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Tilquiapan Zapotec

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Tilquiapan Zapotec

Tilquiapan Zapotec
San Miguel Tilquiápam
Region Oaxaca in Mexico
Native speakers
5,000  (2007)[1]
Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 zts
Glottolog tilq1235[2]

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.[3]



Vowel phonemes of Tilquiapan Zapotec[4]
Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid ɘ 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.[5]


Consonant phonemes of Tilquiapan Zapotec[6]
Bilabial Dental/
Palatal Velar
plain labialized
Nasal m n
Plosive b d tːʃ ɡ kːʷ ɡʷ
Fricative z ʃː ʒ
Approximant Central j
Lateral l͡d 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[7]), respectively, with voicing being a phonetic correlate.[6] There are two exceptions to this in Tilquiapan:

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

Neither is voiceless, but /nˑ/ is pronounced a little longer and /ld/ replaces /l/ in certain causative verbs in ways similar to other fortis/lenis consonantal changes (e.g. [blaˀa] 'get loose' vs. [bldaˀa] 'let loose').[6]


  1. ^ Tilquiapan Zapotec at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tilquiapan Zapotec". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Egland, Cruz Ramos & Bartholomew (1978)
  4. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 109
  5. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 110
  6. ^ a b c Merrill (2008), p. 108
  7. ^ See Nellis & Hollenbach (1980)


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