Barí language

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Barira, Cunausaya, Dobocubi, Motilón, Motilone
Barí ara
Native toColombia, Venezuela
RegionNorte de Santander Department, Serranía de los Motilones, Upper Catatumbo and Oro River region, Reserva Indígena Motilón-Barí and Resguardo Indígena Gabarra-Catalaura; also in Cesar Department, Chimichagua, La Gloria, and Pailitas municipalities
EthnicityMotilon people
Native speakers
5,000 (2007–2008)[1]
  • Chibcha–Motilon
    • Barí
Language codes
ISO 639-3mot

Barí is a Chibchan language spoken in Northwestern South America by the Barí (Motilon). The Motilon are sometimes called "dobocubi", but this is a pejorative term.[1]

The classification of Barí as a Chibchan language has been contested by some ethnographers, including Marshall Durbin (1973). Charles and Florence Voegelin (1977) classified this language as Arawakan rather than Chibchan.

  Barí Spanish English
intok uno one
insami dos two
tẽtahko tres three
dary hombre man
biory mujer woman
ruraba perro dog
ña sol sun
chibai luna moon
xima agua water
ixtan tierra earth
bowara montaña mountain
kona rocío dew


Barí has six vowels: /a, e, i, ɨ, o, u/. All vowels have nasalized forms, and Barí has contrastive nasalization.[3]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless t k
voiced b d
Fricative s h
Nasal m n ɲ
Trill r


  1. ^ a b Barí at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Barí". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ "SAPhon – South American Phonological Inventories". Retrieved 2018-08-02.

External links[edit]