|Native to||Roraima, Brazil|
Maku or Mako (Spanish Macú, Portuguese Máku) is an unclassified language spoken on the Brazil–Venezuela border in Roraima along the upper Uraricoera and lower Auari rivers, west of Boa Vista. 300 years ago, the Macu territory had been between the Padamo and Cunucunuma rivers to the southeast.
The last speaker died between 2000 and 2002. Aryon Rodrigues and Ernesto Migliazza have worked on the language, and there is enough material for a grammar, though as of 2010 this had not been published.
No proper name for the language is recorded. Macu is not a proper name, but rather an Arawakan term for unintelligible languages and people held in servitude in the Orinoco region. (See Maku people for a partial list.) The stress is typically given on the final syllable, Makú (Migliazza, Fabré). However, in order to distinguish the language of the Auari from the many other languages given this name, the stress is sometimes shifted to the first syllable: Máku (Maciel, Dixon & Aikhenvald) or Máko (Campbell & Grondona). The disambiguator Maku-Auari is used by Hammerström.
Roraima Macu has six oral vowels, /i y ɨ u e a/, and four nasal vowels, /ĩ ũ ẽ ã/. Length is contrastive, but only on an initial CV syllable of a polysyllabic word. The most complex syllable is CCVC. There is no contrastive stress or tone.
Consonants are stops /p b t d k ʔ/, the affricate /ts/, fricatives /s ʃ x h/, nasals /m n/, the lateral "r" (perhaps /ɺ/?), and the approximants /w j/.
There is a lateral consonant "r," probably the alveolar flap /ɺ/.
Suggested genetic relations involving Macu include
Kaufman (1990) finds the Kalianan proposal "promising", though he is now dated.