This chapter examines the historical sociolinguistic geography of the Mayan lowlands and the linguistic affiliation of the classic lowland Mayan writing. It proposes a framework for research on the standard and vernacular languages represented in ancient Mayan texts with the objective of analyzing several linguistic models and proposals and formulating some directions for future research. The findings reveal that pre-Ch'olan language speakers standardized much of the script by the end of the Early Classic period and the pre-Ch'olan-to-Proto-Ch'olan transition took place circa A.D. 500–650.
Keywords: Mayan lowlands; Mayan writing; sociolinguistic geography; linguistic affiliation; Ch'olan language
Chapter. 4822 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology
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