Totonacan languages

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Linguistic classification Totozoquean ?
  • Totonacan
Glottolog toto1251[1]

The Totonacan languages (also known as Totonac–Tepehua languages) are a family of closely related languages spoken by approximately 290,000 Totonac (approx. 280,000) and Tepehua (approx. 10,000) people in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo in Mexico. At the time of the Spanish conquest Totonacan languages were spoken all along the gulf coast of Mexico (Reid & Bishop 1974). During the colonial period Totonacan languages were occasionally written and at least one grammar was produced (Anonymous 1990). In the 20th century the number of speakers of most varieties have dwindled as indigenous identity increasingly became stigmatized encouraging speakers to adopt Spanish as their main language (Lam 2009).

The Totonacan languages have only recently been compared to other families on the basis of historical-comparative linguistics, though they share numerous areal features with other languages of the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area, such as the Mayan languages and Nahuatl. Recent work suggests a possible genetic link to the Mixe–Zoque language family (Brown et al. 2011), although this has yet to be firmly established.

The Totonacan family[edit]

The family is divided into two branches, Totonac and Tepehua. Of the two, Tepehua is generally considered to consist of three languages—Pisaflores, Huehuetla, and Tlachichilco—while the Totonac branch is considerably more diverse. MacKay (1999) divides Totonac into four divisions, based on García Rojas (1978):

  • Papantla Totonac: spoken in El Escolín, Papantla, Cazones, Tajín, Espinal, and other towns along the Gulf Coast of Veracruz.
  • North-Central Totonac: spoken roughly between Poza Rica in Veracruz and Mecapalapa, Pantepec, and Xicotepec de Juárez in Puebla.
  • South-Central Totonac: spoken mostly in the Sierra Norte de Puebla, including the towns of Zapotitlán de Méndez, Coatepec, and Huehuetla in Puebla.
  • Misantla Totonac: spoken in Yecuatla and other communities outside the city of Misantla.

Ethnologue currently recognizes 12 languages in the Totonacan family, 3 Tepehua languages and 9 Totonac:

Language ISO-Code Where spoken Number of speakers
Huehuetla Tepehua tee Northeast Hidalgo, Huehuetla; Puebla, Mecapalapa 3,000 (1982 SIL)
Pisaflores Tepehua tpp Veracruz, Pisaflores, Ixhuatlán de Madero 4,000 (1990 census)
Tlachichilco Tepehua tpt Veracruz, Tlachichilco 3,000 (1990 SIL)
Papantla Totonac top Around Papantla, central lowland Veracruz 80,000 (1982 SIL)
Coyutla Totonac toc Coyutla, Veracruz 48,000 (2000 WCD)
Highland Totonac tos Around Zacatlán, Puebla, and Veracruz 120,000 (1982 SIL)
Filomeno Mata Totonac tlp the Town of Filomeno-Mata, Highland Veracruz, adjacent to Highland Totonac 15,000 (2000 WCD)
Xicotepec Totonac too In 30 Villages around Xicotepec de Juárez northern sierra de Puebla and Veracruz 3,000 (2000 SIL)
Ozumatlán Totonac tqt Northern Puebla: Ozumatlán, Tepetzintla, Tlapehuala, San Agustín 1,800 (1990 census)
Misantla Totonac tlc Yecuatla and Misantla in southern Veracruz 500 (1994 SIL)
Upper Necaxa Totonac tku Northeastern Puebla, Patla, Chicontla, Cacahuatlán, San Pedro Tlaloantongo 3,400 (2000 INEGI)
Tecpatlán Totonac tcw Northeastern Puebla, Tecpatlán 540 (2000 INEGI)

This classification is the basis of the latest version of the ISO language codes for Totonacan, although some of these classifications are disputed.

The Mexican Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (INALI) recognizes 10 distinct languages or "linguistic variants" in the family, 3 Tepehua and 7 Totonac (INALI 2008):[2]

Language population (2005 census)
Western Tepehua (also known as Tlachichiloco) 9,200
Northern Tepehua (also known as Pisaflores) 2,800
Southern Tepehua (also known as Huehuetla) 1,800
Southeastern Totonac (also known as Misantla) 490
Coastal (also known as Papantla) 58,200
North Central (also known as Xicotepec) 15,100
South Central (also known as Highland) 114,900
High Central (also known as Filomeno Mata) 8,700
Cerro del Xinolatépetl (also known as Ozumatlán) 1,000
Upper Necaxa 3,300

Coyutla Totonac is grouped with South Central Totonac by INALI while Tecpatlán Totonac is included in the North Central Totonac group. Other recent attempts at classification have suggested that some of these divisions, particularly North Central, Costal, and South Central, and are far too broad and include varieties that might also be classified as separate languages (Beck 2011; Brown et al. 2011; Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012).

A further drawback of the Ethnologue and INALI classifications is the lack of lower-level subgroups beyond the two-way division into Totonac and Tepehua. In the Totonac branch of the family, Misantla is the most distinctive, and the remaining languages form a more closely related group (Arana Osnaya 1953). Divisions amongst the latter group, which might be referred to as "Central Totonac," are unclear, though most researchers agree that there is at least a three-way division between Northern, Southern/Sierra, and Lowland/Coastal varieties (Arana Osnaya 1953; Ichon 1969; Brown et al. 2011). Recent efforts at reconstruction and evidence from lexical similarity further suggest that Southern/Sierra and Lowland group together against Northern (Brown et al. 2011), although this is still uncertain, pending more exhaustive investigation. The most recent proposal for the family is as follows (Brown et al. 2011; Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012):

Central Totonac
Northern Totonac
Upper Necaxa
Tecpatlán Totonac
Zihuateutla Totonac
Cerro Xinolatépetl Totonac (also known as Ozumatlán)
Apapantilla Totonac (also known as Xicotepec)
Filomeno Mata
Lowland Totonac (many varieties, incl. Papantla)
Sierra Totonac (also known as Highland Totonac)
Huehuetla Totonac
Zapotitlán de Méndez

Lexical comparison also suggests that, for Tepehua, Pisaflores and Huehuetla may be more closely related to each other than either is to Tlalchichilco (Brown et al. 2011).


There is some variation is the sound systems of the different varieties of Totonac and Tepehua, but the following phoneme inventory can be considered a typical Totonacan inventory (Aschman 1946).


Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
central lateral
Nasal m n
Plosive p t k q (ʔ)
Affricate ts
Fricative s ɬ ʃ x h
Approximant l j w

This consonant inventory is essentially equivalent to that reconstructed for proto-Totonacan by Arana Osnaya (1953), with the exception of the two back fricatives, /x/ and /h/. Most modern languages phonemically have only one of these, but show some allomorphic variation between the two, with one or the other being considered basic. However, Coatepec Totonac is reported to have both phonemes (McQuown 1990), and more recent reconstructions of the proto-Totonacan consonant inventory have proposed that both were present in that language (Davletshin 2008; Brown et al. 2011). The glottal stop is a marginal phoneme in most of the languages and is posited primarily for morphological reasons. The phonological system is fairly typical of Mesoamerica.


Most Totonacan languages have a three-vowel system with each quality making distinctions of length and laryngealization. The following is the "typical" Totonacan vocalic inventory.

Totonacan vowels
  Front Central Back
  creaky plain creaky plain creaky plain
Close ḭ ḭː i iː ṵ ṵː u uː
Open a̰ a̰ː a aː

Tepehua has lost the phonemic laryngealization of vowels and has ejective stops where Totonac has creaky vowels preceded by stops (Arana Osnaya 1953). Some Totonac languages have five-vowel systems, having developed /e/ and /o/ phonemes, whereas in others /e/ and /o/ are clearly allomorphs of /i/ and /u/, respectively, conditioned by proximity to uvular stops or fricatives.


From a typological perspective, the Totonac–Tepehua family presents a fairly consistent profile, and exhibits many features of the Mesoamerican areal type, such as a preference for verb-initial order, head-marking, and extensive use of body part morphemes in metaphorical and locative constructions (Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012). The Totonacan languages are highly agglutinative and polysynthetic with nominative/accusative alignment and a flexible constituent order governed by information structure. Syntactic relations between the verb and its arguments are marked by agreement with the subject and one or sometimes two objects. There is no morphological case on nouns and many languages in the family lack prepositions, making use instead of a rich system of causatives, applicatives, and prefixes for body parts and parts of objects. Possession is marked on the possessed noun, the head of the NP. Otherwise, nouns are uninflected, number being an optional category and grammatical gender being absent from the languages. Numerals quantifying nouns bear classificatory prefixes, something that is unusual cross-linguistically as affixal classifiers tend heavily to be suffixes (Aikhenvald 2003). Totonacan languages are also known for their use of sound symbolism.

Causatives and applicatives[edit]

Totonacan languages have a wide assortment of morphemes for increasing the valency of a verb.


All Totonacan languages have at least one causative morpheme, a prefix ma:- (Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012):

Filomeno Mata Totonac
tiːnoː štamaːʔaqstoqmáːna ʔaqšáːq
tiː=nuː š–ta–maː–aq–stuq–maː–na aqšáːq
REL:H=ahora PAST–3PL.SUB–CAUS–head–gathered–PROG–3PL head
‘those who were gathering heads’ (McFarland 2012, p. 278)
Pisaflores Tepehua
čáʔa̰ɬ máalákȼḭ́n líitamáaɬkúulátača
čaʔan–ɬi maa–lakȼ’in lii–ta–maa–ɬkuula–taa(ɬ)=ča
arrive.there–PFV EVI–see COMP–3PL.SUB–CAUS–burn–PF=CL
‘He got there and saw that they had made a fire.’ (MacKay & Trechsel 2012a, p. 112)

In many of the languages, the causative prefix is regularly or obligatorily associated with a suffix:

Upper Necaxa Totonac
tsa̰x kmaːka̰tsiːniːyáːn mat wan
tsa̰x ḭk–maː–ka̰tsíː–niː–yaː–n mat wan
‘ “I'm just letting you know”, he says.’ (Beck 2012, p. 202)

In some languages like Upper Necaxa, the suffix is analyzed as part of the causative morpheme (Beck 2012), but in others it is treated as a separate transitivizer (Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012).

Dative/benefactive applicative[edit]

One of the most frequently used valency-increasing affixes in the Totonacan languages is the dative or benefactive suffix (Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012):

Ozelonacaxtla Totonac
na.lḭːn.ˈka̰ ni.tʃu ʃtʃuh
na–lḭːn–ni–ka̰n i tʃu ʃ–tʃuh
‘They will take him his food.’ (Roman Lobato 2012, p. 338)
Cerro Xinolatépetl Totonac
tɐmɑqɑ̰n ḭɬ čúčutʰ nɐkʰšušúm
ta–maqá̰n–ni–lḭ čúčut nak=šušúm
3PL.SUB–throw–BEN–PFV WATER LOC=piedra
‘They threw water for her on the hot stones.’ (Andersen 2012, p. 186)

Comitative applicative[edit]

All the languages of the family have a comitative construction in which both an actor and a co-actor of a verb are specified (Levy & Beck (eds.) 2012). For instance, in Huehuetla Tepehua a verb such as tamakahuːn 'stay, be in a place' is intransitive but can take a comitative prefix to form a verb ta̰ːtamakahuːn meaning 'stay with someone', someone being the co-actor:

Huehuetla Tepehua
haː laːy k’alakt’aːtamakahuː
haː laː–y k–ʔa–lak–t’aː–tamakahuːn
‘Can I stay with you guys?’ (Smythe Kung 2012, p. 78)

Similarly, the Papantla Totonac verb muxuː ‘bury something’ is transitive but becomes ditransitive when it takes the comitative prefix:

Papantla Totonac
‘I will bury her with you’ (Levy 2012, p. 375)

Instrumental applicative[edit]

The third applicative prefix that is shared across the family is analyzed in most of the languages as an instrumental applicative and is used to add an object used as an instrument or a means to a clause:

Olintla Totonac
pues liːˈlɑqpɑqɬe ˈntʃiwiʃ] [tɘlɑqˈpitsiɬ]
INTJ liː–láq–paqɬ–ɬi tʃíwiʃ ta–laq–pítsi–ɬi
INTJ INST–DST–break–PFV stone INCH–DST–split–PFV
‘So he broke the rock with it, it was split.’ (Tino 2012, p. 297)
Misantla Totonac
kít čáaču ʔút̰ ʔí k̰ líiteríkuɬ wí ɬ̰ kák̰ máawán
kit čaa=ču ut ik–lii–ta–riku–la(ɬ) wḭn–ɬkak̰ maa–wan
I just=CL that 1SUB–INST–INCH–rich–PFV this–ash EVI–say
‘ “I just got rich with (i.e. selling) those ashes”, he says.’ (MacKay & Trechsel 2012b, p. 135)

In some of the languages, the instrumental can also be used for the expression of motives:

Upper Necaxa Totonac
ʔeː čuːnúː paɬ tsḭ́n ʔsa̰ liːta̰sáya̰ pus
ʔeː čuːnúː paɬ tsḭnʔs–ya̰ liː–ta̰sá–ya̰ pus
and so if be.hungry–IMPF:2SG.SUB INST–vocalize–IMPF:2SG.SUB INTJ
‘ “And if you’re hungry, that’s why you cry out, then.’ (Beck 2012, p. 236)
Tlachichilco Tepehua
porke laqɬuw tumin ɬiːk’uč’ukaɬ
porke laq–ɬuw tumin ɬiː–k’uč’u–kan–ɬ
because CLF–much money DIR–cure–PASS–PFV
‘Because they cured him for a lot of money.’ (Watters 2012, p. 56)

As seen in the last example, this prefix is ɬi- in Tepehua languages rather than liː- as it is in Totonac, and in Tlachichilco (Watters 2012) and Huehuetla (Smythe Kung 2012) it is analyzed as a directional ("DIR") rather than an instrumental. The prefix seems to be less frequent in Tepehua than in Totonac.

Body-part prefixation[edit]

The Totonacan languages exhibit a phenomenon similar to noun incorporation whereby special prefixing combining forms of body-parts may be added to verbs (Levy 1999), (Levy 1992). When these prefixes are added, they generally serve to delimit the verb's locus of affect; that is, they indicate which part of the subject or object is affected by the action.

Huehuetla Tepehua
waː naː maː laʔapuːtanuːy šlaʔapuːtanuːti
waː naː maː laʔapuː–tanuː–y š–laʔapuːtanuːti
FOC ENF RPT face––IMPF 3PO–mask
‘He put the mask on his face.’ (Smythe Kung 2012, p. 81)

The prefixes can also be used to specify the shape of an affected object:

Papantla Totonac
aɬ túku wanikán čaː̰káː̰ tasun
an–li tuku wan–ni–kan ča̰ː–ka̰ː tasun
go–PFV what say–BEN–INDEF.SUB shin–cut birch
‘He went to, what do you call it?, cut a birch tree,’ (Levy 2012, p. 353)

It is worthwhile to note that the prefixation does not decrease the valency of the verb, differentiating this process from true noun incorporation as the term is usually understood (Mithun 1984).

Another important role that bodypart prefixes play in Totonacan languages is in the formulation of expressions of the spatial location of objects, which combine a part-prefix with one of four posture verbs (words for ’sit’, ‘stand’, ‘lie’, and ‘be high’):

Upper Necaxa Totonac
taa̰kpuːwilanáɬ čiwíš spuːníːn
ta–a̰kpuː–wila–nan–ɬ čiwíš spuːn–niːn
3PL.SUB–crown–sit–PL–PFV stone bird–PL
‘the birds are sitting on the rock’ (Beck 2011, p. 94)

These constructions alternate with expressions using the independent (full) form of the part as a preposition-like element:

Upper Necaxa Totonac
líbɾu ša̰kpúːn mesa wiːɬ
líbɾu ḭš–a̰kpúː–n mesa wiːɬ
book 3PO–crown–NM table sit
‘the book is on the table’ (Beck 2004, p. 12)

In the last sentence, the independent form of a̰kpuː- ‘crown’ is formed by combining this prefix with a base -n which is sometimes (as here) analyzed as a nominalizing suffix. Because words for body parts are inflected for possession, a̰kpuːn ‘crown’ has a third-person singular possessive prefix, linking it to mesa ‘table’, the object on whose crown the book is located (see the section below on Possessive constructions).

Possessive constructions[edit]

Possessive constructions in Totonacan languages are marked on the possessed noun rather than on the possessor noun:

Upper Necaxa Totonac
ḭškṵ́šḭ Juan
ḭš–kṵ́šḭ Juan
3PO–corn Juan
‘Juan’s corn’ (Beck 2011, p. 47)

The person of the possessor is indicated by a prefix and the number of the possessor by a suffix, as shown by the follow paradigm from Upper Necaxa (Beck 2011, p. 47):

Upper Necaxa Totonac
singular plural
‘my corn’
‘our corn’
‘yoursg corn’
‘yourpl corn’
‘his/her corn’
‘their corn’

In several of the languages, kinship terms and words referring to parts of the body and objects are inherently possessed—that is, they are obligatorily marked for a possessor. When an inherently possessed noun is used in a generic expression, a special indefinite possessor prefix (ša- in most of the languages that have it) is used—e.g. Upper Necaxa šapúškṵ ‘an elder brother/elders brothers in general’ (Beck 2004, p. 19).


Numerals in Totonacan languages are bound roots that require a classificatory prefix which changes based on the type, shape or measure of object being counted. This is illustrated for one of the languages Upper Necaxa Totonac in the table below (Beck 2011):

maktin čoʍ
‘one tortilla’
pḛʔtin pa̰ʔɬma̰
‘one leaf’
ʔentin kḭwḭ
‘one stick’
paːtin ɬa̰mam
‘one pot’
puːlaktin sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘one banana tree’
mustin sḛ́ːʔna'
‘one full bunch of bananas’
kilhmaktin sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘one small bunch of bananas’
heːtin sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘one banana’
maktṵ́ čoʍ
‘two tortillas’
pḛʔtṵ pa̰ʔɬma̰
‘two leaves’
ʔentṵ kḭwḭ
‘two sticks’
paːtṵ ɬa̰mam
‘two pots’
puːlaktuː sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘two banana trees’
mustṵ sḛ́ːʔna'
‘two full bunches of bananas’
kilhmaktṵ sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘two small bunches of bananas’
heːtṵ sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘two bananas’
maktṵtun čoʍ
‘three tortillas’
pḛʔtṵtun pa̰ʔɬma̰
‘three leaves’
ʔentṵtun kḭwḭ
‘three sticks’
paːtṵtun ɬa̰mam
‘three pots’
puːlaktṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘three banana trees’
mustṵtun sḛ́ːʔna'
‘three full bunches of bananas’
kilhmaktṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘three small bunches of bananas’
heːtṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘four bananas’
makta̰ːtḭ čoʍ
‘four tortillas’
pḛʔta̰ːtḭ pa̰ʔɬma̰
‘four leaves’
ʔenta̰ːtḭ kḭwḭ
‘four sticks’
paːta̰ːtḭ ɬa̰mam
‘four pots’
puːtṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘four banana trees’
mustṵtun sḛ́ːʔna'
‘four full bunches of bananas’
kilhmaktṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘four small bunches of bananas’
heːtṵtun sḛ́ːʔna̰
‘four bananas’

In total, Upper Necaxa has around 30 classificatory prefixes (Beck 2011).

The following table compares the numeral bases of six Totonacan languages. [3]

Tepehua Totonac
Huehuetla Pisaflores Tlachichilco Upper
Papantla Misantla
1 -tam -tam -tawm -tin -tum -tun
2 -t’ui -t’ui -t’ui -tṵ -tṵy -tṵʔ
3 -t’utu -t’utu -t’útu -tṵtún -tṵ́:tu -atún
4 -t’at’ɪ -t’aːt’i -t’áːt’i -táːtḭ -táːtḭ -ta̰ːt
5 -kis -kiːs -kiːs -kitsís -kitsís -kítsis
6 -čašan -čášan -čášan -čašán -čašán -čaːšán
7 -tuhun -tuhún -tuhún -toxón -tuxún -tuhún
8 -ts’ahin -tsahín -tsahín -tsayán -tsayán -tsiyán
9 -nahats -naháːtsi -naháːtsi -naxáːtsa -naxáːtsa -naháːtsa
10 -kau -kaw -kaw -kaux -kaw -kaːwi

Sound symbolism[edit]

A prominent feature of Totonacan languages is the presence of sound symbolism (see Bishop 1984; Levy 1987; McQuown 1990; MacKay 1999; Smythe Kung 2006; McFarland 2012; Beck 2008). The most common (but by no means only) sound-symbolic pattern in Totonacan involves fricative alterations, typically /s/ ~ /š/ ~ /ɬ/ and occasionally /ts/ ~ /č/ ~ /š/ correlated either with increasingly more energetic or forceful action or with the size of an event participant,(Beck 2008, p. 8) as in the following examples from Upper Necaxa Totonac (Beck 2008):

laŋs ‘hand striking hard’
laŋš ‘blow striking with force’
laŋɬ ‘blow striking with great force’
    spipispipi ‘small person or animal trembling’
špipišpipi ‘person or animal shivering or shaking slightly’
ɬpipiɬpipi ‘person or animal shaking or having convulsions’

Comparative as well as language-internal evidence suggests that the pattern of consonantal alternations may have their origins in affixes indicating grade—s- ‘diminutive‘, š- ‘medium’, ɬ- ‘augmentative’) (see McQuown 1990; Beck 2008; Brown et al. 2011). In general, the productivity of the sound-symbolic alternations is highly variable within and across languages of the family, and many languages preserve for a given stem only one of a set of two or three alternates that can be reconstructed for proto-Totonacan (Brown et al. 2011).


Totonacan-language programming is carried by the CDI's radio station XECTZ-AM, broadcasting from Cuetzalan, Puebla.

Manuscript about the language dated 1891


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Totonacan". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Linguistic Variants of Mexico by Gender
  3. ^ Tepehua forms are from Totonacan Numerals (Eugene Chan); Totonac forms are from Beck (2011), Levy (1990), MacKay (1999).

External links[edit]


Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (2003). Classifiers: A typology of noun categorization devices. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
Andersen, G. P. (2012). "Totonaco del Cerro Xinolatéṕetl". In Paulette Levy & David Beck. Las lenguas totonacas y tepehuas: Textos y otros materiales para sus estudios (in Spanish). México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. pp. 181–193. 
Anonymous (1990), Norman McQuown, ed., Arte Totonaca, México, D.F.: México, D.F.  (Facsimile). (in Spanish)
Arana Osnaya, Evangelina (1953). "Reconstruccion del protototonaco". Revista Mexicana de estudios Antropologicos (in Spanish). 13 (2,3): 1–10. 
Aschman, H.P. (1946). "Totonaco phonemes". International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 12 (1): 34–43. doi:10.1086/463885. 
Beck, David (2004). Upper Necaxa Totonac. Languages of the World/Materials 429. Munich: Lincom. ISBN 3-89586-821-3. 
Beck, David (2008). "Ideophones, adverbs, and predicate qualification in Upper Necaxa Totonac". International Journal of American Linguistics. 74 (1): 1–46. doi:10.1086/529462. 
Beck, David (2011). "Upper Necaxa Totonac Dictionary". Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 
Beck, David (2012). "Totonaco de Río Necaxa". In Paulette Levy & David Beck. Las lenguas totonacas y tepehuas: Textos y otros materiales para sus estudios (in Spanish). México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. pp. 195–267. 
Bishop, Ruth G. (1984). "Consonant play in lexical sets in Northern Totonac". Summer Institute of Linguistics Mexico Workpapers. 5: 24–31. 
Brown, Cecil H.; Beck, David; Kondrak, Grzegorz; Watters, James K.; Wichmann, Søren (2011). "Totozoquean". International Journal of American Linguistics. 77 (3): 323–372. doi:10.1086/660972. 
Davletshin, Albert (2008). Classification of the Totonacan languages. Paper read at the conference “Problemy izuchenija dal’nego rodstva jazykov (k 55 -leti C. A. Starostina),”. Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, March 25–28, 2008. 
de Léon, Lourdes; Levinson, Stephen C. (1992). "Spatial Description in Mesoamerican Languages (Introduction)". Zeitschrift für Phonetik, Sprachwissenschaft und Kommunikationsforschung. 45 (6): 527–29. 
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