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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Grammar of Late Preclassic Mayan Portable Texts Add Dissertation
Author: David Mora-Marín Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: State University of New York at Albany, Anthropology
Completed in: 2001
Linguistic Subfield(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics; Language Acquisition;
Subject Language(s): Itzá

Abstract: In this study I describe and analyze the orthography, grammar, and possible linguistic affiliation of a subset of Late Preclassic texts present on inscribed jade and stone preciosities. The topic is framed within an historical anthropological interactionist approach that applies the following ethnohistorical methods: art history, archaeology, paleography, epigraphy, and linguistics. I focus on the application of the paleographic, epigraphic, and linguistic methods, and use the results to draw out implications for the sociocultural and linguistic history of Mayan civilization, specifically concerning the history of the Mayan script and its orthographic conventions, the
linguistic affiliation of the earliest Mayan texts, the social context for the diffusion of Mayan writing in the Mayan region. After providing the necessary sociocultural, linguistic, and epigraphic background for the study of early Mayan writing (Chapters I-III), I present three epigraphic case studies focusing on the study of portable texts from the Classic (A.D. 200-900) and Late
Preclassic (400 B.C.-A.D. 200) periods. The first (Chapter IV) consists of a study of the grammatical structure of the dedicatory formula of inscribed Classic pottery vases. The second (Chapter V) consists of a study of the grammatical structure, content, and context of the texts on Early Classic jade plaques. And the third (Chapter VI) consists of a detailed description and analysis of the signary and grammatical structure of a small subset of portable Late Preclassic Mayan texts. I conclude that the earliest Mayan portable texts exhibit the same basic orthographic conventions as later Classic texts, that
they represent Ch'olan or Yukatekan languages, that they mainly contain examples of the dedicatory genre. I then discuss the results from the case studies and their implications for the sociocultural context of Late Preclassic Mayan civilization (Chapter VII), as well as for the sociolinguistic context of Late Preclassic Mayan hieroglyphic writing (Chapter VIII).