Authored by: Jessica Coon

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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Ch’ol is a language of the greater Tseltalan branch of the Mayan language family, spoken today by around 200,000 people primarily in the northern part of the Mexican state of Chiapas (see Vázquez Álvarez 2011). Ch’ol, Chontal, and Ch’orti’ together constitute the Cholan subbranch. Ch’ol is generally divided into two main dialects: Tila and Tumbalá. See López López 2005 and Vázquez Álvarez 2011 on dialect variation. Ch’ol speakers refer to their language as Lak Ty’añ (‘our words’); Ch’ol is also spelled “Chol”, the choice being one largely of dialect (Ch’ol in Tumbalá, Chol in Tila). Though my own data comes primarily from Tila, I use Ch’ol here in keeping with the Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (INALI).

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