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« A sociolinguistic sketch of Vowel Shifts in kaqchikel : ATR-RTR parameters and Redundancy Markedness of syllabic nuclei in an eastern Mayan language (Mesoamerica, Mayan south-western highlands) » (2009)

en collaboration avec Cecilio Tuyuc Sucuc (ALMG), paru dans l’ouvrage collectif Stanford James N. & Preston Dennis R. 2009, Quantitative Sociolinguistic Studies of Indigenous Minority Languages, John Benjamins Publishing Company, series «IMPACT: Studies in Language and Society », pp. 173-210

Kaqchikel, a Quichean language of the Guatemalan Highlands, is well known for its Tense/Lax Vowel Contrast (TLVC) and the wide range of dialect variation of its vowel system, but the acoustic properties of its vocoids have never been scrutinized. A preliminary survey of the speech of ten informants from four sub-dialect areas, with a focus on San Juan Comalapa, shows regular patterns of variation according to degree of tongue-root fronting or backing (ATR and RTR), along with unexpected clues of a lingering Proto-Mayan length correlation. Emerging vowel shifts are described and traced to the Colonial era and to more recent social upheavals. A striking regularity of dialect patterns is observed when Kaqchikel is viewed as a diasystem.