+0
The sentence:
We know little more about the Mayans than that they were agricultural, and that they devoted most of their spare time to a religion that focused on astronomy, and a complicated and accurate calender.


About " a complicated and accurate calender", which interpretation is correct?

(a )... than that [they were agricultural] , and [that they devoted most of their spare time to a religion that focused on astronomy] , and [ a complicated and accurate calender] .

(i.e What we do know about Mayans are 3 things)

or

(b )... that they devoted most of their spare time to [a religion that focused on astronomy] , and [a complicated and accurate calender] .

(i.e Mayans deveoted their spare time to 2 things)

I think it's (a ) ,but my book says it's (b )...
+0
( I ) Your book says (?) that they devoted their spare time to two things: a religion and a calendar. This is true.

( II ) We know two things about them: (1) they were farmers, and (2) they devoted their spare time to 2 things, a religion and a calendar.

( III ) Of course, we really know 3 things about them: (1) they were farmers, (2) they devoted part of their spare time to religion, and (3) they devoted part of their spare time to devising a calendar.

Grammatically, (I), (II) and (III) are all true. The unfortunate comma after 'astronomy' sets the religion apart from the calendar. If the religion focussed on both astronomy and the calendar, the comma would not be there. Since I have only a passing acquaintance with the People of the Sun, I don't know whether the comma is appropriate.
Comments  
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Let me ask one more. Is it 100% gramatically wrong to juxtapose noun clauses, such as that-clauses, and simple nouns in the same sentence?
Hard for me to picture, actually, but I think I see what you mean-- there seems to be a 'to' forgotten: 'and to a complicated...'

Does that help, or is it time for me to go to bed?
If there were "to" in front of "a complicated", things whould be so much clear that I wouldn't be confused. But actually, there is not.

Anyway, thak you, Mister!
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
I know, but I think that there should be, grammatico-structurally-- precisely because of that comma after 'astronomy'.

Oh well.