Macro-Arawakan languages

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Widest geographical area of any language group in Latin America, see Geographic distribution.
Linguistic classification Proposed language family
Glottolog None
Arawakan languages (blue dots), Guajiboan languages (violet dots), and Arauan languages (green dots). Paler areas represent probable extension at the time of contact.

Macro-Arawakan is a proposed language family of South America and the Caribbean centered on the Arawakan languages. Sometimes, the proposal is called Arawakan, and the central family is called Maipurean.


Kaufman (1990) includes the following:

Payne (1991) and Derbyshire (1992) have:



  • Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y. (1999). The Arawak language family. In R. M. W. Dixon & A. Y. Aikhenvald (Eds.), The Amazonian languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-57021-2; ISBN 0-521-57893-0.
  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1994). The native languages of South America. In C. Mosley & R. E. Asher (Eds.), Atlas of the world's languages (pp. 46–76). London: Routledge.
  • Payne, David. (1991). A classification of Maipuran (Arawakan) languages based on shared lexical retentions. In D. C. Derbyshire & G. K. Pullum (Eds.), Handbook of Amazonian languages (Vol. 3, pp. 355–499). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Derbyshire, Desmond C. (1992). Arawakan languages. In W. Bright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of linguistics (Vol. 1, pp. 102–105). New Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1990). Language history in South America: What we know and how to know more. In D. L. Payne (Ed.), Amazonian linguistics: Studies in lowland South American languages (pp. 13–67). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70414-3.
  • Migliazza, Ernest C.; & Campbell, Lyle. (1988). Panorama general de las lenguas indígenas en América (pp. 223). Historia general de América (Vol. 10). Caracas: Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia.
  • Byrne, James. (1885). General principles of the structure of language – Grammatical Sktches: Arawak (pp. 198 ff)
  • Brinton, D. G., (1871). The Arawak Language of Guiana in its Linguistic and Ethnological Relations Philadelphia: McCalla & Stavely. (pp. 18)

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