|Region||Upper Xingu region|
The "glottal approximants" /h/ and /hʷ/ assume the quality of the following vowel.
Kamayurá is one of the few languages in the world with two mechanisms for causation that differ in how involved the causer is in the action. The prefix mo- indicates that the causer was not involved in the activity ("he stopped in the canoe when he was outside it") while the prefix (e)ro- expresses that it was involved ("he stopped in the canoe when he was inside it").
The following sample is taken from Seki (2000), p. 438. It is a small excerpt of a folk take about hero Arawitará, who is summoned by his deceased friend to help the souls of the dead in their eternal war against the birds. Here Arawitará has returned to the world of the living, and his describing his journey to the friend's old mother.
- jererahame rake ko‘yt a‘ɳa rupi rak orohome ko‘yt
- jene peuan ikatu a‘ia ko‘ypy
- jawa‘ipaip ehe‘aɳ jajuw a‘e
- te a‘ia‘iw a‘iwĩ jene retama ko‘ypy
- jakatupe tete ne jene retama jaetsa ko‘ypy
- nite ne jawa‘iawa ko‘ypy
- kopiaip ehe‘aɳ jaju kwãj‘awan
- petsakame te jene retama ko‘ywa
- ipeiripyrera witene
- ipeiripyrera wite a‘ia‘iwine jeneretama ko‘ypy
- ojewunewunawa a‘iweru je wi kwãj
- okoj opiretepewewara ruri we
- "He [the deceased friend] took me [Araw.]. We went this way.
- Our straight path(*) is very beautiful
- Here we live among ugly weeds
- Ah, how beautiful is our [otherwordly] village!
- I saw the [otherwordly] village very clean(%),
- There is not even a single weed there!
- Here we live as in the path to the orchards($), folks!
- You should see our [otherwordly] village!
- It is like one which has been swept
- it is like one which has been swept a lot, our village
- The poor [souls] spat on the ground for my being there(#)
- 'Here comes someone who is still in his original skin.'"
- (*) "The straight path" (peu-) is the path followed by the souls of the deceased to reach the other world.
- (%) Kamayurá villages consist of a ring of houses surrounding a flat central plaza of packed dirt, which is kept clean and swept frequently. The village of the departed souls is impeccable in this regard.
- ($) The Kamayurá orchards are located at some distance from the village, and the path to them usually goes through the tropical the jungle.
- (#) The souls spat on the ground because the nauseating smell of the hero's living flesh made them sick.
- Lucy Seki, Gramática do Kamaiurá, Língua Tupi–Guarani do Alto Xingu. 482 pages + 17 color photo album Editora UNICAMP and São Paulo State Official Press (2000, in Portuguese). ISBN 85-268-0498-7. This is a detailed, comprehensive, and readable description of the Kamayurá grammar, including a lexicon with ~1200 entries.
- Lucy Seki, Kamaiurá (Tupi–Guarani) as an active–stative language. In D. L. Payne (ed.), Amazonian linguistics: Studies in Lowland South American languages, University of Texas Press (1990).
- Saelzer, Meinke (1976). "Fonologia provisória da língua kamayurá" (PDF).
- Kamayurá at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kamayurá". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Dixon, R.M.W. and Aikhenvald, A.Y. (1997). "A typology of argument-determined constructions." p. 83–4. In Bybee, J., Haiman, J., & Thompson, S.A., eds. (1997). Essays on language function and language type, dedicated to T. Givón. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.