Puinave language

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Puinavé
Wãnsöhöt
Pronunciation [wãnsɤhɤt]
Native to Colombia, Venezuela
Native speakers
3,000  (2001–2008)[1]
unclassified
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pui
Glottolog puin1248[2]
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Puinave, AKA Waipunavi (Guaipunabi) or Wanse (Wãnsöhöt), is a poorly attested and generally unclassified language of South America.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Labial Coronal Dorsal Glottal
Plosives p t k  
Nasals m n    
Fricatives   s   h

Vowels[edit]

Front Back
unround.
Back
round.
Close i ĩ ɯ u
Mid e ɤ ɤ̃ o õ
Open   a ã  

Syllable structure is (C)V(C); nasal syllablic nuclei cause allophonic variation of consonantal segments in the same syllable. The phonemes /m n/ have oral, non-sonorant allophones [b d] in the onsets of syllables with oral nuclei.

The high vowel [u], when occurring in onset or coda position, is realized as a glide [w]. When the high vowel /i/ is in coda position, it is also realized as a glide [j], but in onset position, it is realized as a palatal stop matching in nasality with the nucleus, either [ɟ] or [ɲ], in the same way that /m n/ match the following vowel's nasality. Any glides [w] occurring before or [j w] occurring after a nasalized nucleus are also realized as nasal [j̃ w̃].

Tone[edit]

Puinave distinguishes four surface (phonetic) tones: two simple (H and L) and two contour (HL and LH); these are analyzed as being composed of two phonemic tone values, H and L. Girón Higuita and Wetzels (2007) note that speakers seem to associate H with prominence, rather than increased duration or intensity (the typical correlates of prominence in languages like English).

Morphology and Syntax[edit]

Jesús Mario Girón's description of the morphology and the function of nominalized constructions in this language can be found in The Linguistics of Endangered Languages (edited by Leo Wetzels).

Classification[edit]

Puinave is sometimes linked to other poorly attested languages of the region in various Macro-Puinavean proposals, but no good evidence has ever been produced. The original motivation seems to simply be that all of these languages were called Maku "babble" by Arawakans.[3] Ongoing work on Puinave by Girón Higuita at the University of Amsterdam will hopefully clarify the situation.

Bibliography[edit]

Girón Higuita, J.M. and W. Leo Wetzels (2007). Tone in Wãnsöhöt (Puinave). Language Endangerment and Endangered Languages: Linguistic and Anthropological Studies with Special Emphasis on the Languages and Cultures of the Andean-Amazonian Border Area, W. Leo Wetzels ed., CNWS Publications.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Puinavé at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Puinavé". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Patience Epps, 2008. A Grammar of Hup. Mouton de Gruyter.

External links[edit]