Language and Cognition -
| About Yucatec
- Affiliation: Maya family, Yucatecan Branch. Spoken in Mexico (states of Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo) and North Belize
- about 800 000 speakers
- Tonal language
- VOS word order, head marking type (use set A & B)
- Ergative language (split ergativity is constrained by aspect)
- Typical root is CVC (verbal, nominal, adjectival and multivalent root) with very productive inflection and derivation processes (with suffixes mostly)
- Tense does not exist as a grammatical category. Temporal information is encoded by a combination of aspect.
The peninsula comprises the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, and Quintana Roo; the northern part of the nation of Belize; and Guatemala's northern department of El Petén. The whole peninsula is mainly a karstic land. They are almost no river and water is present under the surface of the earth, sometimes directly accessible through sinkholes (or ts'o'onot in Maya, cenote in Spanish) widespread in the northern part of the peninsula. Rain forest occupies the South of the Peninsula and short and tall dry tropical forest the northern part.
Slash and burn type of agriculture. Main resources are the cultivation of maize, beans and other cucurbitaceous.
Yucatec Maya were converted to Spanish Catholicism during the XVIth Century, mostly by Franciscans missioners. Nevertheless, they still practice a Catholic-Maya syncretism where Catholic Saints coexist with the spirits of the forest. The Yucatec Maya language and the Yucatec culture in general is more and more in competition with the dominant Mexican culture, and cultural and linguistic change is rapid.
- Olivier Le Guen (in press). Geocentric gestural deixis among Yucatecan Mayas (Quintana Roo, México),18th IACCP Book of Selected Congress Papers.
- Vapnarsky, Valentina & Olivier Le Guen (in press). The guardians of space: understanding ecological and historical relations of the contemporary Yucatec Mayas to their landscape, EMC proceedings, Verlag publication.
- Jürgen Bohnemeyer (2006). Spatial reference in Yukatek Maya: a survey. In S. C. Levinson & D. P. Wilkins (eds.), Grammars of space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 273-310. (with C. Stolz).
- Jürgen Bohnemeyer (2002). The grammar of time reference in Yukatek Maya. Munich: LINCOM.
- Olivier Le Guen (non published Ph Dissertation). L’organisation et l’apprentissage de l’espace chez les Mayas Yucatèques du Quintana Roo, Mexique.