Chatino, Western Highland


A language of Mexico

Alternate Names
Cha’t-An, Chatino Central, Chatino de la Zona Alta Occidental, Sierra Occidental Chatino

16,000 (2000 INALI). 6,000 monolinguals (1990 census).


Southwest Oaxaca, Juquila district, Panixtlahuaca, San Juan Quiahije, Yaitepec towns; Ixtapan, Tepenixtelahuaca, Ixpantepec, Amialtepec villages; some hamlets.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).


Panixtlahuaca Chatino, San Juan Quiahije Chatino, Yaitepec Chatino. 71% intelligibility of Yaitepec dialect, 66% of Nopala [cya], 46% of Zacatepec [ctz], 32% of Tataltepec [cta]; Yaitepec dialect has 80% intelligibility of Nopala, 78% of Panixtlahuaca dialect, 20% of Tataltepec.


VSO; short words, affixes, clitics; tonal

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Oral use in local administration, commerce, religious services, some in primary and secondary education. All ages. Positive attitudes. Yaitepec one of most monolingual Chatino towns. 10 also use English [eng], 10 to 20 also use Tataltepec Chatino [cta] or Zenzontepec Chatino [czn].

Language Development
500 readers, 50 can write. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1992.
Latin script.
Other Comments

Some annual migration to work in coastal coffee growing areas. Traditional religion, Christian.