Sierra Popoluca

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Sierra Popoluca
Soteapan Zoque
Native to Mexico
Region Veracruz
Native speakers
26,000 (2000)[1]
  • Zoque
    • Gulf Zoquean
      • Sierra Popoluca
Language codes
ISO 639-3 poi
Glottolog high1276[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Sierra Popoluca, also sometimes referred to as Soteapanec, Soteapan Zoque, or Highland Popoluca, is a Mixe–Zoquean language of the Zoquean branch. It is spoken by 28,000 (INALI 2008, based on INEGI 2000, 2005) indigenous Popoluca people in and around the town of Soteapan in the Sierra de Los Tuxtlas in southern Veracruz, Mexico. The speakers themselves call their language Nundajɨɨyi which means "true speech", and themselves Nundajɨypappɨc.


Sierra Popoluca is spoken in the following municipalities in the southern foothills of the Sierra de los Tuxtlas (de Jong Boudreault 2009).

  • Soteapan
  • Tatahuicapan
  • Hueyapan de Ocampo
  • Benito Juárez

Towns where the language is spoken include San Pedro Soteapan, La Piedra Labrada, and Santa Rosa Cintepec. The Nahuatl language is also spoken in nearby Mecayapan, Tatahuicapan de Juárez, and Pajapan, and has influenced Sierra Popoluca as well.


Bilabial Alveolar Alveolo-Palatal Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosives b, p d, t ɟ, c ts ɡ, k ʔ
Fricatives f s ʃ x h
Nasals m n ɲ ŋ
Rhotics ɾ, r
Lateral l
Approximants w j

Vowels are /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/, /ʉ/.[3]


Sierra Popoluca is an ergative, agglutinating, polysynthetic, head-marking language.[4]


References and further reading[edit]

  1. ^ "Popoluca, Highland". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-07-28. 
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Highland Popoluca". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Diccionario Popoluca de Oluta: Popoluca - Español, Español - Popoluca; El sistema de sonidos del popoluca de Oluta. 1981. 
  4. ^ De Jong Boudreault, Lynda (2009). A grammar of Sierra Popoluca (Dissertation). University of Texas at Austin.