Historical Linguistics

My recent work in historical linguistics involves Ch’olan-Tzeltalan reconstruction.  This work is of a comparative, pan-Mayan scope, with the goal of determining two types of characteristics:

Traits that are distributed broadly enough among the Ch’olan (Lak Ty’än/Ch’ol, Yokot’an/Chontal, Ch’orti’/Apay) and Tzeltalan (Bats’il K’op, Bats’i K’op) languages, that we can posit their existence back to the time when these communities were part of a single community whose inhabitants spoke the same language;

Traits that are distributed poorly among the Ch’olan and Tzeltalan languages, but whose presence in other Mayan branches (e.g. Greater K’iche’an, Greater Mamean, Greater Q’anjob’alan, Huastecan, Yucatecan) could indicate that such traits did in fact exist but were lost before the Ch’olan-Tzeltalan ancestor began to split up into different dialects and languages.

This project has two main goals: to contribute to the history of the Ch’olan-Tzeltalan peoples, specifically, and the Mayan peoples in general; and to provide a theoretical framework for the study of ancient Mayan hieroglyphic writing.

I am also working on the identification of regularly recurring sound correspondences between proto-Mayan and proto-Mije-Sokean.