Arutani–Sape languages

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Brazil–Venezuela border
Linguistic classificationProposed language family
Documented location of Arutani–Sapé languages, the two most southern spots are Arutani villages, the northern one is Sapé location.

The Arutani–Sape, also known as Awake–Kaliana or Kalianan, are a proposed language family[1] that includes two of the most poorly documented languages in South America, both of which are nearly extinct. They are at best only distantly related, but Kaufman (1990) finds the connection convincing. However, Migliazza & Campbell (1988) maintain that there is no evidence for linking them.[2] The two languages are,

Kaufman (2007: 68) also adds Awaké to the family, a connection which had been proposed by Greenberg (1987).[3]

  • Arutani[4] (also known as Aoaqui, Auake, Auaque, Awake, Oewaku, Orotani, Uruak, Urutani)
  • Sape[5] (also known as Caliana, Chirichano, Kaliana, Kariana)

Kaufman (1990) states that a further connection with Maku of Roraima is "promising". (See Macro-Puinavean languages.)


Loukotka (1968) lists the following basic vocabulary items for Kaliána.[6]

gloss Kaliána
one koki
two ikiria
three komoña
head koyanukú
eye kam-kukú
tooth kaká
man mínõ
water inám
fire txokó
sun yám
manioc téntu
jaguar pudzyín
house enaĩ

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Weinstein, Jay A. (2005-02-28). Social and Cultural Change: Social Science for a Dynamic World. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 94. ISBN 0-7425-2573-2.
  2. ^ Ernest Migliazza & Lyle Campbell, 1988. Panorama general de las lenguas indígenas en América
  3. ^ Kaufman, Terrence. 2007. South America. In: R. E. Asher and Christopher Moseley (eds.), Atlas of the World’s Languages (2nd edition), 59–94. London: Routledge.
  4. ^ Moseley, Christopher (2007-04-23). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Routledge. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-7007-1197-0.
  5. ^ Moseley, Christopher (2007-04-23). Encyclopedia of the world's endangered languages. Routledge. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7007-1197-0.
  6. ^ Loukotka, Čestmír (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: UCLA Latin American Center.


  • Harald Hammarström, 2010, 'The status of the least documented language families in the world'. In Language Documentation & Conservation, v 4, p 183 [1]