Yucatec language

also called  Maya,  

      American Indian language of the Mayan family, spoken in the Yucatán Peninsula, including not only part of Mexico but also Belize and northern Guatemala. In its classical (i.e., 16th-century) form Yucatec was the language of Yucatán, and it survives in its modern form with little dialectal variation and only minor changes from the classical form. Written materials that may be in Yucatec (but are probably in a Cholan language) include three hieroglyphic codices surviving from the period before the Spanish conquest (see Mayan hieroglyphic writing), as well as numerous stone monument inscriptions. These, however, have yet to be deciphered.

      The literature that constitutes the body of readable written material in Yucatec was written down in the late 16th and early 17th centuries in an orthography adapted from that of Spanish. Major works are the Book of Chilam Balam (Chilam Balam, Books of) and the Book of the Songs of Dzitbalché.

      The phonology of Yucatec is characterized by a series of glottalized consonants as well as voiceless consonants such as p, t, k. Voiced stops such as b, d, g are rare, occurring only in words borrowed from Spanish. Another characteristic of Yucatec is the use of tones to distinguish between otherwise identical words. In grammar and syntax, Yucatec uses prefixes, suffixes, and infixes to mark grammatical categories such as plural number, possession, and verb tense. Small words called particles function like English prepositions, conjunctions, adverbs, and interjections.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Yucatec Maya language — Infobox Language name=Yukatek Maya nativename=Maaya T aan speakers=805,000 states=Mexico, Belize , Guatemala region=Yucatán 547,098, Quintana Roo 163,477, Campeche 75,847, Belize 5,000 familycolor=American fam1=Mayan fam2=Yucatecan fam3=Yucatec… …   Wikipedia

  • Yucatec — [yo͞o′kə tek΄] n. 1. pl. Yucatecs or Yucatec a member of a North American Indian people of the Yucatán Peninsula 2. the Mayan language of this people adj. of the Yucatecs or their language or culture Yucatecan adj., n …   English World dictionary

  • Yucatec — Yucatecan, adj., n. /yooh keuh tek /, n., pl. Yucatecs, (esp. collectively) Yucatec. 1. a member of an American Indian people of Yucatán, Mexico. 2. Also called Yucatec Mayan. the Mayan language of these people. 3. a native or inhabitant of… …   Universalium

  • Yucatec — noun 1. a member of the Mayan people of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico • Syn: ↑Yucateco • Hypernyms: ↑Mayan, ↑Maya 2. a Mayan language spoken by the Yucatec • Syn: ↑Yucateco …   Useful english dictionary

  • language — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) System of communication Nouns 1. language, tongue, lingo, vernacular, mother tongue, protolanguage; living or dead language; idiom, parlance, phraseology; wording; dialect, patois, cant, jargon, lingo,… …   English dictionary for students

  • Yucatec Maya Sign Language — noun A sign language used in Yucatán, Mexico …   Wiktionary

  • Yucatec Maya Sign Language — ISO 639 3 Code : msd ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

  • Yucatec — noun Etymology: Spanish yucateco Date: 1843 1. a member of an American Indian people of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico 2. the Mayan language of the Yucatecs • Yucatecan adjective or noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Yucatec Maya — noun Mayan language spoken in the Yucatán Peninsula, northern Belize and parts of Guatemala …   Wiktionary

  • Yucatec — noun a) A member of a Mayan people inhabiting the Yucatán peninsula b) Their language …   Wiktionary

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