Guatemala

Republic of Guatemala, República de Guatemala. 10,621,000 (1995); Indian 55%, Mestizo 44% (1990 WA). Information mainly from SIL 1995. Christian, secular. Blind population 6,000 (1982 WCE). Deaf population 100,000 (1993). Deaf institutions: 5. Data accuracy estimate: A1, A2. The number of languages listed for Guatemala is 53. Of those, 51 are living languages and 2 are extinct.

ACHÍ, CUBULCO [ACC] 17,700 (1990 SIL). Central area west of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 11% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1984. Bible portions 1962-1968.

ACHÍ, RABINAL (RABINAL QUICHÉ) [ACR] 37,300 (1990 SIL). Central Rabinal area, Baja Verapaz Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. Spoken by all ages. Closest linguistically to Cubulco Achí. Possibly 20% of speakers can discuss more than common topics in Spanish. 15% to 35% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1966-1993. Work in progress.

AGUACATECO (AGUACATEC) [AGU] 16,700 (1990 SIL). Western Huehuetenango Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan. 29% literate. Typology: VSO. NT 1971-1993. Bible portions 1958-1993.

CAKCHIQUEL, CENTRAL (KAQCHIQUEL) [CAK] 132,200 (1990 SIL). Southern Guatemala, Chimaltenango Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. 25% to 39% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1931-1980. Bible portions 1902-1993.

CAKCHIQUEL, EASTERN [CKE] 85,900 (1990 SIL). Northwest of and near Guatemala City. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. 45% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1986. Bible portions 1981.

CAKCHIQUEL, NORTHERN [CKC] 16,000 (1982 SIL). Central highlands. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. Some shift to Spanish among younger members of the community. Some bilingualism in other Cakchiquel languages. Below 5% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1982-1984. Survey needed.

CAKCHIQUEL, SANTA MARÍA DE JESÚS [CKI] 9,900 (1990 SIL). Southeast of Antigua. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. 54% literate. Work in progress.

CAKCHIQUEL, SANTO DOMINGO XENACOJ [CKJ] 5,200 (1991 SIL). West of Guatemala City on the Pan American highway. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. 15% to 53% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1982-1984. Work in progress.

CAKCHIQUEL, SOUTH CENTRAL [CKD] 73,300 (1990 SIL). Pan American highway west of Guatemala City. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. Speakers are 25% to 63% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1982-1986. Work in progress.

CAKCHIQUEL, SOUTHERN [CKF] 43,000 (1993 SIL). Area south of Antigua. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. Dialect: ACATENGO. Some shift to Spanish. 73% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1994. Bible portions 1982.

CAKCHIQUEL, SOUTHWESTERN, YEPOCAPA [CBM] 8,000 speakers out of 15,000 in the ethnic group (1991 SIL). Municipio of Yepocapa. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. Dialect: ACATENGO. 25% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1990. Bible portions 1982.

CAKCHIQUEL, WESTERN [CKW] 69,000 (1991 SIL). Northern and eastern shores of Lake Atitlán. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Cakchiquel. 25% to 43% literate. Access to Santa Cruz La Laguna by boat only. Typology: SVO. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, beans, squash. NT in press (1996). Bible portions 1982-1984.

CHICOMUCELTEC (CAKCHIQUEL MAM) [COB] Ethnic group: 100 in Guatemala (1982 GR); 1,500 in Mexico; 1,600 total. Mayan, Huastecan. Reported to be extinct in current Mayanist literature.

CHORTÍ [CAA] 31,500 (1990 SIL). Eastern border with Honduras. None in Honduras. Mayan, Cholan-Tzeltalan, Cholan, Chorti. 5% to 13% literate. 'Chorté' is incorrect. Not the same as the extinct language called 'Choltí' formerly spoken in the Quirigua and Isabal area. Typology: VOS. NT in press (1996). Bible portions 1969-1981.

CHUJ, SAN MATEO IXTATÁN (CHUH, CHUJE, CHUHE) [CNM] 22,130 in Guatemala (1991 SIL); 9,500 in Mexico including 8,000 refugees (1991 Schumann); 31,630 total. Western Huehuetenango Department. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Chujean. 15% literate. Typology: VOS. NT 1970-1994. Bible portions 1956-1994.

CHUJ, SAN SEBASTIÁN COATÁN [CAC] 19,458 (1991 SIL). Central western Coatán River area, western Huehuetenango Department. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Chujean. 25% literate. Typology: VSO. NT 1969. Bible portions 1963-1966.

GARÍFUNA (CARIBE, CENTRAL AMERICAN CARIB, BLACK CARIB) [CAB] 16,700 in Guatemala; 12,274 in Belize (1991 census); 75,000 in Honduras (1995 UBS); 1,500 in Nicaragua (1982 Meso-America); 94,500 in all countries. Two villages on the northeast coast: Livingston and Puerto Barrios. Arawakan, Maipuran, Northern Maipuran, Caribbean. 15% to 20% literate. Ancestors brought from St. Vincent Island in 1796-1797. Developed from Island Carib with Spanish, English, and French borrowings. Typology: VSO. NT 1983-1994. Bible portions 1847-1968.

GUATEMALAN SIGN LANGUAGE [GSM] Deaf sign language. Survey needed.

ITZÁ (PETÉN ITZÁ MAYA, YUCATEC MAYA, ICAICHE MAYA, MAYA) [ITZ] 12 elderly speakers (1986 SIL). North central, north of Lake Petén Itzá in San José Petén, 15 minutes by auto from Flores. The language is extinct in Belize. Mayan, Yucatecan, Mopan-Itza. The language is nearly extinct in Guatemala, but the ethnic group retains the Indian culture. They speak Spanish in Belize. Nearly extinct.

IXIL, CHAJUL [IXJ] 15,000 (1994 SIL). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan. Dialect: ILOM. 16% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible portions 1981-1984. Work in progress.

IXIL, NEBAJ [IXI] 35,000 (1991 SIL). Nebaj area, Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan. 15% to 18% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible portions 1960-1993. Work in progress.

IXIL, SAN JUAN COTZAL [IXL] 12,000 (1994 SIL). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Ixilan. 15% to 25% literate. Little bilingualism in Spanish. 70-75% intelligibility among the three Ixil languages. Typology: VOS. Bible portions 1978-1993. Work in progress.

JACALTECO, EASTERN [JAC] 10,200 (1990 SIL). Huehuetenango Department near Mexico border, Concepción Huista area. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec. 15% to 28% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible portions 1969-1991. Work in progress.

JACALTECO, WESTERN [JAI] 27,062 in Guatemala (1991 SIL); 10,500 in Mexico including 10,000 refugees (1991 Schumann); 37,662 total. Huehuetenango Department, around Jacaltenango. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec. 52% literate. Typology: VSO. NT 1979. Bible portions 1969.

KANJOBAL, EASTERN (SANTA EULALIA KANJOBAL, KANHOBAL, CONOB) [KJB] 20,130 in Guatemala (1991 SIL); 5,000 Kanjobal reported to be in Los Angeles, California. Huehuetenango Department. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec. 26% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible 1989-1994. NT 1955-1973. Bible portions 1942-1953.

KANJOBAL, WESTERN (ACATECO, ACATEC, SAN MIGUEL ACATÁN KANJOBAL, CONOB) [KNJ] 24,037 in Guatemala (1991 SIL); 10,100 in Mexico including 10,000 refugees and 100 Acatec (1991 Schumann). Some in USA. Mayan, Kanjobalan-Chujean, Kanjobalan, Kanjobal-Jacaltec. 25% literate. Typology: VSO. NT 1981.

KEKCHÍ (QUECCHÍ, CACCHÉ) [KEK] 335,800 in Guatemala (1990 SIL); 15,000 in Belize (1991 census); 12,286 in El Salvador (1987); 363,000 total. Northern Alta Verapaz, southern Petén departments in Guatemala. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Kekchi. Only slight dialect differences. Prestige dialect is Cobán, Alta Verapaz. 22% literate. Typology: SVO. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible 1990. NT 1961-1984. Bible portions 1937-1986.

MAM, CENTRAL (COMITANCILLO MAM, WESTERN MAM, MAM OCCIDENTAL, MAM MARQUENSE, SAN MARCOS COMITANCILLAS MAM) [MVC] 100,000 (1992 Wes Collins SIL). San Marcos Department (10 towns). The towns of San Miguel Ixtahuacán (18,000) and Concepción Tutapa (30,000) could be considered dialects of Northern Mam. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. 77% apparent lexical similarity between Tajumulco and Comitancillo. 25% to 32% literate in Spanish, including up to 5% literate in Mam. Spoken by all ages. Bible portions 1977-1989. Work in progress.

MAM, NORTHERN (HUEHUETENANGO MAM) [MAM] 155,800 in Guatemala (1990 SIL); 1,000 or more in Mexico; 157,000 total. Western Huehuetenango Department (San Sebastián and other towns) and San Marcos Department; 17 towns. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. 21% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible 1993. NT 1968. Bible portions 1960-1961.

MAM, SOUTHERN (SAN JUAN OSTUNCALCO MAM, OSTUNCALCO MAM, QUETZALTENANGO MAM, MAM QUETZALTECO) [MMS] 125,000 (1991 SIL). Quetzaltenango Department (9 towns), Retalhuleu Department (1 town); Western Ostuncalco area (San Juan Ostuncalco, San Martín Sacatepéquez, and other towns). Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. Dialect: SAN MARTÍN SACATEPÉQUEZ MAM (SAN MARTÍN CHILE VERDE MAM). 37% literate. Typology: VSO. NT 1939-1980. Bible portions 1930.

MAM, TAJUMULCO [MPF] 35,000 (1992 W. Collins SIL). San Marcos Department, Tajumulco and Ixchiguán towns. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. 77% lexical similarity with Comitancillo. Ethnic pride is strong. Investigation of acceptability of literature in other Mam varieties in progress. 5% to 15% literate.

MAM, TODOS SANTOS CUCHUMATÁN [MVJ] 15,000 to 30,000 in Guatemala; 10,000 in Mexico; 25,000 to 40,000 total (1991 SIL). Huehuetenango Department, town of Todos Santos Cuchumatán. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. 15% to 21% literate. Typology: VSO. Bible portions 1981-1986. Work in progress.

MOPÁN MAYA (MAYA MOPÁN, MOPANE) [MOP] 2,600 in Guatemala (1990 SIL); 7,000 to 7,750 in Belize (1995 SIL); 9,600 to 10,350 total. Petén Department. Mayan, Yucatecan, Mopan-Itza. 5% to 15% literate. Typology: VOS. NT 1979. Bible portions 1965.

POKOMAM, CENTRAL (CENTRAL POCOMAM, POCOMÁN) [POC] 8,600 (1990 SIL). 9 kilometers northwest of Guatemala City, Chinantla. Some Pocomam also in El Salvador. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom. 25% to 32% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1981-1982. Survey needed.

POKOMAM, EASTERN (POCOMAM ORIENTAL) [POA] 12,500 (1990 SIL). Eastern Guatemala, Jalapa Department, San Luis Jilotepeque. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom. 27% literate. Spanish is used as second language. Possibly 50% intelligibility with Central Pocomam. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1966-1982.

POKOMAM, SOUTHERN (PALÍN POCOMAM) [POU] 27,912 (1991 SIL). 20 kilometers south of Guatemala City. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom. Evaluation needed of intelligibility with Central Pocomam. 25% to 30% literate. Survey needed.

POKOMCHÍ, EASTERN (TACTIC POKOMCHÍ, POCOMCHÍ, POCONCHÍ, POKONCHÍ) [POH] 24,100 (1990 SIL). Baja Verapaz Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom. 21% literate. NT 1983.

POKOMCHÍ, WESTERN (WESTERN POCOMCHÍ, POCOMCHÍ) [POB] 30,000 (1991 SIL). Around San Cristobal. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Pocom. Dialect: SANTA CRUZ VERAPAZ POKOMCHÍ. 35% literate. Typology: SVO. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, black beans, bananas; rope makers. Bible portions 1957-1979. Work in progress.

QUICHÉ, CENTRAL [QUC] 216,910 (1990 SIL). Central highlands. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 25% to 35% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible 1995. NT 1947-1972. Bible portions 1898-1950.

QUICHÉ, CUNÉN (NORTHERN QUICHÉ, CHUIL QUICHÉ, CUNENTECO QUICHÉ) [CUN] 6,500 (1992 census). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 24% literate. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, beans, squash. Work in progress.

QUICHÉ, EASTERN, CHICHICASTENANGO (EAST CENTRAL QUICHÉ) [QUU] 100,000 (1991 SIL). Includes Chichicastenango and Chiché. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 15% to 25% literate. Survey needed.

QUICHÉ, JOYABAJ [QUJ] 54,298 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 12% literate. Typology: SVO. NT 1984. Bible portions 1973.

QUICHÉ, SAN ANDRÉS (SAN ANDRÉS SAJCABAJÁ QUICHÉ) [QIE] 19,728 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. 5% to 12% literate. Swidden agriculturalists: maize, beans, squash. Work in progress.

QUICHÉ, WEST CENTRAL (SOUTHWESTERN QUICHÉ, CANTEL QUICHÉ) [QUT] 250,000 (1994 SIL). Southwest of Lake Atitlán, Quezaltenango, and Totonicapan departments. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Quiche-Achi. Dialects: COASTAL QUICHÉ, WESTERN QUICHÉ. 25% to 55% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1961-1985. Work in progress.

SACAPULTECO (SACAPULAS QUICHÉ) [QUV] 36,823 (1991 SIL). Quiché Department, and some speakers in Guatemala City. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Sacapulteco. Spanish is used as second language. 16% literate. Bible portions 1980.

SIPACAPENSE (SIPACAPEÑO, SIPACAPA QUICHÉ) [QUM] 6,000 (1991 SIL). San Marcos Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Sipacapeno. Possibly 20% literate in Spanish, 1% in Sipacapense. Traditional religion, Christian. Bible portions 1992. Work in progress.

SPANISH (ESPAÑOL, CASTELLANO) [SPN] 4,673,000 in Guatemala (1995 estimate); 266,000,000 in all countries (1987 Time). Indo-European, Italic, Romance, Italo-Western, Western, Ibero-Romance, North, Central. National language. Bible 1553-1979. NT 1543-1986. Bible portions 1514-1985.

TACANECO (TACANÁ MAM, WESTERN MAM, TILÓ, MAMÉ) [MTZ] 20,000 in Guatemala (1991 SIL); 1,200 in Mexico (1990 census); 21,200 total. Western San Marcos Department; rural areas west of the town of Tacaná, western Guatemala border, and in Sibinal and Tectitán. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. The most distinctive of all the Mam varieties. Very few speakers under 25 years old; all of whom are highly bilingual in Spanish. 25% literate in Spanish. Widespread seasonal migration to the Mexico Pacific coast for labor. Known as 'Mamé' in Mexico, where all resident speakers are over 20 years old, some are immigrants from Guatemala, others are descendants of immigrants from there, and all speakers are bilingual in Spanish. Typology: VSO. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists: maize, beans, potatoes, cabbage, wheat. Altitude: 8000 feet. Survey needed.

TECTITECO (TECO, TECTITÁN MAM) [TTC] 2,600 in Guatemala (1990 SIL); 1,000 or more in Mexico (1982 SIL); 3,600 total or more. Area of Tectitán, western Guatemala border. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Mamean, Mamean. 5% to 23% literate. Typology: VSO. Work in progress.

TZUTUJIL, EASTERN (TZUTUJIL ORIENTAL, SANTIAGO ATITLÁN TZUTUJIL, TZUTUHIL) [TZJ] 48,100 (1990 SIL). Southern shore of Lake Atitlán. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Tzutujil. 25% to 32% literate. Agriculturalists. NT 1992. Bible portions 1985.

TZUTUJIL, WESTERN [TZT] 33,800 (1990 SIL). Southern Sololá area, southwestern shore of Lake Atitlán. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Quichean, Tzutujil. 25% to 37% literate. Typology: SVO. Agriculturalists. NT 1981-1989. Bible portions 1955-1983.

USPANTECO [USP] 2,000 (1990 SIL). Quiché Department. Mayan, Quichean-Mamean, Greater Quichean, Uspantec. 12% literate. Typology: SVO. Bible portions 1978-1993. Work in progress.

XINCA [XIN] Southeastern. Unclassified. Language may be related to Lenca. All members of the ethnic group speak Spanish. Extinct.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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