Mam

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A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
Huehuetenango Mam
Population

530,000 in Guatemala (1991–2000). Population total all countries: 537,980.

Location

Western Huehuetenango Department, San Sebastián and other towns; San Marcos Department, 17 towns; Quetzaltenango Department, 9 towns; Retalhuleu Department, 1 town; Western Ostuncalco area, San Juan Ostuncalco, San Martín Sacatepéquez, and other towns; San Marcos Department, Tajumulco and Ixchiguán; western San Marcos Department, rural areas west of Tacaná, western Guatemala border, and in Sibinal and Tectitán. Dialects in San Miguel Ixtahuacán (18,000) and Concepción Tutapa (30,000).

Language Status

4 (Educational). Statutory language of national identity (2003, National Languages Act, Decree No. 19).

Dialects

Central Mam (Comitancillo Mam, Mam Marquense, Mam Occidental, San Marcos Comitancillas Mam, Western Mam), Southern Mam (Mam Quetzalteco, Ostuncalco Mam, Quetzaltenango Mam, San Juan Ostuncalco Mam), Tacanec (Mamé, Tacaná Mam, Tiló, Western Mam), Tajumulco Mam, Todos Santos Cuchumatán Mam (Todos Santos Mam). Tacanec is the most distinctive of all the Mam varieties. Lexical similarity: 77% between Tajumulco and Comitancillo dialects.

Typology

VSO.

Language Use

Positive attitudes. Also use Spanish [spa]. Used as L2 by K’iche’ [quc].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 5%–37%. Taught in primary schools. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1993.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Also spoken in:

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