Tojolabal Text Concordance and Dictionary

N. Louanna Furbee (formerly, Louanna Furbee-Losee)

Thanks to the volunteer efforts of Karl and Randa Marhenke, who photographed and prepared PDF files of the originally offered microfiche documents, and to Cynthia Irsik, who scanned and prepared PDF files of original paper documents, the Museum of Anthropology is pleased to make its Miscellaneous Publications in Anthropology #16 and #15 (a Tojolabal-Maya text concordance and a Tojolabal-Maya-English root and word dictionary), plus an introduction to their use (the NEH Report for the Project), available as free downloads from this site. The citation forms are as given below:

  1. Furbee, N. Louanna (-Losee). 1981. Tojolabal Text and Dictionary. Final Report to the National Endowment for the Humanities, NEH #RT-24908-76-715 and #RT-24908-76-715. University of Missouri-Columbia.
  2. Furbee, N. Louanna (-Losee). 1981. Tojolabal Text Concordance. Museum of Anthropology, Miscellaneous Publications in Anthropology #16. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri-Columbia. 5620 pages. ISBN: 0913134767
  3. Furbee, N. Louanna (-Losee). 1981. Tojolabal Dictionary. Museum of Anthropology, Miscellaneous Publications in Anthropology #15. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri-Columbia. 570 pages. ISBN: 0913134775

The NEH Report, the Tojolabal Text Concordance, and the Tojolabal Dictionary:

1-NEH Report:

To download the NEH Report and Appendices in parts:

To download the full NEH Report with Appendices:

2-Tojolabal Text Concordance:

File Name File Size Approximate Content Markers:
from: to:
Con01_pages0001-0206.pdf 57.7 MB ABE A%
Con02_pages0207-0414.pdf 55.8 MB A% AL
Con03_pages0415-0622.pdf 55.3 MB AL AN2
Con04_pages0623-0830.pdf 58.9 MB AN2 B'A%
Con05_pages0831-1038.pdf 59.2 MB B'A% CAHN
Con06_pages1039-1246.pdf 59.1 MB CAHN EL
Con07_pages1247-1454.pdf 60.3 MB EL HA
Con08_pages1455-1662.pdf 64.8 MB HA HA-S1 Y2-UH-IL1
Con09_pages1663-1870.pdf 60.2 MB HA-S1 Y2-UH-IL1 HOK
Con10_pages1871-2078.pdf 57.7 MB HOK H3-ZOM-05
Con11_pages2079-2286.pdf 61.6 MB H3-ZOM-05 IH1
Con12_pages2287-2494.pdf 58.4 MB IH1 IY2
Con13_pages2495-2702.pdf 58.9 MB IY2 K'U%-UZ'1
Con14_pages2703-2910.pdf 56.5 MB K'U%-UZ'1 KWANDO
Con15_pages2911-3118.pdf 59.5 MB KWANDO MAK'-*AW-05
Con16_pages3119-3326.pdf 57.2 MB MAK'-*AW-05-OK2 NUH-AN1=EK'
Con17_pages3327-3534.pdf 58.2 MB NUH=1% PAX-Y1-AL2
Con18_pages3535-3742.pdf 61.7 MB PAX-Y1-AL2 -AN1 S2
Con19_pages3743-3950.pdf 61.5 MB S2 TALN
Con20_pages3951-4158.pdf 61.1 MB TALN UB'1/AL2
Con21_pages4159-4366.pdf 60.2 MB UB'1/AL2 WA
Con22_pages4367-4574.pdf 59.9 MB WA WINK
Con23_pages4575-4782.pdf 59.9 MB WIZ Y2
Con24_pages4783-4990.pdf 62.2 MB Y2 01
Con25_pages4991-5198.pdf 63.4 MB 01 03-WAN-05
Con26_pages5199-5406.pdf 61.4 MB 03-WAN-05 05
Con27_pages5407-5620.pdf 64.3 MB 05 (end)

3-Tojolabal Dictionary:

To download the Tojolabal Dictionary in parts:

To download the total Tojolabal Dictionary in one file:

Note that pages 1-324 comprise the "Word Dictionary" (Tojolabal to English), pages 325-421 (numbered 1-97) the "Morpheme Dictionary", and pages 422-537 (116 unnumbered pages) the "English to Tojolabal Dictionary".

Additional Notes:

Signs and Symbols:

Please note that pp. 1-5 and 8 of Appendix II b are helpful in figuring out the symbols and abbreviations used; p. 6 gives a summary of the notations for pronouns, and p. 7 gives the character set used. (% is used for a glottal stop, for instance).

Under this late 1970s analysis, there is a zero prefix morpheme, indicated by 03-, that contrasts with the incompletive aspectual markers; where marked it indicates completive aspect.

One sign, resembling a backwards "6" (a bit like a schwa) may be a boundary marker used in the computer coding, but at this late date, we cannot be sure what it was used to indicate. It was not defined in the main section of the report or its appendices.

There are a few typographical errors, such as:

Word Dictionary, p. 6, 6th grid-line from bottom: "argument" should have been written instead of "arguement".

Word Dictionary, p 106, 6th grid-line from bottom: In the phrase "(cf. K'UKUL)", "K'UHUL" should be written instead of "K'UKUL".

In a work of this size and character, other typographical errors are likely.

There are also some inconsistencies. These include:

Some of the words do not appear in the final main Dictionary or Concordance (the vocable "LO", and the borrowing from Spanish "Krus", for instance), though they do occur in the Sample Text, Sample Dictionary, and Sample Concordance of Appendices IIc-f.

Some of the words that appear in the far left column of the Concordance seem to be misplaced ("CAHN" at JB019 instead of JB004 on page 1038, for instance).

Occasionally some sections are duplicated for no explained reason (e.g., the FL013 material at pp. 163-192).

This Tojolabal project ran from September 1976 until February 1980 and was one of the earliest computer-assisted Dictionary and Text Concordance projects for an indigenous language. Linguistics and computer programming have traveled a long way since the later half of the 1970s. Theoretical frameworks have shifted, and representations of boundary marking and character representation in computer representations that so challenge the user here have now been addressed in international conventions. This work was something of a technologically “bleeding edge” effort, and completely rewriting the Concordance and Dictionary to bring them to conformity with present-day computational conventions and linguistic frameworks would require a very long effort indeed. Because a number of persons have asked that the information be made conveniently available again, and since microfiche readers are not so common as they once were, we are answering the request by providing the originals in a format that the user can access via computer download. We hope that this edition will help further knowledge of this Mayan language, and apologize for the transliteration required on the part of the user.

Many talented and generous persons helped with this work. M. Jill Brody, Susan Knowles (later Knowles-Berry), Jackie Wessell, and Robert Freund served as research assistants for the data collection and language analysis; Terry Majewski prepared data, and John Pappas wrote the computer programs. Many volunteers helped to conserve data files damaged in a disastrous fire that burned the lab building in which the project was housed in 1977. Without their help this work would not have been completed, in even its truncated state. Many, many Tojolabal persons shared their homes, time, and stories with us; one community organized periodic visits to our office in Comitán to bring materials. Three language consultants were particularly essential: Manuel Aguilar Gómez and Alejandro Aguilar Gómez, both of whom spent short periods in the United States helping to train the research assistants and aiding in the translations and transcriptions there, as well as working with the collection team in Chiapas, where they were joined by Hermelindo Jímenez Jímenez.

Through its grant (NEH #RT-24908-76-715) the National Endowment for the Humanities funded the original project and gave a post-fire supplement for salvage work; its help throughout the process is gratefully acknowledged.

For more information about the Tojolabal Maya language and its speakers, please see the web sites of (a) the Tojolabal Language Documentation Center ( and (b) the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America ( where the Tojolabal Language Documentation Center archives its language data.

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