1 For debates on how to define “writing,” and their relation to Mesoamerican scripts, see Boone 2000, 28-63.
2 Hamann 2008.
3 Iversen 1961, 28-46.
4 Hamann 2008, 6.
5 On the academic “scorn” and “disdain” frequently shown towards Central Mexican writing, see Whittaker 2009, 48.
6 Gelb 1952, 54.
7 Lacadena 2008a, 2008b; Lacadena and Wichmann 2008; for a critique, see Whittaker 2009, 2012.
8 Houston et al 2000, 336.
9 Coe 1992: 41.
10 Egyptian “biliteral signs” represent two sounds, and “triliteral signs” represent three sounds; Gardiner 1927, 38, 44.
11 An excellent syllabic chart is provided at the end of Coe and Van Stone 2005; I have used this to verify the phonetic readings of Maya glyphs in this tutorial. Coe and Van Stone’s book is a good, general introduction to reading Maya hieroglyphs.
12 Lacadena 2008a, 23.
13 Houston et al. 2003, 463-4; Chuchiak 2004.
14 Vail and Aveni 2004. A fourth document whose authenticity has been doubted, the Grolier Codex, does not include phonetic hieroglyphs.
15 Graulich 1992.
16 Orzco y Berra 1877.
17 For a critique of this two-schools theory, see Whittaker 2009, 71-73.
18 Lacadena is aware that more research outside the Valley of Mexico is needed: “One must not forget that there may have existed other traditions, other schools of scribes, possibly also centered in the capitals which held political power in the region, such as Tlaxcalla, Huexotzinco, or Cuauhtinchan”; Lacadena 2008, 13.
19 This discussion makes use of three main resources: the Maya Hieroglyphic Codices website (http://www.mayacodices.org/), Michael D. Coe and Mark Van Stone’s Reading the Maya Glyphs (Coe and Van Stone 2005), and Martha J. Macri and Gabrielle Vail’s The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume Two (Macri and Vail 2003). Because this is meant as an introductory text—on Central Mexico!—I have not used the elaborate diacritical marks used in more formal linguistic studies. I have also favored Ch’olti’ spellings instead of Yukatek ones. For an introduction to the debates surrounding the language recorded in the Maya screenfolds, see Lacadena 1997 and Wald 2004.
20 Coe and Van Stone 2005, 19.
21 The reading of this hieroglyphic text has been adapted from the Maya Codices Website (http://www.mayacodices.org/frameDetail.asp?almNum=339&frameNum=1), with modifications based on Coe and Van Stone 2005, 157-166 and Macri and Vail 2003.
22 The reading of this hieroglyphic text has been adapted from the Maya Codices Website (http://www.mayacodices.org/frameDetail.asp?almNum=368&frameNum=8), with modifications based on Coe and Van Stone 2005, 157-166 and Macri and Vail 2003.
23 The structure of this phrase, and the phrase on 40b that we will study shortly, seems very similar to the name-tagging inscriptions found on Classic Maya portable objects; see Houston and Taube 1987, Houston et. al 1989.
24 Coe and Van Stone 2005, 117-118.
25 J. Eric S. Thompson (1970, 241-242) points out that honorary titles like “Lady” were commonly used for Maya deities, and even claims that one title, _Culel_ (“Mistress”) was used in the Yucatan to refer to both the Moon Goddess and to the Virgin Mary.
26 The reading of this hieroglyphic text has been adapted from the Maya Codices Website (http://www.mayacodices.org/frameDetail.asp?almNum=335&frameNum=1), with modifications based on Coe and Van Stone 2005, 157-166 and Macri and Vail 2003.
27 Cell B2 seems to contain one of Chaak’s noble titles. On the translation of the –aj ending, see Houston 1997.
28 Lacadena 2008a, 6.
29 Lacadena 2008a, 21.
30 Exactly why Nahuatl writing used abbreviation is unclear. Lacadena (2008a, 14) includes this as one of the three features that distinguish the Nahuatl writing system from other logosyllabic systems such as Sumerian, Akkadian, Linear B, and Egyptian and Maya hieroglyphs.
31 This analysis is based on an original suggestion by Chavero 1892, 52.
32 This analysis is based on an original suggestion by Chavero 1892, 78.
33 See Lacadena 2008a, 13-14, for the example of PAIN. A logogram of footsteps is read PAIN, based on the term paina, “to run fast” (Lockhart 2001, 229). This logogram is often used to represent the locative –pan (in, on), and so in transcription the effectively silent I is placed in parentheses: PA(I)N. For this convention in Maya epigraphy, see Coe and Van Stone 2005, 19.
34 This reading is based on suggestions made by Alfredo Chavero in 1892 (Chavero 1892, 30). He, following Aubin, assumed these signs were based on a use of rebus principles. Recent work by Alonso Lacadena, however, has shown that all of these signs were part of a standardized syllabic system (Lacadena 2008). Significantly, the syllabic value of the lobed “lump of clay” sign as tzo- (from zoquitl, clay or mud) is not included in Lacadena’s 2008 syllabary chart (see Karttunen 1992, 349). This value was suggested by Chavero in 1892, and is confirmed by the use of the clay sign as tzo- in the place sign for Tzoquitzinco in the Matrícula (f. 7r) and Codex Mendoza (f. 33r). See Berdan and Anawalt 1992, 186.
35 Karttunen 1992, 84.
36 The Rosetta stone was not the only hieroglyphic monument that Champollion studied, but it is the first one he talks about in his path breaking Lettre à M. Dacier; Champollion 1822, 4. See also Gardiner 1927, 14-15 and Coe 1992, 37-41.
37 Ventris and Chadwick 1956.
38 Whittaker 1986; Taube and Bade 1991; Macri and Looper 2003, 287-288.
39 Braswell 2003; Macri and Looper 2003; Vail and Hernández 2010.