Hup language

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Pronunciation [húpʔɨ̌d]
Native to Brazil
Ethnicity Hupd'ëh, Yohup
Native speakers
1,700 (2006–2007)[1]
  • Hup
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
jup – Hup
yab – Yuhup (Yahup)
Glottolog hupy1235[2]
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The Hup language (also called Hupdë,[3] Hupdá, Hupdé, Hupdá Makú, Jupdá, Macú, Makú-Hupdá, Macú De, Hupda, and Jupde) is one of the four Nadahup languages. It is spoken by the Hupda and Yohup, indigenous Amazonian peoples who live in Brazil and Colombia. There are at least three main dialects of Hupdë, of which Yohup (Yuhupde, Yahup) is so distinct that native speakers report limited mutual intelligibility.[4] Hupdë is considered an inferior language by the neighbouring peoples of the Hupda. This has led to all adult Hupda becoming bilingual, speaking both Hupdë and Tucanoan. The bilingualism is one-sided, however, as native speakers of Tucanoan do not believe Hupdë to be a language worth learning.[5] Hupdë is a nominative–accusative language,[6] with a highly developed evidentiality system.[7]



Hup has glottalized consonants of both stops and approximants which can be seen in the chart below.[8]This language also has nasal allophones of the voiced stops.[8]

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Glottalized Stop b' d' j' g'
Unvoiced Stop p t c k ʔ
Voiced Stop b d j g
Fricative ç h
Glottalized Approximant w' y'
Approximant w y


While this language has nasal vowels, as well, they are not contrastive with the oral counterparts.[8]

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Open æ a ɔ


  1. ^ Hup at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Yuhup (Yahup) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Hup–Yuhup". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ The letter ë stands for [ə].
  4. ^ Christopher Moseley (2007). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Routledge. p. 132. ISBN 0-7007-1197-X. 
  5. ^ Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald, Robert M. W. Dixon (2006). Grammars in Contact. Oxford University Press. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-19-920783-6. 
  6. ^ Robert M. W. Dixon; Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (1999). The Amazonian Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 404. ISBN 0-521-57021-2. 
  7. ^ Epps, Patience (2005). Areal diffusion and the development of evidentiality: Evidence from Hup. Studies in Language, 29:617-650.
  8. ^ a b c Epps, Patience (2008). A Grammar of Hup. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 
  • Patience Epps (2008) A Grammar of Hup. Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Moore, Barbara J.; Franklin, Gail L. Breves notícias da língua Maku-Hupda. Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1979 [1]

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