Language: Acateco is a Mayan language
spoken by 40,000 people in Guatemala and Mexico. It is closely related to
Kanjobal and used to be considered
a Kanjobal dialect, but the two languages are actually distinct enough that Kanjobal and Acateco speakers
cannot easily understand each other. Acateco is an agglutinative language that uses primarily VOS word order.
Names: The official name of the language is Akateko. (Other common spelling variants include Acateco, Acatec,
Acateca, Akatek, Aquatec, and Acatan Maya.) This name was coined by linguists in the 1970's and is not often used by the speakers
themselves, who call their language Kanjobal and themselves Mayas or Miguelenos. Both "Akateko" and "Migueleño" derive
from the name of their central village, San Miguel Acatán. In older literature, the Akateko language was sometimes referred
to as Western Kanjobal (Western Q'anjob'al) or Conob, which is another name referring to Kanjobal.