Maipure language

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Native to Venezuela
Region Orinoco
Extinct late 18th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Linguist list
Glottolog maip1246[1]

Maipure (Maypure, Mejepure), once spoken along the Ventuari, Sipapo, and Autana rivers (Amazon) and, as a lingua franca, in the Upper Orinoco region, became extinct around the end of the eighteenth century. Zamponi (2003) is a grammatical sketch of the language, furnished with a classified word list, based on all its extant available eighteenth century material (mainly from the Italian missionary Filippo S. Gilij). It is historically important in that it formed the cornerstone of the recognition of the Maipurean (Arawakan) language family.

Kaufman (1994) gives its closest relatives as Yavitero and other languages of the Orinoco branch of Upper Amazon Arawakan. Aikhenvald (1999) places it instead in the Western Nawiki branch.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Maipure". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.