Chʼoltiʼ language

The Chʼoltiʼ language is an extinct Mayan language which was spoken by the Manche Chʼol 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.[1] Chʼoltiʼ belongs to the Choʼlan branch of the Mayan languages and is closely related to Chontal and especially Chʼortiʼ. The Chʼoltiʼ 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 Chʼoltiʼ called Classic Chʼoltiʼan 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]

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 Chʼoltiʼ
Glottologchol1283  Cholti


  1. ^ Brinton 1869, pp. 222-225
  2. ^ Houston, Robertson, and Stuart (2000).
  3. ^ Kettunen & Helmke (2006) p. 12.


  • Brinton, Daniel G. (1869). "A Notice of some Manuscripts in Central American Languages". The American Journal of Science. Ser. 2 v.47 (140): 222–230. Bibcode:1869AmJS...47..222B. doi:10.2475/ajs.s2-47.140.222. S2CID 130561578.
  • Fought, John (1984). "Choltí Maya: A sketch". In Munro S. Edmonson (Volume ed.) (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. S2CID 741601.