Tilquiapan Zapotec
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Tilquiapan Zapotec
Tilquiapan Zapotec
San Miguel Tilquiápam
RegionOaxaca in Mexico
Native speakers
5,000 (2007)[1]
Latin script
Language codes

Tilquiapan Zapotec (Zapoteco de San Miguel Tilquiápam) is an Oto-Manguean language of the Zapotecan branch, spoken in southern Oaxaca, Mexico.

Santa Inés Yatzechi Zapotec is close enough to be considered a dialect, and Ocotlán Zapotec is also close. They were measured at 87% and 59% intelligibility, respectively, in recorded text testing.[2]



Vowel phonemes of Tilquiapan Zapotec[3]
Front Central Back
Close i ? u
Mid ? o
Open a

Each vowel can also be glottalized, a phenomenon manifested as either creaky voice throughout the vowel or, more commonly, as a sequence of a vowel and a glottal stop optionally followed by an echo of the vowel.[4]


Consonant phonemes of Tilquiapan Zapotec[5]
Bilabial Dental/
Palatal Velar
plain labialized
Nasal m n: n
Plosive p: b t: d t:? d? k: ? k:?
Fricative s: z ?: ?
Approximant central j
lateral l?d l

As with other Zapotec languages, the primary distinction between consonant pairs like /t/ and /d/ is not of voicing but between fortis and lenis (measured in length[6]), respectively, with voicing being a phonetic correlate.[5] There are two exceptions to this in Tilquiapan:

  • The contrast between fortis /n:/ and lenis /n/
  • The contrast between fortis /ld/ and lenis /l/

Neither is voiceless, but /n?/ is pronounced a little longer and /ld/ replaces /l/ in certain causative verbs in ways similar to other fortis/lenis consonantal changes (e.g. [bla?a] 'get loose' vs. [blda?a] 'let loose').[5]



  • Egland, Steven; Cruz Ramos, Saúl; Bartholomew, Doris (1978), La inteligibilidad interdialectal en México: resultados de algunos sondeos [Interdialectal intelligibility in Mexico: study results] (in Spanish), México: Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, ISBN 9683100031
  • Merrill, Elizabeth (2008), "Tilquiapan Zapotec" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 38 (1): 107-114, doi:10.1017/S0025100308003344
  • Nellis, Donald G.; Hollenbach, Barbara E. (1980), "Fortis versus lenis in Cajonos Zapotec phonology", International Journal of American Linguistics, 46: 92-105, doi:10.1086/465639

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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