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Itonama language

Itonama
RegionBolivia
Ethnicity2,900 (2006)[1]
Native speakers
5 (2007)[1]
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3ito
Glottologiton1250[2]
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Itonama is a moribund language isolate spoken in the Amazonian lowlands of north-eastern Bolivia. Greenberg’s (1987) classification of Itonama as Paezan, a sub-branch of Macro-Chibchan, remains unsupported and Itonama continues to be considered an isolate or unclassified language.

Phonology

Vowels

Front Central Back
High i ɨ u
Mid e o
Low a

Diphthongs: /ai au/.

Consonants

Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Plain p t k ʔ
Ejective
Voiced b d
Affricate Plain
Ejective tʃʼ
Fricative s h
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Flap ɾ
Semivowel w j

The postalveolar affricates /tʃ tʃʼ/ have alveolar allophones [ts tsʼ]. Variation occurs between speakers, and even within the speech of a single person.

The semivowel /w/ is realized as a bilabial fricative [β] when preceded and followed by identical vowels.

Morphology

Itonama is a polysynthetic, head-marking, verb-initial language with an accusative alignment system along with an inverse subsystem in independent clauses, and straightforward accusative alignment in dependent clauses.

Nominal morphology lacks case declension and adpositions and so is simpler than verbal morphology (which has body-part and location incorporation, directionals, evidentials, verbal classifiers, among others).[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Itonama at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Itonama". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Crevels, M. Who did what to whom in Magdalena. p. 3.

External links