Opata language

Last updated
Ópata
Native to Mexico (traditionally Sonora state, now possibly D.F.)
Ethnicity Opata
Extinct pronounced extinct ca. 1930 but 15 speakers allegedly found by INI in 1993. Accepted as extinct in 2010 by Ethnologue and by INALI.
Uto-Aztecan
  • Ópata
Language codes
ISO 639-3 opt
Glottolog opat1247 [1]

Ópata (also Teguima, Eudeve, Heve, Dohema) is either of two closely related Uto-Aztecan languages, Teguima and Eudeve, spoken by the Opata people of northern central Sonora in Mexico. It was believed to be dead already in 1930, and Carl Sofus Lumholtz reported the Opata to have become "Mexicanized" and lost their language and customs already when traveling through Sonora in the 1890s. In a 1993 survey by the Instituto Nacional Indigenista fifteen people in the Mexican Federal District self-identified as speakers of Ópata. [2] This may not mean however that the language was actually living, since linguistic nomenclature in Mexico is notoriously fuzzy. Sometimes Eudeve is called Opata, a term which should be restricted to Teguima. Eudeve (which is split into the Heve (Egue) and Dohema dialects) and Teguima (also called Ópata, Ore) are distinct languages, but sometimes have been considered merely dialects of one single language. The INALI (Mexican National Institute for Indigenous Languages) does not count Opata among the currently extant indigenous languages of Mexico. [3]

Uto-Aztecan languages language family

Uto-Aztecan or Uto-Aztekan is a family of indigenous languages of the Americas, consisting of over 30 languages. Uto-Aztecan languages are found almost entirely in the Western United States and Mexico. The name of the language family was created to show that it includes both the Ute language of Utah and the Nahuan languages of Mexico.

Sonora State of Mexico

Sonora, officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Sonora, is one of 31 states that, with Mexico City, comprise the 32 federal entities of United Mexican States. It is divided into 72 municipalities; the capital city is Hermosillo. Sonora is bordered by the states of Chihuahua to the east, Baja California to the northwest and Sinaloa to the south. To the north, it shares the U.S.–Mexico border with the states of Arizona and New Mexico, and on the west has a significant share of the coastline of the Gulf of California.

Mexico Country in the southern portion of North America

Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometres (770,000 sq mi), the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the tenth most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity that is also the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana and León.

Contents

Classification

Opata had long been considered to be part of the Taracahitic languages, but this is no longer considered a valid genetic unit. [4] [5] [6] [7]

The Taracahitic languages form a putative branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family of Mexico. The best known is Tarahumara.

Morphology

Opata is an agglutinative language, where words use suffix complexes for a variety of purposes with several morphemes strung together.

A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a language. A morpheme is not identical to a word, and the principal difference between the two is that a morpheme may or may not stand alone, whereas a word, by definition, is freestanding. The linguistics field of study dedicated to morphemes is called morphology. When a morpheme stands by itself, it is considered as a root because it has a meaning of its own and when it depends on another morpheme to express an idea, it is an affix because it has a grammatical function. Every word comprises one or more morphemes.

Vocabulary of the Opata language of unknown date and origin, part of the collection of the Cervantine Library in Monterrey Vocab lengua opata (1).pdf
Vocabulary of the Opata language of unknown date and origin, part of the collection of the Cervantine Library in Monterrey

Related Research Articles

Huarijio is a Uto-Aztecan language of the states of Chihuahua and Sonora in northwestern Mexico. It is spoken by around 5,000 Huarijio people, most of whom are monolinguals.

Yaqui, locally known as Yoeme or Yoem Noki, is a Native American language of the Uto-Aztecan family. It is spoken by about 20,000 Yaqui people, in the Mexican state of Sonora and across the border in Arizona in the United States.

The Opata are three indigenous peoples of Mexico. Opata territory, the “Opatería” in Spanish, encompasses the mountainous northeast and central part of the state of Sonora, extending to near the border with the United States. Most Opatan towns were situated in river valleys and had an economy based on irrigated agriculture. In the 16th century, when they first met the Spanish explorers, the Opata were the most numerous people in Sonora. Today, some people continue to identify as Opatas and are working to restore aspects of pre-contact Opata culture, and revitalize Opata identity. Some sources indicate that as an identifiable ethnic group, the Opata and their language are now extinct, or nearly extinct.

Numic is a branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. It includes seven languages spoken by Native American peoples traditionally living in the Great Basin, Colorado River basin, Snake River basin, and southern Great Plains. The word Numic comes from the cognate word in all Numic languages for "person." For example, in the three Central Numic languages and the two Western Numic languages it is. In Kawaiisu it is and in Colorado River, and.

Nahuan languages Language family in North America

The Nahuan or Aztecan languages are those languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family that have undergone a sound change, known as Whorf's law, that changed an original *t to before *a. Subsequently, some Nahuan languages have changed this to or back to, but it can still be seen that the language went through a stage. The best known Nahuan language is Nahuatl.

Amuzgo language language

Amuzgo is an Oto-Manguean language spoken in the Costa Chica region of the Mexican states of Guerrero and Oaxaca by about 44,000 speakers. Like other Oto-Manguean languages, Amuzgo is a tonal language. From syntactical point of view Amuzgo can be considered as an active language. The name Amuzgo is claimed to be a Nahuatl exonym but its meaning is shrouded in controversy; multiple proposals have been made, including 'moss-in'.

Mayo is an Uto-Aztecan language. It is spoken by about 40,000 people, the Mexican Mayo or Yoreme Indians, who live in the South of the Mexican state of Sonora and in the North of the neighboring state of Sinaloa. Under the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples"Law of Linguistic Rights, it is recognized as a "national language" along with 62 other indigenous languages and Spanish which all have the same validity in Mexico. The language is considered 'critically endangered' by UNESCO.

Languages of Mexico languages of a geographic region

Many different languages are spoken in Mexico. The indigenous languages are from eleven distinct language families, including four isolates and one that immigrated from the United States. The Mexican government recognizes 68 national languages, 63 of which are indigenous, including around 350 dialects of those languages. The large majority of the population is monolingual in Spanish. Some immigrant and indigenous populations are bilingual, while some indigenous people are monolingual in their languages. Mexican Sign Language is spoken by much of the deaf population, and there are one or two indigenous sign languages as well.

The Huichol language is an indigenous language of Mexico which belongs to the Uto-Aztecan language family. It is spoken by the ethnic group widely known as the Huichol, whose mountainous territory extends over portions of the Mexican states of Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Puebla and Durango, mostly in Jalisco. Under the 2003 law of language rights, the indigenous languages of Mexico along with Spanish are recognized as "national languages".

Cora people ethnic group

The Cora are an indigenous ethnic group of Western Central Mexico which live in the municipality El Nayar in the Mexican state of Nayarit and in a few settlements in the neighboring state of Jalisco. They call themselves náayerite, whence the name of the present day Mexican state of Nayarit. The 2000 Mexican census reported that there were 24,390 persons who were members of Cora speaking households, these being defined as households where at least one parent or elder claim to speak the Cora language. Of these 24 thousand, 67 percent (16,357) were reported to speak Cora, 17 percent were nonspeakers, and the remaining 16 percent were unspecified with regard to their language.

Cora is an indigenous language of Mexico of the Uto-Aztecan language family. It is spoken by the ethnic group that is widely known as the Cora but who refer to themselves as Naáyarite. The Cora inhabit the northern sierra of the Mexican state Nayarit which is named after its indigenous inhabitants. Cora is a Mesoamerican language and shows many of the traits defining the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area. Under the General Law of Linguistic Rights of the Indigenous Peoples it is recognized as a "national language" along with 62 other indigenous languages and Spanish which have the same "validity" in Mexico.

The Triqui, or Trique, languages are Oto-Manguean languages of Mexico spoken by the Trique people of the state of Oaxaca and the state of Baja California. They are also spoken by many immigrants to the United States. Triqui languages belong to the Mixtecan branch together with the Mixtec languages and Cuicatec.

The Tarahumara language is a Mexican indigenous language of the Uto-Aztecan language family spoken by around 70,000 Tarahumara (Rarámuri/Ralámuli) people in the state of Chihuahua, according to an estimate by the government of Mexico.

Tepehuán (Tepehuano) is the name of three closely related languages of the Piman branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, all spoken in northern Mexico. The language is called O'otham by its speakers.

Pochutec is an extinct Uto-Aztecan language of the Nahuan branch which was spoken in and around the town of Pochutla on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 1917 it was documented in a monograph by Franz Boas, who considered the language nearly extinct. In the 1970s another investigator found two speakers around Pochutla who still remembered a few of the words recorded by Boas.

The Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas is a Mexican federal public agency, created 13 March 2003 by the enactment of the Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas by the administration of President Vicente Fox Quesada.

Proto-Nahuan is the hypothetical daughter language of the Proto-Uto-Aztecan language. It is the common ancestor from which the modern Nahuan languages have developed.

Nahuatl, known historically as Aztec, is a language or group of languages of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Varieties of Nahuatl are spoken by about 1.7 million Nahua peoples, most of whom live in central Mexico.

References

  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Opata–Eudeve". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. INALI
  3. Shaul, D. L. (2014). A Prehistory of Western North America: The Impact of Uto-Aztecan Languages. UNM Press.
  4. Hill, J. H. (2011). Subgrouping in Uto-Aztecan. Language Dynamics and Change, 1(2), 241-278.
  5. De Wolf, P. (2001). Eudeve and Opata: a reassessment of their classification. Avances y balances de lenguas yutoaztecas, ed. by JL Moctezuma-Zamarrón and JH Hill, 237-65.
  6. Shaul, D. L. (1983). The position of Opata and Eudeve in Uto-Aztecan. Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics. Vol. 8, No. 2
Project Gutenberg volunteer effort to digitize and archive books

Project Gutenberg (PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". It was founded in 1971 by American writer Michael S. Hart and is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books. The project tries to make these as free as possible, in long-lasting, open formats that can be used on almost any computer. As of 23 June 2018, Project Gutenberg reached 57,000 items in its collection of free eBooks.