Gabrielle Vail and Martha J. Macri
[Written Language & Literacy 3:1] 2000
► pp. 123–153
Temporal Deixis in Colonial Chontal and Maya Hieroglyphic Narrative
Comparison of a set of Colonial Acalan Chontal documents with inscriptions of the Classic period reveals that a deictic enclitic -ihi or -iji(y) occurs on verbs in similar contexts in both bodies of texts. Certain forms of this clitic have been interpreted elsewhere as inflection for aspect, or as a different temporal clitic from that proposed here. This investigation confirms that the element is an adverbial clitic, and thus allows its identification in otherwise unrecognized instances. While serving as an integral part of the discourse pattern, it also helps demarcate more clearly the lines between aspect and time in the verb systems under study. In a broader view, this proposal carries implications both for the nature of Classic Maya historical narrative and for the identity of the languages in which it was written.
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