Mamaindê language

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Northern Nambikwara
Native to Brazil
Region Mato Grosso
Native speakers
250 (2009)[1] to 340 (2007–2010)[2]
  • Mamaindê
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
wmd – Mamaindé proper
ltn – Latundê
lkd – Lakondê
xtw – Tawandê
xyl – Yalakalore (presumed but unattested)
apv – Alapmunte
xyl Yalakalore
  apv Alapmunte
Glottolog nort3153[3]

Mamaindê, also known as Northern Nambikwara, is a Nambikwaran language spoken in the Mato Grosso state of Brazil, in the very north of the indigenous reserve, Terra Indígena Vale do Guaporé, between the Pardo and Cabixi Rivers. In the southern part of the reserve, speakers of Sabanê and Southern Nambikwara are found.[4]


Among the Nambikwaran languages, at least Northern (Mamainde), Southern (Nambikwara), and Sabane are mutually unintelligible. Mamainde, however, is a dialect cluster, and its varieties are sometimes considered distinct languages. The following distinctions are made by Eberhard (2009). Population figures are those of Ethnologue 16, dated 2007:

  • Mamaindê proper (including Nagarotê, 330 speakers)
  • Latundê (20)
  • Lakondê (1)
  • Tawaindê (or Da’wan’du; unattested and speakers unknown)
  • Yalakalore (extinct and unattested)
  • Yalapmunde (Alapmunte; extinct and unattested)

Yelelihre is another unattested Nambikwaran variety.


Anonby & Eberhard (2008:4)[5] list geographic locations for the following 3 Northern Nambikuara language varieties.

  • The Mamaindê (population: 200) live in Capitão Pedro, Mato Grosso, a village located near Vilhena, Rondônia.
  • The Negarotê (population: 100) live in a main village near the town of Comodoro, Mato Grosso, as well as another village close to the town of Nova Alvorada, Mato Grosso.
  • The Latundê (population: 20) live in the Tubarão-Latundê reserve, located about 150 kilometres west of Vilhena, Rondônia. The reserve has 3 villages.
    • Rio do Ouro: mostly ethnic Aikanã
    • Gleba: contains ethnic Aikanã, Kwazá, and Latundê
    • Barroso: mostly ethnic Latundê


The following description is based on Mamaindê proper.


Mamaindê has five vowels:[6]

Front Back
Unrounded Rounded
Close i u
Close-mid e o
Open a

Each of the vowels have a nasalized counterpart.


Mamaindê has 14 consonants:[7]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n
Plosive Plain p t k ʔ
Fricative s h
Approximant l j w



  1. ^ Eberhard 2009, p. v
  2. ^ Mamaindé proper at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Latundê at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Lakondê at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Tawandê at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Yalakalore (presumed but unattested) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Alapmunte at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Northern Nambiquaran". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ Eberhard 2009, p. 4
  5. ^ Anonby, Stan and David Eberhard. 2008. A survey of three northern Nambiquara groups: the Mamaindê, Negarotê, and Latundê. SIL Electronic Survey Reports. SIL International.
  6. ^ Eberhard 2009, pp. 96–97
  7. ^ Eberhard 2009, p. 52