Mayan languages

MayanMayan languageMayaMaya languageMaya languagesMayan familyMayan language familylanguagecolonial Mayan alphabetlanguage of the Maya
The Mayan languages form a language family spoken in Mesoamerica and northern Central America.wikipedia
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Maya peoples

MayaMayanMayans
Mayan languages are spoken by at least 6 million Maya peoples, primarily in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Honduras.
Some are quite integrated into the majority hispanicized mestizo cultures of the nations in which they reside, while others continue a more traditional, culturally distinct life, often speaking one of the Mayan languages as a primary language.

Ergative–absolutive language

ergativeergativityergative–absolutive
They also possess grammatical and typological features that set them apart from other languages of Mesoamerica, such as the use of ergativity in the grammatical treatment of verbs and their subjects and objects, specific inflectional categories on verbs, and a special word class of "positionals" which is typical of all Mayan languages.
Examples are Basque, Georgian, Mayan, Tibetan, a few Indo-European languages (such as the Kurdish languages and Hindi) and, to some degree, the Semitic modern Aramaic languages.

Maya script

Emblem GlyphhieroglyphsMayan hieroglyphs
During the pre-Columbian era of Mesoamerican history, some Mayan languages were written in the logo-syllabic Maya script.
Modern Mayan languages are written using the Latin alphabet rather than Maya script.

Classic Maya language

Classic MayaClassicClassical Maya
Both variants are attested in hieroglyphic inscriptions at the Maya sites of the time, and both are commonly referred to as "Classic Maya language".
Classic Maya is the oldest historically attested member of the Mayan language family.

Chʼortiʼ language

Ch'ortiChʼortiʼChorti
Stephen Houston, John Robertson and David Stuart have suggested that the specific variety of Chʼolan found in the majority of Southern Lowland glyphic texts was a language they dub "Classic Chʼoltiʼan", the ancestor language of the modern Chʼortiʼ and Chʼoltiʼ languages.
The Chʼortiʼ language (sometimes also Chorti) is a Mayan language, spoken by the indigenous Maya people who are also known as the Chʼortiʼ or Chʼortiʼ Maya.

Maya civilization

MayaMayanMayans
Its use was particularly widespread during the Classic period of Maya civilization (c.
Mesoamerica is linguistically diverse, with most languages falling within a small number of language families—the major families are Mayan, Mixe–Zoquean, Otomanguean, and Uto-Aztecan; there are also a number of smaller families and isolates.

Mesoamerican literature

Mesoamerican codicesNative American literaturecodices
250–900). The surviving corpus of over 10,000 known individual Maya inscriptions on buildings, monuments, pottery and bark-paper codices, combined with the rich postcolonial literature in Mayan languages written in the Latin script, provides a basis for the modern understanding of pre-Columbian history unparalleled in the Americas.
In both the Mayan and Aztec languages there is one word for writing and drawing ((tlàcuiloa in Nahuatl and tz'iib' in Classic Maya)) Pictures are sometimes read phonetically and texts meant to be read are sometimes very pictorial in nature.

Relational noun

relationalrelational nounsRelationals
For example, all use relational nouns instead of prepositions to indicate spatial relationships.
In Central America, the use of relational nouns constitutes an areal feature of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area, including the Mayan languages, Mixe–Zoquean languages, and Oto-Manguean languages.

Xinca people

XincaXincasXinka
Mayan language specialists such as Campbell believe this suggests a period of intense contact between Maya and the Lencan and Xinca people, possibly during the Classic period (250–900).
Their languages (the Xincan languages) are not known to be related to any other language family, although they have many loan words from Mayan languages.

Chʼoltiʼ language

ChʼoltiʼCh'oltiCh'olti'an
Stephen Houston, John Robertson and David Stuart have suggested that the specific variety of Chʼolan found in the majority of Southern Lowland glyphic texts was a language they dub "Classic Chʼoltiʼan", the ancestor language of the modern Chʼortiʼ and Chʼoltiʼ languages.
The Chʼoltiʼ language is an extinct Mayan language which was spoken by the Manche Chʼol people of eastern Guatemala and southern Belize.

Chʼol language

Ch'olChʼolChol
The Chʼolan languages were formerly widespread throughout the Maya area, but today the language with most speakers is Chʼol, spoken by 130,000 in Chiapas.

Tzeltal language

TzeltalTseltalTzeltal Maya
The closest relatives of the Chʼolan languages are the languages of the Tzeltalan branch, Tzotzil and Tzeltal, both spoken in Chiapas by large and stable or growing populations (265,000 for Tzotzil and 215,000 for Tzeltal).
Tzeltal or Tseltal is a Mayan language spoken in the Mexican state of Chiapas, mostly in the municipalities of Ocosingo, Altamirano, Huixtán, Tenejapa, Yajalón, Chanal, Sitalá, Amatenango del Valle, Socoltenango, Las Rosas, Chilón, San Juan Cancuc, San Cristóbal de las Casas and Oxchuc.

Indigenous languages of the Americas

Native American languagesindigenous languagesNative American language
During the Spanish colonization of Central America, all indigenous languages were eclipsed by Spanish, which became the new prestige language.
Ejective consonants are also common in western North America, although they are rare elsewhere (except, again, for the Caucasus region, parts of Africa, and the Mayan family).

Tzotzil language

TzotzilTsotsilTzotzil Maya
The closest relatives of the Chʼolan languages are the languages of the Tzeltalan branch, Tzotzil and Tzeltal, both spoken in Chiapas by large and stable or growing populations (265,000 for Tzotzil and 215,000 for Tzeltal).
Tzotzil (Batsʼi kʼop ) is a Maya language spoken by the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Qʼanjobʼal language

Q'anjob'alQʼanjobʼalQ'anjob'al language
Qʼanjobʼal is spoken by 77,700 in Guatemala's Huehuetenango department, with small populations elsewhere.
Qʼanjobʼal (also Kanjobal) is a Mayan language spoken primarily in Guatemala and part of Mexico.

Macro-Mayan languages

Macro-Mayan
Writing in 1997, Lyle Campbell, an expert in Mayan languages and historical linguistics, argued that the most promising proposal is the "Macro-Mayan" hypothesis, which posits links between Mayan, the Mixe–Zoque languages and the Totonacan languages, but more research is needed to support or disprove this hypothesis.
Macro-Mayan is a proposal linking the clearly established Mayan family with neighboring families that show similarities to Mayan.

Chontal Maya language

ChontalChontal MayaChontal de Tabasco
Its closest relative, the Chontal Maya language, is spoken by 55,000 in the state of Tabasco.
Yokotʼan (self-denomination), also known as Chontal Maya, is a Maya language of the Cholan family spoken by around 37 thousand ( INEGI 2010 census) Chontal Maya people of the Mexican state of Tabasco.

Jakaltek language

JakaltekJacaltecPopti
Jakaltek (also known as Poptiʼ ) is spoken by almost 100,000 in several municipalities of Huehuetenango.
The Jakaltek (Jacaltec) language, also known as Jakalteko (Jacalteco) or Poptiʼ, is a Mayan language of Guatemala spoken by 90,000 Jakaltek people in the department of Huehuetenango, and some 500 the adjoining part of Chiapas in southern Mexico.

Akatek language

AkatekAkatekoAcatec
Another member of this branch is Akatek, with over 50,000 speakers in San Miguel Acatán and San Rafael La Independencia.
Akateko (Acateco) is a Mayan language spoken by the Akateko people primarily in the Huehuetenango Department, Guatemala in and around the municipalities of Concepción Huista, Nentón, San Miguel Acatán, San Rafael La Independencia and San Sebastián Coatán.

Tzeltal people

TzeltalTzeltal MayaTzeltals
The closest relatives of the Chʼolan languages are the languages of the Tzeltalan branch, Tzotzil and Tzeltal, both spoken in Chiapas by large and stable or growing populations (265,000 for Tzotzil and 215,000 for Tzeltal).
The Tzeltal language belongs to the Tzeltalan subgroup of Maya languages.

Chuj language

Chujcaccnm
Chuj is spoken by 40,000 people in Huehuetenango, and by 9,500 people, primarily refugees, over the border in Mexico, in the municipality of La Trinitaria, Chiapas, and the villages of Tziscau and Cuauhtémoc.
Chuj is a Mayan language spoken by around 40,000 members of the Chuj people in Guatemala and around 3,000 members in Mexico.

Totonacan languages

TotonacanTotonacTepehua
Writing in 1997, Lyle Campbell, an expert in Mayan languages and historical linguistics, argued that the most promising proposal is the "Macro-Mayan" hypothesis, which posits links between Mayan, the Mixe–Zoque languages and the Totonacan languages, but more research is needed to support or disprove this hypothesis.
The Totonacan languages have only recently been compared to other families on the basis of historical-comparative linguistics, though they share numerous areal features with other languages of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area, such as the Mayan languages and Nahuatl.

Huave language

HuaveHuaveanSan Dionisio del Mar Huave
Examples include linking Mayan with the Uru–Chipaya languages, Mapuche, the Lencan languages, Purépecha and Huave.
161). Paul Radin proposed a relationship between Huave and the Mayan and Mixe–Zoquean languages, and Morris Swadesh proposed a connection to the Oto-Manguean languages that has been further investigated by Rensch (1976), but all proposals have been inconclusive.

Qʼeqchiʼ language

Q'eqchiKekchiQ'eqchi' language
Qʼeqchiʼ (sometimes spelled Kekchi), which constitutes its own sub-branch within Quichean–Mamean, is spoken by about 800,000 people in the southern Petén, Izabal and Alta Verapaz departments of Guatemala, and also in Belize by 9,000 speakers.
The Qʼeqchiʼ language, also spelled Kekchi, Kʼekchiʼ, or kekchí, is one of the Mayan languages, spoken within Qʼeqchiʼ communities in Guatemala and Belize.

Terrence Kaufman

KaufmanKaufman, Terrence
Terrence Kaufman and John Justeson have reconstructed more than 3000 lexical items for the proto-Mayan language.
Kaufman has produced descriptive and comparative-historical studies of languages of the Mayan, Siouan, Hokan, Uto-Aztecan, Mixe–Zoquean and Oto-Manguean families.