Upper Necaxa Totonac


  • generally considered part of the Northern group of Totonacan
  • spoken in four villages in the Necaxa River valley in the Sierra Norte of Puebla—Patla, Chicontla, Cacahuatlán, and San Pedro Tlaolantongo
  • around 3,400 speakers, most in their 40s or older
  • still spoken by school-aged children in Patla and Cacahuatlán
  • probably the L1 of no more than half a dozen infants

Typological features:

  • flexible word order, unmarked VOS (?)
  • agglutinative and highly polysynthetic
  • four aspects, three tenses, four moods
  • agreement with subject and 2 objects
  • two causatives, four applicatives
  • no prepositions, bodypart terms used as locatives
  • use of bodypart prefixes with verbs and adjectives
  • ejective fricatives, no ejective stops
  • vowels distinguish length and laryngealization

More information:

Upper Necaxa Totonac Project
Language shift in the Necaxa Valley
Upper Necaxa in Wikipedia