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Endangered Languages of Austronesia (review)

Endangered Languages of Austronesia (review) 2011 BOOK REVIEWS 81 rules of Yucatec Maya ended up as a reorganization of the language into something new, with Maya reducido not just a means of converting indigenous peoples and keeping them Christian, but itself a goal of colonization. Thus, by viewing conversion through the lens of language, Hanks is able to throw new light on the entire cultural history of coloniza- tion in Yucatán. “Language was pivotal,” he shows, “both as an object to be analyzed and altered and as an instrument with which to analyze and alter other aspects of Indian life” (p. 5). The reader is taken methodically, over eleven chapters, to that larger, bolder point: the first three chapters (based mostly on Spanish sources) explain how language fits into the larger reducción project; the middle five chapters (based mostly on Maya sources) detail how Maya reducido was created as a native language imbued with Christian ideas; and the last three chapters explore “the movement of the new language into notarial genres, where the voices of prayer commingled with the voices of rule” (p. 276). By the end, the reader is convinced that this new form of Maya had spread into everything that indigenous Yucatecans http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Anthropological Linguistics University of Nebraska Press

Endangered Languages of Austronesia (review)

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1944-6527

Abstract

2011 BOOK REVIEWS 81 rules of Yucatec Maya ended up as a reorganization of the language into something new, with Maya reducido not just a means of converting indigenous peoples and keeping them Christian, but itself a goal of colonization. Thus, by viewing conversion through the lens of language, Hanks is able to throw new light on the entire cultural history of coloniza- tion in Yucatán. “Language was pivotal,” he shows, “both as an object to be analyzed and altered and as an instrument with which to analyze and alter other aspects of Indian life” (p. 5). The reader is taken methodically, over eleven chapters, to that larger, bolder point: the first three chapters (based mostly on Spanish sources) explain how language fits into the larger reducción project; the middle five chapters (based mostly on Maya sources) detail how Maya reducido was created as a native language imbued with Christian ideas; and the last three chapters explore “the movement of the new language into notarial genres, where the voices of prayer commingled with the voices of rule” (p. 276). By the end, the reader is convinced that this new form of Maya had spread into everything that indigenous Yucatecans

Journal

Anthropological LinguisticsUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Feb 1, 2012

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