Mochoʼ or Motozintleco is a moribund Mayan language spoken by the Motozintleco people of Chiapas, Mexico. It is part of the western branch of Mayan languages. Mochoʼ speakers refer to their own language as qatô:k (spelled "Cotoque" in some older sources), which means 'our language'.[1] Mochoʼ has a dialect called Tuzantec spoken in Tuzantan, Chiapas.

Mochoʼ is considered a moribund language, with fewer than 30 currently recorded speakers, and no focus on passing down the language to children. Most speakers are bilingual in modern Spanish, which is effectively displacing the Mochoʼ language in southern Mexico.


Mocho is a moribund language with less than 30 fluent speakers as of 2011. All speakers are over the age of 70. As of 2009, there are fewer than 5 speakers of Tuzanteco, a closely related language variety.

The two dialects of Mochoʼ are spoken in two different villages: the Tuzantec dialect in Tuzantán (a town near Huixtla, Chiapas), and the Motozintlec dialect in Motozintla de Mendoza. Historically, the two groups descend from a single population living in the region of Belisario Dominguez about 500 years ago. According to local legend, the split and migration was caused by a plague of bats. Speakers have also been reported in the nearby towns of Tolimán, Buenos Aires, and Campana. Palosaari (2011) describes the Motozintlec dialect.

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Unlike most Mayan languages, Mochoʼ is tonal. Stress is regular and at the last syllable.

In Mochoʼ, Proto-Mayan *j [x] and *h [h] have merged to /j/ in Motozintleco, while Tuzanteco preserves this distinction. Tuzanteco, however, has lost vowel length.

It is worth noting that pronunciation rules change compared to modern Spanish, as ñ becomes an "ng" sound like in sing, and glottalization becomes important for many consonants.

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