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687 - Maya languages and histories

17.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Romero, Sergio (Vanderbilt University , Nashville, Ud States of Am / USA)

This panel will address the impact on linguistic structures, discourse practices and literary genres of social ruptures in the history of Maya society. We seek to understand the role of different social actors in times of social stress in the transformation of linguistic practices and the creation of new textual artifacts, registers and styles in Maya societies. Times of conflict such as the Maya Collapse in the Classic, the Spanish Conquest and the Civil War in Guatemala in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s resulted in the disappearance, transformation and creation of linguistic practices and textual objects. We will examine the cultural continuities and ruptures evinced in this process. The participants will address issues of historical linguistics, language contact, metalinguistic discourse, literary genres and styles, emergence of new discourse registers such as pastoral texts, code switching and its social meaning, the emergence of new standardized varieties and cultural revitalization. All the papers will be based on the contextual analysis of oral or written texts. The time period covered by the participants will span more than one thousand years from the Maya Classic to the present, including the Spanish Colonial period. The panel will cover several branches of the Mayan stock: Ch’olan, K’iche’an, Yucatecan and Q’anjob’alan and their interrelationships.

Keywords: Language, linguistics, Maya, Mesoamerica, history

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