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Camsá language

EthnicityCamsá people
Native speakers
4,000 (2008)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3kbh

Camsá (Kamsá, Kamse), also Mocoa, Sibundoy, Coche, or Kamemtxa / Camëntsëá, is a language isolate of Colombia.

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular
Stop voiceless p t c k
voiced b d g
Fricative f s χ
Affricate voiceless t͡s
voiced d͡z
Nasal m n
Approximant l j w
Trill r

Camsá is a polysynthetic language with prefixes and suffixes. It also has dual number, which is unusual for languages around it.[3]


  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Fabre, Alain. (2005). Diccionario etnolingüístico y guía bibliográfica de los pueblos indígenas sudamericanos: KAMSÁ.[1]
  • 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.
  • McDowell, John Holmes. (1994). "So Wise Were Our Elders": Mythic Narratives of the Kamsá. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-1826-3 (alk. paper) (Contains mythic and legendary in Camsá with interlinear morphemic glossing and English translations.)


  1. ^ Camsa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Camsá". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Fabre, Alain (1 September 2001). "Kamsa, a poorly documented isolated language spoken in southwestern Columbia" (PDF).