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Awakatek language


Awakatek language

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 primarily Huehuetenango, Guatemala in and around Aguacatán.[3] It is a living language with some 18,000 speakers.[4] [5]

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.


  • Phonology 1
    • Vowels 1.1
    • Diphthongs 1.2
    • Consonants 1.3
  • References 2



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. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Aguacateco".  
  3. ^ Cabral, Ernesto Díaz Couder (2001). "Culturas e interculturalidad en Guatemala". 
  4. ^ Ethnologue
  5. ^ "Comunidad Lingüística Awakateka" (PDF). Academia de Lenguas Mayas de Guatemala. 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
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