Essay on The Mayan Languages of Guatemala and Mexico

Essay on The Mayan Languages of Guatemala and Mexico

Length: 1118 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

FIU
Data Analysis Essay
The Mayan languages of Guatemala and Mexico can be called a “linguistic area” (Study Guide, 2014, p. 102) because they are geographically in close proximity and the “languages” of the speech communities there would “have been spoken side by side for many generations” (ibid). Due to long-term contact between speech communities in this linguistic area, bilingualism and language mixing in the speeches of the close-knit natives are sure to have existed due to demographic movements. (Winford, 2003, p. 19). However, when language contact involves foreign and native languages, communicating in a common language becomes an issue. Therefore, to overcome language barriers, lexical items are borrowed from the former into everyday discourse or vice versa. This occurs either unconsciously or consciously by natives, or foreign language speakers through code-switching if they want to express an idea in a language that can be understood by both parties. “Borrowing may vary in degree and kind, from casual to heavy lexical borrowing … “(Winford, 2003, p. 254, cited in Study Guide, 2014). It is clear in the given data, casual borrowing of Spanish lexical items is a common feature of the types of loanwords adopted and nativized by the Mayan speech communities of Guatemala and Mexico. This essay intends to discuss the social and cultural contact between Spanish, the donor language, and the native speakers of the Mayan speech communities, who are the recipients. The nativization processes and meaning changes will be highlighted. Also, worth mentioning are the possible reasons why borrowing took place.
Borrowing of lexical items was “contact-induced” (ibid) during the period of Spanish conquest of Mexico (Study Guide, 2014, ...


... middle of paper ...


...nish lexical items occurred over a long period of time. Most of the Spanish donor words nativized into the Mayan languages are from the colonial dialect. The Spanish lexical items did not affect the syntactic and grammatical structures of the Mayan languages which is typical of borrowing during code-switching and inserting loaned single words into speeches do not affect the grammatical structures of the languages.





FIU
References.
1. Study Guide (2014). Study guide for Historical and Comparative Linguistics. Massey
University, School of Linguistic Studies.

2. Winford, D. (2003). An introduction to contact linguistics. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell
Publishing, (pages 11 – 22).

3. Winford, D. (2003). An introduction to contact linguistics. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell
Publishing, (pages 42 – 51).





Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Beautiful Country of Guatemala Essay example

- Guatemala is a beautiful land in Central America is bordering the Northern Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Belize. In this paper I will focus on Guatemala’s geography, anthropological history, cultural behavior, spiritual needs, and current evangelical activity. The primary objective of this paper is to identifiy the spiritual needs and how to pray for this nation and its peoples. Geography • Total Area: 108,890 sq km (42,042 sq mi) • Land Area: 108,430 sq km (41,865 sq mi) • Land Boundaries: 1,687 km total; Belize 266 km, El Salvador 203 km, Honduras 256 km, Mexico 962 km • Natural Resources: crude oil, nickel, rare woods, fish, chicle • Language: Spa...   [tags: Geography, Culture, Central America, Religion]

Better Essays
1329 words (3.8 pages)

Mayan Indians Essay

- Mayan Indians The Maya Indians are Indians that Lived in parts of present time Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Maya Indians had a complex hieroglyphic alphabet and a complicated calendar system. Only the high priests and kings knew how to read it and write and read the complex alphabet. The Maya Indians did not live in teepees like you may think they lived in houses sort of like ours but no nails or installation to keep it warm. The Maya Indians where great builders they made large buildings made out of stone some stones weighed more than 2 tons that is over 4,000 pound....   [tags: Pre-Columbian History Culture]

Free Essays
531 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on The Problem Of Climate Change

- In recent decades, the contentious issues surrounding climate change and the corresponding effects it likely exerts upon contemporary civilization has developed to become one of the most pressing areas of concern afflicting humanity (Armstrong, 1). Currently, climate change has started to demonstrate its potentially calamitous consequences upon human subsistence practices, and has even begun to alter the very environments that entire societies reside in, theoretically endangering them in both instances (Armstrong, 1)....   [tags: Maya civilization, Mayan languages, Maya peoples]

Better Essays
1499 words (4.3 pages)

Mexico: Ethnic Composition, History and Language Diversity Essay

- Introduction Mexico located at Latin America, which is between the Belize, Guatemala and the United States. Population for Mexico is 117.1 million. Mexico’s climate is varies from tropical to desert. The important holiday is the Independence Day, Constitution day and Cinco De Mayo. The reason I select this country is when I go to Cancun, I am very surprised that Mexican official language is Spanish. When I make an online research, I have found that Mexico is one of a colony of Spain. In the period during 1519 to 1521, the Spanish conquered Mexico....   [tags: location, religion, culture]

Better Essays
608 words (1.7 pages)

The Languages and Cuisine of Mexico Essay

- ... Mexican cuisine stems from a long and varied history and throws a lot of light on some of the turbulent times this culture has had to face. Mexican food and culture has had a long standing relationship of sorts that adds tremendous personality to the study of this race. The study of Mexican history and its food culture goes hand in hand, and it would be a rough journey to carry out one without the other. The origins of Mexican cuisine can be traced back to the Mayan civilization, who firmly believed that the richness of food can enrich the spirit and body of a person through various sensory perceptions like taste, smell and touch....   [tags: indiginous, diet, mayan]

Better Essays
853 words (2.4 pages)

The Mayan Civilization Essay

- The Mayan civilization was located in southeastern Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula. One of the first American civilizations, it lasted from about 1000 B.C.-1542 A.D. Their civilization flourished during the Sixth Century. They built many temples and over forty cities. The Mayan population consisted of almost fifteen million people who were all living in one of the many cities. The Mayan people were extremely religious and believed in multiple gods which meant they were polytheistic. Their most commonly worshiped god was the Maize God, or god of corn, as corn was the most grown and most relied on crop....   [tags: Maya civilization, Maya peoples, Guatemala, Mexico]

Better Essays
999 words (2.9 pages)

Why The Mayan Civilization Disappeared Is Climate Change Essay

- The second theory explaining why the Mayan civilization vanished is climate change. Analysts from Arizona State University examined archeological information from across the Yucatan to achieve a superior comprehension of the natural conditions when the region was surrendered (Stromberg). Around this time, they discovered serious diminishments in precipitation, combined with a fast rate of deforestation, as the Mayans torched and hacked more woods to clear land for agribusiness. They required huge amounts of wood to fuel the flames that cooked lime mortar for their intricate developments; specialists estimate that it would have taken about 20 trees to deliver a single square meter of city (Ch...   [tags: Maya civilization, Mayan languages, Maya peoples]

Better Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

Mayan Civilization and Culture Essay

- The Ancient Mayan civilization contained nearly two-thirds of Mesoamerica. The area included mostly volcanic mountains to porous limestone, also referred to as the lowlands in the more central regions. Mayan civilization extended from Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the north, to Honduras in the south. What made the Mayans stand out to me the most, were their complex societies, which were built and modernized far ahead of its time in a tropical rainforest climate (Aissen, 1992). Normally, ancient populations lived in much drier climates, where irrigation practices served as the foundation of societies....   [tags: Mesoamerica, Mayan Golden Age, History]

Better Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

An Indian Woman In Guatemala Essay

- An Indian Woman In Guatemala Guatemala is the land of Eternal Springs and the home of the richly cultured and historic Mayan people. It it also the country of Rigoberta Menchu, an illiterate farm worker, turned voice of oppressed people everywhere. Guatemala also has the sad distinction of being home to Latin America's oldest civil war. "For more than three decades, left-wing guerrillas have fought a series of rightist governments in Guatemala. The war has killed an estimated 140,000 in the country, which has 11 million people." (N.Y....   [tags: Guatemala India History Historical essays]

Better Essays
1546 words (4.4 pages)

guatemala Essay

- GUATEMALA Guatemala’s culture is a unique product of Native American ways and a strong Spanish colonial heritage. About half of Guatemala’s population is mestizo (known in Guatemala as ladino), people of mixed European and indigenous ancestry. Ladino culture is dominant in urban areas, and is heavily influenced by European and North American trends. Unlike many Latin American countries, Guatemala still has a large indigenous population, the Maya, which has retained a distinct identity. Deeply rooted in the rural highlands of Guatemala, many indigenous people speak a Mayan language, follow traditional religious and village customs, and continue a rich tradition in textiles and other cra...   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
1248 words (3.6 pages)