Maxakalí (Yĩy'ax 'language', Tikmũ'ũn Yĩy'ax 'Maxakalí language') is a Maxakalían language spoken in fourteen villages in Minas Gerais, Brazil, by fewer than a thousand people.
Mason identifies six varieties of Maxakali. All but Maxakalí proper are extinct:
- Caposhó (Kapoxo) (†)
- Cumanashó (Kumanaxo) (†)
- Maconí (Makuni) (†)
- Monoshó (Monaxo, Monocho) (†)
- Panyame (†)
Maxakalí has five vowels, occurring in both oral and nasal form.
The most common word order in Maxakalí is SOV.
- "The child drinks milk"
Maxakalí is an ergative language. The ergative case covers transitive subjects as well as indirect objects. The absolutive case covers intransitive subjects and transitive objects.
- "We (excluding you) are going to the market to buy you (indirect object) some food."
Suppletive verb number
For some verbs, number is shown not by conjugation, but by suppletive verb stems. These verb stems can show number differences either for the subject or for the object.
- "The man sits/sat."
- "The men sit/sat."
- "The man killed a monkey."
- "The man killed the monkeys."
Word shortening and expanding
Maxakalí nouns readily form compounds, here are some examples: