Who Speaks How? Sociolinguistic Patterns Among Ch'orti' Communities in Guatemala


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




“Who speaks how?” looks into the different ways native speakers use Ch’orti’ in Guatemala according to their demographics: age, gender, locality, and level of education. This project constitutes a collaborative and innovative effort between investigators and local Ch’orti’ people, balancing both parties’ interests from the planning stages and throughout the project. Through guided interviews and questionnaires, this research characterizes how speech maps onto the demographics. The results provide meaningful input into the history of Ch’olan languages and Maya linguistics as a field. In the process, it supports the legitimization of local language identities and amplify the voices of Ch’orti’ speakers by implementing participatory research and collective workshops to showcase the richness and importance of the Ch’orti’ language.