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Mayan Research Group (M-Side)

This page will provide updates on the results of our new research group on Mayan Linguistics.

The group’s initial impetus is to expand on the research project posed as the term paper for Ling 202 dealing with lexicosemantic change in Mayan languages. Future members of the group will preferably have taken Ling 202 and completed the same or similar term paper. With this in mind, M-side was established on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017.

Our point of departure will consist of parts-of-the-body basic terms, and our task will involve comparison with trends evident in other language families from around the world (e.g. Indo-European, Tibeto-Burman, Austronesian).

We also hope to investigate other language families from Mesoamerica, such as the Mixe-Zoquean language family, for similar trends, in order explore the possibility of the influence of language contact on lexicosemantic stability and change in the context of the Mesoamerican linguistic area.

The group is led by Assoc. Prof. David Mora Marín.

Past members of the group include the following students (in alphabetical order), all of whom have graduated:

  • Brent Eisenbarth
  • Megan Fletcher
  • Elizabeth Gorman
  • Briannah James
  • Kimberly Mathieson
  • Ifeyinwa Umerah
  • Matthew Winz
  • Yining Zhu

So far we have held two sets of meetings, four meetings total, during the first two weeks of February, to discuss issues of relevance to studying lexicosemantic stability raised by a couple of articles by Martha Ratliff and James Matisoff. We are also beginning to prepare the Mayan datasets for analysis.

Update on 3/11/18:
To this day we have been meeting for a year now. We are trying to finalize our results, and hope to have a final draft by the end of the current semester. Two students have already graduated, (James & Umerah, but the rest continue to work on the project.

Update on 10/31/18:
We are hoping to finish the first draft of our project this semester.

Update on 4/6/19:
We presented our initial results at the Linguistics Spring Colloquium. See our slideshow.

Update on 9/16/20:
A manuscript was submitted to Journal of Historical Linguistics co-authored by David Mora-Marín, Megan Fletcher, and Elizabeth Gorman.