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Pará Arára language

Pará Arára
Native toBrazil
EthnicityArara people
Native speakers
340 (2010)[1]
  • Pekodian
    • Arara
      • Arára
Language codes
ISO 639-3aap

Arára is a Cariban language of Pará, Brazil. It is spoken by the Arara and perhaps other related groups.



Bilabial Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Nasal m n ŋ
Trill (ʙ̥)
Tap ɾ
Fricative (h)
Approximant w l j

Two of the sixteen consonants, /ʙ̥, h/ occur infrequently. /ʙ̥/ only occurs in expressive words, or before the vowel /u/. /h/ only occurs after a coronal consonant, like /a/ or /u/. There is also a specially rare occurrence of two implosive consonants, /ɓ/ and /ɗ/.[3]


Front Central Back
High i ɯ u
Mid ɛ ɔ
Low a


The language is spoken by a people who includes tribes still uncontacted. They live mainly in three villages: Cachoeira Seca, Laranjal and Maia. However, the natives of the latter have switched to Portuguese, while 85 speakers still remain in Cachoeira Seca and 250 in Laranjal.

Animal talk

Linguist Isaac Costa de Souza studied the language and concluded some words were modified when used to talk to different animals.[3] The table below shows some modified words used when speaking to a capuchin monkey.

Normal word Capuchin word English gloss
ɔɛt ɔɛgɛt rubber tree
aɛge wasp
ikpa ikpaga mud
kuɾi kuligi bead
kɔk kɔgɔk night, evening
nu nugu tumour, abscess
paɾu palugu water

Different modifications are used according to the species of animal being addressed. The word ikpa, for example, might be modified as tɔkpa when addressing a dog, or as ĩkpã when addressing a howler monkey. Specific modifications may be used when talking to woodpeckers, tortoises, and coatis, among other animals.


  1. ^ Arára at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Para Arara". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Isaac Costa de Souza, 2010, A Phonological Description of "Pet Talk" in Arara, M.A. thesis, University of North Dakota.

External links

  • Lev, Michael; Stark, Tammy; Chang, Will (2012). "Phonological inventory of Arára, Pará". The South American Phonological Inventory Database (version 1.1.3 ed.). Berkeley: University of California: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages Digital Resource.