Topological relations and frames of reference in Mayan languages: Kaqchikel, K'iche', Tz'utujil and Q'anjobal

Emkow, Carola (2018) Topological relations and frames of reference in Mayan languages: Kaqchikel, K'iche', Tz'utujil and Q'anjobal. In: [Presented at University of Maryland Summer School Guatemala 2018]. From: University of Maryland Summer School Guatemala 2018, 10-11 August 2018, Antigua, Guatemala.

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This paper deals with the perception and linguistic expression of topological relationships between spatial objects, and frames of reference that speakers of some Mayan languages of highland Guatemala, Kaqchikel, Tz'utujil, and Q'anjob'al employ. Kaqchikel and Tz'utujil both belong to the K'iche'an branch, Q'anjob'al is a member of the Q'anjob'alan branch. Spatial reference in Mayan and other Mesoamerican languages is characterized by the widespread absence or paucity of use of relative frames and and the highly productive use of 'meronymic' terminologies for object parts and spatial regions based primarily on object geometry. Terms for parts of the human body are perhaps universally the prototypical meronyms. In many Mayan languages meronymies represent perhaps the most important resource for the expression of place functions (Jackendoff 1983). It has been hypothesized that the pervasive use of geometric meronyms in the expression of spatial relations is a linguistic factor that biases the speakers of a language against the use of relative frames. This paper will fill a gap and contribute to the discussion by adding three more.The paper will present data on topological relation markers in Kaqchikel, Tz'utujil, and Q'anjobal. The data is based on data collected during fieldwork.

Item ID: 57645
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: Mayan, FAMLi5, topological relations, frames or reference
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2019 00:11
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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