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Encyclopedia > Classic Maya language

The Classic Maya language is the oldest historically attested member of the Maya language family. It is the main language documented in the Pre-Columbian inscriptions of the Classic Era Maya civilization. The Mayan languages are a family of related languages spoken from South-Eastern Mexico through northern Central America as far south as Honduras. ... The term Pre-Columbian is used to refer to the cultures of the New World in the era before significant European influence. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... The Maya are people of southern Mexico and northern Central America (Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador) with some 3,000 years of history. ...


Relationships

Classic Maya is split into at least two dialects, Ch'olan and Yucatecan. These dialects eventually evolved into the contemporary up into the Chol language and the Yucatec Maya language. Modern Ch'ol and Yucatec speakers can understand many words in Classic Maya. Chol is a Maya language belonging to the North American Indian language group and is used by Chol ethnic group in Mexico. ... Yucatec Maya is a Maya language spoken in the Yucatan Peninsula, northern Belize and parts of Guatemala. ...


Writing System

Classic Maya is written in a descendant of Olmec script, and is one of only a handful of original writing systems. The Classic Maya script is similar to Ancient Egyptian in the way it functions. The script is basically syllabic, but a large number of logographs exist, and many verb and noun roots are given by logographs. Grammatical affixes are usually written syllabically. Boobies. Maya hieroglyphics is the system of writing used by the pre-Columbian Maya people to record the Maya language. ... The Olmec were an ancient people living in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, roughly in what are the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... Ebers Papyrus detailing treatment of asthma. ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... A Chinese logogram, which is also an ideogram. ... An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a base morpheme such as a root or to a stem, to form a word. ...


Classification

Like the other Maya languages, Classic Maya is VSO and ergative in its basic typology. It uses both prefixes and suffixes to show grammatical function. VSO is an acronym for several different terms: In Linguistic typology, VSO stands for Verb Subject Object In the United States Navy, VSO is used to denote a Scout observation plane. ... An ergative-absolutive language (or just ergative language) is one that marks the subject of transitive verbs distinctly from the subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive verbs. ...


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