Nomatsiguenga language

Native toPerú
Native speakers
6,500 (2003)[1]
  • Southern
    • Campa
      • Matsigenka
        • Nomatsiguenga
Language codes
ISO 639-3not

Nomatsiguenga (Matsigenka) is an Arawakan language of Peru. It is close enough to Machiguenga to sometimes be considered dialects of a single language, especially given that both are spoken by the Machiguenga people. Most speakers are monolingual.


According to Lawrence, Nomatsiguenga has the following consonant and vowel phonemes.[3]

Nomatsiguenga consonants
Bilabial Dental Alveopalatal Velar Glottal Unspecified
Nasal m n ŋ (ng, n) N (n, m)
Stop p b t k g
Fricative s ʃ (sh) h
Affricate ts (ch)
Liquid ɾ (r)
Semivowel j (y)
Nomatsiguenga vowels
Front Central Back
High i, (ii) ɨi (ë)
Mid e, (ee) o, (oo)
Low a, (aa)


Nomatsiguenga is one of the few languages in the world that has two different causative mechanisms to denote whether the causer was involved in the activity with the causee or not. The prefix ogi- is used to express the idea that the causer was not involved in the activity, while the suffix -hag is used when the causer is involved.[4]

y-ogi-monti-ë-ri i-tomi
3sg+M-CAUS1-cross.river-NON.FUT-3sg+M 3sg+M-son
"He made his son cross the river (he told him to)."
y-monti-a-hag-ë-ri i-tomi
3sg+M-cross.river-EPENTHETIC-CAUS2-NON.FUT-3sg+M 3sg+M-son
"He made his son cross the river (he helped him across)."


  1. ^ Nomatsiguenga at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nomatsiguenga". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Lawrence, Aimee L. (2013). Inflectional Verbal Morphology in Nomatsigenga (Thesis). University of Texas at Austin.
  4. ^ Wise, M.R. (1986). "Grammatical characteristics of PreAndine Arawaken languages of Peru." pg. 567–642. In Derbyshire, D. C. & Pullum, G. K., eds. (1986). Handbook of Amazonian languages, Vol. 1'. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Cited in Dixon, R.M.W. (2000). "A Typology of Causatives: Form, Syntax, and Meaning". In Dixon, R.M.W. & Aikhenvald, Alexendra Y. Changing Valency: Case Studies in Transitivity. Cambridge University Press.

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