Palantla Chinantec

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Palantla Chinantec
Tlatepuzco Chinantec
Native toMexico
Native speakers
25,000 (2007)[1]
  • Western Oto-Mangue
    • Oto-Pame–Chinantecan
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
cpa – Palantla Chinantec
cvn – Valle Nacional Chinantec
Glottologpala1351  Palantla
vall1253  Valle Nacional
ELPLower Central Chinantec

Palantla Chinantec, also known as Chinanteco de San Pedro Tlatepuzco, is a major Chinantecan language of Mexico, spoken in San Juan Palantla and a couple dozen neighboring towns in northern Oaxaca. The variety of San Mateo Yetla, known as Valle Nacional Chinantec, has marginal mutual intelligibility.

A grammar and a dictionary have been published.[2][3]



Front Central Back
unrounded rounded
Close i ɯ u
Mid ɛ ɤ o
Open a

Close vowels /i u/ typically are articulated as more open [ɪ ʊ] and are realized as more closed when represented by different tones. The close back vowel /ɯ/ tends to be articulated as [ə] when present in vowel clusters following /u/, or when preceding the /j/ consonant, and may also have a higher central sound. The mid back vowel /ɤ/ tends to be articulated as [ɜ] or [ɨ] when preceding a /w/ consonant. The low central vowel /a/ tends to be realized as [ɐ] following /i/ when one of the consonants /t l n/ occurs.

Each vowel can be nasalized as /ĩ ɯ̃ ũ ɛ̃ ɤ̃ õ ã/. The language is unusual in having, for some speakers, a three-way contrast between non-nasalized, lightly nasalized, and heavily nasalized vowels.[4]

Stress tones may include either high or low /v́ v̀/ tones.[5][2]


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s
voiced d͡z
Fricative ɸ s h
Approximant w l j
Rhotic r


  1. ^ Palantla Chinantec at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Valle Nacional Chinantec at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b Merrifield, William R. 1968. Palantla Chinantec grammar. Papeles de la Chinantla 5, Serie Científica 9.México: Museo Nacional de Antropología. [1]
  3. ^ Merrifield, William R. and Alfred E. Anderson. 2007. Diccionario Chinanteco de la diáspora del pueblo antiguo de San Pedro Tlatepuzco, Oaxaca. [2nd Edition]. Serie de vocabularios y diccionarios indígenas “Mariano Silva y Aceves” 39. Mexico DF: Summer Linguistic Institute. [2].
  4. ^ Juliette Blevins (2004). Evolutionary Phonology: The Emergence of Sound Patterns. Cambridge University Press. p. 203.
  5. ^ Merrifield, William R. (1963). Palantla Chinantec Syllable Types. Anthropological Linguistics Vol. 5, No. 5: Anthropological Linguistics. pp. 1–16.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location (link)