Tzotzil language

Tzotzil (Bats’i k’opis a Maya language spoken by the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people in the Mexican state of Chiapas. According to a 2005 census, there are 329,937 speakers of Tzotzil in Mexico, making it the 6th most spoken indigenous language in the country.

Most speakers are bilingual in Spanish as a second language. In Central Chiapas, some primary schools and a secondary school are taught in Tzotzil. Tzotzil is the most closely related language to Tzeltal and together they form a Tzeltalan sub-branch of the Mayan language family. Tzeltal, Tzotzil and Ch’ol are the most widely spoken languages in Chiapas.

There are six dialects of Tzotzil with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility, named after the different regions of Chiapas where they are spoken: Chamula, Zinacantán, San Andrés Larráinzar, Huixtán, Chenalhó, and Venustiano Carranza.

The Tzotzil variant of San Bartolomé de Los Llanos, in the Venustiano Carranza region, is unique for having two phonemic tones.

Native speakers and writers of the language are picking up the habit of using s instead of z in the spelling of this language as Tsotsil instead of Tzotzil.