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Stress in Yucatec Maya

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Abstract

Yucatec Maya (YM) is an indigenous language of Mexico which displays phonemic tonal distinctions and phonemic vowel length. These features are primarily associated with the phonetic cues of pitch and duration, which are also considered the primary correlates of stress in language. Though scholars have noted the existence of stress or accent since it was first documented centuries ago, no detailed account of stress as either a separate or related entity to tone or length has been made. In this paper, I analyze the phonetic changes evident in a series of loan words into YM from Spanish, a language without tone or length distinctions, found in elicited and conversational data as an initial step in diagnosing stress patterns in YM.

References

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