Arawak languages

Aikhenvald, A.Y. (2006) Arawak languages. In: Brown, Keith, (ed.) Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics. Elsevier, Oxford, UK, pp. 446-449.

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Abstract

The Arawak language family contains the largest number of languages in Latin America. Geographically, it spans four countries of Central America – Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua – and eight of South America – Bolivia, Guyana, French Guiana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil (and also formerly Argentina and Paraguay).

There are about 40 living Arawak languages. The first Native American peoples encountered by Columbus – in the Bahamas, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico – were the Arawak-speaking Taino. Their language became extinct within a hundred years of the invasion. Spanish and many other European languages inherited a number of loans from Arawak languages. These include widely used words such as hammock, tobacco, potato, guava, and many other names for flora and fauna.

Item ID: 9363
Item Type: Book Chapter (Reference)
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ISBN: 978-0-08-044299-0
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2010 02:11
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200407 Lexicography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
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