Ch’olti’ language

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Palenque glyphs-edit1.jpg
Part of an inscription at Palenque
Native toGuatemala, Manche region
Extinct18th century
Early form
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
qjt Ch'olti'
Glottologchol1283  Ch'olti'[1]

The Ch'olti' language is an extinct Mayan language which was spoken by the Manche Ch'ol people of eastern Guatemala and southern Belize. The post-colonial stage of the language is only known from a single manuscript written between 1685 and 1695 which was first studied by Daniel Garrison Brinton. Ch'olti' belongs to the Cho'lan branch of the Mayan languages and is closely related to Chontal and especially Ch'orti'. The Ch'olti' language has become of particular interest for the study of Mayan Hieroglyphs since it seems that most of the glyphic texts are written in an ancient variety of Ch'olti' called Classic Ch'olti'an or Classic Maya by epigraphers[2] and which is thought to have been spoken as a prestige dialect throughout the Maya area in the Classic Era.[3]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ch'olti'". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Houston, Robertson, and Stuart (2000).
  3. ^ Kettunen & Helmke (2006) p. 12.


Fought, John (1984). "Choltí Maya: A sketch". In Munro S. Edmonson (Volume ed.). Supplement to Handbook of Middle American Indians, Vol. 2: Linguistics. Victoria R. Bricker (General Editor). Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 43–55. ISBN 0-292-77577-6.
Kettunen, Harri; Christophe Helmke (2005). Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs (PDF). Wayeb and Leiden University. Retrieved 2006-10-10.
Houston, Stephen D.; John Robertson; David Stuart (2000). "The Language of Classic Maya Inscriptions". Current Anthropology. 41 (3): 321–356. doi:10.1086/300142. ISSN 0011-3204. PMID 10768879.