Warekena language

Baniwa of Maroa
Baniwa of Guainía
Native toBrazil, Venezuela
Native speakers
650 (2001–2006)[1]
ca. 200 (1999)[2]
  • Warekena do rio Xié
Language codes
ISO 639-3gae

Warekena (Guarequena), or more precisely Warekena of Xié, is an Arawakan language of Brazil and of Maroa Municipality in Venezuela, spoken near the Guainia River. It is one of several languages which goes by the generic name Baré and Baniwa/Baniva – in this case, distinguished as Baniva de Maroa or Baniva de Guainía.

According to Aikhenvald (1999), there are maybe 10 speakers in Brazil and about 200 in Venezuela.

Kaufman (1994) classified it in a Warekena group of Western Nawiki Upper Amazonian, Aikhenvald (1999) in Eastern Nawiki.

Personal pronouns in Warekena are formed by adding an emphatic suffix -ya to the cross-referencing personal prefixes.[3]


Unmarked constituent order is AVO, VSo, SaV, or SioV.[3]


wa-hã waʃi yutʃia-hã ema

then-PAUS jaguar kill-PAUS tapir

"Then the jaguar killed the tapir"


ʃupe-hẽ ʃiani-pe

many-PAUS child-PL

"Children are many"


peya nu-yaɺitua wiyua

one 1sg-brother die

"One of my brothers dies"


nu-yue mawali

1sg-for hungry

"I am hungry"

Indirect objects tend to be placed immediately after the predicate.


  1. ^ Warekena at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Aikhenvald (1999) The Arawak language family.
  3. ^ a b Aikenvald, Alexandra Y. 1988. "Warekena". In Desmond C. Derbyshire & Geoffrey K. Pullum (eds.), Handbook of Amazonian languages, iv. 225–439. Berlin: Moutin de Gruyter. Cited in Bhat, D.N.S. 2004. Pronouns. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 25

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