Otomi ( /ˌoʊtəˈmiː/, in Spanish spelling Otomí ) is an Oto-Manguean language and one of the indigenous languages of Mexico, spoken by approximately 240,000 indigenous Otomi people in the central altiplano region of Mexico. Otomi is variously considered a dialect continuum or a group of closely related languages, since many of the varieties are not mutually intelligible. The word Hñähñu has been proposed as an endonym, but since it represents the usage of a single dialect it has not gained wide currency. Linguists have classified the modern dialects into three dialect areas: the Northwestern dialects spoken in Querétaro, Hidalgo and Guanajuato; the Southwestern dialects spoken in the State of Mexico; and the Eastern dialects spoken in the highlands of Veracruz, Puebla, and eastern Hidalgo and in villages in Tlaxcala and Mexico states.
Like all other Oto-Manguean languages, Otomi is a tonal language and most varieties distinguish three tones. Nouns are marked only for possessor; plural number is marked with a definite article and by a verbal suffix, and some dialects maintain dual number marking. There is no case marking. Verb morphology can be described as either fusional or agglutinating depending on the analysis. In verb inflection, infixation, consonant mutation, and apocope are prominent processes, and the number of irregular verbs is large. The grammatical subject in a sentence is cross-referenced by a class of morphemes that can be analysed as either proclitics or prefixes and which also mark for tense, aspect and mood. Verbs are inflected for either direct object or dative object (but not for both simultaneously) by suffixes. Grammar also distinguishes between inclusive 'we' and exclusive 'we'.
After the Spanish conquest Otomi became a written language when friars taught the Otomi to write the language using the Latin script; the written language of the colonial period is often called Classical Otomi. Several codices and grammars were composed in Classical Otomi. A negative stereotype of the Otomi promoted by the Nahuas and perpetuated by the Spanish resulted in a loss of status for the Otomi, who began to abandon their language in favor of Spanish. The attitude of the larger world toward the Otomi language began to change in 2003 when Otomi was granted recognition as a national language under Mexican law together with 61 other indigenous languages.
Other articles related to "otomi language, otomi":
... Among the Aztecs the Otomi were well-known for their songs, and a specific genre of Nahuatl songs called otoncuicatl "Otomi Song" are believed to be ... None of the songs written in Otomi during the colonial period have survived however, beginning in the early 20th century, anthropologists have collected songs performed ... Weitlaner and Jacques Soustelle collected Otomi songs during the 1930s, and a study of Otomi musical styles was conducted by Vicente T ...
Famous quotes containing the word language:
“Strange goings on! Jones did it slowly, deliberately, in the bathroom, with a knife, at midnight. What he did was butter a piece of toast. We are too familiar with the language of action to notice at first an anomaly: the it of Jones did it slowly, deliberately,... seems to refer to some entity, presumably an action, that is then characterized in a number of ways.”
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