Arawakan Languages

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Arawakan Languages


one of the largest families of Indian languages, widespread in the northern part of South America (in the Orinoco, Rio Negro, and Amazon river basins), on the islands of the West Indies, and in southern Florida. There are up to 40 Arawakan languages forming either four or eight large subgroups depending on the system of classification. The most well-known languages are Lokono (Arawak proper), Guajiro, Island Carib, Maipuri, Achagua, Ipuriná, Taino, Piro, Mojo, Paressí. The phonological system of the Arawakan languages is of the so-called Atlantic type: although the vowel system is well-developed (six or seven phonemes), there are relatively few consonants (usually 12—14 phonemes). Their morphological structure is basically agglutinative with some tendencies toward polysynthesism. Suffixation is predominant, but prefixation (possessive prefixation in the noun, subject prefixation in the verb, preverbs, and so forth) also plays a large role. There are both prepositions and postpositions. The pronominal subject often follows the verb, and the demonstrative pronoun follows the word which is modified. There is considerable lexical divergence among the languages. The system of word formation is well developed.


Alden Mason, J. “The Languages of South American Indians,” in Handbook of South American Indians, vol. 6. Washington, D. C, 1950.
Kingsley Noble, G. Proto-Arawakan and Its Descendants. The Hague, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Heckenberger, Michael (2002) "Rethinking the Arawakan diaspora: hierarchy, regionality, and the Amazonian formative" In Comparative Arawakan histories: rethinking language family and culture area in Amazonia, 99-122.
2002 "A new model of the Northern Arawakan Expansion".
18) More specifically: Afro-Asiatic, Arawakan, Australian, Austronesian, Aymaran, Dravidian, Japanese, Kartvelian, Khoisan, Matacoan, Mayan, Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Sino-Tibetan, Siouan and Uralic.
Thomason & Kaufmann 1988), such as documented extensively for the Vaupes area at the Colombian/Brazilian border (Aikhenvald 2002), including the spread of a SwAt system from Tucanoan languages to the Arawakan language Tariana.
Index of languages Geographical Language Family area Source 'Ala'ala Austronesian Papua New Guinea Ross (2002a) (Oceanic) Albanian Indo-European Albania Buchholz and (Albanian) Fiedler (1987) Ambae Austronesian Vanuatu (Ambae Hyslop (2001) (Oceanic) islands) Apalai Carib Brazil (Paru Koehn and Koehn Leste River) (1986) Arosi Austronesian Solomon Islands Lynch and Horoi (Oceanic) (2002) Axininca Campa Arawakan Peru (Pachitea Spring (1992) River) Blackfoot Algic Canada (Alberta) Frantz (1991) (Plains) Chamorro Austronesian Guam Topping (1973) Cheyenne Algic USA (Montana) Davis (1962) (Plains) Danish Indo-European Denmark Basboll and (Germ.
frequent use of topicalizers, serialization, copular constructions, and TMA system)--to similar linguistic features in North Arawakan languages.
Namely Chipewyan (703, Athabaskan, Northern Amerindian), Amuesha (824, Arawakan, Southern Amerindian) and Nama (913, Khoisan, "other families").
Both of these groups manifested linguistic association with Antillean culture -- Calusa with Arawakan and Timucua with Carib -- both of which are derived from South American linguistic families.
An interesting case where the constraint in (83b), AlignL(Word, [sg]), plays a role is in the Arawakan langauge Bare.
Chapter 5 is a short comparative discussion of the surrounding Tupi-Guarani and Arawakan matrices.
While their distinctive language is an Amerindian one, belonging to the Arawakan group (Cayetano 1997:86; Taylor 1977:14-15), much of their expressive culture, and especially their music, is clearly derived in part from African sources.
50 [euro]), is a scholarly introduction, informed by serious fieldwork, to the present Amerindian inhabitants of Suriname, eight different groups who speak languages of either the Cariban or Arawakan families.