Wastek language

Wastek language

Infobox Language
region=San Luis Potosí, Veracruz and Tamaulipas
speakers=approx. 150,000
lc1=hva|ld1=San Luís Potosí|ll1=none

The Wastek or Huastec language is a Mayan language of Mexico, spoken by the Huastecs living in rural areas of San Luis Potosí and northern Veracruz. Though relatively isolated from them, it is related to the Mayan languages spoken further south and east in Mexico and Central America. According to the 2005 population census, there were about 150,000 speakers of Wastek in Mexico (some 90,000 in San Luis Potosi and some 50,000 in Veracruz) [INEGI, 2005] .The language is called Teenek (with varying spellings) by its speakers, and this name has gained currency in Mexican national and international usage in recent years.

The now-exinct Chicomuceltec language is believed to have been most closely related to Wastek.

The first description of the Huastec language accessible to Europeans was an "Arte" and Vocabulary written by Andrés de Olmos, who also wrote the first such descriptions of Nahuatl and Totonac.

Wastek-language programming is carried by the CDI's radio station XEANT-AM, based in Tancanhuitz de Santos, San Luis Potosí.



Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía, e Informática (INEGI) (an agency of the government of Mexico). 2005. [http://www.inegi.gob.mx/est/default.aspx?c=697 2005 Mexican population census, last visited 22 May, 2007]

Further reading

*Ariel de Vidas, A. 2003. “Ethnicidad y cosmologia: La construccion cultural de la diferencia entre los teenek (huaxtecos) de Veracruz”, in UNAM, "Estudios de Cultura Maya." Vol. 23.
*Campbell, L. and T. Kaufman. 1985. “Maya linguistics: Where are we now?,” in" Annual Review of Anthropology." Vol. 14, pp. 187-98
*Dahlin, B. et al. 1987. “Linguistic divergence and the collapse of Preclassic civilization in southern Mesoamerica”. "American Antiquity." Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 367-82.
*INAH. 1988. " Atlas cultural de Mexico: Linguistica." Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia.
*Kaufman, T. 1976. “Archaeological and linguistic correlations in Mayaland and associated areas of Mesoamerica,” in "World Archaeology." Vol. 8, pp. 101-18
*Malstrom, V. 1985. “The origins of civilization in Mesoamerica: A geographic perspective”, in L. Pulsipher, ed. "Yearbook of the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers." Vol. 11, pp. 23-29.
*(CDI). No date. [http://www.cdi.gob.mx/ini/perfiles/perfiles/teneek/00_summary.html San Luis Potosí: A Teenek Profile; Summary] .
*Ochoa, L. 2003. “La costa del Golfo y el area maya: Relaciones imaginables o imaginadas?”, in UNAM, "Estudios de Cultura Maya." Vol. 23.
*Robertson, J. 1993. “The origins and development of Huastec pronouns.” "International Journal of American Linguistics." Vol. 59, No. 3, pp. 294-314
*Stresser-Pean, G. 1989. “Los indios huastecos”, in Ochoa, L., ed. "Huastecos y Totonacas." Mexico City: CONACULTA.
*Vadillo Lopez, C. and C. Riviera Ayala. 2003. “El trafico maratimo, vehiculo de relaciones culturales entre la region maya chontal de Laguna de Terminos y la region huaxteca del norte de Veracruz, siglos XVI-XIX”, in UNAM, "Estudios de Cultura Maya." Vol. 23.
*Wilkerson, J. 1972. "Ethnogenesis of the Huastecs and Totonacs." PhD dissertation, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Tulane University, New Orleans.

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