The Mayan Languages: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Mayan Languages

1st Edition

Edited by Judith Aissen, Nora C. England, Roberto Zavala Maldonado


778 pages

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Hardback: 9780415738026
pub: 2017-05-18
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315192345
pub: 2017-05-12
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The Mayan Languages presents a comprehensive survey of the language family associated with the Classic Mayan civilization (AD 200–900), a family whose individual languages are still spoken today by at least six million indigenous Maya in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras.

This unique resource is an ideal reference for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students of Mayan languages and linguistics. Written by a team of experts in the field, The Mayan Languages presents in-depth accounts of the linguistic features that characterize the thirty-one languages of the family, their historical evolution, and the social context in which they are spoken.

The Mayan Languages:

  • provides detailed grammatical sketches of approximately a third of the Mayan languages, representing most of the branches of the family;
  • includes a section on the historical development of the family, as well as an entirely new sketch of the grammar of "Classic Maya" as represented in the hieroglyphic script;
  • provides detailed state-of-the-art discussions of the principal advances in grammatical analysis of Mayan languages;
  • includes ample discussion of the use of the languages in social, conversational, and poetic contexts.

Consisting of topical chapters on the history, sociolinguistics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse structure, and acquisition of the Mayan languages, this book will be a resource for researchers and other readers with an interest in historical linguistics, linguistic anthropology, language acquisition, and linguistic typology.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Judith Aissen, Nora C. England, Roberto Zavala Maldonado

Part 1: Language Development, History, and Change

Chapter 2: Mayan Language Acquisition

Clifton Pye, Barbara Pfeiler, Pedro Mateo Pedro

Chapter 3: Mayan History and Comparison

Lyle Campbell

Chapter 4: Aspects of the Lexicon of proto-Mayan and its Earliest Descendants

Terrence Kaufman

Chapter 5: Language Contacts with(in) Mayan

Danny Law

Chapter 6: Classic Mayan: An Overview of Language in Ancient Hieroglyphic Script

Danny Law and David Stuart

Part 2: Grammar

Chapter 7: Phonology and Phonetics

Nora C. England and Brandon O. Baird

Chapter 8: Morphology

Gilles Polian

Chapter 9: Alignment Patterns

Roberto Zavala Maldonado

Chapter 10: Complement Clauses

Judith Aissen

Chapter 11: Information Structure in Mayan

Judith Aissen

Part 3: Semantics

Chapter 12: Organization of Space

Jürgen Bohnemeyer

Chapter 13: Focus, Interrogation, and Indefinites

Scott AnderBois

Chapter 14: Pluractionality in Mayan

Robert Henderson

Part 4: Language in Context

Chapter 15: The Labyrinth of Diversity: the Sociolinguistics of Mayan Languages Sergio Romero

Chapter 16: Mayan Conversation and Interaction

John B. Haviland

Chapter 17: Poetics

Rusty Barrett

Part 5: Grammar Sketches

Chapter 18: K’iche’

Telma Can Pixabaj

Chapter 19: Mam

Nora C. England

Chapter 20: Q’anjob’al

Eladio Mateo Toledo

Chapter 21: Tojolabal

Alejandro Curiel Ramírez del Prado

Chapter 22: Tseltal and Tsotsil

Gilles Polian

Chapter 23: Chol

Jessica Coon

Chapter 24: Comparative Maya (Yucatec, Lacandon, Itzaj and Mopan Maya)

Charles Andrew Hofling



About the Editors

Judith Aissen is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Nora C. England is Dallas TACA Centennial Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also Director of the Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America at the University of Texas at Austin.

Roberto Zavala Maldonado is Researcher and Professor at the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS) in Mexico. He was also Joint-Director of the Project for the Documentation of Languages of Meso-America.

About the Series

Routledge Language Family Series

Each volume in this series contains an in-depth account of the members of some of the world's most important language families. Written by experts in each language, these accessible accounts provide detailed linguistic analysis and description. The contents are carefully structured to cover the natural system of classification: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, semantics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.

Every volume contains extensive bibliographies for each language, a detailed index and tables, and maps and examples from the languages to demonstrate the linguistic features being described. The consistent format allows comparative study, not only between the languages in each volume, but also across all the volumes in the series.

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