The phonetics and phonology of Uspanteko (Mayan)

Ryan Bennett, Meg Harvey, Robert Henderson, Tomás Alberto Méndez López

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Uspanteko is an endangered Mayan language spoken by up to 6000 people in the Guatemalan highlands. We provide an overview of the phonetics and phonology of Uspanteko, focussing on phenomena which are common in Mayan languages and/or typologically interesting. These include glottalised consonants (ejectives, implosives, and glottal stop), uvular consonants, vowel length contrasts, syllable structure, stress, and lexical tone. Tone is unusual among Mayan languages, especially in Guatemala, and the phonetic description here complements the small handful of existing descriptions of tone in Uspanteko and within the Mayan family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12467
JournalLanguage and Linguistics Compass
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


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