Irantxe language


Irantxe language
Irantxe
Manoki
Spoken in Brazil
Region Mato Grosso
Ethnicity Irantxe, Mỹky
Native speakers 50?  (date missing)
Language family
Dialects
Münkü
Language codes
ISO 639-3 irn

Irantxe (Iranxe, Iranshe), also known as Münkü (Mỹky), is an indigenous American language that is spoken in Mato Grosso, Brazil by about 200 people. It is generally left unclassified due to lack of data. Ethnologue (2000) idiosyncratically assigns it to the Arawakan family, but there is no published account to back this up (Fabre 2005). The most recent descriptions treat it as a language isolate, saying that it "bears no similarity with other language families" (Arruda 2003), though this may not be based on new data (Monserrat 2010).

The 250 Irantxe (Iránxe, Iranche, Manoki, Munku) have largely assimilated to Brazilian culture. Most are monolingual in Portuguese, and Irantxe speakers are over 50 years old. A splinter group, the Mỹky (Mynky, Münkü, Munku, Menku, Kenku, Myy), however, moved to escaped assimilation, and were isolated until 1971. As of 2003, there were 38 people in the Mỹky village, but not all were ethnic Mỹky, and the others were monolingual in Portuguese. Among the Mỹky, however, the language is being passed on to children.

Monserrat (2010) is a well-reviewed grammar.

Phonology

Monserrat posits a series of palatalized stops. For several reasons, however, reviewer D’Angelis (2011) suggests these are simply /Cj/ sequences.

m n
p t k ʔ
s h
w l~r j

/m/ is optionally [mb] word initially, especially among the Irantxe: muhu [mbuhu], mjehy [mbjɛhɨ]. /s/ is pronounced [ʃ] before /j/. [r] and [l] are in free variation.

There are 28 vowels: Seven qualities, /i ɨ u ɛ ə ɔ a/, all appear long, short, and nasalized. The schwa, however, alternates with /ɛ/ in many words.

Syllables may be CjVC, though words may not end in a consonant. The role of tone is not clear.

References

  • D’Angelis, Wilmar. 2011. Review of Monserrat (2020). LIAMES – Línguas Indígenas Ameríndias, vol 10.
  • Monserrat, Ruth. 2010. A lingua do povo Myky
  • Anonby, Stan. 2009. A Report on the Irantxe and Myky.
  • Fabre, Alain. 2005. Diccionario etnolingüístico y guía bibliográfica de los pueblos indígenas sudamericanos: Iránxe.[1]
  • Arruda, Rinaldo. 2003. Iranxe Manoki. Instituto Socioambiental.
  • Dixon & Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (eds.), The Amazonian languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. ISBN 0 521 57021 2.

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