Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Figures

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pp. ix-x

Tables

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

This book is an ethnographic study of K’ichee’, a Mayan language spoken by more than one million people in the western highlands and southern piedmont of the Republic of Guatemala. It seeks to elucidate the complex dialectic between this diverse, widely spoken language and the...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

Many friends contributed in small and large ways to make this book a reality. It would be impossible in this brief space to show my appreciation to all. However, I cannot fail to mention a few people whose support and inspiration were critical. First and foremost, I cannot thank enough the residents of Santa María Chiquimula...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xx

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1. Accent and Ethnic Identity in the Maya Highlands

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pp. 1-13

K’ichee’ is one of the twenty-two officially recognized Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala (see Figure 1.1). It boasts more than one million speakers, the largest number for any Mayan language (Richards 2003). The name “K’ichee’,” however, has had a long and troubled history...

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2. Orthographies, Foreigners, and Pure K’ichee’

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pp. 14-38

Despite their exclusion from the halls of civil, religious, and academic power, indigenous languages were essential vehicles of Catholic indoctrination and useful instruments for the Spanish civil administration, especially in the first two hundred years after the conquest....

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3. “Each Town Speaks Its Own Language”: The Social Value of Dialectal Variation in K’ichee’

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pp. 39-58

When I first met Guayo, an energetic thirty-two-year-old but also a living encyclopedia of Santa María Chiquimula’s traditional lore despite his relatively young age, he was taken aback by this foreign-looking Guatemalan addressing him in K’ichee’. The K’ichee’ are not used to hearing...

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4. A “Hybrid” Language: Loanwords and K’ichee’-Spanish Code Switching

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pp. 59-72

On a warm afternoon in June 2005, María Tikiram, a friend from Santa María Chiquimula, introduced me to her older sister Xper [ʃper], “Isabel.” I was excited about the visit because Isabel was a local celebrity for her skills as a healer and for her knowledge of traditional crafts. María led me to Isabel’s house on the outskirts...

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5. “Ancestor Power Is Maya Power”: The Uses and Abuses of Honorific Address in K’ichee’

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pp. 73-89

When I first visited the town of Santa María Chiquimula in late 2004, I was a graduate student looking for a suitable dissertation field site. I had previous acquaintance with the K’ichee’ language and was able to follow colloquial conversations reasonably well. My experience with K’ichee’, however, was restricted to the...

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6. The Changing Voice of the Ancestors: Missionaries, K’ichee’ Poets, and Pan-Mayanism

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pp. 90-106

Paradoxically, the majority of conversations among pan-Maya activists in Guatemala occur in Spanish. This is not simply a convenient language choice motivated by the lack of mutual intelligibility of their respective mother tongues. Spanish is the only language used in national government offices, nongovernmental organizations,...

References

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pp. 107-118

Index

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pp. 119-123