Mam

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A language of Guatemala

Alternate Names
B’anax Mam, Huehuetenango Mam, Qyool
Population

530,000 in Guatemala (1991). Total users in all countries: 537,980.

Location

Huehuetenango department: San Sebastián and other towns; Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu departments; San Marcos department: Ixchiguán, San Juan Ostuncalco, San Martín Sacatepéquez, Sibinal, Tectitán. Dialects in San Miguel Ixtahuacán (18,000) and Concepción Tutapa (30,000).

Language Status

4 (Educational). Recognized language (2003, Law of National Languages, Decree 19).

Dialects

Southern Mam (Mam Quetzalteco, Ostuncalco Mam, Quetzaltenango Mam, San Juan Ostuncalco Mam), Tajumulco Mam, Tacanec (Mamé, Tacaná Mam, Tiló, Western Mam), Central Mam (Comitancillo Mam, Mam Marquense, Mam Occidental, San Marcos Comitancillo Mam, Western 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. Agency: Academy of Mayan Languages.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Also spoken in:

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