Chapacuran languages

Last updated
Linguistic classification Wamo–Chapakúra
  • Chapacuran
  • Madeira
  • Guapore
Glottolog chap1271 [1]
Chapakuran languages.png

The Chapacuran languages are a nearly extinct Native American language family of South America. There are three living Chapacuran languages which are spoken in the southeastern Amazon Basin of Brazil and Bolivia.


The Chapacuran languages appear to be related to the extinct Wamo language. Almost all Chapacuran languages are extinct, and the four that are extant are moribund.


Birchall et al. (2013) classify the dozen known Chapacuran languages as follows: [2]

All languages are rather closely related. Rocorona appears closest to Torá and Moré (Itene), but those do not cluster together in the classification above.

Extinct languages for which Loukotka says 'nothing' is known, but which may have been Chapacuran, include Cujuna, Mataua, Urunumaca, and Herisobocono. Similarities with Mure appear to be loans. [1]


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for the Chapacuran languages. [3]


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Guamo language language

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Otomaco and Taparita are two long-extinct languages of the Amazon.

Trilled affricates, also known as post-trilled consonants, are consonants which begin as a stop and have a trill release. These consonants are reported to exist in some Northern Paman languages in Australia, as well as in some Chapacuran languages such Wari’ language and Austronesian languages such as Fijian and Malagasy.

Otuke language Extinct language of Brazil

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  1. 1 2 Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Chapacuran". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Birchall, Joshua and Dunn, Michael and Greenhill, Simon (2013) An internal classification of the Chapacuran language family.
  3. Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages . Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.