Ixcatec language

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RegionOaxaca, Mexico
Native speakers
8 (2008)[1] to 190 (2010 census)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ixc

Ixcatec, or Xwja, is a language spoken by the people of the Mexican village of Santa María Ixcatlan, in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca. The Ixcatec language belongs to the Popolocan branch of the Oto-manguean language family.

190 people reported speaking the language in the 2010 census,[2] but according to the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, there were only 8 speakers of the language in 2008.[1] The small number of current speakers is the result of a steady decline over the last 60 years, which can be attributed to anti-illiteracy campaigns by the Mexican government that discouraged the use of indigenous languages, migration from the area to the cities, and the small initial population of speakers of the language.[4]


  1. ^ a b Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, "SÓLO QUEDAN OCHO HABLANTES DE XWJA O IXCATECO EN SANTA MARÍA IXCATLÁN, OAXACA", Press Release, May 27, 2008
  2. ^ a b INALI (2012) México: Lenguas indígenas nacionales
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ixcatec". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Monaghan, John D. and Jeffrey Cohen, "30 Years of Oaxacan Ethnography," in "Supplement to the Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 6: Ethnology," Victoria R. Bricker, John D. Monaghan, Eds. University of Texas Press, 2000.


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