Chatino, Western Highland


A language of Mexico

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

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


Oaxaca state: 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. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use English [eng], Tataltepec Chatino [cta], Zenzontepec Chatino [czn].

Language Development

500 readers, 50 can write. Literature. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1992.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

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

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