What Is Huasteca language

The huasteca language ( teenek or huasteco ) is a Mayan language of Mexico , spoken by the huastecas that inhabit the rural areas of San Luis Potosí and in the north of Veracruz (in about 60 villages) and Tamaulipas .]. Although relatively isolated from the remaining Mayan languages ​​spoken further south and this one in Mexico and Central America, it is related to them. According to the 2005 census, there are about 150,000 speakers of Huasteco in Mexico (approximately 90,000 in San Luis Potosí and 50,000 in Veracruz). [ 1 ] The language’s native name is teenek (with various spellings).


  • 1History
  • 2Name
  • 3Grammar
  • 4Other information
  • 5Numbering in Huasteco
  • 6Writing
  • 7Sample text
  • 8Notes and references
  • 9References
  • 10External links


It is the only surviving language of the Huastecan branch of the Maya, in addition to being the only one outside the great territorial scope of the Mayan languages ​​(which is in southeastern Mexico , Guatemala , El Salvador . Hypotheses for this geographical separation are: 1 – before from the separation of languages ​​there was a corridor of Mayan languages ​​that occupied the entire coastline of the gulf, not only the south.2 – about 3,000 years ago, the inhabitants of the southern nucleus migrated to the north; today (year 2000) there are 173,233 speakers.


The name of the Huastaca language in the language itself is Téenek , although it is better known as the “huasteco”, a name coming from the Nauatle language that later became Spanish .


As with other languages, huasteco is an ergative and agglutinative language , that is, a system where verbs add suffixes and prefixes to a root to indicate grammatical persons (1st, 2nd, 3rd) and grammatical number (singular, plural ), tenses (perfect or imperfect action) and other characteristics. The sentences are usually SVO (subject-verb-object).

Other information

The dialects of Potosí and Veracruz are 84% mutually intelligible. The language is not tonal . As a first language it has a literacy rate of 1%, as a second language (the 1st language being Spanish) literacy is 52% (data from 2002); most speakers are farmers.

The now extinct chicomucelteco is believed to be closely related to the huasteco. The first description of the huasteca language accessible to Europeans was an Art and Vocabulary written by Andrés de Olmos , who also wrote the first descriptions of the nauatle and the totonaco .

Numbering in Huasteco

0 – p’opo

1 – jun

2 – tsaab

3 – oox

4 – tse ‘

5 – bo ‘

6 – akak

7 – buk

8 – waxik

9 – beleju

10 – laju

11 – laju jun

12 – laju tsaab

13 – laju oox

14 – laju tse ‘

15 – laju bo ‘

16 – laju akak

17 – laju buk

18 – laju waxik

19 – laju beleju

20 – jun inik

30 – jun inik k’al laju

40 – tsaab inik

50 – tsaab inik k’al laju

60 – oox inik

70 – oox inik k’al laju

80 – tse ‘inik

100 – bo ‘inik

120 – akak inik

140 – buk inik

160 – waxik inik

180 – beleju inik

200 – laju inik

300 – laju bo ‘inik

Writing [ edit | edit source code ]

The Latin alphabet used to write in Huazteco features:

  • The five conventional vowels in the short and long forms (doubles) plus the diphthongs ay, ey, or;
  • Conventional consonants except d, f, g, k, h-isolate, k, v, w, q-isolate; it also has the (apostrophe) and the formations c ‘, ch, ch’, cu, hu, p ‘, qu q’u, t’, ts, ts’;



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