to discuss is the declen- 
sion of the Noun. In this language there is no declension 
of cases, as in Latin, as the singular serves for all cases of the 
singular, and the plural for all cases of the plural. The follow- 
ing rules will explain which nouns have plurals, and which 
have not : 

T[. Every noun which signifies an inanimate thing lacks the 
plural ; as ahah^ stone, che^ wood, stick, vleuh^ the earth. 

T. Every noun which signifies an animate thing without 
other relation or any accident,^ has no plural. Such are gene- 
ric and specific names, as, chicop^ animal or brute, tziquin^ bird 
queh^ horse, t balam^ tiger. 

T. An exception is yxoh^ the female, which makes yxoki^ 
the females, and halam which is found with the plural balami^ 
the tigers. 

T. It is to be noted with reference to these rules that when 
such nouns are united to the primitive or derivative pronouns 
of the plural number, then they have a plural, not in expres- 
sion but in signification. For example, mani hochoch^ we have 
no houses ; qo kapop^ we have mats. 

T[. When any of the above nouns are united to the primi- 
tive or derivative pronouns, in metaphorical expressions, prais- 
ing or blaming, then they have the plural form ; as, yx quere 
a2'6, you are like hens ; yx quere halami^ you are like tigers. 

^. The nouns referred to in the above two rules also have a 
plural by union with words signifying plurality, as qz}*, much, 
conohel^ all, and with the ordinal numbers; as quiyache^ many 
sticks, oxivay^ three loaves, tzatchi vinak, many people. 

* Here used in its metaphysical sense, 
t Properly ''deer.'* 


Brinton.1 362 f jan. 4. 

Tf. Names of animate things wliich signify an accident of 
nature as *'the yonng," "the old," etc., or of fortune as "the 
poor," " the rich," and also participial nouns form their plural 
by adding to some a, and to others y ; but which termination is 
to be added must be taught by use. Examples, mama the old 
man, mamae^ old men; qahol, the youth, qahola, youths; 
aqual, the child, aquala^ children ; aZa, the boy, alahon^ boys ; 
Zopoh^ the girl, lopohiy^ girls ; linom^ rich, linoma^ rich people ; 
me^a, poor, mehai^ poor people. 

•f . Nouns ending in ti or m form their plural in a ; as ahti- 
corij the owner of a cacao plantation, plural, ahticona ; ahtzi- 
gom^ a tailor, plural, ahtzicoma, 

^. Participial nouns ending in a form their plural by adding 
y; as ahtzeola^ the rower, ahtzeolay, the rowers; ahlolola, the 
buyer, ahlololay, the buyers; ahpitzola^ he who makes works 
in feathers, ahpitzolay feather -workers. There are some adjec- 
tive nouns which have a plural form, as nim^ great, plural, 
nimak ; chutim^ small, plural, chutik. To express that a road 
is lofty or extended, one would say in the singular naht, large 
or extended or distant, and in the plural nahtik ; nima ya^ a 
great river ; chuti ya^ a small river or small rivers. 

This particle he or e added to the noun forms a plural, as, 
zah he qui Uu^ they have white clothing. 

The Grammars of Villacanas and Torresano give some farther particu- 
lars of plural forms. The general rule is that nouns denoting inanimate 
objects have no plurals, and those denoting animate objects are pluralized 
either by the terminations a or i (= y), or by the use of words conveying 
plurality. Of the latter the most common is he or e, which is simply the 
plural demonstrative pronoun, these or those. This pronoun is also in- 
serted even when the noun has the plural termination, as Xe be he aht^- 
aki chi cochoch, the plasterers went to their houses. It carries with it a 
specific and definite meaning, and is omitted even with animate nouns 
without plural forms when these are employed in a general sense. Torre- 
sano shows this by the following two examples : conohel he nuqahol xe be 
pa caman, all my sons have gone to the village cornfield ; but, indefinitely^ 
ronohel vinak xe be pa camahy all the people have gone to work. 

There are also a number of nouns signifying animate objects which are 
used absolutely, without the pronominal prefixes, and which may be plu- 
ralized by prefixing the e. Of these are tatay tataatZy or tataixel, the father, 
not stating whose, qaholy qaolatz or qaolaxely the son, not stating whose, 

1884.] 363 [Brlnton. 

hi hiatz^ or Maxell the son-in-law. These approximate to verbal forms, 
and appear to be confined to nouns indicating family affinity. 

Abstract nouns may be constructed by adding the termination ah to the 
concrete. They do not form plurals, but contain the notion of plurality. 
Thus, nu tzarn, is '*my nose," but tzamahy is *'the nose," without refer- 
ence to person. So 2a, hand, nu 2<i, my hand, ^abah, the hand, which 
also means the two hands, as they are always associated in nature. 

§ I. On the Use of Adjectives. 

The adjective noun is always placed first, and then the sub- 
stantive noun, and between adjective and substantive is placed 
one of the following particles, which by themselves have no 
signification : 

a, — y, — ^7aA, — olah^ — ZaA, — ah, — qla\ — vlah^ — elak. 

Examples: nm, large, nirna che^ large stick; q^y, much, q^ja 
gaSul, much fruit ; gak^ white, gaki qui, white cloak ; naht, 
high, nahtik vinaJc, great persons ; vtz^ good, vtzilah ya^ good 
water; q,^7, dirty, q^ilolah quZ, a dirty cloak; melen^ hot, me- 
^enalah ya^ hot water; chaom^ Pretty, chaomalah I'opoh^ sl 
pretty girl ; teii^ cold, teulah ya^ cold water ; qai/, bitter, qaylah 
ya, bitter water ; ytzelulah huyiiy sl bad descent ; lol^ beloved, 
lo^olah tata, beloved father; chuq,hu\ maimed, chuq^huhilah 
ahauhj sl maimed ruler ; xche^ sterile, xcheelah yxok^ a sterile 

^. Other words add tc, as q?^Zan, joined or married, qulanic 
yxok^ a married woman ; hebel^ something pretty and pleasant, 
hebelic qw?,^ pretty clothing. 

T*. Note that when one substantive noun is united to another 
substantive noun, with the signification of an adjective, one of 
these particles, alah or ylah, is placed between them ; as abahi- 
lah bei^ a stony road ; gixalah hiiyu^ a thorny mountain ; chico- 
pilah vinakj a bestial person. 

T". The particles elah and vlah are also placed between such 
substantives, as q^echelah ticon^ a cacao field neglected and 
overgrown ; civanilah bei^ a rough road. 

^. And take notice that the least important substantive is 
placed first, and used as the adjective ; as, gix^ a thorn, bei^ a 
road, gixalah bei^ a thorny road. 

*The generic word for clothing is qw/; the specific term is ^u; the 
latter is varied, the former is not. (Goto.) 

Biinton.l dO* [Jan. 4, 

^. Observe that when any derivative or possessive pronoun 
is united to the first noun in such a connection, then one of the 
following particles is added to the noun, a?, el^ il^ ol, vl ; as, 
ahauhj lord, rahaual vinak^ the lord of the people ; ru yaal bo- 
hoi^ the water of the jar ; ru cheel hai^ the wood of the house, 
ru caliilll che^ or rua che^ the fruit of the tree ; ru hahil balam^ 
the bone of the tiger ; ru hohoil cah^ the jar of the honey ; ru 
popol hai the rug of the house. And this is not only the case 
with third persons, but with all persons, both singular and 
plural, as: 

vahaual Jesu Christo^ My Lord Jesus Christ. 
auhaual Jesu Christo^ Thy " " " 

rahaual Jesu ChristOj His " " " 

hahaual Jesu Christo^ Our " " *' 

yahaual Jesu Christo^ Your " " " 

cahaual Jesu Chris to. Their " " " 

To make the above explanation clearer, it should be stated that in 
Cakchiquel, as in most American tongues, there is no such separate part 
of speech as an adjective. The word nim, does not mean ** great," but *'a 
great thing ;" hebel, ** a pretty thing," etc. Such words only assume the 
sense of adjectives when used to express the quality of a subject. Hence 
the Spanish grammarians divide the Cakchrquel nouns into the two 
classes, "adjective nouns," such as the above, and "substantive nouns," 
which can express being without relation. 

Of the terminations alah, elah, ilah^ olah, ulah, Torresano states that the 
most frequent are alah and ilah, as these may be added to almost all 
nouns, both substantive and adjective ; olah is used only in the word 
lolol ih. 

On the terminations al, el, il, ol, vl, Villacanas has the following import- 
ant remarks : "The possessive pronouns unite with both substantive and 
adjective nouns, and it is to be noted that when the pronoun conveys the 
notion of ownership, no termination is added to the noun ; but when the 
pronoun expresses the connotation of a quality or accident, and not 
ownership, then one of the following particles is added to the nouns, al, 
el^ il, ol, vl. For example, nu u?i, my book, the book which 1 own ; nu 
iihil, my book, that in which matters relating to me are written ; nu coloh, 
my cord, the cord I own, nu colohol, my cord, the cord with which I am 
bound, etc. When these particles are added to adjective nouns, they ex- 
press the quality in the abstract, as zac, white, zacil, whiteness ; viz, good, 
'ctzil, goodness. These abstract nouns can rarely be used with the personal 
possessive pronouns, although we might say, nu zacil, my whiteness." 




Chapter II. Of the Pronouns. 

T. There are primitive and derivative pronouns, 
primitive are : 

yn^ I. oh^ we. 

at^ thou. yx^ T^^- 

Aa,* that one. h.e^\ these. 

Other pronouns are : yn^ at^ ha^ oh^ yx^ here. 

Genitives of these words are : 
vichin^ my or of me. 


avichin^ thy. 
rrichin^X of that one. 

Datives of these genitives : 
chuichin^ to or for me. 
chavichin^ to or for thee. 
chirichin^ to or for that one. 

hichin^ our. 
yvichin^ your. 
quichin^ their. 

chikichin^ to or for us. 
chivichm^ to or for you. 
chiquichin^ to or for those. 

The following are datives of the same sense and rendering.^ 

chihe^ to or for us. 
chive^ to or for you. 
chique^ to or for those. 

chikihj against us. 
chivih^ against you. 
chiquih^ against those. 

chue^ to or for me. 
chaue^ to or for thee. 
chire^ to or for that one. 

Accusatives of these words : 
chuih^ against me. 
chavihj against thee. 
chirthj against that one. 

Those words also mean, of or from me, of or from thee, etc. 

Torresano adds the explanation: *' This accusative has two other sig- 
nifications (besides the one given above). One is 'at my cost/ or 'in 
my care/ as, 'It is in my care to aid you and to look after you/ CJmih 
qohvi ytooic iq^eti navipe. The other is, 'behind me,' 'behind thee,' as, 
' The garment is behind thee,' Ghahvih noh mauV So Goto gives the ex- 
ample : Ghuih ahilam mri, "This is at my cost or expense. " 

* Should read ri; ha is the demonstrative. 

t Or, e. 

X Better, rkhin, 

§ This form is not given by either of the other grammarians. 

Brinton.l «>t>b fjan. 4, 

In the reciprocal accusative Torresano doubles the terminal vowel, and 
also adds another form as follows : 

chinuhil vij\ within myself. 
chabil avij\ within thyself. 
chubil rij^ within himself. 
chikihil kij\ within ourselves. 
chibil ivij] within yourselves. 
chiquibil quij\ within themselves. 

It is used as in the following example : qa mahaniok tuinakiricah Dies 
cah vUuh xaki chubil rij xqohe vi, Before God created the heaven and the 
earth He was within Himself. The term bilis here used with the posses- 
sive pronoun and the preposition chi. 

In reference to vocatives the same author remarks that they have no 
peculiar form in this language, and that in place of them they use the 
second persons, singular and plural, as, Yx alabon, Boys, come here (lit- 
erally. You, boys). 

The following accusatives are used in the present tenses : 
quin^ me. hoh^ us. 

cat^ thee. quix^ you. 

que^ them. 

There are other accusatives which are used to form recipro- 
cal verbs, e, (/., tin loZoh vi ; I love myself; and thus in the 
other persons prefixing the particles tin^ ta^ tu^ as : 

tin — vi, to myself, tika — qui^ to ourselves. 

ta — avi^ to thyself. ti — ^^;^, to yourselves. 

tu — ri, to himself. tique — qui^ to themselves. 

The ablatives are : 

vumal^ by or from me. kumal^ by or from us. 

aumal^ by or from thee. yumal^ by or from you. 

rumal^ by or from that one. cumal^ by or from those. 

There are other ablatives which signify, with me, with thee, 
etc., to wit : 

viquin^ with me. kiquin, with us. 

aviquin^ with thee. yviquin^ with you. 

riquin^ with that one. quiquin^ with those. 

T". Possessive pronouns or particles to distinguish the pos- 

1884.] 367 [Brinton. 

session of the object ; these are, for nouns beginning with a 
vowel : 

v, my. fc, our. 

av, thy. ivj your. 

rr^ that one's. c, their. 

Thus, vochoch, my house, avochoch^ thy house, rochoch that 
one's house, kochoch, our house, yvochoch^ your house, cochoch^ 
the house of those. And in this same way many other nouns 
are declined, as vahauah^ my lord, vahtih^ my master, vetam^ I 
know or am acquainted with, an expression used to signify 
that one knows or understands some art. 

The following particles are used with words beginning with 
a consonant : 

nw, my. ha, our. 

a, thy. y, your. 

ru, of that one. qui, of those. 

As, nuvach, my face; avach, your face; ruvach, his face; 
Jcavach, our face ; yvach, your face ; quivach, their face. In 
the same way the following and many other words are de- 
clined : 

nutata, my father. nuqnx, my heart. 

nute, my mother. nuquicotem, my joy. 

nu^ahol, my son. nughahomonel^ my wash- wo- 

numial, my daughter. nuhalon tzih, my false testi- 

nuyavahil, my sickness. mony. 

nutzik, my clothing. nutzih, my word. 

nuqazlibal, my soul. nupixa, my word. 

nwqazZem, my life. numac, my sin. 

All the following nouns are declined by these particles v 
and nu : 

nunimial, my elder brother. 

nuchal, my younger brother. 

vana, my sister. 

numama, my ancestor. 

t;a^i7, my ancestress. 

Brinton.j UOO [Jan. 4, 

numam viy, my grandchild. 
vican nutata^ my uncle. 
nute^ vana^ nutata^ my aunt. 
vicol^ my nephew or niece. 
qechan^ or nuhaluc^ my brother-in-law. 
vixnam^ my sister-in-law. 
vali or valihatz, my daughter-in-law. 
nu htnam^ my father-in-law. 
nuhite^ my mother-in-law. 
nucha! nunahti nimal^ my male cousin. 
nunahti ana^ my female cousin. 
nuchi^ my son-in-law. 
nuyahtata^ or, nutata hal^ my stepfather. 
nuyahte^ or nutebal^ my stepmother. 
T". The women say among themselves : 
nuxibalj my elder brother. 
nuyhuti xihal^ my younger brother. 
nunimalj my elder sister. 
nuchaHlatz^ my younger sister. 
valinam^ my father-in-law. 
valite^ my mother-in-law. 
nunahti xihal^ my male cousin. 
nunahti numal^ my female cousin. 

The women call the nephew va? and the niece also, and to 
know if it is a son or not one asks : Kitzih pe aval? Is it 
really thy son? If it is she says: Val ; and if not, Ralqual 
nuxibalj it is the son of my brother ; and of the niece, Eumeal 
nuxihal. Aval pe? Is it thy son, or thy daughter? She re- 
plies, Val^ my son. 

The following table from Villacanas and Goto exhibits the terms of con- 
sanguinity and affinity as used by the two sexes : 

By males. 

By females. 

my son 

nu qahol 


my daughter 

nu mial 


my elder brother 

nu nimal 

nu xihal 

my younger brother 

nu clioL 

nu qhuti xihal 

my elder sister 


nu nimal 




By males. By females. 

my younger sister nu {j^uti vana nu nimalatz 

my spouse mxhail vachahiil 

my father-in-law nu hinam valinam 

my mother-in-law nu kite valite 

my brother-in-law nu baluCy nu hi vechanim 

my sister-in-law vixnam vali 

my son by a former marriage nu yah qahol nu yah al 

my daughter by a former marriage nu yah mial nu yah ixok al 

my male cousin nu chal> nu nahti xibal 

my female cousin nu nahti ana nu nahti nimal 

my grandson nu mam my 

my granddaughter nu mam my 

Many of these are compound words, whose meanings are easily 
reached ; nimal is from nim or nima, large, great ; ghuti, is small, little ; 
ixok, female ; xihal, male ; yah, the organs of generation of either sex (nu 
yah qahol = the son of my body) ; naht or naliti, remote, distant. Balue 
anjd hi do not mean brother-in-law in our sense, but are applifed to all 
males of the chinamitl or gens into which the speaker has married. The 
general word for parentage is aca, which is used as in the following sen- 
tence : qoh pe aca quichin qui chiquibil qui vac qulubel f Is there any rela- 
tionship between these who are about to marry ? 

The terms given as used by women only do not in any manner indicate 
a different linguistic origin. It will be seen that several of them are from 
the word al, used above for son and daughter (ixok al = female al) ; this 
is a form from alan, to bring forth, to give birth to, and is no doubt con- 
nected with al, a load, a burden, as in English we say of a pregnant 
woman, *'She is carrying." These terms, therefore, must be considered 
specializations of relationship which are used only by the women because 
they are from points of view, which, in the nature of things, are peculiar 
to that sex. Strictly speaking, they are not linguistic peculiarities at all. 

These particles, n, ha^ hari^ mean "this;" as ta hana ri^ do 
this. Ha may be used demonstratively as in this sentence, Ha 
tahox tihan avumal^ This is proper, that it be done by you. It 
may also be used for ^7fe, illa^ illud ; as: Dios xbana cah vleuh 
xaviha xhano ronohel q^etom maqui q^etom (tzetom). God 
made the heavens, the earth, and He made all that we see and 
do not see. The particle hari may stand for iste^ ista^ istud^ as 
in this example : Hari vae tzih tavi tibijx chivichin Icitzih 
chi hi, These words which I speak to you are truly precious. 
It may also be used for ipse^ ipsa, ipsum, as, Mixcam ri Pedro, 


Brinton.l 3*0 [Jan. 4, 

Pedro has died. Nakchi Pedro? Whicli Pedro? Hari xa 
q,e^ pa be% The one you saw in the road. 

Other compositions are made with these pronouns in the 
following manner: 

xavi yn ri^ I myself. xaviohri^ we ourselves. 

xavi at r% thou thyself. xavyxri^ you yourselves. 

xavi ha r^, that one himself, xaviheri^ those themselves. 

The following particles carry with them a notion of benefit 
or of injury. I give an example of benefit : Xax in vi tool yvi- 
chirij I am the same ally to you as heretofore. Of injury: 
JCax in vi agutel^ I am your opponent. 

xax in vz, I the same. xax oh vi, we the same. 

xax at vi^ thou the same. xax ix vi, you the same. 

xax ha vi, that one the same, xax he vi, they the same. 

Another composition : vae means the same as ecce, behold ; 
as, Vae nutzih, Behold my words; Vae amac, Behold your 

yn vae, I the same. oh vae, we the same. 

at vae, thou the same. yx vae, you the same. 

ha vae, that one the same. he vae, those the same. 

Thus it is used by one who knows himself and humbles him- 
self: Yn vae inqazhol, in macol, I, that same evil sinner. 

Another composition is : 

yn va, behold me here. oh va, behold us here. 

at va, behold thee here. yx va, behold you here. 

ha va, behold him here. ha va, behold them here. 

As: Yn va in ahauh. Behold me here, me, a lord; it is 
used in pointing out, in this mannerj greatness, or wisdom, or 
strength, or pride. 

The particle ha placed at the beginning of a sentence corre- 
sponds with vae ; as. Ha bin ya chavichin vae tin ya, This is 
what I have to give you. 

Quis vel Qui. Who. 
Nak and chinak signify "who.'' Nak ca tux? Who art 
thou? Nak? Quid est? Nak achock ychin ri? or, Nak ah 

1884.1 371 [Brlnton. 

ychin rif Whose is this? Nak pe ah ychin ? or, Nah pe qo 
rrichin ri? Whose is this? Or, To whom does this belong? 
Nah chiquichinf To whom ? Nah chiquichin xtin ya vi? To 
whom am I to give it ? or. To which of them ? 

Nah chinahj whom or what, to or in whom or what. Nahchi- 
nah chirih qo vi ri macf In whom is this sin? Nah chinah xa 
camicah? Whom or what have you killed? 

Distributive Words. 

He or hetah signifies "all" or "everyone." These two 
words are much used, as Ta ya he (or, hetah) qui vai vinah 
alabon ri xtani^ &c.. Give bread to each one (or, to all) of the 
persons, boys or girls, &c. Ta ya he (or hetah) qui vuh aquala. 
Give the letters to the boys, and to each one of them (the sense 
of the words being distributive). 

vonohel^ I all. honohelj we all. 

avonohelj thou all. yvonohelj you all. 

ronohelj that one all. conohel^ ^^^J ^^^• 

It may be remarked of this word that the first and second 
pronouns singular are not used, although they say: Qui be 
vonohel quqin e val nuqaholj 1 shall go with all my people 
and sons. Cat be avonohel quqin eaval eaqahol^ Thou shalt go 
with all thy family. But it is chiefly used with the third per- 
son singular and the plurals. 

1". Note, that the third person singular forms the plural, 
when united to inanimate nouns as : ronohel yxim, all the 
maize ; ronohel abah^ all the stones ; and we must not say, 
conohel abah. Further, this third pronoun singular, when 
added to collective names of plural signification, forms their 
plurals; as: ronohel amal^ all the town; ronohel vinah^ all the 
people; hobe ronohel^ we shall all go; baix bey ronohel^ you 
shall all go; que be ronohel^ they shall all go. 
Compounds of quis or qui. 

T. Nahtux^ means who, which or what. 
nakchique^ which of them. 
bilataon^ something. 
huhunal or chuhunal^ to each one. 

Brinton.] *^«2 [Jan. 4, 

The numeral hurhy one, is sometimes used for the indefinite article, 
and at other times as an indefinite pronoun ; as, hun chmehin mqui ya in, 
one of you must give me ; liun mnak, a man. Keduplicated it means 
each one, as Jmhun chimchin xtiqamo hun che. Each of you must bring 
a stick. For *' somebody," the verb qo^, to be in a place, is used, as, 
qoh xbano, somebody did it, i. e. : ** There was (who) did it.'* 

The termination *(?n-, means "alone," and is used with the possessive 
pronouns which precede consonants, it being a curious rule which holds 
good throughout this language that two initial vowels have the phonetic 
force of a consonant ; thus : 

nuion, I alone. kaion, we alone. 

aion^ thou alone. yion, you alone. 

Tuion^ he alone. quiion, they alone. 

The negative "nobody" maybe formed from hwiy manihun, no one, 
as, manihun tibe chi rochoch, let no one go to his house. 

Chapter III. Of the Verbs. 

The verbs are rather difficult in this language on account 
of the variety of their compounds, and their number and 
diversity, because they have a particular verb for each specific 
act; thus, to eat, in its absolute sense is qui va^ I eat, cat va, 
thou eatest, etc. For eating bread they say, tin vaih ; for 
eating fruit or eggs, tin lo; for eating anything toasted, tin 
aix; for eating vegetables, tin vechaah. For this reason 
the whole difficulty in this language is in learning the verbs 
and their properties, and therefore something must be said 
about them, although it is a difficult topic. 

There are two kinds of verbs ; one kind governs cases and 
the other does not. All those which govern cases are held to 
be active, although in the Latin language they may be neuters, 
or deponents or common. Those which do not govern cases 
are neuter, and it is necessary to know this, because there are 
four classes of verbs, active, passive, neuter and absolute. The 
passive and the absolute are formed from the active verb, so 
that the active being known, the passive and the absolute can 
be formed, because, as I say, these are fornied from the active 

Sum^ es^fui. 
In this language there is no proper word to express this 
verb, and those who up to this time have employed a definite 

1884.J OiO [Brinton. 

word have taken that which corresponds to stOj stare^ or to 
habeo^ habere; for the word qoh^ does not mean "to be" 
(Spanish, ser\ but " to be in a place " (Spanish, estar). To 
translate this sentence, '^ I am good," we may not say, yn qoh 
utz. To express all that we say by the verb sum^ es^fui^ the 
Indians make use of the following method : They take the 
primitive pronouns in the appropriate person and number, and 
place them before any adjective or substantive noun, and thus 
form the verb ; and by various additions and circumlocutions, 
they express themselves as freely and with as many moods and 
tenses as we do. 

The above statement about the verb "to be** agrees with that in the 
grammar of Villaeanas, but is attacked by Torresano. He writes, ** Al- 
though other grammarians who have written of this idiom have stated 
that it does not possess tlie verb suniy eSy fui, the contrary is clear enough. 
In certain tenses the primitive pronouns can be used with the verb wx, 
which, although usually conjugated with the pronouns of the passive voice, 
may also be conjugated with those of the active, and in that case it has 
the proper sense of sum.*' 

Father Goto, who has a long note, covering several folio pages, on the 
rendering of the Spanish verb ser, cannot be said to endorse the above. 
He observes, ** This verb wa; seems to me to correspond in some way to 
the Latin ^0, fis." The word to express the essentia, or natural character 
of a thing, he gives as qofdem, which is generallv strengthened by the 
affirmative particle xax and the correlative vi, as xax qoJilem abali vi, it is, 
in its nature, a stone ; but it may also mean custom, habit. This 
was the most appropriate word found in Cakchiquel to express the being 
of God. The declaration of the persons of the Trinity runs thus : Que- 
reqa xax oxivi ru vinakil, xaqa hun qui qolilerriy hun novipe Diosil, chi xax 
huna Dios vi chupam ra qohlem, Truly three are the persons, one, the 
Being (of God), and one, God, and one, God in His Being. This highly 
abstract expression shows the capacity of the tongue for recondite 
thought : certainly it is not less clearly put in the Cakchiquel than in 
any European idiom. 

Indicative Mood. 

Present tense, 
yn utZj I am good. oh utz^ we are good. 

at utZj thou art good. yx utz, you are good. 

ha utz, he is good. he utz, they are good. 

This present is in very common use, and very properly takes 

Brinton,J ^*^ [Jan. 4, 

the place of I am, thou art, etc. In phrases of the third per- 
son, with a nominative expressed, the ha is dropped, as, utz 
Pedro, Pedro is good. 

Imperfect preterit. 

This tense is formed by adding to the primitive pronoun 
the particle naeh, 

yn naeh utz, I was good. oh naek utz, we were good. 

at naeh utz, thou wast good. yx naeh utz, you were good. 

ha naeh utz, he was good. he naeh utz, they were good. 

This is a circumlocution, and to complete its signification a 
word must be added, as in Latin when we say, tu eras — 
the phrase rests in suspense ; hence we must say, yn naeh utz 
oher, I was good in past time, thus conveying the sense of an 
action which was begun but not completed. 

Perfect preterit. 
The perfect preterit is formed from the present by suffixing 
a particle of past time, as oher or a:wm, formerly ; yhir,^ yes- 
terday ; cahihir, day before yesterday, dropping the pronoun in 
the third person singular. 

yn utz oher, I have been oh utz oher, we have been 

good. good. 

at utz oher, thou hast been yx utz oher, you have been 

good. good. 

ha utz oher, he has been good, he utz oher, they have been 



To form this tense the letter x is prefixed to theprimitive 
pronouns and after them is placed the noun ; except in the third 
person of the singular, where the pronoun is not used, but 
merely the x. This tense requires a sentence to follow it, for 
its explanation, and at its close is placed the particle vi ; as : 
xin utz vi mahanioh cat ul, 1 had already been good before 
thou camest. But the vi may also be omitted, as, xin ulinah 

*Ibir, Goto. 

1884.] ^<^ [BrintOD. 

tok xat ul^ I had already arrived when thou earnest. Such a 
use of this tense is quite customary and elegant. Thus to 
speak of God as a great Lord before heaven or earth was made, 
we say, Xaha vi xZinom vi xtic^l vi Dios nimahauh mahanioh 
tu ban cah vleuh. Such expressions are aided by a manner of 
speaking current among those Indians to express nature or 
habit in anything, although the time is not the same as in the 
tense we are discussing. Thus they say, JCax ru gak vi ri ya 
qah ruachj This water is by its nature white, ^ax ru qohlem 
VI ri Pedro nima elelom^ Pedro makes a habit of stealing. 

Torresano gives several methods of forming the pluperfect, none pre- 
cisely corresponding with the above. Thus : 

hax in vi, I had been. hax oh vi, we had been. 

hax at vi, thou hadst been. hax ix vi, you had been. 

hax ha vi, he had been. hax he vi, they had been. 

Another is 

yn ok, I had been. oh ok, we had been. 

at ok, thou hadst been. yx ok, you had been. 

ha ok, he had been. he ok, they had been. 

As, You had been sick when I came, Ix ok yavai tok xin ut It may 
also be formed by the particles chi^ ok, as, at fiscal chi ok toxibe, thou hadst 
been fiscal when I went ; or the particle chic may be added, as. In xax 
vinak chic tok xat ul, I had been well when thou camest. 

Future Imperfect, 

This future is formed from the present by adding the verb 
quin uXj to have become (ser hecho). 

yn utz xquinuXj I shall have become good. 

at utz xcat ux^ thou wilt have become good. 

In the third person the particle ha is not used, but the phrase 
is expressed thus : 

utz xtux Pedro^ Pedro will be good, or will have become 

This tense may also be formed by placing at the end an ad- 
verb of future time as, 

yn utz chuah^ I shall be good to-morrow. 

Also the particle chic^ more, may be placed before the said 
adverb, as : 

yn utz chic chuah^ I shall be more good to-morrow. 

Brlnton.l dfO [Jan. 4, 

The original omits the future prefix x in this tense, but I presume this 
is a fault of the copyist, and I restore it, following Torresano. He adds 
this example of its employment : Ix lo'L xquix ux chire Dios ve ti^il ivii pan 
imact You will become the beloved of God, if you abstain from your sins. 

Future Perfect, 

This tense is formed from the pluperfect by dropping the 
VI and suffixing the adverbial particle tok^ when, and then the 
verb; as: 

xin utz toh cat ul^ I shall have been good when thou wilt 
have come. 

xat utz tok tul Padre^ already thou wilt have been good 
when the Father comes. 

For this tense Torresano simply postfixes the particle c/wc, as : 

yn nimanel chic, I shall have been obedient. 

at nimanel chic, thou shalt have been obedient, &c. 

It is difficult to appreciate the precise value of chic as a temporal par- 
ticle. The following examples of its use from the Calepino of Varea will 
illustrate its force : At mama chic, already thou art an old man ; xul chic 
he had returned ; xcamit^an chic, he returned again to killing, etc. 

Imperative Mood, 

The imperative is formed from the present of the in- 
dicative by adding the particle ok after the pronoun and be- 
fore the adjective-noun; but in the third person singular the 
ha is not used, and the ok is placed after the adjective noun ; as 

at ok utZj be thou good. 

utz ok Pedro^ let Pedro be good. 

Note that this form of expression is more appropriate where, 
for example, one asks for a stone and they bring him a stick, 
and he says, Abah ok^ maqui che^ A stone, I say, and not a 
stick. They make much use of this verb, quin ux^ cat ux^ tux^ 
which is, in Latin, ^lo, ^5,^^, as an imperative, giving it its pro- 
nouns and numbers, as, 

quin ux^ may I become. 

cat uXj may thou become. 

tux^ may he become, and so the rest of the persons, repeat- 
ing them after the imperative forms, as, 

at ok utz cat ux^ become thou good. 

1884.] 377 [Brinton. 

They also use this imperative thus : 

utz oh^ let it be well done. 
hehelo oh^ be it well done. 

Also in commands, as xan oh, bring bricks, ahah oh, bring 

Future perfect of future time. 

This future is formed from the present of the imperative by 
the use of one of the following particles : chioh, qateqa, chui, 
chuhach, chirih, chupantoh. Thus, to translate the following 
sentence, Be thou good, after thou shalt have been baptized, 
At oh utz hahinah chioh, ru ya Dios pan avi. Again : Thou 
shalt be baptized and afterwards thou wilt be made good, 
Ti hahna ruya Dios pan avi qa^eqa at utz cat ux. 

Optative Mood, 
Present tense. 

This tense is formed from the present indicative by inserting 
the particle tah between the pronoun and the noun which fol- 
lows it, except in the third person of the singular where the 
pronoun is dropped. 

yn tah utz, would I were good ! 
at tah utz, would thou wert good ! 
utz tah Pedro, would Pedro were good! 
And so on for the other persons. 

Torresano observes that there is but one foitn in this tongue for the 
optative and subjunctive mood, and he gives the above and the following 
tenses as subjunctives. He translates the particle tah in this connection 
by utinam, but adds that it has other significations. Siy if, the subjunctive 
sign, is ve or 'oeta, and it will be seen that by its use, and some changes in 
the particles, our author frames his subjunctive mood. 

Imperfect preterit. 

This tense may be formed by adding to the present of this 
mood the particle toh and adding what sentence we wish, as : 
Yn tah utz toh xirah oqueqax chi ahauarenn, oh, would I had 
been good when they wished to make me cacique ! 

PROC. AMER.PHIL08. SOC. XXI. 115. 2v PRINTED APRIL 10, 1884. 

Brlnton.j 37o [Jan. 4, 

It will be noticed that the author directs this and the following tense to 
be formed alike. This is no doubt an error of the copyist. Torresano 
forms the imperfect preterit by adding quin ux, as, yn tah naonel quin ux, 
I should be understood ; and the perfect preterit by repeating the primitive 
pronoun and adding the perfect particle inak : 

yn tah mitih in ux inak, I should have been careful. 

Preterit perfect. 

This tense is formed from the present of this mood by add- 
ing the particle toh^ and afterwards the sentence that we wish, 
as in the preterit imperfect. Example : Yn tah utx tok xin ul 
vave^ oh, if I had been good when I came here! 

Preterit pluperfect. 

This tense is formed by the present by prefixing to the pro- 
noun the letter cc, and beginning the following sentence with 
toh^ as xin tah utz toh xul ru tzih Dios^ oh, if I had been good 
when the Avord of Grod came ! Xatah ahau toh xin ul vave^ 
oh, if thou hadst been ruler when I came here ! Xahau tah 
Pedro toh xibe^ oh! if Pedro had been ruler when I went 

Torresano forms this tense by prefixing the particle xatavi (x + ha -f 
tah -f- vi) to the pronoun. 
xatavi xin nimanel, would I had been obedient ! 


This is formed from the present in the same manner, by add- 
ing some particle of future time, as chic^ chuah. 
Torresano prefixes veta, if, and adds ux, as : 
veta in nimanel quin ux, if I shall be obedient. 

Subjunctive Mood, 


The present of this mood is formed from the present of the 
indicative by prefixing the particle vetah^ as : Vetah yn utzilah 
christiano qui he chi cah, if I be a good Christian, I shall go to 
heaven. Note that a common use of this tense is in sentences 
like the following : If I were a sinner, I would say that I am 

1884.] ^* J [Brinton. 

but it is not true that which they charge me with, Vetah yn 
ahmac xquichatah, xaka maqui quere xa tan tih atox chirih. 

Preterit perfect. 

This tense may be consistently formed like that of the opta- 
tive by dropping the tah and putting in its place ve ; as : Ve 
yn utz toh^ qui cam mani tin xibih vi rumal Diablo^ If I should 
have been good, when I die I shall not fear about the Devil. 

Preterit pluperfect. 

This tense is like the optative, dropping the tah and putting 
in its place ve or vetah^ as, Vetah xax yn linom vi chila Gas- 
tilla^ maqui tah xin ul vave^ If I had been rich there in Castile, 
I should not have come here. Vetah xax at vi ahauh, maqui 
tah quere catzihon vi. If thou hadst been ruler, thou wouldst 
not speak in this manner. 

Future subjunctive. 

This tense is formed from the present by adding some adverb 
of time or some verb referring to the future, as, Vetah yn utz^ 
quin ux xavi cat utzir vmal^ If I shall be good, let it make 
thee good. 

Infinitive Mood. 

This is formed by a circumlocution, taking the present of 
the optative and varying it with the verb tivaho^ I wish, tava- 
ho^ thou wishest, etc. Thus, yn tah utz tivaho^ I wish to be 
good, etc. The Indians also use many other methods of speak- 
ing in this mood, as 

utz tah nuqux tivaho^ I wish to have a good heart. 

utz tah nuqohlem tivaho^ I wish to have a good life. 

utz tah qui qohe tivaho^ I wish to be in peace. 

quinutzir tah tivaho^ I wish to be good. 

tirah tah nuq^ux yn tah utz^ I wish that my heart may be 

yn tah hebel^ to be handsome. 

yn tah chaom^ to be beautiful. 

Brinton.] 380 [jan. 4, 

The preterit can use the adverb oher or the others already 
mentioned, as, Tivaho tah nuqux yn tah utz oher^ I wish to 
have been good formerly or in past time. 


This tense is formed by placing the verb quin ux^ before the 
desiderative verb, as, at tah utz cat ux^ tavaho, Thou hast a de- 
sire to be good. It may also be formed in other ways, as, Tiaho 
tah nuyux yntah utz^ quinux^ My heart wishes me to be good; 
or, Yn tah nuc^ohlem^ tivaho ; yntah utz huna caha^ yntah utz 
chic tivaho, 

^, Note, As there is no proper word for this verb in any of 
its moods, tenses or persons, but it must be expressed by cir- 
cumlocutions, its translations are numerous; and this is not 
surprising; it is enough to say that although there is no proper 
word for it, every one of its forms found in the Latin can be 
rendered into this tongue. 

The verb cat ux^ in the second and third persons singular 
and plural, may be used to ask questions, like sum^ es, fui ; 
as: Nak cat ux? Who art thou? Answer, Yn, I. Asking 
again, Nahchi at ? Who art thou ? Answer, Yn Pedro. So 
in thep lural, Nalc qui xux ? Who are you ? When, seeing 
a person, the question is asked, Nak cat ux ? Who art thou ? 
it is equivalent to Nak atah chok chinamitl ? Of what clan or 
lineage art thou ? To ask, What wood is this ? we say, Nak 
che el vi? and to ask of what dignity or position is this man, we 
say, Nak ri kalem ri vinak ? 

After a similar attempt to render into Cakchiquel the Spanish verb ser 
in its different forms — an attempt which is evidently out of place, as it has 
no correspondent in the tongue — Torresano translates the conjugation of 
the Spanish estar, in which he succeeds better, as that is properly trans- 
lated by the Cak, qoh. I will give the first persons of the tenses with their 
Spanish equivalents, the Spanish gmmmar being richer in flexions than 

the English. 

Indicative Mood. 

Present : tan in qoh, yo estoy. 

Preterit Imperfect : xtan in qoh, yo estaba. 

Preterit Imperfect Negative : xtan in qohmani, yo no estaba. 

Preterit Perfect : xi qohe, yo estuve. 

1884.1 381 [Brlnton. 

Preterit Pluperfect : yn ok qohevinak chiCy yo habia estado. 
Future Imperfect : xqui qohe, yo estar6. 
Future Perfect : yn qoh chic, yo habr^ estado. 

Imperative Mood, 
cat c^ohe, esta tu. 

Optative and Subjunctive Mood. 
Present, qui qohe tah, yo est^. 

or, ve qui qohe. 
Preterit Imperfect, xqui qohetah, yo estaria. 
Preterit Pluperfect, xiqohe tah, yo hubiese estado. 

or, veta xiqohe, si yo hubiese estado. 

or, veta in qohevinak. 
Future, veta xqui qohe, si yo estuviera estado. 

Infinitive Mood. 

Present, tan tivah qui qohe, yo quiero estar. 
Preterit Perfect, xivao xi qohe, quis^ estar. 
Future, xtivaho qui qohe, querr6 estar. 

Genitive, qui qohebic, para que yo est 6. 
Dative, hata qui qohevi, para que yo est^. 

Present, qoh, el que esta. 
Future, qohlel, el que ha de estar. 
As I have already stated in the Introduction, this arrangement, on th e 
plan of the Latin grammar, is forced, and violates the spirit of the Cakchi- 
quel, as it would of all other American tongues. 

On the Conjugation of the Verbs. 
Active Verbs. 

As lias been already said there are four kinds of verbs in 
this language, active, passive, absolute and neuter. 

The verb never varies its termination in any mood or tense. 
The mood and tense are distinguished by certain particles 
which in some tenses are placed at the beginning, in others at 
the beginning and end of the verb. 

Active verbs are of two kinds, those which begin with a 
consonant, and those which begin with a vowel ; and each of 
these has its appropriate particles to distinguish the number, 
person and tense. 



[Jan. 4, 

The particles of active verbs, both of one or more syllables, 
which begin with a consonant are : 

tin or tinUj I. tika^ we. 

ia^ thou. ^^, you. 

tu^ that one. tiqui^ they. 

The form tinu for the first person is rarely used in the pres- 
ent, but more frequently in the future. 

Present tense, 
ti ban^ I do. tika ban, we do. 

ta ban, thou dost. ti ban, you do. 

tu ban, he does. tiqui ban, they do. 

All the verbs of this class, of one or several syllables, are 
conjugated in like manner ; as, of one syllable : 

tin ya, I give. 

tin q'e^, I see. 

tin qam, I seize. 

tin tak, I send. 

tin yak, I lift. 

tin piz, I wrap. 

tin tiz, I spill. 

Of several syllables ; as : 

tin lo^oh, I love. 

tin bijh, I say. 

tin rapah, I whip. 

tin tihoh, I teach. 

tin qahicah, I flog. 

And many others of one or more syllables. 

tin quir, I untie. 
tin too, I aid. 
tin toh, I pay. 
tin lat, I cut. 
tin c^at, I burn. 

tin qutuh, I ask. 
tin chahih, I keep. 
tin (i,apih, I shut. 
tin chomiricah, I direct. 


The particles for the preterit of both these classes of verbs 

xin or xinu^ I. xka, we. 

xa, thou xi, you. 

xa, that one. xqui, they. 

The forms xin or xinu are used indifferently by the natives. 

1884.] 383 LBfinton. 

Perfect preterit, 

xin han^ I have done. xJca han^ we have done. 

xa ban^ thou hast done. xi han^ you have done. 

xu ban, that one has done. xqui barij they have done. 

And so of all the above verbs of one or many syllables. 

xin ya^ I have given. xin piz^ I have wrapped. 

xin q,e^, I have seen. xin tiz^ I have spilled. 

xin qam, I have seized. xin quir^ I have untied. 

xin tah^ I have sent. xin too, I have aided. 

xin yah^ I have lifted. xin q,a^, I have burned. 

And also, 

xin loloh, I have loved. 

xin bijh^ I have said. 

xin rapah^ I have whipped. 

xin tihoh^ I have taught. 

xin q^ahigah, I have flogged. 

xin qutuh^ I have asked. 

xin chahihj I have kept. 

xin q^^apihj I have shut. 

xin chomiricah^ I have directed. 


To form the pluperfect the particle inah is suffixed to the 
perfect as, 
xin ban inak^ I had done. xka ban inah, we had done. 

xta ban inah, thou hadst done, xi ban inah, you had done. 
xu ban inah, that one had xqui ban inah, they had 
done. done. 

Future imperfect. 

To form the future imperfect, the particle x is prefixed to 
the present tense. 

xti ban, I shall do. xtiha ban, we shall do. 

xta ban, thou wilt do. xti ban, you will do. 

xtu ban, he will do. xtiqui ban, they will do. 

[Brinton. OO^ [Jan. 4, 

And so all these verbs, whether of one or more syllablesl 
xtin ya^ I shall give, xtin q,e^, I shall see, xtin loSoh, I shal, 
love, etc. 

Future perfect. 

This tense is formed by prefixing the following particles, 
nu^ a, ruy and suffixing the adverb chic, 

nu ban chic^ I shall have ka ban chic^ we shall have 

done. done. 

a ban chic^ thou wilt have y ban chic^ you will have 

done. done. 

ru ban chiCj he will have qui ban chic^ they will have 

done. done. 

This future is also formed with the particles, v, av, rr^ as, 
vaqaxah chic^ I shall have heard. 
avaqaxah chic^ thou wilt have heard. 
ranaxah chic, he will have heard. 
haqaxah chic, we shall have heard. 
yvaqaxah chic, you will have heard. 
qui aqaxah chic, they will have heard. 
Another future is formed by the particles of the present 
and the suffix na, 

xin loloh na, I shall have loved. 
xa lo^oh na, thou wilt have loved. 
xu loloh na, he will have I'oved. 
xha loloh na, we shall have loved. 
xi loloh na, you will have loved. 
xqui lo^oh na, they will have loved. 
These tenses are conjugated both with the primitive and 
derivative pronouns ; as, 

yn lo^on inah, I had loved. 
at lolon inak, thou hadst loved. 
ha lolon inak, he had loved. 
oh lolon inak, we had loved. 
yx loSon inak, you had loved. 
he lolon inak, they had loved."^ 

* Either an error of the copyist for yn lo^oh inak, etc., or an euphonic 

1884.J 38o [Brinton. 

And so, yn ban inak, I liad done. 

yn rapan inah^ I had whipped, etc. 
T. The particle tan prefixed to the present of all verbs, 
active, passive, neuter or absolute, carries the notion of present 
action of the verb, as, 

tan ti han^ I am doing. 
tan ta ban, thou art doing. 
tan tu ban^ he is doing. 
tan tika ban, we are doing. 
tan ti ban, you are doing. 
tan tiqui ban, they are doing. 
And so, 

tan ti bijh, I am saying. 
tan tin ya, I am giving. 
tan tin loloh Dios, I am loving God. 
•[". Particles for active verbs which begin with a vowel. 
These are for the present tense, tiv, tau, tir, tik, tiu, tic, 
tivaho, I wish. tikaho, we wish. 

tavaJio, thou wishest. tiuaho, you wish. 

tiraho, he wishes. ticaho, they wish. 

And so, 

tivetamah, I know (cognosco), 
tivoquigah, I obey. 
tivuqaah, I carry. 
tivaqaxah, I hear. 
tivulicah, I cause to come. 
tivutziricah, I bless. 
tivatinigah, I cause to bathe. 
tivelegah, I take out. 
Tf. The particles for the preterit of these verbs beginning 
with a vowel are : xiu or xu, xau, ccr, xk, xiu, xc / as, 
xivaho, I wished, or, have wished. 
xauho, thou " 
xrahoj he " 

xkaho, we " 
xivahoj you " 
xcaho, they " 




[Jan. 4, 

So also, 

xivetamahj I knew, or, have known. 

xiuaqaxah^ I heard, or have heard. 

xiuuqaah^ I carried, or, have carried. 
The pluperfect is formed from the perfect by adding the 
particle inak : 

xiu aq^axah inak^ I had heard. 

xau aqaxah inak, thou 

xr aqaxah inak, he 

xka aqaxah inak, we 

xiu aqaxah inak, you 

xca aqaxah inak, they 
T. The following particles are used with neuter, absolute 
and passive verbs, which begin with a vowel, quin, cat, t, koh, 
quix, que : 

koh ul, we come. 
quix ul, you come. 
que ul, they come. 

koh uquia, we drink. 
quix uquia, you drink. 
que uquia, they drink. 

quinoZ, I weep. 
quinoleh, I weep for some- 

The particles which are used for the preterits of these verbs 
are, xin, xat, x, xoh, xix, xe ; as : 

xinul, I came, or, have come, xohul, we came, or, have come. 

quin ul,l come. 

cat ul, thou comest. 

tul, he comes. 

quin uquia, I drink. 

cat uquia, thou drinkest. 

tuquia, he drinks. 
And so, 

quinuxlan, I rest. 

quinoc, I enter. 

quinel, I go out. 

xatul, thou, " 
xul, he, '* 
And so, 

xinuquia, I drank. 
xinuxlan, I rested. 
xinoc, I entered. 

xixul, you, " " 

xcul, they, " " 

xinel, I went out. 
xinol, I wept. 

xinnoleh, I wept for some- 




The pluperfect is formed by adding the particle inah to the 
perfect; as, 

xinul inakj I had come. xohul inah^ we had come. 

xatul inah^ thou " xixul inak^ you *' 

xul inakj he " xeul inah^ they " 

T". The following are the particles used with passive, neuter, 
and absolute verbs which begin with a consonant : qui^ cat^ ti^ 
hohj quiXj que, as, 

quipe^ I come. 

catpe^ thou comest. 

tipe^ he comes. 

qui he^ I go. 

cat 6e, thou goest. 

ti 6e, he goes. 

qui va, I eat. 

cat va^ thou eatest. 

ti va, he eats. 

qui var^ I sleep. 

cat vaVj thou sleepest. 

ti vaTj he sleeps. 
And others, such as, 

quixuque^ I kneel. 
qui bigon^ I am sad. 
quiqaze^ I live. 
The particles for the preterit are : cc^, xat^ cc, xoh^ xix^ xe. 

xipCj I came or have come. xohpe^ we came or have come. 

Tcohpe^ we come. 
quixpe^ you come. 
quepe^ they come. 

koh 6e, we go. 
quix Je, you go. 
que 5e, they go. 

Jcoh t?a, we eat. 
quix va, you eat. 
que va, they eat. 

koh var, we sleep. 
quix var, you sleep. 
que var, they sleep. 

xatpe, thou " 
ccpe, he " 

xixpe^ you " 
irepe, they " 


cc^5e, I went or have gone. 
xatbe, thou " '^ 
cc6e, he 

xohbcj we went or have gone. 
ir^x5e, you " " 
xebcj they " " 

Brinton.} oUS fjan. 4, 


xiva^ I ate, or liave eaten. xohva^ we ate or liave eaten. 

xatva^ thou " xixva^ you ^* 

xva^ he " xeva^ they " 

So also, 

xivar^ I slept, or have slept. 
xixuque^ I kneeled, or have kneeled. 

The verb vah is a neuter and means "to wish." 
quivah^ I wish. kohvah, we wish. 

catvah^ thou wishest. quixvah^ you wish. 

^^^;(xA, he wishes. quevah^ they wish. 


quiquicot^ I rejoice. hohquicot^ we rejoice. 

catquicot^ thou rejoicest. quixquicot^ you rejoice. 

tiquicot^ he rejoices. g'z^e quicot^ they rejoice. 

The verb qoA, to be in a place (Span, estar). 

yn qohj I am. oA qoA, we are. 

a^ qoA, thou art. yxqah, you are. 

ha qoA, he is. Ae qoh, they are. 

The following convenient presentation of the verbal particles is taken 
from Torresano's Grammar : 

Verbal Particles, 
1. For active verbs which begin with a consonant : 

For the Present Imperfect and Future, 

1. ^^n'"**--*-^.^^ tika^—- 

2. ta 1lZrr^^TTT*a^ lo^oh, ti „ *-V.V-Trrr,a»^ lo^oh. 

3. tu — — ' ' tiqui " 

The particles are used in the Present with the prefix tan : in the Future 
with the prefix a?, and in the Imperfect by prefixing x to the Present, as 
tan tin lo^oh, I love ; x tin lolok, I shall love ; x tan tin lo^oh, I was 


For the Perfect. 

1. xin — -— -—..^^ ickcL' — - 

2. xa T-V-V.^rrre,^ lo^oh. xi — rJVVvrrrr^a*. lo'S.oh, 

3. xu .. xqui, 

The particle mi is prefixed to these when the action is recent ; xin lo^oh, 
I have loved ; mi xin loI>oh, I have recently loved. 

1884.J 380 [Brinton. 

2. For active verbs which begin with a vowel : 

For Present, Imperfect and Future, 

1. tin'-— ^_.^ „, tik' ---'-,, 

^ oquecahy _ 

2. tau --:::.v?.^'-^belieVe. tiv-'-----^:--.r-^^ oqueqah. 

3. tir •^— ^ — — — ' • ^^-f...*— - 

The same prefixes are used, tan tin oqueqah^ I believe ; xtan tin oqueqah, 
I was believing ; xtin oqueqah, I shall believe. 

For Perfect, 

xc or xqw- 

3. Particles for absolute, passive and neuter verbs. 

For Present, Imperfect and Future, 

1. quin or qui^ --~^,^ koh .^..^ 

2. cat £5Sui2a^&^» go. quix II! 

3. t or ti •^" que -'^ 

To these tan is to be prefixed for the Present, xtan for the Imperfect, 

and X for the Future. 

For Perfect. 

1. ajm""*^- xahr^"^-...^,^^ 

2. Xat"- ---^^^^^rrr^g^^^^t havC xix '-^'-^ ^^I-lV. -*.":!: r«5^^ J- 

3. X - — ' gone. xe .*-— -— — - 

As in active verbs, the particle mi may be prefixed to these to denote 
recent past time (the Preterit Proximate). 

Tf. The rules for the formation of absolute and passive verbs 
from active verbs of several syllables are as follows : The verb, 
loZoh^ for instance, drops the final h and takes in place of it n, 
and thus forms the absolute verb. This form may be used 
without an object, as qui loEon^ I love, not saying whom. 
But when the pronouns yn^ at^ etc., are prefixed, it has the force 
of the active, as yn loZon Dios^ I love God ; yn quirrapan 
alahon^ I whip the boys. This is the general rule for all active 
verbs of several syllables. 

T". Passive verbs are formed from active verbs of more than 
one syllable by dropping the h and substituting x, as qui loloxj 
I am loved. After this form the ablative of the person must 
be used, as, qui lo^ox rumal Dios^ I am loved by God ; qui 
rapax rumal vahtih^ I am whipped by my master. This is 

Brinton.] 390 [Jan. 4, 

also the formation of the passive in verbs of several syllables 
which begin with a vowel, as quinaqaxarij I hear, quinaqaxaXj 
I am heard. 

T. Active verbs of only one syllable form their passives in 
two manners. 

The first is to drop the particles of active verbs, which are, 
tin J ta, tu^ etc., and substitute those of neuter verbs which are, 
quij catj ti, etc., as, 

tin ban^ I make. qui ban^ I am made. 

tin ya^ I give. qui ya^ I am given. 

And so with all verbs of one syllable. 

The second form of the passive is by adding the particle tah 
to the verb preceded by a vowel like that in the verb, as, ban- 
atahj yatahj etc. 

The Imperative. 

All verbs of one syllable or vowel if it is a, e, or t, form 
their imperative in a in both singular and plural, e. g., 
tiban, I do ; imper. tabana^ do thou ; pi. tibana^ do you. 
tinq^^et^ I see; imp. tac^^eta^ see thou; pi. tiq^^eta^ see ye. 
tin quir^ I untie: imp. taquira, untie thou; pi. tiquira, untie 


tin pizj I wrap ; imp. tapiza^ wrap thou ; pi. tipiza^ wrap ye. 

Those of one syllable with the vowel o form their impera- 
tive in 0, as, 

tin bot^ I wrap up ; imp. taboto, wrap thou up ; pi. tiboto^ 
wrap ye up. 

tin cot, I scrape ; imp. tacoto^ scrape thou ; pi. ticoto^ scrape 


tin lolj I buy ; imp. taloSo^ buy thou ; pi. tilo^o^ buy ye. 

Those of one syllable with the vowel u form their impera- 
tive in u ; as : 

tinqut^ I appear : imp. taqutu^ appear thou : pi. tiqutUj ap- 
pear ye. 

tinchup^ I quench ; imp. tachupu^ quench thou ; pi. tichupu^ 
quench ye. 

But if the verb is of more than one syllable, the imperative 
has the same form as the indicative, and one of these particles, 

1884.J ^yi [Brinton. 

is added : tah^ taoc, or oe ; and these particles can follow all 
verbs, active, passive, neuter and absolute. In this case no 
vowel is added to the verb. For example, tahan tah^ tahan taoc^ 
taba noCj do thou. This form is deprecative, rather asking 
than commanding. 

The pronouns ru^ first person singular, and ^a, first person 
plural, are often used with active verbs instead of these parti- 
cles. For example : Nuc^^eta na missa^ qa^eqa quihe^ Let me 
first see the mass, and then I shall go. Ka lihala na xolohauh 
Sancta Maria^ qa^eqa tin hijh ru qohlem sancto^ Let us first 
salute the queen, Holy Mary, and then we shall speak of the 

Another imperative and prohibitive is formed by dropping 
the first letter of any one of the above mentioned particles, and 
substituting the letter b or m ; as, bahan^ do it not ; machup^ 
do not quench it. In this case no vowel is added to active 
verbs of one syllable, but the simple form of the verb is used, 
whether it be active, passive, neuter or absolute. 

Optative Mood. 

The particles of the optative mood are the same as those of 
the indicative, with the addition of the particle tah ; as: tin 
lolotahj would I loved God ! xin lo^otah, would I had loved 

The particle tah is also placed after the particle of present 
time tan^ and before the verb ; as, tan tah tinu q,e^ nu tata^ 
would I could see my father now ! 

Subjunctive Mood. 
The particle vetah is used for this mood ; as, vetah tin loloh 
DioSj qui lolox rumal Dios^ If I loved God I should be loved 
by God. 

Infinitive Mood. 

This is formed in a variety of ways. 

The first is by taking the verb tirah^ he wishes, preterit 
xrah^ in the third person, without variation, and for the sub- 
ject the pronouns nu^ a, ru^ or, if the verb begins with a vowel, 
V, au^ r ; and then the active verb, and not a passive or neuter ; 
as, tirah nu loloh Dios^ I wish to love God. 

Br in ton.] 392 ^jan. 4, 

But if the sentence includes any of tliose accusatives above 
mentioned, to wit, quin^ cat^ hoh^ quix, que^ the infinitive is 
formed by placing first this accusative, next, the verb rah with- 
out any particle, then the pronouns nu^ a, ru^ or, if the verb be- 
gins with a vowel, v, au^ r, and lastly the active verb ; as, cat 
rah nu lo^oh^ I wish to love thee. 

T*. Note that if the verb tirah^ rah^ is followed by a passive, 
neuter or absolute verb, then this verb tirah^ is to be conju- 
gated with the particles of the neuter verb ; as 

qui rahj I wish. hoh rah^ we wish. 

cat rah^ thou wishest. quix rah^ you wish. 

ti rahj he wishes. que rah^ they wish. 

It agrees in number and person with the person who acts^ 
and is followed by the passive, neuter or absolute verb without 
a particle ; as, 

qui rah var^ I wish to sleep. hoh rah var^ we wish to sleep. 

cat rah var^ thou wishest to quix rah var^ you wish t-o 

sleep. sleep. 

ti rah var^ he wishes to que rah var^ they wish to 

sleep. sleep. 

Another method of forming the infinitive is by taking the 
verb tivahoj I wish, and then placing the active, passive or 
absolute verb with its pronoun in number and person, as, 

tivaho tin loloh Dios^ I wish to love God. 
tavaho ta loloh Dios^ thou wishest to love God. 

tivaho qui var^ I wish to sleep. 

tavaho cat var^ thou wishest to sleep. 

tiraho ti var^ he wishes to sleep. 

tikaho hoh var^ we wish to sleep. 

tivaho quix var^ you wish to sleep. 

ticaho que var, they wish to sleep. 
tivaho qui lolox^ I wish to be loved. 
tavaho cat lolox^ thou wishest to be loved. 

tivaho quitihon^ I wish to teach. 

tavaho catihon^ thou wishest to teach, etc. 

1884.] 393 fBrlnton. 

Of the Gerund with the Accusative^ and the First Supine. 

To form a sentence containing a gerund with accusative, 
they make use, for the present and future tenses of the verb 
tibe^ and for the preterit of xhe^ both from fie, to go. 

They also use for present and future the verb tul^ preterit 
xul^ to come. 

Both are used in the third person, and are not conjugated, but 
are followed by nu^ a, ru^ or, v^ au^ r, of the subject, the latter 
when the active verb begins with a vowel, and this active 
agrees in number and person with the subject. Examples : tibe 
nu loZoh Dios^ I am going to love God; tul nu rapah ala^ I 
come from (I have just been) whipping this boy. 

T[. Note, that if either of these verbs signifying movement, 
which are used in forming gerunds, tibe^ xbe^ tul^ xul^ is followed 
by a neuter, passive or absolute verb, then the verb of move- 
ment is conjugated with the proper particles of a neuter verb, 
and agrees with them in number and person, and the neuter, 
passive or absolute verb follows without variation. Examples, 
qui be var^ I am going to koh be var^ we are going to 

sleep. sleep. 

cat be var^ thou art going to quix be var^ you are going to 

ti be var^ he is going to que be var^ they are going to 
sleep. sleep. 

quin ul tihox, I am going to be taught. 
catul tihox^ thou art 
tul tihox^ he is 
kohul tihox^ we are 
quixul tihox^ you are 
que ul tihox^ they are 
quibe va, I am going to eat. hohbe va^ we are going to eat. 
catbe va, thou art *' quixbe va^ you ** 

tibe va, he is '' quebe va^ they " 

xinul xuque^ I come from kneeling down. 
xatul xuque, thou comest '' 

xul xuque, he comes from " 

PKOO. AMER. PHIL08. 80C. XXI. 115. 2x. PRINTED APRIL 10, 1884. 

Brinton.] «i94: f jan. 4, 

xohul xuque^ we corae kneeling down. 
xixul xiique^ you " 

ice^/? xuque^ they " 

Example: QmJe tihon chuitah amal] I am going to teach 
in all the villages. 

T. Note that if a sentence with a gerund contains one of 
these accusatives, q^iin^ cat^ ti^ the accusative is placed first, 
then the verb he^ or ul^ without a particle; next, the pronoun 
nit^ a, ru, for the subject ; and last the active verb, without a 
particle ; as : 

Quixhe nu loloh^ I am going to love you. 

Kohul iq^eta^ you are coming to see us. 

If with this accusative form it is desired to express a wish, 
as, I wish to go to see you, in this case the verb tirah^ to wish, 
is inserted between the accusative and the verb of movement, as, 

Quix rah be nwq,e^a, I wish to go to see you. 

Koh rah td y camigah^ you wish to come to kill us. 

1". Note that when in a sentence like the above we place the 
subject first, or use the pronouns nak^ who, or, ha, he, then the 
arrangement is, first the subject, next the verb be or ul^ and 
lastly the absolute verb, not the active, and the pronouns nu^ 
a, ru, are omitted ; as, 

Ahq^Jiamix xibe qamo chi vochochj the Alguacil was going to 
my house to take me. 

Nah xat rapanf Who whipped thee ? Ha xin rapan^ That 
one whipped me. 

In such sentences the absolute form of the verb isu sed. 

^. Observe further that when we speak in the imperative, 
using a gerundive sentence, as. Go call the fiscal, or. Go and 
bring bread ; such sentences are not formed with the verb tibe^ 
but with the verb hat^ go thou, or, hi^ go you, a syncopated 
form from the same verb, the x being dropped ; this is followed 
by one of the pronouns, nu^ a, ru^ for the subject and then the 
active verb ; as. 

Ha taha fiscal^ Go thou and call the fiscal. 

Hi qamar vai^ Go you and bring bread. 

Ha velegah manteleSy Go thou and take the mantles. 

1884.] OJi) [Brinton. 

Chapter IV. On the Formation of Participles and 
Verbal Nouns. 

There are participles and verbal nouns derived from active, 
passive, neuter and absolute verbs. 

Verbal Nouns froTn Active and Absolute Verbs, 

Verbals ivith the prefix ah. These verbal nouns are formed 
from active verbs by prefixing ah to the root ; as loloh^ to love, 
lol^ a thing loved, ahlol^ he who loves, or, in whom love is; 
tih^ teaching, ahtih^ the teacher. These are declined by 
means of the primitive pronouns, as, 

yn aktihj I am a teacher. oh ahtih, we are teachers. 

at ahtih^ thou art a teacher. yx ahtih^ you are teachers. 
ha ahtih^ he is a teacher. he ahtih^ they are teachers. 

yn ahloloh^ I am a lover, or have love, {sic.) 
at ahloloh^ thou art " 

ha ahloloh^ he is " 

oh ahloloh^ we are lovers, *' 
yx ahloloh^ you *' 

he ahloloh^ they *' 

These do not govern any case after them. 
This particle ah^ prefixed to nouns signifies, native country, 
nation or business ; as qJiamiyj the staff of office ; ahqhamiyj the 
person who carries it, the Alguacil ; ahpanlan^ a resident of 

Verbals ending in y. Loloy^ he who loves. This termina- 
tion corresponds to the -tor or -trix of the Latin, amator^ ama- 
trix. It is suffixed to active verbs of more than one syllable, 
and if they terminate in /i, this letter is dropped. A primitive 
pronoun is prefixed, and the verbal governs the genitive, 
which is placed after it, as, 

yn loloy avichin, I am a lover of thee. 
at loloy vichin, thou art a lover of me. 
ha loloy kichin, he is a lover of us. 
oh loloy quichin^ we are lovers of them. 
he loloy yvichin^ they are lovers of you. 

BrlntoD.] wU [Jan. 4, 

Verbals ending in yom. LoEoyom^ lie who loves; this parti- 
cipial is formed from an active verb of more than one syllable, 
the terminal h being dropped, and yom substituted, as, loloh^ to 
love, loloyom^ he who loves; chahihj to guard, chahiyom^ he 
who guards; etamah^ to know, etamayom^ he who knows. 
Dios etamayom ronohel ka hanoh^ God knows (is the one who 
knows) all our works. In rare cases these verbals govern cases 
after them. 

These participials can also be formed from absolute verbs de- 
rived from actives of but one syllable, as q,e^, to see, c^^etoyom^ 
he who sees. The following sentence contains examples: Mani 
Q^etoyom^ mani aqaxayom^ ri tuya Dios chiquichin eloloy 
richin^ literally, They are not seen, they are not heard, those 
things which God has to give to those (who are) lovers of him. 

Verbals ending in el, Lo lonely he who loves. This parti- 
cipial is formed from absolute verbs of more than one syllable 
by adding el^ as, active, loloh^ absolute, loZon^ lolonel, he who 
loves ; active, rapah^ absolute, rapan^ rapanel^ he who whips. 
It is preceded by the primitive pronouns, and does not govern 
cases after it. 

In some cases, but not in all, this participial may be formed 
from an absolute verb derived from an active of only one sylla- 
ble ; in which case the termination added is nel ; as, colo^ to set 
jfree, colonel^ he who sets free ; tionel camiganels qaxtokj a biter 
and a slayer is the Devil. These do not govern cases. 

Verbals ending in inak. Loloninak^ he who loved. This 
participial is formed from absolute verbs of more than one syl- 
lable by adding inak^ as, lolon^ loloninak. From these parti- 
cipials is formed the pluperfect tense, as has already been 
stated. They are used like the last mentioned and do not 
govern cases, as, yn loloninak^ I am he who loved. 

Verbals ending in ic. This participial is formed from the 
absolute verb by adding ic^ as, loZon^ lolonic. It signifies the 
result of the action of the verb from which it is derived, as 
lolonic^ a work of love. They are not much used. 

Verbals ending in em. This participial is in common use. 

1884] ^^* [Brinton. 

It is formed from absolute verbs by adding em; as, loZon^ 
lolonem, that is a work of love. It is not united to pronouns, 
but is used absolutely, as tan tiban lolonemy eyen now a work 
of love is performing ; tan tiban rapanem, even now a work of 
whipping is performing ; tan tiban lihalonem^ now a work of 
praying is performing, or, they are at prayer. 

Verbals ending in bal. This is a verbal form in very fre- 
quent use ; lolohal^ the love with which I love. It is formed 
from an active verb of one syllable by adding bal^ as, ban^ to 
do, banbal, that with which anything is done ; and from those 
of more than one syllable by changing the terminal A, if there 
is one, into bal. It is conjugated by prefixing the pronouns 
nUj a, ru, and governs the genitive after it; as, nu loZobal 
avichin, my love, or manifestation of love for thee ; so, when 
an Indian brings a present, he says : Nu loZobal avichin vae. 
This is the manifestation, or proof, of my love for thee. 

Verbals ending in ol or ul. These are formed from active 
verbs of one syllable, as, ban^ to do, banol^ he who does; q,e^, 
to see, q,e^oZ, he who sees ; if the vowel in the verb is w, the 
termination is ul^ as, cup^ to snatch, cupul^ one who snatches. 
They are used with the primitive pronouns prefixed, and fol- 
lowed by the genitive, as, yn q^,etol avichin^ I am one who sees 
thee, that is, I come to see thee. 

Verbals ending in oh or uh. These are formed from active 
verbs of one syllable. They signify the result of the action of 
the verb, as, ban^ to do, banoh^ that which is done, the work ; 
Aox, to fornicate ; hoxoh^ the deed of fornication ; loS^ to buy, 
loloh^ the work of buying. They are used with the pro- 
nouns nUj a, ru^ as, nu banoh^ my work. 

Verbal Nouns from Passive Verbs. 

Verbals in el. These correspond to those in Latin in dus ; 
they are formed from passive verbs by adding el^ as, loSox^ to 
be loved, loZoxel^ that which is to be loved, Latin, amandus^ 
da^ dum ; ban, to be done, banel, that which is to be done. 
They are conjugated by prefixing thfc primitive pronouns, and 
require the ablative after them, as, ha banel vumal ri, it is to 

Brinton.] o98 [jan. 4, 

be done by me ; Dios loZoxel vumal^ God is to be loved by me ; 
at lol'oxel rumal Dios, thou art to be loved by God. 

Verbals in inah. This is a past participle formed by adding 
inak to the passive verb, as, lolox, to be loved, loloxinah, the 
having been loved. It is conjugated by prefixing the primitive 
pronoun and requires the ablative after it, as, yn loloxinah 
avumal, I have been loved by thee; at rapaxinak rumal 
ahtih, thou hast been whipped by the teacher. 

Verbals in yc. These are formed by adding yc to the pas- 
sive, and signify the passive action of the verb, as, lolox, to be 
loved, loloxyc, the condition of being loved. They require the 
possessive pronouns to be prefixed, as, nu loEoxyc rumal Dios, 
the love with which I am loved by God ; a loloxyc vumal, the 
love with which thou art loved by me. 

Verbals in am. These correspond to the Latin tus, ta, turn, 
and are formed from passive verbs of more than one syllable 
by changing the final x into m, and when the verb is of one 
syllable by adding om, or, if the vowel in the root is u or a, by 
adding um or am ; as loZox, lolom, that which is loved ; banom^ 
that which is done : chup, to be quiet, chupum, that which is 
quieted. They are conjugated with the derivative pronouns, 
as nu hanom, the thing that has been done by me ; nu q,e^om, 
that which has been seen by me ; nu lolom, that which has been 
loved (or bought) by me ; maihax, to be held in reverence, nu 
maiham, that which is held in reverence by me. This particip- 
ial is in very common use. 

Verbal Nouns from Neuter Verbs. 

The participials and verbal nouns formed from neuter verbs 
may be understood from the following examples : 

Verbals in el. Oc, to enter, oquel, he who has to enter, as, 
vae nu qahol oquel pa escuela, this is my son who has to enter 
into the school. 

Verbals in inak. Oquinak, the thing which has entered. 
These are conjugated with the primitive pronouns, as, yn 
oquinak pa hay, I am he who has entered into the house; 
oquinak pe ha that one has entered. 

1884.] *^"" [Brinton. 

Verbals in ic, Oquic^ the entrance. These are conjugated 
with the derivative pronouns, as, voquic^ my entrance, avaquic^ 
thy entrance. 

Verbals in bal, Oquibal, the entrance ; this word conveys all 
the meanings which I gave to the passive verbals in bal. These 
are used with the derivative pronouns, as, mani voquibal aviqin, 
I have no entrance with you, or, I have nothing to do with 
you ; mani roquibal nu vay ; I have nothing for its entrance (to 
enter with) my bread, that is, I have no meat to eat with it. 

Verbals in em. Oquem^ the entrance, signifies the action of 
the verb. It does not admit any pronoun before it, sls, xban 
oquem pa hay^ an entrance was effected into the house. To de- 
note whose action it was, the genitive is used, and then the sig- 
nification becomes of the present time, as Oquem richin Jcahaual 
Jesu Christo pa templo tan qoh chi la Jerusalem — Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, entering into the temple which is in Jerusalem. 

Of certain Pronouns, 

In sentences hke some of the above, and like, "I love thee," 
" Thou lovest me," etc., there are five accusatives which serve 
for the presents and futures. They are : 

quin^ me. hoh^ us. 

cat^ thee. quix^ you. 

que^ them.* 

The following are for past time : 

xin^ me. xoh^ us. 

xat^ thee. xix^ you, 

ire, them. 
To form a sentence, we must first place the appropriate ac- 
cusative as above, next, the derivative pronoun, nu^ a ru^ or, if 
the verb begins with a vowel, v, au^ r, and then the active verb 
without a particle ; as, cat nu loloh^ thee I love ; qui nu loloh, 
myself I love ; quix ka loloh^ you we love. 

It will be noted that the n of the first person of the present 
accusative is dropped when the subject of the verb is of the 

* In the future these are preceded by the future sign, ar. 

Brinton.] 400 [jan. 4» 

third person singular or plural, as qui ruloloh Padre^ the father 
loves me ; qui loloh vtzilah vinah^ good men love me. 

Observe that in these sentences the subject of the verb is 
placed at the end ; and if we place it at the beginning of the 
sentence, as in using nah^ who, or, ha^ that one, then we must 
use the absolute and not the active form of the verb ; as nah 
xat hano ? Who made thee ? Dios xi hano^ God made me. 
Nah xat vinakiriqan ? Who created thee ? Dios xi vinahiri- 
(}an, God created me. Pedro xoh camigan^ Pedro killed us. 

There are some reciprocal pronouns, which, although, they 
have already been spoken of, must be mentioned here. They 

v^, myself. ki, ourselves. 

avij thyself. yvi, yourselves. 

r^, himself. qui, themselves. 

They are placed after active and absolute verbs, as follows : 

tin lo^oh v^, I love myself. 

ta loEoh avi, thou lovest thyself. 

ti loEoh rij he loves himself, etc. 

The same meaning may be expressed thus : 
qui loSon vi^ I love myself. 
cat lolon avij thou lovest thyself. 
ti loSon ri^ he loves himself. 

These accusatives may also be used with verbal nouns, as : 

oh lolon hi, we love one another. 
Ajid with passive participials in on, as, 
nu lolon vi^ I love myself. 
cat lolon avi^ thou lovest thyself. 
ru camigan r% he is killing himself. 
The particle rijl^ placed at the end of verbals ending in hal^ 
conveys the idea of universality, as, loEobalrijl^ the love which 
one has for all ; maihabalrijl^ the reverence which one has for 

This explanation of what are called the ''Transitions ** is not very full, 
but contains the essentials. The other grammarians note some elliptical 

1884,] 401 [Brinton. 

forms. Thus with the negative adverbs la and ma, there is a synthesis of 
pronoun and adverb, as ; 

hina (6a 4- quin + a) camiqah, thou dost not kill me. 

bat (ba -f- cat) nu camiqah, I do not kill thee. 

bold (ba -j- koh + i) camiqah, you do not kill us. 

be (jba 4- que) a camiqah, thou dost not kill them. 
In the same way : 

mina (ma + quin + a) camiqah, thou dost not kill me. 

Chapter V. Of the Composition and Derivation of 


Verbs may be formed from almost all nouns, both substantive 
and adjective, by adding one of the following particles : ar^ er, 
ir, or, ur^ according to the usage of the Indians, as mama^ an 
old man, ti mamar^ to grow old ; utz^ a good thing, tutzir^ to 
make oneself good ; teu^ something cold, titeur^ to grow cold. 

Active verbs may be formed from nearly all neuter verbs by 
adding the particle iqah or eqah ; as tut'dr^ to become good. 
tutziriqah^ to make another good ; titeur^ to grow cold, titeuriqah^ 
to make something cold. 

The particle heh added to active verbs of one syllable, and to 
those of more than one syllable, dropping the terminal A, if they 
have one, forms an instrumental verb ; as, 5an, to do, tihanheh^ 
to do something with an instrument ; ti lolbeh^ to show love 
with some act, as by giving a gift. Tipe halal ya tin chahheh 
nuSaj Bring a little water that I may wash my hands with it. 
Ta ya hun tomin^ tin hlbeh nu vay^ Give me a tomin that I 
may buy my bread. A passive may be formed from this by 
changing the final h into x ; as, Vae hun ahah ti camiqabex q,z, 
Here is a stone, with which the dog may be killed. These in- 
strumental verbs, whether active or passive, may govern geni- 
tives after them ; as, Vae hun colo taximbeh avikam^ Here is a 
cord for tying thy load ; or, Vae hun colo tixiribeh avikam^ 
Here is a cord with which thy load may be tied. 

Neuter verbs may be treated in the same manner, though less 
frequently than actives, except that with them the form iheh is 
employed. Actives and passives of these instrumental neuters 
are also used, as, neuter, oc, to enter, instrumental oquibeh, pas- 

PKOC. AMBR. PHIL08. 80C. XXI. 115. 3y. PRINTED MARCH 10, 1884. 

Brinton.J 402 [jan. 4, 

sive form, oquihex. Thus, Xoquiheh Pedro avochoc\ Pedro 
entered tty house; Xoquibex rumal Justicia avochochj Thy 
house was entered by the police. 

Active verbs are formed from substantive nouns by adding 
one of these particles, ah^ eh, ih^ oh, uh ; as achbiil, a companion, 
tivachbilah^ to take one as a companion ; tzeb, laughter, tintze- 
behj to laugh at one. 

Of Neuter Verbs , ending in €, of more than one Syllable, 

There are in this language some neuter verbs, of more than 
one syllable, ending in e, as, j^ae, to stand up, qwqwe, to sit down, 
qule, to marry, hote^ to ascend. All these form active verbs 
by dropping the e, adding the initial vowel of the root, and suf- 
fixing the particle ba ; thus, pae forms paaba to erect ; c^d^e 
forms a^uq^uba^ to set down ; qwfe, quluba^ to give in marriage ; 
hote^ hotoba, to lift up. Qui pae, I stand up, tin paaba, I erect 
something ; qui quque^ I sit down, tin ququba, I set something 

From these verbs ending in e certain participials are formed 
of frequent use, by changing the e into I ; as xuque to kneel 
down, xuqul, he who is on his knees ; pae, to stand up, j)aaZ, he 
who is on foot. The plural of these participials is formed by 
changing the final I into the initial consonant of the root and 
adding oh or uh ; Sispaal, he who is on foot, paapoh, those who 
are on foot ; gaal, clothing or anything else laid out to sun, 
caacoh, all the things laid out to sun. An exception is qulan, 
married or united, plural quluqtih. 

From this participial in Z, are formed some active verbs with 
instrumental signification by adding ibeh. As this is a difficult 
point, it is best shown by examples. Qui qotze, to lie down ; 
its participial is qotzol, he who is lying down ; tin qotzolibeh, I 
lie down upon something. Tipe hun varabal qui, ruqin hun 
pop, tin qotzolibeh, Bring me a sleeping dress, and a mat, so that 
I may lie down upon it. So, qui quke, I sit down, ti qukulibeh^ 
I sit down upon something ; Dios nima ahauh, ru qukulibeh 
xi tan q,hacat puaJcin, God, the great Lord, is seated upon a seat 
of gold, or emeralds. 

1884.1 40d [Brinton. 

Of Frequentative Verbs. 

These include frequentative verbs properly, and also distrib- 
utive verbs. 

Active verbs of more tban one syllable, ending in A, change 
the A into Za, as, tin ^ipah^ I divide, tin ^iala^ I divide many 
times, or among many persons. Active verbs of only one syl- 
lable add the vowel of the root, and then the particle Za, as, tin 
chap^ I seize, tin chapata, I seize often or many things. There 
are not many frequentatives proper, with an active sense, in 
this language. 

With regard to the passive verbs derived from these fre- 
quentatives, they are not formed as the other passives and abso- 
lutes above mentioned, but as follows : the a in which the fre- 
quentatives end is changed into o, and then the absolute is 
formed in on, and the passive in ax; as, ti7i gipala, I divide 
often, qui gipalon, I divide out, qui gipalox, I am divided out 

Chapter VI. Of some Particles and Adverbs. 

The particle vi is much used in this language, and for many 

Whenever time or place is specified before the verb, the lat- 
ter must be followed immediately by vi ; as chi rochoch Dios 
qo vi Padre^ In the house of God is the father. But if the verb 
is placed first, the vi is not used ; as, qoh chi rochoch Dios^ he is 
in the house of God (the church). 

Again, in employing the dative, if it precedes the verb, the 
latter must be followed by vi ; as, chi richin Pedro taya vi^ to 
Pedro thou must give. But if the dative is placed after the 
verb, the vi is not used ; as, xnu ya chirichin Pedro^ I gave it 
to Pedro. 

It has also the signification of the instrument, if it immedi- 
ately follows the verb ; as, abah xin camigah vi tziquin^ with 
a stone I killed the bird ; but if the instrument is placed after 
the verb, vi is not used, but the particle cA^, as, xin camigah 
tziquin chi abah, I killed the bird with a stone. 

Brlntx)n.] 404: [jan 4, 

Whenever the verb is preceded by the particle Aa, the parti- 
cle vi must follow ; as, Ha quix colotah v% With this you will 
ascend to heaven. 

In other cases vi is used to convey affirmation, as, Kitzih chi 
xahan vi mac^ Certainly you committed a sin. 

The particle ach has no signification by itself ; but joined to 
nouns it conveys the idea of participation in their signification, 
and it is used with the possessive pronouns ; as, ahmac^ sinner, 
achahmac^ he who sins jointly with another ; vachahmac^ my 
accomplice in sin ; achhilatz^ he who goes with another ; vach- 
hiil^ my traveling companion. 

The particle quereqa is illative, and corresponds to ergo or 
iyitur^ therefore, then, for that reason. Whenever it precedes 
a verb in this sense, the latter must be followed by the particle 
vi; as Quereqa ta loZoh vi Dios^ Therefore love thou God. 

T. There are four very important verbs which are placed 
absolutely at the end of sentences containing a gerund with ac- 
cusative. They are el^ departing, apon^ arriving, hah^ descend- 
ing, pe^ coming; and this particle Zaneh^ or alanehy which 
means " upward." 

The verb el is used by the Indians thus : ta qama el riplato^ 
Take out, departing, this plate; ta tixa el ya qoh chupam 
xarro^ Pour forth, going out, the water which is in the pitcher. 
The Zutuhils are accustomed to add o when the sentence ends 
in el. 

The verb apon means '* arriving there," not " coming here.^' 
It is used as follows : ta biih apon chire fiscal chuac quin apon 
chire, say to the fiscal on arriving there (or, when thou arrivest 
there) that to-morrow I am going there. Chuah tel apon nu 
camahel ruqin Padre^ To-morrow will go forth my messenger 
to the place where the Father is. 

The verb kah^ is used when one being in an elevated location 
speaks, or writes, or sends to one who is situated lower. Thus, 
when one is in Atitlan and speaks of the coast, he would use 
this kah^ as, tihe qamar kah q,ih taUah, they are going to carry 
flowers, descending (or down) to the coast. 

The verb pe^ to come, is used as follows : ta tzih pe candela, 

1884.] 405 [Brinton. 

light, coming, a candle (come and light a candle). Thus the 
preacher says to the people, that they be attentive during the 
sermon: Ti ya pe yqux, ti ya pe yxiquin^ tivaqaxah pe^ vae 
lololah tzih xtin hiih chivichin^ Give your hearts hither (coming 
hither), give your ears hither (where I am), listen (in this 
direction), they are precious words which I shall speak to you. 

The particle alaneh^ means upward, Latin, sursum^ as, qui 
muku alaneh^ I look upward. 

The particle can means '' remaining ; " as, xu biih can ka- 
haual Jesu Christo^ the aforesaid our Lord Jesus Christ ; xi ru 
pixabah can nu lata tok xhe panlan^ my father discharged me, I 
remaining behind, he going to Guatemala ; quere nu tzih, nu 
pixa, vae xtin ya can xtin qoh ha can, These are my words, my 
commands, which I give to remain, as I shall go away. The 
expression xamhey can, means, remain behind; chuih can, in my 
absence, after I had left. 

The particle na has no signification when used alone ; but 
when joined to other words it has various meanings. It is from 
nabey, first, or, the first. Thus it may mean " until," Latin, 
donee, as, cat nu chubiqah na ohicam tiqp na nuqux chavih aate 
ti tuker nuqux, I shall punish .thee and shall not be satisfied 
until I have visited on thee my anger. Tul na Padre qateqa 
cathe, Do not go until the father hears thee ; qahaok na Padre 
tihiin ru chohmil chuo qateqa tinu kiquih, I shall not consider it 
true until the father tells me. Nu qux na tahoon tinu ya 
ckaue, Until my heart desires it, I shall not give it thee. Tin 
biih na ruchohmil Justicia, In the first place I shall tell the 
truth to the magistrate ; qacamic na, until death ; qe ta na, pres- 
ently, after a while. A boy about to be whipped will say, hu- 
mul chita na, pardon me this time, wait until the next time. 

The particle bala means " somewhere." Ba qo vi Padre? 
Where is the father ? Bala qo vi. Somewhere, I don't know 
where. It also corresponds to all four of the adverbs of place, 
ubi, unde, quo, qua. Ba xpe vi Padre f Whence came the 
father? Bala xpe vi, I don't know whence he came. Bi che 
el, or, nak che el? How? In what manner? 

Bilanak, " something," " anything." Tok bilanak ti biin 

Brinton.] 406 [Jan. 4. 

chaue ytzel tziih^ ma qutuba^ When any one speaks evil words 
to you, do not answer him. Mani bilinak xu biih Padre chue^ 
The father did not say anything to me. 

Other particles : qabala^ from time to time ; it may be used 
with repetition; qahantak la nu nantil^thessLine] qa runahtjthe 
same ; qo quipe, qo qa mani^ sometimes I go, sometimes not ; 
mani humul vakan chirochoch^ not one time have I put foot in 
his house ; vave^ here ; varal chire^ there or then ; chila^ over 
there, far; halal^ a little; halal chic tiraho tijh\ the food lacks a 
little, it is not ready, an Indian phrase ; halan-halqat, differ- 
ently, pi., halahoh qui qohlem ahaua^ the modes of life of the 
chiefs are different ; halahoh que tzihon, they speak differently, 
some well, some ill ; xere^ only this ; huqigic xa xere tin biih 
ri^ only this do I say to thee ; huqigic* xtin ya chavichin re, or 
vae, this only will I give to thee ; hiqui\ intimates a fixed pur- 
pose, as, hiquil nube ic chuak^ My departure to-morrow is cer- 
tain; kitzih, truly, certainly; chi kitzih vi chi^ the same; 
kitzih utz Dios^ truly God is good. The following are used 
with reference to past or future time in narration or reference, 
haok^ katok^ tok ; but in asking about past time they say, 
xhaniqalf How much time? And for future they say, ha- 
ruh^ when? Haruh cat be? When wilt thou go? 

* The word hu^it^w is a compound of the numeral one, hun, and the 
verbal q^'^tc, from qt0, to finish, to end, hence, '* that which ends in one," 
or is alone. ( Goto. ) 

1884.] 407 [Brlntou. 


The following additional material, necessary to a grammatical survey 
of the tongue, I have culled from the various MS. sources heretofore men- 

Comparison op Adjectives. 

This is accomplished by the use of the particles chic^ as, nim chic halal, 
a little larger, ki, and atza, as, atza quixan pe, come a little nearer ; and 
by adding the past participles, iqovinak and yalaquhinakf which mean to 
pass beyond, to exceed, as, iqovinak chi nirriy greater (it exceeds in great- 
ness), yalaquhinak chi utz, better (it surpasses in goodness). 


Ahkookf or akookee! Ah I Alas ! Oh I Expressive of sadness or com- 
passion. This is much used by the priests in their sermons. 

Acay! When one is beaten or ill treated. 

-4qe.' When one is suffering pain, as, for example, when bitten by 
some animal. The correlative of this interjection in the particle 2e, which 
is placed at the end of the sentence, as, Aqe^ xqui cam 2e I Alas I I shall 

0, A, ACt are exclamations of admiration as in the compounds, A bin na, 
maihan re, etc. 

Aco ! Oh 1 expressing a wish, as, Aco mixat nuqul, Oh I that thou 
hadst come I 

Kitah, kitari, kitanari, kitanaqa, kitanaan, queretah, queretare ; all these 
are desiderative or deprecatory. The root of the first five is the particle ki 
which is used to ask a question in a confident and friendly manner, hence 
kitziJi, the truth. 


Affirmative Adverbs. Kitzih, truly ; kitzihan, very truly ; xaiqa, 
also ; qo, 7ie, xaviutz, it is well ; haquere, be it so ; haqaquere^ in the same 

Negative Adverbs. Afani or maqui, not ; xax manim, by no means, not 
at all ; maJiani, not even ; maquiam queretah, it is not so ; mahaniok, is a 
negative indicating past time, as, mahaniok tika^ih tok mi xinol, the sun 
had not yet set when I came. The particles ba and ma are used as nega- 
tives in the singular number, second and third persons, especially with im- 
peratives, as, ba ban ri, do not thou do that ; ba malih aqux, do not be 
faint-hearted. In the plural these words become bi and mi, as, mi ban ri, 
do not you do that ; bi pokonariqah ivii, do not abuse one another. The 
form maqui tanaan, a compound of maqui, not, tan, particle of present 
time, and an, an emphatic particle, is a negative, corresponding to the 
affirmative ki tanaan; they have the meanings, **not now at any rate," 
and, "even now at any rate.*' The compound mamanion, is a negative 
interrogative, or alternative, as, avetaam pe, mamanion ? Dost thou know 



[Jan. 4, 

me, or not ? Avetaam pe nu qohlem, mamanion ? Dost thou know me, 
or not? Querepe, mamanion? Is this so, or not.? 

Interrogative Adverbs. The general interrogative is nak ? What, 
or, What is this? Who? Which? Nak quixoxmf Who art thou? Nak 
la qa rumalf For what reason? Nak pe ri? What is this.? Ba, where? 
Ba pe q<? mf Where is he ? Balaqa qo m ruchohmil ? Where is the truth 
of this ? Bi and be also have interrogative force, as, Be cliok ia vetamah 
m ri? How didst thou know it? Been xa ban? How didst thou do it? 
La kitzih, truly ? as. La kitzih pe xabiih ri ? Truly, didst thou say this ? 
The particle maki is in very common use for the affirmative interrogatives, 
well, well then, etc., as, Maki tekumu halal ya? Then, thou willst not 
drink water? 

DuBiTATiVE Adverbs. The particle la expresses a doubt as to whether 
the action referred to has occrured ; as in answer to the question. Has the 
father come? The reply. Mi la xul, or Mi xul la, means. He may have 
come, it is possible. A much used compound of similar signification is 
pacliI>om qa 'oach, from paclilom, to turn, to change ; it is used with the 
possessive pronouns, as, pach^om ru 'oach nuqux, I am in doubt, literally, 
my mind (heart) changes its face. 


1 — Jiun, 

2 — cay. 

3 — oxi. 

4 — caJii, 

5 — voo. 

6 — vakakL 

7 — vuku. 

8 — vakxaki. 

9 — belehe, 
10 — lalmh. 
11 — hulaliuh. 
12 — cablahuh. 
13 — OQ^lahuh. 
14 — cahlahuh. 
15 — wolaJiuh. 
16 — 'oaklaliuh. 
17 — TiuklaJiuh. 
18 — vakxak lahuh, 
19 — beleh laJmh. 
20 — hu mnak. 
21 — hu mnak hun, &c. 
40 — ca mnak. 
The numeral 'doo, five, when 
its initial letter, as, roo^ his five 
as from other radicals. 

41 — hunroxqal. 

42 — cay roxqal, &c. 

60 — oxqal. 

61 — 7iun ru Jiumuqli, &c. 

80 — humuqji. 
100— oqa?. 
101 — hun ru vakqal. 
120 — vakqal. 
121 — hun ru vukqal 
140 — vukqal. 
160 — vakxak qal. 
180 — belehqal. 
200— oiuc. 
300 — volahuhqal. 
400 — omuqh. 
500 — omuqji oqal. 
600 — omuQ^ otuc. 
700 — omuqh volahuh qal, 
800— ca2<?. 
900 — oxqal roxo^o, 
1000 — otuc roxo^o. 
8000 — hu chwoy. 
joined with the possessive pronoun loses 
. Verbals are formed from these numbers, 

1884.] 40 J [Brio ton 

The ordinal numbers are formed from the cardinal by prefixing the pos- 
sessive pronoun and dropping the final letter. 

rvhu, first. roo, fifth. 

ruca, second. ruvakak, sixth. 

rox, third. ruvuk, seventh. 

rucah, fourth. ruvakxak^ eighth, etc. 

The w%Q of numeral particles is very frequent. I take the following list 
from Torresano's Grammar in the order he gives them. 

pah, for counting words. With this particle the numerals lose their last 
Yow t\,?Ln(\.'oakaki its last three letters, as, hupah, capah, oxpah, 'oakpah, &c. 

rahah, for counting skeins, threads, or things sewed ; hurabah, carahah^ 

^a, for counting hands, and fives, hu^a, ca^a, ox^a, etc. 

qulaJi, for counting pairs. 

m^2, for counting haudfuls, or fists. 

Up, for the same. 

q^uh, for counting drops. 

6^2, for counting chips and crumbs. 

lie, for counting spoonfuls. 

yacahy for counting large things, as beams, logs, and weights. 

remah, for counting provinces. 

qhoh, for counting districts. 

qola/i, for counting spherical things, such as eggs, balls, etc. 

cholah or ley, for counting things arranged in order. 

izeah, or cMah, or quiah, for counting bundles of things tied together. 

chacah, for counting bundles like those of sarsaparilla, tied together. 

m, for counting shoots and stems of trees, etc. 

telah, for counting armfuls of wood or grass. 

ra/m, for counting clubs or sticks. 

molah, for enumerating the diflferences between things. 

taz, for counting high things, as the ceilings of rooms, or the upper 
rooms of a house. 

rap, for counting strokes or blows. 

per ah, for counting paper, the leaves of a book, tortillas, or other thin 
articles which are laid one over the other. 

hurrah, for counting things that are doubled or folded, as pieces of cloth. 

q'^2, for counting sewed sheets or other sewed articles. 

hah, for counting armfuls of woods, sticks, etc. 

yatah^ for counting bundles or other tied articles. 

^eteh or horah, for counting small bundles of grass or wood which can 
be carried under the arm. 

cep, for counting sites of villages. 

hoiah or 2er, for counting bundles of straw. 

qutah, for counting pieces of sown land. 

tzobah, for counting small patches of corn-land, of good soil. 


Brinton.] 410 [Jan. 4, 

qutu, for counting spans. 

«a2, for counting paces. 

le, for counting spaces between floors. 

tanah, for counting degrees, chapters, sins, law-suits, etc. 

^ala, for counting cacao grains, by scores. 

vinak, for counting months according to the method of the Indians, from 
20 to 20. 

a, for counting years. 

may, for counting years by twenties. 

mul, for counting repetitions. 

oc, for counting with exclusion, Imnoc, one only, cayoCy two only, etc. 

^at, for counting long strips. 

hal, for counting changes. 

C^hay, for counting businesses. 
To these from Torresano may be added from other sources : 

hie, for counting songs, words, or blows, as huMc cJiibix, one song. 

lah, for counting 14 at a time. 

patal, for counting loads, hun patal aqam, one load of salt, etc. 

To express that a quantity is finite and can be counted, the word choyol 
is used ; to express that it is infinite or cannot be counted, they have the 
word ramal; or the negatives maqui choyol, maqui 'Latal, innumerable. 

To express a half, the word tanal is placed before the numeral, which 
takes the possessive, as tanal ru cay, tanal rox, tanal ru cahy etc. 


In American tongues the study of tlie particles is preeminently required 
in order to gain an insight into the shades of meaning between similar ex- 
pressions. To them also we must turn if we would trace these tongues to 
their primitive forms, and gain a clear conception of their organic pecu- 
liarities. By some writers these particles are considered worn down verbal 
or nominal roots, but I rather hold that this is the exception, and that 
most of them are true radical forms themselves, and must be ranged under 
a grammatical category foreign to any known to the Latin grammarians. 

This question need not be discussed here, and it will be enough for 
practical purposes to arrange in alphabetical order the principal but by 
no means all the particles found in the Cakchiquel. 

Aco. Expresses satisfaction, as if one had found that which he was 
searching for. 

A^aneJi. Verbal particle, see p. 404. 

An. Particle to say that it is well. TJtzan, it is well. 

A^aU, or Avahuh, Generic part, applied to any animal, bird, or bee, 
such as builds itself a house. 

Atza. Enough ; atza o^ohj taqa mape, '' trae bastante.*' 

Ba. Imperative and prohibitive particle. 

Benakil. Many times ; henakil nu Mjm chaue, I have often told you it. 

1884.] 411 [Brinton. 

Beh. Particle added to verbs to signify the instrument with which the 
action is accomplished. 

Ben. Particle to express ** since" or from a certain time; xrulihen 
Padre, since the Father came ; xu ha hi hem (sic) ya panuvi manitan qui 
qule. since I was baptized, I have not sinned. 

Can. Particle signifying past time ; 7iu bun can, I have already said. 

Cani or canih, soon ; canicahe vacami man chic catqohe vaue, ahora 
luego vete ya no estes aqui. 

Go. Particle to concede or grant something ; coco, all right, very well, 

Gohol, between ; cohol hay, between the houses. 

Chic. See p. 376. 

Ha, that one ; also, it is, or, it is so ; ha ri, it is thus ; also in causal 
sense, ha nim m ri Sancto^ because the Saint is great ; something great or 
strong, ha Hh, a hot sun, ha hah, a heavy rain. 

Hak, to open out, or to separate things joined ; tahaka ru nakavachy 
open your eyes ; hakal vuh, the book is open ; ti haka yxiquin, open your 
ears, i. e., listen attentively. 

Haz, to shut up, hence a secret, in secret ; hazha pa ru xiquin, to tell in 
the ear. 

Ho, interjection intimating going ; hoho, come along, let us go hence ; 
applied to the woman who offers herself to a man ; tu ho ri yxok, the 
woman offers herself; of the day which goes quickly (as holoJio) ; xliolo 
yan l^ih, the day is soon gone ; xholoho ranima, his soul departed (he 
died) ; hote, to go upward, rise ; cat hote chirih queh, get on your horse ; 
hotoha, to lift, to raise up ; hotay, the sprouts of trees which shoot up, also 
the descendants, offspring of a man ; enuhotay, my descendants. 

Yan, particle denoting brevity ; xatul yan, you have just come ; xq^o yan 
xinnl, I have already come. Thus this particle may mean both a short and 
a long time. 

Tx, part, of past time. 

Tchal, part, denoting plurality. 

Yben, part, joined to names parts of the body to distinguish them, as 
qalqaxibeni (sic), ri xa, the water came to my knees. 

Ka, part, of direction, downward ; as verb, ka, to descend, mix ka chi, 
xihalhay, he descended into hell ; to tear down a house ; to set (of sun or 
moon) ; to diminish (of a boil) ; to descend in health, to grow sick, etc. 

Ki. 1. An interrogative, putting a question in a friendly manner ex- 
pecting a truthful reply. 2. In space, that which is locally nearest, as, 
hakiha 'Gochoch ri qo oc chachi hey, my house is nearest the road. 

La, particle to intimate that one has not seen what has taken place ; ex- 
presses a doubt. 

Ley, part, to denote that something is one of a class, hu ley vinak, a per- 
son of one, age, nation, dress, color, etc. 

Ha, first, in all senses. Hence, as a verbal, to be first, to await others ; 

Brinton.] 412 [jan. 4, 1884. 

narCy before me, thee ; etc ; naek, but, although (^. e., = consider first) ; 
nampe^ or naype, then, next, and. 

Nahtj far, deep ; of time, long. 

NoCy a word of disfavor, or disapproval ; used, for instance, when one 
counts erroneously, or makes a mistake. 

PaM, at once, immediately, tin han paki, I do it at once. 

PatUy or Pa, in, within ; hence, the stomach, belly or bowels, as the 
"inwards" of old English writers. 

Pe, toward this place, hither ; as a verbal, to come hither. 

Ta, a particle of courtesy used by and to married people ; as, Dios ca 
chaJiin ia, God protect you ; hence, ta ta, O lord ! 

Tally particle to express like or desire, used in asking something which 
one is uncertain about receiving; as a noun, pleasure, satisfaction; as a 
verbal, to desire, to wish. 

Tallin, particle of present time, as tan pe que ialiin yxoki cliuque xic nu 
x>ayf are the women now grinding my corn? Ans. Tan que ta liin. 
They are even now doing it. In the combination qataJiin, it means "a 
little," a short time. 

Tak, conveys the idea 01 repetition. With reference to events it signi- 
fies that they happen recurrently ; added to numbers above five it means 
a division among many. Thus they say of intermittent fever, hu tak pettc 
rax tev chuvih, I am suffering from recurrent chills. It is also used to form 
certain plurals which have an implied idea of recurrence, as, ronohel tak 
muly all the time, every time. 

Tan, part, of present time, see tahin, and page 385. 

To^e, an exclamatory particle used to call a person who is near. 

Va, a particle of assent, or of intimation that one is near what he is 

Ve, primarily expresses a doubt, and from this a concession, hence is 
used to signify consent or yielding to a request ; ve ta, be it so. 

Vij see page 403. 

Xambey, after others ; as, xamhey can, he comes after, either in space or 

Xe, below or beneath ; xe hoy, beneath the house ; ru xe che, the root ot 
a tree. 

qa, conveys the idea of a short distance either in space or time, as, qa 
tan tul Pedro, Peter came a short time ago ; qa aqual yq, the new moon ; 
qa aqual Pedro, Peter is young yet ; qa tan tahin missa, they are still say- 
ing mass ; qa aqa hay, a newly -built house.