Saparo–Yawan languages

Zaparo–Yaguan, Zaparo–Peba
western Amazon
Linguistic classificationProposed language family

Saparo–Yawan (Zaparo–Yaguan, Zaparo–Peba) is a language family proposal uniting two small language families of the western Amazon. It was first proposed by Swadesh (1954), and continues through Payne (1984) and Kaufman (1994).


There are also four language isolates and otherwise unclassified languages which have been indirectly linked to Saparo–Yawan, and for convenience they are included here. Tovar (1984) proposed a connection between Zaparoan and the otherwise unclassified Taushiro; Stark (1985) and Gordon (2005) see a connection with the extinct Omurano language. The extinct Awishiri and the Candoshi isolate have lexical similarities with Taushiro, Omurano, and each other; however, the four languages also have lexical similarities with Zaparoan, Jivaroan, and Arawakan. These six languages and families in the table at right have not been linked in any coherent fashion. Given that Candoshi is well described, this is something that may be resolved relatively soon.

Proposed classification

This forms part of Kaufman's Macro-Andean proposal:

See also


  1. ^ O’Hagan, Zachary (November 17, 2015). "Taushiro and the Status of Language Isolates in Northwest Amazonia" (PDF). University of California, Berkeley. Fieldwork Forum. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  2. ^ Casey, Nicholas (2017-12-26). "Thousands Once Spoke His Language in the Amazon. Now, He's the Only One". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-26.

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