Chapacuran languages

Linguistic classificationWamo–Chapakúra
  • Chapacuran
  • Madeira
  • Guapore
Chapakuran languages.png

The Chapacuran languages are a nearly extinct Native American language family of South America. There are three living Chapacuran languages which are spoken in Rondônia in the southern Amazon Basin of Brazil and in northern Bolivia.

Almost all Chapacuran languages are extinct, and the four that are extant are moribund.

Kaufman (1990) claims that the Chapacuran languages are related to the extinct Wamo language.


Birchall (2013)

Birchall et al. (2013) classify the dozen known Chapacuran languages as follows:[2]

All languages are rather closely related. Rocorona appears closest to Torá and Moré (Itene), but those do not cluster together in the classification above.

Extinct languages for which Loukotka says 'nothing' is known, but which may have been Chapacuran, include Cujuna, Mataua, Urunumaca, and Herisobocono. Similarities with Mure appear to be loans.[3]

Angenot (1997)

List of Chapacuran languages from Angenot (1997):[4]

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Irantxe, Puinave-Kak, and Arawa language families due to contact.[5]


Below is a full list of Chapacuran language varieties listed by Loukotka (1968), including names of unattested varieties.[6]

  • Chapacura / Huachi / Tapacura - extinct language once spoken on the Blanco River and around Lake Chitiopa, Santa Cruz province, Bolivia.
  • Irene / Moré - spoken on the Guaporé River, Azul River, and Mamoré River, Beni province, Bolivia.
  • Itoreauhip - spoken between the Guaporé River and Azul River in Bolivia.
  • Quitemo - once spoken on the Uruvaito River, Santa Cruz province, Bolivia.
  • Nape - once spoken in the same country on Lake Chitiopa.
  • Mure - once spoken on the San Martín River in Bolivia.
  • Rocorona - once spoken on the San Martín River.
  • Herisebocon - once spoken on the Rapulo River near the old mission of San Borja, Bolivia. (Unattested.)
  • Wañám / Huanyam / Pawumwa - spoken between the São Miguel River and São Domingo River, territory of Rondônia, Brazil.
  • Abitana - spoken as a dialect of the Wañám language at the sources of the São Miguel River, Brazil.
  • Kumana / Cautario - spoken between the Guaporé River and Cautario River, Rondônia.
  • Pacahanovo / Uari Wayõ - spoken on the Pacaás Novos River, Rondônia.
  • Kabixi - spoken between the São Miguel River and Preto River, Rondônia, now perhaps extinct.
  • Mataua - spoken in the western area of the Cautario River. (Unattested.)
  • Urunamacan - spoken to the north of the Wañám tribe, Rondônia, Brazil. (Unattested.)
  • Uómo / Miguelheno - spoken on the São Miguel River. (Unattested.)
  • Tapoaya - spoken by an unknown tribe at the sources of the Cautario River. (Unattested.)
  • Cujuna - spoken by a very little known tribe, now perhaps extinct, to the north of the Kumaná tribe. (Unattested.)
  • Urupá / Ituarupa - spoken on the Urupá River, Rondônia.
  • Yarú - spoken by a few families on the Yarú River.
  • Yamarú - extinct language once spoken on the Jamari River. (Unattested.)
  • Torá / Tura - formerly spoken on the Marmelos River and Paricá River, state of Amazonas; now by a few individuals on the Posta Cabeça d'anta, state of Amazonas.


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

gloss Chapacura Itene Itoreauhip Quitemo Nape Wañám Abitana Kumaná Pacahanovo Urupá Yarú Torá
eye tuku-chi to ku-chi tukichuː tükesi tekisí tokú
tooth yati-chi yía iyadi-che yitinchi yititai yatiti yetisi itisí yatí
tongue tapuitaka-chi kapaya kapikaka-che kabíkachu kapiyakati kapiyakati kapiakasi kapiakasí képiat
water akum komo ako akon kúm kum kum kom kom
fire ise iche ise isze iché itsä icha isé iseː ixé
sun huapiito napito mapito papuito mapiito gwapiru mapirú mapitó kumém komém apuetó
star huiüiyao pipiyo pil'ahu pipiáo útin piú pipiyó upiú upió upiú pipiyó
maize xadö mapa kal'ao kal'ao map mapaːk mapaːk mapág mapá mapák
jaguar kiñam ine orahuiko kiñam kiñó kinam kinam kinám komen wakara
bow parami pari pari pani parú pari etsmen mapíp mapip parí


Reconstruction ofChapacuran languages

Below are Proto-Chapacuran (Proto-Chapakura) reconstructions from the Diachronic Atlas of Comparative Linguistics (DiACL) online,[7] cited from Angenot de Lima (1997).[8] English glosses are from DiACL, and the original Portuguese glosses are from Angenot de Lima (1997). For the full list of original Portuguese glosses, see the corresponding Portuguese article.

Proto-Chapacuran English gloss Portuguese gloss Scientific name
*haɾam to button
*hoɾam chin
*ja: to say, to speak
*jaw pillar, to grind with a stone
*jaʔ to bathe
*jikat penis
*jowin monkey species macaco-prego Sapajus
*ju: to keep secret seguir às escondidas
*juk to push, to remove
*kamaɲˀ bland, without salt
*kap caterpillar species
*kapam pamonha (traditional food)
*kaɾaʔ/*hʷaɾaʔ large, fat
*kat, *kawˀ river dolphin
*kat, *ɾat to yawn
*katim foot
*katinˀ large tick
*katᶴak/*katᶴok to tickle, tickling
*katᶴin pineapple
*kawˀ to eat
*kawa: tree species árvore-rochinha
*kawa: kind of small arrow, used by children playing
*kawit parrot species papagaio-curica
*kedᶻek to lick
*kenum cocoa
*kijiʔ to descend, to lower
*kinam jaguar, dog
*kipun tail
*kipʷin (to be) cold
*kitam bridge, jirau grill[9] ponte, grelha para moquear
*kiw to bite, to chew
*kiwoʔ arrow (generic)
*koki: piranha
*kom to sing (people)
*komeN sun
*koɾa: paddle
*koɾan palm species palmeira-carundaí buriti?
*kotem red, ripe
*kotok/*koɾok to knock down fruits by beating the tree
*kɾam elbow, joint
*kɾan ant species formiga-saúva Atta
*kɾik to see, to observe, to look
*kɾom to enter, inside
*kuk to pull, to drag
*kunˀ tree species árvore-cachimbeira, jequitibá-vermelho; sal Cariniana rubra
*kunu: to stink, bad smell
*kut to pick, to catch
*kʷaɾaʔ common armadillo
*ma(w) to go
*madᶻan kind of yam batata-cará
*makiʔ to come, to arrive
*manaʔ anger, brave
*mapak corn
*mapawˀ club, baton
*mapom fat, grease
*mapʷip kind of small bow
*maɾam to paint, to write
*mawi: to steal, thief
*mawin annatto (tree species), wood for making fire Bixa orellana
*mekuʔ crab
*mem red, ripe
*mikop paca
*mitᶴem black
*mo: to run
*mokon rope, cord, string, thread
*mom to swell because of illness, to have a tumor
*moɾoʔ flour
*mowawˀ tucumã palm larva broca do tucumã larva of Astrocaryum aculeatum
*mowin pus, infection, tumour
*muɾinˀ swallow
*mʷijak wild hog
*n(e/o)n to whistle with help from the hand
*nak to smell, to sniff
*naɾan pitch/tar (of jatobá tree); light breu (de jatobá); luz Hymenaea courbaril
*natan face, front
*nok to hate, to reject
*nok to suckle
*nopon tree species árvore-itaúba Mezilaurus itauba
*pa: to beat, to slap
*padᶻaw pubic hair
*pakaʔ red, ripe
*pana: tree (generic), wood, log
*papat bamboo species, kind of arrow, bomboo knife taquara (esp.); flecha (esp.); faca de bambu
*papop wind
*paɾV: bow (generic)
*patiʔ animal (generic), fish
*pawˀ to tie (up)
*paʔ to kill, to hunt, to beat to death
*pijeʔ newborn child
*pikot giant armadillo tatu gigante
*pipon bird species cujubim Pipile cujubi
*piɾamˀ squirrel quoati-puru, esquilo
*pitᶴak to scratch, to itch
*pitᶴi: horn
*piwan tarantula aranha caranguejeira
*piʔ to dance
*pok thigh, upper leg
*pon to fart
*pot to pull out
*pot to get, to tear, to extract
*potᶴ to cook; to spit cozinhar; cuspir
*poʔ to wake up, to rouse
*pɾin parakeet
*pɾu: to kill, to hit a target with an arrow
*pu: to blow, to light a fire
*puɾek to miss the target with an arrow
*pʷe: to sit
*pʷikun stone, rock
*pʷin to leave behind
*pʷiɾan boa
*pʷit to break, to cut, to extract, to unrip
*pʷiti: large horsefly
*pʷitˢi: palm species palmeira-totai Acrocomia aculeata subsp. totai
*pʷitˢop porcupine, hedgehog
*pʷiw flower
*ɾi:(tan) banana (generic)
*tajin charcoal
*takat wax (honey, ear, for arrow, etc.)
*takawˀ kind of fish peixe-cará Geophagus brasiliensis
*takiʔ to fly, to leave flying
*tan leaf, one
*tapan monkey species macaco-saguim Callitrichidae; Callithrix jacchus
*tapiw agouti
*tapot straw, cover/roofing of house
*tata: father (1SG.POSS)
*tataw rope made of tree fibers; horn envira (esp.); chifre
*tatˢam to laugh, to smile
*tatᶴiʔ husband
*tawan lazy, sulky, disobedient
*tawi: bee (generic), honey
*tawit fence, surrounded
*taʔ to cut
*tikat to finish
*tim heart
*tipan arm
*tipat wing
*tipoʔ to follow a trail
*titimˀ/*tiɾimˀ to lie down
*tok to drink
*tok eye, grain, seed, stone
*toke: chestnut, Brazil nut
*tom to burn, black
*tomiʔ to say, to speak
*ton to knock down fruits by beating the tree
*top to explode, to break corn
*topak mouth, lips, to speak
*topan skin, peel, bark
*topop basket (generic)
*toɾo: to swell, to ferment, to cause swelling
*totᶴam clay
*totᶴik bee species, honey abelha-lambeolho; seu mel Leurotrigona muelleri
*towa: turtle, tortoise; rubber cylinder (?) tartaruga, tracaja, jabuti; tambor de caucho
*towan kind of fruit fruta-murisi Byrsonima crassifolia
*towaʔ white, bright color, daybreak/dawn
*towin parrot species papagaio-curica
*toʔ to beat, to open, to crack, to cut
*tɾakom bamboo, taboca (bamboo species) bambu; taboca Guadua weberbaueri
*tɾakop fermented drink
*tɾamaʔ man
*tɾamʷin red macaw
*tɾan tɾan guan bird jacu Penelope
*tɾapo: white hair
*tɾawan liver; palm species, fish species fígado; palmeira-patua; patua; surubim Pimelodidae
*tɾik coal, ember
*tɾot aricuri palm leaf Syagrus coronata
*tᶴak to suck on a fruit
*tᶴek day
*tᶴijat net
*tᶴik one
*tᶴikinˀ nail, claw; traíra (fish species) unha, garra; traíra (peixe) Erythrinidae
*tᶴin to throw
*tᶴitot country, to plant
*tᶴiw (to be) cold
*tᶴok to suck "noisily", to make a "sucking" sound
*tᶴom to step; to insist pisar, bater o pé
*tᶴopin to spit
*tᶴoraw swallow
*tᶴowiʔ rain, winter
*tᶴup to kiss "noisily"
*tun hair, coat
*tut to walk
*wak to add, to pile up
*waki: toad species
*wan to copulate, to have sex
*wana: way, path, road
*waɲam Indian of enemy tribe
*waɾak sap, sperm, vaginal secretion
*watam kind of fruit
*watᶴik common opossum mucura Didelphis marsupialis
*wet to marry
*weʔ to vomit
*wijak to scrape with a knife
*wijam small
*wina: to raise an animal, to tame/domesticate
*wina: grandson
*winimˀ to wait, to except
*witᶴiʔ to roast on coal/ember
*ʔajiʔ older brother
*ʔaka: to sing (of bird), to cackle, to cry
*ʔakom water; river; rain
*ʔakop manioc, cassava
*ʔam edge, margin
*ʔamiʔ to give
*ʔamon excrements, feces, intestines, belly
*ʔamʷi: very, much
*ʔaɲ to cry
*ʔanin younger sister
*ʔapa: palm species palmeira-marayau Bactris major
*ʔapam shoulder
*ʔapan kind of fruit
*ʔapaʔ maternal grandmother
*ʔapi: thorn, needle, hook
*ʔapi: father-in-law
*ʔapiʔ to finish
*ʔapo: uncle (aunt's husband)
*ʔapop caiman jacaré
*ʔatat bone, leg
*ʔataw/*ʔaɾaw back, shoulders
*ʔatin younger brother
*ʔatɾim house, traditional village (maloca)
*ʔatᶴaʔ younger sibling
*ʔatᶴem to sneeze
*ʔaw to spill liquid, to bleed, to leak, to drain, to drip
*ʔawan bitter
*ʔawan tree species with venomous bark
*ʔawan pig, hog, capybara
*ʔawi: good, beautiful, tasty
*ʔawik blood
*ʔawin sky, height, to charge upwards
*ʔawom cotton; clothes; dove/pigeon species algodão; roupa; pomba (esp.)
*ʔawum 2SG
*ʔenem brother-in-law (sister's husband)
*ʔep pillar, to grind with a stone
*ʔeɾum trumpeter (bird species) jacamim Psophia
*ʔew burn
*ʔewu: toucan
*ʔihʷam fish (generic)
*ʔijat tooth, beak
*ʔijaʔ vessel made of palm vasilha feita de cacho de palmeira
*ʔijewˀ paternal grandfather
*ʔiji: palm species palmeira-bacaba Oenocarpus bacaba
*ʔijinˀ fear, to fear
*ʔijoʔ to put out, to erase
*ʔikan kind of mosquito mosquito-catoqui
*ʔikat medicine man, sorcerer
*ʔikat to break
*ʔikim chest, thorax
*ʔikit knife, iron instrument
*ʔiman hole, vagina
*ʔimiʔ kind of mosquito or fly pium, borrachudo Simuliidae
*ʔimʷinˀ tapir
*ʔimʷiʔ to die, dead
*ʔinamˀ pregnant
*ʔinawˀ bat
*ʔinaʔ mother
*ʔipa: to open (eyes, door)
*ʔipan to fall, to be born
*ʔipik latex, rubber seringa; borracha
*ʔipʷik anteater species tamanduá-mirim Tamandua tetradactyla
*ʔiɾam açaí palm palmeira-açai
*ʔiɾiʔ (to be) right, truth
*ʔit body
*ʔitak to swallow
*ʔitaʔ/*ʔiɾaʔ to urinate
*ʔite: father (1SG.POSS)
*ʔitᶴe: fire, firewood
*ʔitˢim night
*ʔitᶴin centipede, millipede
*ʔiwˀ louse
*ʔiwan to get home
*ʔiwi: mat
*ʔiwiʔ smoke
*ʔodᶻip palm species palmeira-najá Attalea maripa
*ʔojam spirit, soul of a corpse
*ʔojop pacu (fish species)
*ʔokin scorpion
*ʔokon palm species palmeira-real / buriti Mauritia flexuosa
*ʔomaʔ to live, to have, to exist
*ʔomi: scrubland, bush, firm land
*ʔon to whistle without help from the hand
*ʔonaɲ palm species palmeira-buruburu Astrocaryum murumuru
*ʔonok navel, belly button
*ʔop to dance
*ʔopaʔ bagre (fish species) bagre
*ʔopi: woodworm/beetle species caruncho rola-bosta; besouro (esp.)
*ʔopot kind of liana used for binding cipó-ambé, usado para amarrar
*ʔoɾam cheek
*ʔorawˀ mushroom species
*ʔoro: people of, clan of, kind of
*ʔoɾom gourd, calabash
*ʔoɾot to break out (2nd permanent tooth of a child)
*ʔotin curassow (bird species) mutum Cracidae
*ʔoto: gourd, calabash
*ʔotˢiw monkey species macaco-de-cheiro amarelo Saimiri
*ʔowam kind of fish peixe-jeju Hoplerythrinus unitaeniatus
*ʔowit wart
*ʔoβi: anum (bird species) Crotophaga
*ʔukun flesh (of the body), body
*ʔum hand
*ʔumʷe: bird (generic)
*ʔupʷek head
*ʔupʷeɲ to sleep
*ʔuɾin ant species formiga-da-castanha
*ʔutuɾ nose
*ʔutut urine
*ʔuwe: older sister
*ʔuwew paternal grandmother
*ʔuwit name
*ʔuʔ ant species formiga-saraça

Notes and references

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Chapacuran". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Birchall, Joshua and Dunn, Michael and Greenhill, Simon (2013) An internal classification of the Chapacuran language family.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forke, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2020). "Chapacuran". Glottolog 4.3.
  4. ^ Angenot, Geralda de Lima (1997). Fonotática e Fonologia do Lexema Protochapacura. Dissertação do Mestrado, Universidade Federal de Rondônia.
  5. ^ Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.
  6. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  7. ^ "Proto-Chapacuran". Diachronic Atlas of Comparative Linguistics (DiACL). Retrieved 29 January 2020.
  8. ^ Angenot de Lima, Geralda (1997). Fonotática e Fonologia do Lexema Protochapacura. Master’s dissertation, Universidade Federal de Rondônia.
  9. ^ Jirau is a kind of indigenous frame for grilling meat or fish.

This page was last updated at 2020-12-18 14:10, 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