Most of the items posted on this website are in PDF format, and you need to have the Adobe reader program installed on your computer to read them.  This reader is provided free by the manufacturer.  Click on the Adobe icon to download and install the program.


Copala Trique

  @ Gramática popular del triqui de Copala.  (PDF document - 2.22 MB)
  A nontechnical description of the Copala Trique language organized by parts of speech, written in Spanish.  Four analyzed texts and an appendix giving detailed information about tone changes are included, plus a separate file for the cover.  (PDF Document - 43 KB)  
  This new version, posted in December, 2005, supersedes the version posted in September, 2004.  
  @ Vocabulario breve del triqui de San Juan Copala
  This Spanish-Trique vocabulary presents the results of several decades of fieldwork in Copala Trique.  In addition to the Trique-Spanish side, which contains over 2500 main entries, many with illustrative sentences, it also contains a Spanish-Trique index and a number of appendixes.  One of the distinctive features of this language is the very large number of variant forms, many of which are included in this vocabulary.  Because the fieldwork was carried out mainly during the 1960s and 1970s, the language described is largely that of a generation ago.  The vocabulary is presented here in a preliminary form; I hope to prepare another version containing more entries and more illustrative sentences at a later time.  
  The vocabulary is presented in five separate files: Front matter (PDF Document - 124 KB), Trique - Spanish vocabulary (PDF Document - 786 KB), Spanish - Trique vocabulary (PDF Document - 332 KB), Appendixes (PDF Document - 95 KB), and Cover (PDF Document - 198 KB).  

Topónimos triques: huellas de la prehistoria. (PDF Document - 82 KB)

  This paper describes a number of place names used in the Trique towns of Copala and Chicahuaxtla, and uses them as clues to the ethnohistory of the region.  It was presented in 1979 at the XVI Mesa Redonda of the Sociedad Mexicana de Antropología, and originally published in 1980 in the Memorias.  It is reprinted here with minor corrections.  

Los nombres personales entre los triques de Copala. (PDF Document - 131 KB)

  This paper describes the traditional reluctance of the Copala Trique people toward revealing their official names, and their use of aliases, kinship terms, and personal and famiily nicknames instead.  This paper was presented at the XLI Congress of Americanists in Mexico City in 1974, and it was originally published in 1980 in S. I. L.-Mexico Workpapers 4:9-14.  It is reprinted here with minor corrections.

El mundo animal en el folklore de los triques de Copala (PDF Document - 248 KB)

  This article, written in Spanish, presents a wide selection of beliefs, sayings, and legends that form part of the Copala Trique culture, and that make reference to the arthropods, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals that abound in the region, which is fairly heavily wooded and spans several vegetation zones.  This present version includes some comments in brackets.  The article was originally published in 1980 in the journal Tlalocan (volume 8:437-90), and it is reproduced here with permission of the publisher (Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas de la UNAM).  

Semantic and sytactic extensions of Copala Trique body-part nouns (PDF Document - 162 KB)

  This article catalogs the many ways in which nouns referring to body parts have been extended in Copala Trique.  Some extensions are within the noun category, while others are prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, and conjunctions.  It was originally published by El Colegio de México in 1990 in Beatriz Garza Cuarón and Paulette Levy, eds., Homenaje a Jorge Suárez, and it is posted here by permission of the publisher.  
  A cultural sketch of the Copala Trique is also available on the internet; see the bibliography.  

Magdalena Peñasco Mixtec

@ Los pronombres del mixteco de Magdalena Peñasco.  (PDF document - 208 KB)

A popular presentation of the pronoun system of Magdalena Peñasco Mixtec, written in Spanish, highlighting a number of features different from Spanish, such as: familiar vs. honorific first-person pronouns, inclusive vs. exclusive, and a number of gender distinctions in third person (child, animal, sacred, wood, and liquid).  This was originally published in 2000 as a booklet, and the original files for the body and the cover  (PDF document - 58 KB)  are included here with a few slight revisions in the body.  (© 2000, Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, A.C., used by permission.)

  @ Yaa ñuu savi (Canción mixteca).  (PDF document - 18 KB)

A translation of a traditional song about the Mixteca region into the Mixtec of Magdalena Peñasco, prepared by two native speakers.  The original text of the song in Spanish is also included. 

  @ Tres cuentos de las bandoleras.  (PDF document - 129 KB)

Three analyzed texts in Magdalena Peñasco Mixtec, with literal and free Spanish translations, which relate how supernatural creatures called "bandoleras" deceive people.  English and Spanish abstracts are included at the end. 

  @ El cuento del conejo y del campesino.  (PDF document - 108 KB)

An analyzed text in Magdalena Peñasco Mixtec, with literal and free Spanish translation, which tells how the rabbit helped a farmer and his family to escape the flood, and how God punished him by turning him into the moon. 

  @ Los nombres y apellidos del mixteco de Magdalena Peñasco (PDF document - 121 KB)

This paper describes the personal names and surnames used in the town of Magdalena Peñasco.  First names are largely adapted into Mixtec from traditional saint names in Spanish.  Surnames are based on common Spanish surnames, with phonological adaptations, and they are accompanied by a gender prefix.  When the full name of a person is given, the last name with its gender prefix comes first, and then the first name. 

  Studies of the tone system, the kinship system, and the number system of Magdalena Peñasco Mixtec are also available on the internet; see the bibliography.  

Other varieties of Mixtec

@ Los pronombres honoríficos del mixteco: reflejo de la historia social del pueblo mixteco.  (PDF document - 194 KB)

This paper tracing the history of the first and second person respect pronouns in Mixtec, written in Spanish, was published in August 2003 in Cuadernos del Sur, a social science journal published in Oaxaca (año 9, núm. 19, pages 51–58).  It is included here with the permission of the editors in order to give it wider circulation.  The paper claims that the original pronoun system of Mixtec did not have honorific pronouns, and that they developed in the western part of the Mixteca Alta when a stratified social system arose.  Abstracts in English and Spanish are provided in a separate abstract file.  (PDF Document - 21 KB)

  @ Algunas reflexiones sobre la preservación del mixteco.  (PDF document - 87 KB)

This paper, written in Spanish, was presented to the congress of the Ve’e Tu’un Savi ( Mixtec Language Academy ) in December 2002 to encourage its members both to preserve Mixtec as a living language by speaking it to their children, and to preserve aspects of it in written, audio, and video form. 


Cuatro morfemas funcionales en las lenguas mixtecanas (PDF Document - 111 KB)

  This article, written in Spanish, claims that the homophonous forms found in Mixtecan languages that serve as nominalizer, complementizer, and relative pronoun are all special uses of the same morpheme.  It further claims that the basic use of this morpheme is as a special class of pronoun that serves as the head of a noun phrase and that introduces a modifying adjective or relative clause; this pronoun can often be translated 'that which (is)'.  This morpheme has the form ña in the lowland Mixtec area, se32 in Copala Trique, and xa in the highland Mixtec area, with variants that include xe, ja, and cha.  The article was originally published by the Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, UNAM, in 1995 in Ramón Arzápalo Marín and Yolanda Lastra, compilers, Vitalidad e influencia de las lenguas indígenas en Latinoamérica:  II Coloquio Mauricio Swadesh.  It is posted here by permission of the publisher.  
  Two versions of a traditional Mixtec song from San Agustín Tlacotepec and an analysis of the Lord’s prayer from a sixteenth- century Mixtec catechism are also available on the internet; see the bibliography.  


  @ Tone languages and language unawareness.  (PDF document - 71 KB)

This squib proposes that native speakers often lack awareness of tone and other suprasegmentals, and discusses the ways that this affects the design of writing systems and the teaching of reading. 

  @ Haiku on language and language analysis.  (PDF document - 56 KB)

Reflections on language structure and the challenges of language analysis, using the popular seventeen-syllable poetic form from Japan. 

  @ More haiku on language and language analysis..  (PDF document - 47 KB)

Further reflections on language structure and the challenges of language analysis, using the popular seventeen-syllable poetic form from Japan. Japan


Gramática breve del náhuatl de Michoacán
Guillermo Sischo H. y Elena Erickson de Hollenbach
(PDF Document - 455 KB)


This grammar of Michoacán Aztec, based on over forty years of fieldwork by Bill Sischo, was written to accompany a dictionary of this language that is still in preparation.  This variety of Aztec should be of considerable interest to Aztec scholars because it has been geographically isolated from others for several centuries.  It should also be of interest to students of language contact because of the heavy influence from Spanish on its structure.   Three files containing verb paradigms accompany the grammar: Intransitive verbs (PDF Document - 178 KB), Transitive verbs (PDF Document - 237 KB), and Irregular verbs (PDF Document - 121 KB).  Bill and I wish to express our appreciation to Marilyn Valverde for reviewing the Spanish.