Mixtecan languages

Mixtecan languages
Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero; California
Linguistic classification: Oto-Manguean
  • Eastern Oto-Mangue
    • Amuzgo–Mixtecan?
      • Mixtecan

The Mixtecan languages constitute a branch of the Otomanguean language family of Mexico. They include the Trique (or Triqui) languages, spoken by about 24,500 people; Cuicatec, spoken by about 15,000 people; and the large expanse of Mixtec languages, spoken by about 511,000 people.[1] The relationship between Trique, Cuicatec, and Mixtec, is an open question. Research by Terrence Kaufman in the 1980s supported grouping Cuicatec and Mixtec together, but it apparently remains unpublished.[2]


Longacre (1957) reconstructed the following consonant inventory for proto-Mixtecan:[3]

Bilabial Dental Palatal Velar Labiovelar Glottal
Nasal *m *n
Occlusive *t *d *k *kʷ *ɡʷ
Fricative *x *xʷ
Approximant *l *j *w


  1. ^ 2000 census; the numbers are based on the number of total population for each group and the percentages of speakers given on the website of the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas, http://www.cdi.gob.mx/index.php?id_seccion=660, accessed 28 July 2008).
  2. ^ Macaulay, Monica. 1996. A grammar of Chalcatongo Mixtec. University of California Publications in Linguistics, pp 4–6.
  3. ^ Silverman, 1993, p. 109

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