Ch'ol-Tsotsil subfamily

Ch'ol, Tabasco Chontal, Tseltal, Tsotsil


The languages that make up the Ch'ol-Tsotsil subfamily are spoken in the state of Chiapas, except for Chontal in the state of Tabasco and Chortí in eastern Guatemala (not discussed here); see the maps on the main Mayan page.  

The Tsotsil people have recognized five major varieties of the Tsotsil language (formerly spelled Tzotzil): San Miguel Huixtán, San Pedro Chenalhó, San Juan Chamula, San Andrés Larráinzar, and Zinacantán. In each area, others who speak the same variety of Tsotsil are referred to as jchi'iltic ‘our companions’, while people from other varieties are referred to as jchi'iltac. They refer to their language generally as Bats'ic'op ‘real language’.

The languages in this subfamily use an unmarked word order that is rare among the world’s languages: Verb-Object-Subject. 

Many ancient Mayan inscriptions are apparently written in a language from this subfamily, and the modern Ch'ol dictionary is considered crucial for deciphering them.


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Other publications on Ch'olTabasco ChontalTseltal and Tsotsil 

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