Possession in Yucatec Maya
Structures - functions - typology
University of Erfurt
Possession is the functional domain of language which crystallizes around the relation of human beings to entities which are in their immediate bio-cultural sphere. Such entities crucially include relatives, body parts and artifacts. Nouns designating such concepts usually display grammatical symptoms of relationality in the languages of the world. Non-inherent relations between other kinds of objects are either shaped on this model or marked against it.
This is a comprehensive study of possession in Yucatec Maya, essentially based on fieldwork. The grammatical categories relevant to this domain are defined in structural terms. The description is then subdivided according to the role of possession in reference and in predication. Yucatec Maya has an unusually rich grammatical structure in this domain, with a classification of nouns according to alienability, morphological operations of relationalization and derelationalization of nouns and a large paradigm of possessive classifiers. The study concludes with a chapter on the typological specificity of Yucatec in this domain and on the connections of the relevant structures to the rest of the grammar.
ISBN 9783895860607. LINCOM Studies in Native American Linguistics 04. 170pp. 2nd edition. 1998.