First Words

Joel Robbins

in Converting Words

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780520257702
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944916 | DOI:
First Words

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There was another level of discourse about and in Maya that played a different role in the overall scheme of reducción. Some of the same missionaries, and many others, wrote works designed to have a direct impact on Maya practice. These are truly instruments of reducción, and they bite into the language more precisely and more consequentially than any other works. Although they are written in Spanish genres, these instruments are either bilingual or (rarely) entirely in Maya. The dictionaries are all bilingual, as are the artes. The extant catechisms are predominantly in Maya, but they are translated from Spanish or Latin master texts, and they are organized according to the demands of the doctrina menor as a genre. This chapter discusses the following: dictionaries and the problem of authorship, the thematic scope of the dictionaries, from Spanish into Maya, first principles, religious practices, pedagogy, language and signs, governance, and marginal practices.

Keywords: Maya; reducción; dictionaries; language; Spanish

Chapter.  16105 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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