Chono language

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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.


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.[3]

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.[4]

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. ^ Grondona & Campbell (2012) The Indigenous Languages of South America: A Comprehensive Guide, pp 133–134
  4. ^ Adelaar & Muysken, 2005. The languages of the Andes

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