Bororoan languages

Linguistic classificationMacro-Jê?
  • Borôroan
Bororoan languages.png
Geographical distribution of the Borôroan languages

The Borôroan languages of Brazil are Borôro and the extinct Umotína and Otuke. They are sometimes considered to form part of the proposed Macro-Jê language family,[1][2]:547 though this has been disputed.[3]:64–8

They are called the Borotuke languages by Mason (1950), a portmanteau of Bororo and Otuke.[4]


The relationship between the languages is,[5]

See Otuke for various additional varieties of the Chiquito Plains in Bolivia which may have been dialects of it, such as Kovare and Kurumina.

There are other recorded groups that may have spoken languages or dialects closer to Borôro, such as Aravirá, but nothing is directly known about these languages:[6]

  • Aravirá – extinct language once spoken on the Cabaçal River and Sepotuba River in Mato Grosso
  • Orari (Eastern Borôro, Orarimugodoge) – spoken on the Valhas River, Garças River, and Madeira River in Mato Grosso


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items.[6]

gloss Boróro Orari Umutina Otuque
tongue i-táuro i-kaura azoː ki-taho
hand i-kéra i-kera azyida seni
fire yóru dzyóru zoːruː reru
stone tori tori tauri tohori
sun kueri meri baru neri
moon ári ari aːliː ari
earth róto mottu moto moktuhu
jaguar adúgo adugo azyukuetá anteko
fish kare karo haré aharo
house bái bai isipá huala
bow baíga voiga bóika vevika


For a list of Proto-Bororo reconstructions by Camargos (2013), see the corresponding Portuguese article.

External relations

The Bororoan languages are commonly thought to be part of the Macro-Jê language family.[1][2]:547

Kaufman (1994) has suggested a relationship with the Chiquitano language.[7]

Nikulin (2019) has suggested a relationship with the Cariban and Kariri languages:[8]

gloss Proto-Bororo Kariri Proto-Cariban
tooth dza *(j)ə
ear *bidʒa beɲe *pana
go *tu *tə
tree *i dzi *jeje
tongue nunu *nuru
root mu *mi(t-)
hand (a)mɨsã *əmija
fat (n.) *ka *ka(t-)
seed *a *a
fish *karo *kana
name *idʒe dze
heavy *motɨtɨ madi

An automated computational analysis (ASJP 4) by Müller et al. (2013)[9] also found lexical similarities between Bororoan and Cariban.

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Guato, Karib, Kayuvava, Nambikwara, and Tupi language families due to contact.[10]

Cariban influence in Bororoan languages was due to the later southward expansion of Cariban speakers into Bororoan territory. Ceramic technology was also adopted from Cariban speakers.[10]:415 Similarly, Cariban borrowings are also present in the Karajá languages. Karajá speakers had also adopted ceramic technology from Cariban speakers.[10]:420

Similarities with Cayuvava are due to the expansion of Bororoan speakers into the Chiquitania region.[10]:416


  1. ^ a b ,Guérios, R. F. Mansur F. (1939). "O nexo lingüístico Bororo/Merrime-Caiapó (contribuição para a unidade genética das línguas americanas)". Revista do Círculo de Estudos “Bandeirantes”. 2: 61–74.
  2. ^ a b Ribeiro, Eduardo Rivail; Voort, Hein van der (2010). "Nimuendajú was right: the inclusion of the Jabutí language family in the Macro-Jê stock" (PDF). International Journal of American Linguistics. 76 (4): 517–70.
  3. ^ Nikulin, Andrey (2020). Proto-Macro-Jê: um estudo reconstrutivo (PDF) (Ph.D. dissertation). Brasília: Universidade de Brasília.
  4. ^ Mason, John Alden (1950). "The languages of South America". In Steward, Julian (ed.). Handbook of South American Indians. 6. Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 143. pp. 157–317.
  5. ^ Camargo (2013)
  6. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  7. ^ Kaufman, Terrence. 1994. The native languages of South America. In: Christopher Moseley and R. E. Asher (eds.), Atlas of the World’s Languages, 59–93. London: Routledge.
  8. ^ Nikulin, Andrey V. The classification of the languages of the South American Lowlands: State-of-the-art and challenges / Классификация языков востока Южной Америки. Illič-Svityč (Nostratic) Seminar / Ностратический семинар, October 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Müller, André, Viveka Velupillai, Søren Wichmann, Cecil H. Brown, Eric W. Holman, Sebastian Sauppe, Pamela Brown, Harald Hammarström, Oleg Belyaev, Johann-Mattis List, Dik Bakker, Dmitri Egorov, Matthias Urban, Robert Mailhammer, Matthew S. Dryer, Evgenia Korovina, David Beck, Helen Geyer, Pattie Epps, Anthony Grant, and Pilar Valenzuela. 2013. ASJP World Language Trees of Lexical Similarity: Version 4 (October 2013).
  10. ^ a b c d Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (in Portuguese) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.

Further reading

This page was last updated at 2021-01-23 17:45, update this pageView original page

All information on this site, including but not limited to text, pictures, etc., are reproduced on Wikipedia (wikipedia.org), following the . Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License


If the math, chemistry, physics and other formulas on this page are not displayed correctly, please useFirefox or Safari