Ticuna–Yuri languages

Last updated
western Amazon
Linguistic classification Duho (proposed)
Glottolog ticu1244 [1]

Ticuna–Yuri is a small family, perhaps even a dialect continuum, consisting of at least two, and perhaps three, known languages of South America: the major western Amazonian language Ticuna, the poorly attested and extinct Yurí, and the scarcely known language of the largely uncontacted Carabayo. Kaufman (2007: 68) also adds Munichi to the family. [2]


Kaufman (1990, 1994) argues that the connection between the two is convincing even with the limited information available. Carvalho (2009) presented "compelling" evidence for the family (Campbell 2012). [3]

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Andoke-Urekena, Arawak, Arutani, Jukude ('Maku'), and Tukano language families due to contact. [4]


Related Research Articles

Macro-Arawakan languages

Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean centered on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes, the proposal is called Arawakan, and the central family is called Maipurean.

Ticuna language

Ticuna, or Tikuna, is a language spoken by approximately 50,000 people in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. It is the native language of the Ticuna people. Ticuna is generally classified as a language isolate, but may be related to the extinct Yuri language and there has been some research indicating similarities between Ticuna and Carabayo. It is a tonal language, and therefore the meaning of words with the same phonemes can vary greatly simply by changing the tone used to pronounce them.

Choco languages

The Choco languages are a small family of Native American languages spread across Colombia and Panama.

Barbacoan languages

Barbacoan is a language family spoken in Colombia and Ecuador.

Yanomaman languages

Yanomaman is a language spoken by about 20,000 Yanomami people in southern Venezuela and northwestern Brazil. None of these varieties has a native writing system.

Pano-Tacanan languages

Pano-Tacanan is a proposed family of languages spoken in Peru, western Brazil, Bolivia and northern Paraguay. There are two close-knit branches, Panoan and Tacanan, with 33 languages. There are lexical and grammatical similarities between the two branches, but it has not yet been demonstrated that these are genetic.

The Waorani (Huaorani) language, commonly known as Sabela is a vulnerable language isolate spoken by the Huaorani people, an indigenous group living in the Amazon rainforest between the Napo and Curaray Rivers in Ecuador. A small number of speakers with so-called uncontacted groups may live in Peru.

Lule language

Lule is an indigenous language of northern Argentina.

Jukude, commonly known as Maku or Mako, is an unclassified language once spoken on the Brazil–Venezuela border in Roraima along the upper Uraricoera and lower Auari rivers, west of Boa Vista, by the Jukudeitse. 300 years ago, the Jukude territory had been between the Padamo and Cunucunuma rivers to the southeast.

Yuracaré is an endangered language isolate of central Bolivia in Cochabamba and Beni departments spoken by the Yuracaré people.

Mataco–Guaicuru languages

Mataguayo–Guaicuru, Mataco–Guaicuru or Macro-Waikurúan is a proposed language family consisting of the Mataguayan and Guaicuruan languages. Pedro Viegas Barros claims to have demonstrated it. These languages are spoken in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia.

Guajiboan languages

Guajiboan is a language family spoken in the Orinoco River region in eastern Colombia and southwestern Venezuela, a savanna region known as the Llanos.

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.

Camsá language

Camsá, also Mocoa, Sibundoy, Coche, or Kamemtxa / Camëntsëá, is a language isolate and native language of the Camsá people who primarily inhabit the Sibundoy Valley of the Putumayo Department in the south of Colombia.

Andoque is a language spoken by a few hundred Andoque people in Colombia, and is in decline. There were 10,000 speakers in 1908, down to 370 a century later, of which at most 50 are monolingual. The remaining speakers live in the area of the Anduche River, downstream from Araracuara, Solano, Caquetá, Colombia; the language is no longer spoken in Peru. 80% of speakers are proficient in Spanish.

Harákmbut languages

Harákmbut or Harákmbet is a small language family in Peru spoken by the Harakmbut people.

Macro-Puinavean is a hypothetical proposal linking some very poorly attested languages to the Nadahup family. The Puinave language is sometimes linked specifically with the Nadahup languages, as Puinave–Maku, and the Jukude language is sometimes connected to the Arutani–Sape languages in a Kalianan branch, a connection which Kaufman (1990) finds "promising", but there is too little data on these languages to know for sure. Hodï has been proposed specifically as a sister of Puinave–Nadahup.

Sechura–Catacao languages

Sechura–Catacao is a proposed connection between the small Catacaoan language family of Peru and the language isolate Sechura (Sek). The languages are extremely poorly known, but Kaufman (1990) finds the connection convincing, Campbell (2012) persuasive.

Witotoan is a small language family of southwestern Colombia and the neighbouring region of Peru.

Indigenous languages of South America

The indigenous languages of South America are those whose origin dates back to the pre-Columbian era. The subcontinent has great linguistic diversity, but, as the number of speakers of indigenous languages is diminishing, it is estimated that it could become one of the least linguistically diverse regions of the planet.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ticuna–Yuri". Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. Kaufman, Terrence. 2007. South America. In: R. E. Asher and Christopher Moseley (eds.), Atlas of the World’s Languages (2nd edition), 59–94. London: Routledge.
  3. Campbell, Lyle (2012). "Classification of the indigenous languages of South America". In Grondona, Verónica; Campbell, Lyle (eds.). The Indigenous Languages of South America. The World of Linguistics. 2. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. pp. 59–166. ISBN   9783110255133.
  4. Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.