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one of the largest South American Indian language families (seeAMERICAN INDIAN LANGUAGES). The Tupi-Guarani languages are divided into two groups. The northern, or Topi, group served as the basis for an intertribal language, or lingua geral, after the European conquest of Brazil. The southern, or Guarani, group is spoken by a large number of Paraguayans. The Tupi-Guarani languages are spoken by the Caingua, Guayaqui, Chiriguano, Oiampi, Emerillon, Apiaca, Mundurucú, Cauahib, Sirione, and numerous other tribes inhabiting central South America from the coast of Brazil to the eastern slopes of the Andes and from Guyana and the lower Amazon to Uruguay. In 1970 the total population of these tribes was estimated at approximately 200,000. The tribes engage in hunting, fishing, and primitive slash farming; some work on plantations and estates as seasonal laborers.
REFERENCESHandbook of South American Indians, vol. 3. Washington, D.C., 1948. (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 143.)
McQuown, N. A. “The Indigenous Languages of Native America.” American Anthropologist, 1955, vol. 57, no. 3, part. 1.