Talk:Mayan languages

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Article length 2[edit]

At around 62k this article is now weighing in around or above what is probably the acceptable limit. It may be a problem for a future GA nomination, we'll need to look and see what can be pruned / made more concise.--cjllw | TALK 08:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I've cut of 9k by shortening the grammatical overview and moving the bulk of it to Grammatical overview of Mayan languages. The same could probably be done with the phonology section. Maunus 08:46, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd suggest doing both grammar and phonology in the same subsidiary article, and moving it to Linguistic overview of Mayan languages. Most people who are interested in details will care about both kinds.--Homunq 17:23, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I've gone through and edited the individual languages section a bit, most of my "savings" come from moving ancillary info into refs so it doesn't show in the total size but I'd say that the refs shouldn't count against us for GA (rather the reverse).--Homunq 17:26, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
The table of modern orthography is still missing the other umlauted vowels (Kaqchikel has the full complement). I'm not confident enough with my IPA to add these myself. Once this is done, the Sipakapense issue is resolved ("closely" related, though the French table has it otherwise), and the phonology is offloaded I'd say we're ready for GA or FA nomination.--Homunq 17:38, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
For GA, have a look at WP:WIAGA. --Ling.Nut 21:04, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I'd actually meant to write FA earlier. Probably too long for GA.--cjllw | TALK 21:35, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Just looked at Wikipedia:Featured article advice, where I find: "Beyond grammar issues, one of the most common deficiencies in articles that are created on Wikipedia is that they have short, one- and two-sentence paragraphs, or sections that are little better than lists. These break up the prose, interrupt the reader's flow, and result in a fragmented visual appearance. They typically involve areas that should either be expanded into full ideas, merged smoothly with other paragraphs, or transferred to separate articles and summarised." This sorta applies to the "overview of mayan languages" section, though that section clearly has a purpose. The options as I see them are: a) prose, b) bulleted list, c) table, d)sub-article. I've taken the bulleted list and made it prose, but we could choose to go the other direction.--Homunq 21:45, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the overview is ok now that it is prose, maybe it could be made more cohesive but I think it is ok. It is pretty essential for the topic to know which languages are mayan languages, where they are spoken and by whom. I think the current format is much better than lists or tables.Maunus 22:11, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I have edited this, merging the choppy paragraphs but bolding the language names to compensate. I also offloaded much of phonology and trimmed the intro. Personally, I have no more "pending edits", I think that this article is ready for FA nomination (as soon as it becomes stable for a week or so to let people see the latest, and also to let Madman finish his revision of the first map).--Homunq 22:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I have a problem with the current state of the article without the grammatical and phonological parts. We have also cut all the examples. That means that yo can read the entire article about Mayan langauges without seeing an example of a mayan language in writing and without acquiring any kind of practical understanding of how the langauges sound, feel and work. I admit that those two sections were my personal pets and that it obviously feels bad to cut something from the article that have worked so much on - but I also really think that the article in this state is very dry and doesn't provide the kind of infomation that I (and probably other people like me as well) would be wanting from it. Namely to get a taste of the look and feel of mayan languages - not just theoretical knowledge about them.Maunus 09:02, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I sympathize (while pointing out that you started it :). Also, the subarticle leads to undesirable duplication. I've just checked how large the "readable prose" (as defined in WP:Article size) would be for the reunited article as it stands: including the main-body tables (but not the infobox), it comes out around at 6645 words or around 42000 chars (41K). The article as it stands, with summary-style, comes to 4684 words or 30139 chars. WP:SIZE says:
"Readers may tire of reading a page much longer than about 6,000 to 10,000 words, which roughly corresponds to 30 to 50 KB of readable prose.... Articles longer than 12 to 15 printed pages (more than 30 to 35 KB of readable text) take longer to read than the upper limit of the average adult's attention span — 20 minutes.... For science or technical articles, where higher concentration levels are needed — particularly those with numerous equations — extra prudence may be required."
I'd say if we could trim 200-600 words off of the reunited article, we'd be safely close to the 6000 word limit and wouldn't have to split. I'll go ahead and do some trimming without reuniting, and see how close I can come. --Homunq 10:36, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Here's a list of my substantial (as opposed to cosmetic) cuts:
  • "For this reason some analyses of Mayan languages skip the word level althogether, and their descriptions operate with only morphemes and phrases." I think this is possible below notable?
...OK, I cut 171 words from the subarticle (edits NOT reflected in the main article)... and another 70 from the history section... 1 word (with much reshuffling for other reasons) from writing systems...4 words from literature... (I feel as if most of these edits are improvements in their own right, trimming redundant and awkward constructions)
My current count is 40790 chars and 6398 words (straight cut-and-paste - that is, counting ToC, DOUBLED image captions, edit tags, mainbody tables, {{main}} templates, and footnote links) for the article if reunited. I'd say that's acceptably close to the canonical "6,000-10,000 words" from WP:SIZE, and it's time to reunite. Maunus, will you do the honors? --Homunq 12:01, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
ps. this talk page (90K) will need archiving too once the FA nomination has passed or failed. The only things I'd keep here (as still salient) are ==Question about language names== and ==New language descent map?==.

clickable Mayan Language Tree?[edit]

Erm, is there any interest in converting Image:Mayan Language Tree in colour.png into a table, with individual entries wikilinked? It'd be a pain, but I'm thinking it's doable. I also think it would be kinda handy. --Ling.Nut 19:13, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I am interested.Maunus 19:38, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
How does this look?
 
Proto-Mayan

Huastecan

Wastek



Chiomuceltec





Yucatecan

Yucatec (Maya)



Mopan



Itza'



Lakantun





Western

Ch'olan

Ch'ol Proper

Chontal



Ch'ol



Ch'orti'





Tzeltalan

Tzeltal



Tzotzil







Q'anjobalan

Chujean

Chuj



Tojolab'al





Q'anjobalan Proper

Q'anjob'al



Akatek



Jakaltek (Popti')





Mocho'







Eastern

Mamean

Mamean

Mam



Tekiteko





Ixilean

Ixil



Awakatek







Quichean

Uspantek



Quichean Proper


Kaqchikel



Tz'utujil



K'iche'



Sakapultek



Sipakapense



Achi




Poqom

Poqomchi



Poqomam







Q'eqchi'







Unfortunately I don't think you can get them aligned to the right as in the image. --Ptcamn 20:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I've improved the format. 88.27.92.202 16:49, 21 July 2007 (UTC)
  • (undent) That was fast. Did you hand-code that, or do you have some sort of WYSIWYG software?
  • I think the font is kinda too smallish. maybe bigger? <changing it>
  • This right-aligns it in my browser & my monitor. Does it look hosed in anyone else's browser/monitor? I'll look at it in IE after I save it...
  • Well.. looks good in FireFox (of course); looks not so good in Internet Exploder (of course). --Ling.Nut 21:10, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Alternate version of clickable table. Can add colors. Sometimes doesn't load completely (?) so reload:

Proto-Mayan   Huastecan
  Branch
Wastek
Chiomuceltec
  Yucatecan
  Branch
Yucatec (Maya)
Mopan
Itza'
Lakantun
Western Branch Ch'olan Ch'ol Proper Chontal
Ch'ol
Ch'orti'
Tzeltalan Tzeltal
Tzotzil
Q'anjobalan Chujean Chuj
Tojolab'al
Q'anjobalan Proper Q'anjob'al
Akatek
Jakaltek(Popti')
Mocho'    
Eastern Branch Mamean Mamean  Mam
 Tekiteko
Ixilean  Ixil
 Awakatek
Quichean Uspantek    
Quichean Proper
Kaqchikel   
Tz'utujil   
K'iche'   
Sakapultek   
Sipakapense   
Achi   
Poqom Poqomchi'
Poqomam
Q'eqchi'    

--Ling.Nut 04:27, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Maunus, ptcamn, cjllwright (and others I may not yet have met):

Y'all are the Mayan folks. :-) Y'all decide whether you want the version ptcamn made, the one I made, or neither. His is a bit more perspicuous, I think; mine takes up a bit less vertical real estate and could potentially include colored cells. Later! --Ling.Nut 16:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

As is I think that neither is preferable to the map we have - I like the tree model of ptcamn's version but it lacks the colours and it is to long vertically and it doesn't line all the languages out to the right as it should. While ling.nuts version can be coloured it lacks the graphically nice treemodel. I think we should stick with the map we have, people who wnat links can look at the list or in the actual text. Maunus 18:03, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
How about this:
~2000 BC
~1000 BC
1 AD
~1000 AD
~2000 AD
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Proto-Mayan

Huastecan



Wastek


Chiomuceltec




Yucatecan



Yucatec (Maya)


Mopan


Itza'


Lakantun


Western

Ch'olan

Ch'ol Proper





Chontal


Ch'ol




Ch'orti'


Tzeltalan



Tzeltal


Tzotzil




Q'anjobalan

Chujean



Chuj


Tojolab'al


Q'anjobalan Proper



Q'anjob'al


Akatek


Jakaltek (Popti')




Mocho'


Eastern

Mamean

Mamean



Mam


Tekiteko


Ixilean



Ixil


Awakatek


Quichean



Q'eqchi'


Uspantek
Quichean Proper





K'iche'


Achi




Kaqchikel


Tz'utujil


Sakapultek


Sipakapense
Poqom



Poqomchi


Poqomam


                                                                                                                                                                                           
~2000 BC
~1000 BC
1 AD
~1000 AD
~2000 AD
...Needs some work, I can't figure out how to make my subclade template make the table height 100% of the table cell (so that the vertical lines meet up, if anyone knows enough css to help me that would be great.) Also the "century" columns are of uneven widths, and the colors are missing. But I think all that's fixable.--Homunq 22:10, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
For the purposes of this article, I think Madman's diagram is better suited presentationally. However, the clickable versions above are also quite good. Perhaps they could be used in a separate article such as Linguistic overview of Mayan languages or List of Mayan languages? Or maybe we could have this latter as an alpha-sorted listing which tabularises data such as location, population, ISO codes, genealogy, and create another named something like Classification of Mayan languages to show their relatedness graphically via the clickable versions above?
There may also be a way to overlay Madman's diagram with clickable link functionality- there is a freeware Java applet created for wikipedia (Labelled Image Editor) which makes it much easier to correctly position clickable links & text over a map (actually any diagram or image). It's essentially a GUI which manages the placement of {{image label}}s, you just need JRE 1.5 to run it. Perhaps someone might like to give it a try, I've had a little play around with it but I don't quite have the time at the moment to flesh out anything productive. If the alignment problems with {{clade}} and the other clickable versions above prove intractable, maybe it could also be used for these, ie create an underlying image with all the lines, colours and static elements correctly placed, and then overlay with the clickable links/text. (For some examples of what can be done using the app, see {{Sydney Urban Areas Labelled Map}}, {{Pomeranian Voivodeship Labelled Map}} ).--cjllw | TALK 01:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
One advantage of the versions based on {{Clade}} or {{subclade}} is that they are wikitext, which means you can edit them and see their history. For issues like the dates of splitting (included in my version, based on the french diagram but using no clades which were inconsistent with the diagram here, although a couple of clades were added), this is useful as it allows a useful debate. For instance, in my version I have Wastek splitting off before the others split -- this does not seem controversial but is different from our diagram; also, I made a subclade for K'iche'/Achi'.Homunq 02:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
There should also be a subclade for tzutujil/cakchiquel now I come to think of it.Still I think the best solution would be to overlay madmans map with linksMaunus 05:58, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
One more advantage (says me, because I spent too much time on the timed subclade version) is accessibility - the subclade template puts everything naturally in outline order, and with a little work could have spacer images with alt tags that told you what outline level you were at.--Homunq 16:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Regarding making this clickable, I'm not sure it's worth the work, not only to set it up but also to maintain it. The separate languages are clickable within the article itself, and the general policy is to link the word only once within the article. So, anyway, where are we at here?? Last I checked, I was going to rework the table to put the chronology along the horizontal axis, keeping the "curly brackets". Is this OK? Madman 21:49, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes. (*snif*, my beautiful template... would take far more work and CSS magic to be even nearly as pretty as your diagram. And I definitely agree, image labels are not worth it.)--Homunq 04:49, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I do like Homunq's clade diag, but it probably takes up too much real estate on the screen for this article. Maybe if you can iron out the disjointed vertical lines it can be used on one of the subsidiary articles. Otherwise, please proceed, friend Madman...--cjllw | TALK 05:00, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Migration map[edit]

As mentioned, I'e been thinking about re-doing the Migration map (as beautiful as it is). I have begun work but I am confused. The Migration map's arrow shows "Proto-Cholan" moving southeast (toward the Atlantic coast) but when I look at the language distribution map, I see Ch'ol and almost all of the other Western Branches, except Cho'rti', being closer to the old Olmec heartland area. Perhaps the Migration Map's "Proto-Cholan" should be "Proto-Cho'rti'"?? Any insight? Madman 23:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't know at the current time. There are a few things with the map that look weird. Proto cholans might have went east at first but gone back west later, and that would explain the dislocated status of proto-ch'olti'an . Chicomuceltec is another point since Terrence Kaufmann seems to think they were all the way up north with the wasteks but went back south into chiapas after 600 CE. ·Maunus· tlahtōlli 14:26, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
So, it seems we have 3 choices regarding a Migration Map:
  • Use the present map despite the differences in spelling and the possible mis-information, labelling as suggested by CJLL below.
  • Develop a replacement Migration Map, despite the difficulties involved in dates and routes.
  • Not use any Migration Map.
As usual, I will defer to you (all). Madman 16:56, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I suppose that if the current map had its caption annotated to say it represented just one possible migration model (and whose model it was), then it could be OK. Unfortunately the map's creator is not around to ask, the map plus a couple of text additions to the Huastec people article were their only contribs. Also, the map was really intended only to show the Wastek migration route.
The alternative would be to re-do it based on someone else's migration model, I guess Kaufman since a lot of the text follows that model. In any event, if the map says "migration model according to X" then we should be in the clear re possible misleading info.--cjllw | TALK 23:38, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
What's the status on this issue? This would be great to resolve, but if it looks as if it's not moving forward, we should not let this get in the way of nominating to FA. --Homunq 15:24, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed -- let's address the Migratory map. After a bit of a Wikibreak, I'm back and ready to move on this. I would be very interested in going after an FA as well. Madman 18:59, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I will get some time to read up on kaufmans migration model this week. I can put up some directions and split dates later. Anyone else interested in doing it could read this article:
Archaeological and Linguistic Correlations in Mayaland and Associated Areas of Meso-America
Terrence Kaufman
World Archaeology, Vol. 8, No. 1, Archaeology and Linguistics (Jun., 1976), pp. 101-118
·Maunus· tlahtōlli 19:24, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
This sketchy map is based on kaufmanns article:
Mayamigrationssketch.png

Its most important information is as follows:

  1. PM in cuchumatanes around Huehuetenango/Solomá before
  2. Huastecan breaks off early 2200BC moving north by Usumacinta then along the coast - arriving in la huasteca between 1500-1000 BC
  3. around 1600BC eastern mayan moves south and east into two dialect regions an eastern (Mamean) and western one (Quichean)[Madman's note: isn't Mamean in the west and Quichean in the east?]
  4. yucatecan and western goes into peten between 1400-1000BC
  5. around 200AD Tzeltalan moves into chiapas pressing out Mixe-Zoque speakers
  6. classic maya culture: contact between greater cholan and yucatecan in the Mayan Lowlands
  7. after 1200 AD Quichean spreads into eastern guatemala pressing out Xinca speakers

DO you think you can work this into something decent Madman? ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 13:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Approximate migration routes and dates for various Mayan language families.
I'd love to! Give me a few days. Madman 15:30, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it took a lot less time than I had thought, largely because I had already begun it a month or so ago until I realized the discrepancies between the original map and the article.
Now, unfortunately, I was not able to get everything into one map. Here's what I could not find room for:
  • Classic Maya culture: contact between greater cholan and yucatecan in the Mayan Lowlands
  • After 1200 AD Quichean spreads into eastern Guatemala pressing out Xinca speakers. (Note: this confuses me because Quichean had already moved into eastern Guatemala in #3 above).
  • Kanjobalan stays behind (not listed above, but on the map)
Maybe we need 2 or even 3 maps, kind of a time series???
I'm also a bit concerned that Wastek and Yucatec are in a larger font than the rest of the languages, but the other font looks so small in all that "empty" territory. Anyway, please send me your comments. Madman 23:31, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the location of the moves of mamean (which is of course western) and quichean are a bit off, firstly they should move as one body around 1600BC and then split into two dialect areas around 1400BC. mamean near Aguacatán and quichean near sacapulas. (if you could look at a guatemalan map to find Sacapulas that would put quichean in the right place). as it is quchean is too far east- the place where it moves into around 1200 AD. Some of the explanations we can put into the prose text.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 09:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
OK, try this one. I also changed BC -> BCE to match the terminology in the article. Madman 14:54, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
That looks near perfec to me. Great work Madman!·Maunus· ·ƛ· 15:56, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, seriously, that's a great map Madman. A bang up job. Can I use it if I ever have to teach the material? --Oaxaca dan 16:15, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Glad you like it! And of course you're welcome to use it, Dan. Regarding the article, I do like have the maps and the chart in the same style and colours. Madman 17:00, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Final FA prep[edit]

Per discussion on my talk pg, it is probably time to give the FA nom for this a shot. Maybe 1 or 2 things to determine before proceeding:

  1. Any changes to the migration model map, per above discussion? Probably the caption should be amended, at the least.
  2. The few remaining redlinked articles should either be created (short stubs would do), or the link removed.
  3. Maybe a final pass for typos, matching up cites/refs and formatting consistency- minor stuff which can sometimes be commented upon.

It would also be good to ensure that once nominated the major contributors Maunus, Homunq, Madman et al are generally available at the time to address any concerns which might be forthcoming. Anyone else got final comments?--cjllw | TALK 03:57, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I am not really sure about the migration map. A better one would be good, but it is the only map the clearly shows the relative location of Wastek. Rewriting the caption may well be sufficient. Looking through the images I am uncertain about Image:Idiomasmap.jpg. It is labeled GFDL but the sourcing is unclear. I am tempted to remove it as largely redundant to the other languages map at least until my question on the uploaders page about the source has been answered. I'll be happy to help with any grunt work (like converting refs) if it is necessary but obviously some our other userers are in a better position to ake content edits. Eluchil404 06:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, although that languages map was uploaded by Authenticmaya, it seems to be a product of Comisión de Oficialización de los Idiomas Indígenas de Guatemala, and as such its licensing status is a bit unclear. It may be best to remove it, as any doubtful attribution would count against the article's FA nom.--cjllw | TALK 07:12, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Here's a rather obvious question. The infobox prominently lists Mayance as an alternate name for the language family (it almost looks like it's ment to be a superfamily) but the text doesn't mention it at all, only commenting on the Maya/Mayan debate. A quick google search shows that it is a real term but little used. [1] calls it a failed proposal. I'll see if I can track down a reliable source but it should probably be in the text as well as (or even rather than) bolded in the infobox. Eluchil404 07:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the guatemap can be removed with no further ado, it is redundant. I think it will be enough to name that mayance is formed in analogy with romance and that it is used by a minority of linguists. I will be here to attend to any surging matters from monday on. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 07:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
I will be going thru the article for a "final pass" and would be happy to remake the migration map, if you say the word (and supply information). It would be nice to have that map in the same colors as the other one. FYI, Madman 12:14, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

What happened to "hurricane"?[edit]

Maunus, you removed the following:

The wide influence of the Mayan culture and languages during this period is demonstrated by the etymology of the English word "hurricane". At the root of "hurricane" is the name of a Classic Mayan deity associated with tempests called Jun Raqan "one leg"; [1] but the word came into English indirectly, probably through Carib via Spanish. This suggests that Classic Maya traders had spread their influence beyond Mesoamerica to the Caribbean region.

...I agree it's unsourced, so fine; but I liked it, so I'm leaving it here in case anyone can find the source on it. --Homunq 02:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Here's something interesting: [2]. It claims that the word came originally from Taino - the clear Mayan etymology argues against that, but that could be pasted on afterwards (I know there's a good linguistic term for that but I don't know it. Episomething? Metasomething?). Either way, the contact is documented, and we have an excuse to put back a bit that will probably be the first thing that gets into any elementary school report written from this article. Oh, but the "Carib" should be "Arawak", something I actually suspected but was hoping to hide, again, for better "oh, yeah - caribbean" recognition for the young'uns. Shame on me. --Homunq 02:12, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
This etymology has also been discussed recently at Talk:Huracan#Verification. --cjllw | TALK 02:23, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that the "clear Maya etymology" is not very well founded and that the statement about carribean influence was unsourced.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 08:37, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Question on the evolution of Proto-Mayan [ŋ][edit]

The article states that in K'iche'an-Mamean, [ŋ] became [x]. However, in the table on the evolution of [tʲaʔŋ], Mam, K'iche', and Kaqchikel were shown as having "X" for Proto-Mayan [ŋ], which I had interpreted as a uvular fricative, and changed to [χ] accordingly...is this incorrect? What's the story here? --Miskwito 22:01, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

It is a velar fricative, not uvular. Simply used the wrong x. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 09:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Inconsistencies?[edit]

While I'm asking questions, I'll also point out two things in the Morphosyntactic Alignment tables that caught my eye:

  1. Kaqchikel ix-samajel is transcribed as [iʃxeɓel], which I can't imagine being correct, and
  2. Kaqchikel rukej is transcribed as [rukjeːʃ] (it was originally "[y]", rather than [j], but I assumed that was an Americanist symbol creeping in by mistake or something and changed it to [j]). Why is [ʃ] here spelled <j>?

Thanks in advance, --Miskwito 22:17, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Good catches. The IPA is wrong in both cases. --Homunq 00:35, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Fixed. I haven't indicated that Kaqchikel sometimes underpronounces word-final consonants, though. Also, it's ixsamajel - the hyphenation is only for the purposes of the illustration.--Homunq 00:42, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

As per Circeus[edit]

This article is undergoing review for FA status. One reviewer has suggested that it needs copyediting. Any help would be appreciated. --Homunq 00:49, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

LOL The request on the page there should be enough. I don't the article doesn't need it so badly that the template would be necessary anymore. Circeus 01:02, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Tonal? (recent addition)[edit]

I've never heard tonal Tzotzil... where is that dialect? Also, I've been told by various people that Mam is tonal, yet that's not mentioned. --Homunq 14:04, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Mam is not tonal according to any of my sources (England has written her dissertaion on Mam and doesn't mention it)(However Uspantec has been called uspantec mam and is tonal). The tonal dialect of Tzotzil is Tzotzil of san Bartolo (Suárez 1983 p51).·Maunus· ·ƛ· 14:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
We need some references for the glyph section I have inserted relevant {{fact}} tags. Could someone dig up the references?·Maunus· ·ƛ· 16:03, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Exonyms[edit]

I won't add it myself since I don't have a source for it, but it should probably be noted somewhere that the names of several of the Mayan languages (Acatec, Aguacatec, Chicomuceltec, Huastec, Jacaltec, Sacapultec, Tectitec, Uspantec, and probably Yucatec) are actually Nahuatl, and what the Mayan names for them are (e.g. Huastec speakers call their language Tenek, etc.) --Ptcamn 06:58, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

most of those exonyms are neologisms dating back only to the nineteen seventies or even later. Kaufman for example named akatek, tektitek and awakatek. They are formed from the name of the main town they are spoken - towns that have nawatl names - however i think it is arguable if the exonyms can b said to be nahuatl. I think there is good reason to believe that -teco has entered the spanish language as a productive suffix to produce langaue names. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 07:19, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Reflist[edit]

Can we make the reflist smaller and possibly into two columns?·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:24, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

It shows up as small font size and in two columns for me... --Miskwito 21:26, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
Ahh. Me too now that I'm back at my own computer.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 22:20, 18 March 2007 (UTC)
That trick only works for firefox IIRC.Circeus 21:16, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
That would explain it. The reflist is about a kilometer I'm viewing it in IE again.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:26, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Same here (the computer I'm on right now has IE; my normal computer has Firefox). Bummer! --Miskwito 21:30, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

knock knock[edit]

I was gonna edit this article some, perhaps adding cquotes (the big blue quotation marks which I think are extremely visually appealing, but some folks snobbishly refer to as "cartoon quotes") for a long quotation, but since it's FAC I'll let its dedicated editors make the call. :-) Portions of this quote look useful to me:

  • Later, --Ling.Nut 18:59, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
Perfect! We were in need of sources to quote on that particular topic!·Maunus· ·ƛ· 20:46, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

afraid to alter flow; will post here[edit]

Lather, rinse, repeat: I dunno what you do or don't want in article, so will post q's that look useful here on talk page:

  • Fabri, Antonella (2003). Genocide or Assimilation: Discourses of Women's Bodies, Health, and Nation in Guatemala. In Richard Harvey Brown (Ed.), The Politics of Selfhood: Bodies and Identities in Global Capitalism. University of Minnesota Press, 2003, 246 pp. paper (0-8166-3755-5), hardcover (0-8166-3754-7)

Hey: you guys said ALMG formed in '96; this says '86:

[BOOK] The Maya Tropical Forest: People, Parks and Ancient Cities

JD Nations - 2006 - ... The Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (ALMG), formed in Guatemala in 1986, is dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Maya languages. ...

--Ling.Nut 21:50, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

It sounds improbable since speaking Maya might get you killed in Guatemala in 1986..but it may be true. This is one reason to find a good reference for it - preferrably the academy itself.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:52, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
their own website says 1986 so that's the last word about that.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:54, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
  • This Internet thing is pretty cool, huh. I'm gonna email Al Gore and thank him for it. ;-)
  • What kinda stuff do you need? Then I wouldn't be just looking for whatever looks useful... Later --Ling.Nut 22:09, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
just something to fill out the {{fact}}-tags.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 22:12, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

(undent) Maunus, I emailed you a note/ref 'cause I couldn't edit wikipedia, but now it seems to be working, so I added them to the article. Have a look at the note about Grenoble & Whaley (I think it's #14) to see if it fits the article's needs. Cheers! --Ling.Nut 00:31, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

small-sized reference text?[edit]

The notes are small, but then the refs sections has normal text size again... would smaller look better? Something like this would work:

<div id="articlerefs" style="width:100%;font-size:85%">

  • many refs here

</div>

History[edit]

The construction of this section bothers me. First it relies on the opinions of a small number of linguists to present a simplified, uncontested, story of the evolution and divergence of the many maya languages. I see too much of a reliance on the SIL (throught the ethnologue.com references) idea of how languages relate without any acknowledgement that much of this is contested by other scholars. The one that got me, though, was the statement, attributed to Lyle Campbell, that the Maya languages dominated the Xinca and Lenca because loan words flowed from Maya to these languages. Gee, loan words indicate contact and do not by themselves indicate domination. Rsheptak 19:03, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

That depends on which semantic domains the loanwords belong. SIl is used only as a source to population numbers and locations and for that SIL is quite relibale - ythey are not reliable for genetic classification and they have not been used for this purpose. Campbell and Kaufman are the two foremost experts on mayan linguistic history - their opinions are in no way characterizable as fringe views. Secondly the field of linguists working with mayan historical linguistics IS very small I simply do not know of any qualified contest to their views. (Maya domination of Xinca and Lenca cultures is also well established throuhg archeology and ethnohistory)·Maunus· ·ƛ· 20:16, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Maunus, I didn't say their opinions were "fringe", just that there's not total unanimity. But I really can't imagine what evidence you refer to when you wrote "Maya domination of the Xinca and Lenca cultures is also well established through archaeology and ethnohistory". At what time is this domination supposed to take place? Where? Is there some particular piece of literature you coud refer me to on that point, especially about the Lenca? Rsheptak 21:09, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Archeology in my understanding is in agreement that by the beginning of the classic period the maya were the dominant power in souhern mesoamerica - both highland and lowland. I have seen references which i cannot remmeber at present to colonial documents describing the xinca polities as subject to postclassic maya states. However I wouldn't object at all to that formulation being changed or struck altogether - it is not really interesting to the topic of lmayan languages. I do think Campbell mentions maya influence in xinca and lenca in his short paragraphs on Mayan languages in Campbell 1997. ·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:17, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Anyway: just because the article is now promoted to FA doesn't mean that it can't bcome better. If you can improve the history section and add other views to some events - by all means please do.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 21:19, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Songs of Dzitbalche[edit]

I dunno about the recent inclusion of a brief mention about this Mayan-lang. historical doc in the text. Partly since it's more relevant to something like Mesoamerican literature, but mostly because its authenticity (as a genuine and faithful copy of some earlier doc and oral history) has been open to dispute. While it may or may not be genuine, it would probably take up too much unwarranted space here to go into an explanation of it. I think we should have an article on this doc (although the present version needs complete rewriting as it is taken from another site, even if the site's author and the article's are one and the same), but given its unclear status I'd rather not see it rolled into other articles on equal footing as (say) the Popol Vuh.--cjllw | TALK 03:45, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

Funky sentence[edit]

(Under "Yucatecan branch":) "It has a rich post-colonial literature, and remains common as the first and even second language in rural areas in Yucatán."

First of all, shouldn't it be something like "remains common as the second and sometimes even the first language in rural areas..." since the sentence seems to be trying to prove how dominant the language is in its region. You wouldn't say something is first, even second if you were trying to prove how awesome it is... Would you? It seems very odd to me.

Second of all, there's no source for it.

Maybe this info is in another source in the article, but it needs the citation next to it. I'm just too afraid to alter anything in a featured article on a subject I can only barely begin to understand. Grandmasterka 09:17, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that "first and even second" doesn't make sense, and I think the gist is that it still has a significant number of native speakers, unlike many of the other languages discussed, so I changed it to that effect.
Also, the source cited (http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=yua) says there are 700,000 speakers (plus 5000 in Belize), not 900,000. Not a huge difference, but where did the discrepancy come from? —Keenan Pepper 18:52, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
"First and even second" is saying that people actually deliberately go to the trouble of learning it - pretty rare for a Mayan language. Given the sizes of the classes I've attended (15 per class in 2 levels at the CALUSAC and 5 per class in 5 classes at the ALMG, for Kaqchikel - there's no other U's in Guate giving these classes and I doubt you could find more than 10 cities with such classes at 1 per city) I'd estimate that under 500 adults per year take a class in a Mayan language in all of Guatemala, that would lead to under 1% of Ladino (Spanish-native) Guatemala speaking a Mayan language. If this is different in the Yucatan, it is indeed more indicative of a public-sphere use for Yukatek than mere first-language use would be. --200.6.235.93 21:48, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
I think that you will find that a lot of indigenas have Spanish as their first language and Mayan as their second language and I believe that this sentence refers to them, rather thanthe few ladinos and foreigners who learn it at a university.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 04:21, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Prominent scholars[edit]

I'm surprised that neither Yuri Knorosov nor Tatiana Proskouriakoff are mentioned in the article. Just another anti-Russian conspiracy, I suppose... :) --Ghirla-трёп- 06:45, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

They are mentioned in the article about Mayan hieroglyphs which is the field where they made their contributions, neither of them were linguists.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 07:49, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Just wondering[edit]

Why aren't featured articles freaking protected?

Because that would go against the nature of the Wikipedia. We can't protect every featured article, because some random newbie might have a whole ton of information they're willing to add to the article. We'd rather fight the vandalism that occurs than block all good information. Vandalism is easy to deal with, good knowledge isn't as easy to come across. Jsc83 23:01, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

Do you think that Wikipedia:Main Page featured article protection should be redrafted or not? Please help form consensus at Wikipedia talk:Main Page featured article protection#Consensus. DrKiernan 09:54, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

"verification needed" tag[edit]

Someone put a {{check}} template ("verification needed") in the "Core Quichean" section. I was going to remove it, but then I poked around a bit on Ethnologue. I couldn't find Quetzaltenango listed with these languages; only with Southern Mam. Y'all would know better than I would... Ling.Nut 17:47, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Color coding[edit]

The color coding in this article needs to conform with Wikipedia:MOS#Color coding. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 19:04, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

It had the color coding when it passed FA - and it was supported by User:OaxacaDan who is red/green colour blind and has asked for color coding to be modified in other cases.·Maunus· ·ƛ· 19:33, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

REFERENCE FORMATTING.[edit]

IS THERE A REASON FOR THE MASSIVE INDENTING AND all caps?
IT MAKES IT HARDER TO READ THAN NECESSARY. -- Jeandré, 2008-05-13t13:34z

Yes, there is a good reason why the references are formatted that way. Ironically, it's to make it easier for a reader to identify a particular entry in a lengthy bibliographical listing. For much the same reasons that we use spacesinbetweenwords, paragraphs to break up slabs of text, and why we offset/indent successive comments on talk pages: so that it is easier to pick out where one conceptual unit ends and other begins. Most of the citations here run longer than a single line, and would not be readily differentiated one from the other without some visual cue.

You do not read a bibliography in the same way as you read 'normal' paragraphs of text- the object of a bibliography is to be able to find and identify a given reference. Take a look at any non-fiction book that you may have, that contains a bibliography- I practically guarantee you that it will be formatted by some sort of typographical device —hanging indents, caps, bolding, positioning & spacing, or some combination of these— in such a way that (a) each entry is visually distinct, and (b) the identifying keywords the reader will be looking for (ie, primarily authors' names) can be picked out from the sorted list. Using caps (actually, they are Smallcaps) to highlight keywords obviously serves a different purpose and does not carry the same meaning as when it is done in a NORMAL SENTENCE, like THIS.

There are limitations to what can be achieved through wiki formatting options without making the coding too complicated, and differences in appearance browser-to-browser that exist anyway; may not be a perfect solution, but no one format is going to please everyone. --cjllw ʘ TALK 04:30, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

nahuatl "stylistics"[edit]

Nahuatl#Stylistics is a good section, most of the phenomena it describes are applicable to Mayan languages as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.106.175.189 (talk) 20:10, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

nahuatl "stylistics"[edit]

Nahuatl#Stylistics is a good section, most of the phenomena it describes are applicable to Mayan languages as well. It would also be interesting to know if this style predates the Aztec or is their contribution to the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area - I'd suspect the former, given the prevalence in colonial Mayan literature, but I know nothing of mayan epigraphics so I cannot say for sure. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 216.106.175.189 (talk) 20:13, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

aunnouncement: Dienhart's Mayan dictionary compilation going public[edit]

The Mayan Languages- A Comparative Vocabulary, by John Dienhart, is a compilation of over 400 years of Mayan dictionaries in around 30 languages, with over 45,000 entries. I have just gotten explicit permission from Kristina Dienhart, the daughter of John Dienhart, and from a representative of Southern Denmark University, the copyright owner, to use this data, which exists in electronic form, under CC-BY-SA or GFDL. My intention is to massage this data into usable form (for instance, update the orthography); upload it to OmegaWiki; and create pedagogical material such that it can be used (edited) in primary-school classrooms, especially with XO computers. I hope that 1500 of these computers will soon be in the hands of mostly K'iche' students in Totonicapan, and that hundreds will be in Mayan areas in Belize and Mexico.

I am a programmer and a teacher, not a professional mayanist by any stretch of the imagination, but some of you may remember me from back when Maya languages reached FA. I would love the help of anyone knowledgeable about Mayan linguistics, especially the Mexican Mayan languages, about which I know less than the Guatemalan ones. I would also be especially happy if someone could help me find funding for all or part of this work (I'm happy to work for Guatemalan programmer wages, in the range of $1000-$1500 a month; this project could be anywhere from 2 to 6 months, depending on scope). If you or someone you know would be able to help me, please get in touch with me via "email this user".

Thank you,

Homunq (talk) 05:06, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

(cross-posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Mesoamerica)

List of Mayan languages needs given cleanup[edit]

The ISO codes for the regional dialects of a given language name were decimated. See talk there for details. Homunq (talk) 05:47, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Done. However, it would be great if someone would go through the individual pages for the languages and fix this issue up. Now that the ISO codes are cleaned up, we can talk more realistically about regional variation without counting or enumerating dialects. Homunq (talk) 17:36, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, also: now that the list article is much cleaner, we should maybe give it more prominence here. Also, it has a consistent, though imperfect, set of population numbers; maybe some of those numbers could replace the haphazard ones here. Homunq (talk) 17:39, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

I have used the List of Mayan languages to create the new template of Mayan languages at the bottom of the page. Do you think it will be alright since it is based on the page previously mentioned? —Iudæus (talk) 23:08, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Nice looking navbox template, thanks for that. Some of the implied language genealogies in it may not be recognised by all sources, but I don't think that's a major issue and it can be tweaked or qualified if needs be.--cjllw ʘ TALK 01:10, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

The use of the phrase "Ixil Triangle" is frowned upon by the residents of the Ixil Community. That is the proper terminology in this recently bloody region. The name "Ixil Triangle" is one given by the outside world of the Guatemalan Central government of the time and its paramilitary troops who raided and indiscriminately killed members of nearly every family.

The proper usage and proper designation of this section and all that refer to it (such as Mayan Languages) should use the proper term, Ixil Community.

Also the use of "Maya" (singular, plural, masculine, feminine) to designate a person or persons is preferable to using "Mayan" as in "The Maya have 21 known variants of Mayan languages" where Mayan is used only as an adjective. This is a small matter of respect for the Maya.Terrydarc (talk) 03:59, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Request for Mayan Terminology Assistance Chan Santa Cruz[edit]

The article Chan Santa Cruz had some good content added but it uses old Mayan orthography that needs to be updated. This assists in making wiki links more simple and reliable and prevents the creation of multiple new pages for the different spellings. Some of you have the skills so please go to it. --YakbutterT (talk) 23:08, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Edits by AmericanGringo[edit]

I reverted AmericanGringo's edits to because the previous description of the distinction between the usage of Mayan (used only in linguistics) and Maya used in oher fields among them Anthropology (and notably also as an adjective) was more precise. Also he changed Belize with Honduras there are many more maya speakers in Belize than in Honduras (I assume you are referring to the dwindling speakers of Chorti'?) - but both could be mentioned. Also your statement about 31 maya languages was contradictory since guatemala recognizes 21 and mexico 8. We are only referring to luving langauges so cholti and chicomuceltec don't count.·Maunus·ƛ· 16:12, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Position of Wastek[edit]

I just came across this paper [3] (if the site is still down you may be able to view a google cache here). I just skimmed it briefly (in machine translation I must admit) but the gist is clear: Robertson and Houston argue that Wastek was not the first Mayan language to branch off as a separate family and should instead be grouped with the "Western" languages of Ch'olan and Tzeltalan. I saw the paper after seeing it cited aspprovingly here. If it has some currency it should probably be mentioned in the article as an alternate theory but I don't have a good feel for how well known or respected it is in the field, so I am not sure of the best way to express it in the article. Eluchil404 (talk) 04:28, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

I recently noticed that paper as well and I fell much the same as you do. My gut feeling is that Kaufman and Lyle campbell are the autorities to follow. But the theory probably should get a mention. ·Maunus·ƛ· 05:12, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
btw. Just to be sure, the approving citation is by the author himself.·Maunus·ƛ· 05:26, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
Ah, yes you're right. Which makes it count for less naturally, and explains how he knows that an English language edition is in preparation. Still Houston is considered an important scholar, at least in epigraphic circles, and so it may be worth mentioning at least. I suggest a sentence here, or at least in addition to, rather than at Wastek language since that article currently has no information about its relationships other than the family listing in the infobox. Eluchil404 (talk) 06:46, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I have added a mention of the alternative classification, and added the paper to the references. Time will tell which classification will prevail.·Maunus·ƛ· 06:53, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

Colonial alphabets[edit]

Anyone have a good source on the colonial alphabets? It would be nice to have a table of the main variants, like we do for modern. I added a few words in the hope that s.o. will expand it. — kwami (talk) 02:50, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Updated speaker numbers[edit]

Populations have risen quite abit as shown in this table inserted into the article of 2012 speaker numbers. However the table contradicts the rest of the article and List of Mayan languages. We should update all of the articles speaker numbers so that there isn't any internal contradiction. Also we should use a table format that floats to the right so we don't break the page formatting.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 12:30, 9 April 2013 (UTC)


Languages more spoken
Language Number of speakers (2012)
K’iche’ 2,330,000
Yucatec 1,202,000
Q’eqchi’ 823,500
Mam 537,980
Kaqchikel 451,000
Tzeltal 372,000
Tzotzil 330,000
Chol 145,000
Ixil language 135,000
Huastec 131,000
Jakaltek 100,000
Poqomchi’ 92,200
Achi 85,600
Tz’utujil 84,000
Q’anjob’al 77,700
Akatek 60,000
Chuj 50,000
Poqomam 49,000
Chontal 38,500
Tojolabal 34,300
Ch’orti’ 30,010
Awakateko 18,000
Sakapultek 15,000
Mopan 14,200
Sipakapa 8,000
Tektitek 6,000
Uspanteko 3,000
Lacandon 1,000+
Mocho’ 170
Itza’ 12

Jakaltek[edit]

The population of Jakaltek has been reduced by a factor of ten between E16 and E17. I thought this was an error, that the two ISO codes were merged without merging the populations, but evidently the number was changed after merging. Maybe one of the E16 figures spurious? — kwami (talk) 21:11, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Mopan[edit]

Hofling (2008) reports 9,000–12,000 native Mopan Maya speakers. Ethnologue says "9,200 in Belize (2006). Population total all countries: 14,200." Actually Hofling's specific quote is: "In Guatemala, Mopan speakers number between three and four thousand, according to the statistics gathered by the Mopan branch of the Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala (ALMG pers. comm. 2008). The population in Belize is larger, perhaps six to eight thousand (Grimes 2000)." I wonder why Ethnologue's estimates are so much higher. Kaldari (talk) 03:09, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

ALMG orthography[edit]

Hofling's Mopan Maya-Spanish-English Dictionary (2011) gives different IPA values for some of the ALMG orthography. Specifically, he gives ä = [ɨ] and j = [h], both of which are very different than the values given in our table here. Hofling's ALMG orthography also uses apostrophes instead of diacritics. Unfortunately, we don't have any references for our ALMG orthography and I haven't been able to find a primary source for it yet. Does anyone know where we got our table from? Kaldari (talk) 21:02, 24 November 2013 (UTC)

I also found a paper from 2011 that discusses the ALMG's use of apostrophes, which doesn't match our table. Kaldari (talk) 21:50, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
It looks like the apostrophes were converted to diacritics by an anonymous IP in 2012. Since there is no reference or explanation given, I'm going to revert this change. Kaldari (talk) 22:19, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  • The problem is that the ALMG uses symbols differently in different languages. BTW. I don't think Hofling means to give ä = [ɨ], but rather [ə]. We ought to mention the variations in the specific orthographies with sources.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:40, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
    @Maunus: Yes, it seems that ä is used for a range of roughly mid-central vowel sounds. The confusion around the use of the letters h and j is more concerning, however. It seems unlikely that the ALMG would recommend that [h] be represented as j in some languages and h in others, but I suppose it's possible. The definitive reference seems to be Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala: Documento de Referencia para la Pronunciación de los Nuevos Alfabetos Oficiales, which is about as easy to track down as a 3-legged jackalope. Kaldari (talk) 02:54, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll see what kind of sources I can get a hold of. Since some languages don't have [x] it would make sense if h were used in those cases.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:57, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

FAR?[edit]

This article has a ton of "citation needed" tags and large amounts of uncited text without them. I don't believe it meets the FA criteria as a result. Tezero (talk) 19:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

You may be right. You could try fixing it first?User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:57, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
Haven't checked in detail, Maunus, but aren't a lot of the citations print-only? Tezero (talk) 20:45, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
A lot of the cited material is, but my guess is that most of the material marked with citation needed can be found in online resources. I am away from a library currently, but would otherwise be happy to find the print only sources.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 20:54, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Given that you have simultaneously tag bombed two old FA articles on which I am the primary editor, and given that I am already extremely busy with real life stuff and that I am reviewing one of your GA noms and participating in preparing another I will need a little time to get to this article. For Nahuatl I have most of the literature available but for Mayan I need access to a research library which I wont have untill the end of September.User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:54, 15 August 2014 (UTC)
    • ^ The J sounds as [h] in the ALMG orthography.