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Pumé (Yaruro) and Chocoan

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Evidence for a New Genealogical Link in Northern South America

image of Language Dynamics and Change

This paper illustrates and discusses recurrent sound correspondences between Pumé (also known as Yaruro) and Chocoan languages. Pumé is a language of the Apure state of Venezuela and has so far been considered an isolate. Chocoan is a small language family of western Colombia and eastern Panama. Until now, these language groups have never been considered together and compared systematically. It is argued here that the recurrent sound correspondences attested in Chocoan and Pumé basic vocabulary are difficult to explain by coincidence or language contact. It is therefore concluded that there should be enough evidence to postulate a genealogical link between both language groups.

Affiliations: 1: Leiden University


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