Terêna language

Native toBrazil
RegionMato Grosso do Sul
EthnicityTerena people
Native speakers
16,000 (2006)[1]
  • Southern
    • Bolivia–Parana
      • Terêna
Language codes
ISO 639-2ter
ISO 639-3Variously:
ter – Terena
gqn – Kinikinao & Guaná
caj – Chané
 Guana (Brazil)[2]

Terêna or Etelena is spoken by 15,000 Brazilians. The language has a dictionary and written grammar.[3] Many Terena people have low Portuguese proficiency. It is spoken in Mato Grosso do Sul. 20% are literate in their language, 80% literate in Portuguese.

Terêna has an active–stative syntax.[4]


There were once four varieties, Kinikinao, Terena proper, Guaná, and Chané, which were sometimes considered to be separate languages (Aikhenvald 1999). Carvalho (2016) has since demonstrated that all four of them are the same language.[5] Only Terena proper is still spoken.

Language contact

Terena originated in the Northwestern Chaco.[6] As a result, many Northern Guaicuruan loanwords can be found in Terena.[7]

There are also many Tupi-Guarani loanwords in Terena and other southern Arawakan languages.[8]



Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k ʔ
prenasal ᵐb ⁿd ᵑɡ
Fricative voiceless s ʃ h
prenasal ⁿz ⁿʒ
Nasal m n
Tap ɾ
Lateral l
Approximant w j


Front Central Back
High i ĩ iː (ɨ) u ũ uː
Mid e ẽ eː o õ oː
ɛ ɛː ɔ ɔː
Low a ã aː



  1. ^ Terena at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kinikinao & Guaná at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Chané at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Guana (Brazil).
  3. ^ Butler, Nancy Evelyn; Ekdahl, Elizabeth Muriel (1979). Aprenda Terêna, Vol. 1 (in Portuguese). Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  4. ^ Aikhenvald, "Arawak", in Dixon & Aikhenvald, eds., The Amazonian Languages, 1999.
  5. ^ Carvalho, Fernando Orphão de. 2016. Terena, Chané, Guaná and Kinikinau are one and the same language: Setting the Record Straight on Southern Arawak Linguistic Diversity. LIAMES: Línguas Indígenas Americanas, 16(1), 39-57. ‹See Tfd›doi:10.20396/liames.v16i1.8646165
  6. ^ Carvalho, Fernando O. de. 2020. Etymology meets ethnohistory: Linguistic evidence for the pre-historic origin of the Guaná-Chané in the Northwestern Chaco. Anthropological Linguistics.
  7. ^ Carvalho, Fernando O. de. 2018. "Arawakan-Guaicuruan Language Contact in The South American Chaco." International Journal of American Linguistics 84, no. 2 (April 2018): 243-263. ‹See Tfd›doi:10.1086/696198
  8. ^ Carvalho, Fernando O. de. Tupi-Guarani Loanwords in Southern Arawak: Taking Contact Etymologies Seriously.
  9. ^ Nascimento, Gardênia (2012). Aspectos Gramaticais da Língua Terena. Belo Horizonte: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.

This page was last updated at 2021-05-12 19:28, 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