Thomas Wier wrote:
> This applies I think, to tone languages of the Chinese sort; African
> languages seem to have different systems.  Mayan languages are also tonal,
> but I know next to nothing about them.....

From my not terribly systematic exposure to Quiche, it has
IIRC three tones (low, mid, and high) which vary independently
of stress, all of which are marked with a terribly clunky
orthography, and I think some pretty complicated tone sandhi
phenomena which I haven't quite figured out yet.  No contour
tones, I don't think:  phonemically long vowels are consistently
of one tone or another.

(I may be wrong on some of this.)

I thought Mayan languages are not tonal, although I've never
been exposed to Quiché.

I do know that Yucatec Maya seems to be developping into
a tonal language; it uses pitch accent at the moment.
It has register tones, no contour tones.