Isthmus Nahuatl

  (Redirected from Isthmus-Mecayapan Nahuatl)

Isthmus Nahuatl (Isthmus Nahuat; native name: mela'tájtol) is a Nahuatl dialect cluster spoken by about 30,000 people in Veracruz, Mexico. According to Ethnologue 16, the Cosoleacaque dialect is 84% intelligible with Pajapan, and 83% intelligible with Mecayapan.

Isthmus Nahuatl
Native toMexico
RegionVeracruz, Tabasco
Native speakers
(30,000 cited 1990–1994)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
nhk – Cosoleacaque
nhx – Mecayapan
nhp – Pajapan
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.


The following description is that of Mecayapan dialect.


Front back
Close i iː o oː
Mid e eː
Open a aː


Labial Dental Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless ts
voiced (dz*) ()
Fricative voiceless s ʃ h
voiced z (ʒ*)
Approximant l j w
Rhotic r
  • Occur only as allophones.

Writing systemEdit

A a B b C c Ch ch D d E e F f G g H h I i J j K k L l
/a/ /b/ /k/ /tʃ/ /d/ /e/ /ɡ/ /i j/ /h/ /k/ /l/
M m N n O o P p Q q R r S s T t U u V v X x Y y Z z '
/m/ /n/ /o/ /p/ /k/ /r/ /s/ /t/ /w/ /ʃ/ /j/ /ʔ/

H is used at the beginnings of words before u, and has no value of its own. C is used to represent /k/ before the vowels a and o, while qu is used before i and e.

An underline (a, e, i, o) is used to mark long vowels.

Stress on the second-last syllable of a word that does not end in l or r, and stress on the last syllable of a word that does end in l or r, is unmarked. All other stress patterns are marked with an acute accent on the stressed vowel (á, é, í, ó).

The letters f, k, v and z occur only in loanwords.


This variety of Nahuatl has developed a distinction between inclusive and exclusive "we", which Classical Nahuatl and other modern forms of Nahuatl lack. The exclusive form is regularly derived from the first person singular ("I"), while the inclusive continues the suppletive first person plural of Classical Nahuatl.

Classical Isthmus-Mecayapan
1st person singular niquīsa "I leave" niquisa "I leave" 1st person singular
niquisaj "We (not you) leave" 1st person plural exclusive
1st person plural tiquīsaj "We leave" tiquisaj "We (including you) leave" 1st person plural inclusive


  1. ^ Cosoleacaque at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Mecayapan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Pajapan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Isthmus Nahuatl". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.


External linksEdit