List of endangered languages in Mexico

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An endangered language is a language that it is at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language. UNESCO distinguishes four levels of endangerment in languages, based on intergenerational transfer:[1]

Vulnerable: Most children speak the language, but it may be restricted to certain domains (e.g., home).
Definitely endangered: Children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home.
Severely endangered: Language is spoken by grandparents and older generations; while the parent generation may understand it, they do not speak it to children or among themselves.
Critically endangered: The youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently.

Languages[edit]

Language Speakers Status Comments Ref
Acatepec Mazatec language, Acatepec Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Akatek language, Akatek[1]   Vulnerable    
Awakatek language, Awakatek[1]   Critically endangered    
Ayapanec language, Ayapanec[1]   Critically endangered    
Ayautla Mazatec language, Ayautla Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Central Cuicatec language, Central Cuicatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Central Náhuatl language, Central Náhuatl[1]   Vulnerable    
Central Otomí language, Central Otomí[1]   Definitely endangered    
Central Pame language, Central Pame[1]   Vulnerable    
Central Popoloc language, Central Popoloc[1]   Severely endangered    
Central Tlapanec language, Central Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Central Zoque language, Central Zoque[1]   Definitely endangered    
Chatino of the western lowlands[1]   Definitely endangered    
Chatino of Zacatepec language, Chatino of Zacatepec[1]   Definitely endangered    
Chichimec language, Chichimec[1]   Vulnerable    
Chihuahua Lower Pima language, Chihuahua Lower Pima[1]   Definitely endangered    
Chilchotla Mazatec language, Chilchotla Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Chiquihuitlán Mazatec language, Chiquihuitlán Mazatec[1]   Definitely endangered    
Chontal Tabasco language, Chontal Tabasco[1]   Severely endangered    
Chuj language, Chuj[1]   Critically endangered    
Cocopa language, Cocopa[1]   Definitely endangered    
Eastern Chocho language, Eastern Chocho[1]   Severely endangered    
Eastern Cuicatec language, Eastern Cuicatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Eastern Mazahua language, Eastern Mazahua[1]   Definitely endangered    
Eastern Popoloc language, Eastern Popoloc[1]   Vulnerable    
Eastern Tlapanec language, Eastern Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Eloxochitlán Mazatec language, Eloxochitlán Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Filomeno Mata Totonac language, Filomeno Mata Totonac[1]   Vulnerable    
Higher Reservoir Mazatec language, Higher Reservoir Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Highland Chontal language, Highland Chontal[1]   Severely endangered    
Highland Mazatec language, Highland Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Huasteca Náhuatl language, Huasteca Náhuatl[1]   Vulnerable    
Huehuetla Tepehua language, Huehuetla Tepehua[1]   Definitely endangered    
Huehuetlán Mazatec language, Huehuetlán Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Huichol language, Huichol[1]   Vulnerable    
Isthmus Náhuatl language, Isthmus Náhuatl[1]   Vulnerable    
Ixcatec language, Ixcatec[1]   Critically endangered    
Ixcatlán Mazatec language, Ixcatlán Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Ixil language, Ixil[1]   Critically endangered    
Ixtenco Otomí language, Ixtenco Otomí[1]   Severely endangered    
Jakaltek language, Jakaltek[1]   Severely endangered    
K'iche' language, K'iche'[1]   Definitely endangered    
Kaqchikel language, Kaqchikel[1]   Critically endangered    
Kickapoo language, Kickapoo[1]   Critically endangered    
Kiliwa language, Kiliwa[1]   Critically endangered    
Lacandón language, Lacandón[1]   Critically endangered    
Lower Mixe language, Lower Mixe[1]   Vulnerable    
Lower Northwestern Otomí language, Lower Northwestern Otomí[1]   Vulnerable    
Lowland Chontal language, Lowland Chontal[1]   Critically endangered    
Lowland Mazatec language, Lowland Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Malinaltepec Tlapanec language, Malinaltepec Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Mam language, Mam[1]   Severely endangered    
Matlatzinca language, Matlatzinca[1]   Definitely endangered    
Mayo language, Mayo[1]   Critically endangered    
Mazatlán Mazatec language, Mazatlán Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Mezquital Otomí language, Mezquital Otomí[1]   Definitely endangered    
Misantla Totonac language, Misantla Totonac[1]   Critically endangered    
Mixtec of San Miguel Piedras language, Mixtec of San Miguel Piedras[1]   Severely endangered  
Mixtec of San Pedro Tidaá language, Mixtec of San Pedro Tidaá[1]   Severely endangered  
Mixtec of Santa Cruz Itundujia language, Mixtec of Santa Cruz Itundujia[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of Santa Inés de Zaragoza language, Mixtec of Santa Inés de Zaragoza[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of the central Ravine[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of the northeast lowlands[1]   Severely endangered  
Mixtec of the Puebla-Oaxaca border[1]
(several Mixtec languages go by this name; UNESCO intends Chazumba Mixtec)
  Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of the southwest of Puebla[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of Tlaltempan language, Mixtec of Tlaltempan[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of Villa de Tututepec language, Mixtec of Villa de Tututepec[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mixtec of Zapotitlán language, Mixtec of Zapotitlán[1]   Severely endangered  
Motocintlec language, Motocintlec[1]   Critically endangered    
Mountain Guarijío language, Mountain Guarijío[1]   Vulnerable    
Northern Cuicatec language, Northern Cuicatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Northern Pame language, Northern Pame[1]   Definitely endangered    
Northern Popoloc language, Northern Popoloc[1]   Vulnerable    
Northern Tepehuán language, Northern Tepehuán[1]   Definitely endangered    
Northern Tlapanec language, Northern Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Northern Totonac language, Northern Totonac[1]   Critically endangered    
Northwestern Otomí language, Northwestern Otomí[1]   Vulnerable    
Northwestern Tarahumara language, Northwestern Tarahumara[1]   Vulnerable    
Northwestern Tlapanec language, Northwestern Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
O'odham language, O'odham[1]   Definitely endangered    
Ocopetatillo Mazatec language, Ocopetatillo Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Ocoyoacac Otomí language, Ocoyoacac Otomí[1]   Severely endangered    
Olultecan language, Olultecan [typo][1]   Severely endangered    
Ozumatlán Totonac language, Ozomatlán Totonac[1]   Critically endangered    
Paipai language, Paipai[1]   Severely endangered    
Papantla Totonac language, Papantla Totonac[1]   Definitely endangered    
Patla-Chicontla Totonac language, Patla-Chicontla Totonac[1]   Severely endangered    
Phurhepecha language, Phurhepecha[1]   Vulnerable    
Pisaflores Tepehua language, Pisaflores Tepehua[1]   Vulnerable    
Puebla Mazatec language, Puebla Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
River Guarijío language, River Guarijío[1]   Vulnerable    
San Dionisio del Mar Huave language, San Dionisio del Mar Huave[1]   Definitely endangered    
San Francisco del Mar Huave language, San Francisco del Mar Huave[1]   Critically endangered    
San Mateo del Mar Huave language, San Mateo del Mar Huave[1]   Vulnerable    
Santa María del Mar Huave language, Santa María del Mar Huave[1]   Severely endangered    
Sayultec language, Sayultec[1]   Definitely endangered    
Seri language, Seri[1]   Vulnerable    
Sierra de Puebla Nahuatl language, Sierra de Puebla Náhuatl[1]   Definitely endangered    
Sierra Otomí language, Sierra Otomí[1]   Vulnerable    
Sierra Popoluca language, Sierra Popoluca[1]   Vulnerable    
Sierra Totonac language, Sierra Totonac[1]   Severely endangered    
Sonora Lower Pima language, Sonora Lower Pima[1]   Severely endangered    
Southeastern Tarahumara language, Southeastern Tarahumara[1]   Vulnerable    
Southern Chocho language, Southern Chocho[1]   Severely endangered    
Southern Tlapanec language, Southern Tlapanec[1]   Severely endangered    
Southern Zoque language, Southern Zoque[1]   Definitely endangered    
Southwestern Tepehuan language, Southwestern Tepehuan[1]   Vulnerable    
Southwestern Tlapanec language, Southwestern Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Soyaltepec Mazatec language, Soyaltepec Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Tabasco Náhuatl language, Tabasco Náhuatl[1]   Critically endangered    
Tecóatl Mazatec language, Tecóatl Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Teko language, Teko[1]   Severely endangered    
Texistepecan language, Texistepecan[1]   Severely endangered    
Tilapa Otomí language, Tilapa Otomí[1]   Severely endangered    
Tipai language, Tipai[1]   Severely endangered    
Tlachichilco Tepehua language, Tlachichilco Tepehua[1]   Definitely endangered    
Tlahuica language, Tlahuica[1]   Severely endangered    
Tuzantec language, Tuzantec[1]   Critically endangered    
Valle Nacional Chinantec language, Valle Nacional Chinantec[1]   Definitely endangered    
Western Chocho language, Western Chocho[1]   Severely endangered    
Western Mazahua language, Western Mazahua[1]   Definitely endangered    
Western Mazatec language, Western Mazatec[1]   Vulnerable    
Western Náhuatl language, Western Náhuatl[1]   Severely endangered    
Western Otomí language, Western Otomí[1]   Severely endangered    
Western Popoloc language, Western Popoloc[1]   Severely endangered    
Western Tarahumara language, Western Tarahumara[1]   Vulnerable    
Western Tlapanec language, Western Tlapanec[1]   Vulnerable    
Western Zoque language, Western Zoque[1]   Vulnerable    
Yaqui language, Yaqui[1]   Vulnerable    
Zapotec of Asunción Tlacolulita language, Zapotec of Asunción Tlacolulita[1]   Critically endangered    
Zapotec of Mixtepe language, Zapotec of Mixtepe[1]   Critically endangered    
Zapotec of Petapa language, Zapotec of Petapa[1]   Definitely endangered    
Zapotec of San Antonino el Alto language, Zapotec of San Antonino el Alto[1]   Definitely endangered    
Zapotec of San Bartolo Yautepec language, Zapotec of San Bartolo Yautepec[1]   Severely endangered    
Zapotec of San Felipe Tejalapan language, Zapotec of San Felipe Tejalapan[1]   Critically endangered    
eastern lowlands Zapotec of the Southern mountains[1]   Definitely endangered    
northeast Zapotec of the Southern mountains[1]   Definitely endangered    
northwest lowlands Zapotec of the Southern mountains[1]   Definitely endangered    
north Zapotec of the Valleys[1]   Severely endangered    
central Zapotec of the Valleys[1]   Severely endangered    
middle northwest Zapotec of the Valleys[1]   Definitely endangered    
west Zapotec of the Valleys[1]   Definitely endangered    
Zapotec of Zimatlán de Álvarez language, Zapotec of Zimatlán de Álvarez[1]   Definitely endangered    

Number of speakers[edit]

Indigenous languages of Mexico
Language Speakers
Nahuatl (Nahualt, Nahuat, Nahual, Melatahtol) 1,376,026
Yucatec Maya (Maaya t'aan) 759,000
Mixtec (Tu'un sávi) 423,216
Zapotec (Diidxaza) 410,901
Tzeltal Maya (K'op o winik atel) 371,730
Tzotzil Maya (Batsil k'op) 329,937
Otomí (Hñä hñü) 239,850
Totonac (Tachihuiin) 230,930
Mazatec (Ha shuta enima) 206,559
Ch'ol (Mayan) (Winik) 185,299
Huastec (Téenek) 149,532
Chinantec (Tsa jujmí) 125,706
Mixe (Ayüük) 115,824
Mazahua (Jñatho) 111,840
Tarascan (P'urhépecha) 105,556
Tlapanec (Me'phaa) 98,573
Tarahumara (Rarámuri) 75,371
Amuzgo (Tzañcue) 43,761
Chatino (Cha'cña) 42,791
Tojolab'al (Tojolwinik otik) 43,169
Popoluca (Zoquean) (Tuncápxe) 54,004
Chontal de Tabasco (Yokot t'an) 43,850
Huichol (Wixárika) 35,724
Mayo (Yoreme) 32,702
Tepehuán (O'dam) 31,681
Trique (Tinujéi) 24,491
Cora (Naáyarite) 17,086
Popoloca (Oto-manguean) 18,926
Huave (Ikoods) 15,993
Cuicatec (Nduudu yu) 12,610
Yaqui (Yoem Noki or Hiak Nokpo) 14,162
Q'anjob'al 10,833
Tepehua (Hamasipini) 10,625
Pame (Xigüe) 9,768
Mam (Qyool) 8,739
Chontal de Oaxaca (Slijuala sihanuk) 5,534
Chuj 2,143
Tacuate (Mixtec de Santa María Zacatepec) (Tu'un Va'a) 2,067
Chichimeca jonaz (Úza) 1,987
Guarijío (Warihó) 1,905
Chocho (Runixa ngiigua) 1,078
Pima Bajo (Oob No'ok) 836
Q'eqchí (Q'eqchí) 835
Lacandón (Hach t'an) 731
Jakaltek (Poptí) (Abxubal) 584
Matlatzinca/Ocuilteco (Tlahuica) 522
Seri (Cmiique iitom) 518
Ixcatec 406
K'iche' 286
Kaqchikel 230
Paipai (Jaspuy pai) 221
Cucapá (Kuapá) 206
Mototzintleco (Qatok) 186
Kumiai (Ti'pai) 185
Pápago (O'odham) 153
Kikapú (Kikapoa) 144
Ixil 108
Cochimí (Laymón, mti'pá) 96
Kiliwa language (Ko'lew) 55
Aguacatec 27
Other languages 1 337

1 Including: Òpata, Soltec, and Papabucan

Only includes population 5 and older. Source: INEGI (2005) [1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas