Awakatek language

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Native to Guatemala
Region Huehuetenango
Ethnicity Awakatek
Native speakers
18,000 (1998)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 agu
Glottolog agua1252[2]

Awakatek is a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala, primarily in Huehuetenango and around Aguacatán.[3] It is a living language with some 18,000 speakers.[4]

Awakatek is closely related to Ixil and the two languages together form the sub-branch Ixilean, which together with the Mamean languages, Mam and Tektitek, form a sub-branch Greater-Mamean, which again, together with the Greater-Quichean languages, ten Mayan languages, including K'iche', form the branch Quichean–Mamean.

The Awakatek people themselves refer to their language as qa'yol, literally meaning our word.



Front Back
short long short long
Close i /i/ ii /iː/ u /u/ uu /uː/
Mid e /e/ ee /eː/ o /o/ oo /oː/
Open a /a/ aa /aː/


There are four diphthongs: ay /aj/, ey /ej/, oy /oj/, uy /uj/.


Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Normal Palatalized
Plosive Normal p /pʰ/ t /tʰ/ k /kʰ/ ky /kʰʲ/ q /qʰ/ ' /ʲʔ/
Ejective p' /pʼ/ t' /tʼ~dʼ/ k' /kʼ/ ky'/kʼʲ/
Implosive b' /ɓ/ q' /ʛ/
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ nh /ŋ/
Fricative w /v~f/ s /s/ xh /ʃ/ x /ʂ/ j /χ/ h /ʜ/
Affricate Normal p /ɸʰ/ tz /t͡sʰ/ ch /t͡ʃʰ/ tx /ʈ͡ʂʰ/
Ejective tz' /t͡sʼ~dzʼ/ ch' /t͡ʃʼ~dʒʼ/ tx' /ʈ͡ʂʼ~ɖʐʼ/
Flap r /ɾ/
Approximant l /l~ɺ/ y /j/ w /ʍ/


  1. ^ Awakatek at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Aguacateco". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Cabral, Ernesto Díaz Couder (2001). "Culturas e interculturalidad en Guatemala". Archived from the original on 2010-02-15. 
  4. ^ Ethnologue Archived May 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.