Aztec and Mayan Are Totally Different Languages. Sort of

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Video

John Horgan
by NativLang
published on 09 October 2017
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Ancient Mexico was a hotbed of language mixing. Aztecs and Maya spoke completely unrelated languages, but a Mesoamerican linguistic mindmeld tied them together in surprising ways. Here's the grammar.

I'll start with the things that stood out to me about Chontal Maya and Classical Aztec pronunciation, nouns, verbs, prepositions, alignment and basic sentence structure. Stick with me through that, and you'll earn a reward big enough to satisfy the grammatical cravings of almost any language nerd.

After you understand their differences, step back to see their strange sameness. Mesoamerica is a Sprachbund, an area where languages shared the same space for so long that they ended up developing many of the same features. Not just basic things like borrowing the word for "chocolate", I'm talking entire linguistic structures here. I'll consider a few of these features and close with what I find so intriguing about this language area.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

NativLang, . (2017, October 09). Aztec and Mayan Are Totally Different Languages. Sort of. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/video/1290/

Chicago Style

NativLang, . "Aztec and Mayan Are Totally Different Languages. Sort of." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Last modified October 09, 2017. https://www.ancient.eu/video/1290/.

MLA Style

NativLang, . "Aztec and Mayan Are Totally Different Languages. Sort of." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 09 Oct 2017. Web. 27 Nov 2020.

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