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The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research$
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Clifton Pye

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226481289

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226481319.001.0001

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The Acquisition of the Mayan Lexicon

The Acquisition of the Mayan Lexicon

(p.101) Chapter Five The Acquisition of the Mayan Lexicon
The Comparative Method of Language Acquisition Research

Clifton Pye

University of Chicago Press

This chapter uses the comparative method to discuss how children acquire the Mayan lexicon. Mayan languages have six classes of inflectional stems: noun, adjective, transitive verb, intransitive verb, positional, and particle. With the exception of the particles, each stem class has its own set of inflections and contains both root forms of that class as well as forms derived from other stem classes. Children must acquire these language-specific lexical categories in order to become fluent speakers of each language. The chapter first provides an overview of these Mayan lexical categories before analyzing the production of lexical categories in K'iche', Mam, and Ch'ol. It then compares lexical production in K'iche', Mam, and Ch'ol and goes on to consider Mayan pronouns and how they are acquired by Mayan children.

Keywords:   children, lexicon, Mayan languages, noun, adjective, transitive verb, intransitive verb, particle, pronoun, comparative method

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