Authored by: Nora C. England

The Mayan Languages

Print publication date:  May  2017
Online publication date:  May  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415738026
eBook ISBN: 9781315192345
Adobe ISBN:


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Mam belongs to the Mamean branch of the Eastern Division of Mayan languages. It is one of the largest of the Mayan languages (next after K’iche’, Yucatec, and Q’eqchi’) with over half a million speakers in 2001 (Richards 2003). It is spoken in the Departments of Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, and San Marcos in Guatemala in 56 municipios, and is bordered on the north by Q’anjob’alan proper languages, on the west by Mocho’ and Teko, and on the east by K’iche’, Sipakapense, and Awakateko. Mam is characterized by having great internal diversification and can be divided into three major dialect areas (Cojtí and England 1986) – north, south, and west – plus two central subgroups, one in the north and the other in the south.

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