Arawak language

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Native to Dominican Republic, Suriname, French Guiana, Guyana, Venezuela, Haiti
Region Guianas
Ethnicity Lokono (Arawak)
Native speakers
unknown (2,500 cited 1980–2000)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 arw
ISO 639-3 arw
Glottolog araw1276[2]

Arawak (Arowak, Aruák) or Lokono is an Arawakan language spoken by the Lokono (Arawak) people of South America. The term "Arawak" is often used to cover the closely related Taíno language of the Caribbean islands.

Arawak has an active–stative syntax.[3]



Bilabial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Aspirated stops
Unvoiced stops t k
Voiced stops b d
Fricatives ɸ s h
Nasal m n
Approximant w l j
Trills r ɽ

William Pet observes that an additional /p/ does occur in loans.[4]


Front Central Back
Close i ɨ
Mid e o
Open a

Pet notes that phonetic realization of /o/ varies between [o] and [u].[4]


  1. ^ Arawak at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Arawak". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Aikhenvald, "Arawak", in Dixon & Aikhenvald, eds., The Amazonian Languages, 1999.
  4. ^ a b Pet, William (1988). Lokono dian: the Arawak language of Surinam: a sketch of its grammatical structure and lexicon. PhD dissertation, Cornell University.