The next town over or next region over is using a different tone system, so the words would be written differently," says Mark Sicoli, a Georgetown University linguist whose work focuses on Zapotec and other Otomanguean
languages of Mesoamerica.
(1) Otomi belongs to the Otopame branch of the Otomanguean family, with some 175 extant languages the largest language family in the Americas.
Following the pattern of the Otomanguean languages, classical Otomi is a VOS language, with SVO as a marked alternative (Suarez 1983; Yasugi 1995).
Paster (2006, chapter 2) cites the case of Yucunany Mixtepec Mixtec (Otomanguean
, Mexico; Paster and Beam de Azcona 2004), in which the third person singular familiar (subject and possessor) is -i except when the verb already ends in -i, in which case the suppletive allomorph -a is used instead.
In certain languages (e.g., Algonquian: Cree [Dahlstrom 1986; Wolfart 1973], Blackfoot [Pustet 1995], Ojibwa [Rhodes 1990; Jelinek 1990], Athabaskan: Navajo [Young and Morgan 1980; Hale 1973], TibetoBurman: Jinghpaw [DeLancey 1981b], Nootkan [Whistler 1985]; Otomanguean: Sochiapan Chinantec [Foris 1993]; see Klaiman 1991 and Givon 1994 for more references) (a subset of) transitive/ditransitive verbs have two forms called DIRECT and INVERSE.
(22.) The syntactic direction in Sochiapan Chinantec (Otomanguean) slightly diverges from this pattern (Foris 1997).
Otomi is an Otomanguean language spoken in Central Mexico that belongs to the Otopamean family.
Plenary talk at the 1st Conference of Otomanguean and Oaxacan Languages, March 19-21, University of California at Berkeley.