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Lachixío Zapotec

(ISO code zpl)
Traditional House

Location of Lachixío

The language spoken in Santa María Lachixío and San Vicente Lachixío is a member of the Zapotec language family.


These two towns are located in the western part of the state of Oaxaca, west of the capital city, in the southern part of Mexico.


There are about 3,700 speakers of this language, according to the government census (INEGI) of 2000.


Zapotec woman shelling corn
Zapotec woman shelling corn.

An interesting aspect of this area is that traditionally the people built adobe houses thatched with pine needles, which abound at this higher altitude. In other neighboring areas, palm thatching is more common.


Roof with pine needle thatching
Roof with pine needle thatching

Lachixío Zapotec, along with Zaniza Zapotec and Texmelucan Zapotec, form the western branch of the Zapotec language family.


In Lachixío, in order to show respect to one's comadre [co-godmother] or compadre [co-godfather], town authorities, elders, teachers, and other outsiders, the people speak in a high-pitched voice, a kind of falsetto.


Jan Persons



View of Lachixio Another view of Lachixio

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References

Persons, David. 1979. "Plot structure in Lachixio Zapotec discourse." In Linda K. Jones (ed.), Discourse studies in Mesoamerican languages 1: Discussion , 123-40. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Persons, David. 1979. "Rabbit, coyote, and skunk; When people die: Lachixio Zapotec." In Linda K. Jones (ed.), Discourse studies in Mesoamerican languages 2: Texts, 181-208. Summer Institute of Linguistics Publications in Linguistics, 58. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Persons, David. 1981. "Lachixio Zapotec kinship terms". In Merrifield, William R., ed. Proto Otomanguean kinship, pp.305-306. Dallas, TX: International Museum of Cultures.

Persons, Jan A. 1997. High pitch as a mark of respect in Lachixío Zapotec. Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota 41: 59-60.