Macro-Puinavean languages

Linguistic classificationProposed language family

Macro-Puinavean is a hypothetical proposal linking some very poorly attested languages to the Nadahup family. The Puinave language is sometimes linked specifically with the Nadahup languages (AKA Maku), as Puinave–Maku, and the Máku language (Maku of Auari) is sometimes connected to the Arutani–Sape languages (yet again also known as Maku) in a Kalianan branch, a connection which Kaufman (1990) finds "promising", but there is too little data on these languages to know for sure.[1] Hodï has been proposed specifically as a sister of Puinave–Nadahup.

Kaufman (1994: 60, 2007: 67–68) also adds Katukinan to the family.[2][3]

Language contact

For the Puinave-Nadahup languages, Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Tupian, Harakmbet, Katukina-Katawixi, Arawak, and Karaja language families due to contact, pointing to an origin of Proto-Puinave-Nadahup in the Madeira River basin.[4]:439


Epps (2008)[5] criticizes the Puinave–Nadahup proposal for relying on inaccurate data, having no clear concept of basic vocabulary, and using an unsystematic mix of Nadahup languages in the comparison. The languages were originally linked simply because they are all called Maku "babble" by Arawakans; that is, because they are spoken by hunter-gatherers.

Since then, some linguists have attempted to verify the connection by finding cognates. However, no convincing cognates have yet been found. For example, Rivet and Tastevin claim that the Hup pronoun am "I" corresponds to Puinave am "I", but the Hup pronoun ’am means "you"; the Hup pronoun for "I" is ’ãh. Other "strikingly similar" pairs, such as Puinave ueyu "day" and Hup uerhó (wæd.hɔ́) "sun", are not particularly convincing, and no regular sound correspondences have been detected.

See also


  1. ^ Kaufman, Terrence. (1990). Language history in South America: What we know and how to know more. In D. L. Payne (Ed.), Amazonian linguistics: Studies in lowland South American languages (pp. 13–67). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70414-3.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Terrence. 2007. South America. In: R. E. Asher and Christopher Moseley (eds.), Atlas of the World’s Languages (2nd edition), 59–94. London: Routledge.
  3. ^ Kaufman, Terrence. (1994). The native languages of South America. In C. Mosley & R. E. Asher (Eds.), Atlas of the world's languages (pp. 46–76). London: Routledge.
  4. ^ Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.
  5. ^ Patience Epps, 2008. A Grammar of Hup. Mouton de Gruyter.

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