This is a medium for research notes and reports on Mesoamerican linguistics and epigraphy. Contributions are welcome, but keep in mind this is not a CV-worthy outlet (peer-review is likely to be minimal and informal). Think of this as a place to post content—data and ideas—you just want to get off your chest, and which most journals would likely consider as too narrow in scope for publication. The aim is to spark interesting discussions. If you have questions or comments you may contact me at

1. The T1016/1017 Verbal Glyph of the PSS as k’uh(ul)/ch’uh(ul)-uy(-i) ‘It Became Holy’. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 7/5/20.

Nota 1 En español.

2. Mayan T757/AP9, the “Gopher” Sign, and Its Iconographic Counterpart in Epi-Olmec/Isthmian Writing. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 7/11/20.

3. A Rare Graphic Convergence and Other Interesting Matters Involving the CHAK-ch’o-k(o) ‘Great Youth’ Collocation. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 7/21/20.

Brief update (7/27/20): At the end of the blog I suggest a possible spelling ko-to-ko on K9112 that could be perhaps interpreted as CHAK-to-ko. I did not recall when I wrote this up that the the phrase CHAK-to-ko-(Y/7)ICH’AK was in fact already illustrated in the blog, in particular in connection with the Tikal personage whose name was discussed in the paper by David Stuart (1987) cited in the blog, only spelled with T109 (or the jawbone allogram). It appears elsewhere, perhaps, on K7997 and K7999, with T109 as CHAK; in those instances T110 ko is contained within a cartouche, as it is also on K3636 where it appears in a collocation YAX-to-ko-?(Y/7)ICH’AK.

Brief update (8/3/20): I recently recalled David Stuart and Peter Stuart’s blog ( on the Early Classic avian effigy pot containing one of the glyphs that I mention in my blog. There he analyzes relevant glyph block as BAAK-mu-ti-la which he relates to the Tzeltalan term bakmut for a type of ‘grackle’ bird. I had analyzed it as CHAK-mu-ti-la based on the color of the pot, which is reddish, and the iconographic motivation of T109 CHAK as a long bone; add to this the avian pot’s overall shape, I had suspected that the bird that was depicted was more likely to be a “fatter” type of bird, which is why the Ch’ol term chäk mut ‘wild turkey’ stood out. For now I prefer to transcribe this sign as B’AK/CHAK, given that T109 is iconographically a long bone, and it is therefore possible that this LONG.BONE sign could have functioned as CHAK.

One more update (8/16/20): Erik Boot ( had previously identified the bird on the Early Classic avian effigy pot, the one referred to by the spelling B’AK-mu-ti-la, as a boat-billed heron, which I find more plausible, given the long beak and the feathers behind the head, than a grackle or wild turkey. Unfortunately, he did not provide the sources for his linguistic identification.

4. Un dibujo del texto esgrafiado en la trompeta de concha de Pearlman. Por David F. Mora-Marín. Subido el 11/8/20.

5. Un dibujo de la escena representada en el vaso K2067. Por David F. Mora-Marín. Subido el 12/8/20.

6. A Drawing of the Inscribed Text on the Olmec-style Jade Pectoral Pendant at the British Museum. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 8/12/20.

Brief update (8/22/20): In the blog I stated “There may have been another glyphic passage on the other side of the pectoral, now broken off.” In fact, the photos of the piece available on the British Museum’s page (see link inside the blog post) show the remains of a curvilinear glyph still present on the mask’s left side, at the level of the glyph resembling the SKY sign on the right side of the mask, which could support the possibility that there were at least two glyphs on the side that is now broken off.

7. A Drawing of the Text on A Miniature Lidded Jade Vessel. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 8/15/20.

8. Hipótesis de convencionalización de afijación: Una explicación de las convenciones de deletreos fonéticos en la escritura Maya. Ponencia presentada en SSILA, enero del 2005. Por David F. Mora-Marín. Subido 18/10/20.

9. Updates on the Paleography of T168/2M1a ʔAJAW ‘lord, ruler’ and T130/2S2 wa. By David F. Mora-Marín. Posted 10/26/20.

Nota 9 En español.

10. Drawings of Quotative Glyphic Captions of K1398, “The Regal Rabbit Vase.” By David F. Mora-Marín. 11/3/20.

11. A Previously Unidentified Example of T1/HE6 ʔu on the Painted Stone Block from San Bartolo Sub-V. By David F. Mora-Marín. 12/12/20.

Nota 11 En español.

See following Note 12 for additional discussion of this variant of T1, specifically of another instance previously identified by Mario Giron-Ábrego (2015).

12. Two Instances of T1ʔu on the Painted Stone Block from San Bartolo Sub-V: Reviewing Giron-Ábrego (2015). By David F. Mora-Marín. 1/16/21.

13. Nak ‘to fight’: Another Mije-Sokean Loan in Epigraphic Mayan? By David F. Mora-Marín. 1/24/21.

14. Revisiting nak ‘to fight’: Additional Mayan Evidence Could Suggest Cognacy with Mije-Sokean *naks ‘to beat, to whip’. By David F. Mora-Marín. 1/25/21.

15. The Iconographic Origin of the T533/AM1 ʔAJAW ‘Lord, Ruler’ Logogram. By David F. Mora-Marín. 2/21/21.

Nota 15 En Español.

16. Two Additional Etyma That Experienced the Greater Tzeltalan *k > ch Shift: ‘Expensive’ and ‘Person; Who, Who?’. By David F. Mora-Marín. 6/7/21.

17. Notes on the Inscription on the “Diker Bowl” (Metropolitan Museum of Art). By David F. Mora-Marín. 6/12/21.

18. Some Notes on the Inverse Voice in Mayan Languages and Epigraphic Mayan. By David F. Mora-Marín. 8/22/21.

19. Notes on the *oo/*oʔ > *uu > u Shift in Ch’olan and Huastec(an). By David F. Mora-Marín. 9/7/21.

20. Reanalysis of the BM4 Sign on A Vessel from The Chocolate Museum, Cologne, Germany. By David F. Mora-Marín. 9/25/21.

Nota 20 en español.

21. Graphic Incorporation of T1/HE6 ʔu Within T128/32P TIʔ ‘Mouth’ and Other Paleographic Details. By David F. Mora-Marín. 12/18/21.

Acknowledgments section was edited on 1/11/22.

22. On the Initial Sign Collocations from Tikal Stela 31. By David F. Mora-Marín. 12/24/21.

23. La omisión de grafías para sufijos verbales en la escritura jeroglífica maya: Algunos ejemplos de la Secuencia Estándar Primaria. By David F. Mora-Marín. 1/6/22.

24. Some Notes on the Paleography of T617 and T24, and Evidence for Their Graphic Convergence. By David F. Mora-Marín. 2/4/22.

Update 1, 4/14/22: In my Note 24 I observed that T617 and T24 are graphically distinct signs, especially during the Late Preclassic and Early Classic periods, that they gradually converged graphically after that, but that even then retained a consistent distinction in that one is the inverted version of the other. I found out yesterday that Barb MacLeod had already made this last observation: In her dissertation (1990:69), specifically the chapter on T713a, the Flat Hand glyph, and in connection with the way in which T713a incorporates T617, she stated that “The “mirror” sign is here very often identical to T24 li, but it is inverted.”

25. Drawings of Three Olmec Celts / Dibujos de tres hachas olmecas. By David F. Mora-Marín. 5/15/22.

26. The Cascajal Block: Iconographic Motivations, Part I. By David F. Mora-Marín. 5/15/22.

27. The Earliest Spelling of ʔusiij ‘vulture’? By David F. Mora-Marín. 6/3/22.

28. A Possible Early Attestation of Proto-Ch’olan *-wän ‘Intransitivizer of Positionals’ on Tikal Stela 10? By David F. Mora-Marín. 6/3/22.

29. Update to Note 1: More Evidence for the K’UH(UL)-yi Verbal Expression in the PSS. By David F. Mora-Marín. 7/4/22.


Coming soon:

Drawing of the Text on a Greenstone Statuette (K3261). By David F. Mora-Marín. Coming soon.

Drawing of the Text on Kaminaljuyu “Stela” (Monument) 10. By David F. Mora-Marín. Coming soon.