Nambikwaran languages

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Mato Grosso, Brazil
Linguistic classificationOne of the world's primary language families
Nambikwaran languages.png

The Nambikwaran languages are a language family of half a dozen languages, all spoken in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. They have traditionally been considered dialects of a single language, but at least three of them are mutually unintelligible.

The varieties of Mamaindê are often seen as dialects of a single language, but are treated as separate Northern Nambikwaran languages by Ethnologue. Sabanê is a single speech community and thus has no dialects, while the Nambikwara language has been described as having eleven.[2]

The total number of speakers is estimated to be about 1,500, with Nambikwara proper being 80% of that number.[3] Most Nambikwara are monolingual but some young men speak Portuguese.[4] Especially the men of the Sabanê group are trilingual, speaking both Portuguese and Mamainde.[5]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nambiquaran". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian languages: the historical linguistics of Native America. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  3. ^ Nambiquaran languages. Ethnologue. Retrieved on 2012-07-29.
  4. ^ Kroeker, 2001 p. 1
  5. ^ Ethnologue. Ethnologue. Retrieved on 2012-07-29.