Maipure language

Maipure language
Spoken in Venezuela
Region Orinoco
Extinct late 18th century
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 qij

Maipure (Maypure, Mejepure), once spoken along the Ventuari, Sipapo, and Autana rivers (Amazon) and, as a lingua franca, in the Upper Orinoco region, became extinct around the end of the eighteenth century. Zamponi (2003) is a grammatical sketch of the language, furnished with a classified word list, based on all its extant available eighteenth century material (mainly from the Italian missionary Filippo S. Gilij). It is historically important in that it formed the cornerstone of the recognition of the Maipurean (Arawakan) language family.

Kaufman (1994) gives its closest relatives as Yavitero and other languages of the Orinoco branch of Upper Amazon Arawakan. Aikhenvald (1999) places it instead in the Western Nawiki branch.


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