Mayan languages from a cross-linguistic perspective
This course presents an overview of Mayan languages spoken in Central America; the family comprises over forty languages. The goal of the mini-course is to introduce main topics in the study of Mayan and to build the foundation for independent analytical work on these languages. We will begin with a general overview of the family and main readings available on its languages. The topics covered in the course include classifier constructions, relational nouns, morphological and syntactic ergativity, and verb-initial word orders. Languages of the Mayan family are ideally suited for micro-comparative studies where a particular phenomenon is investigated across closely related and structurally similar yet nor identical languages; such micro-comparisons will be discussed throughout the course.
A disclaimer: Although Mayan languages have also played a prominent role in historical linguistics and reconstruction this aspect will not be covered in the course.