Note 19

Notes on the *oo/*oʔ > uu > u Shift in Ch’olan and Huastec(an)

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

9/7/21

 

The purpose of this note is to demonstrate that the *oo/oʔ > uu > u shift is not a shared change between Ch’olan and Huastecan, but a set of independent developments. The key piece of evidence lies within Huastecan. More specifically, as Norcliffe (2003:95) has suggested and as is reviewed here, Huastecan did not undergo the change: Huastec did. Chicomuceltec (Kabil), very closely related to Huastec, and argued by Kaufman (1980:101), Kaufman and Justeson (2008), and Robertson and Houston (2015:32) to have differentiated from Huastec during the Postclassic period, does not exhibit the change. This means that Huastec experienced the shift, largely independently, since the beginning of the Postclassic period, many centuries after attestations of the Ch’olan shift in Epigraphic Mayan texts (e.g. Justeson and Fox 1989; Mora-Marín 2009).

 

I begin with some basic background. Kaufman and Norman (1984) proposed two exclusive vowel shifts in Ch’olan: *oo > uu > u and *ee > ii > i. Those authors characterized these shifts as follows (1984:87):

 

It is important to note that this change is neither regular nor pervasive, i.e., there are more cases where it does not take place than where it does. However, the change, to the extent it occurs, has a uniform result within Cholan.

 

They noted too that it affected *oo from both proto-Mayan *oo and proto-Mayan *oʔ, which they proposed had merged into proto-Greater Tzeltalan *oo, as well as *ee from both proto-Mayan *ee and *eʔ, which they proposed had merged into proto-Greater Tzeltalan *ee. Table 1 presents a list of the cases of both proto-Mayan *oo and *oʔ and their reflexes in proto-Ch’olan, according to Kaufman and Norman (1984), with a few additions (e.g. #12, observed by Brown and Wichmann 2004), as compiled in Mora-Marín and Frazier (2021:27).

 

Table 1. Cases of PM *oo and *oʔ reflected as PCh’ *u or *o.

Item # PM PCh’ Gloss Class Raising
1. *kooŋ-eej *chun-ij in four days adv Yes
2. LM *loot *lut twins n Yes
3. *sootz’ *sutz’ bat n Yes
4. GLM *qootz *kutz wild turkey n Yes
5. *tooŋ *tun stone n Yes
6. GLM *tzoʔn *tzun body hair n Yes
7. GLM *tzoʔtz *tzutz head hair n Yes
8. *ʔoʔq’ *ʔuk’ to cry iv Yes
9. *ʔooŋ *ʔun avocado n Yes
10. *ʔoox= *ʔux= three num Yes
11. *ʔamooch *ʔa=much toad n Yes
12. LM *ʔooj-eel Ch’ol ʔuj-il, Yokot’an ʔuw-i(l) to know v Yes
13. *kooh *choh cheek n No
14. #ch’ool *ch’ol ethnonym (ch’ol) n No
15. *hoonon *honon bumblebee n No
16. *jooj *joj heron n No
17. *joʔl *jol head n No
18. *q-oʔŋ *kon (Ch’ol) let’s go! Expl No
19. LM #koox? *kox pava (bird species) n No
20. *q’oor *k’oy dough n No
21. PM *mooʔ *moʔ macaw n No
22. *nooq’ *nok’1 cloth(es/ing) n No
23. Was+WM *nooq’ ‘animal’ *nok’2 caterpilar n No
24. *ʔook *ʔoch to enter iv No
25. *ʔooq *ʔok foot n No
26. PCM *ʔooŋ-eer *ʔon-i formerly, long ago adv No
27. *ʔoor *ʔoy house-post n No
28. *ʔatyooty *ʔotot home n No
29. PM *poom < MZ *poomɨ *pom copal incense n No
30. PM *tyook’ *tok’ flint n No
31. *t’oot’ *t’ot’ snail n No
32. *ʔaj=tzooʔ *ʔaj=tzoʔ tom turkey n No
33. *xooch’ *xoch’ screech owl n No

 

Two decades after Kaufman and Norman (1984), Brown and Wichmann (2004) presented a new model of proto-Mayan syllable nuclei based on what they propose are additional vowel correspondences not identified by previous authors. In their model, Kaufman and Norman’s *oo would correspond to their *ooh, and Kaufman and Norman’s *oʔ would correspond to their *oo’ and *oo’h. In addition, Kaufman and Norman’s *ee/*eʔ vowels that experienced the shift would correspond to Brown and Wichmann’s *e/*E/*eh reconstructions (2004:146, 152). Their cases of proto-Mayan *oo’ and *oo’h, thus correspond to the cases of pM *oʔ that merged with *oo in proto-Greater Tzeltalan according to Kaufman and Norman (1984). Moreover, those authors proposed that proto-Mayan *e/*E/*eh shifted to proto-Ch’olan *i in the presence of “a stem-final fricative,” and that proto-Mayan *ooh shifted to proto-Ch’olan *u unconditionally, which means that they treat these processes as distinct from each other. Though Brown and Wichmann (2003) do not say so explicitly, their statement that *oo’ and *oo’h resulted in proto-Ch’olan *uu’ and then u in each of the descendant Ch’olan languages (2003:142-143, Table 9), suggests they consider these to be also unconditioned and exceptionless shifts.

 

Here I do not intend to review Brown and Wichmann’s (2004) model. This note simply aims to discuss the *oo/*oʔ > uu > u shift, primarily with regard to recent suggestions that it is shared with Huastecan. This suggestion was made by Brown and Wichmann (2004:146), who characterize the vowel-raising shift of *ooh > u as occurring in Huastec, Ch’ol, Chontal (Yokot’an), and Ch’orti’. Although those authors defined a second vowel-raising shift of relevance, their *oo’/*oo’h > u shift, as occurring only in Ch’olan, they cautioned that the three etyma affected by this shift lack cognates in Huastecan (2004:146), so that it cannot be determined, one way or the other, whether Huastecan was involved, the implication being that it may have.

 

More recently, Lacadena and Davletshin (2013:72), seemingly assuming that Brown and Wichmann’s *ooh > u shift is the only one of relevance to Ch’olan, state that because such shift is shared with Huastecan, and therefore, that “the only solid phonological argument for considering Hieroglyphic Mayan to be a Ch’olan language” would be “*eeh > *ii”; here it should be clarified that Brown and Wichmann’s formulation involves *e/*E/*eh > *ii, not *eeh > *ii. Either way, there is clearly some confusion, which is worthy of clarification. To attempt to do this, I will first review the dataset by Brown and Wichmann of relevance to the *ooh/*oo’/*oo’h shifts those authors redefine in their paper. Table 2 presents the data from Table 1 that experienced the shift, plus a few new etyma proposed by Brown and Wichmann; I have re-transcribed Brown and Wichmann’s <th> as <θ>.

 

Table 2. Cases of vowel-raising to PCh’ *u, including those exclusive to Ch’olan and those argued to be shared with Huastecan by Brown and Wichmann (2004).

Item # PM (K&N) PM (B&W) Huastecan (B&W) PCh’ (K&N) Gloss Subgroups
1. *kooŋ-eej *koohng- *chun-ij in four days Ch’
2. LM *loot *lut twins Yes
3. *sootz’ *soohtz’ θut’ *sutz’ bat Hua, Ch’
4. GLM *qootz *kutz wild turkey Yes
5. *tooŋ *toohng *tun stone See commentary
6. GLM *tzoʔn *tzoo’n *tzun body hair Ch’
7. GLM *tzoʔtz *tzoo’tz *tzutz head hair Ch’
8. *ʔoʔq’ *oohq’ uk’ *ʔuk’ to cry Hua, Ch’
9. *ʔooŋ *oohng uh/oh *ʔun avocado Hua, Ch’
10. *ʔoox= *oohx oox *ʔux= three Ch’
11. *ʔamooch *moohch *ʔa=much toad Ch’
12. LM *ʔooj-eel *oohj Ch’ol ʔuj-il, Yokot’an ʔuw-i(l) to know Ch’
13. See commentary *oo’hch See commentary *ʔuch possum See commentary
14. See commentary *hoohy or *joohy huy- See commentary slow, sluggish No Ch’
15. See commentary *looht’ See commentary pressed, tightened, cramped See commentary
16. See commentary *poohs puθ- See commentary bubbling, steam, steam bath See commentary
17. See commentary *poohl *pul ‘to burn’ to fry, burn See commentary
18. See commentary *poohl See commentary head, forehead See commentary
19. CM *tz’ul, pM *ch’ol *tz’oohl See commentary to peel, to skin See commentary

 

Cases #5 and #13-#19 require commentary. First, #5, ‘stone’: though Brown and Wichmann do not make a note of this, the term bears a cognate in Huastecan: <tuhu> in Chicomuceltec, and t’uhu(b) in Huastec (Norcliffe 2003:36, 75). It is therefore another case in which Huastecan agrees with Ch’olan in having u from an earlier *oo (or Brown and Wichmann’s *ooh).

 

#13, ‘possum’, is problematic. Brown and Wichmann have apparently merged cognates from what Kaufman with Justeson (2003:577–578) consider to be three different semantically-related sets with strong phonological similarities: proto-Mayan *huhty’ ‘possum’; Western Mayan plus Lowland Mayan *ʔuch ‘possum’; and Western Mayan *ʔuhchum ‘possum’. Brown and Wichmann (2004:157, 176) include the Yucatecan, Ch’olan, Tzeltalan, and Mocho’ reflexes of Western Mayan plus Lowland Mayan *ʔuch; the Popti’ (Jakalatek) reflex of Western Mayan *ʔuhchum as ʔutx-, as well as the Tojolab’al and Chuj reflexes of Western Mayan *ʔuchum as ʔuhch- and ʔuch-, respectively. The form the authors cite for Ixil (Greater Mamean), uch, is not listed in Kaufman with Justeson under any of the three reconstructed etyma; Kaufman with Justeson (2003:577) only provide uch’ and juʔch’ for Ixil, as a reflex of their Proto-Mayan *huhty’. Brown and Wichmann do not explain where they obtained their datum. Interestingly, despite merging reflexes from two of the three separate reconstructions, Brown and Wichmann left out the Huastec reflex of proto-Mayan *huhty’, provided by Kaufman with Justeson as ʔuut’ ‘tlacuache’. It appears that Brown and Wichmann’s reconstruction, *oo’hch, is thus an attempt to trace at least two different etymologies back to a single proto-Mayan etymon, but they do not explain how they do this—how their reconciliation works. Their only statement on the matter appears to be their suggestion that “A Cholan language or languages, then, could have influenced development of unexpected vowel quality in the above non-Cholan reflexes of *oo’hch” (2004:157). However, the reconstructed etyma in Kaufman with Justeson all bear a vowel /u/, so there is no reason at this time to suspect that an original *oo (or *oo’h) is involved. Given these uncertainties, this etymon is eliminated below.

 

Next, #14, ‘slow, sluggish’. Unfortunately, Brown and Wichmann do not provide their sources for this etymon, which they reconstruct as *hoohy or *joohy, and document attestations in Huastec as huy- and Mocho’ as hooy-. It is not attested in Ch’olan, and therefore, there is no way to know whether it experienced the shift in Ch’olan. For this reason, this etymon is eliminated below.

 

#15, ‘pressed, tightened, cramped’, is reconstructed as *looht’ by Brown and Wichmann, who document attestations as follows: Yucatec lòot’, Mopan lot’-, Ch’ol lut’-, Tzotzil lot’-, Tzeltal lot’-, Q’anjob’al lot’­-, Popti’ (Jakaltek) lot’-, Tojolab’al lot’-, and Chuj lot’. A problem here is found with their entry for Yucatec: it is actually a transitive root lot’ ‘to shrivel up; pull in /stomach/’ (Bricker et al. 1998:173), with the form lòot’ constituting the antipassive stem, the form lóot’ the mediopassive stem, and the form lòʔot’ the passive stem. The Ch’ol form is attested in Aulie and Aulie (2009:54) as lut’ul ‘apretado (squeezed)’. What is interesting is that the Ch’orti’ cognate attested in Hull (2016:260) is lot’-, not lut’, suggesting that this is not an example of the shift. For this reason, this etymon is eliminated too.

 

Regarding #16, ‘bubbling, steam, steam bath’, reconstructed as *poohs, Brown and Wichmann document attestations in Huastec as puθ-, Ch’ol as pus, Tzotzil as pus, Tzeltal as pus, and Mam as poos- (2004:177); although those authors cite it as an example of the *ooh > u shift they propose for Huastecan and Ch’olan, the /u/ vowel in Tzeltalan poses a problem. The only explanation for the Tzotzil and Tzeltal forms would therefore be borrowing from Ch’olan. Given the lack of sources, however, for now this term will be eliminated.

 

#17, ‘to fry, burn’, is reconstructed as *poohl by Brown and Wichmann (2004:176), who provide the following dataset: Ch’ol pul, Chontal (Yokot’an) pul-, Ch’orti’ pur-, Teko pool-, and K’ichee’ pool-. However, it also appears in Tzeltal as pul ‘prender, encender (fuego) (to kindle, light (fire))’ (Polian 2019:512). Kaufman and Norman (1984:129) reconstructed this etymon to proto-Ch’olan as a transitive root *pul ‘to burn’ and reported “No outside cognates.” It seems clear that the Tzeltal form is either a cognate or a borrowing. As for the other cases reported by Brown and Wichmann, it is not clear what their sources, actual glosses, or phonological shapes actually are. I have only been able to corroborate a general form <pol-> ‘to fry (an egg)’ in K’ichee’, though the source I consulted (Christenson n.d.:91) regrettably does not distinguish vowel length contrasts. Thus, for now, this form is eliminated.

 

As far as #18, ‘head, forehead’, is concerned, Brown and Wichmann (2004:176) observe that “This is probably a diffused Maya Lowland form and, therefore, not Proto-Mayan. Nonetheless, it is cited here because it relates to the vowel-quality shift” of *ooh > u. Their attestations include Yucatecan forms, such as Yucatec pòol, Itzaj pol, and Mopan pol, as well as Chontal (Yokot’an) pul. An examination of the Yokot’an entry in Keller and Luciano (1997:197, 512) shows it as pul ‘frente (forehead)’. Kaufman with Justeson (2003:275) only document it in Yucatecan, reconstructing it as proto-Yucatecan *pool. I will include this etymon in the dataset below, and consider it an important addition to the data relevant to the shift, just like the case of ‘to know’, also introduced into the literature on the matter by Brown and Wichmann.

 

Finally, #19, ‘to peel, to skin’, is complicated, like the case of #13. It appears that Brown and Wichmann have merged cognates from different etyma as reconstructed in Kaufman with Justeson (2003:904­–906), who propose five etyma with the meaning ‘to peel’: Greater Tzeltalan *choʔ, proto-Mayan *q’ol, Central Mayan *tz’ul, Greater K’ichee’an *sol, and proto-Mayan *ch’ol. Clearly, a degree of sound symbolism is involved in at least four of these forms, involving a back vowel /o, u/ and /l/. But more importantly, the reflexes proposed by Brown and Wichmann for their reconstruction *tz’oohl come from different sets: the Ch’ol and Ch’orti’ forms would fit under Kaufman with Justeson’s Central Mayan *tz’ul; and the Mam and Ixil forms would fit under Kaufman with Justeson’s proto-Mayan *ch’ol. Brown and Wichmann present Yucatecan forms: Yucatec tz’òol and Itzaj tz’ol, with only the Itzaj form presented in Kaufman with Justeson (2003:906) under proto-Mayan *ch’ol. With regard to the Yucatec form, it is worth noting that it is attested both as tz’òol in tz’òolol ‘peeled, skinned’ and as tz’óol in tz’óol-pah ‘to peel, get skinned’ (Bricker et al. 1998:53). And with regard to the Ch’ol and Ch’orti’ forms, it is clear that the Ch’orti’ form tz’uhr- includes the passivizer -h-, which has apparently been reanalyzed as part of the root in most contexts, except in the affective derivation tz’ur-tz’a ‘be bald’, where it retains its root shape as tz’ur-. The Ch’ol data provide further justification: it is attested as both ts’ujlel ‘to be peeled’ and ts’ul ‘nude; to peel’ (Aulie and Aulie 2009:103). For now, this etymon must be excluded, but it is absent from Huastecan anyway.

 

After reviewing the data in Table 2, the following Table 3, with revisions, is offered.

 

Table 3. Cases of vowel-raising to PCh’ *u, including those exclusive to Ch’olan and those argued to be shared with Huastecan.

Item # PM or later (K&N) PM (B&W) Huastecan PCh’ (K&N) Gloss Subgroups
1. *kooŋ-eej *koohng- *chun-ij in four days Ch’
2. LM *loot *lut twins Ch’
3. *sootz’ *soohtz’ θut’ *sutz’ bat Hua, Ch’
4. GLM *qootz *kutz wild turkey Ch’
5. *tooŋ *toohng <tuhu>, t’uhu(b) *tun stone Hua, Ch’
6. GLM *tzoʔn *tzoo’n *tzun body hair Ch’
7. GLM *tzoʔtz *tzoo’tz *tzutz head hair Ch’
8. *ʔoʔq’ *oohq’ uk’ *ʔuk’ to cry Hua, Ch’
9. *ʔooŋ *oohng uh/oh *ʔun avocado Hua, Ch’
10. *ʔoox= *oohx oox *ʔux= three Ch’
11. *ʔamooch *moohch *ʔa=much toad Ch’
12. LM *ʔooj-eel *oohj Ch’ol ʔuj-il, Yokot’an ʔuw-i(l) to know Ch’
13. pYu *pool *poohl Yokot’an pul ‘forehead’ head, forehead Ch’

 

Back to Lacadena and Davletshin (2013:72), those authors included examples of etyma such as ‘toad’ (#11), ‘to burn’ (eliminated from dataset due to insufficient reliability of evidence), ‘bat’ (#3), ‘stone’ (#5), ‘to cry’ (#8), and ‘avocado’ (#9) among the examples illustrating a shared change between Ch’olan and Huastecan. As the review of the data so far has shown, only three of these, ‘bat’, ‘stone’, and ‘to cry’, are supportive of such a statement. The case of ‘toad’ is not attested in Huastecan, and the case of ‘avocado’, though attested in Huastecan, actually provides support against the proposed shared innovation, as shown next. In fact, the same may be true of ‘bat’.

 

At this point I will be more explicit about Huastecan. I will employ the work of Norcliffe (2003), who systematically compares Chicomuceltec (Kabil) and Huastec, the two Huastecan languages, to reconstruct the phonology of proto-Huastecan. According to Norcliffe, the reflex of pM *ʔooŋ ‘avocado’ is attested as uh in Huastec, but as <ou> in Chicomuceltec; and that of pM *sootz’ ‘bat’ is attested as θut’ in Huastec, but as <sot> in Chicomuceltec. These examples led Norcliffe (2003:95-97) to suggest that proto-Huastecan did not experience the shift in question, but instead, that it was Huastec that did. Since the differentiation of Huastec and Chicomoceltec can be dated to the Postclassic period (Kaufman 1980; Kaufman and Justeson 2008; Robertson and Houston 2015), it can be safely argued that the shift in Huastec is not related to the Ch’olan shift, which is documented already during the Early Classic period spellings like su-tz’i for pre-Ch’olan *suutz’ > proto-Ch’olan *sutz’ ‘bat’ on Yaxchilan Lintel 18, dated to CE 526, tu-TUN for pre-Ch’olan *tuun > proto-Ch’olan *tun ‘stone’ on Tikal Stela 31, dated to CE 445, and perhaps in a spelling yu-ta possibly for a reflex of Western Mayan plus Lowland Mayan *ʔoʔt that may have experienced the shift in Ch’olan, resulting in y-ut ‘his/her/its food’, attested as early as CE 100-200 (Mora-Marín 2009:147–148).

 

Interestingly, pM *q’ab’ ‘hand, arm’ is attested as k’ubak in Huastec, seemingly providing evidence for a shift of *a > u in Huastecan. Nevertheless, it is attested as <kovác> in Chicomuceltec, a form that could suggest that proto-Huastecan actually exhibited a form *k’ob’ak (Norcliffe 2003:180), which then shifted to k’ub’ak ~ k’ubak in Huastec, but was retained with /o/ in Chicomuceltec. What this could suggest is that that Huastec itself experienced a shift of certain cases of proto-Huastecan *o, whatever their source (e.g. earlier *oo, *oʔ, *a), to /u/. And it would appear, consequently, that the only form with *u from a previous *oo in both Chicomuceltec and Huastec is ‘stone’.

 

Back to the data in Table 1, and assuming for now the reconstructions in Kaufman and Norman (1984), and more generally Kaufman’s (1976, 2015) phonological model for proto-Mayan, a few more observations are worth making here. First, Huastec has preserved some cases of pM *oo that shifted to *uu > u in Ch’olan: pM *ʔoox ‘three’ > Huastec ʔoox, compared to proto-Ch’olan *ʔux=. Second, there are cases where Huastec experienced a change but Ch’olan did not: pM *xooch’ ‘screech owl’, attested in Huastec as tx’uux (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:613), documented by Norcliffe as ts’ux in Potosino and ch’ux in Veracruz (Norcliffe 2003:66), but reconstructed to proto-Ch’olan as *xoch’. Finally, there are also cases of pM *oo that did not shift in either branch, such as pM *kooh ‘tooth (molar)’, pM *q’oor ‘dough’, and pM *ʔook ‘to enter’.

 

All in all, the evidence suggests that in Huastecan the change was largely restricted to Huastec and not Chicomuceltec, and therefore, that it was late, significantly postdating the *oo > u change in Ch’olan attested by the Early Classic period, perhaps as early as CE 100-200. Also, disagreements among Huastec and Ch’olan in forms that shifted or did not shift further support the contention that Huastec and Ch’olan experienced independent changes; even if Brown and Wichmann’s (2004) model were proven correct —in which case these disagreements would be the result of different correspondence sets— the crucial point here is that Huastec, not Chicomuceltec, underwent the more general shift within Huastecan, which means it was a late, Postclassic change, postdating the earliest attestations of it in Epigraphic Mayan texts. Moreover, Chicomuceltec, attested in Chiapas, and thus the Huastecan language closest to the Lowland Mayan languages, at least during the Postclassic period, is the language that was not affected by the change in question, with one possible exception (i.e. ‘stone’). It is Huastec, at a much greater geographic distance from Ch’olan, that experienced the change of Huastecan *o > u, seemingly under very different circumstances from the Ch’olan *oo > uu > u shift, and almost certainly since the beginning of the Postclassic period. Thus, it is not likely that the change in Huastec was the result of contact with Ch’olan, or vice versa. And there is no reason to exclude cases of the *oo/*oʔ > uu > u shift in Epigraphic Mayan texts as evidence for exclusive Ch’olan innovations, alongside cases of the *ee/*eʔ > ii > i shift.

 

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Note 18

Some Notes on the Inverse Voice in Mayan Languages and Epigraphic Mayan

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

8/31/21

 

In a seminal article on the pragmatics of voice constructions in Akatek Mayan, Zavala (1997) identified, for the first time, the inverse voice in a Mayan language. The inverse voice is a type a voice construction defined functionally on the basis of its discourse contexts, in which the agent and patient are both topical, but the patient is more topical than the agent. Moreover, Zavala was able to show that there exist two voice constructions in Akatek that fit the pragmatic profile of an inverse: one that is conventionally described as a passive, and the other consisting of a “semantically transitive but syntactically intransitive” construction. Examples (1a-1b) illustrate the difference between an active transitive clause and an intransitive clause that is nonetheless semantically active, i.e. an inverse construction (Zavala 1997:458). Note that in (1a) the transitive verb ‘to carry’ is inflected with both ergative (Set A) and absolutive (Set B) person markers, as expected of an active transitive verb, and both ‘the boy’ and ‘the bull’ are core arguments of the verb. In (1b), in contrast, the verb is ‘to go’, an intransitive verb, and is inflected only with the absolutive person marker; also, there is only one core argument of the verb, ‘the boy’, and the semantic agent is now an oblique argument, expressed as the possessor of a relational noun -uu, used to express agents. In such inverse clauses the verb is thus intransitive and the agent must be expressed, albeit indirectly.[1]

 

(1)       Akatek (Zavala 1997:458)

            a.         Active transitive

                        max     Ø-y-ii                   toj                        naj      unin    no’      wakax

                        cmp     b3-a3-carry     dir:thither       ncl      boy      ncl      cow

                        ‘The bull took the boy away’.

            b.         Inverse

                        max     Ø-too              naj       unin     y-uu                no’      wakax

                        cmp     b3-go               ncl      boy      a3-rn:by         ncl      cow

                        ‘The bull took the boy away’.

                        (Lit., ‘the boy went by the bull’.)

 

Previously, I (Mora-Marín 2007a) discussed examples of this construction in other Mayan languages at the CILLA III conference: Huastec, Ch’ol, K’ichee’, Awakatek. However, in the proceedings paper derived from that presentation (Mora-Marín 2007b), I left out the discussion of the inverse voice in order to focus on the main topic of the paper, inchoatives. This note thus aims to merely provide a few examples of inverse constructions à la Zavala (1997) from a few additional Mayan languages and discuss their historical significance.

 

The first example comes from Potosino Huastec. Although the translation is not suggestive of a semantically transitive construction, the clauses seen in (2a-b) are morphosyntactically analogous to those described for Akatek by Zavala (1997). Huastec employs a preposition k’al ‘with, to, of, in, by, for’ to convey a variety of indirect roles, such as comitative, benefactive, recipient, demoted agent, and demoted object (Edmonson 1988:523-524, 531). In (2a-b) k’al is used to introduce a semantic cause, as in (2a) with ‘sun rays’, or semantic agent, as in (2b). Edmonson (1988:491-492) suspects it is likely that this preposition is historically related to the noun root k’aal ‘possession’, attested unpossessed as k’aal-aab ‘property, possession’, and possessed as k’aal in 7in k’aal ‘her/his property; hers’. I agree with this suggestion, and further hypothesize that its case-marking role may have in fact originally involved a construction of the type erg-k’aal ± np. As shown below, a similar development is seen in Ch’ol. Also, as a sidenote, it seems likely that Acalán/Yokot’an k’a (Keller and Luciano 1997:) is a borrowing of Huastec k’al (or k’a:l).

 

(2)       Potosino Huastec (Edmonson 1988:242, 297)

            a.         7in      7ot’-ool           7u        7okoob          xuh(uu)l-in-Ø

                        a3        skin-poss        a1        arm                  spotted-vn-cmp

                        k’al                    7i         k’ak’al

                        prep:by           of        sun.ray

                        ‘The skin of my arm is spotted by the sun’s rays’.

            b.         k’atz-utzuul                 7an      lukuk

                        stirred.up-rep              the       dirt

                        k’al                     7an     bel-al

                        prep:by           the       travellers

                        ‘The dirt (is) very stirred up by the travellers’.

 

Next is Ch’ol, with a few examples provided in (3a-c). In general, the Ch’ol examples appear to be consistently translated into Spanish or English as semantically transitive clauses, whether in the work of non-native speakers (e.g. Aulie and Aulie 2009[1978]) or native speakers (e.g. Vázquez Álvarez 2011). The semantic agent of these expressions is the possessor of the relational noun cha7an (cha7añ), which is used to express possession when inflected with ergative/possessive pronominals (i.e. Set A), as in (3a-d), but used to express other semantic roles (benefactive) or verbal complements (purpose clauses) when used as a preposition. Note that the translations by Aulie and Aulie (2009[1978]) vary between intransitive (passive), as in (3a), and semantically transitive, as in (3b-d), whereas they are consistently semantically transitive in the work of Vázquez Álvarez (2011), as in (4a-c).

 

(3)       Ch’ol Mayan (Aulie and Aulie 1978:62, 14, 18, 29)

            a.         ñaj-ä-y-em-Ø                                      k-cha7añ

                        forget-inch-epn-partc-b3            a1-rn:possession

                        jini                   tsa7      bä        i-su[b]-be-y-on

                        dems               cmp     rel      a3-say-indir-epn-b1

                        ‘Ya está olvidado lo que me dijo’.

                        ‘It is forgotten [by me] what s/he told me’.

            b.         käch-äl-Ø                    k-cha7añ                     jini        chitam

                        tie-stat-b3                   a1-rn:property        dems   pig

                        kome               ñajt      mi7      cha7len            xämbal

                                                                   mi        i-cha7len

                        because           far        inc       a3-make          walk(ing)

                        ‘Tengo el cerdo amarrado porque va muy lejos’.

                        ‘I have the pig tied up because it goes/walks far’.

                        (Lit. ‘It is tied up by me the pig because it walking-makes far’,

                        or ‘It is tied up the pig of mine because it walking-makes far’)

            c.         Max=to           (7)añ-ik           k’ajty-i-bil-Ø                k-cha7añ

                        neg=still         exist-subj        ask-tvzr-partc-b3    a1-rn:property

                        ba-ki=ora          mi         kaj         i-tilel.

                        what=time       impf     begin   a3-come-inc

                        ‘No le he preguntado para cuándo va a venir’.

                        ‘I have not asked him what time he will come’.

                        (Lit. ‘S/he is not yet asked by me what time s/he will come’)

            d.         chuk-bil-Ø                   i-cha7an                         i-machit

                        seize-partc-b3           a3-rn:property           a3-machete

                        ‘Tiene el machete agarrado en la mano’.

                        ‘S/he has the machete seized/grasped in his hand’.

                        (Lit. ‘It is seized by him/her his/her machete’ or ‘It is seized the machete of his/

                        hers’.)

 

(4)       Ch’ol Mayan (Vázquez Álvarez 2011:149, 216, 334)

            a.         k’ajal-ety=äch=me                   i-cha7añ

                        remember-b2=affr=pre        a3-rn:property

                        ‘Yes, he remembers you’.

                        (Lit. ‘You are indeed remembered by him’.)

            b.         tz’ej-chok-o-bi(l)-Ø                            k-cha7añ

                        sideways-dep-tvzr-partc-b3         a1-rn:property

                        ‘I put it in sideways’.

                        (Lit. ‘It is/was placed sideways by me’.)

            c.         majch             kuch-u(l)-Ø                 k-cha7añ

                        who                 carry-stat-b3             a1-rn:property

                        jiñ                    ix7ä                 Mikolas

                        foc                  that                  Nicolás

                        jiñ                    jiñ=i

                        foc                  that=fin

                        ‘Whom I was carrying, was Nicolás. It was him’.

                        (Lit. ‘Who was carried by me, it was Nicolás. It was him’.)

 

Acalán/Yokot’an exhibits similar constructions, which are sometimes translated in a semantically transitive manner, but other times not. Two grammatical morphemes are involved. One is k’a in contemporary Yokot’an, <kal> in Acalán, almost certainly related, probably through diffusion, to Huastec k’al ~ k’aal. The other is the demonstrative pronoun base jin. Osorio May (2005) includes examples, most of which were not translated as semantically transitive clauses. In Acalán <kal> is attested only as a possessed relational noun <ukal> or <ukalob> (Smailus 1975:25, 40), for example, used to express demoted or underlying agents. In the variety of Yokot’an from Tapotzingo, it is still used as a possessed relational noun with various case functions, including the introduction of cause and purpose complement verbs and nouns, as well as as a ‘dative pronoun’, as in k’än-ä-Ø u-k’ä (want-stat-b3 a3-rn:property) ‘lo necesita (s/he needs it) (Lit. ‘it is needed/wanted by him’) or u-na<j>y-an u-c’a (a3-forget[pas]-inc a3-rn:property) ‘se le olvida (s/he forgets it) (Lit. ‘it is forgotten by him’), in which rather than dative, the relational noun u-k’a serves to express the semantic agent or experiencer (Keller and Luciano 1997:268-269). In the variety from Tecoluta documented by Osorio May (2005), it has clearly undergone further grammaticalization to a preposition in the context of passive clauses where it introduces the demoted agent, as in (5a). However, in the context of in psychological verb constructions like those reported by Keller and Luciano (1997), it still functions as a relational noun, as in (5b-c), one that expresses the semantic agent or experiencer. I should note that Neither Keller and Luciano (1997) nor Osorio May (2005) analyzes the /j/ of najy ‘to forget’ as a passivizer infix; however, the verb najy is inflected in the manner typical of passives in the completive, with -i, and incompletive, with -an.

 

(5)       Yokot’an (Osorio May 2005:20, 252, 258)

            a.         jäts’-k-i-Ø                   ch’ok               k’a                  7ix-pet

                        hit-pas-cmp-b3       child                prep              ncl-Petrona

                        ‘El niño fue golpeado por Petrona’.

                        ‘The boy was hit by Petrona’.

            b.         na<j>y-i-Ø                              kä-k’a-la                          ni         buk

                        forget<pas>-cmp-b3         a1-rn:property-pl      det      shirt

                        ‘Se nos olvidó la camisa’.

                        ‘We forgot the shirt’.

                        (Lit. ‘The shirt was forgotten by me’)

            c.         yaj-i-Ø                                    kä-ka                               7ix-mita7

                        esteem-cmp-b3                 a1-rn:property           ncl-Carmita

                        ‘Estimé a Carmita’.

                        ‘I appreciated Carmita’.

                        (Lit. ‘Carmita was appreciated by me’)

 

Similar constructions also appear in K’ichee’, as illustrated in (6). K’ichee’ employs the relational noun -umaal to express the agent.

 

(6)       Kichee(Mondloch 1978:31):

            x-Ø-b’ee                        lee       wuuj                w-umaal

            cmp-b3-go                   det      book                a1-rn:cause

            The document went by me.

 

Finally, (7) provides an example from Awakatek present in a passage published in McArthur (1979). I have preserved McArthur’s transcription and glossing, for the most part.

 

(7)       Awakatek (McArthur 1979:223)

            Cmi’x              nin        wex       cu’n

            shirt                 and      pants    all

            el                          tzaj-tz                                 cy-ak’un                  chij

            went.out          in.this.direction           a6-rn                          it.is.said

            ‘They took only shirts and pants’.

            (Lit. ‘the shirts and pants went out by them’.)

 

Some comments are in order. First, given the wide distribution of these constructions (Huastecan, Greater Tzeltalan, Greater Mamean, Greater K’ichee’an), it is likely that proto-Mayan exhibited at least one type of inverse voice construction in which an intransitive or intransitivized verb plus relational noun construction functioned as a semantically transitive clause. Second, there is no shared relational noun across the subgroups of Mayan represented by the languages just cited, with the exception of Huastec k’al ~ k’aal and Yokot’an k’a, though this is almost certainly a case of diffusion, perhaps in the context of maritime trade along the Gulf Coast, in which ‘possession/property’ would have been a topic of typical linguistic interaction. That said, it is likely that proto-Mayan would have employed an abstract noun with a basic meaning of ‘cause’ or ‘doing’ or ‘property’ as a relational noun in constructions of this type.

 

One last topic is worth pursuing at this point, at least in a cursory manner. As already noted, previously Mora-Marín (2001:102, 222; 2007a) suggested the possibility that some Epigraphic Mayan constructions were similar to those discussed by Zavala (1997) for Akatek. The construction in question involves, in general, the following structure: [Intransitive Verb + Intransitive Subject]clause1 + [7u-T526(-ji-ya) + Proper Name of Person]clause2. The intransitive verb is most of the time a passivized transitive root or an inchoative in -V1y based on a variety of roots (nominal, transitive, intransitive, positional, adjectival) (Mora-Marín 2007a, 2007b, 2009). Only rarely does an active transitive verb appear in this position, though this may take place (Mora-Marín 2004). The intransitive subject of the first clause is most often inanimate, and is sometimes possessed by a phrase referring to a human referent; however, it may also be animate, and if so, it refers to a human referent (e.g. in clauses referring to taking of office). In the second clause, one finds the 7u-T526(-ji-ya) glyphic expression which appears to indicate either cause or agency. The final proper name phrase typically refers to a human actor in position of greater power relative to the human actor or possessor mentioned in the first clause. To test whether these constructions function like an inverse voice, pragmatically, it would be necessary to study their contexts for topicality and determine whether the subject (or perhaps its possessor) in the first clause is of greater topicality than the subject of the second clause.

 

References

Aulie, Wilbur H., and Evelyn W. de Aulie. 1999. Diccionario Ch’ol-Español, Español-Ch’ol.  Mexico City: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano. Third edition.

Edmonson, Barbara Wedemeyer. 1988. A descriptive grammar of Huastec (Potosino dialect).  Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Tulane University.

Hull, Kerry. 2016. A Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Mayan-Spanish-English. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

Kaufman, Terrence, and William Norman.  1984.  An outline of Proto-Cholan phonology, morphology, and vocabulary. In Phoneticism in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, edited by John S. Justeson and Lyle Campbell, pp. 77-166. Institute for Mesoamerican Studies Publication No. 9. Albany: State University of New York.

Kaufman, Terrence, with John Justeson.  2003.  Preliminary Mayan Etymological Dictionary. http://www.famsi.org/reports/01051/index.html.

Keller, Kathryn C., and Plácido Luciano G. 1997. Diccionario Chontal de Tabasco. Tucson, Arizona: Summer Institute of Linguistics.

Knowles, Susan M. 1984. A Descriptive Grammar of Chontal Maya (San Carlos Dialect). Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Tulane University.

MacArthur, Lucille. 1979. Highlighting in Aguacatek Discourse. In Discourse Studies in Mesoamerican Languages, Volume I: Discussion, edited by Linda K. Jones and Robert E. Longacre, pp. 219–244. Dallas: The Summer Institute of Linguistics and The University of Texas at Arlington.

Mondloch, James L. 1978. Basic Quiché Grammar. Albany, N.Y. : Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, State University of New York at Albany.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2001. The Grammar, Orthography, and Social Context of Late Preclassic Mayan Texts. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis.  University at Albany, Albany, New York.

—–. 2004. The Preferred Argument Structure of Classic Mayan Writing. In The Linguistics of the Maya Script, edited by Søren Wichmann, pp. 339–364. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

—–. 2007a. The Identification of an Ingressive Suffix in Classic Lowland Mayan Texts. Paper presented at the The CILLA III Conference, October 2007, Austin, Texas.

—–. 2007b. The Identification of an Ingressive Suffix in Classic Lowland Mayan Texts. In Nora England (ed.),Proceedings of the CILLA III Conference, October 2007, Austin, Texas, 1-14. Austin: Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, Linguistics Department, University of Texas. (https://ailla.utexas.org/sites/default/files/documents/MoraMarin_CILLA_III.pdf) (Accessed January of 2017.)

—–. 2009. A Test and Falsification of the Classic Choltian” Hypothesis: A Study of Three Proto-Cholan Markers. International Journal of American Linguistics 75:115–157.

Osorio May, José del Carmen. 2005. Análisis de la morfología verbal del yokotan chontalen el poblado de Tecoluta, Nacajuca, Tabasco. M.A. Thesis. CIESAS, México.

Smailus, Ortwin. 1975. El Maya-Chontal de Acalán: Análisis lingüíistico de un documento de los años 1610-12. Centro de Estudios Mayas, Cuadernos 9. Mexico: UNAM.

zquez Álvarez, Juan Jesús. 2011. A Grammar of Chol, A Mayan Language. PhD dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin.

Zavala, Roberto. 1997. Functional Analysis of Akatek Voice Constructions.  International Journal of American Linguistics 63:439-474.

 


[1] Abbreviations: 3 = third person; a = Set A pronominal (ergative), affr = affirmative, b = Set B pronominal (absolutive), cmp = completive, dems = demonstrative, det = determiner, dir = directional, fin = phrase-final enclitic marker, foc = focus marker, impf = imperfective, inc = incompletive, ncl = nominal classifier, neg = negative, parts = (passive) participle, pas = passivizer, poss = possessive suffix, pre = (pre)cautionary, prep = preposition, rep = repetitive, rn = relational noun, stat = stative participle, subj = subjunctive, tvzr = transitivizer, vn = vowel-initial thematic suffix. <7> stands for /ʔ/.

Note 17

Notes on the Inscription on the “Diker Bowl” (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

6/12/2021

 

In his The Maya Scribe and His World, Michael Coe introduced Mayanists to a myriad inscriptions on portable and monumental media alike. One of them, seen in Figure 1, was a carved stone bowl formerly in the collection of Mr. Charles Diker and Mrs. Valerie Diker, and now in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Accession Number 1999.484.3 (Doyle 2016). The bowl is carved out of “indurated limestone with red veins,” and constitutes an example of a spouted vessel that may have been “used to froth cacao liquid at the moment of serving” (Fields and Reents-Budet 2005:202).[1] It was estimated to date to the “Proto-Classic” period by Coe (1973:26), between “A.D. 0-300,” and to the late Late Preclassic period by Fields and Reents-Budet (2005:202), between ca. “50 BC-AD 200.”

 

Figure 1. The image is in the Public Domain. See Doyle (2016).

 

In 2003 I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in order to prepare a drawing of the text. I spent several hours, from opening until closing, examining the piece in person in order to prepare a drawing of the text. Prior to my visit, I scanned the photo of the text in Coe (1973:28) in high-resolution using Photoshop, inverted it to its negative image, and printed it out in enlarged format. Using tracing paper and pencil, and a portable light table, I then began to trace the major outlines of the glyph blocks and individual signs prior to my visit in order to capture the most obvious details and reserve the more challenging ones for my first-hand examination. Then, during my visit, I carefully traced the details of the inscription as I checked them against the carved text with adjustable raking light and magnifying lenses. Unfortunately I did not have at the time a camera capable of high-resolution close-up photographs. By closing time I had completed my pencil tracing and checked every detail, systematically, glyph block per glyph block, sign per sign. That said, I did not feel then that I had successfully captured every detail, as the text has experienced damage during its long history. For some aspects of glyph blocks A1 (signs A1d-e) and A3 (sign 3g), details are simply missing, obliterated; for other signs (sign A3d), details were unclear. I believe that I successfully gleaned a majority (maybe 60-70%) of the details of the text. A few days later I traced the pencil drawing with ink pens. My final rendering, available in Mora-Marín (2004:47, Fig. 3), is seen in Figure 2A, and may be compared to that published in Coe (1973:27) in Figure 2B.

 

Figure 2. Drawings in Mora-Marín (2004) and Coe (1973).

 

In Mora-Marín (2004:18-21) I made the drawing and also a description of the text available online through the FAMSI website. Table 1 reproduces the analytical sketch of the text I provided in that report. I will review the content of the text below, and in the process revise and update it.

 

Table 1

 

In my breakdown of the text I followed Coe’s (1973) formatting, A1-A5. I still stand by some of the identifications of individual signs (A1a, A2a, A2d, A3b, A3d, A4a, A4c, A4d, A5a, A5b, A5c) and one of the collocations (A5).

 

More recently, Houston (2011) has discussed this text in connection with the practice of “archaizing.” Interestingly, Houston has suggested that the vessel is Preclassic in form, and that the iconographic imagery is stylistically Preclassic as well, but argues that such style was the result of intentional archaization. Furthermore, he suggests that the associated text was stylistically later: “This is where interest mounts: against expectation, the glyphs appear to be fully Early Classic, not Preclassic, in date (n.b.: it is almost certain that the text and image are contemporary, in that the handle has the same relief as the images and could not have been added later).” He does not explain why the imagery would have been successfully archaicized while the text was not, but it is possible to imagine that two individuals were responsible for the work, one carving the imagery and the other the text. While light in justification, as no paleographic arguments are made explicit for the relative dating of the text and its alleged disjunction relative to the pictorial imagery, Houston’s blog introduces a high-resolution photograph of the inscription by Justin Kerr and a pencil sketch of the text prepared by Houston himself, both of which are linked here (https://decipherment.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/figure-4ab.jpg). His blog also offers remarks on the glyphic collocations that make up the text, reproduced here in its entirety:

 

Position A1 may contain a version of the TI’ logograph identified by David Stuart, and in a schematic form that is securely Early Classic. A sign for “mouth” accords with what was surely a drinking vessel, although it is unlikely to read “drink,” uk’, in this context because of the prefixed u pronoun. Just beneath it lies what may be a reference to the vessel itself, with body and neck somewhat visible. The probable t’abayi sign that composes part of A2 conforms to this dates [sic], as does what appears to be an admittedly aberrant spelling of a transitive verb at A4: u-K’AL-wa TUUN, doubtless in reference to the stone-bowl and its dedication. (The name of the god is, as mentioned before, at A2.) An unusual form of tu, a preposition with ergative pronoun, may figure in A5. To my knowledge, spellings of transitives come exclusively from the Classic period.

 

A careful examination of Justin Kerr’s high-resolution photo (Houston 2011:Fig. 4a) has led me to revise my thinking on some signs and elements. A3e is not adequately rendered in my drawing (or Houston’s): from Justin Kerr’s photograph, it is now clear to me that the sign is supposed to show an opened hand facing up and holding an object, and that what I had previously believed to be the last element or sign out of six on this glyph block, A3g, may actually be an extended finger connected to the hand sign in question, and so there are now only five signs in this glyph block. When considered in this light, this sign (A3d/g) is similar to one of the painted stucco medallion glyphs that formerly covered a gourd container (Vessel 17) recovered in Tomb 19 at Rio Azul (Adams and Robichaux 1992:Fig. 3–42), as seen in Figure 3, the difference being their orientation, with the sign at A3e on the spouted jar facing up, the one on the stucco medallion facing down. A future drawing will be needed to render these details more accurately.

 

Figure 3. Sign with open-hand holding object.

 

Houston’s (2011:Fig. 4b) drawing may be missing some minor details as well, some of which may not be significant for the purposes of reading signs, but others probably are so. I will review these from the top to the bottom. Figure 4 shows locations where I believe signs or sign elements are missing from Houston’s (2011) drawing that are either important for reading the whole text (contained within blue rectangles) or for stylistic or paleographic description of individual signs (contained within pink rectangles).

 

Figure 4

At A1a, Houston’s drawing is missing four dots that securely identify this sign as T1/HE6 7u.[2] Some of these dots are somewhat visible in Justin Kerr’s high-resolution photo (Houston 2011:Fig. 4a). Also missing, this time from A1d, is the “floral” ornamentation seen in Coe’s drawing and my own, and unambiguously visible in the photograph published in Fields and Reents-Budet (2005:188), as well as that in Doyle (2016), as seen in Figure 5A. These floral elements may have been added at a later time, perhaps even long after the initial carving of the text.

 

Figure 5

 

At A2a, Houston’s drawing is missing only minor elements, but elements that nonetheless point to the sign being the syllabogram T520/XS3 cha. At A2d, Houston’s drawing is missing an important sign which undoubtedly affects the reading of the glyphic collocation it is contained in, and perhaps the entire text: a hand-shaped sign that appears to correspond to the syllabogram T220ab/MZR ye. This sign also bears a characteristic U-shaped element seen with this particular sign in Late Preclassic and Early Classic texts. Both the photo by Justin Kerr employed by Houston (2011), as well as the available in Doyle (2016), a detail of which is seen in Figure 5B, support this identification. The sign was likely used in lieu of T17/ZUH yi, to partially spell the expected -V1y suffix of the STEP verb that precedes it.

 

At A3a my drawing, seen in Figure 6A, may be showing more striations within the probable K’IN component of the “k’in-in-hand” sign than are supposed to be there, so that Houston’s drawing is likely more accurate. At A3b, Houston’s drawing does not render what appears to be a trefoil-shaped example of T178/AMB la, one that may contain a U-shaped element; his version is somewhat circular instead, with traces of a diagonal line inside. Such diagonal line is, in my opinion, a scratch —an example of damage to the text. The “k’in-in-hand” sign is also present in the pictorial imagery as an iconographically embedded glyph, Figure 6B. Commonly, the “k’in-in-hand” sign is accompanied by a la subfix, as in Figure 6C, which shows a glyph block from the trimmed jade belt plaque at Dumbarton Oaks (PC.B.586, http://museum.doaks.org/objects-1/info/22541), although in at least one instance, it bears a ma subfix in a glyph block from the San Diego Cliff Carving, seen in Figure 6D. At A3c, Houston’s drawing seems to leave out an important internal detail that renders this sign as a bracket that likely corresponds to a design of 7u without dots or central triangular element, which can be appreciated in Figure 5C. This sign likely spells u- ‘third person singular ergative/possessive’, and is therefore crucial to understanding the structure of the text. Lastly, as I have already noted, my 2003 drawing inaccurately renders the bottom components of this glyph block: it should show, at A3e, a sign shaped like an opened hand with a rounded object in it. Houston’s drawing is also missing this sign.

 

Figure 6

 

At A4b, there is a discrepancy between my drawing and Houston’s. My drawing renders A4b as an abbreviated version of T126/32M ya, showing only two elements instead of the usual three; similar abbreviations are common in the Classic period. Houston’s drawing renders it as a simplified version of T130/2S2 wa. Despite its unusual location, noted as such by Houston, wa would make more sense as far as reading the entire glyph block. At A4d, Houston’s drawing is missing another example of a U-shaped element contained within the logogram T713/MR2 K’AL (or CH’AL) for ‘to bind/wrap/adorn’, visible in my 2003 drawing, but also detectable in the photograph by Justin Kerr’s in Houston (2011:Fig. 4a). Such element does not affect the reading, but further supports an early dating of the inscription.

 

At A5a, my drawing differs from Houston’s mainly in the style of the top elements: mine renders them in an angular fashion, his in a curvilinear fashion. However, crucially, A5b in my drawing (and Coe’s) is rendered in a way that resembles T521/XS1 WINIK/WINAK, for winak/winik ‘man, person’, but Houston’s drawing merely shows three dots. The missing details are visible in the photos in Field sand Reents-Budet (2005), Doyle (2016), as seen in part in Figure 5D, and in the photograph by Justin Kerr in Houston (2011:Fig. 4a). Another important missing detail from Houston’s drawing is the last sign of the entire text: sign A5c. This sign resembles a Late Classic syllabogram T24/1M4 li, as suggested in Mora-Marín (2004:17, Table 1), but it may simply be a T617/1M3 MIRROR sign, argued in Mora-Marín (2012) to have a value WIN ‘eye/face’ (or syllabographic win) in some contexts. The sign appears below the glyph block itself, incised on the surface of the handle in a different plane as the raised relief of the glyph blocks. It was added after the carving of the glyph blocks themselves. It was rendered in Coe’s drawing, although lacking internal elements, and also in mine, showing two diagonal bands within a cartouche. If the sign in question is in fact the syllabogram li, it is possible that it may have been added at a time that postdates the initial carving of the text, a time when the hook-shaped version of the Late Preclassic and early Early Classic li had given way to a more oval-shaped version.

 

Now, a few remarks can be attempted with regard to the inscription. Glyph block A1 includes a total of five signs. It begins with a design of 7u at A1a. Sign A1b is incomplete and unclear as to what it depicts, much less what its value might be. Sign A1c depicts a vessel; as such it could be a reference to the spouted jar itself. It resembles a jar-shaped sign texts, YG2, employed in several instances as the day sign MULUK, but also as a syllabogram 7u in other contexts (e.g. 7u-tz’i-b’a for u-tz’ihb’-a-Ø ‘s/he wrote it’). Since the term for ‘drinking cup’ was 7uk’ib’(-aal), and since the day name corresponding to MULUK is typically associated with water in other Mesoamerican ritual calendars, it is possible that the syllabographic value 7u for YG2 was derived acrophonically from 7uk’ib’(-aal), and that such sign was used in the spelling of the day sign MULUK due to such association. If the jar-shaped sign at A1c on the spouted jar is an early version of YG2, perhaps it functioned logographically as 7UK’(IB’) in this context. Although Houston (2011) remarked, regarding this glyph block, that “A sign for “mouth” accords with what was surely a drinking vessel, although it is unlikely to read “drink,” uk’, in this context because of the prefixed u pronoun,” it must be recalled that Piedras Negras Panel 3 bears a spelling 7u-7UK’-ni for 7uk’-(V)n-i-Ø ‘he drank’, where we find a sign 7u precisely before the logographic spelling for ‘drink’. That said, since only one sign, A1a 7u, can be identified and read in this glyph block at this point, it is premature to speculate any further, except to suggest that it is possible that it spells the u-‘third person singular ergative/possessive’ marker, either preceding a noun or verb.

 

Table 2. Breakdown of the text with some suggested readings.

Transcription Transliteration Grammatical Options Paraphrase
A1 7u-?-?-? u- Possessed noun (or active transitive verb) (it is) his/her X (or s/he Xed it)
A2 ?cha-STEP[ye] ?-V1y(-e…) Inchoative verb s/he/it became Xed
A3 ?-?la-?7u-?-? “k’in-in-hand” seems to represent a relationship term in other texts Perhaps a noun or noun phrase (possibly including a relationship term) Proper name?
A4 7u-?wa-K’AL-TUN u-k’al-aw-Ø tuun Active transitive verb s/he bound/wrapped/adorned the stone (vessel)
A5 tu-WINAK/WINIK-?win/?li t-u-winak(-iil) Preposition ta/tä ‘to/for’ followed by u- ‘his/her/it’ followed by winak/winik ‘man/person’ or winak/winik-iil‘owner’ For his/her person/body/owner

 

A2 appears to open with a version cha and to close with a version of ye. In between are two signs, one resembling a small platform with a vertical element on the step, the other resembling T843/ZY1, the STEP glyph, read by some epigraphers as T’AB’ (Stuart 1995, 1998, 2005; Wagner in Schele and Grube 1997:195), although the precise lexical and semantic identification is not always specified (there are at least two options, ‘to rise’ and ‘to annoint’). As I noted above, it is possible that the ye sign is in part providing the expected spelling of the -V1y suffix commonly seen with this expression, which I have argued serves to derive “ingressives” (Mora-Marín 2007), whether inchoatives (‘to become X’) or versives (‘to begin to become X’).

 

As already discussed, A3a bears an example of the so-called “k’in-in-hand” sign, which is typically preceded by ya, followed by la, and in one instance, on the San Diego Cliff carving, preceded by ya and followed by T74/32A ma. A3b may constitute an example of la. The following sign is, in my opinion, a design of T1 7u, followed by a sign that represents the head of an animal, showing a prominent eye, human or otherwise. At the bottom would be a sign shaped like an opened hand holding an object. I suspect this glyph block bears a proper name, as suggestion supported by the iconographically embedded example on the spouted jar (cf. Figure 6B), occurring atop the head of one of the depicted personages, as observed by Coe (1973:26), or a genealogical statement, but nothing more can be said with confidence at this time.

 

Mora-Marín (2004) I suggested that A4 presented an unusual spelling 7u-ya-K’AL-TUN , with uy- preceding k’al , even though uy- is the prevocalic allomorph that would normally precede roots beginning with /7/. Following Houston’s (2011) suggestion, a more straightforward reding would be 7u-wa-K’AL-TUN, where wa would still be present in an unusual position, as the more common, expected spelling would have been 7u-K’AL-wa-TUN. His reading supports a more straightforward active transitive inflection u-k’al-aw-Ø followed by tuun ‘stone’: ‘s/he bound/wrapped/adorned the stone’. As Houston suggests, ‘stone’ may refer the spouted jar itself.

 

The last glyph block, A5, may read t-u-winak/winik-iil. In both Ch’orti’ and Tzeltal the possessed and suffixed form of winik ‘man, person’ can refer to ‘owner’: Ch’orti’ u-win(i)k-ir ‘its owner’ (Hull 2016:324, 400, 487) and Tzeltal s-winik-il-el ‘its owner’ (Polian 2015:798). Perhaps the text refers to the ‘binding’ or ‘wrapping’ of the stone vessel ‘for its (intended) owner’, that is, prior to the actual gifting or presentation of the vessel to the intended owner.

 

To conclude, there remain too many uncertainties to attempt a reading of the whole text. Hopefully future findings of similar texts on similar artifacts will provide more parallels. It is very likely too that future attempts at documenting the inscription will improve on the currently available drawings.

 

Acknowledgments. My detailed examination and documentation of the Diker bowl in 2003 was only possible due to the generosity of Julie Jones and Amy Chen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and support of FAMSI grant #02047 (Mora-Marín 2004). I am also grateful to James Doyle for sharing information on the spouted jar, including a 3D model prepared the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

[1] From this point forward I use grapheme codes by Thompson (1962), designed by an initial “T” followed by a numeral, as well as the grapheme codes by Macri and Looper (2003). Also, I will use <7> for [ʔ] out of typographical convenience.

[2] See Houston (2017) for a recent discussion of cacao-serving vessels, including the Diker bowl.

 

References 

Adams, Richard E. W., and Hubert R. Robichaux. 1992. Tombs of Río Azul, Guatemala. Research and Exploration: A Scholarly Publication of the National Geographic Society 8:412-427.

Coe, Michael. 1973. The Maya Scribe and His World. New York: The Grolier Group.

Doyle, James. 2016. Spouted Jar. URL: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/318346?searchFie…sortBy=Relevance&amp;ft=maya&amp;offset=0&amp;rpp=20&amp;pos=16.   

Fields, Virginia, and Dorie Reents-Budet. 2005. Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship. London: Scala Publishers Limited.

Houston, Stephen. 2017. Forgetting Chocolate: Spouted Vessels, Coclé, and the Maya. Maya Decipherment Blog. URL: https://mayadecipherment.com/2017/09/24/forgetting-chocolate-spouted-vessels-cocle-and-the-maya/.

—–. 2011. Bending Time Among the Maya. Maya Decipherment Blog. URL: https://mayadecipherment.com/2011/06/24/bending-time-among-the-maya/.

Hull, Kerry. 2016. A Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Mayan-Spanish-English. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

Macri, Martha J., and Matthew G. Looper. 2003. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume One, The Classic Period Inscriptions. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2004. The Primary Standard Sequence: Database Compilation, Grammatical Analysis, and Primary Documentation. FAMSI Report. URL: http://www.famsi.org/reports/02047/FinalReport02047.pdf.

—–. 2007. The Identification of an Ingressive Suffix in Classic Lowland Mayan Texts. In Proceedings of the CILLA III Conference, October 2007, Austin, Texas, edited by Nora England, pp 1-14. Austin: Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, Linguistics Department, University of Texas.

—–. 2012. The Mesoamerican Jade Celt As ‘Eye, Face’, and the Logographic Value of Mayan 1M2/T121 as WIN ‘Eye, Face, Surface’. Wayeb Notes 40.

Polian, Gilles. 2015. Diccionario Multidialectal del tseltal. https://tseltaltokal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Polian_Diccionario-multidialectal-del-tseltal-enero2015-2.pdf.

Schele, Linda, and Nikolai Grube. 1995. Notebook for the XIXth Maya Hieroglyphic Forum at Texas. Austin: The University of Texas.

Stuart, David S. 1995. A Study of Maya Inscriptions. Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

—–. 1998. “The Fire Enters His House”: Architecture and Ritual in Classic Maya Texts. In Function and Meaning in Classic Maya Architecture, edited by Stephen D. Houston, pp. 373–425. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

—–. 2005 Sourcebook for the 29th Maya Hieroglyphic Forum. Austin: Art Department, University of Texas at Austin.

Thompson, Eric J. 1962. A Catalogue of Maya Hieroglyphics.  Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

 

 

Note 16

Two Additional Etyma That Experienced the Greater Tzeltalan *k > ch Shift: ‘Expensive’ and ‘Person; Who, Who?’

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

6/7/2021 (with revisions through 6/12/2021)

 

This note introduces two possible novel cases of the Greater Tzeltalan *k(‘) > ch(‘) shift described by Kaufman & Norman (1984:83–85). They characterized it as unconditioned, but defined a set of inhibiting environments that prevented the shift in 30 of the 89 etyma in their dataset. Their characterization of the inhibiting environments is cited verbatim and in full next (Kaufman & Norman 1984:84):

 

  1. in initial position before a vowel that is in turn followed by an apical consonant or /p/, unless the vowel is /i/;
  2. in final position following a vowel, if the consonant preceding the vowel is an apical or /p/ (even if the vowel is /i/);
  3. in final position following /h/ (but not following /j/);
  4. in intervocalic position within a single root unless the vowel that precedes the velar stop is /i/.

 

Campbell (2000) and Kaufman and Justeson (2007) have presented arguments that favor a timing of this shift prior to the Classic period (CE 200-900), and certainly prior to the initial attestations of proto-Ch’olan *käkäw ‘cacao’, by the fifth century CE as ka-ka-w(a). This etymon is a Mixe-Zoquean loan, and does not display inhibiting conditions: if the shift had occurred subsequently to its attestation, it would have experienced the shift, resulting in a form chächäw* that is not attested in any Ch’olan or Tzeltalan language.

 

A few years ago, Law et al. (2014) put forth a proposal for a late spread of the shift in question, arguing that it is first attested in Epigraphic Mayan by the late Early Classic (CE 200-600) and especially the Late Classic (CE 600-900) periods. More recently, I (Mora-Marín n.d.) have presented arguments, based on new and old linguistic and epigraphic evidence, against this late spread, recalling the evidence previously adduced by Campbell (2000) and Kaufman and Justeson (2007).

 

The goal of this note is simply to bring to light two etyma that appear to have experienced this shift but have not been previously remarked upon. A few additional cases had already been introduced in Kaufman with Justeson (2003) and a few other sources, including Mora-Marín (n.d.). In total, prior to this note, there were 118 etyma with *k and *k’, of which 70 experienced a shift.

 

The first is the adjectival root ‘expensive’, with comparative data seen in Table 1. In the set it is clear that Yucatecan /k/ corresponds to Yokot’an (Chontal) /ch/, and that there is a basic shared shape /Co(7)X/, with /C/ corresponding to Yucatecan /k/ and Yokot’an /ch/, /7/ representing [ʔ] (glottal stop; saltillo), and /X/ representing /h/ from either *h or *j (see discussion below). The Yokot’an form choj ‘expensive, costly’, pointed out to me by Nick Hopkins (personal communication, 2021), is an adjective. Whether /j/ in contemporary Yokot’an descends from proto-Ch’olan *h or *j cannot be determined. The Yucatecan form can be reconstructed as proto-Yucatecan *ko7h or *ko7j: there is no way to know, with cognates only in Yucatecan and Ch’olan, both of which have merged pM *h and *j, whether the final consonant can be traced to *h or *j specifically. Although the Motul dictionary represents it as <coh> ~ <cooh>, it is clear that word-finally <h> was not classified as ‘simple’ or ‘loud/strong’, like the initial cases of <h> were. Nick Hopkins also explained that the Yokot’an cases of cho7an and cho7esan exhibit a cluster reduction rule, whereby /Vh-7V/ > [V7V], and notes that this rule occurs in Ch’ol as well. The first of these Yokot’an forms may be analyzed as follows: cho7an as choj-7an, with choj ‘expensive’ and -7an ‘inchoative’, resulting in ‘to become expensive’. The second verbal derivation, cho7esan, may require invoking analogy: if analyzed as choj-es-an, with -es as ‘causativizer’ and -an as ‘incompletive status of derived transitives’, resulting in ‘to cause to be expensive’ (Kaufman and Norman 1984; Knowles 1984), one is left without being able to account for the glottal stop. It seems that speakers have reanalyzed the sequence [cho7] in cho7an (i.e. /choj-7an/) as the basic form to be used in verbal derivations. Nevertheless, the adjectival form choj is on its own comparable to the proposed Yucatecan form *ko7h (or *ko7j), given that Greater Tzeltalan experienced a *V7C, *VVC > VVC merger, and that the resulting *VVC changed to *VC by proto-Ch’olan times. Thus, it is possible to propose a (Greater) Lowland Mayan form *kyo7h or *kyo7j ‘expensive’ that experienced the *k > ky > ch shift, and was retained in Yucatecan and Yokot’an (Ch’olan).

 

Table 1. Comparative data for ‘Expensive’.

Language Lexemes and examples Sources
Yucatec kó7oh (adjective) ‘expensive’, le p’óoka7 hach kó7oh‘this hat is very expensive’ Bricker et al. 1998:131
Col. Yucatec <coh> ~ <cooh> ‘cosa preciosa, y de estima rica’ and ‘cosa cara, o lo ques caro’ Arzápalo 1995:1555
Lacandon ko7h (adjective) ‘expensive’, ko7oh 7u-nook’ ‘her/his clothes are expensive’ Hofling 2014:187
Itzaj ko7oh (adjective) ‘expensive’, ma’ ko7oh (u-tool) ‘it’s not expensive (its price)’ Hofling with Tesucún 1997:361
Mopan ko7oh (adjective) ‘expensive’, ko7oh a ixi7im-i ‘The corn is expensive’ Hofling 2011:245
Yokot’an a.     choj (adjective) ‘expensive, costly’

b.     cho7an (intransitive) ‘to rise in price, to become expensive, to increase in price’, … uk’a más mu7 u cho7an ‘because of that it is increasing in price’

c.     cho7esan (transitive) ‘to make more expensive, to raise the price’, u cho7esijob we7e ni ajchonwe7e‘the butchers (meat-sellers) raised the price of the meat’

Keller and Luciano 1997:94, 95

 

The second etymon of interest is documented in Kaufman with Justeson (2003:1517), who reconstruct it to Lowland Mayan plus Western Mayan as *ma-k, seemingly showing a suffix *-k, although this could be in error (typo), as Kaufman (2015:974, 993) reconstructs this form as *mak ‘who?’. Table 2 provides the data that I have collected for the Greater Lowland Mayan languages (Yucatecan, Ch’olan, Tzeltalan). Based on such evidence I propose a revised reconstruction: *majk (not *mahk) as ‘person; who, who?’, the first part of the proto-gloss, ‘person’, is based on Yucatecan ‘person’ and Ch’ol ‘relative; extended family’ (see Hopkins 2019), while the second is attested in all the cognates. First, the final /k/ is not a suffix, but part of a lexical root, one attested in Yucatecan as /k/ and in Ch’olan as /ch/, supporting the possibility that this form experienced the *k > ch shift.  Recall that one of the environments inhibiting the shift was “in final position following /h/ (but not following /j/)” (Kaufman & Norman 1984:84). Consequently, I propose a form *majk to at least Lowland Mayan plus Western Mayan.[1] Another loose end is only briefly noted: the apparent /ch’/ of the Tzeltalan forms, which I suspect is the result of the following structure /mäch/ + /7äy(-uk)/, the second component consisting of the existential particle, 7äy, whose initial glottal stop likely induced glottalization of the /ch/ of mach ‘who, who?’.[2]Alternatively, Kaufman (2015:994) suggests that the Tzeltalan form *mäch’ä “is probably from *mak ‘who’ + *7a ‘at such a place/time’.” Finally, the dialectal correspondences in Tzotzil between the initial /m/ and /b’/ remain to be discussed. Thus, there remain several loose ends explore in a future note.

 

Table 2. Comparative data for ‘who’ and ‘person’ among Greater Lowland Mayan languages.

Language Lexemes and examples Sources
Yucatec máak (noun) ‘person, man, human being’

máax (particle) ‘who?, who’

Bricker et al. 1998:178, 181
Lacandon máak (interrogative) ‘who?’

máak (noun) ‘person; someone; who’

Hofling 2014:223
Itzaj mak ~ maak (noun) ‘person’

max ~ maax (interrogative) ‘who?’

max ~ maax (relative) ‘who, whom, whose’

Hofling with Tesucún 1997:428, 432, 437, 438
Mopan mak (interrogative) ‘who?’ Hofling 2011:296
Ch’ol majch-il ‘relative; clan, extended family’ (Tila only)

majchki (pronoun) ‘who?’ (Tila)

majki (pronoun) ‘who, who?’ (Tumbalá)

Aulie and Aulie 2009:55
Yokot’an machka (pronoun) ‘whoever’ Keller and Luciano 1997:95
machka (indefinite pronoun) ‘someone’ Montgomery-Anderson 2013:81
Ch’olti’ <machi> ‘who’ Robertson et al. 2010:343
Ch’orti’ chi’ ~ chi (pronoun) ‘who, whom’ Hull 2016:102
Proto-Ch’olan *mahch ‘who’ Kaufman and Norman 1984:139
Tzeltal mach’a (interrogative proform) ‘someone, who’ Polian 2018:415
mach’a (interrogative, relative pronoun) ‘who, someone; who?’

mach’ayuk ‘whoever, anybody’

mach’a yu7un ‘for whom?; whose?’

Slocum et al. 1999:72
Tzotzil much’u (relative pronoun; interrogative) ‘who, someone; who?’ (Zinacantán)

buch’u (San Andrés)

boch’o (Ch’enalo’/Chenalhó)

Hurley and Sánchez (1978:23, 350)
Proto-Tzeltalan *mäch’ä(y) (pronoun) ‘who, who?’ Kaufman 1972:109

 

A few words regarding the final consonant of this form, and also the addition of a suffix -ki, are in order. Vázquez Álvarez (2011:288) explains that the /ki/ of majchki is probably a suffix, historically, but it is only optionally used with some question words, like jalaj(ki) ‘when’ and bajche7(ki) ‘how’ or ‘how much’. Note that if one removes the -ki from majchki, one obtains majch, wherein the final /ch/ would correspond to the final /k/ in the Yucatecan form *máak. Also note that the /j/ of majch was reconstructed to proto-Ch’olan as *h, as in proto-Ch’olan *mahch ‘who’ (Kaufman and Norman 1984:139). Nevertheless, since pM *CVjC and *CVhC merged into Ch’olan *CVhC, it is possible that pre-Ch’olan may have exhibited *majch. As reviewed earlier, this would have removed an inhibiting factor for the analysis proposed here of a *k > ch shift. And this analysis allows for a relative chronology such as LL+WM *majk > pre-Ch’olan *majch > proto-Ch’olan *mahch, supporting the proposition that the *CVjC, *CVhC > CVhC merger postdates the *k > ch shift. In addition, the Yucatecan form *máak can be accounted for as a *majk > (*mahk >) *máak, given the regular sound change of *VhC and *VjC > *V́VC in Yucatecan (Justeson et al. 1985:15). In other words, the /ch/ of Ch’olan *mahch is cognate with the /k/ of Yucatecan *máak, and they are not related to the apparent interrogative suffix -ki, which should have shifted to -chi* if it descends from earlier pre-Greater Tzeltalan *k. Its presence as -ki in Ch’ol, despite the absence of inhibiting factors, could suggest either an earlier form *-qi, or a late innovation after the *k > ch shift had already taken place. The Ch’orti’ form chi’ ~ chi, when compared to Ch’olti’ <machi>, can be proposed to be a reduced reflex of a proto-Eastern Ch’olan *ma(h)chi(7) from an earlier proto-Ch’olan *mahch.[3]

 

To sum up, it would appear that two additional etyma can be proposed as having experienced the *k > ch shift of Greater Tzeltalan: (Greater) Lowland Mayan *kyo7h (or *kyo7j) ‘expensive’, and LL+WM *majk ‘person; who, who?’. This brings up the current tally to 72 etyma that experienced the shift, out of 120. Several loose ends remain, and will be pursued at a future time.

 

Acknowledgment

I would like to thank Nick Hopkins for his insights on Ch’ol morphophonology and his pointing me to the adjectival entry choj ‘expensive’ in Yokot’an.

 

Endnotes

[1] I will not explore at this time the possible cognates in (or loans into) Greater Q’anjob’alan included in Kaufman with Justeson’s (2003) or Kaufman’s (2015:993) datasets.

[2] Note that Hopkins (2019:1) points out that Ch’olan speakers ask ¿Majchki añ jiñi? ‘Who is he?’ to inquire about someone’s identity, or more explicitly, as he has explained to me, ‘What clan is he from?’ (Hopkins, personal communication 2021). This routine question shows majch-ki ‘who’ immediately followed by 7añ ‘existential particle’. If Tzeltalan speakers used a similar phrase in the past, without the -ki suffix, it would explain the glottalization of the final /ch/ in Proto-Tzeltalan *mäch’ä(y). Note that the Tzeltal form mach’ayuk would also agree with 7ayuk, a common inflection of 7ay with -uk‘subjunctive’. The Ch’ol question could also explain the polysemy extension of this term as follows: ‘clan’ > ‘clan; person’ > ‘clan; person; who, who?’ that  may have taken place historically. Support for the juxtaposition and amalgamation of the existential particle with this root for ‘who’ is found in Popti’, with the form aymi make ‘someone’ (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:1517).

[3] Finally, yet another loose end is worth exploring at a future date: the innovation of the Yucatecan -x ‘interrogative’ suffix, attested only in the Yucatec and Itzaj forms for ‘person; who, who?’, and remains variable in contemporary Yucatec (cf. Bricker 2018:31).

References

Arzápalo Marín, Ramón. 1995. Calepino de Motul. Diccionario Maya-Español. Tomo III. México: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.

Aulie, Wilbur H., and Evelyn W. de Aulie. 1999[1978]. Diccionario Ch’ol-Español, Español-Ch’ol. Mexico City: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.

Bricker, Victoria R. A Historical Grammar of the Maya Language of Yucatan 1557-2000. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

Bricker, Victoria, Eleuterio Po’ot Yah, and Ofelia Dzul de Po’ot. 1998. A Dictionary of The Maya Language As Spoken in Hocabá, Yucatán. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Campbell, Lyle. 2000. Time Perspective in Linguistics. Time depth in historical linguistics, ed. by Colin Renfrew, April McMahon, and Larry Trask, 3-32. Cambridge: The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

Hofling, Charles Andrew. 2011. Mopan Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary.  Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

—–. 2014. Lacandon Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary. The University of Utah Press.

Hofling, Charles Andrew, with F. F. Tesucún. 1997. Itzaj Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary.  Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Hopkins, Nicholas A. 2019. The Recent Evolution of Ch’ol Kinship Terminology. https://www.academia.edu/40236348/The_recent_evolution_of_Chol_kinship_terminology.

Hull, Kerry. 2016. A Dictionary of Ch’orti’ Mayan-Spanish-English. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press.

Hurley Vda. de Delgaty, Alfa, and Agustín Ruíz Sánchez. 1978. Diccionario Tzotzil de San Andrés con Variaciones Dialectales. Tzotzil-Español, Español-Tzotzil. México, D.F.: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.

Justeson, John S., William M. Norman, Lyle Campbell, and Terrence Kaufman. 1985. The Foreign Impact on Lowland Mayan Language and Script. Middle American Research Institute, Publication 53. New Orleans: Tulane University.

Kaufman, Terrence. 1972. El proto-tzeltal-tzotzil: fonología comparada y diccionario reconstruido. Centro de Estudios Mayas, Cuaderno 5. Mexico: UNAM.

Kaufman, Terrence. 2015. Mayan Comparative Studies. https://www.albany.edu/ims/pdlma/2015%20Publications/Kaufman-Mayan%20Comparative%20Studies.pdf. Accessed January of 2017.

Kaufman, Terrence, and William Norman. 1984. An outline of proto-Cholan phonology, morphology, and vocabulary. In Phoneticism in Maya Hieroglyphic Writing, edited by John S. Justeson and Lyle Campbell, pp. 77–166. Institute for Mesoamerican Studies Publication No. 9. Albany: State University of New York.

Kaufman, Terrence, and John Justeson. 2007. The History of the Word for Cacao in Ancient Mesoamerica. Ancient Mesoamerica 18:193–237.

Kaufman, Terrence, with John Justeson. 2003. Preliminary Mayan Etymological Dictionary. http://www.famsi.org/reports/01051/index.html.

Keller, Kathryn C., and Plácido Luciano G. 1997. Diccionario Chontal de Tabasco. Tucson, Arizona: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.

Knowles, Susan M. 1984. A Descriptive Grammar of Chontal Maya (San Carlos Dialect). Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Anthropology, Tulane University.

Law, Danny, John Robertson, Stephen Houston, Marc Zender, and David Stuart. 2014.  Areal Shifts in Classic Mayan Phonology. Ancient Mesoamerica 25. 357–366.

Montgomery-Anderson, Bradley. 2013. Diccionario de la lengua Yokot’an (Maya Chontal) de Tabasco Yokot’an-Castellano. Edited by Terrence Kaufman and John Justeson. Proyeto para la Documentación de las Lenguas de Mesoamérica.

Mora-Marín, David F. n.d. Evidence, New and Old, Against the Late *k(’) > *ch(’) Areal Shift Hypothesis. Unpublished manuscript written Spring of 2017.

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Robertson, John S., Danny Law, and Robbie A. Haertel. 2010. Colonial Ch’olti’: The Seventeenth-Century Morán Manuscript. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Slocum, Marianna C., Florencia L. Gerdel, and Manuel C. Aguilar. 1999. Diccionario Tzeltal de Bachajón, Chiapas. México, D.F.: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano.

Vázquez Álvarez, Juan Jesús. 2011. A Grammar of Chol, A Mayan Language. PhD dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

Nota 15 (Traducción)

El origen iconográfico del logograma T533/AM1 ʔAJAW ‘señor, gobernante’

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

27/2/21

 

Esta nota trata sobre el origen y desarrollo histórico del signo T533/AM1 (Figura 1). Se basa en un manuscrito más extenso escrito en 2005 (Mora-Marín 2005a) y distribuido por correo electrónico entre algunos académicos, algunos de los cuales ofrecieron valiosos comentarios en aquel entonces (por ejemplo, Julia Guernsey, David Freidel, Mary Pohl), pero nunca se sometió para publicación. Por medio de esta nota intento rescatar algunas de las ideas importantes de ese manuscrito.

 

Figura 1

La escritura maya utiliza varios signos distintos como alogramas (grafemas distintos con el mismo valor) para representar la raíz ʔaajaaw ‘señor, gobernante’ y algunas de sus derivaciones [1]: T533/AM1, T1000d/PT7 y T168(:518)/2M1. Aunque en principio éstos se podrían considerar equivalentes, estos logogramas se encuentran típicamente en una distribución complementaria relativamente relajada: T533 está mayoritariamente relegado a contextos calendáricos, como un signo que deletrea el nombre del día ritual ‘señor’, pero en algunas ocasiones se empleó como título de individuos; T1000d es común como signo de día y título; y T168(:518) está más estrictamente restringido en el contexto títulos.

 

Curiosamente, los textos del Preclásico Tardío de San Bartolo (Saturno et al.2006a, 2006b; Taube et al.2010) en las tierras bajas mayas contienen ejemplos de dos de estos signos, T1000d como signo de día (Figura 2a) y T168:518 como un título (Figura 2b), pero hasta ahora no hay ejemplos de T533 como signo de día, solamente en contextos iconográficos. El ejemplo glífico de T533 más antiguo en las tierras bajas está atestiguado en la Estela 19 de Uaxactun, fechada en 8.16.0.0.0 (357 d.C.), seguida poco después por el ejemplo del Mural 7 de La Sufricaya, fechado para 8.16.2.4.16 (379 d. C.).

 

Figura 2

Sin embargo, previo a tales ejemplos, al menos un uso no calendárico de T533, que funciona como parte de un título, aparece en la Estela/Monumento 10 de Kaminaljuyú (Figura 3), fechada para el 400-200 a.C. (Shook y Popenoe de Hatch 1999) ó 100 a.C. (Inomata y Henderson 2016). Este ejemplo, descrito por Mora-Marín (2001, 2005, 2008, 2016), muestra una yuxtaposición de una forma temprana (rotada) de T518/2M1b, que es en origen una forma del signo de día CARRIZO, y T533 ʔAJAW. He sugerido anteriormente que el signo CARRIZO en cuestión pudo haber funcionado como un complemento fonético para el logograma T533, basado en proto-mayense *ʔaaj ‘carrizo’ (Mora-Marín 2005:76, 2016:43; cf. Kaufman con Justeson 2003:1157), lo que resulta en una grafía ʔaj-ʔAJAW para *ʔaajaaw ‘señor, gobernante’. (Esta grafía parcialmente fonética respaldaría una afiliación maya para el idioma representado en la escritura Kaminaljuyú; junto a la posible expresión 10-chi-SERPIENTE en la misma inscripción, para expresar la cuenta ritual 10-Chijchan (tzeltalano mayor *chihj=chaan), confirmaría un idioma maya para el texto en cuestión.) Por lo tanto, el uso de T533 como logograma ʔAJAW ya puede establecerse durante el período Preclásico Tardío en la región más amplia de uso de la escritura.

 

Figura 3

La pregunta que deseo abordar ahora concierne a la motivación iconográfica de T533 ʔAJAW. Propongo que representa el rostro de un ejecutante ritual en el acto de aullar. Stross y Kerr (1990) presentaron un argumento iconográfico apoyando la existencia de un tema pan-mesoamericano que consistía de personajes aulladores y silbantes asociados con el uso ritual de alucinógenos. El tema de la cara aullante (Figura 4) que describen también podría ser indicativo de las prácticas rituales de soplar aire para imbuir un objeto con ‘aliento’, y el aullido común como resultado del uso de alucinógenos, consumidos para alcanzar un estado de trance y comunicarse con, o viajar al mundo sobrenatural (Stross y Kerr 1990). A los ejemplos modernos de Stross y Kerr (Figuras 4a-b), provenientes de Guerrero y Michoacán, respectivamente, he agregado un par de ejemplos precolombinos (Figuras 4c-d): uno de ellos es la máscara de cerámica de O’Boyle (Preclásico Tardío o Clásico Temprano), mientras que el otro consiste de la parte superior del torso de una figura de cerámica hueca del Clásico Temprano Petén. La expresión de aullido en estos artefactos es, por supuesto, muy similar a la expresión que se ve en T533.

 

Figura 4

 

Este tema de la cara aullante se remonta a la tradición escultórica de barrigones del Preclásico Tardío que abarca gran parte del Istmo de Tehuantepec y la costa Pacífica de Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, además de las tierras altas de Guatemala. Esta tradición ha sido descrita por varios autores, entre ellos Navarrete y Hernández (2000) y Guernsey (2010). La Figura 5 proporciona dos ejemplos similares de Tiltepec, Chiapas, y San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala, respectivamente.

 

Figura 5

De interés especial son los casos de Tiltepec, Chiapas, datadas para ca. 500-200 a.C. por Navarrete y Hernández (2000), mostrados en la Figura 6, y que sostengo aquí, contienen evidencia de un posible sistema de escritura: un signo estilo glifo “adherido” a los rostros de individuos barrigones. En varios ejemplos, el signo en cuestión coincide en sus detalles con el rostro del individuo barrigón, mientras que en otros es mucho más estilizado, mostrando solo los puntos para los dos ojos y la boca.

 

Figura 6

 

La similitud entre estos ejemplos tempranos de T533 y los posteriores se puede apreciar en la Figura 7. Propongo que estos signos similares a glifos son de hecho ejemplos tempranos de T533 que no solo etiquetan a las figuras como ‘señores’, sino que también asocian el cargo de gobernación con la especialización ritual practicada por estos individuos barrigones. Más interesante aún, esta asociación aparece primero en territorio mixe-zoqueano o más específicamente mixeano, en lugar del territorio maya: mientras que en las tierras altas de Guatemala también se encuentran esculturas de barriga con la expresión aullante, no hay ejemplos de esculturas de esa región asociadas al signo T533. Entonces, es posible que este signo pueda haber sido un caso de difusión de una tradición no maya a una tradición maya.

 

Figura 7

 

Si bien algunos podrían usar este tipo de evidencia para apoyar la idea de que el término ʔaajaaw ‘señor, gobernante’ se deriva etimológicamente de un sustantivo compuesto que significaba ‘el del grito’ o ‘el que grita’ (es decir, ‘gritador’), como lo propone Stuart (1995:190-191), los datos lingüísticos impiden tal solución, como explicó recientemente Terrence Kaufman (comunicación personal, 2020). Primero, el término es reconstruible como *ʔaajaaw al proto-mayense (Kaufman con Justeson 2003:84-85). En segundo lugar, aunque *ʔaj= ‘proclítico masculino’ es reconstruible para el proto-mayense (Kaufman con Justeson 2003:83), el término *ʔaaw ‘grito(/ando)’ no lo es: es reconstruible para proto-mayense occidental (Kaufman con Justeson 2003: 716), una etapa mucho más tardía, aunque sus atestaciones en el grupo yucatecano, si no son el resultado de difusión del tzeltalano mayor o del ch’olano específicamente, podrían apuntar a una etapa del proto-mayense tardío. En tercer lugar, y más significativamente, un compuesto que consta de estas dos raíces produciría *ʔaj=ʔaaw, no *ʔaajaaw: téngase en cuenta que la vocal de *ʔaj= ‘proclítico masculino’ es corta, no larga como la primera vocal de *ʔaajaaw, y también que *ʔaaw ‘grito (ing)’ lleva una consonante oclusiva glotal inicial, que no desaparecería al forma parte de un compuesto. De hecho, ni un solo idioma mayense conserva evidencia de una oclusiva glotal en el medio de esta raíz, y ni un solo idioma maya conserva evidencia para un análisis sincrónico de esta raíz basado en ‘proclítico masculino’ más ‘grito(/ando)’.

 

Para concluir, propongo que la motivación iconográfica de T533 ʔAJAW se puede explicar a partir de las imágenes de caras gritando o aullando evidentes en la tradición de barrigones, pero especialmente los ejemplos asociados con el signo T533 descritos por Navarrete y Hernández (2000) y Guernsey (2010). Esto no significa necesariamente que los posibles casos de signos tipo T533 en los barrigones de Tiltepec deban de ser leídos con un valor maya. Por un lado, tales esculturas habrían yacido dentro de la región mixeana en la época de relevancia; por otro, se pueden encontrar signos similares a T533 en la iconografía olmeca del período Preclásico Medio, como en el caso de la escultura estilo olmeca del “Señor Joven” (Reilly 1991) y varios otros ejemplos (Fields 1989). Simplemente propongo que la asociación entre los ejecutantes rituales involucrados en el acto de aullar y los signos similares a T533 presentes en los barrigones discutidos en esta nota explican la asociación entre el signo T533 y los gobernantes: éstos habrían cooptado, o apropiado tales imágenes rituales para sus propios fines.

[1] I use both Thompson (1962) and Macri and Looper (2003) as reference catalogs.

 

Referencias

Cordry, Donald. 1980. Mexican Masks. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Fields, Virginia. 1989. The Origins of Divine Kingship among the Lowland Classic Maya. PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.

Guernsey, Julia. 2010. Rulers, Gods, and Potbellies: A Consideration of Preclassic Sculptural Themes and Forms from the Pacific Piedmont and Coast of Mesoamerica. In The Place of Stone Monuments: Context, Use, and Meaning in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Tradition, edited by Julia Guernsey, John E. Clark, and Bábara Arroyo, pp. 207- 230. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Inomata, Takeshi, and Lucia Henderson. 2016. Time tested: re-thinking chronology and sculptural traditions in Preclassic southern Mesoamerica. Antiquity 90. 456–471.

Jones, Carl, and Lyndon Satterthwaite. 1982. The Monuments and Inscriptions of Tikal: The Carved Monuments. University Museum Monograph 44. Tikal Report 33, part A. Philadelphia: University Museum.

Macri, Martha J., and Matthew G. Looper. 2003. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume One, The Classic Period Inscriptions. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Méluzin, Sylvia.  1995.  Further Investigations of the Tuxtla Script: An Inscribed Mask and La Mojarra Stela 1.  New World Archaeological Foundation, Provo, Utah.

Mora-Marín, David. 2001. The Grammar, Orthography, Content, and Social Context of Late Preclassic Mayan Portable Texts. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University at Albany, New York.

—–. 2005a. The Iconographic Origin and Historical Development of the T533/AM1 7AJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ Title.  Unpublished Ms.

—–. 2005b. Kaminaljuyu Stela 10: Script Classification and Linguistic Affiliation. Ancient Mesoamerica 16:63-87.

—–. 2008. Análisis epigráfico y lingüístico de la escritura Maya del período Preclásico Tardío: Implicaciones para la historia sociolingüística de la region.  XXI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2007, editado por Juan Pedro Laporte, Bárbara Arroyo y Héctor E. Mejía, pp. 853-876.  Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal, Fundación Arqueológica del Nuevo Mundo.

—–. 2010. La epigrafía y paleografía de la escritura preclásica maya: nuevas metodologías y resultados. In XXIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2009, edited by Bárbara Arroyo, Adriana Linares Palma, and Lorena Paiz Aragón, pp. 1045-1957. Guatemala City, Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología.

—–. 2016. A Study in Mayan Paleography: The History of T168/2M1a ʔAJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ and the Origin of the Syllabogram T130/2S2 wa. Written Language and Literacy 19:1-58.

Navarrete, Carlos, and Rocío Hernández. 2000. Esculturas preclásicas de obesos en el territorio mexicano. In XIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala 1999, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Héctor Escobedo, Ana Claudia de Suasnavar, and Bárbara Arroyo, pp. 589-624. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal. http://www.asociaciontikal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/38.99-Navarrete.pdf.

Nicholson, H. B. and Cordy-Collins, A. 1979. Pre-Columbian Art from the Land Collection. Los Angeles: California Academy of Sciences.

Parsons, Lee Allen. 1986. The Origins of Maya Art: Monumental Stone Sculpture of Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala, and the Southern Pacific Coast.  Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Reilley, Kent. 1991. Olmec Iconographic Influences on the Symbols of Maya Rulership: An Examination of Possible Sources. In Sixth Palenque Round Table, 1986, edited by Virginia M. Fields. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Saturno, William A. 2002 Archaeological Investigation and Conservation at San Bartolo, Guatemala. Reporte Final, FAMSI. http://www.famsi.org/reports/01038/index.html.

Saturno, William A., David Stuart y Boris Beltrán. 2006a. Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala.  www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content.full/1121745/DC1.

—–. 2006b. Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala.  Science 311:1281-1283.

Saturno, William A., Karl A. Taube, and David Stuart. 2005. The Murals of San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala, Part I: The North Wall. Ancient America, 7. Barnardsville, North Carolina: Center for Ancient American Studies.

Shook, Edwin M., and Marion Popenoe de Hatch. 1999. Las tierras altas centrales: períodos Preclásico y Clásico. In Marion Popeneo de Hatch (ed.), Historia general de Guatemala, Tomo 1: época precolombina, 289–318. Guatemala: Fondo para la Cultura y el Desarrollo.

Smith, A. Ledyard. 1950. Uaxactún, Guatemala: Excavations of 1931–1937. (Publication 588.) Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Stross, Brian, and Justin Kerr. 1990. Notes on the Maya Vision Quest Through Enema. In The Maya Vase Book, Volume 2, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 348-361. New York: Kerr Associates.

Stuart, David S. 1995. A Study of Maya Inscriptions.  Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Taube, Karl A., William A. Saturno, David Stuart, and Heather Hurst. 2010. Los murales de San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala, parte 2: El mural poniente. Ancient America 10:1-115.

Thompson, J. Eric S. 1962. A Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Note 15

The Iconographic Origin of the T533/AM1 ʔAJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ Logogram

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

2/20/2021

 

This note focuses on the origin and historical development of T533/AM1, seen in Figure 1. It is based on a more extensive manuscript written in 2005 (Mora-Marín 2005a) and circulated by email among a few scholars, some of whom offered valuable feedback at the time (e.g. Julia Guernsey, David Freidel, Mary Pohl), but it was never submitted for publication. Here I am rescuing some of the key ideas from that manuscript.

 

Figure 1

 

Mayan writing uses several distinct signs as allograms (variant signs with the same value) to represent the root ʔaajaaw ‘lord, ruler’ and some of its derivations[1]: T533/AM1, T1000d/PT7, and T168(:518)/2M1. Though in principle equivalent, these logograms are typically found in a rather loose complementary distribution: T533 is mostly relegated to calendrical contexts, as a sign spelling the ritual day name ‘lord’, but was on relatively rare occasions employed as a title; T1000d is common both as a day sign and a title; and T168(:518) is more strictly confined for use in titles phrases of individuals.

 

Interestingly, the Late Preclassic texts from San Bartolo (Saturno et al. 2006a, 2006b; Taube et al. 2010) in the Maya lowlands bear examples of two of these signs, T1000d as a day sign (Figure 2a) and T168:518 as a title (Figure 2b), but so far no examples of T533 as a day sign, though T533 does appear there in iconographic contexts. The earliest, reliably dated, glyphic use of T533 in the Maya lowlands is attested on Uaxactun Stela 19, dated to 8.16.0.0.0 (357 CE), followed shortly thereafter by the example from Sufricaya Mural 7, dated to 8.16.2.4.16 (379 CE).

 

Figure 2

Prior to such examples, though, at least one non-calendrical use of T533, functioning as part of a title, appears on Kaminaljuyu Stela/Monument 10 (Figure 3), dated to ca. 400-200 BCE (Shook and Popenoe de Hatch 1999) or 100 BCE (Inomata and Henderson 2016), as described by Mora-Marín (2001, 2005, 2008, 2016). This example shows a juxtaposition of an early (rotated) form of T518/2M1b, which is in origin a form of the day sign REED, and T533 ʔAJAW. I have suggested previously that the REED sign in question may have functioned as a phonetic complement to the T533 logogram, based on Proto-Mayan *ʔaaj ‘reed’ (Mora-Marín 2005:76, 2016:43; cf. Kaufman with Justeson 2003:1157), resulting in a spelling ʔaj-ʔAJAW for *ʔaajaaw ‘lord, ruler’. (This partly phonetic spelling would support a Mayan affiliation for the language represented in the Kaminaljuyu script, as does also the possible 10-chi-SNAKE expression on the same inscription as a spelling of the day count 10-Chijchan (Greater Tzeltalan *chihj=chaan).) Thus, the use of T533 as a logogram ʔAJAW can be established already during the Late Preclassic period in the broader region of use of the script.

 

Figure 3

 

The question that I address now is the iconographic motivation of T533 ʔAJAW. I propose that it depicts the face of a ritual specialist in the act of howling. Stross and Kerr (1990) presented an iconographic argument for howling and whistling personages associated with the use of ritual hallucinogens as a pan-Mesoamerican theme. The howling face theme (Figure 4) they describe may be indicative of the ritual practices of blowing air to imbue an object with ‘breath’, and howling common as a result of the use of hallucinogens, consumed to achieve a trance state and communicate with, or travel to the supernatural realm (Stross and Kerr 1990). To the modern examples by Stross and Kerr (Figures 4a-b), from Guerrero and Michoacan, respectively, I have added a couple of Pre-Columbian examples (Figures 4c-d), one of them being the O’Boyle ceramic mask (Late Preclassic or Early Classic) and the upper torso of a hollow ceramic figurine from the Early Classic Peten. The howling expression in these artifacts is of course very similar to the expression seen on T533.

 

Figure 4

 

This howling face theme can be traced back to the Late Preclassic potbelly sculpture tradition spanning much of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Pacific Piedmont and highlands of Guatemala. The potbelly tradition has been described by a number of scholars, among them Navarrete and Hernández (2000) and Guernsey (2010). Figure 5 provides two similar examples from Tiltepec, Chiapas, and San Juan Sacatepequez, Guatemala, respectively.

 

Figure 5

Of special interest are the cases from Tiltepec, Chiapas, which have been dated to ca. 500-200 BCE by Navarrete and Hernández (2000), seen Figure 6, and which I argue here bear evidence of possible writing: a glyph-like sign “affixed” to the faces of pot-bellied individuals. In several examples, the glyph-like sign matches the face of the pot-bellied individual very closely, while in others it is much more stylized, showing only the dots for the two eyes and mouth.

 

Figure 6

 

The similarity between these early examples of T533 and later ones can be appreciated in Figure 7. I propose that these glyph-like signs are in fact early examples of T533 not only labeling the figures as ‘lords’, but also associating the office of rulership with the ritual specialization practiced by these potbellied individuals. More interestingly, this association appears first in Mixe-Zoquean or more specifically Mixean territory, rather than Mayan territory: while potbelly sculptures with the howling expression are also found in highland Guatemala, there are no cases of such sculptures bearing a T533-like sign. So it is possible that this sign could be a case of diffusion from a non-Mayan tradition into a Mayan tradition.

 

Figure 7

While some might use this type of evidence to support the idea that the term ʔaajaaw ‘lord, ruler’ derives etymologically from a compound meaning ‘he of shouting’ or ‘he who shouts’ (i.e. ‘shouter’), as proposed by Stuart (1995:190-191), the linguistic data preclude such a solution, as recently explained by Terrence Kaufman (personal communication, 2020). First, the term is reconstructible as *ʔaajaaw to Proto-Mayan (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:84-85). Second, although *ʔaj= ‘male proclitic’ is reconstructible to Proto-Mayan (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:83), the term *ʔaaw ‘shout(ing)’ is not: it is reconstructible to Proto-Western Mayan (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:716), a much later stage, although its attestations in Yucatecan, if not the result of diffusion from Greater Tzeltalan or Ch’olan specifically, could point to a Southern Mayan (Late Proto-Mayan) stage. Third, and more significantly, a compound consisting of these two roots would yield *ʔaj=ʔaaw, not *ʔaajaaw: note that the vowel of *ʔaj= ‘male proclitic’ is short, not long like the first vowel of *ʔaajaaw, and note that *ʔaaw ‘shout(ing)’ bears an initial glottal stop, which would not disappear upon compounding. In fact, not a single Mayan language preserves evidence for a medial glottal stop in this root, and not a single Mayan language preserves evidence for a synchronic analysis of this root based on ‘male proclitic’ plus ‘shout(ing)’.

 

To conclude, I propose that the iconographic motivation of T533 ʔAJAW can be explained on the basis of the shouting or howling imagery evident in the potbelly tradition, but especially the examples with associated T533 signs described by Navarrete and Hernández (2000) for Tiltepec and by Guernsey (2010) for highland Guatemala. This does not necessarily mean that the possible cases of T533-like signs on the potbelly sculptures from Tiltepec are meant to be read with a Mayan value. For one, such sculptures are well within the region of likely Mixean speech; also, signs similar to T533 can be found in non-Mayan iconography, as with the case of the Young Lord sculpture (Reilly 1991), and other, even earlier examples of Olmec iconography (Fields 1989). I merely propose that the association between ritual specialists engaged in the act of howling and the T533-like signs present in the potbelly sculptures reviewed here explain the association between T533 and rulership: rulers may have co-opted such ritual imagery for their own purposes.

 

[1] I use both Thompson (1962) and Macri and Looper (2003) as reference catalogs.

 

References

Cordry, Donald. 1980. Mexican Masks. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Fields, Virginia. 1989. The Origins of Divine Kingship among the Lowland Classic Maya. PhD dissertation, University of Texas at Austin.

Guernsey, Julia. 2010. Rulers, Gods, and Potbellies: A Consideration of Preclassic Sculptural Themes and Forms from the Pacific Piedmont and Coast of Mesoamerica. In The Place of Stone Monuments: Context, Use, and Meaning in Mesoamerica’s Preclassic Tradition, edited by Julia Guernsey, John E. Clark, and Bábara Arroyo, pp. 207- 230. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Inomata, Takeshi, and Lucia Henderson. 2016. Time tested: re-thinking chronology and sculptural traditions in Preclassic southern Mesoamerica. Antiquity 90. 456–471.

Jones, Carl, and Lyndon Satterthwaite. 1982. The Monuments and Inscriptions of Tikal: The Carved Monuments. University Museum Monograph 44. Tikal Report 33, part A. Philadelphia: University Museum.

Macri, Martha J., and Matthew G. Looper. 2003. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume One, The Classic Period Inscriptions. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Méluzin, Sylvia.  1995.  Further Investigations of the Tuxtla Script: An Inscribed Mask and La Mojarra Stela 1.  New World Archaeological Foundation, Provo, Utah.

Mora-Marín, David. 2001. The Grammar, Orthography, Content, and Social Context of Late Preclassic Mayan Portable Texts. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University at Albany, New York.

—–. 2005a. The Iconographic Origin and Historical Development of the T533/AM1 7AJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ Title.  Unpublished Ms.

—–. 2005b. Kaminaljuyu Stela 10: Script Classification and Linguistic Affiliation. Ancient Mesoamerica 16:63-87.

—–. 2008. Análisis epigráfico y lingüístico de la escritura Maya del período Preclásico Tardío: Implicaciones para la historia sociolingüística de la region.  XXI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2007, editado por Juan Pedro Laporte, Bárbara Arroyo y Héctor E. Mejía, pp. 853-876.  Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal, Fundación Arqueológica del Nuevo Mundo.

—–. 2010. La epigrafía y paleografía de la escritura preclásica maya: nuevas metodologías y resultados. In XXIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2009, edited by Bárbara Arroyo, Adriana Linares Palma, and Lorena Paiz Aragón, pp. 1045-1957. Guatemala City, Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología.

—–. 2016. A Study in Mayan Paleography: The History of T168/2M1a ʔAJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ and the Origin of the Syllabogram T130/2S2 wa. Written Language and Literacy 19:1-58.

Navarrete, Carlos, and Rocío Hernández. 2000. Esculturas preclásicas de obesos en el territorio mexicano. In XIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala 1999, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Héctor Escobedo, Ana Claudia de Suasnavar, and Bárbara Arroyo, pp. 589-624. Guatemala City: Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Instituto de Antropología e Historia, Asociación Tikal. http://www.asociaciontikal.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/38.99-Navarrete.pdf.

Nicholson, H. B. and Cordy-Collins, A. 1979. Pre-Columbian Art from the Land Collection. Los Angeles: California Academy of Sciences.

Parsons, Lee Allen. 1986. The Origins of Maya Art: Monumental Stone Sculpture of Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala, and the Southern Pacific Coast.  Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Reilley, Kent. 1991. Olmec Iconographic Influences on the Symbols of Maya Rulership: An Examination of Possible Sources. In Sixth Palenque Round Table, 1986, edited by Virginia M. Fields. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Saturno, William A. 2002 Archaeological Investigation and Conservation at San Bartolo, Guatemala. Reporte Final, FAMSI. http://www.famsi.org/reports/01038/index.html.

Saturno, William A., David Stuart y Boris Beltrán. 2006a. Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala.  www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content.full/1121745/DC1.

—–. 2006b. Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala.  Science 311:1281-1283.

Saturno, William A., Karl A. Taube, and David Stuart. 2005. The Murals of San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala, Part I: The North Wall. Ancient America, 7. Barnardsville, North Carolina: Center for Ancient American Studies.

Shook, Edwin M., and Marion Popenoe de Hatch. 1999. Las tierras altas centrales: períodos Preclásico y Clásico. In Marion Popeneo de Hatch (ed.), Historia general de Guatemala, Tomo 1: época precolombina, 289–318. Guatemala: Fondo para la Cultura y el Desarrollo.

Smith, A. Ledyard. 1950. Uaxactún, Guatemala: Excavations of 1931–1937. (Publication 588.) Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Stross, Brian, and Justin Kerr. 1990. Notes on the Maya Vision Quest Through Enema. In The Maya Vase Book, Volume 2, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 348-361. New York: Kerr Associates.

Stuart, David S. 1995. A Study of Maya Inscriptions.  Ph.D. Dissertation, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee.

Taube, Karl A., William A. Saturno, David Stuart, and Heather Hurst. 2010. Los murales de San Bartolo, El Petén, Guatemala, parte 2: El mural poniente. Ancient America 10:1-115.

Thompson, J. Eric S. 1962. A Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

 

Note 14

Revisiting nak ‘to fight’: Additional Mayan Evidence Could Suggest Cognacy with Mije-Sokean *naks ‘to beat, to whip’

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

1/25/2021

In Note 13 I proposed that Greater Lowland Mayan speakers had borrowed the Proto-Mije-Sokean term *naks ‘to whip, to beat’, and that such term was represented in Epigraphic Mayan, attested at the site of Dos Pilas, in a verbal expression first recognized by Grube and Schele (1993). To review, the expression shows the spelling ʔu-na-ka-wa, analyzable as u-nak-aw-Ø ‘s/he fought/beat him/her’, as seen in Figure 1. I argued in my previous Note that the Tzotzil, Ch’ol, and Yucatec entries supported the proposition that the term was likely diffused within the Greater Lowland Mayan region, as it appeared to lack attestations in other Mayan languages, and furthermore, that its phonological and semantic similarity to the Mije-Sokean term *naks, which is found in both branches of Mije-Sokean, were indicative of a loan from Mije-Sokean.

 

Figure 1

 

Within a day of posting my Note 13, linguist Evgeniya Korovina at the Institute of Linguistics at the Russian Academy of Sciences reached out by email to note that there were in fact entries of relevance in Kaufman with Justeson (2003:63): Colonial Yucatec #no7col ‘enemy’ and Tzeltal nak-umal ‘enemy’. Indeed, Kaufman with Justeson suggested a reconstruction *naq, with *q to explain why such a term would not have experienced the *k > ch shift of Greater Tzeltalan. I had completely missed this entry because of the simple fact that I had searched for entries resembling *nak, when I should have considered both *naq and *nak. A rookie mistake!

 

More interestingly, Korovina noted in her email that there exist Greater K’ichee’an items with likely related forms and meanings based on a root naq in Poqom, Poqomchi’, Tz’utujiil, Kaqchikel, Q’eqchi’, and Sakapulteko. For instance, Poqomchi’ offers both naq-aj ‘regañar (to scold, intransitive)’ and naq-ooj ‘regañar (to scold, transitive)’, among other inflections and derivations based on such root and stems (Dobbels 2003:439). More importantly, this root naq confirms the presence of *q hypothesized by Kaufman with Justeson (2003:63) in their Greater Lowland Mayan form *naq ‘enemy’.

 

This last point now raises an interesting question. It seems less likely that Mayan speakers would have borrowed a Mije-Sokean root with a final k as q, i.e. Mije-Sokean *naks as Mayan *naq. Perhaps this etymon could provide evidence for cognacy, rather than diffusion, as Terry Kaufman indeed suggested to me on 8/25/20 when I mentioned this comparison. At the time I didn’t feel comfortable with the notion of cognacy, since up until then only languages from the Greater Lowland Mayan diffusion area attested to this etymon. However, Korovina’s email pointing to its wide attestation within Greater K’ichee’an with the expected form to support the possibility of an older etymology certainly makes it plausible. Mora-Marín (2016:143, Table 8) presented 9 possible cognates attesting to the correspondence of Mayan *q to Mije-Sokean *k, such as Proto-Mayan *qay ‘to eat eagerly’ and Proto-Mije-Sokean *kay ‘to eat (tortillas, bread)’, PM *b’aaq ‘bone’ and PMS *pak ‘bone’.

 

To sum up, Epigraphic Mayan nak ‘to fight/battle with’ can be more securely traced back to *naq. This root is more widely attested in the Greater Tzeltalan and Yucatecan languages, but now appears to be present also in Greater K’ichee’an, as Korovina has pointed out. Potentially, then, it could be a Central Mayan or Southern Mayan (Late Proto-Mayan) etymon. And potentially, as such, it could be a candidate for cognacy with Mije-Sokean *naks ‘to beat, to whip’. But given the prevalence of diffusion within the Greater Lowland Mayan region (Justeson et al. 1985), the term could be much more recent within Mayan, and may have been diffused between Greater K’ichee’an and a language from the Greater Lowland Mayan region prior to the *q > k shift of Greater Tzeltalan. A more systematic search for cognates in other Mayan subgroups (e.g. Huastecan, Greater Q’anjob’alan, Greater Mamean) should help clarify the issue.

 

Acknowledgments. My sincere thanks to Evgeniya Korovina for noting that I missed the *naq ‘enemy’ entry in Kaufman with Justeson (2003), and especially for steering me toward the Greater K’ichee’an cognates of relevance.

References

Dobbels, Marcel. 2003. Tusq’orik Maya Poqomchi’–Kaxlan Q’orik. Diccionario Poqomchi’–Castellano. Primera edición. Guatemala: PROASE.

Grube, Nikolai, and Linda Schele. 1993. Un verbo nakwa para “batallar o conquistar.” Texas Notes on Pre-Columbian Art, Writing, and Culture 55. URL: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/15931.

Kaufman, Terrence, with John Justeson. 2003. Preliminary Mayan Etymological Dictionary. URL: http://www.famsi.org/reports/01051/index.html.

Justeson, John S., William M. Norman, Lyle Campbell, and Terrence Kaufman. 1985. The Foreign Impact on Lowland Mayan Language and Script. Middle American Research Institute, Publication 53. New Orleans: Tulane University.

Mora-Marín, David. 2016. Testing the Proto-Mayan-Mije-Sokean Hypothesis. International Journal of American Linguistics 82:125-180.

Note 13

Nak ‘to fight’: Another Mije-Sokean Loan in Epigraphic Mayan?

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

1/24/2021

In this note I propose that Greater Lowland Mayan speakers borrowed the Proto-Mike-Sokean term *naks ‘to whip, to beat’, and that this term is the ultimate source of a Classic Mayan verb that appears in a spelling at the site of Dos Pilas.

 

The story begins in 1993, when Grube and Schele (1993) published a brief note on a spelling that appears on Hieroglyphic Stairway 2 from Dos Pilas, dedicated ca. 9.11.10.0.0 (or 662 CE), seen in Figure 1a. The spelling in question, seen more clearly in Figure 1b, shows the syllabographic sequence ʔu-na-ka-wa. Grube and Schele (1993:1) observed that the expression is a transitive verb, and they related it to the Colonial Tzotzil entry nak, a transitive root glossed as ‘battle, compete against, conquer, contend, fight in a contest, make an enemy of, oppose, repel, resist, wage war against’ (Laughlin with Haviland 1988:268). The term is used inflected and derived in a number of different ways, among them nak-av, an antipassive inflection, nak-av-el ‘opposition, persecution, pursuit’, a verbal noun derivation, and nak-m-al ‘conqueror, enemy, opponent, pursuer, warrior’, an agentive nominalization. Polian (2014:464) documents this term in Tzeltal as nak-om-al ‘enemigo; mal perjudicial (enemy; harmful affliction)’. Although it does not appear in Aulie and Aulie’s (2009) contemporary Ch’ol dictionary, it does show up in Becerra’s (1935:260) Ch’ol vocabulary from 1935 as nak-om-al ‘enemy’. And finally, it is attested in Colonial Yucatec as nak ‘enfadar, empalagar, dar y causar fastidio o hastío y dar en rostro (to annoy, to pall, to give and cause annoyance or weariness and to hit on the face)’, among other inflections and derivations based on the same root, including the agentive derivation nak-om, which includes, among several meanings, ‘military chief’ and ‘sacrificer’ (Barrera Vásquez  1980:553). The term does not appear in Mayan languages from outside the Greater Tzeltalan (Ch’olan, Tzeltalan) and Yucatecan subgroups—there is no entry for this etymon in Kaufman with Justeson (2003) for example. The glyphic spelling ʔu-na-ka-wa can be analyzed as u-nak-aw-Ø ‘s/he fought him/her’ (third person singular ergative-fight-plain/completive of root transitive-third person singular absolutive).

 

Several months ago, as I was reading Kaufman’s monograph on language contact involving Mesoamerican languages, I came across his comparison between Mije-Sokean *naks ‘to beat, to whip’ and Tonika náka ‘war, battle’ and Shitimasha <nakc> #nakš ‘war, warfare, fight, battle’ (Kaufman 2020:248). It immediately rang a bell, leading me to recall Grube and Schele’s (1993) note. Though not as far-flung as the Tonika and Shitimasha languages, the Greater Tzeltalan, Yucatecan, and Epigraphic Mayan attestations of the root nak are quite straightforward. Since the Mije-Sokean root *naks is widely distributed within that family, appearing in both the Mijean and Sokean branches (Wichmann 1995:397), whereas the Mayan root #nak is restricted to the languages of the Greater Lowland Mayan interaction sphere, a well known diffusion zone involving Ch’olan, Tzeltalan, and Yucatecan (Justeson et al. 1985), it is likely that the term diffused from Mije-Sokean into Greater Lowland Mayan, and can therefore be added to the almost one hundred loans documented so far between Mije-Sokean and Mayan languages (Campbell and Kaufman 1976; Wichmann 1999; Mora-Marín 2016).

 

I therefore propose that the root nak attested by ca. 662 CE at the site of Dos Pilas was diffused into the Greater Lowland Mayan languages from Mije-Sokean.

 

References

Aulie, Wilbur H., and Evelyn W. de Aulie. 2009. Diccionario Ch’ol-Español, Español-Ch’ol. Mexico City: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano. Third edition.

Barrera Vásquez, Alfredo. 1980. Diccionario Maya Cordemex: Maya-Español, Español-Maya.  Mérida, Yucatán: Ediciones Cordemex.

Becerra, Marcos E. 1935. Vocabulario de la lengua chol. Anales del Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Historia y Etnografía, 2 (quinta época):249-278, 1935.

Campbell, Lyle, and Terrence Kaufman. 1976. A Linguistic Look at the Olmecs.  American Antiquity 41:80-89.

Grube, Nikolai, and Linda Schele. 1993. Un verbo nakwa para “batallar o conquistar.” Texas Notes on Pre-Columbian Art, Writing, and Culture 55. URL: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/15931.

Hopkins, Nicholas A., Ausencio Cruz Guzmán, and J. Kathryn Josserand. 2008. A Chol (Mayan) vocabulary from 1789. International Journal of American Linguistics 74:83-114.

Hopkins, Nicholas A., J. Kathryn Josserand, and Ausencio Cruz Guzmán. 2011. A Historical Dictionary of Chol (Mayan): The Lexical Sources from 1789 to 1935. Tallahassee, Florida: Jaguar Tours 2011. URL: http://www.famsi.org/mayawriting/dictionary/hopkins/dictionaryChol.html.

Justeson, John S., William M. Norman, Lyle Campbell, and Terrence Kaufman. 1985. The Foreign Impact on Lowland Mayan Language and Script. Middle American Research Institute, Publication 53. New Orleans: Tulane University.

Kaufman, Terrence. 2020. Olmecs, Teotihuacaners, and Toltecs: Language History and Language Contact in Meso-America. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340721651_MALP_2020. 

Laughlin, Robert M., with John B. Haviland.  1988.  The Great Tzotzil Dictionary of Santo Domingo Zinacantán.  Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology No. 31.  Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

Mora-Marín, David. 2016. Testing the Proto-Mayan-Mije-Sokean Hypothesis. International Journal of American Linguistics 82:125-180.

Polian, Gilles. 2015. Diccionario Multidialectal del tseltal. URL: https://tseltaltokal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Polian_Diccionario-multidialectal-del-tseltal-enero2015-2.pdf.

Wichmann, Søren. 1995. The Relationship Among the Mixe-Zoquean Languages of Mexico. Provo: University of Utah Press.

Wichmann, Søren. 1999. A conservative look at diffusion involving mixe-zoquean languages. Archaeology
And Language II: Archaeological Data and Linguistic Hypotheses, ed. Roger blench and
Matthew Spriggs, pp. 297–323. London: Toutledge.

 

Note 12

Two Instances of T1ʔu on the Painted Stone Block from San Bartolo Sub-V: Reviewing Giron-Ábrego (2015)

 

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill

1/16/2021

In my most recent blog post (Mora-Marín 2020), I proposed the identification of an early design of T1/HE6, the syllabogramʔu, on the painted stone block from San Bartolo Sub-V (Saturno, Stuart, and Beltrán 2006), dated to ca. 300-200 BCE. In that note I failed to cite Mario Giron-Ábrego’s (2015) article on Mesoweb where he proposed the identification of the same design of T1 in a different part of the same text. By means of this note, I would like to apologize for that failure, and rectify it by reviewing Giron-Ábrego’s discussion on the matter in light of my more recent identification. But before proceeding, I will reuse Figure 1 from my previous post in order to refer to parts of the text. The image in the Figure 1 is a high-resolution orthomosaic, that is, “a 3D-model-based combo of overlapping photographs reflecting average values of overlapping pixels,” prepared by Alexandre Tokovinine and published online 2/13/18 (Tokovinine 2018), and which the reader may consult here. The text is likely incomplete on both ends. In fact, Tokovinine’s rendering allows for the identification of traces of another glyph below the bottommost full glyph.

 

Figure 1

 

In his 2015 article, Giron-Ábrego focused on the long-lipped head glyph seen at the very bottom of the surviving text. However, he discussed in detail most of the text, including the third glyph block, seen in Figure 2, which he had also studied in an earlier article (Giron-Ábrego 2012), where he had suggested that the first sign could constitute an example of T51 ta/TA, and that the entire glyph block could function to represent a count of k’atuns.

 

Figure 2

 

In his more recent article, Giron-Ábrego suggests that this glyph block could be composed of the following signs: ta-FIVE-?KATUN. He continues (2015:7):

 

Upon closer inspection of pA3, based on published photographs and drawings, it is possible that the element to the right of the locative ta is a small representation of an archaic and calligraphic T1 u glyph, which in Classic-period inscriptions often indicates the third-person singular preconsonantal ergative/possessive pronoun. The superfix clearly shows a bracket or C-like shape, engulfing two dot-like elements. These traits are also diagnostic of some of the earliest variants of T1 […].

 

Figure 3 illustrates the comparison made by Giron-Ábrego (2015) reutilizing the image in Figure 2 above (Figure 3a), this time juxtaposed to a drawing of the sign in question by David Stuart (Figure 3b) and the early examples of T1 ʔu (Figure 3c) adduced by that author (2015:Figure 8c). Note that the San Bartolo example would agree with the other early examples in the C-shaped bracket, the two dots, and the lack of a central, triangular element.

 

Figure 3

 

If correct, this identification by Giron-Ábrego, plus the more recent one offered in my previous note (Mora-Marín 2020), illustrated in Figure 4, would contribute significantly to our understanding of this early text from San Bartolo, given that the more likely function of the early form of T1 ʔu is the spelling of the u- ‘third person singular ergative/possessive’ proclitic, which would facilitate any attempt at a linguistic analysis of the text.

 

Figure 4

 

To sum up, it is entirely possible that the text painted on the San Barolo Sub-V stone block could bear two instances of the early variant of T1 ʔu characterized by a C-shaped bracket, two dots, and no central triangular element, a significant addition to our understanding of this text, as it opens up possibilities for its grammatical analysis.

 

References

Giron-Ábrego, Mario. 2012. An Early Example of the Logogram TZUTZ at San Bartolo. Wayeb Notes 42.

Giron-Ábrego, Mario. 2015. On a Preclassic Long-Lipped Glyphic Profile. Mesoweb: www.mesoweb.com/articles/giron-abrego/Giron-Abrego2015.pdf.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2020. A Previously Unidentified Example of T1/HE6 ʔu on the Painted Stone Block from San Bartolo Sub-V. Notes on Mesoamerican Linguistics and Epigraphy 11. https://davidmm.web.unc.edu/2020/12/12/note-11/.

Tokovinine, Alexandre. 2018. “Painted inscription, San Bartolo.” Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution. URL: https://skfb.ly/6VzQF.

 

Nota 11 (Traducción)

Un ejemplo no identificado previamente de T1/HE6 ʔu en el bloque de piedra pintado de San Bartolo Sub-V

David F. Mora-Marín
davidmm@unc.edu
Universidad de Carolina del norte
Chapel Hill

12/12/2020

Esta es una nota muy breve sobre la identificación de un grafema previamente desapercibido en el texto del famoso bloque de piedra pintado de San Bartolo Sub-V publicado por Saturno, Stuart y Beltrán (2006), quienes lo fechan hacia 300-200 a.C. El sitio web del proyecto San Bartolo mantiene un enlace a una versión descargable del artículo, aquí (seleccione el botón “PDF” en lugar del enlace “Ver texto completo”). El dibujo del texto pintado está en la página 1282 de ese documento. El Bloque Glífico 8 del mismo es el que concierne a esta publicación. En él se encuentran al menos dos signos: un signo que se asemeja a un pájaro mirando hacia la izquierda, y debajo de éste, un signo que se parece a T602/XD1, el silabograma pa. (Véase Thompson (1962) para los códigos numéricos con “T” y Macri y Looper (2003) para los códigos alfanuméricos.) A la derecha de estos dos signos, el dibujo de David Stuart muestra lo que sólo puede describirse como un motivo ondulado, parecido a una cola.

 

Recientemente, Alexandre Tokovinine preparó un ortomosaico de alta resolución del bloque que constituye “un combo basado en un modelo 3D de fotografías superpuestas que reflejan valores promedio de píxeles superpuestos” (Tokovinine, comunicación personal, 12/11/20). La imagen, dada a conocer al autor por Dana G. Moot II, se publicó en línea el 13/02/18 (Tokovinine 2018). La Figura 1 presenta una captura de pantalla, pero el lector puede consultar el original aquí.

 

Figura 1

Decidí echarle un vistazo detallado a la imagen por Tokovinine de este notable texto, en relación a un proyecto sobre la paleografía de T1/HE6 ʔu aún en preparación. Inicialmente estaba interesado en un signo en el Bloque Glífico 4 que se asemeja a dos puntos, ya que algunos textos del Preclásico Tardío exhiben un signo similar, y en al menos dos de ellos, el signo en cuestión se puede analizar, en base a similitudes contextuales con textos posteriores, como una grafía del proclítico gramatical u- ‘tercera persona del singular ergativo/posesivo’ (p.ej., Mora-Marín 2001, 2008a, 2010). Sin embargo, en mi opinión, y a pesar de algunas discusiones sobre este texto además del informe original (p.ej. Skidmore 2006; Mora-Marín 2008b; Girón-Ábrego 2012), aún no hay pruebas fehacientes para una interpretación particular del signo DOS.PUNTOS en el bloque de San Bartolo.

 

A pesar de esta evaluación negativa, noté algo más en el fotomosaico de Tokovine que no había anticipado: cuando dirigí mi atención al elemento representado como un motivo ondulado en el Bloque Glífico 8 en el dibujo de David Stuart, me di cuenta de que no es un motivo ondulado del todo, sino un ejemplo de T1/HE6 ʔu correspondiente al diseño presente en dos textos portátiles muy tempranos que carecen de información calendárica, pero que ha sido asignado estilísticamente al período Preclásico Tardío o Protoclásico. El Cuadro 1 incluye los textos portátiles relevantes en cuestión, específicamente una máscara pectoral de estilo Olmeca en el Museo de Arte de Brooklyn y una cuenta de jade tubular fragmentaria encontrada en el Cenote Sagrado de Chichén Itzá, junto con algunas de las discusiones anteriores y fechas estilísticas relativas. La representación de este signo en el bloque de piedra de San Bartolo como un elemento ondulado en forma de cola probablemente se debió a una grieta o fractura en la piedra, visible en el escaneo de Tokovinine. La Figura 2A muestra una captura de pantalla del Bloque Glífico 8 del bloque de piedra de San Bartolo, capturado del fotomosaico por Tokovinine, con una flecha apuntando al signo que corresponde al diseño de T1/HE6 ʔu presente en los dos textos del Preclásico Tardío o del Protoclásico en cuestión (Figuras 2B-C). El mismo diseño de T1/HE6 aparece en uno de los textos del Grupo 4 de la Cueva de Joljá en Chiapas (Sheseña 2007: 4, Fig. 3).

 

Cuadro 1

 

Figura 2

 

Un tema más merece atención. En su descripción del descubrimiento y la datación del texto, Saturno et al. (2006:1282) afirman lo siguiente:

 

En su apariencia general, el texto guarda cierta semejanza con la denominada escritura Epi-Olmeca utilizada por los pueblos vecinos del oeste durante los períodos Preclásico Tardío y Clásico Temprano […]. Sin embargo, todos los ejemplos de esa escritura son posteriores al bloque de San Bartolo, lo que plantea la cuestión de la dirección en la que pudo haber fluido cualquier influencia.

 

En primer lugar, me gustaría comentar sobre el hecho de que existe al menos un texto Epi-Olmeca que podría ser anterior o contemporáneo con el bloque pintado de San Bartolo: el fragmento de Chiapas de Corzo puede datarse ca. 400-150 a.C. (Fase Francesa) ó 150-0 a.C. (Fase Guanacaste) en base a sus asociaciones contextuales, recientemente resumidas por Macri (2017:2), pero que data específicamente de la fase Francesa según otros autores (Kaufman y Justeson 2001:2, 2008:56). En segundo lugar, la ubicación extraña del signo T1/HE6 ʔu en el texto de San Bartolo, de ser su función la de representar el proclítico u-, podría apuntar a una interpretación diferente de la dirección de influencia. En el texto grabado en la cuenta tubular de jade hallado en el Cenote Sagrado, la ubicación de T1/HE6 en el lado derecho de dos bloques glíficos (Figuras 2C-D) tiene sentido en términos de convenciones visuales: los glifos en forma de cabeza de perfil están en ambos casos orientados hacia la derecha y, por lo tanto, el orden de lectura interno de los bloques glíficos era de derecha a izquierda. En cambio, en el bloque pintado de San Bartolo, los glifos en forma de cabeza están orientados hacia la izquierda, por lo que no proporcionarían ninguna justificación visual para la colocación de T1/HE6 a la derecha. A continuación ofrezco una posibilidad diferente.

 

Mora-Marín (1996, 1997, 2001a, 2010) ha discutido previamente varios casos posibles de difusión de grafemas entre escribas Mayas y Epi-Olmecas que involucran silabogramas, uno de ellos es posiblemente el Epi-Olmeca MS20 , visto en la Figura 3A, y maya T1/HE6 ʔu. El diseño presente en el bloque de piedra pintado de San Bartolo y los otros textos discutidos anteriormente, dos ejemplos de los cuales se ven en la Figura 3B, se asemeja al diseño de MS20 , cuyas funciones típicas en la escritura Epi-Olmeca, según Justeson y Kaufman ( 1993, 1997) y Kaufman y Justeson (2001, 2004) incluyen marcadores finales de palabras y frases, a saber, el sufijo verbal completivo independiente -wʉ y el relativizador -wʉʔ. Si los escribas Mayas de hecho copiaron y adaptaron el signo T1/HE6 ʔu de los escribas Epi-Olmecas, tal vez con el propósito de deletrear el morfema gramatical de alta frecuencia u-, un proclítico que comienza con vocal y cuya pronunciación se asemejaría a la /w/ inicial del silabograma Epi-Olmeca , entonces el bloque de piedra en cuestión podría ser evidencia de tal influencia ya en 300-200 a.C.[1] En otras palabras, el signo Epi-Olmeca MS20 puede haber sonado muy parecido a un marcador /u-/ de un idioma Maya cuando éste no aparece al inicio de una frase o palabra, y los escribas Mayas bien podrían haber copiado tal signo Epi-Olmeca para deletrear dicho marcador.[2] Pero esto es nada más una conjetura por ahora, digna de un blog a lo más, y que requiere de más evidencia para sustentarla.

 

Figura 3

 

Por ahora, lo que importa destacar es la atestación de este diseño de T1/HE6 ʔu, posiblemente el diseño más antiguo de dicho grafema, ya para el 300-200 a.C. en el bloque de piedra pintado de San Bartolo Sub-V. La posibilidad de difusión Epi-Olmeca/Maya planteada aquí requerirá de datos adicionales, datos que muy bien podrían salir a la luz en el sitio de San Bartolo en un futuro cercano.

 

Agradecimientos. Me gustaría agradecer a Dana G. Moot II por su correspondencia por correo electrónico sobre los dibujos disponibles del bloque de piedra pintado de San Bartolo, y por llamar mi atención al escaneo de Alexandre Tokovinine. Estoy en deuda con Alexandre Tokovinine por la información proporcionada sobre el escaneo del texto en cuestión.

 

Referencias

Fields, Virginia, and Dorie Reents-Budet. 2005. Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship. London: Scala Publishers Limited.

Giron-Ábrego, Mario. 2012. An Early Example of the Logogram TZUTZ at San Bartolo. Wayeb Notes 42.

Justeson, John, and Terrence Kaufman. 1993. A Decipherment of Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Writing. Science 259:1703-1710.

—–. 1997. A Newly Discovered Column in the Hieroglyphic Text on La Mojarra Stela 1: A Test of the Epi-Olmec Decipherment. Science 277:207-210.

Kaufman, Terrence. 2020. Olmecs, Teotihuacaners, and Toltecs: Language History and Language Contact in Meso-America. URL: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340721651_MALP_2020?channel=doi&linkId=5e9a4336299bf13079a24ec9&showFulltext=true.

Kaufman, Terrence, and John Justeson. 2001. Epi-Olmec hieroglyphic writing and texts.  Austin: Texas Workshop Foundation.

—–. 2004. Epi-Olmec. In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, edited by Robert D. Woodard, pp. 1071-1108. Cambridge University Press.

—–. 2008. The Epi-Olmec Language and its Neighbors. In Classic Period Cultural Currents in Southern and Central Veracruz, edited by Philip J. Arnold, III, and Christopher A. Pool, pp. 5583.  Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Macri, Martha J. 2017. Isthmian Script at Chiapa de Corzo. Glyph Dwellers 56.

Macri, Martha J., and Matthew Looper. 2003. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs. Volume One: The Classic Period Inscriptions. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Mora-Marín, David F. 1996. The Social Context for the Origins of Mayan Writing: The Formative Ceremonial Complex, Portable Elite Objects, and Interregional Exchange. Unpublished Senior Honors Thesis on file in the Anthropology Department at The University of Kansas, Lawrence.

—–. 1997. The origins of Maya writing: The case for portable objects. In Tom Jones and Carolyn Jones (eds.), U Mut Maya VII, 133-164. Arcata: Humboldt State University.

—–. 2001a. The Grammar, Orthography, and Social Context of Late Preclassic Mayan Texts.  Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis.  University at Albany, Albany, New York.

—–. 2001b.  Late Preclassic inscription documentation (LAPIDA) project.  Retrieved from: http://www.famsi.org/reports/99049/99049MoraMarin01.pdf.

—–. 2008a. Análisis epigráfico y lingüístico de la escritura maya del período Preclásico Tardío: Implicaciones para la historia sociolingüística de la region. In Juan Pedro Laporte, Bárbara Arroyo, and Héctor E. Mejía (eds.), XXI Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2007, 853-876. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología.

—–. 2008b. Two Parallel Passages from the Late Preclassic Period: Connections Between San Bartolo and An Unprovenanced Jade Pendant. Wayeb Notes 29:1-6.

—–. 2010. La epigrafía y paleografía de la escritura preclásica maya: nuevas metodologías y resultados preliminares. In Bárbara Arroyo, Adriana Linares Palma, and Lorena Paiz Aragón (eds.), XXIII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2009, 1045-1057. Guatemala City, Guatemala: Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología.

—–. 2016. Testing the Proto-Mayan-Mije-Sokean Hypothesis. International Journal of American Linguistics 82:125-180.

Proskouriakoff, Tatiana. 1974. Jades from the Cenote of Sacrifice, Chichén Itzá, Yucatán.  Peabody Museum Memoirs, Vol. 10, No. 1. Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Saturno, William A., David Stuart, and Boris Beltrán. 2006. Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala. Science Magazine: Science Express, pp. 1-6.

Schele, Linda, and Mary E. Miller. 1986. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. New York: George Braziller, Inc., in association with the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.

Sheseña, Alejandro. 2007. Los textos jeroglíficos mayas de la cueva de Jolja, Chiapas. Artículos de Mesoweb. Mesoweb: www.mesoweb.com/es/articulos/jolja/Jolja.pdf.

Skidmore, Joel. 2006. Evidence of Earliest Maya Writing. URL: http://www.mesoweb.com/reports/SanBartoloWriting.html.

Thompson, Eric J. 1962. A Catalogue of Maya Hieroglyphics.  Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Tokovinine, Alexandre. 2018. “Painted inscription, San Bartolo.” Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution. URL: https://skfb.ly/6VzQF.

Zavala Maldonado, Roberto. 2007. Las cláusulas de relativo en lenguas cholanas, un calco zoqueano.  Paper presented at CILLA III, Austin, Texas, October 25-27, 2007.

[1] The vowel of Epi-Olmec MS20 that might have been perceived by Mayans as [a], [ə], or [u], depending on the particulars of the language and the context Evidence for Mixe-Zoquean /ʉ/ being borrowed by Mayan languages as [a] can be found in the borrowing of Proto-Mixe-Zoquean *sʉk ‘bean’ as K’iche’ sak ‘coral bean tree’ and Kachikel <sac> ‘dados; habas con que juegan los indios dados’ (Kaufman 2020:155); as [ʉ] in Zoquean *-pʉ(ʔ) ‘relativizer’ borrowed as Ch’ol and Chontal -b’ə ‘relativizer’ (Zavala 2007); and as [u] in the borrowing of Proto-Mixean *hʉ¢ ‘to grind’ and *hʉ¢-i ‘dough’ into Mayan as Western Mayan and Lowland Mayan *juch’ ‘moler’, and Proto-Mixean *mʉkʉk ‘strength’ as Greater Lowland Mayan *muq’ ‘strength’ (Mora-Marín 2016).

[2] A phrase- or word-initial /u-/ would be realized phonetically as [ʔu-]. In fact, the pronunciation of such marker, by far the most frequent motivation for the use of T1/HE6 ʔu, could have led to scribes reanalyzing it orthographocally as ʔu.

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