The key to the study of the language and history of the Classic Maya (A.D. 293–900) is the verb. Maya Glyphs: The Verbs is a comprehensive study of the verb morphology and syntax of the Maya writing system.
Linda Schele's summary of methodology makes available in a single place many important discoveries and approaches to the Maya language. Hers is the first sourcebook to include so broad a range of dates and to identify for the first time so many Maya rulers and events.
The admirably lucid text provides an excellent introduction to Maya hieroglyphics for the beginner, and, for the experienced Mayanist, it offers a fascinating explanation of methodology, including paraphrasing, and important information about syntactical structures, special verbal constructions, and literary conventions.
Schele's extensive catalog of known verbal phrases is useful for a variety of purposes. Because it is organized according to verbal affix patterns, it provides the only available source for the distribution of such patterns in the writing system. At the same time it registers the date of each event, its agent and patient (if recorded), the dedication date of the monument on which the glyphs occur, and a pictorial illustration, rather than a T-number transcription, of each example. Extensive notes treating problems of dating, interpretation, and dynastic information contain theories about the meaning and function of the events recorded in the Maya inscriptions.