|Linguistic classification|| Wamo–Chapakúra |
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:
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.
Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for the Chapacuran languages.
The Wariʼ, also known as the Pakaa Nova, are an indigenous people of Brazil, living in seven villages in the Amazon rainforest in the state of Rondônia. Their first contact with European settlers was on the shores of the Pakaa Nova River, a tributary of the Mamoré River. Many of them live within the Sagarana Indigenous Territory near the town of Rodrigues Alves lies between Rio Guaporé Indigenous Territory and Pacaás Novos National Park.
The Peba–Yaguan language family is located in the northwestern Amazon, but today Yagua is the only remaining spoken language of the family.
The Borôroan languages of Brazil are Borôro and the extinct Umotína and Otuke. They form part of the proposed Macro-Jê language family.
Munichi is a recently extinct language which was spoken in the village of Munichis, about 10 miles (16 km) west of Yurimaguas, Loreto Region, Peru. In 1988, there were two mother-tongue speakers, but they had not met since the 1970s. The last known fluent speaker, Victoria Huancho Icahuate, died in the late 1990s. As of 2009 there were several semi-speakers who retained significant lexical, and partial grammatical, knowledge of the language.
Tacanan is a family of languages spoken in Bolivia, with Ese’ejja also spoken in Peru. It may be related to the Panoan languages. Many of the languages are endangered.
Oro Win is a moribund Chapacuran language spoken along the upper stretches of the Pacaás Novos River in Brazil.
The Arutani–Sape, also known as Awake–Kaliana or Kalianan, are a proposed language family that includes two of the most poorly documented languages in South America, both of which are nearly extinct. They are at best only distantly related, but Kaufman (1990) finds the connection convincing. However, Migliazza & Campbell (1988) maintain that there is no evidence for linking them. The two languages are,
The Cahuapanan languages are a language family spoken in the Amazon basin of northern Peru. They include two languages, Chayahuita and Jebero, which are spoken by more than 11,300 people. Chayahuita is spoken by most of that number, but Jebero is almost extinct.
The Saliban (Salivan) languages, also known as Piaroa–Saliban or Saliba–Piaroan, are a small proposed language family of the middle Orinoco Basin, which forms an independent island within an area of Venezuela and Colombia dominated by peoples of Carib and Arawakan affiliation.
Aikanã is an endangered language isolate spoken by about 200 Aikanã people in Rondônia, Brazil. It is morphologically complex and has SOV word order. Aikanã uses the Latin script. The people live with speakers of Koaia (Kwaza).
Witotoan is a small language family of southwestern Colombia and the neighbouring region of Peru.
The Xukuruan languages are a language family proposed by Loukotka (1968) that links two extinct and poorly attested languages of eastern Brazil. The languages are:
The Timotean languages were spoken in the Venezuelan Andes around what is now Mérida. It is assumed that they are extinct. However, Timote may survive in the so-far unattested Mutú (Loco) language, as this occupies a mountain village (Mutús) within the old Timote state.
Cañari and Puruhá are two poorly-attested extinct languages of the Marañón River basin in Ecuador that are difficult to classify. Puruhá is scarcely attested, and Cañari is known primarily from placenames. Loukotka (1968) suggests they may have been related instead to Mochica (Yunga) in a family called Chimuan, but Adelaar (2004:397) thinks it is more likely that they were Barbacoan languages.
GuamoAKAWamo or Guamotey, is an extinct language of Venezuela. Kaufman (1990) finds a connection with the Chapacuran languages convincing.
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 (Otuque) is an extinct language of the Macro-Gê family, related to Bororo.
Xukuru is an extinct and poorly attested language of Brazil. It is also known as Kirirí, Kirirí-Xokó, Ichikile. It is only known from a few words elicited from an elder in 1961. Loukotka (1968) says it forms a small family with Paratió.
Cumana (Kumaná) is a possibly extinct Chapacuran language. Various names ascribed to the language in Campbell (2012) are Torá, Toraz, and Cautario, the last perhaps after the local river, and Abitana-Kumaná.
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