Fall 2004

LING 822: Seminar on Language Acquisition: Mayan Languages

Instructor: Clifton Pye (pyersqr@ku.edu)

W 1:30-4:00

Office Hours M 1:30-3:30 or by appointment

      This seminar will examine the acquisition of Mayan languages using the comparative method. We will begin with a comparative survey of the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics across the thirty Mayan languages. The goal of the survey will be to reconstruct the historical processes that have led to the variation that is evident in the languages today. We will then examine the literature on the acquisition of the Mayan languages to determine areas of similarity and difference between the processes of language acquisition and historical change.

      The seminar will consist of class discussions of the assigned readings supplemented with additional descriptive material on the Mayan languages. Each student will be responsible for leading the class discussion on a assigned reading. In addition to the reading and class discussion each student is required to write a paper discussing the history or acquisition of a Mayan language. The seminar will be organized as a workshop. Students will present a preliminary version of their paper in class, and refine their concepts through class discussion. They will then be asked to present a final revision of their paper that incorporates suggestions from the class and the instructor.

Tentative Readings:

Ayres, G. 1981. On ergativity and aspect in Ixil. Journal of Mayan Linguistics 2.128-145.

Bricker, V. R. 1981. The source of the ergative split in Yucatec Maya. Journal of Mayan Linguistics 2.83-127.

Danziger, E. 1996. Split intransitivity and active-inactive patterning in Mopan Maya. IJAL 62.369-415.

Kaufman, Terrence. 1990. Algunos rasgos estructurales de los idiomas Mayances. In Lecturas

sobre la lingüística maya, edited by N. England and S. Elliott, pp. 59-114. Antigua, Guatemala: CIRMA.

Larsen, T. W. & Norman, W. M. 1979. Correlates of ergativity in Mayan Grammar. In Frans Plank (ed.), Ergativity: Towards a Theory of Grammatical Relations, pp. 347-370. London: Academic Press.

Lengyel, T. E. 1978. Ergativity, aspect and related perplexities of Ixil-Maya. In N. C. England (ed.), Papers in Mayan Linguistics, pp. 78-91.

Mondloch, J. L. 1981. Voice in Quiche-Maya. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. State University of New York at Albany. Albany, NY.

Pye, C. 1990. The Acquisition of Ergative Languages. Linguistics 28.1291-1330.

Pye, C. 1991. The Acquisition of K'iche' (Maya), (1991), in Dan Isaac Slobin (Ed.), The Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition,Vol. 3, pp. 221-308. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Pye, C. 2001. The Acquisition of Finiteness in K’iche’ Maya. BUCLD 25: Proceedings of the 25th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development, pp. 645-656. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.

Pye, C. & Quixtan Poz, P. 1988. Precocious Passives (and Antipassives) in Quiché Mayan, Papers and Reports on Child Language Development, Stanford, 27.71-80.