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FT-249279-16

Daniel Aaron Law
University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)

Syntactic Structure and Political Authority in Classic Mayan Texts

Writing two articles and the preparation of a third on the use of complex sentence structures in texts by Maya and later Spanish missionaries.

This project will investigate the use of complex sentence structures in Classic Mayan (hieroglyphic) text, as well as later appropriations of these same linguistic forms in Colonial manuscripts written by, or on behalf of, Spanish missionaries in the Maya area. The overall claim to be examined is that these complex structures were a salient site for expressing social hierarchies, authority, and ritual and cosmological power and their use was adopted by both Classic Maya elites, and Colonial Spanish priests. This approach highlights the interconnectedness of linguistic form with other elements of social practice. The data-gathering component of this project is currently funded with a Humanities Research Award from the University of Texas at Austin. An NEH summer stipend would provide valuable time for analysis of the gathered textual corpus and for the writing of two of the three major articles that are the projected outcome of the project.

Project fields:
Linguistic Anthropology; Linguistics

Program:
Summer Stipends

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2016 – 7/31/2016