Jivaroan Languages

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Jivaroan Languages


a group of related languages spoken by the Jivaroan Indians of eastern Ecuador and northern Peru. The group includes Jivaro (Jibaro)—among whose numerous dialects are Aguaruna, Macá, and Gualakisa—and the extinct Palta.

The Jivaroan languages have glottalized (abrupt) consonants. The languages of the group are analytical in many respects, and in the majority of dialects the noun is not marked for number or case. In the verb, suffixes are used to express the person and number of the subject, as well as tense and mood. Word order follows the pattern subject-object-predicate. The Jivaroan languages show a historical relationship with the Arawakan languages. In J. Greenberg’s classification, the Jivaroan languages, along with the Esmeraldan, Cofán, and Yaruro languages, form one of the branches of the Andean Equatorial macrofamily of languages (seeAMERICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES).


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Ghinassi, J. Gramática teórico-práctica y vocabulario de la lengua jíbara. Quito, 1938.
Winans, R. S. “Fonética del aguaruna.” Revista del Museo Nacional, 1947, vol. 16.
Larson, M. L. Vocabulario aguaruna de Amazonas. Yarinacocha, 1966. (Instituto Lingüístico de Verano, Serie lingüística Peruana.)