Guaicuruan languages

Guaicuruan languages

Infobox Language family
region=northern Argentina, western Paraguay, southern Brazil
fam1=Mataco-Guaicuru ?

Guaicuruan (also Guaykuruan, Waikurúan, Guaycuruano, Guaikurú, Guaicurú, Guaycuruana) is a language family spoken in northern Argentina, western Paraguay, and Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul).

Family division

Guaicuruan consists of 7 languages:

: A. Guaykurú branch:: 1. Kadiweu (also known as Caduveo, Kadiwéu, Mbayá-Guaycuru, Mbayá, Guaicurú, Waikurú, Ediu-Adig): B. Southern branch:: 2. Pilagá (also known as Pilacá):: 3. Toba (also known as Qom, Chaco Sur, Namqom):: 4. Mocoví (also known as Mbocobí, Mokoví, Moqoyt):: 5. Abipón (also known as Callaga, Kalyaga, Abipon) "(†)": C. Eastern branch:: 6. Guachí (also known as Wachí) "(†)":: 7. Payaguá (also known as Payawá) "(†)"

Abipón, Guachí, and Payaguá all are extinct.

Harriet Klein argues against the assumption that Kadiweu is Guaicuruan. Most others accept the inclusion of Kadiweu into the family.

The Toba language here should not be confused with the Mascoy language of the Mascoyan family which is also called "Toba" (or "Toba-Emok", "Toba-Maskoy").

The Waikurúan language family has two branches: (a) the Waikurúan Branch, which includes Mbayá and its descendent Kadiwéu;

(b) the Southern Branch, which comprises four other languages: Toba, Pilagá, Mocoví, and Apibón.
*Toba is spoken in the eastern part of the Chaco and Formosa provinces of Argentina, in southern Paraguay, and in the eastern part of Bolivia; there are approximately 25,000 speakers.
*Pilagá, with about 4,000 speakers, is spoken in the northeastern part of Chaco province, and in eastern Formosa, Argentina;
*Mocoví, with about 7,000 speakers, is spoken in Argentina in the northern part of Santa Fe and southern Chaco provinces.
*Abipón, which was spoken in the eastern part of Chaco province, Argentina, is now extinct and was very closely related to the other languages in this branch.

Genetic relations

Jorge Suárez includes Guaicuruan with Charruan in a hypothetical "Waikuru-Charrúa" stock.

Morris Swadesh includes Guaicuruan along with Matacoan, Charruan, and Mascoyan within his "Macro-Mapuche" stock.

Joseph Greenberg places Guaicuruan within a "Mataco-Guaicuru" grouping similar to Swadesh's Macro-Mapuche with the exception that his Mataco-Guaicuru also includes Lule-Vilela. Mataco-Guaicuru is then connected with Panoan, Tacanan, and Mosetenan in his larger "Macro-Panoan" phylum.

Kaufman (1990) suggests that the Guaicuruan-Matacoan-Charruan-Mascoyan-Lule-Vilela proposal deserves to be explored — a grouping which he calls "Macro-Waikurúan". Kaufman's (1994) Macro-Waikurúan proposal excludes Lule-Vilela.

External links

* Ethnologue: [ Mataco-Guaicuru, Guaicuruan]
* Proel: [ Familia Guaycuruana]


* Adelaar, Willem F. H.; & Muysken, Pieter C. (2004). "The languages of the Andes". Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press.
* Campbell, Lyle. (1997). "American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America". New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
* Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (Ed.). (2005). "Ethnologue: Languages of the world" (15th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X. (Online version:
* Greenberg, Joseph H. (1987). "Language in the Americas". Stanford: Stanford 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.
* 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.

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