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Cuadernos de Lingüística de El Colegio de México

versión On-line ISSN 2007-736X


ANDERBOIS, Scott. U chíikulil k'áatchi': Form, function, and the standardization of punctuation. Cuad. Lingüíst. Col. Méx. [online]. 2018, vol.5, n.1, pp.388-426. ISSN 2007-736X.

Although Yucatec Maya has a long history of written use compared to most indigenous languages, the widespread use of writing in day to day life and the development of an explicit standard writing system remain in their early stages. One important recent step in this process is the publication of a book -U nu’ukbesajil u ts’íibta’al maayat’aan / Normas de escritura para la lengua maya- presenting for the first time a comprehensive set of norms for writing in the language as well as motivating them, often by appeal to aspect of the language’s grammatical properties. This paper examines the relationship between grammar and standardization through a detailed case study of one particular norm: that the question mark not be used. While there may well be other countervailing factors besides grammar that justify the norm (e.g. tradition, a desire to create norms that differ from those of Spanish), we argue against the grammatical rationale for this norm through a detailed survey of interrogative and related constructions, showing that complex interactions between these various constructions validate the functional utility of the question mark for readers.

Palabras llave : interrogative morphosyntax; punctuation; questions; standardization; Yucatec Maya.

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