Chono language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Native toChile
RegionChonos Archipelago, Chiloé Archipelago
EthnicityChono people
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)

Chono is a poorly attested extinct language of confusing classification. It is attested primarily from an 18th-century catechism,[2] which is not translated into Spanish.

There are various placenames in Chiloé Archipelago with Chono etymologies despite the main indigenous language of the archipelago at the arrival of the Spanish being veliche.[3]


Grondona & Campbell (2012) conclude that the language called Chono or Wayteka or Wurk-wur-we by Llaras Samitier (1967) is spurious, with the source material being a list of mixed and perhaps invented vocabulary.[4]

Viegas Barros, who postulates a relationship between Kawesqar and Yaghan, believes that 45% of the Chono vocabulary and grammatical forms correspond to one of those languages, though it is not close to either.[5]

Glottolog concludes that "There are lexical parallels with Mapuche as well as Qawesqar, ... but the core is clearly unrelated." They characterize Chono as a "language isolate", which corresponds to an unclassified language in other classifications.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Chono". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Doctrina para los viejos chonos (published in Bausani 1975)
  3. ^ Ibar Bruce, Jorge (1960). "Ensayo sobre los indios Chonos e interpretación de sus toponimías". Anales de la Universidad de Chile (in Spanish). 117: 61–70.
  4. ^ Grondona & Campbell (2012) The Indigenous Languages of South America: A Comprehensive Guide, pp 133–134
  5. ^ Adelaar & Muysken, 2005. The languages of the Andes

External links[edit]