Page 5 of 9

Note 4

Un dibujo del texto esgrafiado en la trompeta de concha de Pearlman

 

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

11/8/2020

 

Este blog tiene como objetivo introducir el dibujo del texto jeroglífico esgrafiado sobre la concha coleccionada por Edwin Pearlman que preparé alrededor del 2003-2004. La concha, que yace en la colección permanente del Chrysler Museum of Art como #86.457 (ver enlace en las Referencias) y es típicamente fechada para el 300-500 ó 300-550, fue discutida originalmente por Coe (1982:120-123, fig. 63) y posteriormente, en mucho más detalle, por Schele y Miller (1986:308-309, Plate 121), entre otros. El dibujo del texto fue preparado en base a un calco de las excelentes fotografías publicadas por Coe (1982).

 

Figura 1

 

La Figura 2 muestra el dibujo del texto preparado por Linda Schele; el archivo de dibujos de Linda Schele incluye no solo el texto sino que también parte del contenido iconográfico (ver enlace en Referencias).

 

Figure 2

 

Hasta el momento solamente he publicado bloques glíficos aislados (e.g. Mora-Marín 2005:73, Fig. 5), nunca el texto completo. Espero que sea de utilidad.

 

 

Referencias

Coe, Michael D. 1982. Old Gods and Young Heroes: The Pearlman Collection of Maya Ceramics. The Israel Museum. The Maremont Pavilion of Ethnic Arts, Jerusalem, Spring 1982.

Chrysler Museum of Art. https://chrysler.emuseum.com/objects/27443/conchshell-trumpet. Accedido 11/8/2020.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2005. Kaminaljuyu Stela 10: Script Classification and Linguistic Affiliation. Ancient Mesoamerica 16. 63–87.

Schele, Linda. Drawing 6913. http://research.famsi.org/schele_list.php?_allSearch=6913&hold_search=6913&tab=schele&title=Schele+Drawing+Collection&x=0&y=0. Accedido 11/8/2020.

Schele, Linda, and Mary Miller. 1986. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. Kimbell Art Museum.

Nota 1: Versión en español

El Glifo Verbal T(1016/)1017 de la SEP (PSS) como k’uh(ul)/ch’uh(ul)-uy(-i) ‘Se santificó’

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

27/7/2020

 

Previamente, MacLeod (1990:97-98, 508) y Zender (2000:1040) sugirieron que el sign T1017 (Thompson 1962) o SSJ (Macri and Looper 2003) constituye un silabograma ja en el contexto de varias expresiones verbales de la Secuencia Estándar Primaria (SEP), Primary Standard Sequence (PSS) en inglés, que muestran la flexión bipartita -h-…-aj ‘passivo’. Más específicamente, ellos observaron su juxtaposición con el logograma MANO.PLANA de la SEP, i.e. K’AL ‘amarrar, atar, envolver’, en un número de casos en los que T181/ZU1 ja, típicamente utilizado para representar el morfema bipartita de la forma pasiva k’ahl-aj ‘ser amarrado, atado, envuelto’, parece ausentarse, lo que establecería una  relación de sustitución, y por ende de equivalencia ortográfica, entre T1017 y T181 ja.

 

Figura 1

 

Como lo señaló Stuart (2001: 22, pie de página 2; 2005:67, pie de página 20), T1017 habia sido leído previamente por Grube y Schele (1991) como un logograma TZUK ‘partición’; sin embargo, Stuart sugiere que tal valor es inválido, y que Grube y Schele más bien confundieron T1017 con “la forma animada de la sílaba tzu,” T370/559, el cual muestra un tecomate con un espejo infijo, originalmente descifrado por Yuriy Knorozov. Grube y Schele (1991:2) describieron T1017 como una “cabeza de seudo-Dios C” o una “variante God C.” Yo apology la distincción por Stuart entre la versión animada de T370/559 y T1017: aunque comparten el element “espejo,” el primero típicamente exhibe  un elemento “venoso” que tiende a doblarse sobre sí mismo como copete, como se aprecia en la Figura 2A, mientras que el segundo muestra, ocasionalmente, un elemento a manera de barbo de pez conectado a su boca, como se ve en las Figuras 2B-C. Este elemento barbo-de-pez es característico del signo Dios C, T1016 (y T41) o AMC, con el valor logográfico K’UH(UL) para k’uuh > k’uh ‘dios’ y k’uh-ul ‘divino’, como se aprecia en la Figura 2D, aunque no está presente siempre en el signo T1017, como se ilustra en la Figura 2E, en el cual el mismo muestra dos infijos “espejo” en vez de uno. (Cabe añadir que el signo Dios C también puede mostrar espejos infijos, aunque no se muestren ejemplos aquí.)

 

Figura 2

 

Sigo a varios autores previous (Grube and Schele 1991; Stuart 2001) en su  asignación del signo T1017 como una “variante del Dios C.” Aunque esta nota no explica la motivación detrás de las diferencias gráficas contextuales entre T1016 y T1017, sí se demuestra a continuación que constituyen un solo signo. Pero antes, debo de retomar el problema de la aparente sustitución entre T1017 y T181.

La aparente sustitución entre T1017 y T181 señalada por MacLeod (1990) y Zender (2000) es llamativa, y su propuesta de que tal relación apunta a un valor silabográfico ja para T1017 es sin duda una explicación muy verosímil. Sin embargo, hay dos hechos adicionales que deben de tomarse en cuenta.

Primero, T1017 puede ocurrir como un logograma verbal por sí mismo, y en tales casos suele estar precedido por T36 K’UH(UL) para k’uuh> k’uh ‘dios’ y k’uh-ul ‘divino / divino’ . La Figura 3A ilustra una foto desplegable de Justin Kerr (K3962): la SEP en este recipiente está aislada en la Figura 3B, e incluye una colocación que consiste de la secuencia T36.1016/1017 yi-chi, colocada entre el Signo Inicial, 7aSIGNO.INICIAL-ya, que comienza la cláusula, y el conjunto de colocaciones deletreadas 7u-tz’i-b’a-li 7u-ja-yi yu-k’i-b’i ta tzi-hi-li TE7-le ka para u-tz’ihb’-al u-jay y-uk’ib’ ta tzih-il te7-el ka[kaw] ‘la escritura de/en el recipiente, en el vaso de bebida para kakaw-tipo-te7el crudo/fresco’. (Considero que u-jay y-uk’ib funciona como un difrasismo aquí). La colocación T36.1016/1017 yi-chi (o T41 yi-chi) en cuestión se muestra más claramente en la Figura 3C. Encaja en la posición de la expresión verbal cuyo sujeto es la frase ‘la escritura en el recipiente, en la taza para …’. En la Figura 3D se muestra otro ejemplo de la misma expresión verbal, en un estilo diferente y utilizando un alograma diferente para chi, esta vez de K1743.

 

Figura 3

 

Otro hecho que no fue contemplado por MacLeod (1990) y Zender (2000) es que otros logogramas verbales conocidos pueden aparecer inmediatamente después del logograma verbal K’AL, y al hacerlo, parecen tomar el lugar del T181 ja característico de la colocación K’AL-ja; sin embargo, otra explicación podría ser que tales casos son el resultado de una abreviatura y la condensación de dos expresiones verbales en un solo bloque de glifos. Esto se ve en la Figura 4A, donde el glifo de la cabeza DIOS.N ocupa el espacio que quedaría para T181 ja en deletreos más completos de la expresión K’AL-ja, como el que se ve en la Figura 4B, donde la expresión verbal K’AL-ja es seguida inmediatamente por la expresión verbal DIOS.N-yi. Por lo tanto, el caso en la Figura 1A podría simplemente compararse con los ejemplos que se muestran en las Figuras 4A y 4B y se concluiría que es una instancia similar de una frase más larga que involucra dos verbos en una secuencia que se compacta gráficamente dentro de un solo bloque de glifos y se abrevia: nótese que en la Figura 4A tanto K’AL como DIOS.N carecen de los silabogramas utilizados para deletrear parte de los sufijos requeridos, ja e yi, respectivamente. De manera similar, en la Figura 1A, K’AL y T1017 también carecen de los silbogramas, ja e yi nuevamente, necesarios para deletrear parcialmente los sufijos necesarios, -aj (de -h- … -aj) y -V1y.

 

Figura 4

 

Dados estos hechos, quizás sea más probable que T1017, cuando está presente en contextos como el de la Figura 1A, no esté deletreando parcialmente un sufijo -aj, en cuyo caso parecería tener un valor alternativo ja (o jV) no atestiguado en cualquier otro contexto, pero es simplemente un logograma, que se comporta de manera similar al logograma DIOS.N que se muestra arriba. Además de la comparabilidad entre las instancias de K’AL-T1017 y los casos en los que dos expresiones verbales se compactan dentro de un solo bloque de glifos (por ejemplo, K’AL-DIOS.N, Figura 4A), donde ninguno de los logogramas tiene espacio para los silbogramas necesarios para deletrear parcialmente los sufijos requeridos, y los casos en que T1017 ocupa la posición típica de las expresiones verbales ya revisadas anteriormente (Figuras 3C-D), hay una tercera línea de evidencia a favor de una función verbal de T1017: casos en los que la secuencia K’AL-T1017 compactada es seguida por la secuencia silábográfica yi-chi (o yi-chi) que frecuentemente acompaña a los verbos en -V1y en la SEP. Un conjunto de ejemplos relevantes se muestra en la Figura 5.

 

Figure 5

 

Es hora de discutir el posible valor del signo T1017 en el contexto de la SEP. En las Figuras 3C-D anteriores, se mostró que T1017 estaba precedido en dos casos por T36. Tanto T36 como T1016 tienen el valor K’UH(UL) para k’uh ‘dios’ o k’uhul ‘divino’. De hecho, algunos epigrafistas han sugerido la posibilidad de que T36.1016 constituya una sola unidad que se puede abreviar gráficamente a T36 o T1016. (Sospecho que los dos signos eran originalmente alogramas separados con el mismo valor, y que con el tiempo se fusionaron gráficamente, opcionalmente, debido a dicho valor compartido. Pero los dos representan entidades diferentes: T36 representa arreglo de preciosidades: cuentas de jade, conchas de Spondylus, ocasionalmente marcadas con el signo de K’AN para ‘amarillo’ y ‘precioso’; T1016 representa una estatuilla ritual tallada.) Pero en cualquier caso, parecería que cuando los escribas tenían espacio para deletrear la expresión en completo, usaron ambos, T36.1017 (Figuras 3C-D), mientras que en los casos en que no lo hicieron, es decir, en los casos en que la expresión se comprimió en el mismo bloque de glifos que el logograma K’AL, solo usaron T1017 (Figuras 1A , 4A-E). Dado esto, y la evidencia pendiente de lo contrario, estoy a favor de una lectura K’UH (o CH’UH) para T(36.)1016 (o T41) en este contexto. Y dado el uso ocasionalmente explícito de T17 yi después de T41/1016, supongo que puede tomar el sufijo -V1y normalmente escrito solo con T17 yi, pero ocasionalmente se deletrea de forma silábica como -CV1-yi, donde el silabograma que precede a T17 yi casi sin excepción exhibe armonía vocálica con respecto a la vocal de la sílaba precedente. Y en muchos casos es seguido por T671 chi, probablemente deletreando, junto con yi, el enclítico + ich ‘ya, de hecho’ (Terrence Kaufman, comunicación personal 2004). Mora-Marín (2007, 2009) ha presentado evidencia a favor de una función derivativa del sufijo -V1y tan común con los verbos en los textos mayas: el sufijo, propone ese autor, convierte raíces de diferentes tipos—transitivas, intransitivas, posicionales, adjetivales—a verbos intransitivos. Por lo tanto, esto constituye una desviación del análisis de verbos con sufijo como ‘mediopasivos’, sugerido inicialmente por MacLeod (1990) y elaborado por Houston et al. (2000). En cambio, Mora-Marín (2007, 2009) ha definido este sufijo como ‘incoativo (para convertirse en X)’ o ‘versivo (para comenzar a convertirse en X)’; Mora-Marín (2007) utiliza la etiqueta más general ‘ingresivo’, para los intransitivos derivados que se centran en el comienzo de una acción/evento. En los idiomas mayas, los incoativos/versivos/ingresivos se pueden aplicar a una variedad de raíces, mientras que la mediopasivización generalmente se aplica solo a las raíces transitivas. Los textos mayas clásicos, Mora-Marín (2007: 5, 2009: 138-145) ha demostrado, se caracterizan por el uso del sufijo -V1y con sustantivos, adjetivos, raíces intransitivas, raíces transitivas y raíces posicionales por igual.

Volviendo al tema del valor del logograma, y de la expresión verbal, Kaufman con Justeson (2003:458-459) reconstruye la raíz *k’uuh ‘dios’ del Proto-Maya como un sustantivo, y el término *k’uh.ul ‘divino’ de los idiomas de las tierras bajas como adjetivo. Dado que los incoativos, versivos, e ingresivos pueden derivarse de sustantivos o adjetivos (o transitivos o intransitivos o posicionales), podemos entretener tanto a k’uuh-uy como k’uhul-uy (o ch’uuh-uy y ch’uhul-uy). En cualquier caso, es probable que el significado fuera equivalente, k’uuh-uy o k’uhul-uy ‘volverse sagrado’ o ‘santificarse’. Por lo tanto, T1016 K’UH para k’uuh > k’uh ‘dios’ podría flexionarse como un verbo incoativo/versivo/ingresivo, y de ser así, se obtendría la siguiente lectura: K’UH(UL)-yi-chi para k’uh(ul)-uy-i/Ø-Ø+ich dios(divino)-INCOATIVO-COMPLETIVO-3SINGULAR.ABSOLUTIVO+YA ‘se volvió sagrado ya/de hecho’ o ‘ya se santificó’, donde se analiza -yi-chi como deletreando, en parte, el enclítico +ich ‘ya, de hecho’ (Kaufman, comunicación personal, 2004). Hay evidencia de expresiones similares en los idiomas del Tzeltalano Mayor (o Ch’olano-Tzeltalano). Por ejemplo, Polian (2015: 174, 176) documenta la expresión ch’uhultes ~ ch’ultes (ch’uh-ul-tes) ‘bendecir, santificar (bendecir, santificar)’ en tzeltal como una acción transitiva derivada con -tes (<-t ‘transitivizer’ + -es ‘causativizer’). Polian no documenta una forma intranstivizada, pero es lógico pensar que sería posible derivar dicha forma. Curiosamente, el objeto de la acción transitiva en los dos ejemplos proporcionados por Polian en ambos casos corresponde a una entidad natural utilizada por humanos o una entidad artificial construida por humanos: lok’ib ‘manantial’ en el primero (xk’otuk xch ‘uhultesik te lok’ib ha’e ‘fueron a bendecir el manantial’), nah ‘casa’ ‘en el segundo (la xch’ultes nah te pagree ‘el sacerdote bendijo la casa’). Laughlin y Haviland (1988:200) documentan varias expresiones relevantes en tzotzil basadas en ch’uh ‘dios’: ch’uiltas (tv) ‘para bendecir (comida, agua), consagrar’; ch’uulib (iv) become hacerse santo ’; y ch’uulibtas (tv) ‘para hacer santo, santificar’. Es plausible que los escribas mayas clásicos pudieran haber derivado un término similar utilizando el sufijo ubicuo y ampliamente aplicable -V1y. Esto a su vez tiene implicaciones importantes para la naturaleza de la “fórmula dedicatoria,” como también ha sido denominada la SEP. El verbo propuesto k’uh(ul)-uy ‘volverse santo’ o ‘santificarse’ sugeriría que los objetos artesanales (joyas, ollas, estelas, templos) en realidad fueron ‘bendecidos’.

Finalmente, planteo una observación y una hipótesis para futuras investigaciones sobre la diferencia entre las versiones condensadas y separadas de las expresiones verbales. Todos los casos en los que dos glifos verbales se han compactado en un solo bloque de glifos que involucra el logograma verbal K’AL exhiben el mismo patrón: el logograma se representa por medio de una mano izquierda (que muestra el dorso de la mano apuntando a la izquierda del lector); y todos los ejemplos también muestran un signo T617 (“espejo”) o un signo T548 (HAB’ para ha7b’ ‘aniversario’) encima del signo de la mano representando K’AL, que sospecho funciona como un determinante semántico, para distinguir la lectura K’AL de otras lecturas posibles del mismo diseño de la MANO.PLANA, tales como K’AB’ para k’ab’ ‘mano/brazo’ y el valor silábográfico mi. Por el contrario, cuando el logograma de K’AL ocupa su propio bloque glífico, generalmente muestra la mano derecha más característica (que muestra el dorso de la mano apuntando a la derecha del lector), así como un determinante semántico (T617 o T548 u ocasionalmente T544), más el syllabogram ja; rara vez proporcionan otros syllabogramas para deletrear más explícitamente la expresión (por ejemplo, k’a o la). Este patrón de contraste se puede observar en la Figura 4 anterior, así como en los ejemplos ilustrados aquí que muestran K’AL y K’UH (T41/1016/1017) dentro del mismo bloque de glifos, en las Figuras 1A y Figuras 5A-E. Por lo tanto, parece que los escribas distinguían gráficamente los contextos en los que K’AL se abreviaba y compactaba dentro de un bloque de glifos junto con otro logograma verbal de manera sistemática.

Referencias (no traducidas)

Grube, Nikolai, and Linda Schele. 1991. Tzuk in the Classic Maya Inscriptions. Texas Notes on Precolumbian Art, Writing, and Culture, 14.  Art Department, University of Texas at Austin.

Houston, Stephen D., John Robertson, and David S. Stuart. 2000. The Language of Classic Maya Inscriptions. Current Anthropology 41:321-356.

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

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

Looper, Matthew, and Yuriy Polyukhovych. 2016. Five Inscribed El Zotz-Style Vessels in the Fralin Museum of Art. Glyph Dwellers 45. URL: http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R45.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. 2007. The Identification of an Ingressive Suffix in Classic Lowland Mayan Texts. In Proceedings of the CILLA III Conference, October 2007, Austin, Texas, edited by Nora England, pp 1-14. Austin: Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, Linguistics Department, University of Texas. https://ailla.utexas.org/sites/default/files/documents/MoraMarin_CILLA_III.pdf.

—–. 2009. A Test and Falsification of the “Classic Ch’olti’an” Hypothesis: A Study of Three Proto-Ch’olan Markers. International Journal of American Linguistics 75:115-157.

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

Stuart, David. 2001. A Reading of the “Completion Hand” as TZUTZ. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 49. Washington, D.C.: Center for Maya Research.

—–. 2005. The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque: A Commentary. San Francisco: The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute.

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

Zender, Marc. 2000. A Study of Two Uaxactun-Style Tamale Serving Vessels. In The Maya Vase Book, Volume 6, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 1038-1071. New York: Kerr Associates.

Note 3

A Rare Graphic Convergence and Other Interesting Matters Involving the CHAK-ch’o-k(o) ‘Great Youth’ Collocation

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

7/21/20

 

This note pertains to a pattern of graphic convergence experienced by T109 in the context of the CHAK-ch’o-k(o) collocation, especially as used in texts on pottery vessels.[i] I will focus on the collocation itself, and the possible causes for the process of convergence.[ii] I also present evidence for the use of T758a ch’o as an iconic logogram CH’OHOK for ch’ohok ‘mouse’, and via rebus logography, as a symbolic logogram CH’OK (or CVC syllabogram ch’ok) used to spell ch’ok ‘unripe; youth’ without a need for T110 ko.

 

First, some background regarding the signs to be discussed here is needed. The CHAK-ch’o-k(o) collocation was arbitrarily designated as “Rodent Bone” (Figure 1A) by Coe (1973:21-22). The collocation was spelled most frequently as T109.758a:110 in Thompson’s (1962) catalog codes, or 1B9.APB:1BA in Macri and Looper’s (2003) catalog codes. T109/1B9 (Figure 1B) has the logographic value CHAK for Proto-Ch’olan *chäk (~ chächäk) ‘red’ as well as <chac> ‘muy o mucho; gran(de); grave (very, a lot; great; grave)’ based on Colonial Yucatec sources. T758a/APB has the syllabographic value ch’o (Figures 1C-D)[iii]: it depicts the head of a mouse or rat, a fact that explains its value through acrophonic derivation based on a reflex of Proto-Mayan *ch’o7h ‘mouse, rat’ (Kaufman with Justeson 2003:589) or Proto-Ch’olan *ch’ohok ‘mouse’ (Kaufman and Norman 1984:119).[iv]  T110/1BA has the syllabographic value ko (Figure 1E) (Grube and Stuart 1987). Note that Thompson’s exemplar for T758a (misleadingly) incorporates a graphically infixed T110 ko in the ear, whereas Macri and Looper’s (2003) and Macri and Vail’s (2009) exemplars do not. T109/1B9 was argued by Grube and Stuart (1987:1) to be iconically based on a long bone, but those authors rejected Thompson’s (1962:51) identification of T110 as a bone. T111/579 or HH1 (Figure 1F) is also a BONE sign, as observed by Grube and Stuart (1987:1), only this one has a reading that is based more directly on its iconic motivation: B’AK for Proto-Ch’olan *b’ak ‘bone’ (< Proto-Mayan *b’aaq). I return to the matter of the iconicity of T110 below. Interestingly, Stuart (1987) demonstrated the substitutional equivalence between T109/1B9 CHAK and a sign depicting a jawbone, not classified by Thompson (1962) but classified by Macri and Looper (2003) as HJ2. This sign is rare, and does not play a role in the CHAK-ch’o-k(o) collocation, thus far, but is nonetheless related to some of the other signs, and is thus included in this note. Together, ch’o-ko was read independently by several epigraphers as ‘youth’ or ‘offspring’ or ‘sprout’ (MacLeod 1990:405). I will use the Proto-Ch’olan gloss ‘unripe; youth’, though in the contexts at hand ‘youth’ will suffice. Last, I should note that there is an allogram with the value CHAK, hence CHAK2, possibly used only in the context of the CHAK-ch’o-k(o) collocation, described and nicknamed LEAF.HEAD by Boot (2009). This sign does not have any bearing to the present discussion.

 

Figure 1

 

Figures 2A-C show the typical spelling of this collocation: T109.758a:110 CHAK-ch’o-ko.[v] In such typical examples, T109 in one of its variations (T109a for Figure 2A; T109c for Figures 2B-C), will be characterized by an elongated shape with two black (or cross-hatched) stripes that run along the short axis (cyan color) and two knob-like elements placed at the ends of the sign along the long axis (magenta color), as seen in Figure 2D. And in such typical examples, T110 has two black (or cross-hatched) stripes that run along the long axis of the sign (cyan color), as well as two knob-like elements placed at the ends of the sign that run along the long axis (magenta color), as seen in Figure 2E. Nevertheless, there are three examples (Figures 2F-H), at least, where what should be T109 resembles or is identical to T110. I propose this is the result of graphic convergence or assimilation due to close proximity of two signs that were already graphically similar to begin with. In fact, this convergence does not occur outside of this context, whenever T109 and T110 do not occur in close proximity. This is thus a rare phenomenon indeed. And it raises some questions.

 

Figure 2

 

The first question pertains to the example in Figure 2H: the example shows T110—functioning as T109 CHAK—but there is no T110 ko after T758a ch’o. Previously, I suggested that graphic convergence was the result of close proximity. This example would appear to contradict such a suggestion, for there is no T110 following T758a ch’o. Nevertheless, there are special circumstances that require elaboration. For one, as seen in Figure 3A, the collocation in question is immediately followed by the Initial Sign that begins the text seen in Figure 3B. Thus, it is possible that the scribe simply ran out of room to paint the closing T110 ko. In addition, there is evidence that T758b could represent ch’ok ‘youth’ on its own, so that a closing T110 ko could have been unnecessary, and the high frequency of co-occurrence of T109 and T110 within the same collocation would have been sufficient for the scribe to render T109 as T110 in the appropriate context. As seen in Figure 3C, the T109.758a collocation on K1335 was not constrained by space—it is not at the end of the text, but followed by the ke-KELEM expression. And yet, T758a is not followed by T110 ko; it would seem that the scribe spelled simply CHAK-ch’o instead of CHAK-ch’o-k(o), as was the case with the example in Figure 3A, only in this case it was not due to running out of space. I return to the obvious fact that T109 in this example resembles a bone below. For now I would like to highlight a few instances that suggest that T758a did not require the use of T110 ko to spell ch’ok ‘youth’. Figures 3D-E show two expressions present on K530, both spelling T109.758a. The first one, on Figure 3D, appears at the end of the PSS-style text painted along the rim of the vessel, while the second one, on Figure 3E, appears in the middle of a secondary text. Thus, while the scribe may have ran out of room for the first one, the same cannot be true of the second one. More to the point, the passages on Figures 3F-G, described in a previous blog post dealing with the iconographic details of the T757 GOPHER sign (Mora-Marín 2020), seem to use T758a to refer to the k’an-al b’ah‘yellow pocket gopher’ as a type of ‘mouse’, perhaps more generally ‘rodent’; this usage was optional, as its absence from the case in Figure 3H demonstrates. This means that T758a was likely functioning here logographically, to spell a reflex of Proto-Mayan *ch’o7h ‘mouse, rat’ or Proto-Ch’olan *ch’ohok ‘mouse’. Either would account for the acrophonic derivation of its syllabographic value, ch’o. But only one, *ch’ohok, can explain—via rebus—its use in cases like Figures 3A and 3C-E: T758a had a logographic value CH’OHOK for ‘mouse’ and as a result of such value could be used via rebus as CH’OK to represent ch’ok ‘youth’.

 

Figure 3

 

The second question raised by the examples of graphic convergence has to do with the nature of the similarity: I have argued that the process of convergence resulting in T109 shifting to resemble or become identical to T110 was facilitated by an initial graphic similarity, but could there be more to the story? The evidence I provide next will support an affirmative answer to this question, and suggest that the initial graphic similarity between T109 and T110 is iconographically motivated: both signs depict long bones. Earlier I noted that Grube and Stuart (1987:1) had identified both T109 and T111 as BONE signs, iconographically speaking, but rejected such an identification for T110. More precisely, they state (Grube and Stuart 1987:1):

 

The affix in question […] is numbered 110 in Thompson’s glyph catalog (1962:51), and nicknamed “bone.” Visually, however, sign T110 does not appear to be related to representations of bones in Maya art. Indeed, there are two other signs known to represent longbones-affix T111 (and its main sign form T570), read logographically as BAK (“bone” or “captive”); and T109, the well known [sic] sign for CHAK (“red”) […]. In the Palenque Emblem Glyph, T570 is often replaced by a realistic depiction of an animal or bird skull, which reinforces the formal identification of T570 and T110 as bones (Stuart 1985). While T110 at first glance seems to be similar to T111 and T109, it is clearly distinguished graphically in the script and never occurs in the same context as those others. Therefore, the “bone” designation should not be applied to sign T110.

 

While I agree with their assessment that T110 “is clearly distinguished graphically in the script and never occurs in the same context as the others,” the same is true for T109 CHAK and T111 B’AK, which those authors consider to be depictions of bones: T109 does not occur in the same contexts as T111, and vice versa. Therefore this is not a valid criterion to invalidate the possibility that T110 could be another BONE sign. It should be clear by now that Mayan scribes sometimes used signs with the similar iconographic motivations but could assign them different values and functions: HJ2 represents a jawbone, and so does T590/HJ1, but the former is read CHAK, the latter cho. I agree with Thompson’s assessment of T110 as a BONE sign.

 

Back to T109: as was seen in Figure 3C, partially reproduced here for convenience as Figure 4A, T109 was rendered so as to resemble a long bone, while retaining the diagnostic parallel black stripes. This confirms the proposal that T109 depicts a long bone. And there is further support: previously, Stuart (1987) had discovered a variant of T109 in the shape of a jawbone that substitutes for T109 in the spelling of the name of one of Tikal’s rulers, Chak Tok(al) Yihch’ak, as seen in Figures 4B-C. Thus, an association with bones—perhaps bones covered in red pigment—is apparent. Another example of this iconographic association is seen in the spellings of ‘puma’: Figures 4D-G show the spellings of chäk b’ahläm ‘puma’ as CHAK(-ka)-B’ALAM (Figures 4D-E), CHAK:ka-B’ALAM (Figure 4F), and CHAK-B’ALAM (Figure 4G). The first two examples show T25 ka functioning as a phonetic complement to CHAK ‘red’, the third shows a conflation of CHAK and ka, and the fourth shows a version of T109 that resembles a long bone, very much like that in Figure 4A. There is even one example that suggests that the parallel black (or cross-hatched) stripes were not needed: Figure 4H shows a glyph BONE-mu-ti-l(a), spelling the name of an avian effigy vessel, reddish in color (Fields and Reents-Budet 2005), perhaps as chak muutil ‘red bird’. So far I lack similarly depictive examples for T110 that would confirm its identity as a BONE sign. There is one Late Preclassic inscription on an Olmec-style jade maskette at the Brooklyn Museum of Art where a sign strongly resembling T110 ko (note parallel bands oriented along the long axis of the sign) resembles a long bone, as seen in Figure 4I. Although its function in this glyphic collocation is unclear for now, there is no reason to doubt for now that T110 depicts a bone, just like T109 does. If so, perhaps their shared iconographic motivation, which could account for similar overall shape, facilitated the process of graphic convergence, in addition to their frequenty co-occurrence in the same collocation.

 

Figure 4

 

To conclude, there is an additional context where T109 and T110 may have converged graphically: on K9112 one finds the spelling ko-to-ko (Figure 5A) as part of the nominal phrase referring to the intended owner of a vase. Given the similarity of the graphic composition (i.e. ko.to:ko) to the common collocation CHAK.ch’o:k(o) (Figure 5B) it is possible that the scribe may have rendered what was supposed to be an instance of T109 sign like the T110 sign. If so, perhaps the spelling rendered corresponds to CHAK-to-k(o) for (chä)chäk tok ‘red cloud’.

 

Figure 5

 

[i] This research evolved out of my study of Primary Standard Sequence texts described in my FAMSI report from 2004 (Mora-Marín 2004). I initially circulated a printout on this topic at the Texas Meetings in 2005, but neglected to write it up for publication afterward. I have also been utilizing this example in my class lectures since then.

[ii] For previous research on paleography and processes such as graphic divergence and convergence, I would recommend Lacadena (1995) and Mora-Marín (2003, 2016).

[iii] T758a/APB was independently deciphered as ch’o by Stephen Houston, William Ringle, Nikolai Grube, and Barbara MacLeod (MacLeod 1990:354).

[iv] The T287/HE5 ch’o allogram is of no relevance to this note; neither is the T/HJ3 ko allogram.

[v] All “K” numbers refer to vessels phographed by Justin Kerr and available http://research.mayavase.com/kerrmaya.html.

 

References

Boot, Erik. 2009. A New Sign for CHAK. Rijswijk, the Netherlands. July 21, 2009. URL: http://www.mayavase.com/CHAK-sign.pdf.

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

Grube, Nikolai, and Werner Nahm. 1994. A Census of Xibalba: A Complete Inventory of “Way” Characters on Maya Ceramics. In The Maya Vase Book: A Corpus of Rollout Photographs of Maya Vases, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 686–715. New York: Kerr Associates.

Grube, Nikolai, and David S. Stuart. 1987. Observations on T110 as the Syllable ko. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 8:1-13.

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

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.

Lacadena García-Gallo, Alfonso. 1995. Evolución formal de las grafías escriturarias mayas: implicaciones históricas y culturales. Ph.D. Dissertation, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Looper, Matthew, and Yuriy Polyukhovych. 2016. Codex-style Inscribed Vessels in the Fralin Museum of Art. Glyph Dwellers 44. URL: http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R44.pdf.

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

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.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2003. The origin of Mayan syllabograms and orthographic conventions. Written Language and Literacy 6. 193–237.

—–. 2004. The Primary Standard Sequence: Database Compilation, Grammatical Analysis, and Primary Documentation, with Addenda: Description of Digital Database of PSS Texts & Database of PSS Texts. URL: http://www.famsi.org/reports/02047/index.html.

—–. 2008. Full Phonetic Complementation, Semantic Classifiers, and Semantic Determinatives in Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing. Ancient Mesoamerica 19:195-213.

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

—–. 2020. Mayan T757/AP9, the “Gopher” Sign, and Its Iconographic Counterpart in Epi-Olmec/Isthmian Writing. Notes on Mesoamerican Epigraphy and Linguistics 2. URL: https://davidmm.web.unc.edu/2020/07/11/note-2/.

Stuart, David. 1987. A Variant of the chak Sign. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 10:1-2.

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

Note 2

Mayan T757/AP9, the “Gopher” Sign, and Its Iconographic Counterpart in Epi-Olmec/Isthmian Writing

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

7/11/20

 

This note aims to show that Mayan T757/AP9 has an iconographic counterpart in Epi-Olmec/Isthmian writing, namely, MS152a: they both depict the head of a gopher. The Mayan version was designated with two codes in Thompson’s (1962) catalog, T757 (Figure 1A) and T788 (Figure 1B), the former corresponding to the Late Classic design, the latter to an Early Classic version—one that incorporates two signs, it would seem, T757 and T60. Macri and Looper (2003) and Macri and Vail (2009) have classified both versions, as well as the codical, Postclassic version, as AP9 (Figure 1C). It is noteworthy that T757/AP9 is often characterized by a T281 graphic infix behind the jaw, corresponding to logographic K’AN for k’an ‘yellow’, which does not contribute to the sign’s reading, but appears to be merely ornamental; similarly, the Postclassic version bears a T841 graphic infix on the forehead, corresponding to logographic 7AK’AB’ for 7ahk’ab’‘night, darkness’, but appears to be merely ornamental also. I return to these “ornamental” additions below. The Isthmian sign, so far a unique example found at position B3 on La Mojarra Stela 1 (Figure 1D), was not originally drawn in full detail by George Stuart (Winfield Capitaine 1988:7, 17, Figs. 7 and 12), and was rendered in a manner that made it too similar to the JAGUAR signs that occur elsewhere on the same monument (cf. R1, R14, T14); as a result, Macri and Stark (1993) and more recently Macri (2017) have classified the sign in question among the JAGUAR signs, cataloged as MS152. Among these, it corresponds specifically to the first example in the series, hence my classification as MS152a. The more recent documentation by John Justeson (Figure 1E) makes it clear that it is in fact a different sign: for one, it does not bear spots, like the JAGUAR signs (Figure 1F), it shows two teeth instead of three, and it lacks a tongue, unlike the three JAGUAR signs. They are otherwise similar, and in fact, the same may be said of some instances of Mayan T757AP9, and the Mayan sign for Jaguar, T751/AT1: in the past, some authors have identified T757/AP9 as a “jaguar” sign as well, not to mention also a kinkajou and a rabbit (cf. Macri and Looper 2003:75-76). As this note reviews, data adduced by a variety of authors, especially Bricker (1986) and Grube and Nahm (1994), points to a yellow pocket gopher as the iconographic referent of the sign.

 

Figure 1

 

Although the values of these respective signs are not the subject of this note, I begin with a brief overview of what is known. Mayan T757 it has long been established to be read as a syllabogram b’a, as in the spelling of /b’a/ or /b’ä/ sequences, e.g. 7u-tz’i-b’a for u-tz’ihb’-ä ‘s/he wrote it’ (i.e. -ä < *-a ‘factive’). It is most frequently used in the spelling of /b’ah/ phonetic sequences, either as a symbolic logogram B’AH or CVC syllabogram b’ah, to spell reflexes of Proto-Mayan *b’ah with cognates exhibiting polysemies involving ‘head, top, first, image’, and Proto-Mayan *b’aah ‘reflexive pronoun’, two terms that are likely etymologically related, as a variety of authors have attested (Bricker 1986; Schele 1990; Houston and Stuart 1998).[i] Such uses have been motivated by assuming an acrophonic origin in a reflex of Proto-Mayan *b’a7h ‘gopher’, which would have become *b’aah in Proto-Ch’olan-Tzeltalan and possibly endured as such in Pre-Ch’olan, prior to the Proto-Ch’olan merger of *VV, *V > *V.[ii] As Bricker explained, the value of T757, with its graphically infixed T281 (logographic K’AN for k’an ‘yellow’), as b’a and B’AH/b’ah, can be explained by lexical data from Tzeltal collected by Hunn (1977:206), who documents the terms 7ihk’al b’a ‘black pocket gopher’, tzahal b’a ‘red pocket gopher’, and k’anal b’a ‘yellow pocket gopher’. Bricker suggest that the commonly infixed K’AN logogram points to the last type, the yellow pocket gopher, as the species that is represented in the glyphic sign. Given this use of T281 K’AN to categorize the entity depicted by T757, Mora-Marín (2008:201, Fig. 4) has suggested that it functions as a semantic classifier, akin to those identified by Hopkins (1994) and Hopkins and Josserand (1999): signs that are not read aloud, but simply function to categorize the (emically salient) semantic field to which the depicted entity belongs, regardless of the sign’s orthographic function (i.e. logographic or syllabographic) or linguistic referent. T281 classifies the gopher depicted by T757 as, specifically, k’anal b’a ‘yellow pocket gopher’.

 

The question remained, for some time, whether a logographic value B’AH for b’a7h > b’aah > b’ah ‘gopher’ was actually attested in texts (Justeson 1989:33). The answer now seems to be affirmative. Grube and Nahm (1994:704) documented six instances of references to the yellow pocket gopher in Mayan texts, at least some of which seem to be references to wahy ‘co-essences; shapeshifters’. The example in Figure 2A, from vase K2023, is particularly interesting, as it provides a full-figure pictorial representation of a gopher beside a glyphic caption. Mora-Marín (2008:201, Fig. 4) also describes one of these instances, attested on vessel K2023, in detail, although he erroneously rendered one of the markings on the back of the depicted gopher on as an example of T281.) The glyphic caption (Figure 2B) spells K’AN-na B’AH for k’anal b’ah ‘yellow pocket gopher’. Grube and Nahm (1994:704) provide examples of two spellings of the same wahy that show a substitutional relationship between T757 b’ah/B’AH/b’a and T501 b’a in the spellings K’AN-na-b’ah/B’AH (Figure 2C) and K’AN-na-b’a (Figure 2D). These further support the identification with the yellow pocket gopher. In these last two examples the term for ‘yellow pocket gopher’ is followed by ch’o/CH’OHOK for ch’ohok ‘rat, mouse’, suggesting that scribes were classifying the gophers generally as ‘rodents’, with ch’ohok thus constituting the generic term, and k’anal b’ah the specific term.

 

Figure 2

 

As for Isthmian MS152a, Justeson and Kaufman (1993, 1997) and more recently Kaufman and Justeson (2001, 2004) have analyzed the passage that contains the one instance of this sign as referring to an eclipse. Specifically, they argue that the passage beginning at B1 and ending at B4, containing MS152a at B3, refers to a solar eclipse, an interpretation supported by the astronomical events associated with the chronological framework of the inscription; such an event would have been expressed linguistically as a “sun-eat(ing)-moon” phrase. The authors analyze the sign at B2 as a logogram for ‘sun’ and the sign at B4 as a logogram for ‘moon’, with MS152a in the middle, at B3, remaining as the only viable way of expressing ‘eat(ing)’; Kaufman and Justeson thus propose that MS152a functions as a logogram for ‘eat(ing)’.

 

It is now time to compare the two, Mayan T757/AP9 and Isthmian MS152a. The comparison is merely iconographic: the argument made is that they pictorially depict the same zoological referent, a pocket gopher, and no argument is made that they function orthographically in a similar way. First, the iconography of Mayan T757/AP9 is described. As seen in Figure 3A, the pictorial depiction of the pocket gopher on K2023, the gopher’s head is rendered with prominent upper front teeth. The whiskers are rendered seemingly like a tuft of hairs/fur because the artist is only showing the whiskers on the opposite side of the profile head, to avoid overcrowding the side of the head that is depicted. There is a beard-like component (think lambchops), simply a way of representing prominent fur on the side of the head. The ear is prominently portrayed. There are spots as well, a trio of them. And the eye is shown as rather large. The T757/AP9 sign shows a great deal of variation in terms of the rendering of some of these components, plus additional elements not included in the pictorial version. I describe first a few early examples. Figure 3B shows an example from an inscribed slate disk from the area of Bagaces, Costa Rica: it shows prominent lower front teeth, the eye, the ear, and the chops. It also bears a vertical band toward the back of the head, and a “mirror” (T617) sign inserted in the space above its eye. And as is typical of the Early Classic instances of this sign, a very large, somewhat (even hook-shaped) curved jaw. Mora-Marín (2012) has argued this MIRROR sign to read WIN ‘eye, face’, and remarks on its common, preposed to or infixed into or conflated with T757/AP9 in the ‘it is the image/portrait of’ expression. The example in Figure 3C is found on the Hatzcap Ceel diorite axe (Mora-Marín 2018), also as a reference to an ‘image’, or as that author argues more specifically, as a reference to a ritual statuette or figurine. It bears the large, curved jawbone mentioned before, the beard-like or chops-like component, the ear, and also the T617 MIRROR sign already mentioned above the eye area, and an element curving backwards, possibly representing fur. It also bears a bar-and-dot numeral, possibly ‘7’ (or ‘8’, since there is damage to the surface of the axe where an additional dot could have been present), likely as a means of indicating the presence of the expression read as 7AN, associated with divine impersonations (Houston and Stuart 1996, 1998; Knub, Thun, Helmke 2009). The example on Figure 3D is found an another inscribed slate disk found at the site of El Tres, Costa Rica: it exhibits a prominent eye, the ear, both sets of upper and lower front teeth, the beard-like or chops-like component, a backward-pointing element possibly representing fur, and the T617 MIRROR sign. Figure 3E shows the example from the Hombre de Tikal statuette, showing the powerful curved jaw, the upper front teeth, the eye, part of the ear, and the conflated T617 MIRROR sign above the eye. Figure 3F shows an instance from a Olmec-style jade maskette at the Brooklyn Museum of Art that bears a Mayan text on the reverse: it bears both upper and lower front teeth, the eye, the eyelid/eyebrow, the ear, the diagonal line of the T617 MIRROR sign has been conflated, and a spiral- or volute-like component, perhaps corresponding to the whiskers or the beard- or chop-like component, is seen to the right or the jaw.Figure 3G shows an instance from an inscribed tubular jade bead discovered in the Sacred Cenote: it shows the eye, the infixed T617 MIRROR sign above the eye, the powerful, curved jaw, and two spiral- or volute-like elements. Figure 3His an example from the Dumbarton Oaks quartzite pectoral that shows the basic outline of the head, including the characteristic jaw, a pointy element that could be a tongue or a leaf at the front end of the jaw, but is otherwise devoid of other elements. Figure 3I is a case from the Early Classic Quirigua Monument 6 that shows most of the traits already noted, but also shows the trio of spots. Figures 3J and 3K are Late Classic examples showing the infixed T281 K’ANsign; this design was innovated during the Early Classic, appearing as early as Tikal Stela 39 (CE 376), but was not used with consistency until the Late Classic. It functions as a likely semantic classifier (Mora-Marín 2008): scribes inserted it optionally to specify which type of gopher was depicted by T757, but it had no bearing on the sign’s orthographic function and value. The example on Figure 3J shows a tongue and what appears to be a root, while that on Figure 3Kshows a tongue and a possible leaf. By the beginning of the Late Classic scribes decreased the size of the sign’s jaw. Figures 3L and 3M are codical versions, one both showing an infixed T841 7AK’AB’ for 7ahk’ab’ ‘night, darkness’, the first of which shows the T281 sign, while the second does not. The T841 graphic infix is probably comparable, in function, to T281: scribes optionally incorporated this sign into the head signs shaped like some mammals (e.g. bats), possibly to point to their nature as non-human animals (Hopkins 1994; Hopkins and Josserand 1999) or as nocturnal animals (Houston, Stuart, and Taube 2006:14) and thus functioned as semantic classifiers.

 

Figure 3

 

I return now to MS152a, the putative GOPHER sign in Isthmian writing. The basic components of the sign are labeled in Figure 4A, including a band-like component, a beard-like or chops-like component, and also a prominent, curved jaw. These components have already been described for several of the Early Classic Mayan examples, such as those in Figures 4B-C. What MS152a lacks, especially, is the diagonal band associated with T617 WIN ‘eye, face’ (Mora-Marín 2012), which has no place here, since in Mayan writing it is a separate sign used in the spelling of a sequence WIN-b’ah orWIN:b’ah or [WIN]b’ah for ‘eye/face=face/head’, functioning as a type of compound, possibly, referring to ‘portrait’. In fact, the early examples of Mayan T757 did not bear such MIRROR sign in cases where it was used simply for its syllabographic value b’a. The lone example of MS152a thus cannot be compared contextually, and there is no reason why one would expect the MIRROR sign to be present in it. Otherwise, the two signs are very similar.

 

Figure 4

 

To conclude, it would appear that Mayan T757 and Isthmian MS152a both represent the same entity, a pocket gopher. In the Mayan case, at least, this identity served as the basis for the acrophonic derivation of its syllabographic value b’a (based on b’aah > b’ah ‘gopher’), although in most instances the sign is likely used as a CVC syllabogram b’ah or symbolic (non-iconic) logogram B’AH to represent reflexes of Proto-Mayan *b’ah and *b’aah mentioned above, with only a few instances of its use as an iconic logogram B’AH to represent a reflex of Proto-Mayan *b’a7h ‘gopher’. It remains to be seen whether the iconographic nature of MS152a played a role in its proposed logographic/lexical value (i.e. ‘eat(ing)’) by Kaufman and Justeson (2001), or whether it is merely the result of an association with the prominent jaw and teeth of the gopher.

References

Bricker, Victoria R. 1986. A Grammar of Mayan Hieroglyphs. New Orleans: Middle American Research Institute.

Fahsen, Federico. 1988. A New Classic Maya Text from Tikal. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 17. Washington, D.C.: Center for Maya Research.

Grube, Nikolai, and Werner Nahm. 1994. A Census of Xibalba: A Complete Inventory of “Way” Characters on Maya Ceramics. In The Maya Vase Book: A Corpus of Rollout Photographs of Maya Vases, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 686–715. New York: Kerr Associates.

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.

Houston, Stephen, and David Stuart. 1996 Of gods, glyphs, and kings: divinity and rulership among the Classic Maya. Antiquity 70:289-312.

—–. 1998. The ancient Maya self: personhood and portraiture in the Classic period. Res: Anthropology and Aesthetics33:73-102.

Houston, Stephen, David Stuart, and Karl Taube. 2006. The Memory of Bones: Body,

Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Hunn, Eugene S. 1977. Tzeltal Folk Zoology: The Classification of Discontinuities in Nature. New York, San Francisco, London: Academic Press.

Justeson, John. 1989. The Representational Conventions of Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing.  In Word and Image in Maya Culture.  Explorations in Language, Writing, and Representation, edited by William F. Hanks and Don S. Rice, pp. 25-38.  Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Justeson, John S., and Terrence S. Kaufman. 1993. A Decipherment of Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Writing. Science 259: 1703–1711.

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

Kaufman, Terrence, and John Justeson. 2001. Epi-Olmec Hieroglyphic Writing and Texts.  Austin: Texas Workshop Foundation.

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

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

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.

Macri, Martha J., and Laura Stark. 1993. A Sign Catalog of the La Mojarra Script. Monograph 5. San Francisco: Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute.

Mora-Marín, David F. 2008. Full Phonetic Complementation, Semantic Classifiers, and Semantic Determinatives in Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphic Writing. Ancient Mesoamerica 19:195-213.

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

—–. 2018. The Hatzcap Ceel Axe Inscription: Recent Documentation and Epigraphic Analysis. Glyph Dwellers Report 60:1-24.

Nehammer Knub, Julie, Simone Thun, and Christophe Helmke. 2009. The Divine Rite of Kings: An Analysis of Classic Maya Impersonation Statements. In The Maya and their Sacred Narratives: Text and Context in Maya Mythologies, edited by Geneviève Le Fort, Raphaël Gardiol, Sebastian Matteo, and Christophe Helmke, pp. 177-195. Markt Schwaben: Verlag Anton Saurwein. Acta Mesoamericana, vol. 20.

Schele, Linda. 1990. Ba as “First” in Classic Period Titles. Texas Notes on Pre-Columbian Art, Writing, and Culture 5.

Winfield Capitaine, Ferdinand. 1988. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 16: 1-36.

 

 

 

[i] Bricker’s (1986) proposal that T757/AP9 is used to spell a verb of motion attested in Tzeltalan, *b’ah(t) ‘to go’, has not been supported by subsequent research.

[ii] I utilize Kaufman with Justeson (2003) for Proto-Mayan etyma.

 

Note 1

The T(1016/)1017 Verbal Glyph of the PSS as k’uh(ul)/ch’uh(ul)-uy(-i) ‘It Became Holy’

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

7/6/2020

 

Previously, MacLeod (1990:97-98, 508) and Zender (2000:1040) have suggested that T1017 (Thompson 1962) or SSJ (Macri and Looper 2003) bears a syllabographic value ja in the context of certain verbal expressions of the Primary Standard Sequence (PSS) that require the -h-…-aj ‘passive’ bipartite morpheme. More specifically, they have noted its juxtaposition with the FLAT.HAND logogram in the PSS, i.e. K’AL ‘to bind, wrap’, in a number of cases in which T181/ZU1 ja, typically used to partially spell the passive morpheme to yield k’ahl-aj ‘to be wrapped/bound’, is absent, and thus pointing to a possible substitutional, and therefore orthographically equivalent, relationship between T1017 and T181 ja.

 

Figure 1

 

As noted by Stuart (2001: 22, footnote 2; 2005:67, footnote 20), T1017 had previously been read by Grube and Schele (1991) as a logogram TZUK ‘partition’; however, Stuart suggests that such value is invalid, and that Grube and Schele instead confused T1017 with “the animated form of the syllable tzu,” namely, T370/559, depicting a gourd with an infixed mirror, originally deciphered by Yuriy Knorozov. Grube and Schele (1991:2) described T1017 as a “pseudo-God C head” or a “God C variant.” I support Stuart’s distinction between the animated version of T370/559 and T1017: although they share the “mirror” element, the former typically exhibits a “veiny” element that tends to fold at the top, seen in Figure 2A, while the latter shows, on occasion, a type of barbel-like element connected to the mouth, as seen in Figures 2B-C. This barbel-like element is characteristic of the God C sign, T1016 (and T41) or AMC, with the logographic value K’UH(UL) for k’uuh > k’uh ‘god’ and k’uh-ul ‘godly/divine’, as seen in Figure 2D, though it is not always present with T1017, as seen in the example on Figure 2E, which actually shows two mirror signs instead of just one.

 

Figure 2

 

I follow previous authors (Grube and Schele 1991; Stuart 2001) in their assessment of T1017 as a “God C variant.” While this note does not explain the motivation for the differences in the graphic designs between T1016 and T1017, it is shown below that they may in fact constitute a single sign. But first, I must return to the proposed substitution between T1017 and T181.

The apparent substitution between T1017 and T181 pointed out by MacLeod (1990) and Zender (2000) is striking, and their proposal that such relationship points to a ja syllabographic value for T1017 is no doubt a plausible explanation. Nevertheless, there are two additional facts that must be taken into account.

First, T1017 can occur as a verbal logogram by itself—and in such cases it is typically preceded by T36 K’UH(UL) for k’uuh > k’uh ‘god’ and k’uh-ul ‘godly/divine’. Figure 3A illustrates a rollout photo by Justin Kerr (K3962): the PSS on this vessel is isolated in Figure 3B, and it includes a collocation consisting of the sequence T36.1016/1017 yi-chi, placed between the Initial Sign collation, 7a-INITIAL.SIGN-ya, which begins the clause, and the set of collocations spelled 7u-tz’i-b’a-li 7u-ja-yi yu-k’i-b’i ta tzi-hi-li TE7-le ka for u-tz’ihb’-al u-jay y-uk’ib’ ta tzih-il te7-el ka[kaw] ‘the writing on the vessel, on the drinking cup for raw/fresh te7el ka[kaw]’. (I consider u jay y-uk’ib’ to function as a couplet here). The T36.1016/1017 yi-chi (or T41 yi-chi) collocation in question is shown more clearly in Figure 3C. It fits in the position of the verbal expression whose subject is the phrase ‘the writing on the vessel, on the drinking cup for…’. Another example of the same verbal expression, in a different style and utilizing a different allogram for chi, this time from K1743, is shown in Figure 3D.

 

Figure 3

 

Another fact that was not considered by MacLeod (1990) and Zender (2000) is that other known verbal logograms can appear immediately after the K’AL verbal logogram, and in so doing they seem to take the place of the common T181 ja in the K’AL-ja collocation; however, another explanation could be that such cases are the result of abbreviation and condensing of two verbal expressions into a single glyph block. This is seen in Figure 4A, where the GOD.N head glyph occupies the space that would be left for T181 ja in more complete spellings of the K’AL-ja expression, such as that seen in Figure 4B, where the K’AL-ja verbal expression is followed immediately by the GOD.N-yi verbal expression. Thus, the case in Figure 1A could simply be compared to the examples just shown in Figures 4A and 4B and concluded to be a similar instance of a longer phrase involving two verbs in a sequence being graphically compacted within a single glyph block and abbreviated: note that in Figure 4A both K’AL and GOD.N lack the syllabograms used to spell part of the suffixes required, ja and yi, respectively. Similarly, in Figure 1A, K’AL and T1017 also lack the syllabograms—ja and yi again—needed to partially spell the required suffixes, -aj (of -h-…-aj) and -V1y.

 

Figure 4

 

Given these facts, it is perhaps more likely that T1017, when present in contexts like that of Figure 1A, is not partially spelling a suffix -aj, in which case it would seem to have an alternative value ja (or jV) not attested in any other context, but is simply a logogram, behaving similarly to the GOD.N logogram just shown above. In addition to the comparability between instances of K’AL-T1017 and cases where two verbal expressions are compacted within a single glyph block (e.g. K’AL-GOD.N, Figure 4A), where neither logogram is given room for the syllabograms needed to partially spell their required suffixes, and the cases where T1017 occupies the position typical of verbal expressions already reviewed above (Figures 3C-D), there is a third line of evidence in favor of a verbal function of T1017: cases where the compacted K’AL-T1017 sequence is itself followed by the syllabographic sequence yi-chi (or yi chi) that typically accompany the verbs in -V1y in the PSS. A set of relevant examples is shown in Figure 5.

 

Figure 5

 

It is time to discuss the possible value of the T1017 sign in the context of the PSS. In Figures 3C-D above T1017 was shown to be preceded in two instances by T36. Both T36 and T1016 have the value K’UH(UL) for k’uh ‘god’ or k’uhul ‘godly/holy’. In fact, some epigraphers have suggested the possibility that T36.1016 constitute a single unit that can be abbreviated graphically to either T36 or T1016. (I suspect that the two signs were originally separate allograms with the same value, and that over time they became graphically amalgamated, optionally, because of such shared value. But the two depict different entities: T36 depicts an arrangement of preciosities—jade beads, Spondylus shells—occasionally marked by the sign for K’AN for ‘yellow’ and ‘precious’; T1016 depicts a carved, ritual figurine or statuette.) But in any case, it would seem that when scribes had space to spell the expression in full, they used both, T36.1017 (Figures 3C-D), while in cases where they did not, i.e. cases where the expression was squeezed into the same glyph block as the K’AL logogram, they only used T1017 (Figures 1A, 4A-E). Given this, and pending evidence to the contrary, I favor a reading K’UH (or CH’UH) for T(36.)1016 (or T41) in this context. And given the occasionally explicit use of T17 yi after T41/1016, I assume that it can take the -V1y suffix typically spelled only with T17 yi but occasionally spelled out syllabically as -CV1-yi, where the syllabogram preceding T17 yi almost without exception exhibits vowel harmony with respect to the vowel of the preceding syllable. And in many instances it is followed by T671 chi, likely spelling, together with yi, the enclitic +ich ‘already, really’ (Kaufman, personal communication 2004). Mora-Marín (2007, 2009) has presented evidence in favor of a derivational function of the -V1y suffix so common with verbs in Mayan texts: the suffix, he proposes, derives roots of different types—transitive, intransitive, positional, adjectival—into intransitive verbs. Thus, this constitutes a departure from the analysis of verbs with such suffix as ‘mediopassives’, initially suggested by MacLeod (1990), which was further elaborated by Houston et al. (2000). Instead, Mora-Marín (2007, 2009) has defined this suffix as ‘inchoative (to become X)’ or ‘versive (to begin to become X)’; Mora-Marín (2007) uses the more general label ‘ingressive’, for derived intransitives that focus on the beginning of an action/event. In Mayan languages, inchoatives/versives/ingressives can be applied to a variety of roots, whereas mediopassivization typically applies only to root transitives. Classic Mayan texts, Mora-Marín (2007:5, 2009:138-145) has shown, are characterized by the use of the -V1y suffix with nouns, adjectives, intransitive roots, transitive roots, and positional roots alike.

Returning to the logogram’s value, and the value of the whole verbal expression, Kaufman with Justeson (2003:458-459) reconstruct Proto-Mayan *k’uuh ‘god’ as a noun, and the Greater Lowland Mayan term *k’uh.ul ‘divine’ as an adjective. Since inchoatives, versives, ingressives can be derived from either nouns or adjectives (or transitives or intransitives or positioanls), we may entertain both k’uuh-uy and k’uhul-uy (or ch’uuh-uy and ch’uhul-uy). Either way, it is likely the meaning was equivalent, k’uuh-uy or k’uhul-uy ‘to become holy’. Thus, T1016 K’UH for k’uuh > k’uh ‘god’ could be inflected as an inchoative/versive/ingressive verb, and if so, the following reading would be derived: K’UH(UL)-yi-chi for k’uh(ul)-uy-i/Ø-Ø+ich god(ly)-INCHOATIVE-COMPLETIVE-3SINGULAR.ABSOLUTIVE+ALREADY ‘it became holy already/really’, which analyzes -yi-chi as spelling, in part, the enclitic +ich ‘already, really’ (Kaufman, personal communication, 2004). There is evidence for similar expressions in Greater Tzeltalan languages. For example, Polian (2015:174, 176) attests to the expression ch’uhultes ~ ch’ultes (ch’uh-ul-tes) ‘bendecir, santificar (to bless, to sanctify)’ in Tzeltal as a transitive action derived with -tes (< -t ‘transitivizer’ + -es ‘causativizer’). Polian does not document an intranstivized form, but it stands to reason that it would be possible to derive such a form. Interestingly, the object of the transitive action in the two examples provided by Polian in both cases corresponds to a natural entity that is used by humans or an artificial entity built by humans: lok’ib ‘spring’ in the first (xk’otuk xch’uhultesik te lok’ib ha’e ‘they went to bless the spring’), nah ‘house’ in the second (la xch’ultes nah te pagree ‘the priest blessed the house’). Laughlin and Haviland (1988:200) document several relevant expressions in Tzotzil based on ch’uh ‘god’: ch’uiltas (tv) ‘to bless (meal, water), consecrate’; ch’uulib (iv) ‘to become holy’; and ch’uulibtas (tv) ‘to make holy, sanctify’. It is plausible that Classic Mayan scribes could have derived a similar term using the ubiquitous and widely applicable -V1y suffix. This in turn has important implications for the nature of the “dedicatory formula” as the PSS has also been referred to. The proposed verb k’uh(ul)-uy ‘to become holy’ would suggest that crafted objects (jewelry, pots, stelae, temples) were in actuality “blessed.”

Finally, I raise an observation and a hypothesis for future research concerning the difference between the condensed and separated sequences of verbal expressions. All the instances where two verbal glyphs have been compacted into a single glyph block involving the verbal logogram K’AL exhibit the same pattern: the logogram is represented by means of a left hand (showing the back of the hand pointing to the reader’s left); and all the examples also show either a T617 (“mirror”) sign or a T548 (HAB’ for ha7b’ ‘anniversary’) sign atop the hand sign representing K’AL, which I suspect functions as a semantic determinative—to distinguish the reading K’AL from other possible readings of the same design of the FLAT.HAND, such as K’AB’ for k’ab’ ‘hand/arm’ and the syllabographic value mi. In contrast, when the K’AL logogram takes up its own glyph block it typically shows the more characteristic right hand (showing the back of the hand pointing to the reader’s right), as well as a semantic determinative (either T617 or T548 or occasionally T544), and the syllabogram ja, only rarely providing any other syllabograms to more explicitly spell the expression (e.g. k’a or la). This contrastive pattern can be observed in Figure 4 above, as well as in the examples illustrated here showing K’AL and K’UH (T41/1016/1017) within the same glyph block, in Figures 1A and Figures 5A-E. Thus, it would appear that scribes were graphically distinguishing contexts where K’AL was being abbreviated and compacted within a glyph block along with another verbal logogram in a systematic way.

References

Grube, Nikolai, and Linda Schele. 1991. Tzuk in the Classic Maya Inscriptions. Texas Notes on Precolumbian Art, Writing, and Culture, 14.  Art Department, University of Texas at Austin.

Houston, Stephen D., John Robertson, and David S. Stuart. 2000. The Language of Classic Maya Inscriptions. Current Anthropology 41:321-356.

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

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

Looper, Matthew, and Yuriy Polyukhovych. 2016. Five Inscribed El Zotz-Style Vessels in the Fralin Museum of Art. Glyph Dwellers 45. URL: http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R45.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. 2007. The Identification of an Ingressive Suffix in Classic Lowland Mayan Texts. In Proceedings of the CILLA III Conference, October 2007, Austin, Texas, edited by Nora England, pp 1-14. Austin: Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America, Linguistics Department, University of Texas. https://ailla.utexas.org/sites/default/files/documents/MoraMarin_CILLA_III.pdf.

—–. 2009. A Test and Falsification of the “Classic Ch’olti’an” Hypothesis: A Study of Three Proto-Ch’olan Markers. International Journal of American Linguistics 75:115-157.

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

Stuart, David. 2001. A Reading of the “Completion Hand” as TZUTZ. Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing 49. Washington, D.C.: Center for Maya Research.

—–. 2005. The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque: A Commentary. San Francisco: The Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute.

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

Zender, Marc. 2000. A Study of Two Uaxactun-Style Tamale Serving Vessels. In The Maya Vase Book, Volume 6, edited by Justin Kerr, pp. 1038-1071. New York: Kerr Associates.

Documenting a fragmentary Maya jade belt plaque from Costa Rica

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to study and document a Mayan artifact: a fragmented and modified jade belt plaque, measuring 2.9 x 3.3 cm.  The piece was discovered in Costa Rica, in the Línea Vieja region of Limón, probably in the 1950s, according to James Doyle, Assistant Curator of Art of the Ancient Americas at The Met.  It was briefly discussed by Mark Miller Graham in 1998 (in the Jade in Ancient Costa Rica volume edited by Julie Jones); Graham identified the piece as Maya in origin and offered some remarks on the SKULL sign and its possible values.  I decided to study it as it relates to the ongoing project for the documentation of incised Maya belt plaques that I have been conducting, along with my colleagues, Dorie Reents-Budet and the late Virginia Fields, for quite some time now.

 

The piece is all that remains from a Maya jade belt plaque.  As such, originally, it probably resembled the famous Leiden Plaque.  It probably bore a portrait of a ruler on one side, the side that still preserves imagery, and possibly a hieroglyphic inscription on the other side.  The side that still preserves imagery includes at least two glyphic signs that were likely embedded in the ruler’s headdress, naming him.  The other side does not bear any evidence of a former text.

 

The embedded text, that is, the sequence of glyphs placed within the ruler’s headdress and very likely spelling his name, may consist of two or three signs.  The first sign, resembling a Möbius strip, is a logogram, WAY, for wahy ‘shape-shifter’.  The second sign, the SKULL sign, is also likely a logogram, JOL, for joʔl ‘head’.  Immediately below the SKULL sign there may be a third sign; however, it is incomplete, and it is possible that it may have been simply part of the headdress.

 

The illustrations show the artifact and the preliminary drawing of the incised side that I prepared during my visit.  I prepared the line drawing using Adobe Photoshop Elements and my Wacom pen tablet.  I used a high resolution photograph prepared by The Met as the basis of my drawing, but I examined the artifact in person with different magnifying lenses in order to ensure accuracy of the details.

 

I would like to thank James Doyle for his generosity and assistance during my visit.  His tweet mentions the visit: https://twitter.com/JamesDoyleMet/status/894582536264753154.

Documentation of the Hatzcap Ceel Axe

I traveled to The Field Museum of Chicago on 7/6/16 to document the Hatzcap Ceel Axe, an early Mayan inscription from Belize.  It is unusual in that it reads in single columns even though it is a two-column text.  It appears to bear an example of a priestly title, the aj k’uhun title, possibly the earliest example of it so far, but it appears possessed, suggesting that the inscription refers to a person who held that title and also to their superior.  In the paper that I am currently writing about it, I also propose that the last two glyphs refer to the ‘chopping’ or ‘cutting’ of a portrait, possibly referring to a religious image (e.g. a wooden religious figure or statuette, possibly a mask), akin to the references present in the Postclassic codices.

 

HatzcapCeelAxeLineDrawingNoCracks HatzcapCeelAxeLineDrawingComposite

Report 1: Plant Taxonomy and Animal Taxonomy in Guichicovi Mixe

Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 5.47.02 PM

 

This is a sketch of the flora and fauna taxonomies based on interviews with one consultant, Don Cecilio Felipe Martínez.  It will be followed soon by a more thorough description of the methodology and also of the nomenclature.  Comments and questions are welcome!

NotesGuichicoviTaxonomyMoraMarin2014

 

My engagement in this project began in the summer of 2010 under the auspices of the PDLMA, directed by Terrence Kaufman, Roberto Zavala, and John Justeson. For more information: https://www.albany.edu/ims/PDLMA_publications_new.html.

« Older posts Newer posts »