Mayan languages are spoken by at least 6 million native Maya. Most of them are in Guatemala, Mexico or Belize. In 1996, Guatemala formally recognized 21 Mayan languages by name, and Mexico recognises eight others.
The Mayan languages are some of the best documented and most studied in the Americas. Modern Mayan languages come from Proto-Mayan, a language that was probably spoken at least 5000 years ago. It has been partly reconstructed.
- In linguistics, it is usual to use Mayan when talking about the language
- Spence, Jack; David R. Dye, Paula Worby, Carmen Rosa de Leon-Escribano, George Vickers, and Mike Lanchin (1988). "Promise and Reality: Implementation of the Guatemalan Peace Accords". Hemispheres Initiatives. Retrieved 2006-12-06.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics, 4). New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-195-09427-1. p.165.