Zapoteco language resources
Zapoteco is spoken on a daily basis in: Mexico
Additional background on
Zapotec language(s) describes a group of closely-related indigenous Mesoamerican languages spoken by the Zapotec people from Mexico's southwestern-central highlands region. Present-day numbers of native speakers are estimated at over half a million, with the majority inhabiting the state of Oaxaca. Zapotec-speaking communities are also found in the neigbouring states of Puebla, Guerrero and Morelos. Immigration has also resulted in a number of native Zapotec-speakers residing in the United States, particularly in the state of California.
Zapotec is often referred to as consisting of a single language with a number of dialects. However, given that the dialectal divergence observed between Zapotec-speaking communities is an extensive one (many variants of Zapotec are mutually unintelligible with one other), it is also recognised as forming a "dialect continuum".
Zapotec and the related language Chatino together form the Zapotecan subgroup of the Oto-Manguean language family.
Zapotec languages and dialects fall into three broad divisions: Mountain Zapotec, Valley Zapotec, and Isthmus Zapotec. Mountain Zapotec languages and dialects are spoken in the mountainous region of Oaxaca, Valley Zapotec in the Valley of Oaxaca, and Isthmus Zapotec in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
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All data is derived from UNESCO.