Diachrony of the perfect paradigm in Mayan languages

dc.contributor.advisorLaw, Danny, 1980-
dc.contributor.committeeMemberPat-El, Na'ama
dc.contributor.committeeMemberEpps, Patience L
dc.contributor.committeeMemberDeo, Ashwini S
dc.creatorTandy, James Brenden
dc.date.accessioned2024-05-15T01:19:00Z
dc.date.available2024-05-15T01:19:00Z
dc.date.issued2023-08
dc.date.submittedAugust 2023
dc.date.updated2024-05-15T01:19:00Z
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this dissertation is to reconstruct the history of perfect aspect morphology in the Mayan language family of Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. Using data from descriptive grammars, I reconstruct the form of the proto-Mayan perfect suffix for transitive and intransitive verbs, and I show how this paradigm changed in the descendant languages as suffixes were innovated, lost, or changed function. In doing this, I highlight how language contact has affected the picture of Mayan perfect marking. This dissertation contributes to the understanding of Mayan linguistic prehistory and, more broadly, provides a case study of reconstructing derivational morphology by comparing language-specific contexts of use. A major claim of this dissertation is that the proto-Mayan perfect was not a canonical inflectional category and instead had derivational characteristics. I argue that the proto-Mayan active and passive transitive perfect constructions were both synchronically based on a patient nominalization, marked with the suffix *(-o)-’m. The widespread perfect suffix -b’il, which Kaufman (2015: 319) reconstructed as the proto-Mayan passive perfect participle, I take to be a Western Mayan innovation that spread to other Mayan languages by contact. Among other specific claims, this dissertation accounts for the areal spread of the Eastern Mayan -maj perfect suffix, which I argue was innovated in Poqom and spread to other Eastern Mayan languages by way of a previously unrecognized contact zone, the Sacapulas Corridor. I also discuss the proto-Central Mayan *-ooj/-uuj derivational suffix, which has infinitival reflexes in most Mayan languages but marks perfect aspect in Poqom, Tseltalan, and Tojol-ab’al; I reconstruct it as an infinitive and account for its development into a perfect suffix in these subgroups.
dc.description.departmentLinguistics
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.uri
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2152/125326
dc.identifier.urihttps://doi.org/10.26153/tsw/51917
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectLanguage contact
dc.subjectMorphology
dc.subjectHistorical linguistics
dc.subjectMayan languages
dc.titleDiachrony of the perfect paradigm in Mayan languages
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.materialtext
thesis.degree.departmentLinguistics
thesis.degree.grantorThe University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

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