Guelavía Zapotec

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Guelavia Zapotec
(San Juan Guelavía)
Native to Mexico
Region central Oaxaca
Native speakers
unknown (29,000 cited 1990 census)[1]
Teotitlán del Valle
San Martín Tilcajete
Jalieza Zapotec
Language codes
ISO 639-3 zab
Glottolog sanj1284[2]

Guelavia Zapotec (Zapoteco de San Juan Guelavía) is a Zapotec language of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Guelavía Zapotec is a perhaps unfortunate name for a cluster of Zapotec languages spoken in the western Tlacolula Valley, which show varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. The languages in this group include:

The difficulty with the name Guelavía Zapotec is that it accords a special status to the dialect of San Juan Guelavía within this region. For this reason, several recent publications and reference materials [3] refer to this as Valley Zapotec or Tlacolula Valley Zapotec.

Teotitlán del Valle dialect is divergent, 59% intelligible to San Juan Guelavía proper.

In April 2014, linguist Brook Danielle Lillehaugen, along with students from Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, visited Tlacolula de Matamoros to present an online Tlacolula Valley Zapotec talking dictionary [1] to local leaders. It was estimated that about 100 elderly speakers of this Zapotecan language remain.[4]


  1. ^ Guelavia Zapotec at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "San Juan Guelavia Zapotec". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Munro, Lillehaugen, and Lopez 2007
  4. ^ Doughtery, Ryan (2014-05-27). "Linguistics Students Help Revitalize Critically Endangered Language in Mexico". News & Events, Swarthmore College. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 


  • Liga Bíblica, La [Jones, Ted, et al.]. 1995. Xtiidx Dios Cun Ditsa (El Nuevo Testamento en el zapoteco de San Juan Guelavía y en español).
  • Jones, Ted E., and Lyle M. Knudson. 1977. "Guelavía Zapotec Phonemes". Studies in Otomanguean Phonology, ed., William R. Merrifield, pp. 163–80. [Dallas/Arlington]: SIL / University of Texas, Arlington.
  • Jones, Ted E., and Ann D. Church. 1985. "Personal pronouns in Guelavía Zapotec". S.I.L.-Mexico Workpapers 7: 1-15.
  • Munro, Pamela. 2003. "Preserving the Language of the Valley Zapotecs: The Orthography Question." Presented at Language and Immigration in France and the United States: Sociolinguistic Perspectives. University of Texas.
  • Munro, Pamela, Brook Danielle Lillehaugen and Felipe H. Lopez. 2007. Cali Chiu? A Course in Valley Zapotec.
  • Munro, Pamela and Felipe H. Lopez, with Olivia V. Méndez, Rodrigo Garcia, and Michael R. Galant. 1999. Di'csyonaary X:tèe'n Dìi'zh Sah Sann Lu'uc (San Lucas Quiaviní Zapotec Dictionary/ Diccionario Zapoteco de San Lucas Quiaviní). Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, UCLA.

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