Purepecha (P'urhépecha / Phorhépecha)
Purepecha is a language isolate spoken by some 175,000
people in the highlands of the Mexican state of Michoacán.
Purepecha was the principal language of the Tarascan state,
which was founded in the early 14th century, occupied more
or less same are as Michoacán, and fell to the Spanish in
1530. Purepecha is also known as Tarascan as a result.
The word Tarascan, or tarasco in Spanish, comes
from the Purepecha word for father-in-law / son-in-law,
tarascue. The name Michoacán comes from the
Nahuatl name from the Tarascan people, Michhuàquê
("those who have fish").
After the Spanish conquest of the Tarascan state, Spanish
Friars devised a way to write to write Purepecha with
the Latin alphabet and taught it to the Purepecha speakers.
A number of dictionaries, grammars and other materials were
published. From the early 18th century speakers of indigenous
languages like Purepecha were encouraged to adopt Spanish and to
abandon their native languages. This changed in 2003 when the
General Law of Linguistic Rights of Indigenous Peoples made
Purepecha and other indigenous Mexican language official status
as national languages.
Purepecha alphabet (P'urhépecha Jimbo Kararakuecha)
- b, d, g appear only after m and n (mb, nd, ng), and p, t and k are voiced after nasal consonants.
- An acute accent (á) indicates the stressed syllable in a word, e.g. karáni (write), kárani (fly). The second syllable is usually stressed, though sometimes the first one is.
- Purepecha has no l sound, but many younger speakers pronounce rh as /l/
due to Spanish influence.
- Aspirated consonats are pre-aspirated when between vowels, and become
unaspirated after nasals.
Iamendu k'uiripuecha janguarhiparini ka majku jarhati ka jurhimbekuecha
jingoni kueraaηasondikso ka, juajtakuarhisïndiksï ambakiti
eratsekua ka kaxumbikua, jatsistiksï eskaksï sesi arhijperaaka.
Translation (of all the above texts)
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about Purepecha language
Other languages written with the Latin alphabet