Pame language

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Native to Mexico
Region San Luis Potosí, Puebla
Ethnicity Pame people
Native speakers
11,000 (2010 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
pbs – Central Pame
pmq – Northern Pame
pmz – Southern Pame
Glottolog pame1260[2]
The Pame language, number 1 (azure), north.

The Pame language is an indigenous language of Mexico spoken by around 10,000 Pame people in the state of San Luis Potosí. The Pame language belongs to the Oto-Pamean branch of the Oto-manguean language family. The Ethnologue counts two living varieties of Pame: Central Pame [1] spoken in the town of Santa María Acapulco, and Northern Pame [2] spoken in communities from the north of Río Verde to the border with Tamaulipas. Pame languages are tonal and distinguish high and low level tones and a high-low contour tone(Suaréz 1983, pg 51).

Pame has an octal (base-8) counting system, as the Pame keep count by using the four spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves.[3]

Pame-language programming is carried by the CDI's radio station XEANT-AM, based in Tancanhuitz de Santos, San Luis Potosí.


  1. ^ INALI (2012) México: Lenguas indígenas nacionales
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Pamean". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Ascher, Marcia (1994), Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, Chapman & Hall, ISBN 0-412-98941-7 
  • Suaréz, Jorge A. 1983. The Mesoamerican Indian Languages. Cambridge: CUP