Gary Ordóñez

The Nahuat of El Salvador & Central American Lenca

Although this topic might not apply for “Mexico”, I’m excited to talk about Mexico’s neighboring languages. El Salvador is part of the cultural region “Mesoamerica” , to which Mexico, and part of Central America used to belong to as well.

Nahuat (also known as Pipil Nahuat) is one the variants within the family of Nahuatl family and is very much related to the southernmost Nahuan variaties like the ones in Veracruz and Tabasco. Salvadoran Nahuat is in risk of dying out with around 300 native speakers, although the numbers and vitality of the language have looked up these last years with new speakers and language revitalization from different efforts. This nahuat has been influenced culturally and linguistically by the neighboring languages such as Mayan. Therefore, I’d like to present a general overview of the Nahuat language, its culture, its similarities and differences between the Nahuas found in Mexico and its unique features not found in its other sister languages, all from a linguistic point of view with special cultural comments.

I also want to talk briefly about the other two languages and their culture, Lencan and Cacaopera, that have gone extinct in El Salvador and belonged to the Lencan family and to a still living family, Misumalpan, respectively. They have totally different grammar and very interesting features, which is exciting for linguistics enthusiast.

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  • MsPolyglot says:

    Hello Gary, I really enjoyed this and it is fascinating how the grammar is so complex. Thanks for giving us a very detailed presentation!

  • AudreyG says:

    Hi Gary, good to see you presenting. Be well!

  • Garysqo says:

    Hola Ara! qué gusto saber que un salvadoreño ha visto la presentación! me alegra, Espero hayas aprendido algo sobre la lengua en sí y los esfuerzos. Saludos desde SS.

  • Ara says:

    Hola Gary. Muy interesante presentación! Soy de El Salvador también y me alegra mucho verte en la Conferencia. Pienso que el rescate del Nahuat en El Salvador es un movimiento muy importante para conocer más sobre nuestra identidad y cultura. Gracias por compartir sobre este tema.

  • Garysqo says:

    Hi Andy how are you! thanks for watching. Yes Lenca is a very challenging language! Keep up the learning! If I’m not mistaken, you were learning the Honduran Lenca right? Kotik?

  • Andy says:

    Hi Gary,
    Many thanks for your presentation. I found it very informative.
    I still have my Lenca language notes that Alan King gave me. It was a real struggle to continue learning when most of the people dropped out of the learning group. I still have an interest to help but I’m not sure I would be a very active learner myself. Let’s hope that this presentation sparks a lot of interest in the Polyglot Community to start learning Nahuat or Lenca.

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