Piaroa–Saliban languages

Colombia and Venezuela
Linguistic classificationBetoi–Saliban?
  • Piaroa–Saliban
  • Saliban
  • Piaroan

The Piaroa–Saliban, also known as Saliban (Salivan), are a small proposed language family of the middle Orinoco Basin, which forms an independent island within an area of Venezuela and Colombia (northern llanos) dominated by peoples of Carib and Arawakan affiliation.

Betoi may be related.[1]


Piaroa and Wirö (or "Maco") form a Piaroan branch of the family.

The extinct Ature language, once spoken on the Orinoco River near the waterfalls of Atures, Venezuela, is unattested but was said to be 'little different' from Saliba, and so may have formed a Saliban branch of the family.[2][3]

Language contact

Jolkesky (2016) notes that there are lexical similarities with the Andoke-Urekena, Arawak, Máku, Tukano, and Yaruro language families due to contact.[4]

Meléndez-Lozano (2014:212)[5] has also noted similarities between the Saliba-Hodi and Arawakan languages.[4]:330–331

External relations

Zamponi (2017) notes resemblances between the extinct Betoi language and Piaroa–Saliban. He considers a genealogical relationship plausible, though data on Betoi is scarce.[3]

There are lexical similarities with the Hotï language (Jodï), and this has been interpreted as evidence for a Jodï–Saliban language family.[6][7] However, the similarities have also been explained as contact.[3]

Jolkesky (2009) includes Piaroa-Saliba, Betoi and Hodi in a Duho family along with Ticuna-Yuri..[8]


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for the Piaroa–Saliban languages.[2]

gloss Piaroa Maco Saliva
one yauotenéte niareti sinote
two tonerima tagus toxera
three wabodexkuána perkotahuya kenxuapadi
head tsú yio
eye chiere pakuté
tooth tsaxká oayá
man uba umbei
water ahiya ahia kagua
fire uxkude egusta
sun morho gama numeseki
maize ñamo imó yamo
jaguar ñáwi impué

See also


  1. ^ Zamponi, R. 2017 (2018). Betoi-Jirara, Sáliban, and Hodɨ: relationships among three linguistic lineages of the mid-Orinoco region. Anthropological Linguistics 59: 263-321.
  2. ^ a b Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.
  3. ^ a b c Zamponi, Raoul (2017). Betoi-Jirara, Sáliban, and Hodɨ: Relationships among Three Linguistic Lineages of the Mid-Orinoco Region. Anthropological Linguistics, Volume 59, Number 3, Fall 2017, pp. 263-321.
  4. ^ a b Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2016). Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas (Ph.D. dissertation) (2 ed.). Brasília: University of Brasília.
  5. ^ Meléndez-Lozano, M. A. (2014). Préstamos arawak (achagua, piapoco y piapocoachagua) a la familia lingüística guahibo (sikuani). LIAMES, 14:173-218.
  6. ^ Rosés Labrada, Jorge Emilio. 2015. "Is Jodï a Sáliban Language?." Paper presented at the Workshop on Historical relationships among languages of the Americas, Leiden, 2-5 September 2015. 18pp.
  7. ^ Rosés Labrada, Jorge Emilio (2019). "Jodï-Sáliban: A Linguistic Family of the Northwest Amazon". International Journal of American Linguistics. 85 (3): 275–311. doi:10.1086/703238.
  8. ^ Jolkesky, Marcelo (2016), Estudo arqueo-ecolinguístico das terras tropicais sul-americanas., Brasilia: UnB. PhD Dissertation.


  • Benaissa, T. (1991). Vocabulario Sáliba-Español Español Sáliba. Lomalinda: Alberto Lleras Camargo.
  • Feddema, H. (1991). Diccionario Piaroa - Español. (Manuscript).
  • Krute, L. D. (1989). Piaroa nominal morphosemantics. New York: Columbia University. (Doctoral dissertation).
  • 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.
  • 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.

External links

This page was last updated at 2021-06-16 13:52, 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