Hieroglyphic Names of the King of La Amelia, the Petexbatun Region, Maya Lowlands, Terminal Classic

Research Note 22

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20376/IDIOM-23665556.21.rn022.en

Sergei Vepretskii1, Albert Davletshin2

1 Russian State University for the Humanities & Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography (Moscow)
2 Instituto de Antropología, Universidad veracruzana (Xalapa)

 

La Amelia is a small Late Classic site in the eastern part of the Petexbatun region. It is located 2 km to the South-East from the village San Francisco El Tumbo in the Sayaxché municipality of the Petén department, Guatemala. Edwin Shook was the first to visit and map the site in 1937 (Foias 1998: 3); his map was published by Sylvanus Morley (1937-38: Fig. 45). Little is known about the political history of La Amelia. Two panels and one hieroglyphic stairway have been found in situ; all of them were commissioned during the reign of the only known king of La Amelia (Foias 1998: 13; Foias et al. 1998). The inscriptions narrate about his birth in 760 and first five years of his reign from 802 to 807 but they do not mention any of his predecessors or successors.

The ruler under discussion ascended the throne when La Amelia was part of a larger political system under the control of Mutul1)The reading of the Tikal Emblem Glyph remains problematic. David Stuart and Christian Prager (Stuart 1993, 2013) independently suggested the reading value MUT, basing themselves on the initial phonetic complement mu on La Amelia Hieroglyphic Stairway 1 (C1, G3, J3) and the final complement tu on Yaxchilan Lintel 17 (F). The main sign depicts the tied hair, and the Yucatec entry <mut pol>, “rodete hacer la mujer de sus cabellos/to make a circular bun for a woman with her hair”, seems to fit nicely to the proposed reading (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 542). Dmitri Beliaev (2011) questioned this interpretation due to the fact that the Yucatec entry <mut> is a mistranscription of the original entry <meet>, attested in the Diccionario de Viena (Viena n.d.). Beliaev also proposed an alternative reading KUK considering two examples of the place-name 2ku from Tikal Stela 31 (E11, E27) as the phonetic spelling of the Tikal city. The Ch’olti‘ entry <cuc>, “cola de choles, todo el cabello enbuelto por detras /Chol pony-tail, braid; all hair gathered up behind” (Moran 1695). He also reinterpreted the initial complement mu from La Amelia as part of the logogram K’UH, “holy, divine”. The two interpretations are somewhat problematic, so we decided to use the widely accepted MUT, mutuˀl, only for the convenience of the reader. dynasty from Aguateca (Martin and Grube 2000: 65; Houston 2014: 236).

Originally, the title “holy lord of Mutul” had belonged to the royal family of Tikal but the kings of Dos Pilas started to use it in the middle of the seventh century (Houston and Mathews 1985: 3-6; Houston 1993: 97-101; Boot 2002a: 3, 18, 2002b: 9; Guenter 2003: 5; Martin and Grube 2000: 55). This branch of the dynasty was connected to another important center, K’ihnich Paˀ Witz, known nowadays as the archeological site of Aguateca. This took the position of the Petexbatun capital from Dos Pilas in the middle of the eighth century (Martin and Grube 2000: 66). La Amelia entered the orbit of Aguateca at the end of Tahn Teˀ K’ihnich’s reign (>770-802>). The La Amelia king acceded to the throne in front of the Aguateca god and became the last “holy lord of Mutul” in Petexbatun (Martin and Grube 2000: 65). It has been suggested that both the title and the divine patron might indicate a close relationship between the rulers of La Amelia and Aguateca (Houston 2014: 236).

This ruler bears quite a peculiar primary name and an enigmatic secondary one – both of them cannot be translated. We dedicate this note to the re-examination of both names.

 

The primary name of the La Amelia king

Maya rulers of Classic Period used many personal names and titles of various kinds. In some cases, it is difficult and even impossible to decide whether a particular nominal phrase is a personal name or a title. In this paper we are going to use two technical terms for royal names – primary name and secondary name. Both of them were received during accession and differed from childhood names and non-royal adulthood ones (Stuart 2005: 151; Zender 2014: 67). Primary names are almost always attested if a king is mentioned; secondary names are less frequent and tend to appear in association with primary names. Syntactically, primary names precede the so-called Emblem glyphs, “the divine king of such-and-such place”, while secondary names precede primary ones. Semantically, primary and secondary royal name are very similar, being descriptive and consisting in independent sentences with subjects, verbs, adverbs and adjectives (which is a very Amerindian system of naming, of course).

The La Amelia ruler also bears two onomastic formulas, referred as Lachan K’awiil and ˀAjaw Bot2)We indicate morpheme-initial glottal stops in both transcriptions and transliterations although such glottal stops can be analyzed as non-phonemic. Firstly, our transcriptions are not phonemic but phonetic. Secondly, syllabic signs of the Maya script are purely phonetic and thus do not refer to underlying lexical representations. Pure vowel syllabic signs are used to spell word-final glottal stops and vowel glottalisation. These three observations imply that glottal stops are part of the reading values too, at least, in the case of syllabic signs.in the literature (Martin and Grube 2000: 64; Zender 2004: 4). The last name is primary and the former is secondary, according to the terminology we make use of. The primary name is frequent and written with the following signs: ˀa, ˀAJAW, bo and to. The reading order is problematic because some examples show the syllable to above the syllable bo (Fig. 1a). Thus, the syllabic signs give us two alternative readings – either the straightforward sequence, to-bo (Foias 1998: 13), or the inverted one, bo-to (Martin and Grube 2000: 65; Zender 2004: 4). In the last case, we assume a complex ligature of a kind where the syllable bo is inscribed into the complete version of the to sign (Stuart 1995: 37). The inverted reading order is supported by two examples the syllable to is written under the syllable bo (Panel 1: C3, and Hieroglyphic Stairway 1: E3, see Fig. 1b). Other examples of the same personal name are attested in Seibal, where a namesake of the La Amelia ruler was in office at the last third of the eighth century (Martin and Grube 2000: 64-65). Two examples of his name follow the discussed pattern (Seibal Stela 7: A3, B6), but the one from Stela 6 deserves attention. There (Stela 6, B9) the name is written as the sequence of the syllables bo and ta (Fig. 1c). The same spelling might be present on Seibal Stela 5 (A5). This example allows us to identify the reading order bo-to safely. The use of the syllable ta might indicate that the root originally contained the glottalised vowel, because we know that complex vowels were lost in Terminal Classic resulting in sinharmonic spellings (Houston et al. 1998; Lacadena and Wichmann 2004).

 

 

Figure 1. Different spellings of the name ˀAjaw Bot: (a) ˀa-ˀAJAW-wa-bo-to, La Amelia Hieroglyphic Stairway, Step 1, B3 (after the photograph by Edwin M. Shook in Mayer 1991: Plate 1); (b) ˀa-ˀAJAW-bo-to, La Amelia Hieroglyphic Stairway, Step 1, E3 (after the photograph by Edwin M. Shook in Mayer 1991: Plate 1); (c) ˀAJAW-bo-ta, Seibal Stela 6, B9 (after unpublished photographs by Sergei Vepretskii). Drawings by Sergei Vepretskii.

 

 

We were unable to find any entries in Mayan dictionaries of the types bot and tob, which would make sense in the name of the La Amelia king. Few such entries have been found in more than one Mayan language, only one of them is attested in a Cholan language *tob- “(t. v.) to empty, remove (from pod, shell or skin)”. The cognates are attested in Chorti, Akateko and Jakalteko, implying a rather doubtful reconstruction. The word booch “pig” recorded in Mam and Akateko is likely to come from Proto-Mayan word *boot; however, both geographical distribution of the cognates and its post-contact semantics make this reconstruction unlikely (cf. Kaufman and Justeson 2003: 564). Proto-Eastern Mayan *bot- “(t. v.) to roll up”, Proto-Kichean *boot “cotton”, *toob- “(t. v.) to help” and *tob- “(t. v.) to carry loose clothes” are found in the languages remotely related to the language of hieroglyphic inscriptions and thus they are unlikely to be present in the inscriptions (Campbell 1984; Houston, Robertson and Stuart 2000). It goes without saying that in some cases we cannot find any acceptable entry in modern and colonial dictionaries even if the spelling is securely identified. This is in particular true of personal names which are in general hard to translate. However, many royal names Terminal Classic cannot be translated today on the basis of Cholan dictionaries, among them wa-t’u-lu-k’a-te-le, ˀo-lo-mo, pa-pa-ma-li-li, etc. Perhaps, these names are non-Cholan and the name under discussion might belong to the same group (Davletshin 2014).

It still remains unclear which of the two components was in the initial position, the name appears as both ˀAjaw Bot and Bot ˀAjaw in the literature (Martin and Grube 2000: 65; Zender 2004: 4, cf. Prager 2020). We can compare the other names with the word “lord, king”, ˀajaw, with the emblem glyphs, where the word ˀajaw is attested at the end of the title, cf. K’uk‘ ˀAjaw, eitherQuetzal King” or ”Lordly Quetzal” (La Corona Pan. 2: C3) and Bahlam ˀAjaw, eitherJaguar King” or “Lordly Jaguar” (cf. Tortuguero Mon. 6: A3) . It is interesting though that the examples of the La Amelia king’s name show a peculiar pattern: this name always contains the ˀa syllable in the initial position. One possible explanation is that the syllable indicates the agentive prefix ˀaj- before Bot, aimed at the reading ˀAj-Bot ˀAjaw. Nevertheless, the example on Seibal Stela 6, with the underspelt syllable ˀa, makes this interpretation implausible. Thus, this is not the agentive prefix but the initial complement for the ˀAJAW logogram. However, such frequent complementation asks for an explanation. Importantly, the ˀa phonetic complement is attested in the other examples of the sign ˀAJAW neither in La Amelia nor in Seibal. The similar intriguing pattern is observed in the late ˀajawtaak expressions of the eighth century. The majority contain the syllable ˀa before ˀAJAW (Table 1). These examples contrast with earlier examples, where the phonetic complement does not appear at all (Fig. 2a, b). These initial phonetic complements to the ˀAJAW logogram (Fig. 2c, d, e) do not seem to be accidental. We can speculate that these non-obligatory initial phonetic complements are used to indicate the non-standard reading order: from the eighth century the complement ˀa shows that the logogram ˀAJAW should have been read before the other signs in the hieroglyphic block. As the matter of fact, we know that the logogram TAK, which stands for the plural suffix –taak, and is read after the sign ˀAJAW: ˀajawtaak(a groups of) lords” (for the identification of the suffix, see Stuart et al. 1999). Other scholars came to the conclusion that the intial ˀa phonetic complement might cue the reading order of the ˀajawtaak expression in the early 1990-s (Stephen Houston and David Stuart – pers. comm., 2021). Positing this rule we can explain the unexpected initial phonetic complements of the examples and also establish the correct reading order of the name as ˀAjaw Bot.

 

 

Period Examples of ˀajawtaak withoutinitial complement Examples of ˀajawtaak withinitial complement
600-700 AD Dos Pilas Hieroglyphic Stairway 2, East Section, Step 4: F2

Palenque Temple of Inscriptions, West Tablet: O11

Palenque Temple of Inscriptions, Central Tablet: G8

Palenque Temple of Inscriptions, Central Tablet: G9

800-900 AD Copan Stela H: B4

Ixtutz Stela 4: B5

 

Cancuen Panel 1: L6

Copan Stela F: B10

Dos Pilas Stela 8: I16

Dos Pilas Panel 19: G1

Naranjo Stela 46: F4

Quruigua Stela E: D20

Quirigua Zoomorph G: H’2

Quirigua The Bench of Structure 1B-1: pK1

Sabana Piletas Hieroglyphic Stairway 1: A36

Sabana Piletas Hieroglyphic Stairway 1: A38

Sabana Piletas Hieroglyphic Stairway 1: A40

Sabana Piletas Hieroglyphic Stairway 1: A42

Postclassic Dresden Codex, P. 24

Dresden Codex, P. 53

Dresden Codex, P. 58

Table 1. Two different spellings of ˀajawtaak in Maya inscriptions.

 

 

Figure 2. Different spellings of the expression ˀajawtaak “lords”: (a) ˀAJAW-TAK, Palenque Temple of Inscriptions, Central Tablet, G9 (drawing by Sergei Vepretskii after the photograph by Alfred Maudsley in 1896-1899: Plate 58, http://mesoweb.com/publications/Maudslay/V4_touch/V4Plate058.html); (b) ˀAJAW-TAK, Dos Pilas Hieroglyphic Stairway 2, East Section, Step 4, F2 (drawing by Sergei Vepretskii after the photograph by Marc Zender, https://www.mesoweb.com/monuments/DPL/HS2/489z.html); (c) ˀa-ˀAJAW-TAK, Dos Pilas Panel 19, G1 (drawing by Albert Davletshin after the photograph by Atlas Epigráfico de Petén project); (d) ˀa-ˀAJAW-wa-TAK, Copan Stela F, B10 (drawing by Alexandre Tokovinine); (e) ˀa-ˀAJAW-TAK, Dresden Codex, P.53 (drawing by Sergei Vepreteskii after the photograph in Grube 2012).

 

 

The secondary name of the La Amelia king

The first one is attested only once, in the reference to his birth on La Amelia Hieroglyphic Stairway, Step 1 (A3). There is a drawing of this name in the book “Chronicles of Maya Kings and Queens”, clearly spelt la-CHAN-na-K’AWIL and interpreted either as Lachan K’awiil (Martin and Grube 2000: 64-65; Zender 2004: 4) or as Laj Chan K’awiil (Prager 2020). The initial la syllable is somewhat problematic, because it has not been attested as part of other personal names in Maya inscriptions, as well it does not make any sense on its own. Intriguingly, Step 1 of the Hieroglyphic Stairway features an additional hieroglyphic block which follows the verb sihyaj “he was born” and precedes la-CHAN-na-K’AWIL (Fig. 3). This additional block consists in three signs – two of them are badly eroded but one on the top of the block is recognizable as K’AK‘, “fire”. The sequence K’AK‘ something la-CHAN-na-K’AWIL leaves no room for doubts that we deal with an example of the characteristic onomastic formula “K’ahk‘ Verb-form Chan Rain-deity”, highly productive in the Eastern Maya Lowlands in the Classic Period (Zender 2010; Grube 2002; Lacadena 2004; Beliaev et al. 2019). Such names are descriptive in nature; they evoke picturesque images of thunder and lightning depicted through the action of the corresponding supernatural agents. The verbal phrase in these names can include the antipassive suffixes –VVw and -VVn (Table 2) and the affective suffix -laj (Table 3; cf. Lacadena 2000; Colas 2006; Zender 2010). The meaning of the two verbal forms is similar in the sense that they are vividly descriptive and excessively dramatic.

 

 

Figure 3. The secondary name of the La Amelia king on Hieroglyphic Stairway, Step 1, B2-A3: (a) photograph by Edwin M. Shook from Mayer 1991: Plate 1; (b), drawing by Sergei Vepretskii.

 

 

Transliteration Transcription Translation
ja-sa-wa-CHAN-na-K’AWIL-la (Tikal Stela 16: B3-B4) Jasaw Chan K’awiil “(The rain god) K’awiil pants? in the sky”
K’AK‘-KAL-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 19: B4-A5) K’ahk‘ Kalaan? Chan Chaahk “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who chops? in the sky”
K’AK‘-ti-li-wi-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 13: H10-G11)

K’AK‘-TIL-wi-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 23: E15-F15)

K’ahk‘ Tihliw Chan Chaahk “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who demolishes in the sky”
K’AK‘-WEˀ-ne?-CHAN-na-CHAK (Topoxte bone: A2-A3, see Fialko 2000: 150) K’ahk‘ Weˀen Chan Chaahk “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who devours in the sky”
K’AK‘-xi-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Altar 22: C5-D5)

K’AK‘-xi-wi-CHAN-na-CHAK (Chocolate Museum in Cologne, polychrome vase, Inv.-No. 50058, see Krempel et al. 2017: Fig. 4)

K’ahk‘ Xixiw? Chan Chaahk “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who cracks open in the sky”
MUYAL-ya-la-KAL-ni-CHAN-na-YOP-ˀAT-ti (Naranjo Stela 46: A14-B14)

MUYAL-la-KAL-CHAN-na-YOP-ˀAT (Naranjo Stela 13: G9-G10)

Muyaal Kalaan Chan Yopˀaat “As for the cloud, it is (the rain god) Yopˀaat who chops? in the sky”
ti-wi-CHAN-na-YOPAT (Holmul plate, see Grube and Martin 2004: II-68) Tihtiw? Chan Yopˀaat “(The rain god) Yopˀaat shakes? in the sky”
YAX-WEˀ-ne-CHAN-na-K’INICH (K9271) Yax Weˀen Chan K’ihnich “As for the green color, it is (the sun god) K’ihnich who devours in the sky”

Table 2. Royal names with antipassives.

 

 

Transliteration Transcription Translation
ba-ja-CHAN-na-YOPAT (Naranjo-area ‘scepter’, K7966, C4, D5; see Grube 2004: Fig. 10) Bajlaj Chan Yopˀaat “(The rain god) Yopˀaat is hammering in the sky”
ba-la-ja CHAN-na-K’AWIL (Dos Pilas Hieroglyphic Stairway 4, Step 1: N1-M2)

BAJ-CHAN-na-K’AWIL-la (Dos Pilas Panel 7: A5-B5)

Bajlaj Chan K’awiil “(The rain god) K’awiil is hammering in the sky”
CHAK-HOP-la-ja-CHAN-na-YOPAT-ti (K4669) Chak Hoplaj Chan Yopˀaat “As for the red color, it is (the rain god) Yopˀaat who is burning in the sky”
CHAK-ho-po-la-ja-KAMIS-si (La Corona Element 56: pE1-pF2)

CHAK-HOP-ja-KAMIS-si (La Corona Element 33: D7)

Chak Hoplaj Kamis “As for the red color, it is a centipede which is burning”
K’AK‘-ho+po-la-CHAN-na-CHAK-ki (Naranjo Stela 14: D11-C12)

K’AK‘-HOP-la-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 12: G13-F14)

K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan Chaahk “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who is burning in the sky”
K’AK‘-HOP-la-CHAN-na-K’INICH (K4997) K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’ihnich “As for the fire, it is (the sun god) K’ihnich who is burning in the sky”
K’AK‘-HOP-la-CHAN-na-LEM (Caracol Stela 19: H7-G8) K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan Leˀm “As for the fire, it is lightning which is burning in the sky”
K’AK‘-HOP-la-CHAN-na-YOP-ˀAT-ti (K4572) K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan Yopˀaat “As for the fire, it is (the rain god) Yopˀaat who is burning in the sky”
YAX-ba-la-ja-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 18: G1-H1)

YAX-ba-ja-CHAN-na-CHAK (Naranjo Stela 46: B10-A11)

Yax Bajlaj Chan Chaahk “As for the green color, it is (the rain god) Chaahk who is burning in the sky”
yu-ku-la-CHAN-na-K’AWIL-la (K3636) Yuhklaj Chan K’awiil “(The rain god) K’awiil is shaking in the sky”

Table 3. Royal names with affectives.

 

 

The suffix of the verb is moved to the next hieroglyphic block in several late examples. On the base of Copan Stela N, for example, the name of K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’awiil (738-749) is written with the signs la-ja together with CHAN in one hieroglyphic block (Fig. 4a). A similar composition is attested in the name of K’ahk‘ Yipyaj Chan K’awiil (749-761>) on the Stela N itself (B5-B7). Both the verbal root yip and the suffix –y-aj in the name under discussion are unknown but the common pattern suggests a verbal form with a meaning similar to focusing antipassives and affectives. Perhaps, the same suffix –aj is also attested in the name of the famous Copan king Yax Pasaj Chan Yopˀaat. One more example of the suffix dislocated to the next block can be seen in the name of the Tikal ruler Jasaw Chan K’awiil II on Tikal Stela 11, 869, where the syllable wa lies on the top of the “sky” logograph (Martin and Grube 2000: 52). One of the secondary names of the Naranjo king Kokaaj K’awiil (784-810>) K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan Chaahk is written as K’AK‘-HOP la-CHAN-naCHAK-ki on Naranjo Stela 12 (Helmke et al. 2020: 11). The logograph HOP “ignite, burn” has been recently identified by one of the authors (Sergei Vepretskii, see Beliaev et al. 2019). Importantly, the final consonant of the affective suffix –laj is frequently underrepresented as the whole suffix sometimes is. This is the case of the name K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’awiil attested on the vase K0955 (Fig. 4b).

 

 

Figure 4. Examples of the name K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’awiil in Maya inscriptions: (a) K’AK‘-ho-po la-ja-CHAN-na K’AWIL, Copan Stela N base, B2-B4 (drawing by Nikolai Grube, see Zender 2010:Fig.7); (b) K’AK‘-ho-po CHAN-na K’AWIL, codex-style vase, K0955 (drawing by Sergei Vepretskii after the photograph by Justin Kerr, http://research.mayavase.com/kerrmaya_hires.php?vase=955).

 

 

Up to date, only one affective verb has been attested in the royal names including the “fire” logograph – hoplaj “he is burning” but this one is quite popular found in Caracol, Copan, Naranjo and Uaxatun. Thus, we might suspect that the same verb is written in La Amelia. In fact, the outlines of the signs in B2 suggest the syllables ho and po, “Thick-Lipped Head Sign” and “Cushion Pillow Sign”, correspondingly. To sum up, K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’awiil is a sound interpretation of the ruler’s secondary name.

 

Conclusions

This short research note presents decisive arguments for the long-accepted reading order of the La Amelia king’s primary name as ˀAjaw Bot. It also shows that the generally accepted reading of his secondary name is a misinterpretation of the widely attested Maya royal onomastic formula, K’ahk‘ Hoplaj Chan K’awiil. The uncommonly productive phonetic complementation has been shown to indicate the non-standard reading order in hieroglyphic blocks, thus, the reexamination of the name has contributed to our understanding of the mechanics of Maya writing. One can see that the little nothings of epigraphic work result in unexpected and more than intriguing revisions.

 

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to Dmitri Beliaev, Stephen Houston, David Stuart, Christian Prager, Christophe Helmke, Guido Krempel and Mallory Matsumoto for their comments on a preliminary version of this paper. We also thank Cecil Brown and Søren Wichmann for the opportunity to work with their unpublished Mayan comparative dictionary. Our special thanks go to Alexandre Tokovinine for his kind permission to use his drawing of Copan, Stela F.

 

 

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Appendix I: Reconstructed Lexical Entries and Cognate Sets

For the sake of space, only reflexes in Cholan languages are systematically indicated in the following sets, other Mayan languages are presented but scantily; more cognates can be found in available etymological dictionaries (Kaufman and Norman 1984; Kaufman and Justeson 2003; Wichmann and Brown n.d.). The reconstructions are given for the Proto-Cholan level, the vowel length and glottalisation are reconstructed (cf. Kaufman and Norman 1984; Kaufman and Justeson 2003). The asterisk “*” marks words that are reconstructed on the basis of comparative method, the white star “” words or word shapes reconstructed on the basis of epigraphic data and not supported by cognates from other Mayan languages. The orthographies from different sources are normalized. We use the widely established orthography to represent the data from Mayan languages, which is a version of American Phonetic Alphabet. The symbols that differ from the International Phonetic Alphabet symbols are the following: VV = long vowel, C’= glottalised consonant, b = /ɓ/, x = /ʃ/, tz = /ʦ/, ch = /ʧ/, ty = /tj/, y = /j/, and j = /x/. Long vowels are indicated by doubling the vowel letter. The lexical entries from the Colonial sources (Moran 1695) are not highly reliable with respect to phonetic transcription; in accordance with the established practice, this is indicated here by surrounding them with angle brackets “<…>”. The following abbreviations are used: “adj.” stands for “adjective”, “adv.” – “adjective”, “i. v.” – “intransitive verb”, “n.” – “noun”, “n. cl.” – “numeral classifier”, “suf.” – suffix, “t. v.” – “transitive verb”, and “etc.” – “cognates in other Mayan languages are also attested”. “Lowland Mayan” is used for areal terms here, some of them might reflect lexical diffusion in (relatively) recent times.

 

*ˀajaw “(n.) lord, king” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan *ˀaajaaw “lord, master”: Ch’ol ajaw “(n.) 1. espíritu malo de la tierra; 2. espíritu del agua; 3. un compañero del diablo” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), “king” (Hopkins et al. 2011), ajawchan “(n.) culebra de cascabel” (Kaufman and Justeson 2003: 639), Ch’olti‘ <ahau> “señor” (Moran 1695: 58), Ch’orti‘ aˀwchan “(n.) víbora de cascabel” (Kaufman and Justeson 2003: 639), etc.
*b’ahlam “(n.) jaguar (Panthera onca)” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol b’ajlum “(n.) tigre” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal b’alɨm “(n.) tigre (genérico), jaguar (tigre), puma, tigrillo” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <bahlan> “tigre” (Moran 1695: 62), Ch’orti‘ b’ajram “(n.) jaguar” (Hull 2016), etc.
*b’aj- “(t. v.) to hammer, nail” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol b’aj “(t. v.) clavar” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal b’ajeˀ “(t. v.) clavar, martillar, pegar con martillo” (Keller and Luciano 1997), etc.
*b’oot “(n). cotton” /Proto-Kichean: K’iche‘ b’oot “(n.) algodón” (Ajpacaja et al. 1996), Sakapultek b’oot “cotton” (Dubois 1981: 206), etc.
*b’ooch < *b’oot “(n.) pig” /Diffused term: Mam b’ooch “marrano, cerdo”, Awakatek b’ooch “marrano, cerdo” (Kaufman and Justeson 2003: 564)
*b’ot- “(t. v.) to roll up” /Proto-Eastern Mayan: Q’eqchi‘ b’otok “(t. v.) enroller” (Sam Juárez et al. 1997), K’iche‘ b’ootik “(t. v.) enroller, envolver” (Ajpacaja et al. 1996), etc.
chaahk “(n.) thunder (a mythological being)” /cf. Proto-Cholan *chahwak, see also Proto-Mayan *kahoq: Ch’ol chahk “(n.) rayo (se cree que defiende a las colonias de espíritus malos)” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal chawɨk “(n.) trueno” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <chahac> “rayo” (Moran 1695: 56), etc.
*chak “(adj.) red” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol chɨchɨk “(adj.) colorado (rojo)” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal chɨk “(adj.) rojo, colorado” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <chacchac> “bermejo” (Moran 1695: 50), Ch’orti‘ chakchak “(adj.) red” (Hull 2016), etc.
*kan kan “(n.) sky” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan *kaˀŋ: Ch’ol chan “(n.) cielo” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Ch’olti‘ <ti chan> “en alto, en el cielo” (Moran 1695: 28), Ch’orti‘ tichan “(adv.) up, above, on high” (Hull 2016), etc.
*hop- “(t. v.) to revive fire, burn (as chili)” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Chontal jop “(adj.) picante (chile), arde (los ojos)” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <hopmez> “tostar tortillas” (Moran 1695: 63), Yukatek hop– “(t. v.) revive fire” (Bricker et al. 1998), Colonial Yukatek <hoplac> “cosa que se escuece o quema como ají, mostaza” (Ciudad Real 1995: 351), Q’anjobal jopoˀ “(t. v.) encender, alumbrar con linterna o con espejo” (Diego Antonio 1996), etc.
*jas- “(t. v.) to fill up” /Probably, diffused term: Ch’ol jasɨl “(adj.) suficiente”, jastiyel “(i. v.) alcanzar (alimento, paga, ropa)” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Tzotzil jasan “(t. v.) fill to the brim (pot with liquid)” (Laughlin 1975)
*k’ahk‘ “(n.) fire” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol k’ajk “(n.) fuego, calenture, luz” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal k’ak‘ “(n.) lumber, fuego” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <cac, caac, cahc> “fuego” (Moran 1695: 62), Ch’orti‘ k’ajk‘ ~ k’ajk “(n.) fire, candle, light” (Hull 2016), etc.
kal “(t. v.) to chop/cut (wood)”: the root is not found in modern Mayan languages, it is attested in the contexts “he rules” as kalaaw teˀ, also kalteˀew, literally, “he X-es tree/wood”, and, “ruler, overlord”, kaloˀmteˀ, literally, “one who X-es tree/wood”; the likely meaning “to split/cut (wood)” for X is due to three different logographs KAL and KALOMTE which depict an axe and a skull, a hand with an axe and a rain god with an axe in the hand, some likely cognates can be found in Ch’ol: kajl “(n. cl.) scratches, cracks, split, break, as when wood dries and splits/rajada, abertura” (Hopkins et al. 2011), kal “(t. v.) abrir (una pared)”, kalal “(adj.) abierto (una pared, una tabla)” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), cf. Ch’orti‘ karxi “(i. v.) skin, scratch (from a fall)”
*kamis “(n.) centipede” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan (Kaufman and Justeson 2003): Ch’orti‘ kamis “a kind of centipede”, kames “a kind of centipede” (Hull 2016), etc.
*k’uk‘ “(n.) quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno)” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol xmak’uk‘, k’uk‘ “(n.) quetzal” (Hopkins et al. 2011), Ch’olti‘ <cuc> “pluma verde” (Moran 1695: 17), etc.
*-laj “(suf.) affective verbs” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Tzeltal-Tzotzil (Kaufman 1972: 144; Zender 2010): Ch’orti‘ la ~ -ra “(suf.) affective verbs” (Hull 2016: 18), etc.
*leˀm “(n.) lightning” /Proto-Cholan, related to Proto-Mayan *lem– “(i. v.) to shine, flash”: Ch’ol lejmel “flame, lightning” (Hopkins et al. 2011), Chontal lemchawɨk “rayo (relámpago), relámpago” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <vlem chahak> “relampago” (Moran 1695: 56)
*-taak “(suf.) collective nouns” /Proto-Cholan (Becquey 2014: 362), see also Proto-Mayan: Tumbalá Ch’ol –tak “el plural de los sustantivos no humanos (pollos, pueblos, árboles)” (Aulie and de Aulie 2009: 187), Chontal kaxkatak “who? (pl.)”, ixiktak “women” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <pentac> “esclabo” (Moran 1695: 28), Ch’orti‘ -tak “plural suffix with some terms relating to humans”, ijch’oktak “girls”, ixiktak “women”, tejromtak “young men” (Hull 2016: 386), Ch’ol and Chontal cognates indicate a long vowel in Proto-Ch’olan, etc.
*til- “(t. v.) to tear down, destroy” /Proto-Cholan, see also Lowland Mayan: Ch’ol tijlel “(i. v.) deshilacharse” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Ch’olti‘ <tili> “impedir” (Moran 1695: 38), Ch’orti‘ tijru ~ tijri “(t. v.) destroy completely, break, tear down, ruin totally” (Hull 2016), etc.
*tiht- “(t. v.) to shake” /Proto-Cholan, see also Lowland Mayan: Ch’ol tijtin “(t. v.) sacudir” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Ch’olti‘ <tihtin> “limpiar, sacudir” (Moran 1695: 42), Ch’orti‘ tijti “(t. v.) shake” (Hull 2016)
*tob‘- “(t. v.) to carry loose clothes” /Proto-Kichean: K’iche‘ tob’otik “(adj.) grande de cintura, flojo (camisa o pantalón)” (Ajpacaja et al. 1996), Kaqchikel tob’otɪk “(adj.) ropa que queda bien floja” (Cojti et al. 1998)
*tob‘- “(t. v.) to empty, remove (from pod, shell or skin)” /Probably, diffused term: Ch’orti‘ tob’i “(t. v.) shell a bean or bean-like thing” (Hull 2016), Akatek tob’o “(t. v.) vaciar, regar” (Andrés et al. 1996), etc.
*toob‘- “(t. v.) to help” /Proto-Kichean: K’iche‘ toob’aneem “(t. v.) ayudar, colaborar” (Ajpacaja et al. 1996), Kaqchikel tob’enɪk “(adj.) ayudar en algo” (Cojti et al. 1998), etc.
*weˀ- “(t. v.) to eat” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan *waˀ- and Lowland Mayan *weˀ-: Ch’ol weˀ “(t. v.) eat (meat)”, weˀel “(n.) food, meat” (Hopkins et al. 2011), Chontal weˀe “(n.) carne” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <veel> “comer, comida, vianda; comer tortillas o pan” (Moran 1695: 17, 18), Ch’orti‘ weˀ “(t. v., i. v.) eat”, weˀr “(n.) meat” (Hull 2016), etc.
*xix- “(t. v.) to break (open)” /Proto-Cholan: Chontal xixɨn “(t. v.) hacer pedazos, desmenuzar, despedazar” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’orti‘ xixi “(t. v.) break into splinters or strips, shred” (Hull 2016)
*yax “(adj.) green, blue” /Proto-Cholan, see also Proto-Mayan: Ch’ol yɨjyɨx “(adj.) verde, azul” (Aulie and de Aulie 1998), Chontal yɨx “(adj.) verde, azul” (Keller and Luciano 1997), Ch’olti‘ <yax> “azul, color verde, fruta verde” (Moran 1695: 2), Ch’orti‘ yaxax “(adj.) green, blue-green” (Hull 2016), etc.
VVn “(suf.) antipassive (for non-CVC transitive stems)” /Hieroglyphic Mayan, cf. Proto-Cholan *-o ~ *-oon (Becquey 2014: 362) and Proto-Mayan *-o-an ~ *-an (Kaufman 1986, cited in Lacadena 2000: 172): the suffix seems to be restricted to the non-CVC transitive stems, cf. HUL-sa-ni “he brings (people)”, ˀILA-ni “he sees (things)”, PAT-b’u-ni-ya “he fabricates (things)”, ˀu-k’u-ni “he drinks (things)”, WEˀ-ne “he eats (things)”; two CVC transitive roots are attested with both antipassive suffixes –VVw and –VVn but in different contexts, this can be explained if we consider the –VVn forms to be based on derived stems, however, it is unclear what kind of derivation it could be, cf. KAL-ni and KAL-wi “he splits/cut (things)”, CH’AM-ni-ya and CH’AM-wi “he takes (things)”; the form WEˀ-ne “he eats (things)” implies morphonetic shortening of the long vowel after a glottal stop, also known in other contexts and from other Mayan languages; the sinharmonic vowel of the suffix looks as an innovation of Hieroglyphic Mayan which is unattested in other Cholan languages
VVw “(suf.) antipassive (for CVC transitive stems)” /Hieroglyphic Mayan, cf. Proto-Mayan *-o(w) ~ *-a(w) (Kaufman 1986, cited in Lacadena 2000: 172): the suffix is not attested in other Cholan languages, it is restricted to CVC transitive stems; Early Classic examples are often written with the wi syllable, and Late Classic examples are always written with the wa syllable, so we tentatively reconstruct a long vowel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Footnotes

Footnotes
1 The reading of the Tikal Emblem Glyph remains problematic. David Stuart and Christian Prager (Stuart 1993, 2013) independently suggested the reading value MUT, basing themselves on the initial phonetic complement mu on La Amelia Hieroglyphic Stairway 1 (C1, G3, J3) and the final complement tu on Yaxchilan Lintel 17 (F). The main sign depicts the tied hair, and the Yucatec entry <mut pol>, “rodete hacer la mujer de sus cabellos/to make a circular bun for a woman with her hair”, seems to fit nicely to the proposed reading (Barrera Vásquez 1980: 542). Dmitri Beliaev (2011) questioned this interpretation due to the fact that the Yucatec entry <mut> is a mistranscription of the original entry <meet>, attested in the Diccionario de Viena (Viena n.d.). Beliaev also proposed an alternative reading KUK considering two examples of the place-name 2ku from Tikal Stela 31 (E11, E27) as the phonetic spelling of the Tikal city. The Ch’olti‘ entry <cuc>, “cola de choles, todo el cabello enbuelto por detras /Chol pony-tail, braid; all hair gathered up behind” (Moran 1695). He also reinterpreted the initial complement mu from La Amelia as part of the logogram K’UH, “holy, divine”. The two interpretations are somewhat problematic, so we decided to use the widely accepted MUT, mutuˀl, only for the convenience of the reader.
2 We indicate morpheme-initial glottal stops in both transcriptions and transliterations although such glottal stops can be analyzed as non-phonemic. Firstly, our transcriptions are not phonemic but phonetic. Secondly, syllabic signs of the Maya script are purely phonetic and thus do not refer to underlying lexical representations. Pure vowel syllabic signs are used to spell word-final glottal stops and vowel glottalisation. These three observations imply that glottal stops are part of the reading values too, at least, in the case of syllabic signs.