Wayana language

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This article is about the Carib language. For the Ge language called Wayana, see Guayana language.
Native to Surinam, French Guiana, Brazil
Ethnicity Wayana people
Native speakers
850  (ca. 2007)[1]
  • Guianan Carib
    • Wayana–Apalaí (?)
      • Wayana
Language codes
ISO 639-3 way
Glottolog waya1269[2]

Wayana (Guayana) is a Cariban language spoken in the south and southeast of Surinam, French Guiana, and Brazil.

At the 1980 census, approximately 750 people spoke Wayana.

There are two kinds of verbs: active verbs and stative verbs. The tenses for active verbs include present, immediate past, distant past, and future. Stative verbs make no reference to time or tense; nor are they inflected for mode, person, or negation.

Wayana personal pronouns include words for "I", "you", "we but not you", "you and I", "all of us", "you all", "they", and one pronoun for "he, she, it."

Some pronouns distinguish between animate and inanimate objects.

Wayana includes postpositions on pronouns, nouns or noun phrases to indicate position, direction, instrument, or likeness.[3]


  1. ^ Wayana at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Wayana". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Walter S. Jackson. "A Wayana Grammar". In Irvine Davis. Languages of the Guianas: 47–77. 

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