Tequistlatecan languages

Native speakers
5,600 (2020 census)[1]
(not counting 1,700 speakers of unidentified "Chontal")[1]
Linguistic classificationHokan ?
  • Tequistlatec
  • Highland Chontal
  • Coastal Chontal
Tolatecan Languages.png
The Tequistlatecan languages are in Mexico at the left of the map.

Tequistlatec, also called Chontal, are three close but distinct languages spoken or once spoken by the Chontal people of Oaxaca State, Mexico.

Chontal was spoken by 6,000 or so people in 2020.[1]



Although most authors use the form tequistlatec(an) today, this is based on an improper derivation in Nahuatl (the correct derivation from Tequisistlán would be Tequisistec(an), and both terms were used by Sapir interchangeably).


The Tequistlatecan languages are part of the proposed Hokan family, but are often considered to be a distinct family. Campbell and Oltrogge (1980) proposed that the Tequistlatecan languages may be related to Jicaquean (see Tolatecan), but this hypothesis has not been generally accepted.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Lenguas indígenas y hablantes de 3 años y más, 2020 INEGI. Censo de Población y Vivienda 2020.


  • Campbell, Lyle and Oltrogge, David. 1980. Proto-Tol (Jicaque). International Journal of American Linguistics, 46:205-223
  • Campbell, Lyle. 1979. "Middle American languages." In L. Campbell & M. Mithun (Eds.), The Languages of Native America: Historical and Comparative Assessment, (pp. 902–1000). Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Campbell, Lyle. 1997. "American Indian Languages, The Historical Linguistics of Native America." In Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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