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The Kaqchikel, or Kaqchiquel, language (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel or Cakchiquiel) is an indigenous Mesoamerican language and a member of the QuicheanMamean branch of the Mayan languages family. It is spoken by the indigenous Kaqchikel people in central Guatemala. It is closely related to the K'iche' (Quiché) and Tz'utujil languages. Kaqchikel dialects differ somewhat in their vowels. Each dialect has a set of five tense vowels and either one, two, four, or five lax vowels. The chart below shows all the possible vowels that can occur in dialects of Kaqchikel. While the dialect of Sololá uses the maximal ten-vowel system with all the vowels except schwa //, the dialects of San Juan Sacatepéquez and San Andrés Semetabaj only use the five tense vowels and schwa. There is a variance in the pronunciation of the lax vowels across the dialects. Some dialects lower the given vowel, others center the vowel while not lowering it. The Xenacoj dialect used here both centers and lowers the vowels with a tendency to more strongly lower close vowels and more strongly center back vowels.

Also Called:

Cakchiquel, Kaqchikel