Category: Presently (Page 1 of 8)

Presently being conducted.

Note 34

Additional Remarks on the Value of the Verbal GOD.N Glyph as a HUʔ ‘to be able to; to finish (crafting/building)’

 

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

1/7/2024, typos corrected and Figure 1 revised on 1/8/2024

The verbal GOD.N glyph has remained problematic. Previous proposals for the reading of the verbal GOD.N glyph, prevalent in the Primary Standard Sequence (PSS) texts on portable objects, but also common on monumental texts, include primarily the following: HOY/HUY ‘to debut, to inaugurate’ (MacLeod 1990); T’AB’ ‘to anoint’ (Elisabeth Wagner, cited in Schele and Grube 1995 and Schele and Looper 1996); T’AB’ ‘to rise’ (Stuart 1995, 1998, 2005); a reading based on Ch’orti’ uhui ‘to sigh, snort’ or the Tzeltal entries hu’xiyel ‘blow, also a curing ceremony’ or hu’ ‘be able, can, take place’ (Schele and Grube 1997:81–82); among others. In Mora-Marín (2007a) I found evidence supporting the line of reasoning by Schele and Grube (1997), and proposed a reading as HUʔ (or ʔUʔ), arguing that it was based either on a root for ‘soplar (to blow air)’ or ‘poder (be able to)’. This note points to the evidence for the reading HUʔ based on a Tzeltalan root *huʔ ‘poder (to be able to)’, reconstructed to proto-Tzeltalan as *huʔ ‘hacerse, terminarse (to be made, to be finished)’ by Kaufman (1972:103). I suggest that this root was likely present in Greater Tzeltalan, the direct ancestor of both the Ch’olan and Tzeltalan languages, and that it was used in the Classic Mayan texts to refer to the crafting or building, and possibly to the “enabling” (imbuing with power) of objects and structures, but that it was subsequently lost from Ch’olan languages.

 

Here, then, I will carry out five tasks: 1) provide an overview of the graphemes involved; 2) briefly discuss the distribution of PA2/PA3 and its possible substitutional (graphemic or lexical) variants with respect to time, region, and media type; 3) review the spelling patterns that support a reading HUʔ for the PA2/PA3 logogram (and possibly its variants); 4) narrow down the lexical value of said logogram in the context of dedicatory texts to *huʔ ‘to be able to; to be made; to be finished’; and 5) present additional evidence from PSS contexts supporting this assessment.

 

First, it is necessary to introduce the graphemes of direct and indirect relevance (cf. Looper et al. 2022; Looper and Macri 1991–2024), as seen in Figure 1. I believe that the BREATH element graphically prefixed to PA2, and bearing an infixed T503/XHG ʔIK’ ‘wind’ grapheme, is simply a more elaborate version of 1S4. Also, as I show below, this BREATH element is likely its own grapheme, possibly polyvalent/polyfunctional in nature, and should be treated separately. For this reason, in my dataset, I have collapsed PA2 and PA3 as one grapheme (PA3). The same can be said of SE9: it is composed of 1S4 and SE1, at least graphically. While SE1, which in most Classic-period contexts constitutes the DEATH expression, and thus logographic CHAM/KAM/KIM, for a reflex (or multiple reflexes) of proto-Mayan *kam ‘to die’, such as proto-Ch’olan *chäm ‘to die’, in the dedicatory context of the PSS, and perhaps also in the Postclassic augural context, it may have a different value and function, as suggested below. (If it is indeed ‘death’ in the PSS contexts too, a question to ask would be whether pottery vessels bearing SE9 are typically treated in a different manner as others, perhaps with a drill hole on the base for ritual termination.) And again, the same is likely the case with PC2, which I take to be simply a case of 1S4 prefixed to PC1 ʔu, for which evidence is also presented below.

 

Figure 1. Codes from Looper et al. (2022) and Looper and Macri (1991–2023) for graphemes of relevance in this note.

 

A few words about PA3 and its common substitutes are in order. These include ZY1, SE9/SE1, and PC2/PC1. Whether such substitutes are merely graphemic (allograms representing the same lexeme), lexical (different graphemes representing different lexemes), or other (only equivalent from the point of view of visual composition of glyphic expression, but not otherwise equivalent graphemically/orthographically), is another matter. There is another sign that qualifies as a substitute, given the definition just provided, namely PJ8. However, as I have argued recently (Mora-Marín 2023a), PJ8 is likely an amalgamation of two different expressions, one of which is in fact a separate verbal expression in the PSS. Regarding the question of the substitution involved, there are at least two texts in which PA3 and ZY1 co-occur, as noted by previous authors (MacLeod 1990; Mora-Marín 2001, 2007): in one of them (K), they appear in succession, suggesting they are not graphemic substitutes, but lexical substitutes, possibly synonyms or otherwise contextually associated verbal expressions. Nevertheless, PA3 and SE9 do not co-occur, and could potentially represent graphemic substitutes representing the same lexeme, at least in the context of PSS texts at least, or perhaps represent distinct verbal expressions in complementary distribution.

 

Next is the second task, which pertains to the distribution of PA3 and associated graphemes I am utilizing, as usual, the Maya Hieroglyphic Database (MHD) by Looper and Macri (1991–2024), as well as DATAtab (DATAtab Team 2024) to carry out descriptive and inferential statistical tests, as well as to prepare charts of different types. Focusing on the Classic period, I prepared a dataset including the PA3, ZY1, and SE9 graphemes consisting of 531 examples. Table 1 presents their distribution according to Time Period. Cases of SE9 (SE1) are entirely restricted to the Late Classic period. Note that the majority of examples of PA3 are found in the Late Classic, while the majority of cases of ZY1 are found in the Early Classic.

 

Table 1. Distribution of PA3, ZY1, and SE9 according to Time Periods.

 

Table 2 presents the basic distributional statistics of each grapheme in dated texts (n = 87), excluding texts with “estimate” dates in the MHD. Figure 2 plots the distribution of the dated examples in the form of Box Plots for each grapheme. Note that the dated examples make up only a relatively small proportion (16.4%) of the total of 531 cases.

 

Table 2. Distribution of PA3, ZY1, and SE9 in dated texts.

 

Figure 2. Box Plot of distribution of ZY1, PA3, and SE9 in dated texts (n = 87).

 

Next, Figure 3 provides a Bar chart of the total dataset showing the distribution of the three graphemes according to Text Class, whether portable or monumental. It should be noted that SE9 (i.e. 1S4.SE1) does not occur on monumental texts at all. It would appear that PA3 shows up more frequently on portable texts, relative to ZY1.

 

Figure 3. Bar chart showing distribution of three graphemes according to Text Class (portable vs. monumental).

 

Next, Figure 4 illustrates the regional distribution of the three graphemes. The most obvious pattern appears to be that SE9 seems to be restricted primarily to the Eastern region (e.g. eastern Peten, Belize), and secondarily to the Central region. However, it should be noted that these regions make up the majority of the records in the dataset (56.9%). Perhaps SE9 was just rare overall: within the Eastern region, SE9 cases make up 10.8% of the total for that region, while in the Central region, SE9 cases make up 4.31% of the total for that region. Perhaps in the remaining regions, with significantly fewer representation overall in the dataset, cases of SE9 existed but were too rare to be preserved.

 

Figure 4. Bar chart depicting regional distribution of the three graphemes in question.

 

In any case, I decided to apply a Logistic Regression analysis to the dataset to look for significant patterns. Table 3 presents the results for the analysis of grapheme PA3. Suffice it to say, that, when the Eastern region is used as a reference category for the Region variable (Model A), the Northern region appears to show a significant, positive correlation with PA3, as does the West region (e.g. Pomona-Tabasco, Tonina, Palenque), but when the Central region is used as a reference category (Model B), only the West region shows a statistically significant, positive correlation with PA3. Also, it should be noted that PA3 is significantly and positively correlated with portable objects, as far as Object Class, and with the Late Classic period, as far as Time Period. Thus, scribes were more likely to use the PA3 on portable texts, and generally used it increasingly over time at the expense of ZY1.

 

Table 3. Part 1 of results of Logistic Regression (LR) analysis. Dependent variable: Grapheme “Variant” (whether PA3, ZY1, or SE9). Independent variables: Region, Time Period, Object Class. Part 1 includes LR Model for PA3 only.

 

Table 4 presents the results for the analysis of grapheme ZY1. Whether the Eastern region or the Central region is used as a reference category for the Region variable, the results are similar: ZY1 shows a significant, negative correlation with the West region, and it shows significant, positive correlations with monumental texts and the Early Classic period.

 

Table 4. Part 2 of results of Logistic Regression (LR) analysis. Dependent variable: Grapheme “Variant” (whether PA3, ZY1, or SE9). Independent variables: Region, Time Period, Object Class. Part 2 includes LR Model for ZY1 only.

 

Grapheme SE9 is not frequent enough to obtain more reliable results. The only noteworthy result is a significant, positive correlation with the Eastern region. (Even the fact that all 30 cases are restricted to the Late Classic period does not seem to be significant.)

 

Table 5. Part 3 of results of Logistic Regression (LR) analysis. Dependent variable: Grapheme “Variant” (whether PA3, ZY1, or SE9). Independent variables: Region, Time Period, Object Class. Part 3 includes LR Model for SE9 only.

It is now time to delve into the third task: the spelling patterns for PA3, primarily, compared to those of SE9 and PC2. I will study the spelling patterns for ZY1 at a later time. First, what is 1S4 BREATH, seen in Figure 5A, doing in the spellings associated with PA3, PC1, and SE1, cataloged in Looper et al. (2022) and Looper and Macri (1991–2024) as graphemes composed of two graphemic components each? Figure 5B provides an example of 1S4 that seems to function as part of a graphemic unit with respect to the anthropomorphic head. Combined, the two seem to bear the logographic (lexographic) value K’AYOM for k’ay-om ‘singer’, a bimorphemic, derived noun, spelled out syllabographically as k’a-yo-ma in Figure 5C. Note that 1S4 as cataloged consists merely of a CURL motif. However, in the example of the logogram K’AYOM in Figure 5D, it also bears an infixed T503/XHG ʔIK’ ‘wind’ grapheme, just like the examples associated with the PSS verbal expressions (Figures 5E-5G). The point here is that 1S4 BREATH is the same grapheme present in the K’AYOM logogram, perhaps functioning in such instances as a semantic/lexical determinative (Mora-Marín 2023a), whether infixed with T503/XHG ʔIK’ ‘wind’ or not, and therefore, that it is also 1S4 that that we are also seeing juxtaposed to PA3, PC1, and SE1. The question now is, what is it doing when juxtaposed to PA3, PC1, and SE1 in the context of PSS verbal expressions?

 

Figure 5. The function of 1S4 BREATH with respect to PA3 (PA2), PC1 (PC2), and SE1 (SE9).

 

Stuart (2005:151) suggested that 1S4 functions as an association with the notion of something rising, and thus, with his proposed value for PA3, proto-Ch’olan *t’äb’ ‘to rise’. As several authors have remarked (Schele and Grube 1997; Bricker 1987; Mora-Marín 2007), 1S4 appears in the Postclassic codices and in Landa’s “alphabet.” In the latter, it is glossed as <u> (Figure 6A). Bricker (1987) proposed that in the codices, 1S4 could be used to spell /hu/, and thus possibly to function as a syllabogram hu, in the context of the ‘iguana tamale’ expressions, as seen in Figure 6B, with a possible spelling hu-wa-WAJ-ji for huuj waaj ‘iguana tamale’. Figure 6C shows the more common spelling of this expression, using IGUANA as a logogram HUJ.

 

Figure 6. 1S4 in later texts.

As Figure 7 shows, when we plug in 1S4 hu in the expressions of interest, the spellings hu-PA3/PC1/SE1-yi are obtained, showing an apparent equivalence among PA3, PC1, and SE1. Nevertheless, this equivalence is not exact, as will be shown shortly.

 

Figure 7. 1S4 as hu in PSS verbal expressions with PA3, PC1, and SE1/SE9.

 

Next, as was done in Mora-Marín (2007), it is time to examine the PC2 collocation, which I propose to consist of 1S4 hu and PC1 ʔu. But first, we note some of the uses and traits of PC1 ʔu. Figures 8A-B illustrate the graphic design of PC1 ʔu that show a person’s head with closed eyelid and what appears to be a fleshless lower jaw bone. These examples illustrate the common expressions ʔu-tz’i-b’a-li for u-tz’ihb’-al ‘its writing (of/on the vessel)’ and ʔu-ja-yi for u-jay(-il) ‘his/her vessel’. PC1 ʔu could occur without the fleshless lower jaw bone, as in Figures 8C-E. (The example in Figure 8C in fact seems to be the exemplar for PC1.) Not illustrated here, but reserved instead for a later note, are examples where PC1 ʔu shows an open eye.

 

Figure 8. Examples of PC1 ʔu outside of the PC2 context.

Given what was just presented, it is now time to return to the example of PC2: the human head glyph used in this spelling (Figure 9B) is the same as PC1 ʔu. Consequently, plugging in the value of PC1 ʔu to the hu-PC1-yi template yields hu-ʔu-yi. Given the apparent equivalence already established for the spellings hu-PA3-yi (Figure 9A), hu-PC1-yi (Figure 9B), and hu-SE1-yi (Figure 9C), one could argue that PA3 and SE1 are also likely syllabograms with the value ʔu. But this is not likely the case. There is more to the spelling patterns yet to be discussed.

 

Figure 9. Expressions framed by 1S4 hu and 1B9 yi.

Next, as I noted in Mora-Marín (2007), it would appear that SE1 bears an important clue: it seems to contain within it, as a result of graphic conflation, the grapheme YG2 ʔu, illustrated in Figure 10A. YG2 bears a double-notched element oriented horizontally; in painted versions, the area around such element is typically colored in with dark paint (red/black). SE1, the DEATH glyph, often bears this double-notched element, as well as the larger circular element to the left of the double-notched element; in such cases, the EYE or % element of the DEATH sign essentially occupies the space where the DOT element of YG2 would be placed.  Maybe, one could imagine, the YG2 elements are mere optional graphic components of the DEATH expression. Nevertheless, there is paleographic evidence that this was not originally the case. Using the MHD, it is possible to examine approximately 114 examples of SE1, the DEATH expression. Interestingly, the earliest example of SE1 fused with YG2 used in a death verbal expression is found on La Corona Panel 2, dated to 9.11.16.2.8 (CE 668), with examples starting to pick up the pace in frequency during the eight century. In other words, during the Early Classic period, SE1 lacks the graphic elements characteristic of YG2. Recalling now that SE9 (1S4.SE1) in PSS texts is completely absent from Early Classic texts, I propose that: 1) the conflation of SE1 and YG2 is a Late Classic innovation; 2) that it arose in the context of the PSS texts where YG2 was functioning as a syllabogram ʔu; 3) that SE1 is polyvalent, with a value CHAM/KAM/KIM in death contexts, and a different logographic value in the PSS context; and 4) that in the PSS context YG2 ʔu functions in part as a phonographic complement to the second logographic value of SE1, which, based on the presence of 1S4 hu and the conflated YG2 ʔu would likely be HUʔ. Thus, I propose, the almost exceptionless use of 1S4 hu and YG2 ʔu with SE1 in the PSS contexts is a means of disambiguating its value HUʔ (n = 30) from its more frequent value CHAM/KAM/KIM overall (n = 114). But interestingly, after the SE1:YG2 conflation was innovated as a disambiguation, scribes began to adopt it for the more common value of SE1, but optionally, whereas in the context of the PSS verbal expression, it is almost exceptionless.

 

Figure 10. Evidence for conflation of YG2 and SE1.

 

What this means, then, as proposed in Figure 11, is that PA3 (Figure 11A) and SE1 (Figure 11B) are logograms with a basic phonographic value HUʔThe reason for proposing logographic values for PA3 and SE1, as opposed to a syllabographic value ʔu, is that PA3 and SE1 are not known to appear in contexts where a ʔu value would make sense, for example, to spell the u- ‘third person singular ergative/possessive’ proclitic, but are in fact known to behave like logograms, with PA3 often appearing as a lexogram, representing an entire verbal expression (with derivational and inflectional suffixes) on its own. Thus, the spellings in Figure 11 are orthographically equivalent, but PA3, PC1, and SE1 are not orthographically equivalent. Given this, the full expression represented by all three of these spellings should be read as the more phonographically explicit example hu-ʔu-yi suggests: huʔ-uy-i-Ø. So then, what does this word mean?

 

Figure 11. Proposed solution for PA3 and SE1 in the PSS verbal dedicatory expressions.

 

It is now time for the fourth task: narrowing down the lexical item of relevance to the value of PA3. Given the typical, dedicatory context of the PA3 verbal expression, and the fact that its subject can be inanimate entities of a wide variety of material culture (from stepped temples to bone needles), huʔ-uy-i-Ø likely expresses a general concept, such as finishing/completion or construction/crafting. I believe, as already indicated in Mora-Marín (2007a), that Schele and Grube (1997:81–82) were right on target when they suggested, among other possible lexical options, the Tzeltal and Tzotzil root huʔ ‘be able to’, an intransitive verb root that can function as a modal verb ‘can’. Table 6 presents the relevant citations for Tzeltal and Tzotzil cited in Mora-Marín (2007a:11). Slocum and Gerdel (1999:138) provide the following example: ay yu’el, analyzable as ay ‘exist’ and y-u’-el his-power-possessive.suffix, which they translate as ‘tiene poder, es poderoso (s/he/it has power, s/he/it is powerful)’.  This suggests that this hu’-el is in fact a noun that refers to power contained in a person or thing. As already mentioned at the beginning of this note, the term has been reconstructed to proto-Tzeltalan as *huʔ ‘hacerse, terminarse (to be made, to be finished)’ by Kaufman (1972:103).

 

Table 6. Tzeltalan data for *huʔ ‘hacerse, terminarse’.

Tzeltal (Slocum and Gerdel 1999:44, 138)
hu’el ~ u’el [’u’el]

hu’el c’op [k’op]

hu’tesel

‘poder (be able to)’

‘lograr (to achieve)’

‘terminar (to finish)’

Tzotzil (Delgaty and Ruíz Sánchez 1978:71-72)
ju’el [hu’el] ‘poder, autoridad, dominio; poder (power, authority, domain; be able to)’

 

Polian (2018:258) has further documented this term in his multidialectal dictionary of Tzeltal, as seen in Figure 12, noting that the conservative form is /huʔ/, as in Bachajón, and the innovative form is [juʔ]. Observe the subentries (2)–(4) especially, with subentry (2) glossed as ‘terminarse de hacer, de construir, de elaborar (to finish making, building, elaborating)’ and the example referring to the construction of a house, and subentry (4) referring to the elaboration of a written document.

 

Figure 12. Entry for huʔ ‘poderse; terminarse de hacer, de construir, de elaborar; haber, suceder’ in Polian (2018:258).

The root huʔ with the right meaning does not seem to appear in the Ch’olan languages. A similar term is documented exclusively in Wisdom’s dictionary of Ch’orti’, as seen in Table 7. I present it because it is possible that such term may have experienced metathesis from an earlier shape /juʔ/, and that the /j/ may be traceable to proto-Ch’olan *h and proto-Greater Tzeltalan *h. However, this is a long shot. And the best bet remains the Tzeltalan term, which may have existed in proto-Greater Tzeltalan, and may have been inherited by Ch’olan speakers after their differentiation from Tzeltalan speakers, only to eventually become lost completely in all Ch’olan varieties.

 

Table 7. Ch’orti’ /ʔuj/ ‘good, sacred, moral’. Wisdom data based on Stross (1992).

Ch’orti’ (Wisdom 1950:472, 746) English Gloss
uh

uh ha’a

uh-r-an

uh-r-es

‘good, sacred, moral’

‘sacred water (from church or sacred spring)’

‘be moral or sacred’ [cl.3]

‘make moral or good, sacralize’ [cl.2a]

 

An important issue to consider at this point pertains to the syllabogram ju. Looper et al. (2022) and Looper and Macri (1991–2024) considers 1G6 ju to function as an optional graphic component of PA3 rather than as a separate grapheme, as seen in the second version of PA3 in Figure 1 above. I believe this is not the case, and that ju became prefixed to PA3 during the Late Classic period as a phonographic complement. Either way, uses of 1G6 with PA3 begin in the Late Classic (8th century), with the earliest reliably dated case (FLDSt09) dating to 9.15.0.0.0 (CE 731), as the data in the MHD suggest. The use of ju in many spellings makes sense in light of the proposed hu- spellings: While proto-Ch’olan has been reconstructed by Kaufman and Norman (1984) as preserving the proto-Mayan *h : *j contrast in all positions, those same authors noted that all Ch’olan languages exhibit a merger of *h, *j > j, a change that may have occurred late in the process of proto-Ch’olan differentiation, or perhaps diffused between already differentiated Eastern Ch’olan and Western Ch’olan branches. Grube (2004) remarked on this phenomenon: in the ancient texts, roots with *h are sometimes spelled with jV syllabograms (e.g. ju-HUL-ya for hul-i-Ø > jul-i-Ø ‘it arrived’; ʔu-B’AH-ji for u-b’ah-il u-b’aj-il ‘his/her portrait’). This is not anomalous, but the result of a the merger described by Kaufman and Norman (1984), a merger that was clearly in progress during the Classic period.

 

Finally, on to the fifth task: Is there additional evidence from the broader context of the PSS, supporting the lexical identification of PA3 as HUʔ ‘to be able to, to be made, to be finished’? Recall that PA3 covers a wide range of subjects, and must therefore represent a verb with a very general meaning that can apply to any kind of built or crafted object. Here I merely point to other verbal expressions utilized in connection with the dedicatory statements of object, whether monumental or portable. These include verbs such as proto-Ch’olan *pät ‘to construct, build’, a transitive root spelled PAT/pat  or pa-ta in Classic texts, usually as a derived positional stem (with -laj or -wän suffixes); reflexes of proto-Ch’olan *ʔu[h]t ‘to finish; to come to pass’, a transitive root that was typically mediopassivized for the meaning ‘to happen, come to pass’, but was occasionally used to refer to the finishing of artifacts in PSS contexts (e.g. COLK8017, COLK9020, COLSDM10141, TNTAEG352, CHNSt02, XLMPan06). The verb *ʔu[h]t is reconstructed by Kaufman with Justeson (2003:739) as a “light” generic transitive verb, which they gloss as ‘to do it’ and ‘to say it’, documenting its distribution in Wastekan (‘to say to someone’), Tzeltalan and Tojol Ab’al (‘to say to someone; to scold someone’), and Popti’/Mocho’/Tuzanteko (‘to do it’, ‘to say it to someone’). Keller and Luciano (1997:274–275, 302) document various contexts with the meaning ‘to do/make’ in Yokot’an, as in mach a=ut-i-Ø patan sami,… ‘No se hizo hoy el trabajo (the work was not done today)…’,  ut-i-Ø tä México ‘… fue hecho en México (it was made in Mexico)’, and a=’ut-Ø-on ‘terminé mi trabajo (I finished my work)’. The Tzeltalan verb huʔ was not a transitive root, but is inflected as an intransitive or transitivized with a causativizer suffix. Its meanings ‘poderse; terminarse de hacer, de construir, de elaborar; haber, suceder (be able to; to finish being made, constructed, elaborated; to happen)’ are therefore similar to those of *ʔu[h]t, but scribes must have thought of them as complementary meanings, for in at least one case the two verbs occur in a dedicatory context in succession (COLSDM10141).

 

Figure 13 illustrates two sentences from different inscriptions with the proposed readings and translations. I have translated huʔ as ‘to elaborate/craft’ in these examples, but it could have easily been translated as ‘to make/complete’. I have assumed the inchoative function of the -V1y suffix typically employed by PA3 as defined in Mora-Marín (2007b, 2009). And as far as the Initial Sign Collocation, I use the value and function proposed in Mora-Marín (2023b, 2023c), as the existential particle with an evidential or perfective function in preverbal contexts.

 

Figure 13. Examples of phrases with PA3. a) Clause from COLK6697. Drawing by the author after drawing in Coe (1973). b) Clause from TNAMon146. Drawing by the author after drawing in Grube et al. (2002:56).

 

To conclude, the basic value of PA3 is likely HUʔ ‘to be able to, to be made, to be finished, to be elaborated’. In the typical PSS spellings, it spelled a word huʔ-uy-i-Ø ‘it became made/finished/elaborated’, or in Spanish, ‘se completó/finalizó/elaboró’. It is possible that the meaning ‘to be able (poder)’ may have been actually what scribes were intending: if so, huʔ-uy-i-Ø could be translated as ‘it became enabled’, or in Spanish, ‘se habilitó’. If so, the function of PA3 would have been to express that the object (its grammatical subject) was now ready for use.

 

What remains to be done: I do not think that the T843/ZY1 STEP sign bore the same value as PA3. While a value T’AB’ for the STEP sign seems plausible, and supported by recent research (e.g. Gronemeyer 2016), I suspect that there is more evidence that needs to be reviewed, a task for a future note.

 

References

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Estrada-Belli, Francisco, and Alexandre Tokovinine. 2022. Chochkitam: A New Classic Maya Dynasty and the Rise of the Kaanu’l (Snake) Kingdom. Latin American Antiquity 33:713–732. https://doi.org/10.1017/laq.2022.43.

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Looper, Matthew G., Martha J. Macri, Yuriy Polyukhovych, and Gabrielle Vail. 2022. MHD Reference Materials 1: Preliminary Revised Glyph Catalog. Glyph Dwellers Report 71.

MacLeod, Barbara. 1990. Deciphering the Primary Standard Sequence.  Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2007a. A Logographic Value HUʔ (~ʔUʔ) ‘to blow’ or ‘sacred, moral, power’ for the GOD.N Verbal Glyph of the Primary Standard Sequence. Wayeb Notes No. 27:1–22. https://www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0027.pdf.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2007b. 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. https://ailla.utexas.org/sites/default/files/documents/MoraMarin_CILLA_III.pdf.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2009. A Test and Falsification of the “Classic Ch’olti’an” Hypothesis: A Study of Three Proto-Ch’olan Markers. International Journal of American Linguistics75:115-157.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2023a.  Evidence for lexical and phonetic determinatives in Mayan writing: The case of T713. Ancient Mesoamerica. Publicado en línea 27 de febrero del 2023. doi:10.1017/S0956536122000335.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2023b. Orthographic, and Diachronic Considerations Regarding the Initial Sign Collocation of Mayan Writing. The Codex31(1-2):23–46. Pre-Columbian Society at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2023c. El “Signo Inicial” de la SEP como ʔAY ‘partícula existencial’: Predicación posesiva y predicación evidencial fáctica. Paper presented at the Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, Friday, July 21, 2023.

Polian, Gilles. 2018. Diccionario multidialectal del tseltal. Tseltal-español. Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas.

Schele, Linda, and Nikolai Grube. 1997. Notebook for the XXIst Maya Hieroglyphic Forum at Texas, March, 1997. Austin: Departmentof Art and Art History, the College of Fine Arts and the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

Schele, Linda, and Matthew Looper. 1996. Notebook for the XXth Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop at Texas, March 9-10, 1996: Quirigua and Copan. Austin: Department of Art and Art History, the College of Fine Arts and the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Stross, Brian. 1992. Chorti Maya Lexicon. Language Laboratory, Department of Anthropology, University of Texas. Transcribed and transliterated from handwritten fieldnotes of C. Wisdom. URL: http://www.utexas.edu/courses/stross/chorti/index.html.

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

Stuart, David. 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.

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

Hieroglyphic pumpkins are back!

My Writing Systems and Sociolinguistics students practiced tagging their pumpkins and gourds with Mayan hieroglyphs! The tags follow the formula ‘So-and-so’s pumkin/gourd’, in Classic Mayan, hence, u-k’uhm/leek/tzima(h) + Owner’s Name. Here are a few examples!

Note 33

The Cascajal Block: Iconographic Motivations, Part 2

 

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

10/8/2023, 10/10/2023

This is a continuation of the sub-series begun with Note 26 (Mora-Marín 2022), which outlined possible iconographic motivations for the four most frequent signs on the Cascajal Block (Rodríguez et al. 2006a, 2006b). My original manuscript (Mora-Marín 2010) on this topic will once again serve as the basis for this second installment, though this note also incorporates scholarship that has become available since then (Magni 2012; Carrasco and Englehardt 2015).

 

The methodology I established in that manuscript, and reproduced in my Note 26, is repeated here in full:

 

  1. Use Joralemon’s (1971) motif catalog to identify signs in the Cascajal signary, a task not attempted in Rodríguez et al. (2006a), and only selectively in Rodríguez and Ortiz (2007), who provide Joralemon numbers for CS6, CS16, and CS1/12/27.
  2. Restrict comparisons to Early and Middle Preclassic Olmec-style art to the extent that is possible, and avoid comparisons with much later writing and artistic traditions as much as possible.
  3. Include iconographic sources for such motifs to determine whether the identification is plausible, whenever Joralemon’s gloss or description of the motif is not sufficient or available.
  4. Check against the identifications proposed in Rodríguez et al. (2006a), Justeson (2006, 2012), Ortiz et al. (2007), Rodríguez and Ortiz (2007), Anderson (2007), Mora-Marín (2009), Freidel and Reilly (2010), Magni (2012[2008]), and Carrasco and Englehardt (2015).

 

This time, however, I will examine five of the ten signs that occur three times within the Cascajal Block text. Before proceeding, I will once again provide a drawing of the Cascajal Block’s inscription (Figure 1) and my revised signary organized by sign frequency (Figure 2) (Mora-Marín 2020).

 

Figure 1

Figure 2

 

The following signs will be discussed in this note: CS4–CS8 and CS24–25.

 

I begin then with CS4. Table 1 presents  the relevant descriptions and identifications by a variety of authors. Figure 3 presents the comparison I offered in Mora-Marín (2010); a similar comparison is offered in Mora-Marín (2020:221). I consider CS4 to be a representation of an ant. The sign shows an insect, as indicated by the three legs, which assuming bilateral symmetry, suggest the six legs of an insect, and disqualifying arachnids, which have eight. The body (Figure 3a) shows three major sections, consistent with the three major sections of insects (head, thorax, abdomen). The head of the insect represented by CS4 shows two mandibles and a central triangular element. These traits are all consistent with the morphology of an ant (Figure 3b). Bees, to my knowledge, lack mandibles, and while they have a proboscis, which could be argued to match the central triangular element seen on CS3, the fact is that some ants have a section between the mandibles, the clypeus, that is very pronounced in some types of ants, and could be represented as a triangular element (Figure 3c).

 

Table 1

Figure 3

This paper regards CS5 (Table 2) to be a depiction of a human or human-like eye, a suggestion also offered by Magni (2012). The shape of the outline is not (Figure 4a), at first, very consistent with the outline of a human eye (Figures 4b–c), which is typically almond-shaped. However, some examples of human eyes in Olmec art, resemble a backward-curving thumb (Figures 4d–e), and are thus consistent with the shape of CS5.

 

Table 2

 

Figure 4

I also support the possibility that CS24 and CS25, each occurring only once on the Cascajal Block,  represent “banded eyes” (Tables 3–4). The difference lies in the absence of circles within the bands in CS24 (Figure 5) and their presence (Figure 6) within the band in CS25.

Tables 3–4 provide summaries of the proposals regarding CS24 and CS25.  Rodríguez M. et al. (2006:1613) consider both CS24 and CS25 (their CS23 and CS24) to represent, together, “paired sets of eyes.” I regard CS24 (Figure 5a) to be a depiction of the Olmec banded eye motif identified by Joralemon as his motif #7 (Figures 5b–c), and CS25 (Figure 6a) to be a depiction of the Olmec banded eye motif also classified by Joralemon as motif #7, but a version that shows dots or circles placed along the length of the band (Figures 6b–c). In the iconographic examples, the circles may appear outside the band (Figure 6b) or contained within a band (Figure 6c); the latter version agrees with  CS25 more closely, for it shows the circles contained within the band.  The shape of the eye depicted in CS24 and CS25 is closely matched by the shape of the eye in the example from the Las Limas figurine (Figure 6b).

Table 3

 

Figure 5

 

Table 4

 

Figure 6

 

Table 5 provides a summary of proposals regarding CS6. This paper regards CS6 (Figure 7a) to be a depiction of the skin/pelt of a mammal, like all other authors commenting on the matter have to date, and thus a PELT motif. And like most of the other authors have observed, CS6, although highly simplified, can be compared to the Atlihuayan clay figurine (Figure 7b), a representative of Joralemo’s Motif 66. Taking into account the neck and head, the four extremeties, and the tail, we can count six projections. Epi-Olmec writing exhibits a sign, MS33 (Figure 7c) (Macri and Stark 1993), that also depicts an animal hide with six projections, and like the example from Atlihuayan, Morelos, it bears a diamond-shape element that could represent a hole in the hide (Justeson and Kaufman 1993:1707, Fig. 8B). The possible Mayan counterpart, ZZ3/T628 (Figure 7d), proposed to function as a logogram for ‘blood’ by David Stuart, bears general outline similarities, but also important differences.

 

Table 5

 

Figure 7

Table 6 summarizes the proposals for the iconicity of CS7, and Figure 8 illustrates all three instances.  Here, no proposal is favored, and no new suggestion is offered.  Although a few authors offer suggestions for its iconicity (see Table 6), there exist no close iconographic parallels to support such suggestions.

 

Table 6

 

Figure 8

Table 7 provides a summary of proposals regarding CS8.  This paper regards CS8 (Figure 9a) to be a depiction of “a strung bead or plaque,” as proposed by Rodríguez M. et al. (2006:1613), and plausibly of the type seen in earring assemblages, for which the evidence from Epi-Olmec writing is suggestive but not completely in agreement; at least three types of earring assemblages are visible in the iconography of Epi-Olmec writing, two of them shown here (Figures 9b–c). The closest correspondence to the putative example represented by CS8 would be a combination of two of the three types seen in Epi-Olmec writing (Figure 9d). CS8 may also resemble Mayan T62/ZBF yu, but the central component in the Mayan grapheme is always rounded and typically contains a circular element in the middle, rather than a diagonal band.

 

Table 7

 

Figure 9

The evidence presented in this note, based on an unpublished paper (Mora-Marín 2010) that has been cited in a few works (Freidel and Reilly 2010; Carrasco and Englehardt 2015), further supports the consistency of the Cascajal signary, from a stylistic-iconographic standpoint, with contemporary Olmec art and subsequent Epi-Olmec writing, and offers new insights into some iconographic identifications for such signs, as well as supports for identifications proposed by others. Future installments will provide similar assessments for the remaining signs in the Cascajal signary.

 

References

Anderson, Lloyd. 2007. Cascajal: an Old System of Writing in Mesoamerica. Unpublished paper circulated by the author.
Anderson, Lloyd. 2012. Understanding discourse: beyond couplets and calendrics first. In Parallel Worlds: Genre, Discourse, and Poetics in Contemporary, Colonial, and Classic Period Maya Literature, edited by Kerry M. Hull and Michael D. Carrasco, pp. 161–179. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.
Carrasco, Michael, and Joshua Englehardt. 2015. Diphrastic Kennings on the Cascajal Block and the Emergence of Mesoamerican Writing.  Cambridge Archaeological Journal 22:1–22.
Coe, Michael, and Karl Taube (editors). 1995. The Olmec World, Ritual and Rulership. The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton.
Englehardt, J., Insaurralde Caballero, M., Melgar Tísoc, E., Velázquez Maldonado, L., Guzmán Torres, V., Bernard, H., & Carrasco, M. 2020. Digital Imaging and Archaeometric Analysis of the Cascajal Block: Establishing Context and Authenticity for the Earliest Known Olmec Text. Ancient Mesoamerica, 31(2), 189-209. doi:10.1017/S0956536119000257
Freidel, David A. & F. Kent Reilly III. 2010. The flesh of god: cosmology, food, and the origins of political power in ancient southeastern Mesoamerica. In Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica, edited by J. Staller & Michael D. Carrasco, pp. 635–680. New York: Springer.
Joralemon, Peter David.  1971.  A Study of Olmec Iconography.  Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology, Number Seven.  Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
Justeson, John S. 2006.  Sign Comparisons.  Unpublished manuscript used with permission of author.
Justeson, John S. 2012. Early Mesoamerican Writing Systems. In The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology, edited by Deborah L. Nichols and Christopher A. Pool, pp. 830–844. Oxford University Press.
Macri, Martha J. 2006. The Cascajal Block: Sign Ordering. Glyph Dwellers 22:1-4.
Magni, Caterina. 2012[2008]. Olmec Writing. The Cascajal Block: New Perspectives. Arts & Cultures 9: 64–81. Éd. Somogy, Musée Barbier-Mueller, Genève/Barcelone. Electronic document, http://research.famsi.org/aztlan/uploads/papers/OlmecCascajalBlockNewPerspectives.pdf, accessed 8/6/19.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2009. Early Olmec Writing: Reading Format and Reading Order. Latin American Antiquity 20(3):395–418.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2010. Further Analysis of Olmec Writing on the Cascajal Block: Sign Inventory, Paleography, Script Affiliations. Unpublished manuscript distributed among several authors.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2016. Orígenes de la escritura en Mesoamérica: Una revaluación de los rasgos formales, conexiones interregionales y filiaciones lingüísticas entre 1200–400 a.C.
Ponencia presentada el 26 de octubre del 2016, en el XXXVIII Coloquio de Antropología e Historia Regionales, Colegio de Michoacán A.C.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2019. Problems and Patterns in the Study of Olmec Hieroglyphic Writing. In The Chinese Writing System and Its Dialogue with Sumerian, Egyptian, and Mesoamerican Writing Systems, edited by Kuang Yu Chen and Dietrich Tschanz, pp. 239-269. Rutgers University Press.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2020. The Cascajal Block: New Line Drawing, Distributional Analysis, Orthographic Patterns. Ancient Mesoamerica 31:210–229. doi:10.1017/S0956536119000270.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2022. Drawings of Three Olmec Celts / Dibujos de tres hachas olmecas. Notes on Mesoamerican Linguistics and Epigraphy 25. https://davidmm.web.unc.edu/2022/05/15/note-25/.
Mora-Marín, David F. 2022. The Cascajal Block: Iconographic Motivations, Part 1. Notes on Mesoamerican Linguistics and Epigraphy 26. https://davidmm.web.unc.edu/2022/05/15/note-26/.
Ortiz C., Ponciano, María del Carmen Rodríguez M., Ricardo Sánchez H., Jasinto Robles C. 2007. El bloque labrado con inscripciones olmecas. Arqueología Mexicana 83:15–18.
Rodríguez Martínez, María del Carmen, Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos. 1999. Informe de inspección en la zona de El Cascajal, Mpio. De Jaltipan, Veracruz, Archivo Técnico del Centro INAH Veracruz, mecanoescrito.
Rodríguez M., María del Carmen, Ponciano Ortiz C. 2007. El bloque labrado con símbolos olmecas encontrado en El Cascajal, municipio de Jaltipan, Veracruz. Arqueología 36:24–51.
Rodríguez Martínez, María del Carmen, Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos, Michael D. Coe, Richard A. Diehl, Stephen D. Houston, Karly A. Taube, and Alfredo Delgado Calderón. 2006a. Oldest Writing in the New World.  Science 313:1610–1614.
Rodríguez Martínez, María del Carmen, Ponciano Ortiz Ceballos, Michael D. Coe, Richard A. Diehl, Stephen D. Houston, Karly A. Taube, and Alfredo Delgado Calderón. 2006b. Supporting Online Material. Electronic document, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/313/5793/1610/DC1, accessed on 8/6/19.

 

Note 32

Of Flies and Vultures: An Explanation of the Origins of 3M2/T59 ti

 

David F. Mora-Marín and Amy Glenn Mora

8/17/23, 9/30/23

 

The present note pertains to the Early Classic (CE 200-600) examples of the VULTURE grapheme (Figure 1A), generally cataloged as BV2 in Looper et al. (2022) (Figure 1B), and functioning as a logogram (“word sign”) ʔUSIJ ‘vulture’ during the Classic period. More specifically, this note pertains to a graphic element that is commonly affixed to the beak on Early Classic examples (see arrow in Figure 1A), an element that strongly resembles the syllable sign or syllabogram ti (Figure 1C), cataloged as grapheme 3M2 in Looper et al. (2022) and T59 in Thompson (1962). In fact, during the Late Classic, the juxtaposition of 3M2 ti and BV2 VULTURE functioned as a syllabogram ti, and as such it receives its own code, BV3/T747b (Figure 1D), though such juxtaposition may not have borne such function in earlier times, as shown below.

 

Figure 1

Because of this close association between the VULTURE grapheme and 3M2 ti, some scholars have assumed that 3M2 originally functioned, in some way, to disambiguate the bird depicted by BV2 as a vulture. One of these proposed functions of the 3M2-like sign juxtaposed to the VULTURE grapheme relates to the most common function of 3M2 ti in the script: it was used to represent reflexes of the generic preposition *tya of proto-Mayan in the vast majority of its contexts, reconstructed as *tä in proto-Ch’olan by Kaufman and Norman (1984), and presumably acquiring the shape ti in all Ch’olan languages except for Yokot’an only later, perhaps under the influence of Yucatecan *tiʔ. For such reason, authors like Fox and Justeson (1984a, 1984b) have regarded 3M2 as originally bearing a value ta that subsequently derived a value ti through internal linguistic change.

 

Several authors have also explained the presumed original value ta by proposing that it depicts “a flaming torch,” which would mean that 3M2 was derived acrophonically as ta based on a reflex of proto-Mayan *tyaaj ‘torch’ (Justeson 1984:320). Based on such presumed value ta, some authors (Floyd Lounsbury, Peter Mathews, Berthold Riese, cited in Justeson 1984:355) have even suggested that 3M2 functioned to indicate the logographic value of BV2 as TAʔHOL (i.e. TAʔJOL) based on Ch’ol taʔ=hol (i.e. taʔ=jol) ‘vulture (lit. excrement=head)’, alongside the already demonstrated value K’UCH ‘vulture’ in the Postclassic (CE 900-1521) codices.

 

More recently, Macri (2021:9–10) supports such association with Ch’olan reflexes of proto-Mayan *tzaaʔ ~ *taaʔ ‘excrement’ (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:293), and argues that the earliest examples of BV3 ti were actually read ta.

 

Along the similar lines as previous authors, Kettunen (2018:287), has argued that in the context of BV3 ti, the juxtaposition of 3M2 ti and BV2 VULTURE, the 3M2 component represents an anatomical part of the vulture, specifically, “a caruncle attached to the cere of the King Vulture” (Kettunen 2018:287). Unlike previous authors, Kettunen appears to assume that 3M2 only bears a syllabographic value ti, not ta, and his acrophonic derivation for 3M2 ti and BV3 ti is based on the assumption that, as a depiction of the vulture’s caruncle, 3M2 is a pars pro toto (part-for-the-whole) abbreviation of the BV3 grapheme, associating the vulture’s eating of carrion with the Tzeltal verb tiʔ ‘to eat flesh’, a reflex of proto-Mayan *tiʔ ‘to eat/bite (meat/flesh)’.

 

Below, we suggest that, in fact, 3M2 bore the value ti throughout its history, and that early examples of BV3 (i.e. 32M.BV2) did not bear a value ti or ta at all, but most likely simply ʔUSIJ for ʔusiij ‘vulture’, or other logographic values that the seemingly polyvalent VULTURE grapheme could bear, such as ʔAJAW for ʔajaw ‘ruler’ (with or without the headband determinative).

 

Before proceeding, though, a disclaimer: There are other possible ways of thinking about the association between 3M2 and the VULTURE sign, not all of them requiring a direct relationship between 3M2 and the VULTURE sign. For instance, an anonymous reviewer of the lead author’s paper on acrophonic derivations (Mora-Marín 2003) suggested the possibility that 3M2 represents “strands of hair above an ear spool,” while Nick Hopkins (personal communication, 2022) has recently suggested that 3M2 represents the tip of a point brush, and that its value may be based acrophonically on ti’ ‘mouth’ with a derived meaning ‘tip’, a matter to which we return toward the end of the paper. These ideas also seemed quite reasonable, up until we uncovered a set of iconographic relationships that we now believe offer a better explanation.

 

The evidence indicates that the 3M2-like element is not a caruncle! The key to realizing this, that 3M2 does not depict a part of a vulture, and specifically not a caruncle, was the recent discovery of an Early Classic pottery bowl from the site of Caracol, described by Chase and Chase (2014:26–27, Figs. 122a, 123). On that bowl, the glyphic collocation spelling the term y-uk’-ib’ ‘his/her container’ shows a unique rendering; rather than using a simple syllabic sequence yu-k’i-b’i with the WING sign, BX2/T77, the syllabogram k’i (Mora-Marín 2000), as the second sign in the sequence (Figure 2A), the example on this bowl is depicted in full-figure fashion as a vulture, as BV2, with the vulture’s wing displayed very prominently (Figure 2B). Not only does the wing make up about 50 percent of the whole vulture, but the the vulture’s head is also turned back toward the wing, as if pointing to it with its beak, and the syllabogram b’i was infixed within the wing. Whether this example indicates that BV1 could exhibit yet another value, as a syllabogram k’i, or whether we are simply witnessing an idiosyncratic, playful elaboration by a scribe, is unclear. What is worth highlighting here is that the graphic element that appears to be the precursor of 3M2 ti in Early Classic depictions of BV3 (Figure 2C) is found in two locations (Figures 2D-2E): above the vulture’s beak, and to the left of its feet. In other words, it is not depicting a vulture’s caruncle, an anatomical component it does not even resemble to begin with (Figure 2F).

 

Figure 2

 

What is it then? We propose that the 3M2-like element juxtaposed to the VULTURE sign is a FLY or more generally a FLYING.INSECT. This is based on its presence by the vulture’s beak and feet, for one, as well as the similarity between the depictions of the 3M2-like element and flying insects. Indeed, we draw attention to three depictions of flying insects on three different pottery vessels, one (K2993) likely from the Early Classic period (Figure 3A), and two (K2794, K2284) from the Late Classic period (Figures 3B–3C).

 

Figure 3

A more detailed look is warranted. When we compare the examples of the 3M2-like element on several Early Classic VULTURE signs (Figures 4A-5D) to the graphic elements by the beak and feet of the vulture on the Caracol bowl (Figure 4E), and in turn we compare these to the motifs on the pottery vessels (Figures 4F-5H), the same overall shape is in evidence (Figure 5): a graphic design consisting of two major sections (Figure 5A), a bottom section consisting of a circle that sometimes bears a dot inside (Figures 5A–5C, 5G and 5I), and a top section consisting of two sets of elements, a central “main body” that sometimes contains an internal central element, and two “wings” on either side of the central element. In at least two of the pottery vessels, the designs in question can be interpreted as flying insects (Figure 4): the example on K2794 depicts a dying man with a paunch and what seem like flies buzzing around him (Figure 5F); the example on K2284 was described by Justin Kerr (http://www.mayavase.com/tran/trans.html) as showing bees emerging from the mouth of a pot (Figure 4G). The Early Classic example (Figure 4H) shows the 3M2-like element near the beak of a bird, though it is not obviously a vulture, resembling instead a quetzal, as suggested by the crest. Although quetzals typically eat fruit, they also eat insects and small vertebrates (Reid et al. 2010:105), and thus, the example in question could be a depiction of a quetzal trying to catch a flying insect. The example of the full-figure VULTURE sign on the Caracol bowl (Figure 4E) shows the 3M2-like element on two locations ear the vulture, consistent with flies buzzing around the vulture.

 

Figure 4

Figure 5

The earliest, clear evidence for the use of 3M2 as a syllabogram points to the value ti. The evidence comes from five dated monuments from the second half of the fourth century and the first half of the fifth century: 1) Tikal Stela 39 (TIKSt39, 8.17.0.0.0, ce 376); 2) Tikal Stela 4 (TIKSt04, 8.17.2.16.17, ce 379); 3) Tikal Ballcourt Marker (TIKBCM, 8.19.0.0.0, ce416); 4) Tikal Stela 31 (TIKSt31, 9.0.10.0.0, ce 445); 5) Uaxactun Stela (9.0.10.0.0, ce 445). The first, Tikal Stela 39, shows two cases: one functioning as a syllabogram ti in the spelling ʔu-ʔUH-ti for ʔu[h]t-i-Ø ‘it got finished; it happened’ (Figure 6A), and the other juxtaposed to BV2, the VULTURE sign, in an iconographically-embedded glyphic spelling TZ’AK-b’u-?ʔUSIJ referring to a captured king from Uaxactun (Figure 6B), as noted by Beliaev et al. (2023). The second inscription, Tikal Stela 4 (Figure 6C), shows one example, juxtaposed to the VULTURE sign in the context of the BVF grapheme for JOY, with the full spelling showing JOY-ja. Although quite often epigraphers have read the 3M2 sign in this collocation as the preposition ti (or ta), we will show below that it is merely an iconographic element associated with the VULTURE sign in this context, whatever its value (whether ʔAJAW or ʔUSIJ or JOY). The third text is Tikal’s Ballcourt Marker, showing an example of 3M2 functioning as a syllabogram ti to spell the preposition ti in the phrase ti-LAJUN-ʔAJAW(AL) ’on 10 Ajaw’ (Figure 6D), suggesting that by this date Ch’olan speakers had already incorporated the variant ti into their repertoire alongside . The fourth text is Tikal Stela 31, with six examples of 3M2 functioning as a syllabogram ti in the expression ʔUH-ti-ya for ʔu[h]t-i-Ø(-[y]a) ‘since it got finished; it happened’ (Figure 6E), and an example juxtaposed to BV1 in the context of BVF JOY (Figure 6F), presumably intended to be read as jo[h]y-aj-Ø-Ø ‘he was surrounded/circumvallated’ (accession). The fifth example, Uaxactun Stela 26, is found again in the expression ʔUH-ti for ʔu[h]t-i-Ø ‘it got finished; it happened’ (Figure 6G). Lastly, for now, an undated portable text from Tikal (TIKMT011) from Problematic Deposit 22 # 12J-191 also bears a very clear example of 3M2 resembling the flying insect motif (Figure 6H). This text bears Design 6 of ZB1/T168 (Mora-Marín 2021), attested on dated texts from ce 437–554, as well as an example of ZBF/T62 yu showing the central O-shaped element instead of the earlier U-shaped element, a shift that took place after the fifth century, suggesting an early sixth century dating. However, it is not at all clear what 3M2 ti would be used for in this last example.

 

Figure 6

It is important to note that the earliest examples of 3M2 used as a syllabogram generally point to the value ti, not ta. The only possible exception, the case from the Tikal Ballcourt Marker (Figure 7D), where it spells the generic preposition in a temporal phrase, could be argued to be an instance where 3M2 functions as ta. Nevertheless, given that languages from both Ch’olan branches (Eastern and Western) attest to the preposition ti, and that the preposition is reconstructible to proto-Ch’olan based on the evidence from Yokot’an and Ch’orti’, as well as the evidence from the Tzeltalan languages (through forward reconstruction from proto-Greater Tzeltalan to proto-Ch’olan), it is  proposed here that proto-Ch’olan should be reconstructed with *tä ~ *ti, with allomorphic variation. The example from the Ballcourt Marker could simply be evidence of such variation. All other spellings spanning ce 376–445 point to either a purely iconographic use of 3M2 (Figures 6B–6C and 6F) or a syllabographic use as ti (Figures 6A, 6D, 6E, 6G).

 

3M2 ti experienced a rapid series of graphic changes during the Early Classic. To trace them it is necessary to identify the graphic elements that compose 3M2. Figure 7 shows a comparison of the main graphic components of the 3M2-like sign iconographically juxtaposed to the VULTURE signs in Early Classic texts (Figure 7A–7E) with examples of 3M2 ti in the earliest inscriptions (Figure 7F–7I). The earliest epigraphic examples (Figures 7F–7I) typically show a simple division into two sections, a top section and a bottom section, just like the iconographic 3M2-like sign (Figures 7A–7E); however, some show additional sections (Figure 7I).

 

Figure 7

Figure 8 illustrates such additions using evidence from a single inscription, Tikal Stela 31, but these are representative of the variation found on other texts during the remainder of the fifth century. Indeed, the six clear examples of 3M2 on this monument show wide variation. One of the examples (Figure 8A) corresponds to the earliest version also attested on earlier inscriptions, consisting of the two major sections, already described earlier for the iconographic precursors (cf. Figures 7A–7E). However, the remaining five examples from Stela 31 show the addition of at least one more section, and one of them adds two sections. The example in Figure 8B, though it occurs only once on Stela 31, would become the basis for the most common design of 3M2 for the remainder of the Classic period: it shows three sections, with an additional section inserted in the middle, in between the two original sections. Three more examples (Figures 8C–8E) illustrate the addition of a section at the bottom, below the two original sections. This design is found in additional Early Classic texts, but it eventually was overtaken by the one in Figure 8B. Lastly, one of the examples (Figure 8F) illustrates the addition of two sections, the middle section in between the two original ones, and the new section at the very bottom. This design was rare and its latest attestation on a dated text is the Menil Collection panel (COLHstPan), dated to ce 498, and which also attests to the design in Figure 8B, which had become the most common design by far already by the beginning of the 6th century.

 

Figure 8

The earliest examples of BV3 are ambiguous, some likely bearing the same value as BV2 (ʔUSIJ for ʔusiij ‘vulture’), others the same value as BV1 (ʔAJAW for ʔaajaaw ‘lord, ruler’), and still others the same value as BVF/T684 (JOY for joy ‘to surround, circumvallate’) without the HEADBAND element. The early cases of BV2 (plain VULTURE sign) plus or minus the appended 3M2-like sign, appear in a variety of contexts where in later texts one finds more consistent distinctions. For example, in Late Classic texts, BV1/T747a (Figure 9A), which shows a vulture’s head with a royal headband wrapped around it, and sometimes also a miniature T533 sign attached to the front of the headband, was read ʔAJAW2 ‘lord, ruler’. It was used with such value in the context of individuals’ titles, and in at least 35 instances, according to the MHD data, also in the context of day counts involving the twentieth day name, ʔajawal. In the day sign contexts, especially, it occasionally lacked the royal headband determinative (Figures 10B–10D). One of these cases, where it bears the value ʔAJAW2 ‘lord, ruler’, comes from Dzibanche (Figure 9B), may date to the end of the fifth century, and shows BV2, the plain VULTURE sign, without the 3M2-like appendage or the T533/Headband determinatives. Another case, from Copan (Figure 9C), shows BV3, the juxtaposition of 3M2 and BV2, in this function, as ʔAJAW2 ‘lord, ruler’ within a day sign cartouche in the context of a day count 12 Ajaw. While it could be argued that the 3M2 component juxtaposed to BV2 is functioning as a syllabogram ti to represent a preposition ti, and thus render a phrase ti-LAJCHAN-ʔAJAW2 ‘on [day] 12 Lord’, this would still mean that BV2, without the 3M2 appendage, bears the value ʔAJAW2 on its own, or in conjunction with the day sign cartouche determinative. A third example, on a looted monument from the Bonampak region at the Denver Art Museum, not illustrated here (MHD code “COLDAM97149”), also shows BV2 in a day sign context with the value ʔAJAW2 ‘lord, ruler’ (Mayer 1991:Pl. 118).

 

Figure 9

The Innovation of BV1: royal.headbandVULTURE = LORDThe Royal Headband lexical determinative was innovated during the sixth century. More specifically, the earliest example of BV1 (BV2 with the Royal Headband) in the MHD is glyph B6 on Los Alacranes Stela 1 (Figure 9D), dated to ce 573, bearing only the Royal Headband, not T533, while the earliest example of BV1 with both T533 and the Royal Headband is seen in glyph O3 on the Chinkultic Ballcourt Marker (Figure 9E), dated to ce 591. This tells us that scribes gradually innovated the use of the Royal Headband, plus or minus T533, as a lexical (“semantic”) determinative of the lexical value ʔaajaaw ‘lord, ruler’ for BV2, hence royal.headbandVULTURE = LORD. This also confirms that the sign is basically polyvalent, and its values (at least ʔUSIJ, ʔAJAW2) minimally distinguished by context for the larger part of the Early Classic period.

 

BV2 as JOYOne last observation regarding the ambiguity of the VULTURE sign in the Early Classic corpus is worth making. As seen in Figure 10A, grapheme BVF could consist of a VULTURE head plus a KNOTTED.ROYAL.HEADBAND sign (T684) with a vertical strap when it functioned as the logogram JOY for joy ‘to surround, circumvallate’, a common accession expression. The logogram could include the VULTURE head, or just KNOTTED.ROYAL.HEADBAND. Interestingly, the VULTURE head on its own, without the KNOTTED.ROYAL.HEADBAND, could apparently also function with this value, as in the case of glyph A10 on Tikal Stela 31 (Figure 10B), which appears in the predicate position immediately after a Calendar Round, and followed by a nominal phrase, transcribed here as ʔu:MAM 2K’UH-ku-la-ʔAJAW YAX-NUN-ʔAYIN, transliterated as u-mäm k’uh-ul kuk-ul ʔajaw yäx nun ʔayin ‘the grandson/nephew of the holy Kukul lord, Yäx Nun ʔayin’. (The ʔu is conflated with the MAM logogram’s hair; this implies that this accession statement is not referring to Yäx Nun ʔayin, but to his grandson or nephew.)

 

Figure 10

 

The MHD transliterates glyph A10 as the equivalent of ti-ʔAJAW, but transcribes it as joyaj? ti aajaawil. We suggest that the VULTURE sign on its own may function with the value of BVF, JOY for joy[aj], and that the 3M2-like element is merely iconographic, one of the flies buzzing about the vulture. It is of course possible that the 3M2-like element was functioning syllabically as ti, in which case the entire collocation would have to be read out of order: ZB1:3M2.BV2 would be read completely in reverse, BV2 first, jo[h]y-aj-Ø-Ø ‘he was surrounded/circumvallated’, 3M2 second, ti, ‘on, at, in’, and ZB1 last, ʔajaw ‘lord’, yielding johyaj ti ʔajaw ‘he was surrounded [acceded] as lord’. Nevertheless, with the joy[aj] accession verbal expression a prepositional complement was not needed, and instead, the title ʔajaw could function as the subject of the passivized verb. For one, Figure 10C proves that in the context of BVF, the VULTURE sign need not include the 3M2-like element, nor does it need to convey the ʔajaw ‘lord’ meaning, which in fact follows two glyph blocks later, as shown in Figure 10D. The same inference can be made based on the opening passage from the Late Classic La Corona Panel 2 (MHD code “CRNPan02”), not illustrated here. There, BVF, including both the VULTURE sign with the 3M2 appendage and the KNOTTED.ROYAL.HEADBAND determinative, is followed one glyph block later by ti-ʔAJAW-wa-le for ti ʔajaw-(a)l-el ‘in lordship’; in addition, in this case, it is clear that the 3M2 ti sign appended to the VULTURE sign need not be analyzed as representing the preposition ti, but could very well be simply an iconographic component of the VULTURE sign itself, since the following glyph block already includes an instance of 3M2 ti in the proper position (not out of order) to convey the prepositional phrase. Regarding the omissibility of the preposition itself with the joy[aj] accession verbal expression, and therefore that BVF, as an accession expression, can be followed by the term for ‘lord(ship)’ without the need of a preposition, we can turn to the examples in seen in Figures 10F–10G, where the verb is followed by the ʔajaw ‘lord’ title, which is therefore the verb’s subject, and not part of a prepositional complement.

No Early Classic Instances of BV3 (i.e. 32M + BV2) as ti. BV3 does not function as either ta or ti in Early Classic texts, as indicated by the fact that no case of the juxtaposition of 3M2 ti and BV2, which together would give us BV3, functions as just ti during this time. The case of glyph E10 on Tikal Stela 31 (Figure 10B), for example, at best would be a case in which the 32M-like element affixed to the beak of the VULTURE sign would function as ti on its own, while the VULTURE sign itself functions as the logogram JOY, but the two cannot be working as a graphemic unit (BV3), to represent ti, because in such a situation no verbal expression would be represented at all.

 

3M2 as ti Only, Never ta, During Early Classic. 3M2 never had a value ta, it has by now been shown that not a single case of the 3M2-like element or early 3M2 must be analyzed as ta. The only potential candidate would be the example of 3M2 as a preposition in the Tikal Ballcourt Marker, in the ti-LAJUN-ʔAJAW ‘on [day] 10 Lord’ expression, given that elsewhere in the same text, as was more generally the case during the time, one finds the syllabogram 3M3/T51 ta used to spell the preposition . Nevertheless, as already explained, proto-Ch’olan almost certainly had both *tä and *ti as variants of the ‘generic preposition’, the second variant probably due to Yucatecan influence, and there is no reason why the early examples of 3M2 ti spelling such preposition could not be evidence of its innovation or introduction. Otherwise, 3M2 is used on its own, independent of the VULTURE sign, only in contexts where a sequence /ti/ is required, with the expression ʔuht-i‘it happened’ seemingly serving as a catalyst for the introduction of this syllabogram into the script. So far, then, there are no clear Early Classic cases of the juxtaposition of 3M2 and BV2 requiring an analysis as a single grapheme, BV3 ti. Instead, all such cases can be analyzed as either an iconographically-motivated 3M2-like element juxtaposed to BV2, or a sequence of 3M2 ti followed by the polyvalent BV2 (ʔUSIJ/ʔAJAW2/JOY) or BVF (JOY).

 

Acrophonic Derivation via Contextual (Metonymic) Association. Finally, regarding point 9), it is proposed here that 3M2, as a syllabogram ti, was derived acrophonically from proto-Ch’olan *tis ‘fart’ (Kaufman and Norman 1984:132) via the association of flies, 3M2’s iconographic referent, with the stench of carrion and vultures. If so, 3M2’s syllabographic value would not be a direct iconic acrophonic derivation, as in the base of AP9/T757 b’a/B’AHbased on *b’ah ‘gopher’, but an indirect indexical (metonymic) acrophonic derivation.

Nevertheless, there is another association to be made: Nicholas Hopkins (personal communication, 2022) commented the following:

David– Here’s a linguistic connection. A wide-spread term for ‘fly’ is /’us/. Western Mayan has terms for ‘buzzard’ based on the same or a similar root, viz.: Chuj /’usej/, Popti’ /’usmij/. Q’anjob’al /’usej/, Chorti’ /’usij/. So they are pointing as /’usej/, not /ta’-jol/.

In other words, if 3M2/T59 is in fact a FLY sign/motif, then it may have served as a way of pointing readers to the term ʔusiij ‘vulture’ via reflexes of proto-Mayan *ʔus ‘fly’ (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:621, 680), given the existence of competing terms, such as Ch’ol taʔjol. This would mean that the FLY sign would offer two associations: it would link vultures to the stench of carrion, their main food source; and it would point readers to the beginning syllable of the intended term for ‘vulture’ out of potentially several lexical options. The drawback to this alternative is that it would not explain the actual acrophonic origin of 3M2 as ti, like the term *tis does. Perhaps both associations are possible at the same time.

These associations lead to the possibility that the 3M2, as a FLY sign, was initially used as a “semantic classifier” (Hopkins 1994; Hopkins and Josserand 1999; Mora-Marín 2008), a category redefined by Mora-Marín (2022b) as an iconographic classifier. As such, as suggested to us by Mark Van Stone (personal communication, 2022), it would have served the optional function of highlighting some aspect of the vulture’s domain (e.g. its habits and common associations), and had no orthographic function per se, much like the use of the K’AN ‘yellow’ logogram whenever it was infixed within the AP9/T757 b’a/B’AH sign, based on b’ah ‘gopher’, pointing to the species of pocket gopher represented iconographically by the sign itself (k’anal b’ah ‘yellow gopher’), rather than serving an orthographic function within the spelling (Mora-Marín 2008, 2020).

 

Final Thoughts. Given the foregoing, there is one word of caution that must be offered. The recent reading of the names of two Uaxactun kings as TZ’AK-b’u-ʔUSIJ by Safronov et al. (2023), based on spellings employing the collocation 3M2.BV2, must be considered more tentatively as TZ’AK-b’u-ʔUSIJ/ʔAJAW2, given the following: 1) as has been shown already in this note, the VULTURE sign was polyvalent, and on its own, as BV2, with or without the 3M2-like element, it could bear the value ʔAJAW2 or ʔUSIJ; and 2) in nominal contexts, whether in titles or personal names, the expression TZ’AK-b’u is more often, though certainly not exclusively, associated with ʔajaw (e.g. Ix Tz’akbu Ajaw, Tz’akbu Ajaw).

 

Acknowledgments. We are very grateful to Nick Hopkins and Mark Van Stone for their email comments on a slideshow from April 2022 proposing some of the ideas presented in this note.

 

References

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Hopkins, Nicholas A. 1994. Days, kings, and other semantic classes marked in Maya hieroglyphic writing.  Paper presented to the American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, November 30–December 1, Atlanta, Georgia.

Hopkins, Nicholas A., and J. Kathryn Josserand. 1999. Issues of Glyphic Decipherment.  Paper presented to the symposioum “Maya Epigraphy—Progress and Prospects,” Philadelphia Maya Weekend, University Museum, Philadelphia, April 11, 1999.

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 Dictionaryhttp://www.famsi.org/reports/01051/index.html.

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Arte chibchense 2

Análisis de agrupación y jerarquía de los pendientes celtiformes antropomórficos de la Colección de Dumbarton Oaks

 

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

26/12/2022

 

Este blog presenta un ejemplo de cómo utilizar métodos cuantitativos para el estudio de los pendientes de jade chibchenses de Costa Rica. Utilizaré los ejemplos de pendientes celtiformes antropomórficos que estudié en Mora-Marín (2021a, 2021b), que forman parte de la Colección de Dumbarton Oaks. Para el análisis emplearé el calculador de estadísticas DATAtab (DATAtab Team 2022).

 

El Cuadro 1 provee los datos básicos de los 17 pendientes estudiados, mientras que el Cuadro 2 provee las estadísticas descriptivas.

 

Cuadro 1. Datos básicos de los 17 pendientes.

Artefacto Lámina Longitud Hoja/Filo Ancho Espesor Peso Proporción de Hoja/Filo
PC.B.215 21 21.7 9.11 6.67 2.22 500.92 42%
PC.B.216 22 17.3 8.13 5.24 1.76 269.82 47%
PC.B.217 19 12.38 5.26 5.08 1.91 225.41 42.5%
PC.B.219 50 14.29 6.6 1.59 1.27 58.6 46%
PC.B.221 42 13.02 5.6 1.91 0.95 37.25 42.7%
PC.B.222 53 11.43 5.37 2.54 1.59 51.94 47%
PC.B.223 20 9.53 4.0 4.76 1.27 108.99 42%
PC.B.224 18 8.57 4.1 3.81 1.27 67.27 47.6%
PC.B.226 16 8.26 3.63 4.13 1.27 71.43 44%
PC.B.227 23 7.3 2.8 3.49 0.95 31.55 36.6%
PC.B.235 24 5.72 2.21 3.18 0.64 18.38 38.7%
PC.B.262 43 8.26 3.4 2.22 0.74 22.43 41%
PC.B.251 25 5.72 2.0 4.13 1.27 72.4 35%
PC.B.289 17 6.99 2.7 3.3 0.95 35.65 38%
PC.B.290 5 9.31 3.63 4.45 1.35 89.34 39%
PC.B.292 44 10.16 5.5 2.54 1.32 48.11 54%

 

Cuadro 2. Estadísticas descriptivas.

Longitud Hoja/Filo Ancho Espesor Peso Proporción de Hoja/Filo
Mean 10.62 4.63 3.69 1.3 106.84 42.69
Median 9.42 4.05 3.65 1.27 62.94 42.25
Modal 5.72 3.63 2.54 1.27 18.38 42
Std. Deviation 4.33 2.05 1.37 0.42 126.37 4.85
Minimum 5.72 2 1.59 0.64 18.38 35
Maximum 21.7 9.11 6.67 2.22 500.92 54
Number of valid values 16 16 16 16 16 16

 

La primera pregunta que quise investigar es la de posibles agrupaciones en base a las dimensiones físicas de los pendientes. Para ello utilicé el calculador de agrupaciones jerárquicas de DATAtab, específicamente mediante el método de enlace completo y de distancia euclidiana. La Figura 1 muestra el resultado en base a dos dimensiones: longitud y ancho. La Figura 2 muestra el resultado de añadir el espesor y la longitud de la hoja/filo del pendiente. La gran similitud entre los modelos de las Figuras 1 y 2 sugieren que longitud y ancho bien podrían ser suficientes para establecer agrupaciones de utilidad. Estas agrupaciones podrían ser el resultado de una variedad de causas: subregionalismos, distintas tradiciones de artesanos a través del tiempo, distintas materias primas, distintos temas artísticos, etc. Por supuesto, dado el hecho de que estos artefactos carecen de procedencia, no es posible investigar ninguna de las primeras dos posibilidades.

 

Figura 1. Dendograma de agrupaciones por longitud y ancho. (Las imágenes de los pendientes no están mostradas a escala.)

Figura 2. Dendograma de agrupaciones por longitud, ancho, espesor y longitud de hoja/filo. (Las imágenes de los pendientes no están mostradas a escala.)

Se puede utilizar el dendograma de la Figura 1 para hacer una inspección visual de las agrupaciones con respecto a la variable de composición. Se dividieron los pendientes en tres grupos: jadeíta (jadeite), combinación de jadeíta (con otros minerales) (jadeite mix) y piedra verde (greenstone). Como se puede ver en la Figura 3, cuatro de los 7 ejemplos compuestos de piedra verde forman una agrupación algo estrecha. La Figura 4 muestra el diagrama de dispersión correspondiente a la misma información utilizada para el análisis de agrupación jerárquica; los ejemplos de piedra verde se muestran dentro de rectángulos.  Tal distribución podría sugerir una relación entre las dimensiones de longitud y ancho, por un lado, y la composición del pendiente, por el otro.

 

Figura 3.

 

Figura 4. Diagrama de dispersión con ejemplos de piedra verde dentro de rectángulos.

También, el dendograma de agrupaciones, visto desde el punto de vista de los motivos de los tocados (gorro = cap, doble penacho = double tuft, doble zoomórfico = double zoomorphic), como en la Figura 6, pareciera mostrar una agrupación densa del motivo de gorro, especialmente con respecto a la longitud de los pendientes, con cuatro de los siete ejemplos mostrando valores similares, como se aprecia en la Figura 7.

 

Figura 5.

 

Figura 6. Diagrama de dispersión con ejemplos de motivos de gorro dentro de rectángulos

 

Para determinar si estos patrones aparentes tiene alguna significancia estadística, se realizaron varias pruebas. Las pruebas de Kruskal-Wallis realizadas no mostraron significancia estadística, con valores p por encima del valor mínimo de .05. Sin embargo, un análisis de regresión logística con la composición como variable dependiente y la longitud y ancho como variables independientes sugiere algo distinto: el modelo (Cuadro 3) muestra que un incremento en longitud se asocia con un incremento en la probabilidad de que el pendiente sea de jadeíta, y que tal asociación posee significancia estadística (valor p = .045). Aunque el análisis mostró una correlación negativa entre los pendientes de “piedra verde” y la longitud, tal asociación no muestra significancia estadística (valor p = .065). El ancho de los pendientes no mostró ninguna relación con la variable de composición.

 

Cuadro 3. Regresión logística para variante Jadeite (variable Composition)

a. Resultado para predicción de variante Jadeite (variable Composition)

Total number of cases Correct assignments In percent
16 12 75%

b. Cuadro de clasificación

Predicted
not Jadeite Jadeite Correct
Observed not Jadeite 7 2 77.78%
Jadeite 2 5 71.43%
Total 75%

c. Chi2

Chi2 df p
7.67 2 0.022

d. Resumen del modelo para variante Jadeite (variable Composition)

-2 Log-Likelihood Cox & Snell R2 Nagelkerke R2 McFadden’s R2
14.26 0.38 0.51 0.35

e. Modelo para variante Jadeite (variable Composition)

Coefficient B Standard error z p Odds Ratio 95% conf. interval
Length 0.5 0.25 1.97 0.049 1.64

1 – 2.7

Width -0.37 0.59 0.64 0.525 0.69

0.22 – 2.18

Constant -4.09 3.15 1.3 0.194

 

En lo que respecta a los motivos de los tocados, se realizaron también varias pruebas Kruskal-Wallis. La primera analizó si las variantes de la variable Tocado muestran una diferencia significativa con respecto a la longitud. La Figura 7 muestra la distribución de los tres motivos de los tocados con respecto a la longitud de los pendientes. El Cuadro 4 presenta los resultados de esta prueba, los cuales sugieren significancia estadística (valor = .015), y por ende, que hay una diferencia significativa entre las categorías de la variable Tocado con respecto a la longitud; las pruebas Dunn-Bonferroni señalan que la diferencia significativa es la que distingue al motivo de Doble Penacho (con valores medios más bajos) y Gorro (con valores medios más altos).

 

Figura 7. Distribución de Longitud con respect a tres tipos de Tocado.

 

Cuadro 4. Prueba Kruskal-Wallis para Longitud y variable Tocado.

a. Rangos

Groups N Mean Rank
Double Tuft 5 3.4
Double Zoomorphic 4 10.38
Cap 7 11.07
Total 16

b. Estadísticas

Values
Chi2 8.42
df 2
p 0.015

c. Pruebas Dunn-Bonferroni

Test Statistic Std. Error Std. Test Statistic p Adj. p
Double Tuft – Double Zoomorphic -6.98 3.19 -2.19 0.029 0.086
Double Tuft – Cap -7.67 2.78 -2.76 0.006 0.018
Double Zoomorphic – Cap -0.7 2.98 -0.23 0.815 1

 

Ni la anchura ni la proporción de la hoja/filo del pendiente mostraron asociaciones de significancia estadística con la variable Tocado.

 

Para resumir, es posible que los artesanos chibchenses hubiesen preferido: 1) trabajar la jadeíta en formas de pendientes de mayor longitud, a comparación con otras materias primas; y 2) el motivo de Gorro con pendientes de mayor longitud. Pero para concluir, este blog simplemente propone una metodología para investigar los pendientes de jade chibchenses de Costa Rica. No es posible proponer que 17 ejemplos sean representativos de decenas de miles, pero estos mismos métodos se pueden emplear para investigar bases de datos más extensas. Sería importante comenzar con una base de datos de ejemplos con contexto arqueológico, por ejemplo, para intentar de detectar patrones estilísticos, temáticos y composicionales en base a región y período.

 

Referencias

DATAtab Team. (2022). DATAtab: Online Statistics Calculator. DATAtab e.U. Graz, Austria. URL https://datatab.net.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2021a. Artifact Descriptions. En Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks, editado por John Hoopes y Colin McEwan, pp. 80-175. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2021b. The Anthropomorphic Celtiform Pendant Theme of the Jade Tradition in Costa Rica. En Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks, editado por John Hoopes y Colin McEwan, pp. 47-60. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Hoopes, John, and Colin McEwan, editors. 2021a. Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Hoopes, John, and Colin McEwan, editors. 2021b. Pre-Columbian Art of Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

 

 

Arte chibchense 1

Orejas en forma de “c” y el prejuicio fotográfico

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

31/7/2022, 25/12/2022

 

Los lados anversos y reversos de los pendientes celtiformes de “jade” chibchenses de Costa Rica muchas veces son fotografiados desde un ángulo perpendicular a la superficie del artefacto. Esto es indudablemente el resultado de un factor práctico: el hecho de que las publicaciones generalmente permiten un número limitado de imágenes, ya sean dibujos lineales o fotografías, y generalmente los pendientes celtiformes se pueden calificar como relativamente planos, por lo que un par de imágenes mostrando por delante y por detrás captarían la mayoría de la información artística del artefacto. El problema es que tales pendientes no son completamente planos como lo tienden a ser, por ejemplo, las placas de jade mayas. Más bien, los pendientes celtiformes chibchenses suelen mostrar una combinación de grabado plano y tridimensional. Por ello, las fotografías convencionales suelen ignorar rasgos importantes de tales artefactos.

 

Este es un hecho que confronté al tener la oportunidad de examinar los pendientes celtiformes antropomorfos del Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection en enero del 2014, gracias a la invitación por John Hoopes and Colin McEwan para participar en un proyecto de documentación, descripción y análisis del corpus de artefactos de la región de Istmo-Colombia que forman parte de esa Colección (Hoopes y McEwan 2021a, 2021b). En total, examiné 17 pendientes, descritos en detalle en Mora-Marín (2021a), y contextualizados en su marco histórico-cultural más amplio en Mora-Marín (2021b). Dos de los 17 pendientes exhiben orejas en forma de “c,” un rasgo que no se podía apreciar en las fotografías complemente frontales que eran las únicas disponibles en aquel entonces, ya sea en la página web de la Colección o en los archivos impresos de la misma. De hecho, la práctica estándar en colecciones digitales es mostrar solamente el frente: https://collections.lacma.org/node/238041, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/313013?ft=costa+rica+jade&amp;offset=40&amp;rpp=40&amp;pos=58, https://www.denverartmuseum.org/en/object/1994.820.

 

Por ejemplo, el pendiente catalogado PC.B.217 (Figura 1A) muestra orejas en forma de “c” cuando se observa desde un ángulo diagonal (Figuras 1B-C).

 

Figura 1

 

Otro ejemplo es el caso de PC.B.292 (Figura 2A), cuya vista lateral, necesaria dada la característica más tridimensional de este pendiente, permite ver la forma “c” de la oreja de la mujer representada en este pendiente (Figura 2B).

 

Figura 2

 

Como ya se observó, hoy en día, la versión digital de la Colección de Dumbarton Oaks sí provee fotografías de tres ángulos distintos para los pendientes celtiformes de jade chibchenses: anverso, reverso y diagonal. La ficha de PC.B.217, con sus fotografías, se puede encontrar en el siguiente enlace: http://museum.doaks.org/objects-1/info/22817. La de PC.B.292 en el siguiente: http://museum.doaks.org/objects-1/info/22819.

 

La moraleja es simple: es necesario publicar fotografías diagonales o laterales para los pendientes del tipo descrito aquí. Algo tan simple como la forma de las orejas de los personajes representados podría ser un rasgo útil para estudiar la variación sincrónica y el cambio diacrónico de los jades chibchenses de Costa Rica. Sin embargo, este rasgo no ha sido documentado sistemáticamente por la práctica convencional de publicar fotografías directamente anversas o reversas.

 

 

Referencias

Mora-Marín, David F. 2021a. Artifact Descriptions. En Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks, editado por John Hoopes y Colin McEwan, pp. 80-175. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2021b. The Anthropomorphic Celtiform Pendant Theme of the Jade Tradition in Costa Rica. En Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks, editado por John Hoopes y Colin McEwan, pp. 47-60. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Hoopes, John, and Colin McEwan, editors. 2021a. Pre-Columbian Art of Central America and Colombia at Dumbarton Oaks. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Hoopes, John, and Colin McEwan, editors. 2021b. Pre-Columbian Art of Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador: Toward an Integrated Approach. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

Nota 31

Una posible función del diacrítico de duplicación como abreviatura de colocaciones

 

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

6/12/2022

 

Esta nota trata sobre el diacrítico duplicador de la escritura maya (maya epigráfico), catalogada por Looper et al. (2022) como 22A, con al menos 133 ocurrencias en la Maya Hieroglyphic Database (Looper y Macri 1991-2022), en adelante MHD. Originalmente fue identificado y descrito por David Stuart en 1990 (Stuart 2014[1990]), quien definió su función básica como la de duplicar la lectura de un silabograma, como en las grafías muy comunes 2ka-wa, en lugar de ka-ka-wa, para käkäw ‘cacao’, o la grafía ocasional 2k’u, en lugar de k’u-k’u para k’uk’ ‘quetzal’, como se ve en la Figura 1.

 

Figure 1

 

Esta función está bien establecida y universalmente aceptada. De hecho, ha sido incorporada en las introducciones básicas a la escritura maya desde entonces (p.ej., Harris y Stearns 1992, 1997; Harris 1993, 1994; Kettunen y Helmke 2020). Las discusiones académicas más detalladas sobre el diacrítico son las de Stuart (2014[1990]), Stuart y Houston (1994) y, lo que es más importante, Zender (1999: 102-130). Aquí me concentraré en una sola pregunta, si 22A podría aplicarse a los logogramas, además de los silabogramas, y de ser así, con qué función.

 

Si bien Stuart (2014[1990]) y Stuart y Houston (1994) propusieron que 22A podía aplicarse a los logogramas, y que en tales casos su función era duplicar su lectura, al igual que para los silabogramas, los ejemplos a los que se referían esos autores eran en realidad casos de silabogramas, como ʔu y ʔa, empleados para representar morfemas gramaticales, tales como u- ‘tercera persona singular ergativo/posesivo’ y a- ‘segunda persona singular ergativo/posesivo’, respectivamente. Desde finales de la década de 1970 hasta principios de la de 1990, muchos autores suponían que dichos silabogramas funcionaban logográficamente cuando representaban morfemas gramaticales y, en tales casos, a menudo se transcribían en letras mayúsculas, al igual que los logogramas (p.ej., U- y A-). Sin embargo, desde un punto de vista puramente ortográfico, esto es innecesario: una simple estrategia de ortografía silabográfica es suficiente para explicar los usos de ʔu y ʔa cuando representan marcadores de concordancia de persona. De hecho, Zender (1999) concluyó que se aplicaba exclusivamente a los silabogramas. Aunque la noción de que los silabogramas podrían funcionar logográficamente para deletrear morfemas gramaticales fue posteriormente revivida como la Hipótesis de la Morfosílaba (Houston et al. 2001), una simple función de duplicación, el mismo tipo de función que se aplica a los silabogramas, es suficiente para explicar los casos en los que 22A es utilizado con silabogramas deletreando morfemas gramaticales. La única diferencia radica, en algunos casos, en si la acción de duplicación debe ser secuencial (p.ej., 2li para -(V)l-il ‘abstractivizador’ o 2le para -(V)l-el ‘abstractivizador’) o no secuencial (p.ej., 2ʔu-KAB’-CH’EN para u-kab’ u-ch’en ‘su tierra, su pozo/cueva’). Por lo tanto, definiría la duplicación secuencial y la duplicación no secuencial como subtipos de duplicación, pero ambos aplicables a los silabogramas.

 

Más recientemente, Kettunen y Helmke (2020) y Prager (2020) han sugerido que 22A podría colocarse en signos logográficos que representan raíces con formas C1VC1, como 2TZUTZ para tzutz ‘terminar’ (Stuart 2001; 2014[1990]) y 2K ‘AK’ por k’ahk’ ‘fuego’. 22A también se aplica a un signo catalogado por Looper et al. (2022) como ZRJ, parecido a una pelota. Kettunen y Helmke (2020:20) han defendido un valor K’IK’/CH’ICH’ para ZRJ, pero no presentan evidencia al respecto. Se puede suponer que esos autores estaban pensando en lenguas mayas en las que la palabra para ‘sangre’ también puede llevar la polisemia ‘(pelota de) caucho’. Uno puede citar la evidencia maya comparativa (Kaufman con Justeson 2003: 322–324) para pM *kik’ ‘sangre’, que en algunos idiomas mayas orientales (kaqchikel, poqomam, q’eqchi’, mam) y al menos un idioma maya occidental (Tuzantek) también puede tener el significado de ‘caucho’ además de ‘sangre’. Por lo tanto, los idiomas donde se atestigua la polisemia ‘sangre; caucho’ son idiomas mayas centrales. Prager (2020: 7), por su parte, presenta evidencia tentadora a favor de un valor KUK ‘paquete, textil; enrollar’ para ZRJ. Cualquiera que sea la lectura de ZRJ, el mejor análisis del uso de 22A con TZUTZ y K’AK’ es, de hecho, que los escribas lo usaban para marcar logogramas cuyas raíces tenían la forma C1VC1. Tal función de marcador de formas C1VC1, atestiguada en al menos 14 ejemplos en el MHD, probablemente se derivó analógicamente de la función original de 22A de duplicar silabogramas, dado que tal función siempre produce secuencias /C1VC1/ y se atestigua mucho antes que los primeros ejemplos de 22A con TZUTZ y K’AK’.

 

Hay otro tipo de situación, que no se ha discutido adecuadamente hasta el momento, en la que 22A parece aplicarse a logogramas. Sospecho que a este tipo de situación es a la que se referían Stuart y Houston (1994:46, pie de página 13) cuando afirmaron: “Todavía no entendemos por qué algunas grafías usan esta convención. Quizás señalen una ortografía particular cuando dos son posibles: chi-K’IN en lugar de K’IN-chi, o k’a-k’a en lugar de BUTS’, respectivamente”. Con respecto a K’AK’, ahora parece más probable que 22A se extendiera analógicamente para marcar opcionalmente logogramas con raíces con formas C1VC1, ya que no hay pruebas sólidas de un valor B’UTZ’ para b’utz’ ‘humo’ para este logograma . Con respecto al otro caso, desafortunadamente, Stuart y Houston no proporcionaron los ejemplos de chi-K’IN o K’IN-chi a los que se referían, pero es muy probable que uno de esos ejemplos, quizás el único ejemplo, se encuentre en K2295. En el texto de la Secuencia Estándar Primaria (SEP) presente en esta vasija, se encuentra la grafía 2chi[K’IN] (Figura 2A) al final del texto, inmediatamente antes de la Colocación del Signo Inicial que comienza el texto. Es probable que esto sea una ortografía de k’ihnich ‘radiante’. De hecho, la colocación 2chi[K’IN] está inmediatamente precedida por ʔaj-pi-tzi: la secuencia del título ʔaj-pi-tzi K’INICH está atestiguada en otros lugares, como la Escalera Sur de Uxul, Panel 03 (ver MHD, objabbr UXLSSP3), y fue uno de los títulos de K’inich Kan Bahlam II de Toniná. Esta grafía 2chi[K’IN] se puede considerar como una abreviatura: usando el MHD, se puede demostrar que existen más grafías logosilábicas de este término que incluyen T116 ni, o tanto T116 ni como T671 chi (Figura 2B), aproximadamente 120, que casos en los que se omitió T116 ni y solo está presente chi, con 17 casos. La abreviatura probablemente fue motivada por la ubicación de esta colocación al final del texto, donde no había más espacio. En consecuencia, parece que 22A funcionó en este caso como un dispositivo de puntuación, para indicar la abreviatura de una colocación, en este caso omitiendo un silabograma común (ni), de la misma manera que un punto también se usa para abreviar en los sistemas de escritura derivados del griego y el latín (por ejemplo, Dr., Prof., etc.).

 

Figure 2

Otro ejemplo de esta función de abreviatura de 22A se puede encontrar en K1670. El texto SEP en esta vasija comienza con la colocación yu-k’i-b’i para y-uk’-ib’ ‘su copa’, y termina, como se ve en la Figura 3A, con una grafía del título común K’UHUL-cha-TAN-WINIK, parecida a las versiones compactadas y extendidas que se ven en las Figuras 3B-C. Este título, por supuesto, está vinculado a un sitio de ubicación desconocida, cuyo nombre a menudo se transcribe Chatahn, pero que se cree que se originó en la Cuenca Mirador (Boot 2005; Velásquez García y García Barrios 2018), y puede corresponder al sitio Preclásico de Tintal (Hansen et al. 2006). En K1670, el título aparece al final del texto SEP en el borde de la vasija como K’UHUL-cha-2TAN (Figura 3A), sin el característico logograma WINIK. Aquí, 22A se aplica al logograma TAN para tahn ‘pecho’, que es seguido inmediatamente por la expresión del vaso poseído que comienza el texto SEP. K1670 también contiene dos columnas glíficas. La estructura de estas columnas es difícil de evaluar, pero cada columna parece repetir parte de este título: una muestra TAN-na WINIK (Figura 3D), mientras que la otra muestra 2TAN 2TAN (Figura 3E) en la parte superior y 2TAN-na TAN-na (Figura 3F) en la parte inferior. A pesar de la estructura irregular de las dos columnas glíficas, el patrón se mantiene: cuando 22A está presente, WINIK está ausente, y cuando 22A está ausente, WINIK está presente. Una vez más, 22A se aplica a un logograma e indica que algo que normalmente está presente (otro logograma en este caso) ha sido omitido, por lo tanto, la colocación típica ha sido abreviada. En esencia, esto es lo que sucede cuando 22A indica la necesidad de duplicar la lectura de un silabograma: es una forma de señalar que falta algo, una interpretación adicional de un silabograma ya presente. La función de marcador de abreviaturas propuesta aquí, entonces, probablemente también fue una extensión analógica de la función básica de duplicación del diacrítico.

 

Figure 3

Hay dos ejemplos más que apoyan esta función de abreviatura. Éstos involucran la expresión de ‘hijo de padre’, y específicamente dos casos donde 22A se coloca entre K’AK’ para k’ahk’ ‘fuego’ y el signo T535 (Ajaw-con-casco), como se ve en las Figuras 4A-B. En esta colocación, T535/ZA3 (Ajaw-con-casco) y T533/ZA1 (Ajaw regular) pueden coexistir (Figura 4C). Cuando esto sucede, T535 siempre precede a T533. El diacrítico 22A solo aparece en dos casos, los dos ejemplos ya señalados, y en ambos casos es T533 el que aparentemente está ausente de la colocación. 22A no siempre aparece en los casos en que T533 está ausente; como ya se ha explicado, 22A es opcional. Pero los dos casos en los que aparece son casos en los que se ha omitido T533. En principio, se podría argumentar que ejemplos como los de las Figuras 4A-B (y ejemplos similares que carecen del 22A opcional) son instancias en las que T533, Ajaw regular, ha sido infijo dentro de T535, Ajaw-con-casco, lo que da la apariencia de que solo el Ajaw-con-casco está presente. Por lo tanto, 22A podría estar funcionando, en la rara ocasión en que está presente en la colocación del ‘hijo del padre’, para indicar que falta algo, específicamente, T533, o al menos que T533 no es obvio (dado que es idéntico a parte del signo T535).

 

Figure 4

Para concluir, 22A, el diacrítico de duplicación, puede funcionar para indicar que se ha abreviado una colocación y, por lo tanto, serviría como un signo de puntuación. El componente que falta puede ser un logograma o silabograma generalmente presente en tal colocación. Así, en tales casos, 22A parece funcionar a nivel supra-grafémico, a nivel de la colocación, más que a nivel grafémico, específicamente, en cuyo caso se aplicaría a un logograma o silabograma (como en su función duplicativa). Esta función de 22A se añadiría a las ya discutidas, resultando en una clasificación funcional de cuatro tipos: duplicación secuencial, duplicación no secuencial, marcador de forma C1VC1 y finalmente, marcador de abreviatura. Y es probable que todas las funciones estén relacionadas: se puede argumentar que la función de duplicación secuencial es la base, a través de diferentes tipos de reanálisis, para las otras tres funciones.

 

Referencias

Hansen, Richard D., Beatriz Balcárcel, Edgar Suyuc, Héctor E. Mejía, Enrique Hernández, Gendry Valle, Stanley P. Guenter, and Shannon Novak. 2006. Investigaciones arqueológicas en el sitio Tintal, Petén. In XIX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2005, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Bárbara Arroyo y Héctor Mejía, pp.739-751. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala. http://www.asociaciontikal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/68_-_Hansen_et_al_-_2.05_-_Digital.pdf.

Harris, John F. 1993. New and Recent Maya Hieroglyphic Readings: A Supplement to Understanding Maya Inscriptions.

—–. 1994. A resource bibliography for the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs and new Maya hieroglyph readings. Philadelphia: University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

Harris, John F., and Stephen K. Stearns. 1992. Understanding Maya inscriptions: a hieroglyph handbook. Philadelphia: University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

—–. 1997. Understanding Maya inscriptions: a hieroglyph handbook. Philadelphia: University Museum Publications, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Revised edition.

Jones, Christopher, and Linton Satterthwaite. 1982. The Monuments and Inscriptions of Tikal: The Carved Monuments. Tikal Report 33, University Museum Monograph 44. Philadelphia: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.

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.

Kettunen, Harri, and Christophe Helmke. 2020. Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs. Seventeenth Revised Edition. Wayeb.

Looper, Matthew G., and Martha J. Macri. 2011-2022. Maya Hieroglyphic Database. Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico. URL: https://www.mayadatabase.org.

Looper, Matthew G., Martha J. Macri, Yuriy Polyukhovych, and Gabrielle Vail. 2022. MHD Reference Materials 1: Preliminary Revised Glyph Catalog. Glyph Dwellers Report 71.

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

Macri, Martha J., and Gabrielle Vail. 2009. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs. Volume Two: The Codical Texts. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Mathews, Peter. 1980. Notes on the Dynastic Sequence of Bonampak, Part I. In Third Palenque Round Table, 1978, pt. 2, Robertson, Merle Green, ed. Pp. 60-73. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Prager, Christian M. 2020. The Sign 576 as a Logograph for KUK, a Type of Bundle. Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Research Note 15. https://mayawoerterbuch.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/twkm_note_015.pdf.

Stuart, David. 2001. A Reading of the “Completion Hand” as TZUTZResearch Reports on Ancient Maya Writing, No. 49. Center for Maya Research, Washington, D.C.

—–. 2014. “Hieroglyphic Miscellany” from 1990. Maya Decipherment Blog. https://mayadecipherment.com/2014/02/25/hieroglyphic-miscellany-from-1990/.

Stuart, David, and Stephen Houston. 1994. Classic Maya Place Names. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology 33. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

von Euw, Eric. 1977. Itzimte, Pixoy, Tzum. Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions 4.1. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

Zender, Marc U. 1999. Diacritical marks and underspelling in the Classic Maya script: Implications for decipherment. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Note 31

A Possible Collocation Abbreviation Function of the Duplication Diacritic

 

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

12/5/2022

 

This note deals with the duplication diacritic or doubler of Epigraphic Mayan, cataloged by Looper et al. (2022) as 22A, with at least 133 occurrences in the Maya Hieroglyphic Database (Looper and Macri 1991-2022), henceforth MHD. It was originally identified and described by David Stuart in 1990 (Stuart 2014[1990]), who defined its basic function as doubling or duplicating the reading of a syllabogram, as in the very common spellings 2ka-wa, instead of ka-ka-wa, for käkäw ‘cacao’, or the occasional spelling 2k’u instead of k’u-k’u for k’uk’ ‘quetzal’, as seen in Figure 1.

 

Figure 1

 

This function is well established, and universally accepted. The diacritic’s doubling function has been incorporated into basic introductions to the Mayan writing since then (e.g. Harris and Stearns 1992, 1997; Harris 1993, 1994; Kettunen and Helmke 2020). The most detailed scholarly discussions of the diacritic are those by Stuart (2014), Stuart and Houston (1994), and most significantly, Zender (1999:102-130). Here I will focus on a single question, whether 22A could apply to logograms, in addition to syllabograms, and if so, with what function.

 

Although Stuart (2014[1990]) and Stuart and Houston (1994) proposed that 22A could apply to logograms, and that in such cases its function was to double their reading, same as for syllabograms, the examples that those authors were referring to were actually cases of syllabograms, such as ʔand ʔa, spelling grammatical morphemes, such as the person agreement markers u- ‘third person singular ergative/possessive’ and a- ‘second person singular ergative/possessive’. From the late 1970s through the early 1990s, many authors analyzed such syllabograms as functioning logographically when representing grammatical morphemes, and in such cases they were often transcribed in uppercase letters, same as logograms (e.g. U- and A-). However, from a purely orthographic point of view, this is unnecessary: a simple, syllabographic spelling strategy is sufficient to account for the uses of ʔand ʔa when they spell person agreement markers. In fact, Zender (1999), who carried out the most comprehensive discussion of the duplication diacritic to date, concluded that it applied exclusive to syllabograms. Although the notion that syllabograms could function logographically to spell grammatical morphemes was later revived as the Morphosyllable Hypothesis (Houston et al. 2001), a simple duplication function, the same type of function that applies to syllabograms, is enough to explain cases where 22A is used with syllabograms spelling grammatical morphemes. The only difference lies, in some cases, in whether the duplication action is meant to be sequential (e.g. 2li for -(V)l-il ‘abstractivizer or 2le for -(V)l-el ‘abstractivizer’) or non-sequential (e.g. 2ʔu-KAB’-CH’EN for u-kab’ u-ch’en ‘his land, his well/cave’). I would therefore define sequential duplication and non-sequential duplication as subtypes of duplication, but both applicable to syllabograms.

 

More recently, Kettunen and Helmke (2020) and Prager (2020) have suggested that 22A could be affixed to logographic signs representing roots with C1VC1 shapes, such as 2TZUTZ for tzutz ‘to finish’ (Stuart 2001; 2014[1990]) and 2K’AK’ for k’ahk’ ‘fire’. 22A also applies to a sign cataloged by Looper et al. (2022) as ZRJ, resembling a ball. Kettunen and Helmke (2020:20) have argued for a value K’IK’/CH’ICH’ for ZRJ, but do not present the evidence for it. It can be assumed that those authors were thinking of Mayan languages in which the word for ‘blood’ may also bear the polysemy ‘rubber (ball)’. One may cite the comparative Mayan evidence (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:322–324) for pM *kik’ ‘blood’, which in some Eastern Mayan languages (Kaqchikel, Poqomam, Q’eqchi’, Mam) and at least one Western Maya language (Tuzantek) may also bear the meaning ‘rubber’ in addition to ‘blood’. Thus, the languages where a ‘blood; rubber’ polysemy applies are Central Mayan languages. Prager (2020:7), for his part, presents tantalizing evidence in favor of a value KUK ‘bundle, textile; roll up, wrap up’ for ZRJ. Whatever the reading of ZRJ, the best analysis of the use of 22A with TZUTZ and K’AK’ is in fact that scribes were using it to mark logograms spelling roots with C1VC1 shapes. Such C1VC1-shape-marking function, attested in at least 14 examples in the MHD, likely was derived from 22A’s original function of duplicating syllabograms give that such function always yields /C1VC1/ sequences and is attested much earlier than the earliest examples of 22A with TZUTZ and K’AK’.

 

There is another instance in which 22A appears to apply to logograms that has not been properly accounted for to date. I suspect this what Stuart and Houston (1994:46, footnote 13) were alluding to when they stated: “We do not yet understand why some spellings use this convention. Perhaps they signal a particular spelling when two are possible: chi-K’IN in place of K’IN-chi, or k’a-k’a instead of BUTS’, respectively.” Regarding K’AK’, it now seems more likely that 22A was extended analogically to optionally marking logograms with roots with C1VCshapes, as there is no strong evidence for a value B’UTZ’ for b’utz’ ‘smoke’ for this logogram. Regarding the other case, unfortunately, Stuart and Houston did not provide the examples of either chi-K’IN or K’IN-chi to which they were referring, but it is very likely that one such example, perhaps the only example, was found on K2295. In the Primary Standard Sequence (PSS) text present on this vase, one finds 2chi[K’IN] (Figure 2A) at the very end of the text, immediately before the Initial Sign Collocation that starts the text. It is likely that this is a spelling of k’ihnich ‘radiant’. In fact, the 2chi[K’IN] collocation is immediately preceded by ʔaj-pi-tzi.: the title sequence ʔaj-pi-tzi K’INICH is actually attested elsewhere, such as Uxul Southern Stairway, Panel 03 (cf. MHD objabbr UXLSSP3), and was one of the titles of K’inich Kan Bahlam II from Tonina. This 2chi[K’IN] spelling can be thought of as an abbreviation: using the MHD, it can be shown that there exist more logosyllabic spellings of this term that include T116 ni, or both T116 ni and T671 chi (Figure 2B), approximately 120, than cases where T116 ni was omitted and only chi is present, with 17 cases. The abbreviation was likely motivated by the placement of this collocation at the end of the text, where there was no more room. Consequently, it seems that 22A functioned in this case as a punctuation device, to indicate the abbreviation of a collocation, in this case leaving out a common syllabogram (ni), much in the same way a period are also used to abbreviate in writing systems derived from Greek and Latin today (e.g. Dr., Prof., etc.).

 

Figure 2

Another instance of this abbreviation function of 22A may be found on K1670. The PSS text on this vase begins with the yu-k’i-b’i collocation for y-uk’-ib’ ‘his/her cup’, and ends in a spelling of the common title K’UHUL-cha-TAN-WINIK, as seen in Figure 3A, such as the compacted and extended versions seen in Figures 3B-C. This title of course is linked to a site of unknown location, whose name is often transliterated Chatahn, but thought to have originated in the Mirador Basin (Boot 2005; Velásquez García y García Barrios 2018), and may correspond to the Preclassic site of Tintal (Hansen et al. 2006). On K1670, the title appears at the end of the PSS text on the vessel’s rim as K’UHUL-cha-2TAN (Figure 3A), lacking the characteristic WINIK logogram. Here, 22A is applied to the logogram TAN for tahn ‘chest’, which is immediately followed by the possessed drinking cup expression that begins the PSS text. K1670 contains two glyphic columns as well. The structure of these columns is difficult to assess, but each column appears to repeat part of this title: one shows TAN-na WINIK (Figure 3D), while the other shows 2TAN 2TAN (Figure 3E) at the top, and 2TAN-na TAN-na (Figure 3F) at the bottom. Despite the irregular structure of the two glyphic columns, the pattern holds: when 22A is present, WINIK is absent, and when 22A is absent, WINIK is present. Once again, 22A applies to a logogram and indicates that something that is typically present (another logogram in this case) has been left out, omitted, and thus, the typical collocation is abbreviated. In essence, this is what happens when 22A indicates the need to double the reading of a syllabogram: it is a way of pointing out that something is missing, an additional rendering of an already present syllabogram. The abbreviation-marking function proposed here, then, likely was also an analogical extension from the basic duplication function of the diacritic.

 

Figure 3

There are two more examples that support this abbreviation function. These involve the child-of-father expression, and specifically two cases where 22A is placed between K’AK’ for k’ahk’ ‘fire’ and the T535 (Capped Ajaw) sign, as seen in Figures 4A-B. In this collocation, T535/ZA3 (Capped Ajaw) and T533/ZA1 (Regular Ajaw) may co-occur (Figure 4C). When this happens, T535 always precedes T533. The 22A diacritic only appears in two cases, the two examples already noted, and in both cases it is T533 that is seemingly absent from the collocation. 22A does not always appear in instances in which T533 is absent; as has already been explained, 22A is optional. But both cases where it does appear are cases where T533 has been omitted. In principle, examples like those in Figures 4A-B (and similar examples lacking the optional 22A), could be argued to be instances in which T533, Regular Ajaw, has been infixed within T535, Capped Ajaw, resulting in the appearance that only the Capped Ajaw is present. Thus, 22A could be functioning, in the rare occasion when it is present in the child-of-father collocation, to indicate that something is missing, specifically, T533, or at the very least not obvious.

 

Figure 4

To conclude, 22A, the duplication diacritic, may function to indicate that a collocation has been abbreviated (and thus serve as a punctuation device). The missing component may be a common or expected logogram, or possibly a common syllabogram. Thus, in such cases, 22A appears to function at the supra-graphemic level, at the level of the collocation, rather than at the graphemic level, specifically, applying to a logogram or syllabogram. This is yet another function, a fourth function, of 22A, after the ones already discussed, yielding a four-way functional classification: sequential duplication, non-sequential duplication, C1VC1-shape marking, and now, abbreviation. And all functions are likely related: the sequential duplication function can be argued to be the basis, through different types of reanalysis, for the other three functions.

 

References

Hansen, Richard D., Beatriz Balcárcel, Edgar Suyuc, Héctor E. Mejía, Enrique Hernández, Gendry Valle, Stanley P. Guenter, and Shannon Novak. 2006. Investigaciones arqueológicas en el sitio Tintal, Petén. In XIX Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2005, edited by Juan Pedro Laporte, Bárbara Arroyo y Héctor Mejía, pp.739-751. Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala. http://www.asociaciontikal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/68_-_Hansen_et_al_-_2.05_-_Digital.pdf.

Harris, John F. 1993. New and Recent Maya Hieroglyphic Readings: A Supplement to Understanding Maya Inscriptions.

—–. 1994. A resource bibliography for the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs and new Maya hieroglyph readings. Philadelphia: University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

Harris, John F., and Stephen K. Stearns. 1992. Understanding Maya inscriptions: a hieroglyph handbook. Philadelphia: University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

—–. 1997. Understanding Maya inscriptions: a hieroglyph handbook. Philadelphia: University Museum Publications, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Revised edition.

Jones, Christopher, and Linton Satterthwaite. 1982. The Monuments and Inscriptions of Tikal: The Carved Monuments. Tikal Report 33, University Museum Monograph 44. Philadelphia: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.

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.

Kettunen, Harri, and Christophe Helmke. 2020. Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs. Seventeenth Revised Edition. Wayeb.

Looper, Matthew G., and Martha J. Macri. 2011-2022. Maya Hieroglyphic Database. Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico. URL: https://www.mayadatabase.org.

Looper, Matthew G., Martha J. Macri, Yuriy Polyukhovych, and Gabrielle Vail. 2022. MHD Reference Materials 1: Preliminary Revised Glyph Catalog. Glyph Dwellers Report 71.

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

Macri, Martha J., and Gabrielle Vail. 2009. The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs. Volume Two: The Codical Texts. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Mathews, Peter. 1980. Notes on the Dynastic Sequence of Bonampak, Part I. In Third Palenque Round Table, 1978, pt. 2, Robertson, Merle Green, ed. Pp. 60-73. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Prager, Christian M. 2020. The Sign 576 as a Logograph for KUK, a Type of Bundle. Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Research Note 15. https://mayawoerterbuch.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/twkm_note_015.pdf.

Stuart, David. 2001. A Reading of the “Completion Hand” as TZUTZResearch Reports on Ancient Maya Writing, No. 49. Center for Maya Research, Washington, D.C.

—–. 2014. “Hieroglyphic Miscellany” from 1990. Maya Decipherment Blog. https://mayadecipherment.com/2014/02/25/hieroglyphic-miscellany-from-1990/.

Stuart, David, and Stephen Houston. 1994. Classic Maya Place Names. Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology 33. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.

von Euw, Eric. 1977. Itzimte, Pixoy, Tzum. Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions 4.1. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

Zender, Marc U. 1999. Diacritical marks and underspelling in the Classic Maya script: Implications for decipherment. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Archaeology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Nota 30

Una evaluación de la propuesta reciente de signos de puntuación en los textos de cerámica mayas

 

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

14/10/2022

En una publicación reciente, Grube (2021) ha propuesto que ciertos signos, algunos de ellos previamente sugeridos por Coe y Kerr (1998) como ejemplos de “rellenos de espacio”, en realidad funcionaban como signos de puntuación. Aunque se trata de una propuesta muy estimulante, existe una explicación alternativa, además de la función de relleno de espacios. La explicación alternativa que favoreceré aquí podría haber proporcionado la base, a través del reanálisis analógico, para la función de puntuación propuesta por Grube, en caso de que dicha función sea confirmada. Esta alternativa es simple: muchos casos de los llamados rellenos de espacio (Coe y Kerr 1998) o signos de puntuación (Grube 2021) son en realidad ejemplos de signos presentes en las colocaciones glíficas que habrían seguido si hubiese habido más espacio para continuar el texto. Por supuesto, esta no es una idea novedosa: los epigrafistas han sabido de tales ocurrencias ya por mucho tiempo (por ejemplo, Mora-Marín 2001: 128, 2004: 11), y el propio Grube (2021) proporciona algunos ejemplos, como observo a continuación. Lo que propongo es que la mayoría, si no todos, los ejemplos de signos de final de texto que parecen “innecesarios” pueden ser casos de signos que habrían comenzado colocaciones para las que no había espacio disponible y, por lo tanto, eran sobras o huellas de la siguiente colocación en la secuencia. La forma en que esta función “sobrante” y la función de puntuación pueden estar relacionadas también es simple: con el tiempo, los escribas podrían haber reanalizado algunos signos sobrantes, si son especialmente comunes o visualmente destacados, como marcadores de final de texto, dado que, por definición, aparecen al —inevitable— final de un texto. Repasemos algunas de las pruebas.

Primero, comenzamos con Coe y Kerr (1998: 143), quienes afirman que: “De vez en cuando uno ve el efecto de la compresión cerca del final de los textos extensos de la Secuencia Estándar Primaria [SEP], o el uso de rellenos de espacio donde la línea de glifos no ‘llega hasta el final’, pero en general casos como éstos son raros.” Dichos autores presentaron un ejemplo en el que el texto SEP termina en el silabograma yu, específicamente el caso de K1355, visto en la Figura 1A. Aunque Coe y Kerr (1998) propusieron una función de relleno de espacio para dicho signo, es preferible un análisis diferente. Este ejemplo muestra un texto que consiste en la Colocación del Signo Inicial seguida de la expresión verbal tz’i-b’i na-ja ji-chi para tz’ihb’naj-Ø-Ø-ich (escritura-PASIVO.DER.TV- 3sABS-INDIC.COMP.IV-ya/de.hecho) ‘de hecho fue pintado/a’. El texto termina en T62 yu (flechas azul claro). Se podría argumentar que se trata de un signo de puntuación final de texto o un relleno de espacio. Pero no lo es (intencionalmente). Más bien es el primer signo de la colocación común yu-k’i-b’i para y-uk’-ib’ ‘su copa/taza’, que típicamente sirve como sujeto del verbo. De hecho, la Figura 1B muestra un ejemplo de K9291 que termina en yu-k’i e inmediatamente precede a la Colocación del Signo Inicial que comienza el texto. La Figura 1C muestra un ejemplo de K5350 que también termina en yu-k’i. Ambos son ejemplos de textos en los que el escriba se quedó sin espacio para incluir el silabograma b’i que normalmente concluiría la colocación. Compárense los ejemplos anteriores con la Figura 1D, que muestra un ejemplo de K4552 que termina en la colocación completa yu-k’i-b’i, y con la Figura 1E, que muestra un ejemplo de K4551 que termina en la colocación yu-k’i-b ‘i y el silabograma ta, que precedería a yu-ta-la ka-wa o ʔu-lu, produciendo una frase como tä y-ut-al käkäw ‘para semillas de cacao’ o tä ʔul ‘para atole’. Este conjunto de ejemplos muestra que los “sobrantes” —signos o secuencias parciales que proporcionaban una ortografía (accidentalmente) incompleta de una colocación— eran un fenómeno común y que, en general, eran predecibles. Por lo tanto, tales expresiones incompletas llenaban el espacio, de manera incidental, pero su motivación era la de proveer una pista de la colocación para la cual no quedó espacio.

Figura 1

Continuamos con Grube (2021:5), quien argumenta que “estas marcas cumplen una función sintáctica real más que expresar el miedo a un horror vacui, porque están muy convencionalizadas y aparecen en cerámicas de diferentes épocas y en diferentes estilos pictóricos.” Él propone dos tipos de tales marcadores de puntuación de final de texto: 1) “una o dos líneas verticales que indican el final de una fórmula de dedicación” (Figura 2A); y 2) “dos puntos o círculos dispuestos verticalmente, a veces con pequeños rellenos agregados” (Figuras 2B–D). En la Figura 2, las flechas azules apuntan a los signos de puntuación propuestos, las flechas rosadas a la colocación del signo inicial que comienza cada texto. Grube afirma además que “Hasta ahora, solo se puede demostrar que estos signos de puntuación existieron dentro del contexto de los textos de dedicatoria sobre cerámica” (2021: 5).

Figura 2

Grube distingue estos casos de los casos en que un texto termina en un único silabograma aislado. Para tales ejemplos, Grube (2021: 4) propone la presencia de morfemas gramaticales que serían consistentes con una función de terminación de texto:

A veces, los escribas llenaban el espacio abierto con silabogramas individuales. En Kerr 595, el escriba insertó el signo che, tal vez insinuando la citativo cholano che’ “él dice” y confirmando así que el texto se entendía como un elemento de memoria colectiva (Kaufman y Norman 1984: 139). En otra vasija (Kerr 7459), el escriba agregó el signo la, quizás indicando la palabra laj “terminar” o “completamente, todo” (Kaufman y Norman 1984: 124), para marcar el final de la Secuencia Estándar Primaria.

Grube (2021: 5) también está abierto a un enfoque diferente, uno que ve los signos aislados de final de texto como las partes iniciales de colocaciones conocidas, como ya se mostró anteriormente:

En otros ejemplos, el escriba simplemente ha escrito un signo de la siguiente palabra para llenar el espacio en blanco, p.ej. SAK para indicar el título implícito sak wayis, o un solo signo silábico cha para indicar la expresión chatahn winiksiguiente (Kerr 2723; 2773; 4988; 5064; 5391; 5646; 8651; 8823).

Pero Grube no aplica esta estrategia a los casos en los que los signos de finalización del texto se asemejan a líneas o puntos, los caules analiza más bien como marcadores de puntuación. Sin embargo, la misma explicación ofrecida anteriormente para el silabograma yu en K1355, o por Grube para casos como las instancias de final de texto de SAK o cha, también se puede postular para instancias donde líneas o puntos, en realidad, números de barras y puntos, parecen finalizar el texto. De hecho, se puede ofrecer la misma explicación en la mayoría de los casos de silabogramas aislados que aparecen en posiciones finales de texto, incluido el ejemplo de che señalado por Grube.

Comenzaré con uno de los ejemplos de Grube de signos que se asemejan a líneas o puntos, visto en la Figura 3A, la banda textual de K5229. La flecha rosada muestra las “líneas” verticales que Grube propone como marcador de puntuación al final del texto. La flecha azul claro apunta al bloque de glifos anterior, un ejemplo de la colocación ʔu-OJO.NUDO, ya identificada por MacLeod (1990: 437–438) como parte de la frase de epíteto de ciertos textos de SEP, que ella asoció con el Dios A’. Desde entonces, se ha asumido que esta colocación se incluye en ciertas frases de epíteto o título, y se ha propuesto una lectura ʔu-ʔUB’ debido a posibles sustituciones con las grafías ʔu-b’i y ʔu-b’a (Tunesi y Polyukhovych 2016); el signo OJO.NUDO corresponde a PJG en el catálogo revisado de Looper et al. (2022). El texto de K5229 se puede comparar con la banda textual en K6100, que se ve en la Figura 3B. Los dos son estructuralmente equivalentes, y ambos incluyen la colocación ʔu-OJO.NUDO. De hecho, mientras que el de K5229 muestra las dos “líneas” verticales que siguen a la colocación ʔu-OJO.NUDO, el de K6100 muestra dos “líneas” verticales que preceden al signo principal correspondiente al silabograma sa. Una mirada más cercana a cada ejemplo de las “líneas” verticales sucesivas, tanto en K5229 como en K6100, es sucificiente para percibir que tales líneas están conectadas por al menos una línea horizontal en la parte superior o inferior, formando una barra, más específicamente, la barra para el numeral ‘5’ (Figuras 3C y 3D). Por lo tanto, el ejemplo en K5229 termina en la barra para ‘5’ que habría comenzado la colocación HOʔ-sa, que al igual que en el caso de K6100, habría seguido si hubiera habido más espacio. En otras palabras, las dos “líneas” verticales que Grube propone como un signo de puntuación final del texto son simplemente la barra para el número ‘5’ que se necesitaba para la siguiente colocación en la secuencia del epíteto. También debemos de tomar en cuenta que en K9153, como se aprecia en la Figura 3E, el texto termina con la colocación del epíteto ʔu-OJO.NUDO. Esto demuestra que los lectores pudieron completar colocaciones incompletas (en el caso de K5229) y frases incompletas (en el caso de K9153), basándose en ejemplos más completos que pueden haber visto antes (como K6100), o simplemente basándose en en su conocimiento de nombres comunes y títulos de personas conocidas en ese momento.

 

Figura 3

 

Un ejemplo similar se discute a continuación. Las Figuras 4A y 4B ilustran las bandas textuales en K4962 y K7727, donde se encuentra el silabograma aislado ka que termina el texto e inmediatamente precede a la Colocación del Signo Inicial de la SEP. En ambos casos, el silabograma ka en cuestión sigue la expresión ta-tzi-hi TEʔ-le, y por lo tanto, el silabograma ka está en la posición correcta para ser una grafía parcial de käkäw‘cacao’. De hecho, hay otros ejemplos en contextos donde la expresión para käkäw fue seguida por otras expresiones antes de regresar al principio en el que se deletreaba con un solo silabograma ka sin un silabograma wa obvio. En cualquier caso, como en el ejemplo de yu ~ yu-k’i ~ yu-k’i-b’i, es posible encontrar evidencia de que esta expresión era comúnmente final de texto, como en la Figura 4C, que ilustra el ejemplo de K3366.

 

Figura 4

 

Es hora de revisar un caso citado por Grube (2021:4), el ejemplo de che como silabograma de finalización de texto en K595. Si bien veo como muy plausible la propuesta de Grube, que el silabograma che haya servido como grafía de una instancia simple de cheʔ ‘así; partícula citativa’ (Kaufman y Norman 1984: 139), también es posible que el escriba se hubiese quedado sin espacio para deletrear la expresión más larga che-he/ʔe-na, descifrada por el propio Grube (Grube 1998), y que se basa en la misma partícula, resultando en cheʔ-en ‘así dice (él/ella/eso)’. La evidencia para esta opción radica en dos hechos: primero, existen casos claros de che-he/ʔe-na para cheʔ-en ‘así dice él/ella’, mientras que el único ejemplo a favor de un cheʔ aislado es el que aparece en K595 y es ambiguo debido a su contexto de final de texto que podría argumentarse como un texto incompleto; y segundo, hay al menos un paralelo muy cercano a la secuencia de signos presente en K595 en un texto donde che-he/ʔe-na se deletreaba claramente, y es seguido por el nombre de la persona citada. La Figura 5A muestra el ejemplo de K595, con la flecha azul claro apuntando al silabograma che, la flecha verde a la colocación CHAK-ch’o-ko para chak chok ‘gran joven’, y la flecha rosada apuntando a la Colocación del Signo Inicial de la SEP. La Figura 5B muestra el pasaje similar de K3395, con la misma secuencia general, solo que esta vez la flecha azul claro apunta a la colocación che-he/ʔe-na, que es seguida inmediatamente por el nombre y el título del individuo que se cita, que a su vez es seguido por la Colocación del Signo Inicial de la SEP. Finalmente, la Figura 5Cmuestra una versión más “extendida” de la misma secuencia en K1775; en este caso, che-he/ʔe-na va seguido de ʔu-tz’i-b’a para u-tz’ihb’ ‘su escritura’: se cita el texto mismo. En otras palabras, hay más evidencia para respaldar la proposición de que el silabograma aislado che en K595 estaba destinado a ser parte de la colocación che-he/ʔe-na, y que el escriba simplemente se quedó sin espacio para deletrearlo completamente. De hecho, el ejemplo de la Figura 5D, de K2695, ilustra una situación en la que la colocación che-he/ʔe-na aparece inmediatamente antes de la Colocación del Signo Inicial, y el escriba se quedó sin espacio para expresar quién o qué se está citando, y por lo tanto, se parece mucho al ejemplo de K595: un poco menos de espacio, y tal vez solo hubiera habido espacio disponible para el silabograma che.

 

Figura 5

En al menos dos casos, lo que Grube identifica como signos de puntuación que se asemejan a puntos, son en realidad silabogramas. El primer caso es muy probablemente una instancia de un diseño de ʔu. Este es el caso de K3034 que se ve en la Figura 6A. Este es el mismo diseño de ʔu que aparece, por ejemplo, en K1383 en la nominalización poseído ʔu-tz’i-b’i na-ja-la para u-tz’ihb’naj-al ‘su pintura’, visto en la Figura 7B. Hay muchas razones para sospechar que las expresiones poseídas podrían haber quedado incompletas al final de tales textos. Ya vimos esto con el caso de T62 yupara la colocación yu-k’i-b’i. De hecho, también hay casos de expresiones incompletas que comienzan con un alograma ʔu o que consisten exclusivamente en un alograma ʔu en casos que preceden a la Colocación del signo inicial de la SEP (por ejemplo, K2023, K5647).

 

Figura 6

 

El segundo caso en el que un silabograma se identifica erróneamente como puntos es el caso de ya. Esto se ve en la Figura 7A, correspondiente a K8651. En este se ve una secuencia K’UHUL:ka-wa, donde el logograma DIOS.C (K’UHUL para k’uh-ul ‘divino, sagrado’) y el silabograma ka parecen haberse fusionado, representando k’uhul käkäw‘cacao sagrado’. La Figura 7B, una fotografía de K1446, muestra una secuencia similar de ka-wa seguida del título ya-ʔAJAW-TEʔ. Por lo tanto, es posible que el silabograma ya de K8651, considerado por Grube como puntos que marcan el final de un texto, simplemente escribiera el comienzo de un título poseído, un título que comienza con /ʔa…/ (p.ej. ʔaj-k’iin ‘sacerdote ‘, ʔajaw ‘señor’, etc.).

 

Figura 7

Finalmente, no debería sorprender que los textos exhiban colocaciones incompletas que comienzan con un numeral (‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, etc.), y que explicarían los puntos que aparecen en tales posiciones. Existe una gran variedad de epítetos y títulos que suelen estar numerados y que, como sería de esperar, tienden a aparecer hacia el final de un texto, dado que los nombres de los sujetos o poseedores tienden a aparecer al final de frase. La Figura 8 muestra varios de estos casos (flechas verdes), la mayoría de ellos en casos inmediatamente anteriores a la Colocación del Signo Inicial (flechas rosas); uno de ellos (Figura 8G) también incluye un título poseído con ya. Anteriormente, se explicó de esta manera un ejemplo con el número ‘5’ (Figura 3A).

 

Figura 8

 

¿Cómo se puede seguir probando la propuesta de signos de puntuación del final del texto? Tal como está estipulada hasta el momento, la propuesta de Grube (2021) solo funciona en casos en los que se hubiera dejado un espacio vacío entre la colocación final de un texto y la colocación inicial, normalmente la Colocación del Signo Inicial de la SEP. En otras palabras, no es diferente de la propuesta de relleno de espacio de Coe y Kerr (1998). Esto es especialmente problemático dado que para los escribas y cualquier otro lector potencial, la alta frecuencia de la Colocación del Signo Inicial, con cientos de ejemplos atestiguados en vasijas de cerámica, habría hecho obvio que el texto había terminado una vez que se había “envuelto” a sí mismo hasta la posición previa a la Colocación del Signo Inicial. Grube (2021:2) de hecho destaca esta función de la Colocación del Signo Inicial, como una forma de indicar dónde comienza el texto. Los textos “envueltos” que comienzan con la Colocación del Signo Inicial, entonces, serían los contextos menos problemáticos para que un escriba o lector identifique dónde terminaría el texto, y por ende, donde un signo de puntuación de final de texto se necesitaría menos.

 

Para evaluar realmente la función de puntuación final de texto de estos diversos signos, se debe de encontrar evidencia de su uso, no necesariamente en textos monumentales, o textos extensos (“gruesos”) que carecen de colocaciones calendáricas, como propone Grube (2021: 5), si no que en cualquier texto, incluyendo los textos de cerámicas pintadas, siempre y cuando el texto no se enrolle sobre sí mismo y, por lo tanto, donde el escriba se habría arriesgado a dejar un espacio vacío. Hay muchos textos en vasijas de cerámica con tales rasgos, es decir, textos SEP dispuestos en columnas (Figura 9A), en bandas y columnas (Figura 9B), o en bandas que no envuelven a la vasija entera (Figura 9C). O especialmente se deberían buscar casos de bandas textuales enrolladas que carezcan de la Colocación del Signo Inicial de la SEP (p.ej. K5035, K5976, K6436, K8007, K8220, K9096, K9115 ). Que yo sepa, ninguno de esos textos muestra líneas o puntos en sus supuestas funciones de puntuación de finalización de texto.

 

Figura 9

 

En conclusión, es posible explicar la mayoría de los ejemplos de rellenos de espacio o marcadores de puntuación de final de texto putativos de una sola manera: como signos que comenzaban colocaciones incompletas hacia el final de un texto que se enrollaba sobre sí mismo. Esto significa que no son signos de puntuación especiales al final del texto, sino una estrategia mediante la cual el escriba indicaba qué colocación glífica habría seguido si hubiera habido más espacio, y que al mismo tiempo, llenaba el espacio vacío que habría resultado de otra manera. Es posible que eventualmente se demuestre que sí existen signos de puntuación de final del texto, pero se debe demostrar su aplicación en textos que no se enrollen en sí mismos, por un lado, y en textos en los que no se pueden explicar en base a los signos iniciales de colocaciones comunes al final del texto, por el otro. Si existen, sería probable de que hayan evolucionado, a través de un reanálisis analógico, a partir de los signos que iniciaron colocaciones frecuentemente truncadas al final de bandas textuales enrolladas de la SEP.

 

Referencias

Coe, Michael, and Justin Kerr. 1998. The Art of the Maya Scribe. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Grube, Nikolai.1998. Speaking through Stones: A Quotative Particle in Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions. In 50 años de estudios americanistas en la Universidad de Bonn, edited by Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Saénz, Carmen Arellano Hoffmann, Eva König, and Heiko Prümers, pp. 543-558. Bonner Amerikanistische Studien 30. Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben.

Grube, Nikolai. 2021. Punctuation Marks in Ceramic Texts. Research Note 19. Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya.

Looper, Matthew G. and Martha J. Macri. 1991-2022. Maya Hieroglyphic Database. Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico. URL: http://www.mayadatabase.org/.

Looper, Matthew, Martha J. Macri, Yuriy Polyukhovych, and Gabrielle Vail. 2022. MHD Reference Materials 1: Preliminary Revised Glyph Catalog. Glyph Dwellers Report 17. http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R71.pdf.

MacLeod, Barbara. 1990. Deciphering the Primary Standard Sequence. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Texas at Austin.

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

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

Tunesi, Raphael, and Yuriy Polyukhovych. 2016. Possible Phonetic Substitutions for the “Knot-Head” Glyph. Glyph Dwellers 39:1–8 . http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R39.pdf.

Note 30

An Evaluation of the Recent Proposal of Punctuation Marks on Mayan Ceramic Texts

 

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

10/13/2022

 

In a recent publication, Grube (2021) has proposed that certain signs, some of them previously suggested by Coe and Kerr (1998) to constitute cases of “space fillers,” actually functioned as punctuation marks. Although this is a very stimulating proposal, there is an alternative explanation, in addition to the space-filler function. The alternative explanation that I favor here could have become the basis, through analogical reanalysis, for the punctuation function advanced by Grube, should such function be validated. This alternative is simple: many cases of so-called space fillers or punctuation marks are actually examples of signs present in the glyphic collocations that would have followed should there have been more room to continue the text. This is of course not a novel idea: epigraphers have known of such occurrences for a long time (e.g. Mora-Marín 2001:128, 2004:11), and Grube (2021) himself provides a few examples, as I review below. What I propose is that most, if not all, examples of text-ending signs that appear “unnecessary” may in fact be cases of signs that would have begun collocations for which there was no space available, and were therefore leftovers or remnants of the following collocation in the sequence. The way this “leftover” function and the punctuation function may be related is also simple: over time, scribes may have reanalyzed some leftover signs, if especially common or visually salient, as text-ending markers, given that they would, by definition, appear at the —unavoidable— end of a text. Let us review some of the evidence.

 

First, we begin with Coe and Kerr (1998:143), who state that: “From time to time one does see the effect of compression near the end of lengthy Primary Standard Sequence [PSS] texts, or the use of space fillers where the line of glyphs does not quite ‘make it to the end’, but in general cases like this are rare.” Those authors presented an example in which the PSS text ends in the syllabogram yu, specifically the case of K1355, seen in Figure 1A.  Though Coe and Kerr (1998) proposed a space-filler function for such sign, a different analysis is preferable. This example bears a text consisting of the Initial Sign Collocation followed by the verbal expression tz’i-b’i na-ja ji-chi for tz’ihb’naj-Ø-Ø-ich (writing-PASSIVE.DER.TV-3sABS-PLAIN.COMP.IV-already/indeed) ‘it was indeed painted’. The text ends in T62 yu (light blue arrows). One could argue that this is a text-ending punctuation mark or a space filler. But it is neither. It is the first sign of the common collocation yu-k’i-b’i for y-uk’-ib’ ‘his/her cup’, which typically serves as the subject of the verb. In fact, Figure 1B shows an example from K9291 that ends in yu-k’i and immediately precedes the Initial Sign Collocation that begins the text. Figure 1C shows an example from K5350 that also ends in yu-k’i. Both are examples of texts where the scribe ran out of space to include the b’i syllabogram that would typically conclude the collocation. Compare with Figure 1D, which shows an example from K4552 that ends in the complete collocation yu-k’i-b’i, and with Figure 1E, which show an example from K4551 the ends in the collocation yu-k’i-b’i and the syllabogram ta, which would precede either yu-ta-la ka-wa or ʔu-lu, yielding a phrase such as tä y-ut-al käkäw ‘for cacao seeds’ or ʔul ‘for atole’. This set of examples shows that “leftovers” —signs or partial sequences that provided an (accidentally) incomplete spelling of a collocation— were a common phenomenon, and that they were generally predictable. Thus, these incomplete expressions filled the space, but were not meant to be space fillers originally.

 

Figure 1

Next, we turn to Grube (2021:5), who argues that “these markings fulfill a real syntactic function rather than just expressing the fear of a horror vacui, because they are highly conventionalized and appear on ceramics from different periods and in different painting styles.” He proposes two types of such text-ending punctuation markers: 1) “one or two vertical lines indicating the end of a dedication formula” (Figure 2A); and 2) “two vertically arranged dots or circles, sometimes with small fillers added” (Figures 2B–D). In Figure 2 the blue arrows point to the proposed punctuation marks, the pink arrows to the Initial Sign Collocation that begins each text. Grube further asserts that “So far, these punctuation marks can only be shown to have existed within the context of dedication texts on ceramics” (2021:5).

 

Figure 2

Grube distinguishes these cases from instances where a text ends in a single, isolated syllabogram. For such examples, Grube (2021:4) proposes the presence of grammatical morphemes that would be consistent with a text-ending role:

 

Sometimes, scribes filled the open space with single syllabograms. On Kerr 595, the scribe inserted the che sign, perhaps hintng at the Cholan quotative che’ “he says” and thus confirming that the text was understood as an item of collective memory (Kaufman and Norman 1984: 139). On another vase (Kerr 7459), the scribe added the sign la, perhaps indicating the word laj “finish” or “completely, all” (Kaufman and Norman 1984:124), to mark the end of the Primary Standard Sequence.

 

Grube (2021:5) is also open to a different approach, one that sees the text-ending isolated signs as the beginning parts of known collocations, as already shown above:

 

In yet other examples, the scribe has simply written a sign of the following word to fill the gap, e.g. SAK to indicate the implied title sak wayis, or a single syllabic sign cha to indicate a following chatahn winik expression (Kerr 2723; 2773; 4988; 5064; 5391; 5646; 8651; 8823).

 

But Grube does not follow this approach for cases where the text-ending signs resemble lines or dots, which he instead analyzes as punctuation markers. Nevertheless, the same explanation offered above for the isolated yu syllabogram on K1355, or by Grube for cases such as the text-ending instances of SAK or cha, can also be posited for instances where lines or dots, actually, bar-and-dot numerals, appear to end the text. In fact, the same explanation can be offered in most instances of isolated syllabograms appearing in text-ending positions, including the che example noted by Grube.

 

I will start with one of Grube’s examples of signs resembling lines or dots, seen in Figure 3A, the textual band from K5229. The pink arrow shows the vertical “lines” that Grube proposes to be the text-ending punctuation marker. The light blue arrow points to the preceding glyph block, an example of the ʔu-KNOT.EYE collocation, already identified by MacLeod (1990:437–438) as part of the epithet phrase of certain PSS texts, which she associated with God A’. This collocation has since been assumed to be included in epithet or title phrases, and has been proposed to be read ʔu-ʔUB’ based on possible substitutions with ʔu-b’i and ʔu-b’a spellings (Tunesi and Polyukhovych 2016); the KNOT.EYE sign corresponds to PJG in the revised catalog by Looper et al. (2022). The text from K5229 can be compared with the textual band on K6100, seen in Figure 3B. The two are structurally equivalent, and both include the ʔu-KNOT.EYE collocation. In fact, while that on K5229 shows the two vertical “lines” following the ʔu-KNOT.EYE collocation, the one on K6100 shows two vertical “lines” preceding the main-sign version of the syllabogram sa. A closer look at each example of the successive vertical “lines,” both on K5229 and K6100, interestingly, shows that the two lines are connected by at least one horizontal line at the top or bottom, forming a bar, more specifically, the bar for the numeral ‘5’ (Figures 3C and 3D). Thus, the example on K5229 ends in the bar for ‘5’ that would have begun the collocation HOʔ-sa, which just like the case of K6100, would have followed should there have been more space. In other words, the two vertical “lines” that Grube proposes to be a text-ending punctuation mark, are simply the bar for the numeral ‘5’ that was needed for the following collocation in the epithet sequence. Note too that on K9153, seen in Figure 3E, the text ends with the ʔu-KNOT.EYE epithet collocation. This shows that the readers were able to fill in both incomplete collocations (in the case of K5229), and incomplete phrases (in the case of K9153), based on more complete examples that they may have seen before (like K6100) or simply based on their knowledge of common names and titles of individuals known at the time.

 

Figure 3

 

 

A similar example is discussed next. Figures 4A and 4B illustrate the textual bands on K4962 and K7727, where one finds the isolated syllabogram ka ending the text and immediately preceding the Initial Sign Collocation of the PSS. In both cases, the syllabogram ka in question follows the ta-tzi-hi TEʔ-le expression, and thus, the syllabogram ka is in the right position to be a partial spelling of käkäw ‘cacao’. In fact, there are other examples in contexts where the expression for käkäw was followed by other expressions before wrapping back around to the beginning in which it was spelled with a single syllabogram ka without an obvious syllabogram wa. In any case, like the example of yuyu-k’i yu-k’i-b’i, it is possible to find evidence that this expression was commonly text-final, as in Figure 4C, illustrating the example from K3366.

 

Figure 4

It is time to revisit a case cited by Grube (2021:4), the example of che as a text-ending syllabogram on K595. While I find Grube’s proposal, that the syllabogram che could be spelling a simple instance of cheʔ ‘thus; quotative particle’ (Kaufman and Norman 1984:139), to be entirely plausible, it is also possible that the scribe ran out of space to spell the longer expression che-he/ʔe-na, deciphered by Grube himself (Grube 1998), and which is based on the same particle, yielding cheʔ-en ‘so it/s/he says’. The evidence for this option lies in two facts: first, there exist clear-cut cases of che-he/ʔe-na for cheʔ-en ‘so it/s/he says’, whereas the one example in favor of an isolated cheʔ appears on K595, and is ambiguous due to its text-ending context that could be argued to be an incomplete text; and second, there is at least one very close parallel to the sequence of signs present on K595 in a text where che-he/ʔe-na  was clearly spelled, and is followed by the name of the individual who was quoted. Figure 5A shows the example from K595, with the light blue arrow pointing to the syllabogram che, the green arrow to the collocation CHAK-ch’o-ko for chak chok ‘great youth’, and the pink arrow pointing to the Initial Sign Collocation of the PSS. Figure 5B shows the similar passage from K3395, with the same general sequence, only this time the light blue arrow points to the collocation che-he/ʔe-na, which is immediately followed by the name and title of the individual who is quoted, which is in turn followed by the Initial Sign Collocation of the PSS. Finally, Figure 5C shows a more “stretched out” version of the same sequence on K1775; in this case che-he/ʔe-na is followed by ʔu-tz’i-b’a ‘its writing’—the text itself is being quoted. In other words, there is more evidence to support the proposition that the isolated syllabogram che in K595 was meant to be part of the che-he/ʔe-na collocation, and that the scribe simply ran out of space to fully spell it out. Indeed, the example in Figure 5D, from K2695, illustrates a situation in which the che-he/ʔe-na collocation appears immediately before the Initial Sign Collocation, with the scribe running out of space to express who or what is being quoted, and thus resembles the example from K595 very closely: a little bit less space, and perhaps only room for the che syllabogram would have been available.

 

Figure 5

In at least two instances, what Grube identifies as punctuation marks resembling  dots, are actually syllabograms. The first case is very likely an instance of a design of ʔu. This is the case of K3034 seen in Figure 6A. This is the same design of ʔu that appears, for example, on K1383 in the possessed nominalization ʔu-tz’i-b’i na-ja-la for u-tz’ihb’naj-al ‘its painting’, seen in Figure 7B. There is every reason to suspect that possessed expressions could have been left incomplete at the end of such texts. We already saw this with the case of T62 yu for the collocation yu-k’i-b’i. There are in fact also cases of incomplete expressions beginning with an ʔallogram or consisting exclusively of an ʔu allogram in cases preceding the Initial Sign Collocation the PSS (e.g. K2023, K5647).

 

Figure 6

The second case where a syllabogram is misindentified as dots is the case of ya. This is seen in Figure 7A, corresponding to K8651. Here, ya follows a sequence K’UHUL:ka-wa, where the GOD.C logogram (K’UHUL for k’uh-ul ‘divine, holy’) and ka syllabogram appear to have been conflated, representing k’uhul käkäw ‘holy cacao’. Figure 7B, a photograph of K1446, shows a similar sequence of ka-wa followed by the title ya-ʔAJAW-TEʔ. It is thus possible that the syllabogram ya of K8651, argued by Grube to constitute dots marking the end of a text, simply spelled the beginning of a possessed title, a title beginning with /ʔa…/ (e.g. ʔaj-k’iin ‘priest’, ʔajaw ‘lord’, etc.).

 

Figure 7

Finally, it should be no surprise that texts would exhibit incomplete collocations beginning with a numeral (e.g. ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, etc.), and which would explain the dots that appear in such positions. The fact is that there are a wide variety of epithets and titles that are typically numbered, and which unsurprisingly tend to appear toward the end of a text, since the nominal phrases of subjects and possessors strongly tend to appear at the ends of phrases. Figure 8 shows several such cases (green arrows), most of them in cases immediately preceding the Initial Sign Collocation (pink arrows); one of them (Figure 8G) also includes a possessed title with ya. Previously, an example with the numeral ‘5’ was explained in this way (Figure 3A).

 

Figure 8

How can the text-ending, punctuation mark proposal be tested further? As it stands, Grube’s (2021) proposal only works in cases where an empty space would have been left between the final collocation of a text and the beginning collocation, typically the Initial Sign Collocation of the PSS. In other words, it is no different from the space-filler proposal by Coe and Kerr (1998). This is especially problematic given that to scribes and any other potential reader, the high frequency of the Initial Sign Collocation, with hundreds of attested examples on pottery vessels, would have made it obvious that the text had ended once it had wrapped itself around all the way to the pre-Initial Sign Collocation position. Grube (2021:2) in fact highlights this function of the Initial Sign Collocation, as a way of indicating where the text begins. Wrap-around texts beginning with the Initial Sign Collocation, then, would be the least problematic contexts for a scribe or reader to identify where the text would end, and therefore, where such punctuation marks would be needed the least.

 

To really test the text-ending punctuation function of these various signs, one must find evidence for its use, not necessarily on monumental texts, or lengthy (“thick”) texts lacking calendrical collocations, as Grube (2021:5) proposes, but on any text, including painted ceramic texts, where the text does not wrap around onto itself, and thus, where the scribe would have risked leaving an empty space. There are plenty of such texts on ceramics, that is, PSS texts arranged in columns (Figure 9A), in rows and columns (Figure 9B), or in rows that do not wrap around the vase (Figure 9C). Or one should check against cases of textual bands in PSS texts that lack the Initial Sign Collocation (e.g. K5035, K5976, K6436, K8007, K8220, K9096, K9115 ). To my knowledge, no such texts exhibit lines or dots in their putative text-ending punctuation functions.

 

Figure 9

In conclusion, it is possible to account for the majority of examples of putative space fillers or text-ending punctuation markers in one way: as signs that began incomplete collocations toward the end of a text that wrapped around itself. This means they are not special text-ending punctuation marks, but a way for the scribe to both indicate what collocation would have followed had there been more space, and also fill in the empty space that would have resulted otherwise. Text-ending punctuation marks may yet be proven to exist, but they must be shown to apply in texts that do not wrap around, and they must not be accounted for by the initial signs of common text-ending collocations. If they exist, there is a strong likelihood that they would have evolved, through analogical reanalysis, from the signs that initiated frequently truncated collocations in texts that wrapped around.

References

Coe, Michael, and Justin Kerr. 1998. The Art of the Maya Scribe. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Grube, Nikolai.1998. Speaking through Stones: A Quotative Particle in Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions. In 50 años de estudios americanistas en la Universidad de Bonn, edited by Sabine Dedenbach-Salazar Saénz, Carmen Arellano Hoffmann, Eva König, and Heiko Prümers, pp. 543-558. Bonner Amerikanistische Studien 30. Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben.

Grube, Nikolai. 2021. Punctuation Marks in Ceramic Texts. Research Note 19. Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya.

Looper, Matthew G. and Martha J. Macri. 1991-2022. Maya Hieroglyphic Database. Department of Art and Art History, California State University, Chico. URL: http://www.mayadatabase.org/.

Looper, Matthew, Martha J. Macri, Yuriy Polyukhovych, and Gabrielle Vail. 2022. MHD Reference Materials 1: Preliminary Revised Glyph Catalog. Glyph Dwellers Report 17. http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R71.pdf.

MacLeod, Barbara. 1990. Deciphering the Primary Standard Sequence. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. University of Texas at Austin.

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

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

Tunesi, Raphael, and Yuriy Polyukhovych. 2016. Possible Phonetic Substitutions for the “Knot-Head” Glyph. Glyph Dwellers 39:1–8 . http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R39.pdf.

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