|Native to||Atacama Desert|
Kunza a.k.a. Cunza, also known as Likanantaí, Lipe, Ulipe, or Atacameño, is an extinct language isolate once spoken in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and southern Perú (specifically in Peine, Socaire (Salar de Atacama), and Caspana) by the Lickan-antay people, who have since shifted to Spanish.
Unattested varieties listed by Loukotka (1968):
- Atacameño of Bolivia - spoken in a small village on the frontier of Potosí Department, Bolivia, and Antofagasta Province of Chile
- Lipe (Olipe) - extinct language once spoken south of the Salar de Uyuni, Potosí Department, Bolivia
Kaufman (1990) found a proposed connection between Kunza and the likewise unclassified Kapixaná to be plausible; however, when that language was more fully described in 2004, it turned out to be an isolate.
Kunza contains a typical 5-vowel inventory: /a, e, i, o, u/. All vowels have long counterparts, and Kunza displays contrastive vowel length.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kunza". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "SAPhon – South American Phonological Inventories". linguistics.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2018-07-18.