Object to path in Mesoamerica: Semantic composition of locative and motion descriptions in Yucatec Maya and Juchitán Zapotec
Báez, Gabriela Pérez
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In this article we compare the semantic composition of locative and motion event descriptions in two genetically unrelated and typologically distinct Mesoamerican languages: Yucatec Maya (Yucateco) and Juchitán Zapotec (Juchiteco). Our analysis is based on data collected in the field with a variety of non-verbal stimuli. The data we present show that locative and path (or location change) information is encoded only in the verb in these languages, and not in the Ground phrase. Yucateco and Juchiteco thus represent a more radical type of verb-framing (Talmy 2000) than has been attested to date. In Yucateco, the Ground phrase expresses a PLACE function in the sense of Jackendoff (1983), while in Juchiteco it expresses object part information only, i.e., a THING function.