Tehuelche language

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Tehuelche
Patagón
Native to Argentina
Ethnicity Tehuelche people
Native speakers
At least 1 fluent  (2012)[1]
Chonan
  • Chon proper
    • Continental Chon
      • Tehuelche
Language codes
ISO 639-3 teh
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Tehuelche (Aoniken, Inaquen, Gunua-Kena, Gununa-Kena) is an moribund Chon language of Patagonia. Its speakers were nomadic hunters who occupied territory in present-day Chile, north of Tierra del Fuego and south of the Mapuche people. It is also known as Aonikenk or Aonek'o 'ajen.

The decline of the language started with the Araucanization of Patagonia, when many Tehuelche tribes adopted Mapudungun as their main language. While being quite separate from each other, the Tehuelche were considerably influenced by these two other languages and cultures. This allowed the transference of morpho-syntactical elements into the Tehuelche.[1] Later during the 19th and 20th centuries, Spanish replaced both as Argentina and Chile gained independence, and Spanish-speaking settlers took possession of the Patagonia.

Classification[edit]

Tehuelche belongs to the Chon family, together with Teushen, Selk'nam and Haush. The latter two languages were spoken by tribes in northeast and far northeast Tierra del Fuego. They are extinct.

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

Tehuelche has 3 vocalic qualities which can be short or long. (Fernandez 1988: 87-88)

Front Central Back
Mid e eː o oː
Open a aː

Consonants[edit]

Tehuelche has 25 consonantal phonemes. Stops can be plain, glottalized or voiced. (Fernández 1998: 88-89)

Labial Dental Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n
Stop plain p t k q ʔ
ejective tʃˀ
voiced b d ɡ ɢ
Fricatives s ʃ x χ
Approximant w l j
Trill r

Grammar[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

Singular Dual Plural
1 person ja: okwa: ošwa:
2 person ma: mkma: mšma:
3 person ta: tkta: tšta:

Noun[edit]

Verb[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Recovering Process of the Tehuelche Language", aonekFILMS, 2012. Retrieved on 24 December 2013.
  • Fernández Garay, Ana V. (1997): Testimonios de los últimos tehuelches. Buenos Aires: Universidad de Buenos Aires.(Spanish)
  • Fernández Garay, Ana V. (1998): El tehuelche. Una lengua en vías de extinción. Valdivia: Universidad Austral de Chile [Anejos de Estudios Filológicos 15]. (Spanish)
  • Fernández Garay, Ana V. (2004): Diccionario tehuelche-español / índice español-tehuelche. Leiden: University of Leiden [Indigenous Languages of Latin America 4].(Spanish)
  • Viegas Barros, J. Pedro (2005): Voces en el viento. Raíces lingüísticas de la Patagonia. Buenos Aires: Mondragón.(Spanish)
  • Ana Fernandez Garay, La nominalizacion de lenguas indigenas de la Patagonia, Puebla, México,2006 (Spanish)