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One example is Texmelucan Zapotec, which has four contrasting tones: three contour tones and one level tone, as shown in the figure. These tones are used for "word play" frequently. A typical system for a Central Zapotec language has two level tones plus contours, but there are complex interactions between tone, stress and phonation type, e. Zapotec languages all display contrastive phonation type differences in vowels.

Minimally they have simple vowels vs. Varieties that are described as having stress, including Isthmus Zapotec, [21] have it on the penultimate syllable of the root. Prefixes and clitics do not affect it.


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  • Zapotec-English/English-Zapotec (Isthmus) Concise Dictionary by A. Scott Britton!

Many varieties overwhelmingly have monosyllabic roots and stress falls on that syllable. Zapotec languages vary considerably. Some characteristics of Zapotec grammar common to the language family though not necessarily present in all members are: an extensive 3rd person pronoun system based on noun classes such as divinity, babies, animals, objects inanimate , etc. COMPL -hit.

The following example from Quiegolani Zapotec Black shows a focused element and an adverb before the verb:. POSS -woman. PROG -stand. The preverbal position for interrogatives is shown in the following example, from San Dionisio Ocotepec Zapotec Broadwell This is an example of wh-movement :. The possessed noun precedes the possessor in Zapotec languages, as appropriate for head-initial languages:.

The noun also precedes a modifying phrase that is another way to indicate possessor with nouns that are not inherently possessed. The preceding example also illustrate that Zapotec languages have prepositional phrases as expected for head-initial languages. Quantifiers, including numbers and the word for 'one' used as an indefinite article, precede the noun. Demonstratives, including one that means Aforementioned in some varieties and is sometimes translated as a definite article, occur phrase-finally although they are sometimes written as if they were suffixes.

Descriptive adjectives follow the noun. When they occur they also typically receive the primary stress of the phrase, causing the noun to lose some phonation features. Zapotec languages also show the phenomenon known as pied-piping with inversion , which may change the head-initial order of phrases such as NP, PP, and QP. A few varieties of Zapotec have passive morphology, shown by a prefix on the verb. Most if not all varieties of Zapotec languages have intransitive-transitive verb pairs which may be analyzed as noncausative vs. The derivation may be obvious or not depending on the kinds of sounds that are involved.

Basic intransitive verbs are more common than basic transitive verbs, as in many languages. Verbs in Zapotec languages inflect with prefixes to show grammatical aspect. The three aspects that are found in all varieties are habitual, potential and completive. The shape of the root affects the way in which verbs conjugate.

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Consonant-initial roots conjugate differently than vowel-initial roots, for example, and causative verbs conjugate differently than simple verbs. Prefix vowels may be lost or merged with the root vowel, epenthetic vowels and consonants may be found, and root vowels may be affected. The following example shows the aspectual inflection of three verbs in Mitla Zapotec. There is virtually no true morphology in the Zapotec noun. There is no case marking. Plurality is indicated if at all in the noun phrase, either by a number or a general quantifier that may be simply translated as "plural".

Possessors are also indicated in the noun phrase either by a nominal or a pronominal element. In both of these cases, since the plural morpheme and the pronouns may be enclitics, they are often written as if they were prefixes and suffixes, respectively, although they arguably are not true affixes.

Zapotec languages - Howling Pixel

Many linguists working on Zapotec languages use different terminology for describing what appear to be related or similar phenomena, such as grammatical aspect markers. This is due in part because of the different audiences for which the descriptions have been prepared professional linguists vs. Zapotec speakers of the language communities, for example. The difference of terminology is particularly true in descriptions of the aspectual systems of the Valley Zapotec languages. The following table shows some correspondences:.

In the past century there have been ongoing efforts to produce Zapotec orthographies and to write in Zapotec. The Isthmus Zapotec alphabet in use today was founded in the s, drawing from works going back as far as the s. Until recently the Zapotec languages were only sparsely studied and documented but in recent years Zapotec language has begun to receive serious attention by descriptive linguists see bibliography.

The viability of Zapotec languages also varies tremendously. Loxicha Zapotec , for example, has over 70, speakers. San Felipe Tejalapan Zapotec might have ten, all elderly. Historically, government teachers discouraged the use of the language, which has contributed to its diminution in many places. In La Ventosa, Oaxaca , a Zapotec mother of three claims that her children are punished in class if they speak Zapotec. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.

Home FAQ Contact. Zapotec languages Wikipedia open wikipedia design. Language family. Oto-Manguean Zapotecan Zapotec. Ancient Zapotec. Laad FOC. Dolf Rodolfo. Glottolog 3. No other study of this kind has been done in the Zapotec area. It is the primary basis on which the Ethnologue listings are based. Summer Institute of Linguistics in Mexico. Retrieved Guridy, and Adrian Burgos Jr. Archived from the original on Market Wired. Beam de Azcona, Rosemary G. University of California, Berkeley.

Black, Cheryl A. Broadwell, George A. Optimal order and pied-piping in San Dionicio Zapotec. El protozapoteco. Edited by Michael J. Piper and Doris A. Marlett, Stephen A. Basic vocabulary. In Cheryl A. Black, H.

Collins Portuguese Concise Dictionary 2e HarperCollins Concise Dictionaries English and Portuguese E

Andrew Black and Stephen A. Marlett eds. The Zapotec grammar files.

Appendix:Oto-Manguean Swadesh lists

Munro, Pamela , and Felipe H. Lopez, with Olivia V. Smith Stark, Thomas. Algunos isoglosas zapotecas. Christina Buenrostro et al, pp. Stubblefield, Morris and Carol Stubblefield.

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Diccionario Zapoteco de Mitla. Alleman, Vera Mae, compiler. Bartholomew, Doris A. Briggs, Elinor. Mitla Zapotec grammar. Britton, A. Scott , New York: Hippocrene Books, Broadwell, George Aaron and Luisa Martinez. Juan de. Arte del idioma zapoteco. Morelia: Imprenta del Gobierno. Vocabulario castellano - zapotec.

Long C. Nellis, Neil and Jane Goodner Nellis. Diccionario Zapoteco de Juarez. Pickett, Velma B. Fifth edition available on-line. Black and Vicente Marcial C.

Sonnenschein, Aaron Huey. Munich: Lincom Europa. Arellanes, Francisco.