Oto-Pamean languages

Last updated
Linguistic classification Oto-Mangue
  • Western Oto-Mangue ?
    • Oto-Pame–Chinantecan ?
      • Oto-Pamean
Glottolog otop1242 [1]
Otopamean languages.png

The Oto-Pamean languages are a branch of the Oto-Manguean languages that includes languages of the Otomi-Mazahua, Matlatzinca, and Pamean language groups all of which are spoken in central Mexico. Like all Oto-Manguean languages, the Oto-Pamean languages are tonal languages, though most have relatively simple tones systems. [2] Unlike many Oto-Manguean languages that tend towards an isolating typology, they are morphologically complex headmarking languages with complex systems of conjugational classes both for verbs and nouns, and in the Pamean languages there are highly complex patterns of suppletion.

Oto-Manguean languages language family

Oto-Manguean languages are a large family comprising several subfamilies of indigenous languages of the Americas. All of the Oto-Manguean languages that are now spoken are indigenous to Mexico, but the Manguean branch of the family, which is now extinct, was spoken as far south as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Oto-Manguean is widely viewed as a proven language family. However, this status has been recently challenged.


Otomi language language family

Otomi is a group of closely related indigenous languages of Mexico, spoken by approximately 240,000 indigenous Otomi people in the central altiplano region of Mexico. It belongs to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family. It is a dialect continuum of closely related languages, because many of the varieties are not mutually intelligible. The word Hñähñu[hɲɑ̃hɲṹ] has been proposed as an endonym, but since it represents the usage of a single dialect it has not gained wide currency. Linguists have classified the modern dialects into three dialect areas: the Northwestern dialects spoken in Querétaro, Hidalgo and Guanajuato; the Southwestern dialects spoken in the State of Mexico; and the Eastern dialects spoken in the highlands of Veracruz, Puebla, and eastern Hidalgo and in villages in Tlaxcala and Mexico states.

Mazahua language language

The Mazahua language is an indigenous language of Mexico, spoken in the country's central states by the ethnic group that is widely known as the Mazahua but calls itself the Hñatho. It is a Mesoamerican language and has many of the traits of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area. In 2003, along with some 62 other indigenous languages, it was recognised by a statutory law of Mexico as an official language in the Federal District and the other administrative divisions in which it is spoken, and on an equal footing with Spanish. The largest concentration of Mazahua is found in the municipality of San Felipe del Progreso, State of México, near Toluca.

Pame languages

The Pame languages are a group of languages in Mexico that is spoken by around 10,000 Pame people in the state of San Luis Potosí. It belongs to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family.

Related Research Articles

Tone is the use of pitch in language to distinguish lexical or grammatical meaning – that is, to distinguish or to inflect words. All verbal languages use pitch to express emotional and other paralinguistic information and to convey emphasis, contrast, and other such features in what is called intonation, but not all languages use tones to distinguish words or their inflections, analogously to consonants and vowels. Languages that do have this feature are called tonal languages; the distinctive tone patterns of such a language are sometimes called tonemes, by analogy with phoneme. Tonal languages are common in East and Southeast Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Americas; as many as seventy percent of world languages may be tonal.

Mesoamerican languages languages indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area; not genetically related; includes 6 major families (Mayan, Oto-Mangue, Mixe–Zoque, Totonacan, Uto-Aztecan, Chibchan) as well as various smaller families and isolates

Mesoamerican languages are the languages indigenous to the Mesoamerican cultural area, which covers southern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize and parts of Honduras and El Salvador and Nicaragua. The area is characterized by extensive linguistic diversity containing several hundred different languages and seven major language families. Mesoamerica is also an area of high linguistic diffusion in that long-term interaction among speakers of different languages through several millennia has resulted in the convergence of certain linguistic traits across disparate language families. The Mesoamerican sprachbund is commonly referred to as the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.

Mazahua people ethnic group

The Mazahuas are an indigenous people of Mexico, primarily inhabiting the northwestern portion of the State of Mexico and small parts of Michoacán and Querétaro. The largest concentration of Mazahua is found in the municipalities of San Felipe del Progreso and San José del Rincón of the State of Mexico. There is also a significant presence in the Federal District, Toluca and the Guadalajara area owing to recent migration. According to the 2010 Mexican census, there are 116,240 speakers of the language in the State of Mexico, accounting for 53% of all indigenous language speakers in the state.

Mazatecan languages language family

The Mazatecan languages are a group of closely related indigenous languages spoken by some 200,000 people in the area known as the Sierra Mazateca, which is in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, as well as in adjacent areas of the states of Puebla and Veracruz.

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'.

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.

Pame people

The Pame are an indigenous people of central Mexico living in the state of San Luis Potosí. They call themselves Xi'úi. They speak the Pame languages, which belong to the Oto-Pamean group of the Oto-Manguean language family.

Matlatzinca is a name used to refer to different indigenous ethnic groups in the Toluca Valley in the state of México, located in the central highlands of Mexico. The term is applied to the ethnic group inhabiting the valley of Toluca and to their language, Matlatzinca.

Chichimeca Jonaz group of indigenous people living in Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí

The Chichimeca Jonaz are an indigenous people of Mexico, living in the states of Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí. In Guanajuato, the Chichimeca Jonaz people live in a community in San Luis de la Paz municipality. The settlement is 2,070 m above sea level. They call this place Rancho Úza or Misión Chichimeca. They are descendants of the Pame people, who fought in the Chichimeca War (1550-1590) in the Chichimeca Confederation.

Chichimeca or Chichimeca Jonaz is an indigenous language of Mexico spoken by around 200 Chichimeca Jonaz people in Misión de Chichimecas near San Luis de la Paz in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. The Chichimeca Jonaz language belongs to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-Manguean language family. The Chichimecos self identify as úza and call their language eza'r.

Matlatzinca languages group of languages spoken in central Mexico

The Matlatzincan languages are two closely related Oto-Manguean language of the Oto-Pamean spoken in Central Mexico: Tlahuica/Ocuiltec and Matlatzinca. The name of the language in the language itself is pjiekak'joo.

Huamango human settlement in Mexico

Huamango is an early Postclassical archaeological located about 4 kilometers northwest of the modern city of Acambay in the State of Mexico. The archaeological area is on the San Miguel plateau, in the vicinity of the Peña Picuda hill, at an approximate altitude of 2,850, it is rich in legends, stories and ancestral traditions.

Doris Aileen Bartholomew is an American linguist whose published research specialises in the lexicography, historical and descriptive linguistics for indigenous languages in Mexico, in particular for Oto-Manguean languages. Bartholomew's extensive publications on Mesoamerican languages span five decades of active research. She has also published extensively on Zapotecan languages and the Otomi language. She has been editor-in-chief and publications director for the Instituto Lingüístico de Verano (ILV), the affiliate body incorporated in Mexico for SIL International.


Huexotla or Huexotla is an archaeological site located 5 kilometers south of Texcoco, at the town of San Luis Huexotla, close to Chapingo, in the Mexico State.

San Jeronimo Acazulco Otomi, or Ocoyoacac Otomí, is a moribund and seriously endangered dialect of the Otomi language spoken by a hundred or so people in the town of San Jerónimo Acazulco in Ocoyoacac, Mexico State.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Otopamean". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Arellanes, F., Carranza, L., Peón, M. E. C., Fidencio, V., Guerrero, A., Knapp, M., & Romero, A. Hacia una tipología tonal de las lenguas otopames. RAÍCES, 1(2), 3.
  3. Palancar, Enrique L. 2016. Oto-Pamean.
  4. Bartholomew, Doris. 1965. The Reconstruction of Oto-Pamean (Mexico). PhD Dissertation. Tulane University.
  5. Soustelle, J., 1937. La Famille Otomi-Pame du Mexique Central. Travaux et Mémoires de l̂Institut d̂Ethnologie. Paris: Université de Paris.