LINGUIST List 14.2368

Mon Sep 8 2003

Books: Typology/Syntax, Mayan: Ximena, Vapnarsky

Editor for this issue: Marisa Ferrara <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


  1. LINCOM.EUROPA, Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Message 1: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Date: Mon, 08 Sep 2003 07:24:43 +0000
Subject: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages

Title: Polyvalence of root classes in Yukatekan Mayan languages
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 47.
Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Lincom GmbH,		 
Author: Lois Ximena, EREA-CNRS 
Author: Valentina Vapnarsky, EREA-CNRS 

Paperback: ISBN: 3895867071., Pages: 246, Price: 62 EURO			


Lexical categories exhibit parametric variation across languages. Most
Indo-European languages reveal a rich pattern of derivation between
nouns and verbs. Mayan languages in general have less recourse to
derivational processes resulting in formal similarities between verbs
and nouns at the level of morphophonology and morphosyntax. Focusing
on Yukatekan languages, this book shows that these similarities occurr
even at the lexical root level. This leads us to review previous root
classifications and to propose a large verbonominal root class that we
oppose to another main class, the nominal roots. The verbonominal
class includes traditional transitive roots and intransitive roots, as
well as agent-salient roots that are commonly considered to be nominal
roots. Such a system can account for the categorial flexibility
exhibited by Mayan roots and allows us to formulate generalizations
missing in previous classifications. A new conception of the role of
phonology and of morphophonological processes in Mayan languages is
proposed. We introduce the notion of instantiation, a twofold process
that encompass the formation of phonological profiles (determination
of the vowel in the general template CVC) and morphological profiles
(inflection). Instantiation handles root-class polyvalence and
subsumes the so-called voices traditionally considered to be
derivational in nature. The link between the split-ergativity system
exhibited in Yukatekan languages and properties of verbonominal roots
is exhamined. The final part deals with the intricate categories of
positionnals and affectives. Extensive lists of members of the
different root classes are given in Appendices. (for more
information, please see the LINCOM webshop :

Lingfield(s): Amerindian (Typology)
Language Family(ies): Mayan

Written In: English (Language Code: ENG)

 See this book announcement on our website:

Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Blackwell Publishing
Cambridge University Press
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Elsevier Ltd.
John Benjamins
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Lincom GmbH
MIT Press
Mouton de Gruyter
Oxford University Press
Pacini Editore Spa
Routledge (Taylor and Francis)

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
CSLI Publications
Canadian Journal of Linguistics
Cascadilla Press
Evolution Publishing
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass
International Pragmatics Assoc.
Linguistic Assoc. of Finland
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics
Multilingual Matters
Pacific Linguistics
Palgrave Macmillan
Pearson Longman
SIL International
St. Jerome Publishing Ltd.
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics