Duho languages

Last updated
Northwestern Amazon
Linguistic classification Proposed as one of the world's primary language families

Duho is a proposed language family of South America, originally consisting of two well-established genetic groupings, Hodi–Saliban [1] (even though Raul Zamponi (2018) argues that Hodi is a language isolate) and Ticuna–Yuri. This language stock was proposed by Marcelo Jolkesky (2016), based on his previous but now disclaimed Macro-Daha stock which had also included the Andoque–Urequena languages. [2]



Jolkesky (2016) suggests that the homeland of Proto-Duho was in the Serranía de Chiribiquete. [3] :590

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with Chibchan languages due to contact, which may point to the earlier presence of Chibchan speakers in the Orinoco basin. [3] :325


Internal classification of the Duho language family by Jolkesky (2016): [3]



Jolkesky's Duho languages have shared forms in for "I", *kʷ for "you" and *t for "we", which are found in all languages.

Ticuna ʧò-ku-dĩ-ɡĩ- /i-tò-ta-́
Yuri tshuuwikúdi-too-
Saliba ʧ-ũku, kʷ-Ø-, i-, -dix-, -xt-h-
Piaroa ʧ(u)-(u)ku, kʷ-Ø-, -dehʷ-, -ht(u)-tʰ(a)-
Mako ʧ(V)-ɯkʷɯ, kʷ(V)-Ø-h(V)-, -hd(V)-, -dɯtʰɯtʰ(V)-
Hodi ʰtæʰkæ-ʰtaihai
Betoi r(u)-uhu, h(u)-Ø-, -riØ-r-, -nuto?


Several basic words in Duho languages appear to be related. The following examples are given:

Ticuna dãiàːèrúʧibã̀ɡõ̀ːã́ẽ̀dẽ´biĩ´tèẽ́tàː
Yuri noii àgerühóii-mó--o nné---
Saliba -ahaiʤu-maa(-na)ikuaõãĩnẽ(-ẽ)omixeã-dihaã-daha
Piaroa dawiæu(-ju)-ʦˀemæ(-næ)kuãẽĩtʰĩamididæhe
Mako towiau; -ʤu-ˀʤema(-na)ku(-õ)-ĩtʰĩomutitahi
Hodi ʰtawɯaʰtu-ma(-na); -maʰku-õãwẽ(-no)ĩnime(e)--

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  1. Rosés Labrada, J. E. 2015. Is Jodï a Sáliban Language? In: Workshop on historical relationships among languages of the Americas. Leiden, 2-5th September 2015, Universiteit Leiden.
  2. Jolkesky, Marcelo. 2009. Macro-Daha: reconstrução de um tronco lingüístico do noroeste amazônico . ROSAE - I Congresso Internacional de Lingüística Histórica, 26-29 July 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 Jolkesky, M. 2016. Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas . Brasilia: UnB. PhD Dissertation.