Tepehua languages

Tepehua languages

Region Mexico: Puebla, Veracruz, Hidalgo
Native speakers
unknown (10,000 cited 1982–1990)[1]
Official status
Regulated by INALI
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
tee – Tepehua of Huehuetla
tpp – Tepehua of Pisaflores
tpt – Tepehua of Tlachichilco
Glottolog tepe1243[2]

Tepehua is an language cluster of Mexico, spoken across a number of central Mexican states by the Tepehua people. Tepehua is a Mesoamerican language and shows many of the traits which define the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area. Along with some 62 other indigenous languages, it is recognized by a statutory law of Mexico[3] as an official language in the Mexican Federal District and the other administrative divisions in which it is spoken and it is on an equal footing with Spanish.

Approximate number of speakers of all varieties of Tepehua ~10,000
Language ISO-Code Where spoken Number of speakers
Tepehua of Huehuetla tee Northeastern Hidalgo, Huehuetla, and half the town of Mecapalapa in Puebla. 3,000 (1982 SIL)
Tepehua of Pisaflores tpp Around the town of Pisaflores Veracruz 4,000 (1990 census).
Tepehua of Tlachichilco tpt Tlachichilco, Veracruz 3,000 (1990 SIL).

Huehuetla and Pisaflores are at best marginally intelligible, at 60–70% intelligibility (depending on direction). Tlachichilco, however, much lower intelligibility with the others, at 40% intelligibility or less.


Tepehua is an agglutinative language, where words use suffix complexes for a variety of purposes with several morphemes strung together.


  1. ^ Tepehua of Huehuetla at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Tepehua of Pisaflores at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Tepehua of Tlachichilco at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tepehua". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Ley General de Derechos Lingüísticos de los Pueblos Indígenas  PDF (56.2 KiB) ("General Law of the Linguistic Rights of Indigenous peoples"), decree published 13 March 2003