Chapter published in:Lexical Polycategoriality: Cross-linguistic, cross-theoretical and language acquisition approaches
Edited by Valentina Vapnarsky and Edy Veneziano
[Studies in Language Companion Series 182] 2017
► pp. 101–153
Polycategoriality and hybridity across Mayan languages
Action nouns and ergative splits
This article presents a comparative study of Mayan languages belonging to three different branches (Cholan, Tseltalan and Yucatecan), with respect to polycategoriality. Mayan languages appear to be particularly interesting for exploring polycategoriality for several structural reasons, as well as for the way relevant properties vary across the Mayan family. We analyze levels and processes of categorial determination and their relationship with other facts, in particular the ergative splits (aspectual and agentive). We study morphophonological, morphosyntactic and semantic properties for evaluating polycategoriality at the root or stem level. At the structure level, we put forth the hypothesis of a hybrid nature based on simultaneous nominal and verbal properties. For some cases, a reanalysis from nominal to verbal stems is proposed.
Keywords: Mayan languages, lexical category, polycategoriality, ergativity, verbal noun, agency
Published online: 01 November 2017
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