Prominence in Yucatec Maya: The Role of Stress in Yucatec Maya Words
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractYucatec Maya (YM) is an indigenous language of Mexico that features both phonemic tonal distinctions and phonemic vowel length. These features are primarily associated with the phonetic cues of pitch and duration, which are also considered the primary correlates of stress in language. Though scholars have noted the existence of stress or accent since it was first documented centuries ago, no detailed account of stress as either a separate or related entity to tone or length has been made. This dissertation presents a unique view into YM prosody by looking at loan word incorporation in conjunction with native speaker intuitions, and production data. A case study of Spanish loan words into Yucatec finds that when Spanish words are incorporated into the YM prosodic system, the initial syllable undergoes lengthening. Statistical analyses performed on data from native speaker intuitions and production data, however, find no concrete pattern of obligatory stress on the word level in Yucatec Maya words.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Anthropology & Linguistics